Gathering Graces 4/29/2018

*Paul preached a wonderful sermon in church this morning about Kindness.  It was really good, and it really made me think.
*Around 2 p.m. Paul and I drove to Pullman, Washington to attend our friend Beverley Wolff’s birthday party at a unique place called The Seasoned House.  It was a wonderful gathering of people, and we met some wonderful people, and part of the time was spent doing a “scavenger hunt” throughout the house, finding interesting items placed around the rooms.  It was a wonderful time of celebration.
*After the party we drove to Moscow and went to one of my favorite places in Moscow, The Arboretum, and met Cosette and her friend Taylor and his daughter Saphire, and we walked and talked, and saw lots of geese and it was very peaceful in this beautiful space.  Cosette graduates from the University of Idaho on May 12th, so we talked about her plans for after graduation, and what she will be doing this summer.  One of her definite plans, after working at McDonald’s for the past eight years, is ending this job at the end of May.  And, I am also proud of her, for the fact that she is graduating debt free from college, with no loans to pay back what so ever!!  Yes people, it can be done!

*After our visit we drove back home, and got to bed a little past our regular bedtime. 


Gathering Graces 4/28/2018

*It was a really lazy morning.  I started the day with a lovely visit with April for about an hour.  Then I did some things on the computer, snuggled with Clark, and just relaxed.  It felt good to do a bunch of nothing this morning.
*Around noon I made some lunch and ate, and watched some Call The Midwife.  Then it was time to get ready for the big night.
*I follow the author Anne Lamott on Facebook, and earlier this year there was announcement that she would be speaking in Spokane on April 28.  I asked Christy if she would like to go, and she said yes.  The tickets became available in February, while I was on the road to Canada, so Christy secured a couple of tickets for us that day. 
*We decided to have an early dinner at Anthony’s, a seafood restaurant in Spokane that overlooks the Spokane River and the Spokane Falls.  Late April is always a great time to view the Spokane Falls, because of the amount of water crashing down into the river.

Spokane Falls

*Both Christy and I enjoyed a Chop Chop Seafood Salad, with fresh bay shrimp and Dungeness Crab.  It was really delicious. 
*After enjoying our dinner, we drove downtown and parked and made our way to a line of people waiting to get into the Bing Crosby Theater.  When Christy ordered the tickets, she made it so we could pick them up at Will Call.  That was a great move, because we were able to go to the head of the line, pick up our tickets at the window, and be one of the first people in the theater to choose our seats.
*Once our seats were secured, I decided to go peruse the book choices in the lobby.  I purchased a few of her books, and came back and sat down.  Christy went up to the lobby to look at the books, and, while she was gone, a couple of women came and chose seats next to us in our row.  When Christy returned, she realized the woman next to me was a woman named Cindy Hval, who Christy has been Facebook friends with for many years but has never met.  Cindy is a columnist for the Spokesman Review, and also an author.  It was fun meeting her and visiting with her this evening.  The funny part is, Christy mentioned as we were driving to Spokane that Cindy would be in the audience, and she wondered if she would get a chance to meet her.  And she did!!
*A little after 7 p.m., Anne Lamott came out to the podium on the stage.  In a very relaxed manner she shared about writing, and life, and “shitty first drafts” and “short assignments” and being disciplined to write an hour each day.  It was inspiring!!  It made we want to reread Bird by Bird, and the new books of hers I purchased.  She shared a lot about the need to feel good about yourself and your own writing, because no one else cares.  “The respect and admiration for your writing is an inside job”.  You have to love and care about what you are writing.  She also said “perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor.”  There was also encouragement to join a writing group, bring people in who can read your writing, encourage you, and be good resources for you.
*I came away from the evening encouraged to expand on my daily writing discipline.  For over a year I have been faithful at writing my Gathering Graces each day.  But now I would like to add some writing that will help me complete the book I am writing.  If I devote at least an hour to writing the book, that will be making some progress.  That is my next writing goal.


Gathering Graces 4/27/2018

*What an absolutely glorious day I experienced today.  The weather was perfect.  The company was wonderful.  Projects were completed.  Who could ask for anything more?
*After my morning walk, I had my coffee, then headed over the the Kellogg School District office to meet with Johanna, to talk about what happens when I end my employment this summer.  Do I resign?  Do I retire?  Can I retire?  I left with more questions that will need to be answered in the coming week.
*One of the jobs on my list was pruning my roses.  I had watched a video on this, and I realized I didn’t have the correct pruning tool.  So I went to ACE Hardware and bought the correct pruning shears, some working gloves, some seeds, some bulbs and some petunias, because they had just put out their plants for sale, and I thought I had better buy these pretty petunias before they run out.  Aren’t they cute?  They are lime green with a magenta stripe.

