April 27, 2023

What now? the importance of context, Irish soda bread is USUALLY enjoyed, & a 1st date

I was in CHILLY Milwaukee over the weekend and Coach was with Reg in sunny Phoenix. Reg hit a three pointer in the limited minutes he was given, in three different games. Hooray. He still didn't play much, but he played more than he has lately. Also, his game schedule allowed for Coach to see 3 of his 5 games.

In Milwaukee, Curly's team beat every team by somewhere between 30 - 50 points. Perhaps because we're a new-ish team, there weren't a lot of stats on us, so they didn't know which pool to put us in. Um, more challenging pool please. It cost me $65 to get a 3 day pass and $10-13 to park each day. 

The kids might need a b-ball scholarship since we will be broke by the time they go to college.

I've been telling Coach that I want to find a way to make our money, time, and talents work for us. My angle? Let's buy a huge gym/commercial warehouse and run travel b-ball tournaments. Cha-ching. Gold mine. See $65/parent for the weekend. 

Or, let's buy a small home in South Bend and rent it out. Game weekend rentals, depending on location and size (but like 2 bd, 2 ba, so not HUGE) go for around $1,000 a night. Plus, we could stay there when we are in town. There is a FB group for parents of class of '26 at ND where people sometimes share info on their rental properties. Other college parents would be most likely make excellent air bnb-type clients. 

My third idea, and probably my most doable option, is to make college collage banners. I'm a bit groggy today after whipping up the PDF for a banner for Ed and his friends last night from 8 pm - midnight. I've been begging him to send pics. It was like pulling teeth, but he sent a ton yesterday. I'm hoping to distribute completed banners to his buddies graduation weekend, assuming I find time to haul myself over to the library and use their sublimation printer and heat press. I've been trolling FB marketplace shopping for a heat press of my very own. 

Some of the girls when we surprised Mini and delivered the banners. Good visit - short and sweet. Mini was told to return to the dorm because one of the girls was crying. She felt this was a prank, because said girl never cries - but she didn't think Nana, Curly, and I were the prank.

Anywho, I was sitting around chatting with other parents in the hotel in Milwaukee Friday night. I got a text from Coach, who was with our epileptic son, mind you.

Oh, my poor blood pressure. I got to the end of the text, and was panicked. When I saw Lad's name, I thought OH, THIS IS FINNEGAN. 
What's this, you ask?
A pull-dog toy for
 my daycare. Finn
chewed his wheels
 up while we were in
Ireland. It irritated
 me, but I do wish he'd
 stuck to eating dogs.
Right? Or is it Lad? Or a person who is with Lad? 

Dear Coach, I'm so glad our paths crossed the night before my grad pig roast in 1993, but IF YOU EVER SEND ME A TEXT LIKE THAT AGAIN, I WILL BEAT YOU WITH A WET NOODLE AND NEVER 'SELL*' YOU IRISH SODA BREAD AGAIN. 

The patient WAS Finn. He survived. So did I, barely.  

What happened? I baked Irish soda bread Friday morning, but I ran out of time to drop if off to my friend's house as Curly and I were racing to Milwaukee following tot pickup from my daycare. One never knows about Friday traffic. I distribute soda bread to local friends to celebrate St. Pat's Day. Yep, it's almost May. Been a tad busy. 

I texted Lad Friday:  "Please drop off the plate of Irish soda bread on the island to Jan." Fresh soda bread is amazing, so I didn't wanna wait till I got back Sunday to share it with her.  

The crazy thing is, after I asked Lad, I was filled with doom. He'll be in an accident. Or get a speeding ticket (even though she doesn't live far away), because I asked for a rare favor. Apparently, before dropping off the bread, he took Finn to the dog park, and stopped to get gas. Finn ate all the bread when Lad went inside to pay for gas. Raisins are toxic and owners who refuse to take ADD meds do not always think of ALL.THE.THINGS. *sigh*

Exhibit A:  I present to the court, a loaf
 of bread that IS irresistible, even,
apparently, if you shouldn't eat raisins.

*Coach has a habit of coming home after I've baked cookies/breads:  


I often bake as a thank you to someone, or for an event, like a tailgate or a college visit. I can't explain it, but his IS THIS FOR SALE thing drives me NUTS. He knows this. Why can't he just beg for a cookie like the kids? CAN I HAVE ONE, PLEASSSE?

More of the love story:  After Coach and I spent most of the summer flirting, he finally asked me out. Just me. No Irish friends. When he was on his way to pick me up, I casually called BYE to my mom before jogging out the door. I did NOT want her to know that I was going out with him. I ran out the door, hopped in his car and Mom appeared at the screen door. HI, SHENANIGAN! HAVE A GOOD TIME. 

My brother has the real-life same first name as Coach, so we always called Coach by  his real-life last name. When I talk about family there's an overload of Coach's real first name, so I refer to my husband by our last name. 



On that first 'date', I heard a voice say "HEY" in Coach's backseat. I turned around and there in the backseat was Jay, Coach's neighbor and Kari's first husband. I was SO confused. 

