April 27, 2009

nightmare marketing

brilliant marketing

I am pretty sure the new words of encouragement written on gatorade bottles was thought up specifically to swindle baseball moms. It has worked. I am now obsessed with which gatorade bottle to buy before Greg's games. I used to choose it by color, since he is colorblind- but now I have convinced myself that I can communicate with him during a game through his gatorade. Sort of like a subliminal message. He needs to be trained when he gets in a jam....Look at the bottle Greg....see, mom doesn't have to embarass you by yelling be tough...you can just look down and read what I want you to do. Some of the other choices, which is why I must strategically purchase the drink are; BRING IT, NO EXCUSES, SHINE ON and FOCUS. I don't forsee needing the Shine On sentiment...Ever...but I like the Bring it (for when he is pitching) and the Be Tough (for everything else) When he was 9 years old and pitched his little league team to a tournament title he was having trouble hitting. I called him over to me and told him quite emphatically "you ARE a HITTER! HIT that ball" and....he hit a homerun! So gatorade people....you have me hooked, but I need a bottle that says You Are A Hitter. By Monday.....Please.
*Update: Dan picked any old Gatorade bottle today for Greg's game.....I think it said G2 on it. Greg decided to bat Lefty (he's working on being a switchhitter) and he hit a double from the left side. Yayyyyy!!! The G2 must mean..Greg- 2 bagger. This is where superstition enters the game of baseball.

April 24, 2009

dogs and dan on hadley

Dan and I had a rare day off together. just us and the canine kids today! First of all, Dan has been on a healthy eating plan since January. A resolution thing that he consistently followed on his own for a few months until he joined a nutrition center 5 weeks ago. No plan works without being more active, so we have been walking at night after work. During Wednesday's walk, he asked if I thought he was ready for a mountain. I told him we should find out on Friday by doing Hadley Mountain. OMG, I know, Hadley AGAIN? But this mountain is so close to home and it's a cheap ride to a great hike, when I don't have enough time to spend 2-3 hours on the road getting to a trailhead. So what if my obituary reads "in addition to becoming a 46er, she climbed Hadley 150 times". I am beginning to feel that it is a different hike everytime I do it. And besides, Dan was with me and that is different! This was also Shadow's return to hiking following surgery and it was Hudson's debut climb. In the 13 days since I last made this climb, the yellow trout flowers and pinstripe star flowers have bloomed. AND, there are going to be at least half million trilliums blossomed very soon! Triliums excite me, they are a definite favorite and a real treat to look at in the middle of the forest. I may have to get up there again in about a month just to see them. My cousin, Janie, will go with me when she gets here.

We got to the trailhead at 8:45 not knowing what to expect with Hudson. Would we have to carry him a lot? Would he stay with us? Would we have to put him on the leash? Well, this little guy carried his 2 pound self all the way up the mountain. The few times that we tried to carry him to give him a breather, he was just itching to get back down on his own 4 feet. He stayed with us and followed commands like he had already been through puppy class. Shadow didn't have any trouble. He laid in the mud on the way down to cool off and got really tired near the end but other than some slow moving this evening, overall he did wonderfully for 9 years old. We got to the summit at 10:45 and spent at least a half hour on top. It was so sunny and warm and we had the near windless top of the mountain to ourselves. After a nice lunch break (hudson likes apples and bread crust) we started back down. We met some people on their way up and of course they all could not believe how little hudson is and that he was hiking. One lady told us that her son has a shih tzu who hikes 12 miles at a rip. We just might have to get a front puppy carrier for longer trips than today's 4 roundtrip miles. Although, I don't think he would stand for it. I remarked during the hike that hudson certainly is not one of those yorkies who will prefer perfectly coiffed hair and sitting on a satin pillow all day. He wants to be out there running with the big dogs!

Oh yeah and Dan- he had a great time. He stayed with me, I didn't have to leash him and he actually appeared to need less breaks than me. Even though he is not my official 46er hiking partner, he has not ruled out doing a couple more high peaks with me. We have climbed Buck, Black, Crane, Cascade, Porter and now Hadley together. I bet it won't be his first and only trip. We were back at the car by 12:20pm. A perfectly spent vacation day.

April 23, 2009

April 22, 2009

earth day.

