Friday, October 24, 2014

Lesson 328: Skunked

I should put a white stripe down the middle of this black hood, Readers!
We had a run-in with a skunk this week.

I'd say "I was skunked," but given the vulgarity of the urban definitions,
let's be clear on exactly what I mean to say.

I am not referring to my husbands remark when he returns home fishless
 with the boat in tow and the bait bucket empty.

If you go fishing and catch nothing.

Hubby is too busy riding his four wheeler (one with a photographer's seat for me!),
to care much about fishing right now.

I was not referring to my Rolling Rock after it sits in the sun too long.

(of beer) gone bad

I am not making reference to my beautiful feet,
who have betrayed me as of late.

A stress fracture has sidelined my favorite stress relief--jogging,
for at least six weeks.
(I know it's hard to tell, but it's the fat, third toe on my right foot that has the crack).

 To defeat overwhelmingly

This next one is not exactly the definition I'm looking for--but we're gaining on it.

To be sprayed in the face by wall hanging automatic air fresheners

I have a lot of these inside the Lamp Post right now.

I have the spray kind that the definition was mentioning.
I  also have candles,
scented sweeper bags,
Stick Ups,
and these little gel gems I found in a three pack at Wal-Mart.

They remind me of my Grandma.  She always had them in her bathroom.
I told my sister Kenyan once that the gel part was blueberry flavored,
and she licked it.
There's a sucker born every minute.
Even as far back as 1973.

There was another sucker born in 2004,
this, of the canine kind.

This, My Readers, is the true definition of getting Skunked.
Especially after Josie got sprayed, 
and then ran into the house and rolled on the carpeting.

Yes, dog shaming.
I stooped to a whole new level of low.

Josie deserves it for the 2:30 am escapade on Tuesday night.

Gosh they are cute when they are babies!

And in cartoons!

When they do this----
not so much.

What did people do before facebook and 24 hour Wal-Mart?

A google search.
A public plea for help.
$7.88 cents later,
Eloise had a concoction:
baking soda,
Dawn dish detergent,
tomato juice.

5 baths later, Josie sprayed snout was tamed a bit.

She's back to her happy self,
but she won't go outside to pee at night alone.
Proof that even doggies experience Post Traumatic Stress.

Natalie isn't drawing skunks this week.
She's drawing these animals instead.

We received this drawing early this week with a note attached.
See the phone number at the bottom?

Unlikely for Eloise.

I do like the $500 that Natalie seems to be randomly writing.
Now I could definitely use that!

I think she is suggesting we need more insurance as well.

I accompanied Ellen on her Keri's Dance Studio field trip to Cleveland on Monday.

I forgot what it is like to ride on a school bus!
Charter your next trip and spare your lower back!

The show was in a fantastic theater, built in 1922.

I enjoyed the architecture as much as I did the dancing!

For your Learn Something New and Interesting Weekend Homework,
check out this link:

A student showed me it this week.  Very interesting!

The Lamp Post is looking pretty.
It is all decorated for fall.

I thought it would be a nice day for Sam to have a friend over 
to play in the leaves last Sunday.
Mother Eloise envisioned her son and school chum, playfully jumping in raked up piles,
and making memories like all kids should.


Sam's behavior last Sunday fell further than is usual Below Average.
After throwing a fit on the bowling lanes for a gutter ball,
the afternoon play date was cancelled.

Knowing that we had sealed our fate for a long afternoon,
Hubby and I put Sam in his room to think things over.
After he slammed the door, a muffled voice on the other side yelled,
"I'm calling a lawyer on Monday!!!"

I want my children to be independent, head-strong people. Just not while I am raising them!

Hubby and I flopped onto opposite ends of the couch, 
tipped our heads back,
and exhaled.

After a few minutes, this hit me.

After reprimanding Sam for playing while he was supposed to be mulling things over in his bed,
he said, "It's a message.  I like to write out my feelings."

It started out like this, 
misplaced apostrophe and all.

It ended like this.

All I could think of while reading it was
If my son starts a blog someday I am going to have a serious drinking problem.

But for now, the RIGHT NOW,
Life is Good.

My lower back has recovered from a long ride in a school bus.
My dog has been de-stunked from de skunk.
And it's Friday night!

Time to watch my new favorite Net Flix series,
Friday Night Lights.
Thank you, Michelle for telling me about it.  

I'll let Natalie say good night to all of my Dear Readers.

Enjoy this week's photo story set to Taylor Swift's new song Shake It Off.  When you have a tedious week, that's what you've got to do!

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Lesson 327: Storms

Batten down the hatches, Readers.
Fall storms are upon us.

With hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific coming at us this week,
the US getting ready!

Eloise likes storms.
There is something about the power of nature I enjoy.

Grandma and Kenyan both had simultaneous heart attacks reading the sentence above.
They are tied, dead even for the Severe Weather Chicken Award.

Judging the skies over the Erie area tonight,
I thought we'd get a rain out for Friday night football.

We escaped the predicted rain and 20 degree temperature drop.

Eloise's favorite fall passtime carried on as usual.

Under stormy skies my Huskies played hard against the Bison of LeBoeuf tonight.

Darn it all!  Try as we might, we didn't come out the victors this time.

Bison stud Austin Combs was a little too much for us.
That's okay though,
because Eloise has possession of his football.

This football has been one of Eloise's unsolved mysteries for a good five or six years.  I found this football in the park behind my house all those years ago.  I tried to find Austin to return his orphaned pigskin, but I could never find him.  Lo and behold, the boy came into Husky territory tonight and trounced my team. I'm curious to know what he was doing in my back yard, five fingers worth of years ago.

I have your football, Austin.  You can come to the Lamp Post any time for it.  A sweet little boy named Sam will hand deliver it to you when you pull in my driveway.  Beware.  My Husky bites.

I guess I should first mention Sam doesn't take to losing well.
Here is Sam last Sunday, reviewing the playback of Penn State's loss the day before.

Sam bid farewell to the baseball diamond last weekend.

He and his teammates played his last game of fall ball for the year.

Thanks, Coaches!
We'll see you in the spring.

My girls,

they've been busy decorating the Lamp Post for fall.

The paint on their fingernails is a bit harder to remove than their Essie version.

The winery across the street, Six Mile Cellars has had a continuous stream of traffic.

No, my mother was not on this trolley.
She just walks over.

The hubby has been doing some yard work.

He grooms the lawn of the Lamp Post so nicely!

Once in awhile he slips some lawn decor past me.

Eloise's Book Picks of the Month:

A children's book--but great for anyone:
Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick.

It is actually a picture book.  Don't let the size of the book fool you.
My students and I are reading this one together.
It is a parallel story--two stories are going on simultaneously, 50 years apart.
We are trying to figure out how they connect.
Awesome read.

For adults, I recommend 

If I could write,
I mean REALLY write,
I'd write just like this.

It's non fiction, and not just about running.

Chin's descriptions are perfectly worded.
Everyone needs to have a Timmy in their life.

Timmy had a gift few possessed.  He always found a way to the essence of things, to extract from day-to-day living, the little pleasures that warmed your heart and touched your soul.

Everyone needs a friend like this: individual I could trust with my trust.  A person with candor who would tell it to me the way he saw it.  One with a sense of adventure, verve, who took life by the horns.  Someone with genuine eyes.

In truth, I'd long for a description of me, written like this:

In public, Cambria was very proper in her mannerisms--grammatically abiding, never swore, was seldom drawn into gossip--and people had a hard time breaking the ice with her.  She was stringent with her reveal, and gave away very little about herself.  Mostly, she preferred to linger on surface topics before divulging anything personal...almost as a rite of initiation one had to endure to get a peek into her private world.  

When, I haven't had my nose in a book,
Eloise has been out on her Roadside Find Bike,

photographing nature

during the prettiest time of the year.

I've also been having some fun with the Team Adrenaline Puncher.

By a twist of fate, Eloise has possession.
It's been endless fun.

I've also started my next challenge.
This one will take a little longer than 58 days.
Eloise is learning MATH!

I signed up for a free Khan Academy account.

Khan's slogan is

Eloise agrees.
I've joined the movement.

You can do anything you set your mind to.

Right now, my mind is set on two things:
1.  Winning the 58 Day Wellness Challenge
2.  Figuring out math

My plate project for the 58 Day Wellness Challenge is working well.
I realized I have some very bad habits I need to break.

As for the math--I signed up for the most difficult course--
The World of Math.

Eloise is proud to report I've mastered addition and subtraction with 5's and 20's.
Just 892 skills to go.

The cool part is that you get rewards when you finish levels.

You earn badges along your journey.
Currently I'm at the Meteorite level.

The Khan site charts your progress and encourages you along the way.
As you can see, I'm Just Getting Started.
There is lots of math in store for Eloise.

I'm hoping to earn these rewards this weekend:

I'm all for good habits and a dose of inspiration.

I'm a shoe in for Persistence.
I cannot wait to earn my Awesome Streak.
The tens subtraction tripped me up though.

The Khan Academy doesn't only offer free math tutorials and courses.
I found this awesome course on Java Script and Animation.
I am going to begin this one very soon.

In fact, there is so much available to learn at my fingertips,
I signed up for several courses, 
some a little more challenging than others.

I'm about to take the Learning Community by storm.
That's because,

Take the world by storm this weekend, Readers! If you are reading this blog, then you have the potential to do just that.  Take a look around Khan Academy and learn something new!  

This week's photo video is set to an amazing song.  It isn't well known, so please give it a listen.  It is titled Thunder and performed by Nuttin' But Stringz--a musical group that combines rap, hip hop, and stringed instruments.  They placed third on America's Got Talent several years ago, and I've followed them ever since.  Amazing talent.  A perfect song, for this perfectly stormy blog.

Weather your storms this weekend readers.  Learn to bend a little with the wind.  Trust me.  You won't break.