Friday, March 30, 2012

Lesson 137: With A Little Help From His Friends

Sam turned 5 this week, and boy oh boy does my boy deserve a blog post in his honor.  It's coming at you a bit late as I like to post things on the actual birthdays of my children, but I was experiencing some computer problems this past week.  Faraday had a meltdown and I had to put him to rest.  Continue reading past this blog onto post #136, to find out the name of my new computer.

Friends are important to anyone, but they seem to be an integral part of my son's life at the ripe old age of 5.  He's the youngest in my family and he was the last hurrah among my friends as well.  There are no kids his age we regularly socialize with.  Sam is kind of stuck doing things with his older teen and tween sisters.  A trip to Claire's at the mall really isn't on his Top Ten List of Things To Do.  So Mother Eloise tries to include a little boy into our weekend lives every so often so that Sam has someone his own age to play with.

His birthday party last weekend was the first time that I ever had more than one child over to play with Sam.  Six little boys came over for a couple of hours last Saturday and they had a great time.  I then realized after spending a couple of hours with all these boys that Sam may not be so bad after all.  I guess I (kind of) have to make a (weak) formal apology to Sam on this blog.  Maybe you aren't quite the hellion that I made you out to be.  They all wrestled.  They all punched each other in line waiting to play Angry Bird Toss.  They all were loud, chewed with their mouths open, burped up pizza, and asked to play Poker with their egg hunt change.  So they really are just little, tiny men.  It took me 41 years and one son to finally figure that out.  I had two girls first and never had a brother, so men are still a bit foreign to me.  Never really understood them, and have to admit I still don't.  But I do have a better understanding after this past weekend.  It was loud, crazy, and busy, but boy oh boy was the party ever fun.

Aside from all of the WWE Wrestlers and Angry Birds, Sam got some of the following lovely things that are now decorating my house:
A grow your own Alien.  His head blinks red when he needs fed.
Some more aliens---no not the one on the left, the little green guy on the right.
Mario is now a kitchen decoration.  At least Sam knows where his DS is.  No more hunting through the couch cushions.
Sam is a writer like his Momma.  Lately he is into leaving me notes taped everywhere in my house.  Miss Barb is doing a darn good job of teaching the kid to sound out and write words.  He was a bit crabby tonight and didn't like his sisters messing with his stuff, so he posted this sign on the kitchen counter--DNT SCH  (Do NoT TouCH).  I didn't think that was too bad for just turning 5, although I did tell him that was rude.

This photo I made larger because I am sure it is going to get the bigger laugh.  I can't remember what Sam was writing to me this week--he usually writes me a long page of letters and "reads" me what it says.  Take a look for yourself and put your deciphering skills to the test.  I think you'll see it on line 3 towards the end.  I guess we know what kind of a man he'll be one day.  I just had a mental flash of me ripping down posters of girls in red bikinis from his bedroom wall.  Lord help me.

Now for the real challenge:  Natalie's latest.  She's been drawing this picture of circles over and over and over again on her scrap computer paper her friend Carol gave her.  I threw the first few out, not realizing that she was making the same picture.  I've been watching Touch, the new Fox Channel show about the non verbal boy with autism who communicates through numbers, and now I have my own level of paranoia.  Is Natalie trying to tell me something?  She was with this picture.  I finally figured it out.  Can you guess?  That is your weekend homework.  Send me guesses if you want to and I'll tell you in a later blog post.

I'll make it easy on you for this one.  There is no guessing which of my children did this piece.  Here is Ellen's latest flower pastel from the last week.  I really like this one.  What am I going to do with all these art pieces of hers?  The drawer I keep them in is already overflowing and she's only 11!  If you have ideas, Readers, please send them to me.

I gave you a little homework this weekend, and I am about to load you up with some more.  Please scroll down to blog post #136 to read about another Danyl.  You have some more thinking to do.  Thinking is good; otherwise you are just existing and that is not so good.

Happy weekend and good luck with your homework!

