I tiger now!

I tiger now!, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

Be honest! The highlights look fabulous, don’t they? lol!


This blog is moving!

I’ll keep this blog alive for anyone who followed a link to one of the posts, but I’ll be posting from now on to my new blog.

If you link to my address http://www.erinblackwell.com/, then this move is seamless.  The same if you follow my postings from Twitter and Facebook to here.  I think.  I hope.  I mean, it’s supposed to work. 

If you link to https://erinblackwell.wordpress.com/ and want to change to the new blog, please update the link to http://erinblackwell.blogspot.com/.

Hope to see you over there.  Bye bye!

The new me! Part 1

The new me! Part 1, originally uploaded by eblackwell.

I got a new hairstyle! Something sassy for summer! Part 2 will come Tues night when I get highlights. Part 3 will be: lose weight!

The Grand Theater, a historic Vaudeville building, collapses

John and I were married there.  We met some of our close friends there.  Years of memories and its gone.  Some of Julie’s heart and soul still lived there.

It’s a painful day for a lot of people.

What’s with you and the hats, lady?

It’s a good thing Rico loves me!

Mickey Mouse now talks at Meet and Greets!

This video is from Disneyland.  Does anyone know if this is happening at the World?

What is that?  A voice synthesizer, because he’s reacting in real time, not just recorded phrases.

Ariel and Mickey Mouse help a sick little girl!

I’ve mentioned little Sophia before, the little girl who “adopted” me as her Auntie Erin.  She recently had to have surgery on her arm, and this past Monday, she and her mom Becky called me to say she had to go back into CHoP (The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) for more surgery.  An infection had grown in her arm in the original wound.  I found out Tuesday that she came home, but needed medication.  Becky tearfully told me that Sophia was refusing to take it; after 2 surgeries and hospital stays, fear and tiredness made her dig in her heels.  Nothing they said or did could get the medicine down her throat, and her surgeon said that if she didn’t take those pills, she’d lose her arm.

Before that would happen, they’d bring her back into the hospital and put her on IVs.  No one wanted to put her through that.  Not to mention, even a day of waiting to see if she had to go back gave the infection time to become even more entranched.

I felt so afraid, but I didn’t know what to do.  Nothing I could say would make Sophia listen when she wouldn’t listen to her mom and dad.

And then, as I scoured my mind to think of who she might listen to, I remembered the Disney Enchanted Calls.  I posted about these before where Mickey Mouse or a Disney princess will call.  I did it for Sophia before: I had Mickey call to wish her a Happy Birthday or that he knew she was coming to visit him in Disney World.  Sophia is the granddaughter of former Imagineer; she knows all about The Mouse and his “daddy” Walt.  She’s also a huge Mickey’s Mouse Club fan.  Even with Tinker Bell movies and all,  Mickey means a lot.   She’s been to his house, after all. 😉

And then I remembered I once had a Mickey call of Encouragment for her and it helped calm her down when she was nervous about something.  Of course I wondered: would it work now?

I jumped online and set up for Mickey to call, but there wasn’t anything for someone being sick.  For the heck of it, I selected Ariel, Sophia’s favorite princess.  For her encouragement call, it had an additional option: the person getting the call was worried they’d be okay.

I let Becky know what was going on and held my breath.

Friday, I got a call from Sophia, excited that Ariel had called her on Tuesday.  Ariel told her that she got scared too sometimes and it’s hard to be brave, but she knew Sophia could do it.  Becky told me Sophia hung up at the end, sat quiet, and then said, “If Ariel said I can do it, I can.”

She took her medication.  Every day.

Now, Sophia’s surgeon said her arm is healing very well, everything they hoped to see.  She’s now in the best case scenario, not the worse.  She’s not even middle of the road.  She’s keeping her arm and will have full use of it.  Because Ariel and Mickey called and said they believed Sophia could face her fears and be brave.

It’s a simple little computer and phone program; I’ve always worried that Disney would give up on it and shut it down.  Thank goodness they didn’t do it.  Because the power of hearing your heroes helped a little girl when she needed it most.

Misheard Lyrics Quiz


  1. Little wrinkled rat, baby you’re much too fat….
  2. I’ll be the water you give birth in baby.
  3. and baby all we need is just a beer
  4. We’re the pump boys of the band, flinging meatballs at your feet
  5. Pretty little wombat I adore
  6. It only burns when I pee
  7. I got no job but I’m an opera fan
  8. She’s got a chicken to hide, but she won’t share!
  9. Friday night I dressed your Barbie
  10. Cheese surprise, superstar, Show me frilly knickers and a see-through bra

Answers below:







1. Little red corvette by Prince

Real lyric:  Little red corvette, baby you’re much too fast….

Misheard:  Little wrinkled rat, baby you’re much too fat….

The story:  I caught my mum dancing around the house singing these words while vacuuming, and couldn’t help but crack myself laughing

2. I’ll Be There For You by  Bon Jovi

Real lyric:  I’ll be the water when you get thirsty, baby

Misheard:  I’ll be the water you give birth in baby..

The story:  My husband (who cannot carry a stinking tune) sang it around the house for years. One day I stopped him and said “what in H are you

sayin?? Died laughing when he told me all serious..luv that moron.

3.  Breathe by Faith Hill

Real lyric:  and baby all we need is just to be

Misheard:  and baby all we need is just a beer

The story:  I thought all country music songs talked about horses and beer. 🙂

4. Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Real lyric:  Willy and the poor boys are playing; Bring a nickel; tap your feet.

Misheard:  We’re the pump boys of the band, flinging meatballs at your feet

The story:  Up until this moment I never realized WHAT the real words were!

5. My Cherie Amour by Stevie Wonder

Real lyric:  Pretty little one that I adore

Misheard:  Pretty little wombat I adore

The story: I assumed, I really assumed, it was all about a beloved pet marsupial, and the song was along the lines of Michael Jackson singing about a rat called Ben.

6. Breathe by Melissa Etheridge

Real lyric:  It only hurts when I breathe

Misheard:  It only burns when I pee

The story:  Somehow I managed to figure this one out on my own before I totally wrecked my pride. Good thing too. I sang it that way to myself for years without realizing how stupid it was. Figured it was just one of those weird rock star things.

7. Tubthumping by Chumbawamba

Real lyric:  I get knocked down but I get up again

Misheard:  I got no job but I’m an opera fan

The story:  I just thought that those were the lyrics it’s not really embarrassing.

8. Ticket To Ride by The Beatles

Real lyric:  She’s got a ticket to ride, but she don’t care!

Misheard: She’s got a chicken to hide, but she won’t share!

The story:  This song was actually not misheard by me, but my big brother told me it. We were discussing misheard lyrics by dinner, and my brother pulled this one out. It was just so epic it had to be shared!

9. You May Be Right by Billy Joel

Real lyric:  Friday night I crashed your party

Misheard:  Friday night I dressed your Barbie

The story:  I came up with the Barbie thing when I was seven or eight and it was the theme song for a sitcom based on Dave Barry’s columns. I realized that I was horrendously incorrect when I was in the car with my mom. The song came on and I burst out laughing. When I got my lungs functioning again I told her what was so funny…she almost drove off the road.

10. Jesus Christ, Superstar Soundtrack

Real lyric:  Jesus Christ Superstar, Do you think you are what they say you are?

Misheard:  Cheese surprise, superstar, Show me frilly knickers and a see-through bra

The story: I couldn’t understand the singers properly and was convinced that they were singing those lyrics. My friends found it hilarious when I told them

I have a new nephew!

My great-nephew actually, son of my nephew and godson Martin and his Angela.  His name is Martin John Junior, but I nicknamed him Bo.

And here he is!

I nicknamed him Bo because….

