In the last week before Christmas, this little pass may just come in handy. Thought I would share with you too in case you would like a little stress relief also.
In the last week before Christmas, this little pass may just come in handy. Thought I would share with you too in case you would like a little stress relief also.
Do you have one of those people in your life that yo just connect with? Someone who knows what you’re thinking without having to voice it? A friend that you can not see for an extended period of time, but when you’re together you pick up right where you left off as though you were never apart? I hope you do! Because IT.IS.AWESOME.
So, one way I like to celebrate is to take in some baseball. I don’t usually get a chance to actually go to a park during the weekend (usually it is on the radio while I work in the yard) so this was a nice change for once. AND, to top it all off, my best friend was there too! So, it was a weekend of record!
First, let me tell you about my best friend, since that is really who this is all about. We have been friends since we were 7 or 8, not really sure but it has been for a long time (considering we are both 46). We love sports, we love food, we love hanging out together and talking about stuff. He is one of those friends that you can tell anything to and not feel judged and he is one of those friends that you can not see for a long time but when you do it feels like you didn’t miss a beat and you pick up right where you left off. He moved across the state when we were in high school but we stayed in touch and now we meet a couple times a year for baseball games in Seattle. We make a weekend of it since travel is easier to do it all at once rather than many little trips. Anyway, he has been a constant in my life and I love him dearly. He is just like a brother, only better! LOL
The first game, Friday night was fun. The Mariners won a one run game and we saw James Paxton pitch (he threw a no hitter in Toronto not too long ago). We spent the evening getting caught back up and enjoying the evening. The second game was more epic than the first.
Game two, Saturday night, started with early entry into Safeco Field. We get tickets from
a season ticket holder who splits them out so it was one of those occasions where season ticket holders get to enter the park and hour before the regular gates open. That means there are very few people in the park and it gives the possibility of interacting with the team. So, down to the field we went. We watched the team go through their stretches and warm up. Nearly all the starts were there (except Robinson Cano since he got suspended for PEDs). But otherwise, we were real close to the action.
Then came batting practice. Now, one thing we always try to do is get there early enough to see batting practice and hope to catch a ball hit off the bat of someone. I could be anyone, we don’t care! Mostly because it is just something that doesn’t happen and when you are a baseball fan, it is just something that is fun to participate in. So, our regular seats are a the top of the wall in right field but we decided not to go there and instead try for the first base line, near the foul pole in right field…basically to get balls that guys hit foul but just barely. It really is a guessing game because when you watch there always seems to be a part of the park that the teams hit the ball the most and it always seems to be where we have chosen NOT to stand and watch. It is crazy how it seems to work that way.
Mariners legend, Ichiro (#51) was participating in the full pregame workout, so he was in right field chasing down fly balls, line drives, and foul balls. You know, shagging balls like all the other guys on the team during batting practice. On Saturday, he was running to catch a fly ball and it was straight at me as I stood in the stands above him. As he caught the ball I yelled his name, “ICHIRO!” and held up my open glove (yes, I still take it to the park). He looked up, running at full speed, but not at me. He was looking right at my best friend and I am thinking, He is gonna get this ball from Ichiro! Only, instead of flipping him the ball with an ever so slight underhand toss, he flipped it right to me. That sneaky fellow duped us both! I was so surprised, but it was really cool to have a team legend toss me a ball. (You’re probably thinking what a nerd…but it’s OK, I just love baseball and if you do too, then you understand). And, just for a moment, I was the envy of all the people around me. LOL
Anyway, game two got under way and the teams were battling it out. It was a good game that ended up going into extra innings. The Mariners ended up winning that one also, only in the 12th inning with a walk-off HR by Mike Zunino. It was an epic night!
Oh, I almost forgot to mention dinner! One of the great things about going to the ball park, at least at Safeco, is the ballpark food. You really can be a foodie and get good stuff there (despite the prices being stupidly high). So, of course there is the standard hot dog and a beer. I am not sure when I last had that ol’ favorite. So, I like to try new stuff. This time it was an ice cream sandwich, which we saw on Friday night as we were walking to our seats. We had to try it! So, we found the location in the stadium and built our own. (It is kind of the Coldstone-esque style where you tell them what you want and they build it for you.) So, for mine I had a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup cookie, Toffee Coffee Chip ice cream, a chocolate brownie, and then everything dipped in Butterfinger and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup candy. Let me tell you, it was AWESOME, and it was only $8!! It was, however, more than I could eat so I didn’t finish it.
All in all, it was a great couple of days. I love spending time with my best friend and it always go by too quickly. But, we always have a good time and we always look forward to the next time we are together.
Oh, one more thing…this weekend was Memorial Weekend, meaning we took time off from work to celebrate and remember the people who have fallen in the line of military service to protect the freedoms we all hold dearly (and probably take advantage of). I hope you took some time this weekend to pause and reflect on the lives that have been lost so that you (and many others around the world) might live free. They gave all and we owe them a debt of gratitude. God Bless America!
I can’t escape this day, so I might as well embrace it for what it is. What it is, is time to give myself some love, something I have neglected to do
for a long time ever.
I have written about Valentine’s Day in the past. I don’t have a love affair with the idea of the day and
maybe probably actually despise it a lot little. But something I have never done is actually given myself some affirming words on a day that is should be dedicated to me love. So, let’s give this a try and see how it works out…
You ARE enough. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone. You don’t have to be everything to everyone, and you shouldn’t try to be. YOU are enough the way you are.
You ARE unique. There is no one like you and you already stand out for the right reasons. YOUR uniqueness shines through in all that you do.
OK, that is as far as I got. It totally feels foreign. Awkward! Why is it so weird to talk about myself in this way?
The truth is that I am not good at this. I guess I have never been very good at accepting compliments, let alone taking them from myself. Maybe I never will be.
I am hard on myself. Always have been. My humor is self-deprecating, but that’s probably a reflection of the fact that I don’t see much that is valuable. I know I am valuable, but affirming it of myself, from myself, is not something I’ve been good at. Is anyone good at it, really?
I suppose most of us probably avoid this sort of thing because we see others who may be good at it but we feel like they are being conceited or full of themselves. “Well, lookie here. Who got up on his/her high horse today?” We don’t want to come across as someone who is full of themselves so we do the exact opposite and then it turns into a habit, where we beat ourselves up and tear ourselves down.
So, has anyone written a love letter to themselves before? How do you do it? Got any hints, tips, pointers?
How did you feel while you were writing it?
How did you feel after you had done? Do you go back and reread it once in a while?
The great mystery here, at least for me, is how to love myself AND actually feel it without feeling like it is phony self-talk. Is that possible?
I admit it, I am a sucker for a good story. That’s probably why I like movies and probably why I enjoy reading books, though I don’t do the latter as much as I probably should.
I have a recommendation for you today, on Christmas Eve 2017. I have been listening to these stories each week for just a little over a year now and if you haven’t already discovered them, or the story teller, then I suggest you give him and them a listen.
You see, back when I was a kid I used to listen to stories while I sat at the lunch table while I was at my grandparents’ house. We visited often and my grandfather would come home from the orchard for lunch each and every day. During that lunch hour, he would turn on the radio and the stories would begin. Paul Harvey, you may have heard of him, would catch us up on the news and tell stories. Paul would end that time by stopping the story before the end…which would cause us to tune in later (late afternoon, before dinner time if I recall correctly) and then Paul would start the second broadcast of the day with, “…and now, the rest of the story.” He would proceed to finish the story he had started earlier.
Those are some great memories and ones I cherish very much.
These days, story tellers are hard to come by. Not many people take the time to tell them, let alone listen to them. But, I believe there is going to be a come back, of sorts, and that might just come from the source I mentioned earlier.
Mike Rowe, at MikeRowe.com, has a podcast called “The Way I Heard It”. Yes, you know this Mike Rowe, I am sure, because you likely have heard his voiceover on Deadliest Catch, or saw him as the host Dirty Jobs. It is the same Mike Rowe with the same awesome, story telling voice. He is nearing 100 podcast episodes now, but there are TWO that I would like you to consider this day – Christmas Eve, 2017.
They are both Christmas stories, about things that will be familiar. I believe you will enjoy them and, at the very least, will probably even make you smile a little. I have shared them with my family, but why stop there? I think more people need to hear them!
Thanks for stopping by and reading this blog once in a while. I appreciate it.
While many in the United States celebrate Independence Day today, one thing we need to remember is that July 4, 1776, was only one day in the long struggle for freedom. In fact, it was closer to the end of the struggle instead of the beginning, as most people think.
Americans (known as British subjects back then) began the struggle for independence while they were fighting next to British troops in the countryside against the French (we know this conflict as the “French & Indian War”, the Brits know it as the “Seven Years War”: 1754-1763) It was during this conflict that many of our future nation’s leaders were born. For they saw the policies and practices of the British and realized then that they were going to be treated unfairly, even if they won the war. George Washington became our nation’s first leader because of the failures, which in some cases were horrendous, and successes. This conflict was his training ground! After the war was over, it was the actions of the British parliament that led to the American leaders protesting the unfair taxes placed/forced on them to pay for the war. It was through these protests that our pursuit of freedom really began.
July 4, 1776, was the culmination of our frustrations with the British. What most American forget is that we almost “kissed and made up” with the British in 1775. Had the British government accepted the “Olive Branch Petition” from the colonies, we could very likely still be subjects of the crown. Oh how different our lives would be, right?
The Revolutionary War ended in 1783, almost 10 years after it began. So, let’s not take our freedom for granted on this day. The battle wasn’t won during a short fight, it was won over a long period of time. Many sacrificed all – both then and now. There are many who are sacrificing even now so that we might remain free. Don’t let us take it for granted!
I want to end with a smattering of quotes. I end this post this way because I feel we, as a nation, are headed into dark times if we continue to dishonor our heritage and the sacrifices of those who came before us. We are giving up on the ideals and principles that our country was founded on. Maybe we aren’t giving up on them, maybe we are just ignoring them. Or maybe we just don’t care because we have become too selfish and too apathetic, I don’t know for sure. But what I fear is that the road we are on will not perpetuate the greatness we have known in the past. Ben Franklin is famous for saying after the ratification of the Constitution in 1787, in response to a question about the kind of government we would have, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Today, I think he may be right. The challenge is to maintain it and those WE have elected over the years are eroding the foundations of our house. Let me be clear, WE the people are the problem, not our politicians. WE put them in office and, unfortunately, they do what WE want them to (even if is seems dysfunctional).
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
“Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.”
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
“I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.”
“If you’re not ready to die for it, put the word ‘freedom’ out of your vocabulary.”
If we don’t hold onto the freedoms and traditions we have been given, they will slowly be taken away. Like cooking a frog in a pot, it won’t jump out of the pot if the water warms slowly. Our environment in the US these days is a lot like the pot…
Every year we are treated to a month (plus or minus) of Christmas music. For most people, that is about all they can stand. For others, they can’t get enough and play it all year round.
I am mostly in the first group because of the fact that there are very rarely new Christmas songs and the old ones get played over and over, just with someone new singing them. I mean, really, how many different versions of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” can there be? 5,279?? I don’t know, but it seems like a lot (and that’s only in English…) Every singer, it seems, has done their rendition of it. I swear there are times where you can hear the same song six times in an hour, just done by a different artists.
So, each year I look forward to Christmas music (typically played AFTER Thanksgiving) in my house with a little trepidation. However, this year there was a new entry into the Christmas music catalog and I have to say that it might be my new favorite version of a classic song.
I include it here for your listening pleasure. Turn up the sound and sit back.
I hope you enjoyed it. Check out some of their other stuff too. I am not being paid for advertising, I just happen to like their stuff – especially this song.
Happy Independence Day folks! Yes, today, July 4 is America’s 238th birthday. What a 238 years it has been, right? I mean we have come a long way from those days of white wigs and scraping a living out of the “wild and unsettled” lands. It hasn’t been all fun and games though. There has been some yelling, throwing of things, fighting, trials and disagreements and yet we endure. That is something to celebrate!
Today we pause to blow stuff up, eat pounds of dead meat all while throwing back some hop infused beverages. We love a good party and today we are gonna do it up right! But before you head out to the backyard, the lake, the camp ground, or the big city for a show of bright flashes and big bangs maybe you should take some time to REALLY remember why we celebrate today. It isn’t just another day off from work, some guys way back at the beginning put their “lives, fortunes, and honor” on the table and at risk for all to enjoy. We owe it to them to at least pause for a few and reconnect to the true holiday we celebrate.
For your reading pleasure, the Declaration of Independence. (You know, there are some who might argue that this document still might apply today.)
If you are interested, here is some reading that could remind you of those days back when you were in school and were learning about the reasons we have a nation today and decided to cut ties with that tyrannical British king, George III. History lesson and quiz.
Regardless of where you think we stand as a nation today, whether you agree with the direction we are headed (or not headed) or whether you are red or blue or purple(?), we are still the place that others look to for hope, freedom, and help when there is trouble in their neighborhood. Let’s not forget this is still the best place to live in the world because we have many of the freedoms that others do not.
America. Happy birthday!
Merry Christmas to all…a great new twist on an old story with modern considerations.
Twas the night before Christmas, and all thro’ the house
The only sound to be heard, was the click of a mouse;
The family used their digital devices with little care,
In hopes that their wants just might be satisfied there;
The children they played on their smart phones in beds,
While visions from their apps danced in their heads,
From personal computers, to tablets, there was no cap,
All were settled in for a technologically wrought nap –
But within every device there arose a silent clatter,
Yet none in the sleepy house knew what was the matter.
But whether on Apple or Windows, with every app flash,
Every detail was logged, bound tightly as if with a sash.
There had been that wise lad – named den after snow,
Who had tried to give warning of what happens below
The surface of the devices – if pulled back…
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