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



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The tree of thanks.

It is Christmas tree time. While most of the Christmas Tree world has a tree in place and decorated, we at the Olsen compound wait until the last minute. Steve has this inner struggle....to buy a cut tree, buy a potted tree, or cut one from our forest. He finally decided that buying a cut tree was not the right thing to do....the supply and demand thing.... by our not buying a tree we would save a forest somewhere. We have not had luck with potted trees. Steve hates cutting a tree simply for decoration from our forest. (but less than buying a cut tree).

In 2006 when AnthonEy was visiting with his mom and Christopher, we cut a tree from our forest. It was glorious fun.


Everyone participated in the decorating and while it was not the best looking tree in the forest, a Charlie Brown tree actually, it was beautiful in the end.


We even cut a special tree so AnthonEy could decorate and have a tree in his bedroom while he was visiting.


In 2007 we decided to buy a potted tree....of dubious lineage....but it died before the New Year arrived.

In 2008 we changed our last name to Scrooge and didn't even bother getting a tree or decorating anything so it looked festive or remotely Christmasy. We thought times were bad back then.......what did we know....nuttin!

So what to do this year. We had promised each other we would never again spend a Christmas without a tree. Those bad times in 2008 were eentsy-weensy compared to the times of December 2009....but, with that previously mentioned attitude adjustment we were thankful for our relatively good health, each other, our familiy and the fact that we still have a home in which to put a tree.

We decided to trudge out into the forest after pricing the trees that were left in lots or in pots meaning there was nothing under 25 bucks.

Now, normally there would be feet of snow on the ground, but Al Gore sneezed in North Idaho I guess and we have had Noah pass down the road on his way to Canada in the pouring rain. This is what we trudged in.

Here is the 2009 tree selection. Another Charlie tree I 'm thinkin.

But once again magic happened and the tree looks beautiful....even if it only has 15 branches.
On this Christmas I wish all of you the best of holidays, love and laughter, family time filled with frivolity and may your basket be filled with warmth just like mine......
Even Mimi sends Holiday Greetings although I can't repeat what she said.
with much love, just me.....





Friday, December 18, 2009

To be thankful.....

Life in Rosemary's Attic has been in the basement of late. It's hard to be jolly and seasonally merry at times like this. I know, I know...my moods are usually un-merry anyway, but at Christmas time they are worse. We were hit with a huge blow in October and while I know this isn't the last time we will be smacked in the head, this one hurt...a lot. Steve and I have weathered many storms together. We blended our two families and tried our best to make it one, we owned and lost businesses, we sat in an empty nest, we lost parents, we made an enormous emotional and physical move to Idaho, we survived what was almost a fatal car crash and we stayed in love through it all.

While I was in Las Vegas I had a lot of time to think....Steve was at seminars all day long and I could have either holed up in a cold hotel room or sat at the conference center (which I did) and mulled over problems and worried....which I did. Neither one of us wanted to be in Vegas, neither one of us was in a good mood and we were vocal about the why of our moods and for probably the first time in our lives together we talked about feelings; we decided we needed to make attitude adjustments.

While in Vegas I realized I missed my house, my home, my safety net, my place of comfort, the place where I have pictures of my children and grandchildren, where my cats keep my feet warm, where the dogies make quiet smellies, where deer stamp their feet at me and snort, where a particular squirrel will take a peanut out of my hand, where another feral cat has been named Blossom, and where I can look at Steve and then tell him how much I love him.

I have had a good life for the most part. I have had a glorious life with Steve. Have I ever said what a wonderful man he is, how tolerant he is of me, how generous he is, how loving and tender? He is. Steve is my home, my safe place, my comfort and where I feel warm and loved.

I have three fantastic children, Art, Christine and Gil and a step daughter, Stephanie, that make my heart glow and feel fuzzy and soft. My grandchildren make those feelings even richer. I know I am loved and cherished by these children; I am loved and needed in a way that I finally acknowledge I deserve.