Okay, sit back, get comfortable.  When they said he’d be a Junior, I said we’ve done that already.  Then you have Little Marty, Big Marty, then he won’t want to be Martin some day because he’s too old for that, so and so forth.  Since many people in my family have a nickname, I said maybe he’ll be born with some feature that will cause him to have a nickname.  Like, if he had big lips, we could call him Jagger.  If he had big ears, we could call him Dumbo or Bo for short.  Then when he’s grown and his friends asked him how he got his name, he’d have an amusing anecdote.

Then I said, “I like that name Bo!”  And so he was.  In the family anyway.

Bo and his whole family: Big brother Miles, daddy Martin, and mommy Angela

I can’t get over how well Angela is doing!  Up all night after 16 hours of labor, and she’s sitting up, dressed, happily talking with everyone!

Father and son:

Look at him!

Bo, Daddy, and Mommy:

I’m already his favorite aunt; you can just tell.  I sing him the best lullaby ever, although he’s pretty mellow and only fussed 1 time.  I brought a camera with a fully charged battery.

And I gave him that great nickname.

Okay, he may not have a favorite, but we’re tight, Bo and me.

When he goes home tomorrow night, he’ll be wrapped in the afghan my mom made for Martin when he was going home from the hospital.  So her first great-grandchild that she wasn’t here to see, born in the hospital where we had to say goodbye to her, will still carry her close to his heart.

Welcome to the family, Bo.  We’re so glad you’re here.

How to make a Mickey lamp post!

Mickey Lamp PostI’ve had requests for these instructions ever since I posted Birth of a Mickey Lamp.  Like I said in that post, our friend Gary made ours as well as several others.  They’re very popular in campgrounds as well as out front of homes; in fact, Linda asked me last December after touring Fort Wilderness (as part of a press event, lucky grumble grumble) if these lamp posts are a requirement in FW.  Why, yes they are.  You have to have a certain ratio of lamp posts per campground circle.

So help fill the quota and make your own Mickey lamp post!  You’ll need a few parts, some power tools, homeowners insurance that covers fires caused by your poor electrical wiring, someone standing by to call 911, and a strong thirst for magic and glory!

Or a friend like Gary to do it for you! (and no, I won’t give you his email address.  That’s not fair to him.)

Here are Gary’s instructions — I added some helpful comments    :

How to Make a Mickey Lamp

All the parts you need are available at Home Depot.

The Parts to make a Mickey Lamp Post

The Parts to make a Mickey Lamp Post

The key parts are:

Quantity Name Home Depot

Product Number

1 12 inch acrylic globe 022678331576 $15.96
2 6 inch acrylic globes 022678331620 $5.89
1 Globe holder (fitter) 022618331569 $9.49

[If you’re having trouble finding them, scroll down towards the bottom of this post for more details on how to get them.  Now, to put it all together:]

1:  Begin with the 12 inch globe. Apply masking tape across the top of the globe along the center line in order to mark the centers for the holes needed to mount the smaller globes. Draw a line at the “top dead center” of the lamp and then measure down 4 inches on each side and make another mark. This will mark the centers for each ear hole, they should be 8 inches apart.

Mickey Lamp Step 1

2. Drill a small lead hole for each ear and then use a 3 ¼ inch hole saw to cut the ear holes.

Lamp Step 2

[Did you do it right?  If so, proceed to step 3.  If not, head back to Home Depot for more parts and go back to step 1.]

3.  Remove the tape and glue the smaller globes into these holes, clamp until the glue is set. (Gary uses LePage’s Flexible Plastic Cement.  It comes in a tube, like airplane glue or styrene glue.  We’re not sure if it’s available in the US or not, but any sort of styrene or acrylic cement should work just fine.  He prefers a squeeze tube since it’s easier to apply.)

Lamp step 3

[What?  You glued your hand to the lamp?  Fingernail polish remover will take care of that.  Go to a drugstore or supermarket.  Once you’re free, catch up to the rest of us in step 4.]

