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.