*When Christy shared some seeds with me last winter, one kind was a summer squash medley. I have five different plants come up. Two of them were these round, light green summer squash. I looked it up yesterday, and they are called Ronde de Nice squash, and are an heirloom variety from France. I can’t wait to cook them and see what they taste like. I also have one plant that is a crookneck, one that is zucchini, and one that has blossoms, but the squash are not big enough to determine what kind they are.
*This morning I spent time uploading files to my Google drive, and doing some other things in preparation of meeting with the new counselor at KHS. We met this morning, and I shared with her some things I did with students, and we had a good visit for a couple of hours. My school email will be going away in a couple of days, so I took time today to download and transfer all the information to have it in case I need to reference it sometime in the future.
*Paul and I came home and had some lunch, and, because it was in the high 90’s outside, I decided to stay inside and watch some Chopped and nap a little, and just have some down time. It was so nice to just relax and enjoy being inside where it was much cooler than it was outside.
*The evening was very pleasant as it started to cool down. Paul and I are starting to make plans for the reconstruction of our raised beds, and how that area is going to look. I am excited to make some changes and work on that this fall.
*Our tomatoes are going crazy!! I love being able to go out in the evening and pick a few and slice them up for dinner. Tonight, we tried one of our heirloom varieties, Paul Robeson. It was so good. The Fourth of July tomatoes continue to ripen as well. They are so good right off the vine, nice a warm, and sliced with nothing on them. Ahhhh, the wonderful tastes of summer.
*I have decided to try and save seeds this fall from as many plants as I can. I pulled up my pea plants today, and picked all the remaining pods to dry out and use for seeds next fall. I am going to try and do that with some of the other plants as well.
*Yesterday I forgot to mention another visitor at the mine tour on Saturday. Shellie O Johnson and her husband Grant came to do the tour with some friends, and it was so good to see Shellie and visit with her briefly. We have known each other practically our whole lives, and we graduated from KHS in 1981 together. She said something to me that made me feel really great all day long. She “spoke life” to me, as theme we focused on last week at the Dare to Imagine Camp.
*Today a couple from France came to the mine tour. They took the “trolley only” tour, and enjoyed it. I had this urge to start speaking a few phrases of French that I remembered, but chickened out.
*This summer I planted a unique vegetable called “Rat Tail Radishes”. They are not harvested underground, but as pods on a bush. They are starting to be ready to pick, so I picked some. They are very good, and have quite a bite. I have been exploring ways to pickle them. This is what they look like.
If you would like to know a little bit more about this radish, you can read about it here.
*I arrived home and Paul and I had a talk about the days events before we headed over to Bill and Debbie’s house for family dinner. Debbie and I had talked about making a potato salad using cauliflower. I was going to attempt it last week at family dinner, but didn’t have the time. So she decided to make it this week. It was a hit!! Who knew cauliflower “potato salad” could be so good!! She also made some stuffed mini peppers, and Bill prepared some delicious tilapia fish. It was a very good meal. The whole family enjoyed it.
*Last spring I had purchased an Amazon Firestick for the television. I played around with it a bit when we first purchased it, but, for the past few months I mostly have used it for Netflix and occasionally Amazon Prime. But last night I played around, and believe I now have the capability of watching much more programming. In fact, it is a bit overwhelming. But I look forward to exploring my options a bit more in the next few days. One other thing I found out I can do is listen to my audio books from my Audible account through the television. That may come in handy.
*This morning began in my office making a video to submit to VIPKID to see if I will be qualified to be a Level 1 teacher only. I had to create a 9-10 minute video showing me teaching a student a lesson online. They said I would know in 48 hours if I passed.
*As part of our cat Clark’s routine each morning, he goes outside when Paul starts the sprinkler system. Then sometime after 6:30 a.m., he comes back into the house, and makes a beeline for Paul, who is sitting in the living room. This is so Clark can get some love from Paul by getting petted and scratched. It happens every morning. It is so cute.