Lesson 136: Another Danyl

Go ahead.  Click Watch on YouTube.  It will take you to what I want you to see, and it isn't a "trick", Mother.  (My mom has this paranoia that she is going to download a virus with every unknown click).  "It looked fishy," she said to me one day.  So I'm telling you it's OK, Mom.  Really.  Don't call me, text me, leave me three messages, or flash me SOS out your bedroom window with a flashlight.  It's really, really legit.

You'll see a 2009 clip from England's X Factor with Simon Cowell.  I came across this when I was looking for Sam's blog song.  I love this dude, Danyl Johnson.  I don't know what became of him beyond his beginning stardom a few years ago.  I don't know if he ever go a record deal,  but I am sure that he still has charisma.  I like Danyl because he is a teacher.  If you look into his bio, it appears that he is an elementary school teacher.  Clad in unassuming cargo shorts and simple sneakers, he wowed the crowed with his rendition of Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.  I put this on here as an example of someone who has that "X Factor."  That ability to connect with an audience and perform from his gut.  You can tell that that man truly loves music and feels it in his soul.  I bet he is one hell of a teacher, too.

He is the other Daniel--but he spells his name with a Y.  So who was the first?  Daniel Faraday.  Faraday.  That was the name of my now deceased computer.  Run his name through the Google box and you'll see who he is/was.  I got the same shell back this week, but it has a new brain, so hence, a new name.  I named this Lamp Post computer Stephen.  Can you guess why?  Losties may pick it up since my pen name is Eloise Hawking and she works out of the Lamp Post dharma station.  Stephen.  Hmmmm.   Got you thinking?  Good.  That was my aim tonight.  I'll leave you hanging a little bit because that is good for your brain.  I like to keep those that I love guessing, and that means you, Readers.  Even the Slovenians.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Lesson 135: Hungry? (Part 1)

Here she is everyone!  Meet Katniss.  She's causing quite a stir in the literary world, and she's just emerged onto the big screen, arrows and all.  Katniss Everdeen is the main character in Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy.  I'm just about to finish up the third book this weekend.  I'm burning the midnight oil on it because I am so afraid my students are going to blab the ending.  I've threatened and shouted and covered my ears and they know I mean business.  But they are kids and they cannot be trusted. They are sneaky little things.

I highly recommend reading the books.  I don't care in the end whether you like them or not.  To each, his own.  If you are reading this blog, then you most likely like to read.  A good reader is a deep reader.  Word is out that this is a story about a Godless society in the future where the annual event of the Hunger Games surrounds kids killing kids. Yes, that is true, but there is much more to the story than that.  You have to look beneath the surface to find the truth and beauty, kind of like cracking a geode.  It is a story about oppression, revolution, survival, and love.  It's a WOW.  It's the most unique and unusual story I've read since Harry Potter.  I appreciate any story that gets kids excited about reading.

I hope you give the books a chance, and like this pinterest pin reads:  May the odds be ever in your favor.  The odds this weekend weren't in mine.  The CPU (central processing unit) of my Lamp Post computer is in need of a fan or it is going to have a melt down, so Faraday (my name for my computer) is in the good and caring hands of Jerry my computer guy for the weekend for a sleep over, hence no blog movie. Just a youtube song post from the Hunger Games movie that opened this weekend: Taylor Swift's Safe and Sound. Scroll to the bottom to find it.

The odds were not in my favor earlier this week either as I suffered a cut on my finger.  A hack.  A chop.  A sideways slice.  All because of a boring cucumber.  Couldn't have been caused by anything fun like chocolate cake.  Bummer.  Looking at the still cavernous gash four days into healing, I realized it probably could have used a stitch.  It did cross my mind when I did it.  I am so absorbed in the Hunger Games  that I actually thought when I did it, Katniss would fix this herself.  Where are my needle and thread?  

