Writer’s Workshop – My how things have changed



1.) What were you writing about last year at this time? What has changed?

Below, I will post my Random Tuesday from April 16th, 2013, then break it down.

  • Random acts of violence really bother me. Especially bothered by the fact that it affected runners and spectators of a running event. The racing atmosphere is one of unity and fun; not the place for bombs. I’ll be really interested to see if they can track down the culprit. I’m thinking someone much like the Unabomber.
  • In other random news, I watched this show on the Nat Geo channel last night all about how the 80s made America what it is, down to the good and the bad; mostly the bad and the whole “me” generation stuff. I kind of miss those times sometimes; be it because of the economics or the fact that I was a carefree kid.
  • What I didn’t know was that when the Romanian leader allowed the Who Shot JR episode of Dallas to air, the Romanian people wondered why they didn’t have all these cool things like Americans and they revolted against him and overthrew him. Huh? Who knew the affects of Dallas were so far-reaching?
  • I just beat level 102 of Candy Crush; I honestly thought I might be stuck there forever!
  • Last night, I let the dogs out and there was a small green frog on the glass door. I think I scared him when I opened it; he jumped about 5 inches and then this stream of liquid slowly dripped down the glass. Did I scare the piss out of a frog?
  • Temps in the low 90s today?? We skipped right from Winter to Summer, apparently, though we got the pollen crud from Spring. Not fair, Florida.
  • I miss Boston Market. We used to have three locations; now we have one but it’s not in an area I drive often. Now and then we’d get it for dinner and as I get deeper into this pregnancy and don’t want to cook, home-cooked type meals are more alluring, especially if someone makes them for me. Le sigh. The good places always end up closing down.
  • I didn’t think it was appropriate to have Man Candy today so I present a… patriotic image, in light of the recent tragedy  Happy Tuesday, folks.

And I included a picture of Captain America. So it looks like I was ranting about the Boston bombings and rambling on about other random stuff in my life. I can’t believe I was on 102 of Candy Crush; I’m on 268 now! It was hot then but today, it is 54 and beautiful. Seems like the weather is a little wonky this year compared to last. I looked up what I wrote about the day before and here are some highlights:

  •  Ell’s game was at 10:30 and it was wonderful weather: sunny but not hot, breezy too. His team “lost” but I figure it was payback for the butt-whooping we gave them last time. Promptly afterwards we went home, changed, made some pb&j sandwiches and hit the road. We decided to go all the way (all one hour and 50 minutes!) to St. George Island. In spite of the wind, it was still really quite wonderful.
  •  We watched both Old Yeller and An American Tail.  Isaac is going through a can’t sit still phase though so movies are a little on the outs for him

Isaac watches movies now, Ell’s team is winning games, and we went to the beach and it was cool. But for the most part, it looks like we’re doing all the same things! We have sports and movies and beach trips and relaxing and family. Now we just have an added body. I was at a particularly good phase of pregnancy in April; I felt good and able to live life normally. Now, I am free of her inside me but burdened by the fact that an infant is rather demanding. This morning, for example, I was in the bathroom and it’s by far the worst time to be indisposed. The boys are getting ready and whining about stuff and they want breakfast and then SHE wakes up and it’s not like I can just up and vacate the bathroom to help everyone. The boys can wait but an crying baby is all like, “Come get me now before I pop a lung here!” But I am happy with where my life is.

To be honest, reading my archives from last year has made me realize just how good we have it. I’m in awe of how my outlook has turned around. Writing this post has been wonderful!

On letting things go and being a better person

I admit it: I lost the desire to work when I thought I might change jobs. I couldn’t MAKE myself feel better about doing the work; it had to come as part of the logical progression. In time, I started to feel a little more motivated (granted, this was a small amount of time.) Yesterday was my low point. My back is still giving me fits so I left and went directly home, running a hot bath, using a face mask I got for free at that oils party, and reading a book. After, I put one drop of lavender oil on each temple and fell into the most blissful sleep. When I woke, I went to Publix and then home to catch up on the baskets of laundry I fail to put away, day after day. That four hour stint by myself was exactly what I needed.

I came into work today and the office was having a pot luck breakfast/birthday thing for our department chair. It was nice to converse with those people because the sense of unity we once had has been corrupt ever since the last office manage left. The only person I consider to be my friend up there – the one I thought was mad at me – is clearly angry at those other folks. She didn’t participate and this made me sad but you know, I can’t let that bother me. That is her issue to deal with.

I got mad at Elliot this morning for being so negative about pretty much everything people said. But I realize I have been like that for about 2 weeks now. Ash and I always tell the kids to have balance in their lives. But I am just as guilty here. I’ve been unpleasant, unmotivated, and angry. I’m allowing myself to tip the scale too far on the work side of things and it’s taking away from the rest of me – the mom side, the wife side. I guess the first step is realizing it though.

