A Perpetual Bond of Friendship

When I started my journey with Delta Delta Delta in August of 1981, I would never be able to understand how these women would still be a part of my life 38 years later.  (Well, actually my TriDelta journey started about 6 years before I became a pledge.  In the spring of 1975 (I think), when my sister Christy was in the house, she invited me to come and stay with her for a few days during my spring break.  Her roommate at the time Lori Hoalst, had a younger sister Lisa who was a year older than me, and she came, too.  We had so much fun for those few days running all over the house and making ourselves at home.  When I pledged in the fall of 1981, Lisa was there to welcome me again, as she had pledged the house the year before.)

Social media has certainly helped keep me in touch with people.  It helped some of us in our pledge class come together last fall for a gathering in Boise to spend the weekend catching up on each other's lives.

And then it happened again last weekend in Moscow, where we all lived at one time or another in the Delta Delta Delta house on the University of Idaho campus.

As a freshman pledge, you learn all kinds of things about the sorority, including the purpose of Delta Delta Delta.  I don't think as a freshman pledge you can grasp the meaning of what the purpose truly means.  Thirty-eight years later, I think I might get it.  This purpose became clear.

The Purpose of Delta Delta Delta shall be to establish a perpetual bond of friendship among its members, to develop a stronger and more womanly character, to broaden the moral and intellectual life, and to assist its members in every possible way.

It became clear as I went through the months of my mother failing in the local nursing home, and then passing away as the thoughts and prayers of countless Tri-Delta sisters, many of whom I had not seen in years, touched my life when I needed that love and compassion from others.

It became clear during the four years our youngest daughter Cosette was at the University of Idaho, and I would run into Tri Deltas on campus and always receive a smile and often a laugh with each and every one of them.

It became clear as I have learned about my pledge sister's adult lives.  I am amazed at the impact they are making on their communities as lawyers, judges, doctors, teachers, nurses, architects, business women, wives, mothers, grandmothers and volunteers, to name a few roles they play.

It became clear as the years just melt away, and you pick right back up where you had been with these women.  Some I saw last fall.  Some I had visited with throughout the last four or five years on the U of I campus.  Some I hadn't seen since the last Tri-Delta reunion I attended, back in 2009.  For others, it has been over 30 years.  But it didn't matter.

It became clear as I sat back and listened to the stories of these incredible Tri-Delta women who have dealt with aging parents, broken marriages and relationships, children with issues, and their own  issues. But these stories are part of what made these people the incredible women they are today.

It became clear as my sister Christy and I helped on the reunion committee for this reunion, and our excitement built as we started reconnecting with different people and started looking forward to seeing them come to Moscow.

It became clear as I listened to many of these women tell of their career path, and how many of them were pioneers in fields like computer science, where women had not had careers in this field before. I think back in the early 80's, we didn't realize we were breaking any kind of barriers.  I think we believed what we were told.  That we could pursue any career field we wanted.

It became clear as I visited with many of my sisters who had fond memories of Paul proposing to me I the living room of  the Delta Delta Delta house on the evening of December 10, 1984.

It became clear that despite the "not so perfect" lives we have all lead, that we have made it, we are strong women, and we have that perpetual bond of friendship that has lasted all these years.  And we have our sisters who love us.

The Tri Delta Greek Motto is: Asfalos Agapomen Allaylas…."Let Us Steadfastly Love One Another".  Again, I don't think I understood the meaning of this motto until later in life, when I realized I have a special bonds of love and friendship with my Tridelt sisters.

And the thing that amazes me, as I reconnect, especially with my pledge sisters, is realizing what incredible human beings they all are.  I just love being around them and spending time with them.  I love hearing their stories.  I love that another gathering is already in the works for this fall with my pledge sisters.  Thanks, everyone, for an incredible weekend!!



Inch By Inch....Row by Row...I'm Gonna Make This Garden Grow

I love The Garden Song.

It was on one of the girl's tapes of children's songs when they were growing up.

I wrote a whole skit to the song, and Molly's first grade class performed it, complete with costumes.

