Friday Five – Geez, Summer, you’re harsh

Five Thoughts:

  1. Yeah, the last two weeks have been INSANE. Every summer I forget how crazy summer teaching is. 15 weeks worth of material squooshed into six. I spend about one and a half to two hours a day prepping, then class is an hour and a half Monday through Thursday. I have an intern (new grad student learning to teach) so I have to also help her and mentor. It’s quite a bit to have on my plate.
  2. You know what’s keeping me sane? The Sherlock fandom. First we got a promo pic. A crazy Victorian promo pic. Then we got one minute and 28 seconds of footage of those two silly men in love guys. Ahem. It’s been awesome to follow the fandom’s reaction. People go nuts over this stuff.
  3. My stomach has been bubbly all week. Uncomfortably icky. It’s not nausea but more like just a huge bubble in my stomach and I can actually feel it in my back too. I remember back in October I had this issue and I solved it by taking Zantac for about three weeks. Then I tapered off because I read that after a while, that med can take away good stomach acids too. Sigh. It’s always something.
  4. This week has been really low-key once we all get home from work/preschool/camp. Our evenings have been spent cobbling together light dinners, playing on computers, and watching movies. We haven’t gone outside much because our “feels like” temps have been nearing 100. I admit I did run out a few evenings; to the store, to the mall, just to walk around and keep myself going. Otherwise, I’m on the couch under a blanket watching nothing in particular on TV.
  5. I mentioned on Tuesday how I had something I wanted to post about but then forgot. It was something about last Saturday, when we were out on our friend’s property. There’s a path leading back to his hen house and sheep pasture that is surrounded by dense North Florida woods. As Isaac and I walked back with a few others from picking over the last remaining squash, we saw SO many fireflies. The woman I ran into who we actually knew mentioned that we don’t see them too often in city limits. No, at my house, in May, I see maybe a handful each night between 8:30 and 9. But out there, we saw hundreds. It wasn’t like the pictures you can find by doing a google search (as seen below) but there were a lot. And I loved it.

Five Photos:

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Fireflies!

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Look at these adorable dorks

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Yeah that’s Florida for youtumblr_nqta2fB9xR1qewacoo1_540

I found that amusingtumblr_nps4ob7xRp1tm0z29o1_500

Words to live by!

Wednesday Hodgepodge – make ya think

1. When did you last ‘swim against the tide’?

Not for a long time. I used to push back against almost everything and these days, I have learned to let go and not fight as much. I guess if you want to say my vehement hatred of 50 Shads of Gray, then that is where I was against the tide. Eff that book.

2. What’s the last self-help or self-improvement book you read?

LOL I guess the last one I read was Bird by Bird, like our host! I don’t tend to read self-help texts. If I am wondering about something, I turn to forums to see if others have had similar issues but I find therapy in other ways.

3. “Tolerance is a tremendous virtue, but the immediate neighbors of tolerance are apathy and weakness.” (Sir James Goldsmith)

Agree or disagree? Discuss. With civility please, because i think we have a good thing going in our very diverse (in geography, age, religion, political persuasion, ethnicity, marital status, upbringing, and cooking abilities) neighborhood here on This Side of the Pond.

I mean, I tolerate a lot of things but sometimes there are larger issues I tolerate and feel badly that I’m not doing anything to fix a problem. You have to look at all angles and then choose your battles. I know some people right now are “tolerating” the gay marriage thing and meanwhile, I’m over here like, thank God we’ve come into this century and allow people to be who they are. Because that’s not any of my damn business. But I tolerate liberal hippies trying to save slackers. Can I do anything on either front? No, not really. So I have to focus on me and what I can do to make a difference in my direct life. Maybe that is apathy but it’s smarter for my sanity.

4. What is one of your most vivid memories of the kitchen from your childhood?

Oddly enough, I have two random kitchen memories. One is the time my mother thought she was taking a sip of her tea but it was Dr. Pepper and she literally did a tv-like spit-take. She is not a soda person! The other is the time I leaned on a hot burner and had to be rushed to the hospital for major burns; I was three. Funny that my memories don’t necessarily include food. I cooked with my parents quite often.

