Friday, August 17, 2012

Lesson 178: Hard to Handle

We've had quite a week here at the Lamp Post, Readers.  We've had some ups, and in the last hours quite a few downs, making some things a bit Hard to Handle.  Read all about it here, in the 178th lesson of the Lamp Post.  Please be sure to click on the photo movie at the bottom of this post, set to Phillip Phillips singing Hard to Handle for a recap of my crazy week.

First, let's start with an UP:

Big birthday wishes to The Lamp Post as it reaches its second birthday.  My first post was August 17, 2010 as an assignment for a blogging class I was taking for school.  I created The Lamp Post as a test run for another blog I was working on for a school project.  My original creation was scrapped, and I ended up keeping the Lamp Post as a way to stay in contact with friends and family I don't often see.  This is my 336th post and The Lamp Post has been visited close to 30,000 times.  I am very happy I found a connection with so many of you, even all the way to Slovenia.

Now for a DOWN, and we have to go down a sewer pipe for this one:

This is the contents of the west end of the basement of the Lamp Post.

We had a bit of a crappy problem--the septic backed up into the house last night.

We had to call in the First Responder.  Truck #21 brought the man dressed in a Haz-Mat suit, to suck up the poop goop in my basement.

Unfortunately much of that poop goop was my own.  Eloise has the stomach flu.  Or someone tried to poison me. I really don't know which and I don't have the gumption to try to figure it out.  If I wasn't so hell bent on making my numbers work and having this post on my blog's exact second birthday, I wouldn't even be writing to you tonight.  I'd be back on the bathroom linoleum where I spent much of my night.

Eloise has a super keen nose.  While I was lying on the floor in between bouts of my stomach and intestines feeling like they were being squeezed in a vice, I kept catching wind of a horrid smell.  My nose was right next to the air vent to the basement.  I assumed the wretched odor was emitting from my own body, but I was wrong.  It was radiating from the basement.  It was a lovely surprise to find after four and a half hours of being dreadfully ill.  Hence, the first insurance claim from fifteen years at the Lamp Post was filed.

I think this piece of Penn State memorabilia is giving me the finger.  If this is a sign of things to come we're in for a crappy season.

However, the sun always comes out after the black cloud passes.  This was the sky over top of Wisdom, my willow tree late this afternoon.  This too shall pass.

Another UP:  The American Idol concert in Pittsburgh  this past Tuesday was very good.  I took my girls and some friends and relatives to see the show.  This is Phillip Phillips the winner from Season 11, in case he has yet to reach stardom in Slovenia.

The family and I squeezed in one last camping adventure before summer's end.  Because I am about camped out,  it was and UP and a DOWN.  I came home a little more tired than rejuvenated this time, so in the end, we'll call the excursion a wash.

The girls had already done about everything there is to do in the Allegheny Mountains, so they resorted to braiding my hair for entertainment.  
Corn rows.

They also gave me some tattoos.

As well as one for Ellen,

And Kayla,

Even Natalie allowed a frog on her arm.

It's not that Natalie is so opposed to the tattoo; it's just hard to tear her away from her "coding" as I call it when she is engrossed.  This is what she's been drawing over and over and over again for about a month.  This is her creation from camp.

Here she is at home. Natalie's left hand is blurred because she's "stimming" on the design.  Stimming is autism parent slang for self stimulating behavior.  She flaps her hands and holds her fingers in the way she does on her left hand, and goes into a zone.  We try to snap her out of her stims when she goes into them and redirect her attention in another way.  

The codes and number sequences she writes are always the exact same pattern and shape.  Natalie always uses Sharpie markers.  She places them on the same spot on each page in multiple notebooks.  Daily she hands them to me and says "Look."  What does she mean?  What is she trying to show me?

I think the first part is alphabet blocks, but it is that G4GH sequence that I can't figure out.  It frustrates me when I can't figure something out.  Hey, I'm a blogger, so why suffer silently?  Maybe you all can help.
Here's a closer look.

Speaking of frustrating, here's Sam.
What was my boy doing at camp while I was trying to figure out Natalie's code?  He was quiet and not bothering me so I really didn't look too closely.....

