Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lesson 150: He Got Tonight--movie, part 1

Eloise is happy.  My guy won American Idol! I picked Phillip Phillips to win the day Fox showed his audition tape--a crazy good version of Thriller on acoustic guitar.  I was right!  I love the melodic sound to those three words.  I usually pick the top two every year.

So, in keeping with the melody theme, I put some recent pictures together of my family for the Lamp Post followers weekend viewing.  Enjoy.

My specific comments are on a separate posting.  Scroll below or click to Lesson 150:  Lapse in Judgment.  Yes, it involves Sam.

See below,

Lesson 150: Lapse in Judgment


Eloise is tired.  The merry, merry month of May is anything but in my house.  I am a teacher with school aged children at home.  The thirty one days bring with it a flood of little league games, dance recitals, field trips, permission slips, report cards, TV show finales, and just about every energy sapping thing a mother can encounter.  I X each one off much like an inmate on Alcatraz.

Fatigue brings on mental lapses.  Last weekend I heard the beginning of "Mom, can I....." and then my own   far away voice answering in the affirmative before I could even process the question.  My latest mistake was this:

Sam:  Mom, can I buy this with my own money?
Mother Eloise:  Sure
**Note to self:  Turn around and look at the objects before saying yes.


And this:

A bow and arrow AND a slingshot.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?

He hasn't taken the corrective actions well when he has been punished for shooting things he shouldn't (me).

It happens to all of us.  We all have those lapses in judgment when we do things we shouldn't.  But our Super Stars?  With all that money, talent, and fame, shouldn't they be able to make better decisions?

Let's take the American Idol Finale Wednesday night, for instance.  I look forward to it every year.  Eloise loves to in-your-face everyone when I tell them I was right, but I really do love the musical acts.  You get to see your season favorites perform with some really big names.  Skylar got to perform with Reba McEntire.  Phillip sang along with John Fogerty.  But Josha got Fantasia.

Fantasia, pictured below on the left has some pipes,  meaning vocal cords.  I bet you were thinking her legs.  If you were, that's okay because I couldn't concentrate on the song (which was a bit screamy for me) because I couldn't take my eyes off of the body suit. Chaka Khan also performed that night wearing a similar body suit.  

Even J-Lo joined in the game, although she looks much better.  She'll be 43 in July and she's my hero.  J-Lo makes 40 and curvy look great.  That was my exact hair in 1990.  Confident or mental lapse?  I guess we'd have to ask them four days post show.  

Attire aside, there were some other over the top things as part of the finale.

Steven has a pet sloth?

The corny marriage proposal.  How can one propose when Ryan Seacrest is standing behind you with a microphone saying, "Here, let me hold that box."

But the icing on the cake was this woman, Jennifer Holliday.  She sang I'm Not Telling You with Jessica Sanchez.  Song critique only:  Wow.  As Randy would say, "You can blow."  But this is a rather tame snapshot of Ms. Holliday.

I watched the finale with Ellen and she giggled through most of this song because of Jennifer Holiday's facial expressions.  If I had the energy to get my butt off the couch and snag my flip camera I could have also snagged $10,000 in America's Funniest Home Videos.  

"Oh Emmm Geee," said Ellen, stressing each letter.  

Trying to jump on the opportunity for a teachable moment, I said to Ellen, "Well honey, sometimes people get really into a song.  She's just into it, I guess." 

"She looks like she is going to eat Jessica," said Ellen in hysterics.  

"Now Ellen," I said, "that's not nice."

..."And when she gets done eating her, she'll pick her teeth with Jessica's bones...." said my daughter who inherited my weird wit.

Even J-Lo and Randy looked a bit put off by the performance.

And speaking of Randy, what was with the lapel pins all season?

Eloise says, "Dawg!  What's goin' on?"  I guess the west coast considers them works of art.  Those of us living on the Northern Shore just don't get it.

And since we're on the topic of artwork----I've included some prizewinners from Sam this week.  Eloise will make this fun for you.  Consider it a game.  Games are fun.  Especially on Memorial Day weekend. Heck with Corn Hole.  Let's play Guess the Artwork instead.

Here's your first one:

No, I didn't fish this out of the potty.  It is not a dog dropping.  Guess and record your answer on a sheet of paper.

Next one:

What are you thinking?  Shame on you.  Again, write down your guess on a piece of paper so I know you didn't cheat.

I found both of these three dimensional objects laying on the kitchen counter when I came home from work one day this week.  Sam was out in the tree house, so I had some time to ponder what the heck these things were before I actually asked him.  My thoughts ranged from the creative to the uncomfortable.  Kind of like the Idol show on Wednesday.

