This TIme Of Year Always Comes At The Wrong Time Of Year

When you have a garden, and yard, and it finally starts producing vegetables to harvest, it is time to change from summer routine to fall routine.

And it isn't an easy change.  I always feel like this time of year at the end of August always comes at the wrong time of the year, because I don't have as much time to tend to things in the yard as I did all summer.

My garden is a little behind this year, so things are just coming on.  But now I am back at work, and can't putter around in my garden like I have been.  The puttering is now reserved for late afternoon.

And the evenings have been very pleasant, but the sun is going down too soon.  I don't like that by 8 o'clock the sun has set, and things are getting dark. 

I have a really wonderful garden and yard with vegetables and flowers, and do quite well making them look nice throughout the summer.  And I bring my houseplants outside each summer and put them on the patio, and they thrive.  They get healthy, and some bloom with flowers, that I didn't even know they could do that, and they get lots of sun and water.  I love having my plants outside.  See how healthy they look!!

Then when the temperatures change I bring them back inside, and then I kind of neglect them.  They don't get watered as consistently as they should, and they don't get as much light, and often get too much heat.  I always feel sorry for my plants when they have to go back into the house.  I don't intentionally try to kill them off.  They just often get neglected.

Things have drastically changed lately.  The morning light shows up much later than before.  My morning walks now begin in the dark.  As the sun rises later and later, it is harder to get up in the morning. 

When the pleasant end of summer/beginning of fall weather comes, I want to have more time to enjoy it.  I want to linger outside, and have it light longer, and be able to garden.  But those things are now enjoyed more at the end of the day, after my workday ends.  And I will watch the days get progressively shorter as we head toward the official beginning of autumn, and then into winter.

But. this is the way it is.  And this had pretty much been my schedule ever since I began first grade.

Maybe as I get older, I spend more time appreciating things, and now need to focus on what is good about shorter days and longer nights.

Because it is going to be this way for quite a few more years.


Harvest Dinner

Tonight our dinner consisted of freshly picked vegetables picked right from the garden.

The only thing that didn't come from our own garden was the onion.

It was so nice to go out and harvest vegetables and eat them.  My garden has been a little slow this summer.  I think it was a combination of getting the garden planted later than usual, and the bad hail storm that hit in July that plants had to recover from.

Despite these two things, here is what we had from our bounty of garden goodness tonight for dinner.

 Here is my small little harvest of peas from our garden.
Here they are after Paul and I took them out of the pods.

Each summer one of my favorite dishes is creamed peas and potatoes. Yum!!

Here are sliced zucchini and yellow squash, sautéed with onions and sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese.

And then some fresh greens mixed with a warm oil, vinegar and walnut sauce.
Very delicious.  I love eating food from the garden that I helped harvest and grow.


Les Mis....Up Close

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of attending a performance of the musical "Les Miserable" at the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, Idaho. 

This was the third time I had watched Les Mis on stage.  The first time was with Paul at the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane, Washington.  The final song had me weeping.

The second time was also as the INB Performing Arts Center, and this time we brought Zoe and Cosette.  Cosette especially wanted to see this musical, since she was named after the character from Victor Hugo's book.

This is the third performance I have seen, and will actually see another performance in less than a month at Lake City Playhouse in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. 

I have also read the book and thought it was one of the best books I have ever read.

And I have seen various film versions of this story as well.

It is an incredible story of love, redemption, forgiveness and loss.

Watching it in the venue in Boise was incredible, in part because it is outdoors, and you are close to the action being performed on stage.

They had a very minimal set design, and there were only about 20 people in the cast, and they all played multiple roles throughout the production.  But it was never distracting to see the same actor play multiple roles.

Paul and I attended the production with his sister Laurie.  This was our birthday present.

We had a treat before the show began by running into our dear friend Ryan Griffin and his friend Shane.  It had been a while since we had seen Ryan, and it felt good to give him a big hug, and to meet Shane, who we have heard a lot about.

