Tuesday, July 31, 2012

BP Mom Olympics

It's been a few days since my last post. The Olympics have captured my attention. Unfortunately, I know the results before the event is broadcasted. For example, as I watched NBC this morning with my coffee in hand, they reported the Queen's granddaughter was in the hunt for a medal. Then Matt Lauer started a lame interview and I changed the channel to ABC who then announced the granddaughter won a silver medal. OK, no need to turn NBC back on. My 30 minutes dedicated to cheering Zara Phillips was cancelled.

In a way, it makes me kind of sad. With Twitter, Internet, and 24 hour reporting, we knew within seconds that Michael Phelps lost a race. There is a new swimmer in town named Ryan Somebody-or-another and he beat the all time swimming champ. Also, I knew that the men's gymnasts lost the medal. But they were not scheduled to show the meet until late at night. Anyone with a computer knew the outcome, so it was onto a HBO movie.

What I don't understand is why NBC just does not broadcast these big events live....show the competition at 2pm. I'll watch...but I am not going to watch a match in which I know the outcome. It is a waste of time.

Although, on Sunday night, we took BP Grandmom and Grandpop to a sports bar (OK, no judging...) and watched table tennis (again don't judge...it was cool to watch). Wow....are those players fast and good. It makes our little Christmas ping pong tournament seem quite bogus. These Olympians can teach us a thing or two or one hundred. Amazing.....

So, as I sit on the sofa with an ice bag on my knee after losing a tough match today with Red, beach volleyball is on.....yep, it's an Olympic sport. Naturally, I am rooting for USA, but the other team (I think ESP is Spain) is pretty tough. If I was a few years younger and had to choose an Olympic sport to train for, I don't think that I could choose one because they either look like a lot of fun or scare the life out of me.

For example, the archery looks like it would be fun. The only sports injury that I could incur would probably be a blister on my arrow hand. On the other hand. the girls and guys who are gymnasts get my complete respect. Propelling themselves on the uneven bars is amazing...then they vault and twist in the air and land on their feet....then the balance beam is probably one of the most outrageous events as they do cartwheels and flips on a plank the size of a toothpick. Maybe I am a bit chicken to even try it. OK, I am too afraid to even give a cartwheel a go....and my balance has been way off....so what do I do?

Well, I guess that I will stick to what I know best with tennis. I have given up Zumba since my knees started to ache and I tore a meniscus. Today, I read in the paper that doctors see at least two Zumba related injuries per week and the newest trend called "Insanity" is also causing more injuries.   Paddle is out since you have to bend the knees the entire time and they have already sent my brain a memo that they will not allow me to play this sport. 

And so, if there is an Olympic sport that will give gold medals for eating cupcakes or petting a dog, then I will continue my training. Until then, go Team USA!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Good morning...it's the last Sunday in July and I am feeling tight. What dose "tight" mean? Well, tight means that I am feeling a bit of anxiety because my slow, quiet, hot summer is coming to an end as I watch the Back-to-School ads on television. I love the heat....love the pace....love the freedom....and love having the kids home with me.

Sure, I know that I may complain a bit about ant-laced sneakers, mounds of laundry, a trail of crumbs from the kitchen to the bedrooms, and the cars left without gas...but really....it is the only time that we can have some family time without the pressures of school and baseball. I also get to sneak a hug or two in when no one is paying attention....

And so, what is going on in BPM's life? Oy! The big kid must have called a dozen times yesterday when he realized that his dorm room room mate was going to be the married with one kid crazy pitching coach. he had a meltdown because he did not want to room with a coach. In fact, he was pretty salty when he called six or seven times about it. The reason he was assigned the coach as his room mate was due to the assignments being made in alphabetical order.

Now, he is calling with statements like: "I can't believe that I have to room with the coach...." "This is the craziest thing ever..." "I am not spending time in the room....no way..."

Finally, I had to put an end to the rants and said: "Dude, do you think that he wants to room with you? Think about it...he got the raw end of the deal. Feel sorry for him and not yourself...." Hey, teach him the Skittles Challenge game....


I guess he did not want to consider the comfort and feelings of the coach. Nope, it was all about him. Isn't it always?

On to the end of the afternoon as I received a  call from the leftie..."Mom, I told the coach that we were room mates and he had a fit....he said: 'no way'" And that is all it took. The coach and Buddy now have their own dorm rooms and life is good.

Let's consider the coach now. Once he found out that he had to stay with a knucklehead like Buddy, he threw a fit (sound familiar) and changed the assignments. I could say: "hey, what's wrong with living with my son in close quarters?" But I won't....'cause I have had to stay in hotel rooms with him and I get it. Coach....I felt your pain. Use your influence to make the change so that you are comfortable. Guess what? Both the Coach and Buddy have private rooms now....this was a stroke of luck and big kid should be counting his blessings....Meanwhile, yesterday I had to live with his crazed phone calls about sharing a room. Can anyone spell 'entitled?' or 'spoiled' ?

