Gathering Graces 8/30/2018

*The morning began with a visit from my friend April in Italy.  We had a wonderful conversation, and I always love talking to her, and getting caught up on her life in Italy!!
*I drove to Coeur d’Alene and had a very successful shopping trip.  After winding my way through the road construction on Government Way, I started out my shopping day at Michaels and purchased some items for VIPKID.  Then I went to Office Depot/Office Max and purchased some more items.  Then it was down to Target to stock up on more much needed items. 
*I came to town in need of three specific clothing items, and JC Penney did not disappoint.  I found all three items, and got some good deals besides.  Woo! Hoo!!
*My final stop was at Costco to stock up on food for the next month or so.  Once this stop was done, it was time to head for home.
*Once I put everything away, I jumped on my bike and headed down to the Silver Valley Farmer’s Market.  What a lovely evening.  I first saw my friend Sue Dahlberg and her husband Cleve listening to Ethereal in E, and had a nice visit with Sue.  I purchased a Lavendar and Honey Kombucha Popsicle from Booch so Rad.  Tonight he had bottled Kombucha, and he was completely sold out by the end of the night.  Radley is quite the entrepreneur!!
*It was also nice visiting with Karen Wilson Hulstrom.  We talked about what I was doing since retiring, and some plans for the future.  It was nice catching up with her.
*I also had a wonderful visit with Nancy Larsen.  She had a table set up, and was giving away some chairs she had painted, and giving all Kellogg School District employees a chance to win them.  At each vendor, there were purple tickets employees could fill out to win.  What a great idea!! 
*Paul showed up around 6:15 p.m.  He had been at the KHS Open House/BBQ tonight.  He joined me in my stroll around through the market.
*Strolling through the market is just a great thing to do.  I visit with people, buy a few items, and enjoy the atmosphere.  I am so excited it has been such a success this summer. 


Gathering Graces 8/29/2018

*The mornings have been a bit chilly, so a fire has been just the thing to get rid of the chill.  The warmth from the fire felt so good this morning. Then later, the temperatures started rising, and it felt much better, and things warmed up.
*My day began when the alarm went off at 4 a.m.  I had a VIPKID class at 5 a.m. this morning.  I think it went well.  But every class I do helps me learn more and do better.
*Because of my early morning rising time, I napped in the morning.
*Bill and Debbie arrived back in Kellogg after their trip to New York, and Debbie came by to pick up the Corgis.  We had a little visit, but she was pretty wiped out from her travels, so we said we would visit at a later time.
*Cosette and Taylor finished their painting job, and arrived home in the afternoon to clean up, pack up, and head back to Moscow.  They start another job tomorrow, and got a call while they were still here to schedule another paint job for next week.  They are sure keeping busy!!
*Joy Persoon hosted a back to school event at her home tonight for school district employees, and also to celebrate the marriage of the district’s band teacher Brian Hix to his wife Rachel.  It was a wonderful evening visiting with people and enjoying Joy’s beautiful backyard space.  It was a really fun, relaxing night. 
*I rode my bike to Joy’s house, so I decided to leave before it got too dark.  I got home, and decided to call Molly and see how her first day went with students today.  She is doing her student teaching in Moscow this semester, so it was fun to talk to her about her first day.
*Paul arrived home soon after I did.  He had been at Joy’s house to get a quick bite to eat, then had a meeting to attend. I watched a little bit of Chopped before heading to bed.


Gathering Graces 8/28/2018

*This morning at work, Sue and I were trying to figure out the Instagram account for the mine tour, and how it can be used effectively to promote the mine tour.  We talked about hashtags, and who to follow.  We are both still trying to figure it out.
*I had a nice visit with some Canadian visitors to the mine tour today.  They live in Alberta, and have mines in their area.  They enjoy coming down here to bike, and they were riding the Gondola, but wondered what else would be interesting.  I suggested visiting the Cataldo Mission, and they thought that would be very interesting.  I hope they enjoy it!!
*Paul had a meeting in Wallace tonight, so he came early and we went to the City Limits for dinner.  I really like this place.  We both enjoyed our dinners.  I had a chicken taco salad, and Paul had a burger that was quite tasty. It was a great meal for both of us, with friendly wait staff as well.
*I spent the evening preparing for my next VIPKID class that is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 5 a.m.  I went through the lesson and the Powerpoint slides, and collected all my props.  I can’t wait to teach another class!!
*Taylor and Cosette rolled in around midnight last night, after working about 15 hours working on their interior paint job.  They hope to be finished up tomorrow.


