Gathering Graces 5/23/2017

*I had some socks and her new shampooed wig to deliver to Mom this morning, so I stopped off and got them to her before I headed to work.  I also took some time to weigh her, take her blood pressure and heart rate, and check her oxygen level.  They do this all as part of her care at Kindred, but we also like to keep our own records as well.
*My Gear Up students do various tests on Jackass Creek that runs alongside and through Kellogg High School as part of their service learning project each year.  It was an absolutely perfect day to be outside doing this project.  Some classes did Biological Assessments such as identifying macro-vertebrates, looking at the micro-habitats, and observing the stream habitat type, the plant cover and algae cover of the stream.  Other students did Physical/Chemical analysis, which included measuring stream depth, stream flow, stream velocity, pH, chloride and oxygen levels of the stream, and observing the color and odor of the stream.
Testing the water next to KHS

*Most of the day at work was spent on preparing for our upcoming Scholarship Awards Assembly.  It is so exciting being a part of helping students obtain funding to attend college and receive a post-secondary education.
*I met with a few parents tonight whose students are attending the Gear Up Youth Summit this summer to go over information with them.  I am unable to attend this year.  Ss the six students attending, plus my daughter Cosette, who will be their chaperone, load a bus to go to Pocatello to spend a week at Idaho State University, I will be driving to the Spokane airport to start my journey to Italy.
*After being at KHS all day, I finally arrived home around 6:30 p.m., and Paul had made dinner, some spaghetti with white sauce and smoked oysters, some red sauce, Kale salad and bread.  It was delicious. 
*I needed some dirt therapy tonight, so I decided it was time to plant my tomato plants.  I had looked up online if there were any secrets to planting tomato plants, and there was so I thought, let’s put some extra items in the planting hole and see if they work.  When I filled the containers with soil, I layered the potting soil with compost.  Then I dug the hole, and put baking soda, Epsom Salt and Bone Meal in the hole.  Then once the tomato was planted, I added some slow releasing fertilizer and mixed in it as well.  Since it isn’t quite warm enough during the evening, I decided to bring out my water wells to cover the plants, creating a mini greenhouse of protection around them until the nights warm up a little bit more. I hope this yields some delicious tomatoes this summer.


Gathering Graces 5/22/2017

Alhambra Slide on Google Earth
*I mentioned something about not planting things until the snow is off the Alhambra Slide, and it started quite a conversation of comments about the slide, and how many people had heard that saying, and how my friend April didn’t even know what we were talking about.  Kellee said her dad had just mentioned the same thing last weekend, and she thought the slide looked like a woman.  I have never seen it that way.  Cedris and Jamee both said going by the sayings of our elders is a good idea.  It was a fun exchange.
*I needed to order some shoes for my upcoming trip.  I found my favorite Sketchers at Costco.com and ordered two pair.  Then I found the sandals I wanted, and they were also Sketchers.  I hope they all provide my feet much comfort this summer.
*I went over a little before Mom’s dinnertime and visited with her for a couple of hours.  It was a hard visit, but a good visit.  The good thing is Mom is getting better, so is thinking more about things, and thinking more clearly about them.  So she had a lot of questions about a lot of things.  Some of the questions were hard to answer, some questions I didn’t know the answer to.  But we both concluded that we need to keep talking and asking questions as our family continues to figure out all of this out together.


Gathering Graces 5/21/2017

*I went over and got Mom going on her day.
*Church was wonderful, and it was great leading the congregation in worship this morning.  Pastor Dave shared a wonderful sermon, asking the questions, “Does God want us Successful or Fruitful?”  Why wouldn’t we want to be fruitful, and have  the Holy Spirit change our lives by having us be a people of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  Imagine a world where everyone lived a fruitful life?  Things would be so different.
*After church I went to Mom’s house and made hummingbird feed to fill her a couple of her feeders to put in her backyard.  While there Christy stopped by to visit before her and Everett headed out of town for a couple of days.  I am so glad they get to get away together and spend some much needed rest and relaxation.
*Paul and I went to the hospital to visit Jim Vergobbi.  He was recovering from surgery on his hip.  He looked good, and was ready to be home.  I think he goes home tomorrow.
*Because the weather was so nice, and I wouldn’t have time next weekend to do work in the yard, Paul and I drove to our local Ace Hardware and I purchased tomato plants, herbs, flowers and seed potatoes.  I got back home, I threw caution to the wind, and finished planting my seeds, which included cucumbers, parsnips, zucchini, yellow squash, red potatoes and Yukon gold potatoes.  Tomorrow I will put the tomatoes into pots and put water wells around them to keep them warm.  I hope to get all the flowers into pots as well this week.  In Kellogg, the saying is, “don’t plant until the snow is off the Alhambra slide”.  Well, the snow is getting close to being gone, and I looked at the 15 day forecast, and no frost in store.  So I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
*It was off to the theater once again in Christy and Everett’s pick up so we could bring some larger items home, and do a few other things at the theater.
*When we returned to Mom’s house, I filled the hummingbird feeders and put them up in her  yard. 
*Then Paul and I went to have a visit with Mom before she went to bed.  I had picked some flowers in her yard to bring over to her, and she loved the bouquet. 


Gathering Graces 5/20/2017

*This morning Paul and I joined a group of theater volunteers to help clean the Sixth Street Theater and get it ready for our opening in June.  Thanks Keith Mckay, Cynthia Bentley, Dacey Hayman and Tammy Copeland for all your help!!

