Monday, April 16, 2018

"A Higher Power--Maybe" But I think it is my aunt Teresa

So many things have happened over the last several months in my life that have been so positive.   And I keep thinking that Teresa (and my mom, too) may have something to do with it.  And Dave feels that his mom might, also.

If Dave had come into my life just a few months before, this would never have happened.  I had too many things going on and would not have had the time to get to know him.

Despite the some times rough go in Douglas, there are very many people down there that I care a lot about and who were very important to me in my role as superintendent and in my life.  I was thinking about a way to do something there so that those people could meet Dave.

Dave and I are going to Bisbee on May 9 and staying until Saturday, May 12.  Our dear friends, Craig and Gloria, offered us their rental which is on Brewery Gulch.  I love Bisbee and I want Dave to spend some time there and see some of the other parts of southeastern Arizona.

Last week I talked to my former secretary and still absolutely dear friend, Carol.  We talked about a reception of some kind.  Knowing that it was going to cost some money, I talked to Dave about it.  That was a first for me as I have always made decisions on my own.  But being the wonderful man that he is and knowing how important it would be to me, he was totally agreeable.  

When we had Teresa's Douglas funeral and burial, we had a reception after at the Gadsden Hotel.  It was perfect and was very reasonably priced.  I called around to a couple of places and determined that the Gadsden would be the best.  Plus they have fixed up their outdoor patio on the second floor and it is beautiful.  We will have it privately.

Yesterday, Judy sent me a text that they had paid Teresa's income tax and there was a little money left over.  I had completely forgotten about that and so it came as a surprise.  She will be bringing me a check later this week and it will more than cover the reception in Douglas. 

To me, this is one more sign that she has her hand in this. When things were not going well down there, she would always tell me that she didn't know what to do other than pray.  And pray she did--a lot!  She always said my mom would have been the one to "take care of things" but that she just didn't know how.  Well, I think she is doing a DAMN FINE JOB!!!!

Friday, April 13, 2018

A Very Emotional Week!

This past week has been a very emotional week for me at so many levels.  I am very happy about how things are going in my life, but there are a lot of changes and there will be a lot of changes in the next few months--good ones!

I ordered pizza on Monday for my Tiger Buddy's class at Gilbert El.  She has been working really hard and earned this for us to be able to have a party with her class.  The young man who answered the phone was darling and I got everything ordered.  When he asked my name, he got excited and said that I was his elementary principal.  I asked his name and he said I probably wouldn't remember him, but I did.  We had a nice chat.  That is what I love about my educational career.

I have been single for 39 years.  I have not had to share my personal life with anyone.  This week I started to clean out drawers and a closet to make room for Dave.  It all of a sudden hit me what was going on in my life.  I am very happy and can hardly wait for us to be together, but this really put everything into perspective.

I also started to make a decision about something for the wedding reception and realized that I needed to ask his opinion since we are in this together and it was something that was going to cost a bit of money.  That was a first for me in a VERY long time. So I called him and as usual, he was wonderful!  

So I have shed a few tears (the good kind) and continue to be amazed at the incredible man who has come into my life.

Tuesday night at our board meeting, I took a lot of "harassment" from Shane and Reed over my screen saver.  I have Dave's and my picture on it and they were both relentless!! I am going to have to change seats and sit between two other people!!!!

Last night GPS had the Educator of the Year Awards.  This year, it included an administrator and support staff in addition to teachers.  It was an incredible ceremony!  

I was able to be on the stage to greet each nominee and to have our picture taken.  I was also asked to say a few  words.  I don't have a problem speaking in public, but I absolutely know that there is no need for a lot of words.  So I spoke about how honored I was to be there.   For me, it was personally even more amazing.  Several of the teachers and support staff had worked for me during my 39 years in the District.  And one teacher was a former student at Patterson and another was the wife of one of my students at Patterson!

I also knew so many people and got so many hugs and thank yous!!  It was a great evening.

I came home and tried to unwind.  I had a small issue with my stomach and didn't feel very well.  I decided with everything going on, I should probably get it checked out with the doctor.  I am glad I did as it is nothing serious, just too much going on in my life right now.  I need to slow down a bit!!

But I did say last night that I now had 47 years in education and wanted to make it to 50. For that to happen, I will have to run for another term.  It is a good thing Dave is so supportive of this.  I am so thankful for this wonderful man!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Musings from Montana

What a wonderful week I  had in Montana!!!  It is absolutely beautiful there.  Although it was snowing when I left on Thursday, I truly hated to leave and not be with Dave. He isn't going to be here in Arizona until April 22 and this is the longest we have been apart. But then he will be here for good!!!!!

However, he needs to have a procedure done on his back before he can come to Arizona. The most important thing for me is that he isn't in any pain.  The second most important is that he gets here really soon!  I miss him tons.

The week in Montana flew by fast.  I absolutely love Butte.  It is beautiful and everyone was so friendly and so nice.  It reminds me so much of growing up in Douglas and the influence of the copper mines, etc.

I got to meet a lot of his friends and family.  What touched me the most were the things that were said about Dave to me and how lucky I am to have him in my life.  I knew that, but it was so nice to hear anyway.

