baseball-ing

Spring is here.  Sun and rain combined, many times at the same time.

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We’ve had Picture Day, we’ve had home games, away games and a tournament. I think I can say we are in full baseball season.

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With the correspondent amount of laundry and practicing my stain removing skills, we are immerse in all that baseball brings.

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And even with all those people around, no one cares that there are baseballs flying in the sky, and that there are more kids than not with big metal bats moving around.

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There were little ones, there were pink and sparkly shoes.  Everyone waiting for their turn to get pictures done.

DSC_0004 That day it felt that Lucas was one of those big kids this year.  Until of course I saw the high schoolers.  Yeah… is he going to grow up that much?  Can I stop time just for a little while?

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With the same jersey and some of our friends from last year’s team, but mostly with a whole new team and coaches, we headed a new season of baseball.  We’ll see what this year brings.  But no matter what, I know this little guy of ours is in heaven, playing what he likes the most.  These two guys of mine are in such a happy place, I love watching them.

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Happy basbeball-ing, Lucas.  I am ready to keep learning the game.

Being aware because of the hoop

Last month or so we Mark, changed the basketball hoop we’ve had in our backyard, for a long time.

I remember when we bought that first basketball hoop when we bought our house (20 years ago) and decided it was an expense we wanted to spend, even when our pay checks were not that big, and after buying a house, it felt that the $20 was overspending.  But we did it, and looking back, I think it has been the most used $20 we’ve ever spent.

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The hoop was completely broken.  There was a hole on the side of the garage wall, from all the bouncing and use of the hoop all these years.  The hoop was crooked, falling off the wall, loose almost dangerous some might say.  The net couldn’t be held because the metal hooks were broken as well, and it could have probably been better not to have a net.

Lucas never said anything, and kept on playing, shooting hoops every single day, time and time again.  By himself and with friends.  One friend, two, three or eight.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s always fun and he’s always out there.  More in the recent years, but he’s been always playing.

Changing that hoop, made me think about the past and how much we’ve changed as person, as a couple and now lately, as a family.  Changing that basketball hoop after 20 years of playing and bouncing balls off the rim, made me realize how different my life is after 20 years…. of adulthood.  (Or when did I become an adult?  Is it really at 21? or 18?  Not sure I know when that was, but for me, my life changed drastically when I got married and moved to the States.)

I was 25, and we had just bought this house, our first house.  We had lived in rented apartments, but this house… this is ours and this is home.  And it was in that first month of home ownership that we bought that one basketball hoop.

Back then, it was just Mark and I playing basketball, with no dream of having a family just yet, actually scared of the thought of it.  We had other plans and other dreams.  We were doing what we loved to do, and whatever we wanted to do. We traveled and went out to dinner as often as we wanted.  We didn’t have to be back home at any given time, except when we were tired.  We were in that sense free of those responsibilities.

Today, I still can say I am doing what I want to do, and what I love to do.  It is just different but it is exactly what I want for right now and love.  I want different things and it makes me happy to know that I can do them.  It is my choice, and I feel so very lucky to be able to do that.  Yes, I am doing my dream job.  I do have to say, that like any job, there are  those hard days.  But for the most part, I think I’ve won the lottery.  I live with my best friend and these two amazing kids that I love so much.  I can’t think of a better way to spend my days.

I would have never guessed that having bought that basketball hoop was going to be something special for me and for my family.  Not that I am attached to it, but I am thankful for what it has given me, us.  I am thankful for all the times Mark and I played basketball out there (him making more baskets than me, but who cares.)  I am thankful for the times we had friends over and we’d end up throwing the ball.  When we’d have our neighbors for dinner, and end up shooting a ball or two.  Or someone would stop by to say hello and would be enticed by that basketball laying on the ground to try once or twice.  Or now, with kids, when they too feel the need to bounce the basketball and shoot at the hoop.  And their friends, and our friends.  And today, all those invitations specifically to play basketball in our back yard.

