My dear friend Katelyn came up for a couple day visit. Upon recommendation, we visited this little hole in the wall donut shop. Katelyn is eating the voodoo donut. Cheryl chose the Fruit Loop. I chose the Oreo.

I can't believe I ate that. That was NOT a good decision.

And we've made several trips to Powell's City of Books, because I think I could live there. A little mat in a corner, maybe. Truly, that would be fine.

Funny thing, too, if I drive just a half hour, I find myself in {somewhat} rural Western Oregon, so I drove and found. And visited with Elizabeth, her husband Aaron, and their adorable little one Rebekah. Oktoberfest, where it is normal to sample microbrews at 10 in the morning. I like microbrews, but 10's a little early for me.

Did you know Cheryl and I lived in Europe until I was 9? True. And Oktoberfest was a type of homecoming, almost. Maybe no substitute for the real thing, but it definitely pulled on strings of familiarity.

And now ... on to school ... which starts tomorrow ...
... having a few issues with computer/email usage. Sister Cheryl's computer LOVES Comcast. My computer does not. :(

Still here, still have all of these postings rambling through my head ... especially at 4:30 in the morning.

Portland is my best friend and my worst enemy. I love it here and I miss ... certain things ... not everything ... about the vineyard town. Spending a lot of time on campus, getting those boring details into order ... student ID card, student account, term bus pass, figuring out where, exactly, my graduate student mailbox is.

All the nuts and bolts information that just has not been included in orientation or new student welcoming. Although my advisor did give me the helpful advice during my first meeting with her to, "not drink the water" in the School of Social Work (SSW) building. First thing she said. Second thing she said was, "please, please, if you absolutely can manage it, please do not bring your car to campus. Even I ride the train." Third thing was, "You will absolutely not be able to do all of the reading that will be assigned to you. Figure out how to triage it." This was after long conversation in my advisor group re: the intersections of social work and social justice.

So. I'm just waiting to begin classes - 9/28. I'm looking at at least $300 in textbooks this year, but, I did get a temporary cashier position during "rush" and will get 20% off. Social Work and Social Policy Monday afternoons; Social Work and Social Diversity Wednesday mornings. 4 hour blocks.

Still looking for a job, but something will pop up. I had a plan for this year and that plan included working "in the field". However, I think God has a different idea, and I don't think I'm going to be going at the pace I've been going at for the past, I don't know ... 8 years? I've done more than my fair share of 50/60 hour weeks (and all the medical students in the crowd said, "so what?!"); crisis work, holiday work, weekend work ... And now, I see a period of somewhat limited financial means for the next few years ...

... but I also see a period of grace and rest.

Next posting: images and lovely thoughts about this city.

{Footnote: I have not forgotten that today is 9/18, and it has now been 5 years since the date of marriage to my former husband and over 2 years since the date of separation. Grief is a funny thing, and I do not know if I can even call it "grief" anymore. I remembered it today as in the vague thought I would have as if I remembered that I was almost out of milk.}

As in, here in Portland and here in body and here in mind and here in spirit. So present in so many ways. In many ways, completely overwhelmed.

But, surprisingly, coming out on top.

The move happened last Saturday with military precision ... all of the boxes were packed, ready to go and just had to be loaded and transported. The shadow boy from a couple of posts ago (I think I will call him "Shoes", as in, that is all he will permit me to post of him) busted a move and at the end of a very busy week for him, moved two of his friends. Including me. But mine was worse. As in, five and a half hours of driving. But a complainer, he is not.

We've stuffed this 3rd floor apartment to the gills and have weeded through most of the boxes.

{Where did all this stuff come from?!}

Cheryl and I have been settling in, decorating, organizing (one of my favorite things to do!!), and have been on a quest for the perfect cup of coffee. So far, the top contender is Stumptown Coffee.

Lots of trips across the Willamette River to downtown to campus to finish (how many "to's" can I put in a sentence?) the last minute school details.

Would love to post my own images, but the camera is broken. This might just be the push I need to buy a "real" one. (Coincidentally, I believe I've read Flickr's Creative Commons Terms of Use correctly and BELIEVE I have been giving credit where credit is due ... but if somebody has any thoughts on this or sees I am doing it incorrectly, please, o please, let me know ....)