Lilac City Memories

Inland Empire Girl gave us this sibling assignment...

Taking in the strong fragrance of lilacs today reminded me of Spokane " The Lilac City". Write about a memorable time from childhood that was spent in Spokane.

Raymond Pert's is here, and Inland Empire Girls will be here.

This is probably one of my earliest memories of being in Spokane. I can't believe I remember so much about this, because I was only four years old.

It was the time I got my tonsils removed.

The proceedure was done at the Paulsen Building in downtown Spokane. Apparently my pediatrician had access to a small hospital facility in the building.

Inland Empire Girl was also having surgery at the same time to remove a tumor in her mouth.

I still remember the black mask coming down over my face, and asking to count back from five.

I remember getting out of bed at some point to try and find my sister in another room.

I remember receiving a stuffed animal, a tiger, from Mom and Dad.

I went to Grandma Woolum's house to recover. I got to eat ice cream because it felt good on my throat.

And, because I was at Grandma's house, I also felt safe, secure and loved.

I'm Proud To Be From Kellogg

I'm a little behind on sibling assignments. Here is one I gave a few weeks ago...

What is it about telling people you were born and raised in Kellogg that gives you a sense of pride? Inland Empire Girls post is here, and Raymond Pert's is here.

For me, it is the people.

I love having connections with people who live here, or who I grew up with in this town.

I love knowing my grandparents moved out here from Kentucky in the early 1900's, and that my dad was born here in Kellogg in 1930.

I think I get a lot of my prideful feelings about Kellogg from my dad. He loved it here. When he had to move to Spokane for a while when he was in high school, he worked out a way to come back and live here so he could attend school in Kellogg.

I love the sense of community here in the Silver Valley. I love it when someone is sick, or their house burned down, or for whatever reason they have fallen on hard times, and the outpouring of help and support for the family is overwhelming.

I love living in this beautiful area, with the tree covered mountains, the rivers, the lakes, the bike trails, the skiing and the four seasons.

But I think one of the things I love most is the connection I have with the people who live here. It doesn't take long to see someone at the store and tell my daughters how I am connected to them. Sometimes they think I went to high school with everyone we see!!

And the history of this area is also very interesting. I loved it when I started reading about this area, and realized this was one of the last places in the U.S. "discovered and tamed" by the white man. And that Noah Kellogg discovered the Bunker Hill Mine is 1885, and, less than 50 years later, my dad was born in Kellogg. The Cataldo Mission, the Gold Rush, the Mining Wars...they all have helped form what is today's Silver Valley.

And I am proud to call this place home.

Raised Beds and Flower Pots

Some women enjoy receiving flowers.

Others, a diamond ring.

Maybe others would be wowed by a nice box of chocolates.

I didn't get any of these this weekend...and that was fine with me.
My husband built me four wonderful gifts this weekend...raised garden beds.

Aren't they beautiful!!
PKR is so resourceful. Our wooden deck on the back of the house needs replaced, so he took the deck apart, and used the wood from the deck to build me four raised beds.

In box #1 I planted five tomato plants, basil and a Caribbean Red Pepper.
Box #2 has zuchinni and thyme and oregano.

Box #3 has two different kinds of bush peas, and two different kinds of bush beans. Box #4 has lettuce, arugula, mesclun, spinach, Swiss Chard, and two different kinds of carrots. We were fortunate to have a lot of compost built up, so we filled most of the boxes with the compost, then added some potting soil and steer manure on top. A wonderful feast for my newly planted seeds and plants.

I also planted the flower pots in the front yard.

The front flower bed is springing to life, with all kinds of colors and the green hostas are bursting forth too.
Here are three of my other pots with one of my roses I planted last summer getting off to a good start this spring.


Surprise Visits

This weekend I was blessed to have visits two different times that I wasn't expecting.

On Friday, I chaperoned a field trip with the 8th graders. We went to Laser Quest in Spokane, then ate lunch and played at the park in Coeur d'Alene.

The school secretary handed me a note when I returned, and there was a note from a friend of mine from college. This is when it is great living in a small town. Her and her husband went to the Chamber of Commerce and they asked Norma, the director, if she knew me. Well, Norma sent my friend Tana down to Kellogg Middle School to find me, but I wasn't there, because I was on the field trip, but she left me a note.