Gathering Graces 8/27/2018

*It was a treat last night to wake up off and on and listen to the rain falling.  And then to drive home at the end of the day and see blue sky.  Because of the smoke from the fires, we haven’t seen blue sky in a while.  It was a nice change.
*Today was the first time in the last 11 years that I did not attend meetings for the Kellogg School District.  Paul got up and got going.  I did not, because I am retired from the district.  No, it was not that strange.  I am wondering if next week, when students actually go back to school, if it will seem strange then.
*I spent my day at the Sierra Silver Mine Tour.  It was a slower day today, so I had an opportunity to visit with different people.  We started the day off much earlier than our normal day, because we had a tour bus come in, and they took the mine tour at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.  The guy who heads up the tour, Al, leads these tours about 6 months out of the year, and then lives in Australia the other 6 months of the year.    I met another guy who grew up in Wallace, and he talked about working at the Star Mine in Burke, working as a lifeguard at the Burke Pool, and other fun stories.  I met another guy who has a home on Coeur d’Alene Lake near Harrison, and he and his wife live there during the summer months when it is cooler here, then they head back to Arizona during the winter months.  To him, it is the best of both worlds.  He and his wife look about my age, or maybe a bit younger.  I met another young woman and her boyfriend who are in the country from France.  Her parents live in Boise, and she lives in France and teaches English.  Her boyfriend is from France.  She was back in the U.S. for a little bit of time before traveling back to France.  I shared with her about my new job with VIPKID, and we had a nice conversation.
*People who visit love Wallace.  I hear this again and again and again.  Sometimes they have driven through Wallace many times, and have finally stopped.  I like the days when I can take the time to hear people’s stories.
*Paul was home when I returned, and we had a pretty low key evening.  We ate some dinner, visited with a friend, and watched a recording of the musical Paul will be performing in this fall at the Sixth Street Theater, titled Men on Ice.  It looks like he will have a lot of fun putting this show on with Ken Bartle, Gordon Turner, Joy Persoon and director Cherri Bartle.  Mark your calendars!!  It will be performed the first three weekends in November.


Gathering Graces 8/26/2018

*It was back at the Sierra Silver Mine Tour today.  I thought it would be a pretty slow day, but we were actually pretty steady.  I met a nice couple from France today, as well as people from Washington state and Canada.  There were two new ice cream flavors, and I had to try some samples.  One was called “Coffee and Doughnuts”.  It tasted just like those mini donuts that are made on sight, fried in oil.  It was to die for!!  And I knew when they ordered ice cream last time that “Black Licorice” was also a flavor that was coming up. It was added today as well, and, if you are a black licorice fan, you have to try it.  It was so good I brought home a pint for Paul to give him a nice surprise.
*Christy and Everett picked us up when I arrived home from work,  and drove us to The Hilltop in Kingston for dinner.  We had a lovely time, and were taken care of  all evening by the establishment’s owner.  When I saw there were fried oysters on the menu, I couldn’t resist ordering them.  And they were so yummy!!  They have been a favorite of mine for practically my whole life.  In fact, it reminds me of a story from when I was 10 years old, and in fifth grade.  I traveled with my mom to Boise over spring break, because she had a Idaho Education Association convention to attend that week.  I remember going out to a meal with Mom and some of the delegates, one of whom was Dale Bachman.  For that meal, my ten year old self ordered fried oysters to eat, and I remember Dale not believing I would eat those.  But, of course, I proved him wrong, and ate every last one.  I am thinking I developed a love for fried oysters growing up eating at the Seafood Buffet at the Sunshine Inn.  Dad had been a bartender at the Sunshine Inn, and we would often eat there.
*Paul and I enjoyed some small bowls of Black Licorice ice cream when we arrived home from dinner, and eventually Cosette and Taylor arrived home from their day of painting.  We had a nice visit with Cosette before she headed off to bed.


