Thursday, February 27, 2014


Hola! It's a late afternoon post. This is the first time that I am able to write all day...why?....well.....

It seems that our Diva is one sick pup. Four weeks ago, we took her to Petsmart to be groomed. After dropping a very reluctant dog off, Tink and I returned home and immediately received a phone call. "Please come and pick up Diva, we cannot groom her until her eye heals."

Really? Come on....well....Diva had a red eye lid and kind of looked like pink eye. But I figured that a dog could not acquire pink eye, right?

And so, we took her to see the vet. The vet gave her antibiotics.....come back in a week...that will be $132.00.

Ok, we are back...the eye is still red...big eye lids....It is time for another antibiotic. Also, use warm soaks to her eye. That will be $64.00. 'We don't take American Express.' Hey, how about quarters, nickels, and dimes? I got plenty of those.... 'Come back in 5 days.....'

Another visit to the vet....let's try steroids and an eye cream...."Come to the computer. I think that this is what she has...."....The computer?  I think? I could have googled dog eyes....see you in a week....$32.00

Yesterday, we returned to the vet. Now Diva is freaking out because she knows what is happening. She is high strung to begin with and the vets who work in the back of the office immediately knew who was in their lobby.

Once the doc saw Diva, she punted. Yep, "I want Diva to see a dog ophthalmologist. Here is the name and number of a very good one." Huh? A good one? There is someone out there who decided to be a dog eye doctor? How does that person make a decision like that in vet school? I like dog eyes, so I will specialize. Fascinating....

And so, we got the call early this morning to bring Diva to the eye doctor. After an hour wait (apparently, there are lots of dogs and cats that need their vision checked), the vet and dog nurse put her through a few tests, took photos, cut her hair back away from her eyes, and looked into her eyes with a specialized lens. According to the specialist, Diva may have an autoimmune disorder, so she put her on a more powerful does of steroids, antibiotic, and ointment for her eye.

If this does not work, she may have an allergy and need to see....get this.....another specialist....a dog dermatologist. That's right. There are people in vet school who have decided to specialize in animal rashes and skin.

That will be $244.00. We do accept American Express. See you in ten days...

We are not done yet.

Then she added one of those collars in which the dog cannot touch her eye. It looks like Diva has her head in a bowl.

As soon as we got home, Tink and I had to run out. So, I left Diva in the mud room with her new collar on. When I returned three hours later, she was in the same position that I had left her in. She could not sit or relax or move. This seems to be doggie torture to me. Poor Diva.

Now, I have propped her up on a few pillows and have her neck on top of a pillow pet. She seems comfortable but not happy. Not at all...In fact, she is peaved.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, I am now in the market for pet insurance. I wonder if they will turn us down since she has a pre existing eye thing going on. By the way, no one has technically diagnosed this eye problem, so I call it Diva's boo boo.

That's it folks. Like most of us, we love our pets. Never in a million years did I think that I would have to find Blue Cross and Blue Shield for a maltese with an eye problem. But this is how it goes....

Now it is time for me to finish my projects. Enjoy the evening.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Good morning. I am back from my great I 95 adventure....a little weary...but happy that I was able to drive the distance. Hey, what do you expect? This is BP momma here and she is gonna see her baby pitch and that's all there is to it. And if anyone tells the big guy that I called him 'baby' I will deny it.

And so, the trip itself was interesting. I discovered a number of important things about myself which is one of the reasons why I wanted to take this journey. First of all, I will never drive for an extended period of time after I take a yoga and pilates class again. BY the third hour on the road, my right leg began to quiver. I am pretty sure that this is related to the work out that I had undergone just a few hours before I left. I could not stop since I had to make it to North Carolina by the end of the evening, so I turned my heated seat on, baked the leg for a few minutes, began to sweat, opened the window, cooled off, and started the process over again for about 6 hours. It worked.

Discovery number two was that if a person eats enough Skittles, she can make it to Florida without stopping for coffee. Yes, I know that this is going to hit me in the butt (which it already has) but the sugar was the fuel that got me through North Carolina.

Discovery three was that I am a control freak as I never let Tink take the wheel even when the right leg was quivering from pilates. Actually, our Tink did not care because she was comfy in her heated seat with her iPad.

