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I’ve been working in the garden and during my breaks from that, updating the chapter outline for the book my sister and I are working on together, doing more research on milk fever in the late 19th century, and I also managed to fit in a few minutes of actual writing time.  So, I’ve been busy and yes, I almost forgot about my Writing Challenge.  This week’s challenge was to post at least five blog entries and since I’m going to be tied up this weekend, I really need to get them done before Saturday.

Problem is, I don’t have anything specific to write about today.  Usually I can find some article on AOL or Yahoo but today…not a one struck my fancy.

I could, I suppose, write something about the Red Sox but after the weekend they had and the fact that they are, for the time being, winning again, I definitely don’t want to jinx them so…I’ll just say, I’m glad they’re back at Fenway!

Other than that, nothing else comes to mind.  I’m still working on the list of 52 writing challenges but I don’t want to post that until I get a little further along.  And I’ll probably make it a page instead of just a post so…like I said, zero, zilch, zip.

But wait, there is a new interview up on the Dames of Dialogue blog with author Sharyn McCrumb and there’s also a slightly older post about aging and extreme sports by guest author Ric Wasley.  Check them out and yep, you got it, don’t forget to leave a comment!

That’s about it from me today.  Sheesh, couldn’t even break 300 words with this one!  Hope everyone’s having a fabulous day!

I read an interesting article this morning about a young pitcher who was mentored by the great Joe Niekro before his death.  For those of you who don’t know, Joe Niekro was a pitcher, but more than that, he was a knuckleball pitcher like one of my favorite players pitching today, Tim Wakefield. 

The young player in the article is also a knuckleballer but what really caught my attention is the fact that she’s female and her coach speculates that she just might be the first female player in the MLB.  Could it happen?  Could Chelsea Baker be the first female player in a league that’s decidedly gender biased?  Honestly, I don’t think so, at least not in my lifetime…but you just never know.

Chelsea isn’t the only young female player out there creating waves that seem to point to the possiblility of women playing in the major leagues some day.  There’s also young Eri Yoshida, another knuckleball pitcher, who had the opportunity to meet her idol, Tim Wakefield, a couple of months ago during spring training. 

Who knows what could happen?  All you have to do is watch the movie, A League of Their Own, and you can see that anything is possible.  That’s not to say I hope we have another major war, not even if it did give these young women the chance to play in the majors, but wouldn’t it be great if they did break through the gender barrier of Major League Baseball?

Just think, one day in the far distant future, MLB could be celebrating Eri Yoshida  or Chelsea Baker Day, just like they do now with Jackie Robinson Day.

Wouldn’t that be something?

It’s a bright sunshiny day here in the mountains and I find my thoughts filled with sports.  Surely spring isn’t far away…

Is anybody else out there like me; not interested in the Olympics this year?   I usually am glued to the TV when the Olympics are on but for some reason I just can’t seem to get into watching them this year.  Maybe it’s the coverage…I miss when ABC covered the Olympics and in my honest opinion, the coverage of the games has gone steadily downhill from the first year NBC took over.

I’m going to say this once and then I’m not going to say anything else about it–leave Tiger Woods alone!  He doesn’t owe anyone an apology except his wife and family.  Yes, he made numerous mistakes but absolutely no one has the right to judge him especially when most of the people who are slamming him have probably done much worse things to the people in their life.

Okay, now, on to better things…today’s the day when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.  Woo-hoo!  That means the other players will report next week and it won’t be long until the boys of summer are playing again.  Yippee!

And for those of you who are eagerly awaiting the upcoming baseball season as I am, here’s a little glimpse of what we’ve been missing over this long, long, l-o-o-o-n-g winter:

Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?   Well, maybe if you’re not a Red Sox fan, it does, but for me, that picture is the best.  Here’s to an early spring, a baseball season that’s longer than this horrible winter (which, unfortunately, isn’t over yet), and days full of sunshine and warmth!

Oh yeah, and Go Sox!

