Sometimes when I am talking to friends and they tell me stuff about their lives, I feel foolish because I have NO memory of them telling me about any of this stuff… except they did.

Then comes a week like this week and I realize why that is: It’s all I can do to keep up my my life.

Maggie Choate

On Tuesday my mom (Maggie) went in for hip replacement surgery. She’s been in pretty severe pain for a long while now and if my dad hadn’t been going through his illness, this probably would have happened sooner. The last year has allowed Mom to do the necessary research and become comfortable that this was the next step.

The surgery went well and she’s recovering nicely. I wasn’t able to be with her until Friday night, but we talked while she was in the hospital (Tuesday-Friday) and one of her friends drove her home and stayed with her until I could get there.

I think that was the point she kind of conked out. She looks great and is so much more mobile than I thought she would be, but it was obvious that she was ready to be out of the hospital (loud, noisy, and full of people) and home (quiet, familiar and only me (take that how you want).)

I knew from talking to her (and just knowing her for the last ____ years) that my job this weekend was to be there and be quiet. So I brought my painting stuff and vowed to catch up on my painting.

Totally good move.

When I left Sunday evening a few of her friends stopped by for a pizza party and agreed she was looking good. She’ll still be recovering for a while, but she’s on the mend and says she can already feel the improvement in her hip.


To recap, I am currently behind in posting nine paintings. But it’s not as bad as it looks.

Sept 16

sept 16So I got a little more behind this week because Tuesday and Wednesday were not “normal” work days, but full-day trainings with a working lunch. I did get this piece painted. I am liking where it’s going enough to keep it in the pile, but I suspect it will really change if I continue. Still, it’s paint covering a whole piece of paper, so I’m keeping it in the challenge.

Sept 17

sept 17

Thursday was raining intermittently, so I painted the view from my desk.

Did you know clouds move?

September 18

sept 18This is yet another of Mill Creek. I tried to capture not just the ripple but a ray of sunlight on the water. Very mixed results on that.

So with these three, I’m only behind six. Thus begins my weekend work.

Catch Up 1 – Bear

bearI need to work on the eyes, but other than that, I’m not sure where else to go with this. I like the colors, but other than that, it’s just not cutting it for me. I’ll take it to critique group and see what they say.

Catch Up 2 – Metallic Pears Experiment

pearsI actually started this on September 13, but I wasn’t sure where to go. So I decided to experiment with some metallic pigments I scored at a garage sale. Very interesting…

Catch Up 3 – Ice Dragon

icedragonThis is another one that I’m not calling done, but I have decided where to go. It’s a piece that started out as just putting down some colors to try to get me painting again. I’ve decided it’s a chained ice dragon. I got to the point where it was sketched in… I just need to finish. I’m putting it in the painting list… call me a cheater if you want.

Catch Up 4 – Stealth Painting

stealthI can’t show you this.

It’s also not done.

But considering I painting on it for 4 hours this weekend, and my week day paintings have been 1 hour… I’m including it!

Catch Up 5 – Gelli Plates

A few weeks ago I purchased a new, larger Gelli plate and a patterning tools. This was my first chance to play with them, and I’m calling this a win.

So… to summarize: I have one more catch up and then I’ll be on track.

Moving On

So the last of the big catch up bulletins of the week has to do with my living arrangements.

Six months ago, when I accepted the job as Grants Payment Coordinator with OWEB down in Salem, I knew that a change in location was probably going to follow.

I had been getting to that point anyway; I’m getting older and government work has a lot of security. While my crystal ball has been busted for AGES, I suspect that I’m going to stay with the way of life that offers the most security. The terrible 2011-2012 year just wore me out.

Unless I got a job with Clackamas County, future jobs will require a commute from Oregon City. Before I got a job with OWEB, I had been contemplating trying to move closer into Portland, where I could have a choice between Multnomah County, City of Portland, State of Oregon, and several other government agency jobs (assuming I needed to look.) When I made the decision to move down to Salem, I knew I was limiting myself to State of Oregon, City of Salem, or Marion County. It’s a somewhat smaller pool in case of emergency (not that much smaller though), and the cost of housing is considerably less.

I took the risk and it’s been a good one.

My initial six months (the state’s probationary period) are almost up and things are going well (9 more days to go.) So last weekend I sat down with a realtor who attends my church and laid out my situation. She recommended trying to beat the winter blues, so burned the midnight oil cleaning the house and yard and I put the house up for sale on Friday.

I’ve been so busy with everything else going on that I’m not even 100% sure what the marketing plan is, but the realtor assured me that we had tons of showings and the price is competitive, so fingers crossed for a quick sale.

And then I’ll have to figure out what to do about moving.

More fun.

Last Update

The house being on the market is, in some ways, good timing because I’m going to be out of town a lot in the next few weeks. One of my job duties is doing financial training around the state and I have 7 scheduled in the next few week. Add the WSO convention and OFFF, and the house sitter will see Finn and the cats a lot more than I will! The realtor is thrilled.