Saturday, July 14, 2018

Jessie and Elise--Montana Visit 2018

When Dave and I decided to get married, one of the first friends who wanted to come visit us in Montana were Jessie and Elise. They have been such dear friends to me through the years and it is important to me to have them and Dave get to know each other.  We have already done several things together and have a cruise planned for October, but when we suggested they visit us in Montana, they were excited (as was I).

They arrived Tuesday afternoon here at the Butte airport.  It is small so we were able to be be waiting for them as they got off the airplane.

We came back to the house on got them settled in the basement, where it is nice and cool.  We bought a new bed and put the other one downstairs for guests to have some privacy.

We went on a fairly quick tour of Butte and then went to Headframes Distillery.  I wanted them to try what has now become my FAVORITE drink--Dirty Girl.  We all had one and they enjoyed it.  However, we each tried another one--my rhubarb with vodka is up there as one of the best ever, too!

Dinner and the casinos were really popular!  I have gone to Vegas and Laughlin with Elise and Jessie several times.   They love to play Keno and don't spend a lot a of money, plus they are lucky!  They loved having all of the casinos close by.

My favorite story from when they were here was the afternoon that they decided to go for a walk and I told them some "routes" to go that are really pretty.  In about 30 minutes, I got a text from Jessie.  They had walked to the casino!!!!  So we met them there a bit a later.   I should have known that is where they were headed.  We had a good laugh for the whole four days!!!

Wednesday we went up to see "Our Lady of the Rockies" at the top of the continental divide.  It was absolutely amazing and beautiful.  It is a tribute to mothers and women of all denominations.  The story behind how it was built is unbelievable.   It was nice in that Wednesday was Elise's mom's (Marge Littrell) 103 birthday.   So she was able to honor her mom.

In the afternoon, we toured the Clark Mansion.  Elise was amazed at the comparisons between Butte and Bisbee and Douglas.  All of the copper mining history is so tied together.
Thursday we went swimming at Fairmont Hot Springs.  It was so nice and the pool was warm.  We stayed inside, even though there is an outdoor pool.  But the hot tub was the best.  It was almost hot and felt so good.

After that we went to lunch in Anaconda.  That is where the smelter was when the mines were fully working.  It is so similar to Douglas.  We went to an Irish pub there.  The food around here is so good and so reasonably priced!!!

We had such a great four days.  Yesterday we just ATE (I may not eat another meal for a few days), went to some pubs and casinos and just enjoyed each other.  It was so nice for Dave and Jessie and Elise to spend time together and get to know each other.  Jessie and Elise are so important in my life and it is was so great to see how well they all got along.

They enjoyed having the basement to themselves and it is much cooler down there.

I took them to the airport at 5:15 a.m. We are looking forward to a possible cabin trip in September and we have a cruise booked in October.  

They have been such good friends to me and I dearly love them.  And it was so nice to have them here.  They said they will be back next summer. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Miscellaneous Musings from Montana in July

As our lives have started to slow down and we are able to just enjoy being together and being here in Butte, it as been quite an experience in so many ways.  I have lived with family members for almost my entire life.   From having my kids, to having them live with me as adults, having Cameron live with me for so many years, to living with Teresa in Douglas for five years and then having her off and on after 2015, I have always shared a home.

In October after getting the house in Douglas cleaned out and sold, I came back to Gilbert and to having no one living with me.  As much as I loved having family with me, it was so nice to not have anyone living with me.  I was able to get the house in order and get rid of a lot of things that weren't needed.

Then in December, I met Dave and everything changed in so many ways and I mean that in the most positive of ways.

We have been on the go for several months.  Spending almost 24/7 with someone after being single for so long has been a huge adjustment for me.  In Gilbert, I had a lot of other things going on and Dave was busy with golf and pickle ball.

Here in Butte, he is still doing these activities plus going fishing.  It has been an adjustment for me to not have anything that I have to do and not having any "personal" friends here.  However, I have loved getting to know his friends and family.

One of the important decisions that we made when we decided to get married, was that we would go ahead and get married right away.  Because Dave has not had his marriage annulled in the church, we couldn't get married in the church.  I had mine annulled in the 80's.  I remember it being a very painful experience to fill out the paperwork at that time.  What is required today, is way less compared to what I had to do.

I know it has been weighing on Dave's mind that he needed to get his paperwork done.  So Sunday, he sat down and completed it.  I know it was a difficult day for him to go back and think about his long marriage and why it didn't work out.  I tried to help him as best I could.  A few times we talked through things that he has told me.  One of the many things I admire about Dave is that he is not bitter and holds no grudges.   He did the best he could for such a long time and decided that for him that he needed to get out of the marriage.    I have to say that I am glad that he did or he wouldn't have come into my life!

