Friday, February 21, 2014

Lesson 288: Happy Hearts

Eloise's heart is happy this weekend, Readers.
The Weekend Word from the Lamp Post will be heart-warming for sure.

Eloise is especially elated at the warm reception of The Love Tree.

I decorated a tree in a public park with some Dollar Store garland,

and challenged my family and friends to help themselves to a heart on Valentine's Day weekend.

My kids got one each,

as did the hubby.

So did my teammates,

and some teammate's pooches.
(clarification--dogs, not bellies)

High school sweethearts renewed their love along the edge of the pond.

Grandma loved me enough to trudge through knee deep snow to find one of her own.

Kenyan stole my heart,
and is trying to steal my thunder, too.

Find out why at the end of tonight's blog post.

But my favorite heart thief was this one,
Pretty in Pink,
a student!
My stolen heart is now a pull-tag for her lunch box!

Eloise is happy some of the snow melted.
We got to run on clear roads this week, albeit around and through puddles.

I love how dusk in the wintertime gives the earth a bluish cast.
This shot reminded of the scene from Narnia.  
Leslie is headed back into the wardrobe.
I forgot to set the speed setting.

Love the moon in this shot, too.

My family was happy to see a very cool ice castle about an hour's drive from the Lamp Post.

Those are snowmobiles with flares on a frozen lake.

Last Saturday brought about a birthday celebration,
Team Adrenaline style.

We carried ice balloons up through knee deep snow,
up and down hills,

to the lake cliff for a surprise winter picnic breakfast.
The morning reminded us that summer always lies within.

That revelation is reason enough to celebrate.

Eloise's heart is happy that my team is doing so well.

 Go Team USA!

The Olympics, both Winter and Summer, are special because for two weeks every two years,
 all Americans can cheer for the same team!

There are many opinions about the Winter Olympians.  Are they heroes, or are they a bunch of privileged, spoiled brats?  What significant impact has freestyle skier made to life in general by completing a Kangaroo Flip with a Double Grab?  Heroes or Hellions?  We could make a case for both, I suppose.  It all depends on how you want to focus your lens.

Last week the Governor of Pennsylvania visited our school district to award our elementary schools with the Governor's Award for Excellence.  Should we choose to focus on the fact that Governor Corbett has a dismal approval rating, especially from those on the education front?  Instead, I chose to focus that based on a set of state standards, my schools were the very best.  Applause to the taxpayers, parents, students, and teachers in my district.  We are proof that with a team effort, public schools work.

You can choose your reaction to events, just as much as how you focus your lens.

Were you watching when this Russian ice skater, just 15 and one of the best in the world,
missed a jump and landed hard?

Little Yulia isn't on my team, but my heart sunk for her.
How can someone celebrate another falling on the ice?
Lesson for the weekend:  Your reactions to things reveal your character.  

The Canadians are moving up on my list.
And so you state:
I didn't know they had moved down, Eloise.

Eloise is signed up to run a race in Canada, June 1st.

I have regretted signing up for that stupid thing the instant I clicked send on my registration.
Since then, I've been looking for any and every reason to back out of that half marathon, 
a run along the falls at the US/Canadian border.  It's a scenic route, designed especially for women, that most would jump at the chance to attend.
Except for Eloise.

I've tried all of the following excuses:

I don't like crowds,
I don't like to travel,
I don't like the extra expenses,
I don't want to drive that far just to run,
I don't want to buy an international travel card,
I don't want to go to the event without my family,
I don't want to share a hotel room,
I don't want to sleep in a bed with a girl,
I just woke up the men readers...

Eloise then argued with friends, to whom I pledged I would run behind.

I got nowhere fast. 
I needed to find hard, inarguable reasons to bag out,
that didn't include my personal dislikes.

Eloise turned to the FAQ's page of the website.

I found this:

Can I Cancel After Registering If I Am Unable To Attend The Run?
There will be no refunds.
Can A Registration Be Transferred To Someone Else?
No. This would mess up our Age Group results.

Damn, inflexible Canadians!

How about this one:

BIG NAMES! Yes, if you enter by May 6, your first name will be in large print on your bib. What a thrill to hear spectators cheering for you.

this poses a bit of a problem for a blogger 
with a pen name 
who runs under the name of dead US Presidents.
Boo, hiss!  
No fun!

Then I got to this little nugget:

Headphone Policy?
And, so that you can fully enjoy the magnificent course, the roar of the Falls and the cheers of other athletes and spectators, we strongly recommend that you leave your "in-ear music" at home during this event.

We got a bunch of damn Commies living across the lake!
Roar of the falls over the roar of McGraw in my ears?
Jump at the chance to do this race?
I'd just have to jump.

Then came last week's Olympic Cross Country Ski race.
The Canadians started their climb after sliding down a couple of rungs.

This, from Barry Petchesky's on-line blog summary:
A nice display of sportsmanship in today's (2/11) cross-country skiing men's sprint semifinal, after Russian Anton Gafarov crashed early in the race and broke one ski. He awkwardly soldiered on, falling repeatedly, and it appeared as if he wouldn't be able to make it to the finish line in front of the home fans. Canada to the rescue.
After Gafarov's third fall, Canadian coach Justin Wadsworth sprinted out on to the course with a new ski and affixed it to Gafarov's boot, allowing him to finish a distant last place—but to the cheers of the crowd.
Maybe the Canadians, aren't that bad after all.

The true heart-warmer of the games involves the Canadians once again:

Gold Medal in Brotherly Love goes to Alex Bilodeau, 
the skier who yanked his disabled brother over the barrier fence 
to help him celebrate his victory.

The brothers stole my heart.

Speaking of stealing hearts,
back to Kenyan, 

Kenyan is my speedy-fast sister who makes it a side job burning through sneakers every couple of months. I nicknamed Karen, Kenyan, after the African runners who run like cheetahs. 
 A high-mileage girl on the running front--my sis just completed her first marathon, and has a couple more on the calendar because she loved the experience so much.

We both are in training for the Erie Fitness Event of the Year,
the Barber Beast on the Bay.

Our sisterly hearts are united for a common cause.  The adventure race, involving beach, trails, and obstacles is set for September 6th.  It benefits the Barber National Institute, a school for the mentally challenged and physically handicapped.

Although we share love for the organization and the clients it services, that's as far as it goes.  Kenyan and I are on separate Beast teams.  To make the event a little more fun, we've added a competitive element to this year's race.  You can read about the friendly rivalry on the Barber Beast's blog.  Click here for Beast's blog

All call to anyone interested:
Join Kenyan's team and train with the runners.

Join my team to train with the unconventional.

We'll both be ready to slay the beast come September.
Please, join us!

I can't let the weekend come without assigning some homework.  If you want a great read or listen (both video and text available) on PERSPECTIVE--Click Here.

Here's a perspective that makes me happy---sunrise over the vineyards.  No matter how you focus your lens, the picture is divine.

The song choice this week for the photo video is a no brainer:  Happy by Pharrell Williams, from Despicable Me 2.

Set the focus on your lens to the positive.

No comments: