Saturday, June 30, 2012

Non bucket list

Saturday! The weekend! Yeah baby....actually, Saturdays are like any other day in my book. There are errands and goals to achieve. No real time off for BPM 'cause she would not know what to do with free time....perhaps, then perhaps (sorry to be redundant) it is time to make a bucket list. You know what a bucket list is a list of things that you want to accomplish before you meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gates (she says in a very hopeful manner)......

I don't actually have a bucket list because I think that I have done everything that I want to do except see Alaska. With that said, I do have any anti-bucket list. The list is the things that I do not want to do before St. Peter and I have our meeting. Here is a list of things that are NOT on my list:

1. Pet a cobra or rattle snake. This would speed up my meeting with St Peter as I would be seeing him sooner than I had planned.

2. Parachuting out of a plane. Yes, I know that most people want to experience the freedom of soaring through the air, but I am not most people. In fact, the idea of propelling myself out of an airplane relying on a piece of fabric to save me from becoming a messy pancake is not my idea of fun. As kids, we would tie a kitchen towel around our necks and throw ourselves down the steps to pillows located at the bottom. Thinking that the towels would break our fall, we quickly learned NOT to rely on a 12 X 6" piece of absorbent cotton to save us from broken bones, teeth, and bruises.

3. Drive a racing car. Yeah, this is true...don't want to....not now, not ever. Think about it....I drive on the turnpike occasionally hitting 85 mph (too much, sorry mom). With a little piece of steel protecting me if I lost control and hit a tree, I think that St. Peter would be scolding me for being so reckless....anyway, back to racing...OK, double the speed to 170 mph...I am speeding around a small track trying to maintain control of my Penske race car and bammo....I hit the wall, the car breaks a part, and I am thrown into the air landing on my head. Yes, the head is very hard, but not hard enough at this speed. So, I am scraped off the ground and brought to the hospital. it is July and the ER is staffed by new medical school graduates who are repulsed by blood. They faint because my head has a new shape and my bones are broken and the inevitable happens...that's right..."Hello, St. Peter!"
And so, we cross race car driving from the list.

4. Run a marathon....sorry menopausal marathoner and coach, but I am not one of those people who dream about running 26 miles in a day. Yes, I admire the people who can or have done this, but I can safely say that it is not on the list. First, the knees would be screaming at me as I ran up the hills...then I would be screaming at the knees as I crawled down the hills. Then I would be praying to St. Peter to speed up our meeting and hopefully take me before I hit mile 10.

5. Do stand up said.

6. Sleep on the beach....uh uh

7. Learn a new language. This would be an ideal item for the list but I know myself pretty well and the little time that I have will not be spent on trying to learn new phrases and words. It takes commitment and I don't think that I have it at this time. But what if I am narrow minded and short sighted?...what if St. Peter only speaks Spanish? Then all I can ask him is donde esta el bano? Perhaps, I will add this to the list of things to acomplish in my down time.

8. Climb Mount Everest....too cold.

9. Walk through the rain forest....too hot.

 10. Finally, the last and certainly not least item on my non-bucket list is to become a raw vegan.  That's right...only eat raw fruits and vegetables. This would eliminate 95% of my diet. Where would vanilla vanilla cake fit in? What about the Merlot? Dang, this is too scary for me.

And so, here you have it. BPM's non bucket list. The reality is that my life is pretty nice the way that it is. If I wanted to jump out of a plane or walk through the rain forest, I could. But that would not make me happy nor feel accomplished. What makes BPM happy is spending time at home with family and friends, an occasional Merlot and piece of cake, and doing what I do best.....

As Bon Jovi sings: "I just want to live while I am's my life!" That includes maintaining a sense of right and wrong...caring for others.....Boring, yeah...probably, but I have all that I need in terms of exciting experiences. For that, when St. Peter and I finally meet, I can share with him that my life was full of love and laughter and that meeting him before the Pearly Gates was indeed the only item on my bucket list.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

On your mark, get set, go!

Good morning! It's hot and juicy outside and already I need another shower...too much information, right?

OK, let me begin with the usual discussion as the big leftie is at school this week to help his college coach run a camp on campus. He got an "A" in 'Sandusky Training' which is tongue in cheek. It's a sad indictment on our society when teenagers and young adults are mandated to take pedophile identification and prevention seminars as well as need child abuse and criminal background checks. For each person who complains about this (I am talking to my son), if one child is saved from a vicious attack, then it will be well worth the three hours of "total agony" that he experienced listening to the statistics and methods of prevention. So, camp counselors....sit down and shut up...time to learn something.

Whew. Glad I got that off my chest....

It's time to give a BPM "shout out" to my favorite baker in the world (sorry mom).....It seems that the Baker has been given an award by a regional magazine of BEST TASTING CAKE! Dang, I knew it. Yeah, let me describe this cake in the only way BP mom knows how to: "OMG....ahhhh....yum...." That's right. I could take the single layer 6 inch round vanilla vanilla cake, a fork, and a cup of coffee and not get up from the table until the whole cake disappeared. That's is absolutely correct...complete gluttony. Thousands of calories....No stopping for air...inhaling every crumb until I fell from my chair in ecstasy. Too much? Yeah, probably. OK, I would clearly slice the cake and eat all of it in a day because nothing tastes better except for BP Grandmom's fresh strawberry shortcake.

With that said, she will be honored in July in the magazine and the best of the region's party. This will be the second party like that I will have attended. The first one was the best of Delaware party that I went to with my pal, Wildcat. She and I walked around a huge venue sampling the cakes, pizzas, sandwiches, and drinks that were considered the best in Delaware. When I left the party determined to come back again, I think the button popped off my pants. Once you are in the room with the best, you want to try everything....and I do mean everything. Some foods I spit out because they tasted like dirt, but most were well worth the calories and new pants size. And so, before I go to honor the Baker, I will consume only salads, eliminate carbs and sugars from my diet, and start training for a marathon.

