Navigating our way through our new life embracing change and pressing forward!

Navigating our way through our new life embracing change and pressing forward!

 

I ran across this little project I started over a year ago and didn’t stick with (so unlike me…..NOT). I read through these posts that I think I was mainly writing for a couple of reasons.

A. To try and digest our new situation without bursting from the inside out.

B. Because my head was spinning and to be honest my heart was a bit achy for home while at the same time intrigued by our move, I am an outward processor and this blog was obviously my short-term and pulic therapy.

I am happy to announce I feel like we have all progressed to Phase Two . So allow me to recap our past year and all of its uppy downy twisty turny crapmazingness. Confusing right? I will be honest in saying that about two months after our move I was more depressed than I had ever been in my entire life…..scarey depressed. Looking back on this now oddly makes me smile a bit. I have come a long way. The culprit? DOWN TIME hands down the most cruel form of torture to my ADD soul. The pace of Portland is unlike the pace of the Midwest, remove a business that was about 90% of our life, a part time job, social events, whatever family time was left and put me on an 8 hour work day without my kids around this amounted to 16 hours a with NO plans, then put the one friend/husband I had (Dave) on night shift and BAM this all equal BLAH LAND….Talking to yourself out loud, crying mushy gushy homesick tears and basically going Bat Shit Crazy and LONELINESS pure unadulterated LONELINESS. Just about the time I recovered and my boys arrived to FINALLY join us….it hit Benjamin and the darkness followed him around for about the same time frame…2 months of feeling so blue his bones ached. Simon had some teary moments and was emotionally jumbled……All the while Dave kept kickin'(I am so very unworthy of a Dave, and sweet anchory even keel Dave…..The best kind of Dave).

My job sucked, my pay offer was readjusted to less due to a mistake, getting to work with no parking was challenging it seriously felt like every time I took a step out side there was a big juicy turd laying in wait for me to stomp in. All the while we had turned into some amazing tourism whores and started out and about the Pacific Northwest trying to make the most of the rare occasion we were all together at the same time, we divorced our GPS…….and then came something beautiful……..BALANCE.

We celebrated via SKYPE the arrival of Mr. Oliver Grayson Phillips, our beautiful grandson.  Pictured here in all of his glory with our beautiful Bailey Susanne and her beau Kyle Phillips

We celebrated via SKYPE the arrival of Mr. Oliver Grayson Phillips, our beautiful grandson. Pictured here in all of his glory with our beautiful Bailey Susanne and her beau Kyle Phillips

Imagery is bliss...right?  Taking time to smell the roses!

Imagery is bliss…right? Taking time to smell the roses!

Status post-conquering of the Deschuttes River in Maupin, Oregon!

Status post-conquering of the Deschuttes River in Maupin, Oregon! Evidence of our tourism whoredom.

 

Flash forward to present…… Simon and Ben are socialites, Bailey and Oliver (our squishy grandson) have come to visit several times and school is in full swing for everyone in our entire house. Dave has returned for his Master’s Degree in accounting, Myself for a Master’s in Nursing, Benjamin is rocking out his Junior year and Simon will be a Freshman in the fall. We are all on a schedule and taking turns pairing off to make plans for the upcoming weekends and planning dates for Bailey to visit so there was always something to look forward to, time allowing, and can I say praise the LAWRD for SKYPE…..finally the feeling of “WE GOT THIS” has remained steady.

 

SOOOOOOO here’s to selling off a beloved business and most all worldly possessions, appearing crazy to yourself and the world, leaving behind friends, family, jobs, hometowns and social lives and stumbling into a world of growth, beauty, self-discovery, new adventures, bad burgers, nature……..p.s. and by the way the dark cloud that tried to conquer all of us when we moved can now officially suck it….we are here to stay!

Advertisements

PHASE 2……Almost official Portland Settlers

Big Girl Panties, Salmon, New Friends and a Game Plan!

ImageBig girl panties?  Right….I have some somewhere, time to find them and maybe use a belt to keep them on.  After quite the tail kicking from the blues last week, I am bent on taking this week head on.  I gotta figure this out because, quite frankly, I don’t have the energy for another mopey week.   Game Plan as follows:

1. Choose to be happy and accept the ups and downs.

2. Be thankful that I have friends and family that I sincerely miss so much it makes my guts hurt, and it IS ok to make new friends even if they can never replace the old friends. More is better anyhow, correct?