*A family came to the mine tour today. There was a young man in his twenties, and his two parents. They were inquiring about the tour, and wondering if the 86 year old grandpa could do the tour or not. The finally decided it would be too much for grandpa. But grandpa doesn’t speak English, so they were concerned about leaving him alone at the mine tour building. But they bought grandpa an ice cream cone, and he sat at one of the tables in the ice cream parlor eating his tasty treat while the rest of the family went on the tour. When he was done with his cone, he walked outside for a bit, then he returned, and sat back down at the table in the ice cream parlor and waited for his family. When the rest of the family returned, I asked the grandson what language his grandfather spoke. He spoke Russian. He was here visiting from Russia. The grandson lives in Coeur d’Alene, and his parents live in the Seattle area. The grandson asked if anyone from Russia had been to the mine tour. I said I had met people from all over, but I am not sure if I had ever met someone from Russia. I am sure that grandpa had many interesting stories to tell.
*When I arrived home, Paul was finishing up installing our new kitchen sink faucet and sprayer. He performed the wedding today of Steven Charles Johnson and Ashley Braley at Higgins Point in Coeur d’Alene, then did some shopping on his way home. He had started the kitchen sink project in the morning, then finished it up as I returned home.
*Paul grilled some chicken drumsticks on the grill, and I picked some ripe tomatoes, pinched off some basil, and opened up some fresh mozzarella, and mixed them together. Then I put some olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper in the bowl, and mixed them all together, and had a wonderful Caprese salad. I also sliced up a zucchini Tina Marshall had brought me last week, added some mushroom and cherry tomatoes, and some oil and vinegar and Paul grilled those as well. It was a wonderful meal.
*Today at work I talked to a woman from New Plymouth, Idaho. They were visiting North Idaho on their vacation. I loved hearing her talk about how this area is now her new favorite place. How could you not love visiting North Idaho???
*Diana Margason stopped in the SSMT gift shop today to look around. She works at Kellogg High School. It was nice seeing her, and we talked some about some of the changes happening at KHS.
*As I was talking to another person at work today, he was asking about my work, and I started telling him that I actually work three jobs at moment, with a fourth on the horizon. Yikes!! No wonder this summer has been a bit crazy. My KHS job will be officially done by the end of August. My SSMT job is done in October. Then I can focus on just two jobs, my VIPKID job, and the new venture Paul and I will be working on this fall.
*Speaking of VIPKID, I have not started teaching yet. There is still some prep work to do. Tonight I worked on a video that I need to have submitted by tomorrow to see if I can be a teacher for 4 and 5 year olds. I should know in the next couple of days if I qualify. Once I find this out, I will start scheduling times to teach classes. I am getting really excited.
*Pray for our friends from Montana, Paul and LeAnn Vorhes. Paul is recovering from some health issues. Pray for his family and wisdom for the doctors as well. Thank you!!
*The last day of the Dare to Imagine camp was great!! What a wonderful week with wonderful kids. And the best part was sharing with them about the love of Jesus, and letting them know how much God loves them. We already signed up to help out next year!!
*I cried my way through the last few episodes of Blue Bloods this afternoon. It is such a good show. It reminds me a bit of West Wing, in that it is a hopeful show, with characters that show you how things could be, and you hope they are at times, whether it is the people running the White House, or the NYPD.
*Around 5, Paul and I jumped on our bikes and rode down to the Silver Valley Farmer’s Market. I cannot rave about this enough!! The weather was pleasant last night, the music by CDA singer Robby French was great, and I got to visit with so many people that were also out and about. We bought some farm fresh eggs, a Kombucha Popsicle from a young entrepreneur named Radley, who even had his own booth this week. We bought some marinated mozzarella cheese and some garlic and sea salt cheese spread. I had a nice visit with Linn Mato Reese, who was selling 50/50 raffle tickets for the Shoshone Cancer Resource Center. We started off our time there getting big hugs from Erin Nansel, who momentarily left her post of pouring beer in the beer garden. We didn’t buy dinner there, but their food selection is expanding. The 1313 Club was selling pulled pork sliders. And there was another food truck there selling Indian Tacos and Nachos. If you have not taken the time to come and stroll through the market, put it on your calendar for next Thursday and enjoy a nice evening out in the Silver Valley.
