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



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HO HO HO...and a bottle of eggnog, rum, brandy and sherry


MERRY, MERRY FROM ME TO ALL OF YOU! rosemary

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays to all of my blogger friends

The kids arrive day after tomorrow....I have made no holiday progress so this will probably be the last day I can languish in front of the computer.....Steve is home tonight, we have lots to do to get ready and STILL no shopping done.

Christmas was Charlie's favorite holiday...his annual peeing on the tree, sniffing ornaments, and laying under the tree keeping careful watch over Mimi who always climbs up the trunk for naps will be missed deeply. But, this is Penelope's first real Christmas and we are looking forward to making memories with her and our family.

To all of my old and new blogger friends, have a wonderful holiday...you are great!

With love, rosemary

Friday, December 15, 2006

Top cat



15 year old Drake recovering nicely from thyroid surgery and tooth extraction. Wonder where her name came from? She was my son's cat...that's a story for another blog....and his favorite TV show at the time he got her was Perry Mason. Who was Perry's side kick? Paul Drake. My son wanted a male cat, fell in love with Drake and she is officially Miss Drake.

ahhhhh

Other than a babie's sweet breath on my neck, I can't think of anything sweeter than a kitty looking like Mimi Louise or Fuzzy. They were litter mates....their mommy was Siamese and daddies are unknown!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It's a cat thing





Yesterday was the .....Let's take two content, napping cats to the vet and bring home two pets from hell....day.

It was time for Drake to have her sutures taken out and have labs drawn again and Sophie was going in for...well...cosmetic work.

Drake was first up and eventually the vet tech had to call in the vet because she couldn't find the sutures in Drake's now growing back fuzzy furry neck. Then, she had blood drawn from her back leg.....not nice and she let everyone know. Drakie voluntarily climbed back into her crate after the labs were drawn.

The cosmetic work thing....remember when I wrote about Sophie being a bit sassy when it's time to have her nails trimmed? I didn't write about that? Well, she gets sassy, growls, scratches and has been known to bite the hand that clips. So, we have been taking her into the groomer to get those claws clipped and her butt buzzed (she has long hair and needs some butt help).
The last time we took Drake in for lab work, the vet clinic resident kitty....called CC for Crooked Cat after she healed from being injured and left for dead in basically a Z.....came out to greet us and she had green front claws! The vet tech told us she had on Soft Claws; the equivalent of acrylics on women and they lasted for several months. That was a light bulb moment. My husband and I saw a way out of the claw clip experience that injures the two of us! So, Sophie went in for Soft Paws applications. We chose the Christmas ones that CC was wearing...red with green tips....I know, OH HOW CUTE!

The vet started out by holding Sophie and trying to clip her nails. That was not gonna happen. She smacked the vet. OK, next attempt was with the tech holding her snugly and the vet trying to clip the nails. That was not gonna happen either. She growled and screached and then smacked the vet. OK, third strategy, tech holds Sophie by the scruff of her neck and front paws and the vet tries to clip the nails. Not gonna happen. Sophie tried to smack AND bite the vet. Fourth strategy, sedate the cat and don't worry she will come out of it in a few hours. I guess my husband and I must have been so embarassed by our daughter's behavior (please, we are old and live far away from our human kids) that we just said "OK" because Sophie got sedated but good!

The vet easily clipped Sophie's nails and applied the Oh So Cute Soft Paws while the cat drooled and lolled on the exam table. The Soft Paws were $.60 each and the sedative? $27.00.

I held her in my lap on the way home because I was afraid she would smother if I left her in the crate....she could barely lift her head. Another light bulb moment....while she was sedated we would clip her back nails as soon as we got home. Nothing works better to bring a cat out of a drug trip than taking the cat clippers out of the kitchen drawer and doing the unthinkable to her nails......she woke up and fast. We got three nails on each back paw clipped.


Sophie stumbled around for about an hour and then spent the entire night cleaning her paws and trying to pull those cute, colorful, expensive fake nails off. She was unsuccessful. She does sound like a tap dancer however when she walks across the kitchen floor on the way to her food bowl....a sound that makes her stop and look back to see who is following her.
Never again.

So many books, so little time.....


I have over 500 books...over 500 because I stopped counting at 500. I didn't count the books under the bedroom dressers that are stacked 2 deep and the full length, didn't count the ones on the coffee and end tables, the shelves in the upstairs living room, didn't count the ones in sun room, the entry, the laundry room, or the three in the kitchen. I think my books are secretly rabbits....they multiply while I sleep....it could happen couldn't it?