3. Apply for a transfer to a faster paced unit to minimize downtime and idle thought:  I have two applications in the works.  PLAN A: Working with the VA in a homeless outreach program in downtown Portland.   PLAN B:  A transfer to the ICU at the VA…….we shall see.

4. Yoga time daily to decompress.

5. It’s a 4-day week, I got this!

ImageTESS and AKALA

Tess and Akala are my two new friends from work.  Tess would be the one on the left.  Akala has the killer fishin’ boots.  Honestly I mope around frequently because all of our friends are back home.  The one weekend I finally get invited to do something and I was immediately trying to figure out what was making me want to stay home.  Then Dave, being the Davey Dave he is, asks me, “are you afraid you will replace your old friends instead of adding to them?”.   “Well, yes, I guess so.”   Once that was aired out and we were committed it was all down hill.   Tess is a country loving independent beautiful Oregonian with a spunk for life and friends.   She invited us out to “Spot X” on the Columbia River to partake in some great food and time with some good people.  I am so grateful.   Miss Akala donned her lucky pink boots and snagged her first fish ever, and may I add the biggest catch of the day.  She beat out Dave by a mere 1/2″.   We had a blast and met some great people.  So thankful for the day, entirely!  We have enough salmon for weeks of dinners! 

All of this being said.  I am still homesick, I most likely always will be.   Home is always home after all and the people there are just to amazing to not miss.    A special shout out to my sister-in-law, Alex for helping me through the week and just understanding where I am at and relating.   I got this week by the horns, in advance, and I am just going to shout it out loud and believe it with all of my newby Oregonian heart!  I. GOT. THIS.

 

 

 

 

And then there are weeks like these…..a bit of realness from the Land of Port.

In a place as lovely and thought provoking as Oregon, there are all kinds of moments.   Moments of awe when you look around and realize this isn’t a vacation, you actually get to live here.  Moments when your breath is taken away by mountains and skylines pierced with over sized cedars. Moments when you miss the rain and clouds because it is simply clean and beautiful. Our time here has been filled with experiences and firsts; mind altering and amazing as a whole.  But there are other moments as well.  Let us just say this week has been full of “other moments” for me.   They snuck up and snuggled in and so as it is, at present, I feel pinned down and while I think this is a normal part of the transition phase, but OH does it suck!

Image

 

These so called “other moments” are experienced on many levels and in a multitude of ways.  However unwelcomed and untimely it arrives in full force and it is unpleasant.   This week my moment began on the way home from the beach Sunday morning.   I was processing the amazing weekend, the beaches, the clamming, the sunset and campfire, meanwhile the family slept in the car.  I kept thinking who all I would love to share this with and talk about this with and my mind immediately went to distance and how far away everyone is now.   No matter how much I want her there Bailey can’t come. There would be no calling Ann and Warren or the Stove Boyz to come with us next time we go. Then like a dark fog the “other moment” arrived and has been hovering like a dark haze lingering on and was followed by the heaviest rain and overcast sky we have seen since arriving……YUCK! I have a hesitation in saying anything about it.  I have this little voice thinking people will immediately think “I knew it” or “I told you so” and really I just don’t care right now.   It is what it is.

Work has been a rough adjustment.  I went from a break-neck paced understaffed unit and business ownership to a fully staffed unit at a much slower pace.  I have more free time on my hands than I have had since high school and I am quite certain I do NOT know how to handle it or even function at this level.    This is bad and I am aware, but again, it is what it is and this is just where I am at this week.  I am slowly trying to learn to appreciate down time and rest when I am able while every ounce of my body is bucking against me, antsy as hell and trying to keep at it’s old pace.  

I am reminding myself daily lately, why we came. I am also constantly asking myself if we did the right thing and had we any idea what we were thinking.   I can honestly say we had no idea what we were thinking and so far as I can tell, YES we did the right thing. This barely makes sense even to me but even with the heaviness that creeps in like this week I still just kind of know.  Now that we are here and things are better I can say with certainty that had we stayed and kept going like we were I would most likely not be married.  We were drowning, exhausted, overworked, angry with each other and flat out burnt out so badly we could hardly see it because it had become normal to feel that way.   We loved our business I hope everyone knows that, but the side effects on running a business as a married couple in three locations, one being our home, was overtaxing and as we later discovered impossible in our situation. 

