Monthly Archives: February 2014

Half and Half Putting

Ready to practice

Ready to practice

The Mister and I attended a wedding (casual attire; loved it!) last Saturday afternoon about a half hour from Huntsville. When we were done, I called C.J. to see if he’d like us to visit and take him out to dinner.

Is chocolate my favorite food? Yes, indeed!

So we drove north. With about a half hour or so to kill before we were hungry, we, naturally, first went to Eastham-Thomason Park for the guys to toss some discs. While the Mister chatted up another student who was playing, the kid and I hung around the practice basket and talked while he putted.

C.J.’s been plagued by poor putting lately, and his initial short-distance attempts failed to clang the chains with any consistency. So he decided to try a new approach.

There’s no need to look!

Hi, Mom!

Let’s call it blind putting. C.J. took two putters and, without looking at the basket, sent each on its way, one at a time. Without fail, he canned the second putt after completely blowing the first.

Peekaboo!

This one misses.

It was pretty funny! C.J. would throw that first disc, and I would tell him which way he missed. Then . . . boom! . . . the second one would find chains and the tray.

Made it!

Made it!

Of course, making 50 percent of your close putts isn’t a great number when you’re playing in a disc golf tournament. And I’m pretty sure that the kid’s doubles partner, Eric, won’t approve of this new technique if they play together at Am Worlds in April.

But it sure beats missing so much of the time!

One-Word Wednesday

It’s still winter in Huntsville . . . .

It’s still winter in Huntsville . . .

Stark!

. . . but not for long!

. . . but not for long! Spring is around the corner, I hope.

You Should Be Dancing

One of Jake’s favorite machines

One of Jake’s favorite game machines

For a day that started out with some pain for Jake, last Friday ended up being memorable.

Our older son drove in from UTSA Thursday night, because he had his final appointment with the dentist who has worked on his expensive implant for several months. Soon Jake will have a permanent crown in the space where his pulled tooth is missing (its root had fractured) and won’t look like a goober anymore (well, when he isn’t wearing his temporary flipper).

I’ll kind of miss that gap-toothed smile, which always made me laugh, but I’m sure that he won’t.

Jake was planning to stay overnight at Chase’s Houston apartment, because they, along with Josh, were going to drive to College Station the next day to play Dungeons & Dragons with friends. I wanted us to see “The Lego Movie” (all four of us loved it!), so we picked up Chase and drove to the nearby Edwards Theater.

Picking out a song

Picking out a song

The boys were glad we were early, because there’s a Dance Dance Revolution machine at the theater. Both of them enjoy getting their exercise and showing off their moves with this particular money-waster.

Follow the arrows!

Follow the lighted arrows!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two besties having fun together. The action was fast and furious, but both seemed up to the task.

Jake plans to move into Chase’s apartment after they both graduate in May.

Catching their breath

Catching their breath

I have a feeling this DDR machine will see a lot of their respective sneakers and sandals in the future!

Sneaky Snapshot

So handsome!

So handsome!

What I love about this photo of C.J.:

First, my beloved baby boy with his gorgeous green-gray eyes.

Second, Skype, which allows me to see my beloved baby boy while he’s in college at Sam Houston State.

Third, the ability to surreptitiously snap a screenshot on my iMac after that beloved baby boy kept ruining my attempts to take a decent photo with my iPhone.

It’s love times three!

One-Word Wednesday

Now that I've seen the first bluebonnet, Texas’ state flower, I know that it’s spring.

Now that I’ve seen my first bluebonnet, Texas’ state flower, I know that it’s spring.

First!

Accidental Special Effects

The disc golf course is on Little Egypt Road.

The disc golf course and park are on Little Egypt Road.

Last Saturday the Mister and I drove to Huntsville to visit our baby boy. We wanted to see the new apartment that he, RJ, and two other pals plan to move into this fall (a pause, please, when we consider four boys living together and the subsequent chaos and mess, plenty of which will come from our own cutie), as well as sign the necessary paperwork.

Because it was such a nice day (spring has finally sprung in south Texas!), the guys naturally wanted to play disc golf. C.J. specifically was interested in trying out a course called Little Egypt in Conroe, which is close to Huntsville. So off we went!

Woods, woods, and more woods

The woods proved challenging.

There was only enough daylight to complete 13 of the 18 holes, but the guys got a good taste of the layout. Which was not yummy at all! Trees as far as you could see impeded plenty of drives and upshots, adding to the frustration of rusty putting.

I had opted to bring my lightweight Nikon V1 to document the event. Fortunately, being able to up the ISO to 800 and 1600 meant that I could snap decent, in-focus pics as day turned to dusk.

The disc looks stretchy on C.J.’s putt.

The disc looks stretchy on C.J.’s putt.

Well, except for the disc. When shooting under low-light conditions, which leaves you with a slooow shutter speed (these were mostly around 1/50th of a second), you’ve got to pick your poison: Either the person will be in focus or the disc.

