Gathering Graces 4/21/2018

*It was a bright and early morning for Christy and myself as we climbed in my car and drove to Moscow for a wonderful Mom’s Weekend Saturday with Molly and Cosette.  We stopped for coffee at Brewed Awakening in Pinehurst, then off to Moscow.
*We arrived at our first destination and met Molly and Cosette at Wild at Art to begin our first of many events for the day.  This event was titled Mimosas and Masterpieces.  We were provided an idea, a canvas, paint and brushes to create our own masterpieces.  As you can see in the photo above, we all had our own unique way of expressing our creativity. 
*Our next stop was Greenhouse 201, put on by the Plant and Science Club at the University of Idaho.  We learned about transplanting trees and bedding plants, and then were given a pot and soil, and the choice of three plants to create our own hanging baskets.  Here is what each of us created.

So fun creating these beautiful baskets.
*After leaving the greenhouse with our lovely baskets, (and we each received a free Cosmo plant as well), we visited the U of I Bookstore.  I got a great deal on a U of I Sweatshirt, and found my son-in-law Travis, who also attend U of I, a U of I t-shirt, because last Christmas when we were getting our Christmas card photos taken, he did not own a U of I t-shirt.  So now he has at least one.....and it is a Star Wars themed shirt so how can you go wrong with that?  We also ran into our friends John and Teresa Hill Baillie, who were in Moscow to Mwatch their granddaughter’s soccer match. 
*After leaving the bookstore, Molly gave us a tour of West Park Elementary, the school where she works as a para-educator.  What a wonderful school.  It was so inviting walking into the building, and I loved seeing the place where she works.

Molly's desk at West Park Elementary...and some flowers she received.

*We had reservations at 4 p.m. at Nectar, so we drove to downtown Moscow and met our friend and former neighbor Jill Rinaldi for dinner.  The food was delicious, and we had a wonderful time catching up with Jill and enjoying a wonderful end to our day.  I had Manilla Clams for dinner.  They were YUMMY!!  We also ran into one of Cosette’s friends Elna Albano, who works at the restaurant.  It was fun to visit with her for a few minutes and find out what her plans were after she graduates in a couple weeks.

Manilla Clams

Gathering Graces 4/22/2018

*This beautiful day began with church this morning. 
*When I arrived home, I made lunch, and watched some TV.
*Payday was Friday, so that means it is time to pay bills.  I spent some time getting my new roll top desk organized so next month when I pay bills, everything will be in one place.  It felt good to get that task taken care of today.
*The curtains in our bedroom had a rather unsightly amount of dust on the top of them, so I thought today would be a good day to take them down and wash them.  Plus, it let a lot of light into the bedroom while I was in there working.  I realized I would probably need to get some sort of desk lamp to put on the roll top desk so I can see better while working at it.
*In the meantime, Paul was doing some cutting away at a wall in our kitchen, preparing for the new refrigerator/freezer to make its appearance once again on Monday morning, and hoping that now it will fit.  He is going to be at the house in the morning to make sure that happens.
*Zoe called and we had a nice visit about her plans for the summer, and what she is going to do.  We are happy that a couple of her weeks this summer include a visit to Kellogg.
*When Paul headed over to The Bean to have some coffee and meet with some friends to discuss a book (yes, men form book clubs, too), I cried my way through more episodes of Call the Midwife.  When he got home, we barbecued a London Broil on the grill, and enjoyed a delicious meal.  I hadn’t picked up my knitting it a while, so I did some knitting on the shawl I am working on.  That felt good.  Then I got the curtains hung back up and got ready for bed.


