Gathering Graces 3/30/2018

*It felt good to walk outside all week.  I usually get more steps in walking outside as well, so that makes it easier to get to my 10,000 steps by the end of the day.
*Paul raked leaves and filled seven black garbage bags full of them.  A nice city employee drove by and told Paul he would swing by later today and pick the leaves up for him.  After raking leaves, Paul started his “fence and gate” project.  He moved the fence and gate on the left side of the garage up about five or six feet to increase our backyard space.  We don’t spend a whole lot of time in the front yard, but we spend a lot of time in our backyard, so we will use additional space back there.
*Morning for me was spent inside getting things cleaned and put away in anticipation for our dinner party we are hosting tonight.
*Around noon I went over and saw my friend Kellee in her home office, and visited for a while.  I was going to run an errand up in Wallace, but decided that could wait another day.  I stopped by the vet clinic to pick up something then over to sister Christy’s house to get some money to pay for some cat meds when we go to CDA tomorrow.
*Cleaning house and food preparation was in full swing once I arrived back home.  One of the members of our worship team at church, Joanne Montieth, is moving to CDA soon so we had a farewell dinner for her.  I prepared baked chicken drumsticks, roasted vegetables and Greek salad.  Godiva chocolates were for dessert.  It was a wonderful time with Linda, David, Chris, Dan, Tim and Amy.  What a blessing to have a group of loving people in your home to gather around the table and share and laugh and have fun together.  A very special time honoring a very special lady.  We will really miss Joanne!


Gathering Graces 3/29/2018

*The morning began at KHS with some training for a cool thing teachers and students participated in at school today.  Google was at the school with an Augmented Reality program that students used throughout the day.  The way it works is students take an old cell phone on a selfie stick, and scan a QR Code, and then they can see images through the phone that appear in the classroom.  I saw things throughout the day like ocean fish, sharks, planets, inventions by Leornardo DaVinci, paintings, sculptures and the skeletal system.  It was pretty cool!
*It was a rather unconventional day at KHS today.  The day before spring break begins is always an interesting day.  I was glad when the end of the day came, and I was able to head home and officially begin SPRING BREAK!!
*Yesterday when I was setting up Netflix with my new Firestick, I changed the Netflix password.  Throughout the 24 hours following the change, I received identical texts from each of the girls.  Did you change the Netflix password?  I sent them all the new password.  I also had some good visits with Cosette and Zoe on the phone when I got home from work.  It was good to catch up with both of them. 
*We had a really nice Maundy Thursday service at church tonight.  As I listened to the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples, and humbling and serving them in this way, even serving Judas, who He knew was going to betray him, a question went through my mind.  Could I wash the feet of someone who has betrayed me?  Could I have unconditional love toward someone who I know purposefully wronged me?  My answer is, no, I, alone cannot love such a person.  But, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can allow the fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control to rule in my life and then, as I let God’s spirit work through me, I can love that person.  I can’t do it on my own.  One of the things Jesus told his disciples as The Last Supper was ending was, “A new command I give you: Love one another, As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, If you love one another.”  This is   the Easter message.  That Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for all our sins, then rose from the dead, conquering death, then leaving His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us, and fill us with God’s love so we then can love the unlovable people in our lives unconditionally.  I can’t will myself to love the unlovable.  I need help.  I think we all need help.  Christians have the power to be the most loving people on the planet.  But I don’t think, collectively, we are often viewed as loving people.  I pray that changes, and that loving your neighbor, with the help of the Holy Spirit, becomes the number one priority in those who profess to be Christians around the world. 
*I am not sure I have ever prepared lamb chops.  Maybe one time. a long time ago.  Yokes had some lamb chops for sale this week, and I bought a package.  I covered them in olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper, and broiled them on each side for about 7 minutes each.  They were delicious!!  I will definitely add lamb to my meat list in the future!!


Gathering Graces 3/28/2018

*Buongiorno!  That is how the two art classes were greeted today as I shared photographs with them from my time in Italy, and hopefully some of my sharing inspired them with ideas for their final Advanced Art project.

*A new fun gadget arrived in the mail today.  I ordered an Amazon Firestick to stream television show, movies and music.  I wanted to take our Wii, which now streams shows on our television, and hook it up to the television in the basement so I can use the Wii in that space.  I looked online, and the Firestick was only $30.00, so I thought I would purchase one.  So I spent some time downloading apps that give me different options of watching things on television.
*Christy came over to visit, and brought some vegetable seed to share with me to plant in my garden.  I got two kinds of cucumbers, Swiss Chard, cabbage, peas, green beans and summer squash.  This will help me to organize my vegetable garden beds, and decide what else I will be planting.
*After Paul arrived home after Parent/Teacher Conferences, we made a joint effort of preparing dinner.  He fried up some steak and mushrooms, and I sauteed some shrimp and some zucchini.  It was very delicious!  As we were fixing dinner, we had the current day’s PBS News Hour streaming, one of the perks of having the Amazon Firestick.
*After dinner I watched another episode of The Midsomer Murders, continued working on my knitting project, and then headed to bed.


Gathering Graces 3/27/2018

*My morning began with a trip to Silver Valley Dental in Kellogg to get a panoramic X-ray of my mouth, get my teeth cleaned and polished, and an exam from the dentist.  Things are looking pretty good in my mouth.  I did make an appointment for one to get a crown put on one of my teeth.  And made an appointment for Paul to get his teeth cleaned next week.
*In the afternoon, the KHS students attended a Health Fair in the gym.  While that was going on, I was assisting some of the faculty who were reviewing the NHS applications, as well as some other NHS matters. 
*Today was my final day with the kids at PASS to do Drama activities with them.  We watched a short highlight videos of some of the things we did over the past weeks I have been there, and had them share some, and we played some games at the end.  I got lots of hugs, and I am really going to miss those kids.  It was such a great time working with them.
*My evening was spend finalizing my presentation on my trip to Italy to present to the Advanced Art students tomorrow.  I was glad I got it all done before I headed to bed.
*I also started watching a new British crime show, The Midsomer Murders.  The show began in the  1990’s so that makes it a little interesting, but so far the two episodes I have watched have been pretty entertaining. 
*I appreciated everyone’s thoughts yesterday about being unsettled.  I am taking them to heart.


Gathering Graces 3/26/2018

*I am so thankful it is now nice enough to walk outside once again in the mornings.  It felt wonderful to be walking out in the fresh air, and I think we get a much better workout when we are outside as well, and walk a little farther.
*Tied up some loose ends at work today, so that was good.
*This is my last week for the PASS after school Drama program.  I had Tony, a senior from Mullan High School, come and job shadow me as I worked with the students today.  Tony is working on his senior project, and his subject is acting.  One of my seniors, Riley, created a video of highlights from the time in drama, and we will show that to the students on Tuesday.
*I have felt very unsettled today.  Actually, I have felt unsettled for a while.  People in my life are going through hard things.  Sometimes thinking about it all weighs heavy on my heart.
*The photos I took in Italy are transforming into a slideshow presentation that I will present on Wednesday,  I am enjoying going through the photos, and reliving wonderful memories of my time in Italy last summer.


Gathering Graces 3/25/2018

*Today marks the beginning of Holy Week in the Christian church.  This morning we waved our palm branches in church, as we sang “Hosanna in the Highest”, celebrating the Kingship of Jesus Christ, and his symbolic ride into town on a donkey.
*During our potluck/fellowship hour after church, we as a church spent some time “dreaming”, brainstorming ideas on how we as a church can minister to the community.  It was a good time of sharing, and exciting as well.
*One of our Idaho legislatures, Pricilla Giddings, was in church today and I had a chance to meet her and her husband Matt, and I enjoyed visiting with her.  The district she covers is very large, so it was nice to see her in the Silver Valley.  She lives south of Grangeville.
*After buying meat at Costco on Friday, I spent some time this afternoon preparing some of it.  I browned hamburger and made taco meat.  I browned some other hamburger and just put salt and pepper on it.  I also cooked some chicken drumsticks in the oven.  The other meat I prepared in containers to freeze.  This helps in my lunch and dinner preparations to have a lot of this prepared like this, and so I always have meat to cook for these meals.
*I spent some time readying another Jennifer Egan book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, a book Egan won a Pulitzer Prize for back in 2011.  So far, good character studies, but depressing content. 
*Christy fixed fajitas for family dinner tonight.  We were going to eat in her backyard shed, but because of the snow flurries in the late afternoon, dinner was moved inside.  It was a nice meal, and nice conversation between Christy, Everett, Bill, Paul and myself.  Bill talked about enjoying reading the Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, and it makes me want to fulfill that goal of mine to read one of Dickens’ novels.  I have started a few, but have never completed one.  Not even A Christmas Story.  So, by the end of the year, I hope to have this checked off my “books I want to read” list.
*After dinner we came home, and Paul replaced a door on Cosette’s bedroom with a door from the house we vacated back in 2006.  I sat and watched Big Dreams, Small Spaces.  Paul has made his way through the series, and I need to do some catchup.  So I worked on the shawl I am knitting, and enjoyed finishing one of the episodes.


