Gathering Graces 4/25/2017

*Woke up to a rainy, gray day again.  But on the positive side, the grass looks green and fabulous everywhere you look, and the flowers are blooming!! 
*It was Catch Up day at work today!! 
*The Sources of Strength group at KHS provided a Taco Tuesday lunch today for the KHS staff.  It was delicious!!  They also had some very encouraging notes to each staff member.  The words on my note made my day!!
*The countdown has begun for our After School Drama Program.  Did some final adjustments and run-throughs today, dress rehearsal tomorrow, and performance on Thursday.  Woo Hoo!!
*Poor Mom!!  With my hectic schedule Monday and Tuesday, she has been getting some late dinners.  But she is a trooper.  It was good to hear her say she is getting her appetite back. 


Gathering Graces 4/24/2017

*So nice to be outside this morning walking again. 
*Time at Mom’s house was short, because I had to be at the dentist at 8 a.m. to get a temporary crown.  It was fun visiting with the Dental Assistant Heidi, and talk about being in the Easter Cantata together, and how we both enjoyed that experience very much.
*I got back to KHS in time to help Houston and his mom work on the FAFSA.  They have a few more things to do at home, but I think we got them on their way!!
*I was excited to see Mrs. Young, one of our science teachers, got permission forms from 19 students to attend the Engineering Expo at the University of Idaho on Friday.  It should be a great day.
*I spent some time getting organized to take props to the after school drama program tomorrow.  Three more days until they perform!!
*Our book discussion after school was so interesting.  One part was on Helen Keller, and how Anne Sullivan helped her break through her trauma, and how our culture doesn’t want the long term fix.  We want things fixed quickly with the use of pharmaceuticals instead of more natural means that have proved to be effective.  The other interesting thing about Helen Keller is Paul is currently directing the play The Miracle Worker at KHS, and we had a really good discussion about the story of Helen Keller.
*Lori, Erin and I continued discussing until almost 5:30 p.m., so I had to change dinner plans for Mom.  We got pizza and salad instead, which seemed fine with Mom.  And while we waited for Paul to arrive to eat, I was able to get Mom’s plants watered, which was a great relief to Mom.
*Had messages from two different friends today who did not have good days.  It is hard because I love these women very much, and a small message of love back just doesn’t seem sufficient.  But it will have to do for now.  And they are both in my prayers each day, which I hope gives them comfort in some way as well.      


Gathering Graces 4/23/2017

*It was nice to sleep in this morning, then get up and have breakfast.  Jill made a delicious breakfast of huckleberry pancakes, eggs, bacon and hashbrowns.  Coco came and joined us.  Molly and Travis were going to come, but Molly wasn’t feeling well, so they were unable to make it.  So we took them a plate over later.
*I needed to pick up some photos at Walgreen’s, then had to go to Walmart as well.  Coco came along with me to do my errands.
*Then it was time to say goodbye to my Vandal girl.  It was such a wonderful weekend with Coco, Molly and Travis, and we all had much fun!
*I left Moscow toward Kellogg, but was still very sleepy.  I pulled over and parked in the Coeur d’Alene Casino parking lot to close my eyes for a little bit.  That seemed to help.  Then I stopped at Fighting Creek to fill up the gas tank, and got some tea to keep me going.  When I got home I was still really sleepy.  I made Mom dinner, and took it over, and enjoyed sharing with her about the weekend, and it was nice to see her doing better.  Then I came home, and was in bed by 7:30 p.m. 