4.  Attach a standard plug to the globe fitter.

Lamp step 4

5. Now you need to attach the globe fitter to the post.  I used a 2 inch piece of ABS drain pipe as my post.  The mount is simply a connector which joins 2 pieces of this pipe.  First remove the three clamp screws from the fitter:

Lamp Step 5

[Gary said simply so you had no problems with that step. Right?]

6. Insert the ABS connector in the hole on the bottom of the globe fitter and drill small lead holes through the holes where you removed the clamp screws.

Lamp step 6

[You drilled through WHAT?  Oooooo. I hope you have bandages handy.  Moving on.]

7. Use small screws to attach the connector to the globe fitter.  This piece will now slide on and off the ABS drain pipe which will be your post.

Lamp step 7

[Even I can do that one, peeps.]

8.  Now drill a ½ inch hole about a foot from the bottom of the ABS pipe and feed the power cord up through the pole.  Add a female receptacle to the end of the cord and you are done.

[See, done!!

Well, not quite, but the rest is easy peasy.]

9. Plug the fitter into the female receptacle you just added, slide the globe fitter onto your post and install a 25 watt frosted light bulb.  Place the globe on the fitter and enjoy your lamp.

You will need to devise a base for the lamp.  I used a cast metal base for a patio umbrella (WalMart – about $20.00).  You simply use a chisel to knock off the nut which holds the retaining bolt and the ABS post slides over the post on the umbrella base.  I secure it with two long bolts and wing nuts.  Be sure that your base is heavy enough to prevent your lamp from blowing over.  The umbrella base has worked very well for me.

[Better than the base John and I first used.  It was too light, blew over, and smashed the Mickey head.  We had to beg Gary for his help again.  That’s why I can’t give you Gary’s email.  He changed it in case we broke this one.]

On my last few lamps I have added smaller bulbs to illuminate the ears as well as the larger globe.

10. Begin with a piece of metal strapping, about 4 inches long.  Bend about ¼ inch on each end so that the ends will create a “friction grip” on the flange of the 6” globe which is now visible inside the 12” globe.

Make 2 of these pieces, one for each of Mickey’s ears.

11. Cut a length of outdoor Christmas lights so that you have 2 socket and enough cord on one end to attach a plug.  Use pop-rivets to attach each socket to one of the metal straps you just made.  Attach a plug.

Your assembly should look like this.

Lamp step 11

12.  Here is a detailed look at the light socket riveted to the strap.  Note the 90 degree bends in the ends of the strap which provide a “friction grip” on the flanges of Mickey’s ears, inside the larger globe.   Bend them to provide a snug fit and just press them on.

Lamp step 12


[Scoff at your friends and family that said you couldn’t do it!  Buy your friend who secretly did all the work a very nice gift!]

Here is more detail on the product codes (Home Depot) for the hard to get components:

12″ acrylic globe – SKU 312840

UPC 022678331576 Part # CP1265

Vendor – Adjusta Post  – Price $15.96

6″ acrylic globe – SKU 312884

UPC 022678331620 Part # CP3086

Vendor Adjusta Post – Price $5.89

Globe Fitter – SKU 348480

UPC 022678331569 Part #CP1721P

Vendor Adjusta Post – Price $9.49

If you cannot get them through your local Home Depot, perhaps your store can order them in for you or do a look-up to see if they are stocked in a nearby store. The Home Depot near the Florida Mall stocks all the parts and always has plenty on hand.  Details of that store: 7423 Southland Blvd., Orlando, FL 32809  (407) 859-3500

If all else fails, call the manufacturer Summit Lighting (a division of Adjusta Post), 3960 Summit Road, Barberton, OH 44203-1052.  Their Customer Service number is (800) 321-2132.  Maybe they can direct you to a retailer in your area.
Gary's Mickey Lamp Post————————————————————————————————-
Here is a picture of Gary’s finished lamp.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU to Gary for not only making our lamp post, but for nicely giving me these instructions to post!

Good luck to all those Mickey Lamp makers out there!  And once again, no I won’t give you Gary’s email address!