Gathering Graces 3/24/2018

*Here in Kellogg we woke up to a blanket of white snow on the ground.  It snowed off and on throughout the day, and rained a bit, too.  But by evening, the sun came out, but it was a bit cold.  B-r-r-r-r.
*Wednesday I am giving a presentation to two classes of Advanced Art students about my trip to Italy last summer, and sharing with them some of the things I saw.I worked on selecting photographs today to put in my presentation.  It is going to be hard to hone it down to a 45 minutes presentation!!  But I am up to the task.
*Speaking of Italy, I had a wonderful visit with April on the phone this morning.  We are trying to talk once a week on the phone, and I am so enjoying it.  When she lived here, we used to have coffee once a week and visit, so it is like we are getting back into having coffee dates again..even though we are over 5,000 miles apart.
*Paul and I watched the first episode of Sherlock tonight.  Paul has watched it before, but thought I might enjoy it.  It was good.  I am really in a mood to watch British television. 
*I continue making progress on the shawl I am knitting.  I am evening figuring out how to pick up a drip stitch most of the time, so that is good, too.  I had one thing happen that doesn’t have directions for in my Knitting for Dummies book.  What do you do when  your cat sits next to you and chews through the yard you are using on your project?  Bad, bad Clark!!


Garhering Graces 3/23/2018

*After walking at KHS with Nikki, doing some writing and getting ready for the day, I met Christy at The Bean for a cup of coffee and a visit.  While there we got to see sweet little Sailor Rae Bates, Kaela Calabretta-Bates new baby.  She was so precious.
*Brother Bill joined us a little while later at The Bean.  After a bit we piled in Christy’s car and headed up to the cemetery where Christy placed a wreath on Mom and Dad’s grave.  We were glad there was enough snow gone that we could make our way to their grave without any trouble.
*When I had heard about Bill’s possible gout in his foot, I researched what essential oils might help the gout in his foot, and made a special blend of peppermint, lavendar and rosemary to rub on his foot three times a day.  I hope it helps give him some relief.  Last fall, I started rubbing Frankincense Oil on my foot two times and day, and I hardly have any pain in it at all. 
*When I got home I worked on my taxes a bit, but still haven’t completed them.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will get them done.
*When Paul got home around 3 p.m., we got in the car and drove to Coeur d’Alene.  Paul needed a haircut, and we were sorely lacking in fresh vegetables in the house, so I went to Costco to stock up.  We also made a quick stop at Shopko on the way home as well.
*I opened up a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and sauteed them in some ghee with some dried shallots, then added some cut up mushrooms.  I added some homemade turkey broth and let them simmer for a while, and served them with some broccoli, and a couple of sliced tomatoes.   Delicious!!
*I had one more episode of the third season of Broadchurch to finish tonight, so I watched that, and was a bit disturbed by the outcome, although it was a very good show, and one I highly recommend. 
*Then, on a more cheery note, we watched another few episodes of Big Dreams, Small Spaces, following Monty Don chronicle the creations of different gardens in England.


Gathering Graces 3/22/2018

*Wow, what a day.  I normally don’t do a lot of personal counseling with students, but I seemed to be the overflow person today because our counselor Dan was busy with students all day long.  So this made it an interesting day, but I am glad I can be a person students can talk to when they need to get something off their chest.  And I am glad I can pray to God to help each and every one of these situations.
*Today the leadership students put up fun notes for each student and staff member in the school.  What a great way to make students and staff realize they matter!!
*By the time I got home today, I was ready to sit down, watch some television, and do some knitting.  That had a calming effect on me.
*I opened up some smoked salmon, and prepared some fresh green beans by frying them in ghee in a frying pan, and adding some garlic to them.  It was a nice, simple meal Paul and I enjoyed.
*We watched a little bit of the Gonzaga basketball game last night, but not a lot.  I was really tired, and headed to bed early.


Gathering Graces 3/21/2018

*Sadie got to go visit Kellogg Pet Medical Center for a teeth cleaning today.  She did very well (thank goodness!!), and needs to return in six months!!

Clean teeth...fresh breath!

