Birthdays and Pockets

May is always a whirlwind here in the Ballpark. We have many birthdays and Mother's Day. It's one big party after another.

Dad turned 92.  Our girl turned 35. Our baby boy turned 29.  His sweet bride turned 30.

The hubs and I wondered who the graying middle-agers are in this picture.  Didn't we used to be 29 and 30?  When the youngin's were toddlers, we never considered what we'd look like at 50-something. And I never would have been caught in a picture wearing my PJ pants.

Whatever.  It's surprising what doesn't matter once you hit 50. It's called freedom.

The best news I've discovered since I last blogged is that my blood work is finally normal.  After three months of an overhauled diet and whole food supplements and the regular attention of an excellent, caring nutritionist, all RA symptoms have been beaten into submission.  I thank God for this.

Yes, I did the hard work of actually giving up bread and pasta and desserts, but only with God's help. Me alone?  I have the will power of a flea. If there is a doughnut in sight, forget about it. My husband and daughter were instrumental as well.  They were willing to eat fish and try vegetables we've never heard of.  I pray with all my heart I can stick with these changes. If not, I suspect my symptoms will return.

I also discovered a new craft.  I had to do something to keep myself from munching. So, I made a few card pockets.  What the heck is a card pocket, you ask?  Here's a picture.

They're pockets a little bigger than a credit card. They can hold anything you want them too, but they are card-sized, so they are good for keeping card-size things together, be they credit cards, or business cards, or coupons.

I use mine to carry 5 cards: my driver's license, my ATM card, my main credit card, and two credit cards for my parents.  When I'm running into any store, I leave my 10 lb. purse in the car and just grab my card pocket.  It fits in a pants pocket, so my hands and shoulders are free!  This has become very helpful since my shoulder joints began acting up.

I have to say, I've become addicted to these little gems. I've ended up carrying three, for different things, and dumped my over stuffed, too-many-divisions, can't-find-anything wallet.  I have one for cash, one for extra credit cards, and my main pocket holding the 5 essentials mentioned above.

They close with Velcro. 

So far, I've mainly used scraps of fabric I wanted to use up, along with a Ziploc bag full of buttons. These babies fit the bill.  I love using up supplies and cleaning out!  It takes about an hour to make one, so I can knock out a few in an afternoon.

I've been giving them to teachers and friends, who have their own ideas on how to use them. One gal exclaimed, "I can carry a couple tea bags in this!"  Another friend, said, "Oh, this will hold my lipsticks."  My mom puts her gift cards and checks from my sister in hers.  The hubs thought my mother-in-law might like one for her rosary.  All-purpose little pockets they be.

I'm considering opening an ETSY shop, because now I have 20+ pockets I don't need.  I'm taking several to a family reunion in July, but I'll be making more because I have a bin of fabric I want to use for something constructive. 

What do you think?  If you had a card pocket, what would you do with it?  This inquiring mind wants to know.


Zat's All, Folks!

The end is here
It has to be
We finish with
the letter Z

It's never first
It's always last
It's cache of words
is not so vast

Still, Z is a love of mine
Our son hears it all the time
I'm so glad that Z is free
For, his name is Zachary

Zach at 6 months
Zach today with his lovely bride

Thanks to everyone who popped into the ballpark this month.  Writers need readers; otherwise we'd just be sitting at the computer getting wider saddlebags for nothing. Of all the blogs in blogswarts, you paused to visit this one. And I'm grateful.  I pray it was worth your time.  Join me in the dugout anytime!


Y I Watch Dancing with the Stars

PHOTO: Sharna Burgess and Noah Galloway perform on "Dancing with the Stars."

Yes, I'm cheating. "Why I watch dancing with the stars" would be grammatically correct, but who are we kidding here?  By "Y" day in the a-z challenge, anything goes. I'm being creative.

Aside from the trashy costumes most female dancers wear on DWTS, I like the show. (I appreciate the gowns that are more modest and elegant, but maybe that's just me.) Here's Y:

1. I like the back stories of each celebrity. Hearing their struggles reminds me that their lives are not all glitz and glamor. 