Katniss is a survivor.  She's become tough not because she was from the wealthiest district which supplied her with the best weaponry and body armor.  She was from the poorest one.  Katniss was a poor girl with wicked instincts honed from years of hunting game for mere survival.  Katniss is tough.  So, I did what Katniss would do--made the best of what I had.  I wrapped my finger in a paper towel bandage, covered with masking tape.  It was ugly and bulky to deal with all week, but I thought to myself, Heck, I should make this thing useful so I drew an arrow on it with a Sharpie marker and used it as my "pointer" at school all week.  The kids loved it.

Here I am pointing at Willow, my favorite tree in my yard.  She got her leaves in all the warm weather this week. She's always the first to do so. The next photo is the close up of her tree top.  I like Willow because her branches look like my hair when I wake up in the morning.

This is Willow from the ground looking up.  And because I have The Hunger Games on my brain, I thought to myself, Katniss and Rue would sleep up there.  If you think that is bad, when I was running last weekend I found a dead robin on the road and I stopped to examine if it was actually dead or just stunned.  It was dead, but I thought to myself Katniss would eat that.   I told you I have a problem.

This is my neighbor's bush in full bloom with its bright yellow flowers--an absurdity for March around here.  The full week of mid 70 degree temperatures brought them out.  You can see some close ups in the following two pictures.  Can you see me?

Getting used to my sore finger tip reminds me of my Dad.  His friends now call him 9 and Three Quarters.  Not after the Harry Potter train platform to Hogwarts; because of his stubby finger.  He chopped the end of it off in his wood chipper about a year ago.  Interesting story:

It was the end of the school day and I made a quick run to the office to use the paper cutter.  Just a couple of quick whacks was all I needed.  When Eloise gets in a hurry, she tends to get distracted, and it took just one second of focus loss for my finger to slip and I hacked my  pointer finger  right at the first knuckle.  Ouch.  

I made a huge mess and had to clean it up and find a bandage and ward off help from well meaning co workers. I just wanted to get out of there and hide my embarrassment.  This made me late.  I returned to my classroom, frustrated and in pain.  I had to get home to my kids, whom my mom was watching until I got home from work.  Then my cell phone was ringing.  

My purse is always a mess and I had to dig for my phone, cussing myself for not keeping a neater handbag.  I saw it was my mother.  "Mom, I'll be right there.  I'm running late because.." I didn't get to finish because she cut me off.  I could hear an urgency in her tone.  It got my heart beating fast knowing something had happened.  

"Can you get home right away?  Your dad's had an accident and I have to take him to the hospital." Not what I needed to hear.

"What happened?" I managed to croak out as my hands were beginning drip sweat.

"Your dad just cut his finger off in the wood chipper."  Same finger I cut, in the same place, at the exact same time.  Mine stayed intact.  His, not so much.  Hence, his nickname.

My mother had enough of the wood chipper and encouraged him to sell it a few weeks later.  He wheeled it to the edge of the driveway and taped his For Sale sign to it.  No one was biting.  Perhaps it was because I wrote in really small print underneath WOOD CHIPPER FOR SALE (plus 1/4 of index finger).  We never found the finger, but I am not sure anyone ever really looked for it.  

You'll see the Speed Limit sign at the end of my driveway. Because I live next door to my parents, this spot isn't too far off of the place where the wood chipper once sat for sale.  And yes, someone did buy it despite the residual finger goo on the inside of it.   Those are my mailbox and paper box, slightly bent because they seem to get in my way when I am making that wide turn.  It is a reminder to drive safely to keep everyone in my house Safe and Sound away from accidents and wood chippers.  Safe and Sound.  That reminds me of the Hunger Games because it is the name of Taylor Swift's song posted below.

Taylor sings about the desolation and loneliness of the people of District 12.  I had to put my shot of this rainbow from last Sunday evening.  It went right over my parents house into the field across the street.  I want to take this opportunity  to remind all the People of Panem that eventually, after every tragedy, God will send a rainbow as a reminder of his promise to us.  Whoops.  I forgot again that Panem isn't real.  But God's promise is.  It's good to remember that ALWAYS.