5. How did/do your own children’s summers compare with your summers as a child? If you’re not a parent, answer as it relates to what you’ve observed about the current generation of children vs. your own childhood.

Because I’m still working while my kids are out of school, they are a bit different. My mom was either home all the time or – once she went back to work – was home during summers because she taught. I honestly don’t recall any specific summer things; we did the same stuff we always did: pool, beach, backyard picnics. I think my kids are getting a different summer experience with camps and activities like we did on the fourth but they are no less exciting.

6. Tell us what body of water you would most like to be on or near today, and why?

Oh man, bring me that Gulf. I haven’t been to the beach in a little while and my parents are currently in Pensacola. I’d love to be laying on St. George Island right now.14573573947_5f883de5b6_z14482890275_47036b28ca_z

7. Share a favorite song about water, or a favorite song with the word water in it’s title, or a favorite song to listen to as you sit beside the water.

I think any song that has a Caribbean or Rasta beat is great for water listening. I’m not that picky, to be honest.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I couldn’t get to sleep last night, which isn’t like me. So I was awake, thinking about my character analysis paper next week. I have never assigned one before so I feel a little out of my league. Since I have written them in the past and have been teaching a long time, I know I can prep and feel confident but I still doubt myself. My plan is to show them how I might go about it and use Sherlock as my character. I plan to show them the pilot and pretty much dissect it as best I can. This way, I can nerd out AND teach. I’m actually pretty excited, though nervous at the same time.
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Random Tuesday – Strategically placed belts, winks, life moments

Stacy Uncorked
  • I hate when I have a really random thing all thought up and then I totally forget it by the time I have my post going. How annoying is that?
  • Oh! I have one. Last night Ash and I were just watching TV and out of the blue, my sister texts me this photo:hbkp19
  • I could barely contain my laughter. That’s the former wrestler, Shawn Michaels, in his Playgirl spread from like, 1996. I love that my sister can dredge up the craziest stuff so we can reminisce. I had a similar moment the last time we were at my parents’ house. I went around to the far side of the guest bed to make sure we didn’t leave anything, and I spied an arm hanging out. It turned out to be The Undertaker’s arm, because we used to collect cardboard stand-ups of wrestlers. Yeah, we were weird. (Were? LOL. ;) )
  • I didn’t wake up yesterday to work out but I did today and I am so glad I did. Though my stomach is a bit wonky from not eating like normal all weekend, I am still glad I am getting back on track. I brought a nice healthy sandwich and fruit for lunch too. Look at me all conscious of my eating.
  • Is it the 9th of July YET? We get a teaser trailer for the Sherlock Xmas special. Watch, it’ll be 10 seconds long and not nearly enough. All of the fandom will scream in misery, GIVE US MORE!3b5d07982e3a6ccffa1fee94f0c4360d
  • Did  I mention what a cool moment it was out in the country? We were all in Adirondack chairs on the edge of a pasture, surrounded by trees, In the dark. Scott played an acoustic guitar and mostly just beginnings of songs: Hotel California, Nothing Else Matters, Sweet Home Alabama, and others. I was so at peace, watching my boys light incendiaries with pure joy on their faces. They got to do fun boyhood things that night, things I actually also did as a young girl. Though I was slightly nervous about firearms and fireworks, I knew this was an experience for them to shape their lives.
  • OK, my day’s crazy so I’m over and out. Have a good Tuesday!tumblr_inline_mgsv4dzFII1qeb8qt

MMMM kuntry! + Long weekend of Liberty and Freedom!

Y’all, did you have a good Fourth? I will say, there were parts of mine that were less than desirable but the majority of it was excellent!