*We came home after the market and picked some tomatoes off our plants, and enjoyed our purchase of marinated mozzarella, grilled sausages, and we did a tomato taste testing. When I picked my first tomatoes, I didn’t pay attention what kind each tomato was that I ate. So tonight, I picked them, put them on the table and labeled them, so when we ate them, we could compare the tastes. They each had their own unique flavor, and they were all delicious.
*Dare to Imagine Camp continues, as we worked with first and second graders all day today. Wow, do they like to move!! Lots of energy, and they have mostly lost their shyness from day one. Today we shared with them the story of the three friends who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus, and cut a hole in the roof of a house, and dropped him down through the roof so Jesus could heal him. Jesus not only healed him, but also forgave the man of his sins.
*During the drama activity, we realized we needed to do a lot more moving around than we did with the third and fourth graders, so we found a lot of songs to dance to and move around with during our two drama sessions. But, again, what an awesome opportunity to be planting the seeds of God’s love into the lives of these students. And partnering with not only the churches in the Silver Valley, but the three school districts as well, who provide the building, bus transportation, and resources to help make this summer camp for students a success!!
*When we arrived home, I rested for a while, and watched a few episodes of Blue Bloods. I got some more things crossed off my “to do” list, which felt really good. Paul headed up to the theater to help with concessions at the show tonight, and I worked on some VIPKIDS stuff. Even though I have been hired, there are still some things I want to learn and do before I start scheduling classes.
*Last night was so pleasant out on the patio. It was a really nice temperature, there were no bugs, and it was very calm and peaceful. I picked some more raspberries, and enjoyed eating them right out of the bowl. I walked around the yard, and checked on how things were doing. It has been such a blessing this summer to feel like I have had the time to actually enjoy my yard and garden. I am already planning on creating new garden spaces for next summer. I am thinking perhaps a Wizard of Oz garden, especially now that I have a lot of poppy seeds from Grandma Taylor’s seed collection, and also an Italian garden space. We are also going to get rid of our raised bed in our vegetable garden and create new ones. We would like to do that this fall, so we need to plan how many beds to create, and where to position them. Some of them now do not get adequate sunlight, so some of the vegetables are not growing as good as they could.
*The “theme verse” for the camp this week is Ephesians 3:20 that says, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” I am so thankful that I believe in a God who does more than my little brain can every ask or imagine. And if these kids this week can get even a glimpse of how great and how BIG our loving God is, then that is a praise right there.
*Today the Bible story we shared with the first and second graders was The Prodigal Son. What a great story about love, forgiveness and grace. We also talked about it in our Drama Activity with the third and fourth grader. We shared with them to never forget that, no matter what you do you in your life, or even if you turn away from God, and leave him like the younger son did in the story, He is always there, ready to open you back with open arms. In fact, when you turn toward Him, He will come running to you and give you a big hug. What a beautiful picture Jesus paints as He shares this story.
*The theme of the week is “Speak Life”, and today we shared with the third and fourth graders the music video of the song “Speak Life” by Toby Mac. The video tells four different stories about how people were spoken “death” to, and then later, someone spoke “life” into their lives. We had the students get in groups and talk about what words would have been spoken to the bullied kid, the woman who was being yelled at, the older man in the hospital and the man being protested against for who he was. The students came up with some great things to tell others, such as believe in yourself, you are worth it, and God loves you.
*My morning started off when one of the first grade girls came up, and gave me a big hug, and said I looked very pretty today, and she was glad to see me. I was spoken life to right off the bat by one of those students.
*I finished the book Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes. It is about three women who travel to Italy and rent a villa and live there, and what happens. My friend Vicki Allmann read it, and thought I would like it too. I could relate to many part of it from my own Italian adventure last summer. I really liked the book!!
*Things were finally checked off my “to do” list yesterday. I paid bills. I fertilized the roses, and the rest of the pots.
*When I was down in Boise at the end of June, Paul’s Aunt Susie brought me a big box of flower seeds that had been from her mother, Naydeen Taylor (Paul’s grandma) and Naydeen’s brother Wayne Bushnell (Paul’s great uncle). I finally had a chance to open up the box and look at what is there. Not all the seeds are identified, but I do know I have Calendula, Poppies, Money Plant, Sweet Peas, Mallow, Petunia, Clarkia Anemone, Hollyhock and African Daisy. I love how old International Coffee boxes were used to store the seeds, as well as little jelly jars, and salad dressing jars. I will make a plan to plant these seeds, and hopefully they will germinate and can be put somewhere in my garden. In the meantime, I will be trying to solve the mystery of the other seeds that I have not yet identified. What a treasure trove of seeds to plant in the future!!
