When In Disgrace With Fortune and Men's Eyes...Happy Anniversary Paul!!

If you were in the living room of the Delta Delta Delta sorority on the evening of December 10. 1984, you were witness to my romantic proposal when Paul surprised me at a "fireside" by coming into the living room, getting down on one knee, reciting to me Shakespeare's Sonnet 29, and asking me to marry him.

I relived a bit of this memory last month at my Tri Delta reunion in Moscow when some of my sorority sisters who were there share their memories of that night.

Paul and I were married less than two years later, on July 19, 1986, thirty-three years ago today.

Yesterday, I thought it was a it providential that we were listening to a podcast called "Broken Record" on our drive down to Meridian and one of the episodes was an interview with Rufus Wainwright.  A couple of years ago, Wainwright made an album of Shakespearian sonnets.  I, of course, had to see if "our sonnet" made the cut.  It not only made the cut once, but twice on the album.  The first cut was Carrie Fisher, (you know, Princess Leia), was recorded reciting the sonnet.  You can listen to that below.

The next cut is a vocalist by the name of singing the sonnet that Wainwright put to melody.  A very fitting discovery to share with Paul on our anniversary today.

The day was spent having lunch with Paul's mom Pat, his sister Laurie, and his brother Kevin and sister-in-law Linda.  Then Paul and I went thrift store shopping and found some treasures to help decorate our gardens.

This evening we dined at Alivita, a lovely restaurant in downtown Boise.

Here are a few things we enjoyed.

Paul had the signature cocktail "The Alavita" and I had a Negroni.

For starters we had the "Chef's Choice Battilardo".

So many delicious flavors.

Paul had rack of lamb and I had the Risoto.

Paul enjoyed a red wine from Italy and I enjoyed a white wine from France.

Some sparkling soda water as a palette cleanser then a couple of espressos.

A lovely cake with vanilla gelato and a salted caramel sauce for dessert.

We topped off the meal with some limoncello.

We strolled around downtown Boise, and sat by the fountain at The Grove. Paul wanted to see Freak Alley, so we walked through and saw all the artistry.

A wonderful way to celebrate 33 years of marriage.


Toby Montana....the bravest cat I have ever known

Toby Montana Roberts went over the Rainbow Bridge today.

Today we said goodbye to one of the bravest cats I know....Toby Montana Roberts.

I met Toby while I was working at Kellogg Pet Medical Center in 2006.  If my memory serves me correctly, he was brought into the clinic after his front right paw was caught in a bear trap.  A neighbor of the owners had found him and brought him in for Dr. Broaddus to take care of him.

After a while, the infection in his leg was so bad that Dr. Andy had to operate and remove his leg.

Then he was a "clinic cat" for a while.  I would watch him around the clinic, and I was smitten!

At the time we owned two dogs and three cats.  We were not even thinking about getting another pet.  But I came home one day from work, and had a conversation with Paul, convincing him that we needed to be Toby's caretakers....because they were not going to give these three legged cat to just anyone.

So we brought Toby home to our house, and he has lived almost 13 years with us.  But today it was time for us to say goodbye to this brave boy.  Over the past few years, Toby developed diabetes, and he was not getting around as well as he used to, so we made that hard decision to say goodbye.

My favorite memory of Toby was one day in our backyard.  I was glad I observed him doing this, or I don't think I would have believed it.  The fact that Toby was missing one of his front legs never slowed him down!!  I was sitting out in our backyard, and Toby was out there observing some birds circling around our backyard.  I think Toby was feeling the rhythm of the birds, and was figuring out when they were coming close to the top of the fence.  Because, before I knew it, he had jumped from the ground to the top of our six foot fence, took his remaining front paw, grabbed a bird, put it in his mouth, and then jumped back down into the backyard, and proceeded to finish off his prey.  I remember thinking afterward that I had just observed an episode of "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" right in my own backyard.

Toby would stand down to nothing...no dogs or no other cats.  I remember another time a neighborhood cat pinned him under a bush in the front yard.  Paul rescued him and the other cat had punctured him somewhere on his head, so he started bleeding profusely.  Paul scooped him up and drove him right down to Dr. Andy.  Fortunately, it was just a superficial wound on his head that bled a lot.

Once Toby was diagnosed with diabetes he really started slowing down.  I think it took a lot out of him.  We would administer insulin twice a day.  We would take a blood glucose reading every couple of months or so.  But he was just never the same.  This spring and summer, he really started losing his strength and we knew it was time to tell our brave boy goodbye.

Goodbye Toby Montana.....Mr. Tobes.  You had a special place here in our home and the place in our hearts will always be filled by the memory of you.


Sibling Assignment 2019.3 Write That Book Already!!

I gave this assignment to my siblings and myself.  You can read Bill's here and Christy's here.

What is something you have never done but hope to do or hope to have accomplished  in the next five years?

I have never written a book and would like to accomplish writing a book.  Actually I want to write three books.  It is a three-part historical fiction series about the Silver Valley.

Each book would span ten years.  The first ten years would be 1888-1897.  The second book would be 1898 to 1907.  The third book would be from 1908 to 1917.

There would be three main characters who all meet when they are all around 14 years old at the Cataldo Mission.  One of the main characters is a girl who has traveled from back east with her father, who ends up being a lawyer for the mining companies.  The second main character is an Italian immigrant whose family came out west to work on the railroad.  The third main characters is a young member of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Tribe.

The first book would be told by the girl.  The second book would be told by the Italian boy.  The third book would be told by the Coeur d’Alene tribal members. These three characters lives intertwine throughout all three books as the stories of their lives and the beginnings of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District unfold.

I started writing and researching this book back in the early 2000’s.  It is time to bring these characters back to life to tell about the early days of the Silver Valley, and the Coeur d’Alene Mining District.

Sibling Assignment 2019.2 A Spiritual Nomad

Brother Bill gave us this sibling assignment at the beginning of the year, and I am finally getting around to writing it and posting it.  Here was the assignment:

I want to write a piece about why I am an Episcopalian. It would be an essay explaining how I came to find a home in this denomination. Write an essay explaining where you find your spiritual home and why. 

As I ponder on this sibling assignment and being asked to explain where I find my spiritual home and why, I realized I have never felt like I had a spiritual home.

I feel like my Christian walk has been a bit nomadic.  It has taken me to many different church “homes”, but I don’t think I have ever felt I found a place that truly reflected my faith in Jesus Christ.

I grew up in the United Church of Kellogg, a church that my parents chose for us to attend while we were growing up.  I loved being a part of that church, and the youth group, and being a part of the church choir.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I attended a church camp on Cascade Lake that would change the course of my life forever.  God did a miraculous work in my life at that camp, changing my mind and spirit in a unique way.  I came back changed.

A week or so after returning from church camp I was heading off to participate in sorority rush at the University of Idaho.  I was not only navigating my way through starting college, but also navigating my way through this spiritual transformation that had recently happened in my life.

While in college, I never really found a home church.  I went to a different church every year I was in college I think.  But I did have a bit of a constant “spiritual home” with Campus Crusade for Christ”, a Christian ministry I was involved with all through my college years.

My first job out of college was in a town called Glendive, Montana.  I attended a few churches while in Glendive, and ended up at the Evangelical Church of North America.  One of the secretaries at the college I worked at attended this church, and so I chose to attend church there.  I soon became involved in helping with the youth at the church.  Paul, who joined me a year later, and myself did a lot of growing up in this church. Paul was asked to be the associate pastor at the church after we lived there a few years, and he became ordained and was the associate pastor for a few years before we left Glendive.  We learned some great teaching and some hard lessons about people and the church.  We learned it was possible to attend a church with fellow believers whose doctrine didn’t quite align with your own.  (This would be a continuing theme through our married life as we attended different churches.)

