Let's Gooooo Mountaineers!!!!

8pm  ESPN2

Round 3 Kicks Off

WVU @ South Florida

Let's GOOOOO Mountaineers!

That is all.


It Turns Out There Is Crying in Football

The cloudy skies seemed appropriate on Saturday.

Sure, it was game day.  Homecoming even.

But it was a day surrounded by clouds.

It was a day of sadness.

It was a day of questioning why.

It was a day of realizing how brief and fragile life really is.

It was also a day when the best of being a Mountaineer was on display.

It was a day when respect for our opponent was more important than the outcome of the game.

It was a day when the opposing team was greeted with a standing ovation instead of a chorus of boos.

A standing ovation to let them know our hearts were breaking with theirs.

A standing ovation to let them know we understood how hard it was to take the field on this day.

A standing ovation to let them know that, on that day, we were all Huskies.

On that day...
A moment of silence.
Two teams meeting at midfield, embracing.
A jersey hanging on a sideline, softly blowing in the wind.
A helmet without a face inside it.
A game that was closer than it should have been.

On that day, our celebration was bittersweet and fueled more by emotion than the final score.

On that day, a coach pulled his team together as a family to thank its extended fan family for their support.

On that day, the scoreboard showed a winning score at the end of the game.

On that day, the scoreboard remembered a lost life.

On that day, there was crying in football.


Huh? It's Friday? What happened to Tuesday?

And that pretty much sums up this week.

I didn't even blog about WVU's win over Marshall last weekend.

Or that it was rainy and cold.  For the whole game.  It took til Wednesday for everything to dry out.

Or that I watched our quarterback get knocked out with a concussion right in front of us.  I've never seen trainers run across a field that fast.

Or that our back-up QB did a really great job.

Or that we won.

Or that we celebrated my dad's birthday with meatball hoagies before the game and pumpkin pie after.  Dad turned 59.  He doesn't seem 59.

Or that sitting out in the previously mentioned cold and rain for 4 hours has resulted in a horribly sore throat and sinus infection.

Or that I'm a little worried Kali is going to have to go to the vet next week for a steriod shot and a cone because her Shar-Pei skin is not adjusting to the colder weather well.

Or that this weekend is homecoming for WVU.  One of my favorite games of the year.

Or that we play UConn and I'm proud of what the Mountaineer Family is doing to reach out to the Husky family to show our respects on the loss of their teammate, Jasper Howard last weekend.

I really couldn't tell you what it is I've done this week.

It's certainly not been dishes.

Or laundry.

Or cleaning.

I can tell you that I'm hoping for a dry afternoon tomorrow because another week of this sinus/throat thing and I'll go nuts.

I'm not sure how to wrap up this rambling post, so since the calendar tells me that it's Friday, I'll wish you a good weekend!

Let's GOOOO Mountaineers!!!!


A Dragon's Loyalty

A huge thanks, a big hug, and a gigantic 'you're the best' to Michelle over at Musings of a Catholic Lady for my very FIRST blog award!

This award is to honor those blog readers who visit your blog day-in and day-out - through the good and the bad.

Michelle writes about her Faith, her everyday life as a working mom of 4 kiddos, and more!  So be sure to head on over here and visit her soon!

Now, with this award comes responsibility to follow the following rules:
1)  If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you;
2)  Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know;
3)  If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back;
4)  Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans 

So, I am pleased to pass this award on to, drum roll please....

People I've Never Met IRL - but would LOVE to :).

