Friday, July 24, 2015

Lesson 370: Beneath the Same Big Sky

Hey, Homeys!
Gnomey says 
Say cheeeese!

a gift from Friend Leslie,
has found a new homey in my yard,
under the big, blue sky.

I captured this awesome cloud last weekend in our big, blue sky.
I knew it needed a quote,
but my creative juices were running on fumes.
I turned to facebook for some suggestions.
I received many,
but chose my favorite to include on this photo.
This one is headed for a dollar store frame soon,
with the perfect words to match the awesomeness of the sky.
I'll reveal on this blog which suggested verse I chose,
and the winner will be receiving a prize in the mail.

Speaking of mail.....

Friends and family should watch their mailboxes for a pastel envelope from Natalie.
She is sending out her Beast on the Bay sponsor t-shirt forms on Monday.
She's worked on them herself, 
stuffing every envelope,
signing every letter,
so it's taking some time.
Please be patient.

Anyone who inquired about a People T-shirt will receive one,
as well as other people near and dear to Natalie's heart.
I'll be taking t-shirt orders through August 15th.
Send word to the Lamp Post if you would like one.

We spent last Saturday beneath the big sky

in Saegertown, PA.

We went to our first Tractor Pull.

What an interesting event it was!

An amateur photographers dream!

It's only at a tractor pull you can find interesting exhibits such as this one.

Aside from watching friends' tractors

 attempt to pull the Draggin' Wagon the farthest,

I also watched a sawmill in operation

making shingles

free for the taking.
Very cool.

The skies over Lake Erie have been beautiful this week.

These shots thanks to my hubby and his GIANT iPhone 6+!

This one, 
compliments Sunset Peggy.

I listened to my nephew's band,
The Rust Belt Ramblers
beneath the setting sun on Thursday night.
Catch them if you are a local.
Great tunes.

A setting sun provides a nice backdrop for

a backyard family movie night.

Ellen Louise,
my artistic child,
prefers to paint beneath the great big sky.

Sorry Cocktails & Color,
she did this one on her own.

Evenings have been spent in the open air,
hot with the smell of Kettle Corn
and loud with the sound of screams of thrill riders.

Family has returned to bring their children to the same fun they had in their youth.

My attempt at my fourth consecutive Erie Half Marathon
was foiled by my own poor memory.
I could have sworn that I registered for that race!

Kenyan wasn't too happy with me.

I thought I'd simply forgotten which US President I signed up under.
After she went through pages of 1800 entries,
Kenyan was a little ornery.
(I'm the blue, calm, concise texter)
((Kenyan is the wordy one who likes to use mega exclamation points and emojis))

I wound up running the loop on Monday with Friend Leanne.
I had my best time ever and it was easy-peasy for me without the crowd,
parking issues,
and early rising just to do it.

Even though I know I won't come close to winning my age group until I'm in my 80's
(and set a trip wire and snares to mess up Heather Cass),
I still register for a few races a year to support Erie events,
and the general health and wellness of my community.

I've collected lots of medals and such over the past four years.

I hang them in my garage, 
so I can see them every day when I enter my house.

If you run 13.1 miles,
it is nice to get a medal and a t-shirt.

Eloise does the Erie half in July,
Barber Beast on the Bay in September,
The Her Times 5K in October,
and whatever my sister Kenyan organizes in the spring.
That's plenty to keep me motivated,
and just enough challenge for my sore, tired feet.

I got this great shot of the moon this week,
and as I was taking it,
I thought of all the people looking up from Earth at the very same moon.

So many people,
so many stories.

The best story I've read is this woman's.
Her name is Immaculee Ilibagiza.

She is my age and survived the Rwandan genocide of 1994.
One million Rwandans were killed in 91 days 
the very year I was busying myself with my wedding plans.

It is your duty as a member of the Human Nation,
to read her account of survival.
She was hidden away for 91 days in a bathroom with seven other women.
If you don't read,
at least google her name and read the short version of her story.
You can also find her website and watch several news interviews that summarized her account.

Since my finishing of the book this week,
there hasn't been a three hour period I haven't thought about Immaculee.
I found a way to contact her, 
and am composing a letter to her in my mind.
I hope I have the guts enough to send it.
It is a humbling experience to read her account of pure evil.

It is hard for me to believe that Immaculee and I were living beneath the same big sky,
praying to the same big God.

I'll be out in the open air next week,
enjoying my favorite of all artists, Tim McGraw.

This year, I'm taking hubby, my kids, my sister, and some friends to see my boyfriend.
This should be an interesting trip.
Check in next week to find out how it all went down.

Peace to you and yours this weekend.

See you next week!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Lesson 369: Share the Love

Happy weekend, Readers.
It's Friday night,
and time for our weekly sharing time.

We'll start out the night with an ice-cold Coke.

These arrived at the Lamp Post this week!

I purchased the bottles on the Share a Coke website.
You can personalize your Coca Cola bottles,
but be forewarned--
names are screened for appropriateness.
I may or may not have tried a few that weren't printable.

The kids got a kick out of them,

and fell right into the hands of the Coca-Cola marketing department.

Eloise has a small collection of Coca Cola cans.
I started collecting them as a teen, 
and have a neat little accumulation of them in my Lamp Post writing station.

Rule number one of creative writing
 is to surround yourself with things you love while you work.

I do enjoy Coca Cola. 
Because of the caffeine and sugar content, 
I rarely indulge anymore,
but a few times a year, it still tastes great.

I think the love affair began with this commercial from the year of my birth.

Coca-Cola, the marketing master,
has had many songs and slogans since then,
but I always like them.

Check out this Coca-Cola inspired song titled Pass It On:

Coca-Cola Cups song by some clever people

"Take a little of your love and pass it on"--
I did!

Eloise also fell prey to Coca Cola's Share a Coke campaign.
Couldn't resist this purchase for lifelong friend Keri.
She's never found many things with the correct spelling of her name.
I wonder how many people did this very same thing?

For more on the background of the Share a Coke Campaign
click the link below.
It's very interesting.

If you are a really good student
here's a bonus reading assignment:

One of the most fascinating views I had this week was 
the share of the Coca Cola experiment about strangers in a dark room.
Don't miss this:

Coca Cola experiment CLICK HERE

In case you chose to skip it,
here's the lesson you were meant to learn:

Pope Francis shared some life lessons.

For a quick and important read,
check out the link below,
Ten Tips for a Happy Life

#1, #8, and #9 are Eloise's favorites.

I learned a lot from reading Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.
I've nicknamed it Go Set a Timer 

because I read the book in 8 hours!

I won't comment yet, as I know many are still reading it.
I'll give you a couple of weeks.
It IS summer vacation, you know.

However, the Erie thermometers don't always reflect that.

Wednesday night....

Thursday morning.

We did have some pockets of hot days.
I spent a hellish afternoon running up and down a hill.

I'm getting into condition to make my 4th consecutive stab
 at the Presque Isle half marathon on Sunday.
This was me last year as I covered the distance in Caladryl lotion.
I got poison ivy on some unmentionable places 
while tinkling outside on a trail when nature called.

I've wised up this year and tried to pepper my training routes with port-a-johns,
and skip squatting in leaves of unknown origin.

It's supposed to be hot on Sunday
(yeah, right),
so I'll be donning a tank top
or one of my favorite,
100% cotton,

Runner 5 above (from my Zombies Run game)
and this Her Times 5K shirt are two of my favorites.

I don't like the new water-wicking material.
I find it hot and scratchy.
Mark my words in Blog post #369---
"they" are going to find some sort of harmful agent in the
material 20 years from now.
Cancer causing, I'm sure.

So I guess that makes my friend Heather a gonner.
This is her t-shirt collection of JUST the athletic wear material.
She has another dresser full of cotton shirts.

So---Eloise is offering just what everyone needs---
another t-shirt!

I'm taking orders for Natalie's People shirts, version 2.

Natalie, my daughter with autism,
started drawing people about a year ago.
This is an incredibly difficult task for some people with autism.

I loved Natalie's People so much,
I put the design on some cheap, cotton t-shirts
and gifted them to some friends and family.
There were only about 20 printed,
so if you have one, consider it a collector's item.

People receiving the shirt 

wore the shirts to different places in the country,

and sent Natalie their photos.

This year's version will be attached to a worthy cause.
Natalie is going to conquer Erie's obstacle course run,
Barber Beast on the Bay.

Last year she completed the adapted course with her sister Ellen

and was interviewed afterwards.

Natalie signed up for a dollar to participate 
as she chose to fund raise for the event.
Natalie will slay her Beast on September 12th.
Natalie is going to give back to the agency that helped her
so much a young child.

The shirts are going to be black (Natalie's favorite color)
and on water-wicking athletic material.......
You can join me in my suffering in 20 years.

I'm using the same exact shirt as the What the Hi11? shirts.

I have one of each size here at the Lamp Post,
from XS to XL.  
They also are available in XXL.
I can help you judge your size, or you can stop over to try them on.
They are hanging in my garage.

The cost is $20, 
ten of which will cover the cost of the shirt,
and the other half we'll donate to Natalie's fundraising.

We will take orders through the middle of August,
and shirts will be delivered by the first week of September.
If you cannot watch or participate in the Barber Beast on the Bay this year,
wear Natalie's shirt and send us your photo.
Eloise will make a fan page on this blog.

Thank you in advance for sharing your love and support.

Eloise has a few more photos to share:

Happy kids on a calm lake.

Happy Grandma finds rare, red beach glass.

Happy Eloise finally captures some frequently sighted eagles.
"Look over there!"
"See him in those trees?"


I did!

...and a young one, too!

Share your life with someone this weekend.
Share your stories,
your talents,
your gifts.

And most importantly,
share your own unique perspective,

It's a story that some may not expect,
but it is one that is all your own.

Enjoy your weekend.