Blackhawks Rules are in Effect!

You can probably tell by looking at the pictures of Richard standing in front of the green screen at the Blackhawks Store at “tree-tirty-tree” N. Michigan Avenue, we’re huge Chicago Blackhawks fans.

Niklas Hjalmarsson!
Niklas Hjalmarsson!
Patrick Sharp!
Patrick Sharp!
Andrew Shaw!
Andrew Shaw!
Patrick Kane and  Jonathan Toews!
Patrick Kane and
Jonathan Toews!


Notice what Richard is wearing?
Notice what Richard is wearing?

Because we are such big fans, we have big rules. Our Blackhawks rules, as stated below, have been agreed upon by all parties who live in our household:

1. No Chicago Blackhawks merchandise may be purchased during the entire season. If one receives a gift of a Blackhawks item, it must immediately be confiscated by a family member who shall wrap it, and then hide it in the garage for the remainder of the season. Addendum: If one receives a gift purchased or procured at The Madhouse on Madison, the rules do not apply, and said gift may be displayed on our Blackhawks Wall of Fame.

Our Chicago Blackhawks Wall of Fame
Our Chicago Blackhawks Wall of Fame

2. We try to watch hockey together as a family, and will DVR the game if Richard is running late. However, if Richard knows he will miss an entire period, a Delay of Game is granted beforehand so that we may begin to watch the game without him.

But, stop it right there! Until he has fast-forwarded to catch up to the live game, no one may speak, make direct eye contact, check the app, or be anywhere near his aura. He claims he will know how the Hawks are doing by the tone of our voices, the looks on our faces, and patterns of our brain waves.

2 a. So as not to draw a penalty, Lucas and I checked with The War Room in Toronto and were granted a Power Play: If Richard will miss an entire DVR’d game, we may watch the game without him.

After the game, Lucas and I quickly retire to our respective locker rooms before Richard gets home so as not to divulge any clues he will most definitely detect by sensing our heart rates, and/or reading our minds.

3. During power plays, Richard sits on a stool placed just to the side of the TV and yells at the players, telling them what to do. His record is most impressive. Therefore, when the team listens to him and scores on the power play, Richard must remain on the chair for the remainder of the game.

Richard's Power Play Stool
Richard’s Power Play Stool

4. There is another chair of utmost importance: “The Grandma-Elija Chair,” named for the chair my mother was glued to (we really did glue her to the chair!) during a Hawks playoff victory. That chair has not been moved, and shall remain in place for the rest of the season, whether Grandma’s tush is in it, or not.

The Grandma-Elija chair
The “Grandma-Elija” chair
While my mother sat in the "Grandma-Elijah" chair, I remained in the kitchen eating chicken thighs. Why?  Because it was working. Here I am, on the floor, stuffed with chicken. We do whatever it takes.
While my mother sat in the “Grandma-Elijah” chair, I remained in the kitchen eating chicken thighs. Why? Because it was working. Here I am, on the floor, stuffed with chicken. We do whatever it takes.

5. When things are going in our favor, everyone must continue to do whatever it is they were doing, and sit wherever they were sitting, barring extreme bathroom emergencies.

6. Speaking of extreme bathroom emergencies, my friend, and Phoebe’s in-house physical therapist, Patti Triola,  is THE most loyal Blackhawks fan I’ve ever met. Patti rescues and rehabs Dachshunds, who are prone to back problems. All dogs in her house, whether they’re her own, or patients, must wear Hawks shirts during the games.

Patti works on Phoebe's Bassett foot to keep it strong and flexible
Patti works on Phoebe’s Basset foot to keep it strong and flexible

If you think our rules are strict, wait until you hear Patti’s:

1. No barking

2. No passing of gas

3. Dogs must wear “man pants” (diapers) because bathroom breaks are only allowed between periods. Apparently Dachshunds have bladders the size of Dachshunds.

Patti Triola's Dachshunds and patients wearing Blackhawks gear and "man pants"
Patti Triola’s Dachshunds and patients watching a game in their  Blackhawks gear and “man pants”

Everyone knows our Blackhawks rules, so Veronica waited until between periods to send us this text:

"So...I'm engaged!"
“So…I’m engaged!”

Our mothers didn’t call to congratulate us until after the game.

As of the publication of this post, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning are tied two games to two in the Stanley Cup Finals. Do I think the Blackhawks have played their best hockey? No. 

Spoiler alert:

Or, I should say, not yet. 

I think they’ve been chasing the Lightning around the arena, causing them to lose opportunities when they do have possession. The Hawks just need to start playing their game. Slow it down, set it up, and slam it in. Lightning has already struck twice. I don’t think it will happen again.

I don’t want to give the Blackhawks a “kenahora,” so, poo, poo, poo a million times (I spit through my fingers onto a paper towel as I say this. I’d spit through my fingers while typing, but try explaining THAT to the guy at the genius bar!)

If all goes as I predict, we will win the next two games straight and reclaim the Stanley Cup at the Madhouse Monday night. And, best of all we’ll get to hear Jim Cornelison belt out The National Anthem while the flag “was still there,” and “yet waves,” one more time this season.*

*Or twice, in case I mis-spat.

Special thanks to my mother, Lorraine Chase,

for being my proofreader extraordinaire.

Why did Leslie cross the road?

To help out my dear friends, Sharon and Aaron on their 11th wedding anniversary, I told them I would come over this afternoon, whether they were home or not, to hang “scare tape” in their yard.

Scare tape is mylar ribbon that repels predatory birds by reflecting sunlight, thus scaring them off. When well-hung in a yard, it serves the dual purpose of festooning your patio as you and your guests sit on the veranda sipping lemonade, while, simultaneously warning birds of prey to “stay off my property.”

Scare tape (ribbon)
Scare tape

The reason for The Hanging of The Tape was due to an unfortunate and tragic event last week. Bucky the chicken was abducted by a mean, old hawk.

All who had met and gotten to know Bucky were quite shocked and saddened by the news of her untimely and sudden demise. As chickens go, and I haven’t met many, what Bucky lacked in stature, she more than made up for in personality and moxie.

Bucky, of blessed memory, hanging with the big girls.
Bucky, of blessed memory, hanging with the big girls.

Our friend, Roberta, had a surplus of scare tape in her garage after a recent avian experience of her own having to do with a persistent bird trying to commit a “B & E.”*

Sharon, Roberta, and I spent a recent afternoon hanging scare tape in the yard in an attempt to prevent future carnage. It was a solemn affair, as we were all still reeling from the sudden loss of Bucky, may she rest in peace.

A moment of silence for Bucky, please.

I arrived in the yard today, as promised, after yoga practice. I had forgotten my boots, so I slipped on a pair of shoes from “Sharon’s Outdoor Walking Amongst Backyard Crap Collection,” which, by the way, I think the Kardashian sisters should consider adding to their line of shoes at Dash, their store in New York.

I snipped the ribbon and tied it along the fishing line that Sharon had hung with care in a perfect grid only an artist of her caliber could conceive. (She also created the cartoon of my family for my blog, so check that out!)

As I am often reminded, I am short. Thankfully there was a step-stool available for my convenience so that I could tie the ribbon to the fishing line.

As I backed off the step ladder, I lost my balance (shocking, I know,) and fell butt-first into a kiddie pool frequented by the ducks in residence. Luckily, no ducks were harmed in this piece of non-fiction.

The pool, after I fell into it.
The pool, after I fell into it.

As I do on nearly a daily basis, I just sat there, laughing out loud. I was slightly upset that no one witnessed my magnificent backwards swan dive, but profoundly relieved that I had chosen to drive my car today, and not Richard’s.

So, Sharon, this should explain why your waterlogged shoes are up on the glass table under the pergola, and, the obvious lack of additional scare tape hanging in your yard.

I tried to continue the task at hand, but began to feel squishy, and not in a good way. I piled up the reusable grocery bags I keep in my car, and then placed my sweatshirt on top of them to keep my contaminated derrière from soiling the interior of my car.

And, I want you to know that I recently had my physical and am up to date on all my shots, so hopefully your fowl will not succumb to my foul.

I also hope I did not contract the quack.

I have showered, am boiling my clothes, and toying with the idea of taking another shower. I am a big believer in no crap left behind.

So, please enjoy your anniversary. I will come back another day to hang more tape when I’m feeling less flighty.

In the meantime, every two hours, Richard is checking me for signs of:

1. Foul mood (there’s always a possibility of that, duck crap, or no duck crap)

2. The uncontrollable urge to scratch at the ground with my feet

3. Brooding (see #1)

4. Excessive preening

5. Unusually daffy behavior (again, always a possibility)

6. Strutting (my stuff)

7. Finding me asleep with my head turned toward my back

8. An uncomfortable feeling of being cooped up 

9. Involuntary arm flapping

10. Smacking him on the head, shouting, “Goose,” and running away.

*Beaking and entering

Exclusive Preview of the Pete Dye Course!

In October, 2014, my brother, Terry, my son, Lucas, and my sister-in-law, Brenda had lunch in the atrium of The West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Indiana.

If you’ve never stepped inside the atrium of The Hotel, I’d suggest bringing along a caddie, friend, relative, or a very thick, soft surface, such as a memory foam mattress on which to land, because it takes your breath away.

The majestic dome of The Hotel is referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” If I ever travel to see the original seven, I’ll definitely bring along a caddie, friend, relative, or pack an air mattress.

Until the Houston Astrodome was constructed in the 1960’s, (source:,) The West Baden Springs Hotel’s atrium held the record as the largest free-span dome.

