#AtoZChallenge: U is for using up all your subs (Go Ask Daddy)

stormtrooper milkglass 2018 pretty antique store

I can’t help it.

AtoZ2019U (1)When the kids say something about subs at a soccer match, my mind goes to steak and cheese. Or turkey and avocado. It’s just how it is and I can’t change it. But the distraction is mostly temporary.

When I sub a kid into a game, it gives us a bit of a forum to talk that we don’t normally get.

You’re my mom’s favorite coach, but not my dad’s one girl told me. A new player told me how nervous she was to get in. Hayden didn’t spend a lot of time there, but as she waited to go back in after getting her first yellow card, we both tried not to snicker too loud.

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kickass Kindness (to go with #gratitudeandshit)

stormtrooper mirror 2018 photos antique store
This one should be a country music album cover.

I mean …

AtoZ2019KWe do #gratitudeandshit around here. Why not #kickasskindness? Kindness kind of gets a bad rap. Like, me, in middle school, when someone started the rumor that I curled my hair. Psh. It spreads like wildfire. Or negative Yelp! reviews.

Anyway. Kindness.

People equate kind with weak. But that’s not always so. That’s why I like when one of my players trucks another player then helps her up. That’s sweet, right? It’s like, not in my neighborhood, !@#$!, then, you okay, sister?

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Every Day Gratitude

stormtrooper pepsi 2018 thirsty antique shop
I’m grateful for photo ops in antique stores when I happen to have a stormtrooper in my pocket.

My journal has taken a beating.

AtoZ2019ELiterally and figuratively. Before last night, I hadn’t written in it for weeks. Also, the back cover has fallen off. There are about five pages left in her, and it looks like it spent a season getting kicked around on Gilligan’s Island.

Gratitude is easy to come back to, it seems.

It wasn’t as if I’d abandoned #gratitudeandshit. It’s part of every day. It just wasn’t getting written down. So I had some old things in there. Things such as, I’m grateful for new episodes of Silver Spoons and I’m grateful for my new calculator watch.

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#AtoZChallenge: D is for Drawing the Line

stormtrooper stegosaurus 2018 photo op antique store
You don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in my show. 🎶

Note: This post comes from a prompt in the book 300 Writing Prompts. On a flight from Charlotte to Phoenix last June, I asked the girl in the seat next to me to choose a prompt from the book for me to write about.

AtoZ2019DWhen I finished, the topic sparked an interesting conversation I’ll never forget.

The prompt:

Are there any lines that you simply will not cross?

Yes – although I can’t promise I never have, or I never will.

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#AtoZChallenge: A is for Almost (and also At Last)

stormtrooper mac and cheese plate last year yum antique shop
I wish this stormtrooper had stepped back so I could have this recipe to deal with today.

A was supposed to be for Arrival.

AtoZ2019AArrival, because I’d finally made it somewhere. Arrival, because you know, things are different for me now. Arrival, because of the Couch to 5K I’m doing, the streak of consecutive days of meditation, and doing much better at work.

A is, instead, for almost.

Almost, as in, I haven’t run for a week. (I almost typed ‘haven’t been able to run, but my shoes are in the car. I had an opportunity yesterday, and other days this week.) Almost, as in I almost missed yesterday for meditation.

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Go Ask Daddy about native communications, stars and stripes, and soccer stars

stormtrooper 3 feb because gatlinburg
Just a ‘trooper canning Js. On a bridge. In Gatlinburg.

The questions are anonymous.

GAD GRAPHICI mean, you can narrow it down to three girls who look a little like me. But as far as which kid specifically asked a specific question? There’s protection for the innocent. As you’ll see comes into play for No. 3 today.

The questions come in droves in everyday life.

For the unfamiliar: I try to track every question my girls ever ask me. Sometimes they’re easy (How come you can’t push a receiver in football?) and sometimes they ain’t (What does a Skye Terrier look like?) There’s about 250 at the moment on the list.

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Mindful Monday | My first baseball mitt

outsmarted baseball
CGP

We’re excavating our garage like it’s King Tut’s tomb.

Not finding golden statues or mummified cats, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yet. I found my first baseball mitt, though. Even as I revere the beginning of baseball season, I felt a wave of emotion as I put on my glove.

Most of it was awful.

This cheap chunk of leather – real leather? I’m not sure – represents my introduction to a game I love today. It harkens a loyalty to a team and a reliance on hope. For what better an example of hope? A sport that lasts all summer and breaks nearly every heart.

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10 Things Grateful, plus a lesson about staying plugged in

stormtrooper toys
I don’t know who these little guys are.

I lost my charger.

Not the Dollar General one. The one that goes to my work computer. It’s an Apple MacBook Pro charger. It costs about the same as the Pittsburgh Pirates payroll. I left it plugged in in the media tent during All-Star weekend. (I was hungry and distracted.)

I bought a replacement at a lower cost – about the same as the payroll of the Kansas City Royals, for comparison.

It’s not as fast and fancy. But it works. Thing is, I need to keep plugged in almost always, so I don’t get distracted and hungry and wind up with 7% battery and 37 stories to write. I can also plug my iPhone into this little charger that could.

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10 things grateful, plus cheeseburgers and Charles Barkley

stormtrooper antiques
Always a good opportunity for stormtrooper art when we visit antique stores.

There are no timeouts in soccer.

I wanted to call one, once. We’d taken a 1-0 lead against the state championship runners up from last season. They’d beaten up on us for years. But today, as we broke for halftime, we were up 1-0.

“Guys,” I said, “look casual, but let’s see if we can get to the parking lot without anyone noticing us …”

The girls laughed. We thought if we could sneak away now … well, they couldn’t score on us, could they? We lost 3-1. But that moment proved we’d reached a level we’d strived for. For years, really. We were good enough to get ahead of a bitter rival.

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#GirlsRock: An interview with NFL podcaster Justine Turley

stormtrooper antique store

I’m so grateful to be in the right place at the right time.

That’s how it happened in the press box at Bank of America Stadium this past NFL season. That’s where I met Justine Turley. Her podcast, The Pow Wow, is about the Carolina Panthers, and her co-host is Panthers radio guy Eugene Robinson.

He played in the NFL and has identified Justine’s rare talents.

Those talents were apparent to me, too. We struck up a conversation and I knew in an instant she’d be a perfect fit for #GirlsRock. She graciously answered my questions, and as I kept up with her podcast through the season, I saw her grow even more.

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