Saturday, September 13, 2008

We thought we had escaped.

Little League.

First there's t-ball, then minor league and then majors. At age 12 it's your last year in majors, you automatically make a team, whether you've played before or not. Some of the kids are pitching sixty miles an hour at this point...which is frightening to a seventy pound boy up to bat for the first time.

My son has never wanted any part of baseball. Sure, he'll play catch in the yard and he loves a good whiffle ball game. But an honest to god baseball game? He's never even been interested.

And for that we've been thankful - by the time hockey season ends were all sportsed out.

But this year?

Two Words.

Fall Ball.

A month or so ago two of his friends start waxing poetic about this league they're in and convince him he HAS to play. I've sort of knocked baseball before to him but if the kid wants to try it...he's trying it.

He scrimmaged another team from town last night and had to stop and laugh on his way to the plate because his entire team and half of the other team was standing at the dugout fence chanting his name. I give him a lot of credit - most of his team is on the all-stars or has played in the majors for a few years and all of them have at least played a few seasons of ball. It can't be easy to go out and learn to play a game these kids have been playing for years. He's not one to put himself out there too easily so I have to say, I'm a little impressed...

And so, for the next five Saturdays I'll be spending five or so hours at the ballfield. And one hour at the soccer field and some weeks there'll be another two hours at the rink.

Which, now that I've just typed that out I'm mourning the loss of half my weekend. Like walkin' in the rain and the snow when there's no place to go...the things we do for love.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Food Meme that's going around

1. How do you like your eggs?
Not very, I eat maybe one or two scrambled eggs a year. Once in awhile I'll have an egg cooked, I don't even know what's it's called - over HARD, maybe? That way I can be sure that nasty yolk is cooked within an inch of its life and I can just cut it out and salt & pepper the white.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?
Tea: Instant Iced only.

Coffee: Oh gawd, not in your life. I don't even like coffee ice cream. Or coffee milk. Or coffee scented anything. Even mocha flavors are too coffeeish for me.

3. Favorite breakfast food:

French toast (yes, I realize there's egg involved), bacon and homefries.

4. Peanut butter:
Chunky is my favorite but no one else in the house eats it. So I'm stuck with creamy but I love it on pancakes and french toast.

This is a gross one but I love peanut butter on an english muffin, with butter and cottage cheese with chives.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?
Rice vinegar, olive oil and some shakes of whatever spice fits my mood.

6. Coke or Pepsi?
Diet Coke.

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?
Pepper and onion.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?
Pork loin roasted in my cast iron pan, steamed carrots, whipped potatoes. Or lasagna.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?
Not really.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?
Sirloin steak reminds me of my dad - it was his favorite. Oh and if one of my kids wants milk to drink while they're eating popcorn I always think of him - his parents made him drink milk when they had popcorn and it scarred him for life.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?
I couldn't do brains, hearts, kidneys - things like that. Although my husband said that moose heart - cooked correctly - is delicious. Maybe if I didn't know what it was...

14. What was your favorite food as a child?
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Even in restaurants, much to the dismay of my grandmother.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?
Oh sure, cheese, carrots, string beans, mayonnaise.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?
Rum Raisin ice cream

17. Favorite fruit and vegetable:
fruit--locally grown white peaches and blueberries.
vegetable--corn on the cob.

18. Favorite junk food:
popcorn with butter and salt or is this supposed to be real junk candy bars? How about plain M & M's mixed in with the popcorn, then?

19. Favorite between meal snack:
popcorn with butter and salt

20. Do you have any weird food habits?
I never EVER used to touch leftovers. Even from my own plate. But I've gotten over that.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?
fruit, salad, weight watchers soup, light popcorn and whatever else uses up the points

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?
chinese food and popcorn with real butter and salt. Sodium overdose anyone?

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?
Sad, but I don't really know.

24. Can I get you a drink?
Absolutely. Thanks to Fairly Odd Mother I've been making liberal use of the lemondade/grape vodka mixture. It's also excellent in slush form, just make your lemonade a little more concentrated so it doesn't get watered down.