Let's go back in time when I shared a small bedroom with my two sisters, Big Sis and Scooby. Yep, there we were in this tiny room together....Finally Big Sis got her own little closet of a room and Scoob was my room mate. She was actually very easy to live with. She has a laid back personality as we added Peter Frampton posters to the wall. I think that she may have had a David Cassidy, but I blocked it out.

I would not change the years in the little bedroom because I learned to live in a small space and get along with others. Scoob, Big Sis and I remain very tight and it all started in the days in the little room in the front of the house....By the way, there was no air conditioning....the room was small and hot...we learned to be quite forgiving in those days. One note....we had eight people in the house and one bathroom (that's a few postings in the future)....

And so, life continues to teach us lessons in patience, kindness, and understanding. It is unpredictable and uncertain....Memo to my children: This is the way that it goes...some days you are assigned to a private room and other times you are stuck in close quarters with a person who will some day become your best friend. Get over yourself and learn that life is not fair...but everything always works out.


Saturday, July 28, 2012


Good Morning! Such a beautiful day in the northeast. It's true that it is hot and humid, but it's July! I love the summer~

Last night the neighbors had happy hour....kids and parents gathered together for juice boxes, beer, and wine. The kids played as the parents talked. It was so nice to reconnect with the gang and chat about the next gathering. Our neighbors are amazing and love getting together. I feel blessed to be here.....

I just got a call from our baseball camp counselor as he walked to the field. He was in a chatty mood and was pondering life. He reported that he was with some of his team mates last night and they announced that they were headed to a soccer party. He begged off and went back to his apartment to sleep. He posed the question to me: "Am I getting old? In the past, I would have run to the party. But last night, I wanted to sleep."

Old indeed.....let's define old...who is old? Is age a number or a state of mind? His friend from high school has become old in his thinking and is not the playful guy he once was. I told him that he was becoming his father. It happens to every guy at one point or another. Then Buddy grew very silent. Am I like dad?

Well, let's consider this phenomenon. Yes, you are like your father in some ways. But you are also like me. And, you are your own man. In other words, you are you. You have your dad's humor and my passion. Your dad is also quite serious about life as am I...but I like to have fun.....so, the answer to your question is "yes and no..." Can I be more vague?

This kid is terrific as he is....he is serious about baseball, friends, and family...not so serious about school...and really not serious about his room and  property. Yesterday, he  had to stop by one of the satellite campuses to get a new photo ID. So far in two years, he has lost three. He has also lost the other key to my car, therefore, I only have one. I might be able to find it under his bed, but will need to tie a rope around my waist before attempting it. His room is fairly picked up now; but if I open the closet, a mountain of tee-shirts will fall on me and bury me as if I was in an avalanche. I would need Diva Dog to find me and pull me out.

Back to age.....age is how you are feeling at the moment. Lil A is older than her chronological age and BP Grandpop is younger than his 85 years. My advice to the big kid is to live life the best that you can. Enjoy the little and big moments and successes. Failures and bad times can creep up on you, so be prepared, but remember to follow your heart and passion. Age is simply a number. It is meaningless and unimportant. Live with passion and find your joy. Don't forget to say your prayers and be courteous. You are a lucky guy to have so many advantages and experiences. Take time to enjoy them at any age. Am I pontificating? Perhaps...but it is the way that I feel today. A person never knows when their time is over, so it is important to sit back, count your blessings, and smile.

By the way, while you are smiling, do your best to put a smile on other people's faces. Random acts of kindness generally do the trick. 

'Nuff said.....

OK, time for me to drive the Southern belle to the airport. Have a great day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Skittles Challenge

Good morning! I am sorry that I have not posted but have been preoccupied over the past few days. The Southern belle and Pop are in town and have my attention. Lots going on in the BPM household with the guests although I must confess, I think that I have ruined Pop. He's a guy who has lots of experience with fine food and wine....the finest that we have here in my home are Pop Tarts (s'mores of course) and boxed wine. Last night, I corrupted the guy by serving him some boxed wine. He actually said that he enjoyed it. Hmmm...what has happened? Is he being gracious or did he really like it? Why do I only have the box in the house? I guess that it is easier than opening a bottle when all I want may be a juice glass of vino. And so, Pop has adapted and joined me for a glass of the finest vintage of boxed wines.

What else is going on? Well, Buddy is returning to school today to run a baseball camp. In true leftie form, last night he realized that he had to send his back ground check and child abuse forms to the school to qualify as a counselor. At 10:30 pm, we were scanning the documents and emailing them to the coaches. This was fun as once again, he could not believe that he had to do this....Can anyone spell "Sandusky?"

