There's rosemary, that's for remembrance.
William Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The B I G move and the reward.

In 1998 my husband and I made the big move from California to the Beautiful Inland Northwest. After moving, I landed the best job in the whole wide the Library. Below is my farewell letter after I resigned last year. Were it not for an automoblie accident that almost killed my husband and injured me (an elderly driver crossed the center line and hit us in an off set front end crash) I would still be there. I have edited out names but put some comments in blue next to is a long story.

In the beginning, in the olden days of 1989, there were 16 acres of beautiful forest in the peaceful Selle Valley in Sandpoint, Idaho. By early 1990 there was a cement foundation on the acreage and by summer, there was a 3600 square foot building that was mostly shop and storage but also with a two room, 600 square foot apartment on the second floor.

A building site for a real home was chosen, the ground cleared and power established…..but the house would have to wait until retirement.

Over the years, lengthy visits were made in April and October. For flavor an occasional summer vacation with the blended family was thrown in and a few Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays too. Sandpoint in the winter was beautiful and the time spent with frozen pipes, a dry well, and trips into the ditch were fun and novel!

Easter of 1998 was the turning point. The California real estate market was heating up and it was time; time to get out of “Dodge” and make the bold move to Sandpoint and make the quaint, quiet, undiscovered town home. I was the epitome of the phrase “burned out.” No more sleeping with a beeper, no more taking call, working weekends, no more screaming, error prone physician bosses. Yep, I was ready for Sandpoint.

The house sold in a week, closed in 60 days and we hit the road in a 29 foot motor home with two dogs, four cats, and my mother’s antique vases for the last big adventure of our lives!

The moving van arrived in Sandpoint three weeks late and a few packed boxes were never to be found, but we were nesting and loving everything Sandpoint! We loved the rock roads, the thunderstorms, clean air, the forest ferns, riding bikes, feeding the Bambis, squirrels, and birds and were delighted when two adorable bears arrived to demolish all of the bird feeders. We took $289.00 worth of pictures that first summer in Sandpoint and I framed and displayed the ones of our wildlife like they were my children.

Winter arrived with a skiff of snow on the 4th of November 1998. I had learned a new word…skiff…I let it roll over my tongue and used it like I was a local! The red snow shovel was cute and I could fling flakes with the best men on the road! I started a weather journal and faithfully documented the temperatures, snow fall, and the minutia of weather change. And I read from my book collection.

I had taken over another 600 square feet of the upstairs storage and turned it into a real bedroom and a dining room. I stenciled on every open wall space and when I had finished with that, I moved pictures so I could stencil more. I felt adventuresome and drove to Ben Franklin’s and bought every plaster miniature house they had in stock and 50 bottles of craft paint. I painted enough miniature houses to establish a community. And I read from my book collection.

Spring finally arrived and the word mud took on new meaning. But there was some sun and no damn snow falling. Spring, summer and fall were alive!!! I would survive Sandpoint after all.

But God can play funny games sometimes and he does with me…he brought my second winter with the same snow as the previous year plus a few feet more. You know the joke about the man that eventually hates the white stuff and puts a hit out on the snow plow driver…that was me. Steve was traveling; I spent a lot of that winter alone talking to the dogs and cats and painted even more plaster houses. And I read from my book collection.

Winter 2000 arrived and Sandpoint looked like a snow globe. Sweet little round circles of snow fell, then it rained, then it snowed, then it rained, then the rain froze. You know the drill. The retirement home idea had been abandoned. We just added on to the apartment…we added laterally, and down and instead of a stenciled, painted plaster house decorated apartment, we had a 7200 square foot stenciled behemoth! I had to do something to keep busy. Winter was getting longer by the hour. I had to have a plan…..and what I knew best was working 24/7.

Nursing was quickly eliminated after one interview. There they were; the same requirements of a beeper and on call. I signed up for job service and what should show up but a listing for the Library.

I had nothing to lose but my sanity so I went in and picked up an application. Realizing that the Craig guy that would eventually receive the application packet would take one look at my experience and wonder if I really was insane, I had to make my cover letter pretty attention getting. I told the truth…Nursing was my profession; reading and books were my passion.