*I had lunch today with my friend Kellee Crall Mills.  We had a wonderful visit, and it was so good to see her.  We made some plans for the future to help us both feel better, so I look forward to working together on getting healthier together!!
*Chicken breast was the meat I thawed out yesterday, so I decided to go a little Italian tonight, and cut up some red pepper and garlic and saute it in a pan in some ghee.  Then I added some cut up tomato and the cut up chicken.  I sprinkled it with Italian Seasoning, and some fresh basil.  One it was all warm, I put some mozzarella cheese on top, and let it melt.  I dished it up, and served it with a bowl of sliced cucumbers with oil and vinegar on them.  It was very delicious!!  I have found that have already cooked meat in the freezer to thaw out and use for meal prep really helps in preparing meals these days.
*Today Coco called while she was buying her cap and gown for graduation.  Only seven more weeks until graduation!
*Tonight I picked up Betty, Christy and Dawn and we headed to Chris Cox’s house in Kingston for our PEO meeting.  It was a great meeting, and Christy gave a program on Creativity and Gardening.  It was very good, and it makes me want to start buying flowers and putting them in pots all around the garden.  Then, when I arrived home, Paul was watching Big Dream, Small Spaces , a show Zoe suggested we watch on Netflix about gardening, and I watched some of it when I arrived home and that even got me yearning to get in my garden even more!!  I am hoping that we have some good weather for our spring break the first week of April so we can get some cleaning up of the yard done in anticipation of warmer weather.
*My work day ended today with the sad news that former KHS and current CHS Principal Troy Schueller had passed away, from apparent suicide.  I already heard rumors about why it happened, and that is not important to me.  What is done is done, and I just want to move forward, comfort those who weep, and pray that God helps me see anyone in my life who is in that kind of distress, and that I am given wisdom and overwhelming love to help them.


Gathering Graces 3/20/2018

*Today was a very packed day!!  It was Higher Ed Day at KHS, where college representatives from around the state came and talked to juniors.  While that was going on, I was up on the third floor proctoring Math placement tests for seniors who are attending NIC.
*Today was the International Day of Happiness, and KHS celebrated with students and staff wearing yellow, and a fun assembly at 11 where students competed against staff in a game of Family Fued.  While this was going on, I was setting up for a luncheon my PEO chapter was sponsoring for the junior girls, to tell them about opportunities to help them obtain a college education.  Thanks  to Christy, Teresa, Jan, and Carolyn for coming to present and bringing cookies, and Michele for getting the food, and Sally and Ann for providing cookies.
*We had some pizza left over from the luncheon, so between sixth and seventh period, in the spirit of International Happiness Day, Paul and I handed out left over pizza to students who were walking down the hall.  I think we made some students very happy!!
*I got a little breather in the afternoon, then after school, the PASS program from Pinehurst Elementary brought 24 students to KHS for a field trip hosted by Paul and some of his Drama students.  It was a really fun time. 

Let's Charleston!

*By the time I got home, I was ready to sit down, put my feet up, grab my knitting, and watch some shows.  When Paul got home, we enjoyed a type of taco salad I concocted, and relaxed throughout the evening.  I was getting tired around 8:30 p.m., so we got to bed a little early tonight.


Gathering Graces 3/19/2018

*Kind of a normal kind of work day today.  Not much too unusual.  The students who were applying to be part of the National Honor Society submitted their applications today.  I functioned alright with my faulty keyboard.  All is good.
*We played with paper bag puppets in drama today after school.  I am in my final two weeks of working with the students in the PASS program.  It has been a very fulfilling experience, and I hope they have enjoyed it as well.  Today we played around with paper sack puppets.  I love watching students creativity.
*I got home and grabbed my knitting project, and finished the second season of Broadchurch.  I liked how the writers brought the second season to a close.  The final episode tied up a lot of things.
*Paul had forgotten some items in the driver’s ed car at the district office, so after our dinner of cod, roasted vegetables, and cucumber and tomatoes in oil and vinegar, we walked down to retrieve his items.  It was nice getting out in the evening and taking a little stroll together.  Paul shared with me about how students in his Speech classes are sharing about historical speeches, and how they are responding to the content of them.  It was fun to hear about what the students are learning.
*Paul and I also finished up the second season of The Crown tonightNow we will wait a while for Season Three to appear.


Gathering Graces 3/18/2018

*I spilled coffee on my laptop keyboard and my keyboard now has a mind of its own.  I hope someone at school can look at it tomorrow and give me some hope!
*Great dinner at Bill and Debbie's house, with Pork Roast,  onion soup, mashed cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage salad.  It will be our last meal with Debbie for a while as she is flying back east on Tuesday to spend time with kids and grandkids.
*Spent the afternoon knitting and watching Broadchurch and sitting by the fire on this snowy, rainy day.
*Paul had the final performance of The Rivals today.  They had a good-sized crowd who laughed and really enjoyed the show.