.....until I walked into it.
Sam was booby trapping the camp kitchen with dental floss.

Sam didn't forget about tattoos though.  He sported some cool ones on his forearms.

That was all well and good until I remembered that Kindergarten Orientation was the next day.  Let me just say this:  If you ever feel the need for a Mid Life Crisis tattoo, skip the pain and expense of Budda's Tattoo Shop---just go to the Dollar Store.  These suckers have staying power.  And you get 30 of them for a buck!

Yes, it's true.  Chump is headed into the public school system of the Great State of Pennsylvania.

Here is Sam, all slicked up in a collared shirt and plaid shorts, trying to pawn himself off as a preppy.  I wonder if his unsuspecting Teacher-To-Be noticed the tattoos?

Sam is VERY smart though, and I have faith that once he gets the routine down, he'll do just fine.  Sam going to Kindergarten soon is definitely and UP!

Now for one more DOWN to end this piece.  Something that his truly Hard for me To Handle---one more reality based TV show I got sucked into.  My girls love this channel:

I think the "live and learn" portion of the logo means "don't get sucked in."

This channel first sucked me in when Jon and Kate Plus Eight was on.  It was the story of a couple trying to raise twins and a set of sextuplets in Philadelphia.  Ellen loved the show and I have to admit, I was curious as to how they could manage all those children.  "Just think, Mom," Ellen would comment, "Five more Sams!"  Yikes!

Then came the Duggars entering my living room each week with 19 Kids and Counting.  We've been picking out their wedding dresses on Say Yes to the Dress.  Most recently, they've got me onto Dance Moms----viewed from the kitchen of course. Refusing to sit on the couch to watch a show, and just peeking in from a neighboring room doesn't count as watching it, does it?

And now, I have dipped to the depths of red neck hell.  I watched Here Comes Honey  Boo Boo this week.    For those of you who haven't seen it yet, it involves this child:

Meet Alanna, who is part of the Little Kid Beauty Pageant circuit.

.......and this is her family:


I don't want this post to be hateful, so I will refrain from commenting specifically on June, the 32 year old mother, her four girls, Sugar Bear--June's significant other, and their pet pig Glitzy.  The episode I watched the girls made a red neck water slide in their yard and held wrestling matches.  Watch it for yourself and see what you think.

Just know that I will be tuning in from time to time to get a chuckle.  Maybe there is something to be learned from the show as TLC claims in their logo.  Heck, if June can get on a scale and have it read 309 pounds in front of millions of viewers, then I can let go of my paranoia with my own scale.

Since laughter really is the best medicine and Honey Boo Boo is not on tonight, for $hit$ and giggles, I got on the scale just a little bit ago.  I'm not pulling a June and revealing what the numbers read to all of blog world, but I can tell you that I've lost four pounds from spewing the contents of my stomach and intestines.  Holy crap!  At least was a final UP to my overall DOWN day.

Got to get this posted while it is still August 17th, then it is time for a(nother) nap.  Here's a Lamp Post birthday card just for Kenyan, my sister.  She loves clowns so much.

Check out the video below for my Hard to Handle week.


BookWoman said...

Oh My Dear Eloise,

Do not despair, for these are all memories that will keep you in writing material....and myself in reading material....Can't wait to see you in a very short time.

Amy said...

Have you seen the other new TLC show....I'm pregnant and so is my mom....oh much to handle!

Sarah Cavalline said...

Well, I have half of your coding puzzle solved. The ABC blocks are absolutely from Starfall's ABC page (down to the same colors, or a color very similar!). I didn't see where the other letters came in on that page, but I haven't investigated thoroughly:-) Needless to say I will be back to see if the code has been cracked! Hope this helps!

-Miss Sarah

Sarah Cavalline said...

...after more pondering (and on to the reading page of Starfall). One of the stories she would read during the year was "Gus the Duck" and that looks almost like the first line of letters (I can't see them very well on my computer). Perhaps the sharpie was running together? I hope you're feeling better!