Speaking of marathons, my good friend, the Marathon Runner is actually not a marathon runner. But she wants to be. As such, she has started a blog: where she is chronicling her desire to run a full marathon in November with her coach. This is a lofty goal. Loftier than my training so that I can eat vanilla vanilla cake goal. She wins the goal contest. My goal is purely emotional eating. She is working at improving her health through exercise and not sugar. Good for her....bad for me....

And so, it is time for me to read and grade some papers. I hope that you have a cool and breezy day....

Monday, June 25, 2012

A really long time

Good morning! It's Monday AND Bullpen mom's parent's anniversary...57 years...a long time...really long time to hang out with one and night...night and day....that's 20,805 days (and nights)....241 dog years...yeah...a long time...did I say a long time? I am impressed.

I read a neat article a month ago about a 90+ year old couple who was celebrating their 70+ anniversary. They live in their original home, dance once a week, and can be found together...always. Once again...this is a very long time.

With BP Grandpop and Grandmom, I have witnessed a deep and abiding love for one another. They hold hands when walking or are together and can complete each other's sentences. A few weeks ago, I joined them in the mall to select some outfits for Grandmom. Naturally, Grandpop was there and holding the clothes. He looked at each outfit and commented on the color scheme and how it would look on her. In another world, I would think that it was controlling but in their world, he is looking at his beloved and what would look the best on her while picking up her unique skin tone and color of her eyes. After she purchased the clothes, he would not let me carry the bags, because it is his job. Back off BPM, this is my girl and I will help her.

Kind of nice, huh? With that said, they have raised 6 children, have 10 grandchildren and 1 great-Cupcake. They live in the original house with an open door policy. Children and grandchildren enter the home at different times and are always greeted with hug, kiss, and food. No matter the time of day or night, we are welcome in our family home. It's nice...comforting and comfortable. They never send anyone away hungry and the house is always open for a gathering, conversation, meal, or celebration.

I have loved the way that they raised us with wings and roots....57 years of love, commitment, hardships, and the way, they go to Mass every day...sometimes twice a day if there is a church activity in the afternoon or evening.....role models for all of us...never raising their voices to us or one another, they live the way a committed couple should as they look at for each other's best interest while providing a place to escape for all of us. I am blessed to have them in my life and in the lives of my children. Their witness to what love is about is the example of love that I want my kids to emulate. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad and many many more!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Rules

It's Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! We are celebrating Lil A's 10th birthday. She's a cool kid who in her ten years has already participated in a triathlon, loves sports, and is a die-hard fan of the Phillies, Eagles, and Hunger Games. She wears her hair like the protagonist in the movie and is taking archery lessons. She is collecting stickers from the grocery store and if she wins the million dollars, she and Tink will split the money. She makes her own cheesecakes and fresh homemade pasta.....Neat kid, huh? Happy double digit birthday, kiddo....many many many more to come!

 I'm a bit tired today for a number of reasons. Last night I did not sleep well at all.....why, BP mom? Too much dinner? Dessert? Merlot? Partying late? Reading a good book that you could not put down? a late HBO movie?

The answer is "no" to all of the let me start at the beginning....Once upon a time.... the land of BP mom, her son decided that he was going to attend a party with high school friends in the first state....and so, he asked politely if he could use the car. He planned on staying the night with the guys and returning home late Sunday morning. "Staying overnight" was code for there will probably be some drinking involved. Plans were made and BP mom naturally said: "Yes, have a good time."

Then he stopped her as she was leaving the house..."aren't you going to go down the list before I leave?" The list, ahhh yes, the list. The "list" is a series of 'do's' and do not's' that I review before any child leaves the house on an evening to attend a party.

Since the parties that my kids now attend no longer serve Kool-aid but something a bit stronger, he was surprised that I did not review the list. And so, to be consistent, I started:

  • No drinking and driving
  • Keep your drink with you at all times
  • No dui's
  • No drunken disorderliness
  • No arrests (I will not post bail least for 24 hours)
  • If the party gets out of hand, you are to leave
  • If the party gets out of hand and you have been drinking, you call questions asked...I will pick you up and put you to bed. There will be no conversation after I pick you up unless you want to have it.
  • Lastly, dad finishes the list by saying: "Don't do anything stupid...." (That gives the receiver a number of options as he or she weighs the stupidity level of any action.....)
And so, off he went to be with his high school friends and the rest of us went to dinner. As we drove to the restaurant, I said to dad: "he'll be home tonight. He won't make it." How did I know that? Was I psychic? Am I a fortune teller? Nope, just a mom who knows her kid. He loves his bed and his sleep. He likes a party but in small doses; drinking until a person is blind is not his idea of a good time. He has too much to lose.

Once we returned home from dinner, I started to read and considered that maybe he was going to make it. After all, his friends are nice guys, so perhaps they just want to hang out, play video games, talk, laugh and go to bed. Was I right? Welllll....

Around 3:30 am, I heard the garage door go up and jumped out of bed. Seeing that it was Buddy and his friend, I ran to turn off the house alarm. They almost ran into the house as if they were trying to get away from something. Lo and behold, in the darkness of the stairwell, he and his friend began to spill their guts...."It was bad...the guys were smashing tables and pictures....they were also flipping over furniture....then some of them tried to pick a fight with me. We looked at each other and knew that we had to get out of there...."

OK boys, get something to eat and go to bed. I'll see you in the morning. I knew that his friend was with him at our home because if his mother had a glimmer of what had happened, I would be able to hear her scream at my he was welcome and upon day light, he could explain to her what had happened. Actually, she would be proud of her boy for leaving a bad situation.

And so, this morning after Buddy drove his friend home, he gave us the low lights of the party and thanked us for letting him go and encouraging him to leave if the party got out of hand. Dad listened quietly and I could tell that he was impressed by his son's decision making skills....although for the life of me, I still don't understand the decision to leave a wet towel on the carpet....

