Z2 Will Survive

Z2 performing "I Will Survive" with the Joybells, the Select Choir from Kellogg High School.  The concert was really, really good.


Tied to Dorothy

She couldn't have said it any better.

It feels so good to be back in the Silver Valley.


Tied to Helping Students Prepare for Post-Secondary Education

For the last few days I have been attending a conference that has had me focus on what parts of the program I work with at Kellogg Middle School I feel would be worth sustaining, and creating a plan to do this.

All these have to do with preparing students to prepare to stay in high school, graduate, and go on to some kind of post-secondary education.

First, I would like all 8th graders from now on to have the opportunity to visit a college campus.

I would also like them to go through the Dependable Strengths process, that helps them identify their strengths, and their good experiences, which can help them in the process of identifying a subject for their senior project.

I would also like them to take a test that helps them prepare for their ACT test they have to take as a junior in order to graduate from high school.

And I would like them to have access to a program called eCIS, that gives them and their parents an abundant amount of information on colleges, careers and financial aid options.

I would also like to start a "Parent Academy" program that has parents teaching other parents about information about how to get their students prepared to get a post-secondary education.

So now it is time to write a plan, and get it done!!


Tied to Grieving

Many people close to me are dealing with grief lately.

As I look over the past few months, many of my close family and friends have lost loved ones close to them.

And we all deal with grief in very different ways.

My sister-in-law lost her mother and her brother recently. Both losses have been very hard on their family, and on my brother as well.

My first cousin died last week, out of the blue.  He had hip surgery on Monday, came home Tuesday, and died in bed Tuesday night.  We were all shocked, and grieve his loss.  As we gather this summer for a cousin's reunion, he will be greatly missed.

A man her in the valley recently died, taking his own life.  His brother and sister-in-law were good friends of ours, as well as much of his extended family.  It was hard to hear of his loss.

My sister recently had a former student die in a car accident, and she watched as a community grieved his loss.

When people leave our lives, we do grieve.  We grieve their passing.  We grieve that our relationship with that person has ended.  We grieve that we are unable to spend more time with that person.  We grieve the things we didn't say to that person or do with that person.

And it reminds us that relationships with those we love are very special, and we shouldn't let petty arguments and grudges come in the way of having a relationship with our family and friends.

Life is too short not to love.


Tied to Gospel Music

Sunday morning we headed over to the House of Blues here in Houston for their Gospel Brunch.

What a wonderful experience.  When PKR heard I was going to this, he pouted a little...and with good reason.  He would have loved this, as well as many of my other friends....Nita Jo...you would have been in Heaven!!

But first, there was the food.  There were four different stations of food.  At the first station you could build you own omelet.  The next station had scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, shrimp and cocktail sauce, salad, bagels and lox, fried potatoes and waffle bar.

The next station had three kids of meats, some cheesy grits, and lots of different sauces.

Then there was fresh fruit, pastries, muffins, bread pudding and apple crisp.

Yes, it was quite a spread, and quite good.

As you are sitting down, enjoying your meal, the curtain opens and this week "The Discples of Christ" was the music group performing.  It was four ladies, and their band of four men including a bass player, drummer, electric guitar and keyboard.  They definitely had the Gospel music sound.  They had people dancing and clapping and singing, and it was a great time.

I missed going to my church this morning, but it was fun having church with the people at House of Blues this morning.


Tied to Glendive, Montana

This week I gave my siblings the following assignment:

Think about one of the places you lived in the 1980's, and write about how you are still tied to that place.

I live four different places in the 1980's.

I lived in Kellogg, Idaho, Moscow, Idaho, San Bernardino, California and Glendive, Montana.

I am going to write about how I am still tied to Glendive, Montana.

Glendive is where I moved to after I graduated from college in 1985.  I was hired as the Director of Admissions and Public Relations at Dawson Community College.

I moved into my first apartment, lived there a year on my own, then married PKR over the summer, and he came and joined me there in the summer of 1986.

The Princess was born in Glendive in 1990, and the experience of being pregnant and having you first child in a location always ties you to that place because of the memories of that incredible experience.

I still keep in touch with many of the people I knew in Glendive.  Each year I receive Christmas cards from a variety of people I either worked with or went to church with, keeping up on their lives and their families.

Through Facebook, I have reconnected with many of the kids we had in youth group while we were youth group leaders at our church.

Many of the lessons we learned in church from our Pastor have strengthened our faith in God, and have stayed with us throughout the years.

The work I did at the college helps me in my current position, helping students and parents prepare early to attend college.

I'm tied to the spirit of Glendive.  The people in eastern Montana had a certain way of looking at life, and dealing with life that has always stayed with me.  They never gave up, even when they were dry land farming throughout years of drought.  Even though the oil slowly dried up, and the railroad slowly quit stopping as often.  They had a spirit I admired.

