Gathering Graces 4/29/2017

*One of the nicest graces I experienced today was being home for all but an hour this morning as I went over to be with Mom and get her breakfast, etc. 
*Time at home was spent working on publicity for the Sixth Street Melodrama’s upcoming season, and a few other things I needed to do.
*I had a nice surprise in my living room this afternoon to see the Easter Lily my secret pal at work gave me was now in full bloom and looking beautiful.
*While at Mom’s I went outside and picked some rhubarb to make a cake as part of the Family Dinner that I was hosting.  Paul grilled some steaks and shrimp, we had a salad and rice and the Rhubarb cake.  So delicious!!  It was nice to have everyone gather around the table once again.  It had been a few weeks that we had done that, so it was nice to all be together. 
*After the family left, I finished up my theater work, and headed off to bed.  A nice, relaxing day at home.  I couldn’t have asked for a better day.


Gathering Graces 4/28/2017

*Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon is a parlour game based on the “six degrees of separation” concept, which says that any two people on Earth are six or fewer acquaintance links apart.  It rests on the assumption that anyone involved in the Hollywood film industry can be linked through their film roles to Bacon within six steps.  Today when I was at the University of Idaho, I think the same can be said about connections at the University of Idaho.
*The KHS Science teacher Nicole Young and I took 18 students to U of I today to attend the University of Idaho Engineering Expo, and visit other departments on campus.  It was a fun day of seeing excitement and enthusiasm in the eyes of the students we took, as they were told about different engineering subjects.  It was also a day of connections.
*The day started off with the group getting their photo taken with Joe Vandal.  As we were standing waiting for our orientation before we headed out, one of the ladies who worked at the main desk that handed the bags out to the students made a point of coming over to me and complimenting me on our students, saying they were one of the last groups to pick up their bags, and they were the only group all day that every single one of the students said thank you.  And their behavior, enthusiasm, and attitudes continued to be positive all day long.  It was great to receive a message from a parent of one of the students who was on the trip later in the evening.  She thanked me for taking her student on the trip, and also said, “I haven't seen her this excited in a long time talking about her day. She hasn't stopped talking yet. Thanks again.”  It is moments like these that make it all worth it. 
*One of our Vandal students host, Diamond, is in the same major as Cosette, and had just finished working on a project with her in one of their Broadcasting classes.  She escorted us to the IRIC, the newest building on campus. It just opened in January.  IRIC stands for Integrated Research and Innovation Center.  It is a building where people during research can come and work on their projects.  It was fascinating learning about the different projects currently housed in this facility.

One of the IRIC projects
*As we were walking back to the Bruce Pittman Center to go see the Engineering Expo exhibits, I walked by the son of one of my friends from college.  As I walked into the exhibit, one of the first people I saw was my dear college friend Dedra Swanstrom, the mother of that guy on the sidewalk.  We hugged and had a short visit.  Dedra was my roommate during Rush at the U of I, and we both ended up pledging Delta Delta Delta.
*I went to sit out in the lobby area outside the exhibit to organize some items in my bag.  A woman sitting across from me saw from my nametag I was from Kellogg.  We struck up a conversation, and she was the sister of a woman named Linda Fischer who was a pharmacist at Gary’s Drug here in Kellogg.  As we continued talking we had a lot of connections.  1. We were both at U of I at the same time, and were both in the UI Marching Band at the same time. 2. She knew my Tridelt sister Michele Alzola, because they were both part of the Boise Basque community.  3.  She also knew Paul’s cousins the Murelagas, who were also part of the Boise Basque community.  4.  Her sister Linda worked for and was mentored by Gary Damiano, who is the father of my sister-in-law Michele Damiano.  And we made all these connections in a very short period of time.  We probably could have made more, but it was time to leave.  Such a fun conversation.
*It was exciting to see two of Zoe Roberts’ best friends having presentations at the Expo.  They both were also in my first GEAR UP graduation  class at KHS in 2012.  Christina Gibbs will graduate as a Biological Engineer in a couple of weeks.  Her project was Neuro Touch, a device that offers a clean, safe and sanitary way to test the effects of different health ailments such as cancer, tumors and other neurological diseases.  Sheila Briggs will graduate in Chemical Engineering in a couple of weeks as well.  Her project was extracting the copper sulfate used in hoof baths for cows and reuse it again.  Both were fascinating to hear about, and I am so proud of both of these women, and I know they are going to go out and do great things in the world!!