With that said, college parties have not changed over the years. Too much drink and youth is the recipe for disaster. Some of the kids are on ADD meds and are impulsive by nature. By late evening, the medication has worn off and the impulsiveness heightens. Drinking does not equal coolness. In fact, there is nothing cool about a kid vomiting in the bathroom or on their clothes or a rowdy bunch of guys destroying old furniture from the family's home. That is not cool.

So, what is cool in college? My take on it is hanging out with friends, talking, laughing, and having a good time....alcohol and its effects can lead to nothing good and often is the source of stupid behavior. Ask my friend who was arrested in front of a party for hitting a guy who picked a fight with him. The results? Well, he spent the night in jail, picked up a nasty virus, lost 25 pounds, went to court, and was sued, and almost lost his scholarship. ...oh yeah...he was underage too....a recipe for disaster....

And there was Buddy's best friend in elementary school who was a hard partier in high school. I loved this kid. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was a great friend to my son. We will be looking back on his untimely alcohol-related death in August. He will be dead for two years. Tragically, he never made it to college. Burying a teenager or any child is not my idea of fun, especially when you look at the depth of the parent's despair on their faces. Further, I have lost a number of good friends when drunk drivers have crashed into their cars. One friend lost her entire family to an inebriated driver when they were headed out to buy ice cream. The last thing that she remembers with her husband and two children in the car was counting her change to make sure she had enough money to buy ice cream cones. She was the only survivor (if that's what you can call it) from the accident.

Therefore, despite losing a bit of sleep, I am beyond thrilled that the big guy felt that he could come home and not be judged. Not going to happen if he follows the "rules".

I may joke about Merlot moments, but that's's basically a driving...nothing.... It takes a strong conviction and good decision making skills to know when to cut the booze off. The kids are not ready yet, but thankfully...the big leftie followed his conscience and got out of a bad he can reap the benefits of a mom who can call her son 'trustworthy'...ahh, he is growing up....thank the Good Lord.......

Friday, June 22, 2012

Achieving goals

The heat continues and  we are feeling pretty wet in the northeast. As the perspiration falls off the brow, I can't help but think that I prefer this weather as opposed to the snow in January.

Yesterday, Buddy and I took the trip to campus for a few reasons. Reason number 1 was for "Sandusky training." Since he was scheduled to teach kids next week at a campus sponsored camp, he was not cleared to become a counselor until he sat through "three hours of torture." Yep, torture....that's I sat in the beautiful library working on my laptop and watching the students sleep in the big chairs, I continued to receive text messages from him...."this is torture...." "I'm dying..." "Save me..." "DO they think that I am an idiot?" and "This is common sense".  Right, it's common sense yet we still have pedophiles in our society preying upon the innocent.

And so, after the workshop was over, he was presented with a yellow badge of courage by the facilitator. And the world is now a safer place now that my son knows to call the police if he witnesses or suspects something shady in going on. Whew...for a while, I was worried....True, this is common sense, but more and more, I suspect that people just don't have it. When they were standing in line in heaven before they were born, they skipped the common sense line and opted for the playing Wii talent.

Reason number 2 for returning to campus was to meet with the athletic academic advisor to get him back on track. Come h____ or high water, this guy is going to graduate in two years, not three. That's right, I want him to have a great time in school. College is memorable (or parts of it at least are....), but there is no reason to stretch it out when you have all of the resources that you need to succeed. From tutors to mentors to preferable classes and schedules, this kid has it made. Therefore, there are no excuses. When I was in college (Sorry to reminisce), I was at the bottom of the food chain on campus and needed one more theology course to graduate. The only course left that was open and fit into my schedule was (surprise!) Mysticism East and like the name? I didn't and today, I still remember the professor asking the class when they last had a mystical experience. The dude behind me raised his hand and said that his last mystical experience took place when he took LSD. Nice, huh? The rest of the class nodded their heads and uttered...'oh yeah...that was an experience...' With that said, never having had a mystical experience, I could not relate to the course, objectives or faculty member and therefore squeaked by with a 'sort of' passing grade. I then closed the door on my theology requirements.

Back to the big kid, after he stopped to see his advisor, he was given a link to click onto to take a summer course. Yep, a summer course. That's right...using the ole noodle during July and parts of August. Cracking open a book and reading it....Sitting in a chair and writing a paper or two or three....that's my boy....Let's see if somehow he weasels out of this by clicking on the wrong link and blaming his advisor when the class is full or he can't find the book on

Reason number 3 for returning to campus was to clean his apartment. It seems that Big Red moved out and left the chairs that he "borrowed" from the stadium in the apartment. Also, LW ate several meals and left the dirty dishes in the sink. Those dishes happen to belong to us, so I assume that his intention is that Buddy or I will clean them. Nice....sloppy....gross... they have been sitting in the sink for over a month. My comment to my son was for him to either throw the dishes on LW's bed or box them and toss them out. The dishes were cheap and left over from last summer. I can always go to the Dollar Store and buy a few dishes for the new house. Also, did anyone clean out the refrigerator and cabinets before they left for the summer? A show of hands, one? That's what I thought.....FYI...I want my deposit back in August, so the boys have a bit of work ahead of them.

Now that our goals were achieved, we can sit back over the weekend and hang out. There is work to do, but it can be done at a slow, summery pace. Dad is working on taking a vacation, but I still contend that a family vacation is not a vacation unless the entire family goes....and so it goes.....time to move on and settle in for the night. It's time for my nightly mystical experience.....yep....on to bed....soft pillows, cool sheets, and cuddly that is mysticism at its best. Perhaps I can write a term paper on it.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


It's heating up in the northeast! Based on my last post, it will be impossible to be cool over the next few days if one does not have air conditioning. Let's have a show of air conditioning the greatest invention of the 21st century next to the laptop computer and Spanx? Today, air conditioning surpasses Merlot and vanilla vanilla cupcakes from the bakery.

