Sunday, June 29, 2014

Lesson 308: Dan & Megan

Congratulations to my nephew Dan and his new bride Megan.

We wish you all the best from the Lamp Post.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lesson 307: Sight of the Sun

Eloise has returned from the cottin' pickin' south unscathed!
It was a great trip and I am very happy!

The weekend trip meant much more to me than simply seeing Handsome 
perform in the south.

For starters, it was a chance for my family to have to survive a few days without Mother Eloise.
It only took one day for this romantic text to come in from my hubby.
He is listed as Prince Charming in my phone.

The contest for next week is to guess what my response was.
Message me your best guesses and I'll reveal the follow up blue conversation box next week.

They sure were glad to see me upon my return! 
This is my crew at the baggage claim in Erie International Airport,
which I now realized is a speck of dirt compared to Detroit and Charlotte.

I wish you could have been there to watch them greet me as I got off of the airplane.  On the final leg of the return trip I relaxed enough to chat with some people.  A husband and wife from Westfield, NY were on the exact same flights I was, to Charlotte and back.  As we walked through the gates after landing in Erie, they witnessed the reunion first hand.  At the baggage claim they wished me well and said, "You described them all so perfectly.  You should write a book or something."

Secondly, navigating airports solo was my Big Challenge of Summer 2014.
I've flown a couple of times before, but had friends or family to rely on. 

Airports can be very confusing to the novice traveler.

I looked for these and asked questions when I needed to.

The poor Delta help desk people. 
"I am just double checking on this.....," asked Eloise.
"Triple checking," replied the smiling gate attendant.

I navigated the Detroit tunnel,

found my gate in plenty of time,
and watched the planes come in.

I found myself some great reading material,

and my keen nose sniffed out the coffee!
I've learned there's plenty of it in airports.

Will Eloise ever become a world traveler?

Well, since you put it that way.....

I'm still writing my own story and I'm not ready to put down the pen anytime soon.
It's hard to imagine, but I'm not counting anything out.
I mean, heck, there are places in the world like this?

And this?

And things to do like this?

Oh, the possibilities!

For the Bomb Dot Com of all travel experiences, check this out!

Around the World in 360 degrees

Click the link below.  It's well worth the watch.

The lover of keys decided that it would be fitting 
to collect key chains from the places she's been.
I started my collection with these two.

Tracy Southern's family gave me a warm welcome,

and showed me what southern hospitality really meant.

Here I am with my bridesmaids on the way to see Handsome.
My Matron of Honor made this lovely sign.

No one wanted to touch my hand, though.
Most people sitting near us were a bit tipsy.
We were in the cheap lawn seats.
People who sit there have to get them because 
that's all they can afford when they drink $11 concert beers.

Sneaky Eloise stashed her camera 'neath a few decoys.

My banned zoom lens helped me sneak a shot of Tim's well toned muscles,

and his new tattoo!

The photos became even clearer when we upgraded to seats closer to the stage

At 47, Tim McGraw looks great!
He attributes a regimented diet and regular exercise program for his physique.
Handsome supports Team McGraw, part of the Tug McGraw Foundation.

Cousin Bonnie found this link for me:

Thanks for a great show, Handsome.

Cindereloise flew from the amphitheater so fast that I lost a shoe!
I know you have it, so just head north to Pennsylvania to find me.
I'll be waiting.

Because I lost a shoe, I had to get a new pair.
The updated Wave Inspire is white with blue soles.  
Perfect for Cindereloise's next destination.

Instead of wearing them WITH diamonds,
I can wear them TO the diamonds.

We were short on players for the last game and had to borrow one from the other team!

Sam called the loaner a smurf.
Mother Elosie called him a spy.

Eloise put her secret agent skills to good use today.
I found this scooter early this morning while running past the little league field.

After considerable time in deep thought,
I concluded this kid-powered vehicle must belong to Lucas.

Finding left behind items is just one of the benefits of early morning exercise.
Sunrises are another.

Always stay in sight of the sun, Readers.

And when it does rain on your wedding or picnic or ballgame,
no worries.
Change your perspective instead.

Good advice, Charlie Brown!

No matter whatever the summer brings--the sunny days or the rainy ones,
ENJOY the moments.

I chose the FUN song Sight of the Sun for the photo video this week.
The song is catchy and has great lyrics.  

Have a great weekend.
See you next week on the Fourth of July!


Friday, June 20, 2014

Lesson 306: Southern Hospitality

Hi, Y'all!
Eloise is posting early this weekend.
I'm headed to the Carolina's for a big event.

I have my hat packed and my boots buffed up.

Eloise and Tracy Southern are headed to see Tim McGraw!  

He's performing his Sundown Heaven Tour in Charlotte, NC.  My friend for 38 years, Tracy Southern lives near there,and she's about to give Eloise some southern hospitality for the weekend.  But more on that later, otherwise I'll be too excited to finish this post.

So how did I relieve the stress and tension created by a mother leaving her house for a weekend?

No way, Jose.
Well, wait....just one.
I painted.

This was my masterpiece from Cocktails and Color.
I attended the event as part of my Challenge Erie 5 Summer Wellness package.

Cocktails and Color is a mobile painting studio in Erie, 
which offers classes in local establishments.

Erieites, you can find out more about Cocktails and Color by

For an affordable $30, you get an evening out of the house.
You paint with instruction from an artist, while sipping your favorite cocktail.

Here are some of the paintings of my classmates.

This class was held at the Brewerie in Union Station. 
It is one of Erie's highlights if you ever come to visit.