He got it all done and is waiting to hear back from the priest as to when he can submit everything.  I can tell what a relief it has been to him.  It has been amazing to watch the transformation in him now that it is done and behind him.

It is a very emotional and difficult task to go over why a marriage didn't work and to actually put it down in writing.  For us, we have been able to talk about some of the things that happened in his relationship and make sure that we can work through them in our marriage.

I am glad it is behind him.  I just hope that it doesn't take a long time for everything to get taken care of so that we can get our marriage blessed in the church.  Although I want to see that happen, it is more important to him, than it is to me.  I feel that we are truly married in every sense of the definition and I love Dave with my whole heart and soul.   He is such a good man and I can't believe that he is a part of my life.

Like any relationship, we have to work through issues, but we do and we can talk.  I am an over communicator and he isn't always as communicative as he could be (a  man, right), but we are doing well.  The fact that we are together so much and doing so well together is amazing in itself.

Marriage at this stage in our lives is a true joy and I feel that we both have learned and have much to give to each other because of our previous experiences.

We laugh a lot and I know that I make him laugh and enjoy life more than he has before.  He keeps me grounded, which isn't always an easy task. 

What a blessing this man has been for me!!   And I will always believe that my dear Aunt Teresa had a huge hand in this!  So now, Teresa, could you please try to speed the annulment process up a bit so we can get our marriage blessed?  I know it would be important to you and my mom!

Friday, July 6, 2018

One of the many reasons I love this man!

Earlier today Dave told me about a message he received from a former student on Facebook.  I asked if I could share it.  It is like so many other messages, conversations, etc. that I have heard about him.  To me, this is what is it is all about and I love that Dave has made an impression and his students reach out to him.  And I know how good this made him feel, and it should.

Mr. Uggetti...Not sure if you remember me or not, but you taught me at Centerville. You made us run the stairs to the theme from Rocky 850,000 times...😉 You taught me to type...a skill that I use everyday!!! You were one of the toughest guys I knew...I just wanted to drop you a line and thank you for your service to children. Your vocation and life passion made a difference in our lives...You made a difference in my life! Blessings, Jim Underwood

Eureka, Montana with Craig and Connie

On our way back from Washington, we stopped for two days in Eureka to visit with Dave's friends, Craig and Connie.   Dave and Craig have been friends since eight grade and they came to our wedding in Gilbert.

Eureka is five miles from Canada and is absolutely beautiful.  They live out of town a ways as they have property and horses.  We had the best time with them and even had our own "honeymoon cottage."

They were so gracious in so many ways.  Craig does woodworking so he gave us a sign for our Gilbert house.

I loved that they had horses.  They have two Clydesdales and two others. I even got to go for a ride.  I haven't ridden a horse in years and it was so cool!!

Craig's daughter was with them from Arizona.  She is a teacher in Tempe so it was nice to meet her.  We all went to Canada on the second day because I have never been there before.  What a difference trying to get into and out of Canada as compared to Mexico. 

We visited a place called Fort Steele and then went to a brewery and I bought Kerri some beer from there.

Another really cool thing, is that Craig is a retired elementary principal so we had a lot to talk about.  He started a reward program for his kids if they read so many books.  The reward--getting to ride around the town pulled by his Clydesdales!  He said the first summer he only had a few kids and the next it was almost the entire school!  I took a picture of a picture and it didn't come out that great, but it shows enough!

All and all, we could not have been treated any better and had a more wonderful time.

I love Dave's friends and how they feel about him!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Fourth of July--Family and Friends

We have had a great few days with Dave's family for Fourth of July parties!  We were invited to some cousins on Tuesday night to watch the fireworks.  Butte does them on the evening of the third.

These cousins have a brand new and very beautiful home out of town.  It was an absolutely view.  I brought the green chili rice and it was a hit and requested for the next day.  

Because of the weather here, people have really big garages.   As a result, that is where the parties take place--plus outside.  They have tables and chairs set up inside and whoever wants to sit out, can.   We just brought our own chairs and drinks.

Two of the "cousins" ran into Dave when he ordered my ring here.  They immediately wanted to see it.  The good things is that they are all Irish and understood what it means to me.

I love his family!  They remind me SO much of our family.  Everyone is so friendly and I was accepted right away as part of the family.  

Yesterday we got up and went to the parade.  We parked at his cousins' house where the party was going to be after and walked about a block to watch the parade.  It was a typical small town parade--really fun.  Senator John Tester was there driving a tractor.  He is up for re-election.  He is a former teacher and a farmer.  He student taught at the same school where Dave was a teacher years ago.  He was a music teacher which I think is kind of cool for a U.S. Senator.  He got a LOT of applause when he went by.