Since we were off Friday, I started in on last minute cleaning right away. I got all that done before 8 AM! Then I ran errands that Ash had planned to do. He was still not feeling so hot so I mailed some boxes, got his oil changed, and went to the store. I mowed the front yard and then once everyone was calm for nap, I went outside and laid in the sun with my beer. THAT was a highlight. My parents got into town around 2:30 so we had beer and watched the kids in the pool.

Day two was a little less than perfect. Sure, we had a nice breakfast and did some yardwork before heading to Sonny’s but Ash was getting restless and irritated by his inability to return to normal. So we were all mad and he went to his room and my mom and I went out for a bit. It all worked out fine in the end; everyone resolved their issues and  around 6, Ash, the boys and I drove out to Monticello.

Jerry is a former coworker of his and lives out in the country. He invited us out for fireworks and we had a blast. First we took shots at cans with airsoft rifles for a while. I am bent on getting one now. I wasn’t so accurate so I kind of want to be. LOL.

Funny story: we ran into a couple who we actually knew. Rick and Kathy are long-time friends of our former neighbors. They actually hadn’t even met Jerry until that day, but they had been long time friends with his neighbor! Small world, I tell you.

Then we hung around inside, playing pool and watching a guy do magic tricks. (Jerry’s son’s friend – they’re teenagers.) Around nine, the show started. We went out to his back pasture and sat around while the kids and a couple adults lit them off. I’d say there were about 20 total people out there and it was just… nice. Scott played his guitar and we sat in the dark, waiting for the illumination overhead. Good fireworks too; not your chintzy store-bought kind. All in all, a great night and I am glad we went, even though I threatened not to.

Sunday was better.  We went to church and had a big lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs. We were going to have it on the fourth but since we went out to lunch, no one wanted a big dinner. The afternoon was quiet; the kids napped and my dad went to their hotel to check in. In fact, they left for a few hours before dinner and our house felt like ours again. Oh, did I mention yesterday was Ash’s birthday? Yeah we gave him cards and gifts in the AM and went to Mexican for dinner. A nice evening!

This morning, I took the boys to their hotel so they can swim. I’m not gonna lie: being at work is a reprieve. Even though I have to grade and get ready for class later, this is nice. I had a great weekend but routine helps me live.

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Ahh, Country theme. I was REALLY into country for a couple years there and I definitely still listen to it but lately, I’ve gone back to enjoying the harder sounds of Ozzy, Motorhead, etc. However, here are a couple country songs I don’t ever tire of.  My aunt and uncle were pretty rednecky back in the day (Nascar, big trucks, etc.) so some of these are from my younger days too.

 

Yes Luke, anything you want. I mean uh… ;)

 

 

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Happy birthday, USA!

 

 

1. On Saturday July 4th America celebrates her Independence. (If you’re not American,  feel free to answer in terms of a national holiday in your own country) What is your favorite thing about the day? Your favorite food on the 4th? Do you fly a flag at your house? Fireworks-yay or nay? Any special plans this year?

I think I like the feel of a summer holiday: the fact that we all come together to do fun things like eat, and see pretty colors (if you’re into fireworks) and about the fact that we honestly live in the best country there is. (My opinion, strictly speaking.) 

We do not have a flag but it’s not out of lack of patriotism, just sheer laziness.

If it were up to me, we’d always eat hamburgers and hot dogs, french fires, and potato salad. That’s a fourth of July meal! Oh, and beer. Lots of it.

And yes to firework! I love them and we’re probably/maybe going out to a friend’s house in the country to shoot some off.

2. What’s something you recently got for free?

When I attended the faculty panel for the incoming athletes, they compensated me with a really nice dri-fit polo shirt. It won’t fit me of course, but Ash can wear it. I guarantee if retails for at least 70 bucks.

3.  The Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Washington Monument, or Mount Rushmore…how many on the list have you seen? What is your favorite historical American monument, and why?

Yes to one and three, no to the others. I would love to see the Liberty Bell and actually, I’d like to follow the path they took in the movie National Treasure (sue me: it’s the only good Nic Cage movie.) I like the history of any old American building; it would be cool to explore Boston and other founding cities in the Northeast.

