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A conference win! And why I’m a home town college athletics fan.

I’m a fan because this was the view from my front yard as a kid.  That wall at the end of our block is the university’s football stadium.  If I didn’t attend the game, I could still hear the roar of the crowd when a touchdown was scored.  My parents turned our yard into a pay parking lot for extra income on game days.  Growing up here, I always knew I’d be athletic.  The inspiration to be athletic has led to a lifetime of fitness; all a gift from living on this street.  Every year, the autumn colors and the rustle of leaves on the sidewalk take me back to this street.

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Back then, a kid’s season football ticket was $6, which worked out to $1 per game.  I’ve been to a lot of games there.

Still, this week’s game was special.  It was the second win this season, after a winless season last year, under the new coach.  He’s the right guy, as is shown by the methodical way he is developing a talented, respectable team of future stars.  This was his first conference win, which he and the team accomplished with a most exciting overtime ‘walk off’ field goal.  (Do they say ‘walk off’ in football?  They need to for this game.)

At the winning moment, the fans rushed the field and swarmed the players and coach; an emotional ESPN interview with the coach took place among the ecstatic crowd; and then a goalpost came down and was carried up the hill to the university’s lake.

The crowd for the game was pitiful in size.  True it was a chilly day.  But not that chilly.  This picture is just plain embarrassing.

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Our defense was a force the entire game.  The offense came through to keep us in the game, and when we most needed it at the end of the game.  img_20161119_1739194_rewind-rsr-mark

Our kicker hit a field goal to tie the game with seconds to go.  img_20161119_1809279_rewind-rsr-mark

In overtime, an interception right away set us up to win the game with another field goal.  The winning field goal triggered the roar of the crowd, and an emotional rush onto the field to embrace the team and coaches.  All captured here, thanks to the phone in my shivering, excited, mitten-covered hands.

Next year I predict even more wins.

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College football and another trip to the vintage clothing store

We had the lead for most of this game, and had some brilliant plays; one that went viral and was featured on ESPN.

But in the end, the ‘Clones rallied and denied us the win.

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After the game I headed downtown to the really cool vintage clothing store, where I made one great purchase and two gambles.

This fully-lined wool dress needs nothing done to it.  I can wear it to work tomorrow.  $20.

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This dress is too large in the chest and upper bodice, so I’m going to attempt to alter it from the shoulders.  This has potential failure, as I’ve never altered from that end before.  If I ruin the dress I’m out $12.50, and a potentially cute summer dress.

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The sweater is a $15 gamble.  It is huge on me.  Think of using a big lawn and leaf bag in a little kitchen trash can.  It is almost dress length but not quite.  I think I can make it work, over a simple knit dress.

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The summer I went to the ballpark seven nights in a row.

It was early August, and the annual National Baseball Congress World Series was underway.  The 81-year old tournament spans two weeks, and brings to town talented young adult players and teams from the far corners of North America.  I look forward to it each year, and try to get to at least a few games.  On weekends, they play round-the-clock.  I managed to stay until morning once … back in 2009.

This year an amazing thing happened.  A group of ex-MLB players formed a team and entered the tournament.  They called their team the Kansas Stars.

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National Anthem

We saw Roger Clemens pitch, with his son Koby Clemens as his catcher.

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Roger also played catcher one night, to ceremonial first-pitch thrower, Toby Keith, who also suited up and helped manage the team.

The games were sold out; the stadium was packed, and people were watching through the outfield fence.

Outfield Fence audience

We saw KC Royals World Series pitcher Jeremy Guthrie pitch…

… and 1st Base/batter extraordinaire and super-dad Adam LaRoche play first base and hit home runs.

Drake LaRoche was on the field warming up with his dad and other Stars.

The team roster of former pros who came to town tells the story.  Check it out.  I can’t adequately express my appreciation and admiration to them for coming.

But the thing is, with all of this star power, it wasn’t seeing the Stars play as much as it was seeing them form a team together, and being competitive again for love of the game, and for their fans’ love of the game, and love for a historic tournament.  The former MLB stars were personable and accessible; posing endlessly for selfies and signing autographs with complete generosity, taking their time with kids and adult fans alike.

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On the field, they were competitors to the core.   Each game was a good one.  In the tournament semi-final game, the Stars fought for 17 innings against a young, uber-talented team from Hays, KS.  The Stars went through pitcher after pitcher; ultimately drafting players from the field to pitch to keep the game going.  Just after midnight, Hays sent the Stars packing, with a run that broke the 10-10 tie score.  The next night in the tournament final, Hays fell to the Santa Barbara Foresters.

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This special team and the tournament got a lot of attention in the press and in baseball blogs.  The final game of the tournament was carried nationally by ESPNU and WatchESPN.  Those writers and commentators have captured the magic of the moment so much better than me.  But for me it was a privilege to have experienced those seven straight magical nights in the ballpark in August 2016.  It was an emotional thing I won’t ever forget.

Summer is over, and we are well into a gorgeous Autumn.  But the Summer of 2016 is one of those I will hold onto in my heart.