She finally got a hold of me by phone that night, and I had breakfast with her and her husband on Saturday morning. The reason they were in Kellogg was two years ago they purchased a home here in town, because they were moving to South Carolina, and wanted a home in Idaho. This is the first time they had seen the house, and it ended up being right across the street from my church.

We had a wonderful time catching up and finding out what was going on in each other's lives. They now live in Idaho Falls, and have two girls.

The girls and I went to CDA on Saturday shopping, and, when we returned home, PKR said his cousin Tim and his family were in CDA for a soccer tournament. They ended up coming over Sunday morning for church, and then came over for lunch after church. Then we took them to the Crystal Gold Mine for a tour. Tim and his family live in Meridian. Their oldest daughter didn't come, but it was fun seeing Sheridan, who is Z2's age, and their son Jared, who I used to babysit before we moved up here to Kellogg.

It was great because we didn't have a whole lot planned to do this weekend, so we could take the time to visit and have breakfast and dinner with old friends.

Thank you, Lord, for these two wonderful blessings.

Lead Creek Rising

Disney Spectacular--Final Performance

The Princess performed in her final concert as a Kellogg High School choir member last Thursday night. It was a really cute idea. Joy Persoon, the choir director, had all three of her choirs, and Kellogg Middle School choir, and the Show Choir and Select Choir at Kellogg High School all dressed like Disney characters and sang a medley of Disney songs.

The Princess dressed up like Minnie Mouse.


A Midsummer Night's Dream...or The Night They Missed The Forest For the Trees--Performance #3

This weekend, PKR was involved in his Kellogg High School spring play. It is called "A Midsummer Night's Dream...or The Night They Missed The Forest for the Trees.

It basically tells the story of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream", but also uses modern characters and story tellers to help tell the story and how it relates to teenagers today.

I was so proud of this cast. I had gone and watched the play the Monday before it opened to give the cast notes. It was amazing how far they came in five days.

PKR is very proud of these students, and the great job they did on the show.
Oberon, King of the Fairies, was portrayed by Kalvin Pemberton. Tim Wentland did a fabulous job as "Puck".
Here are the "rude-mechanicals" getting ready to rehearse their play within a play.
They are Brittany Reed, Zack Whitfield, David Carey, Bridget Cannaday, Lance Claflin and Nathan Gravelle. Ah, the two Athenian couples, Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena, played by Mariah Schlepp, Ryan Griffin, Erik Fink and Dori Liddicoat.
Alexa Mitten was Titania, Queen of the Fairies, who awakens to find she is in love with Nick Bottom, who Puck has turned into an ass.
Ally Evans , Pamela Reed and Danae Johnson were the three story tellers, and also played Duke Theseus, Hippolyta and Egeus, Hermia's father.

Some of the other fairies flitting about the forest included Corinne Estabrook, Alex Serrell, Anton Ferraro and Julia Wenzel.

The Greatest Little Show on Earth--Performance #2

This weekend, The Princess sang and danced in her senior recital with Joni Damiano Bartel's Performing Arts studio.
Here she performed in a dance with other members of her Jazz Dance class. (She is in the middle).
This year Miss Joni chose a circus theme, and called it "The Greatest Little Show on Earth." The Princess was a marionette.
Here is Miss Joni presenting The Princess, Melissa Flores and Sarah Grigg with a gift since they are all seniors, and it was their last recital.
The Princess started taking voice lessons from Miss Joni her freshman year, and started Jazz Dance her sophomore year. She did a really beautiful job singing "Don't Rain On My Parade".

You really know she did great when Miss Betty, (Miss Joni's mom, Betty Damiano, who started teaching dance in the valley in the 1950's, and has very high standards) came up to her afterwards just beaming, and gave her a big hug and said how strong she sang the song.

I keep wondering when it is going to hit...the fact The Princess is graduating from high school, and will be going to college next fall. I don't think I'm in denial. I just keep checking off the various performances and other milestones that mean this part of her life is coming to an end.

I keep waiting for it all to catch up with me....and when it does...I'm expecting a bit of a flood!!

Cataldo will have nothing on me!

