Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

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“Wherever you Go, There you Are”

October 30, 2013
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Spectacular Sunset, Neskowin, Oregon

After a year-long of preparation and anticipation here I am, writing from SE Portland.  In a mere 4 months I’ve been transported into a different country with entirely new terrain surrounding me. I find myself traveling through a range of emotions. Most days I bounce along the streets as I walk my dog, smile on my face, fascinated by new foliage, backyard chickens and reading bumper stickers (Portland seems to love bumper stickers) Then there are other days, where I long to see a familiar face among a crowd and deeply miss Canada’s Healthcare system, but I’ll get back to that.

The first two months here was mostly filled with logistical duties. All those boring jobs that come with a move, such as setting up utilities, and changing addresses – except this time, we had no clue who the utilities were or where anything was.  Though, I am happy to report, I passed my Oregon drivers test and actually have an Oregon drivers license now.  The DMV is a place I am happy to NOT have to visit for a long while now.

Fleur, Head study, framed up, 10"x10", Oil on Canvas

Fleur, Head study, framed up, 10″x10″, Oil on Canvas

I have yet to pick up any type of paint brush other than those used for painting walls.  Sadly, with the last two moves I have had, I never felt more at home than when my house was up for sale. I’ve been determined to build a nest here and make my house feel like a home before it’s on the market again!  Some of you know that my previous career and school training was as an Interior Designer – it’s been fun wearing that hat again for my own home. One thing I love is that this Portland house is entirely different from my Orangeville house.  Coming from a warm palette, this time around I’ve gone with cool grey blues, accented with Chartreuse and other random punches of fun colour. I’m working with an eclectic mix of mid-century modern furniture and shabby chic type finishes.  In keeping the slogan ‘Keep Portland Weird’, I’ve thrown the odd fake feathered bird in unique hiding locations.

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The beginnings of some assemblage in my new home. clean lined furniture, sheer soft window coverings, a stunning rug and of course, sleekly framed artwork by friends. This one above the chair, courtesy of Kathi Peters. http://www.kathipeters.com

After a summer filled with exploring the area and working on the house, it was about time to prepare for fall and with that the start of school for my son.  I was eager to get into some kind of routine at home and work in this new life here in Portland. However, my body had other plans for me 😦 The morning of August 28th, I awoke to the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced (and I have given birth before!) Electric shock waves rushed from my neck, across my chest and upper back, shooting down my arm, and landing at the tip of my right thumb.  Of course my husband was away at the time, my poor son watched me in horror as I screamed and cried in pain trying to figure out what to do, how to get help, where to go??? Of all the logistical hurdles we had jumped through to that date, we had yet to find a doctor or figure out how US healthcare worked. I guess there is nothing like just getting yourself thrown right into it.

I’m not going to get into a healthcare debate, I admit to completely not understanding the system here – I am just not used to having to pay for care and having insurance dictate much of your treatment. On the positive side, I was able to have an MRI much sooner than I’m sure I ever would have in Canada, I’m just awaiting the bill for that – lol.

So here I am, three months later typing this blog post over an icepack, my right arm still ringing and burning.  Turns out I’ve got a nasty bone spur at my C5/C6 that is enjoying cuddling with the nerve beside it.  It’s not like the spur grew overnight, why it decided to rear its ugly head here, just when I was about to start really settling in, is a complete mystery to me.  A few doctors suggested that perhaps it was the stress of the move that caused my muscles to tense and lock up, not allowing my joints to move as well.  For whatever the reason, I’m sick of being laid up! I’m ready more than ever to move forward!! I cannot imagine living with this nerve pain for the rest of my life!!! Along with physical therapy, I am getting a nerve block injection next week to try to calm the nerve down.  Let’s hope it works.

My first Encaustic Painting, from a workshop, 8x10

My first Encaustic Painting from a workshop, 8×10

Enough with the pity party over my bummed arm, and back to the burning question of what does the future hold for me and my art career? I’m still working on that picture. I feel now, more than ever that there will be a shift.  I am not sure if it will be medium, subject or style. However, just as patient as I’ve been waiting for my arm to heal up, I am trying to be patient, stay present and enjoy the journey to whatever direction that may be.

2nd of first Encaustic attempt. I like the first one is better, but it's part of the learning curve

2nd of first Encaustic attempt. I like the first one is better, but it’s part of the learning curve

Thanks for checking in and reading my update.  I may not have new work to share for a while yet, but I will try keep you all in the loop 🙂

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Re-Location, Re-Location, Re-location

October 1, 2012

Twist, 14×18 Oil on Canvas, Private Commission

Two months ago I had a rare date-night with my husband. If you have young children, I’m sure you understand how special and hard to come by those nights are. While sitting cozily in a quaint, local restaurant sipping a glass of red, I confessed to my other half that I had been feeling that some kind of life changes were coming our way. Of course he asked what change?? The truth is, I had no clue!  That explained my feeling of restlessness over this possibility of change. I could not put a finger on what change was going to take place. A couple of weeks later my husband received a job offer which would re-locate our family from the Hills of Headwaters, Ontario – to somewhere yet to be determined in the USA…?

Am I part psychic (lol) or did my openness to the possibility of change allow this opportunity to come through? I’m still scratching my head over this in between my feelings of excitement, anxiety and pure terror!!! I am of course incredibly proud of my hardworking other half for his well-deserved promotion.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve networked with other families who have made similar moves over the course of their lives as well as families that didn’t take the chance – only to regret it. When I stop worrying about logistical challenges and leaving dear friends & family behind, I begin thinking from a positive frame of mind. How lucky we are have the opportunity to have a chance to live in a completely different setting. We would meet new people and explore new landscapes. Our seven-year old son surprised me the other day by stating out of the blue – ‘Mommy, I can’t wait to meet the new students at my new school’…this made me tear up, because I’ve been quite fearful over him not coping with the move and leaving his friends behind too.  I’ve since been told my many friends, that it’s parents that cope with change poorly, not kids!

Piles of Places…now where to live??

We have the option to live anywhere from the mid-west to west coast USA. Given our lifestyle and proximity to the coast, many friends have told us that Oregon might be the spot for us. After spending hours pouring over travel literature, I’ve since learned that I’ve been saying it all wrong, Oregon is pronounced ‘Or-uh-gun’…not ‘Or-ee-gone’…am I ever grateful to figure that one out before looking like a fool by possibly moving there and saying the state name all wrong!

Thankfully we have some time as this move will take place sometime in the late spring/early summer of 2013.  In the meantime we are seeking our new home, suggestions welcome! 😉

btw- in effort to clear some out before impending move – Dutch Auction is up and running – click HERE for included works.