Random Tuesday – nature invades, brief illness, weird dreams

Stacy Uncorked
  • On Sunday, I reached down into the washing machine after a load of whites because there was what seemed like a corded bundle of dark fabric. I thought it might be left over from washing the dogs’ blankets but when I grasped my fingers around it – and it felt oddly fleshy – I realized it was a drowned lizard. I guess I left the lid open but I don’t typically do that. I did, however, forget to close the garage door when I took Ell down to the running trail so in those 30 or so minutes, he must have found his way there, poor thing.
  • Monday morning – speaking of gross drowned things – I checked out the dogs’ water dish to see a fairly large spider floating in there. (And a large amount of dirt; dumb dogs.) It was really gross and though I have a picture, I think I will refrain from showing it to you.
  • Before I was icked out by that spider, I was having the funkiest dreams. First, I was on set of the filming of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Except I knew what was going to happen so I stood by and confirmed that everyone was doing it correctly. Then I was with Tom Selleck, who was calming down my baby. Weird, right? Well then it got weirder because we were walking through a strange combination of both the Friends‘ apartments: Joey and Chandler’s smooshed with Rachel and Monica’s and we came to a room with two beds and Phoebe and Monica were sleeping in one. And Phoebe saw us and gave me the “are you kidding?” look. I guess you have to have watched the show to understand the impact here. Let’s just say, it felt like a very odd dream.
  • I went home around 1 yesterday because I figured the traveling had finally caught up to me. I felt achy and had a sore throat and my head was fuzzy. I rested a while; watched some Sherlock. It was what I needed. I went to bed early and just slept it off. My throat is still a little jacked today but I feel better in general. Better now than Thursday!
  • In case you forgot, I am running one of those Tough Mudders on Saturday. I definitely did not train the way  I wanted to. But we got the course and obstacles and I actually think it’ll be a little easier than originally anticipated. Plus, our hotel is five minute from the last remaining El Chico in the state so hopefully that will be out post race meal. I think there might be 8-10 people on our team and some of them I don’t know. It’ll truly be an adventure! I just have to stop worrying about everything revolving around it, including leaving the kids with the babysitter.


OK, time for Tuesday Chat!


If you could teleport, where would you go?

Man, tough one since I just traveled. I think I’d like to go to places I visited as a child. I would want to see this buffalo farm in western New York and then see this one Red Roof Inn we always stayed at in Virginia before going up into the mountains. I’d go to my childhood home and the elementary school; my grandparents’ house in Miami. I could probably come up with even more once I got going. Maybe my friend’s grandparents’ cottage on a lake in Cobden. The one time I have ever been to Canada.

And, much like our host, I’d also want to go to Disney. I think it’s been, what, four or five months? I’m dying to go back already!

(June 11th, to be precise.)18624760288_8bb4734f4f_z

MMMM + The Halloween that was

If you celebrate and partake in Halloween festivities, I hope you enjoyed them. We went to a friend’s thing where there was chili and beer and a trailer attached to a golf cart. We used to go to the same person’s house but she chose not to host this year. Eh, that’s ok. We had fun! And our family theme went over very well.22034227274_232e3061aa_z

Daylight savings following Halloween on a Saturday seems like a boon but I thought it made me even more tired and exasperated. I did somehow end up making a lot of food yesterday though; the kind of food with lots of work-lunch leftovers. So there’s that. I will say, my kids were up and ready quite early today, which is very nice.

I’ve finally gotten back to “normal” after vacation but I find myself still a bit unmotivated, even though I feel revived. I appreciate my life so much more now and yet, I don’t feel like working. I will say, my motivation comes and goes. I did stuff over the weekend and felt so great! Then I’d sit for a second and be like, oh blah, I am so not getting up.


Movie soundracks, eh? Lots of good ones out there so let’s choose some songs from ones that are particularly uplifting.


First one that comes to mind is the Rudy theme. If any song ever made you want to persevere, it’s this one.

Similar to that is the theme from Gladiator. I loved that movie; saw it four times in the theater.

And one of my all-time faves:

Wednesday Hodgepodge – I’m back!

1. Are you comfortable with silence? If you’re home alone, do you like silence or do you need regular background noise? Do you seek out times and places to be silent? What’s your favorite place to find silence/be silent?

Yes, most of the time I am. Though I remember feeling awkward if I was in the car with a friend and there was no music or speaking. If I am home alone, it depends on how I feel. If I am tired, silence is good. If I get the rare chance to be alone and cooking or cleaning, I dock my ipod and blast music.0712894a6d37f5d83e69a44e231db346

And sometimes I do want it to be super quiet and my favorite place would have to be in the bathtub.

