Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking
Mt. Constitution

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Colin's Sick Day

The Wessels are preparing for a vacation/business trip to Orlando, FL, so Anne decided that Colin should stay home from school on Wednesday.  Being semi-reitred I told her I would stay with him until she got home from her teaching responsibilities at MCS.

He wasn't too sick to sprinkle colored sugars on the Valentine Cookies I'd baked earlier in the week.
Anne gave directions for the day, "You can have 30 minutes of computer time, but then you need to practice the piano, play games, or read Harry Potter."  It helps to set the kitchen timer.  He tried to teach me to use the Wii for an Indiana Jones adventure game.  I'm helpless because I can't remember which button is A or B or Z or how to move "my man."  Even Mario Bros. presents quite a challenge for me.

So, Colin, sat at the piano for at least 30 minutes.  Once we got Odie out of the way he concentrated on his lesson for the week and played "When I Jump Out of Bed" for me.  Two little videos show off his musical abilities.  It's such a challenge to get an eight-year-old to practice, but I give him lots of praise and encouragement.  Who knows?  Someday he might be a great musician as well as a scientist!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Exploring Moscow

Anne's birthday turned out to be a free day for me to explore Moscow.  Weather advisories led Anne to believe it would be a snow day.  NaDa.  Enough snow fell for Duane to get out and shovel the sidewalks and driveway.  I surprised Anne with a little sign of spring sitting on her table.

Anne gave me her old IPhone when she got a new one in November, but I haven't used the data plan so my first stop of the day was AT&T at the mall.  The sales people are well trained and Kevin tried his best to convince me I needed a phone with a data plan.  I used a typical retiree's comment of being on fixed income and my budget doesn't have room for another $20/month.  I'm perfectly happy with my old PAETEC phone and it's text message capabilities.  Anyway I have my IPAD for travel and searching when I'm away from home.  How many searching devices does one need anyway?  
My next stop - WINCO!  Wow, I just wandered down each aisle and noticed the great prices.  Anne and Duane sometimes come to Lewiston just to shop at Costco, which is great if you like to store the big packages of stuff you buy there.  But, for me, WINCO might be a better bargain.  I loved the aisles with bulk items - everything from flour to valentine candy.  I bought nine little bags of goodness to make some granola for Anne's birthday.

The granola has cashews, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, flaxseed, Oat bran, wheat germ, coconut, dried mango and cranberries!  Very healthy!!!

I wandered around the Mall looking for spring clothing colors - lots of yellow and tangerine!  I think one of my favorites, navy blue, might be popular this Spring I season.  Maybe with some dots....
Then I had roasted tomato garlic basil soup at the Co-op topped off with Almond-Apricot cookies.

I could not resist the gorgeous snow so I unpacked my new snow shoes and headed out to Idler's Rest.
The parking lot had not been plowed so I drove a little further up the road and found a place to park and struggled for 20 minutes getting the snowshoes on my feet.  I started walking down the icy road and realized they were on backwards!  Oh no.  As fate would have it the mail was being delivered to the country homes along this road.  The mail lady opened her window and said, "did you get those snow shoes from Costco?"  The neon green must've given them away.
I told her I thought they were on backwards and she got out of the truck and helped me get them on the right way.  "I love these straps because they are so easy!"  And I agreed once she showed me how to put them on.   Wow, what a difference!   I did make it up the Idler's rest trail, far enough to enjoy the meadow!  But I finally decided I didn't know if I was walking on a trail or ground hiding boulders and uneven surfaces that might cause me to fall into a snow bank!  
 I love trees covered with snow!  And the peaceful silence of a winter day!  It was lovely but I got quite warm and realized I must've worked up quite a sweat, so I headed back to town and saw a glorious sky!

A sky like this reminds me that God's light permeates our world even amidst the clouds of darkness!

Anne's Birthday

Duane and Colin began a Birthday Vigil celebration.  They told her to sit downstairs and catch up on taped TV shows and they would not bother her.  They'd baked a cake with no sugar and presented it to her during her special time out.

After the surprise they began making the real birthday cake to be presented on her real birthday.

