9/20/17

Gathering Graces 9/19/2017

*I ordered some roses to be planted in an old bathtub my friend Jane got rid of.  Each rose is in memory of one of our dogs or cats that has passed away.  (We have had quite a few!!)  The forecast looks good for Saturday to have some good weather to get these roses planted!!
*The end of my fiscal year for my job ends in September.  So I am busy getting my final invoicing done for my 2016-2017 Gear Up year.  It will be done to have this project completed!!
*I finally got some parent nights scheduled to help senior parents with the FAFSA process.  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), opens October 1 for students who plan to attend college in the fall of 2018.  Often this application can be a bit intimidating for first-timers, so it is nice to have a night where parents can come and get a little help filling out the application.
*We have two seniors this year who are pursuing applying to military academies.  What dedication and drive these two students possess in this process.  I marvel as I talk to them about all the steps they have to go through to make this happen.
*My roots come from the border of Tennessee and Kentucky.  This is where my dad’s side of my family comes from, the Woolums and the Wilsons.  Tonight as we were practicing and listening to songs, Gordon said my southern roots showed forth as I belted out one of the songs I will be singing in the upcoming performance.  I hope to some day visit Tennessee and Kentucky, and visit and meet family members there, and find where Grandma Woolum grew up.  And while we take that particular trip, Paul can explore his roots in the great state of Arkansas.
*It continued to rain today.  There was snow up on Silver Mountain, the local ski resort, and on Lookout Pass, the pass on the Idaho/Montana border. 

9/19/17

Gathering Graces 9/18/2017

*The rain came down all night, and it was pouring when I got up this morning.  Nikki and I decided we didn’t want to walk in a downpour, so we canceled our walk this morning.  But I did enjoy sitting in the living room, cozy in a blanket, listening to the rain fall down.  Cosette knows I love the rain, and shared this word with me on my Facebook page today.  Yes, I am a Pluviophile.
*Another wonderful day at work, getting seniors registered for the ACT test coming up, and again meeting with some one on one.
*I love stories.  I love to hear stories.  I love to tell stories, write stories, read stories.  As I have been meeting with the students one on one these past few days, I am hearing parts of their story that I hadn’t heard before.  Many have dealt with very traumatic things.  Many are excited about their future.  It also warmed my heart as one student praised Paul, and talked about how he is one of his favorite teachers.  And I get the chance to sit and listen, every day, to the stories these wonderful students have to tell.
We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling.” --Jimmy Neil Smith, Director of the International Storytelling Center
*I had a rather interesting experience listening to another story today.  NPR is usually the radio station that I listen to in the car.  As I was in the car coming home for lunch, a man was being interviewed about a book he had recently written about Patience Gray and sculptor Norman Mommens, and about their time living in various places in Italy including Carrara.  I was taken aback for a moment, realizing, about two months ago, I was walking the streets of Carrara and looking up at those beautiful marble mountains with April, Eric, Tina and Kellee.     Oftentimes I look back on that trip, and it seems more like a wonderful dream I experienced than reality.  But it was reality, and part of my story.

The marble mountains of Carrara, Italy

*Our living room was also a place of storytelling tonight, story telling of the musical variety.  Tim, Gordon, Ken, Roger, Cherri and Norma gathered with Paul and I to share some musical stories as we continue to rehearse and prepare for the fall show at the Sixth Street Theater.  What a joy to have our home filled with the sound of four strumming guitars, and voices lifted up in song....all with a bluegrass flavor to them. 
*We ended the evening with some stories from our girls.  We have started a new thing where we use the Voxer app, which records voices, and everyone in the family records their story of how their day went.  It was fun to hear how Molly was feeling better, and Travis was looking forward to their upcoming trip to Salt Lake City.  Zoe woke up late, and Jason was excited to share about doing lights and sound at the auditorium at Meridian Middle School.  Cosette is struggling with a cold, and trying to feel better before she leaves for Salt Lake City.  Paul and I ended our storytelling to them singing our own version of the Eddie Rabbit hit I Love The Rainy Nights.