It's a really cool building to explore, with lots of local art and history within it
to keep your mind occupied while you sip and taste.
You can't miss it.  
It's the building with the cool flags on top.

There is also this really interesting statue near there.

It is of Eben Brewer.

He was the first mail agent of the United States in Cuba.

It's a mighty big statue for a mailman....
in Cuba.

I'm not knocking Eben or anything.
I'm just curious as to why such a large, expensive statue was erected for him in Erie.
 If you know the history, contact Eloise.
I came up dry on my research.

I'm trying not to come up dry in other areas of my life, too.
I'm drinking more water as a result of seeing this British woman on a post
on the Team Adrenaline facebook page.

This is Sara Smith.
She is 42 years old.
She drank 3 liters of water every day for a month straight,
and this was the difference in her appearance from start to finish.
Here is the article:

After four weeks: Sarah looks like a different woman

What truth is there to this?
Does Eloise believe everything she reads on the internet?
Did Eloise take the first photo with her $400 camera,
and Matt Kleck take the second shot with his three million dollar clicker?
We just can never be sure about so called internet experiments.
So I thought, 
Hey! Why not try this yourself?

Sara is 42 and from Great Britain.
She wrote a good summary and uses words like "wee" and "lavatory."

Eloise is 43 and from the USA.
I will write a good summary a month from now and use words like "tinkle" and "potty."

Here is my before photo taken a week ago.
I think our bags and lines look quite similar.
Check back in a month to see what happened.

Here's your Sneak Peek:
The first day, I felt a bit like this:

After feeling a bit water logged, I did some research and found this headliner from 2007:

Strange but True: Drinking Too Much Water Can Kill

In a hydration-obsessed culture, people can and do drink themselves to death.

You can read this full article here and weigh your options if
you, too, would like to try this experiment.

Although I was feeling a bit like the Blueberry Girl from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,
on the second day of the experiment, I felt very good.
I'm on Day 3 as of this writing and drinking 3 liters of water a day 
isn't that bad at all.

Eloise is no longer blue, but the sky turned purple.

Erie's had some stormy weather this week.
One evening the sky turned from yellow to lime green to purple.
It was hard to capture because my camera kept auto correcting the sky.
Here is one raw shot of the evening.

The Six Mile Cellars barn picked up a purplish cast.

While we're on the subject of purple, do you recall the 
Pennsylvania Purple Squirrel story I posted last year on this blog?

Apparently, this lavender squirrel was found in central Pennsylvania somewhere.
Environmentalists were not sure if he got into something he shouldn't have,
or was the plum end of a bad prank.

After some inconclusive study, the squirrel was released back into the wild,
and I was convinced he was heading to Erie.
I looked for him all summer long, and never found him.

Then comes Summer 2014.
My parents, who live next door to the Lamp Post,
had been claiming to see an albino squirrel.

Albino?  Eloise asked.
Did he have red eyes?

No, they said
But he seemed to be much lighter than the average red squirrel.

I really thought my parents were losing it.

So I did what any good daughter would do--
I booby trapped the yard.

The corn feeders and tree mount, wild life cameras
(2 of them)

I caught the little bugger!
It is one twitchy spaz!


My parents aren't nuts (yet), after all!

This is Terri (or Terry) on top of the tree house.
We named it that in honor of Louie's sister, Terri,
 who is by far, the twitchiest person we know.

The squirrel wasn't the only wildlife I captured this week.
I found this beauty, too.

She was taking a walk through the vineyards as the sun was setting.

Here's what my hubby does while I slither through the grass to grab the shot.
Thank the Lord I'm not photographing wolves.

One shot I'd love to get this week is another like this!

This is Handsome in Cleveland in the summer of 2012.
He had a bit more weight on then, 
and I honestly think he looks a little better this way.

Here's me in Cleveland while I was watching Handsome in the summer of 2012.
Please don't tell me I had a bit more weight on then,
or that I looked better that way.

I went to that concert with Keri, my dancer friend.

Another time I went with my sister and her friend Stephanie.

Memorial Day weekend 2013 was sure memorable.
I went to see Tim McGraw in Darien Lake, NY
with these girls and Heather Cass who was taking this snapshot.

It was here that touched Handsome with my own hand!
I high fived his palm and slapped his baby-bottom soft, leather jacket.
Me and the fan sitting behind me, Dawn from Buffalo, reveled in our moment of starstruck.
She high fived him, too!

Can you see the pattern?
I move around my concertmates.
I really think it's because my exuberance is a bit hard for some to take in back to back summers.
I have to spread the wealth and operate on some sort of cycle.

This year, Tracy Southern gets the prize.
A ticket my treat--and ME for the entire weekend!
She's little, but she's hauled my buzzed butt around enough in her life.
We met in Kindergarten and were college roommates!

If anyone can stand me at a McGraw concert, it is her.
Let's hope I don't blow a 38 year friendship over Cowboy in Me.

 Just in case---
who's in for next year?

We got lawn seats this time.
Handsome is going to have to make an effort to find me.

Heck, he wrote a song about me this year. 

I give the cover shot a 10 and the song a 5. 
Here's my song below if you are unfamiliar with it.

If you don't like Handsome, here's something totally unique to take a look at.  Brilliance at work.  

Enjoy the photos for the week set to Tim McGraw's song, Southern Voice.  If you are very, very quiet at 8:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time, you may just hear my southern voice shouting from the lawn seats.  

If I don't return, I left Ellen the keys to the Lamp Post.  I have great faith in her to keep the light shining. Know that I will miss you all, but will be happy with my new job, which is Personal Blogger for Handsome Himself. 

Bye, Y'all!