Sunday, October 21, 2018

A Very Special Lady--Jeanne O'Neill

We got home today from our cruise.  There was an incredible thank you note from Dave's cousins, Chuck and Maura, which has made me cry a lot tonight.   I met Jeanne when I was in Butte at Easter and totally connected with her.  I thought I was looking at my Aunt Teresa with her beautiful white hair and her saying her prayers.  I hugged her several times that evening as she reminded me so much of Teresa and my Irish roots.

I have felt a very special connection to so many of Dave's relatives as they are so much like our family.   However, Chuck and Maura will always hold a very special place in my heart.  Chuck was the best man at our wedding and it was so important to both of us that they came to Gilbert last May.

Maura and I talked about the similarities in our families.   When her mom died in September and she let us know, I knew that a very special lady had left this earth.  However, she left a legacy that I can relate to so much.   Although she reminded me so much of Teresa, she was a lot like my mom.   Maura told Dave that as she was saying her last words to her kids, she reminded the to always vote Democratic.  My mom would have loved that!!

Maura included the information from the funeral in the note she sent us.  Here is a picture of what was written.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!

It is so much what we would have said, but didn't.   "Everything I need to know I learned from my Mother."

Vote democrat, eat like a bird and exercise, listen to and care for other and love will come back to you in a million ways, turn to God in all things, pray the rosary and go to Mass, love your husband and treat him well, bring ranch dressing to all gatherings, plant a beautiful garden, celebrate with ice cream, hang sheets in the sun, watch PBS and learn, honor your roots and write down your memories, be able to laugh at yourself, set a nice table and never place a carton of milk on it, give donations as gifts, feel good and help others, stay involved and growing, Love your children and let them live their own lives, have tea ready for guests and serve it with ceremony, enjoy nature and books at all times, save old paper, cut into squares and reuse as notepads, no bake cookies are the best, don't be afraid to fight for what you believe in, stop, smell the earth and savor the moment, afternoon tea with apples slices is the best pick me up, when stressed, take a walk, take the high road, be grateful for friends along your journey...treasure others and they will treasure you.

Powerful words from a wonderful lady that I feel blessed to have met.   Thank you for sharing her with me for such a very short time!

And then Maura's beautiful words to Dave and I is really what meant the most to me.   And that is why the tears........

Dear Sheila and Dave,

Thank you for your remembrance of Mom through the Butte Education Foundation.  Like you,  she was such a proponent of education.

Sheila, she loved  you the moment she met you and was so thrilled that you married Dave.  She felt it was a true love story.

Times like this we realize how lucky we were to have such amazing women in our lives and we can only hope to follow the guidance they laid down for us.

My hope is that I can continue to be guided by the incredible ladies I had in my life for many years and for the guidance of this wonderful lady I only met a few months ago.

Jeanne O'Neill inspired me and I am so grateful to be a member of the Uggetti Family and their extended one in Butte.   

In the words of my favorite author, Carmen Agra Deedy, "those we love are never really gone, as long as their stories are told."  And Jeanne, I am honoring my roots and writing down my memories!

What an incredible legacy and I am so blessed to be a part of it!  And Jeanne, I love Dave and I treat him well.  Thank you!


Friday, September 28, 2018

Gilbert Community Excellence Awards

What an honor last night at the Gilbert Community Excellence Awards!  I have attended these event several times through the years.  The past two years I had the privilege of being able to present the awards to the Gilbert honorees.  However, this year was incredibly special to me.  GPS decided to name the awards for three people.  The teacher of the year is now named the Wally Delecki Teacher of the Year. I can't think of anyone who should be honored more than Wally.  Classified staff is named after Sharon Orr, one of the most incredible classified staff members ever in GPS and a dear friend.  But for me to be included, was so touching.  The volunteer of the year is now named the Sheila Rogers Uggetti award.  I am humbled by this.

As always, the evening was incredible and many community members were honored for their service in so many areas.  It was so nice for me to have Dave go with me.  He continues to be impressed with the Gilbert community.

Sponsored by APS, this formal evening is filled with celebration as attendees honor those in the community who have excelled in the areas of business, education and community involvement. A partnership between the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, Gilbert Public Schools, Higley Unified School District, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, the Town of Gilbert and the Republic Media, the evening is truly a community event!

This event features Gilbert's Culinary Showcase with samplings provided by some of your local, favorite restaurants. A cash bar will be available for the purchase of soda, beer, and wine. Culinary showcase participants include Buffalo Wild Wings, Sushi Brokers, Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant, Zappone's Italian Bistro, Arizona BBQ, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Wildflower Bread Company,The Nitro Live Icecreamery and Garage East.

**Please note, the event will not include an intermission this year. The Culinary Showcase will only be open from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Please take this opportunity to enjoy dinner and dessert samplings. The coffee station and cash bar will be open throughout the program. 