After reviving myself with several refreshing glasses of sweet tea, I was able to stroll around the atrium on my own, without a spotter. I walked around in awe until something large and shiny caught my eye.

Whenever I see anything large and shiny, I mean PGA-related, I take photos and e mail them to fellow blogger and cyber-friend, Rick Williams PGA, Guru of what’s really important in life, and golf at

Rick Williams
Rick Williams PGA

Rick has a way of weaving golf, family, philosophy, gourmet gastronomy, and even fashion (he has quite the sock, and t-shirt collection) into his blog. It’s always a pleasure to read Rick’s words of wisdom, and I always learn a thing or two about golf.

So, when I saw a PGA display, I snapped a few pictures for Rick, not really paying attention to what I was shooting because, after all, Brenda and I had shopping to do. One of the stores in The Hotel sells the grooviest vintage-looking hats. A tradition was born that day; I never leave The Hotel without a new hat, or three.

Later, back at my brother’s house, I fired up my computer and was able to take a good look at the photos I had taken.

Without even realizing it, I had taken pictures of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy, sealed in a glass case, cordoned off with red velvet ropes.

The trophy display was there to promote the 76th Senior PGA Golf Tournament May 21-24, 2015 at the Pete Dye golf course, one of the most famous golf courses in the world.

Display of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy inside the dome of the West Baden Springs Hotel, October 2014
Display of the Alfred S. Bourne Trophy inside the dome of the West Baden Springs Hotel, October 2014

Fast-forward to April, 2015:

Mom and I went back to visit our family in French Lick the week of April 5-12, 2015. We had lunch at the West Baden Springs Hotel again. Of course, my sister-in-law, Brenda, and I needed to go hat shopping.

After finding another hat, I thought we were all going our separate ways, when Brenda said, “Follow me!” We got in our cars and drove right up the driveway to the Pete Dye Mansion, situated at the top of Mount Airie, one of the highest elevations in Indiana. The view was spectacular.

Speaking of Mount Airie, I checked with many sources for its proper spelling, including Brenda, my new friend, Lucette, the receptionist at The West Baden Springs Hotel, and, A website about the Taggart Mansion, which then became the Pete Dye Mansion.

There are as many spellings of Airie online as the number of golf balls I would need to complete just the first hole of the Pete Dye golf course, but I’m fairly sure I’ve spelled it correctly.

Bronze sculpture of Pete Dye in front of the Pete Dye Mansion on Mount Airie
Bronze sculpture of Pete Dye in front of the Pete Dye Mansion on Mount Airie

As final preparations were being made to the course, we were allowed access inside the Mansion. If we had $10,000, we would have stayed the night, but between the two of us, Brenda and I only came up with $3.75.

Since no one else was in the house, we had the chance to look around at everything. And, I did. I ran from room to room like a four-year-old, if you can imagine me doing something like that.

Beginning Thursday, May 21, you’ll be able to watch televised coverage as 51-year-old Colin Montgomerie, from Scotland, defends his first ever U.S. Major Championship and the coveted Alfred S. Bourne Trophy he won last year at The 75th Senior PGA Championship in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

All listings are in Eastern Time.

Here’s the broadcast schedule from:

The Golf Channel will broadcast live from 1–4 P.M, Thursday, May 21 and Friday, May 22.

NBC will broadcast live Saturday, May 23, from 1:30–4:30 P.M.

The Golf Channel will broadcast The Championship live from 2:30–3:30 P.M. on Sunday.

NBC will broadcast The Final Round live Sunday from 3:30–6:00 P.M.

According to Tim Etheridge of the Evansville Courier & Press, of the 156-player field, “Montgomerie is one of nine past Senior PGA champions in the field, led by four-time winner Hale Irwin.

There are aslo seven Masters champions (Nick Faldo, Langer, Sandy Lyle, Larry Mize, Mark O’Meara, Craig Stadler and Ian Woosnam), eight U.S. Open champions (Irwin, Lee Janzen, Steve Jones, Tom Kite, Jerry Pate, Corey Pavin, Scott Simpson and Curtis Strange), six British Open champions (Faldo, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman, Sandy Lyle, O’Meara and Nick Price), and six PGA Championship champions (Mark Brooks, Steve Elkington, Price, Jeff Sluman, Hal Sutton and Bob Tway).

Toss in nine Ryder Cup captains (Americans Kite, Lehman, Pavin, Strange and Hal Sutton, along with Europeans Faldo, Langer, Montgomerie and Ian Woosnam), and nine Golf Hall of Famers (Faldo, Irwin, Kite, Langer, Lyle, O’Meara, Montgomerie, Price and Strange) and you have likely the strongest field of golfers to ever set foot in Southern Indiana.”

To feel like you’re there, click the link below for the Senior PGA Championship Program.

The following is the first-ever SlideShare presentation I’ve ever made after the first-ever PowerPoint presentation I ever made in order to make the SlideShare presentation.

Click the link below to see all of the slides.