Gathering Graces 4/22/2017

*Started the morning with coffee and conversation with Jill, Vince and Patrick Rinaldi.  It was a wonderful way to begin the morning.
*Started out day two of Mom’s Weekend with mini doughnuts and coffee with Cosette.  Yummy!!
*One of the traditions of Mom’s Weekend in Moscow in Hempfest.  Cosette and I headed over to East Park and walked through the vendors.  We did succomb to some delicious chocolate.  We listened to some music as we waited for Molly and Travis to arrive.  It was a beautiful, sunny morning in Moscow.
*In the afternoon, Cosette, Molly, Travis and I headed south out of Moscow to Kendrick, and enjoyed some pretzels and cider at the Hardware Brewery.  What a cute place.  I would definitely go back and have lunch there sometime.
*Then we headed just up the road to Juliaetta to the Colter’s Creek Winery for some wine tasting and dinner.   What a fun place.  The staff was very friendly, the food was delicious and the wine very tasty.  I brought home a bottle of KooKooskia Red.  It was very tasty wine.  But the other reason I bought this particular bottle was because when Bill, Christy and I ever wanted to make one another laugh, we would say certain place names, and Kooskia was one of them.
Fun in Juliaetta, Idaho
*One of the funnest parts of our road trip was singing really loud in the car to Coco’s playlist on her phone, that included such 80’s hits as Livin’ on a Prayer, Africa and What a Feelin’.
*There was a beautiful sunset as we drove into Moscow that lit up the whole horizon.  This photo does not do it justice.
*A visit to Moscow is not complete without going to Bucer’s Coffeehouse and having a Cordadito.  LOVE that Cuban coffee!!
*This Mom had a full day, so Coco drove me back to Rinaldi’s house, and I had another nice visit with Jill and Patrick before heading off to bed.  What a wonderful day.


Gathering Graces 4/21/2017

*Third times a charm.  Mom was able to give a urine sample this morning!!  And her clarity and general well being  has seemed to have improved since she has been hydrating herself better.  Yay!!!!
*The water was back on this morning, but we need to boil the water until they are able to test it on Monday.  So before I headed out of town, I filled three big pots of water and boiled them so Paul would have water this weekend.
*My friend Pam and I tried out the Radio Brewing Company, a new restaurant and brewery in uptown Kellogg.  I enjoyed my mushroom and feta soup and deep fried artichokes, and Pam like the chicken waffle croquettes.  We  enjoyed talking about a variety of things, especially caring for our elderly parents, and how to encourage daughters as they grow up and make their way through the stress of high school, college, and life in general.  It was an absolutely wonderful lunch and visit!!
*I went home and finished getting packed up to head to Moscow for Mom’s Weekend, then finally got on the road about 3 p.m.
*I listened to a book in the car, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, which is my book group’s book choice this month.  It is very interesting, and it made the drive to Moscow go by quickly.  I stopped and picked up Cosette, we went by Jill and Vince Rinaldi’s to drop off my stuff, then we headed over to Molly Roberts-Cornwell and Travis Cornwell apartment for a delicious dinner of fried oysters, asparagus and fondue.  Yum! Yum!  After dinner, Cosette and I headed to the Hartung Theater to watch Wendy and Peter Into Neverland.  Coco’s roommate Gail played the part of Peter Pan, and some of her other friends were in the production as well.  It was a really well done show that was fun to watch.
*Coco and I stopped in at The Garden Lounge for a nightcap, then I dropped her off, and I headed to Jill’s house.  We had a wonderful visit before we headed to bed.


Gathering Graces 4/20/2017

*As our wonderful water company workers continued working on the main line to restore water to our community, we continued to have some water until about 5 p.m.  Then it was gone.  So for us we weren’t too inconvenienced.  I know it was different for others.  But I am very impressed how quickly it was fixed.  Thank you Central Shoshone Water District for your tireless effort to get the job done.
*I went over to Mom’s to do the morning routine, then we headed back to the clinic.  Unfortunately, same results as the day before.  No success in Mom being able to give a urine sample.  So she will head back tomorrow.  I think part of the problem is she is not hydrating properly. 
*I got home about 11 a.m.  I was hungry, thirsty and very tired.  I had some breakfast and some coffee, and got caught up on my sleep.  That felt good.
*In the fall of 2015 I planted a forsythia bush.  To me, it is the one flowering bush that heralds to me the coming of spring.  I have checked it every day, and today, it was finally in full bloom.  I love the yellow, happy, cheery color of the forsythia.  My neighbor Jessica has a really big one in full bloom on the side of her house that I also get to enjoy.  Some day mine will be large, too. 
*I had a whole chicken in the fridge that I stuffed with lemons and garlic cloves, covered in olive oil, herbs, pepper and pink Himalayan salt, and roasted it in the over to take to Mom’s for dinner.  I grabbed some salad in Mom’s fridge, popped some potatoes in the microwave, and had ourselves a meal.  After dinner, we tried out Mom’s new Pulse Oxymeter to check her oxygen levels.  She had to heat up her hand for 5 minutes with her heating pad so it worked properly, but we had success.  And her oxygen level looked good.  All in all, Mom had a pretty good day today.
*My friend April M Lee’s birthday was today, and earlier this month she had said what she wanted for her birthday was to have all four of her spots for her women’s retreat in Italy.  Well, she didn’t get all four yet, but she has filled two spots, so only two left.  If you would like to come to Tuscany, Italy at the end of June and spend a week focused on pursuing your dreams, check out April’s retreat information here.  I’ll be there too, cooking for you all week!!  It is going to be an incredible time.
*After we left Mom’s house, Paul and I headed out to see the workers fixing the water line.  It was a cold, rainy day, and the line they were fixing was right next to the river, so I am sure conditions were not pleasant.  Again, so thankful for all of their hard work.
*I am heading to Moscow this weekend for Mom’s Weekend, and had some messages back and forth with Molly and Coco and our plans for the weekend.  It should be a great time!!


