Friday Five – Of trees and solo parenting

Five Thoughts:

  1. I have a friend who seems to always be busy; she has fun plans and family things and I used to be jealous. Because at some point, my life also got busy and now I crave a weekend with nothing going on! Today begins a long event-filled two days. Elliot is having a friend over tonight but he won’t be back from his big end of camp outing until maybe 6. Ash will be at the coast celebrating a friend’s birthday so I get to do this on my own! Tomorrow, after said friend goes home, Ell has a birthday party (my boss’s grandson) from 12-3 and then at 4 we have a going away party for the kid who spent the night. (We’re friends with his parents.) Then on Sunday, we’re going to the beach with my busy friend! LOL. I like doing these things, I do. So many memories for my kids. But I would also like to just sit on my butt sometimes.
  2. I hadn’t taken a Buzzfeed quiz in a long time so I clicked on “How old is your inner child?” and apparently, she is 8. “Your inner child knows exactly what it wants. It’s the kind of child who hates to be told it has to be less stubborn and that it isn’t always right. Your inner child finds way to creep into your life by manifesting itself as your strong sense of independence. You are ambitious and will stop at nothing to get there. Sometimes, though, you may get into a lot of heated debates with coworkers…that’s just because you are right, duh!” This is eerily accurate! Embrace the inner child!
  3. I fell asleep early last night but in bed. It may have been about 10:15 so I was wide awake at 5:20. I lay there a while before realizing it would just be best to get up and work out. I then weighed myself and with the healthy eating and working out I have lost… nothing! But I guess once I start running outside that will happen. I hope.
  4. I feel surprisingly good this week; not unmotivated or irritated. Just saying.
  5. Have I mentioned my next tattoo? I think I have but let’s reiterate: it will contain the kids’ names in their handwriting (Dakota’s at some later date) but I have no decided to incorporate a tree. I used to be pretty artsy and I almost always drew trees when I was bored. So I feel like this is the right choice. I have been sketching all week, trying to find the right look of said tree. Should it have leaves or a lot of branches? I have pared it down to a few and decided on a Live Oak. They are prevalent here in the South – another personal representation – and they also have squat trunks – wide enough to fit the names. I am still deciding if I want leaves. The cool thing is this: when Dakota can write and I get her name added on, I could possibly add leaves then. For now, just branches. I am pumped!

Five Photos:

I watched this episode of Jeopardy but saw this clip again the other day. Check out this sass.




This purse!


I want to buy this and mount it on the side of my garage fridge, which will put it conveniently right next to our kegerator. ;)


An artsy pic of where we’re going Sunday.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Light, summer goals, etc

1.  I recently read here about four secrets to happiness from around the world. They were-

Overcome your fears by facing them head on, allow yourself to relax and reset, work to live versus living to work, and find the good in life.

Not sure if these are the actual secret to happiness, but which of the four do you struggle with most? Which one comes most easily to you?

This one is easy: facing fears head on. It’s not as straight-forward as saying, “I’m afraid of roller-coasters; I’ll try going on them.” It’s the other sorts of fears: failing as a parent, not pursuing career interest, etc. But I know I sometimes move those to the back burner and make excuses about other stuff that has to get done first. It’s not a good trait.

The others I definitely work on to varying degrees. I definitely have to remind myself to relax and reset but I do.  Whether it is going into my room to read or taking a bath or going out with friends, I do take time for myself. I definitely work to live because the other way doesn’t afford me my family or personal happiness. And thought some days it is hard, I look for the good in life and in people as often as possible.

2. How would you spend a found $20 bill today?

Oh geez, really? I would most likely buy food. Whenever I have cash, I unwisely buy food. But I don’t want to buy good food with it. I’d want junk. But I’m not eating junk these days so as boring as it is, I’d save the money.

3. Ego trip, power trip, guilt trip, round trip, trip the light fantastic, or trip over your own two feet…which ‘trip’ have you experienced or dealt with most recently? Explain.