1)  Jessica at Circling the Square Table.  Jessica has her hands full with 3 kiddos and a full-time job and a hubs and makes time to come by and visit and comment almost every day.  (Jessica, I know that Michelle awarded you this too, but you so deserve it - no need to link back to me, give all the credit to Michelle :))!
2)  Sarah at Fumbling Towards Grace.  Sarah blogs about her Faith (I learn SO much from her), being newlyweds, and working on her master's degree.
3)  Michelle at My Little Spot on the Web.  Michelle is a fellow WV Girl and WVU fan (what's not to love about that?!?).  She's a new follower, but visits and adds to the conversation often!
4)  Angie at Spring of Joy.  She'll have you smiling, laughing, and crying.  Her fight with and victory over cancer will inspire you.  Her kids will warm your heart.  And her Faith, wow!
5)  Lauren at Lauren's Home.  Her photography posts are amazing.  Like me, she is the proud mama of a fur-baby and loves college football (though our choices in teams are quite different).
6)  Em at Life Liberty and the Pursuit....  Em's Monday - Thursday posts will usually have you giggling and nodding in agreement and her trials at feeding her son a glutten-free diet will have you appreciate that muffin you just ate without giving it a second though.  On Friday she will make you think and you'll either agree or your won't, but you will appreciate the thought and level-headedness she puts into her posts.

People I HAVE Met IRL - and am so GLAD that I have!

7)  Kristen at No Small Thing.  Kristen's blog was the first (and only) blog I read for a very long time.  Her son Henry has a special place in my heart as a former student of mine.  Kristen's writing will touch your heart every time.
8)  Cassie at This is a story of a girl....  Cassie found me through one of Kelly's posts on college football as I professed my WVU Pride.  We were bloggy friends until last week when we became IRL friends.  Cassie's always giving on her blog - sharing about giveaways, asking for prayers for families she doesn't know.  She's as kind in person as she is virtually!

I love all of my readers/followers - those who comment everyday and those who just stop by. I worried when I started this blog that I wouldn't have anything to say, but have been pleasantly surprised at just how much I do have to say!


Friday Fragments: Photo Edition

It's a Friday Fragments - Photo Edition!  For more Fragments or Quick Takes, please go visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

1.  My friend, N. and her baby came to visit this me this week!  N. goes back to work next week, and I'm so grateful she chose to use some of her last precious days at home to visit me.  We took a walk along the rail trail and enjoyed the fall leaves.  Her little one is absolutely a joy, such a happy baby and handled a total upheaval in her schedule so so well!

2,  Yesterday, a blog friend, Cassie, becomes an IRL (In Real Life) friend.  We met for lunch at our local Panera Bread, talked blogs, talked football, talked student loans, talked family.  If Cassie hadn't been off to a hair appointment, we might have had to order dinner!  (Picture is a self-portrait, and taken after having to walk in the rain our cars, so not the best, but not too bad either!).

3.  We took Kali to the dog park a week or so ago.  This dog park is special because it is named after Kali's first friend Stanley.  Stanley was a Dalmatian owned by the man's best friend Dave and was one of the first dogs Kali ever really played with.  Stanley also taught Kali how to walk of leash without running away.  He died in a tragic accident and we miss him.

4.  When I say we took Kali to the dog park, you are probably picturing running and playing with other dogs. Well, not so much for Kali.  She doesn't always play well with others, so we only actually go into the dog park when there are no little dogs in the little dog section.  This day, there were actually lots of big dogs in their section and Kali really seemed to like running along the fence and playing that way.  We're hoping lots of trips like this will eventually result in actual playing in the big dog area.

5.  A few weeks ago, we went to Kennywood with 1/2 of my family.  We rode rides, ate cheesey-bacon fries (delicious), and the man and my little brother had slushies that were basically a cup of colored sugar.  A fun time was had by all.  We got one group photo in front of the fountain.

6.  Well, we made it to #6 without bringing up football, but since tomorrow is game day, I can't ignore it all together!  This is the man and I in our seats at the last home game.  This is our 6th season in these seats and we love them and the people around us (most of them have been in their seats this whole time too).  My friend Hollie is bringing her boyfriend to his first home Mountaineer Game (the live in Chalotte and the Bowl Game was his first Mountaineer game ever).  We are so excited to share the fun with Kevin!  Now, let's just keep our fingers crossed that we can get away with the same type of clothing we are wearing in this picture since there is rain and/or snow in the forecast.  At this point, if it can't be dry, I'd rather snow, it's much better than cold rain!