Gathering Graces 8/25/2018

*I got to sleep in a bit this morning.  That is always a treat!!
*Cosette and Taylor headed off to Coeur d’Alene to work on their latest interior painting job.
*The morning was spent figuring out my new September schedule for VIPKID.  I looked at my schedule, and put in my availability for each day in September.  Here’s hoping I get some students this next month!!  Woo Hoo!! 
*Today was pickle day!  I had been talking about making pickles from my rat tail radishes, so today was the day.  I went outside and picked some of the dill out in the garden.  I went to the basement to find my canner, and pint jars and other supplies.  I brought them up to the kitchen, and washed the jars thoroughly.
*I put some pickling salt, 1/2 a garlic clove, some red pepper flakes, and some dill in each pint jar.  I made a pickling brine of 1/2 water, 1/2 distilled white vinegar and heated it up.  I got the radishes out of the fridge, and washed them off, and cut them up.  I packed the jars, and put some of the brine in the jar.  Then they got a 20 minute hot water bath.
*I took a break from canning, and went over to Bonnie Farmin’s house to get some wine she offered us to fill our new wine rack, and to look at all her beautiful quilts she has made.  I brought her over some of our bumper crop of squash we have been picking.  It was nice to see her and visit, and see all her beautiful creations!!  She has kept very busy since retiring from the Kellogg School District a few years ago.
*I came back home and finished up the pickles.  I still had a few jars that didn’t get filled with the radishes, so I cut up some of the summer squash and put it in jars to pickle.  It is all an experiment, so we will see how they turn out tomorrow when I open up a jar to taste them.  But I think you can basically pickle anything!!
*As life was going on as usual here in Kellogg, my niece Adrienne Diedrich was marrying Josh Langford back in Nyack, New York.  Adrienne is Bill and Debbie’s daughter.  It was fun seeing photographs posted throughout the day.  Adrienne was a beautiful bride, and the whole thing looked wonderful!!
*Paul had to work concessions at the Sixth Street Melodrama tonight, so I went with him.  Cosette and Taylor were going to join us, but the were tuckered out after a long day of painting today.  When we got home, they were fast asleep!  It was a fun show.  I saw Becky Jackson, who I have not seen in years, and Lisa Siri, who was one of the cast members.  Both of these ladies have been in past Sixth Street productions.


Gathering Graces 8/24/2018

*Today I spent a majority of the day preparing to teach two “practice classroom” lessons on video for VIPKID to earn a certification, which will hopefully help me get more bookings with students.  I did these both in the afternoon, and learned shortly afterwards I passed, and am now waiting for a student to book a “Little Translator” class.  In the early evening I took a workshop on Time Management, learning tips on how to get through the whole lesson in 25 minutes, even if there are obstacles that come up.  I am really enjoying learning more about how to teach this way, and being better prepared.
*Paul and I spent some time in the yard this afternoon.  I did a harvest of some cucumbers, a few green beans, and many squash from the big pile of dirt.  My summer squash plants have been taken over by powdery mildew, and so I trimmed off the leaves that were most affected by this, and hopefully this will help them produce a little better.  I need to do a little research on how to keep that from coming back next year.  This is the worst it has ever been!!  But the summer squash just keep on coming!
*We are loving the taste of the squash when we grill it on the bbq.  It was wonderful having fresh picked cucumbers and tomatoes in a salad with avocado, stevia, avocado oil, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper.  Besides the grilled squash, which included three varieties, green acorn, white acorn and our hybrid zucchini/butternut squash, Paul also grilled some chicken. For the squash, I just cut it into slices with the peel still on, rub olive oil on both sides, and then salt and pepper the top.  After they came off the grill, I grated Parmesan Cheese on top of them.  The heat of the grill brings out the sweet, nutty flavor of the squash, and it is, as Paul said last night, “just like candy!!”
*Paul had a couple projects going yesterday.  He loves stopping by a local second hand store in town called Cattails, and seeing what is for sale.  He had stopped by there the other day and saw a custom built wine rack that he thought was pretty cool looking, and came home and told me about it.  He went back to look at it today, and the price had dropped $20 from the price it was the ot.  He thought about it, about where we could put it in our house, and before I knew it, he was home with the wine rack.  He installed it yesterday afternoon, and it looks perfect.  Now all we need are some delicious varieties of wine to add to it!  He also took some time to trim back the raspberry canes, and made our raspberry patch look better.

Second hand custom built wine rack.  It looks like it was meant for this wall!

*Cosette and Taylor arrived back from the painting job in Coeur d’Alene while I was doing my online workshop.  They ate a little bit, and joined Paul out at our firepit.  I joined them when my workshop got over.  It was a bit chilly, so the fire felt really good!!  Zoe called Cosette as we were sitting out there, talking about her first week back at school as a paraprofessional at Meridian Middle School.  Then the painters were tired, Paul and I were tired, so we all got ready to head off to bed. 


