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

**THROWBACK POST**

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).”

https://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/04/05/the-montessori-mafia/

**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

Volunteering at Nevada Humane Society

October 7 2017:

Just spent three hours with Thomas attending orientation and the cat handling class. We’re all set to begin volunteering now.

Thomas is incredibly excited and proud!! I think he is 2 inches taller now!

Humane Society Volunteer Orientation Thomas and Camilla 10.7.17 #1 Humane Society Volunteer Orientation Thomas and Camilla 10.7.17 #2 Humane Society Volunteer Orientation Thomas and Camilla 10.7.17 #3 Humane Society Volunteer Orientation Thomas and Camilla 10.7.17 #4 Humane Society Volunteer Orientation Thomas and Camilla 10.7.17 #5

 

Private Wild Child Nature Session

September 16 2017:

Now I’m even more excited! Look at the nature gem at which I’ll be facilitating tomorrow’s private Wild Child Nature session. So incredibly blessed!

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September 17 2017:

What a wonderful Wild Child Nature Session this morning. I was blessed to meet young Brian, Protector of the Forest.

Brian describes grass as happy and has an amazing tree house at home and now has one in his imagination that he can visit anytime.

Now he knows how to ground himself using the Earth and knows he and Nature are one. He learned two new words to look up when he got home: nodule and blessed.

During our short walk I found a great rock for him to use as a worry stone; which I infused with Reiki. I was incredibly blessed he received it as a true treasure!

Thank you to Kari, Brian’s mom, and their friend Russell for a peaceful morning.

“Thank you Camilla Downs for a beautiful experience today!” – Kari, Reno, NVWild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #1 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #2 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #3 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #4 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #5 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #6 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #7 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #8 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #9 Wild Child Private Session Thomas Creek Park 9.17.17 #10

 

Volunteering at the Library and Humane Society

September 7 2017:

First day volunteering at our home away from home! Thomas took a picture as we were leaving and we had Mary take a picture of us with our official badges!

Our library tour was easy since we already know everyone there and we already know the library layout having been going two or three times per month for the past ten years.

Lillian enjoyed getting to see behind the counter where the books are returned and where all the behind the scenes action takes place. We will be there every Wednesday from 2-4.

I may be a tad more excited than Lillian! Ha!!! I am truly inspired by the written word. xoxoxo

Lillian and Camilla 1st Day Volunteering at the Library 9.7.18 #1 Lillian and Camilla 1st Day Volunteering at the Library 9.7.18 #2

Thomas’ turn now! He wants to volunteer at the Nevada Humane Society working with cats and small animals. Orientation set for October 1st! He’s very excited!

Here’s a picture of Cinamon who was with me for 18 years (from the time she was a wee tiny one). Thomas got to have about five years with her before she crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2010. xoxoxo

Nevada Humane Society Confirmation for Orientation 2017 Cinamon

Eclipse and Staying Here and Jello Bed and Tent Bedroom and Field Trip

August 21 2017:

So beautiful, peaceful, and incredibly quiet. Got a great picture of …. nothing, really …. Ha! My attempt at taking a photo through Lillian’s eclipse glasses while also wearing my eclipse glasses. xoxoxo

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August 24 2017:

Has anyone tried moving a queen size tempurpedic bed? It’s like wrestling with and trying to move a 200 pound block of jello … with handles. Oh my gosh!

Due to the decision below, I wanted to give Thomas his own space. So we spent four hours after dinner last night moving and shifting packed boxes and other furniture so that he could have his own “room”. It’s a room within a room! Thomas and I had a heck of a time moving my queen bed out so we could put up the tent for him.

I made a decision yesterday afternoon after receiving news yesterday morning that would allow us to stay where we are. I canceled the moving truck for last night and the storage unit. Since the unit we’re in now had not been rented yet, the office was okay with me saying, “Oops! Never mind!” They have been great.

Staying here is the path of least resistance and that suits me.

It’s clear the time has not yet arrived for us to leave this place. Every “perceived option” did not work out and there were many dead ends. Thirty – forty people all trying to get one place, waiting lists, difficulties finding a reasonably priced storage unit, no u-haul trucks of ANY size, anywhere near Reno, beginning today and through 9.3 due to Burning Man.

So, we’ll stay here and hopefully move into a different unit at some point; being that we’re all packed and ready to go somewhere! And, we will begin preparing more solidly for the next adventure for Team TLC. I’ll share more later as it’s been a wild ride for sure.

There must be a reason for us staying here. I will simply trust that it will be revealed in time.

Thomas Tent in Bedroom 8.24.17

August 24 2017:

Field trip day!!! Drove to Incline Village Library. This library and South Valleys library are our two favorites!

Bonus Farmers Market set up when came out. Fresh tomatoes, Concord grapes, peaches, and nectarines. Yum!!!

Another bonus! The amazing views on the drive back down Mt. Rose. WOW!!!

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