Thursday, March 22, 2018

A Wonderful Week!

I took Dave to the airport yesterday afternoon after a WONDERFUL week at many levels!!! It was once again hard to say good-bye.  I was teary all the way home.  Not something I had ever expected.  The good part is that I will be going to Butte next Thursday for a week.

The week went fast as opposed to the little over a week waiting for him to get here which went very slow.  I am trying to keep busy for the next few days, which isn't hard for me.  Today I am heading to read in a first and fifth grade class.  I missed two of my dearest friends during Dr. Seuss week and will make it up today.

Something that was really important to me was for Dave to meet my Phoenix cousins. I want him to meet several of my cousins, but the ones here were of the most importance right now.

On Tuesday after my noon board meeting, we headed over to Yaya's house to meet Yaya, Pat, Cecilia and Jay for lunch. Yaya lives in the Roosevelt District and there are so many places to walk to there now.

After we got our lunch, we did a toast and talked.  I had warned Dave about what might be asked.......  He has already been through a few of these before.  Well, the first thing Cecilia said to him was "Thank you for taking Sheila off of our hands, Dave."  Of course!!!!  The conversation went very well and they hit it off and I got their approval!!

After that we went to pick up two of his friends at Williams Gateway Airport. Dave's friends were coming in from Washington to golf.  He taught with Larry and knows Gary well, too.  Both are retired--Larry as a teacher and Gary as a Lutheran Minister.  I promised Dave I would behave, but there were no worries as they are very fun!

They took us to dinner and then we drove them out to San Tan Valley to pick up a car.  Because of spring training, etc., it is hard to find a place to stay that is reasonably priced.  Larry had found an AirB&B, but was a bit worried about it. I told them that they could stay with us, but the toilet downstairs needs to be fixed.

We dropped them off and got home.  Around 10:30, I got a text from Larry. The place they had rented was pretty bad so they got a hotel room for the night.  Larry told me that he was good at plumbing and could fix the toilet.

So yesterday they came over with all of their gear.  They went golfing and I took Dave to the airport.  I had a Town Hall at the district so had to go, but got back to a great steak that they had barbecued!

In the course of our conversation, Larry told me about his niece who lives here in the valley.  Turns out she works in the same office as Cecilia's daughter, Annie, at Phoenix Country Day.  Annie thinks the world of her!  What a small, small world it is!!

Gary and Larry are currently fixing the toilet and then going golfing later in the day.  I am heading out in a few to read to kiddos!

My life has always been filled with many adventures.  However, I am really liking this one!!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

St. Patrick's Day 2018

I always love to have a party at my house as it is great for parties! When I was a principal, my staff always wanted to have parties here. I have wanted to have a St. Patrick's Day party for awhile, but the last few years it was a bit difficult to have any parties.

So this year I decided that I would definitely have a party on my favorite holiday.  In addition, Dave was planning on being back for this week and I figured this would be a real test for our relationship--if he was still with me after this party, all would be good as I love to have a GOOD time and I put the FU in FUN!

I had originally thought I would do a potato bar but then figured I had no idea how many people would be here so decided on my "tried and true" chili beans.  They are always a hit and I can feed a lot of people fairly inexpensively.

Many people came to the party and it was awesome.  There were former administrators from GPS, current ones, many teachers, retired and still working, secretaries, former parents and students (now adults) from Gilbert El, people who worked on my campaign for school board, secretaries I worked with, neighbors, etc. Many people hadn't seen each other in a long time and it was obvious they enjoyed each other.

One of the highlights was the best team I ever worked with when I taught third grade at Patterson were all here.  Patty Montgomery, Dotty Hall, Ann Brabec and I have been friends for 30 plus years.  Patty had our picture taken and it was so fun to be with them.

My house is perfect for parties.  Shenanigans, my Irish Pub, really looks like a pub.  I have many signs, lights, a pool table and most importantly--a karaoke machine with a lot of songs!

Lots of people were downstairs singing--not always a real pleasant sound-haha!  It was cool enough out in the back by the pool that we built a very nice fire.  Many people sat around the fire and talked.  We had some very nice music on (mostly Irish--St. Pat's Day after all).

In the house, a lot of people sat and talked and watched March Madness.  When I was setting things up, I told Dave about how Teresa loved to come to my parties and sit in the one chair in the living room. I always put another chair by it and during gatherings, my friends would come sit and talk to her.  Tom M. mentioned that.  He said it was Teresa's chair and it was so neat how everyone would sit for a time and chat with her. It made me teary for the umpteenth time!