Gathering Graces 8/23/2018

*Today was my last day officially working for the Kellogg School District.  I have met all my obligations.  I guess now I can say it is official.  I am retired from the KSD.  It was a bit strange turning in my keys at the end of the day, but, the nice thing is, I will be around, especially since Paul still works at KHS, and I believe we will have some lunch dates in the future.
*Around 5 p.m. Jenn and David Schram (our niece and nephew) arrived with their kids Grace, Peter, Ella and Iris, and we walked over to the Silver Valley Farmer’s Market.  It was fun visiting with Joy Persoon, and running into Julie Magnuson, and meeting her mother.  We also got hugs from Erin Nansel (always a must on Farmer’s Market Night), and talked a bit with Debbie Domy.  I bought some goat cheddar cheese from Terratopia, and was too late to get some eggs this time.  It was a wonderful time.
*After spending time at the market, we walked uptown to have dinner at Radio Brewery.  I enjoyed the Hangover Burger (with no bun) and a side salad with really good bleu cheese dressing!! 
*After dinner we all walked back home and enjoyed some time out in the yard cracking open some peanuts, and enjoying one another’s company.  It was so wonderful to see this family, and get to see them again fairly soon when we all gather in Nampa in September for a family wedding.
*We also had Cosette Roberts and Taylor Barnes arrive this evening to stay a few days.  They have painting job in Coeur d’Alene, so they will be staying with us as they drive back and forth to paint each day.  So great to have them here for a few days.


Gathering Graces 8/22/2018

*Today it was the sophomores registering at KHS, and we made it through another day!!  As I have gone through the week, I have been encouraged as co-workers keep telling me they will miss me, and what are they going to do when I am not there.  I am not going to lie....that does make me feel good.  My response is that I will probably come up to have lunch with Paul every now and then throughout the school year, so I will still be around some. 
*For Christmas, I gave Paul a years worth of “dates”.  So each month we have scheduled a purposeful date to go out and enjoy one another’s company.  For August, we had made plans to attend a concert at Arbor Crest Winery in Spokane to listen to the Spokane Symphony perform.  But because of the poor air quality from the fires in the area, the concert was moved indoors into the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane.  At first, I was a little disappointed, because I wanted to enjoy the concert in a beautiful outdoor venue.  But once we stepped into the Fox Theater, I was disappointed no more.  What a beautiful theater.  It is decorated in an amazing art deco motif.  The theater was restored back in 2007, and is so wonderful.  I hope to return soon to see other types of performances in this theater.
*What a treat to hear a symphony perform.  Listening to recorded classical music is a wonderful experience, but to hear a live symphony performance far surpasses a recording.  You not only hear the sounds, but you see the experience the body language of the musicians, the emotion of the conductor, and feel the music in a way you don’t experience in a recording.  The first half of the concert was more modern selections, including Word of Mouth by Timo Andres, a piece inspired by the Word of Mouth Chorus, whose classic recordings of Shaker hymns from the 1970’s were his first exposure to music.  The second piece was a piece composed by Gabriel Kahane called Freight and Salvage, and the third was by composer Sarah Kirkland Snider, titled Daughter of the Waves, written for her new born daughter.
*After Intermission, the Spokane Symphony performed French composer Georges Bizet’s Symphony in C.  Bizet was a child progeny who started college at the age of 9.  Bizet is most famous for composing the music for the opera Carmen.  The piece he composed that we heard tonight was written when he was 17 years old.  Paul and I enjoyed this music the most.  As conductor Morihiko Nakahara pointed out, the Symphony in C was a much more uplifting piece of music, whereas the pieces in the first half were full of more angst.  Maybe that was part of it.  I think some of it is liking the more classical sound.  Whatever the reason, it was a wonderful night experiencing the music on many levels.
*Before the concert, Paul and I went to Twigs Bistro and Martini Bar for dinner, and started the evening with a delicious meal.  I ordered Pork Osso Bucco and Paul had Ahi Tuna.  Both were very delicious.  Every part of our “date night” from the dinner to the music was wonderful.  And every time we go into Spokane for something like this, I tell myself I need to spend more time exploring Spokane, because I love spending time there.