Gathering Graces 4/20/2018

*It was a beautiful morning as Nikki and I headed out for our walk this morning.  We also enjoyed a surprise treat.  As we walked through the Stein’s Grocery Store parking lot, Art Hinton was coming out, and he joined us until we got to the Conoco Super Stop by Yoke’s.  He is one of the happiest and most positive people I know.  He told us he would be participating in the Spring Dash race in Coeur  d’Alene tomorrow, and is looking forward to the Bloomsday race in Spokane in May.  He has participated in almost every Bloomsday since it  began back in 1977, except maybe one when he had some health issues and was unable to participate.  Thank you Art, for starting our day off with a smile.
*The refrigerator saga continues.  Paul has and will continue to do some adjustments to the space in our kitchen where the refrigerator should be.  We thought about maybe getting a smaller fridge.  But after Paul and Sherri at Watt’s Electric talked it over, they decided the best route would be trying the same one again, and try and get it to fit.  So Monday morning we will see.
*My sister-in-law Debbie came over so we could get caught up.  She has been gone the past month visiting her some of her children and grandchildren back in Maryland and New York.  We had a great visit, and it was good to see her again.
*Around noon I put a plate together of Pecorino Romano Cheese, dill pickles, Kalamata Olives and Green Olives, and headed out to the end of French Gulch to the gathering of our book group.  This month we were hosted by the owner of French Gulch Farm and Garden.  They have recently constructed a new building on the grounds, a “barn” to host events indoors.  It was wonderful!!  We had a delicious lunch, and none of us liked the book we chose to read this month, A Visit From the Goon Squad.  For me, the characters lives and the choices they made in their lives were all too depressing.
*I returned home and enjoyed being outside for a little bit.  I was easily sucked back into the East End of London as I continued watching Call The Midwife


Gathering Graces 4/19/2018

*Kind of a catch up day at school today.  It is always nice having those days.  I also met with some parents and students regarding financial aid, and explaining what kind of student loans are good, and not so good.
*After school I spent some time glazing my recently fired ceramic pieces.  It was fun starting to figure out what colors I wanted to use on each of the pieces.  I didn’t get done, so will get back to glazing more soon.
*I loved having the sun out again today.  It felt wonderful.  I actually was able to open our sliding glass door to let some fresh air in the house this afternoon. 
*Zoe called and we had a wonderful conversation about an appointment she had at Boise State University.  Zoe is looking into starting a Master’s program next year so she can get her teaching certificate.  I am so excited for her and her passion for helping the students she currently works with as a para-professional at Meridian Middle School. 
*Spring has definitely arrived at our house here in Kellogg.  I love exploring in the backyard and seeing what is coming up.  Some of the daffodils are getting ready to bloom.  Crocuses have come and gone.  Daylily plants are coming up.  The roses I planted last fall are showing new growth.  The willow bushes have buds.  I can’t wait until my forsythia blooms.  I love the cheery yellow flowers on that bush.  The birds have also arrived, and I love to hear their chirping and cooing and chatter as they fly around the backyard.


Gathering Graces 4/18/2018

*Today I spent most of the day talking to Sophomores about college and career readiness.  I enjoy asking them about what they would like to do after high school, and giving them some things to do to help in that process at this time in their lives.
*We had a new refrigerator delivered this morning, but there was a bit of a glitch.  It wouldn’t fit in the space provided.  It is the same size as our old unit, but the design must be just that much different that it was a little too tall, and a little too wide.  Paul did some adjustments to the space to see if it will work.  Hopefully we will see in the next couple days if we have a new fridge, or have to go another route.
*As always, I enjoyed our P.E.O. meeting tonight at Sandy Scott’s house.  Sally Nordstrom did a program on “Laughter” which was really funny...as it should be!!
*It was so nice to see the sun shining today.  I wasn’t out in it much, but just to know it was a little warmer out today helped lighten today’s mood.
*I have watched about five episodes of Call The Midwife and absolutely love it.  I think I like it more because it is based on the real story of  Jennifer Worth who wrote a trilogy of memoirs about her experience living in the East End of London as a nurse.  The series is really well done, and the stories are very captivating.


