Softball Pro Tips From an Amateur

A few posts ago I made mention of a co-ed softball team that I was asked to join this summer.

Not to brag, but as a last round draft pick (a.k.a. after the team was formed and after they exhausted their substitutes for a few weeks they brought me on full time), I bring a lot of knowledge to the sports table. Buckle up because I’m about to learn you some pro softball tips.

First and foremost: my credentials. I played eight years total of T-ball, baseball, and softball. Assigned to the outfield for optimal clover picking in my early years, my last few seasons spent on the field were at first and catcher. Unlike those pansies who see their careers end with devastating injuries, I honorably retired from softball just before high school because I was afraid of the fast pitching. No shame in my game, friends.

Now, on to the life changing softball advice I have to offer all you newbs.

Wear a hat. And sunscreen. As someone who mostly avoids going outside when the temperature exceeds 80 degrees, I must urge you to protect yourself. I would advise eyewear as well, except I’ve left two different sunglasses at the ball park two different time, never to be seen again. I can’t be trusted with more than a hat. But maybe you can.

When batting, don’t chuck your bat haphazardly. The catcher doesn’t appreciate that… I might’ve heard one squeal the last time I awkward flung my bat and took off for first……..

Hit the ball far. Hitting is not my strong suit. I used to think my strong suit was fielding but then I missed two pop-ups in the same game so I think my strong suit might be warming the bench. Or cheering on others. I got off topic in this paragraph.

Hit the ball far, part 2. Listen… I am out of breath every single game because unlike the rest of my team who all power that softball into the grass, giving themselves plenty of time to run, I barely chip it and send it right to the pitcher. Thus, I’m running balls out (pun intended) to first to try and make it safely. I am successful 50% of the time. Don’t take this as a weakness, though. It’s called strategy. GEEZ.

Use a glove that is less than two decades old. I won’t lie, I’m not 100% sure where my glove came from. I know when I first started playing ball I had a black glove and then I got this tan one- but I don’t think we bought it. I think it might’ve been passed down from a relative. All that to say, the former owner got the benefit of padding and structure. My glove is a very, very limp piece of leather. And I think it’s actually a baseball glove. (They tell me there’s a difference.)

Learn the positions. We all know first base and third base, but do you know which field is left and which field is right? Honestly, I don’t either. But I play in one of them. It’s the one behind first base and when a lefty steps up to the plate everyone on the field side-eyes me nervously.

Learn your place. Are you the all-star? The comic relief? The comedian? I like to think I’m the quiet one that keeps to myself and smiles awkwardly if an unfamiliar teammate sits too close to me. (I kid. That was my place but I know everyone now, lol.)

I think those are enough tips for a Tuesday. I don’t want to overwhelm you. Obviously feel free to reach out if you have any questions. Myself or one of my many agents will get back to you promptly. Email me at audreyhasn’tplayedsoftballin+15years@whydidisayyes.com*.

😜

**Not a real email.

How To: Host a Garage Sale

I live in a small Midwest town where garage sales are still a pretty big staple of summer. My mom used to host them, I’ve hosted them, and street corners are decorated with neon SALE signs in every part of town all summer long. Is that typical across the country? (I’m honestly not sure…)

Anyway, tomorrow and Saturday I’m having a garage sale in conjunction with the neighborhood garage sale. (Our new house is in a development and I’m so excited to participate in the neighborhood sale!)

I won’t lie… I really like garage sales. I enjoy pricing things, arranging things, and selling things to others (a.k.a. checking them off my list). I’ve even been known to tell people to “just take it.” I’m 100% committed to getting rid of stuff. Since I’ve done this a few times, I figured I’d offer some friendly and totally unsolicited advice to anyone thinking about hosting their own yard/garage sale!

