Comments fixed...

Hey friends--

I have now fixed the setting in the blog that allows people to post comments whether or not they have LJ accounts.  Consider yourselves troll enabled... 

Post 8 - Out of Right Field

At practice today, Rumi scolded me for making my database accessible to all the teams in the league.  Also for wasting time on crochet when I really should be practicing my fielding skills.  I had to run extra laps and spend extra time trying to catch flies.

Not only Rumi but the whole rest of the team objected to my plan to adapt my old forest protection software for use on the playing field.  It would be much easier than training myself not to be distracted, but I suppose they’re right.  I wouldn’t want to disappoint Jennifer by backsliding into my previous problem with excessive control.


Post 7 - Out of Right Field

Another game day!  We took on the Bog Stench Nine at their very damp field.  Our uniforms will need quite a lot of tender loving care to return to their appropriate whiteness.

I actually got on base at the top of the third!  I hit a grounder right between the legs of the scaly crane creature who plays shortstop.  When she looked down to see what had happened, she overbalanced and flipped tail over beak into the mud.

My moment of triumph was short-lived.  Not only was I tagged out at second, but I also struck out at every other batting opportunity I had.  I must learn to tune out hecklers and to keep y concentration on the ball rather than on the serpent crawling out of the pitcher’s uniform sleeve.  I might have an idea for the hecklers.

We lost, 6-0.  Not even pretzels and peanut butter could break the gloom. 

Post 6 - Out of Right Field

The barbecue was not a success.  I had just placed the last marzipan ant on the checked-tablecloth cake when I was compelled to cancel at the last minute because of a sudden indisposition.

My dear Jennifer took excellent care of me, dosing me with tea and aspirin and reading to me from Summerland until I fell asleep.


Post 5 - Out of Right Field

Last night I created a statistical website for our team that pulls data from a database I set up.  Right now it’s not very impressive, since we’ve only played one game, but as the season progresses, it should be both more interesting and more useful.  I copied the database program and forms onto these adorable flash drives—I crocheted the baseball covers myself—to give to all the other teams in hopes that we can collect league-wide data.

[picture of flash drive and crocheted baseball cover]

I am so excited that I could do this with everything I learned from making a searchable recipe database.  I think I will celebrate by having everyone over for a barbecue.  I plan to make these (obviously more than the four the recipe makes!):

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches

4 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1/3 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 red onion, sliced
1 large tomato, sliced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced
1 cup grated smoked cheese (e.g., Gouda)
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon basil

Mix olive oil and garlic.  Heat grill.  Brush mushrooms and onion slices with garlic oil and grill, about 4 minutes per side.  Season with salt.  Sprinkle mushrooms with smoked cheese and grill 1 minute longer. 

Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and basil.  Toast buns.  Spread mayonnaise mixture on buns, and layer with onion, tomato, avocado and mushrooms. 

Post 4 - Out of Right Field

Our first game!  I brought plenty of 7-Up to soothe everyone’s jittery tummies even though I know it’s best not to drink too many calories.  Moe sounds a little like he’s blowing bubbles all the time, but it got worse after PeeWee made 7-Up come out his nostrils by telling this riddle:

Why did the slugger want to go to church?
She heard there were bats in the belfry!

Our opponents were the Mountain Mikes.  Every member of their team is named Mike and their uniforms have rawhide fringe.  I also notice that Shortstop Mike, the only girl on the team, has a beard just like the rest of the Mikes.

Since we were the home team, we of course began the game in the field.  Our defense did a great job.  Rumi struck out the first two batters.  Pinochle got the force out at second to end our half of the inning. 

Our hitters also did well, Oscar driving in the first run of the game with a ground rule double in the bottom of the sixth.

In the seventh, I had an error when First Base Lefty Mike hit a fly into right field.  I thought I had it, but the ball jumped from my glove to my chin and knocked me back on my behind before it skittered to the ground.  I picked it up and heaved it with all my might, but by that time, Mike was already safe at third.

In the end, we won 4-2.  I’m going to embroider and frame a scorecard for Coach to commemorate this victory.

Of course, the team all came over to my house for pizza and root beer floats. 

Post 3 - Out of Right Field

 Today was a great day!  At practice I actually caught a fly ball!  I was so surprised I nearly dropped it.  I had no idea how much my hand could sting inside my glove.

 Of course, Coach Rumi focused more on the way my throw petered out before it even got to Colette at first base.  She just hopped over to it and tossed it back to Coach.  She winked one of her big globby eyes at me and wagged her furry tail.

I brought the washed and ironed uniforms for everyone.  It was very difficult to make the uniforms uniform at all, since we have such a variety of limbs and wings and tails, but I was mostly pleased with the result.

Because of all the laundry, I didn’t have a lot of time to make snacks.  I just brought blackberry lemonade and cucumber sandwiches.