I have had some of the most delightful pets ever given to a human; my current cats and dogs and those before....Charlie, Goldberry, Cicero, Babie, Magic, Sophia, Drake and Penelope. Those parts of my heart where memories of children and holidays can sometimes make me cry are moved aside for a moment by Emma climbing onto my shoulder or a miaow from Fuzzy.

I have never had a lot of friends...mostly by choice. But here in this little hamlet I have found more than I ever imagined....Molly, Gina, Barb and Delci too....and then there are my blog friends. When I look at my blog roll and think of the people behind the blogs PLUS these four women, I realize just how blessed I am with friends.

So, at this time of year when the snow is deep and the air is cold, I am warm, toasty, and happy with my life...problems and all. We have stumbled in the past, we have fallen this time and are having a hard time standing upright....but we want to, we will, and we are blessed, yup we are.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

FROM.......just me,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've been naughty....

....and have been crossed off of Santa's list I'm sure. No posts, no blog reading, no nothing really. The speed bump life that is ours has turned into a mountain and our legs are broken. Life is certainly throwing us some curve balls at the moment, but we will survive. AND....it's Christmas!!!!! Let's add some snow to the mix! My dear friend Jennie requested snow photos....really, honest, cross my heart....she did.

To the east off of the balcony.
One of the big trees too close to the house for comfort.

Looking south out the man door from the garage.
The pole building where we have another resident feral cat living in a box with blankets that Steve feeds every day.

Roof of the pole building that will need to be shoveled soon if this snow keeps falling.


North to the not plowed road.
The depth of snow on the driveway.
And just for fun the back window of my car. Nice



If you listen carefully and with the volume way up that ummmph/groan you hear is the snow slowly moving down the roof. It will wait until oh, let's say 3 in the morning to crash off. Another nice. BTW.....I want alternating fat and skinny butt Global Warming Former Vice President Al Gore to shovel my driveway...NOW.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

How to strip in Vegas with no money...

Took everyone's advice and here is the boring update of the trip to Vegas:

Have done the people watcher thing on the strip. Lots of really old ladies (much older than me) in Vegas wearing way too much makeup and bling.

We have had three really interesting cab drivers. One young man was from Ethiopia. He is here on a scholarship at ULV but half of the money has dried up so he drives a cab to supplement his income. He will eventually have his degree in Finance. He spoke perfect, lyrical English.

Went to the convention with Steve every day..... but not today. Sorry, but pharmacists in a large group are b.o.r.i.n.g.....and they dress like dorks.....even the women......well, wait a minute...I did see someone in fishnets and boots.....the CEO/Pharmacist of a very well known Medical Center in LA.

At the opening session yesterday Dennis Quaid was the keynote speaker (I had a guest ticket). He talked about the mess with the heparin overdosing of his twins....all read from two teleprompters like the President uses...only much smaller. After that session, I sat and thumbed through several books for sale at the ASHP bookstore. I have really, really, really forgotten pretty much all I had learned in nursing school and as a bedside nurse for decades.

I lost all of our gambling budget (20 bucks) on one penny machine in about 2 minutes. Whoooyah!!

We have taken advantage of the lounge on our floor to eat (for free mind you) breakfast and dinner. Not the most exciting food in the world or in Vegas either, but it fills our tummies.

I bought an eye patch at Treasure Island for the lady that's watching our dogs. She has cataract surgery tomorrow.

It poured here last night...and I mean bucket dumps of rain.

Now for news from home: A girl I worked with at the Library is staying at our home so the cats are well taken care of. The temps have been brutal....minus digits...and horrible winds as well. Yesterday morning Delci called and said the upstairs pipes were frozen. I won't give you a detailed story here...but, I have to say Delci is without a doubt the best pipe unfreezer in all of Sandpoint and probably the whole state. Had she not been there....well, I hate to think of what we would have come home to.

So, on this last day in the City of Lost Money I will sit in the lobby of our off strip, non-gaming, high priced restaurant, cheap room rate, Steve gets points when he stays at this chain hotel and read another book on my Kindle. We fly out tomorrow morning, will drive from the airport to pick up the dogs and will sleep in our own bed tomorrow night with the doggies snoring softly next to us in their crates.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The great pie fiasco and another gift.