What I have been, mostly, is sad and anxious. I keep thinking that something will turn my mood around; I’ll find a new job and that will be the answer. But I guess what I have to do is make something happen. I know I whine on here quite a bit about breaking out of the funk but as always, there are peaks and valleys. I felt great this morning but as this afternoon wears on, I feel less and less human. I type, I read papers, I check Twitter. My brain barely computes what I am seeing. I take in knowledge, my mind drifts. My ideas are like marbles rolling around one of those old wooden Labyrinth games; plunking into tiny holes – traps – and disappearing.  Not long to go now and it’s home to fix quick snacks and run off to baseball. My life is a crazy mess but I should be thankful that it is this and not something awful. I am… I am…

Random Tuesday – Rain, rain

It’s a horribly rainy day but let’s get random!



  • I went ahead and canceled lass this morning; it’s not until 9:30 but I had three student emails about this storm and at some point, it’s not worth fighting.
  • Today is Isaac’s birthday! I’m in denial that he is four. Before BG came along, he was my little baby and I was positive that he’d always be my baby. But he’s a boy now and I have to let him grow up. Despite being a terrible infant (crying all the damn time) he’s actually been a lot easier to handle than Elliot. He is super sweet and squishy and thinks he’s Legolas and he loves to build things and work on outdoor projects. He’s the polar opposite of his big brother and I love him to pieces.12707484725_fd8311a4df_b
  • I have this sinking feeling like I have pissed some people off but I cannot fathom what I did. You’d think by the age of 35 I would have learned to forget that petty stuff but it still picks away at me.
  • I guess I have had a few open mouth/insert foot moments. My brain is fried, people. I cannot think logically anymore.
  • My back is still giving me fits; it has to be the sciatic nerve but I just cannot figure out what will make it better.
  • I’ve been kind of curmudgeonly lately and I think I am unbalanced. I need to find a way to bring balance to my life. The jobs and that stress is unhinging my ability to parent and enjoy life.
  • But I’ve been whiny long enough; happy Tuesday!

Excellent weekend spent my way

Whew! Got into work 10 minutes late and had to immediately dive into a huge project. I just finished up but I was busy every moment. It was kind of nice, actually.  But now my wrist is hurting; damn typing. Occupational hazard.

Anywho, my Saturday was wonderful. We got up, had breakfast, then packed up and headed to St. George Island. BG slept the majority of the way so our trip was semi-peaceful. We got there around 10:30 and though the air was a little cool and windy, we got a great spot and as the sun rose higher, the temperature was perfect. The water wasn’t even that cold so we all were able to get in. I tanned and drank beer (though the state park frowns on that) and the sound of waves lulled me into a kind of work amnesia. I could actually enjoy something; I’d forgotten how. I didn’t do a thing that night but then, Sunday, all work awaited me.

I had papers to grade and a house to clean; laundry and cooking and more yardwork. It was busy but productive and we finished the evening with Game of Thrones. I have not read the books so big things that happen always are a surprise.

We found out that people bought the house next door. We only ever saw one couple there and they were pretty darn old. The people who supposedly bought it moved here to be closer to their kids and grandkids. So it may not be the people we saw but it is still an older couple. The woman who lives on the other side reports that they were very nice when she talked to them so we’ll see. It’ll be interesting to see how old their grandchildren really are. Here’s hoping!

It’s warm today and though I have a lot to do, I am longing to go outside. A Dunkin Donuts opened right by campus. I started walking earlier but I ran into this group of hippies protesting the fees they have to pay for their grad classes. Don’t even get me started but suffice to say: a higher education is not free. Now that they’re all over in front of the capitol, it might be safe to go in search of a donut. Hope everyone is having a fantabulous Monday!

Friday Confessions – Life goes on

I confess… I got some “bad” news yesterday, if you can call it that. I suppose it’s just a bump in the road. I had my moment of disappointment and moved on. I am a firm believer that things always happen for a reason, even if that reason is not apparent.

I confess… it’s actually kind of nice to move forward. Not knowing about the above was actually making me a bad worker. I’m a lot more focused now.

I confess… when I got to my friend’s house last night, she gave me a look and pressed a beer into my hand. It was nice to have that. And I ended up buying lavender and lemongrass. We’ll see how they work. I got the lavender right away as she had one there but my lemongrass has to be ordered. It’s supposed to be good for back pain. They had another blend of oils specifically for sciatica but it was – ahem – 71 dollars! No thanks!

I confess… I’ve resigned myself to the allergies. I surrender, pollen. You got me. My eyes are in a constant state of red and/or itchy. My nose is runny, I sneeze in the middle of the night. BUT, I learned last night that a drop of lavender under your tongue supposedly helps. We shall see…

I confess… I have lots to do and I want it to be the weekend so let me get after it. Have a good weekend everyone!