This is the waterfall behind my house. Rarely is it spilling over this completely. What a treat it was to see during our first canoe trail walk of the season. The trail is still a little wet, but Hudson negotiated it like a champ. So did my husband. I will make him into a hiker yet (insert wicked witch laugh). As we were walking I wondered what day this week was designated earth day. In the past we have done a side of the road garbage cleanup on earth day. We'll have to fit that into the weekend. The water fall is at the site of the now closed International Paper Company. Talk about cleaning up the environment. Since the mill closed I am sure there are far less pollutants going into the air directly above my house. So many people in the neighboring community have fought for new industry to come to this site to create jobs and tax revenue. I on the other hand am thankful for the people who have fought hard to keep trash plants and other not so environmentally friendly businesses out of my backyard.

I plan to continue carpooling to work as one of my efforts to reduce impact on the planet. How about you?

April 20, 2009

Game Face

Nothing better than a pitcher enjoying his outing. He had 10 strikeouts in 4 innings. Who knows how many more batters he could have sat down.

The big people had to go and ruin it for the kids. We lost the game by forfeit after a homerun for our team was called foul, our coach questioned the call and the umpires totally lost their marbles after the parent of the home run hitter voiced his discontent...very inappropriately of course. I hope the umps grow some thicker skin before their next game. Which..... tell me is not thursday- when we get to try again. And hey...yeah you...crazy baseball father! Your kid might have been robbed of a homerun...but my kid was robbed of his first win this season as a pitcher. Grow up.
Awesome Job Greg!!

April 16, 2009

mix tape assignment

If you have wondered about the read along badge at the right of the screen, let me explain. Months ago I came across a blog by Dr. Brene Brown, who is the author of the book I thought it was just me (but it isn't). I thought it looked like material I would be interested in but it was not found easily in the bookstore and I procrastinated ordering it from the internet. However, when the author inquired about whether her blog followers would like to participate in a read along, I thought it would be a cool thing to do. What a useful aspect of the internet. She is using the feedback to develop a workbook to go along with the original book. I devoured the first half of the book before the read along even began. What first interested me in the book was a snippet from the back cover that said "shaming people does not create the desire to change". I thought this information would be helpful to my line of work. What I have realized is this book is a priceless companion for anyone who wants to be a better listener and friend, practice empathy and compassion in everyday life and teach their children to be authentic individuals. The author is doing podcast lectures for each chapter. I consider it a free alternative to taking an actual class from this professor from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Dr. Brown advocates practicing self care and self kindness as part of her plan for being resilient against triggers of shame that we encounter almost daily. So far we have had two "homework assignments". The second assignment was for us to make a mix tape of music that inspires us to practice self-kindness, reminds us that we're not alone and helps us stay mindful about our feelings and what is important to us. I think the possibilities are endless but my tape is a good representation of my feel good music with a twinge of consideration for humanity thrown in. Yippee for the brand new Dave Matthews song ~ google the lyrics if you need to. Whew...not an easy assignment. I am urging all of you to at least take a look at her blog. It could be just what you need.

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

April 15, 2009

my heart is standing on the pitcher's mound

This is the picture I had in my head as I watched my son's first baseball game this season. His coach's wife was at the game with their two year old. This picture of Greg was taken when his father was coaching the modified team at the school he now plays for. Of course coach's wife had to jump up repeatedly to play catch with her little guy in addition to answering all kinds of inquiries. One of which was...."is derek out there?" Her answer: "No, derek only plays on TV". Realizing he had just wondered if derek jeter might be on the field, I chuckled at how very much into baseball he is. Reminded me of earlier times with Greg. I wanted to warn this mom that she should relish that she gets to be his catcher....for now. Does she realize how quickly the time will come that she will be incredibly scared to catch his fast ball?

Just wait until she sees how trying some of the little league days can be...............
That there will come a time that she'll miss the days when she had to go ON the field with him.....and unbelievably her son might get to an age where he doesn't even want to her to yell words of encouragment.... but he still wants her THERE!?

What happened to this cute little guy?????

He became this handsome, confident young man...
whom the coach thinks was taught to pitch very well by his father and grandfather. More importantly, the coach told us today that our son is the kind of kid that coaches want to coach......

A co-worker and I have a running joke when I complain about the trials of raising a teenage boy......he let's me get just so far and then says "you had him". Ahhh, the perspective of a child-less-by-choice person....but yes, I had him. And today was one of the thousands of proud moments I will have being his mom.
Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart
go walking around outside your body.”
~Elizabeth Stone

April 13, 2009

happy anniversary adirondack almanack

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the very informative adirondack almanack blog. They recently started doing a weekly blogger roundup, where they highlight some of the interesting stories that are blogged about by those of us who spend time inside the blue line of the adirondack park. A couple of my posts have been linked to by the almanack site. It is quite obvious when I am chosen because my hit counter goes much wilder than usual. If I want to know what is going on in my favorite little part of the world, the adirondack almanack is the first place I check. Keep up the good work and thank you for giving us little guys a plug once in a while.

