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



Wednesday, December 31, 2008

....of snow bunnies and cheating cats.....

In the blink of an eye my daughter arrived and left. We had 2 full days together and half a day Saturday and yesterday. We crammed a lot of fun and love into those few days. We relaxed, talked, ate, talked and ate some more. She went snow boarding on Monday and had lots of fun in the feet of snow up on Schweitzer Mountain.

The only sad thing about the visit was the passing of her father-in-law. My son-in-law was alone and I know he was having a hard time dealing with this loss, but Chris called him often and they are with Todd's family now.

We had lots of snow and cold temps....but....yippee, the heater was finally fixed, so we were warm and toasty.

It is always difficult when my kids leave.......there are reminders in the house and putting the sofa bed back together and dragging the coffee table into place always brings tears. With Chris, it is her perfume. I can smell her everywhere in the house. Hopefully, we can see each other again soon. I am just grateful for the visit no matter the length.

Here is the process of masking up for snowboarding......pretty complicated.





Then, THEN, what does my little Guido do? He falls in love with Chris and totally ignores me. Emma was hidden most of the time Chris was here....but, she did spend her nights sitting on the back of the couch bed as evidenced by the amount of kitty hair left behind for me to clean today. I guess she was spying on Guido so she could tattle. Chris said they both spent a lot of time playing at night, running across the bed and jumping off the arms of the couch. Did I mention Chris was tired every day?
I will catch up on blog reading NEXT YEAR!!!!! I am so damn glad 2008 is over....it has just got to be better in 2009...just has to be. I hope all of you have a safe and fun New Year's Eve.....see you next year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I absolutely know none of you got what I did for Christmas....

A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y.

My daughter arrived yesterday for a 3 day visit filled with family stuff, snowboarding and gift giving. She brought her gift for us all the way from California. She carried it on the plane with her. This is a gift for life. A gift of forever. Wanna see what we got? Scroll down. I put the pix a bit lower so I didn't spoil the surprise......

.......go on, scroll down...


.......a little more......






......located on the back, left, upper shoulder.....


......wanna see it a little closer?


I'm MOM and Steve is DAD........we love you Christine!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Just giving the facts.....

... no whining.....well, maybe a little.

We are once again in a record breaking winter in terms of snow fall over a period of time. Our nearest airport hub, Spokane, has had the largest amount of measurable snow in 100 years. Our little corner of Sandpoint is not far behind. Seattle has essentially come to a halt.

The satellite is hit and miss, and the phone for some odd reason is choosing to work....or not.

Steve has moved snow, the wind blows, he moves the same snow again over and over. We have snow dunes all over the place and because we are on the south side of the street, the plow driver pushes most of the snow to our side. The wind is blowing North to South....makes sense in a plow sort of way.

We have no Christmas tree.....I am not exactly sure why. I have no urge to decorate and I would bet Steve feels the same. We had such wonderful visits this year with the kids and Christmas is just not the same without kids around. I guess our ages are showing.

We sent off small gift offerings this year. We asked that the kids forgo sending us anything but pictures. So far two of them have ignored that request. I got Steve one of those "slankets" to wrap up in while he watches TV and a great ink drawing of a man on a tractor with Steve's name incorporated into the drawing. It's really cool looking. I had asked for a Kindle for my birthday but that didn't happen. Won't happen for Christmas either. What I did get is a gadget that makes grocery lists by voice recognition. It has a huge internal library and all I have to do is push a button, talk into the thing and it keeps my list going until I erase it. I can add items to the Library, create several different lists and it is fun to use....a little boring as far as reading goes, but fun. I got to open it early because I brought the package inside after the UPS guy got stuck in the driveway and Steve yelled for me to bring down cat litter.....yes, he was chained up. What was in the box was plastered all over the outside.

The heater is not fixed. Penelope is on a second medication for her shoulder injury. Not helping. She goes to the vet today if we can get out the driveway.

The turkey is defrosting. We will make a huge dinner just like we did on Thanksgiving. We just finished the frozen left overs from that meal. We really do have fun preparing and cooking together.

My daughter is flying up on the 27th and stays until the 30th. I hope she can get out of California. She connects on the inbound flight through Salt Lake City. If Spokane has its act together, she might be OK. Going home she goes through Seattle. She might have a bit of an extended visit.

My wish for all of you is a happy, joyous holiday and a better New Year. I hope you know how much I appreciate all of your comments and the great pleasure I get from reading all of your posts. If you track visits you already know in the wee hours of the morning when sleep is not happening for me, I am at the computer clicking away reading blogs. Two of my children read my blog consistently and that is a blessing for sure. Kiss, kiss to all of you. Here are the last pictures I will probably post for 2008....because how many times can anyone get excited by snow?

Looking east from the balcony.....it's snowing.
Steve cleared off the balcony rail and I took this photo exactly 2 hours later....it's snowing.