I loved my time in Glendive, and I'm glad PKR and I were able to start our married life there, and I will always have ties to that wonderful town, and the wonderful people who live there.


Ties to Traveling

I love to travel.

I love experiencing new places and seeing more of this great country of ours.

Today I woke up, got on a plane, and flew to Houston, Texas.

I am here for a conference for work.

After I checked into the hotel and rested for a bit, I ventured out to find something to eat for dinner.  Always interesting when you are alone in a city you have never been to before.

But there was a lot of activity in the area of our hotel, because the Toyota Center is about a block away, and the Houston Rockets were playing the Philadelphia 76ers.  I was even a bit tempted to go buy a ticket, if one was available, and watch the game, but I was too tired.

So I started walking toward a park area and found a little cafe to have a burger and fries and lemonade.  It was wonderful to have the weather nice enough to sit outside.  There was a beautiful fountain to watch, and it was just interesting watching people walk by in the park.

Then I came back to my room, and watched Sarah Palin's speech from the Tea Party Convention.  I actually like her speech.  I've never been a big fan, but I thought she did a good job on this speech.

Tomorrow I am joining some of my colleagues at the House of Blues for their Gospel Brunch.  I can't wait!!

I hope to take in some of the other sites around town while here.

I have been fighting a cold all week, and I am feeling much better, thank goodness.  And I get to sleep in tomorrow, so that is good.


Tied to Law and Order

I decided to start getting all seasons of the original "Law and Order"series, starting with Season One.

We have finished with the first season, and are now onto Season Two.

Watching this is like stepping back into time, back to the 1990's with the fashions and the hair. 

They do such a good job of developing the characters, such as the District Attorneys, the Homicide Detectives, and the people involved in the crimes.

So, far as long as it takes to get through all 20 seasons, we will keep working our way through the 1990's and the 2000's, as we watch the people be represented by two separate, yet equally important groups.  The police who investigate crime, and the District Attorneys who prosecute the offenders.  

These are their stories.


Tied To Sports

Tonight PKR and I traveled to St. Maries to watch Kiki Aru and the other Lady Wildcats from the 8th grade Kellogg Middle School play basketball.  I really enjoy watching those girls play.  Most of them have played together as a team through AAU and school ball since they were in third grade.  It has been great to watch them grow and develop into the players they are today.

I am not a big sports fan, but my life has always been tied to sports.  My dad was a big sports fan, and I still can hear Joe Garigiola announcing the baseball games during the summer.  Even thought I didn't sit down and watch the games, I liked the sound of the baseball announcers.  There was a quiet, almost rhythmic quality to their announcing that I enjoyed listening to.

Monday Night Football was always on the television on Monday nights.  Basketball, golf, even that wierd fake wrestling show was on the television. 

And Raymond Pert was an athlete, so we often followed his sporting events.  I remember traveling around to different places when he played American Legion baseball.  One trip I really remember is to Cashmere, Washington. 

I also remember going to his basketball games when he was in high school.  My babysitter's husband was the basketball coach, so she made her daughter TC and myself little wildcat outfits to wear at the basketball games.  I still remember the cheerleading mascot coming up and giving me a Wildcat button to wear with my wildcat print shirt that AC had sewed for me.

When I was in sixth grade, they started allowing girls to play Little League baseball.  I was actually a pioneer for the Kellogg Little League, by being one of the first girls to play the sport in Kellogg.  In fact, there were two girls on the team, MR and myself.  She was the best player on the team....I was the worst.  I remember my favorite position to play was left field, because the balls hardly ever were hit to left field.

In junior high, I tried basketball, track and volleyball.  The only one I stuck with into high school was volleyball.  But, by my senior year, I wasn't good enough to make the varsity team.  But that is okay, because by this time, band, choir, drama, pep club and school government were much more important to me than playing volleyball.

When I went to college, I discovered the joy of jogging.  I found out I could run at an easy pace and really enjoyed it.  When I moved to Montana, I continued my love of running.  Then we moved to Meridian, and I started doing fun runs, starting with 5 K's, then 10 K's, and finally half marathons.  They were my favorite.  I still have a dream of running a marathon.  I got close once.  The longest run I ever completed was 16 miles.

While in Meridian, The Princess was on the Meridian Swim Team for a couple of years.  I wish she could have kept up with swimming.  She really enjoyed it.

The girls have played softball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, cross country and track

One daughter continues to compete in running.  Z2 runs cross country and track, and I enjoy attending the cross country meets and track meets to watch Z2 and her fellow athletes compete in the meets. 

So I think I will always have a tie to sports one way or another.


