Friday, January 27, 2017

Lesson 462: Dear Mr. President

The weekend has rolled 'round again, Readers.
It's hard to believe how fast the weeks go.

The January snows have returned to Erie after an unusually warm spell.
Lake Erie has not frozen,
even at the shoreline.

You can see some of the ice from the earlier cold snap,
but it has since broken from its icy grasp on the water
and lays dirty and dying alone the shoreline.

The freezing of the lake,
even along the shoreline,
 is important.
The ice dunes protect the beaches
from the strong winter storms.

The waves roared over the break wall
to inflict this damage to my parents' cottage.

The power of Mother Nature is truly amazing.

It's hard to believe this calm,
pretty lake
can become so fierce,
so quickly.

On a lighter note,
the Lamp Post family gym uniform 
has been passed a second time.

Natalie passed on these lovelies to Ellen,

and now that Ellen is done with gym,
she is passing them to her brother.

Given that my 18 year old,
16 year old,
and 9 year old 
all are the same height and weight
(no lie),
I highly doubt Sam will be wearing
these shorts when he attends Harbor Creek as a seventh grader
in three more years!

The Lamp Post Wall of Presidents
is ready to make space for a new face.

Yes, you are correct if you looked again.
That is not a line on your screen.
George W. Bush fell off the wall.
Live with Sam and footballs,
and things just happen.

We're displaying the US Presidents on a wall between the kids' bedrooms.
We started with Clinton who was President when Natalie was born.
I wrote letters for the kids when they were little,
and sent them to the White House requesting a photo.
Ellen was old enough to write to Obama herself.
Each President sent something back--
It's always neat to see what they send.

My classes will be writing to President Trump in a few weeks,
a little closer to President's Day.

This blooming artist from Rolling Ridge 
got the hair just right!

No automatic alt text available.

I always read the political cartoons,
and I thought this one was very clever.

The baby birds in my nest will be writing their letters to the President this weekend.
Sam got started right away.
He can't wait to see what stuff President Trump sends.

Ellen sat awhile.
I thought she had a brain fart.

She says she sending a blank page--
the equivalent of a black screen.

Sweet Natalie always does what she's told.

She needed some help with the spelling,

but kept her message simple.
She, too,
got the hair just right.

Weekend Bonus Assignment:
You can write your own letter to President Trump!
Blog readers who do and receive a return photograph
will get a prize!

President Donald Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC

It's a free country.
If you don't want to write,
don't write.

In either case,
this is your real assignment for the weekend.
Watch this!

Whether you grabbed your pen to write President Trump a love letter
or send hate mail,
this is something we cal ALL agree on.

Watch this darling little girl and her daddy sing.


Friday, January 20, 2017

Lesson 461: Fight or Flight?

Happy Inauguration Day, Readers.

For A Stronger America!:

Political posts are heating up again.
Eloise's advice:

Perfect poster for a classroom wall. Perfect reminder to students and self!:

Scroll past, Readers.
Scroll past.

I'm waiting for all those new real estate listings
so my niece Cora can find a house.
You all vowed to move to Canada if he was elected.

Superb Hand Lettering & Typography Inspiration:

Don't flee the country!
Just stay here and duke it out.
That's what America is all about.

Eloise is very interested to see what will happen
in the next 100 days.

The Inaugural Ball in playing in the background as I write this blog.
 Melania is pretty.
I like the style of her dress,
but wish it was in a brighter color.

Everything in Erie is kind of colorless in January.
It's amazing how the deer blend in.

They can hear the click of my camera!

Thanks for the mail, Friends!
We love to get mail here at the Lamp Post
as much as we like to send it.
It adds color to the day when you find a pretty colored envelope in your mailbox.

Many take flight from the cold weather coop in the winter
for sunnier southern retreats,
(and this year, maybe even Canada)
but as for the Lamp Post dwellers--
we stick around.
Someone has to turn on the light every night.

Plus--we have hoops to watch.

Dances to attend.

And there is always bowling.
Hubby did not make the cut this year for the Erie Times News Bowling Tournament,
surprising everyone because he was on a hot streak.
I was so proud of him for the example he set for the kids
in the way he handled his disappointment,
that I feel the loss,
in some way,
was a very good thing.

Image may contain: 1 person

A facebook friend reshared the story of Carley Fleischman this week.
Carley is a young woman with profound autism who learned to type.
Carley has given the world so much information about what it is like 
to live in a body so confusing and misunderstood by everyone.

This is the original piece from 20/20

Her story was so powerful when I found it in 2010,
that it was one of the reasons for beginning this blog.
Check back in the blog archives--
it is my second or third post.

Our daughter Natalie and nephew Erik have autism.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting, child and outdoor

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

They stim (self stimulate by flapping),
and groan.

Image of burned paper. Text says: "Stimming is like turning down the radio when you think you smell something burning. It's a way of turning off the other senses so you can make sure nothings burning." -- Lamar Hardwick:

It's especially noticeable
 when we are all cooped up in the house in the wintertime.

Image is of a ray of light. Text says: It's a combination of habit and releasing build-up of stress or internal energy in the body... it feels good. -- Planet Autism

Carley does a nice job of
explaining this on her talk show Speechless.
She asks questions of her guests through typing.