And so, he will be gone for a few days, pack up his apartment, and return home on Tuesday night. I will actually miss the big kid. We have been hanging out together for the last week....OK...not what it seems...we took a trip to North Carolina and flew home, worked out with Tank, and had multiple dinners and conversations. I taught him the greatest party game ever....I call it the "Skittles Challenge." What is the SC? Well, you take a bag of Skittles (regular flavors) and give your opponent one at a time. With eyes closed or a blind fold on, the person has to identify the color of the Skittle by taste. it's not as easy as one would think. At the best, Buddy picked up 5/5. At his worse, he was 1/5.
We would go back and forth and keep score of who could identify the most colors by taste. It's a mindless game and the kind that he can get into...he is now addicted to the Skittles challenge and we have an opened bag on the counter. Try it some time....It makes time on an airplane go quickly.....

Back to his journey....He has to stay in the dorms with the campers which has some of the other counselors a bit bugged. They want to stay in the apartments and party at night after the camp is over....but that is not what they have been hired to do. They have to chaperone the kids and make sure that they do not get into any trouble. I see this as a big responsibility and will say something to the big kid before he leaves. He has to be vigilant at all times to protect these children. No ands, ifs, or buts...just do your job and keep them safe. You are now a pseudo-adult. Got to act like it and accept this responsibility.

 It's time for me to get some work done, although Tink entered the room with a dilemma. My guests are suggesting that the house is too cold. Got to turn the heat on....it's 92 degrees outside....and 94 inside.....whew...

 Sweating clip art

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Renting a House 101

Mornin'....it's Saturday....I love Saturdays for no other reason than the actual name of the day...let's break is down...."Sat" "ur" "day"....Whoever named this day is saying to sit....and by the end of the day, you would have 'sat'. That's all I am saying...now moving on....

As July creeps to a close, we continue to think about the big kid moving out to his new rented home in Party Town, USA. No one is more excited than he is, so my words of wisdom have fallen on deaf ears.

For example....you are moving into a 4 bedroom home, you may think that this is a spacious wonderful sanctuary BUT in the words of BPM, "It's a party house...and you, my son, are not a die-hard partier."

Therefore, you will find people vomiting in your cleats. Different couples retiring to your bedroom and locking you out. People passing out drunk on the floor. The one toilet in the house will clog repeatedly and you will be responsible for cleaning up the mess. Hopefully, the water will not seep through the floor to the ground floor because you will be responsible for paying for the repair on the ceiling and carpet. Oh yeah....we are still waiting for last year's room mates to reimburse your father for the cable bill. By the way, every friend and faux friend from the neighborhood and high school will be knocking on your door looking for a safe floor to crash on.

There will be bugs, ants, and spiders. The sneakers and cleats are going to stink up the place. People will not flush the toilet. Friends will come just to hang out when you are trying to study for the finals. Guys will emerge from the second floor during a party wearing your underwear on their heads and think that it is funny. Personal items will be stolen or borrowed without asking your permission. No one will respect your stuff and space and you will begin to feel the pressure and start a slow burn. Then after a few days of disrespect, you will lose your temper, snap, and punch a hole in the wall that your dad has to pay to fix.

Students that you do not know will crash your parties. There will be fights...bad behavior...all your food will be eaten.

Does that sound like fun to you? If your answer is yes....then you are right on the money....

This is part of the college experience. Enjoy the trials and tribulations....just remember, I warned you....

Now, go buy yourself a plunger to unclog the toilet at the Dollar Store.

I'm going to have fun watching this one!


Have a great day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

May I sample.....

Rain! Boy, do we need it!

Last night Big Sis, Sparky, and I attended the Best of the Region Party celebrating the Baker's Best Tasting Cake....oh boy, is it!

The party was held in a large room with over 50 of the "best of's..." in our area. With an amazing band playing, people were partying, drinking, eating, shopping along with spending money to benefit the Children's Hospital. All in all, it was fairly overwhelming as Big Sis and I had way too many decisions to make. And so we begin with.....

Decision 1: Where do we start? I got a great idea....let's go and find the best martini! Yep, after searching, the best martini was made with the usual alcohol plus cotton candy. Sound gross? Yep, to me too, but since it had the label of being the best, I naturally had to try it. As the martini soaked the cotton candy, I could not believe that I was actually going to drink it. And drink it, I did. Hmmmm...tasty....although, not the best that I ever tasted, but now I can say that I had the best martini as voted by the readers of the magazine....

Decision 2: Let's try the best guacamole. Actually, this was a no-brainer since the best guac was located next to our table. My only complaint was that the chef did not give us enough home made chips. With that said, my stomach was very happy.....on to....

Decision 3: The best Italian food....stopping by that table, we were given a wild rice salad and some homemade tortellini. Can anyone say: "Yum!"....onto....

Decision 4: The best Asian food...after sampling dumplings and shrimp...we moved onto

Decision 5: The best Crab Cake Slider....if anyone offers you one of these delectable treats, take two....now it was time for....

Decision 6: The best outdoor relaxing on a patio drink....I think that it had lemonade and gin...I am pretty sure about the lemonade....

