Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lesson 343: Photograph

It's the weekend, Readers!
Time to sit back, relax,
and take a look at some of Eloise's photographs.
I have some really interesting ones for you this week.


The early part of the week wasn't too interesting.
This is the typical color of Erie in January.


I didn't adjust these photos.
Not too many bursts of color under the heavy, gray skies.
Dreary Erie earns its name.


We look to find other ways to bring color into our lives at the Lamp Post.
Decorating winter trees is one of them.
We have hope that color will return soon.


Even though ice doesn't have much color,
it sure is pretty!






Kids sure are fun to photograph.





That's what we Erieites do in the winter.
Gather together to make the best of it.
Tonight was a spur of the moment sled riding gathering.

This weekend Hubby will bowl in the Erie Times News Bowling Tournament finals.
He was in third place at the end of last week.


On Saturday the top sixteen bowlers start at zero
to battle it out for the top prize and a year's worth of bragging rights.

What did Hubby do to relax and maintain focus before his big match?
I stuck him in the basement supervising the kids tonight,
while I looked at photographs.
I told him the distraction would be good for him.
Maybe not--
he held a hammer in his hand the entire evening.


My family is bummed over Green Bay's loss last week.


Green Bay vs Seattle
was really
Kenyan's House vs My Friend Angie

Angie sent Keyan this photo prior to the game.
I guess the cheese grater was the good luck charm.




What else do we do when we're cooped up during the winter?
We hoe out the house!
The kids stuff is always the first leg of the attack.
I can never bring myself to throw a Woody away!


So, I'm writing about the weather and housework...
can you tell I'm still detoxing?
No sugar.
No dairy.
No caffeine.
NO BEER.
I am a little over halfway through it and feel great.


I appear to have lost some weight in my left pointer finger.
My rings are swinging.  
The holiday puffiness is subsiding.
It's every woman's dream to have a more svelte pointer finger, isn't it?
Oh happy day!


Clean eating plus outdoor exercise a few times times a week
is just the recipe I need to stay healthy (and sane) through the winter.

My workout group exercised a Penn State Behrend last weekend.


 
We are standing in a parking lot that used to be my grandparents back yard!
Their house sat just to the left of the cluster of trees.
I can still see it in my mind as plain as day.


When Penn State Erie expanded,
they purchased the home from my grandmother and eventually tore it down
to create more parking.

Standing there, remembering what once was,
I felt sentimental.
On my drive home, I remembered all the fun I had on that piece of land
playing with my cousins, 
swinging on the swing,
and looking for crayfish in the creek.

The first thing I did when I got home was rushed to my old photo albums.
I wanted to see the house again, just to make sure it was the same as I had remembered it.
It was.


It made me realize how important a photograph is.
It captures a moment.
It freezes time.
It records history.
And for me,
it brings peace.

I'm working on a big photo project here at the Lamp Post.
I'm making a book for my children that has labeled photos of many of 
their ancestors.

Next week, I'll share the site I am using to create the book.
This week, I'll share some of my favorite old photographs.

This is probably my favorite.
My grandfather was at the steering wheel of that great car.


Children I only ever knew as adults.




Some that I never knew.


Children at play.


What were they thinking?


Were they happier back then when life was simpler,


and less technologically driven?





I see where I get my love of music,


and love of games from.


I see myself in all of them.
My ancestors.

Especially her--the one seated on the right.
My great grandmother's second husband was 
named McGraw!


Stay on your toes, Louie!
History could repeat itself.
Handsome's been looking for me, I hear.

I saved this part for last, because it will take some energy for you to get through it.
Below you will find a link to the World's Top Ten Most Famous Photos.
This is one of  them.

steve-mccurry-1

Each photo is captioned, giving details about the scene or the person.
I saved it for the end because these images will sap your energy.
If they don't, you aren't human, so get the hell off my blog.

These are tough, but you owe it not only to me,
but all of humanity to look at them.

They are the humans surviving this world--
some celebrating,
others barely breathing.

You, too, will be breathless after you look at them.



The song Photograph by Ed Sheeran was the perfect choice for my photos for this week.  Eloise dedicates it to all of my photography loving friends:  Matt Clicky Kleck, Fionnula, Heather the Honey Badger, Wendy Chwatty, Cousin Andrea, Team Krauza, & Jennifer GT.  This one is for us.

Capture a moment this weekend, Readers, and never let it go.

ELOISE

Friday, January 16, 2015

Lesson 342: Break Out of Your Funk

We're into the heart of January, Readers?
Are you in a depths of the winter funk?
Eloise is here to remind you to bust out of it!


The best way for me to do that is to get out and move around.
Go somewhere.
Do something.
Find some ice.
Examine it.
It's pretty!


The Fab Five were out and about last weekend.
Sam took part in his first Pinewood Derby with his Cub Scout Pack.



He also started basketball practice.
Can you spot Bigfoot amongst the other seven year olds?


My hubby rolled some high scores to place 18th in the first round
of the Erie Times News bowling tournament.
He'll be back at it this weekend.


For indoor entertainment, I look forward to my favorite TV show.
I love to spot talent.



One really interesting contestant is this blind country singer.




Check out his audition below.

This little cutie made J-Lo and I tear up at the same time.


For a smile, click the link below.



My iTunes account has been rectified 
after unauthorized purchases were made on my account in December.

Trivia Crack is back in business,
and I've been talking smack on facebook all night.


My all knowing 8th grader is the most fun to beat.


Here I am with my my team, The Triple Threat.
Natalie's the spinner.
I answer the questions.
The ones I don't know Sam guesses.
We're dauntless.
Bring it!


The biggest funk buster of my week was receiving this reward package
from a fitness challenge I pledged to complete in December.
1,133 sit ups
1,133 push ups
1023 burpees
and 43 miles running.

I got behind early in the month with the holiday prep,
and that left old Eloise with the bulk of the work to complete
during the LAST two weeks of December.
I felt like quitting and called out to my wellness friends for encouragement.

Wellness Coach, Jennifer Greenwood Taylor, from Taylor Made Wellness
responded to my call and promised me a prize of epic proportions if I 
made good on the promise I made to myself.


It was exactly what I needed to push through the final shallow push ups,
and geriatric center burpees at 9:59 on New Year's Eve

The box arrived this week.


I promised my friends that I would reveal the contents.
What would a Wellness Coach reward her cyber friend with?


A perfect card filled with personal encouragement,
written in the large, curvy script of 
a woman who loves life.


Epsom salts for Eloise's barking dogs.



A literal STACK of great reads and views.







A notebook


This was the bomb dot com of all almond butters.


And more food and drink items I've never tasted before.










Jennifer Greenwood Taylor, Taylor Made a bonus prize for me,
if I promised to throw in 100 extra burpees.
If you've ever done one burpee, you know how much they suck.

bahaha o.m.g. i hate burpees..


I felt bad unwrapping the gifts
 because I called her a potty word when I read her post.


My guilt was short lived, however,
as she had me at the ribbon.





This peeked out at me from underneath the wrapping.



Then this.



And finally, the anchor beneath the stack--
this:


A writing journal for my many joys!
Bible verses appear at the bottom of every gold edged page.


Yep. 
I cried.

Anyone can make you smile, many people can make you cry, but it takes someone really special to make you smile with tears in your eyes.


And then I turned around to see this.


Again I was at a loss for words.
Hubby found the Passion tea
and the Naked Kale chips.

Nothing can bust you out of a midwinter funk
 like passionately eating naked kale chips.


Hubby extends his thank you,
and says Jennifer Taylor is his favorite friend of mine that he's never met.

Curious about Naked Kale Chips, Readers?
I was, too.
They are really good!
I promise you though, 
I ate them clothed.


I dared my kids to try them.
No kid bows out on a dare from their Momma.


Tepid reception from Ellen Louise.


Natalie, who cannot tell a lie,
kept her eyes downcast when I asked her if she liked them.


I even threw an Abe Lincoln on the counter and told Sam
he could have it if he ate just one leaf.

Um...
No.


Thank you again, Jennifer Greenwood Taylor
for the wellness package Taylor Made just for me!

Another way to bust a winter funk is to
bust a move to this funky song.
The photos from the week are set to Uptown Funk
by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars.
The photo video appears at the end of this blog post.

There is no such thing as too much funk.

Enjoy your weekend,
ELOISE