Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

 Duane and Anne hosted a large group of friends who could not be with their extended families.  There were 23 people in the house at one time, lots of kids, lots of food, and lots of reasons to be thankful.
Anne wanted to ensure that her nephew, Liam, did not feel homesick for his family in Florida.  Liam enjoyed all the good food and watched a lot of football.

Colin and his friend, Jordyn, planned and executed a carnival, complete with games and prizes for all the kids.

Notice the Tootsie pop suckers - those were prizes and every kid had opportunity to win five, I think.

Colin, Micah, and Ava  read the blessing prayer before we devoured our meal.   Colin read these words so beautifully  “May the light of gratitude burn brightly in our hearts and around this table, not only on the feast of Thanksgiving but at all meals.”  


Rob, a former chef, carved the turkey.  
Anne made sure every family had treats to take home.  
Joan joined us for the day and visited while Duane updated her computer software files.
We also tested the sauerkraut that we made early in October.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Reasons to be thankful

Thanksgiving Day, 2012, is dawning and I'm looking forward to spending the day with Duane, Anne, Colin, Joan, and at least eight other adults and ten children.  I could write a long list of things I'm grateful for......  I just don't know where to begin because my heart overflows with gratitude today.

Family.  Even though I live alone I feel surrounded by the spirit of my family, from my parents down to my grandchildren.   Pictures of my grandchildren, children, parents, and extended family fill the space I where I say my prayers and write my blog.

God's creation.  The morning sky is pink and blue.  I can look out all my windows and marvel at the Lewiston hill and the yard where I've planted dogwood trees and geraniums.  Our temperate climate allows permits some annuals to still be blooming at Thanksgiving time.

Music.  I love Pandora radio!  I can listen to my favorites at the click of a mouse.  This morning I'm listening to Bette Middler sing the Rose.  Earlier this week I listened to several Christmas music CDs that Larry made for me and for his clients.

My genes.  I have a lot of older friends who are suffering with a myraid of health issues.  Why am I blessed with good health?  It's truly one big reason to be grateful today.

Technology.  I'm still amazed that I can see pictures of new babies, Colin projects, my sister's trips, my nieces and nephews travels on my computer.  Today I'm even grateful for Facebook!  I saw this sweet picture of Carter Kuhlmann via technology recently.

Faith and Spirituality.  The poet Hafiz says, "We have so many gifts yet unopened from our birth day."  The gifts of the Spirit flow throughout our entire life and God gives us these gifts to share.  Unlike worldly gifts, God's gifts increase and multiply as we share and give them away.  Today the gifts of cooking, sharing, peacemaking will be given away and the world will be a better place.....until the chaos of shopping begins.

Time to get on the road up to Moscow.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Happy Cooking everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Colin's 8th Birday

Colin started his birthday celebration weeks ago by hosting an ice skating party for his friends.  
Anne and Duane invited me, along with Anne's brother, Tom, and nephew, Liam.  Tom and I kept going outside just to warm up - the ice skating rink is cold!!  Some of Colin's friends play on the Moscow hockey team, but I couldn't believe how well everyone skated.  I love the "walkers" that help the newbies get confident on the ice.  I used my new camera to take this little video, so forgive the cameraperson for going sideways.....

Zachary and Colin

Colin's friend brought home made cards and books and he enjoyed every gift!
Duane made the cupcakes and the frosting to look the Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Love the antics of eight year olds!!

Today we attended Jacob's piano recital and then headed over to Fazzari's for pizza.  It's kind of a Colin tradition because he celebrated his first, second, and third birthdays at Fazzaris.

Everyone loved the blue Cookie Monster cupcakes!

Colin is wearing a denim shirt that I embellished with embroidered patriotic images in 1975 when Duane was eight years old.  
Colin received stacks of gifts including Risk, ITunes gift card, Apples to Apples Game, Electronics kits, Science projects, Perry the Platypus pillowcases and lounging pants.  
Duane made a special Minecraft Cake and decorated it with edible fruit rollup figures.  

We ended the day by walking around Locomotive Park and showing off the million lights to Anne's nephew, Liam, who attends the University of Idaho.