2. October 28th is National Chocolate Day. Can’t let that go by without a mention now, can we? Will you celebrate? How? Let’s say you can have one of the following right this very minute… a cup of hot chocolate, a strawberry dipped in chocolate, a bowl of plain chocolate ice cream, or a slice of chocolate pie…what’s your pleasure?

Hmm, I doubt I’d do anything special. I like chocolate, for sure. I’m not crazy about it. Chances are, I will totally keep many pieces of the kids’ Halloween candy if it is of the Twix/Kitkat/Milky Way variety. I love dark chocolate in small doses and chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is the best!

3. How do you feel about blue jeans? Favorite thing in the world to wear or nope, don’t own a single pair? How often do you wear blue jeans in a typical week? Do you own a blue jean jacket?

LOL Um, nearly every day. I am a jeans and nice top work outfit person. I do not own a jean jacket but I did… in fourth grade! Ha ha, that was also 1989.

4. Are you superstitious? If so, in what way?

Maybe in some ways? I don’t believe in black cats or going under a ladder and all that but I am weird about karma type things. Like, if I did something bad in traffic, that’s gonna come back to haunt me at some point.

5. If you had to come up with a costume using only things you have on hand right now, what could you come up with?

Hmm, interesting question! I could probably conjure up something with a boatload of paper boxes, because I’m in my office. Maybe a robot of some sort?

6. What scares you a little? What do you do when you feel scared?

A little? Hmm. Jump out moments in movies. A lot? Death. I don’t fear too much or anticipate. Oh, and bills scare me. Adulting is hard sometimes.

7. Perhaps today will be the day I ______________________________.

Get caught up! I am just behind because of vacation and it’s a busier time of the semester. Plus, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

8.  Insert your own random thought here:

I missed blogging while I was away on vacation but at the same time, it was nice to truly get away. At least, for a little while. Something I learned about myself in those 9, 10 days is that I’m not good at just sitting around. In my daily life, I crave a quiet moment but it’s only really cathartic if it comes at a time when I felt particularly stretched thin. After four days of laying around the hotel/beach, it felt like I was shirking my responsibilities and I don’t get off on that. I felt lazy and useless. So at the same time as I loved all our activities and down time, I also looked forward to going home to my life. I guess in the end, it made me truly appreciate what I have. And that is a wonderful thing.



Random Tuesday – Totally mind-numblingly random

Stacy Uncorked
  • I cannot seem to catch up! I keep forgetting to do simple, basic things that I always do. You know, like putting the bread away after making sandwiches or putting on deodorant. I don’t feel all that tired but I guess this is how my body deals with jet lag.
  • On the interwebs, people are getting excited about Captain America: Civil War. I’m not super thrilled but Martin Freeman is going to play a role and since I’m a slut for him, I’ll see it anyway. What can I say? He does things to me.tumblr_nwu65h0pIh1rn2cm9o1_400
  • I had a nice chat with an elderly black woman this morning at Starbucks. She asked if she could use my cell phone and we got to talking about how reliant we are on these devices and it went from there. She teaches 2nd grade and fosters a girl in that grade. It was a really interesting way to pass 30 minutes I had before Elliot’s Honor Roll ceremony.
  • Yeah, somehow he made A/B honor roll, even though he’s bombing his comprehension tests. All As and the abomination that is English. He just does not pay attention to these non-fiction stories they’re reading!
  • They released the date for the Sherlock Special: January 1st. And if we’re really lucky here in little old North Florida, we’ll get it in the theater. I’ll be there, ready for my Victorian husbands.tumblr_mzhwpndjXg1t3c050o1_500
  • And now, for our Tuesday Chat.

The long work day is done, you arrive home 
and the first thing you do…?


Man, the truth is so much like our host: it’s an endless cycle of chaos! Now, let’s say it’s a day when I manage to get home, say, 30 minutes before everyone else. This means I skipped my lunch break and left at about 4:15, placing me home at 4:30. The first thing I do is check the mailbox. Then I go in and drop all my stuff, let the dogs out and feed them. I’ll immediately change and flop onto the couch. Admittedly, I straight up shut off my brain. I’ll either lay on the couch in the darkness of the living room; no lights, curtains drawn. Or, I will browse tumblr for a bit, indulging my obsessions.Turn-Your-Brain-Off-300x225

MMMM + Semi-vacation recap

I don’t have it in me to write up a long vacation summary so I’ll give you some of the highlights via bullets, because I like bullets. How many bullets, Chino? How many bullets? (West Side Story anyone?)

  • United is a cruddy airline. Nothing free, make you use your own devices for viewing (it was an 8 hour flight) and the plane we took had power outlets but they weren’t working.
  • The Courtyard King Kamehameha is an excellent hotel in the heart of Kona, if you were looking for options.
  • Some of the food highlights: fish tacos, Kahlua pork, sushi.
  • Zip lining 200 feet over a 250 foot waterfall could be the most adventurous thing I have ever done; if you don’t count parenting/childbirth. ;)
  • The Big Island is not as touristy as Oahu.
  • The Volcano National Park isn’t really that impressive. People told us we needed two days there but we finished in half. It was neat, don’t get me wrong.
  • The state bird that they want to protect is called the nene. As in, watch me whip, watch me…
  • Kayaking is pretty neat, especially when done in the Pacific.
  • The Kona brewing company is where it’s at; their pizza is by far the tastiest I have ever eaten.
  • Flying back across Texas when a huge storm was coming through after it hit Mexico was NOT fun. Bumpy ride and delays. Also, I hate flying anyway.
  • Being home is weird. I am re-acclimating the life I led before: parenting, driving kids to school, buying groceries, grading papers, working. All that seems so… odd and foreign. I was only gone 10 days!

There you have it. It was nice to get away but you have to come back to reality at some point. I didn’t even feel very jet-lagged yesterday but today, I’m a little blah. I have a feeling I will be having more caffeine in not that long. Work will get very busy here in just a moment and I have to try to wrap my brain around the fact that I am back in Florida, to Tallahassee, in my office, and back to plain old me.



OF COURSE the theme is Halloween! Let’s see what I can conjure up.

The best Halloween movie with the best soundtrack:

And then there’s this classic song scene from Beetlejuice. It was both upbeat and scary as all get-out.

Wednesday Hodgepodge – I’m outta here


1. What’s something that has recently ‘tried your patience’?

This is super minor but yesterday, a girl sat on the bench outside my office and listened to some crap TV show without headphones. I repeat, without headphones. I sat here, boiling quietly, until my friend came in and saw my barely contained rage. She kindly went out and told the girl she was being disruptive to an office area where people were working. And what do you know; she turned it down. But I was actually content just being angry about it.

2. Do you think patience comes to us naturally or is it something you have to learn as you grow? On a scale of 1-10 generally how patient are you? (1=I blow up at the drop of a hat and 10=I’ve got all the time in the world).

I do think some people are naturally more patient. I always had a tendency to fly off the handle and I’d but myself at about a 5 or 6 now in that I get annoyed at people who waste time in lines or some such. I have zero patience for people who are unaware of the world around them.

3. Share about a time when you felt like you could fly. Or a time you wished you could fly. Or a time you felt like you were flying.

I guess the times I feel like I’m flying are at the fair. The swings that go round and round or even the ones that are set up like hang gliders. I love them!6337366906_bf8e0575fa_z

4. Your favorite song with the word fly in the title or lyrics, or your favorite song that relates to flying in some way?

The first two that came to mind were “Gonna fly now” (the Rocky theme) and “Flying high again” by Ozzy.

5. What’s in your fall picnic basket and where are we picnicking in your neck of the woods this time of year?

Hmm, probably a lot of basic sandwiches, cheeses and breads. If we went on a picnic we’d go to the field at Tom Brown.2525556658_ed06bfe5c6_z

6.  Carpentry, electrical, plumbing, landscaping…which skill would you most like to possess and how would you put that skill to use today?

I’d say carpentry because I’d love to be able to build a new deck.

7. What’s something you think is too expensive to justify buying lately?

Ugh, a new pair of running shoes. I know I need them but they average $110 and I just cannot do it right now.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Well, at 12:30 today I am officially on vacation! I’m going home to finish packing and do laundry and then my parents will be here and we’ll get the kids, say goodbye, then drive to Jacksonville. I am nervous and stressed but excited and anxious. I am looking forward to having my time be all for me. I am looking forward to having meals cooked for me and not having to think about the kids’ food. I am going to drink beer and sit on beaches and zipline over gorges and hike around volcanoes. And it will be… glorious.


Me, ten yeas ago, Honolulu

Random Tuesday – Winning!

