Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lesson 298: We're on Each Other's Team

It's the weekend, Readers!
Time to take a deep breath and exhale.
Sit back, relax, and cozy up with your favorite drink
while you read the next installment of Lessons From the Lamp Post.

The blue ribbon is still tied to the lamp post for another week
in honor of Autism awareness month.

I had to scrape the frost off of it this morning.

There is still ice on the lake,

as a lingering reminder of one one the longest, coldest winters in Erie history.

Eloise celebrates all seasons, 
and tries to focus on the positive things each one brings.

The North East Marina sure was pretty to capture without boats in the docks.

Little league sure is fun to watch,

as are baby-fans in the stands wearing apple hats.

Little girls in spring coats sure are cute!

Spring weather brought out students who share my same passions

and hobbies.

As predictably unpredictable as spring in Erie is,
I love it.

Spring is a time of rebirth.
It's feels fresh and new and hopeful. 

Speaking of hope, that reminds me of my Most Frequently Asked Question 
about my children's novel, The Key.

The character many people recognize as my daughter Natalie, 
is given the name of Hope in the story.  
I've been asked countless times why her name has been so obviously changed.

Natalie's 16th birthday is coming in May, and I will answer that question on her birthday blog.

According to my blogger statistics, several hundred readers have read The Key.
I received one of my favorite responses to the story this week:

The key from London is truly a treasure.
Thank you, Jenna for your kind words and the gift.

Because The Key was so well received, I've decided to publish my other books lying dormant on several jump drives, in this same format:  free for the reading on this blog.

I have three more lying in wait.  I just have to decide which one is next.

And while I'm thinking about that--here is some homework for you:

Key Readers, think about this:
Did you notice the first words and the last words of the novel?  What do they mirror?

There was a glaring error in the novel that only Johnni, my Challenge Erie 5 partner picked up on.
It since has been edited and changed.  Did you find it?  If so, message me and you will receive a bonus prize.

Don't forget, if you finish the novel, please send word.
It doesn't matter to me if you liked it or you didn't.
Just let me know you finished it and you will receive a key from my personal collection.

For mail responses, send to:
Eloise @ the Lamp Post
5768 Firman Road
Erie, PA   16510


Ellen's been back into her paints this week.

She's got mad talent.  

Sam's into his favorite game as of late--Monopoly.
He only wants to be the banker. 
He's wicked good at counting money and always charges Ellen extra interest.

Call this the universe sending me a painful message:

These were my first purchases during our latest game.

I always go for the railroads.  I love controlling the rail lines.
My first two properties were Connecticut and Kentucky.
It was haunting.
I haven't admitted this until now, because in truth, I'm still not over it---
but I forgot to turn in my money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I would have won the pool.
I'm still not over it, so please be delicate with your teasing.

Easter Sunday was beautiful in Erie this year.
My sister Kenyan hosted dinner.

The older cousins got to reminisce,

and the next generation made memories of their own.
(wiffle ball can get ugly if you cheat....)

Everyone looked nice dressed in their Sunday best!

The bunny paid a visit to our house,
hiding baskets

and filled them with unusual treats.

Each holiday has its own set of family customs.
My in laws make these special, Easter cookies called pupa cu l'ova.

They are an Italian Easter bread, shaped like an Easter basket, with a hard boiled egg inside.
We pronounce it poop-a-cuh-low--va.
Sam has a field day with this, of course.  I'll spare you the details.

Grandma has instituted an Easter tradition of her own--
The Family Easter basket.

Upon our return from church on Easter Sunday, a basket appears on our front porch.
This year the "basket" was an insulated grocery bag with a zip closure.

In it are treats for everyone:

Thoughtful, perfectly chosen items that bring genuine smiles.

Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa for everything.....
except for this treasure.....

What were you thinking?!?

I quickly got over that cause for alarm, though.
I realized I could take selfies in the sunny reflection of my front door.

The best part of Grandma's Easter basket is the egg game.