Discovery four was that I am a terrible singer. That's right. I cannot carry a tune in a handbag. Thankfully Tink was not nasty about my inability to hit the notes in the songs but overall, I am embarrassing and will NEVER karaoke again in a group. I had not idea I was that bad until I sang from Pennsylvania to Florida and back again. Dad always says that I sound like Bob Dylan. I thought that he was kidding, but he's not. I do love the Pharrell song "Happy". It is very catchy and a person can turn up the volume and be...well....happy....while listening to it.

Discovery five was that I am absolutely nuts for living in the northeast. As I look at the snow falling outside my window, its beauty is no longer apparent to me. All I think about is shoveling and skidding out. While I was in the south, I looked like an idiot. I was wearing long pants and wool sweaters while the rest of the folks had shorts and tee shirts on. MY body was not in tee shirt shape, so I kept it covered. I went on a few walks in South Carolina and did not want to leave the warmth of the  sun. Now I understand why the ole folks live in Florida and go to the early bird specials. They're not fools.

Discovery six was the the need for a car to have good functional breaks is not over rated. In fact, it is a good idea. This discovery came when I was driving Pop to see the Southern Belle in his car. The difference between stopping the car right away and slowing down and making a stop by pumping the breaks was apparent. Therefore, my goal over the next few days is to spend the change that I find under the sofa cushions, locate a coupon, and buy my car breaks. Did it mean that Tink and I had a few narrow misses? Nah, I knew what was going on, but I am not stupid and will not continue to drive in a car that won't stop. It's a good idea, right?

Discovery seven is that my boy has a good arm, is a super D 1 pitcher, and needs more confidence. Further, we had multiple discussions about his ambitious goals as I asked him to cool it and look toward playing a fifth year rather than jumping into something else. I gave him the analogy of a flower. A flower has to bud before it blooms. You cannot rush the blooming process since it happens naturally. If you desire the flower to bloom prematurely, it won't. Leave it alone, give it sunshine and water and watch nature take its course. In contrast, he is that bud. He is almost ready to bloom but needs sunshine, fertilizer, and water. Therefore, don't rush it. No matter how much you desire the end to all of this, the process cannot be rushed.

There.  I said it. I said it again and again and I think that it has sunk into a very hard head. Ease up on the lofty season goals. Take it one pitch at a time. Bloom slowly rather than artificially and you will see something beautiful happen.

Yep, sometimes I surprise myself. I can be mighty convincing when I want to be. And so, perhaps this notion will take the pressure off to be perfect each time he lets a pitch fly. He can enjoy the season, travel, and games. I know that his college career is drawing to a close and I wonder if he has had any fun. Who knows?

Ok, I have to work. I have been gone over a week and loved it! But, the show must go on and on and on....

Stay warm!

Monday, February 24, 2014


Happy birthday Uncle closet sibling in age is now a speed can figure this one out.
He has an intense work ethic and funny sense of humor. He signed a card to me at Christmas "To Bob from Betty" (A little White Christmas nod) that had me howling. Now I call him Betty, so happy day to my lil bro, Betty.

I also want to send a shout out to BP Grandpop who has been in the hospital and is recovering from 'something'. There is no definitive diagnosis yet, so we keep our fingers crossed and pray. BP Grandmom has been staying day and night at the hospital. This is commitment, gang. When I return home, I can take the night shift for her so that she can get some well deserved rest. Although, any time that I offer, she turns me down.  Hey, Pop! Get better! Hey Mom! Get some rest!

Where has the time gone? My great I 95 adventure is coming to a close. And yes, it has been an adventure. How so?

Well, I now know where every Hampton Inn is located along the I 95 corridor. I also know that there are no Starbucks located on I 95 throughout North and South Carolina (business opportunities abound). Lastly, I would rather drive through torrential downpours than snow as I encountered buckets of rain during the South Carolina to Florida portion of the journey (on the way and back, too! sheesh).

As far as my reflection on the games, the team was definitely man handled on Friday night to the point of embarrassment. With the score lopsided, the team had at least 7 errors (5 behind my son). Twitter was alive during this period and I will share some of the tweets....

1. "The team was seen in the local sub shop after the game, hope they don't drop their sandwiches"
2. "Where is the team staying? These guys are hawt"
3. "Pitcher did everything he could do to end the inning; his fielders wanted to stay and play."
4. "Standing next to players in elevator; swoon."

And swoon, they did. On the first night, there were quite a few team supporters, but by the second and third games, our side was full of the other team's coed supporters. In other words, the local Florida girls sat behind our dug out to watch the guys rather than the game. In fact, when the team did something good, they would stand up and cheer. Interestingly, there were wearing their school colors while supporting our team.

As a mom, I think that it is cute. As a university student, would I abandon my school team to cheer for the underdogs who happened to be cute guys? hmmm....possibly....uh, yeah.....probably.....University loyalty only goes so far; although I did marry a cute guy that I met in college.

On to the big kid....exhausted. That's the word of the weekend. He is taking 18 credits and struggling in the accounting course (yikes, don't tell dad). Dad suggested that he drops it and takes it this summer when he has more time. The kid's reply was "I don't quit." Maybe not, but let's put things into perspective. The schedule is overwhelming. They returned home from Florida at 2 am. He has a 9 am class and goes all day. This weekend, they head to Maryland, then California for a week. All of the travel, practices, and games interfere with being a student, which is not supposed to happen.

I took two of the pitchers to lunch on Saturday and both are having trouble keeping up with their studies to the point that Tonto is saying "forget it" and choosing to sleep rather than study. "I like sleep too much." Yeah, me too. But like my son, I cannot sleep when I have too much to do. It is a hazard of being an adult and a professional. Tonto, sleeping too much can cause a person to lose their job. Just a bit of advice from ole BPMom.

And so, today I have an afternoon Skype meeting then Tink and I hit I 95 again to start the trek home. I heard about the snow (oh joy!) coming and will choose to ignore it. I had terrific southern weather! As I sat in the stands on Saturday night, it was a warm evening with a cool breeze. All I could do was sit there and smile with this dopey grin on my face.....until our pitcher gave up five runs with two outs during the fourth inning.....then the wind shifted.....but the smile didn't....this was a gift for me.....

Onward and upward......remember if anyone wants to buy a Starbucks franchise and open it along the I 95 corridor in North and South Carolina, count me in. I will grab all of the change from the sofa and car and put my money in.


Saturday, February 22, 2014


Hello to all! Yes, I made it to Tampa with very little excitement. There were nasty storms while we were driving that made me chat with God asking Him to help us to get to our destination.

Yep, it was pretty scary, but we made it through. After a 6 hour journey from South Carolina fueled by Skittles and a peanut butter sandwich, we decided to find fish tacos for dinner. Game time is 7 pm.
Unfortunately, we could not find anything beyond a disappointing Chick filet for dinner. Oh woe!

How is the big kid? Well, we have had limited opportunities to chat this week. As I stayed in South Carolina, my days and evenings were booked by the Southern belle and Pop. So, we played phone tag until last night when he touched base around 8 before entering the air plane. He finally told me where the team was staying and I shared with him, that I could not wait for the information and decided to take a room at the Hampton Inn.Therefore, our hotels are five miles apart. time, give me a two day heads up.

As we got to the stadium, the leftie remembered to leave us game tickets at the box office which saved me $14.00. Upon entering, we looked around and it is a magnificent university stadium. The field, seats, sound system, and score board were top notch. The opposing team was on to the game.....

OK, as you know, BP mom has to wait generally for an entire game for a glimpse at her favorite player. However, with last night's game, he made it in before the 8th inning....and here is how it went....

He entered the game when the score was 17-0 (other team was winning). He looked pretty good. He was throwing and in the zone. But somewhere along the line, the players forgot that they were in a game and behind him there were 5 errors. Yes, that is right....5 errors. The official score documented 4 errors, but I distinctly saw five! Needless to say, it is an outing that the short stop and first baseman need therapy to get over. The pitcher kept his cool and threw and threw and threw....56 pitches in one inning. Yes, he walked a guy...yes, he hit a batter who was crowding the plate, but these were insignificant. He should have been out of the inning within 12 pitches. Thanks to his team mates, he was not....which leads me to his pitching coach who shouted at hm a few weeks ago: "If you do not pitch to contact, you will not pitch for me, ever!"

How is that statement working for you, dude? Should he continue to pitch to contact if his defense is not playing the ball? Hmmm. Such a dilemma.

