Wobble wobble balance.

Hello my friends. It’s been a while since I’ve written. I am searching for a way back in to my book project after what has turned out to be a tremendously challenging couple of months. This post is an update of sorts, just to let you know how my universe has unfolded recently.

Firstly I became quite ill for a while with a series of things that feel mostly resolved now, but I will have a check up or two before I signal all clear. The strange thing about UTI, which was central to my health issues, is that it affects one’s thinking as well as everything else. I found myself in a very dark place, sleeping every moment that I could get away from work, and being not particularly future-oriented – just trying to get through the next few minutes and hours. All of this was compounded by stomach problems, and then ended with that prolonged flu and cold that doesn’t seem to go away. I have to laugh out loud at the chain of events.

If you’ve been following the winter and spring as I write, you’ll know that it all occurred as we were moving Sunworks after 22 years into the new location. That’s mostly done now, just several more truck loads to clear out of the old place and some clean up. Lots of things on various buy-and-sell sites. The new tenants are starting to move in and they’re pretty happy about it. It’s going to bring new life to Ross Street.

Meanwhile, we are nearly the end of a provincial election cycle and Albertans are going to the polls in record numbers. I fear that the rise in populism hasn’t hit its peak yet and that Alberta may make that mistake as well. I see what is happening in the UK, US, and Ontario, and wonder why we cannot see. It’s likely that the fall of populism will happen when voters realise that the promises cannot be delivered or sustained over the long term. The future is almost always uncertain. To expect that it can be the same as the past is truly an impossibility. Most people need to experience the issues before they can engage with them: climate change and the economic shift away from oil and gas are two that many Albertans seem unable to accept.

No matter what happens on Tuesday when the polls close the future has lessons to teach us all. At this point those that can see it coming may just have to wait until those that need to experience it catch up. It may be a few more years … but class is in folks, and we’re not particularly fast learners here in Alberta. Instead of being angry or depressed with election results we might be able to frame this as a process of coming together to learn through experience. We will likely have a number of crises to address but hopefully collectively we’ll be able to rise to the challenge, especially if we can learn that no one person has the answers — that’s been the biggest weakness and threat of populism. Certainty corrupts inquiry and possibility.

Since I’ve been so active politically over the years it’s been impossible for me not to be engaged with this election as I try to get well and continue the changes to our business. It feels like yet one more thing to handle. However, I’ve met some truly wonderful people as a result of the campaigns. New friendships are wonderful.

So next week I will begin again to engage with my writing, give you a short update on the store since the move, and dive back into questions of detaching, becoming, and identity.

Day 16, it’s a snowy one.

A lovely neighbour shovelled our walks for us before I arrived.

It’s a snowy day in Red Deer. Looks like we’ll have about 30 cm before it stops. It’s really coming down still.

Meanwhile our builder made progress with the cabinets last night, hopefully everything will be ready for the big move tomorrow.

Things are looking great. I have a little anxiety about where we’ll put everything. Tomorrow is the big day. One more sleep and then everything shuffles for good. I keep looking at the place and pondering if it’s all going to fit. I guess we’ll find out. Gulp.

Day 13, getting ready for the big move.

Thanks to Fletcher’s Printing, the presses are fired up creating 100 numbered badges we can write names on. I put my mom’s name on this example, because after all she is number 1. 17 people have signed up to help on Saturday morning so we have room for more help. Sign up here. More people, fewer steps, more fun. Bring a friend.

If you aren’t sure yet, don’t feel you need to sign up in advance, there will be lots of room for help, and the chilli pot is bottomless. Show up, to help or just for chilli.


Day 10. Successful opening.

It was a great opening last night for Jeri Lynn Ing. We probably had about 30-40 people visit and I’m sure that of those some will be back to have a closer look at the art. We were hanging labels when the first people arrived.

Bradley Abel sang for us last night. It was a wonderful evening all around.

As of today we have seven days before the big move. And the clearance sale starts today at the old store with most things 50 percent off. The kitchen ware is not coming with us to the new store.

Here are a few shots from last night.

Paul Harris and Jeri Lynn Ing standing in front of Mercury.
Bradley Abel singing for the assembled crowd.
Jeri Lynn sitting in front of Susan Woolgar’s and Judy Sutter’s collections. Beautiful work.
Jeri Lynn Ing
Take me away to a better place, 2015
acrylic on canvas
$2,300
Susan Woolgar
acrylic on canvas 36″ x 36″
$2,000

Day 9, Jeri Lynn Ing’s opening reception

I’m up early this morning to get organized for the opening reception tonight between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and to shop for restaurant (Tribe). Off to the gym in between.

Susan Woolgar and Judy Sutter delivered most of their pieces yesterday. I’ve got labels and hanging still to do.

The shop is coming along nicely. We had our first sale yesterday, albeit small at least it is a start. I’m hoping that the change in direction will prove successful.

Better lighting has made all the difference. Warm white is better. Still I see I’ll need to make more adjustments and install new directional tracks for the art in the future.
Judy Sutter’s work is up.

Day 8, let there be light.

No major changes to show you yesterday morning, but this morning you can see that we made great progress on the installation of the cabinets. The rest of the card wall in the window is done now, just painting. But that will be next week. Last night as I stood in the shop at 6 p.m. and looked around I noticed how terrible the lighting was for art in the evening. I took down on of the ceiling fixtures to discover that the electrician had put low lumen directional spots in the fixtures. First thing this morning I went hit Lowe’s and have new lighting to install.

Today I will change all of the lighting and hang the remainder of the art that should be delivered this afternoon. My friend Chance will continue on the cabinets and I think by the end of the day we’ll have most of that done. I’ll be very glad to be able to merchandise on these shelves. We’ll be ready for the great move March 9th.

I think this calls for a library ladder. All in due course.

Day 6. Minus 34 defy or hide?

I couldn’t believe that it got colder than yesterday, so it was a choice this morning. Defy the weather or hide for the day. I got down to the shop around 7:30 this morning excited to see the progress on the cabinets last night.

February 26, 2019
Cabinets are being installed and will go right to the ceiling.
The beginning of Susan Woolgar’s show

Day 5, a big week ahead.

Today I’ll move a few more pieces from the old store and set up the main room. Susan Woolgar will be dropping off a big piece this afternoon for the show and I’m really excited to see it. Jeri Lynn Ing’s show is hung now and it looks fantastic. We’ll be hosting a meet the artist event on Friday evening for Jeri Lynn. Please put this in your calendar.


Equinox
Jeri Lynn Ing
Acrylic on canvas
31″x47″
$1450

Day 4, Sunday February 24rd.

One week before we host the first art opening. Today I have more art to hang and continue bringing things over from the main store. Hopefully we begin to reassemble the shelving.

Dawn Candy’s Art arrives… and the window decals.
My greeting cards get a new home.

Day 3, the set up continues.

Today I’m expecting the delivery of the reminder of the Jeri Lynn Ing’s paintings, and Dawn Candy’s pottery. As well our friend Chance begins to make sense of all of the cabinets in the back of the store. And it looks like a mop would be really useful today.

February 23, 2019
Jeri Lynn Ing’s show begins to be hung. Looking exciting, these pieces are stunning.