Decision 7: The best mini cupcake....the presentation was amazing, but believe it or not, I threw it out. Yep, I threw a cupcake out because it was too dry and had no flavor. Perhaps it was the lemonade gin that anesthetized my taste buds.....

Decision 8: Onto the quesadillas diagonal from our table....this was a three-peat. Sis and I stopped by that table three times. By the way, all of this food is tiny....one or two bites at the most....not full plates....don't think that I was grazing rather than sampling.....I am not that pathetic....on to

Decision 9: The best liquor store.....Yeah....there is the best liquor store so I tried an Arnold Palmer vodka....it was pretty good. What's an Arnold Palmer? It is a blend of lemonade and ice tea then honey laced vodka was added. Sensational! Again, the portions are tiny and not enough to fill a juice glass, but the flavors were amazing.

Decision 10: The rest of the night was manning the table, giving out cake, and drinking more of the gin lemonade. Big Sis was feeling the accumulating effects of samples and was now dancing by the table. This was certainly a sight.

As the evening wore down, one of my all time favorite DJ's entered the room. As I walked up to him, I realized how old he had gotten. Oy! He was one of my teen age memories as I listened to him on the radio during high school and college. I am glad that I did not get older....but this guy....sheesh!

As it was time to close up shop, our friends from the best guacamole table came over for one more piece of cake. As they put the leftover chips into their bins, they invited Big Sis and me for a final drink. Sure....whaddya got? The owner of the best guacamole pulls out tequila....OK, so where is the margarita mix? Nope, no mix...shots. Straight tequila shot? What am I, in college? grad school? out with the girls? Ah yeah...out with the girls...OK, let's do it. He poured the 4 shots and we toasted the best quac and cake promising that we would always be friends and meet once a year at the best of the region party....down it went....not easily.....not all of it....I secretly only had a tiny sip while the other three downed it in one gulp. Yum.....

And here I sit....with a tiny headache and lots of lingering, life long memories of hanging out with the girls, dancing, singing, eating, drinking, eating,  and handing out free samples of cake. By the way, it's true that we had multiple samples of the liquor, but the samples were tiny....very tiny....not enough to impair or inebriate especially over a period of five hours. The samples also were concocted of mostly the mixers and lemonade. I don't want anyone to get the impression that my life's dream is to be sloppy drunk in front of anyone. In fact, with the small sips and the food, we were giddy from the sugar high as opposed to alcohol intake.

With that said, I am looking forward to next year and the year after....and the year after....

Have a great day! Time for me to limp and roll to the treadmill....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Late Start

Hello! Believe it or not, I am cold.....yep...the humidity and sun are gone and it is a bit chilly here.

Not much going on today. I am sorry that I did not post yesterday. I don't even remember why...think, BPM....Oh yeah, I did not post because I was trying to finish my grades. I wanted to free my time up to relax. Just as I clicked on the grade submission, I got an email from a book publisher who wanted to pay me to read a new edition of their book and comment on the content. Hmmm...Let's see....they are going to pay me to read a book and offer suggestions to improve the content....gonna pay me...money...just to read....Yeah...I think I can do that!
And so, I have my next week planned as I read a book AND get paid for it!!! That's my kind of job. Can I sign up for some more of these assignments?

Speaking of reading, I pulled Tink out of bed 5 minutes before her class was to start. Yep, she overslept and did not hear the alarm. Oy! The school is 20 minutes from the house. She has to get herself ready, walk the dog, eat breakfast, and get there in 4 minutes. Can it be done? Only if her name is Captain James T Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and Scotty is going to beam her to the classroom. Otherwise, she is late.

My thought about Tink being late is that my job as mom will never really be over. As long as I live, I will always be worried about these two lovely children. My beloved Tink is always late and moving her to be on time is like trying to move the Rock of Gibraltar with a girl scout troop. And Buddy....well....he is always on time, but he has his issues like where is he going to put his college furniture after the apartment lease is over on the 13th and his house is not ready until the 15th.

Let's chat about the 'house'....it seems that the owners needs two extra days because they have to fumigate it. They also have to get rid of the spiders as well as any other free loading boarders in the home. Looking at this, I am thrilled that I am no longer in college....I do not desire to have room mates who have 8 legs. nope....the two legged room mates are more than I can handle right now.

Got to cut this one very short. Tink locked the keys in the car when she stopped to pick up dog food after class. I have to go and rescue her. The day has not started off very well for her...

Have a great day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Forfeiting is not an option!

Good morning! This will be short and not so sweet....got to hobble over to Dr G's office in a few minutes to see whether I tore, pulled, or decimated my  calf muscle. I wish that I could say that the injury was due to catching a little girl as she fell out of a third story window like the hero in New York, but I can't. I also wish that the injury came from saving puppies from perishing in a fire...but I can't. Lastly, I wish that I could say that I injured my leg by walking the 60 mile breast cancer awareness walk...but I can't.