7.   Finally, it is fall, it is October, and the world is turning pink to encourage Breast Cancer Awareness.  This is near and dear to my heart because my step-grandmother has had a double mastectomy.  And my step-mom doesn't really think of it as if, but rather 'when'.  She's had mammograms since she was my age.  We've had one scare - and thankfully a scare is all it was.  So, this month, take some time to learn about Breast Cancer and the fight against it.  If you have the extra money, make a donation to further the research.


Can of Worms

What is a Can of Worms post?  Please go to post of 5/11/2012 for an update on this topic.
Homosexual Rights

Since this has been a big topic in the news lately, and it's one of my 'chicken' topics for a Can of Worms post, I figured this is as good a time as any to broach this subject.

I first want to say, because I like to qualify things, that the main reason this is a 'chicken' topic for me is because I'm afraid of it all coming out wrong, or despite my best intentions not being clear.  That said, I see the potential for clarification in the comments or even an update if necessary.

I second want to say, as I've said before, I'm not good with big fancy words or all kinds of theory, so you won't get that from me.  Feel free to respond with it, but I am a fan of plain, everyday English (even if it's boring to those of you with much bigger brains than me).

Finally, I ask that you read through to the end of this post before commenting.  Open your mind to what I have to say.  Then feel free to disagree, as I know many of you will.

Ok, enough procrastinating.

Personally, I do not think homosexuality is a choice.  I think this for 2 main reasons:  1)  I do not choose to be heterosexual, I just am and 2)  Why, truly, would someone choose a life that is going to be difficult and subject to ridicule and cruelty.

That said, the rest of this post applies regardless of whether you feel it is a choice or not.

strongly agree that Homosexuals should receive protection under the equal rights act.  As much as I wish the whole law wasn't necessary, (that people were just hired on their merits, not based on race, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc) it clearly is.  The way people are treated who have different beliefs is appalling to me (and not just those who are homosexual).

do think that secular or civil marriage should be legal for homosexual couples.  I say secular or civil marriage because in my way of thinking that is the only type of marriage the government has any control over.  Whether a couple (of any type) is permitted to be married in a church is up to each individual church and that is the beauty of Separation of Church and State.  You do not have to be married in a church to receive all of the benefits of marriage provided by the government.

Now, that I've brought church, and by expansion faith/religion into this, I know there are plenty of scriptures that can be quoted to argue this issue.  And I also know that the bible was written by, translated by, and interpreted by flawed, sinful humans.  I do not claim, by any means, to be any better at translating this ancient text as it was originally written - I just acknowledge that it may not be as originally intended.  What I do know is what Jesus taught - love, forgiveness, tolerance and acceptance.  He was sent to die for ALL of us people and our sins.  He taught that it was not our place to judge.  That is for God, and God alone.  And it is for this reason that I again say, homosexuals should be given equal rights as anyone else.  You can say I'm simplifying here; you can say I admittedly do not 'get' theology; or any other way you may like to put it.  But the bottom line is, when I was teaching children what Jesus taught last year, never was the message that there were exceptions to Jesus' lesson of love, forgiveness, and acceptance.

So, if I agree that Jesus taught love, forgiveness, and acceptance; and that it is not our place to judge - how can I then condemn or restrict homosexuals (or anyone) for their lives because it is different from mine?

And what about if you don't believe in God (because this post isn't to argue that point)?  Don't we as humans have a basic desire and right to be treated with respect?  If this life is all there is, there is nothing beyond death, I would think that would be all the more reason to treat everyone with kindness and equality, to make the most of the life you are given.

Moving right along...homosexuals in the military.  If we were more tolerant and forgiving in our everyday society, I challenge that this would be a non-issue.  As it is, I also challenge that asking someone to keep their sexuality a secret causes more danger to those they serve with then allowing them to be open and make a choice as to whether or not they share.

All of this said, I do believe there are certainly behaviors that homosexual people choose to engage in that perpetuate stereotypes about them.  (Just as the girl who wears dark black lipstick, has dark black hair, and black fingernail polish has behaviors that perpetuate stereotypes about her or as the church going family with 5 children who attend a pro-life rally perpetuates stereotypes about themselves.)  In turn, the media preys on these stereotype-encouraging behaviors, rather than displaying the homosexual couple down the street who live a quiet life just like every other couple on the block.  But does it mean that every homosexual couple fits that mold?  (Does it mean that every girl with black fingernails or every family with many children fits the mold established by the stereotype?)  Simply answered, no.

In summary, I feel that if we all stopped looking to convict those outside of ourselves and started looking at our own lives, we'd all find that a little bit of kindness and tolerance can, do, and will go a long way.  If we'd stop being so concerned with our differences and started looking to our similarities, rules and laws banning this and requiring that may become unnecessary. 

This Can of Worms has been opened.  What do you think?  (And a gentle reminder to please be respectful, you don't have to agree with me or other commenters, but please only type what you would say directly to someone's face.) 


A (not scary at all) Ghost Story

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it was time for a Ghost Story.  (As promised Michelle.)  

Have no fear, this isn't a scary ghost story.  Not even a little.  It is actually a story that my little brother told me 8 years ago that he learned in Kindergarten.  A story that I then used with my preschoolers when I was a teacher.  And a story that I'm going to share with you.

DISCLAIMER:  As far as I know, I'm not breaking any copyright laws with this story.  It is just a tale told to a group of kindergarteners and then passed on to groups of preschoolers because as teachers do, when we see a great thing, we use it with our own students!  In addition to a ghost story, this was also a Unit on colors and learning colors and following directions.

So, get your s'mores ready and enjoy the story of one ghost family:

Once upon a time there was a momma ghost who lived with her 5 little ghost children.

This ghost family could only drink White Milk.  And one day, the family ran out of White Milk.

So, the momma ghost left the older ghost children in charge and reminded the kids, "Just wait until I get home to eat, we need to only drink white milk."

Off the momma ghost went and it wasn't long before the ghost children were very hungry.  They thought, it won't hurt if we just have a little something to eat or drink.  Momma will be gone at the store for a while and she'll never know.

So, one of the ghost children had some Orange Juice.  Another of the ghost children had some Green Peas.  A third of the ghost children had some Purple Grapes.  A fourth of the ghost children had some Red Strawberries.  And the youngest of the ghost children had a cookie with Brown Chocolate Chips.

As soon as the ghost children had finished their snacks, they understood why they always had to have White Milk at their meals:

And then, the ghost momma was walking up the sidewalk almost home.

When she walked in, she screamed in shock and said "I see you children did not listen to me and had a snack while I was gone."

The ghost children replied "We are so sorry for not listening.  We were so hungry we didn't think it would make a difference if we just had a small snack."

So the momma ghost poured each ghost child a glass of White Milk and soon the Ghost Family were back to normal.

The End.  


How to be a College Football Fan, Pt. 3

Well, we've learned the basics about becoming a football fan and learned how the game is played, and today, I bring you Session 3 of:

How to be a College Football Fan 101!
(*Results not guaranteed)

Today's topic is Penalties (what happens when you break the rules):

To help us, I have some pictures (from here) of the guys in the zebra stripes, aka referees, doing the signals for common penalties:

