Monthly Archives: May 2012

~ Coach Doug ~

My Varmint’s softball team, The Poolesville Lightening, is coached by two incredibly strong women, and an equally strong and generous-hearted man.  Coach Takisha, Coach Wendy, and her husband, Coach Doug.

Let me paint these personalities for you:

Coach Takisha:  Smart, good-humored, athletic, patient.

Coach Wendy: Smart, good-humored, athletic, red-headed (‘nuf said).

Coach Doug: Smart, good-humored, athletic, controlled.

Coach Wendy could not be at practice tonight, so Takisha, Doug, and a stand-in father, Coach Muddy (Don’t ask.  It took me three years before I believed it was his name.) took the girls on.

It was when I heard Doug say in an overly sweet voice,

“I want you to try to be aggressive, ok?  Please?” 

that I knew Wendy had beaten him down before practice! I could just picture the conversation:

Wendy: “Honey, you can’t coach girls like you coach boys!  You have to be gentler.”

Doug: “OK.”

Wendy:  “I mean it.  You have to build their confidence and encourage them differently than you do boys.”

Doug:  “OK.”

Wendy: “And don’t yell at them.  Girls don’t respond as well as boys do to raised voices.”

Doug:  “OK.”

What could I do?  Me being me, I couldn’t just let Doug off the hook.  I’m a huge subscriber of the idea that no good deed goes unpunished; I had to give him a hard time as he  herded the cats…coached the girls.

From the sidelines, I thoroughly enjoyed watching him struggle to keep his calm.  I know he must have wanted to revert to his normal ‘guy’ state.  You know, the butt-slapping, shoulder-punching, spitting, scratching, booming-voiced, athletic man-state.

But he didn’t.

I continued to heckle him as he plodded through practice-pitching bucket after bucket after bucket of balls. Cackling gleefully, I bellowed to him to quit being so nice!  That the girls aren’t made of sugar!  That they are tougher with each other on the field than he was.

And you know what he said?


Wendy’s a lucky woman!

….and I’m not sure, but I may be barred from attending practices from now on……

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~ Pruning: Art, or Therapy? ~

There is a shrub in our back yard, the name of which I know not, that has beautiful white flowers in the spring.  Before you start: no, it’s not a Dogwood, or a Lilac, or an Azalea or Rhododendron.  I don’t know what it is.

Dammit, Jim, I’m a gardener, not a Botanical encyclopedia!

Sure I could look it up, and act like I know what it is, and lie to you about it, and feel smug in my know-it-all-ness, but frankly, I’m way too lazy for all that.

And that is not what I wanted to talk about anyways.

You see, this shrub, while beautiful, tends to get a little bit ‘too…Too‘, if you know what I mean.  It overpowers my hosta/fern/lily of the valley bed, and I just can’t have that.  So each spring after it blooms, I trim it.

And by trim it, I mean hack it to a shell of its former self.

And it feels good.

Oh, sure, I always START with the artistic frame of mind, snipping here and there, stepping back, getting bearing on my next cuts and all.  But inevitably I end up getting into a cutting frenzy the likes of which only Edward Scissorhands can empathize.

Snipping becomes Lopping.  The ‘stepping back and take a look to see how it’s shaping up’ thing turns into turbo-shearing.

It’s intense, man.

I couldn’t really tell you what goes through my mind during one of these pruning sessions.  All I know is that afterwards, I feel light and happy.  Like a load has been lifted.

The shrub looks like hell, but a load has been lifted.

I wonder if giving a hair cut feels the same way? I’d love to experiment on that.  I wonder if my family would let me try it on them?

I doubt it.  There is a shocking lack of trust in this family when it comes to Mama yielding scissors. All because once….ONCE!… I may have accidentally messed up helping My Captain cut his hair so badly he had to shave his whole head to fix it.

What?  It happens.


Looks like it’s gonna be just me and the shrubs.

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~ Cast Off! ~

My Critter got the cast off of his broken arm today.  It has only been four weeks, but that was four painfully long, like, snail-creeping long, weeks.   He was ready, READY to lose that thing.

Here he was with the x-ray techs at the doctor’s office:

They loved him.  While cajoling him for the x-rays, they told him he was too cute, that his eyelashes were ‘to die for’, and that he had to be careful because if he kissed too many girls, his teeth would fall out.

Well, DUH.  Who doesn’t know that?

ANYWAYS….back to getting the cast off:

Sure, it was a beautiful bright red.

Sure, all the girls ‘oohed’ and ‘ahhed’ over it.

Sure, the boys vacillated between respect and envy.

Sure he’d been able to get out of several chores, although the need for that was questionable, at best.

But in the end, what he really wanted more than anything was to be able to swim and bathe and pick his nose or any other 9-year-old-boy-gross-out-the-girls thing.  And he wanted to straighten out his dagum arm!

He now has a new appreciation for how difficult it is to do some things without the dominant hand.  It is something we all take for granted, isn’t it?

Doubt me?  Try it sometime.  Try to pick your nose with your non-dominant hand.

It can’t be done.  Not without minor trauma.  And it’s not the kind of trauma that girls get excited over, I promise you.

So what did the boy who broke his arm 4 weeks ago while attempting to do a back flip say to the doctor when the cast came off?

“When can I do backflips again?”


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~ Happy Memorial Day ~

It was past Noon when My Captain asked us if anyone had put the flag at half mast today in honor of Memorial Day.  My Varmint begged to do it, and was running eagerly out the door before anyone had answered.

I felt pride at my daughter’s sense of gratitude and respect for our fallen soldiers.  The men and women who died while making our lives possible.

And I felt deep chagrin for not remembering to put the flag down.  One simple task to honor those who gave me everything without asking for anything in return, and I can’t even remember to lower a flag halfway.

My life, if you read my blog, really has no horrendous difficulties.  The fact that I am able to blather on unhindered about my ridiculous mundanity is a testiment to my freedom of speech.   I have no challenges greater than the average dog.  My kids know very little pain.  There is nothing more valuable to a parent than that knowledge.

And it would not be that way had people before me not sacrificed their lives so we could continue to be free.

And I can’t even remember to lower the flag halfway to show honor to them.

It’s not funny.  It’s awful.  It’s embarrassing.

So why do I even write about it?  Why even post my faux pas publicly?

To remind you:

Don’t forget them…..

because they didn’t forget you.




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~ Sharing The Icebag ~

My mother-in-law and I were vying over time with the icebag tonight.  Her for her swollen feet, and me for my knee.

I know…I consciously know that it would be wrong of me to knock a cute little 5’0″ grandmother over to steal the icebag from her.  I mean, it’s elementary.

But my knees hurt so badly I honestly contemplated it.

Then I remembered that even if I could get away with it initially, it’s not like I could run before she caught me.

I watched her from the corner of my eye, waiting…waiting for the moment when she would either fall asleep, or the bag would just slip off.  Either way, I wasn’t going to miss my chance.

And then it hit me…..She’s my mother-in-law!  I’m decades younger than her.  How the hell did my body fall apart so fast that I’m in the same icebag-dependant boat as my mother-in-law?

I don’t know.  I simply don’t know.  But one thing is for sure.  One thing I do know.

We’re going to need more icebags.

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