Nothing but hoops and parties for us this weekend.


L’s basketball team was supposed to have the week off before their final push of the season. They got invited to play in a tournament at the last minute. Because of our schedules, she could only play in the Saturday games, which worked out just fine.

In game one we were down by nine at halftime. The other team didn’t seem more talented than us. But they were super-well coached and were just dicing us up when they had the ball. Our girls all looked a step slow.

Then in the second half we turned it around. We led by as many as five before a mini-run cut that lead to one with under a minute to play. We had two girls combine to go 8–8 from the line over the final 50 seconds to ice a seven-point win. A really good performance by our girls.

L looked the best she has looked since her first injury a month ago. She scored five, but the headline is she hit the first in-game three-pointer of her life. When we were getting scorched in the first half she let fly from the right wing and banked in a three. Still counts. Next possession she was open from the same spot and launched again. This shot was better: on a better line and with better form. But it was just short and caromed away. Not sure she’s even hit the rim in a game before on a shot that wasn’t a heave at the end of the half/game.

Game two was an easy blowout. We were up by 24 at halftime and didn’t allow a point in the second half. Not exactly a strong opponent. L had a more completed game this time, scoring four with two rebounds, two blocks, two assists, and a steal.

Without her, her teammates lost by 10 in their bracket game Sunday. Probably good she was unavailable because her knee pain was kicking.


The real story from the Saturday games, though, was some of the parent behavior in the gym. The game behind us in the morning was called off with nearly 11 minutes left because of a parent. We were told later that a mom was on the court screaming at the refs in the first half. They ejected her, but she refused to leave. So multiple people who run the tournament/facility came over to try to get her to leave. The best they could do was get her to move to another court. Then her daughter got hurt in a freak play and she went off, charging the court again. The refs, despite it being an eight-point game, decided that was enough and called the game off. Ridiculous.

On our way to lunch between games we heard shouting in the parking lot. I looked in the direction of the noise and just saw some kids, so thought they were just boys being loud. When we got to lunch another parent from our team said she called the police. Turns out there were two dads screaming at each other, one who said he was going to “fucking kill” the other guy, and being held apart by kids. Not sure how I missed that.

During our second game we heard that a girl two courts over got fed up with her coach, the game, or both, cussed him out, and walked off the court in the middle of the game. Like the ball was in play and she just left.

A great day for youth sports.


We had two graduation parties this weekend. Saturday we went back to our old ‘hood for the neighbors’ oldest daughter’s party. We saw a few old friends, talked with the folks who bought our home (and marveled at the landscaping work they’ve done), and caught up with one old neighbor we haven’t seen in a couple years.

The highlight of that was the guy who bought our house telling us his raccoon story. You may recall in 15 years we constantly had raccoons, normally moms and babies, under our back deck. We had two raccoons die under the deck and a third raccoon die when he fell from a tree with a branch that came down during a storm. Basically raccoons out the ass. The new owners ripped out that old wood deck and put in a stone porch that has no crawl space beneath it, so problem solved, right?

A few weeks back he was in his basement getting some stuff from storage and noticed some mouse droppings. He put out traps and caught two mice in the first night. He decided to investigate the crawl space to see if he could find where they were coming in. When he shined his flashlight around he found a momma raccoon and her babies huddled in the far corner. There is no barrier between the crawl space and the utility closet, and then just a door between that and the rest of the basement. He didn’t think the raccoons had made it beyond the crawl space but it sure would have been easy for them to do so. And his mother-in-law had been sleeping in the basement the night before. Egad!

We used that utility closet as a playroom and toy storage area for years. There were times when I thought I heard things rattling around back there, but always assumed it was either my imagination or sounds echoing through the various pipes and vents that ran in and out of the room. There may well have been something snooping around back there at some point!

An exterminator who trapped the entire family so the crawl space is raccoon-free now. The current owner said he found an exhaust vent that appeared to have been chewed through by mice and guessed that was the entry point for all the critters. He patched it up and hopes he’s done with animals in his home.

Sunday we went to another grad party and saw several folks we hadn’t seen in some time. At both parties we were taking notes for next year when it is M’s turn to go through this.