So, in order from Left to Right:
  • Holding - to a new fan, it can look like the big guys (linemen) in the middle of the field do a lot of holding, but there are actually very specific blocking techniques these players use.  When they grab jerseys or pads to prevent a player of the opposite team getting around them, it is a holding call.
    • A holding call usually carries a penalty of losing 10 yards
  • Penalty declined - means that the team who would benefit from the penalty is choosing not to 'punish' the offense (usually because what happened during the play is worse for the other team than the penalty)
    • The other descriptions for this hand signal are fairly self explanatory
  • Pass Interference - similar to holding, it can look like this happens on every pass play, but again, there are legal techniques that defenders can use.  Pushing off, grabbing jerseys, tackling before the ball arrives at the receiver are all examples of this penalty.  The offensive receiver can also be called for pass interference for pushing off or tackling the defender.
    • Pass interference usually carries a penalty of losing 15 yards
  • First Down - not a penalty, but rather what the official signals when the offense has gained 10 or more yards and receives a new set of 4 downs (tries) to do it again
  • Facemasking - defensive players may not tackle an offensive player by grabbing their face mask (the part of their helmet that is bars in front of their nose/mouth)
    • Facemasking carries a penalty of losing 15 yards (and is actually very dangerous)
  • Time Out - again, not a penalty, just a signal that a team (or the TV people - to run ads) have called a time-out
  • Offside - before each play, the offense must line up on one side of the line of scrimmage and the defense must line up on the other.  If any member of either team crosses the line of scrimmage before the football is snapped back to the quarterback it is a penalty.
    • Offside usually carries a penalty of 5 yards
  • Clipping - this usually occurs on kick-offs or punts and happens when a member of the kicking team tackles a member of the receiving team who is not near the ball from behind (kinda sneaks up on 'em)
    • Clipping carries a penalty of 10 yards from where it happened (usually ends up bringing the ball way back from where it would have been though)
  • Touchdown - again, not a penalty, but a signal that points have been scored (or what your dad tells you to signal when you are having a coughing fit)
  • Personal foul - usually occurs after a play is over and involves late hitting, unnecessary roughness, or unsportsmanlike conduct
    • A personal foul carries a penalty of 15 yards (and usually gets the player into a lot of trouble with the coach)
  • Illegal motion - when the teams line up for each play, there are rules for how many offensive players can move and when they can move, everyone must be still before the ball is snapped to the quarterback
    • Illegal motion carries a penalty of 5 yards
Now - gather up your new football gear, settle in at the field or on the couch, gather some of your favorite food and beverages, and have fun!!!!  Enjoy every minute of it, relish the highs and lows, and if you're still looking for a team to cheer for, just say this:

Let's GOOOOOO Mountaineers!!!

And tune in to the Big East Game of the Week Saturday at Noon to cheer on the WVU Mountaineers as they take on the Syracuse Orangemen!


How to be a College Football Fan, Pt. 2

When I started yesterday's post, I realized I had way too much incredibly important useless information to share with you for just one post.

So, I bring you Session 2 of:

How to be a College Football Fan 101!
(*Results not guaranteed)

Let's review, steps 1 - 5:
  1. Pick a team.
  2. Go shopping and get some apparel in the team's colors (and remember, no football team's color is pink!).
  3. Plan your first game - will it be watching it from home on TV or will it be live at the field?
  4. Learn the terminology and rules (have no fear, help with this one is today's topic).
  5. Have fun!
Today's topic is all about the rules!  And tomorrow, we'll round out what was meant to be one post, but turned into a 3-day series, with what happens if you break the rules.
    • Offense - the team with the ball - 11 players at a time
    • Defense - the team without the ball - 11 players at a time
    • Special Teams - used to describe the group of players on the field (from both teams) when the ball is being kicked off or punted
    • Line of Scrimmage - the invisible line that runs from sideline to sideline through the football that the defense must start on one side of and the offense must start on the other side of
    • Referees - the guys in the black and white who blow whistles, wave their arms, and throw yellow flags
    • Chain Crew - look similar to referees, but are found along the sideline holding 2 large (usually orange) sticks stuck together with a chain that is 10 yards long; a third member holds a stick with a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) on it to mark the down
    • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th down - each team gets 4 tries to go 10 yards, if they do not achieve 10 yards in 4 tries (downs) the other team gets the ball at that line of scrimmage
    • First Down - Achieved when the offense gains 10 or more yards of offense, giving the offense a new set of 4 tries
    • Penalty - what it's called when someone breaks the rules (more on these tomorrow)
    • Endzone - the 15 yards at either end of the field that typically have the team/school/city name in them, where Touchdowns are scored
    • Goal posts - the large poles sticking up at either end of the field
    • Punt - a special kind of kick, often used on 4th down, when the offense has not made it the 10 yards (this way, when the other team gets the ball, they have further to go to get to the endzone)
    The play:
    • Each team defends one end zone while trying to score in the opposite endzone.
    • A game consists of 4 quarters, each lasting 15 minutes.
    • There is overtime if the game is tied at the end of 4 quarters - a college football game cannot end in a tie
    • There are 2 basic ways to score in a football game
      • Touchdown - a player either runs into the endzone or catches a pass in the endzone - scores 6 points
        • A 1 point kick or a 2 point conversion (running or catching the football in the endzone again) is attempted after each touchdown is scored
      • Field Goal - when a team has used 3 of its 4 tries (downs) and has not gone 10 yards, but is close enough to kick the ball through the goal posts - a successful attempt scores 3 points
    • A team can also score a safety by the defense tackling a member of the offense in th end zone the offense is protecting.  A safety scores 2 points and gives the ball to the team that scored the points (it's not good for the team that it happens to).
      There are a whole lot more 'details' - but these are the basics.  Come back tomorrow for what happens to rule breakers, and some fun graphics!