The Mister lasers in a putt.

The Mister lasers in a putt.

Naturally, I prefer crisp-looking people. But I was intrigued when I checked out my photos in Photoshop: The out-of-focus discs looked so elongated! Almost like spaceships.

That really IS a disc heading from C.J. to the basket.

That really IS a disc heading from C.J. to the basket.

These formerly round, odd-looking aliens added a new dimension to my disc golf photos. I guess that just like with life, disc golf can be a blur!

Saying Yes

The Mister and I ran the 1990 Jingle Bell 5-Miler together.

The Mister and I ran the 1990 Jingle Bell 5-Miler together.

When I said “yes” 25 years ago, I had no idea that would result in:

A supportive partner to run (although it’s been years since we’ve done that together) and have fun with.

A best friend and confidant who always would be by my side.

My guys in 1995 (C.J.’s prayer came true!)

My guys in 1995 (C.J.’s prayer came true!)

And, most importantly, someone who would give me two wonderful sons we both would love and cherish as we parented together.

Jake at two months

Jake at two months

Thanks for this little guy who is about to graduate from college.

C.J. at age six and a half (yes, I do have a cast on my hand)

C.J. at age six and a half (yes, I do have a cast on my hand)

And this small fry who is now taller than all of us and is in his second college semester.

I’m blessed to have you and our sweet sons in my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing (well, maybe a few pounds). Happy Valentine’s Day to the Mister, Jake, and C.J.! Love you guys forever and a day!!

One-Word Wednesday

Got it done! Hold your applause, please!!

My comfy office chair is cleared of clutter. Hold your applause, please!! By the way, the pager wasn’t found.

Ta-da!

Excavation Update

Believe it or not, this looked worse.

Believe it or not, this looked worse.

When I decided to cut down from five to three blog posts a week, I wrote that I planned to spend some of those two nonwriting days decluttering and organizing. I’m sure that you’ve spent many sleepless nights wondering about my progress. Right?

I’m chagrined . . . but not at all surprised . . . to report that the results definitely are mixed. My biggest project so far has been decluttering the comfy, red chair in my office . . . for at least the third time (oy!). Yes, it’s the proverbial treadmill of my small space. It’s just too easy to throw something on it just for a day. Until all those items pile up for far too many months.

Shredding, recycling, and need-to-organize piles are on my office floor.

Shredding, recycling, and need-to-organize piles are on my office floor.

Working on the chair has been akin to an archeological dig. As I unearth layers, it’s like strolling through the eras of my life. There are lots of photos of the boys from back in the day when I actually made prints (aka pre-digital cameras). Piles of papers from as early as 2003 seem to mock me. Some actually need to be kept (in a place where I can readily find them), but most require either recycling or shredding.

A classic!

A classic!

I laughed out loud when I found the manual for my old pager. I remember buying it in 1997 thinking it was such cutting-edge technology. Glad I didn’t invest in beeper companies!

I didn’t hesitate to toss the manual into the recycling pile. After all, if I really need it, there’s an online version (which was easily found by our pal Eric). But it did make me wonder one thing:

Will I find the pager when I finish sifting through the rest of the stuff on the chair?!?

PIG-ging Out

Jake gets air!

Jake gets air!

Nothing goes together more than boys and anything they can throw. It doesn’t even have to be made specifically for tossing . . . my guys have had just as much fun passing a cap back and forth as a ball or a disc.

Still, when there is a ball involved, you can bet there will be a contest of some sort. While Jake and C.J. were home last weekend, they used a small, soft (thank goodness!) basketball and an empty wastebasket in our family room to play their version of H-O-R-S-E. For some reason, they called it P-I-G.

C.J. shoots from the couch.

C.J. shoots from the couch.

As it turned out, only having to score three baskets was a great idea, because it took soooo long for them to do it! It didn’t help that they were trying the most-impossible shots in the world.

Jake gets air again . . . and misses.

Jake gets air again . . . and misses.

Like this one jumping over the supersofa. The ridiculousness continued to reach new heights (pun intended!), as my competitive cuties figured out different ways to miss hitting the wastebasket . . . again and again and again.

First, C.J. makes contact.

First, C.J. makes contact.

Naturally, C.J. just had to show off the move that drives us all crazy: He knocks into us as we’re just being innocent bystanders and pretends to shoot an invisible basketball towards an equally nonexistent basket, shouting out, “And one!” I always call a charge on him, but he pays me no mind (what else is new?).

This time he actually had a ball and a “hoop,” so the “and one” play was attempted.

And now he shoots.

And now he sends the ball on its way.

And missed (so no free throw). Just like dozens of other shots he and his older brother attempted.

Finally, after including a play that involved running into the nearby game room, bouncing the ball off poor, unsuspecting Chase’s head, and then running back and shooting, C.J. got the “G” and the victory. Even though it seemed to take forever, both boys definitely had a blast.

I’m not sure that PIG-ging out has ever been so much fun!