Here is the pole building looking west. If you look at the forefront of the picture you can tell how deep the snow is. We had shoveled straight out and the berm is to the right. There is about 4 feet of snow. Still snowing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Yes, that is correct. It reads.....

...ZERO....as in zero, 0, umm, zero. The temperature thingy on my sidebar says it is 2 degrees, but that is from the weather station about 1/4 mile from us where it is a little balmy right now. What? Is that ice around the window someone asked? Ah, yup, that's ice. We have 3 windows that were not changed to Low-E double panes and the kitchen window is one of them. Zero is not the lowest temp photo I have posted. I know I put one up when it was minus 20 and the ice was on the window as well.

The schools are all closed...good thing. Kids have to wait at bus stops for who knows how long starting at about 5:30 AM. The weather bookies said at 6AM the wind is blowing at 25 MPH. According to my cute little wind chill fridge magnet, if it is zero and the winds are 25 MPH, it feels like minus 24. OK then, I'm staying inside all day, only going out to take the dogs potty....and they take 2 steps out the door, potty on the door step and come back in. Yes, that equals a lot of yellow snow on the door step....nice.

On a let's mess with the old folks note.....we were relaxing Saturday night after shoveling and snow throwing most of the day, when we heard a weird noise coming from the propane heater in the upstairs living room....kinda like a clunk. The end result of that clunk? The blower will not shut off after the flame cycle that creates heat. We turned the blower to ultra low until we can call the service guy this morning and of course he will probably be up to his ass in heater calls and we will be seen at the end of the week and can we run the heater with the blower on low until he gets here to check it out and then tells us we need a part and that will cost us 2 service calls and the part and labor.


When the going gets tough and cold, the tough hang together. Yes, that is Emma, Guido AND Fuzz all laying (?lying) on the bed together. I can't even tell you what Fuzz is saying. Even I have limits where bad language is concerned.


Saturday, December 13, 2008

An explaination and a story of sorts...and pix

I wrote this yesterday/Friday while I was waiting for Steve to drive home in the first severe storm of the season.

I bet many of you think when winter arrives in Idaho....There she goes again. She needs to be on meds.

The song I just posted....sad, melancholy and about absence. Yup, that's how I feel a lot of the time when I am alone. Do I need meds? No, I need my husband and my family.

I became a nurse in the early 70's. I had three children I was trying to raise alone. Yes, they all had father's in their lives, but neither of those men were father material.

Nursing is a 24/7 job. There are extra shifts to be covered, on call to answer, emergencies to take care of before you go home. That will never, ever change.

In order to spend either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with my children I ALWAYS worked Thanksgiving, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Easter, 4th of July......in other words every other holiday throughout the year. Didn't make for happy kids and made Christmas every other year sad because I would get Christmas Eve off one year and Christmas off the next.

By the time the kids were grown and doing their own thing around the holidays I was doing Case Management. It was a Monday through Friday job, but there was that pesky on call to deal with. I was the oldest person in the department and the only one without small children at home. Guess who got to take call on the holidays? Me.....and yes, by order of my supervisor.

I quit my job the same month we moved to Idaho. We were alone for those holidays in 1998. It felt strange. There were lots of phone calls that holiday season. After that we tried to be in California for every holiday we could afford. We had lofty plans, but finances had other ideas; and then there was that accident in '05 that changed the rotation of our lives.

Steve is required to travel for both of his jobs. One of his employers always had their yearly conference in January. Thankfully, that changed this year and he attended in July.

I love living in Idaho with Steve. I love the seasons changing. As long as Steve is home, I love winter. I feel safe, know he will manage the snow (because all of you know I can't without falling on my ass or getting beaned by the plow driver) and if I need to go to the market, he will drive. It is a beautiful time of year; a time to rest, eat good food, enjoy family and friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas, sing silly and joyous songs. But here is the catch. All of my children live someplace other than Idaho. In a short statement here is why I am such a whiner in winter: Now that I am retired and have all of the time in the world....time to spend with my children and Steve's children and our collective grandchildren....they are down there and we are up here. When Steve leaves on trips in winter it is absolutely, positively, 100% guaranteed that it will snow and not just a skiff but feet will fall in a short period of time.

We spent Thanksgiving alone. Steve is gone. It is dumping buckets of snow at the moment. There are boxes stacked up by the door to take to the post office so our family will know we love and think about them every day. Steve will have to drive home in this mess and I will be a nervous wreck until I hear the garage door go up.

So, I apologize ahead of time for what will probably be a long winter of whine. I promised last year to not whine as much. I obviously broke that promise, so I won't even bother making it again.

I took this at noon. The Bambi's need to start moving toward the lake where they will have a better choice of food rather than sunflower seed raids at the squirrel feeders.


Taken a few minutes ago as Steve made the first pass with the walk behind snow thrower.