So this is what you get this week…..a peek into a blah level yet unknown to me.  The real me right where I am at….hopefully this weekend will equal a reset and after catching a ginormous steelhead I will feel like a new woman…for now this is all I got.  I miss my people, AMEN!

Keeping Portland Weird!

What do a silver man, naked cowboys, running sandwiches, an over “stuffed” ambiguously gay superhero, street food and one rocking street band have in common?   Why, the Rose Festival, of course!  Welcome to Portland, Oregon ladies and gentlemen.  We are keeping it weird, yo!

 ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

 

David and I spend Friday couch-bound, he was having his butt kicked by allergies and by Saturday we were ready to get out an explore.  We started by hitting up the Goodwill stores on our side of town and looking for last minute items for the boys’ rooms, no luck.  Then on to the Saturday Market, one of our favorite spots for people watching and absorbing the coolness of where we currently live.  We snagged a free book, were approached by the “Zombama” man, asked for change for several bus rides out of Portland, scored some amazing Hippy pants, and bought an amazing CD from the best street musicians we have see to date (it was like Janis Joplin meets a cellist and street percussionist and decided to rock it out!).   At one point we were looking down the street and I couldn’t believe the amount of different things going on.   I tried to capture it in a photo, it isn’t as powerful.   We had street evangelists, Zombama man, amazing street performers, a henna tattooist, swarms of people and someone selling paper flowers, all within our view…….It was AMAZING!

ImageImageImageImage

ImageImageImageImageImage

Then off to get a hair cut next to VooDoo Donut where I proceeded to land a hair cut somewhere between Michelle Williams and Miley the shortest hair I have ever had, no doubt liberating!

ImageImage

Then a drive through the mountains to check out this amazing house right by the VA and in an area with a gifted school for Ben and close to downtown……

 Then …… wait for it……..another burger chase.   This time we found ourselves at Humdingers.  I was told by several people this place is where to go for the traditional greasy spoon burger.  Let us just say we feel sorry for Portland all over again, I had to wash down this dry thing with a milkshake because it was hard to swallow……GOOOD GREIF PEOPLE…..where’s the freaking beef?

ImageImage 

Lastly we crammed in to the Starlight parade.   The parade is kicked off every year with something that is the equivalent of the River Run, for those of  you from Wichita, Ks.   Only it seems that the goal of this run is to no win, but to dazzle the audience with the best original costume.  I had to steal all of the photos from the Oregonian because my phone died, here’s hoping I don’t get sued.

ImageImageImage

 

A big bit of Seattle love!

Image

Dear blog land…..Meet Ted and Tyler Klein, the best tour guides in all of history…..ever!  They also double as my uncle and cousin 🙂  They were kind enough to take a couple of dorks out and about to snap pictures and capture experiences in the beautiful land of yummy cuisine and coffee goodness.   Thanks for taking your day and humoring us nerds and fellow former Kansans!  The city was amazing and we saw everything from trolls to an alley harboring probably more hepatitis than any single location in the US.   Here are some fun shots….

20140525_131452

Heading out from uncle Ted’s casa to the big big city! City Bus Style, yo!

20140525_134144

Cute ole Dave and Ted on our way to Pike Market. Please note the coolness taking place. No umbrellas, a whole day of rain and some killer rain coats we are all sporting, almost like Dave and I know a little something about how to be cool in the PNW 🙂

20140525_134548

The home of the thrown fishies. Didn’t get to catch any action grrrrr!

20140525_134754

Can I just say that somewhere in the US Tom Petty was in tears over the covers this guy was wailing. It was rather funny and lets just say his bucketeth was emptyeth.

20140525_141331

I am pretty sure this feller was supposed to be a statue, he just happened to have a touch of A.D.D., couldn’t stand still and statuate, I can relate. Still very cool, however!

20140525_142601

DEAR TED, thank you for the tip on the greatest Greek yogurt ever know to man in all of history. Amen.

20140525_151845

Hepatitis Alley, fo shizz. yes, folks that is the famous gum wall and it did, indeed, smells minty fresh. EWWWWWY CHEWY Weirdness!

20140525_153032

Look Dad! It’s Ivar’s!

