Around and around we go, Readers.
The end of one week meets the beginning of another weekend.
Life is spinning fast here at the Lamp Post.
Life is spinning fast here at the Lamp Post.
That's me on the carousel at the Darien Lake, NY amusement park, by the way.
There were lots of good opportunities for picture taking.
This one is our reflection in the hot air hand dryer in the bathroom.
Eloise stretched the limits of amusement.
On the two hour cruise east, while my excited children chattered about the excursion, I had time to consider how I would star in the day's show. Would Eloise continue to display fraidy-cat behaviors in regard to thrill rides, or would this time be different?
Typically amusement parks are a bust for my clan. No one rides much besides the merry-go-round. We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, thrill seekers. We usually end up spending hundreds of dollars on gross food and arcade games.
This time we brought along a daredevil, my fourteen year old nephew Jack.
He'd ride a bull bareback down the streets of Pamplona if you'd let him.
Jack knows Aunt Eloise is a chicken.
I quite surprised him when I walked into the park and suggested we ride this contraption.
This ride is called the Boomerang. It's a short coaster that takes you on a upside down, twisty little journey, all while being shoulder harnessed into the seats. Looking at this photo as I write, I still can't believe I did it!
So how did you do it, Eloise? How did you overcome your extreme fear?
I began to remember that I wasn't always such a baby. I had a horrible experience riding a monster of a coaster at Cedar Point twenty-two years ago with my friend and then college roommate, Tracy Southern. My students beg me to tell them the story about the ride from hell that caused me to rip the shirt of the Puerto Rican man, who happened to be sitting in front of me. I sang Jesus Loves Me on the way up the hill, and screamed through the rest of it. After I unclenched my fingers from his shirt at the end of the ride, he turned around and said to me, "Hey lady, you got a problem." He sounded like Cheech from Cheech and Chong.
From that day on, I let that experience define me. I put myself into the category of "non-rider" and never have stepped onto a coaster since. I decided last Sunday that it was time to put myself into a new category. I picked "brave".
It was more than just a personal revelation, though. I had the idea swirling around in the big empty space underneath all of my hair; seeds planted from a couple of books I've been reading: Divergent and Habit.
Stemming from a recent conversation with a friend over some topics in the book The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg, I decided to look at my fears from a habit standpoint. This made them controllable.
By changing my perspective, and having a nut like my nephew along, I rode more coasters, and also this giant Ferris wheel.
The Ferris wheel ended up being my favorite ride in the whole park. I would have missed this awesome shot of Darien Lake had I not decided to put a stop to my behavioral habit of being afraid. Thanks for your love and support, Jack!
Eloise highly recommends their album released last summer, Uncaged.
The cover looks a bit creepy, but the music is actually very light and summery. With songs like Jump Right In and The Island Song, it is the perfect summer album to add to your playlist. Zac Brown does some great remakes. They did a blend of their song Free and Van Morrison's Into the Mystic, which was my favorite song of the night (and also available on iTunes).
Landshark Lager was a sponsor, so I even stepped out of my green bottle comfort zone to try one.
It was very good and Eloise has a new penny bank!
It helped take the edge off after a day of watching them.....
If a picture is worth a thousand words, I say no more.
I was a little hesitant taking the kids to a country concert. I've been to many and there is always someone visibly drunk. Mother Eloise knew this would probably be the case, so I lectured the young 'uns on the way in that they may see a few people who have made poor choices, as we say in school.
We had our butts planted in the grass but ten minutes when my teachable moment arrived. MomentS actually, (plural). The lesson came in the form of these two bozos in their early twenties. The guy in the tank top was trying to act nonchalant, but he was actually trying to sneak his buddy over the fence to see the concert for free. That's the buddy in shadow waving to all of you readers.
We watched as the visibly drunk young man made several attempts to launch himself over. He kept falling into the bush you can see in the lower, right portion of the picture.
If you look closely at the top of the fence, it was covered in barbed wire.
The alcohol cruising through his body must have deadened some nerve endings.
He made it!
The shirt didn't though.
Eloise hoped he was wearing some Kevlar boxer shorts.
The sun set on Ellen's little league season this week.
Neighboring community Corry hosted the All-Star Tournament this year.
She missed the first game because we were partying it up at the Zac Brown concert. It was a very good lesson for Ellen. Her team lost that game, and when she returned to play the next game in the series two days later, she was benched for most of it. If you don't practice, you don't play.
Lucky for us, (and according to Sam), it was a double HUMILIATION tournament, and the girls needed a second loss to be out. They played hard on game number 2, and came out with a sizable win against the Lady Bison of Fort LeBoeuf.
The girls were all smiles because they got their groove back.
We had to play Corry, the host team, for the title game.
Both schools wear colors of orange and black.
We were the ones sporting the paw print socks.
Number 22 gave it her all,
but the series ended with a heartbreaking loss in extra innings.
Ellen learned it is more painful to lose by one run than by ten.
The girls had to settle for second, something that is very hard to do.
Sam, my physical child who does not like to be sedentary, was the hardest to entertain while buckled in for three hours a day.
I found this game for $4.97 at Wal-Mart.
If you have a car trip this summer, Eloise highly recommends this little purchase.
We played every day, and the kids beat us in this series, five games to one!
Camp was fun as always. The mountains of Pennsylvania are really beautiful.
It rained every day this trip.
So much so that we spent some of the time without power.
The deep woods sure does get spooky in the pitch black of a stormy night.
This is the three of them eating a melting tub of ice cream for dinner.
The rain left us looking for some indoor things to do.
The Ranger Station sure is nice.
We toured some of the small town grocery stores. This one outside of Cooks Forest looked like it could have been in a Walton's episode. Outside of the store, hung a payphone. Sam saw it and said, "Hey! I want to play that game!" My six year old had never seen a payphone before!
We also went out to eat to pass the time.
We have to pull straws to see who gets to sit next to Sam.
Sam is not the easiest kid to sit next to.
There was a lot of this going on...
"Enough, you two!" scolded Mother Eloise of her children Ellen and Sam. "Eat!"
Look how my boy chose to eat his animal shaped chicken nuggets........
He doesn't bite the heads off first like most kids. Sam goes right for the @$$!
I refuse to let this sub par summer weather bite me in the @$$ either. It's been a rainy June here on the north coast of the USA. We're cruising through the summer in spite of it.
We fit in some fishing.
...and some dancing.
My lens didn't miss some great nature shots this week either.
There is good in every day. Sometimes you just have to look a little harder for it. If you can find the beauty in a mud puddle or the lesson in the loss, then perhaps you are a divergent thinker like 'Tris, from my book.
You still have time to grab a copy of Divergent if you are looking for that good summer read. I'll be blogging about the topics of intelligence, aptitude, government, and fear interwoven in its pages over the next few weeks.
Midwesterners, you may recognize that sky line as the city of Chicago. That is where the story of a future America, takes place. The beginning reminds me a little of the Harry Potter Sorting Hat Ceremony, but the characters in this book have more choice as to where they belong.
Your homework for the week is to decide which faction you would join. Would you become a member of:
I know what I would choose, and I will tell you next week.
In the meantime, cruise with me on a photo display of my week. The pictures below are set to Cruise by Florida Georgia Line. This version features rapper Nelly, which I think is way cool.
Rev up your engines and have a great week!