Speaking of Cupcake, I think that she is staying cool in one of her stylish outfits. When Tink was a little girl, she had the most amazing clothes....then the teen age years hit and well........Don't get me wrong, she is still a cutie, but the clothes selection is words for this one. In contrast, Buddy's wardrobe is a cross between clearance rack at TJ Maxx and whatever is given out free by the team.

Yesterday, I went to PT with Buddy and went through my leg strengthening exercises while he worked on his balance and arm stretches. It was fascinating as we worked next to each other. I discovered that we have the same "grunt".  It goes something like this: "shhhhh ewww ahhhh''.....
As I finished first, a professional quarterback walked in for therapy. I must say, Buddy is bigger and taller than this guy. Thinking of how many times he was tackled in a professional football game, his body and bones must be mush. I can see why he needs PT. If I had a three hundred pound tackler grabbing my calf muscles and legs, I think that once I received my million dollar bonus check, I would fly to an island, change my name, and live in obscurity while trying to recover from being knocked down by such a tremendous force. What guys will do to earn a living....

On to tomorrow's agenda...Buddy and I are headed to college. He has to undergo training since he is helping at a boy's baseball camp next week. Yep, I hate what they call it but it is today's reality: "Sandusky training." The guys are learning what is and is not appropriate when it comes to kids. I would think that this would be a no-brainer, but sadly, in our crazy society, we need all individuals who work with children to have child abuse and criminal background checks as well as this type of training. It protects the children as well as the counselors. I do believe that this is just the start of this type of training. Schools, parishes, day care centers and so on will be required to run programs like this to protect all involved. This is thanks to a few degenerates who prey upon the most vulnerable....shame on them.....

After the training, he wants to return to his apartment and clean it to prepare for moving out. In a word, "no." No, I will not be part of the process and be holding a mop tomorrow. If his bedroom is any indication of how his apartment has been kept over the past few months, I will not join him. In fact, I may hose him off before he gets into my car. Isn't that maternal love? While he is at his training and disinfecting the apartment and scraping the gum and toxins off the carpet, I will be in the library teaching my online courses, in the coolness, peace, and solitude of a comfy chair. Maybe I will bring one of the Starbucks cool ice tea and lemonade concoctions. Yeah....

And so, it's time for me to get a move on. Tink needs a ride to work and I want to swim a few laps. Have the coolest day~

Monday, June 18, 2012

Why aren't I cool?

Good morning! Weather is heating up in the northeast...time to pull out the towels to mop the brow. We had a fantastic weekend with the preparations and actual christening for Cupcake and Father's Day. I will definitely post a photo of the stylin' and oh so cool Cupcake. She has her shades, hair bow, tutu, and tee shirt with a cupcake on it. Now that is a very cool kid. Naturally, she does not know it yet, but I do see some traits of coolness....which leads to the hot question.....are people born "cool" or do they develop it over time by honing their coolness? And the never answered question: "Who determines coolness?"

And so, are people born cool or develop coolness? Except for Cupcake, I believe that people develop their coolness. First, let's define it. What is cool? Cool is something that insecure people aspire to because they think that that is the road to acceptance in society.

At my age, I say: "Who cares?" BUT when I was in high school and college, I did care. As someone who played on the tennis team, was in the National Honor Society and in the musicals during high school, I had an identity crisis. Athletes are not on stage. Members of the chorus are not coordinated. I was an enigma. Moreover, I was clueless as to who I actually was. Therefore, to say that I was remotely cool, was saying that the sun is's not, nor was I. Additionally, since I was tall, my knee socks never made it to my knees so they were more like calf socks (definitely not cool) and my feet were longer than a pontoon boat in black and white saddle shoes. Just the visualization was "yikes!" To this day, I will never understand how I made it out of the house with purple eye shadow and white lip stick on. Come on, Ma, why didn't you lock me in my room? Sheesh!

On to the question is coolness developed or are people born with it?. OK, now that you know my past, you know that my kids were not born cool.

I remember Buddy saying to me during the years when he was bullied: "If I had a beach house, all of my problems would be over!" A beach house indeed...your problems would be over, but mine would just be beginning. Running two households miles a part is not simple for a parent to do just to make sure that her son was cool and problem free. In fact, the problems that would have developed with a beach house would have been trying to pay two mortgages and run around the country playing baseball and trying out for college teams would not have happened since the money tree would be growing in the back of the beach house. In fact, by not having a beach house, his problems were over and we had the resources to develop his baseball skills.

Now that the kid is in college, I have to say, he developed his coolness. On a scale of 1-10, he sits around an "8". Sparky says that he is a bit of LL Bean whereas his cousin is more "GQ." I'll go with that....

On a number occasions in college, he was asked for his autograph, to take a photo with him, and he is applauded when he walks into a room or party after a game. Now, my friends, that is cool.

Growing up, the insecure, beach house-less kid did not understand that once he was comfortable in his own skin, the coolness would emerge. "Cause, let's be real, the real definition of cool, is "Being your self and being happy about it without caring what other people think." It's taken years to figure it out, but I now realize that we should not worry about what others think, because we cannot control it. Let it go and focus on being the best person that you can that is COOL!

Have a cool day!

PS: Paul McCartney is 70 years old today...he is and always will be (even with new hips and knees) cool!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thank you for being my friend

Howdy! It's Father's Day Weekend! Happy day to our beloved dads who never sugar coated anything and told us how life is in no uncertain terms. I have been privileged to watch a number of great dads within my own family and have been blessed by their place in my life. I love watching the fathers on the block playing with their children after work. They are hitting tennis balls, playing hoops in the drive way, and taking them for walks. It is truly inspiring to watch them after long days at work taking over for mom who is fried after caring for the kids, pets, houses, and often their own jobs. Family life with friends stopping by to chat and for support..nothing better.....