This evening I will have to see if Jennifer wants to play catch so I learn to throw a little farther at a time.

Post 2 - Out of Right Field

[Team portrait here.]

At last I’ve finished our team portrait.  It took even longer than sewing our new uniforms.  I’ll take the portrait to practice today.

Coach Rumi, who is also our pitcher, is the tall, six-armed fellow in the center of the back row.  Jennifer is the catcher.  Colette, the furry frog creature at the end of the first row, plays first base.  Pinochle the fairy takes care of second base; you can see her hovering behind Oscar the imp, who plays third.  PeeWee the Cyclops rounds out our infield with his imposing presence at shortstop.  Shelby the griffin is a monster in left field:  nothing gets past her.  Moe, the one with the tentacles in the back row, plays center field.  I am not in the picture because I dislike painting self-portraits.  Obviously, I am in charge of right field.

I brought peanut butter stuffed celery bats and marshmallow balls for snack.  Peanut butter is remarkably greasy and difficult to remove from clothing, but I persevered.


Post 1 - Out of Right Field

At last the season has started for the Stock Forest Chaos baseball team. I brought doughnuts to practice today, iced with green and thatched with green coconut to look like grass. I also brought orange slices and plenty of water so no one would get dehydrated, particularly Moe, whose tentacles tend to dry out in center field.

Here’s the doughnut recipe:

1 package or 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons warm water (105–115°F)
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
vegetable oil for frying

¼ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
green food coloring
coconut for sprinkling

Stir together yeast and warm water in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let stand about 5 minutes. Yeast will look foamy.

Mix remaining ingredients with yeast mixture in large bowl until a soft dough forms. Beat 3 minutes more.
Sprinkle dough lightly with additional flour (to keep a crust from forming). Cover bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place, about 2 hours.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 3-inch rounds and then cut out 1-inch centers from each round. Transfer doughnuts to a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover doughnuts with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again, about 30 minutes.

Heat 2 ½ inches oil in a deep pot until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry doughnuts, turning occasionally, until puffed and golden brown, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Stir together boiling water, confectioners sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add food coloring until desired shade is attained.

Dip doughnuts into glaze, turning to coat well, then put on a rack set in a shallow baking pan (to catch any drips). While glaze is wet, sprinkle doughnuts with coconut. Let stand until glaze is set, about 20 minutes.

[Picture of finished doughnuts here.]

Coach Rumi batted grounders to all of us nearly simultaneously. This is one of the advantages of having six arms. Even Jennifer had to come out from behind the plate because the strange hops that happen on fouls and bunts require the same kind of adaptations. Although I have to say Jennifer needs very little practice of any kind; she rarely drops anything.

I wish I could say the same for me. I got a hard knock to the knee that is now turning purple and yellow, as well as grass stains on my skirt from chasing down a ball I missed. Fortunately, I had a stain stick with me to treat the spots immediately, so I do not think I’ll have to resort to enzyme cleaners or alcohol to remove the stains.

Summary of story

This "blog" is going to be the fourth chapter in T.'s Christmas book.  What I need from you, friends, is for you to comment on the entries as "trolls."  Which is to say, make nasty remarks, threaten, provoke chaos, etc.  I've done about 8 entries and will post them over the next days.  Obviously, there are gaps where I have not created the artwork or photo or whatever.  (If you are so inspired, you can help with that, too!)  Many many thanks for your help!

Tallulah, the blogger, in one of T.'s previous Christmas books, was an evil control-freak witch who subjugated all the imaginary creatures in Stock Forest with her magic and her animated cleaning tools.  Kevin, the protagonist, who falls into Stock Forest through his sock drawer, gets together with the creatures to overcome the witch's power.  Of course, they succeed.  And Tallulah is revealed to be the girl who used to have Jennifer, one of the imaginary creatures as an imaginary friend.  Great rejoicing occurs throughout the land and Kevin is returned home.  (If you are desperate for something to read, I can certainly send the entire text.  I'm currently trying to sell it...)

This story opens with Kevin returning to Stock Forest by way of a hole in the garden.  Everything seems to be great.  He's arrived in time for a barbecue for all his old friends.  But during the preparations, a troll comes and threatens Tallulah.  She defies the troll and he is scared away by the arrival of Tallulah's son in his monster truck.  Kevin tries to figure out what's going on, but the party starts.  Then a whole bunch of trolls come and kidnap Tallulah.  Just before she's taken away, she manages to hand Kevin something small to keep safe.  Some of the friends try to pursue the trolls right away, but the trolls lose them in the forest.  Kevin and friends then head into Tallulah's study to look for clues.  One of the clues they find is this blog.

Make sense?  As I said, you all get to be the trolls.  You're mean, not entirely too bright (just as a troll, of course not in real life!), obsessed with food and internet connectivity.

Thank you for your help!!!!!!  You people rock!