Duane put one cake mix into each pan and the batter sort of bubbled over onto into the oven causing a little smoke in the house for awhile.  Yellow cake is her favorite so any imperfections were covered up with chocolate frosting! Notice Duane's cap - a friend sent it to him - I think DW is a music group of some kind..

We enjoyed a nice dinner at a new restaurant in Moscow called Mugnaini.  They serve traditional Italian pizza and wine, with dinner, in small glasses.  Duane and Colin surprised her with a box filled with ear buds.  She had to borrow Bradleigh's on our trip back from Disneyland.  Apparently she can never find her ear buds when she needs them so this gift will ensure she always has enough.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Sister Lillian, my spiritual director, gave me a free sample of daily prayer booklet for today's Catholics titled, "Give Us This Day."  The reflections are extraordinary.  Today's reflection written by Sister Ephrem Hollermann, says...."the path to holiness lies in the dailyness of our lives, in the 'sacrament of the present moment.'"  That, in itself, is a big call says Hollerman.  I continue to learn that God doesn't expect me to do monumental tasks, instead He asks that I notice when to be compassionate, caring, daring, and quiet so He can do His work through me.  I'm trying to relate this reflection to my desire to blog about what I've noticed this week -  perhaps sacraments of the present moment.

Gonzaga lost to Butler in the last 3 seconds of an exciting game on Saturday night.  I enjoyed watching the game with the Kuhlmanns.  We cheered and truly were celebrating before Stockton intended to throw the ball to Olynck, but Jones stole it and scored the winning basket instead.  Just like the ball game of life - we can never be sure of the outcome of our actions.  I noticed it does no good to pout, there will be more basketball games and since this one, Gonzaga has won two more.

Jacob's 13th birthday.  Grandparents were invited for Pizza and ice cream cake on Sunday, one day after he officially became a teenager.  I noticed that Jacob still likes to open gifts.  He also enjoys collecting money for skiing and his X-Box obsession.  I gave him a bag with 13 little gifts in it and he seemed delighted with each one, especially the Starbursts.

This is a Baby Tiger - just to prove he's never too old to hug his favorite stuffed animals.

Happy 13th Birthday Jacob!

Dogs are special to my children and grandchildren.  I noticed Colin petting Kado and the dog is just eating it up.  The O'Shaughnessy's lost Bogey, their Golden Retriever, after Christmas,  so everyone pays special attention to Kado, who seems to be grieving in his own way.  

Father Andy Schumacher. I belong to a small group and we've been studying Vatican II during the Year of Faith.  We invited Father (now Monsignor) Andy to join us for dinner on Wednesday.  I noticed the joy in Father Andy's voice as he talked about the way he embraced the changes of Vatican II.  He said, "Not all priests were happy about the changes because bishops just told them to do things in a different way without explaining the meaning behind the changes.  The documents of Vatican II were all written in Latin and then translated to different languages."  He also talked about some of the challenges he faced as a pastor, but he always enjoyed empowering the laity to help him in ministry.  I noticed a crack in his voice when he talked about his involvement in the Marriage Encounter movement.  "It was because of the people in this movement that made me realize I could love and be loved by other people."  Spending time with this wise priest certainly qualified as a sacrament of the present moment.  I found the article about his 50 year priesthood celebration in 2009.   I haven't figured out if you can import a pdf file, but I think it will work to read it if you click on the link below.  It's four pages so keep scrolling down...  The other link is from the Tribune and I think you can just click on LOGIN and my information will come up and let you read it.  Maybe!!!

TED Talks.  My sister, Maureen, sent me a link to a TED talk  about food allergies.  After I listened to that one, I listened to several other ones and I noticed how inspiring these speakers are.  There are hundreds available to listen to and/or download on as many topics.  Most speakers inspire the rest of us to think more creatively and or get off our butts and do something about the world that "is going to hell in a hand basket."  The TED format makes one of the best uses of the INTERNET!  I noticed how much more meaningful my TED time is than surfing through the TV channels or clicking on FACEBOOK several times a day.  I listened to a great talk that supports my reflection on the sacrament of the present moment.  Matt Killingsworth's talk suggests that to be happier we need to stay in the present moment.  I've wasted a lot of time over the years worrying about things either in the past or the future and have missed lots of sacramental moments in the present.  Maybe that's why blogging is good for me - it keeps me focused.  This talk is takes about 10 minutes.

