Monday, April 24, 2017

Just Because It's Right, Doesn't Mean It's Easy

Rocking Rowdie Von Gottlieb

November 2006-April 2017

Run with the angels, Rowdie Dog, until we meet again.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

And I Didn't Even Learn It on Pinterest

When I was young, my sisters and I spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house, where we were treated to such delicacies as homemade potato donuts, sopapillas, popcorn popped on the stovetop, and, the best macaroni and cheese in the free world.

When we weren't eating her out of house and home, raiding the pea patch in her garden, or playing Chinese Checkers with her, we were learning fine arts at her knee, including: embroidery, sewing, and, the age-old art of decoupage.

That decoupage tutelage came in super handy when I decided to make something for the seniors on the Cub's baseball team, recently.

I created artwork for giant baseball cards in Publisher and printed them on 13 x 19 photo paper on my Canon printer.

Meanwhile, I took large canvases that I found in the art aisle at the Hellmouth (three to a pack, and less than $8 per pack) and painted them with black acrylic paint.

After they dried, I spread a thin layer of Mod Podge on the canvas and adhered each photo to the center of the canvas, making sure to smooth out any bubbles, and making sure that the edges of the photo were securely glued.

Next, I spread a thicker layer of Mod Podge across the top of the photo and completely to the edges of the canvas, making sure to smooth out any bubbles that rose to the top of the glue.

Then, it was a waiting game until the Mod Podge was dry enough to add a second layer, which I did, following the same process as before.

Once that layer was dry, I used a stiff brush to distress small areas of each canvas, creating the look of a vintage baseball card.

I think they turned out pretty well, and, the boys seemed to enjoy them, so I consider this a crafting success.

 And, like I said, I didn't even need Pinterest; this craft was totally Grandma Molly Approved.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In Less Depressing News

The boys made a clean sweep of yesterday's double-header. They won the first game 16-1, shutting down the game in the fifth inning, and they won the second game 11-1, also ten-run-ruling them in the sixth inning.

Kenz pitched the first game and he was nearly perfect. In addition, he hit our first grand slam of the season. It was awesome.

The Man-Cub pitched a nearly perfect second game, with the outfield backing him up with some impressive defense. This is the way the boys should always play.

In a perfect world, you know.

Between games, I presented the seniors with the boards that I made for them a while back (more on how to make them in another post). Several moms cried, which, was not my intention, but, also not totally unexpected. We will miss watching these boys play once the season ends next month.

In the meantime, we will hope for more games like yesterday's; winning totally takes the sting out of letting go.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Favorites: The Rowdie Dog Edition

Rowdie is resting somewhat comfortably at my feet as I type this. Both Queen B and the Man-Cub have been consulted on the decisions that need to be made and we are in agreement that we will not do anything to delay his journey over the Rainbow Bridge; he's letting us know that the time is near, and we respect that. I think we have this one last weekend with him.

Because I want to remember all of the wonderful things about Rowdie, today's Friday Favorites will be all about him.

1. Tomatoes. Lord, does this pup love him some tomatoes. We first became aware of this odd addiction when Rowdie was just a tiny thing-he would steal the ripe tomatoes from the plants that I had in containers on the porch. I learned fairly quickly that the only way to salvage tomatoes for the rest of us was to plant them behind the fence in the garden. I will miss tossing 'maters over the fence and watching him catch them in midair. As an aside, his appetite is fading, but he still won't pass up a handful of grape tomatoes.

2. Meal time. Twice a day, at breakfast and dinner, Rowdie races to his dish, wherever he has dragged it in the yard, returning with it clenched in his jaw and dropping it into the raised receptacle in his kennel, eager for us to fill it with kibble, which he inhales like it's his last meal (obviously, this isn't really happening anymore, but, I'll never forget his enthusiasm).

3. Sledding down Cerro Summit on New Year's Day; you never saw a more ridiculous spectacle.

4. Riding the tube, wearing his life jacket because, safety first, doncha know.

5. Rowdie and the Man-Cub's nighttime ritual, cuddling on the floor before bedtime.

6. Puppy dog eyes. Need I say more?

What a blessing this boy has been in our lives. How lucky we are to have had these ten years with him, and, how big a hole he will leave in our family when he goes.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

This One's Going To Be a Bummer

Rowdie dog has cancer.

It's not treatable and it is aggressive.

Now, our job, as his people, will be to determine when to let him go.

Before that happens, we are determined to show him as much love, affection, and attention as a big yellow dog can possibly stand, and, I'm focusing on that goal rather than on what comes after.