The rest is history with all of you. I have loved every minute, good and bad, at the Library. I have been surrounded by wonderful people as co workers and patrons. I will never forget all of the fun times I have had, the opportunity I was given to learn at my ripe old age and be surrounded by so many glorious books.

I want to share with all of you some of what I have learned, observed, pondered, felt and decided:

Sometimes coming in second can mean you won after all.
(I was second choice for the position after the first candidate turned it down)

I can wear the same jeans for three days in a row and no one would notice.

All of you “get” my T Shirts!

I will forever remember the name of the first patron that made me cry.

I have only worn mascara to work once and no one noticed……applying mascara is a waste of time.

What would happen if the Library closed 5 minutes early?

I STILL managed to work for someone that made mistakes…. but he is a nice man and doesn’t yell!

You all like my curly hair and I wish I could give it away! Amazing.

Squirrels are our friends.

I think the trustees are all politicians in training.
(In October of this year I was appointed to a vacant Trustee position. I will have to run for office in May '07, but for now I am having the time of my life! I have no political ambitions.)

I REALLY know my decimals but still can’t remember all of my times tables.

I may have chosen the wrong profession.
(Meaning Library Science instead of Nursing.)

I won’t work long enough at the Library to know everything the folks at the info desk know.

Working at the Library did not curb my book purchases.

My pets are my inspiration.

Is it still 2002 at the Clark Fork branch?
(Our beautiful really rural branch.)

Fiction rules!!!!

Reading fiction is relaxing, inspirational, an escape, and promotes daydreaming!

The Library saved a lot of kids from not knowing.

After the exposure to kids at the Library I know that my children really were angels.

I bet people wish they could shake like dogs. I know it would make me feel better.

Violet is my dog persona. Drake is my cat persona

I still secretly think the bears are cute.

My favorite CD is NOT by Jackson Browne.

Sometimes I wish Steve was Jackson Browne.

Friendship can bridge several generations.

My friend Molly is a beacon when it is dark.

I will miss all of you more than I can express.


This entry in the "Dolly Tea Party" did win second place....almost every other entrant in both of these contests were kids....girls and I was duly embarrassed when my name was announced but I did keep the word count down. I miss Kathy too.

PS Every doll I ever had was named either Sandy or Kathy.

I knew something special was coming. It was Christmas 1952, my mother was sewing like crazy in the bedroom and I couldn’t go into the room. I loved surprises, but this year was different. I wanted to know what Mom was making and I wanted to know right now.

I peeked. I found them. Stacks and stacks of dolly clothes. I felt good and bad all at the same time. I was getting a new dolly.

Christmas morning, there she was; Kathy with red hair, in a bride dress, my dolly. Next to her was a blue trunk, a dolly sized trunk and when I opened it, there were all of the beautiful clothes my mother had made; dresses, PJ’s, a cape, a coat.

2006. Kathy is gone, but the trunk and all of those beautiful clothes are in the attic where every year around Christmas…..I peek all over again.


Two years ago I entered this essay in a "Dolly Tea Party" contest. I didn't win anything because I broke the rules and didn't keep it to the required word 20 or 30. The dollie had also relocated by that time. But, the essay was written with so much love for my granddaughter and I enclosed it in the dollie bed when I sent Sandy to California. Today, I am missing Sandy and my granddaughter.

Sandy was lonely. She spent most of her days in Sandpoint, Idaho in her dolly bed. She IS old (she turned 56 this year) and she earned the rest. But she missed little girl hugs and the sweet kisses only a 4 year old could give to a special dolly. So, she moved to California.

When Sandy was a new dolly, she had soft, brown hair and eyelashes and pretty pink cheeks. Her eyes opened and closed if her head was moved and she could drink water from a bottle. Her diapers were changed and she had her own flannel pajamas with feet in them so she wouldn’t get cold. She was a beautiful baby doll.

Sandy’s first mommy was Rosemary. Rosemary loved Sandy more than any other baby doll or toy she had. She played with her every day, took her on car rides and walked her in a dolly stroller. Sandy knew she was the most loved dolly ever.

