Tag Archives: baseball

Sharing My World 73

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This night nurse pic is what came up when I went to Google and typed in marvel comics followed by my name. Best. Result. Ever. Facebook told me to do it. Now I’m telling you. Listen to the freaky night nurse.

Share Your World – July 24, 2017

List some of your favorites types of teas.

The idea of tea is lovely.  Tea and scones, lemon tea, tea time, cozy tea room, take a tea break, iced tea on a hot day, curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea.  But to actually brew a pot of the vile stuff and drink it, eww, yuk.  There’s something metallic or acidic about it that I don’t like.  It’s okay to scent candles with or to make shampoo smell nice.  Otherwise I avoid it.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

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This one looks like a normal day for me. It basically means “do you have any idea where the hell you’re going?”

What are a couple of things people could do for you on a really bad day that would really help you?

Well they could just sit there with concerned looks on their faces and listen to me rant.  That would be helpful, no advice or solutions necessary.  They could also offer me coffee or chocolate.  Or large sums of money.  Things like that tend to improve my mood.

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do? Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.

The first me-being-athletic thing that pops in to my head is long distance or marathon runner.  Which is pretty funny considering how most days I have trouble motivating myself to walk around the block.  But think of the cool spandex clothes and awesome shoes and sweaty headbands.  Pulling muscles.  Collapsing over the finish line.

Maybe baseball would be a more sane choice for me.  Pinch hitter.  Smacking out spectacular home runs followed by leisurely jaunts around the bases and congratulatory high fives.  I could do that.  (In my dreams.) (You did say dreaming was okay.)  A nightmare on the other hand would be jumping off a diving board head first into deep water.  Who in their right mind thinks that’s a good idea.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Yesterday I was SO SMART taking advantage of the sunshine to mow the lawn.  It’s been pouring rain ever since and generally cold and windy and miserable.  Definitely not marathon running weather.

I’m looking forward to going north for a visit with family on the weekend.  And then the return home mid August of W who is closing up the cottage early this year mostly I think because he is bored being on his own so much.  Well of course there’s more issues than that.  I wonder if he’s tried overdosing on chocolate.  Probably not. Sounds like something the night nurse might recommend.

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Balls

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Last night W wandered into the living room and asked me what I was drawing.

I said balls.

Looking at my sketch book page, he said what is that, an orange, or a peach or what?

I said, it’s just a ball.

He laughed.

I thought, are balls funny?

These particular balls, not amusing to me no matter how hard I look at them, are simply my experiment in colour blending and shading using pencil crayons.  They ended up looking like unfunny balls.  Mission accomplished.

However, after that, the very idea of balls kept me awake last night.  I imagined teaching everything about balls to people learning the English language. This could be funny for the teacher, but probably much less funny for the students.

Consider this comprehensive list, and then you decide how many ball lessons might be required to master all the concepts.

1.  She entered the ballroom wearing her ball gown to dance at the gala ball.  Everyone could see she was having a ball.

2.  At the ball game in the ball park, the pitcher often throws more strikes than balls.  There are fair balls and foul balls and the umpire must have the balls to stand by his various calls.

3.  What do the words tennis, golf, cannon, meat, ping-pong and basket all have in common?  Bingo.  They are all balls.  There are also bingo balls.

4.  He crumpled the paper into a ball.

5.  A football is not the same thing as the ball of your foot, both of which are larger than the ball of your thumb.

6.  The accountants found his financial records to be all balled up.

7.  Yarn and candy and cotton can all be balls.

8.  If you think something is bull shit nonsense, it’s more polite to call it bolus or balls.

9.  You can carry the ball, run with the ball, drop the ball, start the ball rolling,  keep the ball rolling, and just generally be on the ball.

10.  Does a snowman, made of balls of snow, have snowballs?

It’s enough to make a bald man bawl.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends.  May there be sufficient left overs for turkey balls tomorrow.

And just to remind you that balls can be hilarious, here’s a classic to start off the holiday coming up next.

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Bar Story

photo credit explorethebruce.com

Daily Prompt: Fill In the Blank

Three people walk into a bar . . .my sister, my brother-in-law and me.  We are in Small Town Ontario, it is late afternoon.  We have just dropped my niece off at the ball park where she’s doing whatever it is that ball players do to prepare themselves for the big game, and we have some time to kill.