Now, the lyrics to the song are my life.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, here are the words.

The Garden Song

Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling down
So plant your rows straight and long, temper them with prayer and song
Mother earth can keep you strong if you give her love and care
Now an old crow watching hungrily from his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I'm as free as that feathered thief up there
Inch by inch, row by row, I'm gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling .

If you have never heard the song, here is John Denver and the Muppets 
doing a great version of this song.

I will be heading to Moscow tomorrow for my sorority reunion, so I will not get to do my daily garden walks for the next few days, and I am going to miss it.  So I took a bunch of photographs this morning so I can see all the progress that happens in the next few days.  I expect there to be a lot of change in my vegetable garden.
Here are a few shots of the food that is growing.
Here are my round, Ronde Nice zucchini.  I grew these last year, and just loved them!  I also have a couple kinds of onions growing.  I have never grown onions before.
On the other end of this bed, among the dill plants, are about five different pepper plants and yellow summer squash.  They all are starting to get blossoms!

The other raised vegetable bed (made from horse troughs) has some regular zucchini growing at this end, again with lots of volunteer dill that is growing.

I had my first nasturtium blossom this morning.

I saved pea seeds from last year's crop, and they came up very successfully.

I also planted green beans from seeds I saved.  They have not been quite as successful germinating.  But the cabbage plants are going crazy!!

Last year I had a lot of winter squash come up volunteer, and I planted them in our "big pile of dirt" and we had a lot of squash.  The same thing happened this year, so I asked Paul to create a raised bed to plant the "mystery squash".  Within an hour he had this bed built, and had the squash plants planted by the end of the day.  I can't wait to see what grows from these plants.  Last year we had a lot of acorn squash hybrids.  Who know what they will be this year!!

I like turning used tires into little planters.  This year I have three tires with cucumber plants in them.  One tire has Armenian Cucumbers which are struggling a bit, but I think they are going to make it.  The other two tires have slicing cucumbers.

Last year I planted Rat Tail Radishes, and enjoyed them throughout the summer.  This tire has some rat tail radish plants.

I also use recycled tires for my "salad garden".  Each tire has a different salad green, including lettuces, kales and Swiss Chard.

I planted tomato plants in pots next to the house.  It is a really good area to grow the tomatoes.  They get a lot of sun, and we have a drip irrigation system to water them.  All my tomato plants came from the Tomato Lady at the Pine Creek Nursery.

I love growing food and love to harvest throughout the summer and into fall.  With the lettuce growing, I won't have to buy lettuce for the rest of the summer.  I love going out each day and clipping lettuce for our salads.  Eventually we will have other vegetables to add to our meals from the garden.  Nothing is better than fresh grown produce from the garden!!


Silver Valley Books: "Coeur d' Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho" by Richard G. Magnuson

I own a large library of books about the Silver Valley.

I have a list of them at the bottom of my blog (that does need updated, I realized!!).  But recently I did a program on some of my favorite Silver Valley history books, and it made me think people might be interested in knowing some books that are out there that they can read about our area's history.

So about every week or so I am going to tell about one of the books I have, and why I like it.

"Coeur d' Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho" by Richard G. Magnuson is a great book that the author researched using local newspapers and shows the history through the newspaper articles.  There are also pictures from the first ten years.  He covers a bit of history when the Jesuit Priests arrived and built the Cataldo Mission. Then he shares about the building of the Mullan Road.  The Gold Rush up the North Fork is also mentioned.  The rest of the book focuses on the years from 1884 to 1893.  In the forward of the book, the author, Richard Magnuson, says, "This, in its small way, is my effort to chronicle the first ten years of the Coeur d'Alene, a mining camp and its people".

I enjoyed the photographs in the book as well, showing the early days of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District.  If you want to know some history of the early days of the Silver Valley, this book is a great place to begin.  There are many copies available through the local libraries.

If you have ever read the book, or have a comment about this publication, I would love you to write a comment and tell me what your thoughts are on this book.