Tink and I left after the 8th inning and headed back to our hotel when we got the text message: "Please come and meet me." OK, let's go...see you at the bar at your hotel...."Not allowed at the bar..." Huh? OK, that makes sense....take a long shower in your room so that I can sip a pinot and wait for you, then we can chat in the lobby.

When I saw him, he looked tired. He gave his performance a "D". I thought that it was more like a B minus. he lost a few points by hitting the batter and walking the other.

The coaches said to the players that one game does not define a season and not let it bother them. Although while stretching, the leftie pulled on one of the bands that was attached to the fence and clearly hit the head coach on the jaw with his hand. Ouch....anyway.....

The head and pitching coaches congratulated his performance. Obviously, they watched the same game that I did.

While we sat in the lobby, the kid said that he was at peace. He does not blame his team mates because he knows that they did not drop or over throw the balls on purpose. Where does he stand for the rest of the weekend? No more pitching. He's done for the weekend. And that is it....the life of BP mom.....

Thousands of miles in a car....handfuls of Skittles.....peanut butter sandwiches on I95....find the ball park....sit and watch a great game or like last night...a really bad game....wait and wait to see her son....he warms up....he throws....he's out.....done.....

Yet, you know.....I would not trade these moments for anything. I will do whatever it takes to be the support that my family needs. If it means a week's worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the road, then so-be-it.

Sigh. Now Tink and I will look for some fish tacos and go to the 6 pm game. The weather has cleared. It is goes on.....


Monday, February 17, 2014

Home run!

I'm back and have heat. Now, I plot my actual escape from the northeast....the question is: do I leave before or after tomorrow's snow fall? Hmmmm. Not sure. I will flip a coin. Naw! I am out of here BEFORE baby! I think....

OK, and we are...the beginning of a new and improved left handed pitcher....right? Uh...wellll......

Yesterday's first game began at 1 pm. The university in NC had a wonderful online stream with a terrific broadcaster. He was definitely a 'homer' (rooting for the home team) but he presented a balanced broadcast. Tink and I were spell bound in the family room while dad watched at work. A right hander started. The game was sloppy for both teams. But this was the first time outside since October for Buddy's team, so there were some adjustments to be made such as sunshine in the eyes and wind. With that said, there were a number of fielding errors by both teams.

Once again, as readers know, the title of this blog is 'bullpen' mom since I have had to wait and wait for an appearance by my leftie. No one knows if he will be called into a game, so we wait...and wait...wait some more....get the nails a granola bar...get a massage...drink tea....walk the dog....make cheesesteaks....sigh....stretch...look around for something to do....and then...

He appears! Or he does not....

During game one, he did not appear. Sigh! We watched the entire game with our breath sighting....then we had to run a few errands. I got the game on my cell phone and off we went....

Game two....

The starting pitcher was a bit rocky....then the relief pitcher was rockier....the team was down 1-6 in the bottom of the 8th and guess who runs in? Yeah! That's right! The game to that moment had been three hours in after watching both games for 6 hours, he appears...oh, look....he shaved! Smile, honey! You made it....

The announcer starts to talk about him. it seems that the anouncer's father had gone to the same school as the big leftie. Actually so did the vice president, which he mentioned during the broadcast.

The kid throws....strike one....ball....pop out.  Out 1.

Deep breath....meanwhile...Tink is in the kitchen watching the game while I am in the family room and dad is in his office. None of us wanted to look at the game together for some reason.

Next....ball one....strike....strike....ground ball to third base....TK throws the batter out! Out 2.

Now I am thinking. Here is where he end it....I am worried....then the broadcaster says something fascinating...he gives ole BP mom a shout out...."It seems that the big leftie's mom was an excellent tennis player who was a Wildcat." Huh? He gave me a shout out! Me! Fade to black....naw, let's keep going with the story....

Batter number three...inside...ball one...then it happened.....he threw it.....the batter hit it....and he hit it hard...really fact, the ball landed in my back yard a few minutes ago.....

yep...home run....the team was now down 1-7, thanks to my kid....

Ok, one what, right?

Batter 4: strike one....ball....strike....grounded to second....thrown damage? Right?

The game was subsequently over and the teams split. When he called home, I held my breath as I thought that I would hear a tirade. Nope. "I threw it...he hit it....squarely....I was able to maintain my composure. The coach said I looked good. The ball has not landed yet."

