All is quiet and I’m finally going to sit a minute.

First I need to offer Bernie my deepest sympathies on the loss of her husband, Larry.  Thank you for all your prayers and support over the past year.  And thank you Carol for letting me know.

I keep saying I’m going to get a group photo of our dorm, but it has yet to materialize.  When I arrived back from NY I had meetings, orientation, and found out in addition to the full time nursing position, and running the donation store, I was also teaching three classes a day.  Since then, they dropped one of my health classes (whew!), I am no longer doing laundry in the dorm, (no time!), and things have slowly gotten in to a routine.  Slowly being the key word.


Ethan is adjusting well.  Our end of the dorm is only 7th and 8th this year so we only have 3 boys and Ethan.  All 3 were here last year, so they all know each other.  We have 41 so far total.  The little boys end has somewhere between 9 and 11.  I can’t keep track…  They are so precious when they come in.


Three of the little boys.

This year  is already better in that we don’t have the need like we did last year for clothing.  With the shirts I bought (courtesy of Bernie and Larry) and had donated (thank you Open Arms Community Church in Bradford, PA) our boys are well set.

There has been a ton more paper work this year though in my office.  Last year there was a young lady who was here visiting who made all the office copies and helped me put charts together.  She’s not here this year, so I’ve had to do all my own, while Rosie is busy with her end.  Indian Health Services seems to have decided they want some other things in the charts this year, so it’s been busy.  I had to get some lesson plans together with short notice too.  Glad to have homeschooled my kids for nearly two decades!  I’ve learned to improvise. 

bob Here’s me and Bob in my office.  He’s wearing the hat I bought last year for Spirit Week/ hat day.

Merf, sorry about the Disney half.  I really just couldn’t afford it.  It’s all I can do to get $3,000 together for Ethan’s braces… and you don’t want to have that conversation with me about money… ha ha. 

159 Speaking of Ethan, we were in Albuquerque, NM coming back and we met this man.  His name is Robert Walley. He is one of the last of 40 some Navajo Code Talkers.  Although you might read they’re all deceased, this is not true.  The last of the FIRST group is gone.  These men are from the SECOND group and are very much alive.  He was a really sweet man to talk to.  He told us how they worked together to change the language to code that contributed to our victory in the War.  Pretty amazing.  He was very quiet and you had to listen carefully.  Photo taken with permission.

Also in Albuquerque is this Old Town.  Where has this place been all my life?  you guessed it, shops, shops, and more shops!  All within walking distance… ahhh….

Raspberry Truffles of course!

Raspberry Truffles of course!

Not the most flattering picture, but after traveling 2,000 miles… these truffles were almost $3.00 each.  Not as good as Watson’s in Ellicottville, but yummy enough. 

Oh, getting back to running… I hit an all time high of 8 miles last Saturday (in your face Brion).  I’d have to look at my phone for the time, but I don’t care enough to get up.  I tried to do another sub 30 on Monday but missed it at 30:14.  Some day dear sister we’ll run a half together.  Promise!

Christine, by the way, you need to answer your phone.  You can’t stay mad forever. I’m sure your not mad, but that last day did get crazy and I’m sorry I didn’t get over to say goodbye.  So I am publicly apologizing… let’s just blame Nancy.  It’s all her fault.  She kidnapped me. Then we might as well blame Sarah while we’re at it!

The weather here is mostly awesome.  As you figured out, and Nancy you already knew, I will never live in WNY again. Not after getting a taste of paradise… (Speaking of paradise Merf, I have the Meatloaf album on my iPod… almost called you!) I can’t take the rain and gray of western NY.  I am spoiled. ( no comments Mother, or Ginny for that matter.)  I want my sun and I want ocean.  I’ve got one down and one to go.  Once my license as been active for two years, Florida offers reciprocity.  Works for me! Unless I find that sunset first… Someday, Funcy, someday…. sooner than later, one can hope.

So, school is under way… we’ve got a great group of kids.  They’re not without their issues, but with some of their backgrounds it’s amazing they are as sane as they are…  speaking of sanity, it’s the same old broken record.  Nothing changes.  If anything the insanity has reached an all time low… but that’s another email for another day.  Or possibly a phone call… 

Oh Carol, if you’re not too bored with all this family and friends stuff, I got a package from someone from your group, or your organization.  Her name/ card is in my office so I can’t tell you now… my brain is off for the evening.  It was a really nice letter with a ton of stuff in the box.  Lots of white T shirts which always goes over well here!  I promise the next blog will be more about the boys with more pictures.  They are at the gym with a work and witness team right now.  But hopefully soon I will get get you their names and info.  (you, too Mother… I did forget sorry).