Gathering Graces 4/19/2017

Photo by Chanse Watson--Shoshone News Press
*Early morning at Mom’s this morning to make sure she is ready to go for her 7:30 a.m. doctor’s appointment.  She was ready and we were out the door by 7:15 a.m.
*Mom and I drove up to the clinic with Christy following in her car.  As we shared our concerns about Mom with Dr. McDonald, she became more convinced it was a urinary tract infection.  But Houston, we have a problem.  Mom could not pee in the cup.  So she goes back again tomorrow to try again. 
*I left Christy and Mom at the clinic to get back to KHS to prepare for the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony and  Teacher Awards Recognition Assembly.  It all went great, I had plenty of help from students setting up for the assembly, doing their parts at the assembly, and helping with the reception afterward.  We inducted 27 new members into NHS.  We now have 53 NHS members at KHS, which is pretty impressive for a high school of only 320 students!!
*After school I headed to Pinehurst Elementary to work with the drama program.  Today we continued sharing with the students what skits they would be doing, and handed them scripts to take home. 
*I went to Mom’s briefly to drop off a few things, and Christy said she had heard at the local grocery store that Kellogg would be without water beginning at 8 p.m. because of a break in the water line.  Sure enough, this was true.  There was a break in the main water line just east of Pinehurst that cause people in Smelterville to Osburn to possibly have no water for an indefinite amount of time.  A message went out around 6:30 pm that there would be no school in Kellogg on Thursday because there would be no water.
*By bedtime, we still had running water at the house.


Gathering Graces 4/18/2017

* Time you enjoyed wasting is not wasted time---T.S. Eliot
*Felt fortunate that I called Mountain Health Care this morning, and got Mom an appointment with her Primary Care Physician tomorrow.  The down side is, the appointment is at 7:30 a.m. 
*Spent most of the day at school preparing for the NHS Induction Ceremony and Teacher Recognition Awards Assembly at KHS tomorrow.  I think I have everything ready!!
*Came home and finished getting ready for the after school Drama Program.  Today students would find out what skits they will be performing in next week’s performance.
*What a joy to be greeted by the elementary school children after school with big smiles and hugs.  It was so fun being back with these students.  I am really going to miss them in a couple of weeks.
*I stopped by Mom’s house to let her know her cardiologist is putting her on a medication to lower her heart rate.  That begins tomorrow.
*I felt like eating something comforting and bad for me, so Paul went to McDonalds and got us Big Macs, fries and hot fudge sundaes.  Yummy!!
*The last two nights I have watched early episodes of the series Star Trek: The Next Generation.  They were very poorly done in the early years, but they are a good laugh.  Paul isn’t in here when I have started the episodes, but the lure of the theme song brings him in to join me.  Once a trekkie, always a trekkie.