Gathering Graces 4/17/2018

*I am really looking forward to the weather getting better so Nikki and I can get out walking again.  Monday it was pouring down rain.  This morning it was raining, and the forecast said it could snow.  My legs were letting me know today they needed to get out and move!! 
*This morning we had a NHS meeting, and are preparing for the upcoming induction ceremony next week.  It is always exciting when we get to induct the new members.
*Nancy Larsen, our curriculum director, came to KHS and we sat down and talked about the process of writing the next Gear Up grant for the school district. She is such a wonderful lady, and I always enjoy talking with her.  It was a good conversation, and it got the ball rolling on this grant process.
*I took my lunch break up in Wallace today at the Sierra Silver Mine Tour.  It is so exciting seeing the changes in their new location on Bank Street.  I am going to take over the social media aspect of the business, so I worked with Sue, the SSMT director, to get things going with all of that. 
*When I got home, I continued watching some Midsomer Murders, and I have had a few people recommend Call the Midwife, so I started watching that program, too.  It is really good as well.
*As I shared yesterday, I have been feeling a bit down.  This carried in to the evening tonight.  I was feeling very despondent.  That would be a good word to describe it.  I appreciated everyone’s comments yesterday.  Those made me feel better, and encouraged.  But by early evening, all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and sleep.  So I did.


Gathering Graces 4/16/2018

*When I arrived at school this morning, the note I had left on my office door had been doodled on by my adorable husband, showing others how much I was missed.
*It is always interesting jumping back into things after being gone for about a week. My brain needed a jump start today.
*It was a rainy gray day today, but it got a little brighter toward evening. I even saw some blue sky!!
*During lunch a tag was on the front door from FedEx saying they were trying to deliver a package, but needed a signature. I signed the tag, and left it on the door. When I returned home, a package had arrived. My new computer!! Yay!! Finally I am able to use a computer with a functioning keyboard. But I didn’t use it much, because it needed many updates before it was ready to go. I was patient. I could wait.
*On Sunday as we were listening to messages on our phone, we had received a message that our new refrigerator had arrived out at Watts in Pinehurst. Paul spent some time this evening pulling the old fridge out and cleaning the space where it was, and hopefully we will get the new one delivered in a few days. Fortunately we have another one in the basement. In fact, we have been very fortunate to have that basement unit, because a few years ago, when the power went out because of high winds one November, the freezer in our current refrigerator quit working. So anything we needed frozen was taken to the basement. But I am looking forward to having it all upstairs again, and I am also looking forward to a dispenser for water and ice.
*There are many things weighing heavy on my mind, in a variety of areas of my life. I feel so inadequate. Maybe that is good. But it can be so overwhelming. I think I had this image of myself at this age, having all this wisdom, being a strong Christian woman, knowing what to do, but my life is not like that at all. In all the areas I feel like I should be doing well, I feel like a failure. Yet I know when I am weak, God is strong. So I may be right were I should be. I find it hard to tell with the whirlwind of life swirling around me. If you have a chance, pray for me. I need some clarity. I need wisdom. I need guidance. I need You, Lord.


Gathering Graces 4/15/2018

*Sleeping in is something I don’t get a chance to do that often.  Sometimes it is my schedule.  Sometimes it is my body not letting me stay in bed.  Today, I slept in until 8 a.m.  Wow!!  It felt pretty good.
*After I got up I drove down and got some coffee, and brought it back to Laurie’s house.  After having my coffee, and packing up, and doing my morning writing, I loaded up my things and Laurie drove me to the Boise Airport.  When I checked in, I was told by the nice person at the Southwest counter that my plane was delayed because of weather in another part of the country.  I was suppose to depart Boise at 12:30 p.m.  I ended up departing Boise at 2:30 p.m.  But it was fine.  I hung out in the airport, and read some things online, and kept myself pretty busy.  The flight was fine, despite a little turbulence right before we arrived in Spokane. 
*We landed, I got my suitcase, then had a bit of a panicky moment when I couldn’t find my parking ticket from the parking garage.  So I sat down and went through my wallet and finally found it.  Whew!  I went and found my car, and as I left the parking garage, I decided to take advantage of the complimentary car wash before leaving.  After the car wash, I paid for my parking and headed to Kellogg.
*The gas in Coeur d’Alene is always about 20 cents cheaper than in Kellogg, so I stopped and filled up my gas tank.  Then I headed for home.  I arrived home, and Paul was out front doing some weeding as he waited for me to arrive.  It was so nice to be home.
*Christy hosted our family dinner in her shed tonight.  She made a special slow cooker meatloaf, cooked cabbage and salad.  We also had some celebratory white wine to toast our all our successes as we are eating better and living a more healthy lifestyle.
*When we arrived home, Paul decided to rearrange our bedroom and give it a good cleaning.  While he was doing that, I got caught up on Midsomer Murders. After a week of traveling and not sleeping in my own bed, it was nice to crawl into my own bed and go to sleep.


