Monday, April 30, 2012

Never give up

Crazy. Life and sports are crazy. The highs and lows and the unpredictable nature keep all of us on the edge of our seats. That is, all of us who care.

What do I mean by this one? Well, yesterday, the third and final game of the conference series was coming to an end. As always, pitching did not hold up. When I turned the game on, the score was 5-5 at the top of the tenth inning. The LW was on the mound and could NOT find the plate. In other words, he proceeded to load the bases, then he walked two potentially winning runs in. Disgusted and a fair weather fan, I turned off the game to watch the end of the Phillies which was no better. At least the Flyers played competitively.

Back to the game.....after an hour, I checked online to see what the final score was and to my surprise the home team came back for a win. That's right. With two outs, the Stud on the opposing team, from last year, was on the mound and throwing mid-90's. He got the first two batters out. Now, he has two outs and a two run lead. It looks like he is going to earn a save. NOT! He walked the next two batters then threw a lollipop down the middle and the batter swung as hard as he could and hit the ball over the fence. Home team pile on home plate. Yeah team!

What does that scenario teach us? Well, it taught me a number of things, like don't turn the game off until the players are in the locker room. But it also spoke of the team never giving up and working toward a win. Even with two outs, the guys continued to play hard. I am happy for them and give them kudos from BP mom. This is what it is all about...the competition, tension, dedication, and preparation for this type of situation. This series spoke to the reason why guys thrive on a sport like this...the highs and thrills of playing in a game like this. It is something that they will never forget and will probably define the rest of their lives.

Am I going overboard on this one? Nope. Here is my rationale. They work hard year round. They never have a day off. They give up a great deal of college life to travel, practice, and play baseball. The players are under constant stress to perform or they lose their jobs on the field. The tension, work outs, and lack of free time can take a toll on any person especially a kid in college. In this case, they rose to the occasion and overcame potential defeat. This can teach a person that even if the odds are stacked in someone else's favor, you keep pressing on and on and on. No one can predict the future, so never stop moving forward.

OK, enough pontification...time for me to move on and get some work done. By the way, Buttercup is still pregnant and I lost the pool. My guess was that the baby would be born yesterday. Once again, I lose when I bet on anything, including a baby pool. When will I learn to keep my money in my pocket? I might as well dig a hole out back and bury it every time I bet on something. Needless to say, I stay away from casinos and horse racing.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Jack Daniels or HiC: Choose Your Poison

No baby yet! If wishing for labor and delivery was all that it took, our little one would be here by now. But if walking, exercising, and eating Mexican and Italian foods have not induced labor, then we are being taught to be patient. So, time to cool it.

We heard from the big leftie yesterday who reported a new brawl on Friday night with the umpire squeezing LW who proceeded to give up three runs as the good guys lost the game. The coach was thrown out for a number of inappropriate expletives as he let the umpires know in any way that he could that they were not qualified to umpire the game. Furthermore, he was then tossed from the game where he waited not so patiently in the locker room. Dude, where will you sit? Remember, you took the sofas, chairs, speakers, WIFI and television out to punish the guys for poor play? I guess that you will have to sit on a bench and wait out the rest of the game.

When Buddy and Angel returned home from the game, LW was sitting on the sofa (yep, the one that I am never going to sit on again) drinking Jack Daniel's straight up. Hmmmm....this is how he copes with a loss. My poison of preference was ice cream. I'd sit on the sofa with a large spoon and a container of ice cream  brooding about the line calls during my loss on the tennis court. NOT! Come be a competitor, a person has to learn to accept defeat without the assistance of  illicit substances such as drugs and alcohol. If this happens when you lose a baseball game, what is going to happen when something really tragic happens? Where are the coping skills? He must know that the next day, he is going to feel and look like poo. So, what's the point? Furthermore, if he wants to poison himself, he should drink Hi C straight without ice....from the can....grape about something that is not good for you.

Now, yesterday's game was another story. The coach from the opposing team was thrown out after a questionable call at the plate. Not wanting to be the only coach in the weekend series to listen to the game from the locker room, he also had some threats and salty language for the umpires. As he exited to the locker room, he looked at Buddy's bullpen, smiled, and told them to have a nice day. Hmmm, this guy shook off the bad call rather quickly. I doubt if he was sitting in the locker room with a bottle of JD muttering to himself how unfair life is. My thought is that he went back to the buffet table and made a sandwich.

Today is the last game of the weekend series. So much drama....who will be tossed out? Who will be fighting? Will there be a brawl? Buddy felt that the benches were going to empty today and that he would not be in the middle of it. No throwing punches for my kid, but he could be heard throwing not-so-nice compliments toward the opposition at any point. In fact, along with another pitcher, he was pointed to by one of the umpires on Friday night demanding that they keep their mouths shut since they were chortling from the bench. Sigh...glad I was home for this one. Although, he reassured me that if a fight broke out, he would be on the field but away from the fracas because his arm is not ready to throw a fast ball or a punch. Comforting....

No partying last night or Friday night for the big kid. In fact, he was in the library studying for finals this week. Yes, studying. In the library....there are books there, you know. I'm proud of the little guy. He is opening his books, notes, and reading. He is struggling a bit with Finance, so one of the players told him that he had to think differently. Good point. What does different mean? Perhaps, thinking in a logical manner is appropriate. Dad knows finance and business, and Buddy comes from a line of entrepreneurs on his father's side...from my side, no business people, per se unless you count a paper route or selling our TastyKakes at lunch in elementary school for twice the value. Then all you need to know is how to make change. If I was a betting person (which I am not because I always lose), I would put my money on the leftie betting that he will get through finance and the other courses unscathed with grade point average intact.

Time for me to head to the pool to continue rehabbing this crazy knee. One day it feels great and the next day it is screaming at me saying: "Slow down, BPM, you're killin' me...." I will share this, I will be back on the tennis court by mid May. It's my goal and with the Tank's help, some Motrin, ice and a knee brace, I will have the racquet in my hand slicing and dicing the balls....and when I lose the match, you will not catch me on the sofa with a bottle of Jack Daniels, rather I will be on the patio, under the umbrella sipping a Merlot, and thinking how I can tinker with my game to be more successful.

Have a great day! Go Buttercup!

Friday, April 27, 2012

The road to respectability

No sign of baby yet. Buttercup and family wait not-so- patiently. Although this morning at 3 am, I checked my text messages to see if she sent word to me. After all, I am in the loop (OK, one loop over) and am anxiously awaiting for word that she is in labor. Then I will hop into the BP mom-mobile and get over to the hospital in time to say "happy birthday" to the wee one.

Yep, I am totally fixated on this newborn and not on my own kids. What does this say? Am I done with them or do they have absolutely nothing going on of interest to me? The answer is probably a bit of both.

Tink and Buddy are finishing their semesters this week and will be home for the summer. There will be one car for them to share and fill with gas. Both kids will be working, seeing friends, and working out. How will they negotiate use of the transportation? Let's car + two kids = trouble. Any permutation spells "look out".

This will be a good opportunity for them to learn new styles of communication, negotiation, and problem solving skills under the guidance of a parent. Sure, it can come to whoever yells the loudest, wins the use of the car for the day. But my spidey senses are tingling and they say that if one kid takes the car and the other does not have a ride to work, BP mom will get involved and each day will drop both of them off at a bus stop or train station to get to their jobs. Finito.....In other words, be leaders and work out the problem before it becomes an issue.

Personally, I would like both kids to have their own cars, but dad refuses to buy either them a car. Why? I am not really sure, but I look back on my past and no one bought me one. In fact, I shared one car with my two brothers. Otherwise, if the station wagon was available, I could use it. Great car....lots of space...the friends loved it. As far as I was concerned, I hated it. It was an old mom's car and I wanted a flashy two door red car that had a sun roof, not a green paneled Ford LTD that seated 8 with seat belts and 13 without seat belts. The one bright spot was the air conditioning and leather seats. Otherwise, I was driving my mother's car and the whole world knew it. Now BP Grandmom drives a Camry. Why couldn't she do this when I lived at home and needed respectable transportation? No big deal, I was pretty superficial back then and eventually bought a station wagon to shuffle the kids around in elementary school. What goes round, comes round, eh?

A year before we had a family, I did get my sports car. I loved everything about it....the seats, the front lights would pop up, and the moon roof. It was definitely cool. For some reason, I could not affix the infant car seat in the back and had to take it to the shop. When questioning the service technician as to why I could not buckle the seat belt with the car seat, he sneered: "This is not a car for children." OK, so, you are saying that now that I am a mother, I cannot drive this car and have them in the back seat? "Yeah....what was your first clue?" Nasty....

And so, BP mom started her research and found an uber safe sedan with four doors and lots of air bags and started on the road to suburban respectability. No more sports dream car became a Volvo station wagon with four wheel drive. That's a decision that I have never regretted and as I reflect back, it was the only decision to make. In fact, the BP Grandparents had it right when they bought the large paneled station wagon that I had called the "Cruise-mobile." They knew that it was the safest car on the market even though I needed two parking spaces to park it. It was a tank and lasted for years while taking us on many a road trip.

Speaking of road trips, I still feel that I have to check on Buttercup and should be ready to zip to the hospital. Breathe and out....go girl...Thinking about the little girl who is going to enter our family, I want her in the safest car possible. Gang, let's forget about the little zippy cars or the sports cars. This child needs steel and a safe car with air bags surrounding her at all times. In fact, can we put air bags up and down the stairs, in her crib, bassinet, around her stroller, and high chair? After all, like any child, she is precious cargo.

Have a great day.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Labor Day!

It's time! Time for what, you may ask?

It's time for Buttercup to become a mommy. She is the first daughter of the first daughter of the first daughter and about to deliver her first daughter. Buttercup is also my niece and goddaughter and   going to burst after 9 months of pregnancy.  Impending delivery signs include: contractions, sleeplessness, inability to find a comfortable position, and nesting. Oh yeah....some dilation and effacing per her obstetrician. And so, she is ready to go.

Am I ready to become a great aunt? Hmmmm....this does mean that the next generation of the BP is beginning to procreate. This is pretty natural, eh?

I look at myself in the mirror (only for a split second) and wonder when the lines came. Could it be from sitting in the sun watching too many baseball games without sunscreen and a hat? Or could it be that I have passed the midlife number and am on the slide toward the ultimate home plate?

It's probably a combination of both. Warning to Buttercup's baby: Always use sunscreen and moisturizer....some other tips that I would like to share with this child are:

1. Mom is mom...she'll be your mother forever. When she becomes too much to take (as all mothers do), you can call or text Bullpen Auntie....She will be your confidant, mentor, and pal. She'll take you out for an ice cream, to the mall, long walk, or a movie. She loves babies especially someone as special as you....don't hesitate to call, cry, or whine.

2. Your granny (my Big Sis) is really an OK person. She might seem a bit overwhelmed at times, but she has things all under control. Granny is one of the best multitaskers around and will teach you a number of things, like keeping life long friends, making an Easter lamb cake, and hanging in there repeatedly when times are rough. She is the most loyal person you will ever find. Just don't take her for granted.

3. Your poppy has been battling and winning the fight against cancer. This requires guts and determination. Observe how he never gives up. If you absorb this lesson, you will be a winner at life.

4. There will times when you want to run from your problems, but don't. You have a loving family who will support you and walk you through the happy and tough times.

5. Your family loves celebrations and getting together for no reason at all. We will be a constant presence in your life and watch as you grow your first tooth. We have a family tradition, that the person who finds the baby's first tooth has to buy the first pair of shoes. It's a tradition, so smile when I see you. I'll pick up a pair of cleats or tennis sneakers for you.

6. Your uncles and dad are already watching the neighborhood boys. No dating until you are finished with medical school or score your first gold medal in track and field.

7. Your Aunt Scooby will help you to find the best deals on the east coast. She has a knack of locating items for a fraction of their cost. This is a talent that takes time and effort to learn. Observe her in action, you will be impressed.

8. Fruits and vegetables are important nutrients to staying healthy. Don't become 'carb-hounds' like the rest of our family. A bagel or piece of cake for breakfast is not the best choice unless the bagel is multigrain and the cake is carrot :-D.

9. Never go to bed unless you have said your prayers and thank God for your family, friends, health, toys, bed, house, and blessings. BP Grandpop and Grandmom will teach you the prayers that they taught their children who taught their children. Tag! You're it! Great Grandmom and Grandpop have been praying for years and we feel it. So will you....

10. Believe it or not, you have been loved before you were even born. We'll be watching and there in a flash when you need someone. Don't worry, we've done this we know the drill. You are new at this life, so enjoy the ride. 

There are so many other tips to give this child, but it is time for me to head to physical therapy and see Tank. I need to keep up with this kid, so off I go.

Have a great day and happy labor day to our Buttercup!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Paying the Price

Good morning! The sky is blue; there is a breeze and chill in the air....a perfect day. Although today is day 3 of Diva Dog's illness. She has been queasy, anorexic, with vomiting, and has diarrhea...Oy, on Saturday, I actually considered buying another dog. If trying to get the mess out of Buddy's carpet has not dissuaded me, nothing will. And so, my pretty little dog that I wanted to bring home with me named Dusty will have to find a home with another family. 'Cause right now, I am on my knees trying to clean up the poo and vomit. I barely recovered from yesterday's veterinarian bill, yet if the dog does not feel better by the end of the day, I have to go back for round 2 this afternoon. I need doggie health insurance. Will there be a co-pay on the plan?

This morning dad received an invoice from last year's summer baseball team. It seems that my son, a college student, refused to return his uniform despite a number of requests. He was angry with his treatment from the summer and chose a passive aggressive way of demonstrating his militancy by keeping the jersey. Normally, I do not get involved in these things, but I have a few photos of the former blow-up companion Irene wearing the jersey for parties (a party frock, if you will) and Angel wearing it to barbecue the burgers. I am sure that it rests comfortably on the bottom of a pile of clothes in the closet or being used as a dust rag (doubtful).

The invoice is quite sizable and dad is a bit peeved (this is the Rated PG version). The owner of the team sent the note that said that since Buddy could not "find" the jersey to return, he had to pay for a new one. This makes sense although we paid over $600 for the privilege of sitting in the bull pen holding sunflower seed spitting contests. Further, we paid to live there, food, rent, and so on. This year's bill to play ball in Maryland was less than half of that amount. Are baseballs more expensive in Ohio?

Now the big leftie is going to have to do something about this invoice. I am not paying it. Let me be very clear....I am not going to pay to replace a jersey that is sitting on  blow-up doll in a college boy's apartment. OK, one more time....this bill is my son's and if he has to work in the bakery 24/7 until it is paid, then so be it. For the last time, and I am very sincere.....I pay the water bill, gas bill, mortgage and college tuition, but I will not pay for doll clothes. I don't ever recall my Barbie's wardrobe starting at $250.00. Not ever...

