Saturday, July 5, 2014

When Life Gives you Lemons, Adjust

It has been a test of patience and faith.  The challenges with acquiring a work visa in Canada was more time consuming than I had imagined.  It is clear that the lesson learned was to always turn in international visa applications comfortably early.  Turning in the application mid-May for a late June departure was not comfortable or effective.  

Veggies from the
OSU Organic Farm

Alas, as of July 3rd I have verification that I am applicable to work in Canada.  Thank the Lord.  It has been trying on my patience and faith.  It was clear that I was not supposed to leave until July. It took reminders that I am where I am supposed to be, which was not Canada to persevere.  

Instead of being in Canada, I was lucky to visit friends in Corvallis, OR for a few days.  Visiting with my sister, roommates, and more friends was an unexpected spurt of fun, campfire, games, and good food.

Before the Attack
Back to Portland, OR I continued to soak in the unexpected vacation mode by finishing another book.  Yes, I did stay in bed all Sunday reading Janet Evanovich.  It was a funny book. 
After the Attack
Monday I kicked into gear. After touring the upcoming flower beds around the farm, I set upon focusing on a couple beds that have been somewhat neglected for almost 20 years.  In the back yard, I pulled and tugged up a multitude of weeds.  I dug up the over abundance of iris bulbs and pulled out blackberry stems.  Luckily the soil was still soft enough to pull most of the roots out.  Though my hands learned to wear gloves, proof given by the blister made my the hoe.

I transplanted all these rose bushes 
My kind brother Peter was gracious enough to use his tree trimming skills to the max.  We created over 5 trailer loads of brush to take to the burn pile from the three trees in one of the beds.  The other guys Tyler, Kevin, and Cory were all super helpful getting an overgrown lilac bush out, garlic, and transplanting several plants including a rhododendron and a sword fern.  

Transplanted sword ferns and a rhododendron
Holy cow was that a lot of work! I did not entirely realize what I started but, I am entirely grateful for their extra energy in the clean out.  The third day began with me spreading bark dust on the mostly finished bed.  The guys added extra efficiency that by myself I would not have managed.  From the pictures you can see how awesome the beds look!
For the first time in a long time we can
see through the branches to the play area

Thursday I brought my parents and Peter to the airport for an annual visit of our fabulous family in Colorado.  I was terribly tempted to join them but the looming presence of the work visa persisted.  

And so has it, I get home and check my computer to find that the IEC Kompass says I have been “verified." Thank you IEC for verifying my application, I've only missed two entire weeks past my work start date... Okay I've learned. Apply wayyyy in advance for international documents. 
Travel plans were booked almost immediately after.  I am currently taking a train up to Vancouver on Saturday.  Then on Sunday I will take a flight to Port Hardy a small town just north of Port McNeill.  
It was funny how most years I spend the Fourth of July with lots of family and friends.  I would expect excellent food and lots of laughter.  Without my family home and most of my friends out of town, it was almost a loss of what to do.  My friend Amy was in a similar situation and we choose to go to the Portland Blues Festival. And wow what an incredible event!  The music, the people, the dancing was a great scene to spend the day people watching and listening to music.  By the time the finale of incredible fireworks display over the waterfront it was nice to leave the giant crowds of people.  Making it back to the west hills of Portland we could see hundreds of displays of fireworks being setoff throughout Beaverton and Hillsboro from the rocking chairs on the front porch.  Not a bad celebration of our country's Independence Day.  

Portland Blues Festival