Gathering Graces 10/17/2017

*It was a whirlwind of a morning.  I go to work at 7:30 a.m. to meet with a student, and he was a no show.  I don’t think he was at school today, either.  I had two more meetings with students during first period.  I am getting close to getting all my one on one times with the seniors complete. 
*Students continue to work on scholarships during homeroom, which is great.  So far, this class seems very motivated to fill out scholarship applications.  I am doing my best to help them with the process.
*The wind really started picking up this afternoon.  As A.A. Milne would put it, “it was a rather blustery day.”
*I stopped at the new Kellogg Middle School (formerly Sunnyside Elementary) to pick up some water testing kits, and it was fun seeing Carolyn Wozny and her KMS Cross Country Team getting ready to load a bus and head off to the district cross country meet.  Her daughter Shaye gave me a big hug, which made my day!!  Carolyn is one of the warmest, most positive people I know.  She is always encouraging people and cheering them on, and she is just really wonderful person.  Those kids are very fortunate to have her as their coach.
*I also received a wonderful hug from Cindy Absec, who hadn’t been able to give me one since Mom passed away.  Again, a wonderful short visit to KMS, full of love, warmth and good cheer. 
*I made it back to school for another meeting with a student.  Then I took some time to get my office organized before leaving for the day.  Whew!!
*The wind continued to blow when I got home.  I liked the wind whipping around.  At one point I went out in the backyard with Sadie and I saw some papers flapping on our bench that surrounds our beach tree.  I went over and realized it was a clipboard that Nancy used on Sunday during the filming in the backyard.  Fortunately, I was heading to Wallace for rehearsal tonight, and I could stop by her house and return it to her.
*It was fun seeing the transformation of the stage, since I wasn’t at rehearsal the night before.  It is really coming together.  It was a great rehearsal, and we got a lot of songs worked out.
*After school I saw our art teacher Rachael putting up items her ceramics students have been creating in class, and it gave me the desire to start doing some pottery again.  I need to figure out a time when that will work, and start making things again.  I also had a brief conversation with her about going into her Advanced Art class and sharing some of the photos from my trip to Italy.  That will happen in January.  I am very excited!!


Gathering Graces 10/16/2017

*Sometimes when the alarm goes off at 5:10 a.m., I really want to stay in bed.  But once I get outside, I love the quietness of Kellogg at 5:50 a.m., and I love going on my walk through town.
*I had a nice surprise visit this morning from Gabriell Benefield at school this morning, along with her sister Cassie and Cassie’s new baby boy Roman.  Gabriell graduated from KHS last year, and attend College of Idaho down in Caldwell.  It was so great visiting with her, and learning about her first few weeks of college.
*Lot of students were working on scholarship information today that kept me hopping!!  It is fun to see these students motivated to take the time to work on these scholarship applications.
*I took a little longer lunch today and was able to sit out on the patio in the sun and read my book and enjoy the sun beating down on me as I ate lunch.  It felt so good outside.  It was another beautiful day.
*Tonight some parents and students gathered in the media center at KHS so Elana, Warren and I could help them with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) process.  It was great working with these parents and students and getting one more thing checked off their list of things to do to help their students get into college.  And we really try and get out KHS seniors to submit the FAFSA, because they receive a $1500 GEAR UP scholarship if they attend an Idaho college, but they must apply and submit the FAFSA in order to receive that scholarship. 
*I finished up the book Idaho.  It was a good read.  I was hoping some of the loose ends would have been explained better, but then I realized, once I was done, that was not the point of the story. 
*Christmas is right around the corner, and I am directing the Christmas show at the Sixth Street Theater.  I spend some time tonight perusing and ordering scripts for the show.  I think it should be pretty cute!!
*Paul and I enjoyed ending out day listening to each of the girls tell us about their days, we shared about our day, and then it was time for bed.