25. Red or White Wine?
Neither. No coffee, tea, wine or even beer. It's official...I'm seven.

26. Favorite dessert?
Probably strawberry shortcake. This summer I grilled pineapples coated with a mix of butter and cinnamon/sugar and served them warm over vanilla ice cream. Yum.

27. The perfect nightcap?
Drink? Like an after-dinner before bed type of thing? Does Powerade Zero count? Water? If it has to be alcohol related I guess I'd go with Bailey's on the rocks. Which I've done precisely twice in my life.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Last Few Weeks

The pond definitely gets quieter during the last few weeks of August. It's generally pretty quiet anyway - unless you get some unruly people teeing golf balls of their neighbor's dock. Especially when the first shot is more like a line drive and smashes a beer bottle sitting innocently in its path. Not that I have any personal knowledge of this. Moving on.

She's a cautious diver but she's a diver nonetheless.
The pond is one of the great equalizers in their relationship. It's one of the spots where they get along much more than they bicker. There are races (where the boy has learned the fine art of counting super fast during his sister's headstart), handstand contests and frog catching expeditions. Truly, I know I'm blessed to live here.

If I ever post here about moving to anywhere that is more than thirty minutes to the ocean...slap me. And quite frankly, thirty minutes is about twenty eight minutes too long.
South Shore Beach, Little Compton, Rhode Island. Voted the best. beach. ever. by my children.
Boogie Boardable waves, skim boardable skim, rock jetty walls to explore, crabs to hunt and soft white sand. Perfection.

The view (a partially smokey one) of our campsite at Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire. The campground was virtually empty - leaving my kids free reign to run wild through thirty or so campsites all around us. It's a beautiful park, tons of trails, letter boxes - it was six miles from the main gate to our campsite - truly a HUGE place. Huge. Much like the mosquito population. I've never quite experienced mosquitos swarming us like they did - literally there would be ten to fifteen mosquitos around me and the camp stove as I cooked - disgusting. My poor girl had the welts to prove it.

The lake was beautiful but a mite bit c-c-c-cold. Still, it was refreshing and blessedly mosquito free. There was some sort of naturey pond exploration class one morning and my two little cherubs were waiting at the gate for the volunteer girl. They were the only ones to show up for the class and spent every minute they could catching diving beetles, butterflies and frogs. Later, the same girl took them on a survival hike while I did laundry and washed dishes (oh the fun of camping - where menial tasks take three times as long!). They built a shelter and learned four different ways to build a fire.

What does a mom do when she takes her kids camping and wakes up to a rainy morning? She packs the kids up, throws her mandated 'wait until you're thirteen' rule out the window and gets her daughter's ears pierced.

And here, the first day of school. I got the usual canned smile shot of the girl. And then I asked her how she really felt about school starting.

Here's my son's answer to the same question.

Summer vacation. I thought eleven weeks was going to be too long. Turns out it wasn't nearly long enough.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

An Opinion Piece

Y'know seeing as I usually wear Carmex and not lipstick am I to be considered a pitbull? And seeing as I'm sure to hear that joke (?) forty million times I'm going on record as saying I was sick of it before I heard her speech tonight, because they said that same exact quote this morning on Good Morning America. Recycled quips? Yawn.

I tend not to get at all overly involved in presidential politics, I'm not part of the electoral college or anything...
Tonight was the first and only part of the conventions that I plan to watch. I will try to catch a debate but truth be told, at this point, I'm not thrilled with either candidate.

But Sarah Palin has kind of captured my attention. And god bless John McCain for picking someone who can at least be the subject of controversy and conversation. I mean, his campaign folks didn't know that the daughter's boyfriend had a facebook/myspace page that said he doesn't want kids? Seriously? That's awesome.

I thought her speech started out fairly well tonight. No distracting dangle earrings so that was good. She spoke first as a mother and honestly, I didn't want it to pander to my emotions but it did and congratulations speech worked. So there was that.

But then, with the whole let's drill and provide our own oil and gas so we can not be dependent on foreign suppliers and I know northern Alaska and we've got plenty? She also said something about how Alaska turned down federal funding for a bridge to nowhere and that if they were going to build a bridge they'd build it the Alaskans would do it themselves. Hello, Ms. Palin but good luck funding roadway construction projects (honest work not fake bridges) without the help of the federal government. (And seeing as my husband's company was banned from bidding on projects that received any federal funding dollars? I can tell you first hand that pretty much nixed public roadwork for them. And rightly so.)