I got to go tell Katniss that now (as you can see, I slid back into my alternate universe which I call my Happy Place when I'm lost in a book).  I got me a date with Mocking Jay and have to finish it tonight before my stinkers students blab the ending.  Don't forget to scroll further down the blog for Part 2 of this blog post.  Lesson 134:  Read the Book First, with the Official Movie trailer appears as the previous post.

Check them both out and most importantly, Readers, stay Safe and Sound.

Lesson 134: Read the Book First (Part 2)

This falls as Lesson 134, but it should be lesson #1--ALWAYS read the book first.  Don't let Hollywood decide for you what the characters should look like.  Interact with the black and white print in your easy chair, and make technicolor in your brain.  Paint your own picture while you put your feet up on the couch.  Draw your own scene right there in the quiet of your own living room.  And after you've had a chance to do that, THEN go see the movie.  If fact, Eloise encourages this.

I love to read books then go see the movie.  It's a good brain workout to compare one to the other.  Makes for great discussion over coffee with a friend afterwards.  It is one of my favorite things in life to do.

If you've read the books, then you will find the following pinterest pins quite funny.  Below the three pins, you'll find the Official Movie trailer for the Hunger Games movie that was released at midnight on March 23rd.  Ellen is drooling to see it, but we can't this weekend because of Sam's birthday so her (our) curiosity will have to wait until next weekend.  If you are like us and can't catch the movie this weekend, or don't feel like waiting in those long lines, then you can get your sneak peek here.  Don't cheat and peek if you haven't read the book.  Don't be a Hollywood sell out.  Read it.  Do it.  I don't even care if you like it--just read it and form your own opinion and share it with someone else.

And that, My Friends, is your homework with no due date.  Scroll down for the pins and the movie trailer.

May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor,

Friday, March 16, 2012

Lesson 133: Numbers Speak Sometimes, Too

Friends, Slovenians, countrymen, lend me your ears....  I know that's a catchy line, but I have to admit that it's not mine--it's a spin on Mark Antony's...well actually, it's Shakespeare's from his play Julius Caesar.  I thought this would be a good way to start this weekend's blog since I am writing this on 3-15, the Ides of March.  As I type, I got one hour and twenty minutes left to wipe the sweat off of my brow.  Bad things happen on March 15th and now I got me 79 minutes left to ride out the doomed day.

You see, this day didn't turn out too well for Roman Emperor Julius Caesar in 44 BC.  Slash, splash, blah, blech, bye--those are the sounds Caesar was making as he was stabbed by his friend Brutus 23 times.  One little ditty I came across while researching this was that when Shakespeare wrote the play, Caesar received 33 stab wounds.  I couldn't find with any degree of certainty if that change was intentional or a mistake.  It just caught my eye because I like the number 33.

Don't feel too bad for Caesar, though.  He was warned by the soothsayer (cool word) that he would meet his demise on the Ides of March (middle of March).  Caesar, who was a little full of himself being the leader of Rome and all, ignored it.  Guess he should have listened.  Hindsight they say is 20-20.  Hindsight, Eloise says, would have come in handy because Caesar was stabbed in the neck from behind.

The Romans in 44 BC must have thought the world was ending.  Many people in 2012 think that too, not because of the Ancient Romans, but rather the Ancient Mayans. I've been kind of into them lately.  They are a cool people to learn about.  I particularly think that temple at Chichen itza is super impressive.  It is proof that the Mayans figured out time and seasons in particular.  Google that sometime when you have nothing to do.  I've added to my List of Places I Want to Visit But Probably Never Will.

BOOM!!In fact, I found a couple of pinterest pins last week that discussed the doom of the predicted world's end on December 21, 2012. Here is one. Good thing Caesar created the Leap Year before he ignored the soothsayer (sorry, just needed an excuse to use this cool word again).

    Here is the other one that is a little more relevant to our times.  Slovenians, don't judge us by the stupid, senseless show Snooki appears on--The Jersey Shore.  We Americans have more depth than that. (And Readers, if I just made you feel guilty for watching it, you should be).

OK.  I have 51 minutes left in the safety of the Lamp Post to hide out from people who want to stab me.  I'll stall around up here writing this until Cinderella's clock chimes twelve.  Then we can all breathe a sigh of relief.  Eloise will have lived and The Lamp Post will continue.  We'll jump to the next block in the calendar which is the day that saved us all--March 16th--3-16.

God always provides us with a balance, and so he did with this date.  It always reminds me of the Bible verse central to Christian beliefs, John 3: 16.  The movie is set to a Van Halen song titled 316.  A big thank you to Tracy Southern for sending it to me.  It's a short song--only about a minute and a half in length.  Eddie Van Halen wrote it for his son Wolfgang (yep, true, that's his name after the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart--but he goes by Wolfie if that softens the blow somehow).  Wolfgang was born on March 16th.

One of my favorite students was born on 3-16 at 3:16.  I think she is destined to do something big with that sprite sized body of hers.  Similarly my son Sam was born on 3-27 at 3:27 pm.  They say that every person should have a Bible quote associated with themselves.  Many people try to link their birth dates to the Bible in some way.  That would be very nice for Wolfie and Amelia as they can recite their verse from John 3:16:  For God so loved the world that he gave is one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

I found one for Sam.  2 Samuel 3:27:  Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the gateway, as though to speak to him privately.  And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach and he died.  And didn't I open this blog post with a lesson on stabbing.  Sam's birthday party is next weekend and I have to say I scanned the list of 8 boy names to make sure there was not a Joab on the list.  We're good to go.

And here I sit with 30 minutes left to this dreadful day.  But I keep my sites set on tomorrow, March 16th, when I have the hope for better things to come.  It will be especially nice because we have the day off--a built in snow make-up day that we didn't need to use because of our mild winter.  Yeah!  I hope to get out there for a nice long run while the sun is coming up thinking of the Son who came to save us all.

Kiefer Sutherland and David Mazouz Touch FOX The title of today's blog is Numbers Speak Sometimes, Too.  I think it is no accident that my 316 blog post landed in the 133rd spot in the line of lessons.  It reminds of all the Biblical links to the number 33.  And if this link with numbers fascinates you, I then urge you to begin watching the new TV series Touch with Kiefer Sutherland.  If you are a 24 fan or a Lost Fan you will like this show.  If you are a LOSTIE, look for the Man in Black in the premier episode.  The series is about a non-verbal boy with autism who communicates through numbers.  Eloise gives it a double thumbs up.  The first episode ran again tonight, but you can find it on line on the FOX website.  The next new episode is March 22nd.  Don't miss it.

I like the quote on the Touch poster:  The world is connected.  But only his son sees how.  If I just put a slight little teacher correction on that, you'll see how it changes the entire context of those sentences.  Here, try it again with this Eloiseish improvement:  The world is connected.  But only His son sees how.  Amen.

17 minutes left and I am still breathing and not bleeding.  Time to run spell check.

Note to students:  spell check does not recognize, Chichen Itza, Van Halen, pinterest, Joab, and Snooki.  I'll have to tell it about the first four.  The last one we could all do without.

14 minutes.  Time to revise.  Note to students:  running spell check is editing, not revising.

11 minutes.  Got a pulse. Got to run through looking for spelled correctly words used incorrectly that spell checker failed to pick up.  Spell checker is not fool proof.  No matter how carefully I scan, I always find one in the morning when I read my posts back.  I guess that makes me the fool.

3 minutes.  Testing to see if the video plays.

1 minute.  Copy and paste onto another document before uploading.  Blogger should be renamed Belcher because of all the coughs and spits it does at me with formatting errors.  I found a way around it with remembering to save a copy somewhere else first.

Midnight.  3-16.  I'm alive and so are you.  Amen to that!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Lesson 132: Material Girl????