Later at the bar, I asked Coach why he brought a neighbor along. UM, HE WAS OUTSIDE AND HE SAW ME LEAVING THE HOUSE AND HE ASKED WHERE I WAS HEADED AND THEN ASKED ME IF HE COULD COME ALONG. He shrugged as if, what's the big deal? 

Coach's sister met us at the bar. Hours later when the four of us walked to the parking lot, my SIL called: "COME ON, JAY. YOU'RE DRIVING WITH ME." I should probably send her a thank you note. 

Coach pulled over when he was about a block away from my house, so he could kiss me good-night without my mother poking her nose out the front door, given the hour, that was not likely - but one never knows. As he approached my house, he barely slowed down in order not to take any chances getting spotted by my mother.  

Have you gotten text messages that left you in a panic? Anyone tag along on your first date with someone?  What's your vote for my business venture? 


Bijoux said...

My husband claims I send worrisome texts like, “Have you heard from (insert one of our kids’ names)?” I guess he suspects the worst, even though I’m just casually wondering.

Your Irish soda bread looks yummy. Mine does not look moist like that. I vote for the banners. Seems like a lot less hassle.

My husband invited his sister and her boyfriend at the time to meet us at a bar after we ate at a restaurant on our first date. I bonded with his sister, which was nice, and the boyfriend became pur wedding photographer.

Nance said...

I'd eat that bread if you subbed in chocolate chips for the raisins. I hate raisins. And I had no idea that they were toxic to dogs. GOOD TO KNOW.

Another indication that I am Not Sporty: I'd love sitting there watching my kid's team continually blow out the other teams. It would be constantly fun for me to see my kid win over and over again.

I suspected possible funny business on our first date and felt around in my purse for my razor blade. Didn't need it, but told him later. His response: "You always carry a razor blade in your purse?" Duh. Of course.

Jenny in WV said...

Ugh... What a stressful text to receive! He could have worded it a little better such as starting with some context like "Lad had to take Finn to the Emergency Vet...Here is the update from Lad".
I have an epileptic dog who has a history of eating inappropriate things, so I've done more than a few emergency bet trips. It' stressful and $$$.
In my early 20's not knowing dogs couldn't have raisins or grapes, I picked the yucky grapes out of premade chicken salad and fed them to the dog! After some pepto-bismo chewables she survived!

I guess young Coach felt too awkward to say "I'm going on a date and you can't come"? LOL

I like your business ideas!

Kara said...

Any time a text starts with "Don't be mad" I know that it's bad and that I will likely be very mad.

Kari said...

I always forget that my ex-husband was in the car! That is funny and very typical of him. 🤣

I am so glad Finn is okay! That is scary. 🖤

Beth Cotell said...

I would have assumed the absolute worst with that text too! Although, my mind typically jumps to the worst-case scenario whether there's a poorly worded text message involved or not.

I had no idea dogs were allergic to raisins! You learn something new every day!

The banners would be the most doable project but also with the least amount of profit involved. We have toyed with the idea of buying a beach house (renting it out most of the time and then using it during the off-season when it isn't rented.) But we are too scared to make such a big investment with two kids still to put through school and we are just nervous nellies when it comes to large purchases.

Nicole said...

That's cute that you "pranked" Mini, I bet she was so happy to see you.
Poor Finn, hope he's okay!

Cindy said...

That text would have made my heart stop! Maybe they thought if they sent a text like that, you wouldn't be upset that the dog ate the bread?! :) Glad the dog is okay.

Pat Birnie said...

Oh Lordy that text!! I would have freaked out. In January while I was in Mexico I got a text from one son who lives in Nicole’s chilly Calgary - “have your talked to. B or S?” (Other 2 sons who were ice fishing in northern Ontario) then, “he broke his arm and his leg”. What? Who ‘he’…turns out that yes youngest had been in a snowmobile accident. He is now fine & it could have been so much worse, but that vague text shook me up.

I 100% vote for a real estate investment property. We started investing in real estate 20 years ago and as long as you aren’t looking for a quick turnaround you really can’t go wrong.

Does Irish soda bread always have raisins? It looks delicious. When we were in Ireland our Irish friend made some type of bread for lunch - it was 20 years ago and I still fantasize about that bread - it was so delicious!!!

Busy Bee Suz said...

That Finn! Yikes. He was almost a goner! Your husband SHOULD be beaten with something; that was scary even for me to read.
Um, YES, you should totally do the Real Estate thing and use it as a VRBO. IT IS A SURE THING.

Happy to hear that Reg got a bit of playing time; good for him.

I still can't believe your first date with Coach included Kari's first husband. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?

Ernie said...

Bijoux - I don't think HAVE YOU HEARD FROM . . . is worrisome. I did have a minor freak out because I realized last weekend that I hadn't heard from Tank in a few days and he was traveling. After I started to come unglued, Coach admitted that he'd been in touch with him. Would've been good to know. Not that I let Coach know each time Tank texts me, he's just usually good at touching base.

