Friday, March 31, 2017

Spring Break Starts Today, Ask Me How I Know

Our previously mild spring weather has taken a turn for the shitty, which, happens every year during spring break week, so, no surprise, here.

Unfortunately, Hugh, the Cub, and I are driving to Denver tomorrow for the Cub's first official HPU event-a welcome reception for admitted students-so, we will be trekking through the snow.


To the snow, I mean; the reception is actually something we are looking forward to attending.

I hope I get leid.

And, for once I am focusing on the "firsts" rather than the "lasts". That's an improvement, right?


This Is How You Party In a Small Town

Last night, Hugh, the Man-Cub, and I headed over to the local Legion Hall to volunteer at a fundraiser for the senior class's upcoming sober grad party. The fundraiser featured a game beloved by many small town folk-BINGO.

We had originally been scheduled to confirm the numbers on cards when players claimed a Bingo, but, for once, there were plenty of parent volunteers, so, instead, Hugh purchased a game pack and got his Bingo on while the Cub visited with his classmates and I manned the concession table, avoiding the delicious Monster Blondies that I had baked as my contribution to the sale and chatting with some of the other moms.

It was a relaxing way to spend an evening, and, when all was said and done, we had raised close to $1000 for our party efforts.

Yes, $1000; people here are serious about their Bingo.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

And NOW, It's Officially Awesome

The Cub signed my new baseball bracelet, which, makes it 100% more awesome.

I wore it to work and to the game yesterday and I got a lot of compliments on it. I think the Cub was flattered by the attention as well. I hope so, anyway.

I have a plan for the next one, so, now we just wait for the perfect opportunity to snag a ball that the Cub hits, then, I will have both a pitched ball and a batted ball. My collection will be complete.

Mama Jill thinks I should make several more out of purchased balls and that I should sell them to the other moms, but, I'm not sure that is the direction I want to go in; I kind of like having a unique piece that not too many other people own.

I'm selfish like that.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rowdie Dog: An Update

It's 6:21 am and my big yellow dog is snoring at my feet. He had a pretty good night; Hugh was up with him at 2:00 and I was up with him again at 4:30, but, considering the fact that I was up with him every couple of hours over the weekend, twice in one night is a vast improvement.

Since our visit with the vet on Friday, he has started eating again (wet food, mixed with his usual kibble seems to be the magic cure) and, on Sunday, he followed me around the yard while I cleaned out my flowerbeds. He's still limping and refusing to put much weight on his front paw, but, he's limping faster. For what that's worth.

I'm hopeful that he will make a full recovery at some point, but, I am realistic about the time that it is going to take. In the meantime, he is enjoying a lot of affection and special privileges, like, laying on the carpet in the middle of the living room instead of on the hardwood floor by the back door, and, eating in the house instead of outside in his kennel.

I would say that he is spoiled, but, I'm pretty sure that was always the case, so this is really nothing new; I just want him to feel better, soon.

If you said a prayer for the big guy last week, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. If you could keep those prayers coming, I will be eternally grateful.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

And, On the 7th Day, We Rest

Well, some of us do, anyway.

Some of us have scholarship applications to review and flowerbeds to clean out and presentation boards to design and laundry to do and groceries to purchase and, and, and...

...the list goes on.

But hey, guys, glad you could catch a few winks. I'm sure the rest will come in handy around three o'clock tomorrow morning, when you are tearing around the house like your asses are on fire.

Can I be a cat in my next life?

Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites: Baseball Without the Game Edition

The Man-Cub left at the crack of dawn to travel to a tournament in Colorado Springs. I had been planning to go, but, with Hugh out of state at yet another wrestling tournament and Rowdie Dog in need of twice-daily medication as well as a laser treatment at the vet's today, it didn't make sense for me to be away.

So, while I was seriously bummed to be missing anything for the Cub this year, I knew that I had to make the sacrifice for my furry buddy.

Then! The Cub called to say that today's games had been cancelled on account of snow, anyway, so it seemed like the Fates were trying to assuage my guilt; thanks, Fates!

I made the most of the unexpected free time on my hands by working on decorations that I will need for the Cub's Senior Sports Banquet table and on the surprise gift that I am making for him and his fellow senior baseball players; I'll share those things at some point closer to the banquet. In the meantime, I'll share the bracelet that I made out of one of the game balls that the Cub pitched in a recent game (Hugh was drafted into service to hunt down the ball after a batter popped it foul over the fence and into the nearby parking lot. It's unclear if keeping the ball, rather than returning it to the hosting team's dugout, was kosher or not. If not, I plead ignorance, please don't judge me!).

I made it based on instructions that I found on YouTube, and, while I would tweak a few things on the next one (Yes, I very well may send Hugh out after another rogue ball. It could happen), I still think it turned out quite well.