      How to be a College Football Fan

      Much to my surprise, some of you ladies out there have commented about not being college football fans.


      You mean when you were growing up your dad wasn't a high school and then college football official/referee?

      Oh, he wasn't?

      You mean you weren't taught to signal TOUCHDOWN (by raising both hands above your head) when you were coughing?

      No touchdowns to get rid of coughs either?

      You mean, you didn't go over the the local colleges football field before the games to hang out with dad since he was working the chain crew?

      What's a chain crew?

      Oh my.  I see we have a lot to learn here.  So, Holley (who I first mentioned this topic to), and everyone else, I give you:

      How to be a College Football Fan 101!
      (*Results not guarnateed)

      1. You need to pick a team.  I would suggest a team that you can go see in person or at least get to watch on TV with some ease.  If you are married and your hubs is passionate about a specific team, it might be easier if you pick his team - but it might be more fun, if you pick his team's arch rivals.  If all else fails, I tend to root for underdogs (but be careful, there is heartache here); or you can jump on a bandwagon and route for a big, typically successful school (USC, Florida, etc.); or you can join ME in rooting for the West Virginia University Mountaineers; or if you must (just please keep it to yourself) go ahead and pick a team whose colors you like.
      2. Speaking of colors - the last time I checked, NO football team's colors included pink!  Wait, wait, wait, don't leave - I am 110% FOR showing support for breast cancer awareness, but a pink ribbon on a jersey or even the pink cleats and wrist bands the NFL wore last weekend are ok by me and sufficient enough.  BUT, when you are shopping (yes, being a college football fan involves shopping!) for game day attire - it should NOT be pink.  Especially, especially, not a replica jersey (it can't even really be a replica since there aren't real pink ones to begin with can it? - ha!)
      3. Once you've picked your team, you'll want to check the schedule and decide if your first game will be live or televised.  There are pros and cons to both:  there's nothing like a live game and it's atmosphere plus lots of other fans and stadium food (mmmm, pretzels!), but can be subject to adverse weather condition and can leave you a little lost as to what is going on; a televised game is temperature controlled, can be paused if necessary for bathroom breaks, but is not nearly as exciting.  If you've picked the hubs's favorite team, he'll be way excited if you suggest an outing at the football field.
      4. Learn the terminology and the rules.  Where would you learn these rules and the terminology?  Well, if you come back round here tomorrow, you might just learn some - and in plenty of time for Saturday's games!
      5. Finally, have fun!  Yell, scream, laugh, and hopefully don't cry and most fun, completely stress out over something you have absolutely no control over (it can be quite freeing!).
      I hope you've enjoyed your introduction to being a college football fan!  Tomorrow we'll cover basic rules and terminology!