Stacy Uncorked
  • So, Elliot’s road rashed face seems to be healing fine. As I mentioned yesterday, he had a nasty run-in with the pavement when he thought he’d try to be a little adventurous on his scooter. He said when he got home from school that he must have said the word “scooter” 50 times. Everyone asked!20151011_164400_resized
  • And wouldn’t you know it: school pics are this week. I don’t think I’m going to buy them but at least we’ll have the reminder in his yearbook photo!
  • So I finally committed to Audible. Well, temporarily anyway. I’ll do the 30 day trial and see how it goes. I really wanted it for the plane. For my one free book, I got the Sherlock Holmes Rediscovered Railway Tales, as voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch himself. If I like it, I think I’ll get his reading of Cassanova, another book I never read.
  • Great weather again today. Tally is making me very proud this October so far.
  • We have both boys’ teacher conferences this afternoon. I am very interested in seeing what they say about Isaac. I see a vast improvement in his sheer interest in learning; I’ll catch him randomly practicing writing his sight words. He used to be straight up reluctant to even start learning. I know Elliot is doing well; his tests come home.
  • When conferences are over, our plan is to get the kids a bit early and head to the pumpkin patch. We wouldn’t be able to go until after vacay and that might be too late. I’m super excited about it! We may even go out to dinner, as it is our last night with these kiddos.
  • OK, let’s move onto the Tuesday chat!

“Have you ever won anything?”

Uh, I won at life, yo. No, seriously. Let’s start at the beginning: when I was younger, I won A LOT of poster contests and trophies for essay contests or best math stats or this thing we used to do called Super Stars, which was extra gifted math worksheets. Then I won poetry contests and the school spelling bee for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade; I placed 3rd in County in 5th grade.trophyrecycleroom

Later in life, I stopped winning that kind of stuff. So let’s skip ahead to more recent years. The day that baby was born, Bonefish had a Twitter contest where you wrote why today was the best and I entered with – obviously – I gave birth to my baby girl! And I won a 100 dollar gift card! A few months ago, I entered a contest to win signed books and a tote bag by one of my favorite authors, Kresley Cole. And I won! Capture

I sometimes say I never win anything but that’s a total lie. I do And it’s not the material stuff that counts anyway.


Well, that was a weekend

After completely skipping my workout this morning, I cleaned my bathroom. See,  I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I kept thinking about everything I have to do before we leave for Hawaii. That’s not like me and somewhere in my mind I know it will all get done. I’m just happy to have my coffee this morning because it was a brisk 54. A bit cool; finally! The boys even took their jackets, which is saying something because though they may be Florida boys, they don’t seem all that phased by temperature.

Speaking of boys, my oldest learned a valuable lesson this weekend: break your fall with your hands and arms, not your face. He and Matthew were riding their scooters around the neighborhood and going down a hill, they decided to crouch down, which changed his balance and he ate it. I was napping during the football games and was woken suddenly when his friend burst into the house saying, “Elliot got hurt!” It looks pretty bad; the whole left side of his face is all road rash. But it could have been worse, I suppose. At least he didn’t break anything. After his friend, Beau, broke his arm at flag football practice, every time one of my kids falls I think, “Oh here it is; this is our time.”

This weekend was also flag games: Ell’s team won and he did very well at QB. Isaac’s team got demolished. We had Sonny’s and I did stuff around the house. We were originally going to go to our friends’ house in the neighborhood but Jon had the stomach flu so we watched the FSU/Miami game at home, which was better. I didn’t want the baby to stay up so late somewhere else.

On Sunday, I cleaned some more – nothing like my parents’ impending arrival to spur me into hardcore cleaning – and we had tacos for lunch. I managed to get myself a pedicure in the afternoon, which was much needed before vacay. I am certain I will wear flip flops at least 75% of the time. Not that it’s any different from here. We have a joke about you’re not really a Floridian unless you wear your sandals all winter. We’re just tough like that. Or stubborn. Don’t want to give it up.

Today, I am tying up loose ends. Grading like crazy and making sure the info for my subs is all in order. I can’t believe it is already 11:30; time is flying by! I hope you all have a great Monday. I’m off to work some more!