Now I just need to get the Cub's autograph on it. That'll make it officially awesome.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This Was Not a Failure on My Part

A couple of nights ago, the Man-Cub was inducted into the National Technical Honor Society and I wasn't there to see it. That's ok, neither was he.


Our invitation somehow got lost in the mail and we weren't even aware that he had been selected for the honor until BCPE called me in a panic after the ceremony, wondering where I had been. She was seriously pissed on our behalf when she learned that we had been left off the list, or whatever the hell happened.

Anyway, the Cub was able to pick up his certificate and the swag that came along with it at the school yesterday, so, while he missed the ceremony, he received the honor.

Still would have been nice to have been there.

It goes without saying that we are ridiculously proud of this kid. It also goes without saying that, between his National Honor Society cord, his National Technical Honor Society sash, and the numerous tassels that he has been awarded (not to mention the one that comes with his cap), he is going to be stylin' come graduation day. I can hardly wait.

Ha, ha! That's a lie.

Still proud, though.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Oh, Rowdie Dog

A week and a half ago, we noticed that Rowdie was favoring his front leg. At first, it was just a slight limp and we honestly thought that it was the onset of arthritis, since he already struggles with that in one of his hips. Unfortunately, the limp became more pronounced and he started to show obvious signs of pain in his left shoulder.

Hugh took him to the vet, where an x-ray showed no breaks or fractures; the assumption is that he has a torn bicep (no idea how that happened). After a cold laser treatment on the affected area, they were sent home with pain killers, anti-inflammatory meds, and instructions to bring him back every few days for additional cold laser treatments (the initial one seemed to offer him some relief).

Since then, we have seen no real improvement, and, after an unfortunate event wherein Rowdie took a nasty spill off the porch when he gave chase to a stray cat attempting to abscond with the food from his kennel (there was literally nothing we could have done to stop him, he still weighs nearly 100 pounds and he was a dog on a mission), he may be even worse.

Today, the Cub and I are taking him back to the vet for another x-ray. I'm hopeful that he just re-inflamed the original injury and didn't incur a new one, or, that they didn't miss something on the initial x-ray, but, one never knows.

All I know is that my dog is not his usual rowdy self and I am worried. I was already concerned about how he was going to handle the Man-Cub's absence once he jets off to college and now, after seeing his depression at not feeling well, I am doubly concerned.

If you are the praying type, please say one for this sweet, goofy boy. He's a joy in our lives and we really need him to feel better.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Anyone Know a Cure for the Sunday Sads?

I never used to understand people who talked about the "Sunday Sads", but, I understand them, now; Sunday has become my least favorite day of the weekend.

I spend an ungodly amount of time watching the clock tick down and thinking about everything that I have to do at work on Monday, which, seriously impacts my ability to enjoy any part of what should be my "day of rest". Of course, it doesn't help that Sundays have become, by default, my longest day at the hardware store, either.

Quell sigh.

On the bright side, I did enjoy my Saturday to the fullest. The boys hosted a round robin tournament at which they got to play two games, and, while we lost both games, the boys played really well, the weather was absolutely gorgeous (side note: we are 3 for 3 in good game weather, which is a 100% improvement over last season. And, we will not speak of this again because I don't want to jinx it), and BCPE joined us at the games even though her son is not playing this year.

Mama Jill, BCPE and I worked in the concession stand for all three games, which, gave each of us a chance to take pictures during the games. We also had a chance to get the boys' pictures done for Booster pins as well as for a special project that I am working on for the seniors. We used a backdrop that Kortni gave me a while back, and, I don't want to post anything that might spoil the surprise, but, the outtakes from the photo shoot are harmless, and,  too good not to share.

These boys continue to crack me up. They struggle with serious, in case you couldn't tell. Especially this one...

I have no idea where he gets it from.

Ok, ok, so we also had a little fun during the photo shoot. Sue me.

After the tournament, Hugh and I met several of the wrestling coaches and their wives at a pub in Hooterville for dinner, after which we stopped by the Hellmouth for groceries so that I wouldn't have to try to cram grocery shopping into my already jam-packed Sunday.

And, here we are today, ready for another week at the office.

I really need to win the lottery, me thinks; more money = more time for fun and less sadness on Sundays.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Friday Favorites (On a Saturday): The St. Paddy's Day Edition

I meant to post this yesterday, but, life, man, it gets in the way.

Anyhoodle, yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, which, while not a holiday celebrated by everyone, is a holiday that I can get behind, and, not just because I'm 85% positive that there is Irish blood on my Dad's side of the family.

I get behind the holiday because it means Irish soda bread makes an appearance at the local bakery. Mmmm, Irish soda bread..

...and, yes, I do realize that I could make this stuff myself, like, any day of the year, but, there is just something special about having something that you can only get once a year; you know, like Girl Scout cookies, or Cadbury Cream Eggs (neither of which I am currently allowing myself to eat, thank you Lent).