Soon to be Biological Engineer Christina Gibbs

Soon to be Chemical Engineer Sheila Briggs, far left.
*I met up with daughter Cosette and she joined us all for lunch at Bob’s, the U of I dining facility.  It was fun to see her and visit a bit with her.  It is hard to believe she is almost done with her junior year of college.  I also saw fellow GEAR UP coordinator Stefani Limandri Hoffman at Bobs eating lunch with some of her students.
*In the afternoon we got to tour the Kibbie Dome and learn about laser cutting, 3-D printing and Rotation.  I saw parts of the Kibbie Dome I have never seen, and will probably never see again, such as the Press Box and the Litehouse Center. I also saw the current turf at the Kibbie Dome for the last time.  It has been auctioned off, and will be replaced over the summer.  I was visiting with another of our Vandal student hosts, and he told me he was from the Sun Valley area.  I asked if he knew either of my friend Jennifer Kroos Haemmerle’s sons (Jenn was also a Tridelt pledge sister, who currently lives in Hailey, right by Sun Valley) and he did know one of her sons.  Small, small world!!

The Litehouse Center in the Kibbie Dome.

Last view of current turf at the Kibbie Dome.  New turf will be added this summer.
*I told the kids on the bus that I was excited to get home because Mr. Roberts and I were going out on a date.  We had hoped to eat at one restaurant, but it was closed until May 11, so we went to Sams instead.  There I saw the mother of another of Zoe’s friends from high school, Courtney Lott.  Courtney recently moved to Germany to join her husband who is in the Air Force.  I asked her mom Lisa if she was going through withdrawals, and she said it was tough, and that Courtney’s dogs miss her a lot. 
*The full and eventful day ended with Paul and I enjoying the movie La La Land.


Gathering Graces 4/27/2017

*What a beautiful morning to take a walk.  Even though there was fresh snow on the top of the mountains, the blue sky was peaking through!!
*It was Bring You Kid To Work Day and Kellogg High School had many kids hanging out with their parents today.  I had a craft station set up in my office where the kids could come and decorate white painter hats with fabric markers. 
*Also did some prep for the field trip to U of I tomorrow to take 19 students to the Engineering Expo on campus.  It is always a good day.
*Then I drove to Pinehurst Elementary to find the school buzzing with the students who were getting ready for the Drama presentation.  It went off great.  The students were awesome, and everyone did a great job, and had a good time. Those kids were an absolute JOY to work with, and I am going to miss them. I was also impressed with the turnout for the little presentation.  One of our seniors, Jocelyn Hosley, also had the students do some songs on bells and drums.  She had been working with students on some music projects throughout the year as part of her Senior Project at KHS. 
*Chicken potato chip casserole, baked yam and salad was on the menu for tonight.  Delicious!!


Gathering Graces 4/26/2017

*The night was filled with fitful sleeping, weird dreams, headache and stiff muscles.  So I was very tired when the alarm went off.  Text sent to Nikki....sorry, no walking today...TOO TIRED!!
*Another day of getting data entered, forms filled out and catching up.  It is good to have days like this, because I was a bit behind.
*Some of the KHS leadership students fixed a potato bar for the staff today, so we gathered after school for some goodies. 
*During our meeting our principal shared some awesome news with us about Kellogg High School being designated a bronze school by U.S. News and World Report.  You can read the article here.  Shout out also to the school my sister-in-law Laurie Roberts teaches at, Timberline High School, for getting top honors in the state. and being ranked the #1 high school in Idaho.
*We made it through all the skits at the dress rehearsal for the program tomorrow.  And now....on with the show!!
*People on Facebook today were making lists of concerts they had seen, and then you put one on the list that you did not see.  Then people try and guess which concert you did not see.  My Facebook thread on this topic was very funny, with my daughter at Molly at one point thinking I had been married before...LOL!!! 
*The evening was spent relaxing and watching old NCIS episodes with my honey.


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.