Gathering Graces 8/21/2018

*Shortly after my morning walk, Robert Paul from Flame Heating arrived to start work on installing a new furnace in our home.  We still have the original furnace in this home from when the house was built around 1970.  When we had it serviced at the beginning of summer, we got an estimate on getting a new one, and thought it would be a good idea.  I am curious to see how the new furnace, combined with our new roof help warm our house much more efficiently this winter.  I can already tell how much cooler our house has stayed this summer with our new roof. 
*It will be nice to have a nice functioning furnace, especially after last night being so cool in the house.  I had to pull out the flannel pajamas and socks to wear to bed!!
*I was back at KHS today helping with student registration.  It has gone quite well.  The students have been great, and I am glad I can help out with this process this week. 
*When I got home I realized I was a little overdue on fertilizing my roses and pots of flowers around the yard.  So I took some of my Sea Magic fertilizer and watered all the roses and pots around the yard.  I counted the pots, and I have around 60 different containers with flowers in them around the yard.  And I have been very happy with how they have done this summer. 
*With the VIPKID program, you can submit “practice videos” of you teaching a certain lesson and get certifications for teaching different types of classes.  I got another certification yesterday.  I am currently preparing to do two more practice videos to get another certification.  This hopefully will help in getting more students to book my time slots.
*I had a great visit with Zoe on the phone this afternoon.  She shared with me some news from her life, and how things are going.  She is actively looking for an apartment to move in to, and starting another school year as a para professional at Meridian Middle School.  It will be fun to see her in a few weeks when we go down to attend our niece’s wedding.
*When you teach students online, you use a lot of props, including colorful images of the things you are talking about.  I spent some time tonight printing off images and laminating them to use in upcoming classes.  I am loving my new Laminater!!


Gathering Graces 8/20/2018

*It was a strange morning.  I didn’t set my alarm, so woke up too late to walk with Nikki.  Than I remembered I was going up to Kellogg High School to help with registration, so my morning routine would be a bit different.  I think it took until about 10 a.m. for my brain to wake up this morning.  Sheesh!!
*Paul came up to the school later and brought me my phone, and it was practically dead.  When I was home at lunch, somehow the plug in to my phone was not plugged into the power strip.  And my diffuser was unplugged.  And my glass case was on the floor.  What happened next to my bed to cause all of these things to happen???  It will remain a mystery.  Later in the day, I found the phone plug on the floor, and now everything is plugged in, and should be good, and ready for tomorrow morning.
*The wind whipped the smoke around today, and we did get a little rain as well.  The sky was a bit clearer by evening, which was nice.
*I spent some time in my “squash jungle” seeing what was growing, and found about 8 different squashes that I picked.  I also picked a whole big bowl full of the rat tail radishes.  I hope to get them pickled this week.

*The evening was spent participating in a VIPKID workshop on “Marketing Yourself”, which was very helpful.  On the recommendation of Laurie Roberts, Paul and I started listening to a book by Bob Goff titled Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World of Setbacks and Difficult People, as we sat out on the patio.  It was kind of nice having it cool this afternoon and evening that a sweatshirt was required.
*I was a bit surprised at how cool it was as I got ready for bed.  It had to put on my flannel pajamas and socks for bed tonight.


Gathering Graces 8/19/2018

*We were hosting Family Dinner tonight, so I spent the afternoon preparing for dinner.  It was fun to plan the meal, and try out some new things.
*The menu included stuffed zucchini, which needed a tomato sauce.  I pulled out my Marcella Hazen Tomato Sauce recipe to make as the base for this recipe.  If you have never tried this recipe, it is so delicious.  And today was even better, because I was able to use fresh tomatoes from my garden.  The recipe consists of chopped tomatoes, butter and an onion cut in half. These ingredients simmer on the stove for about 45 minutes or so, and you have a delicious sauce.
*We had been given some elk burger earlier this summer.  I browned it, and added some Italian sausage, and sauteed some onions, green pepper and garlic, and added this all together with the tomato sauce, and had my stuffing for the zucchini.  The small round Ronde de Nice squash I have been growing were perfect to stuff.  I also stuffed a couple of the what I think are a combination zucchini/butternut squash that are growing in my big pile of dirt.  The stuffing also had a bit of Mozzarella cheese in the stuffing.  They turned out delicious.
*I picked some Swiss Chard, and Paul grilled it on the BBQ.  Once it was grilled, I chopped it up and added Almond Oil, lemon juice and Kosher Salt.  I also picked a variety of salad greens, a cucumber, tomatoes, and added some radishes and peas for a wonderfully fresh chopped salad.
*Today I ventured into Keto cake baking, making a chocolate zucchini cake.  It turned out good, despite the fact I forgot to put butter in it.  I found the melted butter in the microwave after I had baked the cake.  Oh well.  The cake still tasted great!!
*It was a wonderful evening gathering around our table outside, and enjoying visiting, great food, great drink and great conversation.  The smoke covered the sky this evening, but it has not been as bad here as it has been in parts of the Northwest.


Gathering Graces 8/18/2018

*This morning began with a VIPKID workshop for new teachers.  It was very informative, and gave me some direction on how I can be spending my time while I wait for students to sign up for my class slots. 
*I enjoyed spending time outside today, finding lots of squash, and seeing new flowers blooming, like the gladiolus.  These flowers always remind me of my Grandma West.  I don’t specifically remember them in her yard, but I remember being told they were one of her favorite flowers.  I can see why.  They are very unique.  Grandma West lived in Orofino, Idaho, and each summer we would go there and spend a week.  It was usually in August.  More than her flowers, I remember her vegetable garden.  The soil in Orofino had a very distinct smell.  I also remember the smell of her tomato plants.  It was always fun being at Grandma’s house in the summer.
*What a joy it is to prepare meals with vegetables from the garden.  For dinner, I prepared lamb chops, Paul grilled some zucchini with the butter and herbs, garlic and Parmesan cheese that was delicious.  We also had a fresh tomato and avocado salad. 


Gathering Graces 8/17/2018

*We have a toad that lives in one of the window wells at our house.  We call him Mr. Toad.  Today he was out peering in the window.  Usually he isn’t this visible.  I went to the garden and dug up a few worms for him.  I think he liked the snack.
*I had to go to Coeur d’Alene to get some routine bloodwork done, so Paul said he would go with me.  After finding LabCorp and the correct entrance in the building, I easily gave my blood sample and was on my way.  Paul and I headed over to Le Peep for breakfast, since I was quite ready for something to eat after fasting since midnight for the bloodwork.  Later I was called with the results, and everything looked good, including my cholesterol, which means I can remain off of my cholesterol medication.  Yay!!!
*After breakfast, Paul and I went to Lowes to look at some flooring.  We are redoing some floors in our basement, and are trying to figure out the best way to do them.
*We also made a stop at the Dollar Tree.  I bought some goodies for teaching, and also ran into Alania Chambliss and her mom.  Alania is getting ready to begin her second year of college at NIC.
*Then it was time to head home.  We spent the afternoon a bit concerned because our cat Clark had not returned home the night before, and we had not seen him all day.  Finally, around 3:30 p.m. he strolled into the house.  We were glad he made it home.
*Paul, Tim Arnhold and I provided musical entertainment for a fund-raiser dinner at our church tonight for our friend Brenda Erickson.  She is getting a service dog to help her know when her blood sugar level get too low.  In order for the dog to come to her home, she needs to build a fence around her backyard.  The dinner tonight was to help with the costs of putting up the fence.  I think this dinner provided money to help her complete this project.
*Despite a little bit of rain earlier in the day, the evening turned out to be rather warm, so it felt good to enjoy some time out on the patio. 


Gathering Graces 8/16/2018

*One of the first things I saw after I woke up this morning was to read a wonderful message from a friend letting me know she was thinking about me, because she knew today was the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing away. 
*I found one of my favorite photos of her and I from last summer, and posted it on Facebook.   Then the tears started to flow.  Paul came over, wrapped his arms around me, and let me cry on his shoulder for as long as I needed.  But, as always, I am glad for the tears.  I am glad for the memories, and the fact I still miss her very much.
*Bill and Debbie arrived back from their trip to Eugene, and we all gathered in Christy and Everett’s backyard and raised a glass to toast to Mom.  I am glad we could all spend a little time together this evening to visit and remember Mom. 
*Our friend Beverley Wolff shared a poem that was perfect to read today.  I read it to everyone as we gathered together in the evening. 
Death Is Nothing At All
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away to the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
That, we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effect.
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am but waiting for you.
For an interval.
Somewhere. Very near.
Just around the corner.
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before only better, infinitely happier and forever we will all be one together with Christ.
Henry Scott Holland