This leads me to share one of the articles that I read this morning online. Each day, I start with the coffee and reading news on my iPad. As I reviewed the headlines, a link looked interesting entitled: "Six ways to ruin your children." After hearing about the jersey's invoice from the Ohio version of George Steinbrenner, I clicked on the link thinking that I ruined my kids. Here are a few of the six mistakes:

1. Give in: Parents are afraid if they deny a child's request for something, they will not love them. OK, if I caved in every time my child asked for something, we would be living in a box over a vent in the city. They didn't just want candy or sodas...they wanted it all...action figures, game systems, expensive games, fancy jerseys, hot sneakers, and so on. Sorry gang, the money tree died after Buddy was born. There was a hurricane that came through and our money tree blew away with my Porsche and Mercedes.

2. Lack of discipline: A parent should set consistent rules with consequences. explain why misbehaving in unacceptable. Once again, the rules would vary based on the situation. No one can have consistent rules, 'cause the kids are creative in misbehaving. One day they would be vacuuming broken eggs, then next minute there is baby powder all over their bodies, the bathroom, and bedrooms. Other creative ways of rule-bending would be half truths or no truths at all. Not completing homework, being late for school, fighting, and not listening to a parent or teacher. How can  a parent be consistent? One infraction is not the same as the second or third. There are levels of rule-breaking, so I need a chart and say to them: "OK, you have a potty mouth. According to my graph designed by my personal actuary, the consequences to your action is three days without your action figures and bedtime at 8 pm and not 9 pm." Or for spitting in the garage, the consequences could be dusting the house for three weeks....perhaps we have something here. It could actually turn into a Handbook for Parents. Based on the size of the infraction, you find the penalty on the chart.  Would Dr. Spock approve? How about Mr. Spock? Captain Kirk?

Let's move down to number 5: Set a bad example: "Cutting in line, lying, saying curse words, and stealing" sets a bad example for your children. I agree with this point and gave up my life of crime when Tink came along. Not wanting her to follow in this line of business, I decided that racketeering, forgery, and bribery would have to be replaced by a job that I could earn 25% of what I am worth in larger cities.

6. Not being present: This means not showing up for games and shows, working late, and ignoring your kids. They recommend spending an afternoon in a park to avoid having the child feel neglected. I know that I did not break this one. I finally shared with Tink last week that the last play that she was in was the worst that I had ever seen in my life. I will never get back the hours that I gave up to watch the Princess and the Pea (the high school musical) on a number of nights as I supported her venture into the theater. It was awful.Tink looked at me and I thought that she would be insulted. Instead she said: "Mom, it was the worst play...ever!" Whew...on the same page on this one.

It was at this point that I did not want to read any more of the article. I had already broken the parenting rules and ruined my kids according to the author.  What did I ultimately learn from this article? Nothing. Absolutely nothing! Come on, people! A lot of this nonsense is common sense. I can't financially give them everything that they want. Discipline? Absolutely. Otherwise, the inmates would have been running the asylum. Setting a bad example? Does cursing under your breath then running to confession indicate you are a bad parent? Lastly, not being present....OK, there were days when my kids did not want me to be present. But on a whole, they did. I was accused by a friend of being a helicopter parent (one who hovers around). This could not be farthest from the truth. I want them to make it on their own. I will help, but it is up to them to ultimately take the big steps on their own.

And there you have it....BP mom....not a saint....just a parent trying to figure it out without a chart, brochure, or manual. Aren't we basically the same at heart?

Time to get through the day as I keep my fingers crossed that there will be no emergency visits to the vet. Can I give the dog a Tums?

Have a great day!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Passion: Good or bad?

Good morning! Another overcast day and my flowers are loving the attention from Mother Nature. Actually, the weeds love it too.

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the pitchers threw a no-hitter on Saturday and was featured on the Top Ten Best Plays countdown on ESPN. When he returned to campus early this morning, he tweeted about the airline losing his luggage and his car was towed. So much for a hero's welcome. And this, my friends, is the reason why life is so amazing. One minute we are feeling as high as a kite and the next minute, we are looking for our underwear in an airport terminal.

Which leads me to consider the phenomenon of emotions. Think about it...emotions are what drives us to set goals. We accomplish the aforesaid goals because we need to or are driven to....In other words, the feelings or emotions that we have are the reason why we get out of bed in the morning, put on our pants, make coffee, and walk up the stairs to work.

 Let's consider the following: why do I write this blog? The answer is complicated, however, what I can divulge is purely the emotion of satisfaction and the need to set the record straight. Why do I have to be accurate in my stories and descriptions? Well, over the years, I have watched my son be misunderstood and had the need to share the real experiences with the world (or the five people who read this blog). Mostly, I have observed and felt a strong maternal angst as he is snarled at, ridiculed, and criticized by his coaches, team mates, and peers. In other words, it is the emotion of a parent standing by who cannot do more than watch....or can she?

Hence, the tell-all, and oh so accurate blog about the little kid who is now growing up and desperately wants to play big league baseball from his mother's perspective. The next point is why is my son so driven to be the best and play a sport that only a few truly succeed in attaining the highest level of play? I honestly cannot answer it, but my sense is that he has a passion for pitching and the sport. And because of this strong emotional attachment to his craft, he will do anything to achieve this goal. When you look at it from a distance, it may seem a bit over the top, yet when you surround yourself by people who have a passion for something, you can see why they work so hard to actualize their life's work.

It seems that the emotions that they have while playing their sport cannot be eclipsed by anything else in life. The drive to make it is far more powerful than anything else in their life including friendships and school work.  To quote California: "Off the field, you are my friend. On the field, I will do anything to take your place in the line up. It is not personal." I believe it. However, this guy can separate competition on and off the field and I wonder if my kid has that capacity right now.  He is incredibly emotional which can be a positive and negative. On the one hand, emotions drive behaviors. On the other hand, emotions can halt behaviors. A person can out think and feel themselves out of competition.

For example (another tennis story, sorry)....when I played tennis, I could sense when a person would be tightening up and their fear of losing would take over. They either worked harder or folded like a cheap suit and I was able to pull out a win or lose because I became overly tense. Why is winning so important? Well, as dad puts it: "Winning would not feel so good if losing didn't feel so bad." This time, he is right. The feeling or fear when a person loses can almost be incapacitating. This can be evident in the work place, card game, or baseball diamond. No true competitor likes to lose, but it is a real emotion that one grapples with on a regular basis.

Why would a person want to put themselves out there in the public day after day with their successes and failures publicized? At this point, I am not sure. Perhaps it is the emotion felt when winning. Maybe it is a passion for the sport and a feeling of accomplishment that cannot be achieved any other way. After all, winning at pinocle does not feel the same as winning a tournament or the World Series. And so it goes....I will continue to chronicle the good, bad, and ugly as well as the emotions that accompany a seemingly endless journey of success and failures, ups and downs, highs and lows, and the drive to pursue a personal and long held goal.

Whew...enough said. Time for work....have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Perfect Prediction

A rainy day in the northeast is matching my mood....bleak....quiet....introverted....
Nah...just kidding. I actually like a soaking rain as I witness what the water does to the flowers. Mother Nature is helping me to water the plants....thank you!