Balance.  Life is all about balance.  Last year, my fellow Erieites and I were digging our way out of a winter that had over 100 inches of snow.  This year the winter has been so mild I've barely used my snow brush.  Last year my birthday was a major bummer.  This year, I made out big time.

Thanks for all of the birthday wishes.  Many are curious as to what gifts I received and were wondering if I got any of the Tim McGraw merchandise I kept posting as gift suggestions on my facebook account.  I got what I really wanted (well next to the tickets for the Melbourne show that I didn't receive)--my Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Ken and Barbie set.  It is simply shocking how much I resemble her.  Thanks, Bonnie for letting me know these existed.  Now they are mine, all mine.

I put some pictures of this year's birthday loot on my blog movie, set to the tune of Madonna's Material Girl.  Please read the post below this one (Lesson 131:  Myrna's Greedy), so I can reassure you that I am far from a material girl.  I like things simple.  I am a beer, jeans, and t-shirt kind of girl and fairly easy to please. I don't need lots of material things to keep me happy.  What I really appreciate is the time people took in thinking of me and what I like. Eloise finds herself extra appreciative of all the time, effort, and energy my friends and family put into my 41st birthday.  Thank you.

One of my favorite gifts this year aside from a small, plastic version of my handsome cowboy, is this cool ring.  It was found in my Grandma O's belongings after she died.  The ring was severed in half and both pieces were found in her jewelry box, along with this letter about a "plate" of some value.  Inside the ring is inscribed the name Maime (spelled this way).  The kicker is, no one knows who Maime is.  You can be sure Eloise is on the case.  You can also bet your bottom dollar that my sister Karen is searching for that valuable plate.  I'll report back later if I find anything out.  My dad had the ring repaired  by a jeweler and gave it to me.  It fits perfectly on my hand and I can almost feel Maime's presence, whoever she is.

So to give balance to this lesson of sentimentality, I'll send you this weekend's dose of humor. Time for a Sam story.  See below:

Sam gets a report from his pre-school teacher in his book bag every day.  It is the first thing we check when we get home from work.  The report lets us know how Sam ate, if he slept, and what activities he did that day.  They communicate behavior by smiley faces.  We raise the bar high here at The Lamp Post, so Sam is required to bring home two smiley faces a day, one for the morning and one for the afternoon, or he is punished at home.  On Monday, Sam came home with his first "straight face" in a long time.

Apparently Sam must have left his listening ears at home.

Sam, my wily and clever child, must have decided that this grave situation could be remedied.

If he could just get his hands on a blank parent report sheet........................

And I write really neatly with a brown crayon..........

And make TWO smiley faces....................

My mom will never find out.................

I guess he didn't figure that he had to get rid of the original note first.

Sigh.   It was a long Monday to say the least.  Nothing that a weekend blog post five days later can't cure.

Have a nice weekend, Readers.  Remember to scroll down for your bonus post about Myrna. (No---not Maime--she's the dead mystery person with the severed ring--I said Myrna.  Read below to see who she is).

Lesson 131: Myrna's Greedy

Myrna's greedy if you ask me.  That is one thing I can't stand--a greedy person.  I don't like a snob much either, but a person with an insatiable desire for stuff really annoys me.  You know the type---the ones who put stuff before people.  So if you read the first blog post, please know that I am NOT the material girl that Madonna sings of.  I am far from that.  I'm just never sure how my sarcasm comes through on the blog world, so I felt the need for a follow up.

I don't know if I'm just a less is more kinda girl by nature or if I was shaped from my upbringing.  I was caught in between my father's conservatism (you don't need a telephone with a cord longer than two feet) and my mother's life is short attitude (Oh, let the moths out of your wallet, Richard, and have a little fun).  If you were a child in the 1970's like me, you were shaped by the Electric Company.  This is one of my favorites.  Thanks to my boss Brenda for reminding me of it and finding it for me.

I like what I like and try to take care of what I have, but if you want something that you saw on my blog movie, then come and get it.  I'll give it to you if you really want it.  Learn from Myrna:  Give a little or your floor may cave in.

 Myrna had a nice plant.  Here's Eloise's plant.  I know.  I hang on to things forever.  My family has tried to throw this away three times now and there is still one petal remaining.

 "So what?  Are you going to snuff my life out when I am old and withered," I say to them.  And there it sits, remembering the day when I brought it home three months ago.
She looked like this in all her splendor in November.  Glad I took a picture.

This isn't my lamp.  It's my dad's.  Dad's lamp.  I got it for him for Christmas (and that snazzy ear-flap Steelers hat).  It's the leg lamp from A Christmas Story.  I am sure my mother will be glad that I volunteered you all to come and take it away if you really want it.

Eloise's dog.  My Josie.  Sorry.  Not parting with her.  That's one thing I won't let you come get.

I'll leave you with this thought for the weekend.

The Management

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lesson 130: My Next 30 Years

Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss,
Happy birthday to me,
A birthday's a birthday,
No matter how old you be!

How cool is that my birthday eve is my hero, Dr. Seuss's birthday?  He would have been 108 years old this year (my favorite LOST number).  My mother must have gone into labor while Dr. Seuss was eating his German chocolate cake, blowing out his 67 candles.  I didn't make my appearance though until after midnight, therefore my birthday is March 3rd.  I actually prefer not having to share my date with my hero Dr. Seuss, because I am a numbers nerd.  3 is my favorite number and my birthday gets to be on 3-3.  How cool.

My birthday today
Brings about 130th blog post
As I sit here and write
While eating my toast.

What are my plans
For the next 30 years?
By 2042
Will I be rid of my fears?

I like things to connect.  I'm a Connector.  I don't know if that's a real term, but one I created to describe myself.  I like to connect the dots on things and see how they relate.  It is my gift.  I am great at seeing how things relate to one another.  I only missed four on my Miller's Analogies Test out in Edinboro.  Genius level.  Yet, I still have trouble adding fractions with unlike denominators.

I like to find things in life and connect the dots on them.  In fact, dot to dot coloring books were my favorite when I was a kid.  If you are one of my cousins reading this blog post, shall I remind you of the Red Crayon Incident one summer in the 1970's.  I will speak no more on the matter and hope that the guilt associated with it will bring about an extra gift from my mother to me today.  I was doing a dot to dot in the back seat of the van when told not to and I lost the red crayon and subsequently suffered undue public punishment and ridicule for it.  Scars run deep.  Can't let it go.

So, in my search for connections to make this for an interesting weekend reading, I wanted to connect my hero Dr. Seuss, my heart throb Tim McGraw, and my birthday all in one blog post.  I think I got it in a Seussical sort of way.  I found a song about 30 from The One and Only Tim McGraw, and 30 wise sayings from The one and Only Dr. Seuss.  Dots connected.

My Next Thirty Years
Plays on the picture movie
With Seussed up pictures
Of my kids lookin' all groovy

You've probably heard the song before.  It's an older one.  If you enlarge the photo, you can read some of the Seussisms.  There are some quotes I've become familiar with that I didn't know were his, like this one:

Here's my guy.  Gotta love him.  I could write a hundred blog posts about him and his interesting life.  I teach something new about him every year during the first week of March, as elementary schools often coincide their Celebrate Reading Weeks with his birthday.  But for today, I'll keep it short and ask you just to ponder where we'd be in life had he never got his first book published.

No, not Cat in the Hat.  Not even close.  It's this one.  I refer to it as Mulberry Street.  It is a 1937 publication that took him a bunch of times to publish.  It is a neat story about the street of his boyhood home.  Author's first books are often about their personal lives in disguise.  Read this one a couple of times and I think you'll see it.  I don't want to tell you just yet.  I want you to discover it for yourselves.  Swing by the children's section next time you visit the library and check it out.