Gathering Graces 4/14/2018

*What a wonderful day of spending time with people I love.
*The day began going and getting some coffee for breakfast, and visiting with Laurie.  When I returned I talked to my friend April in Italy for about an hour.  It is so nice to have our weekly conversations.  She was very excited because she had another woman sign up for her retreat at the end of May. 
*Around 11 a.m. my friends April and Mary arrived to ooh and aah over Laurie’s new house, and take me to brunch.  We went to Le Peep on Eagle Road.  There is a Le Peep in Coeur d’Alene that I really like eating at, so I thought we should give this one a try.  It was delicious as well.  April, Mary and I got caught up our lives, and the lives of our kids, and it was so nice to spend time with these two wonderful women. 

*They brought me back to Laurie’s house, and Zoe soon arrived.  She drove me out to Boise to my cousin Judy’s house.  Judy had a box of dishes she wanted to give me, so we arrived, and enjoyed out time visiting with her and Jack and meeting their cute little poodle Rosie.

*After time with my cousin, Zoe and I arrived at the Jahner house to visit my friend Anita.  What a fun time of laughs and British television recommendations.  And, as a special treat, her two sons Evan and Max were there, and I got to see them and visit and give them a big hug!! 

*The whirlwind tour continued as Zoe drove us out to The Village in Meridian so we could meet Linda, Karlie, Daniel and Laurie for dinner at The Yard House.  Again, lots of love and laughs shared around the table.
*Zoe and I ended the evening at Laurie’s house, talking about podcasts.  I hugged Zoe and told her goodbye, and headed to bed.


Gathering Graces 4/13/2018

*I took my time getting ready this morning in my room before heading over to the conference.  I actually watched a couple episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.  Sorry, not a fan of the show.  I will just leave it at that.
*I listened to some really good presentations today at the conference.  The first session had two women present about their challenges as mothers with mental health issues.  What wonderful testimonies and information they shared.  Another presenter talked about Social and Emotional Learning.  Attorney General Lawrence Wasden also addressed the conference, and gave a very emotional and sometimes hard to hear presentation on a case of criminal bullying in the town of Dietrich, Idaho, and what happened.  He was quite graphic in some of his explanations of the crime, but his point was, we, as people who work with students in our schools, need to stand up for the vulnerable students in our schools, and not allow a culture of bullying to escalate like it did in the community.  Our final Keynote presenter was a man names Michael Pritchard who was very good and entertaining, and a great way to end the day.
*Our Gear Up director Jacque and I hit the road with many of the others conference participants and headed out of Sun Valley and on the road to Boise.  Zoe met me near the airport, and I said goodbye to Jacque.  Zoe and I headed to Lucky Fin for dinner.  We both had a really delicious dinner. 
*Zoe found her way to my sister-in-law Laurie’s house, and Laurie had just pulled up when we arrived, and I unloaded my things, and we had a nice evening visiting.  Laurie moved into a new home last year, and I hadn’t seen it yet, so it was fun getting a tour of her beautiful new home.


Gathering Graces 4/12/2018

*This morning at our conference I didn’t realize who the keynote speaker was until I arrived and she started talking.  Her name is Rosalind Wiseman, who is the author of a very popular book titled Queen Bees and Wannabes, the book that Tina Fey used to write and create the popular movie Mean Girls.  She shared a great talk on Creating a Culture of Dignity.  One of the points she shared that I really appreciated was the difference between bullying and drama.  She also shared a lot about teens use of social media, and how toxic it can often be for them.  The information really gave you a lot to think about.

*My first session was titled Tools for Building Resilience.  The speakers defined resilience, and how you can help students become resilient.  Again, a lot of really good information.
*Another session I attended was called Bringing Up Men: Masculinity in Schools.  This focused on how we socialize boys, and what are the results of this, and how boys view what “being a man” is all about. 
*At the end of the day, I went back to my hotel room and relaxed a bit until I joined Jacque, Dawn, Loretta, Stacia and Kristy, some of the other Gear Up people that are here at the conference, for dinner in Hailey at Chapalita’s Grill, where I enjoyed a delicious Shrimp Fajita Salad.