Gathering Graces 4/17/2017

*After a winter of walking in the morning at Kellogg High School, the weather is finally nice enough so Nikki and I walked outside and did our 40 minute loop around Kellogg.  It felt really good to walk outside again!
*When I arrived at Mom’s house, she was still in bed, so I woke her up, and got her going on her morning.  We have some concerns about Mom, so I talked to her cardiologist's nurse and got some good suggestions, and starting putting some other things in motion.  It always seems to be a balancing act, but I am very thankful that I have my two siblings, so none of us have to figure out all these things on our own.
*There were a few scholarships at KHS that no one had applied for, so I grabbed some seniors today and had them sit down  and apply.
*We continued our book discussion after school today.  One of the first stories in chapters we were reading for today’s discussion was about a man who had been abused by one of the priests that was quite prominently mentioned in the movie Spotlight that Paul and I watched on Friday.  I thought that was a interesting coincidence.  It just made it even more real the trauma those individuals experiences from the abuse they received as children.
*Mom and I cleaned out the refrigerator of all the leftovers, and enjoyed leftovers for dinner.  We had a wonderful conversation about the visit she had with two of her friends, Flo and Dorothy (Dorothy was my kindergarten teacher and Flo’s husband had been my principal at Sunnyside Elementary).  They brought lunch from Best Shots, and Mom really enjoyed their company.  Then Mom and talked about the visit I had with the nurse and some of my concerns about her health, and it was a really good talk.
*I came home finished up preparing for my last two weeks of doing the after school drama program.  This week the students will be cast into various skits that will be performed, and then we perform it next week.
*Paul’s drama kids are rehearsing the play The Miracle Worker.  In my journal today was a quote from Helen Keller that I just love....I believe that God is in me as the sun is in the color and fragrance of a flower...the Light in my darkness, and Voice in my silence.


Gathering Graces 4/16/2017

*Happy Easter to one and all.  He is Risen!!  He is Risen Indeed!!!
*Church was wonderful, and it is such  a joy to be a part of the worship team, and sing with Chris Schonewald Meyer, Amy Holland-Arnhold, Tim Arnhold and Paul the beautiful Easter music this morning.  I also got to play the flute on one of the numbers, which I also enjoy.
*I prepared dinner at home to take over to Mom’s house later.  I put the ham in, put some Yams in to bake, stuffed some celery and made some deviled eggs.  (I thought of you, Cosette, when I made the eggs.)  Paul went over to Mom’s house earlier to mow her lawn, then I arrived with the food, and opened a can of Bush’s Baked Beans to heat up,  and then Momwe had ourselves a wonderful Easter dinner. 
*It has been getting harder and harder for Mom to get up and down her front steps.  We are in the process of trying to find someone to build a ramp to Mom’s front porch.  But we did a little experiment today, and rolled Mom down her front steps and back up again in her wheelchair.  Success!!  It will work for now until a ramp gets put up.  It was a beautiful afternoon, and Paul wheeled Mom around the yard to look at the flowers that were blooming, and to let her see what things looked like after the long, hard winter.  She loves being outside in her yard.  She is hoping to have a nice day soon so she can clean out a couple of the raised beds and get them ready for planting.
Mom on Easter afternoon in her yard.


Gathering Graces 4/15/2017

Nancy Hanks, on the couch, directing and filming Kay Reed, myself and Dr. Scott Reed last night.
*After seeing Mom in the morning, I headed out to Barneys in Pinehurst to finish up the grocery shopping.  Mom wanted to have ham for Easter dinner, and Barney’s had the best price.  One of the ladies in the meat department was very helpful explaining to me the difference between a butt and and a shank ham (it has to do with the size of the bone), so that helped me choose what ham to purchase.
*While at Barneys I ran into a parent of one of the seniors, and she asked me about some FAFSA questions, told me what options her son is looking at, and we set up an appointment for her to come in and talk next week.
*I have been reading the book of Joshua in the mornings, and it talks about the land each of the twelve tribes of Israel received in the Promised Land, and what those borders were.  I was curious so I looked up some Biblical maps online so see where the borders of the tribes were in relation to modern times.  Then it took me to looked at photographs of Jerusalem and Israel, and longing for the day when I get to visit.  That is one of the top things on my traveling list, to visit Israel.
*I had time to take a relaxing bubble bath this afternoon, and it felt so nice.  The Body Shop has this product called Honeymania Bubble Bath Melt that I use when I take a bath.  It smells wonderful, and is very relaxing.
*Paul and I drove to Wallace to meet a group of photographers from the North Idaho Photography Club who were in Wallace for the day taking pictures, and the Sixth Street Melodrama and Theater was one of their stops.  They were a very nice group of people, and we enjoyed showing off the beautiful theater.  And it was nice to hear how enthusiastic they were about coming back this summer to see a show.
*Then I headed over to Nancy Hank’s house for another film shoot of Across Bank Street: The Portal to the Clockworld Part Two. It was a fun evening, and went really well.
*I was home by 10 p.m.  I watched the rest of an NCIS episode I hadn’t finished earlier in the week, then I was ready to sleep.


