Friday, August 30, 2013

Lesson 257: Let It Go

It's the blessed weekend, Readers!
Thank the Lord!

I sure did have a fun summer with my kids.  I enjoyed every wonderfully wet, buggy hot, sweet sticky moment of it.  The school bell has rung and it's time to let go of the summer and my babies once again.

We entered the 2013-2014 school year with a five day week.  The kids and I are T-I-R-E-D tonight.
But they all arrived home for the weekend with smiles on their faces, which is really what any parent wants most.  We want our kids to like school.  Thank you teachers for making that happen!  Your hard work and preparation does not go unnoticed.

Even Mr. Academic changed his tune.  He loves his teacher and earned this sticker on the second day!  

Getting off to school on the first day is a family affair.  I live next door to my parents.  I told a friend this week that my life is like a Ray Romano episode.  For example, here is Sam waiting for the bus on the first day of school.  Natalie is silently sticking it to him like she does.  She wore her SUMMER FUN shirt because she had one more day of summer vacation than he did.  (She's a stinker.  Don't let Natalie fool you!)

The handsome gentleman bending over picking up sticks in the background is my father.

Grandpa is always around in the morning to offer some words of encouragement.
"Behave or they'll put 'ya in juvey, Sam!" hollered Grandpa.

 Sam wanted to be a big boy and wait for the bus at the end of the driveway by himself.  Grandma wasn't quite sold on that.  She hid in her tree branch that happened to fall on my driveway.

 Grandma was around for Ellen, too.  Ellen was probably the most nervous because she started Junior High School this year.  There's Grandma again in the background.

You can see the origins of my coffee addiction.  Look at what is in both of their hands.

Ellen was so nerved out about starting school, she wrote a blog about it the night prior.  You can find it HERE in case you missed it.  In the blog she writes about what has been known as The Twinkie Episode.  

To set the record straight, Ellen did buy the Twinkies with her own money.  I told her I wasn't buying them, but if she wanted them so badly, she could (never thinking my cheapskate would buck up).  

My children have to ask for permission to eat when it is not mealtime.  When Ellen arose just shy of noon one day this summer and asked for a Twinkie for breakfast, I did say no.  Me and "my workout group" as Ellen stated, do not think comfort foods are "evil."  We just choose not to eat them or only do in moderation. Over time, you really do lose your taste for sugar.  This is the message I am trying to get across to my family.

Thanks to the person who left this on my doorstep for Ellen.  They welcomed her home after her first day of school.

I think I'll just let that random act of kindness go.

I did come across this great blog about talking to your daughter about healthy food relationships and good body image.  My friend Kristen sent it out via facebook.  It would be good to read if you have a daughter or influence young girls.  

For Good Girl Advice CLICK HERE

My kids can have a Twinkie now and then, as long as they enjoy some produce from my little garden.  It's a dinky little 8 x 8 thing I mess around with every year.

I don't plant much, but I am known for growing really good tomatoes.  
I raise the tomatoes, my husband makes the sauce.  It's a pretty good deal.

This year, the summer wasn't warm enough.  It rained heavily at the end of May, delaying the planting.  The summer lacked sunshine for many days.  My poor little garden simply didn't get enough light.  My tomatoes are still green!

I had to accept that the circumstances were beyond my control.  It's not like I could make the sun shine.  I had to let it go.  Instead, I've been looking for some fried green tomato recipes to try this weekend.  I've heard they are good.  If you have a good one, Readers, send it to me.

Until then, I had to borrow a tomato from a buddy of mine.  Thanks!

Another thing I have to let go of this school year are these:

I love these shoes AND I CANNOT WEAR THEM ANY MORE!!!!
Eloise has some tricky toes that are causing a great deal of pain.  I cannot bear weight on my foot without feeling like the bones are splintering.  Doc is working on them hard every week, and I am seeing some improvement.  

Still, I must heed Doc's advice---my footwear is causing the problem and it is time to let go of my love of high heels.  With consistent chiropractic treatment, I may be able to sport some to your wedding if you invite me.  If not, I'll show up wearing a pair of these with my little black dress.  Eloise always wanted to be a trend setter.

The lucky recipients of my Awesome Shoes are my friend Rockette and her daughter Junior.  I really want to nickname the daughter Mini Me, because she looks so much like her mother, but that is hard to do when both women and 6 feet tall.   Who better to give three inch heels to than 6 foot tall women?  I was never much for practicality.  Look for the Awesome Shoes on your doorstep this weekend, Girls.

Since I'm back in school mode, I decide to create a little Back To School Vocabulary Test for you, Readers!  Let's see how well you do on the top quality words that Minion used in her Fionnula Flanigan letters.