  1. Certain items draw people in. People like furniture, gently used kids’ toys and clothes, and jewelry. Once they’re in your driveway they browse through the adult clothes, kitchenware, and other miscellaneous things you have. People like winter coats, too!
  2. Keep your prices low. I might be guilty of under-pricing things, but they sell so I don’t care. And don’t be afraid to drop prices mid-sale.
  3. Friday is typically a better sale days than Saturday. Drop your prices overnight. Don’t be afraid to haggle on Friday (but maybe take someone’s best offer on Saturday). In my experience, Fridays are great and profitable while Saturdays are more of a freebie.
  4. Have refreshments! I’m not necessarily talking about a kid-run, bee-swarmed lemonade stand. Some cold $1 bottles of water will draw people your direction.
  5. Pay attention to when other around you are having sales. If you can get in on a neighborhood on that’s even better! People flock to multiple sales. Also, if people show up early and want to buy stuff before you’re 100% ready, let them 😉
  6. Advertise in the newspaper/on Facebook/in the classified. Mention the *good* stuff you’re selling (see advice #1).
  7. Don’t burn yourself out. Only go from 8am to 2 or 3pm. After that it’s not worth it. Also, if you have friends or family who want in on the sale you can take shifts!
  8. Speaking of which, share your garage with friends/family. I don’t have kids but my bff does and she’s bringing their old toys to our sale this weekend to draw people in. My mom is also contributing items. You can use different colored stickers to keep track of how much money each person makes, then divide it all at the end.

Honestly, there are no solid rules to garage sale-ing, but these tips have worked for me. I don’t like cluttered tables or mismatched items so I tend to stage and categorize. I think it’s proven successful in most cases. I usually mark the sizes on clothing, too. That way people aren’t tearing through my piles 😉

Just a reminder:

  • obtain a garage sale permit (even if your neighborhood is having a sale)
  • check with people before you stick a sign in their yard (advertising your sale)
  • have change ready for people paying with large bills

I know some people find garage sales to be stressful and way too much work. I am not that person. Haha. Have you ever had a garage sale? Do you enjoy them?

 

Coffee? Coffee.

I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a clever title for this post, but all I can imagine is me pulling myself out of bed, twisting my hair into a messy bun, and asking you if you’re up for coffee. You nod, just as tired and drained as me, and we confirm our date for coffee.

(We’re also going to meet Kristen at the coffee shop for What’s New With You?, though…)

If we were having coffee I’d probably have something iced or frozen because I straight up hate this heat. Damn, guys. I’m over it. I’d open the conversation by telling you that I dream almost daily of a backyard pool oasis or shaded pontoon boat on the lake. I have access to neither and it makes summer quite torturous.

If we were having coffee you’d have to excuse my nose-blowing and throat-clearing. I am fighting some weird sinus/allergy/summer cold bullshirt. This is my third time being sick THIS YEAR and I am so over it. I don’t think I’m contagious, though. No fever and so far K and my close-quarters coworker haven’t gotten it.

If we were having coffee I’d ask about your long weekend (last week). Two of my best friends came back to our hometown (where I still live) and brought their significant others with them. The girls had fun winery/brewery hopping and then we met the guys for dinner and margs. The plan was to have a fire at my house afterward, but it rained so we sat in the living room and played What Do You Meme and watch the Rocket vs. Warriors game. I love having my friends home to hangout and relax with me 🙂 It doesn’t happen very often- usually I jet off to see them.

(And yes, I’m v pissed that the stupid Warriors are in the finals again. UGH.)

If we were having coffee I’d confess that there’s a deeper psychological reason for my summertime hatred. In the winter it is 100% ok to go home every night, snuggle under a blanket, and hibernate with a book and tea. In the summer there’s this grand expectation to do things. Whether it’s vacation or exercise or swimming or gardening or going to the beach or camping or whatever… it’s there. People discuss their weekends at the lake or on the road and then look at you expectantly. I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to be active and have fun. I don’t have a boat or a pool or a real garden or any athletic skill. Most of my friends live far-ish away (& I’m an introvert). I am SWAMPED with work in the summer. Honestly? My summer weekends look a lot like my winter weekends. It just feels kind of daunting, you know?

But if we were having coffee I’d genuinely want to know about your summer plans! Tell me the vacations you have planned and the weekend activities you’re looking forward to! Maybe it’ll give me some ideas to get out and about.

If we were having coffee, before we stood up and said our goodbyes, I’d ask if you read/heard any of the commencement speeches from this year’s graduation season. Steph shared Abby Wambach’s speech from Barnard College. I love it and I’d definitely share it with you.