Yearbook Reflections--Performance #1

Here is The Princess in a musical called "Yearbook Reflections" put on the Select Choir at Kellogg High School.
The show's premise is looking through a high school yearbook, and showing all the great thing students in high school do throughout the year, and what great kids they are.
In the program, choir director Joy Persoon shared a letter from the playwrite about why he wrote this play. Here is the letter:

Dear Friend,

On April 20, 1999 my community was rocked by the shootings at Columbine High School. Only a few short miles from where I work and live, I was in my children's elementary school doing my weekly volunteer stint when the shooting broke out. The real-life drama of Columbine High School had begun and would soon grip me and the entire nation.

Because I work a great deal with students and I live close to Columbine, I felt a strange bond to the school. I wanted to do something to help, yet I wasn't sure what to do. I did know that I was unhappy with the media coverage questioning the morality of youths today. Because of these two outcasts, editorials were creating a bleak outlook for the future. Are too many kids slipping through the cracks? Has the disintegration of the family unit gone too far? Is there too much violence on television and in video games? Like you, I don't have the answers to any of these questions. I do know, however, that I am surrounded by many wonderful teens: they are dedicated workers in our office, they are loyal neighbors, and they are trustworthy babysitters for my children. In my mind, these are the youth of today. And they are why I have written "Yearbook".

A school's yearbook shows the brighter side, the positive side. It shows the side we want to remember. A yearbook shows the entire school community as a cohesive unit, from the principal to the students to the cafeteria staff.

In writing this play, I had a huge struggle. I realize that life is not always perfect for kids...it never has been and it never will be. Some are picken on. Some drop out. Some fail. So is it fair for this play to show only the positive side of school life? Yes, I resolved, because for the huge majority of children, life is a positive adventure. Sure, it's a roller coaster with ups and downs, but it's a ride filled with excitement, learning and maturing.

Wishing you success in all your endeavors.

Steven Fendrich


Here is some more pics from the production.


Final Destination...Sun Valley, Idaho

On Friday afternoon, we arrived in Sun Valley, Idaho where I was participating in a convention.

This is the Sun Valley Inn where we were staying, and where the convention took place.
Here is PKR strolling around the village at Sun Valley.This is the Sun Valley Opera House. They show movies here, as well as put on plays and concerts.
This is the pool at the Sun Valley Inn. The water is really warm and relaxing. It felt really good.
This is our room during our stay. It was very nice and comfortable.
This is a swan over at the pond in front of the Sun Valley Lodge, the other large hotel in Sun Valley.
Below is a picture of the entrance to the Sun Valley Lodge. Inside they have hallways of cool black and white photos of personalities who have stayed and skied at the resort. Some I remember were Desi Arnez and Lucille Ball and their two kids, Jackie Kennedy and her two children, Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemmingway, of course, Peter and Jane Fonda, and Marilyn Monroe. There were others, but those are I re the ones I remember.
Here is PKR and I at the banquet on Saturday night. I was very impressed with the food, and service and the accomodations during our stay. And it was nice to retreat away, just PKR and myself, and have some much needed time alone together. With three busy girls, we count times like this as quite a blessing!!
It was interesting driving up to the Sun Valley area. You arrive in Hailey, Idaho, and it still looks fairly normal. But you get to Ketchum, and there are condos, townhouses, newly remodeled shops and high priced boutiques.
I remarked to PKR that I'm not sure I want to live in a place like the Ketchum/Sun Valley area. I keep wondering if that is where Kellogg is headed, and how long it may take for us to get there.


Stop on the way...Craters of the Moon

As we crossed eastern Idaho, we stopped for a few minutes as Craters of the Moon National Park. You can find out more about this park here.

We saw a little chipmunk enjoying a goody on the sidewalk.

This is a story the Shoshone Indians told about how this land was formed.
For miles and miles, there is nothing but volcanic rock.

There are trails that you can go on and hike through the volcanic land.
This view is across from the Visitor's Center where we stopped.
Here are some rocks that were formed from one of the volcanic eruptions thousands of years ago.

One interesting fact about this park: NASA used parts of this park to train astronauts to use one of the vehicles that they would take when they landed on the moon.

Just another interesting part of the great state of Idaho!!