I didn't see Obama's speech, and I suppose it doesn't matter because either way I want to say I'm also sick of those verbal jabs against the opponent. Community organizer, again & again? Oh and hey - maybe Obama didn't use the word victory (except while alluding to his campaign) in his speech about the war because the war has no foreseeable "victory" in sight.

In one remark she commented about Obama not authoring any laws or decisions or something. Which to me, would effectively add more government? Right? Well then a few sentences later she states that Obama wanting more government is a bad, bad thing for us all. Which is it? More laws/regulation/decisions = more government and not enacting them should be a plus. (on the other hand, maybe he IS lazy and indecisive) so thanks for that contradiction.

But then I sort of find myself wanting to like her, even though I don't agree with half of the things she represents. I like the total outsider vibe she's got going for her. And the mom thing, I can't deny it. She seems pretty human and down to earth. Or at least the p.r. people have me snowed into thinking that.

In the back of my mind though, there are a few sticking points:

I'm so glad that if my seventeen year old daughter got pregnant that she at least has a choice as to how she'd want to proceed. And marriage? I can't imagine encouraging it.

Drilling in Alaska? If she's not into wasteful spending I don't quite grasp that. Is the end result worth the impact? A relative minuscule amount of oil seems like the biggest wasteful spending pork barrel type of thing that could be imagined.

She's apparently in favor of aerial hunting of wolves so there will be more moose. Now, I'm not sure if Alaska needs more moose or if the hunting lobby in Maine wants more moose but that's not the point. Aerial hunting is just not sporting or really even effective population control. Think of all the airplane fuel and oil you could save if you hunted them the old fashioned way, on foot. Not that she believes that humans have really impacted global warming or anything, though.

I sort of tuned out the whole worship McCain portion of the speech, like she's going to say anything bad or surprising - plus I wanted to iron the kid's clothes for school tomorrow.

So that's it. My report on the speech. I'm thinking that you sort of have to view her as president. I mean, McCain's mom is still kicking around but I wonder if 76 is just too old. I lean towards hell yes he's too old. And she'll be there, ready to replace him. Scary but at least it's got me kind of interested too.

Which is more than I can say for Obama and Biden.

Updated to add: GMA's fact checking crew was reporting this morning that Palin was totally for the federal funds for the bridge either while she was running for governor or prior to that (while she was mayor, I'm assuming) and then, when she was governor she came out against the project. But only AFTER the offer for the federal funds was taken away and was no longer an option. It's all about the spin, I suppose.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Well. I'm back. Back from camping, back to work, back to school, back to hockey, back to soccer, back to CUH-RAZEY.

The camping trip? A huge success, a huge tiring success. But well worth the effort. Mostly. Pictures? Why, certainly. But not now...Now I'm unable to access the photos to computer thing *cough*atwork*cough*.

Schoolish related things? School shopping? I don't really go school shopping...I pick up a few shirts here and there, some jeans during Old Navy's SEVEN DOLLAR JEAN SALE (and yes, that merited the All Cap Typing Clause), school suppies when the mood strikes me...but mostly the kids are set for awhile.

The boy wanted seventy five dollar sneakers in the worst way. Since last year he's been on the kick for these foolishly expensive shoes.

I told him that even though he only wears sneakers and one pair will generally last him until April or May there was NO WAY I was going to shell out that kind of dough for Jordan's. He gets forty bucks towards his sneakers from us. He can spend it all, spend less (hello, Starburys from Steve & Barry's - TEN Dollars a pair! And actually decent looking!) or kick in the balance if he still wanted the Jordan's. So, last spring he took thirty five dollars, put it in an envelope and wrote "shoes" on it.

A few weeks ago I took him for his sneakers. We shopped around and ended up at Foot Locker, which I won't link to because the store? Smelled like a foot locker. Actually, more like a new plasticy/vinyl smell. Still, disgusting.

But the boy bought the coveted shoes and all was right with the world.

And then he bought himself a boat, but more on that later.