OK, Cupcake is going to be christened tomorrow. Yes, our own little sweetie is going to have Holy water poured onto her head as we watch in the more original sin for this cutie.... I will never forget Buttercup's (Cupcake's mom and my God-daughter) christening. She was such a beautiful baby. I fell in love with her before she was born and still think of her as a pseudo-daughter. She and Tink were very close growing up. Life has been so much better with my girls. Now she has her own daughter and understands the nature of parental love. Once you have it, you completely understand where your own parent's came from (sort of....some times years of therapy help too)

When Tink came, I thought that I could never love another child as much as I loved her. Wrong! Then Buddy entered my life and times two. As children, I watched them sleep and would stand there with my legs frozen I lucky or what? Today, as they sleep, I think...yep, I am lucky....and why is that dryer sheet and wet towel on the floor? When are they going to clean these rooms? And, I am afraid to look under their beds without a mask, protective goggles and clothing, and a mask on.

It's crazy and wonderful at the same time....hence this blog. Some day, I would like to publish these events...and if that day does not happen, Tink, Buddy, and  my family and friends have a written reminder of our lives together. Wow...again...having all of these people in my life is such a blessing. Thank you for reading and being part of my ruminations and musings...Family and to all .....enjoy the weekend. It's time for me to make some pasta salad for little Cupcake's big party.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

So un-cool.....

Good Morning! It's the day after a major league rain storm in the northeast and I am reluctant to check the basement. If there is no water, then I can exhale. If there is water leakage, then I have to mop it. What to do? Hmmmm....answer is simple, I will continue to write this post.

Not much going on in the world of BP mom, except the routine of summer has settled in....the kids continue to disagree about the car that they share and the amount of gas consumed. I get the complaints individually and can be heard saying: "You have to talk to one another and work it out." I am not getting into the middle of the maelstrom. The two of them are so different. Buddy has the first nickel that he ever made hidden in his bedroom. Conversely, Tink spends her money as if twenty dollar bills were thriving on a bush in the back yard. So different...yet so alike.....

Why do they share a car? Well, they needed to experience negotiation, conflict resolution, and problem solving skills. Further, we are no where near a train or bus station and they cannot walk to work. Lastly, they have a wonderful life and have not had to really worry about the next meal or whether the aging, decrepit, un-cool folks can pay for their tuition and books. Therefore, they need a bit of education when it comes to being independent. Ma and Pa are not going to bail them out every time they have an issue. These skills have to be learned. Then they will have great stories like me!

I will never forget sharing an orange Volkswagen with my brothers. Looking back on it, I cringe. I got the car to go to school, but never got it to go out with friends or run errands. It seemed that I was the only one who put gas into it. Although, they did wash the car on a regular basis. Nevertheless, I did feel a bit cheated when they had the car during the evenings and weekends and I was driving the wood paneled olive green station wagon that had enough room to fit a family of 13 comfortably to hang out with the gang. Actually, I was pretty popular because I had the 'wheels' and could pick everyone up and still have room to transport heavy equipment. Finally, after graduating from college, I bought a pretty red Datsun that was promptly totaled by a large Buick.  Ah, those were the days....

Speaking of the days, Father's Day is this weekend and so is Cupcake's christening. We get to celebrate together. BP Grandpop turned 85 years old in January. He is a great-grandfather now, so does that make him Great-BP Grandpop? I think so, although he has always been a pretty "great" dad. Actually, it was Great-BP Grandpop who taught me the facts of life while taking me on errands. I will never forget as we drove to the mall and saying to him: "Don't tell me any more!" I think that I was 11....or perhaps 35....I blocked it out. Thanks, did not sugar-coat that discussion....Oy!

OK, so now it's time to either grade papers or check the basement for water....Decisions...decisions...decisions.....

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some basic changes

Now that I have established myself as Queen of all Baseball, I wonder how difficult it is going to be to make some changes in the system? After all, with a mom now in charge, the Queen has a new perspective.

First, can I change the length of a game from 9 innings to 7 innings? We can eliminate the closer's role, but keep the bullpen. Consider long does a typical game last? The answer is hours! OK, by cutting down the innings, we use fewer players and can decrease the price of admission and hot dogs. Already beer is way overpriced and out of BP mom's budget. Even a water is too much. They don't even serve Merlot but have these greasy sandwiches with melted fake cheese. Have you seen water fountains in a ball park? Knowing what I know about bacteria, I would never inhale near the spigot let alone drink from it. Also, free hand sanitizer by each cash register when you buy your food.

I would also change the food in the ball parks. No more high fat and high carbohydrate foods. They can serve multigrain buns and veggie burgers, sweat potato french fries, and low sugar lemonade. The peanuts and sunflower seeds would already be shelled and spitting is prohibited. The price of water would drop and nachos with extra cheese would be banned, except for "Nacho Night" only.

Games would be postponed in 90 degree temperature or the ball park would give out free ice to fans. Rainy games would be rescheduled too. No use getting wet during a game. My cell phone would short. And what a wet humid night does to my hair! about not pretty.......

Also, there will be more female rest rooms. Have you ever seen the line for the ladies room versus the men's? That's right. The line is twice as long and slow. True, we would need more stalls, water, and pipes, but women would return to their seats much faster and decrease the amount of time waiting in line. 

My last change would be the professional players would be more accessible to the little kids in the stands. After all, they are dreaming of the day when they can stand on the pitcher's mound or take the field. They are young, idealistic, and innocent. Come on, were that way once. I remember when my kids would stand along the fence begging for a ball or autograph. Some players would stop, but most did not. They attribute it to keeping their focus on the game. I get that, but come on...toss the ball to a little kid. After all, he could be the next Babe Ruth, Johnny Bench or Willie Mays.

Have a great day!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Queen of all baseball

Good morning! A big shout out to the "Kid" as she celebrates a very big birthday...I won't share which one...let's just say, she is one more year maturer than last year.