It was a great night and it was obvious people had fun as the last left after 11 and it started at 6!!

Dave got to meet so many people and he got the "seal of approval" from many of them.  He has a golf date tomorrow morning with a couple of the guys.

Today I received many texts and emails from friends saying what a good time they had, which makes me happy!

The house wasn't too bad to clean up and it was nice to have Dave's help. He really pitches in, which is so nice for me and another unexpected bonus.

We went to 11 o'clock mass at St. Anne's.  It is very important to him that he has a partner to go with him and I was very happy to be there. It was a high mass-interesting--and I think we will probably try to go to a different mass in the future.

And the best part--he is still here today.  He had a great time and told me he cares for me even more!  

I have spent St. Patrick's Day in Ireland twice, New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.  All were great, but I think that maybe this was the best one ever!   

Thank you, Dave Uggetti, for coming into my life and loving me--flaws and all!!!  I am going to miss you when you go back to Butte on Wednesday, but it is only eight days before I go there for Easter!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

He's Back and Bearing Gifts!

Dave got back this evening.  I was so looking forward to him being here.  Unfortunately, he missed his connection in Salt Lake City and was almost five hours late.  It is so good to have him here.

He brought me two gifts that are awesome, but one in particular means a lot.

The first one is a St. Patrick's Day t-shirt that says "Butteiful" and it is a map of Montana with the Shamrock right where Butte is.  I love it.

The second gift is the one that means the most to me.  Dave had told me that when he was in high school he was part of two state championship football teams in the largest division in Montana.  He said that he played safety and got in to games after the score was "good."  And as I told him, it doesn't matter, he was on the team and that is what is most important.

They received a gold-plated football for winning the championship. It says MHSA (Montana High School Association) State Football Champions 1967.  Although Dave is a little younger than I am, I graduated in 1967.  He had it put on a beautiful gold chain.   I will wear it near and dear to my heart!!  

I love both gifts because he knows what is important to me.  The football is something that he values and the fact that he gave it to me means a whole lot!!!

I have missed him a lot and I am so glad he is "home."

Here are pictures:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Maria Shriver--Someone I admire a whole bunch!!

Growing up our family loved the Kennedys.  So much of my childhood memories have to do with politics because of my mom.  She was so excited that JFK became president.  I have posted a lot about it through the years.

I loved Bobby Kennedy. I recently bought the latest biography on Bobby Kennedy to listen to when I walk. I loved what he stood for and his caring for the underdog.  I loved how he evolved through the years and have read almost every book about him.  I believe that he would have made a wonderful president.

When I went to the ASCD Convention in Chicago a few years ago, Tim Shriver was there doing a presentation on the Special Olympics.  I went to  his session and it was at the end of the conference and very few people were there. I was in awe!

I have always admired Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver.  Over the last year or so, I have subscribed to Maria's Sunday paper and it is the first thing I read when I get up on Sunday mornings.  I look forward to it and her insight.  I often post one of her quotes (like the one above) on Facebook.

She has a new book out that comes from her Sunday paper.  I was intending to purchase it and then found out that she was going to be at Changing Hands Bookstore in Phoenix.  I called Yaya to see if she wanted to go with me and she did.  So did Patty Montgomery.

So Patty came over and we drove into Phoenix to pick up Yaya and go yesterday morning.  I was so excited!

We got there and got our books and Yaya knows the owners so we were RIGHT IN THE FIRST ROW!

Maria is beautiful and she was so gracious.  I so wanted to talk to her, but know that would not have been appropriate! Maybe someday I will get a chance... I am an optimist and I have been able to do things like this in the past. 

She was here for an event at Barrows on Alzheimer's.  I love that she has done so much work on this awful disease. 

This quote was last week and I love it.  It speaks volumes!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cruising in October.......

When Jessie and Elise were here last month, we talked about a cruise in October.  Elise let me know that she had booked one for October for a week to the Mexican Riviera.  

I sent the information to my dear friend, Leona, who is a travel agent (after retiring as principal, assistant superintendent extraordinaire).  She got us a fabulous deal for an entire week on a BRAND NEW SHIP with Norwegian Cruise Lines--The Norwegian Bliss.

We will have a room with a balcony on the ocean.  I have only been on one cruise and it was really fun.  Dave has never been on a cruise. I am not sure which one of us is more excited.