Gathering Graces 10/15/2017

*What an absolutely gorgeous day today in Kellogg.  It was one of those sunny autumn days, with a clear blue sky that accentuates all the colors of fall. 
*It was wonderful to have all the worship team back at church this morning playing and singing together. 
*We left church a little early so we could get home and prepare for some filming being done in our backyard.  A scene from Portal to the Clockworld was filmed in out backyard.  The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.  The scene involved Gabe and Grant fighting and rolling around on the ground, so thankfully the ground had dried out by the time filming had begun.
*Joni and I watched the filming from my kitchen window, and had a wonderful conversation on a variety of topics, including politics, religion, insurance and gun control.  By the time our conversation was done, our conclusion was.....if people spent time being more like Jesus, kind and good and loving, we wouldn’t have as many problems in the world.  Kind of a simple solution, but I really think it might work!
*It was fun watching KHS Senior Riley Fisher in action as one of the cameraman during this film shoot.  Riley is doing film production for his Senior Project, and was able to get some hours and experience for his project today.  Nancy is a great mentor for any student to work with when it comes to filming.
*Grant was also able to get some community service hours today for National Honor Society by volunteering his time to be in the film today.
*The filming was wrapped up by about 2:30 p.m., and everyone packed up and went on their way.  It was so fun to host this filming in our house.  Especially with such wonderful people helping out. 
*I relaxed for a couple of hours, reading Idaho some more, and then Paul and I headed over to Bill and Debbie’s house for dinner with Christy and Everett.  They made a delicious chicken and rice dinner with roasted brussel sprouts and carrots.  We had some great visiting time and Debbie brought out her guitar and showed Paul some things he can work on learning on the guitar, and it was a very good evening.  Paul and I came home, and I emptied out two dresser drawers that were full of Mom’s things and put most of them away.  Most of it went into the “family archives”.  Then I read some more, and got ready for bed.
*What a beautiful, full, creative, relaxing and comforting day.


Gathering Graces 10/14/2017

*I started the morning putting some laundry in the washing machine, then taking a nice warm bubble bath. 
*My friend Anita recommended I read the book Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.  I have been hooked from the start, and can’t put it down.
*Around 11 a.m., Paul and I packed up our seat cushions, warm outer wear, and tickets, and drove to Moscow to watch the University of Idaho Vandal March Band play during the football game.  We were amazed at the amount of snow on the ground on our way to Moscow. 
*We got situated in the stands at the Kibbie Dome, and enjoyed the band’s pregame show.  The Vandals were playing the Mountaineers.  The mascot was with the cheerleaders across the field, and I was curious as to the name of the Mountaineer Mascot.  Well, I was not disappointed when I learned his name.  The name of the mascot is Yosef.   Yosef is the mascot for Appalachian State. The origin of the name Yosef comes from mountain talk for "yourself", the idea being that if you are a fan, friend or alumnus and have a heart of black and gold, you are Yosef.

*The halftime show was excellent as always by the Vandal Marching Band.  We always enjoy watching the fun Coco has on her buck drum during the performances.
*When Paul and I first entered the Kibbie Dome, we came across a table from Pulman and Moscow Building Supply where you could sign up to win some prizes.  They also had a spinning wheel to win prizes.  I won a coupon and Paul won a drink cozie.  All of a sudden, during the third quarter, my name was called across the public address system.  I had won the main prize.  So Coco and I headed over to the Guest Services booth on the other side of the Kibbie Dome and picked up my $25 gift card from this business.  Later, I also won a coupon to claim a $1 scratch ticket from the Idaho Lottery.  I have been on kind of a roll winning drawings.  Back in August, during the staff meetings before school began, I won two of those drawings as well, a nice carrying container, and a bottle of wine in a box with a selection of wine serving tools.
*After watching a disappointing loss, Cosette, Paul and I met Travis and Molly at Gambinos for dinner.  We all had a great dinner and it was fun to visit.  Travis also had a lucky night.  Since I didn’t think I would use my gift card anytime soon, he was the recipient of the Building Supply gift card and coupon.
*We had an easy drive home.  Paul listened to the BSU game most of the way.  It was nice to be home, to see our cats and dog, and then get ready for bed.  The end of a really nice day.  It doesn’t take much to be content.