More random stuff – I do love me some bullets

  • I find myself sort of enamoured by sea glass. I know you can’t find it naturally much around here except for maybe in the Fernandina beach/Amelia Island area near Jacksonville. I looked up how much it sells for on ebay and am amazed at how much people want for that! I guess if it took you a while to find it yourself then labor makes up part of the cost.bottle_of_colors_feb_2013
  • I also keep browsing handmade signs on etsy that are beach-like in nature. Things that pronounce Beach house rules, as if I have one of those! I have this dream that my parents will have money soon and we’ll save up and all of us will rent one at St. George for a week. And we’ll spend all day in the sun and we’ll have fires and pinics and when the kids are asleep, the adults will sit outside at night, sipping beer and watching the stars, listening to waves lap the shore. And in the morning, the first thing we’ll do is wander down to the water… because we can. I’d say this is either #1 or 2 on my current bucket list.il_570xN.440783556_8d7r
  • I’m feeling pretty burned out so I guess that’s where this desire to escape to the beach or into some kind of craft is coming from. I don’t want to grade papers, I don’t want to talk to grad students, I don’t want to have to think!
  • I need a change. I need new scenery. I need new challenges. If you know me at all, you’d wonder where the real me went because normally, I thrive on stability and reliability. I expect things to stay status quo at almost all times. Not to say I can’t be spontaneous but I like things to be content. Something is changing in me.
  • Maybe this is a good thing. I feel like I can envision this precipice upon which I stand and look out onto a shift in my life. 9706736558_732c8a2048_z
  • I’m going to an essential oils party tonight. You know, like a Tupperware or Passion party. I usually go to those things with the intention NOT to buy anything. But I may actually try some for my back pain. I guess it can’t hurt and I know a lot of people who support that homeopathic remedy solution. Anything to alleviate this pain; anything.
  • I don’t know why I do it but I’ve been torturing myself by looking at the aforementioned vacation rentals. So cute! So close to the water! I can just image being away from it all! There’s this feeling of longing that is just so foreign. It’s rare that I want something as much as I want to take a weekend and just unplug.

A partial list of the innards of my brain as I work


  • Why does the 2nd floor smell like someone horked up hot dogs?
  • Shoes… I want to buy shoes.
  • Beach; let’s go there, even if the water is cold.
  • Remember that time we went and got all tan? There was a smell on my skin – “sun-kissed” – and it was sultry and wonderful and it reminds me of brushing the sand off my feet and the beer I drank once the kids went to bed.
  • Ugh; no more papers. Please, make these all just disappear.
  • Sometimes I just want to say, “Screw you guys, I’m goin’ home.”
  • God I am so busy; why am I blogging? Really, just waiting for that moment when I realize that thing I thought I forgot. And it’s going to be a total “oh shit” moment.
  • I’m eating salad in a minute; salad is good for me. It’s totally not going to fill me up.
  • Mmmm… Snickers calls to me.
  • Man, I am suddenly really tired. I’d kind of like to lay down.
  • I wish it were warmer today. I just want to lay in the sun. I’ve been cold all damned morning
  • Really? I’ve only graded 8 papers? It seems like so many!
  • I feel like I’m losing my mind.
  • “Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind; up in here, up in here.” Ah, DMX. Where did you go?
  • Dear students, please stop making lame excuses.
  • Dear weather, please pick a temperature and stay there.
  • I’m taking a mental vacation now. Claire out.

Random Tuesday – Aaaahhh!!!!!

I despise you, Tuesday, but let’s get random!




  • You know when you’re about to hit the wall and can’t find any way to stop? Yeah, I’m right there. BUT, I have to say that I feel pretty good this morning, even in the face of the millions of things on my plate.too-much-my-plate-18158079
  • When I searched for “full plate”, I got images of knights in armor. And that makes me want to play Diablo and NOT do all this damned work.
  • Elliot’s baseball game was canceled yesterday because it was storming like the dickens and I tell you what; we all needed that night of nothing. Ash was going to go out and decided against it. We watched part of Return of the King and I washed some dishes but all in all, I did nothing else and it was magical.
  • My brother-in-law, who only eats fruits and vegetables, left a bunch of lettuce and tomatoes this weekend (can’t take those on a plane!) so now I have salads for days.
  • This is exceptionally good since I can’t do T25 with a bad backache. I’m kind of upset about this, honestly. I was feeling very good. It sucks getting old.
  • So our baseball coach has bailed on our team. I don’t think he wanted to but he’s apparently having some kind of major family emergency. The mom who is taking over is good but she’s not ever been a baseball coach so she is trying very hard to learn techniques. A couple of the dads are helping too so it’s not like the season is just over for us. And I do hope the original coach is OK. But I also kind of hope he sends some sort of explanatory email at some point. I just kind of think he owes us that much.
  • I’ve been so busy that I was still thinking it was March. No no, it’s 8 days into April. My life is insane! Who’s ready for a weekend beach getaway? This mom!