We did a couple of tours of the town.  One evening, one of his teacher friends from Idaho and his wife came into town.  We went to dinner with them and had fun.

My dear friend, Patty Montgomery, and her husband, Don, spent Monday night with us.  We did another tour and then went to have a drink at this really cool distillery.  We went to dinner Monday night at Metals Sports Grill, which is an old bank and watched the NCAA basketball game.

Normally when I do a vacation, I try to write each day.  For some reason, that didn't happen.

Tuesday we went to Fairmont Hot Springs to swim.  I was not really thrilled to think of swimming when there is snow on the ground.  They have an outdoor pool and there were actually people swimming in it!  WOW!!

We went to the indoor one and it was amazing.  The water was so warm and it felt so good.

Another cool thing is he went to Butte High and they are the Bulldogs, just like I was a Bulldog from Douglas High.  Here is a picture of their football stadium.

My most favorite thing to do, though, was to sit on the couch and look out the picture window at the beautiful, snow covered Rockies.  It is so peaceful and so incredibly pretty.  There is a statue of Our Lady of the Rockies that you can see from the house.  The snow was so pretty, but it was very hard for me to wrap my Arizona brain around snow in April.

I loved getting to see Dave's roots.  We plan to spend time there in the summers (which I think are about like Arizona winters).  But the rest of the time we are here in Arizona.  He loves to golf and I have my Governing Board commitment that is so important to me and he GETS it.

This is the longest we have been apart.  Fortunately, I am really busy and hope it will make the time go faster.

I love this man so much and I am so thankful he came into my life.  What a gift we have been given!  We will enjoy it as long  as we can, I have no doubt!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

What an Incredible Day!


I got to Butte Thursday early afternoon and Dave was waiting for me as I came off of the airplane.  It is a small airport so there aren't the hassles of trying to pick someone up.  It was so good to see him!  I had really missed him even though it had been just a week since he was in Gilbert.

It was REALLY cold, but we got to his house and I was nice and warm. His house is older, but is very well taken care of and has an incredible view of Butte and the mountains.

Dave told me that he had made a reservation for us to go to dinner at the restaurant at the Copper Kings hotel.  He had told me about it and with so many of the similarities between Butte and my southern Arizona copper roots, I was glad to go there. 

When we got there, our table wasn't quite ready so we sat at the bar and had a drink.  

When we got to the table, we had just started looking at the menu when one of the ladies who worked there, came up with a camera and asked him if he was ready.  I wasn't sure what was going on, but Dave handed me a wrapped package.   I opened it and in it was the most beautiful rose gold Claddaugh ring.   Dave got down on his knee and asked me to marry him.  The ladies took pictures and clapped and I (of course) cried.  

I knew that there was a chance that he was going to ask me, but it truly caught me by surprise.

The ring is absolutely beautiful.  It is rose gold which is made with copper.  And the fact that it is a Claddaugh means more than anything.  It was too big and he wanted me to pick out the stone so on Friday morning we went to the jewelry store.  I picked out an emerald to go on it and I am just hoping that it will be done before I leave on Thursday.

Of course, I called my kids, Cameron, Judy and several other family and friends.  I have asked Patrick and Cameron to give me away and Kerri will be the maid of honor.  Judy wants to be the flower girl so I am thinking Diego and Seamus can be the ring bearers and Judy came bring them on the leash!!!! 

We called Shawn McIntosh and asked him if he would perform the service and then Dave called Shane and asked for my hand.  It was great.  Shane said as long as we didn't move to Montana.

I am still wondering if I am going to wake up and this will have been a dream......

Here is some information on the history of the Claddaugh and why it means so much to me that it was what he picked out.  

The Claddaugh is the traditional Irish ring that represents love, loyalty and friendship.  The hand represents friendship, the heart represents love and the crown represents loyalty.  They are most commonly used as engagement and wedding rings.  

The ring is worn with the intention of conveying the wearer's status.  It is worn on the left hand with the heart pointing towards the finger tips when the wearer is engaged and then is changed to the heart pointing towards the wrist when the wearer is married.

I love that Dave did what he did and was so romantic and continues to be one of the most thoughtful people I have ever met.

We have tentatively set May 5 as the wedding day.  We are hoping to have everything at our house in Gilbert.  Will do more planning as soon as I get back. 

Dave has to get his marriage annulled through the church which is very important to him.  He has already talked to the priest and set the wheels in motion.  I had mine annulled years ago and I am good to go.  Our plans are now to get the marriage blessed here in Butte as soon he gets it annulled.

I love this wonderful man with all of my heart.  I never expected to feel this way and never dreamed that it would happen to me.   We have so much in common and I absolutely love being with him.   

We will keep his house here and spend time here in the summer.  But the majority of the year will be in Gilbert.  He wants to be able to golf as much as possible and the cold in Butte is bad for his back.

I absolutely believe that this was not a coincidence and I believe that my dear Aunt Teresa may have had something to do with it!!

What a gift I have been given!  I love you, Dave Uggetti, with my whole heart and soul and I am so thankful that you have come into my life!!!!!!

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: