Friday Five – Books, Beer, and More!

Five Thoughts:

  • Geez, it’s Summer break and I feel like we’re busier than ever. I struggle to keep up “normal” activities with the kids like, you know, reading. Elliot is supposed to read 10 books this summer and we’re, so far, behind by 18 days. He loves reading but since he’s been in camp all day and with swimming in the evening, we haven’t touched a book. Ugh.
  • One of my good friends is leaving town soon because he got a job in DC. I really enjoyed talking to him and I realize he has to move on but still, it’s sad. There aren’t a lot of people in this world who I see eye to eye with and I hate when we part.
  • I don’t go into too many hot button topics here but I have to say, I’m just not sure what’s going in America anymore. How can there be so much blind hatred? I remember being a teenager and feeling so mad but I wouldn’t ever hurt anyone over it. I had the ability to filter that and realize there had to be a channel for that emotion. I wish more people could see that.
  • I was complaining the other day about wasting away my evening hours. Well last night, I just… stayed busy. It helped that Ash and Ell didn’t get back from swim lessons until 7:30 so I was cooking and then there was that and bath time and reading. Oh yeah, I actually did get Elliot to read. (#1 was written yesterday!) When my interest in puttering about the house started to wane, I worked out. Yay!
  • While I did the elliptical, I watched The Middle for the first time. My friend had been telling me about it and I see what she means now. It’s pretty funny and relatable, though it’s pretty much a poor man’s Malcolm in the Middle.  Have you watched it before?

Five Photos

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Here’s a beer I had the other night; 9% alcohol!

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Palm trees in my parking lot

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I can only dream of taking photos this amazing

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One of my EPCOT photos

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Whenever I doodle, I draw trees. I’d like one.

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Good to be back, even in the heat

1. June is National Great Outdoors Month. Have you spent any time appreciating the great outdoors this month? If so where, and if not do you have any plans to enjoy the great outdoors before the calendar turns?

Does the beach count? We went there a few times but we haven’t really hiked trails in a bit because it’s been hot for too long. The best I can say is that we get out in our front yard each weekend.

2. What’s a current hot button issue for you?

The “free-range parenting” issue. I read an article about an 11 year old who played basketball in his front yard for 90 minutes while he waited for his parents – who were caught in traffic – and his neighbor called DCF and subsequently, the boy and his brother were taken away. I swear, people need to mind their own damned business. The boy was in no peril, there was apparently a shady spot and a hose for water. Let parents parent and otherwise, stay out.

3. What’s a food or treat that ‘disappears like hotcakes’ in your house?

LOL grapes. My family goes nuts for green grapes. We buy the big old container of them from Costco and they’re usually gone in 2 or 3 days.

4. How hot is too hot?

My old Infinity had only two windows that rolled down – the back ones – and the A/C fan only came on if I went over a speed bump. I spent three Tallahassee summers in this condition and it was HOT – like, 100 every day. THAT is too hot.

5. Do you have an artistic outlook on life? What does that mean to you?

I’d like to think I see art in everything; I tend to be sort of the “aww, look at that amazing thing” person.  I think you can find beauty or creativity anywhere. Then again, I am a writer…

6. What’s one question you’d like to ask your father, or one you wish you could ask your father?

I guess I’d like to ask him if he ever regrets being so angry at us all the time. He used to be a lot more stressed out and it showed.

7. Something you learned from your father?

Oh man, so many things. My mom worked nights and he and I always went out. I’d ask him all sorts of questions, from how streetlights work to questions about machinery or the tides, etc. He always patiently explained things to me. But one major thing I learned was to exercise patience with my children when they are bad. Not because he did, but because he didn’t. Oh, and he taught me to be a Nole.7362136342_12b70b28a6_z

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I remember last year after vacation, I was very aware of how difficult I found it to get back into the swing of work/regular life. This week I had the same problem but it took be a bit to be like, “oh yeah, THAT’S my problem.” It could have to do with swim lessons. I get home at 5 and then Ash and the kids do but then he takes the boys right back out for 2 hours. I’m left to try and clean and get dinner going. Then they get home and it’s crazy until bedtime. I’ve barely felt like doing anything at all after they go to bed. But then I think, what did I do before? I pretty much just sat on the couch. I guess I am just looking for something. I want to have things to do in the evening that are productive.