*This morning Paul and I went to Kellogg Middle School and enjoyed being a part of the first day of the “Dare to Imagine” summer camp. We started off the morning with around 60 or so first and second graders, teaching them the Bible story about Jesus and the ten lepers. (We had to explain to them the difference between lepers and leopards).
*Then we had two different groups of third and fourth graders we worked with, helping them learn about moving your body, using your voice, developing characters, and being on stage. I always enjoy working with students who enjoy doing drama activities.
*We were home by 1:30 p.m., and took some time to relax. Later I started preparing the menu for family dinner tonight. Debbie had told me about some grass fed beef kielbasa sausages they sell at Costco. I found them during our last trip, and cut them up and fried them in pan, then added a jar of sauerkraut. I also cut up some zucchini, mushrooms, yellow pepper and cherry tomatoes and put some oil, vinegar, herbs and spices on them so Paul could grill them. Paul also grilled some Romaine lettuce, and I dressed them up with some cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh grated cheese, and a bleu cheese vinaigrette I created. It was wonderful having everyone gather around our patio table and enjoy dinner and conversation.
*I had a nice surprise at work today when Stephanie and her family stopped in after they went to see “Nightmare at Dream Gulch” at the Sixth Street Melodrama. We had a nice visit, and hope to see more of each other in the fall.
*I got home from work and relaxed, and cut up some cheese and salami, and a freshly picked tomato from the garden to have for dinner.
*When Paul arrived home from taking Molly back to Post Falls, we finalized our plans for Day 1 of the Dare to Imagine Summer Camp we are helping with this week.
*Work was hopping today. Lots of people in town wanting to take a mine tour.
*A local gentleman often comes in toward the end of the day to have coffee and do some work. I visited with him a bit today. His name is J. Fulton Gadbois, and he is the owner of the 506 Bank St. Gallery & Studio. He is working on a major project called INCUBATOR, a 100 year Panorama of the 20th Century. He had all kinds of drawings in front of him, as he tried to shape one section of this project. I enjoyed visiting with him, and learning about this project. To read more about this project, here is an article from our local newspaper here.
*After work I met Paul at Kellogg Middle School to look at the room we were going to be using this week at the Dare To Imagine Camp.
*Please keep our family and extended family in your prayers. A lot going on on many fronts, and prayers would be good.
*We came home and I fried up some spicy Italian sausage with some tomatoes and basil, and topped it with some Parmesan cheese. We talked about the upcoming week, then Molly came and joined us at the table. Paul picked some raspberries and I enjoyed them after dinner, too. It was a nice night.
*I decided to get a little extra sleep this morning, so no walking for me this early a.m. But the extra rest felt good.
*The morning was spent cleaning house and getting ready for a BBQ we had planned for this evening.
*Around 11 a.m., April M Lee arrived, and we enjoyed some time outside. I gave her a tour of the gardens, and we enjoyed lunch, and catching up. After lunch we went over to The Bean coffee shop for coffee and more visiting. Before she moved, that would be a weekly routine for us, so it was fun to do it again today. After our time at The Bean, April left to do some errands, and I went home.
*Our guests started arriving around 5:30, and it was a wonderful evening. It was full of people I haven’t seen in a long time, as well as people I had just met. First arriving was Tina Marshall, who I spent time with in Italy last summer, and her friend Vance. They came with Kellee Crall Mills, and Kellee’s friend Rex, who is also Tina’s brother. They also brought Kellee’s dog Koach. Molly and Travis arrived soon after. Then Andy Broaddus, Jamie Broaddus and Jenna Broaddus arrived. Andy lives in Oklahoma, and is visiting here for a few days, as well as his daughter Jenna. Their daughter Jamie lives in Glendive, Montana, and is also visiting. We missed mom Stephanie, who plans to arrive tomorrow. Then friends Nikki and Rob Ross arrived, and also April and Eric Lee. We had a delicious BBQ with marinated elk steak Rex brought, some grilled chicken and some fish. We also had cabbage salad, potato salad, fruit salad and chips. Later for those still around, we made s’mores around the campfire. It was a wonderful evening with some really wonderful people, many of whom I don’t get to see that often.
