Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baseball, Football, Soccer, Flowers and Diet Coke

How's that for a title? It's that crazy time of year where seasons collide. I could have added softball and volleyball to the title too...but I didn't have pictures and there wouldn't have been room. Today's post is another one of this and that and just my daily photos. And a little story about some Diet Coke near the end.

I never know if I should put the captions above or below the photos. Today they are below. Billy played football in Minneapolis last week. The Mpls. Washburn kids had really bright made my camera a little crazy. Something about orange. Billy's team won. He kicked 2 extra points and missed one....and recovered a fumble. Go Billy!

Petunias in my hanging baskets in the front of the house. I've neglected them this summer...there aren't many left. I've neglected my blog this summer too. Maybe it's the petunias....maybe Pat's Patunia Patch wasn't a good name. Maybe I'm a slouch.

Brian's soccer team was short a few players last Billy filled in. Brian played great, I think he was trying to make a good impression on his brother. Billy played goalie. No one else wanted to. He hasn't played soccer in a lot of was fun to see him playing again....but it was especially fun to see how happy they were to be playing together.

It rained last week, rained and rained and rained. We got somewhere between 3.5" and 5". One farm in southern Minnesota got 13" in 12 hours! Wow. Rain, floods, damaged homes, crops under water, closed roads....rain. The weather has been strange.

Molly is afraid of storms. She didn't like the rain. The rain fit my mood though. My good friend Sarah moved back to Connecticut last was hard to say good-bye.
It's not all bad. There are still a few flowers blooming. This rose waited until now to blossom. It was worth the wait.

Billy had a double header on the other side of the cities...almost half way to the farm. Since it wasn't very far, my mom drove to a nearby shopping center where I picked her up and brought her to the game. She doesn't get to watch Billy play very often, it was a warm sunny it was a real treat to have her there!
Unfortunately, the baseball day wasn't all sunshine and happiness. Remember I mentioned the Diet Coke story? See the photo above? Well, thanks to some Diet Coke, that is probably one of the last pictures I will take with that camera. Sigh. The parking lot was a ways from the field, I had too much to carry so at the last minute I decided to shove some things into a bag....sort of a beach bag. Billy's Power Aide, sunflower seeds, my phone, a jacket, the camera, and a screw top Diet Coke. I walked to the field not realizing that the screw top of the Diet Coke was loose....and that half the bottle had spilled out, onto my camera. Oye. We dried it off as well as we could, I tried it, it sort of worked...but not really. At first it seemed like it might be ok, but the liquid must have seeped in further and now only half of the features are working. When I got it home I put it in a container of rice over night hoping that would help to dry it out's still not right. Ugh, what a sickening feeling. Now what, big bill for repairs if it even can be repaired? Big bill for a new camera? Not my finest moment. In the mean time, I do have my old camera to get me through. The remaining pictures were taken with that.

The inside of the late blooming rose.

A backlit cosmos.

And the sunsetting behind some weeds and a grasshopper. With that I think I'm caught up....not recovered from the week....but at least caught up with my blog! Whew. I think I better go take care of my petunias now. Till next time.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just some Pictures.

The days of Autumn seem to speed past as fast as the summer days. Maybe it's because we have to do all that we were doing before, but have less daylight to do it in. So today's post is back to just pictures.

I took this one of Brian while he was mowing the lawn. He wasn't thrilled to be mowing...but he did it anyway. Brian is taking a digital photography class, I think I will have him teach me a thing or two. I'm sure glad that I have kids that are smarter than me.

A bee on some cosmos. The bees have been busy, busy, busy this fall.

We had rain and thunder and lightening on Wednesday. Didn't anyone tell the weatherman that it is Autumn and it shouldn't be thundering and stuff? Brian's game got cancelled half way through.

A lot of my flowers are fading and dying....partly because of the season, partly because they've been neglected. See, it's not just my blog that is withering! The verbena look good here and there though. I liked this one in my little wheelbarrow sculpture.

Some more busy bees. Maybe it's the same one that is just super busy. I think I'll call it "Bee on Sage". Or not.