9/18/17

Gathering Graces 9/17/2017

*Being in church seems to be one of the toughest places to be regarding missing Mom.  I think some of it is people being kind and thoughtful, and asking how I am doing, and the love I am shown.  Some is experiencing the moving of God’s spirit, and being sensitive to His love as well. 
*It was cold in the church building today, so it felt good to come home and heat up some leftover chili for lunch.  That warmed me right up!
*I got all the houseplants inside.  We added a few new pieces of furniture to the dining room area, and that helped to have a new place for a couple of the plants.  I also finally found the area my three to four foot angel-wing begonia will be placed.  It love having all the green plants in the dining room/TV room area, as well as a few in the living room.  Now to make sure they stay watered and healthy. 
*I had purchased a pork sirloin roast and decided to fix it for dinner tonight.  I rubbed the roast in a mixture of spices and olive oil, and roasted it in the oven.  I also cut some corn off the cobs of corn I had fixed a couple of nights ago, and heated them up  in a frying pan full of melted butter.  And I cubed some potatoes, coated them with olive oil and Old Bay Seasoning, and roasted them in the oven.  I added a little canned applesauce I made last fall, and it was a very fall-like meal we enjoyed tonight.
*One of the items we put in the dining room/TV room area was an old radio/phonograph of my Grandma Woolum’s house in Spokane.  It also comes with four folders of old 75 records.  These records include music of Gene Autry, Kay Kaiser and even former Spokane resident Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.  As I looked through the albums, I tried to imagine my Grandma listening to this music, and wonder if she chose to purchase each particular record, or if it was Uncle Bill, or Aunt Ruth or Dad that helped choose each album.  Do you remember Grandma Woolum’s radio Linda Northcutt?
*I got the dining room table cleaned off of old dishes I boxed up, and other items that were put away, or boxed up to give away.  Little by little, progress is being made.
*It was nice to hear the rain falling as I got in bed last night.  I am sure one of the meteorologists can tell me how many days we have gone without a significant rainfall.  All I can say is, it has been a very long time, which is very unusual for Kellogg, Idaho.  I love the sound of rain.

9/17/17

Gathering Graces 9/16/2017

*It got pretty cold last night, so I thought I had better figure out where I was going to put all my houseplants that I take out and put on the patio each summer.  I also acquired some of Mom’s houseplants as well.  I took some of Paul’s music boxes off of one shelf and put quite a few plants on it.  And found places around the living room, TV room and dining room area for most of the rest.  I have a few very large begonias left outside that I still need to find a place for in the house.  I will do that tomorrow.
*One of the requirements for graduation in the state of Idaho is to do what is called Senior Project.  This consists of finding a topic, doing an argumentative research paper, then accruing hours based on the topic.  These hours can be done a variety of ways, such as job shadowing, if a career is the topic, or doing some kind of project.  Two of this years seniors put together a project, and orchestrated a fund-raiser to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation.  The main goal of this walk was to bring awareness to these disorders while raising funds for each foundation.  The foundations supply research and advancement in medications, various therapies, new medical approaches and more.  Logan Jacobson and Rylee Riekena both did a fantastic job organizing this event.  Paul and I participated in the walk yesterday, and were so glad to be a part of this.  Rylee has Cystic Fibrosis, and has lived with it her whole life, but she doesn’t let it get her down.  She is a three sport athlete, maintains good grades, and if very active in the high school.  Logan has always had a heart for helping people, especially Lily Ramirez, the 8 year old daughter of one of my co-workers who has PCD.  Logan has helped raise money and awareness in the past for PCD.  I am excited to find out more on Monday about how the whole event turned out!!