*I think it is so important to keep connections with people, even if you don’t see them often. It has been a year since I saw April and Eric, but when they are here, it is important to spend time with them. It has been a year since I saw Tina, but making that connection again with her, and talking about what has been going on in her life was very special tonight. The Broaddus family members visit here every so often, and it is always a treat to see them, and make that connection. And even though Kellee is around Kellogg more often, because of our work schedules we don’t see each other that often, so it was nice to see her a couple times this week. Even if for a couple hours at a BBQ, making and keeping connections with the people you love is very important to me.
*I have been enjoying listening to Brene Brown, and this is her take on connections. I agree with her on this one, and am so fortunate to have people in my life that I do have connections with, and that I value, and that give me value.
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” ― Brené Brown
*Happy 32nd anniversary to Paul and I today. And what a wonderful day it was!
*Around 9 a.m. Paul and I rode our bikes over to Christy and Everett’s house, and loaded them onto their pickup. Bill came over from next door and was our special shuttle driver, taking us to Mullan and dropping us off at the Trailhead so we could begin the first of three bike rides we have planned to ride the entire 72 mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes.
*I had never ridden my bike on this part of the trail. Back when I used to do more bike riding, most of the riding I did on the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes was between Kellogg and a little past Cataldo. I enjoyed seeing this part of the trail. It is so beautiful. You begin in the town of Mullan, and you travel along the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River until you arrive in Kellogg. There are signs along the way that tell a little history of the Silver Valley, and we stopped and enjoyed reading those along the way. The trail is downhill all the way. The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes is part of the Rails to Trails system where they took the route of the railways, and converted them into paved trails for people to walk and bike on. This trail is also part of the Idaho State Parks system.
*We arrived back home after our ride, and decided to go to The Hill Street Depot for lunch. We both enjoyed a couple of their salads, and some ice tea. After lunch we went next door and each ordered an Affogato, which is two scoops of ice cream with two shots of espresso poured over it. Delicious!! While enjoying our anniversary treat, we had a nice conversation with Josh McDonald about Kellogg, and his work as the reporter at our local newspaper.
*An anniversary celebration would not be complete without a celebratory nap in the afternoon.
*After awaking from our nap, it was time to ride down to the Kellogg Farmer’s Market to check out the booths. Things were hopping at the market, and we saw lots of people and enjoyed visiting with them!! I have always admired my friend Christina Wood Mace’s jewelry she sells at the market each week, and today I finally had a reason to purchase a couple pairs of her earrings. She does a beautiful job! I bought some cleaner for my eye glasses that are suppose to keep them from fogging up. I hope it works. Then I visited with Joy Persoon for a bit. It was nice to see her out and about. We also stopped at the two local cheese vendors, and purchased two new kinds of cheese. I saw Bill and Debbie having some dinner in the beer garden, but by the time I made it over there to say hello, they had already departed.
*Throughout the evening, we received messages through the phone and Facebook from our three daughters wishing us a Happy Anniversary in very unique ways. All the messages brought us smiles and laughter.
*We rode home, and decided to grill some oysters for our anniversary dinner, along with some Romaine lettuce. We also added some of the cheeses from the market, and opened up a bottle of Elderberry Mead we had been saving from our visit to Camas Prairie Winery in Boville last spring. Almost everything we had for dinner was made locally. What a great way to celebrate!!
*After dinner we christened the new chess board Paul made on the birch tree stump in our backyard. I conceded, so Paul won. We will have a rematch soon!!
*Thirty-two years ago today, our marriage began here in Kellogg. And thirty-two years later it continues here in this beautiful part of the world we call home. I wouldn’t want to be sharing my life with anyone else but Paul, or live anywhere else but Kellogg.
*Taking a nap at 10 in the morning is a luxury these days. And a luxury I took advantage of today, because it was my day off, and I could!! While I was sleeping, I kept hearing a whirring sound, and wasn’t sure what was happening. When I woke up from my nap, I looked at my phone, and Paul had sent me a photo of his latest project. He was using his new Dremel to create a chess board on the stump of the birch tree that was cut down. So tomorrow we will have the inaugural chess match to christen the birch tree chess board.