Happy eighth Birthday, Colin!
With lots of love from Grandma Theresa

Locomotive Park Lighting Ceremony

My friend, Mary Jayne, invited me to join her for two weekends in November to decorate seven trees in Locomotive Park.  We enjoyed sharing stories as we wound the lights around the tree trunks.  It takes a long time to decorate a tree, but coffee and brownies are available and everyone stops for chili at lunch time.  Christmas music fills the air and puts the workers in a holiday spirit.

Fred Willett, 87, surrounded by Winter Spirit Board members, pushed a lever that turned on more than a million lights. Every time I helped at the park or delivered pumpkin bars, Fred greeted me.  He's Mr. Christmas Spirit!   My brother, Larry, is one of the board members but he was not present on the stage.  I imagine he was working behind the scenes to make sure the lights would turn on! The non-profit organization has been spearheading the annual lighting event for 18 years.

Tears always come to my eyes when I look around, hear Mannheim Steamroller music, and just stare in awe at the amazing trees covered in lights.  I recall reading an Advent reflection reminding us that Jesus came into our world to push away the darkness and bring us into the light.  The explosion of lights reminded me that His birth is the real reason we decorate and celebrate.  I think the lights in the park push darkness out of many people's lives.  Families and children enjoy walking through the arches.  Even the elderly in wheelchairs and babies in strollers celebrated tonight. The pictures below are from the Winter Spirit website.

 I'm filled with gratitude as I write this for all the volunteers and the "red shirts" from the prison who decorated all these trees and made it possible for the lights to push out the darkness in the valley for the next six weeks.  

Thank you Winter Spirit!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Things that remind me of my Mom

Today is the 7th anniversary of my Mother's untimely death.  I miss her.  The things that remind me of her today:

Snow tires.  I got snow tires on my car the day she died.  It's time to do it again.

Quilting.  I'm making a little 9-patch quilt with red and white fabric, using a quilt mom made as a pattern to put the squares "on point."

St. James BBQ Beef dinner.  It's today.  Mom and Dad loved to join me for any and all bazaar dinners.    I bought 2# of shelled walnuts and some home-made biscotti from the Country Store.   Mom would always ask me to buy shelled walnuts at the Holy Family Bazaar if she couldn't make it.

Thanksgiving Day.  She was born on Thanksgiving Day, way before it was designated to be celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November.  

Mashed potatoes.  Anne asked me to bring mashed potatoes to the Wessels Thanksgiving celebration.  Mom peeled hundreds of pounds of potatoes in her life.  I liked the way she mashed them in the big Kitchen Aide mixer - adding warm milk and butter.  

150 Years - Our Story.   It's ready to be picked up and I'll have to drive to Cottonwood to pick them up, and Mom won't be available to share the stories.  

The Scripture Readings.  Jesus notices the poor widow who puts two coins in the plate.  The author writes, "I am a poor widow in that I'm incomplete and insecure, inasmuch as I ache over what and whom I have lost."   Today I ache with longing for my Mom.

Container of rubber bands.  I took this from the house and put all the newspaper rubber bands in this container.  Used rubber bands from it recently to make the cake pop holders for Bradleigh's VB banquet.  

Aunt Pauline.  Today is her birthday.  She remembers Larry calling her on her birthday to tell her Mom had died.  

Joe Schmidt.  I saw him at the Veterans parade yesterday.  He really enjoyed visiting with Mom and I gave him one of her scrap quilts after she died.  He'll be 93 next week.

Retirement.  I would enjoy spending time with Mom now that I'm semi-retired.  I would just go to Cottonwood and spend a few days with her quilting or visiting the sick or going to Mass or fixing dinner for someone.  I think she would've been a very young 90-year old.  

The Community Hall.  This was her second kitchen.  She loved cooking dinners here, whether for a funeral or for the entire Cottonwood Credit Union membership.

Baking goodies for others.  I made some pumpkin bars and took them to Locomotive Park yesterday.  My friend Mary Jayne made brownies....

Praying the Rosary.  I'm a volunteer on our parish's Lazarus Committee.  Tuesday this week Marcia and I are leading the rosary for a deceased parishioner.  I think of Mom and all the times she led the rosary without using a "cheat sheet."  

I use this rosary, one that Uncle Henry made out of a rosary bead plant.  

Missing you today, hoping you are saying lots of rosaries for me and everyone in the family!