Use Your Words - Thongs vs Flip-Flops

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

tongs ~ thongs ~ splinter ~ skip ~ distress 

They were submitted by: Baking in A Tornado - Thank you, Karen!

If in doubt about what to do with your words - just share a day in the life...


One part of being a Sports Mom includes working at the F&B booth during home games. 

It's probably the least popular chore, especially because you can't watch the game, but every once in a while it's your turn. You're not alone, though. Two families are assigned. Another two families need to bring home made sandwiches, same goes for cake. 

Somebody once went through a lot of trouble and created a multi-page handbook on what to consider, should you be responsible for the food stand. I am pretty sure I am the only one who has actually been reading it. 

First step: be there at least 45 minutes before the games starts.

For me this is a no-brainer because I drop Colin off 75 minutes ahead anyway, as per the coaches' request to all the Hockey Families. 

Setting up the food stand is a lot of time consuming work. You need to run back and forth to get the ingredients cart, the coffee maker and most importantly the heavy tables - which I was lucky enough to be helped by an unknown lady Diana who disappeared before I could properly thank her and buy her a cup of coffee, which I wouldn't have been able to do for a while anyway, though, I'll tell you why in a minute. 

You need to find out where to plug said coffee machine, the water kettle and the hot dog maker. Have you ever seen a five-pin plug..?

Then you have to arrange everything on the table: bottled beverages, candy, sugar, creamer, teabags, napkins, you name it. 

And the sandwiches. 

One Mom, whose boy is at ski camp this week and couldn't play, was kind enough to still send sandwiches through a neighbor. The other sandwich duty person is currently enjoying a much deserved break in Hawaii, and I volunteered to make some for her since I needed to work at the food buffet anyway. 

If you're desperately trying to do everything at once like me, and fate will have it, the coffee maker will tell you "hey, I'm ready for that maintenance now!"

Darn. I wonder if the people who used it last, knew about it and just left?

Luckily someone (probably the same person who put together the power point instructions) taped the maintenance manual to the side of the coffee machine. 

"Start early" it said, "it'll take a good 20 minutes."

"Empty water tank, drip tray and grounds container, hit rinse", so far so good.

"Place cleaning tablet into ground coffee department."

Hold it right there:
  • Where do I find cleaning tablets? 
  • Where is the ground coffee department, I can only see the container where the whole beans go? 
  • Did I have to actively call the Betreuerin (=caretaker) to get me the hot dogs and buns? Who is the Betreuerin today anyway? The Betreuerin is one of a handful of Hockey Mom who takes care of the players. She prepares the locker room with game jerseys, snacks, you name it. She stands at the board along with the coach and encourages and - if necessary - cares for and comforts an injured player. 
  • And where the hell is the other Hockey Mom or Dad who's supposed to do this with me? 
  • While we're at it, where are the people who are supposed to bring the cake?
I felt a wave of distress rising. 

I knew who the party was who was supposed to be helping me, but I am not close friends with them and don't have their mobile numbers. Also I felt I didn't have time to take care of ordering them to come here like a freaking half an hour ago!

The players were already beginning to walk in, ready to warm up on the ice.

First customers started to gather, too.

Finally he showed up, friendly enough, complimenting me on how productive I have been. 

"Looks like we're pretty much ready".

Duh, yeah!

I'm not very good at hiding annoyed facial expression, so I am sure he got it.

"You could help me find out where the ground coffee department is" I told him, gesturing at the coffee machine. 

"Why do we have to do this, can't we just skip it?"

Don't you just love a helper who's not only late but also sloppy?

I was rummaging through the cart. There must be a box containing these maintenance tablets. There! Wow, one left. 

I was later gonna find out who to ask to replace them. Chances are after 200 cups of coffee it's gonna be me in charge of doing another maintenance...

I asked someone who showed me a tiny cover underneath which the ground coffee - or in my case the cleaning capsule - goes, and the machine went to work.

In the meantime I suggested my helper should take care of the hotdogs, and I'd do the rest. Which I regretted as soon as I observed him approaching his job. 

First he kept his gloves on (yeah, we were in the old, unheated arena, and yeah, it's kinda cold, but come on now, you can't handle food wearing thick warm gloves!) while trying to manoeuvre the sausages into the heating pot. In the process he spilled some on the wooden table. I could only hope no splinters would end up in the hotdogs. 

He stuffed them back in with his bare fingers.

"Look, we have this fancy tongs right here" I told him. "I bet they're perfect to handle the sausages."

The first kids were lining up, ordering hotdogs. 

Suddenly my old friend stood in front of me, her two boys in tow. We had been out of touch for seven years. They had moved to England and only gotten back to Switzerland before Christmas. She had texted me last week. 

"Jamie feel in love with ice hockey. How do I do this?" 

So I had met with her and given her a bunch of equipment Colin grew out of and encouraged them to join our Hockey School. And there they were, yay!

A girl complained. "The sausage is cold" she said. Oh, no, so sorry!

My hotdog guy turned the button from MIN to MAX, and it didn't take long and they looked like this:

Wow, there's such a thing as a hotdog that's too hot ;-)

"We need more sausages."

No kidding. One needs a key to access the arena's pantry. I don't have one, but I was happy to run around, looking for a person who did.

The coffee machine's maintenance procedure was done in the meantime, so we could finally sell some coffee, without cake, though. One person who was supposed to bring a cake was on vacation and must have forgotten to task someone else.

One Mom showed up later, cake still warm, I swear I could hear it (yes, the cake. Well, the Mom, too) panting from running here!!

Guys, I'm telling you! 

surprisingly kept my cool and troubleshooted my way through this job.

My companion's daughter, who's probably around 14 years old, appeared. He told me I deserved a break, I should go and watch the game. 

The girl actually looked trustworthy, so I didn't need to be asked twice, and I took off, only to return during intermissions.

I had a good time chatting with a friend whose boy played in Colin's category for the first time. 

"He was so nervous" she told me.

No need. He scored his fist goal for us, way to go, Ryan!

At some point I checked my messages. 

We have a Hockey Parents' chat. It's mainly being run by one Dad who moved to Australia last summer. He likes to bug us, sending dreamy beach pictures telling us he's wearing flip-flops thongs every day while we are freezing our feet and butts off.

This time, a family who is currently skiing in the Swiss Alps, sent a super scenic panoramic video and asked "come on, admit it, you miss the gorgeous snowy mountains!"

"Do I look like a guy who misses the snow"? He immediately replied, and I believed him. He looks happy. 

I'm pretty sure he misses the camaraderie among us Hockey Parents, though. 

As long as you don't have to share food booth duties with a big baby, it's really super cool, and I will try and soak it up for the rest of the season. 

As a matter of fact I'm just about to round up the families to go out for pizza after Sunday's away game.

Speaking of pizza. At the end of that night, Colin and I were both hungry and exhausted, and en lieu of wolfing down a sandwich in the car on our way home, we stopped and had a nice meal.

Even though they lost the game, he did well and even assisted on a goal.

So what have you been up to? Any coffee machine maintenance? Bursted hotdogs? Missing cake?

Let me know below, and please don't leave before checking out my blogger friends' posts:   


  1. We used to have to man the food booth at my son's baseball games, but everything was set up and ready for us, mostly we replenished and waited on people. I hope the next time it's your turn you get a better partner.

  2. Holy Hannah, Tamara! You are a trooper for not wringing that man's neck! I can't believe how much time goes into being a hockey mom. Your son is a lucky boy!
    You know, my dad is Japanese, and we have always called flip flops "thongs". Well, we did until the underwear "Thongs" became a thing. haha

  3. I’m tired just reading this! I think I would have been a basket case as soon as the other person didn’t show up! Very well done, Tamara!

  4. Oh my gosh what a day! Many years ago I ran the PTA at the boys school, so getting a parent like yourself to do all that is amazing. I hope they give you the parent of the year award. Seriously!
    Dawn aka Spatulas On Parade

  5. So, I thought about you this weekend! My husband is a HUGE hockey fan, I am not HAHAHA but I like funko a lot (this funny figures) and this weeked a saw a really cute hockey funko and you just came on my mind! So my husband is going to get a hockey funko just because I think it is cute hahaha


Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It will be visible as soon as I had a chance to verify that you are not an anonymous user and/or a spammer.