Speaking of Work and Witness, this older lady was helping me in the store this afternoon.  We got 20++ bags in from the back of a UHaul.  So we’re going through these clothes.  Now most people get very upset when I start tossing things.  But this lady was hysterical.  We had so much fun.  The clothes 1. Go to the students. 2. Go to the staff. 3. Get put out for the community at 25 cents to a dollar an item.  If we can’t use it, and it’s 100% cotton, the maintenance man gets it for the shop.  Some things are too damaged to use.  Well this lady had me laughing so hard I fell off the bag I was sitting on.  We found this Carol Brady skirt (that even I wouldn’t wear) and I said to her, 1975 is calling, they want their skirt back.  Sorry, it was just funny.  I don’t know how I got off on that.  My ADD kicking in!  But just so you all know, the donations really do get used.  Sometimes even what we discard goes in to a free box and people will come in and take it for scraps/ rags, lambing, etc. 

Oh, one last note, Ethan is running cross country.  He’s not thrilled about it, but some one has to run my 5Ks with me!  I hate going alone and I want to sign up for some this winter down near Phoenix/ Chandler.  We’ll be in Phoenix for Labor Day weekend.  It’s Ethan’s belated birthday present.  I’m pretty excited.  The hotel has a lazy river and water slide.  The weather is looking to hover in the 90s to 100s.  Can’t wait to take my camera and relax.  And run.  Always run.

Love to you all.

-GMMonday 070Ethan at the Allegany State Park, July 3, 2013


Hello everyone!


Sorry this is just a brief note.  I keep thinking I need to just sit and type and update everyone.  However, once again, it’s just past 9 pm and I’m ready to fall on my face from exhaustion.  Well, I guess it beat insomnia.  I’ve been getting up by 6 to run every other morning.  Even the mornings I could sleep in, I don’t.  I’m not sure if I miss the insomnia…

School is in full swing.  Lots of new students!  You would think this would be easier, since I know what I’m doing now! But there is less staff this year, so I’m doing my own copy work, teaching three health classes a day, running the donation store, plus obviously still living in the dorm. Fun times!

I will try to get some pictures up and a ‘real’ blog post.  Introduce our kids and give some updates.  Suffice to say now things are quiet, status quo, I’m just busy busy busy. 

More soon, I promise.

Another quick post

Rosie singing happy birthday Ethan in Navajo. Kids returned today. About 22 more tomorrow. Very busy… I will try very hard to get my blog caught up tomorrow. It cost money to be able to put video on WordPress so if you are able, click the link above and you’ll see Rosie singing happy birthday in Navajo.
You do not need Facebook to see the video.

hotels Amish friends food

Dear friends and family…  greeting from Ohio! Yes Ohio.  We’re off again on another adventure.  Back to AZ!  While I’m very excited to be headed back, I wasn’t quite mentally prepared. I had too many loose ends.  I made too many plans with too many people. Not enough packing and a household sale to pay for the trip back. So here I sit in a holiday inn after I swore I’d never stay I in another. However since the GPS on my cell took us through a cornfield… I think stopping at the nearest hotel at 9 pm was the prudent move to make.  We did stop to visit our Amish friends.  They served us some yummy pie. Yes I ate it, crust and all. We won’t talk about the chick fil a waffle fries either.  Nor will we discuss my poor belly. The dairy queen burger is what really put me over the edge.  Food is not my friend today.  Although this hotel has what appears to be an awesome treadmill…


I will write more as we travel. Think happy thoughts and prayers for us.  This is unusually short but it’s really late and I have a Stephen king book to relax with.  Blessings.

June, not July

Good Morning starshine! The earth says hello!


That sounds so bright and cheery when I’m not feeling bright and cheery at all.

Should we start with the last 6 weeks and go forward, or today and go back? ah….. let’s see.

I wanted to start with last May, however, just now when I went to get my memory card out of my camera, it was gone.  I uploaded pictures in Rochester at my mother’s house, and that’s the last I’ve seen of it.  Good grief.  I went on a roaring rampage to no avail.  I’ve searched every bag and pocket.  It’s gone.  I have another card, but it’s only 4 gigs, that card was 8.  AND it had pictures on it.