20140525_170905

The troll smashing a bug…..way rad!

20140525_170048

Lots of things smashed into the streets all over, had to capture some of it!

20140525_165921 20140525_173400

Thanks for the great day Ted and Tyler.  Thank you Seattle for your overflowing abounding amazingness…..MWAH!

 

DAY TWO

After our grand tour we went out to eat at a great place and tried to forget our attempt at conquering Dog Mountain and the muscles that were reminding us that we are out of shape and slightly pathetic.  This didn’t work so well.  Plus we were a bit giddy knowing that the following day Ann and Warren were coming to BIZIT!!!!!! WHOOOP.    We didn’t sleep much. Ain’t gonna lie, we were too excited!  The next day was just full of catching up and feeling so happy I could explode, which I should have after everything that I put in my face.  YUMMY FOOD, good friends, and lots of laughing!   Great times!

I kept trying to keep up with the convo......impossible!   All I could think is "OMG, they are really sitting right there!"

I kept trying to keep up with the convo……impossible! All I could think is “OMG, they are really sitting right there!”

Sure do love us some Tandocs!

Sure do love us some Tandocs!

 

.

 

.

.

 

Water issues, a jumper, cookie butter, burgers and an attempt to conquer!

Water issues:

Friday while working at the VA we get an overhead announcement of a city-wide boil in effect.  Apparently there was a positive test for e-coli in the water system.   This led to some fun times at work as they seamlessly provided bottled water and bagged ice to the patients and staff and even more fun when going to the store for bottled water and finding out everyone else in the “land of Port” had the same idea.  So boil and store we did.

Image

The Would be Jumper:

0630 Bright and early in an attempt to beat the memorial day crowd to the Dog Mountain Trailhead we were stuck in a bit of traffic.   No wreck to be seen, just cars for miles and then we got closer……

ImageImageImage

Look up on the bridge, someone is having a horrible day.  We are pleased to announce he was able to be talked down and traffic later resumed as normal.     Very sad, indeed.   Here is hoping it was just a bad day and everything is better now.   He may need cookie butter?   One can never know.

Cookie Butter:

Lets just say if you haven’t tried this delectable life changing substance you are most Not living life to the fullest.  The wars have begun.  You may find yourself hiding stashes and sneaking a blob here and there when no one is looking.  Or, in my case, getting mad when it is gone.  For marriage preservation purposes we had to come up with a system.  Here is the result.   Dear Trader Joe’s  I hate you for making this little bit of heaven and so does my waistband. Think peanut butter without the peanuts, only replace said peanuts with spice cookies and blend with a bit of oil until creamy and heavenly bliss is obtained.   Not fair and at the same time, Well Played Trader Joe’s, well played.

Image

Burgers:

Ok I am going to do the unthinkable rude thing to do in a City voted #1 for foodies.  I am going to complain.  I am going to dig in my heels and stomp around until someone can tell me where to get a steak that doesn’t cost $50 that tastes good and at the very least a damn good burger that makes me feel like I am at the Oasis lounge in good ole tah-town.   We have been sent all over the place and disappointed all the same.  Last weekend was our break in the clouds.  We have heard tales hailing from the amazing burgers of Helvetia Tavern. Apparently the burgers are huge, juicy and dripping in a sauce you literally want to lick off of your arms.   We were STOKED, and off we went.  

ImageImageImageImage The restaurant is out in a little town not far from us, sits on a vineyard and has a great feel, we just knew this was the spot.   Across the street is a little farm with sheep and donkey’s which provided the ambiance needed for a hole in the wall out in the middle of nowhere spot.     Then came the food…….can I just say it was somewhere between McDonald’s and Braum’s.    We quickly wiped our tears and committed to keep moving forward with our lives…..disappointed yet again……..next try will be today in Seattle at the Lunch Box Laboratory, our hopes are sailing and cravings in tact!

