Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Softball Practice

When my only friend in this town texted me last week and asked if I wanted to play on a recreational softball league, I didn't hesitate - I said yes. I obviously wasn't thinking about many factors like the fact I've never technically played the sport, that I don't have a glove, that it's been forever since I've even played catch.

But it's one of those things that you know so.much. about that you think you can do it.

So I said yes.

I showed up for the first practice (joke!) and found out it was going to be a scrimmage game against the high school girls. My friend tossed me the ball to "warm-up" and I thought I was going to die right then. Those balls are huge. But I caught it.

When asked what position I'd want to play, I mentioned something about the outfield. But somehow I was assigned to first base.

Dude, I was so nervous putting on the borrowed glove and walking over to the rock that was first base. I mean, I've watched enough of this sport to know that this is a very active location complete with necessary ninja-ball skills and just a general knowledge of what's going on. Both things are items I could not check off the Softball Skills checklist.

But I didn't mention that.

With my 15-year-old sister cheering me on from the sidelines, throwing me water when necessary and pumping me up with some pre-game rap music about cash money and three strikes and whatever, I was ready.

Though I might not have all the athletic capabilities that make up an athlete, I've got heart. And a strong competitive spirit and what else do you need, really?

(but no, I'm not diving for that ball and that one that's rolling by me is definitely on the second-base-woman's side)

So there I stood. First base. Glove on. All the things I've yelled at Little Leaguers over the years running through my head. "Look alive!", "Get your glove down!", "Pay attention!" ran through my head like mantras. I was going to dominate this game.

And I kinda kicked ass, actually. Surprisingly, to me. I got multiple outs at first, held runners to their bases, congratulaed every girl who did make it to first base and even caught a massive fly-ball that really, truthfully, scared the hell outta me. But I stood under the descending round ball of hardness that would really hurt if it smacked me in the face and lifted my glove up to catch it. I even called it. "I got it!" Oh, and once, I caught the ball from the second base-woman, almost lost it but bobbled it on my chest and kept it in hand. I knew those babies would come in handy for a lot of things.

I mean, seriously, I must be practicing softball in my dreams. Or it's just beginner's luck.

I didn't strike out once - got three nice, solid hits. Made it on base once thanks to the first base woman dropping the ball. I don't run very fast. As a matter of fact, I hate running and I would not like to see the look on my face when I'm doing it. Absolute misery.

Today I am sore, very sore and I have a bruise on the palm of my left hand from catching a fiery ball thrown from third. It was a matter of life or death, really. Catch the damn thing or be killed. I did miss two throws from the shortstop that resulted in some runs because she threw it wild and crazy and hard and with no backstop, it just kept going and going and runners kept running and running. She thought it was my fault, of course, but seriously, I am no ninja. I am not jumping in the air (althought I tried that once) nor am I diving to catch your bad throw.

It was a blast and I loved it. And I'm willing to try it again and test out the whole beginner's luck theory or maybe I'm just a kickass softball player.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Micah is my little brother. He's almost 13 and he cracks me up on an almost-daily basis. I keep track of his moments of hilarity on my Memopad on my phone for moments like this - moments when I'm leaving kick-ass mode behind and want to dwell on humor.

That moment is now. Here are some Micah moments.

Two days ago, we negogiated a deal; he'd go feed the horses, I'd take him to the pool. For some reason, his end of the negogiations were done in song. I'm not clear on why. They just were.

To go along with the deal-making, he asked me what I'd give him for something that I can't remember now what it was (obviously my notes weren't the best). I said, "My love and affection for the rest of your life?" To which he replied, "I already have that. Um, how about one of Skye's puppies?"

On our way back from baseball practice one day, he was rubbing his eyes and suddenly yelled, "My eyebrows are going bald!!!!" Thus ensued a major eyebrow examination when we got home and asking every member of the house, "Are my eyebrows bald?" "Can you tell there's a bald spot right HERE?"

"Im gonna change my last name in high school," he announced one day, again in the car. "It'll be Micah Alan Albert so I'll be first and then we can leave (during graduation)."

We were watching Hells Kitchen the other night and I commented about the girls, "Their mouths are filthy!" "I'm telling you, they're she-mans," Micah replied.