Gathering Graces 10/13/2017

*Ahhhh.  A Friday off.  I started my morning finishing a book I was reading titled Selling Sex in the Silver Valley. Dr. Heather Branstetter, who grew up in Wallace, Idaho and currently has returned there to live, did extension research on the brothels in Wallace, and shared the history of them in this book.  It was very interesting to read about this part of the history of the area I live.  (Just a side note, growing up I always knew there were brothels in Wallace, and all I had been told was that they were located on Cedar Street.  I remember anytime we went to Wallace when I was growing up, I would avert my eyes as we passed Cedar Street.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to see, but whatever it was, I did not want to see it!!)  I find it interesting that I spend a large amount of time lately in a former brothel, The Lux Rooms, which used to be located upstairs in the Sixth Street Theater. 
*At 8:30 a.m. I drove over to The Bean Coffee Shop and met my sister-in-law Debbie for coffee.  We had a nice time visiting and I also enjoyed the comings and goings of people coming in and out of the coffee shop.  It was also fun to see KHS Senior Kelsey Castro, who was helping make the coffee.  She is doing this as part of her senior project.
*When I returned home, I wrote my blog for the day, and worked on some publicity things for the upcoming show at Sixth Street.  I ate some lunch, and took a short nap.
*The chaos in my clothes closet in my bedroom has been driving me nuts, so I decided that would be a project that I would give some attention to today.  So I emptied out the closet of everything located on shelves and the floor.  The clothes that were hanging stayed.  (I had recently spent some time organizing those clothes.)  I swept the floor, and went through items in the closet.  My shoes are now on shelves instead of strewn about on the floor.  Old clothes are either bagged up to be donated, or bagged up to be thrown away.  Other items went to be stored in other parts of the house.  I went through my shoes and purses, and found some to donate, and stored the ones I decided to keep.  It felt good to bring some order to my closet.
*When Paul got home from work, we decided to order some Wah Wing takeout for dinner.  We enjoyed some Chef Quartet and Kung Pao Shrimp, and Hot and Sour Soup.  After dinner we bundled up and waked over to Teeter’s Field for the football game.  Tonight was senior night, so they just started introducing the players when we arrived at the field.  It was also Homecoming tonight.  All in all, a very successful night for the Wildcats.  They won the game, 40-14.  The halftime show was great with the cheerleaders and band and JROTC.  Then there was the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen, Ryan Morgan and Sierra Rice.  It was a great night.
*We arrived home and Paul started a fire in the fireplace, and we enjoyed warming ourselves by the fire.  Earlier, Paul had stopped by the library to pick up some books I had on hold, the majority of which were books on Essential Oils.  So I took some time this evening to read up on how essential oils can help what ails Paul and myself.


Gathering Graces 10/12/2017

*My day began with a beautiful walk with Nikki and her granddog Pansy this morning.  I kept wondering if I would wake up to snow, but the weather was actually perfect for a walk.  It had rained throughout the night, but the rain had stopped.  It was about 38 degrees, the wind was calm, and it was a beautiful morning.
*I got home and quickly got ready so I could be at school at 7:30 a.m. to meet with another senior.  This girl is on top of things, and ahead of the game, so her visit was very easy. 
*Today was Rock and Roll day at KHS for Homecoming Week.  Paul dressed up as Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders.  I got in the spirit by wearing my James Taylor concert t-shirt from the summer of 2016.

Rock On Paul Revere!!
*The work day was great.  At our ten minute break, KHS Choir students sang 50’s rock and roll songs in the entry of the school.  They did a fantastic job .  I told our principal they should come and entertain like that a least once a quarter.
*At the end of the day, I met with two more seniors.  One wants to attend North Idaho College, and the other wants to attend Montana Tech. 
*Paul and I headed to rehearsal this evening, and had fun working on some songs we haven’t practiced much before with the rest of the cast.  I enjoyed singing the new songs.  The show opens three weeks from tomorrow.
*We watched the final episode of The West Wing tonight before going to bed.  I cried my was through it of course.


Gathering Graces 10/11/2017

*I was with seniors in their Government classes today.  They completed a Gear Up survey, the last one I am ever going to have to give them!  Then they all (at least all of them who remembered to have their social security number with them), completed the Gear Up scholarship application.  Some also began working on their FAFSA. 
*As Homecoming Week continues, today was Baby or Boomer day.  All day long, I worked with students who were using walkers or canes, had adult diapers on, and many had big curlers in their hair.  The juniors and seniors dressed like boomers.  The freshmen and sophomores dressed like babies.  It was very cute. Paul dressed up like a little old man, and kind of reminded me of his Great Uncle Arvad.
*We had everyone at rehearsal tonight, and it was fun going through the songs with all the instruments, and working on harmonies and sound.  What a wonderful cast of people to work with on this show. 
*After rehearsal we came home and relaxed a bit before heading to bed.  The weather report says we have a winter weather advisory throughout the night and into the morning.  I wonderful if it will be snowy tomorrow?
*Today was World Mental Health Day.  We are a family who had struggles with depression, but have also taken the time to learn how to deal with depression. It has not been an easy road to travel, but we have learned a lot over the years.   Molly wrote a beautiful post on her Facebook page about the struggles she has had, and many people commented on her post, and she has a nice way of writing about her struggles, and relating to others.  Depression is a part of so many people’s lives, and I pray that our family can somehow help others who struggle in similar ways.  Molly shared the following quote at the end of her post:
"When you come out of the grips of a depression there is an incredible relief, but not one you feel allowed to celebrate. Instead, the feeling of victory is replaced with anxiety that it will happen again, and with shame and vulnerability when you see how your illness affected your family, your work, everything left untouched while you struggled to survive. We come back to life thinner, paler, weaker … but as survivors."
Jenny Lawson, Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things