4. When it comes to the news are you more ostrich (stick my head in the sand) or hog (they have room to take a whole lot in)? How much attention have you given the recent news reports regarding ISIS and the acts of terror they’ve perpetrated against those who do not share their beliefs or support their cause?

I go in cycles of being attentive to it but eventually, I get so sick of everyone choosing sides and arguing that it makes it so overwhelming. I think news stations sensationalize everything. Just give me straight up facts. The whole ISIS thing is dumb; I’m always appalled people are so cruel.

5. We’re talking plain ice cream…vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry? Choose one.

I like all three but if we’re talking a hot summer day? Strawberry, hands down.

6. Share a song you love containing the word ‘stars’ in the lyrics or title?

I couldn’t find an official video but here’s a good one!

7. Describe and/or say goodbye to June with an acrostic.

Jury is still out on whether or not this month was a success

unless you consider tanning, pool fun, and lots of beer successful

nothing compares to the early summer though

ending is sweet sorrow but now onto July

 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Well, my husband is recovering from his minor surgery today and my parents get here in two days. My house is a mess, my kids have been very energetic this week, and men are needy when they hurt. SO, my days just keep getting crazier and crazier. On top of that, work has been nuts too. I keep thinking there will be an end to the madness but it just keeps on keepin’ on. Bring me July 4th and beer!This-Curated-Life_4th-of-July-Beers-12

 

Random Tuesday – So busy I don’t know what to do next

Stacy Uncorked
  • Honestly, I forgot about my daily blog post until now (9:30). I got into my office and hit the ground running. Finally taking a second to write.
  • SO, I started teaching yesterday and they seem like a good group. I usually have them do an icebreaker wherein they have to tell me interesting things about themselves. I don’t let them say stupid things like favorite color or number of pets. They moan and groan but it makes them think. Well one kid’s cool thing was that he has two moms and they just got legally married. As I congratulated him, the whole class broke out in applause. It was a really awesome moment!
  • This week is going to be insane because Ash will be out of commission from Wednesday on and I will have to do everything. The doc said if he wants to reduce swelling and/or risk of injury, he should literally sit on his ass for two days. I mean, I wanted this: I gestated and gave birth to three kids and that combined stress plus recovery time was a million times this, but still. Argh.
  • THEN, my parents are coming for the 4th. This is great and all but we have a few different invites for fireworks and I don’t know how it’s going to work. One option is family friendly and a good activity for my parents too because it’s an older guy my husband knows. So the age group will fit everyone. The other is a friend of my husband’s who is, like, 25. So yeah, not parent appropriate but my mom was not too keen on us running off when we invited them here. UGH. I hate making plans.

OK so I have been running all over this building putting out fires for my job so this post is NEVER seeming to get done! Let’s move onto Tuesday Chat.

“What’s on your Summer Fun List? Hey, if you want to get all fancy and make a poster, or beautiful journal; I’d be so thrilled and inspired.”

 

So, this was done a bit shoddily but it speaks for itself.Summer fun list

MMMM + Super productive weekend

Y’all, I got so much done! I should say WE; I worked a lot in the house Saturday (nothing like the impending arrival of family to make you clean like crazy) but on Sunday, we really did stuff. We had this old brick and concrete built in barbecue out back that we’d vowed to knock down ages ago. It came with the house and was too old to use ten years ago. Well I went out Sunday morning to weed and my husband got motivated to buy a sledgehammer and take that thing out. Yay! We all worked hard moving bricks and cleaning up; it was exhausting. I also mowed and ran errands. I felt entirely worked, but in a good way.

Aside from that, typical weekend: Sonny’s, naps, movies, laundry. The busy summer session begins today which means a large number of grad students will be here to learn how to teach. This also means I will be teaching. Summer is rough because it’s 15 weeks worth of material jammed into six. Whereas I normally choose a Tuesday/Thursday schedule (1 hour 15 min classes) summer, is four days a week, hour and a half classes. It’s not easy, I tell you that. BUT, I have been a little lax these past few weeks; time to get back to it!