It is not a full court by any means, not even a half court.  The dogwood covers much of the area that can be used for shooting the ball, especially beginning spring.  The branches have been trimmed many times in these 20 years, and we’ve had to decide what is healthy for the tree and what we can live with.  Which shots are worth having clear and which ones will have to live with a branch crossing over.  It is a compromise.

I am thankful for what it has made me realize and think over, because it reminds me of the fleeting moments that sometimes I don’t take the time to savour.  It is just a thing, I know, but a thing that has made me feel lucky once again.  A reminder.  A reminder of how lucky I am in so many ways, in so many levels.

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Lucas is the one mostly using this basketball hoop these days, and you should see in his face the excitement of having this new metal orange round hoop.  One that works.  One that is not sideways, almost falling off the wall, threatening them to fall on your head. One with springs that make the ball bounce off its rim.  Really.  It is a pretty simple luxury, that is well worth the $30 (inflation).  And who knows.  Maybe we won’t have to change it until we are in our sixties. Wouldn’t that be a treat!  Twenty dollars for twenty years of basketball fun.  I’d pay a $1 a year any time!

My Mother’s Day Clematis

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I’ve written before about this beautiful corner in our garden.  The entrance to our vegetable garden.

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It is in full bloom, and I love watching it and taking photos.  As if each flower is different and each year as well… I know they are, and at the same time, they are so similar and identical in beauty. IMG_1438 IMG_1834 IMG_1846 IMG_1836 IMG_1848 IMG_1835IMG_1847

Happy Mother’s Day Weekend to all the mom’s out there and especially to My Mamá.  Feliz Día Mamá.

The playing we usually don’t do

IMG_0670 While in Idaho last month we went to this place.  Grandma took us a few years ago, and now it’s the thing we do when we are there.

IMG_0558 Yes, allowed the Unlimited Fun.  Yes, it is fun, but a different fun that I (we) are used to. It is a lot more busy and crazy that my normal day, and not sure I could do it more often.  It is the special thing we do when we go.

IMG_0556 We went straight to the go carts.  Seriously?  Is this allowed for kids younger than driving age?  It’s the same thing than driving! No helmets? What?

IMG_0557 Everyone was excited.  Until after a turn, we’ve realized that the sun in March, in Idaho… doesn’t warm very much.  It was cold.

IMG_0559 But anyways.  We had to go drive around.  No matter that the next day we were driving for 9 hours back home.  Way different driving, I know.  Of course.

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Yes, Hi Mama, I am buckled, don’t worry.  Which one is the break and which one is the gas? 

IMG_0565 IMG_0561IMG_0571 And went went.

IMG_0579 Never mind I am taking pictures while I’m flying on this curvy road!

IMG_0600 IMG_0574 Yes, another round of driving. This time with a jacket, hats and gloves.

IMG_0605 Are they going to drive like this when they get their driver’s license?

IMG_0619 Now to inside a little to warm up and some loud noises….

IMG_0629 Basketballing.

IMG_0622 Hitting those rats but not the cat…

IMG_0632 Please do not climb or sit on railing.  Oops… need to read the signs I guess.

IMG_0636 IMG_0649 OK, a few more rides.

IMG_0653 Mark and Lucas got warned and pulled over for bumping on the curve… oh those boys…

IMG_0656 Siena and I passed them.  An easy one at least this time.  And well, the last time.  We didn’t want to watch them get pulled over again and get kicked out.

IMG_0661IMG_0663 So onto the batting cages it was.

IMG_0672And yes, of course.  The choosing of the prizes.