Pure Fun at the NBC World Series

Former White Sox 1B/DH Adam LaRoche returning to the field for the NBC World Series

Roger Clemens, Other Former MLB Players Scratching the Itch

Roger Clemens takes the mound again, in Kansas

Roger Clemens among former MLB players to play in NBC World Series

There’s something cool about big-league has beens still playing ball

Roger Clemens, Adam LaRoche headline NBC World Series team

Larks knock off stars in 17 innings; advance to NBC title game

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Blog regularly, they said.

It’s what will make your blog successful, they said.

Well, it’s been awhile.  I’ve wanted to blog an update many, many times, since August 2015.  But what to say about my extended absence stopped me.  The longer I refrained from blogging, the harder it became.  Ironically, there is really nothing to say.  I’ve been busy on regular stuff, like my day job, and homemaking.  I love interacting with readers who read and comment, but I enjoy blogging period; and use it as a sort of journal, even when I’m the only reader.  I missed it.  So here I go again.

And on to life and day-to-day fun.  I went to our theatre’s annual midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show last night.

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I haven’t gone to the show for years (and years).  It was more fun than I even remembered.  And now I realize there’s been a sort of time warp here.

Libraries, dresses, deer, rain and a rainbow.

This past weekend, I attended a meeting in the ‘Carnegie Building’, in the town where I grew up.  The building was the public library when I was a little girl.  I was sooo upset when they built the new, big modern library and closed this one.  That was years and years ago, when I had to ride my tricycle 10 miles uphill both ways, to get to the library.

(Image source.)Carnegie Library Lawrence

This was my first time in the building since it was the library.  These days, it is a meeting and reception venue.

After the meeting, I shopped the lovely downtown, just one street over from the library.  I stopped in a cool vintage clothing store, and came home with two great finds.  This madras dress will be excellent for bicycling.  I had to take up the hem about 3 inches so it won’t look dowdy with my proportions.

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I wish I could wear the longer length.  But I’m not tall enough, and nothing will change that.

And then this totally awesome gem!    Vintage dress green & daisies

It needs no alteration…, as long as I don’t gain a single ounce.

On getting home that night, I did a run/walk on my 3.5 mile loop.

There was a rain shower in the distance.Rain cloud-w

Deer in my favorite cultivated field.Deer1-arrows
The six deer were hanging out at the edge of the field, but they headed into the trees when they saw me.Deer2

And then as I approached home, a rainbow.Rainbow

Some days are this good.

July = hot

We are in the hot part of the summer.  Yard work is hot, miserable drudgery, but bicycling has been delightful, thanks to my awesome new 7-speed cruiser bike.  (Should have switched to this style of bike ages ago, but more on that later.)

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Bike path trestle view

Indoors, I’m chipping away at a couple of sewing projects.  This is one of the Liberty prints I acquired last month.  Was it last month already that I was in London?  I’m dying to go back for another visit.

Liberty dress project

Juneathon ’15 wrap up

It wasn’t feasible for me to post Juneathon updates from June 18 on, but boy did I get a lot of exercise.  It was the usual activity associated with travel–lots of walking; lots of stairs; lots of carrying luggage.  When I got home and weighed myself, I had lost 3+ pounds.  So, aside from my inability to update my fitness log daily, I’m pronouncing Juneathon ’15 a success.  Now to keep up the progress as we head into the incredibly hot and muggy weeks of July.  So far I’ve done two bicycle commutes.

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My trip was 10 super-enjoyable days in England and Amsterdam.  Finally toured Westminster Abbey, and then went back for Sunday church service the next day.  Wow.  What an incredible place.

And, I finally shopped at Liberty of London.  Wow again!  I bought two pieces of their famous cotton prints.  I’m going to attempt to make a summer dress out of each.

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Juneathon from here on…

This is where my Juneathon updates and my fitness routine become more sporadic.  Duty and fun have intervened.  There will be daily fitness activities, but not consistent reporting.  But did I say that fun has intervened?  Yesss!

Juneathon ’15, day 15 & 16

Day 15 was a Monday in every sense.  My gosh I had no energy whatsoever as I tried to get my work done.  But for Juneathon, I managed to get in a total mile walk, to and from my transit stops.  Because how else do you get to and from the transit stops?

Day 16 was better for fitness.  It was gorgeous, so I commuted to work on my bicycle, then across downtown to a meeting after work, then home after the meeting, for a total of 10.5 miles.  The great thing about June is that it is still light out until after 9pm.  Bicycling is still an option at that hour.

Juneathon ’15, days 12 & 13

Okay, where the heck did the weekend go?  For my Juneathon report–Saturday, day 12, I bicycled to the store for groceries.  Yesterday (Sunday) on day 13, I did a 1.2 mile run on my regular neighborhood loop.

The rest of my weekend I was consumed with preparing for an upcoming trip.  Holy moly it takes a lot of time to prepare to be gone.  It will be ten days away, with only carry-on luggage.  Yikes.  I’ve never been forced to pack so light.  It is a learning process.  I’m determined to succeed.

Part of my travel preparation was to finish sewing a skirt with poppies on it.  Today was Flag Day in the US, so dedicating myself to finishing the poppy skirt was my acknowledgment of the meaning of the day.  My plan is to wear it in the UK for Armed Forces Day.  Which means making sure it will fit in my carry on luggage.  Eeek.  Poppy Skirt