After leaving Glendive we moved to Meridian, the town Paul spent most of his growing up years.  His grandfather was the pastor of Meridian Gospel Tabernacle, a church his grandfather founded and pastored.  Paul was hired on as a youth pastor, and we spent many years ministering to the youth in this church.  When we moved there, Paul’s brother Kent was the associate pastor, and his dad pastored a church in Kellogg, Christian Life Center.  In 1995, his brother and his dad switched places.  Paul’s parents moved back to Meridian, and his brother’s family moved to Kellogg, and they switched roles.

In 2000, God made it very clear that we were to move to Kellogg by providing Paul a job as the Director of the Silver Valley Alternative High School.  When we arrived in Kellogg, we became a part of Christian Life Center where Paul’s brother Kent was the pastor.  A couple years later, Kent and his wife Robin moved from Kellogg and relocated in Oregon.  We stayed at Christian Life Center a few more years, until, again, God made it clear it was time to leave and attend another church.

This happened in 2011.  We then returned to the church where I grew up in, but now it has a different name.  It is called Mountain View Congregational Church.  After attending for about a year, Paul and I became involved in the worship team and later took on some leadership roles in the church.  This is where we continue to attend today.

But do I feel like any of these churches were or are my spiritual home?  Not really.

Even though we were a big part of each congregation or ministry we were a part of, I, personally don’t feel like I have quite found my spiritual home as a Christian. 

My sister Christy finds her spiritual home in nature, as you can read about here. 

Bill also mentions nature as being spiritual as he tells of his Episcopalian spiritual home here.

In Christy’s essay, she wrote a definition of a spiritual home as a place where one feels a strong sense of belonging.

For me, I love being out in nature, but I do not experience it as a spiritual experience like my sister or brother.

Have I ever had any type of spiritual home where I have felt a strong sense of belonging?  The closest thing I have experienced in my life is performing a play on stage.  There have been times where I felt like what myself and my cast members where involved in a spiritual experience.  Two times I felt this way were in the performance of “Godspell”, and the other was “Shadowlands”.

As I read and have listened over the years to Bill talk about his experience in the Episcopal Church, a part of me is drawn to that liturgical type of worship.  I love the ritual of a Catholic Mass.  But I can find God in most churches and church services I have attended, and know He is present within the people who attend there.

Maybe Paul and I will never find a church body that will be our spiritual home. I have a close and personal relationship with God and his son Jesus, and I know I trust them and have fellowship with them and have practically my whole life.  But a part of me does yearn for that “tribe” of believers who could provide for me that spiritual home as a place where I feel a strong sense of belonging.  But either way, it does not diminish my relationship with my Heavenly Father.


A Perpetual Bond of Friendship

When I started my journey with Delta Delta Delta in August of 1981, I would never be able to understand how these women would still be a part of my life 38 years later.  (Well, actually my TriDelta journey started about 6 years before I became a pledge.  In the spring of 1975 (I think), when my sister Christy was in the house, she invited me to come and stay with her for a few days during my spring break.  Her roommate at the time Lori Hoalst, had a younger sister Lisa who was a year older than me, and she came, too.  We had so much fun for those few days running all over the house and making ourselves at home.  When I pledged in the fall of 1981, Lisa was there to welcome me again, as she had pledged the house the year before.)

Social media has certainly helped keep me in touch with people.  It helped some of us in our pledge class come together last fall for a gathering in Boise to spend the weekend catching up on each other's lives.

And then it happened again last weekend in Moscow, where we all lived at one time or another in the Delta Delta Delta house on the University of Idaho campus.

As a freshman pledge, you learn all kinds of things about the sorority, including the purpose of Delta Delta Delta.  I don't think as a freshman pledge you can grasp the meaning of what the purpose truly means.  Thirty-eight years later, I think I might get it.  This purpose became clear.