The sling shots

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Two Christmases ago, the kids received a sling shot each, made especially for them by our friend.  She remembered how she made them when she was growing up, and told us the stories of how her and her brothers made them, and how her mom used to get mad at them for cutting the tongue of their leather shoes, so they could make these.  She has 6 siblings, so I bet their mom did get upset!  (I wonder if they each cut the tongue of their own shoe, ruining 7 pairs, or if they cut both tongues of a pair, and so ruining just 3 pairs?  I wonder…)

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Anyway.  She made Lucas and Siena a sling shot each, and apologize in advance for any damage they might cause.  We loved all of it, and will take the consequences, I guess (I hope my kids are not reading this one.)  This time she cut leather from a glove she had.  For the elastic part, she couldn’t find a good rubber even after going to the bike shop to get a popped tired.  She says the tires are not elastic enough these days, different from heydays growing up.  So she had to get surgical tubing.  And it works perfectly!

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We liked when she told us about her stories from growing up, as much as her stories on how she was trying to make them this time, and her thinking of all the possibilities they could use these now…. here in the city, as oppose to the farm she grew up at.

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The kids took their sling shot when we went for a hike here and there, but it was way more fun in Idaho.  DSC_0038 DSC_0039

They of course, were not throwing at anything to injure.  They were rocks, rabbit and deer poop sent to the air, or to touch the water, or reach the other side of the pond.  Real testing of what it could do.

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I remember I used to have one too growing up.  I wonder how many of us used to play with one, and how many kids today have one.  It was fun to see the kids play with it and not having to worry to damage anything or anyone was a big bonus!  Our friend knows us well, I guess.   Thank you Linda!

First Game of the season

And we are off!

IMG_1533 New base lines and batting area are marked  each day.

IMG_1537 Lucas has bigger catching gear because his from last year got to held his shin. (Not much of a protection!)

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He’s looking better than he started last year (skill wise, as his old coach said when he came to see him on his first game.)

IMG_1540 And I know he is more excited that he can say with words!

IMG_1535 Mark again on the sidelines, as excited as Lucas I think.

IMG_1542 A new team.  New coaches.  New uniforms.  New strength.  New skills.  New friends I am sure.

IMG_1546 And I can’t be happier to have my friends on the sideline, to continue my learning about what baseball is all about.

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Let the games begin!

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outside with the animals

DSC_0270 DSC_0272 DSC_0278Daily check of the chickens to see if there are eggs.  And yes there were!

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We rode in the back of grandpa’s pickup and visited  his neighbor.  He has lots of cows and new calves.IMG_0401 IMG_0408

We actually got to see one being born.  That is not something we have a chance to see in the city.

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Highland cows with their shaggy hair back at grandpa’s…  DSC_0298 DSC_0019DSC_0288 We got to help feeding them all.

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But mostly we watched them.DSC_0287 DSC_0301 DSC_0302 DSC_0305 DSC_0307 DSC_0310

A little calf born a week ago.DSC_0308 DSC_0309

Lots of hair, free-range eggs (for that delicious angel food cake we tried!) and lots of fun times being outside.

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Visiting

The day we arrived in Idaho, was a beautiful clear, sun shining day.  The drive was gorgeous.  Since we had left so early that day, the sun was still up and a little warm, the air was crisp and clear. DSC_0049

There was still snow patches on the ground at grandpa’s place.

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The mountains were still with snow too.  DSC_0056 DSC_0053

And this hill here in the center, was waiting for them to hike.  A hill Mark and Siena have climbed a few times in the past few years.  The last time being 4 years ago.  This year, Lucas was invited as well.

DSC_0058 There was sitting and relaxing and talking.

DSC_0061 There was reading, and talking and catching up.

IMG_0305 There was cooking and baking of a delicious angel food cake (with farm eggs!)

IMG_0309DSC_0326 DSC_0329 And eating.

IMG_0412 IMG_0418IMG_0242 IMG_0416There was dog playing, and hang out.

IMG_0250 There was watching and hanging out, and resting and photographing.

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Yes. Lots of playing!IMG_0370 DSC_0319 New kites and no worries of getting tangled with trees or cables…

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(…and we noticed that our Portland eyes are not very accustomed to the Idaho sun just yet…)IMG_0336 IMG_0345 IMG_0365IMG_0256IMG_0426

Fun few days visiting grandpa and grammie.