• Card Sharks & Bats

    Bill and I were a bit worried that the twins wouldn’t enjoy Cooperstown as much as Finn would. The main purpose of the trip was for Finn to play baseball, after all, and Porter and Drew were required to watch a couple of games a day. We hadn’t been there an hour before I realized I’d underestimated their ability to enjoy themselves regardless of the circumstances, although they did so in very different ways.

    Drew idolized the big kids and wanted nothing more than to be part of their card games, particularly one called “Presidents.” The winner of each hand was the President for the next round, while the lowest two were designated “Dirt” and “Scum.” Drew achieved his goal and played joyously with the high-schoolers, and even got to be President a time or two.


    He hung out with the high-schoolers in the stands, cheering, one smooth-faced midget sandwiched between the six foot tall whiskered teens. (Here, of course, I’m referring to the males; the females were also smooth-faced and delicate.) By the end of the week he was convinced that he was as hip as any fifteen-year-old.

    Porter, of course, followed his own muse. He was frustrated by not being able to see the entire field from the stands, so he created a perch that solved that problem to everyone’s satisfaction, unless you were the person left without a chair.


    He also played cards, but preferred to play poker with the dads. There were no chips to be found, but we were flush with pretzels and Ritz crackers, and Porter collected a sizable stash.

    During breaks between games, the boys found all manner of bugs and critters to play with. Their greatest coup was the discovery of a small bat, which was either hurt or asleep.


    This finding was made on day three, when I was suffering from exhaustion and baseball overload. I’d also had so much quality time with the twins that the quality of our time together was rapidly diminishing. That could explain my thought process, to the extent there was one, when I told them they could play with the bat BUT NOT TOUCH IT, while I headed to the nearest bed and fell asleep. I didn’t dream of rabies or bat bites, either.

    I awoke to find that they’d obeyed my instructions, although they had broadly interpreted my command. After they observed the bat, they concluded that if he was not dead, his demise was imminent. Porter slid a playing card under him which acted as a stretcher, and they deposited him into an empty cardboard box which they then filled with dirt and grass to imitate his natural habitat. Alternatively, it could serve as a coffin if he died.

    Other parents were aghast that I had let them anywhere in the vicinity of the bat, but they didn’t need 76 minutes of sleep as desperately as I did. No one has foamed at the mouth yet, so I may be in the clear despite my less than hands-on mothering.

    Porter also used my new camera a lot, and as usual, saw things his own way, just as he did when we were in Lisbon. He produced photos of our fans in action,

    the Baseball Hall of Fame,

    Sally the Moth, (another beloved, less menacing pet)


    Finn pitching,


    and Drew playing cards.


    Truly, if he doesn’t decide to be a mama’s boy when he grows up, I think he should pursue photography. Although given the success of his amazingly high Baseball Chair, he may be an “inventor guy” after all.


    One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Finn Chases A Dream

  • Cooperstown Dreams (And Nightmares)

    Sadly, I write this missive from the Cooperstown Dreams Park infirmary where Finn is being treated for dehydration. He’s sleeping well, and this isn’t the first time I’ve posted from a medical facility.

    The Birmingham Blaze has made it to the birthplace of baseball, and we’ve already survived checking into the Cooperstown Dreams Park with 97 other teams, (chaotic lines of traffic, tired travelers; nightmare), the opening ceremony, (captive audience forced to listen to unknown cheesy songs and facts about baseball for three hours before the baseball teams appeared; nightmare), and two baseball games.  We won one and lost one, but counted both as wins.  We lost the second game by only 11 runs and went all six innings, while the team that played them earlier lost 33-0 in three innings.

    All of the players and coaches are staying in barracks within the park, and the families are staying around Cooperstown.  “Around Cooperstown” should be defined broadly in the Glamore’s case, as our “resort” (more about which later) is certainly closer to Canada than Cooperstown.  The “resort’s” website led me to believe that it was located much closer than it is, but that will be a different post altogether.

    This is the first time that all the Blaze families have been forced to hang out together for an extended period of time, and I’m happy to report that so far there have been no fisticuffs.  It’s not all rainbows and butterflies on every team, however, including one from Michigan.  Word is that their coaches are fighting with each other, one parent has told another that her kid sucks at baseball, and a player got thrown out of a game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    In contrast, the Blaze fans are coming together like Jello. Our appointed Social Chairman has a well-stocked bar at the HoJo, where we report each evening for a nightcap and to rehash the day’s events. Our photographer bravely ventures over to the other team’s stands each game, so that the Blaze is photographed from every possible angle. As a bonus, she then reports on our opponent’s state of mind, and whether they are well-mannered or sending jeers and cusses our way.

    Several Blaze families have high school kids, and they make up the bulk of our cheering section. When we’re not at games, “the big kids” hang out together and play a variety of intricate card games. Drew hovers at the periphery of the group, soaking in the rules like oxygen, so that he’ll be prepared the next time the cards are dealt. His highest goal for the week is to join the card game and prove himself worthy of the club.

    Drew particularly idolizes one boy, a six foot two specimen named Scott. Drew shadows him, laughs hysterically at his jokes, and watches him adoringly as he goes through life in a body three times as big as Drew’s. We’re planning on a rip-roaring game of mini-golf this afternoon, and Drew is determined to be Scott’s partner. If it’s not clear by the end of the week that “the big kids” refers to the actual big kids AND Drew, it won’t be because of lack of effort on Drew’s part.

    Porter, who is completely oblivious to the big kids’ innate coolness, is unknowingly foiling Drew’s plan, and Drew is growing increasingly frustrated with him. Porter acts like an inquisitive nine-year-old, which he is, while it’s obvious to Drew that mature behavior is required to hang with the big kid club. Drew is linked with Porter by blood and twinhood, but he’s resentful that Porter is spoiling his mojo.

    I‘ve received word that this morning’s game was a loss (I spent the last three innings in the infirmary) and that Finn will be needed against the team we play next. That game is in a couple of hours, so his recovery will need to be mental as well as physical, and I’m better than Bill at the former.

    Update: Finn is recovering nicely, so we’re off to prepare for more baseball.


    One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Where’d This Cooking Blog Come From?