Here is a recent video of Carley,
and a great visual of what it's like to be inside of a coffee shop.

Carley's talk show Speechless

Your weekend homework is to watch both videos.
They are just videos--
no reading beyond this blog.
Check them out.

And because I assigned you TWO videos
for weekend homework--
here's a third---
but this one is really fun.

It's a little old,
but I stumbled across it for the first time this week.
Watch it and you have to put yourself in that coffee shop.
What would you do?
Eloise would have been out the door,
down the street,
and on the first bus out of town 
when the guy hit the wall.
I wouldn't have been there to see the chairs and the books.
The construction worker guy is my favorite.
Don't miss this one.

Good night, My Friends.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Lesson 460: Sweet dreams, Sweet Pea

Good evening, Readers.
It's Friday the 13th!

As of this writing, 
all is well at the Lamp Post--
but there are approximately three hours left in this day.
You never know.

I've been thinking a lot about dreams today
as I reminded my students why we were having Monday off of school--
Martin Luther King Day.
I told them to read over his I Have a Dream Speech,
and think about it on Monday when we weren't in school.

My classes are studying fairy tales.
This week we read the Hans Christian Andersen tale,
Princess and the Pea.
If it's been a few years and the story is a bit foggy,
here are a few cool artist renderings to remind you.

the princess and the pea by Susan Batori, via Behance:

A girl, 
claiming to be a real princess,
showed up at the King's castle one stormy night,
seeking refuge from terrible weather.

Illustration by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone for "The Princess and the Pea", from 'A Book of Fairy Tales', published by Dean & Son Ltd. of London, 1977.:

The royal family took her in 
and gave her a place to rest for the night.

princess and the pea. this has a whole new meaning to me...:

Unbeknownst to the princess,
the  King and Queen decided to conduct an experiment 
to test if the princess was a real princess as she claimed.

Princess and the Pea:

They placed a single pea beneath 20 feather beds
stacked upon 20 mattresses.

I like the ladder in this one:

As the story goes,
the princess was awake all night,
unable to sleep because she felt a lump in her bed.
Only a real princess 
would have skin so delicate to feel it.

Princess and the Pea (AP art concentration):

It was most interesting to me to see the students' reactions to this.

Princess and the Pea (memo to self: if I ever have a daughter, get her pic done like this):

As scrappy, 
my American school children responded with the following:

Give me a break!
You've GOT to be kidding!
Get over yourself, Princess!

American kids aren't sold on royalty,
and pretentiousness
in the least,
no matter what the nightly news reports.

My kids could have slept like rocks
through a lump made by a bowling ball,
evidenced by the drool.

gemma capdevila:

I came into work a half an hour early 
every day this week,
to tape peas underneath all of their chairs.

I began class by asking them if they ever wished they were royal,
or wondered if they had royal blood running through their veins.

I'm proud to say that ALL of my students 
FAILED this test!

Upon revelation at the end of class
that they had been sitting upon a pea,
undetected by their tough American hineys 
for the entire class period,
we cheered
and clapped
and high fived!
We celebrated the fact that we are not royal
and better yet--
hardworking American kids instead.

There is hope, Readers.
I can assure you of that.

The Erie snow leopards aren't dreaming of spring just yet.

Kid leopard By Tsybina Natali - It runs on the skeleton and steel wire frame. May lie, stand, sit. Head tilted to any position. Pads with plastics. Eyes author handmade - glass. Filled with synthetic padding and a metal granulate. Its growth was not excluding the tail. Height 23cm, length 25 cm wit...:

We are smack dab in mid-winter 
and are trying to make the most of the wintry weather.

Sledding is always fun,
not to mention a great workout.

Skiing and snowboarding are really cool, too,
although Eloise does neither.
She just spectates,

with a camera, of course.

Tubing at Peek-n-Peak is a fun activity.

There's a nice escalator that gives you a ride back up
after your icy plunge downhill.

The snow melted quickly after a fast,
mid-week warm-up,
so we are neck deep in flooding and mud tonight.
Instead of dreaming of snow activities,
we are looking for other things to do.

If you're bored, Erieites--
you can vote for new Monopoly game pieces.

Monopoly Board Game                                                                                                                                                      Más:

This truly is worth checking out!

Vote for your monopoly game pieces

You can vote for 8 pieces.
I picked the following:

cowboy boot
pocket watch

Weekend homework:
Let me know which pieces you voted for.

It's time for nighty-night, Readers.
Eloise suggests you find a fairy tale and read it.
Does the royalty annoy you?
It does me, too.

Still, fairy tales spur thought,
and that is a good thing.

Take it from Einstein.

"If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales." - Albert Einstein. Reading by/for/with children is always good, I've noticed this with my daughter as we read to her from the tender age of 1 year old.:

Here's an interesting read on Einstein and fairy tales if you are interested:

In honor of the Man of the Week,
Hans Christian Andersen,
I'll summarize with this quote:

"The most wonderful fairy tale is life itself." - Hans Christian Andersen:

True 'dat.

Sweet dreams,
Sweet Peas.


GENUINE ORIGINAL DESIGN Baby girl boy newborn unigender green sweet Peapod Pea Pod cocoon photography props shower. $52.00, via Etsy.: