Sandhill Crane

In the last two weeks, a lot has happened. Simultaneously, it’s been pretty quiet. That’s the contradiction of life right now.

The Move

I haven’t talked about this for about a month. I’m completely out of the Salem house and everything is in storage in the garage down here. The Keizer house is still a go, and I’ll be signing the papers on Wednesday, recording on Thursday, and getting the keys on Friday. The movers are also going to move stuff into the new house on Friday. So, next week will be a big one.

Beach News

So, I’m living in quarantine down at the beach house. And it’s awesome. Like a vacation. But, being me, I am working on some projects.

I’ve been working on removing some overgrown areas and straightening up some hardscape areas that have fallen down. I also have been meeting the neighbors and walking the dog (a lot) and scoping out ideas for keeping the yard low maintenance.

One thing I  did decide to do was take down a couple of trees and have some preventative maintenance done on some others. That was done on Friday. The wires you see in the photos are electric lines that were all tangled up in the tree. The trees had been topped multiple times and were no longer in good shape.

It’s always hard to make these decisions; no one wants to take down trees.


Work has been… well, it’s complicated. Working from home in a job that wasn’t designed for that has been a struggle. And just when I think that’s going okay, the internet will go down or some new challenge will arrive.

In addition, budget news has been grim. Tensions are high on all fronts. To add fuel to the fire, my section has hired a new manager and the transition has been… well, it’s complicated.

And, as much as I hate to say this, the general management team at work is obviously frazzled by all the above and it’s hard to watch. Almost daily, I think of the Mark Twain quote about sausage. It’s true for management as well.

It’s complicated.


After posting my first ever video demo, I have lost momentum. I’m painting, but small.

It’s what feels manageable right now.

I did do an “p-ART-y” with Facebook friend Linda Shantz. Basically, we used her reference photo (baby Parker) to make a piece of our own. Here’s what I did.

Collage – Baby Parker

There have been so many great demos and videos on Facebook, but I have been unable to find the energy to do most of them. It just feel like too much.


Which brings me to scale.

I’ve been struggling a lot with a feeling of responsibility. For everything. Which is patently absurd. But it’s the feeling that I have.

On Facebook, which is normally one of my favorite things, it seems like half of the people are complaining about the restrictions COVID is putting on them and the other half are lecturing people about how they should behave. And I fight the need to write posts about how we should all just be working together.

At work, I feel like I bear the weight of responsibility for not just getting payments out for grantees, but for the fate of all the grantees and the agency as a whole. I long to tell the managers how they should act and what they should do. And it’s really difficult to remind myself that my only job is to take care of me.

On the home front, I worry about the new house and the beach house and if I am using too many resources. And what I’m going to do for furniture. And…

As for art, I worry about “where I should go.” As if I have a responsibility to understand where this hobby is be taking me. As if that destination needs to be meaningful.

The answer to all this is the same. No. Right now, my only job is to survive. I get bonus points for helping others survive by wearing a mask, washing my hands, and observing social distancing.

I wish everyone health and happiness. Be kind to each other, and yourselves.