It’s snowing here again and though I’ll admit it’s pretty, I just want it to stop.  Don’t get me wrong, I love snow but I’ve had enough.  It is not supposed to snow this much in the South!  I wouldn’t mind if I still lived in Maine–at least I think I wouldn’t!–but down here in the South I don’t like seeing all this white stuff fall from the sky.  Not only does it create problems driving, but it seriously creates problems at home.  Hardwood floors, dogs, and snow are not a pretty mix!

So please, someone make it stop!

And while we’re talking about stopping, I saw an article on-line this morning about a remake–gah!  I hate that word!–of The Big Valley.  Sheesh.  To make matters worse, the article also mentioned they’re working on a remake–there’s that awful word again!–of Gunsmoke.  What?  Are all the writers/directors/producers in Hollywood against making movies with original ideas?  Have they all embraced some new religion that practices redundancy while it spurns originality?

Is it any wonder I don’t go to the movies anymore?  Apparently, there’s nothing new under the sun in Hollywood.  It’s all been done before, and done better, I might add, and I have no interest in seeing the movie stars of today butcher the roles of the great actors of the past.

Okay, now that I got that out of my system, here’s something I don’t want to stop–today is Spring Training Truck Day at Fenway!  Yay!  You know what that means, don’t you?  Yep, the trucks are on their way to Ft. Myers, Florida and baseball season is just around the corner.

Now there’s something to look forward to!

Another thing I don’t want to stop is the progress I’m making on my latest WIP.  I just hit 35,000 words which means I should be at 40,000 when I finish the first half of the book.  Just where I hoped.  Yippee! 

Okay, back to work…

Herbie, a huge elm tree believed to be around 240 years old, stood sentinel on the corner of East Main Street and Yankee Drive in Yarmouth, Maine.  I was lucky enough to see Herbie when my husband and I lived in Maine and I hate knowing that he finally lost his battle with Dutch elm disease.  RIP Herbie!

–Less than a month to go until the pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.  Yippee and yahoo!  Will the Red Sox go to the series this year?  Hard to say, I’m thinking…nope, not gonna happen, not this year…but honestly, right now, I don’t care if they do or not.  I just want to see some baseball!

–Why do my dogs prefer their blue chew toys over the orange ones?  Are they, like my husband, color blind?  Turns out they are…to a degree.  Check out this cool chart if you want to know how your dog sees colors–it also answers the question of why my husband once picked up a pink t-shirt and started to buy it.  I almost fainted because I knew he hated the color pink–don’t ask me how he determined that when he can’t even see it!–and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything pink. 

–Yikes!  Saw an article the other day about the so-called “plus-size” models Glamour magazine has started using and it said any model who wears a size 8 or 10 is considered plus-size.  Oh really?  I’m 5’7 1/2″ tall, I weigh around 125 pounds, and I wear a size 8  or 10 which, I suppose, means I qualify as a “plus-size” woman.  So how come everybody’s always asking me how I stay so thin?  And take a look at this picture:  

lara-stone-vogueThat’s Lara Stone.  Ms. Stone is a model who according to another article on Lemondrop, wears a size 4, and she says people often tell her she’s fat.  WTF?  Seriously, somebody needs to take a horsewhip to whoever decided the “perfect” woman is a size 2 or less.  Sheesh!

And while we’re on the subject of size, she looks more like a size 6 or maybe even an 8 to me.  Do designer sizes run larger than…what do they call them?  Off -the rack- clothes…that doesn’t sound right but my brain’s about meandered out so I hope you get what I’m saying.  She’s a size 4 and she looks about the same size as me but I wear a size 8 or 10.  Do those designers fudge with the sizes so they can sell more clothes to the rich and vain?  Does that really matter to women?  I’d be more inclined to fork over my money if they shaved a few numbers off the price instead of the size!

Man, I hope not, at least in baseball and in the ALCS where my team is going against the Los Angeles Angels for the third year in a row.  In the past two, we’ve emerged victorious but that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels because this is a new year and I think the Angels will be tough to beat.  Plus, they have something to prove, namely that the Red Sox don’t own them when it comes to the post-season.

Not to mention, this is baseball and there’s just no telling what will happen!

