Friday, September 12, 2014

Lesson 322: Accomplished

It's been a good start to the weekend, Readers!
Eloise is feeling accomplished tonight.
The official weatherman's fall is knocking on our doors.
The air smells like grapes out here in Harborcreek, PA.
The scenery is beautiful, 

and the nights are clear and cold.

Perfect weather for our truck to be sold.
Say what you want about facebook,
but we found a new owner for Old Blue in fourteen minutes because of it.
Car sale:  Accomplished!

We got a Honda Ridgeline, which I have yet to take a photo of yet.
It's like a toy for the hubby and it's being buffed and fluffed and it isn't quite camera ready.
Maybe by next week the love affair will start to subside.
New Vehicle Purchase:  Accomplished!

One love affair that ended bitterly is my own with sparkle nail polish.
I painted on a lovely shade of American Eagle pastel pink this summer,
and had it on my nails for one month!

In a moment of weakness, I painted them again with Sparkle Fuscia, of all things!
I was irritated with myself to have to put myself through the torture of removal,
but I forced myself to change my thinking.

What a great science experiment sparkle nail polish would make for, huh?
Change of Attitude:  Accomplished!

So I painted and E for Eloise on the back bumper of my van.
I think it will last through the winter.
Louie is so busy with his new toy, he shouldn't notice.
Don't rat me out, Readers. 
It will be much more fun for him to discover it on his own.

I am glad I chose to eat my one, red tomato, Lady Sybil a few weeks ago.
You all convinced me that if I ate her, more would come.
If you eat it, more will come...
If you eat it, more will come...
If you eat it, more will come...

Tomato crop:  Late, but Accomplished!

Cameras can promote trickery.
Here's a close up,

and another to help you gain perspective of the true size.

Even though Eloise's garden didn't yield much this season,
I am having fun with the weekly bags from my Community Supported Agriculture.

We got purple potatoes last week,

and some dark and rich peppers.

Making Use of Local Produce:  Accomplished!

I'm working on a Family Recipe Cookbook,
the Cookwizardy of a Peculiar People.

I've been thinking of subtitling it 
Adventures in the Kitchen with Eloise
after this week's kitchen mishap.

Chapter 1:  This is not a Squash

Eloise thought she found a treasure in the CSA bag two weeks ago:
A spaghetti squash!  I learned how to make one from a Challenge Erie cooking lesson from my friend Leslie.
I poked holes in it like she told me and nuked it for about ten minutes.  About 5 minutes into the microwaving process I heard what could only be described as a small cannon boom.  The squash exploded all over the inside of the microwave.

Eloise was impressed with the power of the microwave, and I wondered what other vegetables I could try to blow up similarly.  I cleaned up the sticky mess, shrugged, and made a few notes in my journal about future science fair experiments for Sam.

Eloise was in luck last week.  I got another one!  Figuring I'd cook this one for just five minutes this time, at 50% power, I was poking holes in the sides when I caught a fragrant whiff.  I brought the yellow oval to my nose and sniffed---hard.  I then licked the juice seeping from the hole.  Lo and behold!  It's a musk melon! (They aren't good served warm).

Learned Something New Today:  Accomplished!

Natalie is back in Mr. Rocky's room for art.
She's been playing with color with her People.

Soon, I have to erase Natalie's doodle artwork on my bathroom blackboard,
and I'm having a hard time of it.
It's so cute I don't want to let it go.

Natalie likes to fill in white space, or in this case, black space.
You can see my printed word with the capital S.
Natalie copied my word underneath.
My smiley is the one in the middle,
and all the smileys around it are Natalie's.
She makes her eyes with longer lines than mine.
There is just something about this that makes me smile.

Find Reason To Smile Today:  Accomplished!


The girls are happy and have adjusted well into the school year.
Ellen, because she has champagne taste on a beer budget,
is learning to love coupons.  We make no trip the mall without them.

Here is a great, easy to read blog about beginner couponing.
I've learned a great deal from Friend Amy.

Save Money by Spending Less:  Accomplished!

Eloise spent most of her day in a mad frenzy.
My school district played hubby's school district tonight in their annual gridiron match up.

We invited family to attend, and put our game faces on.

The high schoolers were excited,

hoping to add another W to week #3.

The night didn't go as planned for my Huskies, 
but we'll be back at it next week.

Pick Yourself Back Up After a Knock Down:  Accomplished!

One of the biggest pick ups of the week is news out of Happy Valley:
Sanctions Lifted!

Happy Boys at the Lamp Post:  Accomplished!

 The biggest, stand alone accomplishment of the week goes to 
Harbor Creek senior, Ray!

Ray earned a PERFECT score on his ACT tests,
a feat only one tenth of one percent of the population can claim to have accomplished.

These accolades are the intersection of two streets:
Talent Avenue
Hard Work Drive

Using Your Smarts to Put Harbor Creek on the Map:  Accomplished!