I keep thinking I need to pinch myself and that this isn't really happening to me....  But it is and I am very much enjoying everything and I am so happy that Dave has come into my life.  He is wonderful and I miss him a lot.  He will be here Weds. in time for my St. Patrick's Day party Saturday night, complete with karaoke!!

Monday, March 5, 2018


I have some cousins who are like sisters (and brothers) to me.  I love them and love having them in my life. Two of my California cousins, Ted and Jean, read my blog and sent me messages about being really happy for me meeting Dave.

I have talked with Cecilia about Dave quite often.  She was the first one I told about about him (other than Judy and my kids).  We talked today about finding a time for us to meet when Dave is back here next week.  I want to have her, Jay, Yaya and Pat over for dinner so that they can meet. I also texted my cousin Marion and asked her to read my blog earlier today. When I was in California, I told my cousin, Rosemary, about Dave.

Dave comes from a large Italian Catholic family which is much like or Irish Catholic one.  He also has cousins who mean a lot to him.  I met his cousin, Chuck and Chuck's wife, Maura, over President's Day weekend.  They were awesome and as I said in a previous blog post, I think we could be great friends.

Today Dave stopped in Salt Lake City to have lunch with his cousin, Gary.  Gary sent me the absolute nicest message on Facebook. When I read it, I got teary (again).  I love getting to know his cousins and the fact that they want to get to know me.

Here is what Gary said--"Sheila, Dave is my first cousin. So HAPPY THE 2 of you met. We just had lunch in Salt Lake- it makes me so pleased you enjoyed your time together & are have plans for the next couple months. He raved about you. 👍 Hope to meet you soon. Cousin Gary."

Sunday, March 4, 2018

An Amazing Three Months..........

December 4th was the first time that Dave and I communicated. We only emailed and texted for the first few weeks.  After that we went out a few times and all was nice.  It was the towards the middle of January that we really started seeing each other a lot.

Today is March 4th. Today Dave left to go back to Montana. He was supposed to leave last Wednesday, but stayed for the meet and greet I held and to go with me to The Gilbert Historical Society "Night at the Museum."

We went last night and it was such a beautiful night out.  We sat with Wally and Nancy Delecki  and Brad and Liz Barrett. I went for the first time last year.  Last night was equally as good.

We had our picture taken there as they were trying to get everyone to take a picture.

Saying good-bye was harder than I thought. I would never have imagined three months ago that I would be in this place today.  I am truly going to miss him.  He will be back on March 14th for a week and I go there over Easter.

I  have really mixed emotions today.  I am happy in so many ways and I am happy Dave has come into my life.  I am a bit sad because I will miss him. I have looked forward to seeing  him after I finish something. And I never thought I would say these words, I will miss checking in to let him know where I am or what I am doing.

Dave is truly a good and kind man who treats me so well.  He totally accepts who I am as a person and my independence.  He is extremely respectful of me in every way. In a conversation the other night, we were talking about all of the news about all of the men who have been accused of sexual harassment lately.  I asked him his thoughts about it.  He summed it up better than anyone ever as far as I am concerned.  "These men let their urges get the best of their smarts and that is what you can't do!"  

We have our educational backgrounds and love of sports in common.  And to make it even better, Dave is a good Catholic and we agree politically!!!  I really care about this wonderful man!


Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Week Filled with Reading

What a great week reading to GPS kiddos!  I read every single day this week and still have a few more classes to catch next week.  I read to kindergartners and to sixth graders and all in between.  It was so fun! Of course, I have my favorite books that I like to share.

For the little ones, I read "Unlovable" which is about a pug.  I tell the kids about why I want to read about pugs and they love it. I also like to read "The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet" by my friend and favorite author, Carmen Agra Deedy as well as "A Fine, Fine School" by Sharon Creech.  This book appeals to all grade levels. 

The two books that I love to share the most are "The Last Dance" and "The Language of Doves." Both of these books are for the older grades.  I love to read these books and have complete silence as the children really listen to the message in both books.  It is hard for me not to get teary when I read them.  Many times, I see a little tear in the teachers' eyes as most are not familiar with them.  My favorite, though, was when I started to read "The Last Dance" for Kerri's fourth graders and she started to cry.  I had a hard time getting through it, too.  She knows the importance of this book and knows the story.

Although I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning, it was well worth reading all week.  Yesterday alone, I read 19 times!  Wow!!

I love being able to do this and love to get to know the teachers and kiddos in our wonderful district.  

I will say it again, I am blessed!!