Mid-December was a record breaking month in Portland, Oregon.  We had more snow in 2 weeks than the city has seen since 1950.

I was stuck in my house for more days in a row than… well, ever in my life that I can recall.  (12 days straight)  If you follow me on Twitter, you know all about it.  I wouldn’t have made it through without the camaraderie of my network of online friends!

In a typical winter, the snow stays where it belongs, on the mountains.  It is an event if we get 1-2 inches in the city.  Portland isn’t prepared for that type of snowfall.  Only highways are plowed and they don’t salt — they sand and cinder — and require studded tires and chains if you want to move about.

The weather finally broke on Christmas and began to warm.  My son was due to board a 6 am flight to his dad’s on Saturday so thinking I was being smart, I booked a room at a hotel at the airport.  There was a definite chance of ice in the wee hours of the morning so I thought it would be safer to stay close and take the shuttle.

Before leaving our house on Friday, I made sure I had my ice scraper in my car.  I don’t even own a snow shovel.  (The one in the picture is my boyfriend’s– borrowed for the photo but unfortunately not in my car when I needed it!)

It was 42 degrees and the main roads were fine — just wet.  But since we got about 16″ of snow, the side streets and parking lots were full of slush.  I dropped my son and our luggage off at the front of the hotel and then turned to find a parking spot.

This is where it gets interesting…  The hotel hadn’t plowed the parking lot AT ALL. So my Honda Accord is moving through 6-12″ of slush looking for a place to park.  But there were no spots — lots of people left their cars there while traveling for Christmas or were stuck there because of the weather.  I continued on my search, driving as carefully as possible.

I turned the next corner and disaster struck — my car stopped moving!  Oh yeah — I was totally stuck in about 18″ of slush — packed up to my front bumper and under both wheels.  I called my son and asked him to ask for help at the front desk — and to ask where to park.  They ignored the part about me being stuck and said to go to a paid parking lot.  Thanks!  Didn’t even offer me the use of a shovel.

So there I was, stuck in the slush, digging my car out… with an ice scraper! It took about 20 minutes of alternately digging and trying to move the car before I slid and got a little traction.   I admit some less than ladylike words were said and I didn’t know if I would ever get out.  I didn’t have the tools for the job!

Do you ever feel like you are trying to build a business with an ice scraper when a shovel would get the job done so much quicker and with a heck of a lot less stress?

My goal is to give you shovels — through blog posts, the weekly newsletter, eBooks, the forum and the new “Ask Tara Reed” calls.

I just added something new for 2009 – personal coaching. If you are an artist interested in one-on-one consulting, go to ArtLicensingInfo.com/coaching.html and see the details.

I hope the worst of the winter weather is behind me because snow shovels and chains for tires are hard to find right now!  I also hope that you have the tools you need to build the art business of your dreams… here’s to a great year!

~ Tara

P.S.  Saturday morning I told the shuttle driver about my frustration in the slush and he told me never to ask for help with anything but your room from the front desk.  Had we asked the bellman, not only would he have lent me a shovel, he would have done the shoveling!  Good to know!