Fathers, Fishing, Family and Fun!!

What a fabulous way to spend the afternoon on this Father's Day.  Paul was thrilled to have two of his daughters home this weekend.  Zoe did make a "virtual" appearance later in the day as we video chatted with her toward the end of dinner, then she was the official "Bocce Ball" judge on some of the close calls.  We knew Father's Day would not be an easy one because of the loss of Paul's dad and the girl's grandpa this spring, so it was so nice that we had a houseful for dinner.

Father's Day Family Photo

The afternoon began at 4 p.m. with the arrival of Bill, Christy and Everett. It was wonderful to be surround by three such wonderful fathers in our midst, Everett, Bill and Paul.  We enjoyed some drinks and chips and salsa while Paul and I finished up the Shrimp Taco dinner that was served.  For dessert I made a wonderful recipe called "Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp" topped with some French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos...delicious.

Build your own tacos with all the fixin's.

Rhubarb Crisp.

After dinner it was fun giving Christy a tour of our gardens.  We love showing off our back yard that we have created to be our little "happy place".

Christy and Everett gave Paul a gardening book, and, in a joint Mother's Day and Father's Day gift,  Paul and I got money from the girls so we can purchase our fishing licenses (Molly, is this spelled correctly???.....LOL!!), and get out and do some fishing this summer.  But now we realized our next purchase needs to be fishing poles!!

After Christy and Everett left, the Bocce Ball competition was on, with Paul and I against Molly and Cosette, and Zoe still with us on the Chrome Book as we played a round.  It was close, and it came down to the last play, and "Team Millenial" won, thanks in part to our fair and impartial judge Zoe, making the close call through video chatting.

Cosette and Molly then drove to Coeur d'Alene to spend the night at the Coeur d'Alene resort.  Cosette is now the Social Media Coordinator for the Best Western University Inn in Moscow, as well as the Catering Assistant.  She was meeting with the person who does Social Media for the resort on Monday, so she was comped a room for the night.

What a wonderful weekend, a wonderful way to spend Father's Day, and a great time seeing lots of family and friends throughout the weekend.

Bridal shower, North Fork River Girl, Joyful Joy and Eagle Grad...Socializing Saturday

What a day of fun the Roberts' family had today hopping from one social event to the next.

Cosette started off the day by attending a bridal shower for her life long friend Jessi Gibbons.  Look at these two beauties!!

At the Silver Valley Community Market on Thursday I found the perfect sweatshirt  at Knotty Ridge Creations for my friend Kellee who enjoys almost every weekend throughout the summer "up the river" on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.  The owner, Jess, saved it for me, and said I could pick it up at her grand opening of her new shop on McKinley Avenue in uptown Kellogg.  So I went up Saturday morning to check out her new shop and buy the sweatshirt.

It looks great on her!!

Molly, Cosette and Paul checking out the beautiful river.

Koach the River Dog

When you look at the view from their river place, you know why Kellee refers to this place as her "little slice of Heaven."

Kellee and Rex, our awesome hosts this afternoon.

Then it was off to French Gulch Farms and Garden for Joy Persoon's retirement party.  Joy started teaching in Kellogg when I was in junior high (unfortunately I never had her as a teacher, but she did accompany me at different times while I was in high school).  Joy has left a lasting impact on her students throughout the years, and many of us gathered together to celebrate this success.  It was a nice surprise to run into Geni Williams Fischer, a fellow Class of 1981 graduate. (I saw lots of former KHS classmates today!!)  Fortunately, all three of our daughters had her as a choir teacher in high school.  It was wonderful catching up with lots of people at the party, and to see different people share about our friend.  I look forward to spending more time with Joy in her retirement!!

Joy and her grandson Lennon.

Our final stop of the day was the Rathdrum City Park where Joanie McNutt was celebrating her graduation from Eastern Washington University.  The ceremony was this afternoon at EWU, then friends and family gathered together to celebrate her success in earning a degree in Recreational Therapy.  It was great to see Joanie and her sister Abby, and her grandparents Ann and Larry Curry.  It was also fun catching up with her Aunt Katy Davis, and more KHS Class of 1981 girls, Joanie's mom Tina Curry and our friend Tammi Durick Flores.