Walk for the Breathless
*Most of the afternoon was spent at Mom’s house removing items from the house.  There was a big long closet upstairs that Paul took apart and brought over to our house.  That ended up being quite a project!!  There were also other bigger items that were hauled home, and some boxes of items as well.  I believe now most of the items we are using from Mom’s house from the basement and main floor are at our house.  There still may be some things upstairs, but that area will be tackled at a later time.  The house is now ready for someone to come in next weekend and deep clean in anticipation of the arrival of Bill and Debbie to their new home.
*Christy and I also spent some time in the afternoon going over funeral details.  I finally sat down and got myself organized for the dinner that will take place after the funeral at my house, and figuring out who would be bringing what items.  I have had friends of the family volunteer to bring something for the dinner, which has been very helpful, and now I need to contact everyone and let them know what they are to bring.
*Christy and I are on the same cooking wavelength the last two days.  Friday night we grilled steak.  That is what she had for dinner last night, too.  I mentioned today that I was making chili for dinner.  She was making the same thing.  I wonder how many days we can go making the same meals?  I love chili, and I love the recipe I use.  I usually modify it in some way, but the base recipe works for me.  I also loved that I could go out to the garden and add fresh oregano and thyme to the chili last night.  It was delicious topped with some cheese, sour cream and Fritos.  Yum! Yum!!
*I relaxed for a while watching The West Wing some more.  Simon Donovan, the Secret Service agent portrayed by Mark Harmon was killed in one of the episodes tonight.  Harmon looks so young.  He was on The West Wing the spring of  2002, and debuted as Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS in the fall of 2003.  And Harmon has been starring in that series ever since.  NCIS is another series I would not tire of watching over and over again.

9/16/17

Gathering Graces 9/15/2017

*I typically stay home on Fridays, but I am trying to get my meetings with the seniors done, so I went in to work today.  Plus, it was school picture day.  Who wants to miss that?
*In talking with one of the seniors today, at the beginning of our talk, he said he didn’t want to go to college.  But he really didn’t know what else he wanted to do either.  As we continued to talk, I explained to him about financial aid, and approximately how much money he would receive to attend college.  This changed everything.  I think part of the reason he didn’t want to go to college was because he didn’t think he could afford it.  Once the money factor was taken out of the equation, we started looking at some of the professional technical programs at North Idaho College, and he found one that sounded interesting.  Now he is going to do some research on this program.  Time spent with this student convinced me even more that these one on one meetings with these seniors is important.
*Between students coming in for their one on one time with me, the outer office at the Counseling Center was bustling with two of our seniors, Logan Jacobson and Rylee Riekena preparing for their “Walk for the Breathless” walk that will take place on Saturday.  This is a walk they have organized as part of their Senior Project, and it is to raise money and awareness for Cystic Fibrosis, which Rylee has, and Primary Cyliary Dyskinesia (PCD), which Lily Ramirez is dealing with.  Lily is the daughter of a co-worker.  I am so proud of these two students, and Paul and I look forward to taking part in the walk tomorrow.
*Paul and I feel like we should each receive our Veterinarian Technician certification after the last few days.  We have quite the schedule of administering medicine to two of our pets.  Toby gets his insulin shot twice a day, and now Sadie gets pain medication three times a day, and antibiotics two times a day.  It is quite a schedule to keep track of!!  But both pets are doing really well.
*I finally sat down and planned out the menu for the reception after Mom’s service here at our house.  Thankfully I had the information still from Molly and Travis’ wedding from last year, and will use the same concept for this dinner.  Meats, cheese, chips, crackers, dips and salads.  And cupcakes for dessert.  We hope many of you who attend the service can come and share a meal with us and visit and tell stories about Mom with all of us.
*I was in the mood for a good grilled steak, so Paul went to Yokes and picked up a couple of steaks and grilled them on the bbq.  We also had a green salad, baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  It was a very delicious dinner.  Grilling days are coming to an end, so I want to take advantage of them while we can still use the bbq.
*I got a new essential oil called Blue Heat that is suppose to help aching muscles.  Paul has been having some lower back pain, so I mixed the oil with some carrier oil (coconut), and put it in roll on bottle to apply to his lower back.  He thinks it may have helped the pain, which is always good news.

