Friday, April 29, 2016

Lesson 416: Blue

Hello, Readers!
It's Friday night,
but here's a sunrise for you.

Pretty skies this time of year!
The orange and pink are gorgeous,
but that shade of rare morning blue is a treasure, too.

Another treasure is spring green.
The baby soft leaves are giving area trees their first pops of color.
It's a welcome sight for Erieites.

Sam's elementary school held their annual Evening of the Arts this week.

I was green with envy over the glass artist's demonstration.
I'm learning how to weld this summer so I can make some metal art,
but this live demonstration gave me a few ideas.
to find a blow torch....

I particularly love 3-dimensional art pieces.
This bluebird by an unknown elementary schooler 
was a cheery favorite of Mrs. Eloise.

It kind of reminded me of Mother Bird.
She built her nest this year in a more strategic location.
The lower nest from last year still exists.
This season she built her nest on top of the wreath,
out of easy shot of my lens.

Blue Dog was one of my favorite exhibits.
Find Sam's contribution:

When I asked him what Bowling 2,400 was supposed to symbolize,
my son replied, "Positive Thoughts.
That means the eight, 300 games I'm going to bowl."

Nice thinking, Sam!
A little positivity never hurt anybody.

Harbor Creek High School hosted this event today:

Our resident Youth Leader 
did a great job sharing good news about our school district 
with other teens in Erie County.

One of idea generated from the team's brainstorming session,
was to include more Autism Awareness activities throughout the year.

Autism Awareness Everyday ---   -----:

Snoopy and Eloise agree--great idea!

I am a big advocate for inclusion.
It works!

In April of every year, 
the Lamp Post offers a lesson on the latest dish in the Autism World.
This year, I titled my post Blue.
Blue is the chosen color to represent autism,
recently popularized by the GE and Autism Speaks--
Light it Up Blue!

The world joins hands on World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd,
and lights up buildings and monuments with blue lights,
in recognition of people on the Autism Spectrum.

As much as I love to see the growing awareness,
often April leaves me feeling blue.

Don't get me wrong--
I love the support we receive at the Erie Walk for Autism.

We had a record number of walkers this year,
and raised over $100,000 to help local individuals better their lives.

There are just SO MANY people.

So many kids.
So many young adults.
So many burdened families.
So many stressed school districts.

Eloise is half tempted to clap her hands over her ears
and make it all stop
like Julia does.

Who's Julia?
Lesson for the weekend:
She's the new Sesame Street character with autism.
Julia and Elmo are friends!

Julia likes to swing---
 a lot!

She finds intense interest in a feather.

Julia loves to line her blocks up
and doesn't like them moved.

Eloise thinks Julia is pretty amazing!
To see Julia's Amazing Song about Autism,
scroll to the bottom of this post and watch the shared Sesame Street video.

I love Julia and all of the gang on Sesame Street,
but DeNiro is my hero 
for this Autism Awareness month.

Robert De Niro Reveals His Son Has Autism

If you missed his Today Show interview
and comments about Autism and his censored movie Vaxxed,
click the link below.

My favorite quote of DeNiro's,
who has an autistic son, Natalie's age
"If Autism continues at this rate,
in 15 years,
one out of every two people will be autistic."

Rethinking my family history with Autism over the last week 
in preparation for this blog,
left me a little blue.

Awareness is improving,
but the numbers sure aren't.

The vaccine controversy is once again at the forefront,
and supporters from both sides of the issue are more entrenched than ever.

It has a left me feeling a bit tired,
and worn out this week.

But, I've learned a few tricks to deal with stress over my 45 years.
Family and friends are one's best comforts.

Breathing techniques work.
Inhale for 7.
Hold for 4.
Exhale for 8.

And drinking my favorite drink,
from a little green bottle,

while blasting Purple Rain

helps a little bit, too.

Have a simply Amazing weekend, Readers!


Friday, April 22, 2016

Lesson 415: Purple Reign

Well color me purple!
Friday has rolled 'round once again.

I ombred myself grape in honor of the unexpected passing of another music icon-
The artist now Really Formally Known As Prince passed away on Thursday.
Many associate him with the color purple because of this 80's album,
Purple Rain.
It was one of my favorites in high school,
and I have many memories tied to those songs.

I had an Eloise moment on Thursday.  I was driving from school to school to pick up some art show costumes.  I rolled down the windows and turned up the radio to a mild blast as I exited my space in the high school parking lot.  Raspberry Beret was playing on Classy 100.

Wow!  I haven't heard this song for ages!
A memory of me dancing around the Junior High gym at an after the football game dance
flashed in my mind.

I listened for a minute, but quickly hit the next few buttons on the radio, just checking to make sure Tim McGraw wasn't playing.  There aren't many things that make me happier than coming across a Handsome song on the radio.  I scrolled down to find that Froggy was playing Purple Rain!