2. I admire the courage of the stars who really step out of their comfort zone to do the show: the NFL players, the 70 year olds, the comedians with no sense of rhythm.

3. I like that the stars who are dumped still say the experience was wonderful, they learned a lot, and they're grateful to their professional partner.

4. I love Disney night, when everyone dances to a Disney song. The choreography and costumes that night are magical.

5.  I like that the judges tell the truth. They really are looking for the stars to learn how to dance, and they're constructively critical when they need to be.

6.  I love that the stars really want that tacky mirror ball trophy. They're like little kids at a t-ball game.

7. I love that disabled stars are invited to participate. They bring me to tears every time.

8. I love that overweight stars are invited to participate. Dance and movement are not limited to the athletic and thin.

9. I love that all the teams root for each other.

10. I love that former DWTS stars are often in the audience of current shows.

There are some life lessons exhibited in this show, and that's what keeps me watching. Check it out. Monday nights on ABC.


X-tra Special Sock

A while ago, I spent the weekend with my daughter.  We watched four movies, made cookies, ate crab roll-ups, and laughed a lot.  She also worked on a little crochet quilt for a friend.

As she was rooting through her yarn, she tossed me this, and said, "Oh, here's a sock I made for you."

Well, I have to admit, I'd never seen a sock like this before.  I slipped it on.

Thought maybe I had it on wrong, so I turned it around.

Nope.  I didn't know what the safety pin was for, but the sock was warm and cozy.

"Is there another one?" I asked.  Socks usually came in pairs.

"No," my girl said.  "I used too big a yarn and the thing just got too long, so I stopped.  It's more like a leg warmer, without toes.  I didn't make another one, because I clearly don't know what I'm doing."

Well, then I got the giggles.  I love the yarn and the softness, and if I just wear it low and fold down the long flap thing, it's really quite comfortable.

Except for the safety pin.  And the no-toes thing.  "If you just finish off some toes, I can wear another bootie with it," I said.  "I really like it."

"I'm not doing anything else with it," she said.  "It didn't turn out right, and it's goofy.  It looks like a cast."

I turned it around, trying to position the thing so my foot was covered.  I really do like it, and I love that she made it. 

Hmmm....I could not see how to get the foot covered and have it stay on.  "If I sew up this flap, it will be snug and stay up.  If it just had some toes..."

"You can add some toes, if you want," my girl suggested.

"I don't know how to crochet," I replied.

"I guess I don't either," she said.  "I can make squares and put 'em in a line.  I can make blankets, but not socks."

I came home with my toeless, leg warmer, cast-size sock and used the safety pin (which I now realize is crucial) to pin the rolled-down flap over the exposed toes.

Paired with another knitted bootie I have, it works.  Kind of.

There's still a bit of toe poking out at the tip, but you can't have everything.


W is for Wills

My husband and I updated our wills recently.  I get why people put off doing this stuff.  I was in tears in our attorney's office.

Most of the process is boring and time-consuming.  Then you get to the part where you have to create a terrible scenario - you're dying, and do you want your loved ones to feed you, or not?  Do you want to keep living if you are in a coma?  If you don't want to live in that state, who has to decide to pull the plug?

I might have been more detached through this process if I was not a caretaker for my parents, who are almost 92 and 95.  The fact is that my heart is presented with these kinds of scenarios daily.  My folks are relatively fine at the moment, but their physical deaths are likely to be sooner than I'm ready for.  Most of my time is occupied with aging/declining/dementia issues, and I have more sad moments than I care to admit.

As I was debating these painful issues for myself, my parents and my love for them was right at the surface.  Our attorney is very kind and offered me some chocolate when I began to tear up.  He has a little plate of miniature candy bars right next to the coffee and tea assortments. 

I admonish all of you to get these documents in place.  They're not really for you, but for those you love who will be left behind when you are going, or gone.  Think about them and how hard these decisions will be if you do not give them some written, legal guidance. 

And make sure your attorney has some chocolate.