Tonight I plan to mow the lawn but what I need to do is get back into my workout routine. The Tough Mudder is about four and a half months away and I have got to be in better shape.

But anyway, what do you do in your evenings?

Random Tuesday and Tuesday Chat – C-c-c-combo breaker!

Stacy Uncorked
    • That’s from Killer Instinct, an old fighting game we played. I don’t know why that sound effect popped into my head but there you have it.
    • Isaac is in my office this morning because he has a doc appointment in a little bit. He has to get his Kindergarten/5 year shots. Kindergarten! Sometimes this shocks me. I don’t know how kids grow up so darn fast.
    • I am wearing my Sherlock shirt today. It is subtle so I highly doubt anyone is going to recognize it. You’d have to be deep in the streets to understand it anyway.
    • I am also wearing shorts because it is HOT this week. We’re talking high 90s all damn week long. There goes my afternoon running. I will be using the elliptical and the hangboard. I have GOT to get back in shape. I ate like garbage the past week!
    • Ok, let’s do the Tuesday Chat picture prompt:blanktagged_questions

      1. Nickname:  Well, people don’t usually call me by anything other than my name and/or mom/mommy. But in the past, I was Claire Bear. Because of the obvious rhyme. Every now and then my uncle still calls me that. Uh, I’m 36 dude. My other nickname, from middle school, was Clar, because, heck, I don’t know. Who knows why 13 year old girls do what they do.
      2. Eye Color: Hazel! I always sort of prided myself on my eye color, though I don’t like my eyes in general.
      3. Hair Color: Black. Boring old black. BUT, since I have grown it out pretty long, I notice when I am brushing it that the ends are brown. Weird, right?
      4. One Fact:  I have an extensive knowledge of song lyrics. I brag to my eldest that he’ll appreciate it some day and he vehemently denies it. Then the other day, after one of our longer drives, we get out somewhere and he asks, “Mom, do you know ALL the songs?” LOL, mostly.
      5. Fave Color: I honestly don’t know. I like maroon and cerulean and yellow. I don’t necessarily dislike colors like I used to; I used to hate pink.
      6. Favorite Place: Home? Nah. The Beach? Maybe. I don’t know. I know it’s hokey but I’m actually going to say Disney World. Even when I am with my children it still feels magical. The first time we took them I didn’t think I would feel the same way because there was that added level of responsibility that I like to leave at the door. But no, it is still awesome.
      7. Favorite Celebrity:  I am fickle so I flip flop a lot. Right now I am on a Martin Freeman kick because he’s funny and stylish and an excellent actor. I heard someone complaining that he said something racist. Yeah, you don’t think your favorite stars are flawed? Get over yourself.
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        Favorite Animal: I have always held a soft spot for both giraffes and armadillos.
      9. Favorite Song: Ha, again, how can I choose just one? Most Jimmy Buffett songs don’t get old and I have a few favorite albums I could listen to over and over (Rumours, August and Eveyrthing After)  but I don’t know if I could pick just one.
      10. Favorite Book:  I’m going to copy our host on this one. I love romance but I can’t pick one book that is excellent.

Ok there you have it. This prompt made me want to resurrect my old Wednesday get to Know Me Meme that  I used to do. It was fun but also difficult to keep up with.

Triumphant return + MMMM

Not gonna lie: it is nice to be back in my office and unfettered. Last week, with my son here, I wasn’t really getting stuff done. It is nice and quiet (except for this music I am pumping) and I can finally get back on top of my game.

SO, our trip consisted of: driving out of Tally in the craziest storm I can ever recall. Absolutely zero visibility. Luckily, we outran it in about an hour. Our drive wasn’t bad, considering it was myself and three kids anxious to just be there. I appeased them with Wendy’s nuggets (we don’t normally eat fast food) so there was that. We made it to my parents’ and could begin relaxing.

Wednesday was dedicated to eating, drinking, swimming, and family time. My sister and Justin were over and we had dinner and played and it was just nice. I missed my husband, as he was at the Design conference, but still a good time.