How do you thank a furry friend for ten years of face licks, enthusiastic greetings at the door and cuddles on the floor? How do you repay him for the fierce protection of your children or for loyal companionship in the garden (he was the only one who never quietly disappeared from beside me when there was weeding to be done)?

You love him right to the very end, that's how.

So, that's the plan.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

It Wouldn't Be Easter Without Eggs

I'm not entirely certain what the egg-resurrection connection is, but, I can vaguely recall a lesson about it in my catechism class when I was a young kid, so, I know the connection exists. That said, eggs have always been a part of our Easter traditions, and, I'm happy to say that we carried on that tradition this year, despite the fact that my children are now technically adults.

And, while the Man-Cub graced us with his presence only long enough to dye his namesake egg before rushing off to a the drive-in with his prom date, I had assistance from Queen B and Emily, who were down from Neighboring City for a visit.

QB acted childish for me so that I wouldn't be sad about not having babies anymore; that was sweet of her. And, we now have a dozen and a half eggs from which to make deviled eggs, egg salad, or, more likely, to just peel and eat as snacks. Well, other people in my house will eat them as snacks; I'm more interested in the Cadbury eggs that currently reside in my Easter basket and which I am now allowed to eat as Lent ended at noon, yesterday.

Happy Easter, indeed!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Rollin' Down the Road in Jenn-ay

Early this morning, Hugh, my mom (she's visiting for the next couple of weeks), Mama Jill, Papa Jill, and I set off in the 'ol RV for a baseball game miles and miles away; our goal was simple: enjoy the game and cook up a hamburger lunch for the varsity and junior varsity baseball teams, and, travel in comfort to do so.

Mission accomplished and then some.

As always, the boys were appreciative of the effort, as were several of their parents, who were also able to enjoy a hamburger without having to leave the ballpark to get it. As an aside, several of the parents and other assorted fans of the home team offered to pony up a few bucks for a hamburger of their own, but, we only had enough to feed our crew; it was interesting, given the fact that they did have a concession stand.

Anyway, after the boys finished eating, we headed home, this time with the Cub, Kenz, and Mikey, who, if the following picture is any indication, were completely exhausted by their efforts.

Or, from having been out late the previous night, watching a movie at the drive-in. Either way, tired.

Very, very tired.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Saddle Up, Cowboys, It's Going To Be a Long Ride

The other night, we attended the Man-Cub's National Honor Society cord ceremony, which, is the first in a long list of ceremonies, events, celebrations, and gatherings that we will be attending between now and graduation.

The cord ceremony was nice, each of the seniors had an opportunity to introduce themselves and to talk a little bit about their plans for the future, and, I was both impressed and surprised with the confident, articulate manner in which the Cub introduced himself; he sounded like a young politician. Or, a seasoned public speaker. Mind, blown.

The only part of the ceremony that was disappointing was the lack of cords at the cord ceremony; the club sponsor had ordered the cords a while back and they have been on back-order. I hope we see them before graduation.

Anyway, after the non-cord cord ceremony, the seniors gathered outside for their last group picture. Well, their last group picture following a NHS event, anyway; there will be plenty of opportunities for additional group pictures in the next few weeks, as I mentioned above.

So, one more "last" down and on to the next.

Hold me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I'll Take My Promposal Adorable With a Side of Awkard, Please

The Man-Cub's senior prom is seventeen days away; that's like, two weeks and three days. Ok, that's exactly two weeks and three days, what's my point? My point is, before six o'clock this evening, I was sweating major bullets about the Cub's ability to procure a date to said prom. Why was I so nervous? Because, despite having a "pretty good idea" that the girl he wanted to take was on board with the plan, he had yet to officially ask her, and, if you know anything about teenage girls in 2017, you know that they like to be asked in a big way, hence the recently coined term "promposal".

The Cub's promposal actually went pretty well for a shy guy with absolutely no game; he relied heavily on Kenzie, his ever-faithful wing man, to have his back, and, between the two of them, they managed to surprise the young lady with a sign made by yours truly (what? You didn't think the Cub was going to do this on his own did you? It takes a village, my friends!). The sign was apropos for the situation, given that the potential date plays softball, and, the Cub asked her after  his own baseball game. It doesn't get much cuter than that.

And, despite the Cub's inherent awkwardness, the young lady said yes, so, I guess I can stop holding my breath about the whole prom thing.

You know, except for the part where we still have a tuxedo to rent, a corsage to order, and a dinner to plan. Details, friends! Details.