2018 Award Recipients

Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Sue Gaumont, Educator of the Year Award
Julie Wright, Staff Member of the Year Award

Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Newman Realty, Spirit of Business Award
Former Mayor Cynthia Dunham, Visionary Award
Jan Newton, Nothing Bundt Cakes, The Leon Uhlhorn Chairman's Award

Gilbert Public Schools
Vicki Willems, The Dr. Wally Delecki Educator of the Year Award
Sherry Hornby, The Mrs. Sharon Orr Support Staff of the Year Award
Dawn Romero, The Mrs. Sheila Rogers Uggetti Volunteer of the Year Award

Higley Unified School District
Sarah Beimfohr, Educator of the Year Award
Angie Marqueling, Support Staff of the Year Award
Bob Lilienthal with Plato & Socrates, Volunteer of the Year Award

The Gilbert Republic
Nationwide Realty Investors-Rivulon Project, Beautification Award
Paul Norbut, The Geneva Clay Community Volunteer Award

Town of Gilbert
James Nelson, Tim Dorn Public Safety Award
Larry Taylor, Mayor’s Municipal Employee of the Year Award
Jim Frazier, Municipal Volunteer of the Year Award

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Reality 2018

My reality has returned!  Today was the first day back for GPS and the 2018-19 school year.  

Dave and I had the best summer that I can remember in my life.  I was able to put aside a lot of things and just enjoy this wonderful man and our new life.  

However, my GPS Governing Board commitments are extremely important to me.  Despite all of the difficult decisions that we need to make and the public criticism over some things we do, I absolutely love being on the Board.  And the best part, Dave is so supportive.

Today I had to be at two convocations that were absolutely amazing and uplifting.   Dave went with me to the secondary one in the afternoon and was amazed by it.  

We then had a board meeting this evening.  It was fairly short, which was good.   

So I am back to my duties that are so important to me to be able to give back to an incredible community. 

And Dave and I will be getting back to "normal" if that is what it is called. We have been going nonstop for the last few months for many reasons.  But being back in Gilbert with my duties, etc., will be our real new life.  I have no doubts that it won't be wonderful as we have spent so much time together just "living."  

I am blessed to have a wonderful position on the Gilbert Board and I am double blessed to have such an incredible man in my life who loves me for who I am and whom I love with my whole heart and soul!


Friday, July 20, 2018

Kerri and Cameron "Invade" Butte!

On Monday afternoon, we picked Cameron up at the Butte airport as he was flying in from Salt Lake City after spending time with a friend there.  The Butte airport is about five minutes away.  

As soon as he got his stuff put away, we headed to Bozeman to pick up Kerri.  She was flying on Allegiant (which is super cheap but doesn't fly into Butte).  We took Cameron out to dinner and then went to a casino for a short time to "kill" some time before Kerri's plane got in.

I decided to give her a bit of a hard time but had to convince Dave.  Our friends, Jessie and Elise, always wear the same t-shirts.  I told Dave I dress  a lot better than him so that wouldn't happen.  However, since they were just here, he agreed to wearing the same t-shirt to pick them up.  This has been kind of a standing joke in our family!  So here we are at the Bozeman airport.

We took Cameron to the casino as you only have to be 18 to gamble here.  He got a "free" five dollars to start and used some good strategy on poker.  However, it is still a game of chance (and luck).  Like many things with Cameron, he enjoyed it, but two times was enough.  Kerri, Dave and I went a few times.  We never lose much and always have fun and free drinks!!!

We went to a few breweries as that is Kerri's things to do. She liked them all.  I am not much into them, but I bought a growler that is a copper as I love copper!!

Tuesday was toured Butte.  Dave took us to different areas and told about the history. We saw the Berkely Pit which is filled with toxic water.  They are working very hard to try to correct this as it could become a major issue for Butte and the Columbia drainage in the next several years.  A few years ago, about 3000 geese were migrating and stopped there and they all died from the water.

One of the most touching places we went was to the Granite Mountain Monument that honored all of the miners killed in a mine fire in 1917.  It was and still is the largest metalic mine disaster in the US.   

Wednesday morning I made reservations for us to go horseback riding.  It was a two hour ride and it was absolutely breathtaking.  I enjoyed it so much, but the last 30 minutes, were a bit painful.   We went to the most isolated and beautiful places and it was absolutely worth every minute of it.  Wasn't too sore the next day, which surprised me.

Kerri has some nerve damage in her foot so we ended up in urgent care.  She is on crutches and some meds and will be fine.  So we didn't do much yesterday.  We found a great tap room while waiting for her meds.  I loved it.  I also bought what is probably my most favorite t-shirt ever.

We have been sitting on the deck each night as the weather is so beautiful.  Kerri has really enjoyed the view, the weather and listening to music. 

Last night Dave took the pugs for a walk (which he does often).  There was a deer across the road.   I was afraid that Diego would think he was getting a venison dinner.

This afternoon we take Cameron to Bozeman to catch a plane back to Arizona.  Kerri is (hopefully) going to drive my car back to Arizona.  She is going to stop and see our cousins Mark and Austin in Wyoming.  This will really help us as that way Dave and I won't have to drive two cars.  But her foot is more important, so we will figure it out.

I have to say that Dave has been incredible these past two weeks with all of the company in "our" house.  He even gave me the most beautiful card about loving me and enjoying "my" family and friends.  I love this man more and more every day and can't believe how I lucked out finding him.  

We leave next Friday to get back to Arizona.  I have loved every minute of our time here in Butte and look forward to being back here more, especially in the summer!!!


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!!!!!