 

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So Elliot heard this song somewhere – camp I’m assuming – and he won’t stop singing it or dancing to it. Meanwhile, it’s become the house earworm. Sigh. Typical hip hop song, if you ask me but I cannot stop singing it! Also, the video is pretty amusing with the older folks getting’ down with their bad selves.

Friday Five – Tickets, Dinos, and Students

Five Thoughts:

  1. The athlete faculty panel thing yesterday went great! It was myself (though I am technically not faculty), a fellow English colleague, a woman from the Career Center, and a professor from Communications. We basically went through some advice, some classroom pet peeves, and told them how teachers see students and student athletes. Honestly, I think they really learned something. And that’s what we’re here for!
  2. I got my ass up and worked out AGAIN today. I feel like this is a huge accomplishment. You know what actually makes it easier? One is that I’m naturally a morning person. I hit the ground running when I wake so that gets me on the machine. BUT, I feel like my body has yet to catch up to my brain so as I start moving on the elliptical, I am half-oblivious to it. Sometimes when I used to put off a run, I’d agonize over it and then every little ache in my body was like, end-of-the-world awful. But this has been much better. And I feel better throughout the day.
  3. We’re finally seeing Jurassic World today! I have high hopes but I had better temper them, just in case. Chances are I will like it regardless. I mean, I was the dinosaur kid so this is right up my alley. You remember the dinosaur kid: has the sheets, the books, all the names memorized. I had a pair of Converse with a dino skin print on them. Yeah, that kid.
  4. Ash and I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in a long time. The last Friday we would have gone, we were in Orlando. The time before that, nothing was really out so we went home and took a nap instead. So I’m actually pretty excited!
  5. The parking ticket I got on campus a couple weeks ago was dropped. See, they made us do this thing where we linked our pass to our license plate. Personally, I thought it had always been that way but apparently not. So parking services warned us about it, I went into the system and did it, then a month later, got a ticket for “incorrect parking”. I did some research and they said I didn’t actually link the two. Well, I called BS on that. I got it all fixed with them then appealed the citation. And yesterday, I found out they dropped it. So, yay! I don’t have to give them 30 bucks.

Five Photos:

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At the interstate overpass

 

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Lush products rule!

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Look at this kid getting stuck in the tunnel. We have one of those!

 

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My oldest and my youngest

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And isn’t this a great pic??

Not stressed, just not motivated

I am feeling a bit out of sorts, you could say. I feel like I sit in my office just waiting to feel the desire to work. And it isn’t like I don’t have a lot to do. Because I certainly do. Papers to grade and discussions to partake in. I have to finalize my summer syllabus – classes begin Monday – and I have to make sure my weekly plans cover all the bases. I also need to get back into the mental mode of teaching. It has been a little bit since Spring ended and I was overwhelmed then. But I haven’t really felt that over-stressed feeling in a little while.

But. I will admit that some days, I feel like I want to do something bad and rebellious. Nothing awful. Just something that feels like I’m bucking tradition or doing something that veers slightly from my moral compass. Maybe I’m being vague. Maybe what I mean is that I wish I still partook in a bloghop where we had to confess stuff. Because it might go something like this:

I confess… I’m going next week to see Magic Mike XXL with some friends. One of my friends I vowed never to see movies with again because she’s a talker. Actually, she’s a screamer. But I figure for this movie I can let it slide. The first movie was SO bad, dialogue wise. But oh, the pretty men. I could watch it on mute and be totally satisfied.

I confess... I’m not, nor have I ever really been, a smoker. But sometimes I think it would be fun to buy one of those flavored cigarillo things and just indulge. They’re probably gross. I’d probably feel bad. But sometimes, why not? Maybe we don’t allow ourselves that enough: why not?

