Friday, October 24, 2008


The Marlins baseball team got off to a rocky start. They play in the 7 - 8 yr old league at our local recreation district park. It's interesting how they determine the age bracket. It's based on the child's birthday as of April 30. The youngest must turn 7 by that date; the oldest cannot have reached their 9th birthday.

This results in a pretty wide age range (and presumably with it, a wide range of skill) in Son #3's league (that's him in the photo). For example, when the season started Son #3 was 6 yrs, 7 mos old (he turns 7 in February). Feasibly, there could be a boy on the team who would celebrate his 9th birthday on May 1 (because he just made the cut off). Most of the kids are 7 and 8.

It's been good for Son #3, I think. Although he's one of the youngest, there hasn't been any of the tears and drama among the kids when they strike out or are thrown out. His batting has improved. He's become the official cheer ringleader in the dugout. ("Let's go, Marlins, let's go!" will a little disco action - think Saturday Night Live movie poster.)

Most coaches rotate the kids throughout the various positions during the season, but this coach came up with team assignments early on. The downside: the younger boys do not gain experience in different positions. The upside: consistency.

Son #3 would usually be placed in the outfield (not a lot of action there), or he'd get to play catcher. "Play" catcher is a misnomer. Once he's suited up in what he calls his armor (oversized pads, helmet, etc.), he can barely move. Still, I think it made him feel more like he was in on the action.

His batting has improved. He's still hitting it right to first base - which means he's out - but he's been managing to bring at least one or two runners home. RBIs are a good thing.

Despite being the No. 5 seed (there are perhaps 10-12 teams in this age bracket), they made it through the championship tournaments and snagged top honors. Yay, Marlins!

Monday, October 20, 2008

My New Digital Camera

My old digi camera, a Canon A530, is dying a slow death, so I decided to splurge on a new one because: 1) I need a decent camera to photograph my jewelry to sell on my Etsy site and 2) the family and I will be embarking on a road trip to Washington DC in the not-too-distant future.

I did a little research and selected the Canon S5 IS. It has more bells and whistles than I needed, but it has really nice zoom and macro capabilities. Because Canon just released the S5 IS's successor (the SX10 IS), the price on the S5 is coming down. Good news for me.

I've been having fun playing with my new gadget. This one isn't very crisp, but it was taken from a distance of about 4.5 feet. I have a better photo of the bee on the flower, but I liked that he's mid-air:

Notice the craters along the right visible edge of the moon? This photos was taken from my kitchen window, without flash.

Can you tell I like closeups?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Have You Ever Misplaced a Child?

It finally happened to me. I can laugh about it now - in fact, I was laughing about it a few minutes after the fact, but at the time, it wasn't so funny. It's interesting how that 'heart-in-your-throat' feeling goes hand in hand with 'brain paralysis.' (Wow, that's a lot of body metaphors.)

Here's a little background info:

* missing kid was Son #2
* he's 11
* he was exactly where he said he'd be.

Son #2 asked if he could go to a neighbor's house to play (I'll call the neighbor "J"). Sure, I say, just check back in a half hour because Son #3 might want to play too after he's finished his homework.

Son #2 doesn't come back for Son #3. I didn't think too much of it. I figured Son #2 and J were having fun and lost track of time. Besides, Son #3 was occupied with something else and didn't seem interested in playing with them.

Dear Hubby and I had an important meeting to attend which required our leaving the house at 6:00 p.m. We fixed dinner early. I ask Son #1 to go fetch Son #2, but Son #3 volunteers instead.

Son #3 returns home upset because no one answered when he knocked on J's door and another neighbor kid (I'll call him "T") said to Son #3, "Oh, they're not home. I saw them drive off."

Dear Hubby and I go outside and sure enough, no car at J's house. Did we go knock ourselves? Noooooooo. That would've been too easy. Dear Hubby is annoyed because he's concerned we're going to be late for the meeting. He speculates that maybe Son #2 went to his cousin's house two blocks away. Did it occur to him to call the cousin's house? Nooooooo. Again, that would be too easy.

I'm upset because - hello??? I don't know where my kid is! I ask the neighbor across the street (hasn't seen him). I knock on another neighbor's door (no answer). I try another neighbor's house (not there).

While I'm knocking on the neighbor's door, Dear Hubby is marching to his sister's house to see is Son #2 is there playing with the cousin. Because I had my cell phone in hand - and because it DID occur to me to call - I already had the answer before Dear Hubby knocked on their door. (They haven't seen him.)

Meanwhile, Son #1 is standing in the front yard on the verge of tears screaming his brother's name.

I'm thisclose to becoming frantic, when cooler heads prevailed - in this case, the neighbor from across the street. He and his wife are veterans at misplacing kids (kidding ... sort of). He goes to J's house and knocks on the door. He knocks harder than my six year old, apparently. J opens the door and sure enough, there's Son #2. Right where he said he'd be.

My husband and I have three college degrees between the two of us. Why didn't we think of knocking on the door ourselves?

I can't fault Son #3 - he did knock on the door. I certainly can't ground Son #2 - he was exactly where he was supposed to be. He has, however, been warned that he *will* be grounded for a month if he continues laughing at his mom and dad.

Child: found
Credibility: lost


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Ah, Relief!

I've been using the prednisone drops for two weeks to reduce inflammation due to Dry Eye Syndrome and this week I started the prescription med, Restasis. Aaaahhhh, relief. My eyes rarely felt dry, but occasionally they would burn a bit (I attributed this to allergies, though).

I'm optimistic that I might be able to get back into my contact lenses yet. The diminished vision in my left eye has resolved itself - thank goodness. (The realization that your very strong glasses are not helping one eye at all was kind of scary.) But enough about that....

Interesting things I've heard recently:

* From a video recorded at Boy Scout camp in June, and shown at last week's Boy Scout Court of Honor - family and friends present:

Scouts singing American Idol style. One scout is a songwriter, too, as he warbles, "W is for Wine that gets you drunk - no offense, Mom!" Roars of laughter from the audience, which the possible exception of one mother who may not have been amused. (I'd like to point out that the scout was not one of *my* son's.)

* Following Son #3's baseball game (ages range from 6 to 8). After the game, the team has a brief recap. Afterwards, all the players put in their hand and on the count of three yell a cheer - Coach lets one player select the cheer.

Coach: Okay, (name), you pick out cheer.
Player: (inaudible)
Coach: Really?
Player: (inaudible)
Coach: Okay, then..... on the count of three.... ONE....TWO....THREE!

Do you think they were excited about their first win in a long time?

I hope everyone is having a great week. The kids are off of school tomorrow because of Records Day. This weekend is also our church festival. It will be a busy weekend but fun.