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



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?).


Sunday, November 08, 2009

It has been a few days since I posted....

....and as usual time has moved way too quickly.

Chris was here for a sweet visit.....well sweet for us. Right before she flew up she was rear ended and her little Volvo sports car has 8K worth of damage. She is OK and that is all that really matters. While she was here someone broke into her home and took her laptop, a special wrist watch and went through bedroom drawers. Even with these worrisome events I hope she relaxed a bit and had some fun with her old, crabby parents.....I do know the dogs loved having her here. Doesn't it look like she has a two headed dog on her lap?

The tamarack tree needles changed even though I specifically instructed them to not do that this year and thus allow winter to head south in confusion.

Tamaracks are my favorite trees. They are fragile giants and their needles look like little circular bits of green fluff attached to their long, slender limbs. In late fall, right before winter arrives, those needles turn a gold dust color, fall off and make the ground come alive with color.

Tamaracks come in all shapes and sizes......some small and crooked...

.....some tiny and straight.

They stand out on the hills and mountains rippling like waves across the landscape.



They are teenagers going through a growth spurt.

They are old and stately showing the youngsters how to do the job right.

And then just to really irritate me....my favorite sleeping t-shirt decided to fall apart. The sleeves split open, the neck came off of the body of the shirt and all of the edges raveled. Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up in the morning.



Time seems to march on in spite of my needing just a few days of catch up.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Lost and found.....a miracle....

This is the letter I sent to 6 Abelardo Balderramas......

Hello Mr. Balderrama,

I am trying to locate the family of Abelardo Balderrama born 1914 in Arizona. The Abelardo Balderrama I am looking for enlisted in the Army in 1942 and trained as an aerial gunner. He was stationed in Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina and in March of 1944 was in Italy.

My parents were friends of Mr. Balderrama in California and while going through old photos and letters of my mother’s I found several letters from Mr. Balderrama and some photos. My mother worked at a cafĂ© called Pat’s in City Terrace, California and from reading Mr. Balderrama’s letters I think he worked there with my mother.

I would like to see these letters and photos given to his family. I have looked online and you are one of the Balderrama names and addresses I found.

If I have reached you in error, I apologize for the intrusion. If you know the direct relatives of this Abelardo Balderrama, would you please pass my information on to them? If you are a son or grandson of Mr. Balderrama, please contact me so I can give these wonderful letters and photos to you. I have enclosed a copy of one of the photos so Mr. Balderrama can be easily identified.

Thank you,

Rosemary Olsen

momikat@gmail.com


This is the email I received yesterday. I cried when I read it.


Hello Rosemary,
My name is Abe R. Balderrama and Abelardo is indeed my Father (he was also called Abe). I am the oldest of his children....I have a younger brother and sister. The photo you sent used to be in an 8x10 frame that I remember seeing in a relative's home many years ago but cannot be found. I only have one other photo of him in uniform with his crew in front of a B-24 Liberator aircraft.
Dad did work in a cafe in California (dishwasher) before the war. He always wanted to work for a movie studio and be around the Hollywood stars. My Dad passed away in 1993 of congestive heart failure at age 78. He never remarried after my Mother died 12 years earlier but he lived a happy life and had a large extended family in the Phoenix area.
I was very surprised when I received your letter and would love to share any letters and photos with our family. I will gladly reimburse any cost to mail them.
I have several distant relatives in Boise but I'm not familiar with the Sandpoint area. I googled the city and it is quite beautiful.
I would like to hear more about your family if you care to share any information about the early years.
Thank you for contacting me.
Abe Balderrama

I responded to this email....at length....the Balderrama family photos and letters will be in the mail next week. Thank you to everyone for the all of the links you sent to me.