The Purpose of Delta Delta Delta shall be to establish a perpetual bond of friendship among its members, to develop a stronger and more womanly character, to broaden the moral and intellectual life, and to assist its members in every possible way.

It became clear as I went through the months of my mother failing in the local nursing home, and then passing away as the thoughts and prayers of countless Tri-Delta sisters, many of whom I had not seen in years, touched my life when I needed that love and compassion from others.

It became clear during the four years our youngest daughter Cosette was at the University of Idaho, and I would run into Tri Deltas on campus and always receive a smile and often a laugh with each and every one of them.

It became clear as I have learned about my pledge sister's adult lives.  I am amazed at the impact they are making on their communities as lawyers, judges, doctors, teachers, nurses, architects, business women, wives, mothers, grandmothers and volunteers, to name a few roles they play.

It became clear as the years just melt away, and you pick right back up where you had been with these women.  Some I saw last fall.  Some I had visited with throughout the last four or five years on the U of I campus.  Some I hadn't seen since the last Tri-Delta reunion I attended, back in 2009.  For others, it has been over 30 years.  But it didn't matter.

It became clear as I sat back and listened to the stories of these incredible Tri-Delta women who have dealt with aging parents, broken marriages and relationships, children with issues, and their own  issues. But these stories are part of what made these people the incredible women they are today.

It became clear as my sister Christy and I helped on the reunion committee for this reunion, and our excitement built as we started reconnecting with different people and started looking forward to seeing them come to Moscow.

It became clear as I listened to many of these women tell of their career path, and how many of them were pioneers in fields like computer science, where women had not had careers in this field before. I think back in the early 80's, we didn't realize we were breaking any kind of barriers.  I think we believed what we were told.  That we could pursue any career field we wanted.

It became clear as I visited with many of my sisters who had fond memories of Paul proposing to me I the living room of  the Delta Delta Delta house on the evening of December 10, 1984.

It became clear that despite the "not so perfect" lives we have all lead, that we have made it, we are strong women, and we have that perpetual bond of friendship that has lasted all these years.  And we have our sisters who love us.

The Tri Delta Greek Motto is: Asfalos Agapomen Allaylas…."Let Us Steadfastly Love One Another".  Again, I don't think I understood the meaning of this motto until later in life, when I realized I have a special bonds of love and friendship with my Tridelt sisters.

And the thing that amazes me, as I reconnect, especially with my pledge sisters, is realizing what incredible human beings they all are.  I just love being around them and spending time with them.  I love hearing their stories.  I love that another gathering is already in the works for this fall with my pledge sisters.  Thanks, everyone, for an incredible weekend!!



Inch By Inch....Row by Row...I'm Gonna Make This Garden Grow

I love The Garden Song.

It was on one of the girl's tapes of children's songs when they were growing up.

I wrote a whole skit to the song, and Molly's first grade class performed it, complete with costumes.

Now, the lyrics to the song are my life.

If you are unfamiliar with the song, here are the words.

The Garden Song

Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling down
So plant your rows straight and long, temper them with prayer and song
Mother earth can keep you strong if you give her love and care
Now an old crow watching hungrily from his perch in yonder tree
In my garden I'm as free as that feathered thief up there
Inch by inch, row by row, I'm gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling
Inch by inch, row by row, someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below 'til the rain comes tumbling .

If you have never heard the song, here is John Denver and the Muppets 
doing a great version of this song.

I will be heading to Moscow tomorrow for my sorority reunion, so I will not get to do my daily garden walks for the next few days, and I am going to miss it.  So I took a bunch of photographs this morning so I can see all the progress that happens in the next few days.  I expect there to be a lot of change in my vegetable garden.
Here are a few shots of the food that is growing.
Here are my round, Ronde Nice zucchini.  I grew these last year, and just loved them!  I also have a couple kinds of onions growing.  I have never grown onions before.
On the other end of this bed, among the dill plants, are about five different pepper plants and yellow summer squash.  They all are starting to get blossoms!

The other raised vegetable bed (made from horse troughs) has some regular zucchini growing at this end, again with lots of volunteer dill that is growing.

I had my first nasturtium blossom this morning.

I saved pea seeds from last year's crop, and they came up very successfully.

I also planted green beans from seeds I saved.  They have not been quite as successful germinating.  But the cabbage plants are going crazy!!

Last year I had a lot of winter squash come up volunteer, and I planted them in our "big pile of dirt" and we had a lot of squash.  The same thing happened this year, so I asked Paul to create a raised bed to plant the "mystery squash".  Within an hour he had this bed built, and had the squash plants planted by the end of the day.  I can't wait to see what grows from these plants.  Last year we had a lot of acorn squash hybrids.  Who know what they will be this year!!

I like turning used tires into little planters.  This year I have three tires with cucumber plants in them.  One tire has Armenian Cucumbers which are struggling a bit, but I think they are going to make it.  The other two tires have slicing cucumbers.

Last year I planted Rat Tail Radishes, and enjoyed them throughout the summer.  This tire has some rat tail radish plants.

I also use recycled tires for my "salad garden".  Each tire has a different salad green, including lettuces, kales and Swiss Chard.

I planted tomato plants in pots next to the house.  It is a really good area to grow the tomatoes.  They get a lot of sun, and we have a drip irrigation system to water them.  All my tomato plants came from the Tomato Lady at the Pine Creek Nursery.

I love growing food and love to harvest throughout the summer and into fall.  With the lettuce growing, I won't have to buy lettuce for the rest of the summer.  I love going out each day and clipping lettuce for our salads.  Eventually we will have other vegetables to add to our meals from the garden.  Nothing is better than fresh grown produce from the garden!!


Silver Valley Books: "Coeur d' Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho" by Richard G. Magnuson

I own a large library of books about the Silver Valley.

I have a list of them at the bottom of my blog (that does need updated, I realized!!).  But recently I did a program on some of my favorite Silver Valley history books, and it made me think people might be interested in knowing some books that are out there that they can read about our area's history.

So about every week or so I am going to tell about one of the books I have, and why I like it.

"Coeur d' Alene Diary: The First Ten Years of Hardrock Mining in North Idaho" by Richard G. Magnuson is a great book that the author researched using local newspapers and shows the history through the newspaper articles.  There are also pictures from the first ten years.  He covers a bit of history when the Jesuit Priests arrived and built the Cataldo Mission. Then he shares about the building of the Mullan Road.  The Gold Rush up the North Fork is also mentioned.  The rest of the book focuses on the years from 1884 to 1893.  In the forward of the book, the author, Richard Magnuson, says, "This, in its small way, is my effort to chronicle the first ten years of the Coeur d'Alene, a mining camp and its people".

I enjoyed the photographs in the book as well, showing the early days of the Coeur d'Alene Mining District.  If you want to know some history of the early days of the Silver Valley, this book is a great place to begin.  There are many copies available through the local libraries.

If you have ever read the book, or have a comment about this publication, I would love you to write a comment and tell me what your thoughts are on this book.


Fathers, Fishing, Family and Fun!!

What a fabulous way to spend the afternoon on this Father's Day.  Paul was thrilled to have two of his daughters home this weekend.  Zoe did make a "virtual" appearance later in the day as we video chatted with her toward the end of dinner, then she was the official "Bocce Ball" judge on some of the close calls.  We knew Father's Day would not be an easy one because of the loss of Paul's dad and the girl's grandpa this spring, so it was so nice that we had a houseful for dinner.

Father's Day Family Photo

The afternoon began at 4 p.m. with the arrival of Bill, Christy and Everett. It was wonderful to be surround by three such wonderful fathers in our midst, Everett, Bill and Paul.  We enjoyed some drinks and chips and salsa while Paul and I finished up the Shrimp Taco dinner that was served.  For dessert I made a wonderful recipe called "Grandma's Rhubarb Crisp" topped with some French Vanilla Ice Cream.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos...delicious.

