Friday, July 12, 2013

Lesson 246: Summer With You

It sure has been fun spending this summer with you, Readers!

Summer is in full swing here at the Lamp Post. 

The corn is well beyond "knee high by the fourth of July" with all the rain we've had.

July is also Summer Carnival Season.  The North East Fireman's Cherry Festival is this week.

We donate every year by buying cherry pies, sausage sandwiches, and dumping money into carnival games and rides.

Ellen is our only rider.  She rides a few rides with friends.  We spent $18 bucks on a Ride-A-Rama for Natalie so she could ride the carousel twice.  

Sam likes the games.  He's dangerous with a dart.  This year we made him do extra chores around the house and put the money for games in HIS wallet.  He had to fork out his own dough if he wanted to play a game.  Let's just say he was a bit more selective this year.  However, the Carnies Sam romanced were almost paying my son to leave.  He is very vocal about being cheated and all things unfair.

Sam did trade up for this lovely stuffed dog.
He popped every single dart to get it.

Then we made the mistake of allowing him a turn at this game.

The kid is wicked accurate.  Three balls into the first bucket and we had these new friends.

Meet Goldie and Thunder.  Sam named them himself.

If carnival goldfish respond to human voice the same way they say plants do,
these things will be swimming in the bathtub by the fall.  
He loves them.

If they get too big, we can always dump them in the pond by my house.  It will be nice because it now looks extra pretty.  The township used some of my tax dollars to spring for these new trees and shrubbery.

They planted them around the pond and the roadway earlier this week.  I was out for a jog when it all happened.  I was a little girl when I watched them dig MacQuarrie's Pond, and a little girl in a big girl's body when I watched them make it all pretty.

This was the pond this morning at 5:30 am as my friends and I ran past it.

We've been putting in some early miles lately.  Most of us are training for big events, a few of which I'll be blogging about soon; namely the Erie Half Marathon on July 21st, Tough Mudder Buffalo on July 27th, and The Barber Beast on September 7th.  None of those challenges are anything to sneeze at, so the girls who are coming to play will be prepared.  So we've been hitting the trails.

Eloise L-O-V-E-S trails!

It's a bit creepy going in during twilight,

but when you emerge from the woods at daybreak, the view is spectacular.

By 6:30 am you are done with your workout,
and you feel like you could conquer the world.

If you are reading this saying to yourself "not me," don't doubt yourself.  Yes you can!   Just start with one day a week of setting your alarm an hour early.  Soon your behavior will become a habit and your body will crave the feeling of energy you ride on all day from an early morning workout.

If you are a female, I caution you to be smart about it.  Check out my friend Heather's blog, Runners' Notes.  She's posted several times about being a smart runner, especially if you are a female.  Now that I found a group of friends to run with, I seek the safety and comfort of my comrades.  However, if I do go out solo, I follow Heather's advice and always have the following with me:
  • a cell phone (charged)
  • ID
  • a pouch to carry a key or other items in (Eloise, Kenyan, and Heather recommend the Spi Belt)
  • some water and/or nutrition if you are going for a long run
  • a small stash of cash
  • Benedryl (bee allergy)
  • And the staple of Motherhood--Kleenex
Eloise always runs with a whistle around her neck, too.  Whistles are handy for making noise when you find yourself in trouble.  I used to pin them to my kids when they were little and we'd go to an amusement park or crowded area.  The whistle is my security blanket.  Think about it, Ladies.  It makes sense.

We've made it a family goal this summer to explore the County Park trail system in my area.  We are teachers, not CEO's of fortune 500 companies, so we are always looking for cheap, healthy entertainment for our children.  There seems to be something for everyone out in nature.  

Here are some shots from my friend Kristen's baby--Headwaters Park:
(I'll bet you ten bucks most Erieites don't know where this park is)

These are from Six Mile Creek Park, at the top of Clark Road in Harborcreek.

The trails are steep and challenging.

They lead down to Six Mile Creek.  Six Mile runs along side the Lamp Post, and is the reason Harborcreek's first winery (which happens to be across the street from me) is rightfully named Six Mile Cellars.  It's hard to believe that with all the grape growing in my region, my hometown never had a winery. All the wineries are in our neighboring town, North East.  

Eloise isn't all backwoods though.  We go to movies, too.  The kids have seen:

Despicable Me 2

and Monsters University.

Since film critic Roger Ebert has passed away, Eloise will give these films two thumbs up.

Eloise went to see The Heat twice in four days!

