A brown belt for Big Guy – not that it’s important
Mon, 12/03/12 – 12:49 | Comments Off

It was testing week in karate and, as usual, Big Guy was under the gun. Not as much as he used to be, when he didn’t have a clue and had to frantically cram, but …

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Food

Picky eaters and allergy-safe cooking — the two aren’t necessarily unrelated.

Girl Gone Wonk

From policy to politics, this rant’s for you.

News

The day’s events in a family way — unless something else amuses me.

School days

From preschool to kindergarten — so far

Simple Gifts

Inexpensive homemade gifts, creative parties and low-cost projects, for Christmas and beyond. Many are easy enough for children to help.

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Articles in Sports

Play ball! Sort of
Saturday, 2 May, 2009 – 13:12 | Comments Off
Play ball! Sort of

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to baseball is purely coincidental.
If peewee soccer players are bees swarming after the ball, then a peewee baseball team is a flock of ducks. Very hungry ducks, tripping over each other in …

He has to hear it from someone besides Mom
Thursday, 30 Apr, 2009 – 0:14 | Comments Off
He has to hear it from someone besides Mom

He’s not going to wear a batting helmet – it’s silly.
He’s not going to hit off a tee – that’s for 2-year-olds.
He’s not going to put his hands closer together on the bat because that’s …

A SWAT for taking the social out of social media
Thursday, 16 Apr, 2009 – 23:02 | Comments Off
A SWAT for taking the social out of social media

First off, thanks to Debra for the chance to guest post on her blog.
One of her favorite features (and mine) is giving a SWAT – Stop Wasting America’s Time – to groups or people who …

Back to the basics with college baseball
Monday, 9 Mar, 2009 – 10:45 | Comments Off
Back to the basics with college baseball

I hate it when I fall in love with a baseball team.
There are numbers and names to learn, stats to memorize, favorites to pick. The last part is easy: Unless the shortstop’s a total schmuck, …

GoDaddy ads definitely demeaning – to men
Monday, 2 Feb, 2009 – 12:49 | 2 Comments
GoDaddy ads definitely demeaning – to men

Anyone remember the Hanes commercials back in the late 80s? That campaign was so revealing that appearing in it motivated NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason to tone up. Even my mother made note. “I’m tired of …

A SWAT for taking college football to Congress
Friday, 23 Jan, 2009 – 0:52 | 2 Comments
A SWAT for taking college football to Congress

Hey, didn’t the Bowl Championship Series end two weeks ago when Florida beat Oklahoma in Miami?
Then why was it being played again for 40 minutes Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives?
Because a representative from …

Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard
Thursday, 22 Jan, 2009 – 11:49 | One Comment
Time for pitchers and catchers to report to the back yard

Weather warm enough that we shed our jackets on the way home from school last week inspired  Big Guy to ask a version of the question flitting through my mind:
“How long until they’re playing baseball …

9to5to9: Take them out to the ballgame — you bet
Friday, 7 Nov, 2008 – 0:30 | 2 Comments
9to5to9: Take them out to the ballgame — you bet

I got a telemarketing call tonight I’m sorry I missed. I might even return it.
It was from the local Single A baseball team and immediately made me forget I’ve been shivering most of the day …

Flight of the Bumblebees Week 7
Saturday, 1 Nov, 2008 – 16:35 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees Week 7

Dodged the rain again! Didn’t dodge the Halloween hangover, though. Little Guy’s so sick of sweets he didn’t even want post-game Oreos. And this after spending all season trying to mooch the team’s snacks.
Play of …

9to5to9: The Big Guy Curse might be over
Saturday, 25 Oct, 2008 – 1:19 | Comments Off
9to5to9: The Big Guy Curse might be over

I thought WVU’s 4:30 p.m. Pacific time kickoff would work.
Big Guy’s soccer practice starts at 5:30 so that gave him less than an hour, taking into account fiddling-around-getting-ready time and pregame talking heads time, to …

Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 6
Saturday, 18 Oct, 2008 – 14:13 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 6

Week 6? When did that happen?
We’re headed toward bye week. I think I’ll send Big Guy to practice even if there is none. I like seeing him sack out on the couch, exhausted, and …

Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 5
Saturday, 11 Oct, 2008 – 14:42 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 5

A cold and windy Soccer Saturday.

How cold was it? After much initial protest, Big Guy finally admitted he was glad he has his jacket. Little Guy hid out under the blanket the whole game. And turtle necks, long sleeves and gloves were everywhere.

It’s not supposed to be this chilly in early October.

9to5to9: When mom’s right to insist
Sunday, 5 Oct, 2008 – 1:26 | Comments Off
9to5to9: When mom’s right to insist

Last August, I didn’t give Reticent Kid’s soccer career more than a week, two max.

He cried through the first practice. Second practice there weren’t as many tears, but he pretty much was epoxied to his mom for the hour.

He cried through the first game. Even when he was playing goalie, which is the favorite position of reticent young’uns, because they get what to do. That and the goal makes a great pretend tent/fort/castle if you’re tired of watching everyone run away from you.

The second game, he protested a bit before standing gamely in at goalie. His mom stayed near him, offering reassurance.

And by the end of the game, he had a huge smile.

How’d you do that? I asked his mom.

Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 4
Saturday, 4 Oct, 2008 – 13:46 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees: Week 4

It was a dark and stormy morning.
Seriously, it was.
To which Big Guy said, “Soccer in the rain? All right!” To which Little Guy said, repeatedly. “Want it to be over. Wanna go home.” You just …

Bad soccer strategy — too far down the line on the snack sign-up list
Sunday, 28 Sep, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off

Serious strategic error in signing up for soccer snacks this season: I was too far away from the coach’s wife when the sheet went around and I’m stuck with a November game.
Tragically, that’s near the …

Battling it out but keeping it clean
Sunday, 28 Sep, 2008 – 0:21 | Comments Off
Battling it out but keeping it clean

There are two kinds of aggressive in life.
There’s the kind that’s hard-charging and relentless, but fair.
Then there’s the kind that plays dirty if someone gets in the way.
Big Guy and his teammates ran into the …

Flight of the Bumblebees, Weeks 1-3
Saturday, 27 Sep, 2008 – 2:05 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees, Weeks 1-3

Flight of the Bumblebees: Random thoughts as soccer season kicks off
Saturday, 20 Sep, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off
Flight of the Bumblebees: Random thoughts as soccer season kicks off

* The yellow and black uniforms do make them look like a swarm of bumblebees. And they’re about as organized, too.
* Big Guy did OK for himself — three goals on the day, including …

9to5to9: Falling in love with the tough girls
Monday, 15 Sep, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off
9to5to9: Falling in love with the tough girls

It’s early in Big Guy’s soccer season — only three practices so far and the first game’s not until Saturday — and I hate to rush to judgment, but I’m ready to declare my team …

Together again, with the best youth soccer coach on the planet
Monday, 1 Sep, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off
Together again, with the best youth soccer coach on the planet

Confession: I am butt over elbows in love with a married man. One with four kids, no less.
His wife knows, too. In fact, she called today to arrange a rendezvous.
“”Hey, Debra, this is Kim from …

Learning to fly in just two months
Friday, 29 Aug, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off
Learning to fly in just two months

They first gathered under a blazing August sun, eight kids new to soccer, plus one “experienced veteran”
That practice sank disorganization to a whole new level, as kids darted here and there, grasping many blades of …

The little Mountaineers who could and their lessons for the guys
Thursday, 28 Aug, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off
The little Mountaineers who could and their lessons for the guys

Bill Stewart
“What’s that say, Mommy?” Big Guy asked, pointing to the banner a West Virginia fan held during the Fiesta Bowl tonight.
“It says, ‘We’ll never leave you,’” I replied.
“Who left?”
“The Mountaineers’ coach. He got another …

The Big Guy curse kills the Mountaineers
Monday, 28 Jul, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off

The No. 2 curse didn’t kill West Virginia – the football team, its national championship hopes, half the state – Saturday.
It was the Big Guy curse, a far more powerful phenomenon.
I thought we were over …

He shoots! He scores! Or maybe not
Saturday, 28 Jun, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off

Big Guy might or might not have scored his first goal Saturday. It’s been a raging controversy in our house for the past 30-some hours.
The facts to which Big Guy Sr. and I agree:
Big Guy …

A gem of a night for Little Guy at the baseball diamond
Saturday, 28 Jun, 2008 – 14:33 | Comments Off

Ran into a recently retired co-worker friend Friday at the ballpark — literally.
It was during the first Little Guy escape of the night. He had bolted from our seats one row back from the field …

Learning to fly in just two months
Wednesday, 25 Jun, 2008 – 22:12 | Comments Off

They first gathered under a blazing August sun, eight kids new to soccer, plus one “experienced veteran”

That practice sank disorganization to a whole new level, as kids darted here and there, grasping many blades of grass but few concepts.

They last gathered Saturday for their end-of-season party. That’s when I realized how much I’m also going to miss these kids.

It doesn’t take long to fall in love with them when they’re this age. You can’t help but be in awe of how far little bugs can fly in two short months.

By the end of September, we didn’t have to remind them to pay attention. Suddenly, they were focused on the game, even when they were sitting on the

He shoots! He scores! Or maybe not
Monday, 2 Jun, 2008 – 1:50 | Comments Off

Big Guy might or might not have scored his first goal Saturday. It’s been a raging controversy in our house for the past 30-some hours.

The facts to which Big Guy Sr. and I agree:

Big Guy led the charge down the field, and he was actually running in the same direction as the rest of his team and going toward the right goal. That in and of itself was a major accomplishment.

He got within a yard of the goal, hesitated and then kicked softly. The ball bounced off the left post.

By that time, the defense had caught up to him, and he and a player from the other team kicked the ball, the air and each others’ ankles. The opposing player finally kicked the ball in.

From

A baseball buddy is born
Sunday, 1 Jun, 2008 – 20:35 | Comments Off

I’d promised the guys all summer we’d go to another baseball game. I even circled dates on schedule, intending to hit one a month. But days slipped into weeks that slipped into months, and we hadn’t made it back.

My procrastination was rooted in a desire to avoid the scene of the crime. I spent most of our last visit with the guys, walking and wailing around the concourse, instead of watching Randy Johnson.

Still, a promise is a promise, so when Big Guy asked late last week when we were going to see Wally, the Modesto Nuts mascot, again, I bought tickets and hoped for the best.

The best turned out better than I’d hoped. Tonight, I found my baseball buddy.

I’ve always had people who