I am sure that you have a question: "How was Chimpanzee, the movie?" It's hard to say...I loved the scenery and learning more about the chimp, but the story about Freddy and Scar seemed a bit contrived, yet the reality of the alpha male adopting a motherless chimpanzee was moving. Just a quick fact....chimpanzees use tools to open their nuts and fruits. This is true. I saw it as Oscar's now departed mother grabbed rocks nuts and slammed the nuts with the rocks to open them, like a jungle nut cracker. She also used a twig to gather termites in a rotted piece of wood, then licked them as a delicacy. Fascinating! Once a colleague returned from African trip and handed out delicacies that she brought home. I had to pass on the dried bugs. Although some of my friends tried them, I decided to immediately start my diet, so I had an excuse.

Were we done celebrating Tink's birthday after the movie and lunch with family? Nope...there was more to come. It was "Tink Weekend" as we took her to see the Phantom of the Opera on Saturday in NY. It's been a few years since I was in the city and felt a bit overwhelmed with the numbers of people, pushing, shoving, long lines, and anonymity. As a person who lives in the suburbs, I was startled by the person who shoved me and told me to 'watch where I was going...' Huh? Me? Watch where I am going? Sista', I was watching where I was going because I was dodging the poo, trash, and gum on the sidewalk. I have to look forward too? Do I need to take a course on Walking in New York City 101? If so, I am staying in suburbia and taking a course in horticulture.

Back to NYC, the Phantom was really good, although I did not sit with Tink and Dad. Why not? Ok, again....typical New York story...we arrived in front of the theater in a great deal of traffic at 1:40 for a 2 pm matinee. The car was not moving, so dad let us out while he parked the car and we stood in a very long line and waited and waited for it to move. By the time we got to the door, there were three doors open with three people taking tickets for hundreds of people. Then they yelled at us that the show was starting....Tink and I found our seats but decided a restroom break was in order first, so we waited in another line. When we finally got into the bathroom, there were three stalls (seems three is the lucky number at this theater)...more is starting....we run up the stairs and the usher flashes a light on our tickets and curses (NY?). Telling us to stand in the shadows until a scenery change, we waited and then we had one minute to take our seats in the middle of the row. The girl on the end refused to move her purse on the floor so we had to jump over it to move to the next the man finally stood, he yelled at me that there was only one seat so I could not enter the row. Huh? I have a ticket! So, the potty mouth and cranky usher took me back up the steps and I found an empty seat in the back row and watched the show by myself (which was fine). At intermission, I saw there was indeed a seat next to dad but the patrons on the end of the row only had patience to let Tink through and barred me with a series of pocketbooks and backpacks from finding my paid for seat.

On another note, dad was able to find parking, walk to the theater, hit the restroom and was seated before the show started. What is wrong with this story? Oh, yeah...while he was looking for a parking garage that was going to steal a great deal of money from our bank account, a woman stood in the middle of 44th street on the telephone. She looked at dad and said: "If you hit me, you are going to pay." 'Nuff said...only in New York does parking cost more than a theater ticket and you really do not need to go to Broadway to see a show. New York is pretty much a mini series itself.

How is the big kid doing? Is salty a good description? Last night as we traveled the turnpike to return to the 'burbs...ahhh...he called to report the starting pitcher had thrown a no hitter against a division rival in the Midwest. Rather than be totally thrilled for his friend, he was miffed. "I wasn't there"....OK, I get that. You want to experience these things with the guys. I completely understand it, but please express some kind of congratulations for the guy and team. My goodness, this is huge. Still salty, he predicted in no uncertain terms that he is going to throw a perfect game. Mark the date and time. This is his plan and he will do it and work harder than ever. Then he said that he was happy for the guy, had already sent a congratulatory text, but felt left out.

You know what? He was left out. The team was in another state and he was left out of the travel, games, dug out, and celebration. As a competitor on a team, he was blue and I understand his mood from an athlete's and mother's perspective. However, things like this happen when a person has surgery and rehabs throughout a season. The point is not to be despondent but determined to succeed. He has the physical tools, now he needs to focus on his mental toughness.

And so it goes. There are ups and downs on the road to a perfect game and if the kid says that he is going to do it, then I believe it. Yet, there will be days when he doubts his abilities but I lost those doubts long ago. With determination and preparation and sacrifice, a person can accomplish anything....really...believe....actually...believing is part of the process too.

Got to go...I believe that I need to spend time in the gym to work off the pre- and post- operative weight that I have gained. My tight pants are screaming at me to get, off I go!


Friday, April 20, 2012


Good morning! Happy birthday to the sweetest person in the world:Tink! Tink is my heart and conscience. She is my traveling companion and loves to run to DQ for me for a blizzard or dilly bar. This kid is a person with a big heart and kind soul. There is no one like her in the world, and I am blessed to be her mom. She never complains when we hit the road and travel to see her brother. In fact, she looks forward to the road trips and is a great companion. Tink made me a mom, and my life changed when she entered it. Tink: I love you, baby!

To celebrate her big day, Buttercup, BP Grandmom and Grandpop and I are going to see Chimpanzee! Ok, it took some coaxing to get them to agree to go to this movie...yes, I am buying the tickets....yes, I am buying them, they immediately said: "sure! We'll go!" And yes, I know that we are seeing a movie that I want to see, BUT they will like it. I know that they will...I can tell. I know these things. Besides, the length of the movie is an hour and 18 minutes. If someone goes to the bathroom, it will be over by the time that they return to their seats.

What else is going on in the world of BP mom? Well, the big kid is cramming for his finals and it seems that he will finish the first week in May. Consequently, there will be a road trip through the mountains to pick him up. However, before he puts anything into my car, it must be cleaned and disinfected. Last year, Tink developed a sinus infection while she sat next to his gear. No more of that....I will hand him a dust rag and some water. The answer to the next question is: "Yes". Yes, he will moan and complain and not see the big deal. After all, his clothes and gear were fine on the floor of his apartment and bathroom for all of these months, BUT I don't want them in the car or house. In fact, I will drop him off at the laundry mat to have them washed before even a tee shirt crosses the threshold. Am I a germphobe or smart? You tell me....

It will take some time to get accustomed to having both kids in the house for a prolonged period of time. Buddy always talks to his dad to bet on the date when I hit the roof after he does something crazy like leave the refrigerator door open all night as the food spoils or falls asleep on the sofa with chocolate ice cream on his lap that drops to the floor when he turns on his side.....or watches the dog use the house as her personal bathroom because he did not see the need to take her out after 8 hours....or leave no gas in the car when I am late for work.....or ask 900 times what's for dinner? Then he decides to meet the boys at Moes rather than eating my food.....or.....ahhh, there's too much to enumerate. I'll just celebrate my family being intact and our times together. It will be a joy to have him back so that I can text him from the kitchen that dinner is ready once again.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The long road back

The long road back is beginning in a few weeks and we will see what the big kid is made of....marshmallow or steel.

As he began the process in October, he learned that the body as wonderful as it is, can be fickle. A person has to take care of the machine or suffer consequences as seen with obesity and tooth decay. Returning from an injury for the average person is tough, but for an elite athlete, it can be tougher.

To review, the big leftie had discomfort in the left shoulder that was diagnosed as tendonitis from overuse. An athlete who is being trained by professionals should not develop tendonitis because the trainer is supposed to be watching for strain or technique flaws. Sadly, this was not the case and therefore, the southpaw began to experience pain.

Naturally, he threw through the pain which is not a good idea on any level. Coach T said that he always has pain, but I don't think that Buddy should at his age except for some aches post work out.

And so, he was gradually diagnosed with a capsule and ligament problem and had surgery which so far seems successful. He is still unable to throw, but we are not to be concerned until late summer. The surgeon felt that with the tightening of the ligament, he will add velocity to his fast ball. This is great since I never understood why a guy with his size,training, and work ethic would be losing velocity rather than gaining it. Yet, once the diagnosis was made, it make perfect sense.