And then I’d check the time and realize I’m late for work (because vacation days aren’t an option for me in the summer) and we’d hug and make plans to meet again soon. And I’d probably order another drink for the road.

IMUO vol. 2

Waaay back in September 2016 I wrote a post about my unpopular opinions. I stand by everything I wrote except I now occasionally use “live your best life” jokingly and I watch basketball (the Cavs) with my husband. Anyway, I’m back again with more.

I don’t like The Avengers.
It’s not that I don’t like them as much as I just don’t have time to watch it all. I love Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men, but I’ve only seen Iron Man and Captain America as far as “avengers” go. After this last movie am I going to be totally lost when the next X-Men or GotG movie comes out?! Why do we have to combine them all?? It just seems like a lot to keep on top of…

I hate the term “Girl Boss.”
I’m totally ok with making things more feminine if that’s your style (pink jerseys, lace on tool belts, etc.). It’s not my style, but all kinds of kinds, right? However, if you’re a female in a management role or a female business owner then you’re just a BOSS. It’s not a man’s phrase because it’s not a man’s world. It’s your world and you’re running it. Be a BOSS.
(Turns out Nadine mentioned hating this phrase in the comments of my last IMUO post!)

I don’t understand the Cardi B craze.
This might not be unpopular. She may not be a hit with people over the age of 25. I don’t know. Either way, I can’t get into her. I’m not a big rap fan anyway so I think this is pretty normal for me. She just seems like the next big thing and I’m a little clueless and uninterested.

I love Instagram Stories.
Man… I waste SO much time with IG stories. I love seeing pictures or watching people talk about their day or an experience. I don’t mind boomerangs or food pics or videos. Two things I don’t like: videos of concerts and videos of super loud noises. Other than that, I’m entertained for hours by these clips.

I live for rainy days.
You know how some people wait and wait for the sun to come out and make comments like, “What’s that thing?” whenever it finally does? That’s how I feel about rain and overcast days. There’s just something extra cozy about a dreary day. In the same breath…

I STILL hate summer.
I know we’ve been waiting 17 years for the snow to stop and the sun to show herself, but I’m over it now. I opened my windows for a hot second and I shed my coat for a few days. I’m ready for the leaves to change & the temperature to drop. Sorry not sorry, guys. I just looove fall & winter.

I’ll relent just a bit. There are parts of warm weather that I enjoy- evening walks with the dogs, driving with the windows down, ice cream shops being open… but after about a month of all that I’m ready for fall 😉

What are some of your unpopular opinions? I won’t judge you 😉

Books I Want to Read – Summer 2018

This is supposed to be a book review day where I link up with Steph and Jana, and share all my opinions on books. Well, I finished an impress ZERO books since the last Show Us Your Books so I’m flipping the script today.
Before I dive in, HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY to my baby brother! ❤

I did a post like this last year in May and I’m impressed with myself that there were only two books I didn’t end up reading. With my last book challenge ending in April and the next one starting in July, I feel like I have some time to tackle a few of these!

Hopefully what I don’t finish I can squeeze into Erin’s next challenge somewhere.

One Dark Throne //#2 in the Three Dark Crowns series (Kendare Blake)
I finished the first books in the series earlier this year & I’m pretty motivated to read on and find out what happens… I’m avoiding all spoilers so I don’t know what it’s about.

A Court of Thorns & Roses (Sarah J. Maas)
I meant for this to be my next fantasy series, but I got sucked into the TDC series. Whoops. I own the first book in this series and the Throne of Glass series so hopefully I pick one up soon.

After Alice (Gregory Maguire)
You know I love me a good Alice in Wonderland spin-off/retelling. I picked this up from a bookstore a few months ago and put it on the short stack.

The Magnolia Story (Joanna & Chip Gaines)
I know this will be a quick read. I need to set aside a warm afternoon in the sunshine.

One of Us is Lying (Karen M. McManus)
I’ve heard nothing but good reviews with this book. I can’t wait to crack it open!

The Alice Network (Kate Quinn)
I remember hearing this was good. I bought it on a whim months ago.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows)
I feel like everyone loves this book. I think it’ll be a quick read.

Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan)
This has been on my TBR list for a while and now it’s going to be a movie. Gotta read the book first, though.

The Casual Vacancy (J.K. Rowling)
Can you believe I haven’t read this yet? I’ve tried but I couldn’t get into it. I’ll try again.

I own all these books except ODT, Guernsey, & CRA. I’ve got no excuse to not read the ones in my possession. Lol

What’s on your summer reading list? Have any strong feelings about these books?

I promise I’ll have some reviews for June’s #SUYB post!

Life According to Steph

Mini Letters

Dear Fall,

I’m ready for you. I know some people are trying to soak in those last rays of summer, but my sweatshirts are knocking on the closet door and my windows long to be open at night. I’m already burning my woodsy candles in anticipation of your arrival. ‘Love you.


Dear Eclipse,

Thank you for providing a brief, healthy, unique distraction for our country. I am 100% camped out in the “Stay Vigilant” campground, but it was kind of adorable to see the country come together to witness a fun thing like you. You came at a good time.


Dear Realtors,

If you could schedule your showings & open houses all in one day that’d be awesome… I’m so stinkin’ tired of deep cleaning my house. (I know, I know… it’s all for the greater good. I know it’ll pay off.)


Dear The Tudors,

I love you. You’re one of my favorite things to watch on Netflix. Henry Cavill definitely helps…

Also, Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn is amazing.


Dear Zac Brown Band & Kenny Chesney,

While I’m so ready for fall, your music makes me long for the beach. Or maybe my current stressors just make me long for a vacation. Either way, someone give me an all-inclusive trip 😉 j/k

Sincerely,

Exhausting Musings

I had a different post lined up for today but a) I just want to ramble and b) I haven’t quite finished it yet…

Last month I read ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ and it mentioned Formula One race tracks all over the US/world. One of those tracks is about two hours from me but we’ve never been there. Then, at the beginning of this week, my brother called and said his work gave him 8 tickets to the Indy car races at that track! I don’t know why, but it feels so cool to have read about the sport and the tracks, and now I get to go to one!

K and I are obsessed with Bravo’s Below Deck Mediterranean. We watch the new episodes on Tuesday nights and we know all the crew members’ backstories and we actually discuss the show. It’s embarrassingly satisfying. Hahaha.

I didn’t know it was possible to be this mentally and physically exhausted without the involvement of college, children, or holidays. July has 100% kicked our bootys- professionally and personally.

Our dogs killed a nest full of rabbits on Friday. The main reason this sucks is because 6 bunnies lost their lives. Secondary reasons this sucks are because a) I can’t tell if Enzo is moody or if he’s sick from noshing on bunnies and b) trash day is on Thursday… so our trashcan is not smelling its freshest and it makes the driveway area quite heinous.
*Fortunately the trash truck came today.

A few days ago I went to Starbucks to get K and I drinks. I also had a free reward. Well, they 100% botched mine. The guy scanned my phone at the window and then tried to hand me the wrong drink order. I corrected him and he blushed and admitted he was flustered and handed me the two I’d ordered (although one was totally wrong). Regardless, I asked if I still owned him since he only scanned for the reward drink. He shrugged and told me to forget it. Lol. I still feel like my experience was a win.

Guys. It’s so hot & I hate summer. (Don’t stone me- I’ve tried to like it, I swear.) I just want to sit in front of an a/c vent in a sports bra and underwear and drink icy drinks. (Let’s remember I live in Ohio. If I was a southerner I think I’d actually die.) Please, oh please let fall kick in early this year…

*My grandparents had a large in-ground pool when I was growing up. When they sold that house my hatred for summer was born. I know that makes me spoiled. Sorry.

At the end of August K is playing (in a band) with an Elvis impersonator. I don’t know why I find that so amusing (especially since he’s done it before), but I do. Also, it’s an outdoor concert at our local park and I’m really excited to fill a water bottle with wine and sit on the lawn and listen to him 😉

Ok. That’s all I’ve got. Tell me about your weekend plans! I’m hoping in the car with one best friend to go celebrate another best friend at her engagement party! Woot woot!