Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 27 of 365

As a teacher, you wouldn't expect to have to attend students' funerals.

As an elementary teacher, I didn't have much experience with that. But as a high school teacher, the number of students my husband has lost is in the double digits. Most of the deaths occurred while the students were in high school or just graduated from high school. And usually from car accidents.

One death was different. Ross Aaron Clevenger. And this death hit my husband hard.

Ross was a different type of student. He was funny, yet was serious about his schoolwork. He loved to skateboard. He loved it so much that he, along with some other students, approached the city council to get help in building a skateboard park. They agreed to match funds and a city skateboard park was built. 

Ross went off to college and then joined the service. He was called to active duty in early 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in September. He came home on leave in January 2007 before returning to Iraq.

A month later he was dead. He was 21.

Sgt. Ross Aaron Clevenger of the 321st Engineering Battalion was killed Feb. 8, 2007, when a roadside bomb heavily damaged his armored vehicle in Iraq’s Anbar province west of Baghdad.

His funeral was held at the Marsing High School gym and he was buried with full military honors.

So it is in Ross' name that I continue to do work for the Quilts of Valor Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to cover all those service members and veterans touched by war with Wartime Quilts called Quilts of Valor. I've been again working on presentation cases (in this instance pillowcases), which is the "gift wrap" for the quilt.

More information about Quilts of Valor can be found at http://www.qovf.org/.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 26 of 365

My mom called this morning and talked a LONG time about lots of things. When she called, I'd been thinking about what I was going to take a picture of today. (She suggested I take a picture of the phone since I spent most of my time there this morning.)

Every morning one of my first thoughts, and sometimes the only reason I get out of bed, is to figure out what I'm going to post for the day. So when she called, I didn't have it figured out yet. I thought about the hail that was still on the ground from last night's hailstorm. But by the time I got off the phone, it had melted.

A little later I was making a pot of chili for dinner and when I opened the can of tomatoes, the cat came running and started bawling at me. When we feed her wet food now it's always a pop-top can, but she obviously has that "the can opener means food" signal ingrained in her brain from 5 years or so back when we had to use the can opener. Bawling cat picture? Nah.

Kevin from Idaho Power had read my Day 23 post where I had written about tracking my power consumption. He posted a comment on the blog about Idaho Power having an online option where customers can see usage by the day and even by the hour. I created an account on their website today and now see where our high spots are during the day and week. I considered taking a picture of the charts that are displayed, but do I really want others to know when during the day we use the most power? Probably not.

When checking on my chili (it smells delicious), I realized I still had some chocolate left over from making the caramel apples. And I had fresh strawberries in the fridge.

When you have chocolate in the house and fresh strawberries in the fridge, there's only one thing to do. And I did it.