Gathering Graces 4/14/2017

*Each year beginning after the Maundy Thursday service, our church begins a prayer vigil where members sign up for hour long  times to pray through Easter morning.  I started off my morning praying from 5-6 a.m. as part of this vigil.  Paul had the 6-7 a.m. prayer time.  I love this tradition in our church.
*After going to Mom’s this morning, I went up to the clinic to get some blood work done for one of my medications.  I also got the information to set up my Patient Portal through the clinic, so I can view my medical information from the clinic online.
*Mom had given me a list of items she wanted at a few stores, so I stopped at Yokes first to buy some items.  I was asked by two different people why I wasn’t working, and explained to them that I don’t work on Fridays.  Four day work weeks are perfect for me.
*I needed to finish listening to The Handmaid’s Tale for book group, so I spend the morning listening to the rest of the book so I would be prepared for our discussion.
*I stuffed some celery and headed out to Kingston to attend book group at Sue Dahlberg’s house.  She made a delicious clam pasta dish.  Others brought deviled eggs, roasted asparagus, homemade rolls, green salad, and blueberry fool and coconut custard pie for dessert.  The discussion of the book was very interesting.  A couple of the women had read the book when it was first published in 1986, and they shared how different it was reading it 31 years later, with a whole lot more life experience behind them.  For many it was frightening, creepy, and a little too real.  I listened to the book, and Claire Danes did a phenomenal job of narrating the book.  Margaret Atwood is a very good writer, and she painted a futuristic world full of wonderful characters that will stick with me for a long time.
*I came home, and saw a message from a friend that one of my classmates from high school, Teresa Lytle Tester had passed away yesterday from a very long fought battle with cancer.  Last week, one of Teresa’s last wishes was to have some of her lifelong friends travel to Oregon to visit her.  So Durea Calkins Thrall, Sam Lewis Brown, Susan Hunter Stein, Melody Berreth and Kaylene Trogden all traveled to Oregon to spend one last day with her.  This trip these women took for their dear friend has really touched my heart, and makes me realize again and again how important the friends are we grew up with, and that I am so fortunate to have a close relationship with a group of women from the same graduating class of 1981, and we take the time, as these women also do, to gather together throughout the year to spend time together, and love and support one another in good times and in bad times.
*I had a couple chicken breasts thawing at home, so I threw them in the crockpot with some salsa, and other seasoning, and let them cook a couple of hours, chopped them up in the food processor, and made chicken tacos for Mom, Paul and I for dinner.  They were really good.  I love cooking with a crock pot!! 
*Bill and Christy both highly recommended watching the movie Spotlight, so Paul and I watched it tonight.  This was an incredible movie, a well done movie, a movie worthy of getting Best Picture in 2016.  Each actor was perfect for their role, and the story of this investigative journalism team going after this story in Boston about the abuse of children in the Catholic church was amazing.  I think I loved it too, because of my journalism background, and my longing for more teams of reporters like this having the ability to spend months and months investigating a story that potentially changes things worldwide.  If you haven’t watched this movie, and want to see a really well done movie, watch Spotlight.