What I can say is OY! Yeah, oy! Last night as I walked across the tennis court after a point, I felt a twinge, then a pain...then I was crippled. Sure, it was hot, but this never happened before to me. It couldn't have been a cramp because I was drinking orange juice throughout the match. I did stretch....so what happened?

Here's how it went down....we won the first set easily and fell asleep during set two. At the end of the second set, I felt the pain and had to hold up on the match. I had a ten minute injury time out (isn't this crazy?). After ten minutes, I did not feel better, but I was not going to stop since I had a great partner and we were on our way to a win. So, we continued to play but I did not run. We lost set two and entered into a ten point tie break for set three. Mind you, the leg is immobile, but I continued to go and my poor partner had to cover 98% of the court.

Let's consider the absurdity of this decision. I am a middle aged woman with a family and full time job. No one pays me to play tennis competitively, although I am thinking that the team is going to pay me not to play. Anyway, I have an injury...so what do I do? Well, since there are no substitutions, I have two options. Stop and forfeit or continue to play and pray that through a miracle we can pull it out.

Back to set three. We battled back and forth and finally lost the tie break 11-9 to lose the match. See, I would have lost anyway, so why did I continue to play? Why indeed?

Let's consider this....I guess that I am too competitive and therefore would rather try to hobble to a win or defeat than just set my racquet down and shake hands. Silly? perhaps....perhaps not. I am now very confident that my child gets this crazy competitive nature from his mother. A friend once said to me that I was a "closet type A" personality. In other words, people do not have any idea that I am a crazed maniac on the inside. The facade is somewhat laid back and self-deprecating. This closet type A personality is going to kill me somehow or put me in a wheelchair.

Considering my options, I would rather go down swinging in life than sit on the sofa with my iPad on my lap watching a reality show. And so the pains and strains of life are well worth the efforts of putting my body out there on a 100 degree day to continue to live life to its fullest. Yep...I think that I successfully rationalized this one....on to Dr G and Tank. How many of us can say that she has an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist on speed dial? How many of us want to have that option? How many think that I am absolutely crazy? Show of hands please....I know that my hand is raised high in the air.

Have a great day~

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Power of a Blue M & M

Good morning on this hot, sultry July day! I have to give the biggest BP mom shout out to the greatest neighbor ever....Einstein's mom who read the blog and has a television for Buddy's house. What a neighbor! Whatta friend! Whatta pal! Thanks Einstein's mom! You're the best-est! He'll be over to pick it up soon with some of the bakery's famous cupcakes.

On to the cupcakes....why is that a theme in most of my posts? Dunno....I guess that I like them like I like the monkeys especially the ones who ride on the back of sheep dogs. On Thursday night, there will be a big celebration at a local venue for charity. The best of the region's best businesses as voted upon by the readers of a magazine will be represented at a large gathering. The businesses such as bakeries, restaurants, and pubs will be there distributing their product to individuals who have paid for the privilege of attending the party. After paying for a ticket, the party goer can walk around and sample the cupcakes, cakes, pies, fish, special alcoholic beverages, entrees, pasta and so on. This is done until the attendee can no longer eat, drink, or walk. In my case, I had to be wheeled out. True, it was tough walking in my too tight jeans, but the memory lingers.

And so, Sparky, Big Sis, and I will join the Baker on Thursday night to work at the booth. We will be distributing samples of the best tasting cake in the region to whomever stops by the booth. Now that I will be manning the booth and distributing the product, I might find that I can leave on my own accord without a helping hand. I am thrilled to help out and join the fun of the celebration.

As regular readers know, the Baker creates the most amazing confections. She is also Buddy's boss who has accommodated his crazy rehab and work out schedule. He generally arrives at the bakery before 7 am and works until 2 pm, leaves, and works out until dinner. Day after day....Working at the bakery has taught the big kid a number of lessons such as the customer is always right, smile when you want to spit, and don't take what the customers say personally. The other day, a customer got angry because  he could not find his cake was in the back of the store. Of course, there is the famous blue M & M cookie story from the weekend where the customer had him look for a cookie with a blue M & M on top. A red, brown, or green M & M would not do because the blue ones have magical powers. As Sparky says: "we're not curing cancer here.....it's a cookie...." Yes, perhaps it is just a cookie, but maybe there is something that we do not know about the power of a blue M & M. Researchers are looking into its restorative powers now.

Yes, as the big kid comes home from the bakery, I noticed one odd phenomenon. Actually, it's not odd, it's weird..... It's not just weird, it's gross....yesterday as I was sweeping the garage, I noticed a trail of ants. Never wanting them in my home, I followed where they were headed. It seems that the trail of ants led to two dirty, stinky sneakers. The ants surrounded the shoes and were having a feast on the food that was crusted on them. What kind of food? How does flour, sugar, butter, carrots, apples, and coconut sound to you? To me, it is a ant-feast. It seems that the local ants invited their friends from surrounding neighborhoods and joined the festivities in my garage and in Buddy's size 13 shoes.