DOG MOUNTAIN ASS WHOOPIN’:

Image

I am not sure much else needs to be said, other than if you are out of shape, used to no elevation and are considering a recommended hike………PAY ATTENTION when they say the hike is “DIFFICULT”.   Don’t wonder about how difficult, or if the world translates the same in Oregon as it does in Kansas. (it does, p.s.)  Don’t think winding paths and steep hills here and there.  Think about a continual climb almost straight up for several miles.  Think about inclines so steep that if you don’t grab onto the branch of the upcoming tree you are going to fall, for several reasons, the first being because you cannot breath the second reason is your legs are working about as good as overcooked pasta and the last being that at this point you are most likely in full blown hallucinations.  We conquered and then rejoiced that the hike down was going to be a cake walk.   Then we started the hike down and the rejoicing stopped when our toes were being buried into the ends of our boots, and we failed a whole other group of leg muscles we didn’t know we had.    WE . ABOUT . DIED .  However, it was worth it.   We hiked for a couple of hours up through thick forest and just about when you think you are never getting done   BAM!    Miles and miles of yellow, orange and purple wildflowers take your breath away.    You are standing at the top of a mountain looking out into the Columbia Gorge and thinking…….where has this been my whole entire life!  You feel small, very small,  and then big because you made it.    ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage  AMEN!

  

.

.

 

 

 

An odd Mother’s Day in the Land of Port….

I love Mother’s Day, I really do that isn’t the odd part.   I love that there is a day of the year set aside to look away into the past and see all of the beautiful monumental things that have occurred with your children and with your mother.  I am one of those people that gushes over memories more than material things.  I have moved so many times I can’t keep things to be sentimental over but my memories are all mine and I am stingy with them, especially on Mother’s Day.

I think of things like the rust-colored ribbons that held up my Cindy Brady piggy tails my mom found that perfectly matched the rust colored flowers in my corduroy overalls she stayed up all night to make for just me.  I thought of my mom like this today and then my thoughts moved on to my own babies, all three of them.  I have wonderful kids, any parent would be proud, but me personally, when I think of them I feel swollen in my guts, like I could break from all of the love.   They are special, each in their own ways.

This is my almost 19 year old – Bailey  aka Bay-o-lay; Baydee; Bay; Bee; Beetle; Bailey Bug and lastly……”The Bug”……WHEW!

521369_10200982710193154_1862775599_n

She would be my spitfire, my bucking, gypsy soul of a daughter.  This little thing was born with one foot dug into the ground and the other out of the door to be herself.   She is a beautiful, passionate and tender soul.  She is a song. She sings, she’s got guts, a mouth and moves and I love her like mad.  This October she will be blessing us all with my first grandbaby, a boy.  I am so proud I could pop.

Then there is my 14 year old, Benjamin, aka Ben; Benjammin; Ben Pants; Ben Varone; Benji Buttons on and on…..I will spare him the embarrassment.

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

This kid is a smooth talking smarty pants that can out do the average human in just about every subject.   The kid who got anatomy and physiology books for his 3rd birthday.  He is a self taught master of many to include, knitting, crocheting, gaming, painting, drawing and on and on and on.  Take him out in public where he knows people the girls mob and swarm…..we even now have to have an escape plan for the little looker.  Quiet and reserved but when he speaks you should listen.   This little man is going places, he is focuses and sincere, he means what he says and is totally goal oriented.   (yes for those of you wondering…..he takes after David).

Lastly there is my 13 year old, Simon, aka Simon-Max; Simoney Bologna; Simone Berone; Seeemone; Slimely Simey; and Sime

Summers Phone Christmas 2013 202

My happy go lucky goof ball that you can count on always to make you feel like he loves you more than anything and follow it up with some charm and a smile.   Snuggly, sweet, outdoorsy and smart as a whip.  He swore at one point there was no need to worry because he was never planning on leaving home, he would always be with me, sometimes I believe him.  He genuinely cares how others feel and sometimes people don’t take the time to notice and it slays me.

Sooooooo because we had to move early, because school wasn’t out yet, because the kiddos had to stay back until the first week of June and because some days I am fairly certain my heart will break from the sadness of their absence, today was a bit hard for me.   Dave must have known this was coming and going to hit hard so he whisked me out the door bright and early to visit something amazing and wonderful.  We then returned home and skyped with the fam fam and everything felt a bit better.    Thanks for being a sweet Dave, Dave!

Welcome to Multnomah Falls Folks!

20140511_111810 20140511_111317 20140511_111321 20140511_111217 20140511_111212 20140511_111236 20140511_111122 cropped-20140511_105130.jpg 20140511_111107 20140511_111045 20140511_110818 20140511_111016 20140511_105700 20140511_104936 20140511_104829 20140511_110616

Hoping you all had a lovely Day!