If the dang heat press that I want wasn't SO gi-normous and $$$. I'm making more banners for Ed and now his girlfriend, so I will have plenty of marketing material and 'fans' of my work to spread the word, if I decide to go that route.

So funny that her boyfriend ended up being your photographer.

Ernie said...

Nance - I hated raisins when I was a kid - the trick is plenty of butter. I'm not sure chocolate chips would taste right in this bread. Wait, who am I kidding, chocolate makes everything better.

You are so funny. Honestly it is sort of a pleasant sport experience when a team is on fire, much less stress.

OMG - you carried a razor blade? In your shoe like Leroy Brown? Baddest man in the whole damn town. Hilarious.

Ernie said...

Jenny - Finn isn't epileptic but he once ate SEVERAL of Reg's epilepsy pills.

I didn't know about chocolate or grapes or raisins . . . I do now.

Ernie said...

Kara - I imagine that would be a reason to start to get steamed.

Ernie said...

Kari - I forgot about that little tidbit until I was writing the story. It's so funny.

It was less scary to hear about Finn's brush with death after the fact, plus once I knew my kid wasn't in the ER I was relieved. It is a relief that he is fine - I can only imagine how Lad would've reacted.

Ernie said...

Beth - I swear my kids often call me while eating or chatting with someone or walking up a flight of stairs, and when I hear heavy breathing or a weird pause I think WHAT? ARE YOU CRYING? I need to calm the heck down, apparently.

I really want to do the real estate thing. We live close enough to make it happen. Plus, how fun to be able to use it when we wanted to. I wish you were commenting that you've done this and it worked out for you. . . then I could tell Coach SEE - IT WORKED FOR THEM.

Ernie said...

Nicole - It was fun and I was delighted that my mom decided to come with us for the day.

Oh goodness, Finnegan. That was a close call. Thank goodness he's OK.

Ernie said...

Cindy - I always start a forwarded text with: THIS IS FROM SO-AND-SO, because I'm not a lunatic. Clearly. I think he reached out to Coach first because he was worried that I'd be upset about the bread. I really wish I'd just stopped and dropped it off myself. We probably would've made it to the game on time.

Ernie said...

Pat - Oh no! That sounds scary. Glad he is on the mend, but I vote no more upsetting text messages. Just call someone, for goodness sake.

I wish Coach would listen to your advice. I really do want to try the air bnb option. I think it would work out well and we know people who go there often, so spreading the word wouldn't be a problem.

Irish soda bread does typically have raisins. Mine is more moist then the usual kind. I wonder if you are talking about brown bread. It's my favorite bread EVER. They serve it with soup a lot in Ireland. It is course and delish. I couldn't have any on this trip. Sadly.

Ernie said...

Suz - What was Coach thinking? I still tilt me head and wonder - HOW DID YOU NOT SEE THAT THIS WAS NOT AN OK THING TO SEND ME, FROM YOU. Fortunately Finn survived. My bread, well - I need to whip up some more.

Reg is in Rock Hill, SC with Coach this weekend. More b-ball. Another day and a half of school missed. *eyeroll* A few teammates are injured so Reg is getting a few minutes here and there, but still - MINUES, after flying to SC? Yikes. I got him a shooting coach and his shot has improved big time. Hooray.

When you put it that way - Kari's ex-husband was on my first date, well I've never thought about it that way. I honestly had almost forgotten that he was there - must've been all googlie eyed over Coach. Still, SUCH a small world.

joymariecooks said...

What a stressful text!!
My stressful text story involves my husband texting that there was a squirrel in the house then NOT REPLYING FOR AN HOUR. My mind had gone to many horrific scenarios involving him being attacked by said squirrel, or the entire place being wrecked by a terrified squirrel.

Ernie said...

joymarie - So funny . . . beware the killer squirrel. This reminds me of the time that I called Coach to let update him on the fact that I was inside our contractor's office and the secretary, uncertain how to handle my presence as I was demanding answers, up and left. The polic showed up to ask me to leave, because the contractor had called them from wherever he was. I hung up the phone shortly after saying I GOTTA GO, THE POLICE ARE HERE. And forgot to call him back later to let him know that the police felt awful for all that we'd been through. I did have to leave the office, but I didn't get hauled away to the big house or anything.

Bibliomama said...

My daughter and her friend once put on black hoodies and sunglasses and went to spy on another friend's first date with a future boyfriend - the friend new, but the boyfriend didn't. They kept sending me pictures and it was freaking hilarious.

I am sad that the dog was sick, that the dog ate the fresh soda bread, and that you felt the need to do something horrible to fresh bread like fill it full of raisins.

Ernie said...

Ali - I remember the time when they were spying on the friend's date - that was so entertaining.

I died laughing at the fact that you think I ruined the bread with raisins. I thought the same thing as a child, when my mom made it. Now it's like PB&J to me - it goes together. Still, I appreciate a dislike of raising and I roared at your lead up to my error.