Friday Five – Vacation looms ever closer

  1. Y’all, I leave next Thursday! I am trying to be calm about everything. I wrote out a list of things that need to get done like pedicure and buying a snack for Isaac’s class for next Wednesday and clean my room/bathroom (because my parents will sleep in there). I haven’t even started thinking about packing. I will address that on Monday. I do need a windbreaker of some sort. Even if it’s just a cheap thin one. Some of the hikes in and around the volcano tend to be cool and misty and I don’t want to be under-dressed. That’s going to be so weird: on the Kona side we’ll be on the beach and on the Hilo side, near misty waterfalls.
  2. I will say that my impending time away from work has made me super productive. I made 43 labels (it’s more involved than you’d think), ordered books for 160 classes (also hard; you have to type in a five digit number for each book for every section; there’s no “apply this book to all sections”), and I have been grading papers. I feel so good about this!
  3. I may have finally figured out pigtails for Dakota. I kept getting them all crooked but every time, I get a little bit better. The problem is that her hair is still toddler fine and wispy so if she leans back in her carseat even, it gets a little messed up. That’s one thing I appreciated about keeping my boys’ hair relatively short; just brush and go.
  4. I made the mistake of watching a thread on facebook last night which essentially became “grad students bitching about their spring teaching assignments and being entirely ungrateful for all we give them.” I almost said something but that’s not my place. I can tell you, however, if we down here have to give them a class, I have some special 8 am sections just waiting for them! ;)
  5. I tried the toasted graham latte at Starbucks this morning. I like it but not as much as a basic vanilla. I’m weird about things like that.

Five Photos:


My little John Watson!


The lame banana stand at Walmart


Nice sky this morning


Pig tails


I’m going to put this in my office

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Some challenging questions!


1. It’s October so let’s get this out there first thing…have you jumped on the all-things-pumpkin bandwagon? How so?

I have had a couple cookies someone baked and then two or three PSLs but for the most part, I have not. I will say, I was craving pumpkin pie the other night and went on a mad pinning spree of all kinds of pumpkin-y images.75dd9068282232f3ab3de74c846a3e17

2.  “We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.” Francois Duc De la Rochefoucauld  

What’s something you once thought impossible, but in hindsight see as more a matter of lack of will?

I will say that I thought – and do think – that losing weight down to a certain number is impossible. But really, I don’t have the will to go so hardcore on my eating that I get there. I do ok eating relatively healthy and working out. I just don’t want to cut myself off THAT much.

3. The rose is America’s National Flower, but every state also has its own (click here to see the list). Are you happy with yours? If you were in charge what would you declare your state’s flower? If you’re outside the U.S. what bloom would you like to see labeled as your country’s national flower?

I have always liked the orange blossom and think it’s great for Florida! Just call us orange groves.com. I always thought it would be cool to get it as a tattoo; I’m fairly loyal to this state.bd17173289db49bb55f76c4b1f59f305

4. What have you lost interest in recently?

Oh man, I have to say Country music. I was going strong there for a while but I just can’t seem to care anymore. I get sort of irritated when a genre gets a lot of criticism and it definitely has come under fire. There’s the Blake and Miranda split and the argument about “Bro country”. I just don’t want to be in it right now.

5. In your opinion, who’s the best living musician?

This is tough! My first thought was Sinatra but he’s dead. My second thought was Stevie Nicks, because I love the White Witch. But I think I’m going to go with… either James Taylor or Billy Joel. Great songwriters!

6. S’mores-love ’em or no? Ever make them indoors? Last time you sat around an outdoor fire? Are making s’mores and sitting round a fire pit on your autumn bucket list? Do you have an autumn bucket list?

Every winter, we inevitably make them one or two times in our firepit outside. I like toasted marshmallows but I think S’mores are a little too big and bulky for my taste. The kids like the entire process though so we continue the tradition.

I have a very short Autumn bucket list. It includes: getting a few decor items at Michaels, go to the pumpkin patch, photograph leaves as they turn.

7. Your favorite small town? Why?

When I was younger, we traveled west from Newark, NJ to a little place called Salamanca, close to Buffalo, NY. Along that route, we saw many small towns and I have vivid memories of cute front porches decorated with Indian corn, pumpkins, and brooms. I cannot think of any names of these towns; sometimes I look on google maps and guess at some of them. So for this answer, I’m going to pick Havana, FL. Because it’s adorable.

First pic is mine. Second, credits go to David.

204 2nd Street Northwest, Havana, Florida

204 2nd Street Northwest, Havana, Florida

8. Insert your own random thought here.

So this might be TMI but this coming Monday, I’m going in for my first time waxing. My friend recommended it and the only reason I’m going through with it is because of our vacation. I can’t see myself doing it often; I’m not interested in baring myself to a stranger and partaking in relative discomfort often. but Courtney swears by it. We shall see. I’m not the vain type so I highly doubt this will become a trend. The only “vain” or selfish thing I do is get a pedicure about once a month. I’ll report back next week.