I’ve been in NY for almost 3 weeks now.  It hardly seems it.  A week in Rochester, and starting my second week here in Salamanca. So far I’ve managed to leave all my shirts in Rochester, lose my memory card, and forget how humid and buggy WNY is.  I am covered in mosquito bites on my legs.  Was WNY always this humid and yucky?  It is a beautiful area.  It’s so green!  However, I really did lose touch with the gnats and flying biting things.  11 months in AZ has cured me of grey skies, bugs, and humidity.  We’ve had one or two really nice sunny days in 3 weeks.  Yes, I’m complaining.  Even Ethan said he’s ready to go back.

Next topic.  How we finished the year.  You’d think I’d dedicate an entire page to the excitement of finishing our year.  Probably not.  I can say after 11 months, my nurse’s office is ‘mostly’ clean, ‘mostly’ organized, and ‘mostly’ ready for the 2014 school year.  How’s that?  I’m already looking forward to another year there.  The last few days and weeks in the dorm were good and bad.  Good, because we knew the end was in sight, we were ready to head to NY, and bad because I felt I had just spent an entire school year living with 7 boys I felt like I hardly knew.  I said good bye to one student and told him I hoped to see him next year.  He turned around and said aghast, “You DO?!”.   wow.  Did i feel bad? yes!  I said, yes, I do.  Don’t i want to make a better impression than that?  It motivates me to try harder next school year.  One mother cornered me on the last day, yes I was hiding in the laundry room,  yes, i was avoiding this family.  Yes, her son and I don’t see I to eye on his behaviour, but she came in and stood in the door way.  There was no avoiding her.  She said, “I want to talk to you.”  Oh dear.  I sucked it up and responded.  She said, “Thank you for putting up with my son and taking care of him for the year.”  Really?   I could have fallen over.  Wow.

Speaking of the laundry room.  One of the students came in and sat on the dryer while I was ironing.  He had done this a few times.  So i just waited for him to start talking.  He did.  Big changes.  Moving.  8th grade is over.  What’s next?  SVIS only goes to 8th.  He was probably moving hundreds and hundreds of miles away to a new state, new school.  It was a good way to say goodbye.  I hope he finds another washing machine to sit on and another dorm Mom who will let him.

For our last meal together, Daryl and I took the boys out to a Mexican restaurant.  We made them all wear suits and ties.  If I had my memory card (UGH!) I’d upload the pictures.  They looked so sharp.  We really had a great time.  They were so well behaved.  It was a pretty expensive endeavor,  next time, I’ll start saving ahead of time! but so worth it.  We stopped at McDonald’s on the way home for ice cream.  I think we scared the manager.  He asked us why we were there.  I figured we either looked like a mafia family, or a bunch of Mormons.  No offense to Mormons, but that’s all I could think.  If the boys had little name tags clipped to their shirts, we could have been the Traveling Osmonds Family look alikes!

Oh, one more last goodbye story.  One student asked for our phone number.  Now logic says you don’t give students your phone number.  But I did.  I was comfortable doing it.  The dorm was empty.  All the boys are gone.  No more underwear or shoes in the hallway.  We’re going… it’s so quiet. What now?  Then my phone rings.  He wasn’t gone an hour and he called.  Loved it.

So.  We spent several days cleaning out the dorm, I cleaned my office, and I worked on the basement donation store.  A group of teens came in and painted some shelves.  I wish I had a before and after picture of that basement!  And then… back to NY.

The trip back was fairly uneventful.  Nothing stands out in my mind.  We left at 4:40 am Wednesday morning and rolled in to Rochester about 4 pm Friday afternoon.  It was quite the bombing run.  Drive. Drive. Drive.  We went to Chilli’s  and surprised my Mother.  I have it on video.  When she realizes it’s me talking to her, she screamed.  It was pretty funny.  Not viral material, but funny.  Ethan and I stayed in Rochester for a week and discovered a place on South Avenue called Cheesie Eddies.  Wow.  Someone can make a cheesecake better than mine?! yes, yes they can.  Now most of you know I’m pretty Paleo in my diet, but everyone needs to visit this place and at least TASTE their cheesecake.  Order online? Why, yes, yes I can.  And I will.  I MUST have another piece of their cheesecake.  I’d love to order one for the boys!  See? I’m still thinking of them.  Actually, I am.  I’d like to print out the pictures from our dinner out and mail them each their own copies, but I can’t do that WITHOUT MY MEMORY CARD!!!!