Here are two more clues from different angles that may help you out:

Answer Key:
#1--A cocoon.  There are three cotton balls stuffed inside of that brown paper--whew!

#2--A sea creature.  I looked at the creation upside down.  WHEW!  Actually had to wipe the sweat from my brow over that one.

Have a splendid weekend, Readers.  More than a million soldiers have died fighting for our country to date. Let's not let their deaths be in vain.  Remember and memorialize.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Lesson 149: FOURTEEN

She's FOURTEEN.  She's also:

  • my oldest
  • my baby 
  • my sweetness
  • my rage
  • my frustration
  • my comfort 
  • my light
  • my life
Happy birthday, Natalie!  

Thanks for the song,  boys of One Direction.  Also thanks for the keen ear Simon Cowell for having the music sense to put them together.  Natalie likes you too, and Niall is her favorite.

She may not know she's beautiful, but we all sure do.

Have a great weekend,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Lesson 148: What's Up Dog?

 Happy Mother's Day, Readers!  I remember a year ago today well.  My beloved Josie, a seven year old black lab, was stricken with Pancreatitis and we almost lost her.  On Mother's Day.

In case anyone in my area experiences a doggy tragedy today, let me tell you this:  weekend pet emergency centers don't cut you a break on Mother's Day. Ye-Owch. The March Tax Return Slush Fund soon became the Flush Fund in two days time.  Doggy IV's and hospital stays are quite expensive.  I can see why some pet owners carry pet insurance.  Still, it was worth every penny and I was glad we were able to pay for her care.  Otherwise we would have had to say goodbye to our loyal pet.  On Mother's Day.

At the Lamp Post, pets are like people.  We are down to just one dog as  Amtrak, my sister's 20 year old cat I got stuck with but grew to love, was laid to rest under the willow tree in the back yard last summer.  There is a stray black cat I've been trying to lure in with food scraps, (sshhhhhhh!!).  Kitty  remains elusive and looks to be in good shape while hunting the fields across from my house.  I named him Sayid after a LOST character and maybe one day he'll get tired of hunting and will seek refuge at the Lamp Post.  My light will be on when he is ready.

Strays are my favorite.  I've adopted several over the years.  Josie was a choice however,  and came to our house as a puppy so the kids could have the experience of raising and training a dog since puppy hood.  We sunk a grand into an invisible fence that encompasses the three acre plot that my house and my parents' house sits on, only to find out we would never have needed it.  Josie sticks close by, fence or no fence.  The fence is still there, so I frequently tell my parents that when the dementia sets in, I'll strap them with shock collars and juice the thing up again.  That way they can have some freedom to wander and I won't have to worry about them getting hit by a car if they walk into the road.

On the blog video, set to Who Let the Dogs Out? by the Baha Men, I snagged pictures of pets from some of my facebook friends.  Remember, whatever you post on the internet is subject to thievery.  My favorite is when people use a photo of their dog as their facebook profile picture.  I have a whopping 113 facebook friends (benefits of an account under a pen name), and many of you have pictures of your pets in your albums.  You will see a collection beginning with Josie, and Sadie the Stray (my parents' dog), to Hercules mys sister's pug and Lola, TracySouthern's fluffy ball of fur.

At the end of the video, I put some images I found in an article I recently read titled, Dog Owners Pick Dogs Like Themselves.  The article was the summation of a British study by Lance Workman who interviewed over 2,000 dog owners and studied their character traits.  He found that dog owners either bear a striking resemblance to their pets or they subconsciously choose animals that mirror their own personality.

The photos on the blog video certainly support Dr. Workman's premise that people are drawn to animals with similar physical attributes.  Did you hear the scream?  That was just my sister.  She has two pugs.  I should probably give a shout too, as my choice of dog was a black Labrador retriever.  If you can recall the joke from an earlier blog post, someone once told me that I reminded them of Oprah Winfrey, so I guess that could be true.

This idea holds true with my hemispheric friends Tracy Northern and Tracy Southern.  TNorthern chose a golden retriever puppy this Christmas who will grow long legs and beautiful long wavy tresses like hers.  TSouthern, my pint sized pal picked Lola, a teeny tiny, non allergenic, fluffy breed that I can never recall.  It is cute just like she is.  (See the next post for some more pictures that I couldn't make work on this one--still experiencing puzzling, formatting problems).

Physical attributes aside, Dr. Workman did find that we really do look for a dog that is similar in personality to ourselves.  When discussing his latest results he said, "It could be that when you look for a dog, on some level that is largely subconscious, you look for something that is a bit like you."  Examine your pet.  See if you chose a gun dog, a handbag dog, a work dog, or a guard dog.

