Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Few Days in "My" Paradise!

Last weekend,  I went to Douglas and took Teresa down to spend a few days as she really misses 858 and Douglas. The move up here has been very hard on her as Douglas and 858 have always been her home.  We left early on Friday so that she could play bridge with her friends.  I was able to connect with some friends who I worked with Friday night   It was great!!!

The main reason I went down was to spend a few days at the cabin.   I hadn't been there for awhile and it was so nice to get up there.  My friends, Elise and Jessie, went up there with me, as well as my pugs.   

We left early Saturday morning.  It lightly rained most of the day and it was beautiful.  We had a nice fire going outside most of the day.   Jessie cooked our steaks on the wood fireplace which has a grill.  Steaks cooked on the wood are absolutely delicious.   We had to eat inside because of the rain, which turned out to be a very good thing.  Right after we ate, Jessie went outside for something and there was a huge (and beautiful) skunk right outside the back door.  She sort of chased Jessie who ran quickly to get back in the cabin.   If the pugs had been outside, it would definitely not have been a good thing.  I don't remember seeing a skunk around there before.

Sunday was clear and beautiful.   We decided to hike up the road, which has been closed for over a year.   Last September, the hurricane did incredible damage.   The road became the creek right above the cabin.  I hadn't really been up very far so it was unbelievable to see what damage water can do.   We basically hiked up a creek with so many rocks.   

The mountain right behind the cabin is beautiful.   When you climb to the top, you can see all the way out to the Animas Valley in New Mexico.   Because of the trees, I had never really seen how beautiful the rocks are.   There was a place right up the road where the trees were taken out by the water so we were able to see the rock formations.   They are breathtakingly beautiful!!

 The Chiricahuas are so beautiful and I love the solitude of the cabin.   It was good for my soul and it was great to spend time with Elise and Jessie.  

Monday a big storm was coming in so we packed up and left as soon as we could.  The rain was really coming down hard through the trees.

I hope to be able to get down more often now, even though it is a bit of a drive.   It is so relaxing and so rejuvenating.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Good Friends, Good Times!

For the past many years, four of my friends and I have gotten together for a "girls" few days and have gone out of town for a few days for some fun times or just meet for happy hour or go to a movie.    This week we we went to Flagstaff for three days of fun!!!

We were all administrators together for many years in Gilbert.   Jill was a junior high principal, Sharon and Susie were elementary principals, and Bev was curriculum at the District.    Jill was hired the same year I became an administrator-1988.  

We were trying to remember how many years we have been getting together and all of the places we have gone.  We figure it is about 14 years.   We have been to San Diego, Rio Rico, Casa Grande, downtown Phoenix and downtown Tempe.    We met in Bisbee several times while I was in Douglas.  The times in Bisbee were so great for me!   We always have an incredible time when we get together. 

When we get together, we talk, eat, and are "merry" most of the time!    So many laughs are shared and stories about our lives and families are listened to and advice given!!!   I found this quote and it is so appropriate for our times together:

"Most of us don’t need a psychiatric therapist as much as a friend to be silly with."~Robert Brault

I cannot express how much getting together with these friends means to me, especially the last few years.    They have been such great friends.   I am so thankful for our time together!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Introducing Baby Colton to the Family!

A couple of weeks ago, we had a family party/shower to introduce Baby Colton, Ryan's new little guy, to the family.    He was born in April and this was the first time we were able to get everyone together.   All of the cousins came with all of the little kids and very generous gifts for Colton.   Colton is Teresa's great grandson and Judy's grandson and he is precious!!  He looks so much like Ryan.  He is a very happy baby and has big smiles.

I love all of my Phoenix cousins.   It is so nice to be back here and be able to get together with everyone.  I hope that we will be able to get together a lot more often.

The kids were all able to swim and we had hot dogs, hamburgers, and beans (of course)!  And always there were plenty of ice cold beverages!! 

All of the little kids are so sweet with Teresa and she is in her glory around the family.   I am going to try to arrange more time for us to get together so that she can be around the family.   It is what is most important to her (and to all of us).   

We are so fortunate to have such a great and loving family!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Beautiful Poem

I haven't written much lately--not sure why.    It has been a quiet two months for me and I have had a chance to unwind and relax.     This is something that I haven't been able to do in many, many years!   It has been absolutely great!