After the parade, we went to Carol's and Pierce's house for a barbecue. I met a few more cousins and once again had a great time.  They all have a wonderful sense of humor and know how to throw a party.  

It is so nice to have so many relatives close by.  And it is so nice that they have welcomed me into the family.  I can relate to how Dave feels meeting all of my family and friends!!!!!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Three Years Ago--Such a Huge Decision

I posted this on Facebook yesterday.   It doesn't seem possible that it was three years ago.  So much has happened.  Wish I could cut and copy the wonderful comments.

This post is a bit long, but it is important to me to be able to express a few sentiments today. Three years ago today was my last day of "official" work as an educator in a public school setting after 44 years. I had decided to retire the previous December. Saying good-bye to all of the wonderful people in Douglas was so hard. I did not think I was ready to be done at that time and I guess I haven't--just in other ways. Moving back to Gilbert and bringing my Aunt Teresa with me was the best decision. At that time, I didn't think I could really retire, but had no idea what I would do.

The past three years have been amazing back here in Gilbert and it has been so incredible for me to continue to be involved in education in different roles. I have done some work for ASU, subbed as a principal, and then ran for the GPS Board. It has been incredibly rewarding and I am so proud that I am up to 47 years in education. Still have a few more to go and I am hoping to "maybe" make it to the magical 50 year mark in a few years! 

The past three years have brought many changes to my life, both sad and very happy. I continue to thank all of the people who have made a difference in my life during this journey. I have been so blessed with so many people who have been part of my life both personally and professionally. I am so fortunate to call so many friends and know that they truly are friends! Thank you for this wonderful ride. I am so grateful to the many people who contributed to the first 44 years and the many incredible people I have met these past three years. What a ride it has been and I think will continue to be!!! Not many people are as fortunate as I have been and again THANK YOU to the many people who are so supportive, kind, and wonderful!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Washington Reception--June 22, 2018

What a wonderful day we had yesterday in the Yakima Valley where Dave spent the majority of his educational career!!!!  This is what "greeted" us upon our arrival on Thursday.  Both Dave and I were so touched by this!

His friends, Scott and Tammy, not only let us stay with them, but put on quite a party last night.  So many of Dave's friends were here and it was amazing for me to get to meet them.  It was so nice to hear so MANY wonderful things about Dave.  Many, many people told me what a fine man he is, which I already knew.  The best one was a teacher he worked with for several years who told me he is one of the three finest men in the western hemisphere.  Those were her exact words.

Some of the teachers that he hired came and called him Mr. Uggetti.  One is a very successful high school football coach who told me that Dave was so influential in who he is today.  His wife and I talked a lot and she actually got teary because of how much they care about him.  

One of his childhood friends from Butte lives close and he and his wife were able to attend.  Gary told me that Dave was the leader when they were kids, but he was also the one who tried to keep everyone out of trouble.  I told him that he had a VERY BIG job now trying to keep me out of trouble!!!  I am glad he had a lot of experience in that area growing up!!

Before the party, we went for a ride and Scott told Dave to take me by Grandview High School.  Here is what was up on their marquee!

Needless to say, this brought a few tears to my eyes.  We were both so touched by this.  Scott is the Athletic Director there and so he arranged it.  Their principal also was at the party. She and Dave taught together.

We both can never thank Scott and Tammy enough for their incredible hospitality in letting us stay here for two nights and putting on the party.  Tammy worked so hard.  Their yard is beautiful and was the perfect venue for an event like this.   It was absolutely amazing in every way.

Dave and I talked for a long time before we went to sleep.  It was so wonderful to hear him so excited about the evening and how people feel about him.  One of the other great comments that I heard was how lucky Dave is to have me because he deserves to be happy and be with someone to share his life in a positive way.  I think that is absolutely happening to both of us.  

I told a few people the story of my Aunt Teresa who I still believe with my whole heart brought Dave and I together!

It was a wonderful few days and an incredible evening!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Idaho and Washington Days One and Two!

Dave and I left Wednesday morning for our week long trip to Idaho, Washington, and Northwestern Montana.  This is our "third" road trip this month.  

We are on this trip to meet Dave's friends who he taught with during his years in Washington in the Yakima Valley.   He spent the majority of his career in Washington.

The morning we left Butte it was sunny for the first time since we got here last Friday.  It was actually warm (sort of).   I took Diego and Seamus to the "pet resort."  They weren't very happy about it. However, all of the reviews I read about it were excellent.  Poor guys--they have had some adjustments to make the last few months!!

The drive was beautiful through Montana and into Idaho. The countryside is so green and there is still some snow at the tops of the mountains.  The rivers were all full with some flooding.  This is hard for me to imagine.

We got to Coeur d'Alene early in the afternoon.  The lake is absolutely beautiful.

Dave and I went down to the beach. It was hot and crowded and I was still wearing my "winter" clothes.  Had to go back to the hotel and change!!!

We went to dinner with two of his friends who he taught with in Idaho many years ago.  Once again, it was so nice to get to know Dave's friends. 

Thursday morning we got up and drove to Washington.  We stopped in Prosser and had lunch with Larry and Linda.  Larry had stayed with me in March when he was in Gilbert to golf.  It was nice to meet his wife.  She is an elementary teacher and I had sent her a copy of "The Last Dance."

We drove directly to the golf course for the "golf tournament" that Dave had organized. It was so fun to meet his friends and see how much fun they had.  We got prizes for it and I was in charge of the prizes. 

The really good part for me (and there are many good parts) is that I have heard such nice things about Dave and almost everyone is in education so it makes it very easy to talk to them.  I am loving this so much and I know that I made a very wise decision when I said "yes" to Dave!!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Touching Moment from our Wedding

As I have contemplated so many things over the last six weeks with my life changing so drastically since meeting and marrying Dave, there has been so much to think about.

When we decided to get married, I knew that I wanted my kids and Cameron to be a major part of it.  

I asked both Patrick and Cameron to "give me away," but as Shawn said, no one could really give me away!

When I asked Cameron and Patrick what songs they would like to dance with me to, both of them had to think about it.  Patrick chose "Dream a Little Dream of Me" by the Mamas and Papas.  

Cameron thought it little more and then decided on "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin.  I asked him why and he said it was because it reminds him of Tia.  That brought tears to my eyes.

There is a story behind this.  At every family gathering, Mack the Knife is always played because it was my Aunt Dot's favorite song.  She always would request it no matter where she was.  As a result, it is always played at family gatherings, weddings, etc.

Cameron did not know this story and so he thought it was because of Teresa.  I love this!

Shea caught this picture as we finished our dance and it is probably my absolute favorite picture ever.


Monday, June 18, 2018

Road Trip to Montana

On Weds, June 7, we set out on our road trip to Butte with the pugs and my WINTER clothes, which I am still having a hard time wrapping my brain around!!
We drove to Vegas and had lunch with Dave's cousin, Penny.  We had to find a "dog friendly" restaurant and we did.  Unfortunately, we were on the patio in very hot weather and they didn't have a mister system.  The restaurant actually was really great as they have a "dog" menu.  I should have ordered from that one as the chicken the pugs got was better than my lunch.

It was delightful to meet Penny and get to know her.  Dave thinks very highly of her and that means a lot to me.

We then headed back on the road for a few more hours and got to Mesquite, Nevada and a "dog friendly" casino!.   The best part is that the pugs had their own bed.

Dave  and I went to the casino for dinner and to play a few machines.  He likes to play poker and we have found that if we play together we do fairly well and don't lose much, if any, money.

The next morning we got up early and drove to Salt Lake City to have lunch with his cousin, Gary and his wife, Mary.  We went to their house so the pugs got to run around in the backyard.  

Gary played football at the University of Utah and was very involved in their alumni association so his house is totally decked out with Utes' memorabilia.  
He told me that he was so happy for Dave and I and that I was really fortunate to have found someone like Dave.  He absolutely loves Dave and that was very evident.   I know how Dave feels about him, too.   I hope that we can get together with them again soon.
After that we drove several more ours to Blackfoot, Idaho.  Once again, we stayed in a "dog friendly" hotel.  The pugs didn't have their own bed so it was quite an adventure.

We met one of Dave's friends and his wife for dinner.  Dave was Stan's coach. He is currently the head football coach there and his wife is an elementary teacher so we had a great visit.  Once again, it is so nice for me to meet people who think so highly of Dave!  For some reason, I didn't take any pictures.  

Friday morning we got up to rain and cold weather.  Prior to that, the weather had been warm.  (It was so fun to have Diego panting the entire time in the car!)
We drove to Dillon, Montana.   What an incredibly beautiful drive it is.  It reminded me a lot of the drive between Douglas and our cabin where there is so much cattle ranching as there is here.

We stopped in Dillon, Montana for lunch with Dave's cousin, Russ.  We then went to the rest home to see his Uncle Loren and meet his aunt.  Dave's uncle is his mother's brother and he is 91.  When we got there, he knew who Dave was and when I went over, he took my hand and held it an squeezed it.  That touched my heart!!!  

After our visit, we went on a walking tour of University of Montana Western where Dave got his BA, etc.  He was an assistant football coach there for one year.  It is such a beautiful campus!  I would love to have Cameron see it and Montana Tech.

It was so nice to get to our Butte home.  The view is so pretty and it is just a nice and comfortable house!  

All and all, it was a great road trip and I got to see so much of the country that I have never seen before.