Friday, January 2, 2015

Lesson 340: Lamp Post Year in Review 2014

Happy New Year!
Time for Eloise's annual Lamp Post Year in Review.

If you are not a reader, this is a good one to hit on.
It's mostly photos and captions.

Let Eloise take you on a photo journey through

right into our adventures of 2015.
Buckle up,
last year was quite a ride.

When Erieites look back at 2014 we shiver.

The words Polar Vortex became part of our vocabulary.
It blew through our city three times before winter's end.

Erie, Pennsylvania won the Snow Globe's Snowiest City,
just edging out Syracuse, NY with our early April snowfall.

Niagara Falls were frozen solid.

Niagara Falls Partially FROZEN in polar vortex

Tracy Southern in Fort Mill, South Carolina even got a chance to build a snowman.

What do Erieites do?
We put on a warm hat and head out.

The ice fishing was great.

The ice castles were solid, too.

We could only last about an hour tubing at the Peak in the temps hovering around zero,
but it made the trips down the hill slippery-fast.

Eloise passed the long dark winter arm knitting really cool scarves.

We also got adventurous with cooking here at the Lamp Post.
Bye, bye grilled cheese and hamburgers.
We tried something new!

For six weeks we created menus based on foreign foods
in honor of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Some nights were hits,
like Fiesta Night

and the luau we had when it was 4 degrees outside.

Some weeks were a bust.
Remind me to tell my children to think twice before traveling to an Asian country.

We also were diligent about getting outside to move around, despite the cold.
Any exposure to sunlight is good for you.

Kenyan ran three marathons in 2014 and trained in the snow.

My team braved it every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

You can build significant endurance rolling snowballs.

Eloise is the biggest Olympic Sports fan!
I enjoyed the games in Russia tremendously.

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics logo

My favorite feel-good story of the games was the one of
the Canadian skier and his mentally handicapped brother.

The skier had no bigger fan.
(I got teary just looking at this photo again).

I hauled my flags around in the back of my van for three weeks,
making anyone and everyone pose for photos with them.

My hubby brought home the silver this year in the big Erie Bowling Tournament,
sponsored by the Erie Times News.

It was a classic year,

as Louie recovered from a severe back strain
 which left him flat on his back for nearly one month,
to coming in second ten days after he began walking again.

The 2015 tournament begins January  10th.
He can't wait for another chance to win the title.

I Eloised a tree in the Community Park
and challenged outdoor enthusiasts to grab a heart.

It was so popular my friend Erin and I brought the Love Tree back in December.

Early spring brought birthdays,
my 43rd

and Sam's 7th.

I also made my first children's novel The Key
available for reading on The Lamp Post,
posted chapter by chapter, daily throughout the month of March.

It got rave reviews from my followers,
especially those below the age of 16.

I have a couple more in store for 2015,
and I'll let you know when they are ready for the reading.

Ellen Louise bravely chopped her hair and cried about it for three days straight.

I bravely booked a trip to Charlotte to visit Tracy Southern,
and go to the Tim McGraw concert.
I flew all by myself and changed planes in Detroit!

I got a true southern welcome.

My family sure missed me.

We had a great time.

I smuggled my camera in,

and got this great shot after we got upgraded to the 26th row.

Great show Handsome.  Keep on singing.
Eloise will always be your biggest fan.

April is the month to raise awareness for Autism.
The Lamp Post lit it up blue.

The statistics are growing more troublesome.

Kenyan organized a run for Autism through the community park trails.

I took the photos.

Erik  and Natalie thank you.

Spring brought melting snow,

and beautiful foggy sunrises.

Grandma's Easter eggs

and real eggs.

May brought forth beautiful flowers and a treasured card for Mother's Day.

Warm runs in the sunshine,

and fishing made the late spring very enjoyable.

Dance recitals

Natalie's Sweet 16,

my freinds' bike ride from Erie to Philadelphia,

and a ticket to see WWE in Erie rounded out the excitement of spring.

The start of summer means:
Celebrate the end of the school year with this free "school is out" printable!  Print it and frame it or even just hang it on your kid's bathroom mirror, on the door out to the garage or even place it on the dinner table!  Share in your kid's excitement!
Summer rules!

Grandma turned 69.
When you get to be 69 you can pick whatever you want to eat for your birthday.
Grandma chose Mighty Fine Doughnuts and coffee.
Good pick, Grandma!

Summer for Eloise equals Little League.

It also gives me time to work on my close ups.

Summer also means time away in the woods.
One of my favorite places to photograph in the Allegheny forest,

was a casualty of the big snowfall.
When we had a quick warm up, flooding resulted,
and washed away my favorite bridge.

We had a big get-away at the end of June.

The Disabilities Pass made the Disney Park experience easier on my family.