*Earlier this morning I had received a text from my sister-in-law Debbie wondering if their two Corgis, Maggie and Charly, could come spent the afternoon with me while their home was having some fogging done to it, as part of their renovations.  So Bill and Debbie arrived with Maggie and Charly around 11:30 or so, and they hung out here until they got picked up around 3:30 or so.  I enjoyed a nice visit with Debbie while they waited to take the dogs home.
*As I started pruning my roses, my friend Kellee came by, and we had a marvelous visit, and caught up with each other, and what has been going on in our lives.  At one point, Kellee ordered us both lunch from Best Shots, and she went to pick them up.  We had a wonderful, wonderful time together, and be both didn’t want our time together to end.
*All the roses got pruned and fed and one I transplanted to a hopefully better location.  I watered them, and they all look like there are getting a good start this spring with lots of healthy leaves.  I can’t wait until they start blooming. 
*As part of their house renovations, Bill and Christy are both getting rid of their bathtubs. Their two bathtubs were delivered to our home today. We aquired them to put in our backyard to use as planters.  So those two tubs were both put into place, ready to  be filled with dirt and plants.  We now have the three bathtubs from 514, 516 and 518 West Cameron Avenue in our backyard.  I can’t wait to decide what will go in them. 
*Taking advantage of the fact that the soil has dried out in my raised beds, and that we are suppose to get rain tomorrow, I thought today would be a perfect day to plant some of my “cold crop” seeds in the garden.  In two of the raised beds, I planted peas, brussel sprouts and cabbages.  In some old tires along the fence, we planted spinach, two kinds of kale, Swiss Chard, and five different kinds of lettuce. Probably over Memorial Day Weekend, I will plant the summer squash medley, the green beans, and the cucumbers.  I will have tomato plants also.
*While I was busy working on all my gardening projects, Paul continued working on getting lights strung around our patio.  He completed getting the lights up by nightfall, and we enjoyed sitting out on the patio with a wonderful soft glow of light surrounding us as we continued to enjoy the pleasant evening in our Kellogg backyard.


Gathering Graces 4/26/2018

*Another beautiful day in the Silver Valley.  I came home for lunch and it was hard to get back to work.  I wanted to sit out in the sun.
*When I arrived home and went outside, I realized that is where I wanted to be.  Outside.  So I went and grabbed the book my friend Carrie Stuart Parks’ wrote, When Death Draws Near, and started reading it.  I had been trying to read it at night before going to bed, and kept falling asleep.  So I decided I needed to read more during the day, and that is what I did, and made much better progress. 
*While I was reading, Paul was busy working around me, putting up three posts around the patio area so we can string some lights around our patio.  I can’t wait until this project is done.  It will look so festive having the lights around the patio area.
*Nikki’s cold came on full force this morning, so we didn’t walk.  At lunch, I had stopped by the library to pick up a book I had placed on hold, and I also picked up one Christy had on hold.  Since I hadn’t walked this morning, I asked Paul if he would walk with me over to Christy and Everett’s house to deliver the book, and then I could get my walking in, too.  It was a lovely evening, and we saw the demolition of Christy and Everett’s house up close and personal, as we sat in the living room with no walls where there used to be walls.  It was just rows of 2 x 4s.  It will be fun to watch the progress.
*Earlier in the evening, I watched some videos on Rose Care and Pruning Roses.  Last fall I planted about 9 new roses in a bathtub in my backyard, and around the bathtub, and they are starting to leaf out, so it is time to fertilize them and prune them.  Since it is going to be another beautiful day again tomorrow, I am going to put that on my “to do” list.


Gathering Graces 4/25/2018

*My morning was spend preparing for and participating in the National Honor Society Induction Ceremony/Teacher Awards Assembly at KHS.  It went very smooth, and we inducted 20 new members into NHS today.  But it is nice to have one big event behind me now.
*There was a great photo of Molly, Cosette and I (with Christy in the foreground taking our photo) posted on the University of Idaho Mom’s Weekend Facebook page.  What a great day we all had together.  Now we are looking forward do May 12, when Cosette graduates, and we all get to gather together once again for the celebration!!
*I spent time after school up in the Art Room glazing my pottery.  I glazed the tray I made using Deep Firebrick, and for the six mugs, I used six different Celadon glazes.   (Like the beautiful ancient glazes they are modeled after, Celadon glazes are glossy, transparent, and pool beautifully to add vivid accents to textured and carved surfaces.)  The colors I used were Pear, Wasabi, Storm, Sky, Marigold and Poppy.  (Aren’t those cool names?)  Each of the six mugs as well as the tray are brought together by a Saturation Gold glaze covering the dots on each piece.  Here are what the mugs looked like glazed before they go into the kiln.