I love books........I love buying books, reading books, touching books, smelling books....books. With the exception of the buying part, all of the other components of book love have been there since I was old enough to read and go to the Library. My name is Rosemary and I am a book addict.

I worked in a Library and my supervisor told me that my book buying habits would eventually fade away . They didn't. I not only want to read books, I want to own them, never get rid of them, not lend my favorites, stack them over and over again each time in a different way, relocate them from room to room, alphabetize them, dust them...just possess these books in every way that I can.

When I was a kid, we had a one room Library in our "bedroom" town of Alhambra. It was safe to walk anywhere then....I did; to and from school, to and from the Library, to the market to buy cigarettes for my mom with a note, to the park...anywhere. My favorite destination was the Library and my favorite spot was on the floor in back of the Librarian's desk hidden by a short bookcase. I would sit there for hours reading......Little Women was my favorite and I probably read it dozens of times. I would walk around the Library just touching the books and trying to read titles. Every once in a while Mrs. Booth the Librarian would say to me, "Rosemary that is a grown up book section. Please sit down." I didn't know grown up from kids books. Yes, there was a children's section, but I had read all of those books and wanted to see what was on the rest of the Library shelves. Little Women was actually a "grown up" book, but it was shelved in a place where I could very slowly take it down and then sit in my spot and read. I always had a "cover" book in case Mrs. Booth ventured away from her desk which was almost never. She was a large woman and it probably took great effort just to breathe!

Eventually Alhambra left the bedroom and moved to the real world and a new Library was built. Very efficient this new Library; segregated sections, tall shelves with books out of reach for little hands, places to sit, write, study and all of this done with absolute silence. Mrs. Booth was no longer in control but several new women ran the place with an iron fist. That was Ok for a while because of all the new children's books that were added to the collection. But eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I tried to discover the grown up books once again. My mother was called, I was scolded but all this did was make me wonder just what was in those volumes and volumes of books.

By the time I was in high school, I was a reading fool. I had the dream of becoming a physician, but not the aptitude, dedication or drive....and then there were the boys. I did take all of the english, history and literature classes I could but reading fiction was so much more fun than homework. I actually had Lady Chatterley's Lover stuck in my American History book and was reading away when the instructor asked me a question....I was busted and big time; parent conference, I was wasting my brain, grounded, all of my Library books returned and my Hollywood Confidential mags were found and taken away as well. Did not change my appetite for reading.

As a young mother I went through Napoleon, Henry the VIII, European History, and California Indian reading phases. But my heart always belonged to fiction. The Library was my "other man"....it gave me the escape I needed from several bad marriages and relationships after divorces. My children had the same love of books that I did and so we were a happy little group, sitting and reading the days away. I allowed the kids to roam the Library and touch, see and wonder about all of those volumes that were not yet discovered by their little hands and minds.

I can remember reading Belva Plain, Pearl Buck, Victoria Holt, Marilyn Harris, Herman Wouk, John Jakes, Earl Gardner, Jane Austin, John Steinbeck, Bronte, Du Maurier...and any other fiction author I could find. I was never a romantic novel reader....you know, the kind with a ripped bodice and a well-hung-good-looking-long-haired man on the cover.....but I did love the epics that went on for several volumes and even years after the last one was read, another generation would emerge in yet another volume.

Somewhere along my novel covered road, I started buying books...paperbacks at first and then I became a purist; I only bought hardbacks. I joined three book buying mail order clubs....of course the main dealer for my book fixes was Doubleday. I probably built several floors of their building with my purchases. I still have Winds of War that I bought from good old Doubleday....the cover is torn and faded and it's format is the minature size and print that Doubleday used.

I have actually sold some of the books I have bought at my yard sales, but I have reluctantly done that. I have also donated some to my local Library....but with each book I sold or donated I felt like I was losing a friend. Now, I just box the books up that I have read and put them in a special place in the garages.

I have a notebook that I was going to use to record all of the books I have...but what fun is that? I would rather look at my books, touch them, smell them and think all of the wonderful experiences I will have living vicariously through their characters. So, to all of the wonderful fiction writers I have enjoyed over the years.....write on, write on, write on!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Good bye, Bob.


My father in law passed away at 4:30 this morning. My husband went to California for a convention on Monday and California is where my father in law lived of course. While we live in Idaho, our roots and sometimes our hearts are in California.
My husband didn't let any of the family know he was going to be in town because he had a full agenda of talks and classes and would not have time to visit. There is a coincidence here...more than a coincidence. We are not religous people, my husband has no faith base and mine as a fallen away Catholic is most times a faith of guilt. But, my husband was in California when his fraternal grandmother passed away, a grandmother that he had taken care of, was in California in May 2005 when his step mother passed away and helped his dad through a really rough time, and now is in California at the passing of his father. There is a higher power working with my husband and he is starting to realize it.