Do you have attributes similar to your dog?  Gun dogs like the beagles and hounds are for your the outdoorsy types who enjoy spending time outside.  The work dogs are your danes and shepards who are known for their instincts and high intelligence. The retriever breeds are known for their friendliness and loyalty.  Guard dogs like you dobermans and pit bulls are known for their bark and their bite.  The handbag dogs fit best for those who like a bit of a fluffy lifestyle.  The sleek dogs without a lot of hair are best for types who like to keep a clean house and don't want to fuss with pet hair.

My parents' dog Sadie was the neighborhood stray.  Sadie reminded me of the children's book Six Dinner Sid, about a cat who ate dinner at every house in the neighborhood.  That is just about Sadie.  We can track three "owners" of the dog, but my parents house is the most recent place Sadie's taken up residence and they now hold the vet records, so she can be officially called "theirs."  She found the right place because my parents are well known for their generosity.  She still wanders away.  Barely a week goes by without a phone message left on the answering machine, "Are you missing a dog named Sadie?"  Thank goodness for dog tags.

My friend Angie flooped the coop and is a traveling nurse.  She's lived in all kinds of places, but Angie is an example of you can take the girl from her hometown but you can never take the hometown out of the girl.  She loves her Huskies.  Coincidence?  Eloise thinks not.

Now what about the pugs, you may ask?  My beautiful, athletically inclined sister has two fat, smushed faces licking her every morning.  I won't even mention those curled tails that leave the other end of the digestive tract exposed....yuck.  Those pugs are like her though, because they are loving and so stinkin' funny.  If you know Kenyan, you know that she is always good for a laugh.

Poodle or pit bull.  Lola or Labrador.  Whatever pet you choose (or finds its way to you), love it like it is your own child.  They are well worth the work and the added expense.  Researchers find that pet owners are generally healthier than non pet owners.  That is a good thing.

Scroll down to the next blog post for a few more pictures that I was unable to insert on this page due to a formatting glitch.  None of my students would help me last week.  They were too busy ripping of the days from their student countdown calendars they have posted in classrooms all across the district.

Have a doggone good day!

Lesson 148: Doggone It!

Doggone it!  The stupid insert photo button is still underneath the video.  I can't click it.  A shout out bark out to all my brainy Husky pups---please help a teacher out please!

Here are some more photos that I could not insert on the first page:

Early inspiration for my writing career:

Tracy Northern and Bella

She's a Twilight fan, too!
Terri's sleek, clean pets.

A good reminder from Eloise:

Seriously?  Faces only a mother could love.


Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Lesson 147: Super Moondance

May I have this dance, Readers?  A quick mid week post before you forget about Saturday's Super Moon.  These are my own photos, not photoshopped.  I've been watching the images on the internet roll in for the past few days, and there are some breathtaking shots of the Super Moon from around the world.  However, with the wonders of even simple, in home technology, you can never be sure what is true and what has been altered.  My photos are genuine.  No altering.  If I did, I would have started with those big feet of mine right there on the video.  Then I would have moved onto the legs.

The Super Moon is when our moon is closest to the earth in its orbit, and is full at the same time.  It occurs every once in awhile and when the skies are clear, it is breathtaking.  In case you missed it, my weather man announced there will be another one June 4th.  You can be sure I'll be up to see it.  That will be the night of Vacation Eve--school ends for me June 5th and the party begins.

All the pictures on the movie set to Van Morrison's Moondance are my own.  I didn't alter or enhance any of them.  Most are from Saturday, but there are a few favorites I reposted from earlier this year.  I'm not asking for praise for my picture taking ability at all.  I just want you to marvel momentarily over the technology that is available to the average person.  Yes, I did invest a chunk of change in my camera, but still, I could buy it at Best Buy and figured how it worked all on my own.  In seconds I can make a video and share with all of you.  Now that is a Moon Moment to moon over.

Drive by the Lamp Post and I'll shoot you the moon a picture of the moon for you.  Stop by any time.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lesson 146: Claimed

Five one.  I've been waiting for May first to arrive.  It's been circled on my calendar since I received my 2012 one as a Christmas gift.  It is not only my high school friend Jay's birthday, but the also the day Tim McGraw entered the world 45 years ago.  Yeehaw.  You'll see my action figurine Tim holding a birthday sign for my friend on the video above.  The video is set to the tune of Carrie Underwood's new song, Do You Think About Me? which happened to be released on Five One, completing the triangulation of three things tied to a number.  I'm a Touch fan and also am about to begin my LOST series viewing for the fourth time through this summer.  I like it when numbers connect.

