Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lesson 366: eXpect The uneXpectEd

Let's start the weekend out with a guessing game, Readers.
This is my reflection.
What is the rounded object I'm looking into?
For bonus points:
Where was I and what was I doing?
(one point each)

Some people crave routines.
They offer comfort and sanity to this crazy life.
Others find routines boring.

No matter how you view routine,
in the course of our days things happen that are completely unexpected.

We spent several days camping in the Allegheny National Forest this past week.

We've it done so many times,
we have the whole pack,
set up camp,
and unload at home down to a science.

We caught fish,

cooked them over a fire,
along with lots of marshmallows,

 and rode ATV's.

All of that fun was to be expected.
The soaker we camped in--
was rather unexpected this late in June.

It's been a rainy start to the summer here in northwestern Pennsylvania,
and we prepared for rain--
just not that much of it!

The rain made for some great puddles in the ATV playground though.

We saw lots of wildlife:

A fat, bumpy toad, 

and some cool insects,

If you go camping to the bug infested woods this summer,
get these bug bands at Big Lots--
natural citronella that lasts for 200 hours.
I wore one on my wrist the entire time and never got a single bite!

Deer are always plentiful in the mountains,

and so are bears!

The only thing with THIS bear is
that we didn't see it in the forest---
we saw it in downtown North East BEFORE we went camping.
It was on the roof of a house right along the town square.

eXpect The uneXpectEd!

There were plenty of beautiful birds for me to photograph.
I'll send you a prize in the mail if you can identify the following three specimens.

I bet you all can name the fourth bird we spotted in the middle of the woods!

No lie.
We were checking out an ATV trail and found this beauty walking down the road.

eXpect The uneXpectEd!

Sister Kenyan got quite an unexpected surprise today.
She discovered the "missing fish",
a fillet my brother in law cut up, and thought he left on the beach.
Turns out it was in the back of the car,
for 6 days,
sitting in the sun.

My hubby was in trouble all week for tossing the ATV gasoline rag
in with my laundry.  
When I start sweating at a workout, pay Eloise no mind.
I'm not fueling with gasoline.
The smell lingers,
but not as long as the fish stench and maggot larvae will.

eXpect The uneXpectEd!

This was a neat find on a graffiti wall in Rome.
Someone sent a snapshot of our last name to a family member.
It's not everyday you see your name spray painted on a Roman wall.

eXpect The uneXpectEd!

if you know my in-laws,
you could expect that the graffiti would be neatly stenciled.
Neat freaks.
The whole damn spaghetti loving lot of them!

When it comes to Little League Baseball,
you win some,

 and you lose some.

That is certainly expected.

After the last game of the season,
I bumped into the coach's circle to get one last shot.
I wanted one of the boys' hands,
like this:

the coach's son leaned into the photo,
biting the team's third place medal,
and this became my Favorite Shot of the Season.

eXpect The uneXpectEd!

One can expect ice cream after the final game,
Coach's treat!

Thanks, Coach Rocky!

Cousin Erin visited the Lamp Post
all the way from State College this week.
She wanted to hang out,
which is expected when relatives visit.

She didn't expect I'd drag her to a Team Adrenaline workout.

or take her on a spin through the vineyards.
Great job, Erin.
eXpect The uneXpectEd!

Celebration of the week:
My newly renovated Aldi's reopened!

Interesting story of the week:
Rachel Dolezal--

While searching the internet for chatter and viewpoints
on such a peculiar story
I found this one, too.

This woman was adopted and raised as black,
and at age 70 found out that her birth parents were white.

PHOTO: Verda Byrd was adopted and raised as a fair-skinned African-American, but later discovered that her birth parents were white.

Consider it food for thought for your weekend snack.
How do we identify ourselves?
By our genetics or our environment?

With all the rain,
and the kids getting older and able to entertain themselves more

Eloise was able to get some reading time in.

Here are some recommendations for your summer reads:

For kids:

This one is great if you are taking a car trip--
great for toddlers to teens.