Pictures help blogging.  I've noticed that pictures help me write stories or something to blog about.  I've been working a lot and did a lot of cooking this weekend, nothing worthy of picture taking I guess.  Other blogs I read have a lot of pictures of food and the whole process of preparing something.  Maybe that's what I need to do.  After all, the picture is worth a thousand words!  I made Winter Minestrone soup Wednesday, Lentil Soup on Friday and Salsa Corn Chowder today.  I brought dinner to the O'Shaughnessy's yesterday because they've begun to demolish their master bathroom.  Today I also baked Valentine Cookies.   I've noticed cooking brings me a lot of joy especially when I can share the dishes with family and friends.  It's my simple way to show care and love to others I guess.   Who knew cooking could be sacramental?  Or that chopping onions and celery, such mundane tasks, could lead to holiness?  Really now, that might be a stretch. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

W.I.N. - A theme for this year

I miss the daily Advent Reflections that I read every day before Christmas.  Most of them inspired me to remember the true reason for the Christmas celebration.   One of my favorite authors, Paul D'Arcy, asked this question on January 1st  - "What is My Theme for the Coming Year?"  The theme I chose over the past years gave me reason to write in my prayer journal.  Past yearly themes were "The Year of Gratitude, The Year of Surprise, "The Year of Love, "The Year of Blessing, and last year "The Year of Waiting."  My theme for 2013 is a "Year of Noticing."  I try to write about my awareness every day in my prayer journal and I thought I might also blog about some special moments of awareness.  My WIN blogs will mostly be "picture-less."

WIN (What I Noticed) so far this year

My grandkid's reactions to the Disneyland Vacation.  Jacob was ready to kiss the ground he walked on because he was so happy to be home and away from people, traffic, and long lines.  Bradleigh is the only one who did any shopping - she came home with Mickey Mouse Ears and a Disney sweatshirt.  Colin wrote a special thank you note:

My tears of joy when my boss told me the corporation approved a new wage scale and all line staff would get an equity increase as well. 

The sincere hugs and thank yous from Karlee and Lynzee Wilson for enduring the noise and enthusiasm of the Golden Throne basketball contest at LCSC's Activity Center.   

Brook Finnegan's weight loss and remark, "I've never been healthier and I feel so good."  She had gastric by-pass surgery last year and continues to lose weight by swimming every day.  

Tears welling up in my eyes when my boss told me the replacement executive director, scheduled to start February 1, 2013, would not be coming after all.  

People read my blog.  Helen Shackelford, a fellow SGA classmate wrote an Email to me, "Theresa - hello !  I just wanted to tell you, I came upon your blog on the internet last night and enjoyed it so much !  .....  Seeing pictures of you and your family, hearing about your life .............. seeing pictures of your siblings and "the look" of "our childhood era"  ........... even tho' I didn't meet you till we were Freshman in high school."
My daughter, Karen, makes time to have coffee with me.  Her family is busy, busy, and she works 12 hour days, but has Fridays off.  I'm just delighted and grateful when she meets me at Starbucks on a Friday morning.  She encourages me to stay healthy, get more exercise, and she is so friendly to people she knows and there's always someone we both know who come into Starbucks.  I'm so proud of her and the way she manages her busy life and loves her family more than anything else in the world.  I notice her priorities are in the right place!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Louis Schmidt- Rest in Peace

My dear friend, Louis Schmidt, passed away on New Year's Eve.  I debated about going to his funeral because we just got back from a week in Disneyland and I really just wanted to be home!!  But, I found the Christmas card he sent to me early in December and after I read it again,  I thought to myself, "how could I not go?"