And of course, "Look!! Two birds humping on the fence!"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kick Ass mode

I am in full out "kick ass and take names later" mode.

What did my mom tell me tonight? Some battles don't have to be fought.

That's like screaming, "not all red meat is meant to be eaten!" to a raging lion.

But I do need to remember that not all asses need to be kicked. Right now, anyway.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I've been blogging for six years...

Happy Blogiversary to me. Six years is a long time to be doing anything but for the past 2,190 days I've faithfully written my life here and on trusty Xanga.

Here's the first sentence from my first blog post:

June 18, 2004: "Hello Friends! Yes, I know. This is a blog and I am a journalist. They don't exactly go together like PB&J but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do."

That's what we were told back in journalism school six years ago. It's amazing how things have changed.

I've spent some time walking through the cyber hallways of these memories.

I blogged about chickens, my dog, this darling baby Ashanti that my family almost adopted, politics (I was rather naive back then!) my brother's baseball games, my mother's illness, boys I met, jobs I worked, people I met, injustices that pissed me off, my college semesters and subsequent graduations, my family, traveling, our transitions, my Lyme Disease, which looking back was so apparent but we didn't know.

June 29, 2005: "Ohhhh....sometimes life is out of control. Sometimes I ask "why." Not out of distrust of the God who has led us through so much and will see us through. Sometimes I'm just curious."

Sometimes, like in this post, I was too vague. I want to ask that Holly what was wrong? What was out of control? What happened? But I can't. And I can't remember.

June 17, 2006: "Evalyn Grace needs your prayers tonight, friends."

I remember this post. I wrote it in the lobby of a hotel the night after my niece was tramautically born. She was in the NICU, clinging to life, and we were being told to doubt her neurological survival. Evalyn celebrated her fourth birthday two days ago. She's a miracle. And my blog has lived to tell about it.

Hopefully you're documenting your own life. If you're not, it's never too late to start and if you are, keep it up. The memories, even the painful ones, are worth it.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

simple things, remember?

I enjoy simple things. Daniel's horse, Ten Bears, enjoys simple things too.

Simple things like breaking into the feed trailer.
And simple things like eating it.

Zeb enjoys simple things too.

Simple things like eating the jacked feed that fell through the cracks in the trailer.

Answers to YOUR questions

The other day I solicited questions on Facebook. I like questions. So here's a few that my friends asked that I'm going to answer (and if you, oh illusive reader, can think of any, leave it in the form of a comment on this post).

Kristin wanted to know if I could live anywhere with all my family and friends where would it be and why?
On the seashores of old Mexico. Or, perhaps, the shore of the Selway River in Idaho or on Kentucky Lake. Basically, anywhere that has LOTS of water because where there is water there is life. And at the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, my family and friends represent the purest form of life to me and what better combination then life and more life.

Lance wondered when you blow on soup (coffee, tea, or any other hot substance of choice) to *cool it down*, what is actually happening?
I'm not sure what happens, Lance, when you blow on soup, but for me, it usually starts with the desire to cool something down. So I take a deep breath, pucker my lips and blow out air onto the hot substance. Of course all these things that are "actually happening" happen in an instant and without much thought.

You mentioned properties of diffusion in hint form but unfortunately Wikipedia doesn't have an answer for me. And for the first in my life, Google has only confused me more.

Drew asked if I would ever try playing Scrabble while white water rafting and if I did, who would I play against?
Well, yes, I would play Scrabble while white water rafting especially if someone like Drew were there to give me the idea. I think I'd do this after a few practice runs down the river. But I would do it. And I'd probably play against you, Drew, because you're probably the only person with craziness equal to mine who would think such a thing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Sometimes (or for me, all the time) it is really the simple things that matter the most.

Things like leaving a hand-written note for whoever is the first to turn on the coffeepot in the morning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

about nothing and everything

It is 11:36 p.m. and this is a post about nothing and everything. It's nothing because it's unorganized and random. It's everything because, well, it covers just about everything...or at least the things that are important to this sleepy-but-can't- sleep mind.