Trip the light fantastic; I told you I went out dancing Friday. ;)

4. If you could master any physical skill in the world what would it be, and how would you use that skill?

You know, this is hard. My first thought was martial arts; be really skilled at karate or jujitsu. I think that would be so awesome. But I’d also really like to be able to dance skillfully, not just all crazy like I do now.
5. As July draws to a close, let’s take inventory of our summer fun. Since the official first day of (North American) summer (June 20th) have you…

been swimming? Oh yes, lots! We had a small pool in the yard (until the kids broke it) and then we’ve been to the beach, my parents’ pool, and to the local one.

enjoyed an ice cream cone? To be honest? No. I have been dieting so ice cream has been off the table. But we have eaten some Otter pops!

seen a summer blockbuster? Every other Friday! We saw Mad Max, Terminator, Jurassic World, Ant-Man…

camped? Negative. We’re not big on camping BUT I think some day we might be

eaten corn on the cob? Indeed. Unshucked, in the oven, 400 degrees, 30 minutes. Bam.

gardened? Does mowing and weeding count?

deliberately unplugged? No, not really. I mean, when we were out in Monticello for the 4th, I had no cell service so that was kind of nice to be disconnected.

watched a ballgame? You know, not really.

picked fruit off the vine? No, but I’d like to. We have a local place that has peaches.

taken a road trip? Yes. Not like a real one with no aim but we drove all over Florida.

read a book?  Somehow, I have. J.R. Ward’s The Shadows

Are any of these activities on your must-do-before-summer-ends list? I would say that I will probably eat ice cream before summer fades away.

6. The Republican Presidential candidates will debate on August 6th. What’s your question?

Hmm, rough one. If I had to ask any of the candidates a question it would be: How do you plan to bridge the gap between the reps and dems in the house? How can we come together as one American people and find a middle ground?

7. What’s your most listened to song so far this summer?

Man, I listened to quite a few AC/DC songs there for a bit and, as always, Jimmy Buffett, but I have been rocking the Culture Club lately so I’m going with Miss Me Blind.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Do you realize how far into summer we are? Not the technical season; here in Florida it is summer forever. But I mean, summer break. My kids go back to school on the 17th and you bet your butt it’s going to be here but quick. It’s going to be great though; routine, homework, more planned meals, cooler weather, my kids entrenched in books more often… yeah, you could say I am ready.

My Fall is always a crazy mess with college beginning and my job getting busier but I love to stay busy. The Fall semester will be punctuated by events though: Hawaii in mid-October; two weeks later, the Tough Mudder; two weeks later, Ash will be going to a conference; two weeks later will be Thanksgiving. Lordy! Time goes quickly, doesn’t it?

Random Tuesday – Oils, out, camp, etc

Stacy Uncorked
  • I feel like I always talk about the same old stuff so today, I’ll try to switch it up.
  • Oh, who am I kidding?
  • My young Living oils kit came yesterday! I didn’t go too much into it but I did use some Panaway on my sore foot. I can’t wait to start diffusing different scents and see if they work to calm the kids, etc.
  • When we went out Friday, I totally danced AND sang along to familiar songs at Tap Room. I find this so interesting because that’s not usually me. Like, even I don’t see myself doing that. But I had a really good time. I think we all did. The next day, the group text blew up around 9 am with everyone thrilled about the night.
  • I have to confess my late night transgression: we walked across from the bar to Whataburger and though I swore I wasn’t going to eat anything, I got myself a small fry. I devoured that shit, y’all. It was SO good. I don’t eat fast food so it was a real treat.
  • But for the most part, I have been eating really well. I am eating a lot less and that really helps with my on-going bubbly stomach issue. Also, probiotics.
  • So my sister’s boyfriend was dead for seven minutes this weekend. He took a Xanax (he has an Rx) and hours later, he took a vicodin and a bit later, he passed out. Luckily, he was visiting some friends in his apartment complex and the woman was a nurse. I don’t even know what to say. They don’t make a lot of good choices and this was pretty much the extreme. All I can say is that I hope it was a wake-up call. Sigh.
  • On a happier note, did you watch Jimmy Fallon last night? I guess it was last night. I missed it but saw the video today. I love the lip sync battles! I really hate Tom Cruise but his was hilarious. You need to google it if you didn’t see it. I gained some respect for him.
  • Here’s some real random: Jimmy sings “You’ve lost that loving feeling” and whenever I hear it, I remember being at camp in between 5th and 6th grade. We had a trip to the laundromat in Leesburg in between the first and second week. On the bus, the 7th and 8th graders had a radio and they were just belting out that song and got all of us going. It’s the only time I really felt a part of the older group of kids there.
  • Elliot loved his day camp this summer, even more than last year. They do it in 2 week sessions and you can go for as many as you want. This year he did 4 weeks but he wishes I’d signed him up for all of them. At the family night dinner thing, he said he’d like to someday be a counselor and I teared up a bit. It was this little moment when I saw him growing up and taking a leadership role. I would love to see him do that some day!
  • School starts in about three weeks. Can you believe it? I am kind of ready. I know the kids don’t have as much goofing off time when school’s in but I like the routine of our evenings. They have to do homework and read and then the times when they can sit and watch TV or play games is more precious; more appreciated.