Actually, the ball did land, but he learned something important. It was one pitch. One shot. Deep breath. Move on. I went to the Phillies Cardinals play off game a few years ago with dad and Dr. G. Roy Halladay threw the first pitch that was hit over the fence. The Phils lost to the Cards and the playoffs that night 1-0. I will never forget it. Halladay threw a brilliant game but the one pitch killed the team. Also, the team did not score so the other pitcher was better by one pitch.

With that said, he did it. He conquered his fears and threw the ball. it landed over the fence, but hey....he figured it out.

There is one more game before they take the 12 hour bus ride back to campus. I predict that they will get there around 4 am. The kid has a 9 am class which he cannot miss. Oh, the joys of baseball.

By the way, during the first inning, Big Red had to be taken out. A foul ball hit his throwing hand slicing and dislocating his thumb. After being taken to the hospital for treatment, he is now out for quite a while. 

Gotta go! Be well!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

All plans are subject to change

Good morning! The day has arrived with mixed emotions. First, the guys don't want to play in 40 degree weather on a field that may have ice on it...just a bit of a hazard and safety problem. Also, I am sadly not there to observe the games. My plans took a nasty turn with the latest snow fall. Fortunately, since I am driving, I have the opportunity to be flexible.

 So, I can leave tomorrow for Florida or I can leave Tuesday. Nonetheless, I won't miss this series.

I did note on the opposing team's website that the games are going to be streamed online. This is terrific. I can stay warm, eat popcorn or crack open the boxed wine, and watch my computer for a few hours. This definitely is a answer to my sadness for missing the opening pitch.

After a twelve hour trip (mom, no Wifi....sad face), the team stretched their legs, had another practice, and went out to dinner. I have not heard from the kid since he boarded the bus for dinner, so I have no idea how it went. But I suggested that he ate pasta and protein to prepare the body for a double header.

His lovely face made the photo that was posted on Facebook. In it, his head is turned a bit, skull cap on his head, and several days growth on his face When did he decide that this was a good look?

Hold everything!

Dad just walked into my office with the news that the second floor heating unit is not working. Seriously?? Now the second floor? Dang! What the heck is going on? Please do not tell me that I have to call my heating guy George back! Double dang! Triple dang! I am supposed to leave town but I can't if I have to get the heat pump fixed. Heck! Double heck! Triple heck! There is also a strange odor in my office which is above the heating units. Oy! Crack open the box on this one!

Well, that's it gang. In less time than it takes me to write a short post, my plans have changed again. We chatted about flexibility, right?

And so, my friends, my travel plans have changed in the last five minutes. Crud! Double crud! Triple crud!

OK, enough. Time to call George and have him check out the heat again. If history repeats itself, it will take him four visits to fix the heat pump over a period of two weeks. Ahhhh.

Sorry, I am bummed.....I'll post after I watch the games, not in the warmth of my home, but in the chill of my home....have a great day!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Doggie ophthalmologist

Greetings! I will not mention the 's' word, but let's be realistic, it has put a cramp in my travel plans. It looks like the weekend in NC is cancelled, although the team still plans to travel and play three games on Sunday and Monday. If this happens, will the fields be ready? What will the temperature be? Are the roads passable?

Come on, guys....just cancel it and do not put our boys in jeopardy. Even if the bus arrives safely, they will still be outside early in the season and with the cold temperatures can sustain injuries. So, when you make this decision, be sure about the consequences of your actions.

With that said, I am no longer going to make travel plans but go with the flow. I already informed work that I will be out of the office, so I can leave at any time. Unfortunately, I wanted to leave today but it is out of my hands. Since I cannot control it, I look for other ways to occupy my time like heading to the Y for a pilates class.

Yep, that's it. Since we had a snow day, I was able to accomplish most of my work, so it is time to relax and work out.

