Monday, January 26, 2009

Hockey heartbreak

Well, the rumors and the reports that the Lewiston Maineiacs will be moving back to Canada are overwhelming. What a huge, huge, huge disappointment. I've enjoyed going to the games for six seasons now - 5 as a season ticket holder. The level of play, the atmosphere (up until this year), the friends I've made, seeing family, keeping a connection to my hometown, and so much more, have made a difference in my life. I drive an hour to each game - the time, effort, and cost have been worth it. There's going to be a big hole in my heart to fill, but I will find a way. It looks like the AHL's Portland Pirates will be my next destination. However, the bigger arena (won't be able to top the current seats I have at The Colisee - front row and just to the left of the home goal) and the lack of the hometown connection will be difficult to overcome.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

If this is Sunday... must be snowing. For the second Sunday in a row we've had a significant snowfall. This time it's closer to 15". Bobby has plowed us out, along with his parents and a friend. He's really good at it. And, as long as he has Winston (the young English Setter) with him, he's pretty happy.

Today was a good day to stay in and curl up with a good book, which is exactly what I did, along with starting a new pair of mittens. They're Lovikka mittens - knit with a bulky yarn and fulled. They remind me of lobsterman's mittens, which are known for their warmth and tendancy to keep you hands dry. These mittens are knitting up fast, so I'm hoping to have them done relatively soon. Of course, that means a year or two for me.

By the way, the books on tap today were "The Rector's Daughter" by F.M. Mayor and "Burning Bright" by Tracy Chevalier. Mayor's book (3 stars) was finished and Chevalier's book has just about 100 pages left. Mayor's book was quite interesting - more of a commentary on the transition from the 19th century to the 20th than a love story. Chevalier's book, while far from her best ("Girl with a Pearl Earring" book and movie!), is still a good read.

Touchdown Pittsburgh! 13-0 now. I've always liked the Steelers. They're a class team. It could be an interesting Super Bowl, even without the Patriots. However, no matter who represents the AFC, I'll be rooting for the NFC, since legend has it that if the NFC team wins the stock market will end the year on a positive note. We sure could use that!

Good news. The Lewiston Maineiacs have won two games in a row, two road games to boot. It's amazing what a new coach will do for a team. The change was much needed. Good luck, Coach McAdam. I'm behind you 100%. Am looking forward to your home debut Tuesday night. I hope the fans will turn out for the game. QMJHL play is such good hockey - great skating, great kids, great fans, and a lot of fun. I'm very happy to be able to support my home town's hockey efforts! Go Maineiacs!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'ockey, 'ockey, 'ockey

"The donnybrook is on!" So says the Versus announcer as the Bruins and the Canadiens go at it. Tim Thomas just really put it to one of the Canadiens. Mon dieu! A penalty worthy check!

I love sports, but hockey is probably the favorite. Hockey players are the consummate athletes. Many times I've made the point that hockey players have to have the stamina of basketball and soccer players who zoom up and down the court/field. They need the agility of gymnasts - after all, they keep themselves upright on two very small beams (and on a slippery surface none-the-less!). They have to have the brawn and endurance of football players - all that tackling into the boards. A hockey player has to have excellent hand/eye coordination like baseball players and golfers- did you see John Tavares' goal at the World Juniors?! Oh, and of course, you can't forget the need of excellent pugilistic skills.

The B's just scored for the second time on the Canadiens. This is always a difficult rivalry for me because when these two teams aren't going at it, I'm rooting from both of them. The first cable sports I watched were "Hockey Night in Canada" (which used to have the best sports theme in the universe) and Boston Bruin hockey. The Canadiens now have Jaroslav Halak, who used to play for the Lewiston Maineiacs. Then there's the great Boston Bruin tradition. So, I guess I can look at this game and be happy whichever way it turns out!

My home hockey team, the Lewiston Maineiacs (QMJHL) have themselves a new coach. Let's hope this rallies the team. It's fun hockey and great entertainment. I really enjoy the games. It's worth the drive to visit with family and friends (new and old) and see some really good hockey - well, maybe not the best hockey of late, but... Go Maineiacs!

Hopefully some day I'll be seeing a couple of my great nephews at the pro level. They're paying their dues right now and things are falling into place for them. I one proud great aunt. Oh, and did I mention that I have 12 reasons to be a proud great aunt..........

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Snowy Sunday Musings

I woke up at 4 AM this morning to the sounds of a stuck snowplow. Oops! It sounded like we were in the midst of a raging snowstorm. Just another six inches. It was a beautiful snow - light and fluffy, just right for shoveling. Although the wind kept sweeping the snow back on the the paths I just finished, it was a great morning to be outside. I really enjoy this kind of weather. Winter is when I feel most alive.

When the shoveling was finished, the hard work was rewarded with the Sunday crosswords for the late morning. Then came an afternoon of reading, football, and some Bejeweled. What a great day.

I was happy to see Pittsburgh win and sorry to see the Giants lose. What a terrible game for Eli and his team. I guess I'll be rooting for the Steelers to go all the way. I don't dare check my fantasy results. Last week I was in last place in my buddy group and in about 21,000 place overall. Not a good year.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I never would have thought...

that I would miss a national championship football game, but that's just what happened tonight. Too many bowl games, too long a bowl season. The Bruins hockey game was much more interesting to me, along with the local news and a few online games. I think it's time for a playoff if they're going to prolong the season like this. Once January 1st rolled around, I was ready for college basketball. What a week it was, too. Ten major upsets over the weekend, including ND losing, but coming back to beat Georgetown. And, what about BC - the last couple of days have been up-side-down days for them.

Am very glad that the Maineiacs got themselves a win Tuesday night. They nearly blew it, but it turned out okay in the end. The new goalie made a couple of great kick saves that would have been on ESPN if they had the footage. Keep up the good work. Let's turn the season around.

Yesterday I finished a fabulous literary classic - Eudora Welty's The Optimist's Daughter. It was an audio treat as the edition I had was read by the author. I felt like Ms. Welty was sitting next to me in the car telling me, as the doyenne of Mount Salus, all that happened with the McKelva funeral and the fallout from it. What a writer. What a storyteller. I will definitely recommend this to our library's book group after we finish our upcoming "Let's Talk About It" series.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fantasy or Nightmare??!!

It's that time of year again. Having had a disasterous regular fantasy football season, I've committed to taking the playoff challenge. Am not too sure about the picks, but they could be interesting. Maybe this time I won't end up last. Sigh.

Overall, I haven't been too impressed with the bowl games this year. Of course, the best one was the ND/Hawaii game. Very impressed with what the Irish did. Let's hope they can carry the momentum from that game into next year's regular season. Could we go from number "un" to number 1???......

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. What a great way to start the year - celebrating with family and friends and hockey - a great game in Chicago. Fingers are crossed that the NHL Winter Classic will continue and make a visit to Fenway Park. This would be an event that I would wait out in the cold to get tickets!!!

Resolutions??!! Let's not go there. Maybe the one that I will actually share and work on is .... Nah!
A good year to all!