Gathering Graces 3/17/2018

*Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I really didn’t do a whole lot to celebrate, except wear a green pin, and have a St. Patrick’s-themed soup for dinner.  It did get me thinking how there are people who embrace this holiday, and the celebration of it is a big part of their lives.  But not so much for me.
*My day began with a wonderful conversation with my friend April M Lee who lives in Italy.  There was a lot of things I wanted to talk to her about, and it was easier to talk than to write it out.  But schedule a call can be a little tricky because she lives 8 hours ahead of me, but we figured it out, and our hour plus conversation was really good.
*I decided I could start on my taxes and try and get them done today.  While Travis, Molly and their niece Zoe were getting packed up and ready to go, I was muddling my way through my federal income tax.  I am not able to finish, as I am waiting for Cosette to send me a couple forms....then I can proceed.  It will be nice to get that completed.
*It was so nice having Travis, Molly here for most of the week.  As your children get older and live in a different part of the state, you realize time with them becomes less and less, just because of their choices and the nature of their lives.  I am sure all parents go through this, but that doesn’t mean it is easy.
*The afternoon was spent watching more episodes of Broadchurch and knittingI am really enjoying Broadchurch.
*Around 4:30 p.m., Paul and I headed over to Christy and Everett’s house for Corned Beef and Cabbage soup, salad, and to watch the Gonzaga Bulldogs play the Ohio State Buckeyes in the NCAA tournament.  Bill and Debbie joined us as well.  Paul stayed until he had to head up to the theater for his show.
*When I returned home, it was back to knitting and finishing up the first season of Broadchurch.  The entire show is a murder mystery, and the murderer is revealed in the final episode.  It was so well done, and really captured the spirit of a small town, and how things happen in a situation like this, where one of their citizens has been murdered.  I look forward to the next two seasons.


Gathering Graces 3/16/2018

*I had quite the social schedule today!!  First I met my sister-in-law Debbie at The Bean to have coffee and knit and visit.  I didn’t realize that knitting in public helps you meet people.  One woman came in who was fascinated by the way I was knitting, because it was different from the way she learned how to knit.  Debbie explained that this woman knits Continental style, and I knit American style.  Then she showed us some slippers she was knitting.  Aubrey, it was a delight talking with your grandmother!!  Right before we were getting ready to leave, Christy came in to grab a drink between her PT and her nail appointment.
*My next stop was Best Shots, to have lunch with my friend Pam.  We had a wonderful visit.  While we were there, Molly, Travis and their niece Zoe came in to have lunch, too. 
*After lunch I needed a break, so I went in and took, what in our family is known as a “coma nap”.  I slept from about 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  It felt really good.
*The next event was attending the production of The Rivals at the Sixth Street Theater.  This production was unique in the fact it is a reader’s theater, and they are reading a story from the seventeenth century, and it is British. This is not the type of show you sit back and be entertained, even though it is very entertaining.  This is a show about listening to the words, listening to the story, and hearing the nuances of the language that Sheridan used when he wrote this story.  I takes a while to get into the rhythm of the language, but once you do, it is very funny!!  Good job to the cast, and Paul for his direction.
*The evening was not over yet.  When we got home, Travis had brought a movie he thought we would all like to watch called Reign Over Me.  It is a movie starring Don Cheadle and Adam Sandler in one of his few very serious roles. Sandler portrays Charlie Fineman, who has slipped away from reality after the sudden loss of his wife and children.  It was a quite moving story.


Gathering Graces 3/15/2018

*I can tell it it spring at KHS, because the Counseling Center is bustling as ever, with students  wanting scholarship help.  There was some big deadlines yesterday, and I am so proud of those students who are submitting scholarships!
*At the end of the school day, my desk was a mish mash of piles, papers, and envelopes.  I decided I needed to stay a little longer today to sort through things on my desk, tie up some loose ends, and get some things organized before I left for the day.  I am glad I did.  It will make coming into work on Monday much easier.
*Travis drove Cosette to the Harrison exit outside of Coeur d’Alene to meet up with her friend Sidnee.  She would be spending the night with Sidnee and her family, then heading back to Moscow on Friday.
*Later, Travis and Molly went to Coeur d’Alene to visit some of Travis’ family, and they brought their niece Zoe back here to spend tonight and tomorrow night.  There hasn’t been an 11 year old in the house for a while.  It will be fun to have her around!!
*After a very hectic and emotional week, I wanted to sit and knit and watch a good show on Netflix.  I was looking for a good British comedy, but ended up choosing a British show, but definitely not a comedy.  I started watching Broadchurch.  Molly and Travis said it is really good, so I look forward to watching it (even though I have been warned it is a bit dark and grim).
*It was nice sitting up and talking with Molly and Travis, (even though I got to bed way past my bedtime!!)  But it was worth it!!