Poppy, Pear, Storm, Wasabi, Marigold, Sky
*Zoe called tonight, and we had a good talk.  She often calls when she is shopping.  She was at Walmart, and needed help finding where the Hand Sanitizer would be located.  I guided her to the right spot over the phone, and she found it so now she will have a bottle of hand sanitizer for her desk at school.
* While I was talking on the phone with Zoe, messages were showing up on my phone in regards to a question Zoe posed to our family the other night about how we eat the Kiwi fruit.  Apparently Zoe’s roommates were astonished that she ate the kiwi like an apple, skin and all, because she was told the skin was good for you.  We found out the her sister Molly was the one who also ate the kiwi whole, and had shared the information with Zoe about the kiwi skin being good for you.  I slice my kiwi, and remove the outer skin before eating.  Paul never had a kiwi before he met me.  Travis cuts his kiwi in half, and scoops out each half with a spoon.  Cosette doesn’t think she ever really eats kiwi fruit that often.  If you are interested, here are the benefits of the kiwi fruit skin.

*After a busy day, I relaxed and took a nice bath.  I have had some aches in my leg and hips, so I thought a nice soak might help ease the pain a bit.  Then I was nice and relaxed and ready for bed.


Gathering Graces 4/24/2018

*It is so wonderful to start the morning with a walk as the weather turns to sunnier and warmer days. 
*There was excitement at KHS this afternoon as about ten North Idaho College employees came to Kellogg High School to help our seniors who are attending NIC create their fall schedule.  I loved seeing their faces as they came and shared their schedules with me.  I think for some it made it all the more real that they would be attending college soon.  I cannot sing the praises of NIC and their staff enough as they have helped our seniors through the admissions and financial aid process this year.
*Paul and I headed to Walmart this evening to pick up some items I need for school tomorrow.  I also spotted some cheery yellow tulips while we were there, and decided to buy a bunch to bring home to brighten up a spot in our living room.
*While we were out, we also dropped off the city bill at City Hall, the water bill, and stopped in and chatted with Christy and Everett first, to see their home as it is before they begin demolition tomorrow to make some big changes.  Then we went next door and visited with Bill and Debbie.  Then we stopped at Yoke’s and picked up some steaks for Paul to BBQ for dinner.  I steamed some broccoli, and we had a delicious dinner.


Gathering Graces 4/23/2018

*After a beautiful morning walk, enjoying the morning sunshine, I came home and got ready for my 8 a.m. dentist appointment.  I was fitted for a temporary crown this morning.  Not the most exciting way to spend the morning, but I survived!!
*When I arrived home, the Watts Electric truck was in the driveway, meaning our new refrigerator/freezer was back.  The adjustments Paul made to the space in the kitchen where the refrigerator goes worked, and Brock and Sherri were able to slide the new appliance up against the wall.  I can’t believe I am so excited to get a new appliance.  But I loved hearing the ice being made in the ice maker.  I loved filling up a glass of water from the dispenser.  It was nice to start bringing food up from the basement fridge and put it in the new one. 
*I had a list of items I wanted to accomplish today, and I did a pretty good job at getting them done.  I had some work items to tend to, some personal items, and things were checked off my list.
*When 2 p.m. rolled around, it was Toby’s turn for his appointment.  He had a Senior Wellness Check at Kellogg Pet Medical Center.  It is apparent he needs to have a good teeth cleaning, so we will set up an appointment for that to be done in the near future.  He also had some blood work done, and we will receive the results tomorrow.
*I spent a little time outside today, soaking up the sun.  It felt really nice.  I love that the weather has turned, and we have more sunny days ahead.
*In the later afternoon I received a text from my Bran Muffin, Brandon Church, wondering if Paul and I were home and if he could come for a visit.  I said of course, come over.  So he showed up and we had a nice visit about his new job as a 911 dispatcher in Lincoln County, Montana, and how much he enjoys his job, and how good he is doing.  Paul and I plan to go visit him after school is out.  After our visit with Brandon, Paul and I sat down to dinner.  I found a recipe for low carb Swedish Meatballs that was delicious!

Paul and I with Bran Muffin.

*Earlier in the day, I had texted my friend Christina to ask her a couple of questions, and she texted back that we should talk on the phone tonight, and wondered if that would work.  I said, yes it would. We had a lot of catching up to do, because we talked for over two hours.  It was fun talking, and we plan to do that much more often now that she lives in Seattle.  I hadn’t had a good belly laugh, the kind of laugh that only friends who have known you most of your life can cause, for a long time, and it felt really good to laugh together.


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.