Also, my niece Lil A, 9 years old, is in her first triathlon. Yep, that's right...triathlon...a three phase event including swimming, running, and biking. On the other hand, my triathlon began this morning as I struggled to get out of bed (phase 1), walk across the bedroom floor (phase 2), and get dressed (phase 3). It seems that I pulled a few muscles in my lower back on Friday while playing tennis. Yep, I won so it was so worth as I work to get in and out of the car I realize that it is time to take the Aleve....

Since Buddy is home this summer rehabbing from his shoulder surgery, I am watching a true athlete (like Lil A) work out. here is his schedule of work-outs: physical therapy three times a week, 90 minutes of stretching and bands work every day, cardio for one hour every day, and weight training four days a week. Combine that with working a full schedule in the bakery and you have a kid committed to making it. His muscle mass is up as is his weight. He continues to transform himself and there is no doubt that he will give his all trying to make it to the pros.

We spoke about California yesterday and he mentioned that the newest major league pitcher is a bit "doughy" around the middle and not in great shape. Interesting. I thought that all of these guys had superior training schedules and actually, they probably do. It's just that they probably eat an Entenmann's cake after finishing their work outs or perhaps are eating donuts while on the treadmill. nevertheless, his fast ball is in the 90's so, 'nuf said....if he can throw hard and get it over the plate and is left handed, he makes the pros.

There is some anguish in the BP mom household. It seems that almost every pitcher on Coach T's AAA baseball team have been called to the pros except Coach T. He is having a great year, but remains in minor league player. Guys who do not have the statistics that he has are up in the majors. Therefore, by watching this major-minor league shuffle, I have decided that it does not make sense, nor has a reasonable process. Once again, do I have to get involved? Let's see, if I ruled all of baseball, which includes the majors, minors, and little league....things would be much different.....

As the Queen of all baseball, I would:
  • eliminate trophies that are earned just for showing up (I threw all of them out when we moved and kept the trophies that were earned)
  • have multiple skill levels for the kids in little league and add more instruction pertaining to fundamentals
  • assure all kids have the opportunity to play including children with disabilities (although certain leagues already have this initiative)
  • eliminate fathers as coaches
  • have a system where the children who do not have money can still play ball and have their equipment funded by major league baseball. In other words, some of these kids need stipends to buy cleats and gloves.
  • high school players would be part of the little league system as big brothers
  • college kids would mentor the high school players
  • the majors and minors are in a bit of a mess, so I will have to save my ideas for another blog posting in the future
And so, as the designated Queen of all baseball, I will begin my reign in little league and work my way up to the higher levels. There will be no fights between fathers and umpires. Every child will bat at least once. And after the game, everyone eats a healthy snack. Whaddya say? Can I have your vote to change America's past time? Huh? Please! 

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Draft...should I stay or should I go?

Good morning! It's been a busy few days, hence the lack of posts....but I am back to share everything that I know, which, technically, is not much.

And so, what has BPM been doing? Well, I have been teaching two online courses from my office. At first, it seems like the world's greatest job, which it is. But it has its moments in which I would rather travel to school and teach in person. There are some individuals who need the discipline of attending class each week, otherwise, they disengage. Unfortunately, these students fall behind and I am constantly sending notes begging them to do their work. I guess the 'out of sight, out of mind' mentality is pervasive. it can be very rewarding, which is why I do it and frustrating at the same time. The beauty of the online course is that I can teach it from the home office in my sweats, pj's, and slippers. I can have a cup of coffee next to me or a Merlot. Life is good....

On to the big kid.....where to start? After the major league drafted ended this week, three of the team's best players were selected including two pitchers. This is wonderful for the guys but guts the team in terms of talent. Where does that leave my son?

He continues to rehab and has been able to cock his arm back 90 degrees which he has not been able to do in the longest time. This is indeed progress. He still has not thrown nor can he for at least another month.

He sent the coaches a letter depicting his progress to let them know that he is coming back. With two starters drafted by the major leagues, he now is focused on starting rather than sitting in the bull pen. His biggest fear is that the coaches will recruit this summer and bring in untried pitchers who will start instead of him. It is his goal to break into the starting line up.

With California leaving town in a hurry, the last bedroom in the house was up for grabs. As a result, a new junior college transfer from Minnesota, who the guys do not know will be moving in. This guy could be the world's greatest person or the room mate from ___@$^&(&. Can't wait to meet this kid. 

The two of us went to happy hour yesterday for fish tacos (his favorite) after a long day of work and physical therapy. No, he did not drink since he is only 20, but we sat in the bar area chatting about life, rehab, and baseball. He felt that the third pitcher selected from the team would come back to campus and not sign since he was drafted in the 40th round. He had a mediocre summer and season, yet he was drafted because he is 6'5" and throws hard. Being drafted in the 40th round means less signing money and a lower commitment by the major league team to keep you on the roster. Once Buddy discovered that he had signed, he rationalized it by disclosing that this guy comes from a family of means who can pay for his last year of college if he does not make it to the pros. Therefore, the decision to leave school and his scholarship was a no-brainer.

Which leads us to the "decision". A number of guys are drafted at the end of their junior years and elect to stay in school like the third baseman. He had been drafted in a late round last year and decided to stay in school and work hard. He landed up shattering records and was consequently drafted earlier this year. However, he ran the risk of having a bad senior year and not being drafted at all. This is a conundrum. What do you do? If you are drafted low, you run the risk of not making the team and the signing bonus may be as low as $50,000. That may sound like a great deal of money, but once they buy a car, what is left for living expenses? I recall a story about players drafted from other countries who lived on hot dogs during the season because they did not have English speaking skills or money. Fifty thousand dollars does not buy what it use to.....