There was barely five minutes that went by when I wasn't completely hysterical.  If you don't find a well placed f-bomb funny, however, this may not be the movie for you.     Click Here  to see the movie trailer.  If you are one of my students and you "click here" I will know because teachers have the ability to find out these things.  I'll tell your mommas, you grandmommas, and every person holy in your life that you watched a movie trailer with foul language.  Then I will kick you out of my program.  It will be a long and lonely year for you.  Don't take the risk.  
After the movies, we stopped for a bite at the Erie version of Brooklyn pizza.  

The pieces are HUGE!  .....and really greasy, but a good kind of greasy.  Like a One Piece Once A Summer kind of good greasy.   Eloise found that a scoop of ice cream helps combat the stomach upset from the pizza grease.  Yes, although I am working hard to be healthy, I do make some room for special indulgences like this.  I just have to be very careful I don't allow too many.  There are lots of opportunities for unhealthy eating in the summer.

Six of us couldn't even polish off one large.  Send me a message if your family completes this challenge.  I'll send you a medal made of pepperoni or something.

The next day we put an end to those last two slices, as well as the Little League season.
The Instructional Boys played their last game on Tuesday.

Even though they didn't win, they were all smiles.
They settled for second and got really nice medals.

Sam took it very well.
His smile and good sportsmanship pleased Mother Eloise the most.

This little bugger didn't like the taste of second place too much.
Ellen's season ended a week prior in a close loss to Corry.
Second place isn't where you want to be when you're almost 13.
She got a new bat and she's all ready thinking next season, every time she takes a swing.

Natalie will probably miss the sport most of all.  She's her siblings' best cheerleader and has never missed a single game.  Give the girl a lawn chair and something cold to drink, she'd sit along the third base line all night.

The person who needed the most counseling about Little League's end was Grandma.
She's quite the competitor.

I told her that now that Little League was over, she could concentrate more on the Fionnula Flanigan mystery.  I asked her for some assistance.
Maybe I should have rethought that......

This is the scene from the other night from The Flame.  That is the name I gave to my parents' house next door.  It is a big, red 1860's farmhouse with two fireplaces.   My dad has a big incinerator out in his barn, hence I gave it the name The Flame, in honor of the Dharma station on LOST.

I heard the land line ring, my cell phone chime, and the beep of an incoming facebook message.
They were all simultaneous sends from Grandma.
"Get over here!  I'm onto something!"
Grandma was neck deep in finding the identity of Fionnula Flanigan, my secret pen pal.

Notes and papers were spread all over the breakfast bar,

the weather channel was on in the background, 
(it's ALWAYS on)

and she had all her sleuthing tools at the ready. 

I inherited my freight train brain from Grandma.  She tends to think big.
She made a GIANT poster for all her notes.

Here are some of Grandma's thoughts:

And best of all-----
here is HER list of suspects. 
Are you on it?

Fionnula--I beg you.  Please send another clue.  Let me know if you made either Grandma's list or my list that I posted earlier this week.  Here's mine again:

Fionnula, my mother is going to drive me crazy unless we receive another clue.  We are next door neighbors and that makes for bad relations when you shoot a water gun at your own mother whenever you see her coming across the yard.

I'll keep you updated if I receive anything in the mail next week, Readers.  Check The Lamp Post mid week just in case.  

Next week and the week after, I'll be focusing on two topics from Divergent by Veronica Roth---bravery and fear.

I promised I'd let you know the faction I'd choose.  We were down to: Amity the peacemakers, 

Candor the honest,

and Dauntless the brave.  
You can eliminate one more for Eloise.  Candor.  I can't always tell you the truth.  If you ask me if you look fat in your jeans, and I spy that excited twinkle in your eye yearning for approval, then I will probably say that you @$$ looks fabulous.  What's my opinion worth anyway?

I'm either Amity or Dauntless.  Which bowl should receive my blood?

Enjoy the pictures from the week set to Brad Paisley's Beat That Summer With You.  
Happy weekend,


Bonnie said...

My mystery solving tools look very similar to those of least the bottle and goblet part! Again, I must say that I am enjoying the distraction of figuring out Foxy and should be stricken from the suspect list hear that poster child?! Cross my heart! I am hoping like the rest of you that Foxy sends another clue. On the suspect note....Joby has moved high in my rankings. a little stalking has me noticing that her first blog was about receiving a journal....that was back in early March. She may have been randomly shopping and saw the Lamp Post journal and picked it up for you since the journal giving seed had been planted. Also, I read several of her blog post and she uses big words....thinking gaffe, master plan could be something she would say. And, she doesn't really consider herself a writer. In her blog she says she is sandwiched in between 2 generations of writers. Plus she is from NE. Now my other thought is that perhaps the daughter that gave her her journal may have picked one up for you while she was journal buying. Perhaps they are working as a Foxy team?? Don't know who the daughter is so my theory stops here. What do you think? ~Bonnie

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