 

A Weekend of Field Trips and Selfies ….

Let me be clear.   We have been “kind of” lost, “very” lost, “not so seriously” lost and “should we call someone” lost.   The one constant other than the lost part…..  The GPS.   When we left Wichita we loved her, about the time we got to Utah and she couldn’t keep up with us, we felt bad for her.   Today, collectively, we HATE her.  She is making us nuts and is a constant reminder of our inability to perform to her standard.   So this past weekend we talked about her to her face, behind her back then ditched her.     We bought bus passes and decided no map, no plans we are going to learn our city….ALL ABOARD!

We made it safely downtown.    Once there we started noticing all different sorts of weird things and felt a desire to take multiple stupid pics of ourselves and said weird things.   I think to David and I this was called fun, NO GPS, no plans no barriers just weird stuff, fresh drizzly air and a camera….. it was kind of a blast.   After walking a couple of miles, stupid pics and a few random bus rides through downtown, we were some thirsty folks and the tummies were rumbling……YAY HAPPY HOUR!

 

Embarking on our journey.

Embarking on our journey.

 

20140502_183530

Gates of China Town

20140502_182834

Dunno?

bathroom[1]

This is a public restroom down town in the middle of a walk way with enough breeze pumping through it and views outside to be slightly embarrassing and liberating at the same time.

20140502_183917

Trying to comply!

boobs[1]

Covering the tah tahs and unmentionables

20140502_183232 20140502_182908 20140502_182145

AHHHHH  Happy hour!   A time of fantastic steals, good local microbrews, and $3 wells.   How we love thee.  We opted for this lovely joint that is rated #4 Pizza in all of Portland.    Let me say so far it is our personal #2, fairly choice and rather clean I dig it!    Sizzle Pie takes #1 for us thus far.   But here is the deal.   Remove all of the chains from Wichita and can you begin to imagine the pizza choices.   Most every place is local and delectable.

20140502_163638

Welcome to the Oven and Shaker in the Fab Pearl District. How we love thee and all of your real tomatoey gooey cheesey bliss. MWAH!

On from here to a local bar for Gin and tonics, Whiskey Gingers and a little show we weren’t sure what to make sense of before going.

20140503_190722

Hilarious and borderline gross with the spin on poo, but hey its Portland and we have no plans.    Check out the cute knitted bike rack covers.   I can dig that idea and I think I shall make one some day!

20140503_183551[1]

The next morning?     RECOVERY 101  Brunch at a local MircoBrewery and Bloody Mary’s

20140504_114513[1] recovery[1]

AMEN

What’s up now?

Image

This about sums it up! Loving it so far!

 

Image

My survival kit.

Because I am a nerd, bored and think everyone should know and care that I conquered the dreaded public transportation bit his morning.   I woke bright and early at 5:00 a.m. to see if I could make it to the VA on the projected schedule site that the TriMet so kindly lets me use to get where I need to go.   I boarded this morning at 6:01 from a stop about 1 block from my house. (I say ABOUT one block because nothing is built on what seems to be square miles and city blocks like in Kansas.)  In my head I was thinking this shouldn’t be terrible because there will be tons of people to ask.   Little do I remember I am living in the age of headphones, cell phones and social networking.   Everyone had plugged ears and cell phones in hand, the ones that didn’t were asleep and I kept wondering if they would miss their stops…..yes a nerd, that is me 🙂

Image

My cute little rural stop in Rock Creek Boarded at 6:01. Walked in and said, “what do I do?”. “Ma’am just put your ticket in and keep what comes out please.” DUH

Because I am from Kansas and apparently things like this are overwhelmingly awesome to me I took a crap ton of pictures.

Image

inside the bus LOL

I was on my last leg of bus train bus where I saw  lady with a VA badge and no earphones!   WHOOP, she had no idea what she was in for.  I got the whole low down on the VA bussing system, turns out she lives near me and we will be on the same bus at times.    She will be my employee health nurse!   HAPPY DANCE <I met someone new>.  The VA pays for a whole year of bus passes at a time to be used any time.   Thank God because otherwise I would not only be stranded, but also broke.    Fares are $2.50 or $5.00 for an all day pass, I kept doing the math and trying to compare it to gas getting there, free is always better!   Alas I arrived at 7:13, 17 minutes to spare before I would need to be there on Monday….Not going to lie.   At this part I am feeling very accomplished and proud!