But, time passed, Rosemary grew older and baby dolls were left behind for bride dolls, paper dolls with dozens of paper clothes, and bicycles. Sandy was happy to stay in her dolly bed and watch Rosemary turn into a 10 year old girl, a 16 year old young lady and then a woman and the mother of real babies.

Sandy stayed faithful. She was never far from Rosemary and every once in a while Rosemary would take her out of her dolly bed and tell Sandy how much she was loved.

Over the years Sandy lost her soft brown hair and a few of her eyelashes. Only one eye closed and she had to have her rubber body replaced at a dolly hospital. But she was still beautiful.

Sandy went to live with Rosemary’s granddaughter Sachiko this year. She was a special birthday gift. Sachiko didn’t care that she wasn’t new or perfect. Somehow she knew Sandy was special and gave her a little girl hug and the sweet kisses that only a 3 year old can give.

Sandy sends her regrets; she won’t be able to attend the tea party this year.

Friday, November 24, 2006

The day after the day of

Great Thanksgiving Day.

Mother Nature graced us with a beautiful snow storm that left the slush of the 22nd covered and crunchy. We had dinner with neighbors; duck, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fruit compote, garlic bread, green beans, pie and lots of sparkling wine.

Being of an advanced age, my husband were home early, called all of the kids, watched TV for maybe 12 minutes and went to bed at 8:30.

Great Thanksgiving Day.

Explaination of Thanksgiving Day after 3 bottles of sparkling wine (shared with 3 other people of course) for those of you that don't know what the day represents.......The pilgrims came to the new land aka America from the mother land England, met up with the Indians, bonded over some roasted turkey and still, celebrated the land, naked Indians and probably modest English women shared recipes, they all ate for three days and then the "Americans" took over the land and called it their own = Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gobble, gobble, gobble. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Real turkeys in the yard this Thanksgiving stuffing themselves on fallen seeds and grubs under the soil. We started with 17 and are down to two jakes that love to chase each other and makes messes everywhere.
I have much to be thankful for this year and like millions of other American bloggers, I want to list a few of those blessings.....not exactly original but necessary.
I have the best husband in the world; loving, forgiving, generous, kind and tolerant of this old lady.
My children have grown into magnificent adults no thanks to me I am sorry to say, but in spite of me. They have acheived many of their goals, love me regardless of their childhood experiences and have given me the most wonderful grandchildren anyone could have!
I have adorable, affectionate and loyal kitties and doggies. They are my comapnions, friends and good listeners. Violet our little crazy poodle, Penelope our sweet grateful fluffy dog, Drake, Fuzz, Mimi and Sophie and all of the wildlife enrich my life immensely.
I live in the most beautiful spot in the world. I am surrounded by huge, stately trees, glorious mountains, weather the way mother nature intended it to be (although I do question her decision about winter sometimes) and a simple quiet that has been good for my soul.
I have a few good friends; the kind that keep my secrets, give me good advice, help me to grow and call me just because they like to hear my voice..... or want to read my blog. I have one local blog reader/friend that is also my Library mentor and amazingly another blog reader across the pond. I was given a gift with Molly.
I love books. I love the written word. I love music; the melodies and the message. I love to sit on the couch like I did as a kid and read, eat sunflower seeds until my mouth puckers and hurts and drink soda. What greater pleasure is there? Well, I guess there are a few other pleasures, but this one is close to the top of the list.
I have traveled to some fabulous places on this earth....Ireland, The United Kingdom, Jamaica, Hawaii, and my family's place of origin...Italy and Sicily. I have learned about, shopped, gazed upon and eaten in some of the most splendid and celebrated places....and met some great people.
So, for these and all of the other things that make up my life and have made me rosemary, I am thankful.
Yes, I will go off the disgusting diet that is NOT listed here as a blessing on Thanksgiving Day and happily gorge on roast duck, stuffing, corn bread, fruit compote smothered in wine, and drink the afternoon away and reminisce of Thanksgivings past.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It is a wonderful life

My 62nd birthday, youngest son, daughter, grandson, son in law, grandson.....they got me an iPOD.....can you picture me with it clipped to my jeans with ear buds in place? Me either.

my girl

Will someone please explain to me how I gave birth to such a wonderful child????? Does she have the map of Italy and the Bordonaro family all over her face????