Getting back to Salamanca was interesting.  My daughter and her husband have moved in.  I’m not sure they moved in, but just sort of landed here. That’s probably a better way of putting it.  They landed here a few months ago.  So, now that I’ve cleaned, we’re going to start again.  I’m so OCD about my cleaning.  I realize not everyone is.  Right now my dresser is in disarray.  However, blue hair dye all over, and I do mean all over, my bathroom is something that I can’t live with.  It’s all better now.  We’ve settled in.

I think I’ve gained two pounds since we got back.  Tim Horton’s chilli has not let me down! However, my favourite yogurt smoothie in the whole world is gone!  I’m miserable!  I looked so forward to having one.  All they have now is strawberry and orange! Yuck!  I don’t want strawberry and I HATE orange.  ew!  No more mixed berry yogurt smoothies at Tim Hortons.  Very sad.

I’ve started running at the Allegany State Park.  It’s nothing like running in the gym at school, or a treadmill… or even out on the school trail in the dirt.  with the snakes.  and the lizards.  It’s BUGGY and humid.  It’s also so green and beautiful.  It’s hard to run and not want to stop and take it all in.  It’s also hard to do the hills!  No real hills on treadmills.  So, I’m finding out what running is really all about.  I’m hoping to do my first 5K this Saturday.  I know I can.  I know i can easily run 3.1 miles, I’m doing a bout 5 an hour.  It’s just actually running the first one.  Running with people.  Running with people and having other people watch you.  We’ll see.  I did get new running shoes.  They’re just cheap asics and they’re butt ugly.  Not even pink.  But they work and my right shin wasn’t screaming at me when I was done.  My skechers are so much better.  Or they were.  Til they died after 3 months.  I can’t afford $80 every 3 months for shoes.  The asics offer so much more support, but the skechers are so much more comfortable!!! bah.  What a trade off.  Considering the amount of excruciating of pain in my right shin, I’ll take the butt ugly.  Because of the pain I can’t run every day like I want, so I”ve learned, but every other day.  However I can walk in between, and go alot farther on the days i do run.  Obsess much? Yes. Yes I do.  Everything I do, eating, drinking, and living, revolves around my next run.  Tommie, you’ve created a monster.  I no longer run to lose weight.  It’s no longer about the weight.  It’s running to get that runner’s high.  It sets in and then you’re in go mode… your mind is empty, they music is good, it’s just you and the wind.  For about an hour your free.  Nothing else matters.  That’s someone else’s pain … someone else’s body… your just in your head. Going. and Going.  Unless of course you have to go to the bathroom.  So I’m at the park, I’ve just run 4.5 miles and I have to go.  Badly.  Really badly.  And there is this port-o-potty.  There are no port o potties in the Allegany State Park.  But that day, there was.  Just sitting there.  Now I’ve had to go since mile 2.  Now I really have to go, and there’s this port o potty.  I’m not seeing a mirage.  It’s there.  What do you do? What DO YOU DO?  I used it.  So I’m thinking as soon as I go in and sit down, they’ll come and take it away, with me in it.  Or worse, I’ll get locked in.  I think about these things.  And worry about them.  I used it, as obviously several people had already done, and I didn’t get locked in, and no one came and carted it off with me in it.  There was a triathlon at the park that day.  Apparently they provide port o potties to their participants.  And now guests of the park as well.  It was gone yesterday when I did my 5 miles.  But I didn’t have to go, so all was well.

Speaking of losing weight, visit   if you want to hear an amazing story of a man who lost weight.  I don’t know him ‘personally’, but I’ve seen him at Open Arms Community Church many, many times over the past two years.  He was just on Good Morning America.  AWESOME!

I’ve run out of things to type, I think.  I just wanted to catch up.  I’m using my neighbors internet, and it is SLOW.  With permission I might add.  They have a guest access thingy.  It’s slow, but it works.  If I ever find my memory card, I’ll upload pictures.

Kudos to Carol Creswall for coming to meet me.  I’m really sorry to hear our friends L. and B. are dealing with some health issues.  I would very much have liked to meet them and share the pictures with them of our year at Sun Valley Indian School.

It’s almost noon and time to go.  Not that I have anywhere to go… or anything to do.  What an odd feeling… there’s a treadmill in the basement… hm….



*EDIT* I just realized I never explained the title.  I woke up this morning thinking I missed someone’s birthday by one day.  I got online to search for flowers and excuses as to why I missed this 85 year old’s birthday.  Just as I was ordering them, my laptop over heated and shut off.  At that point, I realized her birthday is July 24, not JUNE.  Yeah…  Just Gail being Gail. Sigh.