We spent some time on the farm on Saturday....clearing out treasures that had been saved in the barn. Did I say treasures? I think I meant junk. Most of it went in the's junk now. I didn't have a chance to ride, but I did snap a few pictures. This horses name is Breezy, she's a cute little mare. The borders seem to have adjusted to their new home.

And last but not least....a baseball picture. The game before theirs went a little longer than expected, so the boys decided to just chill out and watch for a while. I like the picture, but I especially like seeing the new friendships that are forming between all these boys that didn't know each other a short week ago. There's just something about baseball.

And with that, I better run. There's laundry to do, then a football game to watch! Busy is good.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fall Baseball

Fall baseball started today for Billy. He's always played on Eden Prairie teams in the fall, but some things changed this year...a new coach, no room on the we had to figure out another way for him to get some baseball in. There was an option to sign up as an individual for fall ball, so he did and he's playing in the Gopher State competitive league on a team that is based in Orono...a town that's 20 some miles away.

He / we were a little concerned that the team would be mostly players from Orono and that he'd be trying to fit in on an established team. It turns out that most of the kids don't know each other, they are from different towns. 12 kids from 10 cities. Sort of a fun and unique opportunity to meet some new kids and have a fresh start. Billy said that everyone was really nice....he hit it off with a couple of the kids right away.

There is something pretty nice about seeing your kids happy and making friends easily. There is something pretty nice about watching baseball for an afternoon in the fall when the sun is shining and the temps are in the upper 70's. I might be complaining about the weather in a month or so, but today was as nice as it gets.

Every Sunday for 5 weeks he'll be playing a double header. The fields are on the other side of the city...but that's ok. I got to bring Billy by myself today since Eric was coaching Brian in soccer. Billy and I had a fun talk on the ride between his singing along with his ipod.
Singing + headphones = a few missed notes.

But that's ok, he was hitting the strike zone during the inning that he pitched. If singing off key helps him throw strikes, that's just fine with me. Play Ball!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

It Must Be Autumn

After a couple of darkish, coolh, and rainy days,the sun finally came out today. Warm sunshine and cool breezes. There are more and more signs of Autumn around here every day. Here are a few.

Vegetable beef soup simmering in the crock pot all day...yum. Stew meat, V-8 juice, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, some onion, a little chili power, a little Worcestershire sauce, a couple of bay leaves and some salt...slow food is the best. I like it with buttered toast. More yum.

Then there is our poor tired dog putting up with all the groans during the Vikings game on Thursday. She wasn't too excited about the game. I was happy that our "old" quarterback didn't get mauled. I don't like when the announcers go on about how "old" people are when they are younger than me. Humph. It makes me feel like I'm in the Autumn of life. I think I'll take a nap with the dog.

The cosmos are starting to really shine. This one escaped from my garden and is leaning over into the neighbors yard. Come back!

The bees are busy, the geese are flying, the boys are back in school....our weeks are filled with fall softball, football for Billy, soccer for Brian....and fall baseball starts for Billy on Sunday. Plus the Vikings are playing, the Twins are going is busy....

...busy is good. Now if someone would just do my laundry for me all would be well in my world.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Labor Day and School Days

We had a nice relaxing Labor Day weekend before the hectic school year started. We stayed at Eric's family's cabin. It's so welcoming tucked into the woods. No cell phones, no computer, no TV, just time with family.

Sunday starts with church...the little church where Eric and I were married. These marigolds are planted on top of the wall, in front of the picket fence that surrounds the front of the church. They look like Autumn.

After church Eric and Brian helped Eric's dad put up some new shutters. Actually it was mostly Eric doing the putting up....

....while these two supervised. Every job needs a good supervisor or two.

Eric and I even found time to ride on Sunday. It was our first ride together of the summer...better late than never I guess. It's been a tough summer for getting out to ride....mostly because of Czar's battle with founder that started in June. Prayers were answered and his hooves seem to be sound now.