Holy cow!  TWO Prince songs!  What are the chances!

Still in search of some soothing from Handsome Himself, I popped along a couple more button stops on my radio.  On Star 104 When Doves Cry was playing!

Sweet, Jesus!  THREE songs!  Now that is REALLY something.

I can only imagine what I looked like as I talked aloud to myself the whole way down to Klein School and back.  It wasn't until I reentered the high school a short time later that I found out the reason why I took at trip down 80's memory lane.  The change of classes was going on as I buzzed myself in.  Kids were walking up and down the hall in a buzz.  I could feel the energy and see the phones flashing.  
Prince died!
Hey!  Prince just croaked!
Prince was found dead in some elevator.

One of my brainy ones walked by and I heard him say,
Like, a REAL Prince or Prince the musician?
Cause if a Prince died somewhere, this could be bad!

Thank God for the Brainiacs.
They like clarification.

I love how the weather people around the country 
lit up their weather maps with purple precipitation on Thursday evening in his honor.

Thanks for your musical contributions, Prince.
I just made a fantastic playlist for the weekend!

I'll be hitting Play often with my freshly painted Purple Rain fingernail polished nails.

My reigning favorite book of the week is this purple pick;

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin.

Children's book enthusiasts will love this new one.
In keeping with Ann Martin style,
it has great character development,
an interesting plot,
and it involves a dog.

Dogs always need a place in a children's book.
It's The Key to a great read.

Rose Howard, the main character in Ann's story has high functioning autism.
Ann Martin got it just right--
the literalness of a child with Asperger's Syndrome.
Rose likes
1. Words (especially homonyms)
2. Rules
3.  Numbers (especially prime numbers)

Eloise understands Rose because she likes
1.  Words (especially written ones)
2.  Rules (bending them)
3.  Numbers (especially odd ones, particularly with 3's)

If you are reader and looking for a little something wonderful,
from which you will learn lots about autism,
read Rain Reign.

If you are more of a mover and a shaker than a reader,
you may want to lace up your sneakers
 and meet me on Erie's Presque Isle on Saturday, April 23rd.

Thanks to the Harbor Creek School District for supporting a team again this year.

Natalie's Happy People are sporting some new hairstyles this week.

Erie had a little bit of rain this week, but we still need more.
Rain reigns at the Lamp Post as we run on well water.

Water is a good thing.

That is why we collect it.

Check out Erie's Don't Give Up the Drip Rain Barrel art/environmental project!
Pick up your map to find their locations and check them out.
One is across the street from the Lamp Post.

I can't wait to find them all to get inspired!
if hubby can collect tree sap,
Eloise can collect rain water.

Stay tuned for the Lamp Post rain barrel!
It's a work in progress!

Luke Bryan sings that Rain is a good thing,

but not on game days.

We like our skies blue and sunny 
and the winds warm and gentle.

No matter how cloudy the day is this year,
it always seems like the girls have a ray of sunshine beaming down upon them.

To end this Purple Reign/Earth Day post,
I'll give you a little lesson on the reigning invasive plant--
the Purple Loosestrife
(Eloise and crew have been studying for the PA Envirothon).

I made this my cover photo for facebook,
to match my purpled up profile pic.

It's so pretty,
but cripes!
Purple Loosestrife is on the Most Wanted List.
Environerds even have a wanted poster out for it!

Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

Purple loosestrife
Purple loosestrife can range from 2 to 7 feet high.
Purple loosestrife is a wetland plant from Europe and Asia. It was introduced into the east coast of North America in the 1800s. First spreading along roads, canals, and drainage ditches, then later distributed as an ornamental, this exotic plant is in 40 states and all Canadian border provinces.
Purple loosestrife invades marshes and lakeshores, replacing cattails and other wetland plants. The plant can form dense, impenetrable stands which are unsuitable as cover, food, or nesting sites for a wide range of native wetland animals including ducks, geese, rails, bitterns, muskrats, frogs, toads, and turtles. Many rare and endangered wetland plants and animals are also at risk.

I guess it is a real problem.
Sometimes the prettiest things can be such bitches to control.

Mrs. Eloise did a little research to find out how far Miss Purple Looselegs, 
I mean LooseSTRIFE has traveled.

Floridians, you're safe,
but it appears as though the rest of us are screwed.

Minnesota is in the midst of a crackdown.


Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria, L. virgatum and any combination thereof) is listed as a MDA Prohibited Noxious Weed (Control List) and aprohibited invasive species in Minnesota. It is illegal to possess, plant, transport, or sell purple loosestrife in Minnesota.

 I mean, it makes sense.
You can possess pot and all, 
but God help you if you try to 
or transport Purple Loosestrife.

Enjoy my favorite Prince song of all time (posted below),

Eloise can't think of a nicer way to show love,
than by giving someone a kiss!