That’s all I’ve got for this morning except for this funny pic. This is SO true and if you watch HGTV you know it.tumblr_mz1vu9FAkm1qzxxrxo1_1280

MMMM + Sometimes you need to party hard

And my weekend was non-stop craziness. Ok, not as crazy as it could be but for a 36 year old mom of three it was. Friday was busy from the get-go: grading papers and student conferences. When I left, I met Ash for lunch (yummy Mexican and beer!) and then we saw Ant-man, which was a lot better than the preview would lead you to believe. As soon as it was done, I had to make dinner because I’d promised them spaghetti. But I had a 5:45 meet up time with my friends so it was rush rush. I got to BJ’s brewhouse right on time and we had a great meal. They do a weekday happy hour until seven with half off appetizers and dollar off draft beer. Um, yes! I even ordered a flight to sample their brews. Excellent.

After that was when I started making bad decisions though. We had planned to see the 7:30 showing of Magic Mike but one of my friends thought cheap wine from CVS was a good idea. In theory, it was. The movie – drunk – was a riot. I’m not sure if it would have been as good sober. I was feeling pretty done after the movie. But I have the kind of friends who like to dance so that is what we did. We went to Tap Room and the only time I ever dance is when I’ve been drinking. Not going to say I didn’t have a blast but I had a rough time getting started on Saturday. I normally mow on that day but I definitely did not. In fact, I did very little until 4 when we went to another get-together. This was a woman Ash knows from work, hosting a family-oriented end of summer party – with a fajita bar! We had fun, for sure. But I wasn’t feeling all that chatty.

Sunday was all errands and mowing the lawn and fixing up the kegerator and water balloons and rest. Though I didn’t actually take a nap. I started to drift off around 5 but made myself get up and finish laundry. It was a looong weekend but a good one. I am ready for some kind of break but that’s not happening soon. Busy at work, busy the next few weeks with Elliot not being in camp and getting ready for Fall semester. And in two and a half months, I’ll be on a beach in Hawaii and it’ll be magical.




Freebie week!! Let’s keep playing Culture Club, as I did last week. I’m sorry but they’re good, y’all!


Wednesday Hodgepodge – Light, airy, and newspapers?


1. Is your home air conditioned? If it’s not air conditioned, is that by choice? Did you grow up with air conditioning? If not how did you cope with the heat? Share about a time or place you remember as being too hot-the temperature kind of hot, lest anyone be confused.

You’d be hard-pressed to find a house in Florida without A/C! Most of them do and it’s entirely what I am used to. To be completely honest, I don’t mind the heat and cannot think of a time when I was too hot. I mean, it’s 96 out right now (I’m writing this on Tuesday afternoon) with a heat index of 108. I was just outside for maybe 10 minutes and it was alright. I will say, Saturday night at Brass Tap, it was 9 pm and the deck was still pretty warm, even with a breeze… because even the breeze was kind of hot. That was too hot for a time I expected it to be cooling off.

2. What’s something in your life right now that falls under the heading ‘up in the air’?
Ha! I lot of stuff. Our upcoming weekends, for one. We might go to the beach with the friends on the 2nd and we might have a party on the 10th. I might get a tattoo. I might jog over to Pensacola to help my parents unpack. Unfortunately, plans just cannot be set in stone yet.

3. Your favorite light and airy dessert?

I love chocolate mousse! I rarely eat it but it is one of my favorites.