Image

Front entrance of the lovely VA.

Image

I think this was deliberately placed on my way home so I would look at it and freak out. What the hell does this mean anyway? I saw the #8 and went for it….turns out I was ok WHEW!

All in all another good day in Stumptown!   My fears are minimized and are now reduced to the assemblage of interesting folks riding with me and all the signs asking if my cell phone is hidden and “Are you aware of your surroundings and valuables?”

And the adjustment continues…..

 

 

The recently transplanted…..

Here is the deal…we have no idea what we are doing, where we are going…ever, do we tip the gas pumpers,  what are the green things painted on the street for bikers are, when to wait for a train or if we can drive in that lane, blah blah blah.    Bottom line is…..we are total TRANSPLANTS.  It is humbling to say the least.

We do know a few things for certain:

1. Exactly two days ago we made it home without the GPS.

2. From what we can tell, the people here are EXTREMELY nice period.    They drive nice, they visit nice (and slow) and they smile and apologize profusely.   THEY HATE HAVING THE RIGHT OF WAY.  If you are walking across the street someone will most likely jam on the brakes, apologize, wave and wait for you to go.   Someone actually ran out of Trader Joe’s to tell us our parking lights were on, we were just trying to not blind the workers 🙂

3. I literally about vomited when I saw the Portland VA Medical Center.   Think hospital, but bigger, like on TV but bigger, now throw in a confusing towering parking garage with about 800 spaces for the 5,000 employees.   Getting a picture in your mind?   Now pick the whole thing up and put it on top of a mountain and add about 200 people walking about outside and in the lobby with no parking signs everywhere.  Yes that’s more like it.    I have been a nervous wreck about starting work, talk about feeling like a minnow in a whale tank or whatever else makes more sense.  OVERWHELMED.    I am most certainly taking a delightful combination of the Bus (The TriMet) and the Train (The MAX) because it took us just as long to park as it did to drive there from home.  A total of 45 minutes.  Mind you, I only live about 15 minutes away.

CYMERA_20140427_222058[1]

4.  I may soon be able to say I have been to every Goodwill in the Portland area (just don’t ask me for directions on how to get there).  I tried the IKEA thing twice and splurged on a couple of things, the Target thing…..ehhhh not so great  and…..well as it turns out we have a ton to replace and I get tighter with money the longer we are here, it is a bit pricey. Goodwill here is BOSS.   There is no doubt that the one in Wichita could use some pointers.    There is one down town with clothes that almost all still have tags on them.  High end stuff like Coach and Dooney bags, designer jeans and crystal…..Dave snagged a new pair of Doc Martins for work with tags for $50.00 (Whoop).  We didn’t get much else there, but we have gathered most of what we need by bouncing from store to store.   Today I am proud to announce two queen sized down filled blankets and duvet sets for 9.99 total, two lawn chairs for 9.99 and an IKEA desk chair to match my new internet connection (finally for the love of Bob) for 4.99.

5.  The rain…….  come on now, rain in Portland?  Yep and lots of it, but rumor has it we moved towards the end of rainy season wich is the longest one I have ever heard of ranging only from September to May.   It hasn’t rained for the past 3 days and I have a confession to make.   I miss it.   The rain here is misty and it smells good.   You have about a good 5 trips out in it until your hair takes a turn, unless you don’t touch it then you can even walk out in it for hours and your styling products kick in, I can dig the rain.  Let’s see if this lasts…..

Ruby-Slippers-1-BORDER

No….we are not in Kansas anymore, Dave.

6. Lastly, and certainly firstly; whatever that means……..I know that I am depressed a bit,  I know that I wake up feeling blue and I can’t blame the rain.   Being here without us all being here is taking its toll.    I miss my kids plain and simple and I get to wait one more month.    Rumor is that in July Bailey is coming for a visit and I am so excited I have danced a couple of times (not pretty).  Top it off with having a week to start a job I am nervous to think about and a husband working third shift and it makes things just kind of poopy sometimes.    I catch myself wondering when we are out if I will see anyone I know today, I impulsively waive at people who think I am weird because they drive the same car as people I know, its just hard sometimes.    Keeping it real, yo!