Before we attended the theater, we went to downtown Boise and ate at "The Dish".  We were not disappointed by the delicious food.

We had a cheese platter for our appetizer, made up of local cheeses.

I had organic salmon in a curry sauce, with a cucumber salad on the top.

Paul ordered blueberry prawns with tarragon waffles.

Laurie had homemade beet fries that were really good, and the calamari, pictured above,
that was really good, but quite spicy.

I had a full day of socializing during all three meals.  My friend Anita and I went to "Groove Coffee" in Meridian for coffee and quiche, and caught up on lots of things, but, of course, had much more we wish we could have visited about, but time ran out.  Always a special time with my kindred spirit.
April #2 and I went to this new place in Meridian called, "The Village".  Here is what the website says about this place:
The perfect gathering place for friends and family, The Village at Meridian features upscale apparel and specialty retail, fine restaurants and cafes, Village Cinemas, and luxury office space. Designed with European style architecture, the buildings and tree lined village streets surround a park setting complete with a children's play area and world class show fountain with hourly shows choreographed to lights and music. Located in the heart of Idaho's Treasure Valley, The Village at Meridian is a unique and unexpected destination you have to experience for yourself.
It was a very beautiful area, and we had a wonderful lunch at "Twigs".  Their special dessert that day was Salted Caramel Gelato.  We just had to order one and split it.  So delicious!!  And a wonderful time spent with April as always.

Here are a few photos from "The Village".

A wonderful day filled with friends, family and food.  A great way to spend the day of a very quick trip to Meridian, Idaho.


There's Some Good In This World, Mr. Frodo

Frodo:  I can't do this Sam.
Sam:  I know.  It's all wrong.  By rights we shouldn't even be here.  But we are. It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.
At the University of Idaho Convocation on Friday, the guest speaker was Samwise Gamgee, otherwise known as actor/director/producer Sean Astin.  Sean's mother, Patty Duke lives in nearby Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
His parting words for the U of I Freshman class of 2018 was the above speech.  Astin played the role of Samwise Gamgee in all three films of the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies.  This speech was added to the second film, The Two Towers, after what occurred on September 11, 2001. 
Some of the things he challenged the freshmen students to do is:

Cultivate friendships and loyalty
Choose friendship
Challenge your belief system
Become a more profound thinker.
And then, after sharing this speech from above, he gave his final challenge to the students:
"There is some good in this world and it is worth fighting for.....go out and do some good in this world."
I hadn't been too emotional, but I admit, the next part of the convocation had me shedding some tears.
After Astin was done speaking, the University of Idaho Marching Band came out and there was Cosette right in front, playing the cymbals.  The band stops, gets into position, and you hear the low rumble of the first few notes of the Idaho Fight Song.  As the crowd stood, the tears started flowing,
It is very emotional having your daughter attend the same college you did.
It is also very emotional seeing her performing in the band, a band you performed in while a student at the University of Idaho.
The emotions really welled up inside of me, and started flowing down my cheeks.
It was a beautiful Convocation.  It was a beautiful day spending it with Coco.
I also got to spend some time with one of my college friends Janet whose son is also starting U of I this fall.
And I ran into Matt Frasier, one of the students I worked with at KHS, and fellow actor on both stage and film.
It was a wonderful day, and a great way to say "goodbye" to our youngest as she begins this next phase in her life.  I know she will do great, and God will guide her every step of the way!!
Bless you, Coco!!
IDAHO, IDAHO....GO! GO! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



My Recent Pottery Creations

I brought home a few more of my creations I made in the Ceramics Class I took over the summer.

Here are a few more items I made.

I get to continue my new found love of pottery making throughout the school year.  I am very excited.

There are so many things you can make with clay.  I am amazed.  My Pinterest "Pottery Ideas" board continues to fill up as I find projects I would like to attempt in the future.

Here is what I brought home this week:

My purple fish pinch pot.

