Saturday, February 4, 2017

Finding Fun in February

This past week, I was able to get away for a few days and go up to Sedona to visit my dear friend, Emilie.   It is always so good to see her and even when we haven't been together for awhile, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were.   

Emilie was a teacher at Gilbert Elementary when I first started as the principal.  She was one of the best teachers ever and I loved being in her classroom and seeing the community of learners that she built.   She loved her kids and they loved her and so did her parents.

Emilie comes from a large Basque family.    Her family reminds me so much of mine.  I have been to a couple of their reunions through the years and they are much like ours in many ways.

 Em has two great sons, John and Joe.   Both of them are now married.  John and his wife live in Cottonwood and Joe and his wife in Flagstaff.   Joe and Dara recently opened up an incredible restaurant named Shift.   We joined Em's better half, Greg, there for dinner on Wednesday night.  It reminds me a lot of Cafe Roka in Bisbee and the food was very different and very delicious.








There was so much snow in Flagstaff and the drive up was incredible.   I have never seen that much snow in the area.   The only problem is that in Flagstaff, the snow has become dirty.   Walking around downtown was a bit scary as it is icy and wet. 

We walked both mornings that I was there and it was so beautiful.   We walked around the Oak Creek golf course and the red rocks are in incredible.





Of course, we talked, laughed, danced and drank a bit!!   We never seem to run out of conversation at all.    I so enjoy my time with her and hope to be able to get back up there soon.

Thanks, Emilie, for two wonderful days and nights!!  I was able to relax and unwind and that was much needed! 

And as an added bonus, I got to go to lunch with my friend, former principal and former "big" boss, Sherryl (Henning) Valentine.    It was so nice to see her and talk to her before heading back to Gilbert and my new work!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Another Visit to Douglas

This past Friday, I made another trip to Douglas for a funeral.   The last two times I have been down there it has been for a funeral--not a good reason to go, but because of the wonderful relationships I made during my five years down there, it was important for me to go.

This one was for a dear friend from high school, Angie Acedo Rivas.    We had reconnected during my time in Douglas and she was an incredible photographer.  She took pictures of the area around our cabin which I will always treasure.   Angie was one of the nicest and kindest humans I have ever known.   
The church was filled, which was a tribute to the kind of person she was.   I felt so badly for her three sons.   They lost their dad a few years ago and they are still young.     

Two of our former classmates spoke at the end of the service.  One asked to have all of the class of 1967 stand up.  It was so nice to see so many "old" friends.    Growing up in a small town is a unique experience at so many levels.

I went down on Friday and was able to go out with two of my dear friends, Carol and Lisa.  We went to the Gadsden and then to the Legion to meet some of my friends. 
  

At the Gadsden, I met the new owners.  It  is so great that someone bought this beautiful historic building that remains a huge part of the Douglas community.

After the services on Saturday, a reception was held at the Elks Club.  I was able to visit with more friends.

Every time I go back to Douglas, it continues to be a really good thing.  I met so many incredible people during my five years there.   Those relationships mean the world to me.

Saturday afternoon I drove to Tucson and spent the night with Elise and Jessie.   That is always the highlight of anything I do!!   I love my time with them always.  They are the best of friends to me.  We went to eat at Outback and talked and laughed.    I am not sure what I would do without them in my life!!

I am back home now and went to see Teresa.   She was glad to see me, but was a bit out of it.    I guess the good thing is she didn't realize I hadn't been there for two days.

Have our first business meeting as Board President on Tuesday.    We have a long agenda and it should be interesting.    

Saturday, January 7, 2017

My Favorite Children's Author

Many of you who read my posts know how much I love the children's author and storyteller, Carmen Agra Deedy! Her book "The Last Dance" is my all time favorite book ever. It is a beautiful book about the circle of life and the importance of family. In the story, the grandfather tells his grandchildren that everyone has the right to three things in life:

To Dance. The great thing in life is not so much to dance well, but whether one is willing to dance at all.

To Sing. Even if you sing off-key, the crow has as much right to a voice as the nightingale.

To Tell Stories. Those we love are never really gone as long as their stories are told.

I love that Facebook and blogs allows us to share the stories of those we love who are gone.

Carmen has become a friend and we are working on her coming to Gilbert in the spring of 2018. She is inspirational as a storyteller to kids of all ages, but she also touches adults. I absolutely love her and she is one of the most amazing people I know. Yesterday she left me a message saying she would be honored to come to Gilbert. Her schedule is so full so it will be a year. I will be working to get funding to pay for her. I have seen her have kids in the palm of her hand from kindergarten through eight grade as well as adults.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Welcoming 2017

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions as I find them kind of ridiculous!   However, this year I am going to set a goal of writing more on my blog.   I enjoy writing a lot, but there are times when I get "writer's block" and I don't seem to be able to come up with anything interesting.

For New Year's Day we had a family dinner with my family, Judy and Teresa. This is the second time that Teresa has been here since she went to the group home at the end of November.   Of course, the pugs (especially Diego and Lucy) were so glad to see her.   

I had worried that she would not want to go back, but she was fine with it.   She is always so sweet, but her mental decline continues.   I was trying to explain to Patrick as he was asking me about her long term memory.   It is hard to tell because it is very hard to have a conversation with her about anything anymore.  She nods her head and smiles a lot and sometimes will say things.  She still continues to try hard around the friends and family that she doesn't see every day.   It is a lot of work for her and I am glad she doesn't feel that she has to do this with us.

I try to get over to her house every day for a short time at least.   I have made it most days and will continue to make visiting her a priority.    Now that we know she can come over to the house, I will try to have a nice dinner some Sundays of the month.

My walking is important to me, but I have slacked off a lot in the last month. I have had trouble sleeping since I started taking care of Teresa as we were up a lot in the night and then I couldn't go back to sleep.    With her here, I had to be up with her when she would get up in the mornings and that was never consistent.

Since she has been gone, my sleep patterns haven't gotten any better.   I had gone to the doctor earlier and he told me that caregivers often get health problems because they don't take care of themselves.   He gave me some meds to help me sleep.    I couldn't figure out why I was feeling strange over the last few weeks and had no energy.   I thought it was just from lack of regular sleep and the stress of the care giving and then having her move out.   I have never felt like this before.   A friend told me that she had taken the same meds for a while and that they had a really bad effect on her.  So I looked up the meds and it kind of answered a lot of questions.  I quit taking them Thursday and I can't believe the difference.  I WILL NEVER take anything like this again.

So I guess my resolution if it can be called that because I was really doing well until the last month is to get my walking done each day.    I may not try to get 10,000 every day of the week, but will make sure I get a good walk in no matter what.

Yesterday it was cold and dreary but I went out and got a little over a mile in which I thought was good.   There is a farm close by and as I was walking down one street, there were a whole bunch of roosters and chickens out. This happens often but it is funny to see them in a subdivision just walking around.


A week from tomorrow is the first Governing Board Meeting of the New Year with a new board.   There are three new members of the board.   I am looking forward to this new endeavor.  I also know that it is going to be difficult at many levels for many reasons.   However, I will continue to look at the big picture and always do the best I can for our future generation!