Gathering Graces 5/30/2017

*Today I finally had a day to go through my office, and get rid of some clutter at school. That was a good feeling.
*We had a Care Team meeting for Mom today at Kindred.  We had questions about various parts of Mom’s care and many of them were answered.
*I was finally able to plant flowers in pots this evening with the help of my wonderful husband.  It feels good to have that project done, and the backyard brightened by many spots of color. 
*It was nice enjoying dinner on the patio, and watching the swallows fly in and out of the birdhouse.
*I met with the new National Honor Society officers to plan for next year.  We decided we would start the fall off with a raffle ticket fund-raiser.


Gathering Graces 5/29/2017

*I woke up early and was on the road a little after 7 a.m. MST.  I went to Zoe’s house and picked up Cosette, then to Kevin and Linda’s house to pick up Molly.  And off we went, headed for home.
*We stopped for coffee and a breakfast sandwich in Council, and Cosette took over driving.  I was getting a little tired.  This allowed me to nap a bit in the backseat, which was nice.  The coffee was delicious, and it was nice to take a break.
*When we arrived in Moscow, Molly got dropped off at her apartment, and then Cosette at her apartment.  What a wonderful weekend with my girls!
*Since I was able to nap in the car, my drive from Moscow to Kellogg went great.  I stopped and got gas and some lunch on the way home, and arrived back in Kellogg around 3:30 p.m. PST. 
*Travis had come to stay here for the weekend with their cat Clark so he could do some work in Mom’s yard.  Travis and Clark were ready to get back to Moscow after I arrived.
*Being in a car for 9 1/2 hours can be tiring.  So another nap was in order after I got home.
*Paul and I went to visit Mom this evening.  She was doing pretty good, and we had a nice visit.
*After we left Mom, we went to her house so I could see all the work Travis did on Mom’s yard (with a little help from Paul), and it looked great.  Christy came over so we visited for a while, too, about the last few days.  Then we went home and settled in for the night.  I had a wonderful weekend, but is is good to be home.


Gathering Graces 5/28/2017

*It was so  great attending Legacy Church this morning.  When we lived in Meridian, this is the church we attended, and it was nice visiting with people I hadn’t seen in a while.  Pastor Ralph Lowe gave a wonderful sermon on the importance of prayer in our life, and how we need it daily to keep our “engine filled up”.
*Zoe and I went to Mongolian BBQ for lunch, and it was nice spending some time visiting with her about her plans for the future.
*After lunch I stopped at Dutch Bros and ordered an iced Cocomo.  Boy did it hit the spot!!
*After taking a short nap at Laurie’s house, I headed over to meet a special little girl, Margot Siddoway.  Margot is my walking partner Nikki Ross’s newest little granddaughter to join her sister Vivian, and parents Jeff and Kori Siddoway, who live in Meridian.  It was such a joy to see this family, and my friend Nikki was born to be a grandma!!
*Then I headed to Nampa to attend my niece Taylor’s bridal shower.  It was a beautiful evening and it was so fun to see my three girls and their two cousins together.  These girls are all very close in age, 21,23,23,24 and 26.  I was glad they could all spend some time together this weekend.
*Then I headed to Laurie’s and we had a wonderful visit into the wee hours of the morning.


Gathering Graces 5/27/2017

*What a wonderful day of connecting with family and friends while here in Meridian.  As I drove through different parts of Meridian today, I was reminded of some of the places I used to frequent while we lived here 17 years ago.  There are some things that remain the same, and others have changed much over the years.  Somehow, I find comfort in the fact that some things have remained the same.

Me and April at breakfast
*My morning started out with breakfast at Steve’s Cafe with my wonderful friend April Kiebert.  We talked about her new job, how wonderful her kids are doing, my life, and how much we appreciate each other’s friendship.  The awesome thing is I will be back in two weeks, and we will get to spend more time together, too.
*Lunchtime was spent at Kahootz Pub and Eatery with my wonderful friends Anita Jo Jahner and Laurie Roberts.  The food was delicious, and the company was even better!!
Anita, Laurie and I

Having coffee with Ryan Griffin
*I spent the afternoon taking a nap.  It felt so good.  Then I met Molly, Zoe and Cosette and Ryan Griffin at The Village in Meridian for coffee.  Ryan graduated from the College of Idaho last weekend, so it was nice to congratulate him in person, and get caught up.  I am very proud of all of Ryan’s hard work!
*Later we were joined by Kevin and Linda, Taylor and Karlie and Laurie.  We went to The Matador for some snacks.  Such an amazing day catching up with my wonderful family and friends.  And I especially love hanging out with my three girls.