Instead of hiding eggs around her yard, 
and watching her five grandchildren frolic to look for them,
Grandma and Grandpa stuff eggs with cold, hard cash!

The plastic eggs come in a zip lock bag.

We sit in a circle and take turns drawing them.

This year Grandma trotted through her yard to observe the fun!

One by one we had our fun,

and in the end, we each had a springtime nest egg.

Here's the crazy part:
I pulled $33 dollars worth of eggs on the nose!
So did Ellen.
So did Kenyan.
I think not.

Kenyan got her own view from the Lamp Post front porch the day prior to Easter.
(Her words were too kind).

This year we organized a little fun run in honor of Autism Awareness Month.
We got a great turn out!

$500 of donations were collected.  
We will be taking the generous amount to the Erie Autism Walk on Saturday, April 26th.
We will split the donations evenly down the middle, 
and submit them in honor of our Barber Beast on the Bay Teams.

My team, Krauza's Krazies will be donating $251

Kenyan's team, Beauties and the Beasts will be donating $249

The Barber Beast on the Bay is an obstacle course run on Erie's beautiful Presque Isle.
It is set for September 6, 2014.

You can read more about the adventure race, here:

For the Barber Best homepage and registration information, click here:

If you'd really like to be a part of some summer time fun,
join one of our Teams.

The Krauza's Krazies are part of Dr. Krauza's Team Adrenaline group, for the most part.

The Beauties and the Beasts are made up predominately 
of East Side YMCA'ers and heavy duty runners.

We've been going at it on facebook for the past few months,
posting wagers, creating challenges.

We kidnapped Kenyan

We released her, and then she had the balls to steal Doc's hat.

Things got a little heated.  
The team rumblings moved outward to the viewing public.
Many of you contacted me asking
Is this $h!t for real?
My answer is, yep, it's about as real as this pseudo journalist gets.
What appears on this blog is always,
In my mind, anyway.
True, that!

There's going to be a battle on the peninsula come September, 
and I invite you to be a part of it.

Join one of our teams, or just show up to spectate.
The money goes to a great place for special needs children--The Barber National Institute.
You can find more about Gertrude Barber and her legacy here:

The only problem is--
my team captain is missing!

The crazy part of Captain Krazie's disappearance,
is that I think she has something to do with it.

Kenyan is my only sibling, so I've tried not to ask too many questions.
I really needed her to host Easter.  I'm not that good of a cook.
Plus, Eloise loves the sound of silence.
With Doc gone, the chatter has ceased,
and the voices in my head aren't telling me to pack up and move to Ohio.

Things were all well and good until there was a bit of a rumble at Six Mile Cellars,
the winery across the street from the Lamp Post.

Our co-captain has taken the wheel of the Krazy Ship.

This avatar is my photographer friend Clicky.

He received a threatening text from the Beauties--

kill the public smack, or you won't get your leader back.

Well, actually, the Beauties aren't the most savvy texters so the message came through as this:

kill the pubic smack or you wont git ur leeder back

My chick peeps didn't receive the message too well, minus a poorly omitted "l."

As usual, the logical and unemotional Eloise stepped in to calm the storm.

I've been interpreting Kenyan's texts, 
which almost always appear to be written in code, for years.
Then I scolded my little sister.
You got them all hot and bothered--
now it's your responsibility to settle them down!

And for once in my life she did!

Tensions have eased for the time being, 

but we are still minus our group's Founding Father.
In order for the chatter to begin again, Captain Krazy needs located,
then rescued.

No one is calling for him more than this man:

My hubby rejoined his Thursday night golf league after a ten year hiatus!
He needs the healing hands of a chiropractor nearby.

And until that time, I am going to thoroughly enjoy the peaceful solitude.

I chose Lorde's song TEAM for the photo story of the week.  If you were part of the Ribbon & Blue run last Saturday, I will be posting all photos on my facebook page this weekend, as an album.  Watch for them.  I took a few hundred and I have some more to edit.  They are free for the stealing.

Enjoy the weekend.  Make it the best one yet!