Things like the fact that my feet are very angry at me. Of course, this would have nothing to do with the fact that I just admitted I like going barefoot as much as possible and it has everything to do with NO MOISTURE in West Texas and, according to my mother, the fact that I'm probably not drinking enough water. Well, more moisture in West Texas is bound to not happen and chances of me drinking more water are pretty slim too. So I've taken to slathering Sensual Amber body lotion (amazing, by the way!) on my feet and putting bootie socks on in hopes to heal my dry and cracking soles. Cracking to the point of serious can't-walk-right pain. And yes, I'm kind of a baby when my feet hurt.

It is no secret that Skye loves Micah and Micah loves Skye and they decided to put this love on display in the kitchen.

Uh-huh. In addition to photographing ice cubes in a Mason jar, I also like taking pictures of an ant carrying away crumbs from my muffin. What was even cooler was when another ant came and tried to take away his crumb and he fought him for it. I mean, crumbs are important in the ant world. Stay away from The Crumb.

I enjoyed packing a lunch for my brother tonight. He's all grown up, graduated from high school and working in the real world. Or, a world of talc, anyway. He came home today (his first day) and before I could get the words, "Hey! How was it?!" out, instead I said, "Please stop touching the walls and go change. No, actually, just take everything off in the laundry room and put it right in the washer." He looked like he'd been dipped in baby powder.

Monday night means The Bachelorette is on and it means that I sit down and watch it. Micah watches it with me faithfully and Elsie, of course, does too. Daniel skirts around the issue that he likes watching it but will join us unde the guise of "there's nothing else to do" or something like that. But secretly, he wants to be the next Bachelor. Well, actually it's not a secret because every time Chris Harrison's voice comes on and says, "If you're interested in becoming the next Bachelor," Daniel (excitedly) says, "Heck yes!" and then switches into a redneck accent and adds, "this ol' country boy from West Texas is gonna find love" or something like that. But I'm glad he watches it with me because his input is HI-LARIOUS and I get to text my fellow The Bachelorette watcher, Kristin, throughout the two-hour event. It's like we're sitting next to each other on the couch watching it except that we're not. But since there's 1,200 miles between our living rooms, we'll settle for texting. Right, Kristin?!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tough(er) Nut to Crack

I've been described as prickly.
Sometimes rude and stand-offish.
Sometimes blunt and/or harsh.

I don't trust people easily.
I don't believe what people say just because they say it.
I don't rely on actions either; as it turns out, some people can fake it for awhile.

I'm cynical and sarcastic.

These are all things that life (my life) have nurtured me to be.

But really, I want to believe you.
I want to accept your actions as proof that you mean what you say.
I want so badly to take your word for it and trust you.
I hate second-guessing you.
I want to welcome you with open arms and not listen to the whispers of warning that reverbrate in my head.
I want to be naive enough to believe that I can accept you at face value.

This is my nature.

So I'm left feeling disillusioned because you're not the person I thought you were.
I feel jaded because you robbed me of my innocent trust, forgiveness and re-acceptance.
I am mad as hell because you lied .... and I believed you.

In a matter of hours I've felt all these emotions and then suddenly, relief and upon that, an incredible will and power to survive.

That's part of the equation you and admittedly, I, forgot about.
"When God made women, he gave us the ability to survive...." and not only survive but live and live well.

Yes, you have made me a tougher nut to crack. I'm afraid because I can feel myself wanting to turn into a bitter woman who falls headlong into my nurture without so much as a second glance at my nature.

I'm looking at nurture and I'm eyeing nature and maybe in the end, I'll have a little of both.

A little trust; a little caution.
A dash of prickliness blended with acceptance.
Humor laced with cynicism.
A little nutshell stuck to the meat of me.
Blunt truth with a touch of mercy.

And at some point, I'll have to make a diving choice - to trust or not to trust?

I'm pretty sure of that answer.

Thank you, nature.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Cubes

Call me a nerd but yes, I did make ice cubes with marrachino cherries in some and pieces of lime in another. And then yes, I took a picture....with my new Blackberry.