4. When did you last feel like you were ‘floating on air’?

If you want a time I just felt really good about life in general, this would have to be the last time I had a nice conversation with my current intern. She really understood where I was coming from and we had a little chat about Sherlock and it was just really a nice feeling. If you mean in a more ethereal way, a couple summers ago, I remember coming home from the beach and smelling all sun-kissed and we’d had a lot of beer and Ash and I laid under the fan in our bedroom and just sort of lazed about.  It was a real experience.

5. Airport, airmail, airtight, airhead…which have you most recently encountered? Explain.

I guess I will say airmail, in that I had to mail a package and (I explained this on my blog before) I lost my receipt and the company wouldn’t issue a refund until I told them the tracking #, even though they already had possession of the item. It drove me crazy!

6.  Have you ever been to the Alps? If so where did you go? If not, is this a destination on your must-see list? If you were headed that direction this summer, which of the following would be your preferred activity…a gentle walk, a serious walk, a bike ride, a boat ride around one of the lakes, or summer snow skiing?

Though I have not been, I think it would be great to really set eyes on a huge mountainous region. But I think my goal in that aspect is really to hike a portion of the Appalachian trail. Maybe just a few miles of it and in an easier area!

7. What is one saying or phrase that was considered ‘cool’ when you were growing up?

“Gag me with a spoon.” I remember all the col kids said that about the stuff they disliked and of course, when you’re a pre-teen/teenager, it’s cool to hate stuff.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Elliot’s picture made the newspaper today! Our local paper did an article about Lafayette Park’s 50th anniversary of their summer Playcamp. They take a lot of pics every day but I guess the Democrat chose one of Ell next to a counselor. On my lunch break, I have to run to school to get Isaac registered for Kindergarten and I plan to buy a paper. I honestly don’t ever buy one but this, I think, is a time I need to!


Random Tuesday – Just trying to survive

Stacy Uncorked
  • Since going back to healthy eating (LOTS of vegetables and protein bars) I have been craving an everything bagel with cream cheese and tomato. I got one this morning and it was… heaven. In fact, I kind of wish I was still eating it. LOL.
  • I’ve reached the point of my time here at this job where I know when I could leave and not be needed. You know, like cut out at 4:30 because I’m done. But they frown upon that. And it occurs to me that if we gave people the responsibility of managing themselves, it might work out. But then I think about the general populous and rethink that! Hell no, that would not work out.
  • Last night we cleaned out the hosing system on the kegerator. They sell chemical systems for cleaning out the gunk and all. It’s relatively clean now but the next step is planning a party. And what you quickly realize is just because you have a keg doesn’t mean the money spending stops there. I have to plan activities for kids and buy a new canopy and make sure everyone is happy. It’s fun and yet, stressful.
  • I’ve been behind most of the summer and I’m really starting to feel the crunch. It’s a crazy time in our lives!
  • I have my summer intern teaching the majority of my class today and I couldn’t be happier. I really need this time to catch up and gather my thoughts.  I will say, now that I  am eating a bit better and smaller meals throughout the day, my brain is lot clearer. I don’t feel as tired and sluggish. Amazing how that works, eh?

Ok, that’s all I have for you but here, have some cool photos.b3917593f9bde8f191dc98aad91817a6



MMMM + Weekend was pretty awesome

After I recovered from my food poisoning, I definitely had a nice weekend. I will say, I bailed on Friday and took myself to get a pedicure. While I waited – because that’s apparently a busy day for the salon – I went next door to the Chinese place and got a pint of white rice, which was amazing. It’s funny how good plain food can be when you’re nursing your stomach back to normal. My pedi was amazing and everything I wanted. When I got home, I parked it on the couch and watched a Bones rerun before napping. Again, rest and bland food was everything I apparently needed. Slowly, I got back to regular food. Made the kids some pineapple teriyaki meatballs and mac and cheese for dinner and I had a few bites of each. Tested the waters and did OK. Later in the evening, I had a toaster strudel so I was in the clear.