The semester is winding down and physical therapy is going to begin. Dad wants to hire a personal trainer to help the kid return to form. As Buddy pointed out during his last visit, his left arm and stomach muscles are not what they had once been. Dang, I have pointed this out on myself for a number of years, but never hired a personal trainer...maybe we can get a two for one deal....although I am not a fan of sit ups, push ups, or squats with Spider-man balls between the knees.

This summer will be eye opening as we watch how dedicated the kid is to getting back to the mound. As his pitching coach pointed out, many guys just throw in the towel after surgery. But he also said that he feels Buddy will be back because of his commitment to the game. Now, if I can only get him to commit to making his bed each morning, cleaning his dirty dishes, walking the dog, closing the house at night, and putting gas in the car, I would name him to the BP mom All Star team.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breaking up

Good morning! My day sure what to do (NOT!). First, Tink has to leave for school...then...I am going to make plans!

Had 90 minute physical therapy session with "the Tank." Tank is a 20-something and somewhat new to PT business. He has designed a number of painful and torturous yet effective exercises designed to get me back on the court or at least running up and down stairs again. The exercises have these thick rubber bands that are placed on my calves and thighs then I have to squat and hold a ball between my legs. Getting the picture? Ok, BP mom, he says...."Squat there for 10 minutes, and I will be back after my cup of coffee...." Don't go, Tank...who will pick me up after the rubber bands cut off my circulation and I pass out?

And so, the PT is going well and I actually enjoy the exercises except for the squats....and perhaps the rubber Spiderman ball that I have to squeeze with my knees, sit on, and stare at during the sessions. Why Spiderman? Why not Batman or the Hulk? Maybe Tank is super hero fixated....maybe he is really Peter Parker. Same age, same height as PP....who knows. If I see him climbing walls or squirting silk out of his wrist, then I will have uncovered the truth.

Spoke to the big kid yesterday. He is ready to leave campus and come home. This is quite a change for a guy who could not wait to get there last summer. Although the season will continue into May, he has made plans.

Plan A: leave campus after finals and begin to work and rehab the shoulder.

Plan B: Dewey and Meat are to become his rehab buddies whether they know it or not. Once they return from college, the guys will be throwing, catching, running, and working out with him. Perhaps he had better share this plan with them now.

Plan C: He is not going to contact any of his baseball friends until he finishes rehab. His rationale is complicated yet surprisingly thoughtful. He feels that if he speaks to the guys who continue to play baseball, he will be distracted and despondent. Therefore, rather than make himself crazy, he will tell them that he will talk to them in August.

Plan D: Earn money but not buy a car. Interesting...what guy do you know that does not want a car? Does he secretly think that dad is going to cave in and buy one for him? Dream on, big guy....

Plan E: He will text or call California after he is drafted in June. How does he know California is going to be drafted? Well, there were 20 MLB scouts in the stadium on Saturday watching him pitch a gem of a game. He throws consistently in the 90's and is ready to pack his bags and go. What does this mean for next year's house? Well, that requires another plan.....

Yesterday, he met up with his friend who was once Big Red's girlfriend. Apparently, Red does not like living with LW, Angel, and Buddy. He feels that they are slobs, holding him back, and he needs to move out. Red also admitted to his former girl friend that he does not like any of his room mates which surprised Angel and the leftie.

My take on it is....there are people that can be your friend but may not be compatible room mates. Personalities, temperaments, life styles, food preferences, and so on are so different. Just because you have a laugh or two with this person does not mean that you can live in close quarters without wanting to ultimately throw them off the balcony. In fact, the 6 month rule is applicable here have to know a person at least 6 months to ascertain whether you are or are not room mate material. This is a lesson that one learns on their own as a mom sits back and watches.

I could say: "Hey, what's wrong with my kid? Why don't you like him?" But really, I get it. It might or might not be personal. However, its a lesson that life teaches you and not a parent. Good thing they found out at the end rather than the beginning of their living arrangement. So, the four guys are about to break up. I hope that it is peaceful as they divide their apartment belongings and shake hands good by (or not)....Keep in mind, the sofa and kitchen table are my son's...otherwise, the guys can have whatever they want....

Have a great day!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Good morning!

I am taking the next few days off from work to recover from the last 6 months. It has been hectic and somewhat overwhelming, so it is time to catch up on some home projects like cleaning out my office. Not exactly restful, but it needs to be done.

Did you see that there is a movie about to hit the US called Chimpanzee? I am a big fan of Jane Goodall's work. In fact, Ice and I attended a program in which she recalled her years in Africa. I give her lots of 'props' as she and her mother moved into Africa and observed the chimps. Yes, I said her 'mother'.....Jane had her mother living in an African tent with her. I guess in my world she would be called "African mom" or "Chimpanzee mother."

Let's reflect on Mummy Goodall's sacrifice to live in the jungle with her 19 year old daughter. Does this parallel my life? Hardly, however, what some mom's will do for their kids.....I will begin....Janie, a young English girl who did not have a college education and lived at home had a passion for animals. "Mum," Jane began..."It's my life passion to live with animals in Africa. Can I go? Pretty please? I am 19 years old and am firm on my future. I need to do this mum....please oh please."

Mrs. Goodall: "Oh honey, you know that Africa is on the other side of the world and I am sure that your tent will not have running water, a shower, or kitchen. In fact, there will be no WIFI or air conditioning. Perhaps a trip to the zoo or a picture book of A to Z Animals would be more appropriate."

Jane, stamping her foot screams: "No, Mummy, I really really want to go!"

Mrs G. "All right Janie, but I am going with you and that's that. By the way, there are no corner stores to buy your double stuffed Oreos"

Jane: "Oh Mum, I heart you!"

And so, the Goodall girls fly or take a boat to Africa and make history in the jungle. Eventually, Jane was sent home to England by her mentor to attend college and complete her doctorate. I am sure she took remedial and advanced courses like Chimpanzee 101 and 102, Tsetse Flies 310, Avoiding Anacondas Practicum, and Sitting in One Place for Nine Hours and Not Moving Seminar 425. As she completed her studies, she went back to Africa without her mum and changed our view of the chimpanzee forever.

Now, that's a cool story. It seems moms will do anything for their children from living in a tent during monsoon season to moving to Ohio for a few months. They want to make sure that their child achieves their dream, their passion, and goals. Further, their happiness is of the utmost importance, which is why there is a drop in available chicken in our region when my big hero returns home. Gotta make that chicken parm.....

A mother's love is something that cannot be measured but visualized in what they do for their children. Early mornings and late nights, travel to and from games, standing on your head to see them laugh, and sharing private embarrassing stories with them so that they know they are not alone when things go wrong. A mom helps to create and picks up the pieces when things are broken (like a window, vacuum cleaner, vase, frame, or heart). It's part of the job description. Right now, I am pretty happy that we did not have to leave the country to watch the chimps, although I am pretty sure that I would have done it too.

And so, I am off to meet Ice and make plans to see Chimpanzee, the Movie. Maybe we can see it in 3D. That would be cool. And as I watch the movie, I will be thinking about the Chimpanzee mothers, Mrs. Goddall, my mother, sisters, and family members, and friends like Ice, who sacrificed day after day to make sure that their children had safe and loving homes.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Moving plans

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! The team won the game yesterday and today and moved up in the rankings. The coach won his 200th game with the university and this is a very big deal. Maybe the guys will get the sofa back in the locker room or perhaps the WIFI will be turned back on. Either way, it is a good victory.