April 12, 2009

easter on the mountain

My original idea for Easter Sunday was to meet Sherilee for dinner halfway to NYC. Dan was next in line to be stuck with overtime at work, so when he said he didn't mind if I went even if he wasn't stuck, I began dreaming up the next plan. Maybe we could meet in the Catskills and do a fire tower hike. Well, Reagan would have none of this. She said, "It's Easter! Why would you go hiking?" I told her that because it was Easter, I would like to go hiking. Any plan of going south for a hike or meeting Sherilee dissolved at that moment. Of course, she wants to be with the little cousins and participate in the easter egg hunt. I can't say as I blame her, but that didn't stop me from trying to persuade her into thinking that cooking a backpacker meal at the top of a mountain would be an awesome Easter Dinner. It's not that she intended to go to sunday school. Couldn't we have our own sermon on the mount?Mmm....Nope. So, my hopes for a hike dwindled to the good old stand-by. Hadley Mountain. I didn't even take my camera this time, thinking how many pictures of Hadley Mountain do I need. Well, of course there were several points of the hike that I wished I had brought it. We (my father of course) got to the trailhead at 8:00 and were on the trail at 8:10. It seemed very cold (about 35 degrees) but of course after 10 minutes we were warmed up and removing layers. There was very little snow left in the woods, the trail was wet- the bare rock slabs were wet and slightly frozen over with the thinnest bit of ice. Where the trail would be muddy, it was frozen mud so it didn't present any problems. Even in warmer weather, there would be enough climbing area to avoid the mud. We decided to bushwack a little ways to cut off a part of the trail that cuts back from the actual direction of the summit. It was tough but also helped avoid another icy spot of trail. We made it to one of the first lookouts and spent some time standing on its cliff, in the sunshine. It was pretty clear and even in the stage of the seasons where we are lacking any type of color or lush green- the view was pretty. Blue sky and puffy clouds are always nice to look at. On to the summit which was very windy and extremely cold. My jacketless/gloveless/hatless father did not wish to linger when I suggested we head back down. The trip down was easy, as most of the ice was gone from the bare rock. A dark colored german shephard that we met gave us a little start. Part of the brain that scans for danger alerted my father to the possibility of a coyote and I of course went straight to thinking bear. He was friendly and made me smile as I watched him loping along up the trail. Dogs are so happy to be hiking. I hope shadow will be able to participate soon. It had been a while since I did this trail without kids. I realized that all the time I thought we took breaks for them, was actually breaks that I too must have needed. This was definitely a hike that provided some much needed after winter conditioning if we are going to be in shape to tackle a high peak in a few (maybe several) weeks. Tabletop is first on the list. We were back at the car in three hours and we enjoyed looking at the old fashioned maple syrup operation on the way out. This was when I wished I had the camera. The old tin buckets hanging from the Maple trees would have made a cool picture. Photo credit goes to Mountain Visions Photography

April 11, 2009

Nick Adenhart* Killed by a Repeat DWI Offender

"You better come here, because something special is going to happen," Nick told his father, according to agent Scott Boras.....the angels were lurking in the outfield Wednesday night, allowing the rookie pitcher to have his special moment in the spotlight before a drunk driver would take it all away from him and his family. This 22 year old baseball player was first and foremost his parent's awesome and precious son. To get to that level of baseball, you know that he and his mom and dad spent a WHOLE LOT of quality time together. In the backyard, in the car and at 100's of baseball fields. I Hope those memories will bring some comfort.

A 22-year-old man was charged with three murder counts and drunken driving Friday in the crash that killed Los Angeles Angels rookie pitcher Nick Adenhart and two others.

"At the time of the crash, Mr. Gallo's blood-alcohol content is estimated to be almost three times the legal limit," Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.
Adenhart died at a hospital, hours after pitching six scoreless innings in his season debut against Oakland.

"This Angel and his two friends were too young to be sent to heaven but the defendant selfishly and recklessly got behind the wheel after getting drunk.

Gallo also was charged with driving under the influence causing injury, and driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 percent causing injury with a sentencing enhancement that he personally inflicted great bodily injury. In addition, he was charged with fleeing the scene of a traffic accident causing death or injury.

First reports of this accident stated that the driver was without a license at the time of the accident due to a previous DWI offense. It is for this very reason that I feel compelled to prophesize the future of the DWI offenders I work with. This guy selfishly needed MORE convincing that he has a problem with alcohol. If somebody had "played the tape" forward for him, I wonder if knowing he would end up killing an up and coming star baseball pitcher would have made a difference. I hope this guy ends up running self help meetings in Prison- cause he's gonna be there a while. Will any of them be listening?