What would my son do? What do you think? There would be another draft in my house as he grabs his suitcase and runs out the door....leaving the lights on, water running, toilet overflowing, and doors open. Vaya Con Dios!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Housekeeping 101

Hi! This is a to take Tink to an appointment since Buddy took the extra car. Anyway....

California was drafted! Not by the military but by a major league baseball team. No one is happier than his former room mates AND the big left hander himself. All of his hard work and perseverance has paid off. I look forward to watching him play when he is in town. Congratulations big guy!

Also, one of Buddy's bullpen pals from Ohio was picked up by the Cubs. This, too, is wonderful news. Now, talk about big....he's 6'7" and over 220 pounds of fast ball and off speed pitches....well done!

The draft went ten rounds yesterday and concludes today. More about the selections later.

With California packing his bags and leaving campus, there is an empty room in the house that will not be sharing the rent. The three other guys need a paying boarder, who will it be? At this point in the year, everyone has a place to live. This once again means that BP mom is paying for the uninvited boarders, the spiders to live rent free.

Perhaps, I can stay there when I am in town. I can fix it up with gingham curtains and a little desk. I can hang pictures of my family on the walls and paint the room a nice shade of green. you think? Not! Not only does my son not want me to be there, but I don't either. There is a point when you let them go...let them throw their clothes on the floor....let them entertain mice, ants, roaches, and spiders....hang their Budweiser and Coors beer signs....and keep the Christmas tree up year round....leave the bathroom dirty...dirty crusted dishes in the sink...dust on the television....a smell of shoe wafting through the air like perfume....ahhhh.....It's their mothers are allowed....including oh so uber cool ones..... :-)

I have friends who go to their children's apartments and clean for them. Haaaaa Haaaaa....not going to happen in this century at least. The big guy has been doing his laundry since 6th grade.  he knows how germ and microbacteria grow and manifest. I have equipped him with the skills to maintain a clean and healthy home. My work in Housekeeping 101 is complete. No, he did not earn an "A"...more like a C minus....but that is a passing grade in my book.

On to Coach T. Dad and Buddy went to his game last night and he looked impressive...5 innings...1 hit....when will the major league team call him up? Soon! Please!!!!

OK, time to run out with Tink...have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Draft

Good Morning! Today is the day that the seniors and some of the eligible underclassmen have been looking forward to and dreading....It's the Major League Baseball amateur draft day. Why are the guys dreading it? Well, if they are not drafted, then they find their business suits and button down shirts and stand in line with the rest of America looking for a job that has benefits.

Why are they excited? Huh? I need to tell you? OK, here it goes....

There are four players on Buddy's team who are actual prospects. How do we know that they are prospects? Well, they have had scouts in the stands watching them, had to complete forms and surveys for major league teams, or have had try outs with the pros. Based on what I hear through the grapevine, four or possibly five could be drafted today.

Let's start with California....he is truly a terrific pitcher. I enjoyed watching him play as his fast ball is fast and the curve has great movement. He's a big kid and in great shape. One night, he had dozens of scouts in the stands. This kid is legit.....the only downside is that he is slated to be one of Buddy's room mates next year.  He has gone on record as saying: "if the pros call....I'm outahere!" Not that I blame him one bit, but my kid needs one more player to take California's place or the spiders will take over the bedroom, rent free.

Next kid: "Pittsburgh" was drafted in the late rounds last year, offered minimal money and returned to school for his last year. The money was not worth giving up his scholarship to perhaps make it to the big leagues. So, he returned to school, had a great year, and will go higher in the draft.

Three other players have been watched, but they will probably go much lower meaning they will not be given much money and will have to work harder to make it. Two of the players are underclassmen and if they are drafted too low, they will probably return to school, hone their craft, and if healthy, be drafted next year (like Pittsburgh).

On to Buddy's Ohio team....there are two guys who will probably be drafted as pitchers. The one player had a tremendous year at this fourth school in four years. he failed out of the first three....yikes....The second player was on television this year and looked amazing as he threw his fast ball. He's tall, athletic, and is a good prospect.

How do I know these things? I have been hanging out at stadiums for years, kept my mouth shut, and ears open. Occasionally Buddy will share information with me and I put the pieces together. I am going to keep my fingers crossed for these guys. They have played year round, trained, gone to school (except for one of them) and deserve at least an opportunity to prove themselves.

When people look at the players, I don't think that they realize how hard they work. For example, Buddy spends two hours at PT three times a week. he comes home and continues to rehab (as I watched him with the bands last night). Then he goes to the gym 6 days a week for another two hours of cardio and leg/core work. He runs to the bakery four-five times a week and collapses into bed. it's a crazy existence for a young man whose friends do not understand why he not available to sit on the beach and drink beer with them. But he is going to do his very best to make it. I support him 100% of the way. However, there are days when I worry that all of this is for a good physique and he will not get the chance to try out for the pros. it's scary....but big dreams usually are...the real scary part is if you sit back and do not do your best to make it...then you are left with regrets and 'what-ifs'.

And so, tonight, dad and Buddy will hit the turnpike and attend a minor league game. Coach T is scheduled to pitch. This is a moment that the big leftie has waited for since he started working out with him. Coach T is largely responsible for Buddy's success. He has been his mentor and coach. He also has a soft spot in his heart for my son. Coach T is so close to making it to the 'bigs' that he can taste it. I pray that one day soon, he can achieve his ultimate goal...even for one season...the hard work and sacrifice will have been well worth the effort.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 4, 2012

To cruise or not to cruise?

Yeah! What a beautiful day in the northeast...low humidity...low's like the spring that we never had.

Last night we had a family meeting about a summer vacation. I wanted to take an Alaskan cruise in August before the kids return to college. I felt that a cruise would be relaxing. Further, by cruising through Alaska, it would be interesting too. As a family, we have  not had a vacation in years. I have never felt deprived, we just had other things to do during the summer. One year, Buddy and I were in Florida for a week. OK, technically, this was not a vacation, but it felt like it as we both did something that we love. He played ball at the Red Sox facility and I watched. How great is that?