Saturday was errand/yard work day of course. I mowed the back and side while Ash tackled the front. I was feeling motivated so I found the right tool and took to the area where that old BBQ grill  had been; the one we knocked down a few weeks ago. For reference, here’s an after and before – I placed them wrong in the grid but eh, you get the point.PhotoGrid_1437245142050_resized


I was BEAT after that but still didn’t really get a nap. Puttered around before having to make dinner for the kids and get them set for the babysitter.  Ash predrank before we went out but I didn’t mean to; I got him a mixed six pack so he could try some other beers and unfortunately – or fortunately depending on how you look at it – I had to drink the ones he didn’t care for. LOL. By  the time 6 rolled around, we were headed downtown to Harry’s for dinner for our friend, Robert’s, birthday. Courtney set the meet time for 6:30 but we weren’t slated to be seated until 7 so we got to indulge in 30 minutes of happy hour. There were about 18 of us and we had a great time. I got the shrimp and grits and by some miracle of God, it didn’t upset my stomach.

We headed to Brass Tap afterwards and drank some more and played cornhole. It was about quarter to 11 when they decided to head back to the neighborhood (most of Courtney’s friends are from their neck of the woods, which is a good 25 mins from my house and where Brass Tap is.) Well, we didn’t have it in us to go all the way out there to swim, as was their plan. So we went with Tiffanie and Kenny over to Fire Betty’s, the new barcade, for about 30 minutes before heading home. We had a great time! Ash and I played a few games there and decided it’ll be a lot better when we go for a friend’s going away thing on the first, which will be in the afternoon and thereby, not so crowded. At 11 at night, it’s insane in there. Home by midnight and I don’t remember the last time I went to bed at 1 AM!

Sunday was a lot more relaxed. Elliot and I went to Whole Foods and Publix and we had filet for lunch. SO good. Had not had steak in quite a while. I’m getting back to healthy eating; brought cauliflower and some healthy yogurt dip, fruit, and a protein bar for lunch along with a whole thing of green tea. Sigh. I can do this! And now here I am, back at work and with a load of crap to get done ASAP. BUT, let’s do Music Monday!




So on Friday I mentioned that I recently got back into Culture Club, so I will play a song I think is “serious” and then one that is kind of funny, but it’s only funny because on an episode of Beavis and Butthead a long long time ago, they made fun of it. So in my memory, it IS funny.

This one is a great beat!

And this one is just plain funny. What IS going on here??

Friday Five – Beat down but not out yet

Five Thoughts:

  1. WELL, this week has been very… stressful. Monday and Tuesday seem a world away; they were crazy busy; slammed. I left at 5:10 on one of the days. This is government so that rarely happens. I also put a lot of myself into my work so I held myself to high standards. Well, it all culminated yesterday; my stomach had been hurting for weeks (bubbly, stomach acid overproduction, etc) but yesterday I went home early because I was just DONE. I was tired and couldn’t think and my stomach was hurting worse. I’m not sure if the indigestion just got so bad or if it was a touch of food poisoning but my evening was awful.
  2. I will say, I feel a slight bit better today. Motivated and clear-thinking anyway. My stomach, now cleansed, is ok but on the road to recovery. I’m eating toast and bananas and nothing else until I know it’s been mended. I’m weak though. I may work a half day, get a pedicure.
  3. This is really random but I rediscovered the Culture Club songbook this week. They’re so much more than Karma Chameleon!
  4. I’d better get my stomach back on track before tomorrow night; we’re going out for my friend’s birthday and to a seafood/cajun place at that! I think I may just get shrimp and grits. Mmmm, that sounds so good. I am so hungry!
  5. The more I think about taking a half day for myself, the more excited I get. I am going to really just relax, take it easy. Do for me. That’s what I forget to do most days.

Five Photos:

Since I am very hungry but have to eat light/bland stuff, these are photos of stuff I would like to eat:






Wednesday Hodgepodge – A bit late today

1.July 15th is National Give Something Away Day.  What can you give away? Will you?

Oh man, I have lots of baby clothes to give away. I know my neighbours’ daughter was having a girl and they took some of mine already. I went to take another bag and realized they’d been gone a few days, which means the baby has probably already been born. So I may end up just Goodwilling the clothes.

2. Do you have a mantra? Please share with the class if you feel comfortable doing so.

I don’t REALLY have one but sometimes I think about this game from when I had Windows 3.1., back in the late 90s, called Endorfun. It was essentially a 3d cube you had to move around on a board so the corresponding color connected to the board to match. The background was all colorful and trippy and the songs were very Eastern. One had a guy in the background saying, “I feel joyful now”. Sometimes I randomly say this when I am stressed.164035-endorfun-windows-screenshot-you-can-grow-tired-of-so-much

3. Who does the grocery shopping in your house? How many times a week do you shop? Do you make a list or pray for inspiration in the produce aisle?

OMG, me and me only. I prefer it. Sometimes we all go but then I spend too much. I would say most weeks, the people at Publix see me at least four times. I go often enough that they notice when I don’t have the kids or when I buy less than usual. Scary right? I would say I make a list most times; we keep a white board in the kitchen and if I am on the ball, I take a pic with my phone so I will at least have something to go on. For the most part, we always need bread and fruit.

4. Is there a TV show you’re embarrassed to say you watch? You’re going to tell us what it is, right?

I’m not embarrassed y my viewing habits. I pretty much only watch: Inkmaster, The Middle, Sherlock, and anything on HGTV. And Game of Thrones when it’s on.

5. A recent article listed fifteen words we should eliminate from our (written) vocabulary in order to sound smarter-

that, went, honestly, absolutely, very, really, amazing, always, never, literally, just, maybe, stuff, things, and irregardless

Of the fifteen, which word is your most overused?

I would say… really. I HATE Irregardless because it’s NOT A WORD. But the others come in handy when you’re speaking to friends. I am pretty sure this list is for when you’re in a business setting and aiming to impress. So in that case, don’t use non-words.

6. So apparently dying your hair gray (in your youth!) is a thing right now. It’s called ‘The Granny Hair’ trend. Your thoughts?

They used to say some gray gave one the air of being wise. Obviously, dying it don’t make you smart.

7. A while back Buzz Feed asked members to share the most beautiful sentence they’ve read in a piece of literature. A hard thing to narrow down, at least for me, but let’s try. What’s one of the most beautiful sentences you’ve ever read in a piece of literature?

Oh man, is that even possible? I have read SO many books. I just… can’t answer this right now. I’m sorry.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

In the past week, I have found myself saying something about a person in our department TWICE – two different people – when they have coincidentally been lurking outside my office. There’s A LOT of people around here; how is this possible? Do I have the worst luck or what?? It wasn’t anything awful but let’s just say I wasn’t saying glowing things about them. SIGH. Foot, meet mouth.

Random Tuesday – Had to bang this out quickly

Stacy Uncorked
  • So I may have mentioned yesterday how I lost my receipt from mailing something at the post office. And my husband (it was his computer part) needed the tracking number for the company to give him the refund, even though they already had possession of the returned part. It’s just their policy. (A dumb one at that.) So I called USPS but couldn’t get an actual living person. So I then called the local office where I mailed it and I gave them the transaction date, time, amount, and the # generated on my CC bill, which was clearly a USPS thing because none of my other purchases had that. The employee tells me that they don’t have digital records of their transactions and he’d have to search physical receipts. WOW! No wonder they’re broke and going under.  He never called me back but I had the bright idea that I had possibly left the receipt in Ash’s car, since the day I mailed said package I also went and got his oil changed. Yeah, it was there. Sigh.
  • Dunkin’ is doing double points on their app when you buy iced lattes. Um, it’s already high 80s and the heat is oppressive. I think iced lattes are in order… in abundance.
  • I feel kinda bad that I haven’t been commenting on blogs much lately. If that’s you, I’m sorry. These past few weeks have been crazy busy. Last night, I opted out of cooking (picked up food) and I even sat around all evening, doing literally nothing. I am just starting to burn out.
  • I REALLY don’t feel like having conferences today. Seeing 11 18 year olds over the course of my day is so tedious… I just want to drink coffee and browse tumblr instead. Can, uh, that be arranged please?
  • Maybe it’s this heat and summer being, well, not like summer in that I am not getting much of a break. I think I have said the phrase “That’s why God made beer” a lot the past few weeks. I take any little reprieve I can get. I need an all out vacation, truth be told.
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