Gathering Graces 4/13/2017

*I went over to Mom’s in the morning, and said goodbye to my brother Bill as he headed back to his home in Maryland.  It was nice to have him here for the week and a half he was able to come and stay with Mom.  People are always commenting to me about how great it is that my two siblings and myself are willing and able to help take care of Mom at this time in her life, and what a blessing that is.  I know that is not the case in all families, but we are all truly blessed.
*Then I headed to Kellogg High School to load on a bus to travel with nine students to visit Fairchild Air Force Base by Spokane, Washington.  We had a wonderful day touring the refueling airplanes, talking to the base’s fire department, and seeing how the Working Military Dogs are used in the Security Force part of the base.  I was attacked by one of the dogs. So were some of our students.  We had protective gear on, so it was all good!!  Below KHS student Shenea Bermel is getting attacked.

*Mom and I enjoyed some toasted ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner.  They were made from some ham lunch meat we had at home, and some Jarsberg cheese Molly and Travis left when they came home last weekend.  They were delicious!!
*Our Maundy Thursday service was tonight at church.  It was so beautiful.  Pastor David Langer shared thoughts from John 13 throughout the service, and we sung beautiful hymns, and our Worship Team sang a beautiful song call Midnight in the Garden.  This is one of my favorite services at our church.  It is very reflective and somber, listening to the night Jesus shared with his disciples the Last Supper, and as he washed their feet, and then he was later betrayed by one of his beloved twelve disciples. 
*I had posted a video on Facebook of my being attached by the Working Military Dog on Facebook and it was funny reading people’s reactions.


Gathering Graces 4/12/2017

*Today at KHS we notified 27 students that they would be inducted into the National Honor Society chapter next week.  This is the most that have been inducted in a year since I have been involved in NHS.  I look forward to working with these new members as they become NHS members.  The induction ceremony in Wednesday, April 19 at 10:45 in the KHS gym if you would like to come!
*I sent Mrs. Maciosek some souvenirs from our college trips last week, a letter written by Flat Stanley about his adventures, and a link to the You Tube slide show I created from the photos.  Here is a link to the video if you want to watch Flat Stanley Visits College---Gear Up Spring Break Trip 2017 Kellogg High School.
*The water was off on Cameron Avenue yesterday afternoon, so when I arrived for dinner, it was put on hold until Bill could have some water to wash potatoes for the potato soup he was fixing.  The water came on about 5:15 p.m., and dinner preparations commenced.  The soup was very delicious.  Christy joined us, and Paul was done with Driver’s Ed earlier than expected, so he joined us, too.
*This is Holy Week in the Christian church, and our church has a Maundy Thursday service this week, so our worship team met tonight to practice music for that service, and for Easter morning. In case you are curious, Maundy is derived from the Latin word for “command”, and refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have love you.”  Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, which Christians consider the institution of Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s supper or communion.


Gathering Graces 4/11/2017

*With Bill here today, I let him do morning duty on Mom’s house so I could get to school early and be ready to proctor the SAT test to a classroom of junior students.  Our state pays for each junior to take the SAT, and April 11 is the day. Things didn’t go quite as planned.  Sometimes when Paul is the last person to drive the car at night, he puts the car keys in his coat pocket.  Then he wears his coat to work.  And when I go to get the keys, they are gone, in his coat pocket, on their way to KHS.  So I call him, and he figures a way to get them to me.  Yes, it would be nice if we got another set of car keys, but we probably won’t.
*So from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. I was in a classroom proctoring juniors taking the SAT test.  It is a rather grueling process to take these tests, but the students hung in there, and made it through the long morning.
*Some of today was spent going through the results of who will be chosen for membership for National Honor Society.  Four KHS faculty went through the applications, and we will tell the students tomorrow if they were chosen or not.
*It can be very exhausting proctoring a test.  I was beat by the end of the day.
*I came home and took a short rest, then went over to Mom’s for dinner.  Bill prepared a delicious pork meal, and Christy and Everett joined us, too. 
*Then back up to KHS for our Sixth Street Melodrama and Theater board meeting.  What a wonderful group of people we work with on the board.  We are getting new people to be on the board, and they are full of great suggestions.  I really like this group of people who help run our community theater.
*After the meeting, Paul and I came home and relaxed for a little bit before we headed to bed. 
*This is another quote from my journal: The wonder of living is held within the beauty of silence, the glory of sunlight, the sweet morning air, and the love that lies at the very root of all things.