Every small town in Ontario has a local hotel.  Every one of them is called “The Queens” or something similarly grand.  They all have charm and character. They all serve cold beer.

We sit at a small table on hard wooden chairs and the lady behind the bar shouts across the empty space asking us what we’ll have.  Three of whatever’s on tap, my brother-in-law law shouts back.  And how about you, Charlie, she asks, the usual?  Charlie has joined us at our table, although there are vacant spots everywhere.  The only other occupied seat is a stool at the bar where a big bearded man sits with his elbows embracing his glass and his hands supporting his head, mesmerized by the sports cast on the overhead tv.bar and grill

Charlie smiles at us and nods as he raises his hand in a wave of assent to the bar tender.  We all smile back at Charlie.  He is a little rough around the edges, somebodys forgotten grandpa, plaid shirt and oil stained ball cap as old and wrinkled as he is himself.   I think perhaps we have innocently chosen to sit at Charlies regular table, and he is not about to give up his usual space.

How’re ya doin’ he wants to know, and what brings ya ta here.  And what do ya think o’ the damned temperature out there, ain’t it on the high side fer this time o’ the year?   Charlie taps his stubby fingers on the wooden table top with one hand while caressing the grey stubble on his face with the other, listening to our polite replies.  When his beer arrives he grabs it with both hands to take long thirsty swallows, bangs his glass back down, and then releases a thunderous belch, for which he does not apologize.

I glance at my sister, who is staring at the beams overhead, her lips pressed hard together suppressing what I’m sure would be a loud guffaw if she let it go.  I clear my throat too loudly and take a long drink, hoping I won’t choke, spitting beer all over Charlie’s table.  We sit quietly for a minute.  The television drones.  The bartender hums as she rearranges some glasses and swishes a bar towel across the counter.  We look expectantly at Charlie but he has stopped talking.  His eyes are closed and his chin is resting on his chest.  He still clutches his beer glass in both hands as if someone might snatch it away from him when he’s not looking.

We enjoy the rest of our beer, anticipate the up coming game, check our watches, and then prepare to go.  The shrill jangle of a land line phone pierces the quiet and the lady behind the bar starts to curse.  Oh my Lord love a fucking duck, this Jesus phone has been ringing off the damned hook all fucking day!  What the damned hell, I can’t take this any longer!  She grabs the receiver and shouts HELLO!

We quietly make our escape.  I ask the other two if they heard the phone ring more than once while we were in there and they both say no.  I wonder what kind of emotional stress we might have caused by ordering a second round.  And when will Charlie notice that we’re gone?  Three people walk out of a bar laughing and don’t look back.

Sandhill Cranes Out Standing in Their Field

This is what we saw in the field across the road today – this is not my picture because they were too far away and not this clear even with binoculars.  I was excited to see the wild turkeys that are always lurking around nearby, but sandhill cranes is a first for me and even better.

We also had a little visitor today for a couple of hours after school, so I got to watch Bambi which I’ve never seen before and will have to be forced at gunpoint to ever watch again.  The wandering cat has wandered off.  We finished our painting and varnishing.  Watched the Blue Jays win and the Pittsburgh Penguins lose.

Did I mention anywhere that we’ve also watched Mama Mia and It’s Complicated and while Ann works away on her little knitted comfort dolls, I’ve been making bizarre things out of yarn just to keep her company.  We’ve laughed our way through all the episodes of The Vicar of Dibley and that has reminded us of our bus tour of the UK.  When we were somewhere close to where the series was filmed, our tour guide played DVD’s of some of the shows.

I think I’ve watched more tv in the past week than I’ve done in the past year.  Early in the morning tomorrow we’re going for pedicures, babysitting all afternoon, then off to see a psychic on Friday and our big “Easter” dinner is Saturday.  The time is speeding by!  W. informs me he’s all set up now for satelite radio.  And that perhaps he’ll still be home when I get back.  I have no idea how he’s filling his days of leisure, but, so sad for him,  it’s not likely with psychics and spas and sandhill cranes.