Sam is loving this series--
kind of like Captain Underpants
and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Great read, 
interspersed with cartoon art.
I love Nelson DeMille books,
but only the ones with Detective John Corey.
This one is about the Russians
and the weaknesses of American seaports.

My favorite of the summer, by far,
is John Green's Paper Towns.

Ellen turned me on to this one.
The title to my blog will make much more sense when you read it.
It is teen fiction, 
which I found I have a huge admiration for,
and truthfully prefer to read lots of times.

My Kindle tells me I'm 80% done with it,
and by the way I stop and start reading,
my estimated finish time is the year 2017.

I hope it has and ending that I like--
one that leaves the reader wondering.

I'll let you know my final rating next week,
and God forbid--
DON'T BLAB THE ENDING if you see me!

My town of Erie is far from paper.
It's more like a sponge.
We are due for another soaker this weekend--
all weekend long so the perky weather girl chips.

eXpect The uneXpectEd?
we live in Erie.
Crappy weather weekends are part of our game.

My team is participating in Endure for a Cure--
helping raise money for Type 1 Diabetes
 by biking or running around the peninsula for 24 hours.

Go team!
Eloise will cheer you on beneath my raincoat
for this one.

  Do you remember the blog's opening photo?  
This is what my reflection bounced off of--
hubby's ATV helmet.  
What and where?
We were riding four wheelers on a trail near the camp.
Betcha you thought the first photo was a bowling ball, huh?

Enjoy your weekend, Readers,
and Erieites--
try to stay dry.

You can enjoy some nature photos from this week's camp trip,
set appropriately to Taylor Swift's Out of the Woods.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Lesson 365: Cheer Lead Every Day!

Today is the 170th day of the year!
Now that's a reason to stand up and cheer!

Eloise is all about sharing good news
and celebrating accomplishments.
Here's a few high points of our week at the Lamp Post.

Sam and pals completed their first football camp!

They wouldn't smile upon my photo request.

They told me football players needed to look tough.

And tough these boys were
as they played most of the week in the mud.

It's been a soggy start to the summer here in northwestern PA.

Raindrops are sure interesting to photograph,

but the downpours that brought them washed away my bridge!

Pieces of it wound up downstream,
and I haven't fished them out yet.

Ellen is trying her hand at golf this year.

Unfortunately the courses are too soggy to play,
so she's set up camp in the front yard of the Lamp Post.

A big rah, rah, sis boom bah for Sam.
I actually framed one of his paintings.
I have several of the girls, but none of Sam's.
This fire breathing dragon done in watercolor has a new home in our garage.
Thanks for the inspiration, Jan Weber.

I could do a Russian Eagle split jump over how well the
2015 Lamp Post Summer Incentives are working!

No need for a long list of Summer Rules anymore.
My kids are trained.
Persistence pays off.
They are relatively neat,
keep after themselves,
and pitch in and help when there is a job to be done.
Sometimes they help without even being asked to.

I posted one rule and it is one that applies to everyone of the human nation:

Money incentives work the best in our house.
They all like cash and are good with money.

Sam gets 33 cents a serving for fruit and vegetables--
and trust me--
Mr. Picky works for every penny.

earns cash for laps on the park track--
either walking, 
or biking.

Ellen gets a penny a push up or sit up.
She thought she'd cash in the first week--
until she realized how sore she got!

Our favorite recipe to share is the simplest of concoctions,
you don't need to measure anything,
and it's healthy!

We make popcorn in our popper,

and shake some Frank's Red Hot on top!

Thank you Challenge Erie 6 Cooking Class!
Try it!

I sat back and ate some Red Hot Popcorn
 as I watched a comedy in my own yard.
Hubby chased Sam and the "tough" football players
around the Lamp Post with a pair of stockings on his head.

I don't think the boys will sleep well for a few days.

Nor will my husband after a team attack.

My favorite teams have been kicking some butt this summer,

Stay strong all summer long!

Keep climbing those hills!
Tracy Northern and I got his one done at 6 am!

Enjoy your weekend, Readers.
What better song to use for a photo display of my hill climbing group
than Cheerleader by Omi.

I love the song.
Everyone needs a cheerleader.