Tammi, Tina and I....lifelong friends!!!

Our final stop for the day was at Fred Meyer in Coeur d'Alene to pick up some last minute items for Father's Day dinner.  The highlight of the shopping trip was when the four of us met in one of the grocery aisles as Pharrell William's song "Happy" came on over the speakers, and the four of us started singing and dancing down the aisle.  So fun to spend the day socializing, visiting and laughing with Molly and Cosette!!

Lunch Date and "Hosta Takeover"

There is a new restaurant that opened uptown called "The BackCountry CafĂ©". It serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week, and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Paul and I really enjoyed our meal.  I had a Beef Lover's Sandwich, and Paul enjoyed a Reuben and Rachel.  To see more information and to check out their menu, you can go here

Go treat yourself to a great sandwich, or pick up an order to go!

I was looking at the front of our house today, and we seem to have a bit of a "hosta takeover" (pun intended!!).  For whatever reason, the conditions in front of our house under the living room window are the perfect conditions to grow hostas.  And I have split most of these in the fall to share with others, and they just keep coming back, bigger and better than ever.  I got the small one from my brother's yard last fall, but it didn't get planted in the proper spot.  I need to move it over the the right to center it better between the other two hostas on either side.  I love that they grow like crazy in this front flower bed.


Quirky Garden Finds, Half Price Plants and an awesome Community Market Kick off!!

Paul and I scored in a variety of different ways today finding some quirky items to put in our themed gardens around the backyard.  The first was "inheriting" a lawn swing from my sister and her husband, since they purchased a new one.  But this will not be used as a theme.  It will be the centerpiece in one of our themed gardens.  Stay tuned as the garden progresses.

Paul had some items to take to the transfer station, so we decided to drive to Osburn and check out St. Vinnies.  We were in search of a bowling ball that we will transform into a garden gazing ball.  We scored and found a bowling ball, plus a white globe light cover and a perfect silver metallic vase to put in on that will also find a place somewhere in the yard.

Our local Ace Hardware Store put all their plants on sale half off today.  I tried to be very careful and not overdue buying too many.  I think I did pretty good.  I focused mostly on some perennials, but found a yellow climbing rose that will replace the one in my bathtub of roses that did not come back this year.  I purchased three black-eyed susan plants.  For some reason, I cannot, for the life of me, grow this flower and have it winter over and return in the spring.  Maybe if I have three, at least one will return next year.  I also nabbed some salvia and a different coreopsis.  

Then around 5:30 p.m. Paul and I hopped on our bikes and rode over to the Kellogg City Park to partake in the opening evening of the Silver Valley Community Market.  There were lots of vendors, lots of people and the weather was beautiful.  We saw lots of people that we visited with, saw lots of great vendor booths.  Ethereal E provided awesome music.  I look forward to visiting the market every Thursday that I am in town throughout the rest of the summer.

Radio Brewing provided beer and wine for sale.

One of the food vendors was making hot dogs.

Black Kettle Kitchen served some tasty Thai dishes,

Everyone I talked to enjoyed the new set up in the City Park.

We met the owners of Roo's Garden.  

Sandy Pommerening was there selling plants with Riverview Greenhouses.

You could do yoga for an hour to the music of Ethereal E.

Terry Anderson sells his awesome Jala Sauce.  Terry teaches at Kellogg High School with Paul.

More awesome vendors.

You have got to check out Creations by Christina. She takes copper, wood and many other materials to make unique, one of a kind earrings and necklaces.  I bought a pair from her last summer and always get a lot of compliments on them.

More Yoga.

There were craft booths for the kids, and a bubble machine to play in that I saw many kids enjoy.
If you are in Kellogg on a Thursday night between 5 and 8, make your way over to Kellogg City Park and enjoy a great evening.  It is worth the trip!!!