And so, when we proposed the cruise, I got a "no way, nope...not going...I have to continue my to get back to baseball." Hmmm.... Dude, the ship has a state of the art training facility where you can work out in luxury...all the food you can eat...sleep late...see interesting with your beloved and supportive family. What gives?

After he said that, I made the executive decision: "OK, no cruise, no vacation. We are staying home."

Was I being a martyr? Did I want him to feel bad about ruining my vacation? After all, the three of us could have gone without him, but I was not having it. Let me be clear. This is not punishing him in any way. In fact, it is supporting my big leftie.

How so? is not a family vacation unless the 'family' goes together. If one of us for one reason or another cannot leave, then none of us leave. We're a family and if that means that our vacation takes place in the backyard, gym, or mall, then so be it. We are going to be together. That's it.

Would Roseann leave without DJ (uh, yeah...probably)....but June and Ward would not leave for Alaska without the Beaver.

Am I sad that I am not taking my long awaited cruise? Nope. I can always go somewhere for a long weekend with Tink, Chill, Blue Devil, Scoob or Big Sis. Sometimes I take Grandmom and Grandpop to the beach. Not being at work is a vacation too.....

And so, the day begins with the promise of accomplishing lots of goals. No vacation plans, but who needs 'em? I'll use the money to paint the house.

Have a good one!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Returning to where it began


Not much going on this weekend. The big kid continues to work out with his physical therapist and at the gym. He is passionate about his sport and is desperate to return to his team for fall ball. In fact, he is progressing better than expected. Over the years, he has learned about hard work and not listen to individuals who did not think that he had the "goods" to bring it home.

Tonight, I had to twist his arm to return to his elementary school to honor his former coach who has been teaching there for 20 years. Over 60 graduates of the little academy are returning and he was not one of the kids happy to attend the party.

Why did I have to twist his arm? Well, if you are a regular reader, you may know that elementary school was painful for him. He was somewhat of a quiet kid and was bullied and ostracized on and off by the tougher kids. He was scorned on a number of occasions and I had to threaten on a number of times to take him out of the school and enroll him in another school closer to home.

However, the punches that he took as a kid served not to knock him down but strengthen him. Yes, it was painful for him and us. There were times when I would dry his tears and hold back my own. But all of the taunts and difficulties served to mold a guy who worked harder than anyone else. As he goes back to school tonight with his dad, he is the only regular division 1 college player of the entire graduating class. That's right...the guys who started and were the coach's favorites are starting to form beer guts and remember the glory days of 8th grade....sheesh! On the other hand, Buddy returns a reluctant hero.

That's right. Before he left the house, he said that he did not want to rub his success in anyone's face. Hmmm...from a kid who was the brunt of the kids' jeers. Interesting....yep...interesting...he has a heart and sense of right and wrong...well done!

Addendum: as I finished writing this note, the kid returned home very early. He never saw the guest of honor since he arrived late and was anxious to leave. Upon questioning, he disclosed that he was the tallest person at the party and the kids who once taunted him were losing their hair and had beer bellies. He wanted no part of the party once he was there and left immediately. My spidey senses tell me that walking back into the gymnasium brought up painful memories.

Once again, although he experienced troubling times, there were good ones too. However, no one at that school acknowledged his potential and often relegated him to the back. I would tell him that a person's true athletic talents blossom at the age of 14 years old. He waited and shazamm! He grew.....filled out....and threw a fast ball that would break Delaware records.

Therefore, may I submit that although the going was rough....he prevailed...excelled ....and is now one of the top relievers in his conference. I do believe the coach should be thanked for this one. Gracias coach, for ignoring and belittling my kid. It worked. He is still playing ball and has moved forward despite many periods of self doubt and bouts of low self esteem. For this (and only this) am I grateful.......

Friday, June 1, 2012


Greetings! I hope that this note is finding you in good health and better spirits.

How is life in the BP mom household? Well, we have found a summer routine with life falling into place. I finished PT with Tank yesterday and brought him a cake from the bakery. We had a graduation celebration and all that was missing were balloons. I had the bakery decorate the cake in the colors of the plastic rubber bands that Tank tied around my ankle forcing me to walk as the tourniquet cut off my blood flow. Maroon, bright blue and a shade of green that I cannot identify adorned the cake. While I had the bands around my knees and ankles for one last time, the therapists ate their cake. I was happy that they enjoyed it while I slipped in a pool of my own perspiration. Let me tell you...I still am not convinced that the rubber band/tourniquets have therapeutic value but since the knee is so much better, I have to go with it.

What else is going on? Well....California has had a try out with the Mets and Marlins. He has been named one of the top prospects in Pennsylvania. How great is this information? The kid worked so hard and is a great pitcher. Two other players on Buddy's team should also be drafted next week. We shall see....

Now, if California is going to pack his glove, cleats, and dip and head to the minor leagues this summer, what does this mean for Buddy? First of all, he is thrilled for the big guy. This is amazing news. But, he wanted to learn more from California before he moved on to the big leagues. Second, there is an empty bedroom in the little house of horrors next year. So, either the three other guys have to pay more or LW has threatened to take the last room. Shades of horror! In addition, it has been reported that there is an infestation of spiders as this year's seniors vacate the premises. Ew!

Hey! This is where they wanted to live. They have a stand alone house with a porch on the front and back. Dog is planning barbecues and he is going to play his guitar. Buddy is looking for second hand furniture and Budweiser signs to decorate the place. My goodness, they already have pets...the spiders.

What do the spiders mean for the group of guys? I'll tell means that their mothers and sisters will NEVER step foot into the house and they can keep it any way that they want over the next two years. I don't care....not going in....not now...never! I will sit on the porch and enjoy Dog's music while drinking Merlot out of a red Solo cup. I wonder if they will name their pets....

Have a wonderful day!