While we're on the subject of accomplishments,
the Erie marathon is on Sunday.
My sister Kenyan is going for a record time, 
and many people I know will be joining her:
Doc, my boss, a colleague, and some friends.

I can't wait to cheerlead!

A big thanks to all of you who cheered us on for the

I actually held the beast in my clutches, and wrestled him to the ground.

As I held my axe to his neck, he bit me.

His strong jaws threw me off just enough to loosen my grasp, 
and he escaped.

But you can bet your sandy shoes I'm going back to find him next year
for Beast Hunt, 3rd Installment.

In a sign of goodwill and friendship,
Kenyan showed up with her broke axe to Tuesday's workout.

We traded jerseys 
and kissed to make up for six straight months of jabbing.

It's what sisters do best,
fight and make up.

We called for a truce on social media,
and are considering joining forces for next year.

Karen, I propose our two Beast on the Bay teams unite for next year's event. Just like the Super Friends, we'll combine our collective strengths to become THE super team. I foresee an impenetrable force of 200+ people on the team. Why so many? Because the Beast needs the recognition and The Barber Center will benefit from such a force! Lay down your axe and I will lay mine down as well. Friends?? I pinky swear no funny business!
Doc also posted this photo underneath his comment.
Brought back some memories......

and stirred up one SUPER idea, 
Eloise style.

Ideas that have the potential to change a community come from
and creativity.

Each of the three of us posses one those qualities, 
and you can figure which person is assigned what trait.

We'll let the Beast hibernate this winter, 
but when it's time to awaken him,
be prepared for a Super Idea for
Beast on the Bay, Round 3
Summer 2015.

I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the group photos of our teams, set to music on the video below. 
If I missed you on a picture or there is an unflattering shot of your @$$, remember this:

One sister is known for speed,
the other is known for photographic talent.

You can match the trait to the sister,
but remember to blame Kenyan.

Blog Written Before Midnight:  Accomplished!

Do something this weekend that makes you feel accomplished:
  • Run an extra mile
  • Clean your bedroom
  • Put away those summer clothes
  • Bake something from scratch
  • Teach yourself something new
  • Forgive a debt
  • Forgive someone

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lesson 321: The Beast Within You

On September 6, 2014,
Eloise was on a hunt.
A hunt for the Beast on the Bay.

I found that Beast and captured it.

I even got a t-shirt out of the deal,

and this awesome medal/Rolling Rock bottle opener.

September 6th was a epic day in history.
It was the culmination of the highly anticipated event of
The Krauza's Krazies,
my Beast Team

The Beauties and The Beasts
my sister Kenyan's team.

It was an epic battle that split a family.
Grandma sided with baby sister Kenyan,
all because she passed down the family heirloom to me,
the eldest and wisest daughter--
the keeper of the family secret of supreme power and might--
the ancient battle axe.
(I mean the battle tool, not my mother).

I might have mentioned the battle a time or two on this blog.

The fight for the axe was supreme, 
yet the battle that ensued was far beyond family status.

The battle was really within YOU.

Where lies that beast to slay?
On the sand?
On a mountain?
In the water?
Deep in the dark woods?

None of the above.
The Beast
lies within YOU.

What motivates a person to take part in an event such as this?

Each participant has his own reason for signing up to conquer The Beast.
Each story is unique,
and several will be shared on this blog in the future.

What is MY story?
I sought The Beast for them.

The people who find the challenges of everyday life,
an everyday occurrence.

I did this for the brave,

those who soldier on with steadfast strength,

through life's challenges,

sometimes without nary a murmur of complaint.

I climbed the mountain for them.

And for her.

The Barber Beast on the Bay is the pride of Erie.


No matter your choice,
become a part of something larger than YOU.

In the end, I found my Beast,
with my brave and honorable knights by my side.

....and I let him go.

I didn't want the fun to be over.  
Eloise wants another crack at him next year.

You joining me?
Give Eloise a holler,
and I'll connect you to the people to help you prepare for your quest.

Eloise and family would like to extend a special than you to the following people:

Maureen Barber-Carey (left)
and John Barber (right).
And also to Gertrude, the founder of the institute,
God Rest her Soul,
(image depicted in the portrait in the center).

Eloise thanks you.
Erie thanks you.

Thanks to my dear friend and fellow visionary, Dr. Krazy himself,
Dr. Steven Krauza, Erie chiropractor.
And my Little Brother, genetics removed,
Erie photographer extraordinaire,
Krauza Krazie on Injured Reserve,
Matt Clicky Kleck, for lending me your photos.

And last but not least, to the Krauza Krazie's sponsor,
Fireball Whiskey.

You are right, Fireball,
Life is just too short to play it cool.

Enjoy the photos from the Barber Beast on the Bay,
set to Pitbull's new song,
appropriately titled

More stories on Friday,