I put my boot in the snow and never hit the bottom.....it was over my boot top and still going. Then I dropped a ruler into the snow and it was slowly sinking. The snow has stopped at the moment, but an arctic blast is on the way bringing below freezing temps and wind. Nice. There are weather alerts on the local news and we are being told to prepare for power outages. Nicer. Nothing like not being able to flush toilets to usher in winter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Very important stuff.....

Ah, real important. The snow has arrived. Whoopee (insert sarcasm and irritation).

Next.....The "A" on my keyboard is worn off. So is the "."....probably because I do this.....so much. I think I should replace this computer fast....before something else goes wrong like the g wears off or heaven forbid, the ?

Cat talk: The players: Emma and Guido.

She's got the camera. Quick, look cute! I hope my fur looks OK.

Huh?



Not really clear, but....Poodle with poodle.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What a weekend it has been.....

.....because the satellite went out AND the phone went out. Talk about a 21st century horror story, this is it!!!!!

The satellite was fixed late yesterday after 7, as in seven, calls to Hughes.net. We talked to Mark, Phil, Jeremy, Anton, Maria, Derrick and finally Sharon....all of them were located in India. Of course the fix-it guy (he drove here from Spokane) tried to sell us an upgrade, but we declined. Steve actually wants a commercial unit and that won't happen for a while.

The phone glitch was a water issue in a box somewhere....not on our property. A squirrel was probably using it as a nest/restaurant/storage unit/potty.

We got a call from Gil (my youngest son) Saturday night.....they were all in the ER....Spencer had fallen in the bathtub and put one of his cute little teeth through his lip. OUCH. I talked to Mariko (my daughter-in-law) yesterday and she said he was doing OK. I talked to Spencer, but with our cheap phone system and his bum lip, we didn't "get" much of what he said. Kiss, kiss Spencer.

Penelope has been on Rimadyl for two weeks because she started limping before we left on our trip and it was not better when we got back. She was slowly improving, but after the 2 week course was finished, she was even worse than when the limping started. So......back to the vet for lab work and more drugs for Penny.

So, other than those modern day disasters, poor little Spencer's mishap and Penelope's aging issues......we are just waiting for the snow to dump on us at any minute.

This is probably the worst blog post I have ever written...B.O.R.I.N.G. except for the part about Spencer. He is always important.

Wait a minute.....here is something else pretty important.....a Thanksgiving picture of....as my daughter captioned it in her email.....3 of the most important people in my life.

Monday, December 01, 2008

My name is rosemary and I am addicted to....

...Sudoku puzzles and playing Webkinz games. The fault for the Sudoku addiction falls right into the laps of my wonderful son Gil and my sweet daughter-in-law Mariko. Yup, it's all their fault. Totally. I am not responsible. (There is a reason for this post....you will love the ending)

When they were visiting in July, I showed them my Nintendo DS and Brain Age games. Gil had actually sent me the Tetrus game for my birthday last year. At the time of the visit my brain age was 34. I had been training really hard for months. The only thing I could not figure out was how to play Sudoku. They showed me. See? There is the reason I am consumed with playing those games. I have 2 Brain Age games and both have hundreds of Sudoku. I am 13% complete with the games......I am determined to finish all of them by my next birthday. Gil; Mariko; your fault.

THEN to make matters worse, during that same visit I bought a Webkinz Pink Poodle Pet for Sachi. A Webkinz pet is an actual stuffed animal that is registered online after purchase at the official Webkinz site. Sachi then had a real stuffed Poodle and a virtual one. That opens up games, question and answer sections and the ultimate......shopping for the virtual pet. Each pet has a room and anything for that pet and room that you can afford can be purchased. How do you earn Webkinz $$$$$$? By playing the games and answering the questions. I am sure there are other ways to earn $$$ but I am stuck in the arcade; specifically at the Cash Cow games, Quizzy's Word Challenge and my favorite Stack 'em Up Solitaire.

So, yesterday you could earn 40% more $$$ by playing Stack 'em Up. I played pretty much all day long. Didn't read any blogs, didn't shop for Christmas gifts, did clean between games and earned a ton of $$$$ for Holly, the pink poodle. See? Sachi's fault. Totally. I am sure Spencer had a hand in this too, but I can't figure that out right now.

Last night Gil called. I asked if I could speak to Sachi......she was taking a bath....we talked with Gil as the go-between. I told her all of the fun I had playing all day long. I told her I had fed Holly and as a surprise I had bought her a Christmas tree. Sachi told me one of her pets (she has maybe 10 pets) had a Halloween room because those theme items were on sale. She then said........here it is folks.....she had bought seven candles and a harmonica rather than a Christmas tree for Holly......at least I think it was Holly because all of us....me, Gil, Mariko and Steve who were on speaker phone were laughing so hard we were crying.

See? These 3 look pretty guilty to me.
See Holly on the pillow to Sachi's left? They both look guilty too. None of this is my fault. I was corrupted.