*Around 1 p.m., Paul and I drove to Coeur d’Alene. He dropped me off at The Porch restaurant in Hayden where I met Kellee Crall Mills for lunch. We had a great time catching up. The Porch is a great restaurant, and it is in a beautiful location.
*Kellee drove me to Frey Meyer where I met up with Paul and we did a little shopping. Then we drove to Costco and did a lot of shopping. Then a quick stop at The Well Read Moose bookstore, and then we headed home.
*After putting the food away, we hopped on our bikes and went to Christy and Everett’s house. Christy wanted Paul to look at her recliner, because it was not working properly. Paul found the problem, quickly fixed it, and now the recliner works again. Christy gave me an update on her recovery, and it was nice to visit with both of them. Then we went next door to visit with Bill and Debbie. We went over to see if either of them would be available to drive us and our bikes to Mullan tomorrow so we could ride our bikes from Mullan to Kellogg in the morning. Bill said he would be able to do that, and we made plans to be at his house at 9 a.m. to head up to Mullan.
*We cut up some Dry Italian Salami, Pecorino Romano cheese, pickled asparagus and cucumber and tomatoes in oil and vinegar, and enjoyed this light meal on our patio. It fits right in with the book I am reading, that is set in Italy.
*I loved the fact that a teenage girl from Switzerland, traveling with her family in the USA, wanted to buy souvenirs in Wallace, Idaho to take back to friends and family. Part of the reason I love working where I do is the variety of people I meet, and the variety of places where they live. So far this summer I have met people from Switzerland, Australia, UK, Boston, Arkansas....to name just a few.
*I got home from work, I was looking on the computer and kept falling asleep. Instead of fighting it, I laid down on the couch and took a half hour nap that seemed to help revive me for the evening.
*As I was walking around the yard, surveying the gardens, I got a call from Zoe. We had a great talk, and she shared about a job she is thinking of applying for, and it was exciting talking to her about it, and I think she would do a marvelous job if she gets it. I pray it all works out for her.
*The Swiss Chard was look fabulous, so I decided to pick some and fry it up for dinner to go along with the drumsticks Paul had grilled earlier. Paul had a meeting at church, so when he arrived home, we ate some chicken and Swiss Chard. Yummy!!!
*During dinner, Paul and I had a great discussion about how we are going to approach teaching our lessons at the Dare To Imagine camp next week. We really want to incorporate the art of storytelling into each and everything we do. It will be fun in the next few days to plan out our lessons and activities.
*Today was a particularly long day. Which is a rather funny thing to say, because each day consists of 24 hours. But those hours seemed to be full to the brim today.
*It was a busy day at the mine tour. It was fun to see Betsy Bethke, a woman from Coeur d’Alene I met last spring who is a member of P.E.O. I enjoyed visiting with her, and meeting some of her family.
*Things were hopping at the mine tour today. I rode the trolley up to the mine tunnel to take a photo of one of our miner guides, Lenny Hoiland, so I can feature him on of the Sierra Silver Mine Tour Facebook posts. Lenny is a great guide, and always gets glowing reviews from our customers.
*After work, I picked Paul up at home and we went to Kellogg Middle School to attend a dinner and meeting for the volunteers who will be putting on the Dare to Imagine Summer Camp next week. Paul and I are helping out during the week, sharing a Bible lesson each morning with students, then doing some Drama activities with students throughout the week. I am really looking forward to next week. I feel like I have been a bit self-absorbed with all the changes going on in my life, and it will be nice to focus on these first through fourth graders and showing them love as we “Speak Life” (the theme of the week) into their lives.
*I had put some lamb chops in a marinade a couple days ago, and decided they should be cooked and eaten tonight. So I fried them up, and Paul and I enjoyed some lamb chops, fresh pea pods dipped in Tsaziki, and some marinated feta cheese. What a beautiful evening on our patio as we each read and enjoying the peace of our backyard.
*Around 9 p.m., it was time for bed. I was tired. I think I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow!! That mine tour business is hard work...lol!