Ellen wondered why we couldn't make the trip an annual event.
We gave her the bill for lunch.

Our next trip is planned for 2021,
It will be my 50th birthday as well as Walt Disney World's,
as it opened in 1971.
I bet they'll have a superb fireworks display!

Dan and Megs got hitched.

And Louie and I celebrated That's 20 Honey!

My running group ran some Six Pack Runs.

One of them had a trendy Hidden Money Envelope.
I'm glad Leslie won the whole five bucks.

I owe her one for teaching Natalie and I lots of healthy recipes.

The largest chunk of blog space this year was devoted to the promotion
 of Erie's premier obstacle course race,
The Barber Beast on the Bay.

Grandma signed up for Kenyan's team,
because she likes her best.

And that began a war over the heirloom ax.

Teams faced off,

kidnappings occurred

and our teams even got some air time on Erie radio.

I was determined to find and slay the beast before my speedy fast sister did
and pulled out all stops.

Beast Hunt day arrived,

and both teams finished strong.

Alas, the beast was not captured.
We're going back for him again in September.
Who's in?
Erik thanks you for your support,

and so does Natalie.

Join us September 12th for another shot at him,
and have some bruises to be proud of.

I got strong and confident while Beast training all summer long.

So strong, in fact, that I made a Forrest Gump Run of epic proportion.

I left Harbor Ridge Golf Course at sun up,
with 8 missions on my Zombies Run Game,
a Gatorade,
a camera,
and $20 in my pocket.

at lunchtime and 25.43 miles later,
 I reached Beach 9 on Erie's Presque Isle.

I looked a bit tired, but not enough for my family to move the car down the beach
a half a mile.

I ran a the length of a full marathon that day.

Tracy Northern got me this shirt.
You can't run all that way and not get a shirt!

Ellen turned 14 and we celebrated at the movies.

We said goodbye to Old Blue.

Some dealt with the transition better than others.

Sam handled it with his usual stoic grace and maturity.

We joined the Post Apples Farm Co-Op this year,
and the harvest was bountiful.

Thank goodness we did!
This was my only garden yield for the year.

My 1989 Graduating class celebrated our

Fall brought the start of school again,
and plenty of opportunities to work on landscapes and nature shots.

Sam became a Cub Scout.
I found a good source of good, practical advice.

We finally sorted out our one sock bag.

And the fall storms blew through.
We said goodbye to baseball,

and welcomed football season with open arms.

There were special dances,

and plenty of bike rides because I stress fractured my foot.

The dog got skunked.

Deskunking a house is scary,
but so are spooky fun runs.

One set of friends came as Eloise and Louie.

It's about time someone else came prepared for a run.

Heather and Erin combined efforts to create my favorite photo of the year.

And when the leaves turned brown and fell to the ground,

It was time for the snow to come.
Early this year!

Ellen played photographer,

and captured this pile up over a seven hour period in early November.

7 am


and 3 pm.

Mother Nature left my city with a record breaking 
Early Snow Total of 12.5 inches!

Natalie starred in Miss Shining Star again this year.

My photographer hero, Matt Kleck 
surprised us and showed up in the audience
with his new camera.
He gave me this photo, which will soon be on the Lamp Post wall.

November brought many thanks.

I was thankful to be running again,

and for discovering new heroes.

December brought the black and white photography challenge.
I titled my set
Keys to a Happy Life.


Happy Home,

and Walmart.

There is a store across from a corn field, 
within a couple of miles from the Lamp Post.
I liked the shot so much I just had to use it,
and engineered it to fit with my theme.
I actually like it better in color.

Ellen got us into the Christmas spirit with a holiday dance show,

and a Winter Formal.

Trivia crack has been keeping me busy,
and learning lots of new things.

December is a month for celebrations,
Kenyan's birthday a week before Christmas,

and my Dad's five days after.

Christmas was wonderful.

Time spent with family and friends is the greatest gift of all.

Christmas photos are compliments of the iPhone on a Selfie Stick.

It's a borderline obnoxious contraption,
but it gives you a peek at my world from a whole new angle.
Yeah, well, whatever.

What does the Lamp Post family resolve to do in 2015?

For starters, we're going to move some beads on this 100 Good Deeds bracelet.

As a family we are going to make our goals more outward than personal this year.
A little kindness in the world goes a long way.

Dalai Lama #quote. Helping others. From @Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning

This is one of my favorite quotes...but I guess I say that to every Dumbledore quote!!!

The only resolution I am making this new year is to be more kind to everyone, including myself.

If these greats understood the concept enough to put it in writing,
the least we could do is pay attention.

Happy New Year, Readers.
Wherever you are on the map dot,
make 2015 your best year yet!

Below is my year end photo video from my wellness journey.
I hope they all inspire you as much as they have inspired me
to stay healthy.

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