I, of course, will be rooting for the Red Sox.  I’ll also probably be singing Tessie at the top of my lungs (God help my poor husband!), wearing my 2004 World Series champions t-shirt (which I wore during 2007 when we won the Series again), crossing my fingers and toes (and my eyes if I have to!), and indulging in any other good-luck-bringing behavior I can think of.

Sadly though, I don’t think any of it will help because I have this sneaking suspicion that the Red Sox aren’t destined to play in the World Series this year.  I think it’ll be between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees.

Care to hazard a guess who I’ll be pulling for if that happens?

Until then, go Red Sox!

Lots of things going on in my world right now but I wanted to post about a few of them.  I’m calling this one Friday Five…or maybe Friday Four, depends on how much time I have!

1.  Just put up a Friday Favorites post on the Dames of Dailogue blog about hats.  Yep, September is Fall Hat month and since I love hats, I signed up to write about them.  I not only love them, I also have some from the fifties that belonged to my mom and my husband’s grandmother hanging on my office wall.  Not to mention the one I had made with the dried flowers from my wedding bouquet.  You can see them all–well, all except one–on the Dames of Dialogue blog today!

2.  Did I tell you I finally set up a Facebook account?  I did but haven’t had time to do much with it yet.  I’m thinking about running a contest to get more friends when I do get it up and going so I hope you’ll stay tuned!

3.  My husband and I finally had enough of the unreliable service from our cable company and dropped it, which included phone and Internet.  We’re now using our cell phones for our home phone and we have the Verizon thingie for the Internet.  So far, so good.  Yesterday, we had the people out here from Dish TV to hook us up and the package my husband chose comes complete with NESN (New England Sports Network)–yippee!  So now I can watch NESN instead of ESPN for my sports news which is a very good thing because when they report on baseball, they concentrate on the Red Sox!  Yay!  Wasn’t that sweet of him to do that?  Who says all Yankees fans are bad?

Only problem with getting NESN on Dish TV is I tried to watch a game last night and it was blacked out!  Sheesh!  That’s not a good thing, but at least I can see the highlights and watch some other shows that I used to watch when I lived in Maine.  Plus, I’m thinking I might get to see the games when they rebroadcast them.  I’ll have to check that out but I sure hope I can!

4.  …well, shoot, I know I had a fourth one in mind when I started writing this but dang if I can think of it now.  I think all this rain we’ve had lately in western NC has seeped into my brain and turned it to mush.

…oh, I remember, it was about the Red Sox–see, mush!  I was just talking about them, for crying out loud!–we’re coming down to the wire and I’m singing Tessie every chance I get.  Got Fever Pitch in my DVD player and the soundtrack in my CD player and they’ll both stay there until the season’s over–whenever that may be!  Here’s to an awesome final few weeks and a post season to rival 2004 and 2007!

Okay, that’s it, time to go back to fighting with my muse and see if I can’t break out of this despicable writer’s block!  Anybody have any suggestions?  I’m open for just about anything!

I rarely talk about having MS and most of the time, I hardly think about it, but when it flares up, it’s pretty much the only thing I can think about.  Right now, as I’m going through an exacerbation–fancy medical term for feeling like crap because of MS–I want only to be able to write and think coherently.  But that’s probably not going to happen, so I apologize in advance if this post doesn’t make any sense.

Still, even with the muddled state of my mind, I have something to say to my guys (aka the Boston Red Sox): snap out of it!  Your lead in the AL East is a thing of the past and it’s pretty much a given that the Yankees are going to win the AL East–and why shouldn’t they, after all, they certainly paid enough for it.  I know, I know, “money can’t buy happiness,” but I’m here to tell you, this year, if you’re a Yankee fan, it most certainly can and has.  But that doesn’t mean we should give up hope.  There’s still the wildcard, but if you keep playing the way you did the last two games, that’s going to be gone too.  So come on guys, snap out of it before it’s too late!

The other thing on my dim, woolly mind these days is where did the summer go?  Seems like just yesterday I was planting my garden and dreaming of all the summer goodness to come.  That’s over now, for the most part, but it’s not as over as it would be if I still lived in Maine.  Right now, up in Maine, the leaves are already turning and vegetable gardens are lying fallow–or most of them are–and apple season has arrived.  Fall’s always been my favorite time of the year and I particularly loved it when I lived in Maine.  More than the beauty of the leaves, the air is literally saturated with the smell of apples.  Did you know Maine is the number two state in the nation for apples, second only to Washington state?  Well, it is and let me tell you, if you’re there in the fall, you get to see the beauty of the leaves and you also get the wonderful smell of apples.  I used to love sitting on my porch and just breathing in that fragrance, so sweet it would make my mouth water.

Where I live in North Carolina, they also have a lot of apple orchards.  I’m right down the road from “Apple Valley” so I’m surrounded by them, but for some reason, you don’t get the same smell as you do up in Maine…except if you go to downtown Hendersonville during the apple festival which just happens to take place on Labor Day weekend every year.

This is Labor Day weekend.  Too bad I’ll have to miss the annual festival..but then, it looks like I’ll also be missing the World Series, another thing that makes fall my favorite time of year.  Well, unless my guys get their act together and get red-hot before too many more games are past.  Who knows, maybe they’ll surprise us all like they did in 2004.

Hey, it could happen.  You know what they say,  there’s always hope!

JacobyCongratulations Jacoby on grabbing the team record for the most bases stolen in a single season!




Red Sox Indians BaseballWelcome back Wake.  Glad to have you back on the mound again!





BASEBALL/And finally to Victor Martinez–good luck catching Wake’s knuckle-ball and kudos for being willing to try!




And there you have it, two of my favorite players and one who seems destined to join the club.  I don’t know a lot about Martinez, or V-Mart as I’ve heard him called, but I like what I’ve seen so far.


missouri-busch-stadiumBeen a while since I wrote anything about baseball.  I guess you might say I’m in a mid-season slump right now, but I have been paying attention to what’s been going on with the Red Sox–and other assorted teams in the major league.

That’s Busch Stadium where this year’s All-Star game will be played.  Pretty, isn’t it?  The picture comes to you courtesy of 1april07bride on PhotoBucket.

Okay, first up in this game of catch-up, congrats to the six Red Sox players who were chosen to go to St. Louis for the All-Star game this year; Josh Beckett, Dustin Pedroia, Jason Bay, Kevin Youkilis, Jonathan Papelbon and Tim Wakefield–at last!.  Way to go, Wake, you deserve it after all this time!  And kudos to you and Beckett on your league-leading eleven wins this season. 

Unfortunately, there will only be five Boston players at the game as last year’s Rookie of the Year, Dustin Pedroia, has opted not to go.  His wife, Kelli, is pregnant with their first child and has been experiencing some problems with the pregnancy so Dustin elected to stay in Boston with her.  Major kudos for that, and I have no doubt there’ll be other years for Pedroia to partcipate in the All-Star game–he’s just too good and so devoted to playing the game that this won’t be the only chance he gets.

As for Youk, Bay, and Papelbon, I hope you each get the chance to show off your talents.  Give ’em hell, guys!

Second, how can it already be the All-Star break.  Sheesh, where did the season go?  Oh well, it’s been a great one so far and I have a feeling it’ll get even better after the break.  Thankfully, after the Angel’s swept the Yankees, Boston goes into the break with a 3 game lead in the AL!  Woo-hoo!

Third–and I never thought I’d say this–can we please stop with the coverage of Manny Ramirez.  I’m sick and tired of seeing him everywhere I turn and more importantly, I don’t think anyone, anywhere should be cheering for him, much less voting for him to be on the All-Star team.  And Manny, you might want to curb your tendency to look at the world as your personal castle.  Seriously, you’re beginning to sound an awful lot like a Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens wannabe.  Just keep your mouth shut about how awesome you are and how great it is that people are welcoming you back with open arms and play ball.  Seems to me I recall you once saying that’s all you wanted to do was play baseball and have fun doing it.  That was you, wasn’t it?  So go on, shut your mouth and lose the over-inflated ego or the only thing you’re going to be remembered for is narcissism.

Okay, that’s it in my baseball world.  Tonight’s the All-Star game and then the second half of the season.  I’m sure there’ll be plenty of nail-biting and gnashing of teeth and I, for one, will enjoy every minute of it.





Go Red Sox!

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