The celebration of his life in Cottonwood was just that!  A church filled with family, friends, and people who just loved him... like me.  The church decorations for Christmas added to the festive atmosphere - trees decorated with lights, garlands hung about the Stations of the Cross, and of course, the beautiful Nativity set.  I want to die at Christmas time and have Christmas carols sung at my funeral.  Sally Rehder sand O Holy Night and Silent Night - absolutely beautiful.  A blanket of red roses covered the oak casket.  Louis was a handsome man and wrote his own obituary.    
I, Louis Schmidt, am telling you my life story. I was born in Greencreek Nov. 10, 1916, on a rather cold day in our family home, delivered by my grandmother Mrs. Joe Schmidt, a midwife.
I was the third child of Henry and Elizabeth Schmidt. The first child, Josephine, passed away at 3 months of age; next came Urban, then myself, Sophia, Richard, Virgil, Harry, Adele, Betty Ann and Edward. I remember playing in the wood pile, hitching up cats on a toy wagon and dreaming of miniature ponies in the hay loft. The children went to school in buggies, walked or rode horses. Eighth grade was all the schooling we had. I graduated in the morning and was driving six horses on the harrow in the afternoon. I loved riding down the canyon to fix fences. Horses and cattle have always been part of my life.
There was no electricity in the late '20s and most of the '30s; around 1938 farmers in the area banded together to build their own power lines and we finally had the luxury of lights! One evening about that time I went to one of the local dances and danced with the most beautiful girl on the prairie, who I made my wife on Nov. 10, 1940. I still carry her picture in my wallet. We bought a farm and milked six head of cattle, hand separating the milk, selling the cream in 5-gallon cans. In 1941 we got our house wired for electricity at a total cost of $25 and built a milking parlor and began selling Grade A milk for more than 20 years until we got all of our girls through college. We continued farming until the mid-'90s. In 1950 I was appointed road commissioner for the Cottonwood Highway District and served in that capacity for 25 years. In 1970 I was elected trustee for Saint Mary's Parish when the new church was built. It was a pretty lively time for awhile, but it eventually turned out to everyone's satisfaction.
I felt honored to be chosen as the grand marshal for the 2001-2002 Grangeville Border Days and was delighted to be on a horse again for the parade. Mary and I had been married for 67 years when she passed away in 2007. Things haven't been the same without her; she was my strength and she gave me five beautiful daughters. I have been blessed with good health, a strong family and wonderful friends through the course of my life.
I am survived by my daughters and their husbands: Virginia (Bill) Crea, Jackie (Roy) Lacey, Patricia (Dave) Fealko, Janice (Lynn) Gardner and Joyce (Mark) Woods. We lost our son Timothy at birth. His family also includes 15 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. I was the last living member of the Henry Schmidt family, I was preceded in death by my sister Josephine, who was the first to join the Lord, then my brother, the Rev. Father Urban, my siste,r Sophia, my brother, Richard (married Gertrude Funke), my brother, Virgil (married Dorothy Wemhoff), my brother, Harry (married Clarice Feucht), my sister, Adele Logan (married Kenneth), my sister, Betty Ann Wessels (married Wilfred), and lastly, my brother, Edward (married Carole Lightfield, now Toennis).
In closing, I'd like to share some final thoughts, "Keep your faith in God, pray to the blessed virgin and tell your children you love them."
Father Andy Schumacher gave the homily and talked about Louis love of music and the three songs he picked out to sing on a CD of Cottonwood voices.  He chose, "God Bless America, "Somewhere my Love, and "How Great Thou Art."  Father Andy wove the music into the homily and how Louis loved his country, his family, and his God.  My sisters went to school with the Schmidt girls, a gracious, classy bunch!  Marilyn remembers Louis always being kind and friendly to the giggly teenagers who spent time in the Schmidt home.  I remember going to daily mass with my mom and watching her put some cinnamon rolls or soup in Louis car when Mary was ill and did not cook any longer.  Louis never forgot those acts of kindness and I loved him for the way he appreciated my mother's goodness.  
As we were gathering at the cemetery Patsy told me Louis put this picture on his refrigerator.  "There you were among all the grandchildren...he really loved you."
A life well lived, a life filled with love, may you now enjoy the music in heaven!