Weird, fun, crazy, exhausting weekend

My life just keeps getting crazier and crazier, I tell you. First, I agreed to grade some papers and I have ZERO time to do it in. THEN, my BIL came into town. THEN, I did this horrible thing to myself.

On Saturday, Ash and his brother had a race about an hour away so they were slated to be back by 2. My parents were set to be in town by 2:30. Around 9, I was putting kids and groceries in the car, I put the cart away and got in myself. And that is when I somehow managed to wrench my back so badly that I honest to God could not move. I somehow got Baby Girl out and on her mat at home but the kids carried in the groceries and I went to the couch to cry. The pain was so bad I had to ask someone for help, which is really unlike me in any way. But I couldn’t actually move. Luckily, my friend, Catherine, was able to come over. I don’t think I could have made it without her help. When Ash got home, he tried to get my upright but it was just so awful. I told my legs to move but they wouldn’t. I cried. It was worse than childbirth! The funny thing I found out is that I felt better the more I moved around. So even though rest sounded like the right treatment, the longer I sat, the stiffer it felt. So I pushed through Saturday night and that was by far the worst; that and early Sunday morning when BG woke up. Ash had to get her and bring her to me because I couldn’t bend over in the slightest.

Well, since Isaac’s birthday was Sunday, I had no choice but to get up. Luckily though, his party went off without a hitch. The bounce house showed up on time, a bunch of kids came, and fun was had by all. I am glad; he really  loved having all his friends there and a day just for him. Sometimes he gets overshadowed by the oldest and youngest of my children.

I took them all to school this morning and then we met back up with my family for breakfast before all going separate ways. I am happy to be in the office where things are slightly more calm but at the same time, there’s still potential to be crazy busy. It’s like it just never ends. I am jealous of my husband, who took his brother to the airport and is taking the day off. (Though he’s also doing taxes so, no thanks.) What I really want is just one evening where we have nothing to do. No baseball, no grading papers, no homework, no nothing. Le sigh.

These are not the droids you’re looking for

I’ve been mysteriously absent the last few days and it feels so odd for me to NOT visit regular sites or even check twitter or Pinterest. I thought I might actually craft a Random Tuesday post but then I got sidetracked. Not only is work very busy, but we have Isaac’s party coming up and each evening – when we don’t have baseball games for Elliot – is filled to the brim with party prep. Add onto this a possible new opportunity I am working on and I am just so overwhelmed.

I liked that t-ball was on Saturday mornings, though if I wanted to get stuff done, that was a kink in the chain. Now, either Monday, Wednesday, or Friday evening is dominated by a game. Dinner is all wonky and I am forced to plan ahead. This was the first week so I am still getting the hang of it. Wednesday I made BBQ pulled chicken in my crockpot. The only reason it worked out was because I was home around 11 so I set it for 6 hours on low. Elliot and I loved it but Isaac was not having any part of it, which is odd because that is what he orders at Sonny’s. But I am going to need to plan ahead a whole lot more; he has seven more weeks!

I thought I might break Wednesday night; after we finally got the kids in bed, I got on the couch and started thinking about all the things that still have to get done, then the back pain I am having (think it’s a pinched nerve), then the stuff I had to do that night alone like wash bottles and finish laundry… and I was ready to crawl in a hole and hide forever.

Then yesterday was insane at work – hardly a moment to sit still – and when we got home, we then immediately left for dinner. Ash won some gift cards to our favorite pizza place in his 10k last weekend so we got a nice treat. I had a beer, so that was also excellent. BG gave me the gift of silence: she slept almost the entire time we were there. As soon as we got home, I put her to bed, the menfolk kept working on deck deconstruction, and then Ash and I worked more on Isaac’s party stuff. THEN, we started working to build our new entertainment center for below the TV. Ash went to Party City the other night and when we didn’t really see what he needed for the party, wandered next door to HH Gregg (where we hardly ever shop) and ended up finding a table he liked. We are almost done but by 11:15, we were so tired we had to quit.

It’s been nice though, being busy. But it has to end at some point here. I need just a bit of a breather to collect myself; to reboot.  You can only go go go so much before you crash and burn. I went out to talk to Carrie (she runs the hot dog stand on campus) and I said, “You know what I’d like to be doing right now?” And she guessed my exact answer: “Laying by the pool drinking a beer.” That about sums it up.9061609600_2de80e418c_c


Last summer, vacation