I confess… One of my main goals for the past six weeks had been to read. But did I? Not really. I’ve been finishing a Lauren Dane novel while on the elliptical so I feel like maybe I am ready to jump back into it. But for some reason, I have just been out of the reading loop. But it makes me realize how I don’t take advantage of all the hours in my day. I don’t want to make excuses; I certainly could find a couple hours to read. But I don’t.

I confess… I could have read Wednesday night but I watched the first episode of the new season of Inkmaster. It’s trash tv but I love it. I like competition shows and tattoos. Why not?

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Today is better. I wrote that out yesterday when my eyes were blurry at the end of the day and I didn’t have it in me AT ALL to do work. Today I am furiously grading and getting stuff done because I have to go sit on a faculty panel for incoming athletes later. It was a last minute thing that my friend in Athletics asked me to do. I’m slightly nervous but I know I have the knowledge and confidence to do right by those students. I’m a little honored, actually, to have been asked.  But now I have to perform. This was just the motivation I needed though. Thank God for small miracles, right??

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Day three of lower temps makes me happy

1. June 23rd is National Pink Day. What’s your favorite something pink?

I don’t have a lot of pink stuff, admittedly. BUT, I do have this super soft v-neck shirt from Old Navy that I like to pair with some blue-ish plaid shorts and my Sperry’s. It’s a cute, preppy outfit. This pic is not the best but I took it long ago in Instagram and just cropped it.PhotoEditor-1435065575353_resized

2. What did you enjoy most about gym class when you were in school? How about the least?

Well, let’s see… in elementary school, I loved the scooter things we’d play with on the blacktop. That and the dodge ball days were the best! In high school, everything about P.E. sucked. I used to lie about my asthma to avoid WALKING the track. I was never that lazy as a kid so I don’t know what I was doing then.aaeaeaae9760baee9a4be0c1ea3c89c1

3. What memory is brought to mind by the smell of roses?

Oddly enough, I don’t have any pleasant memories associated with roses. To me, they remind me of a gross perfume that girls I don’t like wear. Like, the waitress at a cheap chain restaurant who is also a part-time stripper. That is what the smell reminds me of. Weird, I know.

4. Do you prefer to read or write?

Reading is easier, but sometimes when I read, I get motivated to write. I keep a journal and I blog (obviously!) so to me, the two go hand in hand.images4

5. Sam Keen is quoted as saying, ‘Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.’ Would you agree? Is laziness ever respectable? How will you be lazy this summer?

Ha! I was just saying this in my post yesterday. I really do want to get out and do summery things but I am feeling so tired and hot lately! I will indeed be a bit lazy. Every Saturday and Sunday, we get in our blow up pool and while the kids roughhouse and whatnot, we tan and drink beer and just relax. I love it!

6. The Florida Keys, Disney World, or a resort somewhere on the Gulf Coast…which Florida destination would you choose (and why) if the trip were today?

OMG, don’t make me choose! I’d go to all those places! However, I was on the Gulf Coast only about six weeks ago and it’s only been one and half weeks since I was at Disney so I will say the Keys. I know it’s kind of cheesy but I’m dying to go to Margaritaville and Hog’s Breath Saloon, and Captain Tony’s. And even Papa Hemmingway’s house.

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The kids at Animal Kindgom a few weeks ago

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Ash and I are both wearing blue

7. What question do you hate to answer?

“What do you want to eat?” I don’t know why but it stresses me out. If I am going to eat alone, fine. But if my decision will also affect other people, it makes me feel like I’m the one in charge of their fate. I would much rather eat something I’m not entirely keen on if it means everyone else is happy.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

The cloudy weather has made it in the low to mid 80s instead of 90s so for that, I am grateful. It is supposed to be 93 today but I’m not sure I buy it.  I guess the temps don’t really matter because I found the answer to not running in the heat: working out in the morning. This is day 2 of getting up and hitting the elliptical. I feel SO much better when I do this! Also, I don’t have it looming over me in the evening. I will say that my back is hurting today but it must be the fact that I’m getting back into regular exercise. Definitely not feeling 100% though. Well, guess it’s better than the alternative, as my grandpa always said.