      So, who's your favorite team???


      An Easy-Peasy Giveaway!

      From my friend Kristen.

      I met Kristen during what I can only imagine to be one of the hardest phases of her life - her young son had just been diagnosed with a hearing loss and she and her husband were in the midst of learning just what that would mean for the present and future.

      A year later, Henry, was in my preschool class and doing great!  It was during this year that I got to know Kristen professionally.  I was her son's teacher.  She one of my students' parents.

      And then the man (not to be confused with the man over at Kristen's blog - nickname inspired by stolen from her, but that's the only connection) and I decided to move back to Morgantown where we grew up.

      And then Kristen invited me to read her blog.

      And then Kristen became my friend.  So I guess you could call us in-real-life-internet friends.  Or how about just good friends!

      So, please head over and enter her giveaway and then take a moment to get to know her and her beautiful family.  Her writing is incredible.  Her stories will have you laughing or crying or both!

      {And, maybe recommend she should write a book (in her spare time of course)!}


      Friday Fragments

      For more quick takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary.

      1. It wasn't pretty (again), but the Mountaineers pulled off a victory last night, defeating Colorado 35 - 24.  The score is closer than it was (and much closer than it needed to be), but a win is a win.  Now, if we could just hold onto the ball instead of turning it over to the other team I (and a whole lotta other people too) would feel a whole lot better!  I know it's nice to share, but that's not quite the goal of a football game, and certainly not 4 times.  In the first half!  We did bounce back nicely and keep the ball all to ourselves in the second half!
      2. I know it's quite obvious that I love football for all that is football.  The game.  The team.  The people.  The tailgating.  The atmosphere.  All. of. it.  But this week, it provided another reason to love it.  For 3 hours, I focused on something completely outside of me.  Sure, my emotions were all over the place, but it had nothing to do with me.  I've been known to say (frequently in the last couple of years) that if the season keeps going the way it is, it's going to kill me.  The man usually just humors me while I'm sure he wants to roll his eyes and tell me I'm being a bit dramatic (me, dramatic?  NEVER!), but he doesn't - he just nods and smiles.  But I have to say, that even though there was some serious football-related stress last night, it was somewhat of a release.  A welcome release.
      3. Last night after the game, I volunteered to take my brother to the airport this morning for his flight back to Dallas.  It was 1:00 AM when I made this grand gesture.  We had to leave by 6:30 AM.  I surely thought my mom would say, oh, no thanks, you don't need to.  She didn't.  (I need to add here, that I wouldn't have offered if I didn't mean it, I just didn't really expect a yes.  And mom, if you're reading this, I was happy to do it.  Really.)  
      4. So we headed up the road towards Pittsburgh International Airport, and just about the time we stopped for Starbucks (thanks Mike!), we heard there was an accident and that traffic to the airport was slow.  Ha - I've seen turtles move faster!  It took us 45 minutes to drive, are you ready, 2, t-w-o, two miles!  There was so much traffic that at the 30 minute mark, Mike called Southwest Airlines to inquire about what happens if he misses his flight.  Just about the time he was off of hold and speaking to an agent, the traffic cleared.  He made it to the gate (thank God for no luggage to check) just as they started boarding.  Not the way I like to start my mornings after less than 5 hours of sleep.
      5. Upon my return from the airport I realized I needed to go to the DMV.  The registration on my car expired yesterday.  Because I'm organized like that.  And I had to go to the cell phone store to make my payment because mailing it would make it late.  Again, because I'm so organized.  Both of these stops have potential to be quick 5 minute stops or 45 minute stops.  I was prepared for the 45 minute variety, especially because I was looking so lovely for my errands - no contacts in (glasses on, don't worry), hair in a ponytail, and a pathetic attempt at makeup (chapstick) but I was pleasantly surprised.  I was home in less than an hour - and that included a stop for sweet tea!
      6. This week, on Tuesday morning, I had tea with my friend Sara and her son, Porkchop (I'd like to leave this without saying, but just in case, Porkchop is his nickname, not his real name ;)).  I've mentioned her here and here before - and you can visit her blog here.  We were pretty much inseperable in high school.  We started college together.  And then we went our separate ways.  Last fall, almost 7 years later we reconnected on Facebook.  We try to have lunch a couple of times a month, but life has been busy and we just haven't in the last few weeks - it was great to catch up and relax for a few hours.
      7. Just as I was leaving, Sara pointed to a gift bag on her table and said that it was for me.  What was inside?  A journal.  And - Fearless, by Max Lucado.  Remember?  Thank-you seems so inadequate.  She didn't ask what has me in such a funk (she knows me well enough to know that I'll share it with her when I'm ready).  She didn't pretend that she didn't know.  I am grateful.  More than words can say.  Thank. You.