Name:  (nicknames preferred)

Date:  Tell me if you had a hot one this weekend

Directions:  choose the best definition for the given word

1.  Divulge
a.  Something Kenyan does with hot scoop
b.  Pig out on something gooey and chocolatey
c.  To make sensitive information known to the world

2.  Reveal
a.  Kenyan's bikini
b.  To cook lamb again
c.  To give away information

3.  Quest
a.  The daily hunt for my car keys
b.  Pronunciation of "kissed" by a kid with a lisp
c.  The long and arduous search for something

4.  Dawdle
a.  Forward motion of my father
b.  Cross breed of dachshund, weimaraner, & poodle
c.  To linger or be slow with movement

5.  Gaffe
a.  Miniature giraffe
b.  A whoopsie
c.  An unintentional act or remark causing embarrassment to its originator

6.  Repertoire
a.  Items in Kenyan's clothes closet
b.  A fancy, French toilet
c.  A collection of songs or plays

7.  Surmise
a.  Sunrise in Suriname
b.  Eloise is 5'11" tall (ok, ok, with the heels)
c.  Suppose that something is true without evidence to support it

8.  Impostor
a.  Posterboard used for presentations
b.  Frank Abagnale
c.  A person who pretends to be someone else

9.  Faux pas
a.  Lucky rabbit's foot
b.  My husband in a crowd of people he doesn't know well
c.  An embarrassing or tactless remark

10.  Sleuth
a.  Pronunciation of "tooth" by a kid missing front teeth
b.  a detective
c.  What the Minion will have to be in order to find her 40th birthday present

Answer Key:
That's easy!  The third choice is always correct.

Have a great weekend, Readers.  Reap your harvest if your tomatoes ripened.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO for more pictures from the week.  Fittingly, they are set to Zac Brown Band's Let It Go.  And in case you didn't hear, Erieites, Zac Brown and his band are coming to Erie on December 13th!  It will be an awesome show!

Last advice for the week from Eloise:

Let it Go already!!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Lesson 256: Summer's Send Off

It's back to school time at the Lamp Post, Readers!

My clan ain't too happy about it, either.

School starts officially on Monday.

I had my last morning park run with a couple of my friends on Friday.
This was the early morning, August sky.  It's worth getting up to see.

August sunrises are pretty, but so are the sunsets.

I hated to see this sun disappear over the horizon,
but it made way for this.

It was a lopsided moon last night.

I snapped this at the Say Goodbye to Summer Community Party last night.

A good local band played and my friends and neighbors turned out to give a listen.

The kids got a chance to meet up with their friends
and share in the nervousness that the start of school brings.

Grandma served up some wine from Six Mile Cellars.

I think she should spent less time pouring and more time
planning how to remove her tree branch from my driveway.

 We ended the night watching a fantastic fireworks display.

I never lost Fedorable in the crowd.  
The hat and the glow necklace made him easy to spot.

We watched the fireworks while a local band played.   It is always cool to have music and pretty images together.  That is one reason why I always put my pictures to music. I think it makes the experience more enjoyable.  The M-80's weren't the only live band we listened to this week.  We also saw this trio:

This is The Band Perry.  They played at the Crawford County Fair on Tuesday night
under this beautiful moon.

I had a hey day with all the photo ops available to me.

Ferris wheels,


and cowgirl boots.

The middle pair belonged to my sister.  She likes boots, too.

Kenyan met us at the show with some friends.

While I snapped terrific pictures like this,

Kenyan did what she does best.

No one can maneuver an iPhone like she can.

My girls LOVED the music.

And Sam.......well, 

he loved this.  

The highlight of his evening was counting the number of times he got to see livestock poop.

The summer was jam packed with fun.  My fab five stuck together day in and day out.  I think I counted only two instances where I was actually alone in my house for a short period of time, since June 4th.  The constant clamor of kids around got to me.  We had an opportunity to go on a Wine Trolley Tour.  It is a Journey to all of the local wineries.  You stop, sip, and sample, then move on to the next one.  Wine lovers pack into a street trolley on wheels, and wine hop from stop to stop.  The excursion takes about six hours. Eloise jumped at the chance to be kid-free for part of a day.  

I was so excited!  What terrific photo opportunities would this trip bring?  I charged up my new Canon's battery and hung it 'round my neck.  

Here we are at Dobbin's Landing where the trolley boards:

And here we are 20 minutes later when the trolley broke down on I-90.

Given the group of people I was with, the mishap was not so bad.
Circumstances were beyond our control, so we made the best of it.

One professional photographer was on hand, and lots of amateurs.
We all became fourteen year olds again and snapped stupid pictures of one another.

Mr. Helpful seized the opportunity to improve the environment.

Eloise seized the opportunity to make the world a little more beautiful.

But most of all, we just smiled and made the best of it.

We never got to go to a single winery.
An errand service showed up to shuttle us back to the point of origin.

We ended up having some drinks here instead.
Locals, can you guess where?

Smile through it all, Readers.  That's the best advice I can give you today.
Don't be sad that summer is ending,
think of all the adventures fall brings.

Below is the link to some more photos from the week, set to The Band Perry's most famous song, If I Die Young.  I know for a fact that I will die young, even if I'm 100.  My people, that meaning my family, my friends, my neighbors, my students, and all of you Readers----you help me hang on to my youthful spirit and my zest for life.  Thank you for that.  You give me countless reasons to keep on breathing.

CLICK HERE for the link to my blog video for the week.  Remember, this link takes you directly to my youtube account where all the videos are available to you.  To answer a few questions, I do keep all the photos on my videos.  If you spot one on there you want, contact me and I'll send it to you free of charge.

Speaking of zest for life---here are a few snapshots from my favorite photographer, Matt "Clicky" Kleck.  He captured the moment that I opened my package from Fionnula Flanagan, my mysterious pen pal.

Opening the letter........

Me accusing everyone in the crowd....

My short lived fantasy of thinking it was actually my husband all along...
(look at the expressions of the crowd---a candid shot can tell the most excellent story).

And the excellent shot of Minion and her husband.

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.  
Good.  Looks like Eloise has an infinite amount of things to say.
I'll keep writing if you keep on reading--all 4,000 of you.  WOW!

Have a great weekend, Readers!