I've seen numbers of rejections for this book ranging from 27 No Ways to 49 You Stinks.  Regardless, this speaks volumes about the kind of person Ted Giesel was--determined and would not take no for an answer.  He kept trying despite what seemed like insurmountable odds.  He knew his talent and was persistent.  Dr. Seuss kept the faith.  Sometimes that is all we have to hold on to.  I am sure glad he did.

Where would we be
Without Horton and the Who
The Grinch, the Cat,
and Thing One and Thing Two?

Thanks for your persistence
Your determination, Ted,
For the Lorax, pup in cup,
One fish blue and one fish red.

My birthday last year was far from happy and I am hoping for a better year this year.  On the last day of my third decade in life I lost a good friend and neighbor as well as my mother in law, rather unexpectedly, just hours apart.  I entered my 40th year with red, swollen eyes from crying.  In fact, I not only cancelled my party to attend funerals, but got jipped on my presents.  There are still some gifts I was promised that I never received and I haven't forgotten about them.

Here is one.  This is the Buckle gift card for new jeans that my sister promised to take me shopping for.  I am not much of a shopper.  I'm a Connector and a Writer, remember?  Not a Fashion Diva.  I get into that store and whirl around like my Dad at a ballroom dancing lesson.  I have no idea what to do and I need Kenyan Karen's help.  Maybe this will guilt her into taking me shopping.

Here is another.  Isn't my lamp post beautiful?  Look at it's glimmering light.  Oh the love that it radiates!  What?  You can't see it.  Here, let me zoom in closer.

Now can you see it?  Oh, you still can't?  Here, let me get a little closer yet.

OOOHHHHHH.  That's right.  IT'S NOT THERE!!!!!

That's right.  I almost forgot.  No one found the time to set that up for me.  I am a Connector and a Writer, remember.  Not an electrician.

This is what happens when your then ten year old suggests the perfect present for her mother for her 40th birthday and hubby has to make it work.  Just another gift that he decided was too high maintenance for his wife.  Perhaps you can put some pressure on him, Readers.
You know what?  Scratch that.  Heck, I'm a smart woman.  I can read.  I work with gifted children every day and I know that truly smart people are just determined and basically teach themselves.  Look at my first purchase as a birthday gift from me to me.  Anyone living out on Firman Road may want to invest in a back up generator of sorts.  There could be some sparks flying around my yard soon.  Burns's take cover.

Don't believe me?  Try me.  Eloise is the elephant in more ways than one.
I have to admit that I am happy this year for a few reasons.  I received some early birthday gifts in the mail yesterday and opened them.  After last year I learned the hard way that sometimes there isn't the tomorrow that you are counting on, so why wait?  This was the card in the package from my friend Tracy Southern.  Another gift she sent me is included on the picture movie.  I'll leave you to guess which one.  Consider it your thinking exercise for your weekend homework.

A book and some tunes
And a typewriter key
And another new necklace
From old 33

But the best gifts I've received I get to look at every day.  They are the faces of my three children.  They appear on the movie, as always, because they have always been the things I've wanted most in life.  Every decision I make is always, in the end, about them.  They are making me extra happy this year with their successes.  Natalie has a social life with cheer leading and running.  Ellen is maintaining her stellar academic record and is using the talents God blessed her with in her art, her music, and her kindness.  And Sam I Am, That Sam I Am!  Oh how he has been making his momma proud!  We are receiving a daily stream of awards and good reports from school like this one.  He's made almost a complete turn around in the last six months and is back to my happy and "spirited" child.  How proud I am of My Boy.

This birthday looks to be a better one.  I'm heading out now to make my last voyage on my favorite shoes--a 4.1 run in honor of my years on this earth.  In fact, I feel so good today that I may just do that twice.  I got my tunes from my friend loaded and ready on my iPod and Zombies locked and loaded ready for the chase.

Zombies?  Huh?  What is Eloise up to now?  Read on readers for my newest, quirky thing.  Please scroll down to Blog Post 129:  Run For Your Life!

Have a great weekend,
Mine is looking up,
Some new shoes, some fresh air,
And a trot with pup in a cup!

Love, Eloise