Gathering Graces 5/26/2017

*This morning was the Senior Scholarship Awards Ceremony at Kellogg High School.  It has been fun and rewarding working with these seniors, and helping them make their college education more affordable.  Of the 75 or so graduating seniors, about 50 of those earned over $500,000 collectively to help pay their way to college.
KHS Senior Scholarship and Award winners, 2017
*I stopped by Kindred to visit Mom before I left town for the weekend.  She was in the rehab room doing some of her Occupational Therapy.  We had a good visit.
*I had a beautiful drive to Moscow this afternoon.  I love the rolling hills of the Palouse.
*I stopped by Cosette’s apartment to pick her up, then we went to Molly’s apartment to pick her up.  Cosette got behind the wheel, and I went to the backseat.  I can’t believe I didn’t sleep at all on this trip.  It was a great trip filled with lots of talking, eating junk food, and listening to Cosette’s playlist.  We are traveling to Meridian/Nampa for my niece Taylor’s bridal shower on Sunday.
*I dropped off Coco at Zoe’s house, then dropped off Molly at her Aunt and Uncle’s house.  It had been a long day, and we were a little giggly when we arrived at Zoe’s house.  She was a bit tired, so she didn’t appreciate our humor at such a late hour.
*Then I made my way to my sister-in-law Laurie’s house by about 12:30 am, MST, and soon was in bed.


Gathering Graces 5/25/2017

*Today was spent working with Juniors in the classroom giving them information about their upcoming Senior Projects and building a resume.
*I am so thankful we had all KHS seniors apply to college last fall.  It has made it so easy as students toward the end of the year decide to attend college, because all they need to do is call the college, get their username and password, and when they enter their web account, all the information they need is there.  It has made things so much easier this year.
*Much of the day was spent preparing for Friday’s Scholarship Award’s Assembly which is at 10 a.m. Friday morning.  I can’t wait to present awards to students, and see them get their various scholarships.
*My cousin Lura Baugh Mullikin, and her husband Lyle have come for a visit from Orofino for a few days to spend some time with Mom.  Since I am leaving for the weekend, Christy graciously hosted a dinner at her house tonight so Paul and I could visit with them.  We had a delicious chicken dinner outside in Christy and Everett’s backyard, and it was nice to visit.
*A request was sent out about a month or so ago by the KHS band director Mr. Hix to any faculty members who would like to participate in a faculty number with the KHS band at the spring concert.  Paul and I answered the call, and had a fun time doing a silly song with the band playing different percussion instruments.  I enjoyed visiting with one of my former GEAR UP students who was attending the concert with her grandparents, and she said she hadn’t seen her grandparents smile and laugh that much in a long time.  And that sums up why Paul and I do the crazy performances we do at times....because sometimes people need a break from their day, and a reason to laugh and smile. And if we can help bring that smile to someone’s face, that makes it all worthwhile.


Gathering Graces 5/24/2017

*Because I will work Friday morning, I stayed home from work this morning.  It was nice to have a leisurely morning to work on some things, and think about some things.
*Brother Bill send a letter to Christy and I to “put some things on the table” about some of his plans.  I was glad I had the time this morning to read through the letter, think about his questions, and have the time to respond.
*I arrived at work just as lunchtime was ending.  I spent some time prepping for my time with the juniors in class on Thursday.
*After school, Paul and I went and visited Mom and she was in story telling mode, and we heard a few stories, one in particular that had to do with getting sunburned on one arm, selling tickets, and Mom winning ringing a live chicken, and Dad ringing its neck.  It actually was a pretty funny story.
*If you haven’t seen my hair, it is short and spiky, and is brown with blonde and red highlights.  I always get a kick out the comments I hear from the older Kindred residents about my hair.  It always brings a smile to my face.
*Since it was a cooler and windier day, Paul made a fire in the fireplace.  That made the house nice and warm and cozy.
*In the evenings Paul likes to bring out his guitar and practice.  He is teaching himself a new strumming pattern.  Last night we had a great conversation about music, and playing guitar, and bluegrass music, and guitar picks and a lot of other topics, and the fire crackled in the background and helped keep us warm.
*In anticipation of my trip to Italy, I went and grabbed my Barbie (who will be going with me of course), and decided I would do a daily photo shoot of Barbie helping me get ready for the trip.  You can see the photos on Facebook or Instagram, with the hashtag #BarbiescountdowntoItaly.


Gathering Graces 5/23/2017

*I had some socks and her new shampooed wig to deliver to Mom this morning, so I stopped off and got them to her before I headed to work.  I also took some time to weigh her, take her blood pressure and heart rate, and check her oxygen level.  They do this all as part of her care at Kindred, but we also like to keep our own records as well.
*My Gear Up students do various tests on Jackass Creek that runs alongside and through Kellogg High School as part of their service learning project each year.  It was an absolutely perfect day to be outside doing this project.  Some classes did Biological Assessments such as identifying macro-vertebrates, looking at the micro-habitats, and observing the stream habitat type, the plant cover and algae cover of the stream.  Other students did Physical/Chemical analysis, which included measuring stream depth, stream flow, stream velocity, pH, chloride and oxygen levels of the stream, and observing the color and odor of the stream.
Testing the water next to KHS

*Most of the day at work was spent on preparing for our upcoming Scholarship Awards Assembly.  It is so exciting being a part of helping students obtain funding to attend college and receive a post-secondary education.
*I met with a few parents tonight whose students are attending the Gear Up Youth Summit this summer to go over information with them.  I am unable to attend this year.  Ss the six students attending, plus my daughter Cosette, who will be their chaperone, load a bus to go to Pocatello to spend a week at Idaho State University, I will be driving to the Spokane airport to start my journey to Italy.
*After being at KHS all day, I finally arrived home around 6:30 p.m., and Paul had made dinner, some spaghetti with white sauce and smoked oysters, some red sauce, Kale salad and bread.  It was delicious. 
*I needed some dirt therapy tonight, so I decided it was time to plant my tomato plants.  I had looked up online if there were any secrets to planting tomato plants, and there was so I thought, let’s put some extra items in the planting hole and see if they work.  When I filled the containers with soil, I layered the potting soil with compost.  Then I dug the hole, and put baking soda, Epsom Salt and Bone Meal in the hole.  Then once the tomato was planted, I added some slow releasing fertilizer and mixed in it as well.  Since it isn’t quite warm enough during the evening, I decided to bring out my water wells to cover the plants, creating a mini greenhouse of protection around them until the nights warm up a little bit more. I hope this yields some delicious tomatoes this summer.


Gathering Graces 5/22/2017

Alhambra Slide on Google Earth
*I mentioned something about not planting things until the snow is off the Alhambra Slide, and it started quite a conversation of comments about the slide, and how many people had heard that saying, and how my friend April didn’t even know what we were talking about.  Kellee said her dad had just mentioned the same thing last weekend, and she thought the slide looked like a woman.  I have never seen it that way.  Cedris and Jamee both said going by the sayings of our elders is a good idea.  It was a fun exchange.
*I needed to order some shoes for my upcoming trip.  I found my favorite Sketchers at Costco.com and ordered two pair.  Then I found the sandals I wanted, and they were also Sketchers.  I hope they all provide my feet much comfort this summer.
*I went over a little before Mom’s dinnertime and visited with her for a couple of hours.  It was a hard visit, but a good visit.  The good thing is Mom is getting better, so is thinking more about things, and thinking more clearly about them.  So she had a lot of questions about a lot of things.  Some of the questions were hard to answer, some questions I didn’t know the answer to.  But we both concluded that we need to keep talking and asking questions as our family continues to figure out all of this out together.


Gathering Graces 5/21/2017

*I went over and got Mom going on her day.
*Church was wonderful, and it was great leading the congregation in worship this morning.  Pastor Dave shared a wonderful sermon, asking the questions, “Does God want us Successful or Fruitful?”  Why wouldn’t we want to be fruitful, and have  the Holy Spirit change our lives by having us be a people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  Imagine a world where everyone lived a fruitful life?  Things would be so different.
*After church I went to Mom’s house and made hummingbird feed to fill her a couple of her feeders to put in her backyard.  While there Christy stopped by to visit before her and Everett headed out of town for a couple of days.  I am so glad they get to get away together and spend some much needed rest and relaxation.
*Paul and I went to the hospital to visit Jim Vergobbi.  He was recovering from surgery on his hip.  He looked good, and was ready to be home.  I think he goes home tomorrow.
*Because the weather was so nice, and I wouldn’t have time next weekend to do work in the yard, Paul and I drove to our local Ace Hardware and I purchased tomato plants, herbs, flowers and seed potatoes.  I got back home, I threw caution to the wind, and finished planting my seeds, which included cucumbers, parsnips, zucchini, yellow squash, red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes.  Tomorrow I will put the tomatoes into pots and put water wells around them to keep them warm.  I hope to get all the flowers into pots as well this week.  In Kellogg, the saying is, “don’t plant until the snow is off the Alhambra slide”.  Well, the snow is getting close to being gone, and I looked at the 15 day forecast, and no frost in store.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
*It was off to the theater once again in Christy and Everett’s pick up so we could bring some larger items home, and do a few other things at the theater.
*When we returned to Mom’s house, I filled the hummingbird feeders and put them up in her  yard. 
*Then Paul and I went to have a visit with Mom before she went to bed.  I had picked some flowers in her yard to bring over to her, and she loved the bouquet. 


Gathering Graces 5/20/2017

*This morning Paul and I joined a group of theater volunteers to help clean the Sixth Street Theater and get it ready for our opening in June.  Thanks Keith Mckay, Cynthia Bentley, Dacey Hayman and Tammy Copeland for all your help!!

Planted seeds in the raised beds today

*It was rainy in the morning, but by afternoon the sun came out, and I was able to plant some of my vegetable seeds in my raised beds, including lettuce, carrots, beets, string beans, peas, cabbage and radishes. 
*I had a wonderful visit with Mom around her dinnertime.  I was with her about two hours, and she visited the entire time, and didn’t seem worn out or tired at all, which is really good.  It was very enjoyable.
*When I left to see Mom, I noticed the trees in our side yard are in bloom.  These don’t last

Blooming trees in our side yard.

long, so when they do bloom, I always try and capture a photo.
*I stopped at the store on the way home to pick up hamburger buns, and came home to delicious hamburgers Paul had grilled.  It was still nice outside, so we enjoyed a lovely dinner on the patio.  I love spending time in our backyard.  One of my favorite parts of summer!!


Gathering Graces 5/19/2017

*What a delightful day full of sunshine, good friends and good food.
*I went over to see Mom this morning, and I wheeled her outside in Kindred’s back area where flowers are blooming and the sun was shining.  We sat outside for a while and visited, and I texted Bill letting him know Mom was available to talk, and he called right back and talked to Mom for a while.  Mom was doing good today both times I visited her, and was feeling good, too.
*Today my book group gathering at French Gulch Farms for lunch and the discussion of the book The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.  What an incredible book.  I loved learning about the culture of the Akha people, one of China’s ethnic minorities, and also the tea industry.  The type of tea they have in this Akha region, which is in the Yunnan province, is called Pu’er.  Not only did we discuss the book and have a delicious lunch, but Sue brought a book that showed more about the Akha people and culture, because she lived in Burma as a child, and was familiar with the Akha people.  She also brought a beautiful tunic and necklace made by the Akha.  Vicki brought us each some Pu’er tea to drink with our dessert, and a packet to take home and make ourselves.  I brought home some Chen Xiang tea to try.
*Some of my high school friends gathered uptown at Radio Brewing for dinner.  We had a wonderful evening talking about our aging parents, and how everyone needs to bring out their reading glasses to read anything, our children, my upcoming trip to Italy, and many of the changes our lives are bringing.  Tina also had her niece Payton there who is flying to Scotland for the summer for an internship.  She just graduated from the U of I in Environmental Science, and it was wonderful to hear about her adventures for the summer.  It was a great evening.
*When I returned home, Paul and I watched the movie Hidden Figures.  What a good movie.  But I was so angry at the way those women were treated who worked at NASA.  But things did change for the better by them being there.  I highly recommend watching this movie.


Gathering Graces 5/18/2017

*I put the wrong room number on my coffee order at KHS this morning, and it never arrived.  I went in to the classroom that makes the coffee and told them I never got it.  So one of my favorite seniors, Brandon “Bran Muffin” Church made me another cup of delicious coffee.  Then I went back to my office, and saw my original cup of coffee on a co-workers desk.  They must have delivered it there when they couldn’t fine me.  Oh well...it all worked it because Paul ended up with the other cup of coffee!
*Today was spent with the junior class throughout the day, talking about what they should plan ahead for next year as seniors.  I think some of them weren’t quite ready to hear and start talking about some of this information. 
*The evening ended up being pleasant, so Paul and I were able to get outside and prepare the raised beds for planting by turning over the soil in each bed.  Paul also got the compost out of the composter so we can add it to the soil in our “rubber tire” beds, and the buckets I grow the tomatoes in.  We also sat outside for a while, and enjoyed the beautiful evening.  You forget how enjoyable those times are when you haven’t been able to be outside much because of the weather.
*Paul and I went to visit Mom around her dinner time.  She still has a cough, which concerns me a bit.  Mom shared about her day in Coeur d’Alene. She went to an appointment, then Christy, Everett and Mom went to Applebees for lunch, which Mom enjoyed.  Christy said it is apparent that Mom is getting stronger, because it is much easier for her to get in and out of Christy’s car, so that was encouraging. 


Gathering Graces 5/17/2017

*I am so thankful for the messages I receive from people regarding Mom and myself and my siblings.  It means so much to know people are praying for you, and thinking about you, and it does provide much strength and encouragement.
*Sadie went to visit Mom this afternoon, and now Mom has treats in her room to give her.  Sadie still gets pretty excited being at Kindred, so it took her awhile to settle down and eat her treat.  We visited about her doctor’s appointment with her cardiologist, which really didn’t bring up anything new.  I was nice to know that having Mom transported to her appointment in the Kindred van made it much easier for Mom and Christy to get to her appointment.
*The rain let up a bit this afternoon, and it was nice to be outside, and have it be a little dryer.
*I picked up Christy and Betty and we headed up the river to Sally Nordstrom’s house for our P.E.O. meeting.  It is always a beautiful drive going to Sally’s house.  It was wonderful seeing Bea Radford at the meeting, and visiting with her, and eating her delicious treats she made for the meeting.  We also go to here Sherri Rewoldt talk about dog agility, and watched a short video of one of her dogs in competition.  It also warmed my heart when different members shared about what brought them happiness, and Christy shared how our times visiting after we have been with Mom in the sitting area at Kindred really bring her happiness.  This brings me happiness, too.  It is so nice to have one another on this journey with Mom.
*I love this quote from my journal. Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder.  Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe.  Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number.  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel


Gathering Graces 5/16/2017

*I woke up with a winter weather advisory on my phone.  I wondered if my weather app had some malfunction.  Quite a rainy day today, but, on the positive side, our yard looks green, lush and beautiful.
*Today was my last day in the classroom with seniors.  Another chance to make sure they are signed up for their college classes, or have their financial aid taken care of, or the myriad of others things they need to do to get ready for college and life beyond high school.
*This morning I attended a “Care Meeting” for Mom at Kindred.  Mom, Christy and I were there with the heads of the different departments so they could explain Mom’s care and the goals of departments.  It was a really good meeting.  Mom will be staying at Kindred for the time being, as that is what had been determined is best by medical professionals, Mom and our family.
*I am realizing that with Mom’s health, she doesn’t need 24 hour supervision.  She needs 24 hour medical care.  And that is what she is now receiving.
*I was talking to a co-worker about why it is, when we need to be at our best for a loved one, our health and well being are put on the back burner?  I feel like in the last few weeks I have not walked consistently, I have eaten crappy food, and have not taken time to take care of myself.  I think this is pretty typical.  I hope to change that soon.  I think as I adapt to the new routine of Mom being at Kindred, things will improve.


Gathering Graces 5/15/2017

*Christy took Mom to see her primary care giver, Dr. McDonald today.  The doctor explained to Mom that living at Kindred will give her better care than she would receive living at home.  As she was sharing with me about her appointment, she asked me what I thought about her living where she is, and not at home.  My concern is her fluctuating vitals, and how they change from day to day.  When she is at Kindred, there is trained medical staff to respond to her needs.  It wouldn’t be like that at home.  I pray my heart, and the hearts of my siblings are filled with wisdom and love and we move forward in deciding what is best for Mom.
*Paul said he would make dinner tonight, and I said I wanted a big, healthy salad.  Boy, did her deliver.  He made a delicious green salad with chicken and many other goodies in it.  Yum! Yum!
*After dinner it was off to the dentist to have my temporary crown replaced with the permanent one.  My mouth was very achy when I left, but by bedtime it was much better.
*I went to see Mom after my dentist appointment.  We had a nice visit, and she told me about her day.  Christy came toward the end of my visit.  We both left and took some time to talk about Mom’s visit in the lobby of  Kindred, and Christy told me more about today’s doctor’s visit.  Tomorrow we have a meeting at Kindred about Mom’s care she is receiving.
*I spent some time tonight planning out my vegetable garden.  I hope to get some of the seeds planted this weekend.