To Market To Market

We’re a whole week into April already!  I hope by the time I get home everything will be as green there as it is here.  Today was lovely and sunny and warm, (impossible to even imagine snow) although they are predicting some rain in the next few days.  Which is perfectly okay since that’s what keeps things green.

This morning we had coffee and a chatty visit with my brother and his wife.  It’s perfectly amazing how well he’s getting along and how much he’s doing.  They had some yard work planned and were considering going out for a game of golf in the afternoon.  I’m not even going to try to keep up with him!  My sister and I went shoe shopping and out for lunch at the Walker House and then to the Southampton Market to browse.  I love that place – I’m sure I’d fill my house up with their beautiful unfinished wooden things if I lived any closer.

And then spend all my time staining and varnishing and painting.  They say there’s two acres of shopping in the place, so wandering around in there for the afternoon was probably great exercise.  And I only spent twenty dollars. You don’t need to know what I paid for two pairs of shoes before that.

I’ve watched more baseball and hockey since I got here than I have all year at home.  It’s kind of embarrassing that my neice knows everything about the Edmonton Oilers and I have no idea what she’s talking about.  Today is her third day following her tonsilectomy and probably the worst as far as pain and discomfort go.  Starting tomorrow things should steadily improve.

We’re very close to the lake out here and I can hear geese making an incredible racket although I can’t imagine what they’re up to in the middle of the night.  Honking at the full moon maybe?  No matter, they won’t keep me awake for long.  Instead of traffic and sirens I’ve got country and crickets.  It’s kind of a pleasant change.

Harry Is Not Amused

When I asked for help in keeping these orange beasts sorted out, my sister told me that Harry is the one who always looks pissed off.  And it’s true, she does.  She is the only female and the only mom and she has the stupidest name, so who can blame her for her ill tempered little face.

Last night I met a delightful little girl for the first time, got a tour of a beautiful new home, and am now able to put a face and a place together.  We are so happy to have her as part of our family and hope this little while can turn into forever.  It’s a process I’m somewhat familiar with and know that these things take a long and agonizing time to resolve.  Fingers crossed – we’re hoping for a happy ending.

This morning I had my hair trimmed because it was starting to look a little ragged around the edges.  And I did promise that I would get myself to a professional when I got the urge to start hacking away at it myself.  This time it was blown dry first and then cut – I must say there are fewer surprises doing it that way.

And today is the day my neice had her tonsils out.  She’s not six, (she’s over twenty six) so of course she’s heard all the horror stories about what happens when adults undergo this procedure.  So far she’s doing very well, dozing on and off, taking her meds, eating freezies and jello and ice.  We all watched the Blue Jays game on tv.  And watched and watched and watched.  All sixteen innings of it, which they finally managed to win over Cleveland.

So baseball season is open before the hockey playoffs begin.  Even the weather is confused.  There was a huge dump of snow in Edmonton this morning, so some of that crappy weather may be coming this way.  W told me the furnace is in and running at last, and his satelite radio has been delivered, so there’s really nothing to keep him home now except perhaps the snow.  That won’t hold him for long when the island is calling his name.

And last but not least, I have to confess that when we left the house this morning I closed my bedroom door to keep the cats out of it.  Several hours later we came home to discover that I had shut Harry inside of it instead of out, which caused her to be even more indignant than normal.  Sorry Harry.  But I know you had a lovely long undisturbed nap on my pillow, so if I’m not sounding as remorseful as you’d like, that would be why. So please stop glaring at me, I’m not falling for it.

Home Is…

The obvious and fair solution to the housework problem is to let men do the housework for, say, the next six thousand years, to even things up. The trouble is that men, over the years, have developed an inflated notion of the importance of everything they do, so that before long they would turn housework into just as much of a charade as business is now. They would hire secretaries and buy computers and fly off to housework conferences in Bermuda, but they’d never clean anything. ~Dave Barry

Home is a key on my laptop between delete and end.

Home is what I click on when I’m lost on a website so I can start again.

Home is a base where I’d start off batting, and strive to end up back there safe.

Home is a verb when I’m homing in.

Home is where I can’t be homesick but I can be home sick.

Home is my refuge, my shelter, my nest.

Home is not just a place, it’s the people I love.

Home is in my heart and a memory in my mind.

Home is a workplace.

Home is the best place to get a good night’s sleep.

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Great Moments in Baseball

July 25

Great Moments In Baseball

If you were thinking this blog might have anything to do with major league, sorry to disappoint you.  It’s not even about minor or bush league.  More like inconsequential shoestring type baseball for personal entertainment purposes only.

I LOVED baseball as a kid.  At SS#1 Aaron (our little one room schoolhouse) I played it (or reasonable facsimiles of it) for 8 years straight.  When I was six in grade one, the bigger kids would let me play fielder.  I would do that for the entire game, happy as a lark to go chasing balls,  especially if it meant having to climb over a fence.  I could never throw worth shit, but I could run fast, and hand the ball over happily for a smile and a pat on the head.

There is something very satisfying about swinging a bat, connecting with the ball and sending it soaring.  I did get to be very good at that part of the game.  Our diamond consisted of a woodshed as backstop and blocks of wood for bases.  The blocks were supposed to be sunk down flush with the dirt, but there were always edges high enough to trip over.  Skinned knees were common, and no one ever considered sliding.  There was a huge tree right behind second base, so that became a very popular position to play if you liked to be in the shade.  It also stopped a lot of home runs with it’s trunk and branches.  We picked team captains and new teams every day, and each team had to rotate every position with every inning.  You went from pitcher to catcher, around the bases including short stop, and then to the outfield if there were enough people on your team.  Usually we were happy if each team had at least a complete infield.  If there weren’t enough kids to make up teams, we played with two batters, and whoever was responsible for an out got to change positions with that batter.   It was soon apparent where you played well, and where you sucked.  Surprisingly enough, I was a pretty good pitcher until I got all self conscious about it,  and as long as I kept my mind on the game the ball would go over the plate.  If my mind was wandering I could demonstrate a whole new meaning for the term ‘wild pitch’.  A few times we accepted challenges from other small schools and took our ‘best’ team to a competition.  We had good sportsmanship drilled into us by our teachers, and those lessons were very helpful, because invariably the scores would be ridiculously lopsided, one way or the other.

I remember all of us being passionate about playing baseball every recess and lunch break every day of the week while the weather permitted.  And even when it didn’t.  We played in drizzle and fog and once in lightning.  (The teacher was inside and didn’t notice, or I’m sure she would have put a stop to that one.)  We played when the base lines were dusty, and we played when they turned to mud.  We fought over balls and strikes, safes and outs, and even the score, since an umpire and a score keeper were unheard of in our day-to-day games.  It was my mom who suggested we keep right on playing all summer by joining a league.

It didn’t take a lot of persuasion, and my sister and I decided to join a girl’s team where we went to practices and took instruction from an actual coach, and where we would compete against 4 other small town teams.  It was an amazing experience for both of us, playing with people who knew what they were doing and were good at it.  It was a no brainer that Ann would make the team because she was good in whatever position she played, and I made it based solely on my ability to hit and run.  My fielding was pathetic.  She mostly played short stop.  I always got right field, behind a great first baseman and beside an excellent center fielder who could cover my ass.  I don’t remember a lot about those games except for hitting some home runs and always getting on base.  I was patient waiting for the perfect pitch, and took a lot of walks.  Ann swung at everything and mostly connected, but also had some colossal strike outs.  When that happened she would always come back mad and swinging and hit it out of the park.  I couldn’t catch a fly ball if my life depended on it.  Once I even pulled my glove back at the last second and let the ball drop at my feet.  When the coach asked me what the hell I was doing, I told him I had a panic attack.  He didn’t think that was funny.  I chased a lot of balls, and stopped a lot of grounders, but I was only ever able to throw them to a cut-off person.  It didn’t seem to matter how much I practiced, or how hard I tried.  I should have been a pinch hitter, but they didn’t have those in our games.

One night we were playing a crucial game that we really needed to win.  The game went back and forth, the score up and down, until we were leading by a run in the bottom of the ninth.  We got the first two outs, high fly balls to the infield and to left field and I was almost starting to relax.  Then there was a base hit and a runner on second.  The next up to bat was a girl who consistently hit line drives into right field.  I wanted to puke.  I could see my team mates glancing in my direction.  They probably all wanted to puke too.  It plays like a little mini video in my head.   First pitch – strike one.  YES!!  Kick the dirt, take a deep breath, get into position, pray.  Second pitch, strike two.  ALRIGHT!!  You can’t cross your fingers inside a ball glove, you moron.  Please please please if there is a God, don’t let her hit that stupid ball to me.  Third pitch – THWACK – a line drive right at me, but  ohmygod, so high.  FUCK!!  I swear there was a collective sigh from the rest of my team, and my heart dropped down to my knees at the thought of letting them all down.  They’d all gather around and say comforting stuff, like good try, that one was gone, don’t worry about it.  And I’d want to bawl.  So I gritted my teeth and decided to at least make it look good,  at least leave the ground and get my arm and my glove up there – reach goddamit…..jesusfuckshit…..and then SMACK – the ball hit my glove and nearly knocked me over backwards.  The silence was deafening.  And then the screaming began.  I will never ever again be the sports hero that I was that night.  If they could have hoisted me on their shoulders and drenched me with champagne I think they would have done it, but that would not have made the moment any more mind-blowing.  No home run before or since ever felt so good, and the rest of my baseball memories pale in comparison.  Of course nobody remembers it but me, but it doesn’t matter.

The ladies team I joined in Inuvik consisted of a bunch of bored housewives with varying degrees of talent.  We all went to tryouts where we had to run laps around a gym.  What a pathetic out of shape bunch.  Half of us ended up lying on the floor red-faced and gasping for breath.  The coaches, who were CFS guys who picked the team,  made the mistake of overlooking a couple of ladies who were very talented.  These girls were also not all that good-looking, and both of them were over weight.  There was a lot of discussion amongst us about that – we had a couple of hot chicks on our team that couldn’t even swing a bat.  Both the rejected girls joined another team, so we let it go.  But every time we played against them, we pointed out to our coaches how they really missed the boat on those two.  So maybe I was chosen for my beauty.  HAHAHAHA!!

Seriously, I don’t think so.  Of course it was my superior ability and my obvious dedication and my complete lack of sarcasm that made me stand out.  Great uniform, hey?  I’m wearing long underwear under that, and two pairs of socks and a turtle neck.  We played in some darn cold weather.  So cold that we sometimes wore our parkas on the bench.  So cold that we couldn’t take this picture outside I guess.  My house is a complete disaster, because what athlete has time to tidy up?  Notice the incredibly ugly macrame thing hanging on my wall.  I made it myself.

So, anyway, back to baseball.  The first year we played we came in first over all.  I think there were three or four other teams.  Maybe four in all, but I don’t remember.  The things I do remember are how crazy competitive the coaches were, how they kept everyone’s stats, and how they begged us not to bring our kids to the games and sit them on our bench.  Sorry guys, sometimes a babysitter is hard to find.  We called ourselves the Snowbirds.  The first year we had all kinds of fans.  The second year we found out that everybody hates a winner, and we were the team that everyone LOVED to beat.  It kind of got us down after a while, especially when we played the team that consisted of all native women.  We were all white.  The other teams were mixed up, so our two teams kind of stood out, and created the biggest rivalry.  The all native team had a pitcher who was crazy as a loon.  She screamed and yelled and swore for the entire game, but mostly while she was on the mound.  It was a bit disconcerting to be called a whore by the pitcher while you were up to bat.  We thought there should probably be a rule against that kind of thing, but she could really draw a crowd.  Those girls were better players than we were, and they were positively jubilant when they took the final deciding game.  We were scared to death to shake their hands.  Well, hers anyway.  The rest of them were an okay bunch.

My sister went on to play baseball in a lady’s league for years.  She was a star on “Bert’s Beanery”.  There was no actual Bert’s Beanery, it was just a name they all liked.   Her husband played in a league as well, and then coached, and two of their kids were serious baseball players.  My nephew played on a team that won All Ontario championships two years in a row.

My illustrious career ended in Inuvik, and neither of my kids ever showed  much of an interest in the game, although they both have vague memories of sitting behind a wire mesh waiting to go home.   We took them to a Blue Jays game at Skydome once and they were bored out of their minds.

Maybe one of my grandkids will take up baseball, you never know.  If they do, I’ll be their biggest fan.