I am not sure what was going on, but there may have been a little ant band and little ant dance floor. There was definitely enough food to feed multiple colonies......

Which then made me regret (just a smidgeon) spraying the area with ant spray ruining their party. Not only did I spray the area but I sprayed the outside of the shoes and instructed the big guy never ever bring these confectionery ant party houses into my home. The sneakers actually have dual powers. They attract ants and they repel humans with the odor. Now that is magical.

And so, it is time for me to get some work done. I have to submit grades and finish some work for the fall. Dad has us thinking about a short vacation somewhere although we cannot agree on the location. He wants to go to Spain for a few days. Conversely, Tink and I want to go to Costa Rica and see the wild life and monkeys.  How cool would that be...sitting on a beach and having a monkey sans cowboy hat walk up to you without riding on a dog? Now, that would be a memorable vacation....BPM and her monkeys....maybe one of them will want to be my monkey friend. Perhaps I can pull out a note book and take notes on their habits. I could be a faux BPM Goodall....Come on dad.....please....pretty please! I promise I won't ask for anything ever again...never ever.....

Have a great day~

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Treasure or trash?

Good morning! It's a soupy day in the northeast....by 'soupy' I mean that breathing outdoors is like breathing through soup. Does that make any sense? Probably not, so on we go....

Yesterday the big kid took the day off from working out. It seems that the three hours that he spent in rehab on Friday was a bit much and the knees are screaming. Do all baseball players work out this much? Is this the standard or beyond the standard? I am not really sure but can attest that knee discomfort can ruin a person's day. I hope that he is not developing BP mom-syndrome....What is BPMS? Well, there is no cure for it. Jerry Lewis, Paul McCartney, and their fund raisers have still not heard about this pervasive crippler. In fact, there are only a few people who understand the syndrome.

Basically,  BPMS is a hurt, boo boo, or ouch-y that a person feels as he or she walks up the stairs. When trying to take two steps at a time, the person with BPMS begins to slow down and says "Ouch" then continues to climb the stairs. Currently, scientists are looking for a way to manage this pain. Sadly, funding is limited and therefore research in the prevention and alleviation of the syndrome is almost non existent. Therefore, sufferers must endure the boo-boo throughout their life time. let's applaud their survival skills.....

Yes, it's a tough road but doable. After all, it's not cancer, heart disease, or diabetes.

Yesterday, I stopped at a moving sale. Neighbors were downsizing and trying to clear out their basement. Naturally, it was an opportunity to find some used items for Buddy to take to college to fill his house. he needed a dresser for his clothes, television, and book case. As Tink and I drove up to the house, the goods were picked over. There were just a few items left. Disappointed, I looked at the back of the garage and to my pleasure, there was a beat up dresser, end table, broken book shelves, and coffee table. Wow! it was everything that he needed. Now I was ready to negotiate. Here is how it is done....

BPM: "How much do you want for the dresser?"
Tired Seller: "$5.00"
BPM: "Hmmmm... how about the rest of the stuff?"
TS: "You can have it all for $20."
BPM (holding back her glee): "I see. OK, we'll take them. How about the big blue Amish star in the trash can?"
TS: "It's trash. Take it." Remember, someone's trash is someone else's treasure.

Yeah, baby....and so....we backed the car up the driveway and loaded it with the used furniture and drove home. I could not believe my luck. We almost scored their television for free, but she had promised it to another buyer. The tv was a big older model but functional and the guys could play nintendo on it. Sadly, she offered it to another college kid. No sweat...Tink and I could not lift it anyway. it was too heavy.

Now, all he needs is a television for his bedroom, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, and cleaning supplies. Then he will be ready for his junior year. One last thing....whatever he brings to this house stays there. He is not to bring any of these wonderful treasures back to our home. He can sell them, give them away, or throw them out. I don't care. I just do not want to see them again. This also includes the infamous too big sofa, kitchen table and chairs, and dishes, glasses and utensils. The guys can also have a graduation sale and sell the items for $25.00 and make a profit. It's the American way....

Saturday, July 14, 2012

More monkey news

Good Morning!
It's a rainy day in the northeast and I have a few minutes to share this video with you. In yesterday's post, I mentioned how I had the privilege of watching my first cowboy monkey rodeo. Well, thanks to the big kid, here is a video of the show.

Why do I want to share it? Isn't it a bit odd watching a monkey riding on a dog around a baseball field? Perhaps....but if you know me, you know that I love animals and am fascinated by primates. I loved watching the tv shows Mutual of Omaha and Jacques Cousteau. How about Sea Hunt with Lloyd Bridges and Flipper? Oh yeah, the Little Rascals had a monkey. I desperately wanted one as a kid too. What was wrong with my life? BP Grandmom would not let us have a monkey. Six kids and a monkey? We would have had the coolest house in the region. I swear I would have taken care of the monkey. I would have called him "Banana". Isn't that a great name for a monkey? Come on, mom!

