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



Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thru a grandmother's eyes

Anthony and Christopher; our 2006 Christmas gifts.

Spencer!!


Oh yes, I am fully aware of how absolutely adorable this child is....and he is MY grandson!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Three


The three reasons I breathe, my heart beats...live.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007



2004 with my heart beat...my granddaughter Sachi.



At my 40th high school reunion in 2002.



Late 80's and a "natural" blonde once more.





With my oldest son. Remember rollers and back combing/teased hair? Pre hair do prep!



Freshman year..spit curls and what's with the eyebrows?



Me and my accordion. My Uncle Sonny brought it back for me from Italy. It is a Scandalli. Notice the hair. This is a Three Roses pomade version of the "flip." I look like I have tootsie rolls around my head.



My mother made this dress...burgundy velvet top with burgundy and deep violet skirt. I loved this dress. Notice the watch on my right wrist. Do I look like I was old enough to tell time?



See...PROOF I am a natural blonde!

Monday, January 22, 2007

8th grade graduation

What a sour faced little snot I was!

me

I LOVED playing paper dolls.

Dad, Mom and me


October 5, 1985

At my wedding in 1985



Steve, my mom, me and my Dad.

My dad died the following January.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


My mom.

Saturday, January 20, 2007



Me eating sunflower seeds my favorite food.



On my grandmother's front porch in Virginia...I am on the far right with my cousins.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Random Sunday thoughts #6

Another Sunday.....minus 4 this morning so we are on an roll with the balmy weather surge!!

Steve went to Physical Therapy Friday and had stopped at his favorite gas station on the way home to get some sodas and his twice weekly power ball losing ticket. I heard him come into the garage (someday I will describe our house and all of its quirks) but not into the house. The girls and I went down to see what was up.....there he was searching the car like a frantic weirdo....he couldn't find the stupid ticket. He finally gave up but was upset. He came upstairs, got the phone book and proceeded to look up Arnie's Conoco. He was looking under Gas. He then looked in the white pages and was visibly getting more upset.....after all this had to be the winning ticket right? No Arnie's. I took the phone book away from him, looked in the yellow pages under service stations and reminded him that good ole Arnie had just bought the station maybe 6 months ago.....I looked for the address of the station not the name. There it was....a Payless Mini Mart. Steve called, yes, he had left the ticket on the counter and again, yes they would hold it for him and said Good Luck.....another loser...I checked the numbers myself. I could wall paper with the losing tickets....seven rooms full of wallpapered lotto tickets.

Penelope has gone back across the street three times this week because her old owners, that were going to shoot her rather than expend the energy to find a home for her, were back moving stuff out of the garage to take to their new home in Montana. She came back here...HOME....after an hour or so each time, but I don't know if I should punish her for not listening to me when I called her back or just let it go. The previous owners are seldom there but I don't want her to think it is OK to go across the road any time she gets an urge to sniff......new tenants are renting and they have a dog that roams like Penelope did before she became civilized and a house dog and pees everywhere on our snow as he is out 24/7 regardless of the temps. Penny naturally follows his yellow snow road and visits I guess and add the old owners and maybe I am doomed with trying to train her to stay on our property.

I am going to look up bifidus regularis ......did I spell that right? Sounds like a crock of acid reflux and bloating to me but then.....

Steve is using the new CPAP contraption. No snoring...wonderful. I also made him go cold turkey with turning the TV off and so far no issues. The machine is quiet. He is a bit restless but I guess I would be too if I had a gas mask strapped to my head. He changes the mask every other night.....seems like he is shopping and trying them on for fit.....one night the nose one the next night the nose and mouth one. The trick will be to see if he takes the machine when he travels which can be as long as a week sometimes. It isn't bulky but he already has his two max carry-ons...of course he could leave the 50 or so pharmacy journals home that he carts in his brief case every trip. He marks the ones he had read with his initials and there are few of those when he returns....that's because he SLEEPS on the plane!!!

No jury duty yet...but it is a pain calling three and four times a week....I have to call again tomorrow and then Wednesday again and then Friday as usual.

Tomorrow is the MLK holiday. There was a two page article in the paper today about how folks around here feel about the holiday....I have to say not many feel it is necessary, important or even should be a holiday....of course none of them are black....but I would like to think that even if someone doesn't see it as an important holiday it is a day to reflect for a minute at least on his message..... to make their own dream for the future....theirs, their children or grandchildren, or anyone for that fact. Idaho for so many years, in particular our little town, was associated with the White Aryan Movement. A sad time in history for this place. We have finally gotten past that and this town of all the places in the US should be a model for freedom and no racial barriers.......it is time.

I bought a new vacuum. My 300 buck plus, 3 year warranted, 3 year and 2 month old Oreck will not turn off.....the switch is pffuttt...will cost as much as I paid for the stupid vacuum to fix. So I got a Sears canister. I know vacuums....I have owned every brand.....really. While a canister is multi functional there is the dragging around factor. Uprights if they are light enough and easy to switch from upright to the use of the hose thingys are the best...but all of the new ones weigh too much. So, the Oreck will go into the vacuum collection hall of fame as the most light weight but didn't have an edge cleaner or a hose attachment and didn't make it but 2 months past the warranty. I think I will have to get a new upright too....will start my research tomorrow.