*Back in my hotel room, I watched some episodes of Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay as I got ready for bed. 


Gathering Graces 4/11/2018

*The day was spent in beautiful downtown Ketchum, Idaho at my final Gear Up meeting as a Site Coordinator.  It was a really great day, and I met some really wonderful people, and said goodbye to others.  There is a possibility I may have a bit to do with Gear Up next fall.  We will see.
*All the coordinators received “parting gifts” today.  The gift was a Rocketbook Everlast.  It is a notebook that you write in, but then you can upload the content to a file on your computer or “the cloud”, and then erase it, so you can continue to use the notebook, but file away the content you wrote.  I can’t wait to play around with it more when I return home.  If you want to know a little more about this, you can go here.

*After our meeting, I returned to my room and relaxed a bit, then went walking around the Sun Valley Village.  I went into a little shop and found a few items I just couldn’t live without!!  Then I attended a workshop giving information on how to write the next Gear Up grant for our school district, because I said I would help with the process.
*The workshop ended, and for the next few hours I spent with two friends from college who live in the area.  We were all in the same Tri-Delta pledge class at the University of Idaho.  The last time I saw both of them was four years ago, the last time I attended this same conference here in Sun Valley.  What a joy to get caught up with them.  This may sound a bit corny, but you truly do have a special bond with girls you lived with for four years in the same place during college.  Becca and Jennifer are two very special, beautiful women, and I am so glad we were able to get together.  We also spent some time talking about a Class of 81 pledge class reunion that is in the works for the fall in Boise.  I am so excited for this to happen!!
*Recently Becca celebrated her birthday, so Jennifer came bearing a bday gift for Becca, and a gift for me....a pair of really cool socks!! 

*It was hard to end the lovely evening, but I hugged my friends and said goodbye, and walked back to the Sun Valley Lodge, and got ready for bed.
*As many of you are aware, Paul does not like it when I am gone.  He shares this through song.  This morning he sent me the Hall and Oats song, She’s Gone, as he sang along to the words.  (He only really knew the chorus).  Tonight, I was sung to sleep as he sent a message with One is the Loneliest Number.  Oh, I do love my crazy husband.


Gathering Graces 4/10/2018

*My morning began bright and early at 3 a.m.  I was in the car and off to the Spokane Airport at 3:45 a.m.
*The ride to the airport was pretty uneventful.  I parked in the airport parking garage, and made my way to the Southwest counter and checked my bag.  The security line was rather long, so it took about 20 minutes or so to get through security.  I got to my gate, and waited until they called us to board.
*The plane was only half full, so I had a row to myself.  It was a quick 45 minute flight.  I think I dozed off and got a little rest on the plane.  Because the flight was so fast, no refreshments were served.
*Zoe was waiting for me at the airport, and we retrieved my suitcase and I put all my things in her car, and she drove to downtown Boise to Big City Coffee where we ate a delicious breakfast. 
*Then we drove to Meridian and had a lovely visit with my in-laws Burton and Patricia.  They both looked great, and I enjoyed my time with them.
*We left their house and headed to downtown Meridian to Deja Brew Laugh a Latte to meet my niece Karlie Roberts.  She has recently been engaged, so we talked some about her upcoming wedding in September, and enjoyed our time with her.
*Zoe and I headed to Walmart so I could buy some snacks for the trip.  We headed back to downtown Boise to drop me off with my ride to Sun Valley.
*I got in the car with Jacque, Patty and Kathy and we headed toward Sun Valley.  We had a nice visit the whole way.  One interesting fact we realized about yourselves was the fact we were all the youngest sibling in our families, and we each had two older siblings. What are the chances of that happening?
*We stopped in Ketchum at a burger place to eat, and I enjoyed a hamburger wrapped in lettuce.  Then Jacque dropped off Patty and Kathy at the Sun Valley Inn, and the we drove to the Sun Valley Resort where we had our rooms.  I got unpacked and had a nice evening in my room.