Steve's family fractured when he, the oldest, was barely a teenager. There were 3 other biological siblings and one biologically related adopted sibling. The siblings are not close and none of the younger children had contacted their father until my husband and I found him in Oklahoma with his wife probably 20 plus years ago. We had a reunion, but there was little bonding as a group. My husband however did connect with his dad and a new relationship was born.

Over the years we visited them in Oklahoma and they moved to California about the time we moved to Idaho. We would see them every time we traveled home and enjoyed being with them.

My husband's siblings have not been able to let go of the human mistakes their father made when they were children, have held a grudge all of these years and stayed distant from him using many old and some new and creative excuses for avoiding any social contact.....hugging him is like touching a tree trunk, he is cold and distant so why should I try, I can't forget that he cheated on our mother, he was a miserable father, he smells like he hasn't showered, his wife was nasty to us when she was dying of cancer, the kids are sick.....and so many other stupid and silly words to not have to face life, perhaps their own mistakes and just plain old looking for a reason to not interrupt their own oh-so-important lives.

My father in law was a difficult man to unravel. His divorce from Steve's mother was beyond nasty and the kids of course suffered the most from this. His father simply disappeared after re-marrying because he felt his children just didn't want him in their lives. Not a good reason to never contact them again, but it was his reason and why question it after so many years? Steve needed to move on and establish and adult relationship; the others wanted to wallow in anger and resentment.

My father in law had married young while in the Navy, had children one right after another, adopted another, had a life altering accident, overcame the resulting disability, was prosperous and maybe had made a marital mistake....no one knows for sure. But, Steve's mother did everything in her power to destroy him with their divorce and that included making sure their children were on her side. He bailed, left, vamoosed, abandoned, whatever word it is that describes the vacant feeling in a child's heart where a father used to be.

Yes, he was distant at times...he was stone deaf....so he seemed distant. How do you connect with a child that blames you for all of their woes from childhood to adulthood? How many times can you apologize before it sounds hollow and insincere? At least he tried.

I loved this man, emailed him and uncovered him. I shared these emails with my husband and he was able to discover a dad he never knew; one that reminisced about his childhood at "the ranch" in Northern California, his experiences in the Navy where coincidentally he spent a lot of time about 20 miles from where we are in Idaho. He told me about some of his family, his father, and many other really neat stories that can only come from someone with a lot of years on their backs and in the end wisdom. He and my husband loved each other and it showed in so many small ways; the good bye hug that included an extra squeeze, the gift of a camera so we could have a gazillion pictures of California flowers, sunsets and a much loved cranky dog, the phone system he got so we could "Talk" to him...this man that had larger than life captions on his TV, just the little things that usually go unnoticed.

My father in law had a miserable life this last year and a half. His loneliness was like a shirt that just got more and more wrinkled from wearing it night and day. He and his wife were inseparable and once she was gone, slowly so was he. My husband and I recognize ourselves in this couple; we are each other's staff, canes, partners, team members, rah rah club, friends, confidantes, lovers, soft place to land. This loss is a hard feeling to swallow, one that will be new to my husband; he no longer has a parent to talk to...not necessarily ask advice of, but just talk to knowing they are there and available, he is next up like I am, our "arrangements" are not in order and our kids might have as difficult a time as we are now taking care of our "business" once we are gone, the cord is finally cut, we are adults and need to take care of ourselves, there is no one wiser than us, no one left that knows our past.
For Bob.


Monday, December 04, 2006

all by myself

My husband left today for a 4 day trip. The dogs and I waved and barked and yelled "I love you!" as he drove off on the icy road. When we went back inside I said out loud "What are we going to do for 4 days without him?" and both of the dogs looked at me with knowing eyes. Those dogs are spooky sometimes.

So, I am making my comfort food; lentil soup. Growing up Catholic made for some interesting meals on Friday. In those dark age days of my youth Friday was a meatless day. I can't remember what we ate on Friday before I was about eight, but I sure do remember after that. My dad would barbeque swordfish. Swordfish. Dry, tasteless swordfish. White, bland, textured like cardboard swordfish. Swordfish; barbequed. Those meals were unending as I chewed and chewed but just couldn't swallow. I heard the poor kids in China story every Friday and still I couldn't swallow the stuff.