      Perfect Weather

      For some Football!!!!

      There's just something about the first cool, crisp football Saturday Thursday of the year.

      There's just something about the first night game of the year.

      There's just something about Mountaineer Football.

      There's just something about Mountaineer Football, played under the lights on Mountaineer Field at Mylan Puskar Stadium.

      If you don't believe me, read the following article (a framed copy hangs on our wall), written by Eric Herter of The Dominion Post after his first experience here (written 9/2/07):

      What a great setting for some Football
      I have to admit, I still jump every time I hear the Mountaineer shoot off his musket.  
      It's probably a dead give away that I'm not from around here, but it's also one of the best things about going to any sporting event at West Virginia University.
       On Saturday, I got my first-ever glimpse at Mountaineer Field in all its glory.  With 60,563 people in attendance this was a little different than the spring game I attended in frigid weather.
      I should have known from that brief visit that WVU fans were intense when it came to their football - tailgating in near freezing weather - but it took the real thing to clue me in.  
      People around the newsroom talked about how great Mountaineer Field is, but as a journalist you always have to be a skeptic, it's in our DNA.  
      After my first visit, I have to say I'm no longer a skeptic.  What a view, what a place, what an atmosphere.  
      The view from teh press box is beautiful with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop and the city of Morgantown cascading around the stadium.  
      Then there is the tailgating that happens before every game.  
      I've been to places that say they have the best tailgating in the nation, but I have to say I'm not sure any of them beat what people do in Morgantown.  
      They come prepared with coolers, meats, grills and cool refreshments.  And they start early.  I left the office three full hours before kickoff and it took 45 minutes to get from Sabraton to the stadium.  
      It really is a clinic on how to tailgate when you visit Morgantown and the Mountaineers' fans do it right.  They are professionals.  
      Of course there is a great product on the field but that was almost secondary on Saturday as I watched the students and community mingle together as one.  
      It was great to watch The Pride of West Virginia marching band.  
      As one writer said in the press box, "any band that can form the state of West Virginia has to be good."  
      And that's the truth.  
      West Virginia isn't basically square or rectangle shaped like Nevada, Nebraska or Kansas.  
      It's got nooks and crannies that are tough to draw let alone replicate with human beings on a football field.  
      There's the first down clap - which I probably don't ahve the athletic ability to do - and then there is the post game, it's a bit of a tear jerker.  
      I'll admit that I don't know all of the words to "Country Roads" like former WVU basketball player Frank Young I can get to the "mountain mama" part and that's about it.  
      But to watch the players and coaches stay out on the field for a few extra minutes and enjoy a win is pretty special.  
      What a moment between fans and their team to share together.  
      The fans stay too.  
      Saturday's game was over by the time Noel Devine and Jock Sanders saw the field but there were still at least 45,000 people in attendance when the two young backs got in the game to a roaring cheer.  
      I have to admit, all of it is pretty darn neat.  
      Now, if someone would just let me know when that Mountaineer is going to shoot of his musket. 
       For me, fall and October go hand in hand with Mountaineer Football.  What are some of your favorites of fall (football-related or not)?