Friday, May 31, 2013

Lesson 237: I'm Not Over It

Hi, Readers!
Yes, that's THE hand.  
The one I touched Tim McGraw with.
I'm still not over it.

In case you've been living in a drainpipe, my friends and I went to see the Two Lanes of Freedom Tour on Memorial Day weekend.  I was seated along the aisle as usual, and Tim McGraw just so happened to walk by me.  He looked at me (he was captivated), raised his hand to mine for a high five (he felt the electricity), and walked on down the aisle (thinking, Wow, I have to meet that woman).

Photo: I'm getting bombarded with pictures from last night.  Working on them.  This one is a great one.  Photo credit, Heather Cass, with Jen Kelly 's camera, Eloised by Eloise!  I'd say we make a great team!

Some parts true (some parts fantasy), nevertheless, the encounter was one for the record books.
And like wrote before, I'm still not over it.

We're about to put another school year in the record books as well.  I only have a few days of school left and Eloise is paddling hard to catch the big wave and ride it through to the end.  It's been an exhausting spring.  

Even this blog post will be short, as I have triple entertainment planned for you this weekend.  
  • Friday is the Week in Review
  • Saturday is the Winery Run Series Completion and video
  • Sunday is devoted to Jack, my nephew who graduates from St. James School

We've had a ton of special events here at the Lamp Post in the last six weeks.  I rise early and burn the midnight oil just to keep afloat.  Sometimes I attack hard and get it all done.  Other days, I'm lucky to clear a path through the piles of Must Get To's.  I did feel much, much better about myself, and not so alone when I read this blog recommended by my friend Heather.  If you are a parent surviving the end of the school year, please read this.  It will make your day!  

Thanks, Jen Hatmaker.  Because of you, I am over it!  I no longer feel like the biggest flunky mother in the world.  

Ellen's 6th Grade dance was this week.  She moves on to the Junior High next fall.

I still can't get over she looks like this!

Ellen is on the left.  Her best friend Emily is on the right.

Here they are exactly six years earlier.

Here they are again this spring on the softball field.

I'm still not over it.

I'm also not over the fact that I have missed Ellen's last 3 games!  Little League games are doubled up for us on some nights.  I usually do double duty and stick with Sam and Natalie. 

 Ellen picks her Papa to go with her.  Picking Dad over Mom?

I'm still not over it.

It figures I'd be sitting on the aluminum stands at tonight's game when these clouds rolled in.

We had a rain delay and the game went extra innings!

Both of my kids lost their games tonight.  I'm still not over it.

My neighbor helped me out a little.  He lets me park in his yard directly across from Sam's field.  Eloise was dragging cameras and kids and carry cases of sports equipment--in the rain.  And Friendly Neighbor did what he does best---laughed at me.  He made up for it though when he gave me one of these to help me get over it.  It's no Rolling Rock, but it's kind of helping.

Good thing my mother wasn't around to see those storm clouds blow in.  She would have ran onto the diamond herself to stop the game.  Grandma got zapped by some lightning back in the 1970's (which explains a lot), and never got over it.  Grandma is skittish in storms.

We had a doozer the other night.  Torrents of rain came the night a tornado touched down in a town just south of the Lamp Post.  This is Grandma coming over to check the creek levels.  My dad, of course, said "Not to worry, Helen" and then fell asleep.

That dark area mid shot is all water flowing OVER the bridge.

 We wound up with almost 4 inches of rain in a very short amount of time!

It greened up the lawn nicely,

to put tire tracks in it!

I'm still not over the fact that we have these.

And neither is Grandma!

The school year is over.  I've been closing up shop and working hard in one building in particular.  Klein School will be closed next year for renovations.  I'm still not over the fact that we are not building a new school, just putting band-aids on two very old buildings.

The program I teach is called Quest.  It is for advanced learners.  My students from grades 1-12 are the most creative of sorts.  They've been making me artwork to decorate Klein's new home next year--Wesleyville Elementary.  

Last week I gave you some homework.  I asked you to ponder what Sam's Note From the Teacher said.

Here it is:  

He just couldn't get out of Kindergarten without giving himself a haircut with student scissors.
It's a wonder they worked.  Have you used a pair lately?  They couldn't cut a cooked spaghetti noodle.  Safe schools, you know.

Here's the answer to another puzzle:
This................. a loom!  My artist friend Jimmi recognized it right away!

I'm babysitting it while Klein School gets its band-aid.  

Thanks, Jan.  

It will be in good hands.  I plan on making the principal one rockin' area rug.

I got my weaving station all set up.  
Right between the shop vac and the moon shoes in the garage.
LOST fans, just call me Jacob!

You can look forward to Eloise posting her progress this summer,
as well as the development of these baby birds.  

I found a new nest!
One in range of my zoom!  

And, if you were wondering, Eloise didn't hit it big.  It was a fake ticket.

Cousin Bonnie sent some cool trinkets to the Lamp Post last week.
The package was a nice reprieve from the exhaustion of the last month.

 Sam even got some new/old WWE wrestlers.

Thanks again, Bonnie.  It's been fun reading this at bedtime every night.
I'm still not over it.

I hope I succeeded in making you smile today, Readers.  You are why I do it.  From Cousin Bonnie, to the Little League coaches, to the 6th grade graduates, all the way to Tim McGraw himself.  I write for you.

Everyone deserves a little recognition for the good things they do.  Even if it's just a brief snapshot in cyber world.  You matter.  Your deeds matter.  You make a difference.

And that My Readers, is something Eloise will never get over.

Enjoy the video with some more pictures from the week.  Muh-girl Taylor Swift stole my song.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Lesson 236: One of Those Nights

Eloise has returned, Readers!  
Cinderella's red boots are off, and my toes are reinserted into my Vibrams.
The coach turned back into an Uplander.
But Eloise still is not over it.
I got to touch my Handsome Prince.