After my sibling was old enough to complain about fish Friday, it was only my dad that ate swordfish and my sibling and I were the recipients of the newly created fish stix. Greasy, bread crumbed, nasty fish stix. I remember thinking that they were made out of fish feet....they had a peculiar smell while baking. Eventually I complained too and I was given the gift of lentils, alphabet pasta and garlic simmered for hours and tasting like food of the Gods. For as many years as I lived at home I had lentils on Friday. I would eat the contents of the entire sauce pan, ate them until I was far beyond full, feeling bloated I ate until they were gone. Thankfully my sibling never liked them and went on to Friday pancakes and waffles.

I am not a cook, don't bake from scratch, am kitchen challenged except for cleaning up and have and would still be eating as much fast food as I could had I not gotten old and had this high blood pressure/cholesterol thing going on. As hard as I have tried, I have not been able to replicate my mother's simple lentil combination...it comes out mushy, or undercooked, or tasteless no matter how much salt and garlic I put in it, but.....I have created a really tasty lentil soup that is simple and used to taste better when it had real sweet Italian sausage instead of turkey copy cat sausage that doesn't even come close to tasting like the real thing. But, it has lentils and pasta and garlic and the rest of the ingredients are simple....diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, a veggie, mushrooms, onions and a little of this and that for seasoning. It will simmer all day, I will sample it every few hours, I will eat it twice a day until every last bit is gone and not have to share it with anyone. My husband thinks it is an OK soup, but he isn't wild about lentils so I don't feel bad about eating half a bag of lentils and all of the other stuff in the soup all by myself. I figure he will be eating with friends in a restaurant, having someone serve him and clean up after him and I can eat the entire pot of soup without any guilt! Evens out I think.

Friday, December 01, 2006

cats, cats, cats, cats

CAT HAIR EVERYWHERE


black cat
long haired cat
sassy sweet chubby

grey cat
short haired cat
eats naps eats

male cat
black white cat
boyfriend lazy special

oldest cat
blackest cat
saddest cat
post op cat
most loved cat
please heal quickly

This one is for John

I made a comment on a blog yesterday...The Boomer Chronicles. It is a neat site, fun without competition and great information and trivia.

http://www.thegeminiweb.com/babyboomer/index.php

My comment was about a list of calories burned relative to an activity. My response was about vacuuming, my favorite sport. That got me thinking about my friend John. John died of lung cancer in February 2005.

I inherited John from my husband. They had been friends since grammer school. I met John in 1989. He was living in a shack with a woman and they were both in the same shape; alcoholics, no jobs, dirty, and bad teeth. John however, had a glorious, dry sense of humor. John could be forgiven for any action because of that sense of humor.

John called himself a gutter drunk and made no apologies for his lifestyle. He said it was a life lived on the edge with every day being one of risk, adventure and trying to panhandle enough money to stay shit faced. He had been married and divorced several times, had no children and no obligations other than the multiple DUI infractions that he eventually paid for with jail time. He possessed a variety of junk cars at times, the most memorable one being an old Datsun with no floor boards, no windows but a motor that ran, 4 wheels with tires and a seat and steering wheel.

John met his last wife through a strange set of events.....he was house sitting for a good buddy while that buddy was in the hospital dying from alcoholic liver disease. It was while housesitting that John became sober. The buddy died, his ex wife and daughter came up to settle the buddie's estate, the ex met John, they fell in love and eventually married.

John had not had a main stream job for over 20 years. When he moved to Sandpoint he was a house painter, had money, built a home, bought a car, had thousands of dollars in paint equipment and he lost it all to beer and lost it fast. After he married for the last time, his role became that of a once in a while house painter for good money and he was the ultimate house husband. John cooked, gardened, built a deck, managed the snow in winter, just did it all around the house.

John was opinionated and I never talked politics with him. He told the truth as he saw it...told it about himself and others. If someone was offended, well too bad. He wasn't hurtful, but if I had some ugly sox on, he told me but using his great humor..."Hey Rosemary, did you get a deal on those sox at Goodwill? I'll have to see if I can get Barb a pair like that and see if she divorces me!"

He was a true and faithful friend. The man that helped him get sober was not the best role model for sobriety and being drug free, but John never forgot the gift of sobriety help he received from this man and defended him no matter what. My husband "hired" John for a variety of odd jobs at our crazily built home so John would have smoke money when he was not painting. My husband has NEVER thrown out one journal, magazine, file or any other piece of paper he ever had and John boxed those papers and journals and hauled them from one garage bay shelf to another time after time. John called his work for my husband his 401K.
My love for John besides all of the wonder of his personality? He loved to vacuum. The one joy we shared and, yes we said it out loud, was seeing the vacuum design patterns newly left on a carpeted floor...and it really pissed him off if someone walked on it too soon....wife, friend, dog or critter. I really, really miss John.