I love how technology has allowed people to reconnect in various ways.   Social media has to be used responsibly.   When it is, it provides so many opportunities.   One of the greatest things for me is being able to reconnect with former students and families from many years ago.   All of the students are adults now--some were in my third grade class and others were at Gilbert El when I was principal.

Several years ago I received a beautiful, framed poem from a family that was absolutely amazing.  I think they gave it to me when their daughter finished sixth grade.  I always had it displayed in my offices.    When I was unpacking and putting things away here at home, I placed it in a special spot in my room.   Yesterday I posted a picture of it on Facebook and thanked the family for giving it to me.  I am friends with most of them and it was so nice to be able to say thank you again many years later.   I continue to be amazed at the many blessings I have had over the years and very thankful for the opportunities to work with so many wonderful people!!


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Flag for Hope

Last June when we went to Alabama, we visited Nashville for a few days.   While we were in Nashville, we were able to participate in an incredible project called "Flag for Hope."   Kerri, Cam and I were able to have our hand prints on this flag.  It was so touching and I was so excited to be a part of this amazing project!

Here is the info from their website about what Flag for Hope is about:


What is Flag for Hope?


The Flag for Hope project was started to help promote UNITY among all Americans.


It is about honor and respect for the men and women that have proudly worn a United States Military Uniform and fought for our freedoms. It signifies appreciation and gratitude for those individuals who serve in our communities like police, fire, teachers, doctors and nurses. It calls us to remember all Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice at the hands of both foreign and domestic enemy attacks. We are all one country and one people. If an American is harmed ANYWHERE, we all suffer and mourn.

This epic mission was started at the Indianapolis 500 on May 23, 2015. The Flag for Hope team will travel across the United States and go to over 120 cities and roughly 300 locations. Our goal is to collect approximately 5,000 American hand impressions on a giant canvas to create the American Flag. Each participant will put their impression on the flag in either red, white or blue paint. There will be 50 American Gold Medal Olympians representing the 50 states. This symbolically will show the solidarity of the entire nation. Lastly, the 50 stars will be Iconic Americans that have greatly contributed to the strength of our country. They will be honored in 5 categories of significance. They are as follows:
  1. Humanitarian/Philanthropy/BusinessBlueStar_FFHSite
  2. Entertainment/Music
  3. Sports Legends
  4. American Heroes/Veteran
  5. American Heroes/Civilian
The Flag For Hope will be completed on Veteran’s Day, November 11, 2015 at the Arlington National Cemetery. Finally, the flag will be donated to a museum like the Smithsonian Institute for all Americans to view for generations to come.

In August, I was contacted by Darcy from Flag for Hope.  She said that they were coming to Arizona and asked if I would like to host a private party.   Of course I said "ABSOLUTELY I WOULD!!!!!!"    What an honor!!  So on Sunday, August 30, 2015, we had Don and Marcos here at my house from 2:00 through 5:00.  We invited several people and ended up with 35.   Most everyone stayed the entire time.   By now the flag was very filled compared to June so everyone put their fingerprints in red on it.  Then Marcos videotaped each person on what the flag means to them.  My aunt Teresa was able to participate also and she was very touched.

In order to go along with the theme, I made red chili meat, got blue corn tortillas chips and had white tortillas (also beans and salsa) for everyone who came.   There will only be around 5000 people who participate in the entire country.  They hope to put it in the National Museum and eventually the Smithsonian.    And we all got to be part of history!  I was so honored to host this party.

Here is what Darcy wrote on Facebook about our event:

Here is a great story from Gilbert, Arizona. These Flag for Hope Day pictures are from a gathering hosted by Sheila Rogers. We originally met Sheila in Nashville, TN but when she heard we were in Arizona she contacted us to host an event. It was especially nice to hear Sheila talk about how far the Flag has come since she saw it initially. Sheila, as well as most of the guests are current or retired school teachers. Thanks for the great work and support Arizona! ‪#‎flagforhope‬ 

While they were in Arizona, they added the first three of 50 stars to the flag...John McCain, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Muhammad Ali!   What great company we were in!!!

This week they have been in New York City of the 9/11 anniversary.  I cannot begin to express what being a part of this has meant to me and how honored I was to be asked to host an event.  I know everyone who was here that Sunday feels the same way.  We are blessed!!!!!!