Build your own tacos with all the fixin's.

Rhubarb Crisp.

After dinner it was fun giving Christy a tour of our gardens.  We love showing off our back yard that we have created to be our little "happy place".

Christy and Everett gave Paul a gardening book, and, in a joint Mother's Day and Father's Day gift,  Paul and I got money from the girls so we can purchase our fishing licenses (Molly, is this spelled correctly???.....LOL!!), and get out and do some fishing this summer.  But now we realized our next purchase needs to be fishing poles!!

After Christy and Everett left, the Bocce Ball competition was on, with Paul and I against Molly and Cosette, and Zoe still with us on the Chrome Book as we played a round.  It was close, and it came down to the last play, and "Team Millenial" won, thanks in part to our fair and impartial judge Zoe, making the close call through video chatting.

Cosette and Molly then drove to Coeur d'Alene to spend the night at the Coeur d'Alene resort.  Cosette is now the Social Media Coordinator for the Best Western University Inn in Moscow, as well as the Catering Assistant.  She was meeting with the person who does Social Media for the resort on Monday, so she was comped a room for the night.

What a wonderful weekend, a wonderful way to spend Father's Day, and a great time seeing lots of family and friends throughout the weekend.

Bridal shower, North Fork River Girl, Joyful Joy and Eagle Grad...Socializing Saturday

What a day of fun the Roberts' family had today hopping from one social event to the next.

Cosette started off the day by attending a bridal shower for her life long friend Jessi Gibbons.  Look at these two beauties!!

At the Silver Valley Community Market on Thursday I found the perfect sweatshirt  at Knotty Ridge Creations for my friend Kellee who enjoys almost every weekend throughout the summer "up the river" on the North Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River.  The owner, Jess, saved it for me, and said I could pick it up at her grand opening of her new shop on McKinley Avenue in uptown Kellogg.  So I went up Saturday morning to check out her new shop and buy the sweatshirt.

It looks great on her!!

Molly, Cosette and Paul checking out the beautiful river.

Koach the River Dog

When you look at the view from their river place, you know why Kellee refers to this place as her "little slice of Heaven."

Kellee and Rex, our awesome hosts this afternoon.

Then it was off to French Gulch Farms and Garden for Joy Persoon's retirement party.  Joy started teaching in Kellogg when I was in junior high (unfortunately I never had her as a teacher, but she did accompany me at different times while I was in high school).  Joy has left a lasting impact on her students throughout the years, and many of us gathered together to celebrate this success.  It was a nice surprise to run into Geni Williams Fischer, a fellow Class of 1981 graduate. (I saw lots of former KHS classmates today!!)  Fortunately, all three of our daughters had her as a choir teacher in high school.  It was wonderful catching up with lots of people at the party, and to see different people share about our friend.  I look forward to spending more time with Joy in her retirement!!

Joy and her grandson Lennon.

Our final stop of the day was the Rathdrum City Park where Joanie McNutt was celebrating her graduation from Eastern Washington University.  The ceremony was this afternoon at EWU, then friends and family gathered together to celebrate her success in earning a degree in Recreational Therapy.  It was great to see Joanie and her sister Abby, and her grandparents Ann and Larry Curry.  It was also fun catching up with her Aunt Katy Davis, and more KHS Class of 1981 girls, Joanie's mom Tina Curry and our friend Tammi Durick Flores.

Tammi, Tina and I....lifelong friends!!!

Our final stop for the day was at Fred Meyer in Coeur d'Alene to pick up some last minute items for Father's Day dinner.  The highlight of the shopping trip was when the four of us met in one of the grocery aisles as Pharrell William's song "Happy" came on over the speakers, and the four of us started singing and dancing down the aisle.  So fun to spend the day socializing, visiting and laughing with Molly and Cosette!!