I hope you are Blown Away by the song, because that is what Carrie titled her album, Blown Away.  Stephen, my updated brain of the Lamp Post computer was humming a download of her album by 6:00 am on the first day of May.  It's been playing constantly ever since and Eloise and daughters highly recommend this CD.  The title track is really good.  Kind of edgy and angry for Carrie Underwood.  She performed it during Idol on Thursday wearing a gown I need to wear somewhere fabulous, with legs sticking out of the thigh high slit that I would sell one of my children for (you can pick which kid).

We really like Carrie because she is the epitome of all things good.  Hers is the true Cinderella story--farm girl from Oklahoma tries out for American Idol, wins the contest along with the hearts of America, and soars to Country Music stardom.  She's made music, connected with people and causes, was in a movie, and even married her Handsome Prince.  Instead of showing up on a white horse, he glided to a snow spray stop in blades.   She married hockey player Mike Fisher.  Good for you, Carrie.  Marriages like yours do not carry the best statistics, but we're pulling for you here at the Lamp Post.  Hold off on the babies though until we get to see you in concert one more time.

I'm claiming Do You Think About Me? as my summer 2012 campfire song.  I like poking around a fire on a hot summer night while my tunes play quietly in the background.  It is one of life's greatest pleasures sit in the still of the night, listen to the crickets, and poke around the coals with a stick.  It's when I think of stuff--blogs I want to write, chapters for my novels I'll probably never publish, and all of you.  The more cokes I drink, the more clever I get, hence the more nicknames I think of for everyone.  Then after I crack myself up a time or two, I stop drinking my cokes, so I don't say them aloud.  After all, my parents still live within earshot and that could make for very poor living conditions for old Eloise.   My daughter and nephews are musical and they are known to join me with a guitar on their laps.  I make them learn Tim McGraw songs to keep me happy and if I have enough cokes I sing along.

NOTE:  I really do drink regular Coke now, by the way.  I gave into the hemispheric pressures of my two friends Tracy--TNorthern and TSouthern.  Neither are diet pop fans and they were convinced all my healthy living was getting trumped by the ingestion of aspartame.  To preserve my friendships, I relented.  Eloise bid farewell to her shiny silver cans last summer, and has gone back to the classic red.

For you locals, if you drive by the Lamp Post this weekend, look to the west.  Eloise may be outside at her fire ring, stirring up the coals, thinking of stuff which means:  people and places and coffee and concerts and all things good in life.  Pull in my driveway and come join me.  I'll be waiting for you.

I wanted tonight's post to be lighter to try to balance the grittier topics of autism and cancer from last week.  I still have some funny pictures of Sam to post, but again, with this new Blogger format, I still am having trouble putting videos and pictures on the same post.  The "insert picture button" lies beneath the video and I can't click it.  Very annoying.  Any of my brainiacs that are reading this, please stop by my room and help a teacher out, please.

Scroll down to the next post for some good Sam photos.  Have a great weekend.

Lesson 146: Sam's Pictures

Sam is one of those kids who needs to be active.  I have sought council from my two friends Tracy, Northern and Southern, because they are moms of boys and only boys.  I never had a brother, and bore two daughters first, so Sam has been a bit of a challenge for me to raise.

"He's not so bad!" my friends tell me.  "He's just all boy!"  I saw this pinterest pin the other day that kind of summed up Sam:

Yeah, that's about it.

I found it's best to run him around in the evening and get him tired.  If he doesn't get the energy out, he drives me nuts all night long.  I've been trying to teach him the game of soccer since my nephew Jack got him this nice new net for his birthday six weeks ago.

Sam just doesn't like the rule that you cannot use your hands in soccer.  He likes to tackle (and punch) and has deemed the game lame.  Ever the creative little bugger, he thought of a new use for the net though.  He lines up his tee, sets a soccer ball on it, gets his bat....

... and swings.

I also spend most of my evenings at the softball fields behind my house because Ellen is a player.  I am not complaining because I live in walking distance of the fields and can run home for a recharge cup of coffee if I need one in minutes.  This isn't me quite yet, because she's in little league, but the games are long just the same:

I had Sam down running around a vacant field while I was taking pictures of the unmowed dandelions that had gone to seed.  Sam's a strong southpaw yet he bats righty which is strange.  However his backwardness never leaves him.  Here is Sam rounding the bases.................... the wrong direction.

Here he is, preparing to slide into home, coming down the first base line.

Noise with dirt, huh?  Let's add a green hi-lighter moustache to that definition, too.  Got to go call TNorthern and TSouthern now for my counseling sessions.

Have a great weekend,