So, we are three loaves into the five that I purchased and will no doubt finish those up by the end of the weekend. Next year, sweet, sweet Irish soda year.

Speaking of really great things, Mama Jill went on a fire assignment last week and she had an opportunity to visit a winery where she purchased several bottles of wine, including this merlot that she bought especially for me. Because Mama Jill is awesome.

There is so much to love about this wine and I haven't even tasted it yet. The fact that it is a merlot makes it a foregone conclusion that I will love it, but, the label is also ridiculously cool. Plus, who wouldn't love a wine made in an abbey? Monks make the best wine, that's a well known fact.

In addition to good food and wine, St. Paddy's Day means I get to watch my friends and family dress like leprechauns for the annual ASTRA Dodgeball Tournament. This year, I actually played on a team with Hugh, Queen B, one of her co-workers (who, ended up being our secret weapon, he was always the last one out), and the High School PE teacher.

It was the first adult team in the history of the tournament and you can bet the kids were out for blood, which, explains why we lost both of our matches. But! We had a good time doing it.

Also, the Man-Cub's team, while beating us, lost in the end, so, we were vindicated! Sort of.

Speaking of the Man-Cub, after the dodgeball tournament, he and Mikey had to rush into the cafeteria to perform at the band concert, where they were part of the guitar ensemble. It was the first time that I have heard the Cub play, so I was super-stoked.

All in all, it was a great St. Paddy's for us, and, since I am planning to make corned beef and cabbage tomorrow, the celebration will continue.

It's like St. Patrick's week over here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

And, On the Seventh Day, He Created Baseball

I don't have time to write a post today, I am busy with Booster Club business, scholarship application support to the Man-Cub (both emotional and practical), and committee work for the Safe Grad Party, so, instead I will leave you with a picture I took at yesterday's baseball game.

It's been shared numerous times on Facebook and has been made a cover photo by half the team as well as several of their parents. I'm always happy when my work touches someone and this photo was especially rewarding.

I love these kids.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Bet I Was an Ostrich in Another Life

I knew that the spring was going to be busy, but, I am already feeling slightly overwhelmed by everything that needs to be accomplished between now and the end of the school year. For me, being overwhelmed leads to procrastination, which, further fuels the anxiety of being overwhelmed by everything that I need to do. It's a vicious cycle and you would think that I would be able to remedy it, given that I recognize it.

Yeah. Not so much.

Fortunately, there generally does come a point where I pull my head out of the sand and get busy, and, generally speaking, that initiative starts with a list; once I have everything written in black and white, it is somehow easier for me to focus, to get busy, and to take some degree of satisfaction in ticking things off the list in a fairly speedy fashion.

So, here is the list:

1. Write the monologue and gather the photos for the Man-Cub's portion of the Senior sports banquet slideshow.

2. Put together the presentation board for the banquet and finish planning and gathering the decorations for our table.

3. Help the Cub finish his scholarship applications (deadlines are fast approaching).

4. Design and order the Cub's graduation announcements. Put together the list of recipients for announcements and force the Cub to help the Cub address the envelopes.

5. Get together with the parents of two of the Fearsome Foursome to plan the boys' joint graduation party (the fourth member of the group has a ginormous Catholic family and will be having a party of his own to accommodate the massive crowd).

This....does not seem like that long of a list, if I am being honest.

In my defense, I also have two jobs, two volunteer positions, and I am the de-facto Senior Mom for the baseball team since BCPE's son did not play again this year, which means that I am responsible for all of the team news for the Booster page, as well as for gifts for the seniors and locker decorating after Spring Break. I also have a Newly Admitted Student Reception to take the Cub to in Denver in April and a Hawaiian vacation to get bikini-ready for.

I feel my anxiety rising.

I bet a glass of wine would help...oh, wait, I need to get to work.

I'll add copious amounts of wine drinking to the list later.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Starting the Baseball Season Off Right

The weather for yesterday's baseball season opener was absolutely gorgeous; the sun was shining, there was nary a cloud in the sky, and a light breeze occasionally fanned our sweaty brows. In short, perfect.

The boys were likewise perfect, earning a 17-11 win with the Cub leading as pitcher and also making an impressive showing at short stop, where he connected to Kenzie on first base for several stunning double plays.

We also got to see Mom, who traveled over the mountains with family friends whose son was playing on the opposing team, which happened to be the team from Mayberry (I hate it when we play my hometown team; it's hard to know who to cheer for. Just kidding, I cheer for the Pirates, which, since they are also Pirates, covers all the bases. Covers all the bases, ha! Baseball terms in a post about baseball! And, I digress!).

So, we have our first game under our belts, along with our first win. I also have my last season of concession stand duty scheduled.
Apparently, some of these lasts are going to be easier to accept than others.