While on our shopping adventure at WallieWonderWorld looking for Thanksgiving dinner yummies, Steve stumbled upon the pie filling section. "I'm gonna make a pie for our dessert!" said Steve. I thought....Dear Lord help us.

Rather than select a can of filling with explicit directions he picked peach filling with not one direction on the entire label. Two cans were put into the cart. He asked me if I knew how to make pie crust. I then asked him to recall the last pie I had made. He couldn't recall one single pie. That's because I have never made a pie. While he searched the shelves for pie crust fixings, I went to the cooler section and picked up two boxes of pre-made crust. He was OK with using those crusts although he did state making crust from scratch would be lots more fun. I reminded him we didn't have a rolling pin, flour etc.

Below is the step by step process of Steve's first adventure in pie making.

He started with the pre-made pie crust. He isn't the gentlest of men. He pushed the holes and slits carefully back together and put this crust on the bottom of the pie pan.

Next came the filling. One can barely covered the pie crust so.......
.......he added can two.


He did read the directions on the pie crust box and carefully put the top crust on and trimmed the edges.

Steve is not one to waste anything so he nibbled on a few pieces of left over crust and then proceeded to put the rest on the top of the pie. He said it was a lattice design. HUH?????

Finished masterpiece; rosemary asked if he was going to put foil on the edges so they didn't burn.....nope.....ready for the pre-heated oven.

Pie in the oven, timer set, pie removed, rosemary said The top doesn't look baked enough with all of the ummm lattice stuff on it! Steve said I didn't know anything about pie baking and it was fine. I have had one Barbie sized piece of undercooked bottom crust kinda bland peach filled with an undercooked top crust under the lattice stuff pie. Rather than admit the pie wasn't quite right (and I didn't say one more word about the pie, I swear), Steve has "eaten" the rest of the pie....he will take a bite or two from a slice, leave the rest on his plate and tell me he is too full from dinner to finish the rest. I just love this man to pieces....of raw pie.


A beautiful surprise arrived in the mail. My crafty daughter (crafty meaning she got around the rule of no store bought gifts, only photos are to be sent for birthdays, Christmas etc. ) had a crafty friend make this simply lovely necklace for my 65th birthday. I have tried and tried to get a photo without the flash messing it up. If I turn the flash off, it doesn't show up at all. So, here is the description: silver chain with charms of a heart, jewel and an I Love You circle. There is a larger square surrounded by clear stones with an R in the middle. On the back of the R is a photo of Steve and me! Kiss, kiss my sweet little girl. I love you.







Friday, November 27, 2009

Get a tissue

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

May Thanksgiving bring love, laughter and lots of good food to your table. I am blessed and thankful for my family and friends.




Sunday, November 22, 2009

Loving little hands and a sweet heart.....

Two packages arrived this last week. One was from Sachiko and Spencer, the other from Christine. Since I handed down the matriarchal edict of no "store bought" gifts for me and only necessary ones for Steve....with photos always being acceptable....here is what was in those packages.

Hand decorated coffee cups from Sachi and Spencer with a special bowl for Papa were in the first box. I think these children have quite a future in the arts!!!

See.....just for Papa. Steve put it next to his side of the bed and it now holds change, odd washers and screws, a few nails and pocket lint....all very important items to Steve.
We can share this cup...but we won't. This precious cup is on display on the kitchen counter.
Sachi made this cup just for me....with my much loved violets decorating it. I love the special message on the handle. It is sitting next to the cup above.
When Christine asked what her dad needed for his birthday I immediately answered...slippers. The camera shut down when I tried to take a photo of his old ones.....yup, they looked that bad. Here are Steve's feet all toasty and warm in his new fleece lined slippers.


Birthdays can be OK after all.


Monday, November 16, 2009

It's the big one 'Lizabeth...

I remember the title line from Sanford and Son.....whenever there was a big/surprising event Fred would grab his chest and shout that line to his dead wife and look to the heavens.

