Book Musings: The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina

November 18 2017:

The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina

Beautifully illustrated story of Ibn Sina, a genius of the Islamic Golden Age (c.622-c.1258). We learned he was a polymath, distinguished by his historically crucial contributions in the medical field.

His famous work, The Canon of Medicine, has made his name live through the centuries. He wrote hundreds of books on subjects including architecture, mathematics, philosophy, music, chemistry, education, medicine and meteorology.

GREAT book and it was wonderful discovering Ibn Sina!

The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina Book 2017

Volunteering – Humane Society of Northern Nevada

November 10 2017:

Volunteer day for Thomas and I. So many talkative beauties today!! Thomas always has to stop by and see Angel. The place was packed today! Must have been a lot of people who had the day off!! Good stuff as lots of animals were getting adopted! xoxo

Humane Society 11.10.17 #1 Humane Society 11.10.17 #2 Humane Society 11.10.17 #3 Humane Society 11.10.17 #4 Humane Society 11.10.17 #5

Another Step Closer – Where Would You Fly

November 24 2017:

Flourishes chosen! Another step closer!

Where Would You Fly Updated Cover 9.2017

**Are you interested in helping with the last stage of creation and bringing the book fully to life? We are pre-selling the book NOW and will have it in hand by the end of December 2017. Our goal is to pre-sell 50 books and we’ve already sold 15! Go here if interested in helping … … 

If You Could Go Back In Time

November 7 2017:

At dinner Thomas asked, “If you could go back in time and spend time with someone, who would you choose?”

While I was thinking of what to say, he shared his answer. He would go back to when Hitler was a kid and encourage him to attend art school.

I didn’t even know what to say after that. Selfishly, I had been thinking Buddha, Jesus, or Gandhi simply to be amongst their energies.

So incredibly grateful for having Thomas be a part of my life … xoxo

Date Day with Thomas April 2017 4.26.17 #1

Volunteering at Humane Society – Slow and Gentle

November 3 2017:

It was Humane Society volunteer day! Thomas got to sit with Angel. He knows she can be grumpy about having her napping interrupted. So, he moves slowly and so gently gives her loving. I’m so relieved to see her still here when we come. So many beauties.

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Grateful for Real Food With No Artificial Flavors or Dyes and Chance Encounters and Friends

November 1 2017:

Today was grocery day. I am incredibly grateful for real food free of artificial flavors, dyes, and other non-food stuffs. Seriously. Beyond words. And I’m grateful for days when I come home with bags of this beautiful, nature (and farmer) provided bounty! Ahhhhhh ….. xoxo

I have a knack for remembering details and prices when it comes to grocery shopping. Plus, we have many items that I buy on a consistent basis. Also, I am one of those people you see reading the ingredient labels of everything! So, I know if the same or similar item is cheaper or on sale at one of the stores I shop.

Here are the stores: Trader Joe’s for most things … No artificial flavors or dyes in anything .. Although there is corn syrup in some candies (just not high fructose corn syrup). Trader Joe’s seems to have the cheapest organic prices (of the places I shop).

One other item I look for on the packaging at TJ’s is for prepared foods. They seem to have so many that are for microwave cooking and I don’t use a microwave for reheating or cooking. I bought an item once that ONLY had microwave instructions! I improvised and got it cooked; but, now I make sure there are stove or oven directions too. Currently, November 2, 2017, Trader Joe’s organic fresh cranberries are cheaper than Whole Foods.

Whole Foods for other items. Same thing. No artificial flavors or dyes in anything. Some candies have corn syrup but not high fructose corn syrup. We’ll have to see if standards say the same now that Amazon has bought them.

Raleys has a vegan cheese I like so I go there for that and usually get lucky with it being on sale!

I’ve tried Sprouts, but so far I’m not liking it like TJ’s and WF. They have items with artificial flavors and dyes so have to be more diligent with reading labels. Right now their organic russet potatoes are cheaper than TJ’s, but, I didn’t like the flavor or texture or something about it. I do like their Health & Beauty section. Good selection of items. I LOVE the Great Basin Food Co-op downtown but it’s more of a drive.

I’ve been reading labels and memorizing prices for nearly 10 years now! Plus, I have noticed that some prices have increased in the last couple of months after having been the same for years!

November 2 2017:

While volunteering at the library yesterday, Lillian and I ran into the vice-principal from her elementary days. I recognized her but couldn’t remember why I knew her.

She absolutely remembered us and Thomas too! She was so extremely excited to see Lillian volunteering and shelving books. And even more excited when I told her about the upcoming book!

She brought up how she remembers our IEP meetings and how well prepared I always was for them. Lillian’s therapists and resource teacher always commented the same. I owe being ready for that first meeting to Catherine Via Burzio who directed me to the exact resources I needed.

I stayed up past midnight for several nights reading all of it and knew that it all came down to how things were worded. From then on, I just made sure I used words how they wanted them to be used to match regulations.

It went great until fourth grade. That’s when it all fell apart and I decided to make use of other options. I am SO incredibly grateful that IEP is no longer something I have to prepare for or be concerned with.

November 3 2017:

Love this memory from five years ago Kimberly Phipps-Nichol!! It’s been about ten years since we first met! I’m so blessed by your love and am so incredibly happy for your joy, happiness, and success! xoxo

November 3 2012: Today I am grateful that you and I met in 2007 and became friends. I am thankful for you and our beautiful friendship. As we count down the one week left before you make your move to Houston, please know I feel so awesomely blessed for our closeness. I will miss you dearly …. Yet, I know this will be an amazing part of your journey and an exciting adventure!!! I TREASURE the connection we have my sweet friend … See you in a few hours for your going away party!!! (Picture from December 2011)

Kimberly and Camilla 2011


Touching Moments Volunteering – Human Society

October 27 2017:

It was volunteer day!! Thomas is in love with Angel. She’s 15 years old and she’s in kidney failure. Her placard says she does not like to be disturbed when napping; which is all she does at this point.

But, when Thomas sat next to her she slowly stood on frail and wobbly legs and sat next to him. He wants to bring her home for cat hospice so she has a home before crossing the Rainbow Bridge. 💜😭

And then there was Molly. I sat down and was petting another cat when Molly, the black cat pictured, slowly emerged from the cat house where she was sleeping. She walked over to me, jumped in my lap, and curled up next to my chest. She’s 10 years old and is under vet care right now. Not sure what’s up with her.

She seriously kept hugging me and staring into my eyes. She even put her paw on my chin while looking up at me a couple of times. Then, she curled up in my lap. Her placard says she’s shy and takes a while to warm up to someone. Um, wow!

I radiated as much love as possible from my hands and heart to her heart. Hope it stays with her til our next visit. She was hard to put down. 😭💜

The other cat pictured is Coco. Isn’t she a beauty??

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Let Them Follow Their Curiosity


October 17 2014:

I subbed today at High Desert Montessori in lower elementary (1st-3rd grade) where they were completing the Caine’s Arcade Cardboard Box Challenge. An event arranged, organized and lead by a 3rd grader named Thomas Darnell. He approached his teacher, gathered all the information, put together fliers, and went to all the other lower el classrooms to let them know about it. And, spent a lot of time yesterday helping other kids make their creations.

Today he helped clean up the gigantic mess from all the fun. I absolutely support whatever education style is best for each child and I’m a HUGE believer in the Maria Montessori method. It works for both of my kids. One who lags a bit behind and one who is pretty far advanced.

from the below article … “A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity,” Mr. Gregersen said. “To paraphrase the famous Apple ad campaign, innovators not only learned early on to think different, they act different (and even talk different).”

**Update** November 8 2017: Both Thomas and Lillian are homeschooled now. This is Thomas’ second year and I’ve lost count for Lillian … Our current method is unschooling, child led schooling, interest based learning … it has many names.

Thomas attended HDMS for 1st – 4th grade and it was the perfect fit for him! During his 4th grade year I sensed it was time for something different to allow him to stay connected to his soul purpose and not be distracted by conformity.

Lillian attended HDMS for 2 and 1/2 years. At that point, she made it clear that she needed something different. And, I listened …

The Romano Duo Head Back West and Choosing Pumpkins and Humane Society Volunteering

October 18 2017:

After 2 years The Romano Duo are headed back our way!! Not quite all the way to Reno, yet closer! Reno has gone a bit crazy with the cost of housing … Not to mention how crowded it’s getting.

Get ready Surprise, Arizona (near Phoenix). The Romano Duo are headed your way. At least now they will only be a full days drive away! Thomas and Lillian say, “Finally!” They have missed being able to see them more often.

Romano Duo Move to Arizona 10.17.17

October 19 2017:

It was a choosing pumpkins adventure this afternoon! And then we celebrated with an amazing piece of chunky apple cinnamon bread.

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What Thomas chose as a celebratory treat for our choosing pumpkins adventure …. Harvest Blend – A Complete Salad with baby kale, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin spice cornbread croutons and pumpkin vinaigrette. They were handing out samples and he loved it! I sure like him! He’s a grand adventure!

Harvest Blend Salad 10.19.17

October 20 2017:

Thomas’ second time volunteering. He was incredibly excited as the volunteer t-shirts had finally arrived. He bought both our shirts with his own money.

These two are super friendly!! The short hair with the white chest wanted to eat my phone. Guess he was shy about getting his picture taken. Remember …. Black cats are GOOD luck.

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One Month of Volunteering at South Valleys Library

October 12 2017:

It’s been a month for Lillian and I volunteering at South Valleys Library – every Wednesday for 2 hours. She is getting more and more comfortable.

Yesterday I had her push the cart and she re-shelved a few books without my help. Go Lillian Darnell Go!!

Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #4 Damonte Ranch Walk 9.13.16 #5