With the time that they've had off, both horses have forgotten a few of their manners. Czar wanted to stay in the pasture with his lady friends. Skylar wanted to dance instead of walk. But eventually we were on the trail and life was good. Except for the bugs...they weren't good....they were thick. But riding was good. :-)

We're usually treated to pretty skies....

....and pretty flowers when we are in the country. The long weekend was over before we knew it...and it was time to head home and get the boys ready for the school year.

Billy is a Sophomore now. 10th did that happen? The night before I asked him (with a chuckle) if he had his outfit picked out for school. He said no, I'm just going to roll with it. Boys.

Then there's Senior. Yikes. His last first day of school. I think I will have to follow him to college next year and take a picture of him heading to class. He'd love that, I'm sure. He carries a brief case for his papers, no more backpack. His brief case has something attached to it that was left over from a filming project he and his friends worked on this summer...he's leaving it on until it falls off. So much for a professional look. He's comfortable with it, that's what counts. My Senior. Sniff.

Here they are heading to the bus stop, but they didn't take the bus the first day...their dad drove them so they could get there early. They might not be my kids after all. It was a cloudy, dark morning....but it was daylight and this was the best photo I got. I am ready to throw my camera in the garbage can. This was at 800 ISO and I had to lighten it a bunch in Photoshop...and it's still too dark. Errr.

They survived their first day of school. The second day of school was followed by a football game for Billy....HEY...let go of my boy you punk!

They lost. But the weather was a lot better than for their first game! And my pictures weren't so dark...but most were blurry. Err.

After football Brian had a soccer game. They played hard....but they lost too. It was a beautiful night for the game though.

Brian wasn't really feeling like playing soccer before the game, but he was all smiles after I'm glad he played. Look at the boy run.....

......zoom. Full speed ahead...just like everything else these busy days. A senior. I don't think I'll ever be ready for that.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Football Game One

Billy's football team had their first game yesterday. It was cold, really windy, and raining off and on. Yikes. Nothing like jumping right in with fall weather. Or if you read yesterday's post that would be Autumn weather. It does sound better doesn't it?

Billy spent some time playing offense and defense. Here the offense is waiting for their quarterback....

...the quarterback comes in from the sidelines with the play. With the weather, it was tough to make plays. The Wayzata team that they were playing might have had something to do with that too.

Billy is punting for the team. He got to punt a lot during this first game.

Punting is tough enough as it is...with kids breaking through the line to block your kick....

Then add the wind and the rain and it being the first game and....

....this punt didn't fair too well. It went really high...straight up. Oops.

The defense held it all turned out ok. I think Billy punted at least 6 times in this first game.

This one went a lot better....long and straight.

I included this picture just because I like it. It shows the dark day, it shows my long and lean boy, it shows them getting ready, it just says football to me.

Not long after that shot Billy had to punt again. He got the punt off, it was a good one, but it didn't end so well for him. He was rushed...

...he was plowed into and knocked over by their big guy. Sort of scary when the kicker is stretched out making his kick.

The big guy said "why'd you fall, I didn't hit you" and then tried to help Billy up. Billy said, "what are you talking about, you plowed right into me". So the big guy dropped him back down. Plunk. Ooph. Billy limped off the field, his Dr. grandpa checked out his knee and said it was ok... Billy took the field again. He had a fire lit under him. Or a bee in his bonnet. Let's just say he wasn't happy about getting hit and then dropped back down. Don't try to block an angry Billy...

....or run past him with the ball.

Because when Billy gets fired up someones getting tackled.

He didn't even complain when the kid that he tackled sat on his head. He made a couple of strong tackles in a row. I was thinking maybe he should have gotten hit in the knee a little earlier after seeing him so fired up. Sort of...but not really. Really.

He played a good game, he had fans, his fans survived the cold and wind and rain....

...and they won their first game of the season against a good team. I'd call that a success. Look at all these kids...and this is just one of two 10th grade teams at his school. Crazy. But that's football in Eden Prairie.

It's a big program, the school takes a lot of pride in it....the kids do too. But the best part is getting a congratulations from grandpa...

...and spending time with friends.

Football season...ready or not it's here....I think it's going to be a good one.