Tied to My Pets

I am a pet person.

I couldn't imagine my life without pets in the house.

Now, to some of you who aren't pet people, I know you think we pet people are a little bit on the crazy side.

But, I admit it, I am totally a pet person.

When I was growing up, I remember having a cat named Peter Twinkletoes and a dog named Cleo.  Both were fun over by cars in front of our house.  So we never had anymore dogs or cats.

But I did have a white rat, and several parakeets growing up.  And there was usually an aquarium full of fish around the house each summer that Mom brought home from her classroom.  One summer I even remember Mom had seahorses in the aquarium.  That was pretty cool.

Once I was out on my own after graduating college, I adopted two kittens, Lynx and Jessie.  They kept me company during a very lonely time in my life when I lived in Eastern Montana, and my family and friends were all back in Idaho, plus my fiance PKR.

When we moved to Meridian, we lost Lynx, but gained Cozomo, our first black cat.  We also had Smokey for a brief time while in Meridian as well.

Jessie and Cozomo moved to Kellogg with us.  Then Mikey came along, then we added Benjamin.  After we lost Mikey, we added Milo and T.C.  Then three legged Toby was added to the mix.

We lost Milo last year, which was hard for all of us.

So that is the story with our cats.

Once we moved to Kellogg, and had a fenced in yard, we got our first dog, Peaches, our Keeshond.  It was such a joy adding a dog to our family of pets.

Then The Princess wanted a dog, and thought a Pomeranian was a good idea.  So Sadie was brought into our lives.  Then last summer, Z2 adopted another Pomeranian, Juliet.

I love their presence in our home.  I love when I am home alone, and reading in the living, they all come and find their spots, and find a comfy spot in the living room to keep me company.  I love when they come and sit next to me on the couch and snuggle.

I love taking them for walks.  I love when I cry, and they come and comfort me.

Pets love without condition.  They are such a special part of our lives.

And they will be tied to me forever.


Ties to a Sore Throat

I wish I didn't have a tie to a sore throat.  It wasn't fun realizing last night my throat was hurting, I was coughing, and that it was really burning by the time I woke up this morning.

I stayed in bed and rested all day.

I looked up ways to alleviate the pain of a sore throat.

I have gargled with salt water.  Kind of makes you gag, but it works.

I have drank water.

I have drank Throat Coat Tea.

I have drank beef bullion.

I took Nyquil today, and that helped with the post nasal drip, and helped me sleep all afternoon.

I suck on Ricola Throat Drops.

I watched many episodes from the second season of Law and Order.  I'm not sure it helps my throat much, but it is very entertaining.

I ate a teaspoon full of honey.  I also plan to gargle with Listerine.

I looked up some remedies on the Internet.  Here are some I did not try:

I have not gargled with sage, raspberry tea or turmeric.  They are suppose to work, though.

I did not make a Horseradish cocktail.

I don't have any juice bars, so I didn't eat them.  But that does sound good.

I haven't sucked on garlic.

But I did post on Facebook for my friends to pray that I feel better, and I know that has helped immensely.

Anyone else have a proven home remedy for me to try? 

Thanks for the suggestions.

I really hope to get better by Saturday.  I am flying to Houston, Texas for a conference, and I really don't want to be sick while I'm traveling.  So keep those prayers and remedies coming my way!!


Ties to My Workplace--Kellogg Junior High School/Kellogg Middle School

I enjoy working in a school where I was also a student.

Actually, both schools that are my workplace, I was once a student.

Kellogg Middle School used to be Kellogg Junior High School.  I enjoy having ties to this building, and memories of being a student there.

It is also fun having ties to some of the staff.  As I stroll through the halls of Kellogg Middle School, I can find ties to many of the faculty and staff.

The choir director started her career at Kellogg Junior High School when I was a student there, and still continues to work and help students perform.

Another faculty member was a fellow student with me at KJHS and Kellogg High School, and today she is a wonderful role model for the students at KMS.

One of my brother's best friend's sons teaches Science at KMS.

One of my sister's former students teaches English at KMS, and has had all three of my daughter as students.

When I was a student at Sunnyside Elementary in Kellogg, JD came and started her teaching career as a fifth grade teacher.  Now she teaches Math and Social Studies at KMS.

One of the teacher aides is the daughter of one of Dad's best friends.

The art/computer teacher married a man I grew up with in Kellogg.

When I was growing up, I stayed at one of the secretaries parent's houses when she and my mom and sister went on a trip.

And I have established ties with other staff by working in this building for the last three years.  I have come to admire these men and women, and am very fortunate to work with such a caring group of people, who really care about the students they work with, and try to help them in many ways.

I am very glad I have ties to such a wonderful group of people.