Planted seeds in the raised beds today

*It was rainy in the morning, but by afternoon the sun came out, and I was able to plant some of my vegetable seeds in my raised beds, including lettuce, carrots, beets, string beans, peas, cabbage and radishes. 
*I had a wonderful visit with Mom around her dinnertime.  I was with her about two hours, and she visited the entire time, and didn’t seem worn out or tired at all, which is really good.  It was very enjoyable.
*When I left to see Mom, I noticed the trees in our side yard are in bloom.  These don’t last

Blooming trees in our side yard.

long, so when they do bloom, I always try and capture a photo.
*I stopped at the store on the way home to pick up hamburger buns, and came home to delicious hamburgers Paul had grilled.  It was still nice outside, so we enjoyed a lovely dinner on the patio.  I love spending time in our backyard.  One of my favorite parts of summer!!


Gathering Graces 5/19/2017

*What a delightful day full of sunshine, good friends and good food.
*I went over to see Mom this morning, and I wheeled her outside in Kindred’s back area where flowers are blooming and the sun was shining.  We sat outside for a while and visited, and I texted Bill letting him know Mom was available to talk, and he called right back and talked to Mom for a while.  Mom was doing good today both times I visited her, and was feeling good, too.
*Today my book group gathering at French Gulch Farms for lunch and the discussion of the book The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane.  What an incredible book.  I loved learning about the culture of the Akha people, one of China’s ethnic minorities, and also the tea industry.  The type of tea they have in this Akha region, which is in the Yunnan province, is called Pu’er.  Not only did we discuss the book and have a delicious lunch, but Sue brought a book that showed more about the Akha people and culture, because she lived in Burma as a child, and was familiar with the Akha people.  She also brought a beautiful tunic and necklace made by the Akha.  Vicki brought us each some Pu’er tea to drink with our dessert, and a packet to take home and make ourselves.  I brought home some Chen Xiang tea to try.
*Some of my high school friends gathered uptown at Radio Brewing for dinner.  We had a wonderful evening talking about our aging parents, and how everyone needs to bring out their reading glasses to read anything, our children, my upcoming trip to Italy, and many of the changes our lives are bringing.  Tina also had her niece Payton there who is flying to Scotland for the summer for an internship.  She just graduated from the U of I in Environmental Science, and it was wonderful to hear about her adventures for the summer.  It was a great evening.
*When I returned home, Paul and I watched the movie Hidden Figures.  What a good movie.  But I was so angry at the way those women were treated who worked at NASA.  But things did change for the better by them being there.  I highly recommend watching this movie.


Gathering Graces 5/18/2017

*I put the wrong room number on my coffee order at KHS this morning, and it never arrived.  I went in to the classroom that makes the coffee and told them I never got it.  So one of my favorite seniors, Brandon “Bran Muffin” Church made me another cup of delicious coffee.  Then I went back to my office, and saw my original cup of coffee on a co-workers desk.  They must have delivered it there when they couldn’t fine me.  Oh well...it all worked it because Paul ended up with the other cup of coffee!
*Today was spent with the junior class throughout the day, talking about what they should plan ahead for next year as seniors.  I think some of them weren’t quite ready to hear and start talking about some of this information. 
*The evening ended up being pleasant, so Paul and I were able to get outside and prepare the raised beds for planting by turning over the soil in each bed.  Paul also got the compost out of the composter so we can add it to the soil in our “rubber tire” beds, and the buckets I grow the tomatoes in.  We also sat outside for a while, and enjoyed the beautiful evening.  You forget how enjoyable those times are when you haven’t been able to be outside much because of the weather.
*Paul and I went to visit Mom around her dinner time.  She still has a cough, which concerns me a bit.  Mom shared about her day in Coeur d’Alene. She went to an appointment, then Christy, Everett and Mom went to Applebees for lunch, which Mom enjoyed.  Christy said it is apparent that Mom is getting stronger, because it is much easier for her to get in and out of Christy’s car, so that was encouraging. 


Gathering Graces 5/17/2017

*I am so thankful for the messages I receive from people regarding Mom and myself and my siblings.  It means so much to know people are praying for you, and thinking about you, and it does provide much strength and encouragement.
*Sadie went to visit Mom this afternoon, and now Mom has treats in her room to give her.  Sadie still gets pretty excited being at Kindred, so it took her awhile to settle down and eat her treat.  We visited about her doctor’s appointment with her cardiologist, which really didn’t bring up anything new.  I was nice to know that having Mom transported to her appointment in the Kindred van made it much easier for Mom and Christy to get to her appointment.
*The rain let up a bit this afternoon, and it was nice to be outside, and have it be a little dryer.
*I picked up Christy and Betty and we headed up the river to Sally Nordstrom’s house for our P.E.O. meeting.  It is always a beautiful drive going to Sally’s house.  It was wonderful seeing Bea Radford at the meeting, and visiting with her, and eating her delicious treats she made for the meeting.  We also go to here Sherri Rewoldt talk about dog agility, and watched a short video of one of her dogs in competition.  It also warmed my heart when different members shared about what brought them happiness, and Christy shared how our times visiting after we have been with Mom in the sitting area at Kindred really bring her happiness.  This brings me happiness, too.  It is so nice to have one another on this journey with Mom.
*I love this quote from my journal. Dear Lord, grant me the grace of wonder.  Surprise me, amaze me, awe me in every crevice of your universe.  Each day enrapture me with your marvelous things without number.  ~Abraham Joshua Heschel