And yes, I do drink my lemonade with decorative ice cubes in a Mason jar. Also, (homemade) iced coffee and iced tea finds a home in my jar. In true Kentucky form, I also walk around barefoot as much as possible and this includes but not limited to, any office I've ever worked in, classrooms while I substitute teach and yes, even Wal-Mart (one time...killer shoes!)

Anytime you want a refreshing glass of lemonade served with fancy ice cubes in a Mason jar, come to my back porch.

history in the making

Every one of the Wise kids has made history in one way or another and last weekend was a huge historical milestone achieved by Daniel. He became the first one of us to graduate from highschool. Well, an actual highschool, anyway.
We cheered loud and proud during the ceremony and the next day we all headed out to WATER! and enjoyed the day picnicing and swimming in the 108-degree heat. It was my idea to have a "trash the gown" photo shoot and some of my favorites are below:

the eagles was his school's mascot; this is his best rendition of the eagle

modeling poolside

family and friends shooting water guns
I am incredibly proud of this 'kid' who has grown and matured into a great guy/man. I always wanted an older brother growing up and I distinctly remember one day while we were at a gas station getting a drink and all of us kids were in the back of our pickup truck, I looked at Daniel, who was about 7 at the time, and said to myself how I couldn't wait until he was grown up.
We were always close.
The seven years between us meant I was baby-crazy at the same time he wanted someone to rock him all the time so we made a good pair. I had a string of songs that I would start singing to him to rock him to sleep or make him happy.
As he quickly changed from an infant who wanted to be rocked to a toddler always on the move, our energy levels were a perfect match.
It seemed we were always together and instead of rocking him to sleep, I was propping him on the handlebars of my bike and tearing through the campground. When he could ride his own bike, our bikes became horses and we were the jockeys - always racing, always trying to win.
We spent hours outside playing and when we couldn't play outside anymore, we turned to books, which opened up a whole new world of discovery. We spent almost every night in the imaginary spaces of the pages.
Daniel gave me one of the biggest compliments I've ever received the day he graduated:
"You had a big part to play in why I'm here; you read to me."
We tackled kids books, young adult books and adult books with hundreds of pages.
The day I imagined him grown up was a day I projected in my mind, when instead of racing bikes and building dirt castles, we were tackling bigger things, changing the world.
I guess I wanted our childhood partnership to transfer into adult life.
It has.
I don't rock him to sleep anymore or sing silly songs or ride him around on my bike.
Now we manufacture business plans and we try to find the best way to make our family's cared for and we revel in our religious discussions and asking tough questions.
He wants to write a book with me; it'd come full circle, wouldn't it?
He is a man I admire, I respect, I'd marry if he were about seven years older and not my brother.
He's my friend, my confidante, a source of humor and joy in our family, someone who enriches all of our lives.
He's a quiet leader, a loud defender, he'll try just about anything once and give it his all. He coaches and teaches and criticizes and makes fun.
He cooks and cleans and does laundry.
He fixes things.
He buried my dog.
He watches sports with us and explains things we don't understand.
I'm glad he's my brother, I'm glad he's my friend, I'm glad he's growing up and I can't wait to see the next step of his journey.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long and lean

Tonight was Skye's second excursion to Micah's baseball practice. We're at the point in our training where I can pull her out of her kennel and do obedience with her all day long but now I need to get her exposed to lots of distractions. What's more distracting to a high-ball-drive dog then sitting outside a baseball field with balls flying everywhere....balls she can't chase? Then, obedience is a true test of will.

The first night she was just pissed. She didn't understand 1) why I loaded her up and took her to a place where she couldn't run, swim, jump or climb over anything and 2) why the hell she couldn't chase any of these flying balls, especially when Micah's used his bat before to hit tennis balls for her.

Tonight was much better, probably because I let her bring her tennis ball and it doubled as a pacifier. Multiple times she carried it through the hole in the fence onto the baseball field, once she dropped it in this little hole and then dug it out. When the boys took a break, I played fetch with her a little. She chewed it, rolled it around, carried it in the radius of her 6' leash, laid with it and then like all ADD teenagers, she lost interest and started barking at the flying balls on the field. At which time, it was time for us to go anyway.

So she carried her precious green tennis ball all the way to the car.