9/15/17

Gathering Graces 9/14/2017

*Biomedical Engineer, Medical Assistant, Nurse, Doctor, Business Owner, Electrician, Firefighter, EMT, Paramedic, Physical Therapist, Veterinarian, Fashion Designer....these are just a few of the things I have been talking to seniors about this week, and their goals for careers as they graduate and move on into life.
*The skies were cloudy and just fine this morning when Nikki and I went for our walk.  About mid morning, my office began smelling really smoky, and when I left for lunch, the skies were filled with more smoke, and the air quality had changed dramatically.  We were hoping to get rain today.  Instead we got smoke.
*I took our little Pomeranian Sadie to the vet this morning so she could get her teeth cleaned.   We thought it was going to be a routine teeth cleaning.  But she had a few complications.  When Dr. Cook started looking in her mouth, he found some problems, and she ended having four teeth extracted.  She seems to be recovering well.  I gave her some softened food in the evening, and she wolfed it right down! 

Paul and Sadie all smiles after getting four teeth removed.
*Paul is beginning to gather the cast for the upcoming performance at the Sixth Street Theater.  It is a show he is creating, and it is called Goin’ for the Gold, Settlin for the Silver.  It is a show full of music and some Silver Valley history.  It will be well-worth getting you tickets to attend!  Tonight Tim, Ken and Gordon all gathered in our living room and started listening to some of the music that will be performed.
*There have been some coyote sightings in the area, and we have been warned to keep our cats and dogs close.  They like to hang out on the river, which is right by our house.  I keep telling our new cat Clark to stay away from the river.  I think the coyotes are out and about mostly in the evening, and by then all pets are back safely in the house.  But it is good to be cautious.

9/14/17

Gathering Graces 9/13/2017

*I love talking to students about their future plans, their goals, and how they hope to achieve these goals.  I have a pretty great job when I get to spend the majority of my day doing just this thing.
*After school we gathering as a faculty to talk a bit about the school shooting at Freeman High School.  This shooting was pretty close to home.  And our students play against these students in sports.  I pray no school ever has to deal with this type of senseless tragedy ever again.
*I spent a few hours after work in a chair at Uptown Hair Salon getting my hair cut and colored by Lynette.  My hair is now the colors of an oil slick....blue, purple, yellow and green.  I felt like doing something a little different.  Why not?  It is a fun way to be bold and creative.  I love how it turned out.  You really need to see it in person to appreciate it.  If you don’t think it resembles an oil slick, one student said it reminded her of a peacock.  That is okay, too!!  And it is school picture day tomorrow.  I bet Mrs. Roberts will have the most interesting hair in the whole yearbook!!

*When I got home, we grilled some chicken, roasted some cauliflower and cut up tomatoes and drizzled them with basalmic vinegar.  Why can’t we have delicious tasting tomatoes right out of the garden year round?  They are so wonderful!!
*The roofing project is nearing completion.  The charcoal gray shingles look wonderful. And no more leaky ceilings this winter!!  And it was nice enjoying a smoke free day today!!

Gathering Graces 9/12/2017

*For most of the month, and maybe a bit into October, most of my days at work will be spent talking one on one with each of the seniors, talking about their plans after high school, and what they can be doing now to help prepare them for life after graduation.  I am so impressed with these kids, and each day I am going to look so forward to spending time talking to each of them, and seeing what their plans are for the future.
*I continue working on little projects.  It feels good.  This house will be looking good for our gathering time after Mom’s funeral service on October 6th.  I am really looking forward to hosting our friends and family for this time.
*Somehow I got pulled into watching The West Wing again.  This time on Netflix.  This would be the one series I have watched more than any other.  I have lost track of how many times I have watched the whole series, all seven seasons, but I know it is over ten times.  I love this show, and it never gets old.  And I always laugh at the same spots, cry at the same spots, and am amazed by creator and writer Aaron Sorkin’s creative ability.  He still can surprise me, even after watching the same thing over ten times.  This show began in 1999, almost 20 years ago.  And the issues they were dealing with on the series, we as a country are still grappling with today.