Conversely, I guess if I liked to sit in the jungle and enjoyed mosquitoes, I would have been a Jane Goodall instead of a bullpen mom. Further, if I did not get sea sick on boats or claustrophobic under water, I would have worked with the Cousteau group. Sadly, it was not my destiny to live in Africa and observe the animals nor scuba and find various species of barracudas, therefore, I have to be content watching them in movies and on television.  If you click on the video, you can see why I went crazy on Thursday night when the dog and monkey ran onto the field. 

And so, I will cut this post short. There is a moving sale around the corner and the big leftie wants me to check out the furniture since he needs a few pieces for his house in August. Yes, he is moving into a house. Oy! In the future, I will post the list of rules for his house starting with rule number 1: no underage drinking! I will print the rules, laminate them, and decoupage them onto a hard piece of wood to hang in the bathroom. Perhaps it will get their attention.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Monkey Cowboys

I have been thinking about things lately. What kind of things, you may ask? Oh, lots of things from the meaning of life to following your passion. I am actually finishing two courses this week so I am reading papers on leadership. The papers are actually quite good, so naturally, I am in fairly good spirits. When the papers are bad, I begin to either tug at my hair (ouch) or hit my head against my desk (double ouch). It seems that the art of writing a sentence and developing one thought into a paragraph has been lost. Sadly, I am not sure what has happened but as a professor, I have to grade not only the content of a paper but sentence structure, grammar, and spelling. Sometimes students have good ideas but they are lost in the way that they express themselves...see what I mean about thinking?

And so, the thoughts continue as I consider where my son is today. When I arrived home the other day, he was ready to go to the gym for a two hour work out. He was also in good spirits as he has selected his walk out song for next season. I love his optimism. According to the big kid, the arm does not hurt and he is getting stronger each day.

When he brought up the walk out song, I could feel his excitement. I hope the season comes soon because I doubt if he is going to be able to wait much longer. Yet wait, he will do, because the actual first pitch will not be thrown until September in fall ball. All of this hard work and preparation to stand on a hill of dirt and throw a little round ball with seams to another player. It seems so surreal. It is this little ball that makes this big kid happy. Nothing else, really...except, perhaps his bed and dog (on occasion) and pizza....

That's it...that's what I am thinking about....he works out 25+ hours a week for 52 weeks per year. And maybe, yes maybe, he will be placed into a game and throw 8 balls. Then he will be taken out of the game and sit in the bullpen for several days until he can throw 8 more balls. But in the meantime, he is working out, running, lifting weights, eating nutritiously, and forgoing partying and some of the college experiences.

Therefore, I ask the question: "Is all of this worth the effort?" Is it the journey or the destination that makes life worthwhile? I don't know, but the story continues each day and we do not know the outcome. If hard work and determination are part of the equation then he is on his way.

Speaking of on his way, last night the family took in a minor league baseball game. The game was fun but dull since the score was so lopsided. There was no drama until.....yes....until....then it happened....something that I only heard of but never witnessed.

What do I mean? Well, there is a legend of a monkey who is also a cowboy who rides on a dog. They call the show the "Cowboy Monkey Rodeo." Naturally, I was captivated by the title and the thought of a monkey riding on the back of a dog. Then it happened! Whiplash the monkey emerged from the locker room and ran around the stadium during a break in the game. There he was....in all of his glory with a little monkey hat on and a little monkey cowboy outfit riding on the back of a shaggy black and white sheep dog. It was one of the greatest things that I have seen and also a bit disturbing.

I stood and cheered. Clapped...hooted...hollered....the monkey with the cowboy hat on and the dog ran laps around the in field and disappeared. What a sight. It was the best part of the game. My life is now complete. I have seen the elusive cowboy monkey and his sheep dog. I can now die in peace. Forget about Alaska.

We loved it...then Big Sis walked backed to her seat since she had taken a moment to run to the ladies room. Standing there in disbelief, she could not believe that she missed the magic. Ah, yes, the magic and joy of watching a monkey and his dog. Life was good last night as we settled back into our seats to silently watch the end of the game thinking about the joy that the little monkey brought to the entire stadium.

Enjoy the day and here's hoping that you catch a glimpse of a monkey riding on the back of a dog some day....put it on your bucket list.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Film at 6

The hazy and lazy days of summer are upon us and I could not be happier. Over the weekend, I saw Moonrise Kingdom with Wildcat and Farmor (Swedish word for Granny). The movie was actually pretty good. I am not a movie critic, but it captured my attention and held it until the end of the flick.
In other words, I liked it!