Of course, LW closed the game for the win, and I am sure that my son is not only salty but belligerent. He sees the guys doing what he wants to do. He wants to be out on the mound, mowing down the opposition. He wants to spit onto the ground, use salty language, and scare the batters. Unfortunately, this scenario is only played out in his mind as he daydreams in the dugout. Honestly, the kid has to be patient and work with the professionals. Once he is throwing again, there will be no stopping him. But for now, he has to grit his teeth, spit, cuss, and stand in the back ground.

We had a conversation about his house next year. Yeah, that's more apartment living for this guy. He is moving in with Dog, California, and OC. They will all have their own bedrooms, a porch for their ping pong table, and an outdoor grill. Now, that is living....He was making plans for dad to rent a van, help him to move his furniture, carry the clothes, and drive across town. My reply to his logical plan was "nope....not going to happen..."

"Huh?" He responded.

"That's right...not gonna happen. You guys are athletes and have trucks. Your dad is (excuse the expression) a middle aged man. No way is he going to help you guys to move. In fact, I want you to move without even telling him. Show him that you are a guy who now wears big boy pants rather than under roos and no longer need your dad to help you to move." Got it?

I believe I saw his eyes glaze over as he secretly made a plan to include his dad on the move without letting me know the details. However, there is a flaw in this plan, 'cause his pop tells me everything. He would not disappear for a day and not tell me where he is going. So, my son, it is time to take the sofa by the arms and hoist it over the second floor balcony for the Dog to catch. Then you can carry it on your back and put it on California's luggage rack, but dad is not involved. Get it? Got it? Keep it!

Ok, 'nuff said. I have dinner to make and pour a glass of wine. It's happeee hour!

Take care!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Dealing with dad

Hi! It's another beautiful say in the northeast....I can't wrap my head around why I am wearing shorts today. Perhaps it is global warming....or maybe some other natural phenomenon that scientists cannot explain yet. Nevertheless, I am going to enjoy it while I can.

Not much going on in the baseball world. The team has a home stand and lost last night to a division rival. They have two more games this weekend. The game was broadcasted on television as I sat in the bar with the coworkers celebrating our program's re-accreditation, I could not get the waitress to turn on the game or let me order a fish taco. Once I left the celebration, I watched the game at home and caught multiple 3 second glimpses of Buddy spitting sunflower seeds out of his mouth. Grandmom called and asked if the player spitting leaning against the rail was her grandson. Yep, that was him. He has quite a talent as he can spit seeds from the dugout and hit the first base man in the ear. Perhaps, one day, he can earn money displaying this talent all over the world. He could be billed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The guy who can catapult sunflower seeds so accurately that they can land on a dime." I don't know about you, but I would pay to see such a feat.

This morning we had a nice chat as he waited for the bus to take him to the field to work out. He is ready to come home in three weeks and will leave the team to continue rehab. The team plays until mid May, but he is anxious to get back to business. So he will leave the sunflower seeds, seed spitting contests, leaning against the fence, wearing his Oakley sunglasses looking like a cool dude, and using salty dugout language to return home to his messy room and unmade bed. When he left on Wednesday, he did not tidy the room, so I sealed it off with duct tape. Perhaps he can access it through the window when he returns for the summer...or not. The point not leave your room messier than it was when you returned home. I do not work for him, and have yet to receive a paycheck for cleaning up after him. I have a new philosophy. Your room, your mess, your can deal with your dad.

And so, it is time for me to jump into the car and watch Little A's softball game. She's the shortstop and apparently the fastest 9 year old on the team. Was there a doubt? Not in my mind.

Enjoy the day!

Friday, April 13, 2012


Friday! Yeah and yahoo....I don't know how you feel, but today I am burned out...crispy fried....ready for a happy hour....taking a deep breath and here we go!

Buddy was in a great mood yesterday as he shared stories of the dugout and bullpen with me. It seems that while he was in his sling, his assignment was to take new baseballs out to the umpires. A few times, he was told to go away but once he revealed the four baseballs that he could carry in his sling, the umpires learned his name and they had an ongoing conversation. Since the sling is off, he can wear his uniform and run the balls out. Today the game is on television, so he may be on the screen more than the outfielders.

As I congratulated him for having a great job like ball-boy, he was a bit snarky. It seems that he cannot banter and talk to the guys in the dugout since he has to stand behind the coach who until last weekend was always in a bad mood. The tennis coach's ten year old son had the job of picking up the bats and had an eye full as the coach screamed and kicked the gatorade cooler, then used foul language, kicked the equipment,threw bats and balls and started yelling expletives at the guys. Buddy saw the kid cringe in the corner and felt that he may have made a mess in his pants since it was pretty scary.

I never really understood why coaches had to use bad language especially in front of children. Although, my son learned to use curse words correctly in Catholic school while he was on the JV football team. He still uses these words and I caution him to watch his language especially around kids and grandparents. Let's show a little class here, guys.

Ok, so how is the angelic one? Apparently he is still in love AND it seems that he loves her more than baseball. That's right! See what love can do to a guy. He now has life in perspective. I actually knew that he would be the first among the knuckleheads to figure it out. He loves his lady and they are always together, except in the locker room. Although, I must caution him with my six-month rule. What is the six-month rule? Well, based on experience studying this phenomenon, a person does not show their true personality for the first six months of a relationship. After six months....look out! The claws, bitchiness, snarky comments, and bad breath emerge and we wonder, "what did I see in that person" don't buy the eternity bands yet....

Gotta run to a meeting....Have a great day!

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Wow! Forgive me for not posting but this week went by like the wind. I think that today is Thursday. At work, we have an accrediting team in the office and I have had to put on my "game face" and act smart. This is a chore since I generally like to be clueless and not pay attention. Yet, I have had to dig out of my level of comfort and make intelligent small and large talk. My brain is sore and the visitors do not leave until tomorrow....then....happy hour!

On Monday, the big kid took the bus home for his appointments and removal of his sling. I got a few texts about "sketchy" people on the bus and how he was the only one who graduated kindergarten among the group. Not funny....something he has to learn to deal with....he also joked about feeling threatened. I texted back to him that he has a weapon in his backpack...his pen. Yes, the pen can be a tool and a weapon. You can create wonderful letters and notes with a pen....then when threatened, you can use it as a weapon. Hit the carotid artery with it and your predator will be disarmed. I guess he never watched reruns of McGyver.

We had a 1:15 appointment on Tuesday and sat waiting for over an hour. Doctor walks in....takes a look...moves the pleased with himself and walks out. After the 45 second interaction, we will see him again in 4 weeks. Buddy was taught a few exercises by the physical therapist and we were on our way back home. On Wednesday morning, I dropped him off at the bus terminal and hit traffic. I was afraid that he was going to miss the bus when he boldly said: "You should just drive me back to campus." Uh huh...that's right...we have accreditors in the office, Grandmom's birthday, a desk full of work, irate students, my research study on health care of the homeless and impoverished to catch up on, a swollen postoperative knee that I continue to rehab, and this guy wants a free ride back to campus where he can sit back with his iPod in his ears, take a three hour nap, and I can drive round trip for 6 hours then go to work for 10 hours. Dude...bad week to make that suggestion....your timing was not good on this one...Greyhound looks better and better for his trips to and from campus. For safety measures, I will buy him a few extra Bic pens for his journeys.

