First Game Figures

So last night I wrote about birthdays and bananas and I said it was my Thursday night.  When in actuality, it was Wednesday night.  

This is Thursday night.  

I've really got it together sometimes.  

Like last weekend when I went to decalcify clean the coffee pot and used the wrong coffee pot manual to do so.  I couldn't figure out why the pictures didn't match and it took me longer than I'd care to admit to realize the manual was for a coffee pot of days past.  

As I said.  Together over here.  

I went to my first ever professional baseball game while in Chicago last spring.  White Sox versus Red Socks and it was freaking freezing cold, so cold I bought mittens because my hands were turning nice and blue.  Blue hands are not fun.  I also ate a hot dog and drank a beer because it really seemed like that was what one was supposed to do while at a baseball game.  

I also took pictures of a really important home run without knowing it was really important.  I don't remember why it was important, but there was something about it which made it special.  32 was his number and that's about where my knowledge on that ends.    

Here comes the pitch...

And then here's what happens to Amy...she gets distracted by the yelling people and wondering how they could be so into the game while I sit there and freeze my cowboy boots off.  

Turns out they were yelling because it was a home run.  See him running.  Once again, a case of the something shiny hit me.  Yelling people are shiny, oh yes they are.  It figures I'd miss the picture of the actual swing.   

At this point I was doing basically anything to stay busy and pretend I was warm.  Here's me taking a picture of my new mitten.  

And then shortly after that, we all high tailed it out of there because it was freaking cold. 

I'm not sure I'll ever appreciate the game, but I sure do try.  Sun would really help.  

The ride back to downtown just might have been my favorite part of the entire experience, watching the city fly by out the window and visiting with Melessa about life.  Those two things are much more my style than baseball.  


B for Thursday

My house currently smells of a banana factory, or at least what I would think one would smell like, but then now I'm thinking is there really such a thing as a banana factory seeings as how they grow on trees or something like that. 

And I love birthdays. 
There you have my Thursday night. 
Drying out banana slices in the oven and smiling at the memories from Momma Debi and Brother's birthday party on Sunday.  There was cake and candles and a Cosby show skit performed by nearly the entire family because isn't that what everyone does for parties?  You know the scene I'm referring to, I know you do.  It's the one where Bill and crew prepare an anniversary gift for his parents, a lip syncing dance number to the Ray Charles classic "Night and Day."  Theo comes down the stairs with his hat tipped and Rudy lets her soul come shining through with smashing "Babbbyyyyy" and it's simply a gem. 
A favorite from my childhood being passed down to the next generation.  Total heart happy.  And you'd better believe that my brother and I showed the kids how the whole lip syncing and dancing thing is done. 
We used to win contests at that kind of thing.  Well, actually just my brother won the contests.  I more did things like wear Care Bear pajamas and try anything to get the attention for a minute while he had bananas on his head. 
Now would you look at that?  My little story came back to bananas. 
Bananas and birthdays. 


Right Back There...But Not

The first time I went to Grimaldi's in AZ, I was wearing cowboy boots and the sun was shining on my back and I was at a bit of a rough spot in my existence.  The trip with my mom last late January was a blessing in its timing; I needed away.  I remember vividly sitting there, sipping wine, breathing in the fresh air...thinking for the first time in a long while, "I will get myself back." 
And I did. 
Now it's over a year later.  A dare I say, almost springy feeling Sunday afternoon and I just made, in my kitchen, a fairly close replica of my favorite Grimaldi's pizza.  Because make no qualms about it, I make sure I eat a slice or six each time I visit the sunny place.  So I know how it should be. 
The sun even shined in my window while I was whipping it up and if I closed my eyes real tight, I could almost feel like I was there, with the red checkered table cloth blowing in the breeze instead of being in my kitchen with a pizza stone. 
But the best part though, wasn't the delicious pizza.  The best part was I know myself and I are alright again.  I'm back to being me, have been for some time now. 
It's funny sometimes how things or places or even food can bring us right back to a time in our lives. 
Here's three cheers for whole wheat pizza crust, olive oil, garlic, fresh mozarella, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, black pepper, and most importantly...the gift of happiness.  Happiness all around. 


One Little Analogy

My run on Wednesday was brutal.  The back of my legs hurt from muscle pump the night before, it was after school instead of in the wee hours of the morning, I was at a different gym on a treadmill which has the blasted TV screen right smack in front of you so it encloses you in this trap of a thing, and I was not feeling it. 
And now it's Friday morning and I don't have work today so I've been puttering around for a couple of hours.  All the while knowing I need to get my hiney out for a run.  But I feel a twinge of fear because that's how it is when your last one was icky, contrasted highly by the feeling of can't wait to go pound it out again when the last one is like flag flying fantastic high on life feeling. 
I will go. 
In a few minutes. 
I will go to my normal gym and I will go before too much more of morning has slipped away because I run better in the morning.  And I will go get on one of the treadmills which does not have the TV screen in front because love a duck, that is the key to my ability to even stay on one of those rat traps for more than a mile.  I can not feel closed in. 
That basically sums up life in one little analogy towards running. 
Some days are ick.  Conditions aren't quite right, you're off your game.  Which leaves a fear about the next.  But then you go at it again.  Because you know, you know the conditions will indeed be right again and you won't feel closed in and you'll go farther than ever thought...
You know the flag flying fantastic is just around the bend.   


What does one do now?

After that first meal at the Italian House in Chicago with the over zealous matradee, we meandered back to our hotel to freshen up and get ready for an evening out on the town.  At some point in the lipstick applying, Melessa said something to the effect of, "What does one do now when in Chicago on a Saturday night?" 

My response was, "Well what I usually do when I travel is find someone who looks interesting and non-touristy who appear like they have a great plan for their time and ask them what I should do...and then I do it." 

Melessa wasn't so sure of my travel philosophy until we were sitting next to a gentlemen who ended up showing us an off the wall jazz restaurant to spend some time with wine and bleu cheese nachos and discussions of underlying personality types written on paper napkins.  Then Melessa decided my philosophy was alright as all three of us gleaned and learned from each other about areas of our lives which were on our hearts and minds.  That's how it sometimes with strangers, they come into your life for a reason. 

Even if it's to simply say to you, "That which you resist, persists.  So instead, surrender." 

After our conversation, we all hugged and parted ways.  Melessa and I shared a whoa that was crazy how he knew what we both needed affirmed as we crossed the street to meet up with fellow teachers from our district who were holding tables at Howl at the Moon, a piano bar which encourages dancing on the stage.  In other words, my kind of place.

We went back there another night of our trip and I ended up running into people from New Zealand who I had met earlier that very same day by simply starting a conversation on the street which went something like this, "Raise your arms a bit.  A bit higher.  A bit higher.  No even a bit higher."  As I squeezed him in a hug.  Imagine my surprise when I knocked a chair over at a table at Howl at the Moon and it happened to be the New Zealander with his publishing company friends.  Small world sometimes. 

Small world which I love. 


Another One

My weekend included meeting part of my family in Fargo for a planned rendezvous, only to be stranded there one extra day and night because of a shutting down the interstates kind of non-planned blizzard.  Turns out though, just like the last winter weekend road trip proved, being stranded isn't always a bad thing. 

Forced relaxing was reveled in, other than a certain someone named Billy doing everyone's laundry in the hotel so it wouldn't have to be done when all returned to home turf.  Naps and reading were snuck in here and there.  Laughing until tears stories were told for a couple hours over cheap bread sandwiches and soup whipped together by hotel staff as not a restaurant in sight was open.  But, dinner doesn't have to be fancy to have the feeling of having dinner together, it's the camaraderie which makes the event.  And finally, snuggling in with my mom and sister while we sipped hot tea and watched the Grammy Awards; my dad and Billy each in a chair with their feet kicked up partaking in the shenanigans.

Weekends.  I love them.  All shapes, sizes, and sorts of them. 

The part of the festivities which was planned was watching Sister Pister show the teenage horse she has been training for the past ONE month.  Duncan, the teenage horse, came to her care not liking humans.  He bit at her and stomped at her and in general acted like any typical teenager.  Sister Pister had a couple of moments of maybe giving up but then didn't quit.  Wouldn't quit.  Because she's like that.  And then we all watched her show Duncan at NDSU on Saturday night, ending up taking third overall, as a freshman.  Sometimes I'm so proud of her it hurts.  In a very good way. 

Brunch was planned too.  Because I love drinking coffee with my family.  Really I love drinking coffee anytime, but when I can look down the table and see my mom and dad at the other end while my sister and her crew is between and Billy is across, I really love. 

Now I'm back home and there are strawberries roasting in my oven as I write.  I'm not sure what I was thinking but I had some fruit and nut trail mix from Costco on the way home yesterday and I've become obsessed with the dried strawberry chewy bits which were in that darn bag.  So strawberries are hopefully turning into those delicious bits right this second.  I'll let you know how it all worked. 

And I'll leave with this final note.  I have an addiction to trail mix.  Which means I basically want it all the time.  Which also means I do not buy it because then I will take in the entire bag.  Which also means when it's blizzarding and I'm at Costco knowing the roads will be treacherous at best, I buy it in my nervous twitch state.  Which also means it's a special treat. 

That trail mix and I have a complicated relationship. 


A Small Victory

The weekend is here.  Slow mornings with coffee, words by the fire, homemade bread french toast on the You are Special plate, and easy goings...I hope are on your agenda.  

May I also say I need to celebrate a very small victory.  I love the way steam rises from a cup of fresh coffee.  It just makes the morning right and good.  And for years now, yes years because that's how I am, I have tried to capture the steam rising from a cup with my camera.  Fail every single time.  I try and try to figure out the perfect combination of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed needed to make a still of the steam.  I move the cup to a variety of backgrounds.  Try it with a light variety, click and fail.  Try it with a dark variety, click and fail.  Always never quite getting there, to the swirly fog rising from the cup.  It's probably silly how much time I've put into this one small capture I want, but it's the feeling behind the steam I want to be remembered.  

So my slightly obsessive self kept placing my coffee mug here, there, and everywhere...trying. 

And then boom!  After daylight broke last Saturday morning, I managed to get a tiny whisper of steam.  It's not perfect, not by a long shot but what it is...

Is a small victory from a silly little goal of mine.

Here's to the weekend.  Steam capturing and all.