Speaking of liking something, I am really 'in like' with the way Buddy has focused on his training. Today I have been assigned the task of videotaping him while he pitches. The rationale is that he can look at his technique and analyze each pitch. He knows enough about  his throw to determine whether he is pitching in a fundamentally sound way. Tink has one of those little mini cameras that will download the video immediately onto the computer.  Therefore, equipped with my little camera, I can capture the magic of each pitch then send it around the world in seconds. Crazy, isn't it?

With that said, the kid has one goal...no, not to keep his room clean, but to return to the pitching mound better than ever. I admire the perseverance and desire to continue to work hard. While working at the bakery, working out at the gym, rehabbing, and pitching sessions, he can and will return. In fact, I feel that he will be better than ever.

This is what it is all about, folks....here is a guy who has been repeatedly knocked down over the years. He gets up, dusts himself off, mutters a few salty words, picks up a ball, and continues to throw. Where did he get this work ethic? Dunno....but it makes me think that whatever he chooses to do in life, he will succeed.

Whew! That's all a mother wants...happiness, contentment, following your passion, and being able to pay the bills.....oh yeah, she would also like a little condo in Boca when all is said and done.....

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ready, aim, throw!

Happy Saturday! So sorry that I have been out of touch BUT there has been more than one holiday party to attend and BPM is no longer a spring chicken.....Besides, not much going on during the lazy days of summer EXCEPT:

Yep, the big leftie got the green light to throw on Thursday. So, after seeing the surgeon again (who was so proud of his work), he was given the permission to start throwing. Let's just say that his energy and excitement was palpable and the people in Eastern Europe could hear his whoopin and hollarin'....a happy, happy, happy guy....

And so, before going to PT to begin the process of throwing, I wanted to sit down with him and go over my thoughts. You know what thoughts...mom thoughts....caution....premonitions and so on.....
yes, I had anxiety that perhaps the kid would not be able to throw and that his aim would be off. I knew that the velocity would be down, but I was worried that he would overthrow and perhaps hurt his arm. I was also concerned that he would expect too much and therefore would be disappointed in his initial performance. I was worried that he no longer had his skills and therefore actually would not pitch again. I was worried about global warming, ObamaCare, and whether or not the little ten year old boy who sang Mariachi on America's Got Talent would move to the next round...come on America...vote for the kid.

It was time for Buddy to take his arm out for a test run. His appointment was at 6pm and I was sure to be there. In fact, I decided to work out at the same time so that I could witness the surgically improved arm. As he entered the room 40 minutes before his actual appointment (was there a doubt that he would be late?), the look on his face was pure joy. He began with his stretching then cardio, then arm exercises then it was time. At precisely 6pm, dad walked in to witness the first pitches of the season. The therapist first stretched his arm out while he was on the table and then it was time......the big leftie picked up his glove and placed it on his right hand....the therapist then had Buddy kneel....that's right...kneel....He slowly pulled his arm back under medical supervision....yep...good technique...OK...ready, aim, fire!

He pulled his arm back...no pain....he let a ball fly...no pain....the ball hit the backboard...bang...then another...no pain...another...no pain...once again...no pain....the balls began to fly...big smiles...happiness filled the room as dad, the other patients and therapists as well as the secretary watched Buddy throw balls for the first time since he was shut down in February. It was a great moment...like the first time that he walked as a baby. We clapped and cheered then considered celebrating with a special dinner and cake. This never happened because he had two more hours of exercises to do and I was not celebrating anything at 9pm. Remember, BPM is getting older.....

Overall, the surgery, post op, rehab, physical therapy, and patience were worth the effort. He was back and throwing at a higher velocity than when he pitched in the fall. Oh joy...oh happiness...the  world is a beautiful place and we are happy people....now for the news....yep..."the news"....

The "news" that was delivered to me by the PT's secretary was two short sentences: "Your insurance has run out. This is the last visit that they will reimburse." OY! The hard work has to continue under the direction of the therapist. We can't stop now. No way. He needs to watched closely for pain, stretching, and technique. Is this a cruel joke, 'cause I am not laughing. He has at least three visits per week until the end of August...if I 'cipher correctly....this adds up to beau coup bucks...

Ok, so, if I don't drive my car...no boxes of wine....no movies...get rid of cable....mow my own lawn....and eat peanut butter sandwiches on toast for dinner, this can be done. After all, isn't that what I signed up for when he decided he wanted to take his arm to the Major Leagues? The little sacrifices are worth it. Are people going to understand? Who cares?....besides, if he wanted to be in ballet, I would send him to New York. If he wanted to be a park ranger, I would send him to the Rockies for training. If he wanted to be a pastry chef (sigh), I would send him to France to apprentice with the top pastry chefs in the world. So what is different about this goal and passion? Absolutely nothing!

That's what it is all about....family...we do for each other because we love one another. I can rest when he has achieved his goals. Likewise, Tink pursues her dreams and passions and I am there to support her too. Whew....what if I had 6 kids like my parents? They get six thumbs up for the sacrifices that they made. And as time goes on, my own children will sacrifice for their children, my grandchildren....then so on and so on.....