Yesterday we celebrated BP Grandmom's birthday with the usual family fanfare....with pizza, cake, the Flyers game on in the kitchen and Phillies game on in the family room. Between shouts, screams, and high fives, G-mom's big day was celebrated in style. It was comfortable and the way the family gets together...very informal, yet fun and meaningful with the dog vomiting under the table (ew). Grandmom has created a home that we all return to on a regular basis. One of the 6 of us can be found at the kitchen table at any time eating, chatting, or reading the paper. It is the way that I want my children to view our a haven...a place of safety, conversation, laughs, and joy with lots of good food and memories. This comes from the top as Grandmom and Grandpop have an open door policy and we certainly have no problem walking through it. Each of us does the same thing after we walk into the house....we greet the folks, walk into the kitchen and open the refrigerator door. It is automatic as we look for homemade soup and pasta. We are never disappointed (unless Big G gets there first, then the fridge has been cleaned out).

And so, it's time to go to work and act intelligent. Whew, I am going to need a vacation after this week....yep...go to find an inexpensive place to go where I can turn off the brain....stop thinking...look at some nature....and drink a Merlot. Actually, the back yard qualifies as the perfect place.....have a great day and Happy Birthday Grandmom!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter bliss

Whew! It's the day after Easter...what a beautiful day and wonderful time with family. The last thing that I wanted to do after Buttercup's shower was to have family over (no offense). I was tired, sore from surgery, running around the country with Buddy, his surgery, work, and so on....I was tired and burned out. But it took 24 hours after the shower to generate the energy to host the party. Then it happened....

Everyone came together to help with the event. This is what family is all about...not leaving one tired person to do the work, but coming together to decorate, cook, prepare the food, and contribute to the success of the day. Buttercup, BP Grandmom and Grandpop came to the house on Saturday to help to create the fruit and pasta salads, potato au gratin, and pineapple stuffing. Big Sis, Dr G, Uncle C, the Saints, and Scooby, brought dishes too that added to the day. Without their help, I would be still cutting up a cantaloupe as hungry family members stared at me looking for something edible while watching the Phils lose and Bubba win the Masters. All in all, it was a perfect weekend.

OK, on to one of my favorite subjects...the big kid. Remember yesterday when I went on a BP mom rant about Angel falling into a depression rather than "sucking it up" and being a man among boys? Well, the angelic one was the hero yesterday. It was the bottom of the 9th (the guys were playing at home) with two outs and the game was tied. There was a man on second base and Angel was batting. With all his might, he slammed a walk-off double to win the game for the team. Yeah Angel! Now, this is what 'I'mtawkinabout!' The kid was fearless and did not need a magic cupcake. Pretty soon, I am going to be out of the cupcake business since the guys do not need them anymore.

By the way, the big kid is taking the bus home today for his post surgical appointment and first physical therapy session. Dad is peeved with the bus line. It seems that since he made the reservation with his credit card, he was charged an extra $18.00. When Buddy shows up today without the credit card in his hands, he will be charged another $15.00 on top of the fare and additional fee. Dad is exhausted and now he is peeved with the bus company. Oy...look out! It seems that the bus lines that advertise $1.00 fares sell only one seat at that price. So, when you call for that dollar fare, you land up with a seat on the roof with a harness at a rate that is comparable to taking US Air home.

OK, time for me to work. Enjoy the beauty of the season. I have a few deadlines that I have avoided this weekend. Peace-out!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter and Passover

Happy Easter! It's a beautiful day and the BP family is coming over for brunch. Naturally there are lots of preparations. Yesterday, I was joined by BP grandparents and Buttercup as they dove into the cutting and chopping of fruits and vegetables for the party. We have food....lots of overabundance of food....I hope that people come with their appetites...they usually do, especially Big G, my 16 year old nephew who can eat his entire family's weight in food. A growing boy, football and rugby player..the kid is always hungry! His mama's food bill must be huge!

Anyway, another shout out to Sparky and the Baker. I never saw two people work so hard creating pastries in my life. Sparky made over 1000 macaroons and I think that I ate 999 of them...kidding...half of one is enough to feed Big G for a couple of days. Lines were out the door at the bakery and they had a refrigerated truck in the front with all of the orders. Celebration of Easter and Passover created quite a number of orders as the employees never stopped moving in a week's time. The Baker and Sparky worked all night and 18 hour shifts. I would have fallen asleep in my matzo crunch batter. Now they are off to a well earned and deserved vacation....dreaming of chocolate bunnies and lamb cakes.

How is the big kid? Well, this is the first Easter that we are not together. And I am surprisingly OK with it. I still filled his basket knowing that he is coming home tomorrow after class for a follow up surgical appointment and the start of physical therapy.

The team is on a four game winning streak but still very far from .500 with such a bad start. He is feeling a bit better about sitting on the bench. Last night, he stayed in and ate ice cream and watched a movie. After the coach's meltdown, he was not going to chance being seen at a party the night before a game. Wise decision, my son....wise decision.

Apparently, Angel has lost his starting job in the outfield and is in a funk. Also, his girl friend is headed to Europe for the summer, so it has added to his misery. Shall I give him the BP mom diatribe? Huh? OK, here is goes.....

Dude! You lost the job because you were outperformed. Are you going to sit on the bench and be miserable or work your butt off to regain your rightful status in the outfield...a freshman? Come on kid! Do I have to make you some cupcakes or are you going to pull yourself up by your cleats, put your head down, and work out the kinks in your game? You have what it takes to get your job back, so stop whining and get moving! As far as your girl friend is concerned, she has earned her trip to Europe. Rather than feeling sorry for yourself that she is leaving, give her props for going. That's right! This is a once in the lifetime not give her a guilt trip when she should be happy making preparations to leave...oy! MEN!

Wow, that made me feel about you?

Enjoy your day....Happy Easter and Passover!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Macaroon Princess

Good morning. Did you know that if you spill a liquid like coffee onto your key board, it will short out? I just learned the hard way....oy! Now I need a new key board for my computer. I had to borrow one to finish my work.

What is going on this Good Friday? Well, I survived my shift in the bakery and have a renewed respect for anyone in this type of business. Let me tell you, this group moved like the wind, make hundreds of baked items, ordered a refrigerated truck to store additional ingredients and orders, and never stopped....I left after 6 hours and they worked late into the night. I believe that I had frosting on my bottom and chocolate on my shoulder (late night snack for BP mom).

So, BPM, what did you do at the bakery? Well, I did whatever would not destroy the quality and quantity of what was being mass produced. In other words, I helped with the macaroons. Sparky had cornered the market as the macaroon queen and I believe I earned the title of macaroon princess as I dipped hundreds of tasty perfectly made macaroons in melted chocolate and drizzled chocolate designs on top. I created several macaroon drizzled prototypes with the chocolate. For example, there was the butterfly design not to be confused with the honey bee or puppy dog. I had a few stars and moons as well as abstract art in which the buyer will have to determine what he or she sees in the design. Once again, I have great respect for all business owners and will keep my job....but help out whenever the call is made. By the way, happy Passover and Easter to all!

Dang! I just spilled the coffee again! Rats, what is my problem today? Glad I did not spill anything at the bakery, although my clothes were like food magnets as they picked up flour, frosting, chocolate, and coconut.

What's up with the big kid? Well, he is one happy guy. Over 400 hundred students took the math test this week with a class average of 60. My son scored a 100% along with two other students. Hmmmm....I say to him, did you look at the right place? Was your name spelled right? Really, you did not get anything wrong? Really, you got everything right? Really? Mama is proud of her boy! He wants to frame the grade. I am right there with him as I have already picked out a frame.