I may bring it to my office at KHS and use it as a candy dish.

This bowl was made in a slump mold.

I combined two different glazes to get this rich color.

This bowl was made with a hump mold. The texture was made by pressing a crocheted doily into the clay.

The inside was glazed with three coats of Firebrick Red.  I love the rich red color.

I used a stain on the outside to help give it a more rustic look, and to highlight the texture.
I was really happy with the way this bowl turned out.


Sam Cooke was Right........A Change Is Gonna Come

Today I helped with registration at Kellogg High School.

One of the students coming through the line made a comment that I can't seem to shake.

He said, "I don't like change."

Then I started thinking about this song, "A Change Is Gonna Come".  I heard it when James Taylor sang it on an episode of "The West Wing".

The song was written by Sam Cooke in 1964.  He wrote it about events that happened in his life, and it became an anthem for the Civil Rights Movement.  Here is Cooke singing this song:

Change is inevitable.  And you need to figure out how you are going to respond to it.

My personal life is changing drastically this fall, with all three daughters in college.

My professional life is also changing.  I am now only at Kellogg High School.  And KHS has some changes.  The Kellogg School District as a whole has made some changes.

Change is good.  I don't mind things getting stirred up and mixed up a bit.  I can get in a rut very easily, so if things are changing, it keeps things interesting.

But sometimes we don't like the changes that are happening.  But we have to figure out how we are going to respond, and how our response will help us make it through the change.

"It's been a long time coming, But, I know a change is gonna come, Oh, yes it will....."

I've experienced a lot of changes in my life.  These were caused by jobs, babies, and moving from one town to another.

Reading a book can change me.

Watching a movie can change me.

Having a conversation can change me.

Praying to God and reading the Bible can change me.

Life is about change.  Nothing stays the same.  Our bodies are continually changing.  People around us are continually changing.  Some changes are more gradual than others, but things are still changing.

Technology has made things change at a very rapid rate.

How do you respond to change?  Do you grumble, complain, and let everyone know how miserable it makes you?  Or do you look at it as a new adventure to learn from?

We all have a choice.  I try to approach the changes in my life as a new adventure.

Now, often I do grumble and complain, but it only makes the change I am going through worse.

It is better to smile, take a deep breath and say, "Okay, Lord, what next?"


The Shift

It began today.

Things shifted, just a little bit.

Our lives will never be the same.  It is official.  All three girls are in college, and are now pursuing some lofty goals.

We took Coco and all of her things to the University of Idaho today and helped her move into her dorm room.  And we had Parent and Marching Band Orientation, too.

Things will be different from now on.

No more kids in school. 

Yes, there will be adjustments.  Yes, it will get lonely at times.  Yes, other times, we may enjoy our together time.

But even though there is a shift, I am so proud of my three girls.

Molly, who is working full time and attending North Idaho College as she pursues a degree in Education.

Zoe, who head back down to Caldwell this weekend, who wants to be an Anthropologist or Sociologist, with a little Journalism, Religion and Natural Science thrown in for good measure.

And Coco, who will begin her time at the University of Idaho pursuing a degree in Broadcast and Digital Media.

And is a member of the University of Idaho Marching Band, so we will get to follow her and her band performances this fall.

Here are some pics from dropping Coco off today:

 Coco standing in line to get all her dorm information.

Coco and Molly at lunch

 Coco and her best friend Sidnee who came up from Clarkston to help out.
Sidnee, Zoe, Coco and Molly

Four beautiful girls.

 Mom, Coco and Dad

 Family Photo

 Hugging Goodbye!

 More hugs from Dad

 Goodbye Molly

 Goodbye Zoe!

This wasn't the official goodbye.  That will come on Friday, when we return to U of I for Parent Orientation, and to do some more activities.  Then we head on down to Caldwell to take Zoe to her house to get ready for college.

It is all rather strange....not sure it has all sunken in yet.

But it will.