Turning 65 is a big event, but only for me really. I'm not saying that my family won't call or might forget my birthday.....but.....I don't want gifts from the kids or grandkids unless they send photos. A card is OK, but I have reached the point where birthdays are for the grandkids and mine are like marks on a door that bring back memories and then there are those age related duties that include filling out forms. So, why is it a big deal? Well....I'm 65.

You all know me pretty well I think. Two of my children read this blog and they know me inside and out. 65 is as good a time as any to do a little soul searching and secret sharing. Before you comment that I need to stop whining and feeling sorry for myself, read all the way through. I have pretty good insight and know the following about rosemary:

~ I am insecure.
~ I have a lot of self doubt.
~ I am lonely most of the time.
~ My pets fill in for my kids.
~ I don't make friends easily.
~ I vacuum every day to earn my right to inhale and exhale....a punishment of sorts.
~ I made huge mistakes with my choice of previous husbands, but I have no regrets about those marriages because of my precious children.
~ I still have lingering doubts about living in Idaho (all weather related). But, knowing how I can hover, manage and butt into the lives of my children, Idaho is probably the best place for me.
~ Following that last statement, wherever Steve is that's where I will be....so Steve and I will be in Idaho forever.
~ I have a conflicted relationship with God. I need Him in my life, I want His help, grace and peace, but I don't work towards these gifts every day....or monthly actually.
~ I didn't protect my kids growing up.
~ I've never felt pretty or even cute.
~ There are times when I wish my parents were here for me so I could ask for advice.....but.....they were rarely there for me when they were alive so what is it that makes me think they would be any different now. I think I just don't want to be the grown up, next in line for that final call, have to make difficult decisions or be the one my children look to for help......see the first two statements.
~ I don't love unconditionally...never have....there are the conditions of honesty, give and take and keeping me in the loop.

OK, having put all of that right out there here is some more stuff about rosemary:

~ I am a great mother now.
~ I have done some pretty special things for animals.
~ I have told each of my kids I am sorry over and over again for the mess that was their childhood.
~ I was a damn good nurse....in fact one of the best. I was bright, caring and compassionate.
~ I gave my kids the gifts of words and music.
~ I am Steve's best friend.
~ I'd rather be home puttering than out accomplishing nothing.
~ I deeply love the forest trees.....really. I think they share their land with me, speak to me and give me some of that peace I mentioned missing above.
~ I can listen, not talk, just listen.
~ I have finally become financially aware.......never too late.
~ I am honest with myself.
~ I think my gray/white/silver hair is pretty.
~ I am not embarrassed to let someone see my faults.
~ I am proud of the fact that my house is clean.
~ I am a horrible driver and don't care.....I swear at other drivers and make hand gestures...yes, I do....and couldn't care less. Actually, I swear a lot in general; ca-ching if there is a fine for that.
~ I will no longer keep quiet when some one is messing with, taking advantage of or using me......never again.....period.

So.....at the ripe old age of 65 I have put myself out there for time and all blogternity. I could go on and on about all kinds of stuff, but I think I made my point.

I deserve a good rest of my life. I will try to be a better friend to me, myself and I, and those that call me their family or friend. Pretty good goals to achieve for my 66th.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, rosemary!

'Cause if I can't celebrate me, then why would anyone else want to?

You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.

Yes we're going to a party party.

I would like you to dance--Birthday
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance-Birthday
I would like you to dance--Birthday
Dance

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cat talk and dog butts.

The players: Guido & Mom

Can I go out into the playpen today, mom?

No Guido, I already told you, it's raining.

That's OK. I like rain.

What is rain my honey -bunny?

Ummm, stuff.


We took the dogs for a walk Monday......they went crazy sniffing every tree and running the whole time we were walking. While the ferns are brown and the aspens and cottonwoods have all lost their leaves....and then there are the bare limbs of my tamaracks.....it is beautiful on the trails now.



No, Petey is not pooping....this is an action shot....he was getting ready to run.
It's as if God was showing us the way with is light.....you had to be there.


The Bitterroot mountains between North Idaho and Montana....a sub-range of the Rockies......snow and a little dash of snow (taken from the end of our driveway....see our mailbox on the left?).