By the way, our Diva is having eye troubles. Two weeks ago, her left eye was red and swollen (Bob Costas-like for those of you who are watching the Olympics). Anyway, we brought her to the vet.....antibiotics....$70.00....the redness did not clear up, so another visit to the vet.....ointment and more antibiotics.....$135.00....Back to the vet today at 4 pm....$$$$$$$$. On our last visit, the vet mentioned that she may need to see a 'animal ophthalmologist' or need a biopsy...... Now I am considering pet insurance. I love our Diva but the vet expects immediate payment and is charging these fees for each follow up visit. Shouldn't the treatment work the first time and not the fifth? Then with each visit, she looks at the eye (which I can do....), see that it is still red and swollen (again, I can do this) her a few pills (which I cannot do).....hands me a bill and says: "see you next week."

And so, with my trips to the vet, there are two possibilities....

1. Diva has a major problem


2. The vet does not know what she is doing....

If she punts us to an ophthalmologist after the fourth visit, I am going to go ballistic....'cause I have no idea where to find a dog eye doctor! Does the doc use one of those Snellen charts to check her visual acuity? Does the dog have to get her pupils dilated and wear sun glasses until she gets home?

It's always an adventure...even when I do not leave home.

And so, I must prepare for Valentine's Day....with Diva's medical bills, we are talking about soup, crackers, and a Hershey's bar. Gone are the days of a candle light dinner, cards, and gifts. Yep, I am splurging this year and going to add almonds to the Hershey bar.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

SB=Snow blower




Ok, now that I have vented about the weather, I am not going to complain but I have to say that I am 'oh so sad' that BP mom's great escape and adventure has been postponed until early next week. Yep, I had visions of climbing into the car, adjusting the seat and radio station, grabbing a grande pike from Starbucks, a granola bar, filling the tank, and zipping out of the weather and town. All the neighbors would see would be the back lights of the car as I motored south looking for a new venue. I am so ready...but the elements will not cooperate. I am trapped!

As of yesterday, the NC games have been postponed until Saturday. Yet, looking at the weather radar map, NC has 6 inches and there is no way that it will melt in time for the field to be ready for a Saturday game. yet according to the big kid today who called on his way to class, they are still going. It was an interesting conversation as he said for the first time in his life "I hope the series is cancelled this weekend. I do not want to die on the way to NC."

Profound statement. First, he wants the games cancelled. Never, ever has he asked for game cancellation. He lives to compete. As a grade schooler, there was a lightening storm, and he wanted to leave the house for a game. When I told him that the game was postponed, he screamed: "Why God? Why? Why me?" Yes, questioning God about the weather at such a young age.

His second statement of not wanting to die was actually what I was thinking. The team is going to take a 12 hour bus trip to NC. The route is from the mountains (where it is snowing), through PA, (where it is snowing), through Delaware (where it is snowing), and motoring through Virginia and NC (where it is snowing). A twelve hour trip can really become a two day trip. I am hopeful that the decision makers on both team's campuses make a proper decision to postpone the games until the ice melts. There is no reason to take a trip in weather that could cause an accident and hurt or possibly kill the passengers of a coach bus. it's not like these guys are needed for open heart surgery to save a dying infant. It's baseball for Pete's sake. Get this one right, coaches!

Here on the home front, I want to send a shout out to Uncle P who dropped off a birthday cake for dad's from the office and a snow blower! Yes! A snow blower. Dad told Uncle P that I suggested the exorbitant snow fall was due to our broken snow see.....fade to black....

When we lived in the old house, dad and two other neighbors bought a snow blower together after winters of shoveling out. These three guys had it. No more shoveling...'we're too old...' blah, blah, blah....with that said, they bought a keen Sears snow blower when it went on sale at the end of one season.

The snow blower sat in our garage collecting dust for two years since we did not have a significant snow fall. Remembering this phenomenon and having a broken snow blower, I said to dad: "You know you have the power to stop this weather madness. Get the @$U$$%() snow blower fixed and the snow will stop. Get it! NOW!"

He told Uncle P of our conversation and he had enough. And so, late last night, Uncle P dropped of a snow blower knowing that this device may have unique power over nature to end the snow. And so, I am testing my theory this week as dad gets ready to start the new blower and hit the drive way. I am confident that I may have touched upon something that may factor in to all weather reports. As they report on Punxatawny Phil and his shadow, there may be a news team outside our garage door waiting for an active snow blower to blow away the seasonal snow falls. Let's see what happens. In the meantime, I will go back to work and edit my magazine.

It's time to catch up on my work as I watch Tink and dad clear the driveway with the gas powered snow blower. He does have gas for it...right?

Stay warm!