Sweet granddaughter, you give me such pleasure, fun shopping for girlie things, so much love for you, see how much you have grown......a hug for you. Gigi

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The oldest

Oldest sensitive, caring and loving, tried too hard, brilliant but unused mind, gives his all, truth teller even when it brings him pain, music lover, so close to my heart but too far away in miles, should receive a fatherhood medal, handsome, handsome, handsome, neat freak, home owner, forgetful, you will always be my little redheaded boy.....oldest son, you are my conscience, my first real love, my soul.

More of....

Sons.....grew up too fast, drove too fast, crashed a car, borrowed my car, drank too much, admitted every mistake he ever made and was truly sorry, used his fine mind, paid for his second round at a university, became more handsome than I could have imagined, appreciated all of the sacrifices I made, kept his room fairly clean, is sensitive, calls me every week, trusts me, married a nice woman and gave me sweet babies to love beyond words, made lemonade with bike wheels, saved his father from himself, has a real sense of what is important in life.....son.... you are the reason I live.

Granddaughter and are the image of your daddy, you are wild, independent, sweet, yell in the phone, love violets, breathe in my ear when you call, leave me sweet messages....yes, even the crying is sweet, are growing too fast.....grandchildren....I miss you more than I can make me cry with happiness and longing.

Family ties

Daughters.....they are beautiful, complex, laugh as though someone said the funniest thing in the world, alter their bodies and tattoo themselves for some reason, critique their mothers, send cards that make their mothers cry, love doggies and kitties, are voracious readers, live every day to its fullest, have an incredible sense of style, don't care about cell minutes when you call, yell at their kids and husband when you do call, drive too fast, tell you the truth about how you look and then lie about how you look......daughter, you are my heart beat.

Grandsons.....loud talkers, make obnoxious belches at the dinner table, don't shower often enough, rarely brush their teeth, give the best hugs in the whole wide world, call their grandmothers for no reason, sign the cards their mother buys to be sent for a special occassion with "love you" without having to be told,actually listen to grandmotherly advice one out of ten times, make mistakes and hate to admit it, give sweet kisses, eventually have to shave, call you collect from jail and borrow money, don't care about or see wrinkles, grey hair or age spots,love their grandmothers unconditionally..... grandsons, you are my breath

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Turning point

In my neck of the woods, the Tamarack is the last tree to turn and drop its' needles.

The Tamarack is a tall, thin tree with branches that breathe and give its' sibling arms lots of room. If it shares space with another tree...a pine, Hemlock or Cedar... it will stay bare on the shared side.....a nice tree.

When the Tamarack finally turns I know winter is just around the corner. I was out with the dogs yesterday and the two Tamaracks that are close to the house have started dropping their needles. All around the base of the trees it looks like God has dropped angel dust; bright orange angel dust that will blow away if I breathe too hard or too close. There was a fallen branch and I picked it up. Just looking at the needles, I thought they would be sharp and hurt if I stuck myself, but they were fooling me. They are as soft and gentle as my kitties fur. The needles surround the branch like spun gold and when I touched the branch the needles gently fell off and slowly drifted to join the pool of family needles on the ground.

Every morning and every evening my forest is there. If I look out the window, there it is faithful and strong. I wonder if my forest trees have feelings, know that they are taken for granted by me and weep sap to show me they want to be acknowledged and loved. I talked to that Tamarack yesterday and told it I love its' soft needles, its loyality and reliability.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Fuzzy (black and white) and Drake (all black)

My oldest kitty, Drake, has hyperthyroidism. She is 15. She is a very small, petite kitty. She was 7 pounds in 1998, 6 pounds in 2002, and recently has had hyperactive bowels, flits all over the place and was losing weight again. She is 5.2 pounds now. She will get medication until mid November and then she will have surgery. It will cost about $600.00. We love her. The cost doesn't matter if she will be a chubby 7 pounds again, take naps on my chest, wake me up with a head-butt every morning at 6:30 and allow me to pet her.