April 8, 2009

i think she prefers original regan as opposed to "big" regan

Today brought random thoughts of my grandfather; it is his birthday. We used to joke that winter was not over until there were at least a few flakes in the air on the 8th of April. Today was no different, there was more than a few snowflakes swirling about. It made me smile.

And Then........

Coincidentally, a gift arrived for me today from an old friend. We reconnected recently thanks to facebook. Our history: We met second semester, freshman year of college. We really hit it off. We had weird similarities but were very different in a lot of ways too. She taught me a lot of cool stuff. I was thrilled that her friendship made me feel more like connecting to the whole college experience. Then I found out she would not be able to return to the school in the fall for sophomore year. I was crushed. She is from Rhode Island, but we made a real effort to remain close. She visited a few weekends throughout the college years. She was in my wedding. We had our sons about 6 months apart. We continued to visit back and forth for a couple of years, making family trips out of visits. She went through a divorce. We tried to stay in touch. The last time I talked to her was when I told her I named my daughter after her. Almost ten years passed, but not without thoughts of what a special person she had been to me. A few months ago, I literally jumped out of my computer chair in delight that I had found her once again. It took only a few emails to catch up on the kids, work, partners and the things that 10 years of life experience has taught us both. I believe we cross paths with the people in our lives for a reason. Although it seemed that our "reason" may have been brief and over in 1999.....we have made it back to each other and I am super grateful for the rekindle of our friendship. Regan sent me a new journal, which is sooooooo like her. She is the one who inspired me to buy the blank, cloth covered journal that I have been writing meaningful poems and quotes in for the past 18 years. In fact, I paraphrased the last few conversations I had with my grandfather in that journal, so that I wouldn't forget what he said to me. So today, I celebrate my grandfather's birthday and the renewal of the gift of friendship. Just like old times, the journal did not come to me blank. She stickered it up and put her own fanciness on the dedication-to-me page. She also bought herself the same journal and stashed handwritten pieces of paper with some of her journal thoughts inside of my pages. This time it is not a blank journal, it is a journal constructed to bring out creative thought. It's a place to "dream while awake" and "live out loud". She sent markers too because this is not a book for plain old pen.

Original regan always wrote her name with lower case letters (renee reminded me of regan in that sense) and she has beautiful, unique handwriting. In these times of electronic mail, I have to say that seeing her actual handwriting on the notes in the book took me back in time almost the way a song does....It is true handwritten notes are more meaningful. I am looking forward to cultivating our renewed friendship and can't help but feel blessed when I think of how the few very meaningful friendships I have, compliment my life.

April 5, 2009

she usually sends help...

.....being a communications officer and dispatcher of emergency services, but today she was on the receiving end.
Maureen Rambone, a Warren County Sheriff's Office 911 dispatcher, sat at work this last week in front of an array of computer monitors, taking one urgent call after another. After calming down a frantic mother who thought she had lost her youngster, Rambone — a resident of Adirondack — reflected on her work and life."I love my work and I'm lucky, the way things are, to have such a good job," she said. Rambone is cheery and enthusiastic despite her daunting challenge — she's halfway through her first round of many scheduled chemotherapy treatments for stomach cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-January as having advanced to Stage 4.

Pausing from taking calls, Rambone said she is determined to keep working despite the pain and nausea that routinely follow the treatments."I can't take much time off from my job because maintaining my health insurance is extremely important," Rambone said. "I have a choice — come to work sometimes sick as hell or take time off, then be faced with a stack of bills I can't pay."To date, the county and co-workers have been giving her the workplace support and encouragement she needs, she said."The way people have pulled through for me is unbelievable," she said. "My co-workers giving me support, my neighbors stopping by and bringing dinners over, people offering rides, or just sitting and visiting — it's all wonderful."Rambone will likely be soon experiencing an outpouring of support and encouragement from all over the area, as the county Sheriff's Office employees host a public fundraiser dinner to help Rambone pay her ever-escalating medical and transportation bills.

We attended her spaghetti dinner fundraiser this evening in Chestertown. She was on hand for the 4 hour event, greeting and thanking people for their attendance. I admire her determination to continue working as she fights stomach cancer. As we were being introduced, my daughter was hesitant because said she was afraid she would have to hug her as all the people before us had done. After the not-so-awkward hugging moment, my daughter said "it felt good". That sums up the whole evening.