For those of you a bit behind the times, here's a recap in case you've been living in a hole and missed my million facebook and blog posts.  Eloise went to see her Handsome--Tim McGraw in concert with seven of her best girlfriends.  As I promised them, a concert with Eloise is not an experience, it's an event.  And that it was!

The Two Lanes of Freedom Tour kicked off the unofficial start to the summer season in the United States, as true summer doesn't actually roll around until June 21.  Because the venue did not have giant Rolling Rocks like they usually do, Eloise chose a patriotic can for my drink of choice for the evening.

We all recognized the importance of this holiday, Memorial Day.  Many hand made signs were in the crowd, reminding us of their sacrifice.  

Theme parks celebrate their opening weekend.

Eloise sat and watched the folks on the roller coaster.  



up they went!

That is kind of how I feel today, like I'm on a roller coaster.
Although I have yet to come down like these people have.

Last night was probably one of the most FUN nights of my life, and definitely the best concert I ever attended.

Here's the story:

Eloise and seven of her country music loving girlfriends loaded into my van.
All seven knew me, but not all of them knew each other.  

In an effort to bring lighthearted conversation to this new group, I brought along some discussion aids.

My collection of Tim McGraw magazines,

Four discs from my self-titled selections of Tim McGraw songs, 

...and a little game I created called Truth or Tim Trivia.  

It was pay to play.

In honor of Memorial day, I filled the envelope with red and blue cards.
The blue ones Ellen made for me.  They were TRIVIA questions about Tim McGraw.

The red hot cards were the TRUTH cards such as this one.

I made these to determine which girlfriend was asked the randomly pulled question.

There was one for each of us.

I quickly realized Brenda rivaled my country music knowledge.  She was the one to beat in the trivia portion.

(Live Like You Were Dying)


Some we never got a chance to answer

Thank goodness, because I'd have a difficult choice picking just one.

And some things are probably better off not known.

Many we did get to, however, and the stories were nothing short of interesting.

Some questions showed us who we were,

Some questions revealed who we've become.

All in the group have adopted a healthier lifestyle, as evidenced by our tailgate snacks.

And some made us feel strong and confident.

Leslie was the unanimous choice.

By the time we reached the parking lot two hours later, acquaintances had become friends.

The concert was outdoors.  The setting was perfect for a country concert.

The numbers also worked to my liking.  I had 42 dollars of beer money in my pocket, (thanks to a buck loaner from a friend).  We sat in section 402 (42),

row 3!

Right next to the Amp cases,

and in sight of a wheelchair.  You never know with Eloise.

 The Non Designated Drivers got ourselves some really big beers.

We weren't the only ones with big drinks.  Check out the lady behind us.  She appears to be drinking some sort of red concoction---from a flower vase!

I make it a rule when I attend any concert, to introduce myself to those in my seating area.  Eloise tends to get a bit, well, er, ahem, excited at Tim McGraw concerts.  I like to test the waters of those around me before I take the big, excitable dive I do when seeing Tim McGraw perform.

This is Dawn.  We became special friends.  I am searching the world for her as you read this.

Dawn attended the concert with her daughter, who I thought was her sister.  They both are huge Tim McGraw fans, but I told the young'un to leave the 46 year old to her mom and I.  She has many younger choices of country music starts to lust after.  

It seems that Dawn picked the right seat last night.  The universe allowed Eloise the meeting I passed on back in August.  I never made good on my VIP pass to meet Tim McGraw at the end of his concert season last summer.  Albeit a brief encounter, it was one for the memory books.

The crowd was shuffled by the bouncers, blue gates went up, and before I could process what was happening, Leslie--the girl everyone picked to survive on an island with---yelled the short directive that she is used to giving me.  GET. YOUR. CAMERA!

Tim entered the venue from the back, and walked through the crowd, right past my seat!  

I am a slow thinker, and pressure paralyzes me.  I had only a few seconds to put Tim in the line of my lens and focus the shot.  I also had to decide if I wanted to see Tim through the lens for the rest of my life, or take the chance to see him with my very own eyes.  

Going against every grain of my fabric, I lowered my camera and looked at Tim.  He looked right at me in the eyes, and nodded his head, smiled, and held his hand to mine for a high 5.  For once I was thankful for my long arms.  This gave Tim an extra step or two to move closer to me, where I then slapped him on the shoulder.  His leather jacket was as soft as a baby's bottom.  

I was also able to click my camera for the shoulder slap.  It is blurry, but I have marked my hand as well as Dawn's. 

Readers, if I had any moment to remember for the rest of my life, it wasn't the eye contact and tip of the black hat I received from Tim McGraw.  It was the looks, the joy, the unabashed elation of my friends.  Even the always in control Heather completely lost it.  I don't know if they were more shocked by the event itself or the full Russian Eagle I managed to complete off the chair I was standing on.  Dawn and I jumped up and down the aisle as if we were contestants on The Price Is Right!

Knowing that I captured something on my camera, Dawn begged me for my contact information.  
No problem, said Eloise, I have a pen and paper......

This very instant, I am looking for you Dawn Follett from New York.

 We don't need the whole world helping, so I X'ed out your contact information, but I still have it.
I am hoping I find you because I want to use you to test out one of my favorite laws of the Universe:

Six Degrees of Separation.

Contact me if this finds you Dawn, and I will explain later.

We danced and sang all night long.  My friends and I agreed that this was 

It will be hard to top, but I sure as hell am gonna try.  I'm not done living yet, folks.

Thank you, Prince Handsome!

For my friends and I,

you made it One of Those Nights!

Check out the video below with more shots from the concert. 

And oh, in case you're wondering, 

I won the money.

Yeehaw!  Welcome summer 2013!