Why are we so excited about a 100% in a math grade? Well, it brings his average that was sitting in the basement up to the second level of the high rise and his self esteem has exploded. You see, BPM and her BP son are not math scholars and need calculators to make change. So, when one of us has earned a quantitative achievement, we celebrate with a special dinner and cake!

And so, I have a big project to finish before I leave the house today. Have a wonderful day....

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Five minutes

God morning! I am on the run today since I have physical (not mental) therapy in 20 minutes. And after pt, I am headed to the Baker's bakery to fill matzo crunch orders. What is matzo crunch? I don't know...never saw one or ate one, but I will be filling the orders today.

The bakery's busiest seasons are Easter, Christmas, and May. It gets so crazy with orders, that they fill a large truck in the front of the bakery with the orders and people pick them up from the truck and not in the store. it is amazing. Last night Sparky and the Baker did not get home until 3 am and they started again this morning filling the abundance of orders.

So, how do I feel about not getting a job at Starbucks in Ohio BUT asked to help out at the bakery? Pretty darn good! Starbucks can drop in the ocean for all I care....ooppps. I did not mean to say that 'cause I have to stop there before I start my matzo shift. Sorry...sometimes I get a little cranky that I was not even granted an interview let alone offered a job.

And so, off I go....have a great day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Time and parties

It's Holy Week...where has the time gone? Usually, I am making plans to take a trip to a baseball field somewhere in the US. However, things are different this year with Buddy on the bench embracing the red shirt. I have had more time to accomplish goals and tasks, yet I am no where near catching up. I guess that I can do a time analysis of my days but, I don't have the time to analyze my time. Now, I know that that does make sense.

Let's chat about "embracing the red shirt." What does that mean? Well, the red shirt is a NCAA term of not playing a season yet being a member of the team. He cannot travel but he can be in the dugout and bench and participate in workouts, team meetings, and activities. Since he is red shirted, he retains his eligibility for another year meaning he will leave college after five years rather than four. Hopefully, he will leave his 5th year with a graduate degree. This would be an ideal scenario. Is it realistic? Hope makes sense from an academic and financial sense. I am not sending him to college for a 5th year to major in partying....

I have nothing against parties, since I enjoy them myself...going to have the family over for, I like parties...but I don't like the way that they make me feel the day after the party.

Do I mean 'hangover'? Yep, I do. However, I have a theory on hangovers. Over the years, I have had time to ponder the phenomenon and will share my hangover theory today for those of you who need something to consider as the spring party season begins to accelerate.

The following levels of hangovers have been postulated by BPM. An avid researcher, devoted to the scientific process, I have generated a three tiered hangover theory that has been eagerly accepted by my contemporary peers.

Level 1: the mood is giddy. Everyone has a buzz. No one is impaired and partier can safely drive home when their alcohol level is below the legal limit.

Level 2: Dancing and singing off key to old Rolling Stones and Monkees songs set the stage for this level. As the singing continues, the partier realizes that someone should take their car keys. Next day side effects include a mild headache, nausea, and bitchiness.

Level 3: the partier asks “how did I get home? Did I go out last night? Why do I feel like a train hit me?” The following day, the partier is heard to say, “I will never, ever drink again” Side effects include severe grouchiness, stiff joints, puffy eyes, and a headache that could kill a buffalo.

Yes, I have had a multitude of opportunities to observe this phenomenon and after one bout of Level III, a person hangs up their bar stool and finds other activities such as gardening and knitting to occupy their time. Do I advocate drinking? Nope, this can lead to accidents and taking the life of an innocent person. if a person is going to party, please do it safely...have a designated driver, stay overnight, or leave hours after your last drink. I may joke, but drinking and driving is not a laughing matter. Don't do it. Stay safe or stay off the road.

Speaking of which, time to get some real work done. Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Moving on

Good morning! What a beautiful day! Wow....

I would like to send a shout out to my invisible friend,T. Connected through e-mail by a mutual friend two years ago, I have been editing her papers and dissertation on Black female CEOs in corporate America. She has worked unbelievably hard. Last week the dissertation was due and she and I were typing, editing, typing, and editing until the last second. Then she hit click to send the 300+ page document to her committee. She defended last Thursday and bingo! She is now Dr. T. I send her my heartfelt congratulations and thank her for the opportunity to learn more about being a black female in the corporate world. It is not easy and they often hit the glass ceiling. With advocates like Dr. T, things will turn around for this population of women very soon. I feel like I am an honorary black woman in corporate America. Many thanks to Dr. T for giving me the opportunity to learn and figuratively live the quests of the women that she chronicled in her research. Look for the movie soon, 'cause the information that she detailed is compelling and sometimes unbelievable (yet real).

OK, on to the big kid.....I don't know anything. Honestly, my three-four a day telephone calls have disappeared. According to dad, he has found the library and is working diligently to catch up post surgery. At least he is communicating with his father. I think that there is a big math test coming up, so he is crunching the numbers.

I must say that I am really proud of him for finding out that the big building in the center of campus is the library and open all hours of the day and night. I spent many hours on the third floor of my library in college. I am not a naturally intelligent nor gifted student, so I had my own table. I sat there so many hours that I felt like I had splinters in my bottom. Actually, I did get a splinter from the table when my thigh brushed against the bottom of the table. I could not remove it for years. When it finally came out, it was over an inch in length. Ouch!

And so, Buddy is going to catch up because he is dedicated and wants to demonstrate that he can and will earn honors! Kudos to my son.

This is a short installment since I have to run (yeah...sure) to physical therapy. My first appointment is today and I am hoping to return to 100% in a few weeks.
Gotta run...way to go, Kentucky....lost that pool in the office....oh well...I also lost the $650 million....

Monday, April 2, 2012

Go forth....

Once again, I have been absent from writing. And I apologize. I had to work on Saturday. Sunday was a different story as we celebrated my goddaughter's future child at a baby shower. Buttercup is supposed to give birth to a girl. Everything was pink down to the napkins, decorations, cake, and gift wrapping. Hmmm...she received loads of adorable clothes that I wish that I could wear (even the cute little socks and zebra striped sneakers)....but...the questions remain: what if the ultrasound is wrong? What if she is really having a boy? She now has thousands of dollars worth of girl clothes plus an adorable pink convertible that Big M gave her. Stay tuned....estimated date of arrival is early May.

OK, on to the most wonderful yet grouchy kid in the mountains.... I am less miffed with him since I have had time away from his self-indulgent (yet realistically earned) 'woa-is-me-isms'. Granted, he is not playing baseball this year BUT he has three more years of eligibility to grow and hone his game. He can concentrate on his studies and even earn a master's degree while playing baseball. This is the American room for sadness or self-doubt. It's time to mature, focus, and start rehab. He has been blessed with the best of all. He has been given the best chance to return to form. he had the best surgeon in the country. He is in one of the best schools in the country. What's the problem?

Message to the big leftie from BP mom:

Son, you have so many things going for you. You have height, great athleticism, and are pretty darn good looking...hey, your hair is one of the "looks" that you started in your school. There is no room for sadness or worry. You have all the tools to return to the team. Your confidence and work ethic have gotten you this far. Pick yourself up by the cleats, dust yourself off, and start the road back to the pitching mound. Furthermore, you have the support of family, friends, and coaches. If anyone can come back better and's you. No pity more "no one understands..."....none of that. Put your head down and keep going. We will be there to support you. I have a safety net that I have used over the years and will continue to pull out until I draw my last breath.

Hang in there. You can do it...make the person that you are destined to be. Go forth and conquer!!!