I bought another handbag....bad rosemary. I did tell Steve and he immediately said he has to get a new tool. It is a D&B, in camel....Annalisa leather...the Large Loc Sac. It is on back order so I will have to wait for a bit before it arrives. I also bought 5 more books....bad rosemary...but they will look really good on the coffee table. Didn't tell Steve about those yet. In Idaho...here in Sandpoint....there is a small group of "social" women that are concerned with looks, facials and botox....but very few. I think because of the weather dress is not foremost on anyone's mind....I have gotten some really cool clothes at Goodwill and a few other second hand stores...and I buy at Wallie World as well as online at QVC.....in other words I don't give a crap what I look like as long as I am clean, no stains on the clothes, match for the most part and blend in. So, I splurge on handbags....it is a failing on my part....I'm over it..... and I am getting my first Social Security check this month....I am celebrating my retirement!!

I am going to start blogging about my mother soon.....she has been on my mind a lot. It will be a long telling so I will start the blog and post it then update as I can get through the story and re-date it so it comes up first in case anyone is interested.

So long for today.....blog on, blog on , blog on!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Violets are blue...and yellow, white and pink.



I have decided to make this National Sweet Violet Day. Violets are my favorite flower. The picture is of the first violets of Spring 2006...hard to see I know, but they are there hiding in the recovering grass under a Hemlock tree in the forest. These are the sweet, delicate smelling violets that are used in perfumes, sachets, are edible and just lovely to look at. Even after they have stopped blooming for the season, if I ruffle their leaves I can still make them please my senses and draw in their fragrance.

My mother loved violets as did my grandmother. I really never paid much attention to flowers because I was allergic to most of them and just figured I could admire them from the car, or in pictures. My mother brought a patch of violets to California from my grandmother's garden after one of her trips to see family. She carried them in a piece of newspaper and waxed paper while my dad drove across the country. I remember her treating them like her babies until my dad could plant them in the yard under the lemon tree.

The violets were happy under that tree and they learned their multiplication tables quickly. Soon there were little violets popping up everywhere. My dad took over their care and that was to just let them grow wild. Violets didn't make me sneeze; I liked the way their centers were varigated and intense in their purple royalty; I liked picking them and laying them next to my bed and smelling them in the morning. I pressed them in my copy of Little Women and didn't care that they stained the page a little. I sat in the violets when I was a kid and a teenager and read.....pure pleasure.

When we bought our home in Covina, I took my own little patch of violets from my parent's yard. I planted them under the dinning room window where they could catch the morning sun in their leaves and rest in the shade in the afternoon. They could count well in my yard too...they took over the planter and I loved them even more. When we sold our home and moved to Idaho my son Gil took his patch, planted it in his yard. He complains that they are like rabbits and chicks at Easter but I haven't seen him pull any of the plants out.

My first spring in Idaho was 1999. I was miserable after a winter pretty much alone because of Steve's travels. I was sick of snow already, was homesick and missed my children with an ache in my chest that was close to fatal. We had Charlie by then and the two of us would walk every day in the forest, spring rains and mud or sun. On one of those sun filled days we stopped to rest under my favorite Hemlock....I call it my Ichabod Crane tree. We were sitting under the tree talking of all things dog and spring when I noticed a little patch of purple. I was amazed; wonder of wonders there was a patch of wild sweet violets. Once I found these I saw that they were everywhere...in colors I didn't know violets came in....yellow and white before the heat of spring really kicks in, pink and purple as the temperatures rise.

I tried to bring these delicate friends inside to keep all year long, but they are stubborn about their environment...they like the feel of the full earth under and around them, like the company of the forest trees and the blanket of red thimbleberries and vines in early summer. I haven't found potted violets in Idaho for inside growing. I suppose if I had a hot house or a greenhouse I could find them and try to grow them......but actually I enjoy looking forward to seeing them in the forest at spring...as they renew themselves I mend mentally from winter. Charlie is gone of course and I haven't sat under my Hemlock since he got sick.....but maybe this year Violet or Penelope will want to walk with me and rest a bit to talk of things dog and spring.

On a visit to see my granddaughter Sachiko two years ago, she took me to their back yard. She took my hand and guided me out the door to her "favorite" spot.....where the violets grow. She put her whole face in the plants, took a deep breath and said, "Gigi, violets are my favorite flowers. Are they your favorite too? Daddy said they were." Now, after every phone call she asks me this same question and of course my answer is always yes...then we say I love you.

Baby it's cold outside!

















Hard to read I know, but I hope you can see that thermometer showing MINUS 6. Yep, that was the temp at 7 AM when we were forced by Sophie, whining and taking turns sitting on our heads, to get out of bed. I am sure it was colder at 5 AM...but we were really lazy today. It is lovely outside; the sun is out and not a whisper of a cloud in the sky. It should get up to a blamy 12 today, down to 7 tonight and then warm up by Monday. This window is in the kitchen and it is an old window that is not a double pane...can you see the ice on the metal??? I don't feel one bit sorry for Californians. We talked to our son this morning and he was complaining about it being 29 last night...poor baby.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Random Sunday thoughts #5

I feel like I have neglected my blog. I have taken time to read my favorites.....but then all of the blogs I read are my favorites. I finished the dinning room; it was a lot tougher than I thought. Usually when I do something to the house......and I am always doing something....I am unhappy with the results. Remember a long time ago when I blogged about the horrible living room paint color/texture disaster and the bathroom color mess? Well, I love the dinning room results.

When we moved up here full time in 1998, we lived in the upstairs of the building and the addition was only a twinkle in my eye. I focused all of my attention to decorating the apartment. I stenciled, painted and wall papered my heart out. The dinning room was originally going to have a blue tiny, tiny floral paper...I was overruled by Steve who has no decorating sense (like I have tons, right) and my proof is he still complains about the chrome star burst lamp of his I sold at a yard sale that he thought was a masterpiece. So, he picked out a cream, floral, scroll, looked like wedding wrapping paper wall paper. I gave in because he acted like he really, really liked it. It looked just like wrapping paper on the wall and I hated it. I also managed to totally mis match the first two pieces I put up and didn't care enough to re-do it which says it all about how I felt about the paper.

With Steve on the road for 9 days I needed a big project and the dinning room re-do was it!

The paper came off pretty well.....as well as the orange peal finish on the wall. The green paint color was mixed to match the green paint that I used in the bedroom but of course it doesn't. I picked out a muted green vertical stripe paper that does not match the paint but so what! The paint wouldn't stick to one wall when I used the roller so I had to use a brush on that wall...no biggie just took me two days to get the painting done and half way through the brush painting I remembered why I papered that particular wall....the white paint I had planned to paint the wall in '99 wouldn't stick. I promised myself I would take my time and paper over two days, but of course once I started I had to get it done and I had the stereo on full blast playing Los Lonely Boys so I was pumped. I usually really mess up the trimming, but the top trimmed beautifully and I took off the floor molding so no trim problem there. I did screw up the window trimming badly, but hung curtains that cover most of the mess.

In the end the room looks lovely. I have a lot of my mom's antiques in that room, dark wood, all of my violet tea sets, violet vases, violet everything and lacy curtains......I am just really loving the dinning room! A first!!!!

More damn snow and the friggin plow driver had the nerve to wave at me as I was out with the thrower covered in blowing snow AND he left a berm that looks like the Great Wall of China...ass. No use in calling and complaining because as I said before he will get back at me....bigger ass.

I must admit I can manage the snow without Steve...my patterns aren't as pretty as the ones he makes with the slut (tractor) but the walk behind does the job as long as the snow is a foot or less. The trick is to get out before it even thinks about warming up or I am screwed. If the snow gets slushy then it comes out of the chute looking like white tootsie rolls and plops straight down....makes a real mess. Yesterday I tried to clean up the snow left by the ass in front of the mail and paper boxes and I did to a degree. I also managed to pack the paper boxes with snow that I had to use a screwdriver to get out. I put the thrower on 6...second to the highest speed...so I could get myself back to the drive faster as I wasn't throwing anymore...but it was icy on the road and I slid and ended up looking like I was flapping in the wind behind the thrower I am sure. I am too old to worry about what I look like anymore in any situation so I bet the guy that was driving way to fast in his big dually truck that whizzed past me got a good laugh. You know what I said to him loud and clear....slow down of course.

Sophie still has 9 of the 10 green nail thingies in place. She managed to chew off one on her dew claw on the right paw....scared the crap out of me when I saw it laying in our bed...and speaking of our bed, Steve gets fitted for his CPAP mask and machine on Wednesday. For at least 5 years I have had to go into another room to get any sleep. We start off in bed together but Steve falls asleep immediately and the snoring starts within seconds. He did a sleep study last month and I had to laugh when the report said his snoring was at a level 4 on a 10 max scale...Ha! the stupid machine was WRONG! Add to that he has periods of non breathing that can last up to 32 seconds and yes I have timed them. Anyway, I can't sleep with him for more than 2 hours before I have to get up or strangle him. I know it isn't his fault and it hurts him when he wakes up alone...but the analogy I tried to give him was...let me tap you gently on the forehead all night long and let's see how long before you want to kill me. So, we may be able to sleep together again! The main benefit though is he will finally get a good night's sleep. He is a great napper, can't sit at his work computer for more than a few hours before he gets sleepy then he eats a snack to perk himself up which actually makes him sleepier.....visious cycle.

My digital camera is on the fritz...has some little red light that shows up everytime I try to take a picture...and I can't find the book for the damn thing. As soon as I either fix it or find the book I will post pics of Christmas (maybe by Easter) and the dinning room walls.

The water softener is fixed. No more orange hair, t-shirts, tubs/showers...no more orange anything.

I now have over 1100 songs in my iPOD. I love it, it is fun, I get my work done faster and it doesn't seem so much like a chore.....just love it.

Can someone tell me how to have my archives show monthly for 2006? At the moment they are all globbed into one 70 mile long blog.

Thanks to all of you that visit and leave comments....makes me feel enjoyed, loved and necessary.