Thursday was our busiest day, getting to Animal Kingdom around 10. The braver ones did Expedition Everest and the rest of us, Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Baby got to pet a goat! Since that park offers nearly nothing else of interest (ok, maybe the rapids ride is fun but not that early) we then drove over to EPCOT. We had fast passes for both Spaceship Earth and Test Track. But first, we ate at the Cantina. It was pretty hot that day but was overcast for the majority of it with a nice breeze. I was thankful for that! Around 5, we headed to Ash’s hotel to met up for hibachi dinner. I have to say, my kids were really good that day. We’d had so many late nights but they really held it together.

On Friday, Ash got back to us around noon and the afternoon was spent driving south to Palm Beach to see my aunt and grandfather. We got in around 4, were out to dinner at 6. The next morning, we went out for breakfast and then walked along the beach, collecting shells and just enjoying the ocean. My boys are used to the Gulf so it was nice. We swam briefly before going back for lunch and visiting with some family friends. Back on the road by 4:30 and back to Orlando by 7:45. A lot of driving! We got up the next morning and drove back home. I love vacation but coming home is excellent too – even if it does involve a literal ton of laundry.

So yeah, back now and catching up. I’m happy to get back to my routine and my blog and music!

 

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Since it’s a freebie week, let’s talk dreams. Well, my dreams. Last night I had two weird dreams that woke me up and left me reeling. I can’t specifically go into detail but the first one involved Alice Cooper and a whip. It was… ODD. But, it left me singing this:

 

(I will say, the lyrics to both of these have, well, suggestive themes, but nothing out and out vulgar. Just want to make sure I am not offending anyone.)

 

 

The second dream had to do with seeing punk bands. Ash and I went to quite a few concerts back in the day and in my dream, we were talking about seeing Blink, which I never did but he did. So here’s a song we both liked.

Random Tuesday – Getting out and trying to have fun

Stacy Uncorked
  • I’m a bit scatter-brained today because we leave in the afternoon and I both hate and love packing up. I like being organized and all but the soul-crushing fear of forgetting something important is just awful.
  • I was flying solo yesterday and I realized that it’s HARD being with my kid all day. It’s draining. He was in my office all day, then we had to get the other kids, and dinner, and I had to pack and by the time they were all in bed, I just felt like I’d been ON non-stop forever. So when I felt like I had done enough to prepare for our trip, I sat my butt on the couch and watched The Sign of Three – the Sherlock wedding episode. No shame here; I drank a beer and indulged myself in the subtext. I ship #Johnlock for life, y’all.
  • In fact, I even ordered a shirt. I may be getting out of control.
  • I guess everyone has their form of escape.
  • Mine used to be running and it better be again here soon because, as I may have mentioned, we’re doing a Tough Mudder in November. It’s going to SUCK… but be fun. I was talking to some of the people on our team this past weekend and they all seem so nonchalant about 15 foot drops into icy water and you know – electricity! Ugh. Maybe in the moment I will feel it too. Here’s a video about the new 2015 obstacles.
  • The “Fire in your hole” one sounds god-awful!
  • I will probably feel pretty badass once I’ve accomplished it though.
  • Before we get to Hawaii, I plan on getting my next tattoo and after the Mudder, I might get another!
  • Ok this is all I have time for this week – can’t really bring myself to do the Tuesday Chat because my grading is top priority. Anywho, y’all have a good Tuesday!

MMMM + No time for blogging…

…but I will make time. I have Elliot with me in the office again this week so I have to make sure he’s got things to do in order for me to complete any work… which I have to do before we leave town. We had a productive weekend. I mowed and we swam and drank and had fun. We had a birthday party yesterday and the kids just ran themselves ragged. They were tired and dirty and full of food. I think that counts as a success as far as parents are concerned.

I have a bunch of work to grade and whatnot but all I really want to do is read Sherlock fanfiction and listen to music. I’m 36 years old and I want to shirk all responsibilities. Sigh. I don’t want to adult today! ::whine:: But I will. And I won’t complain. But in the meantime, here’s one of my favorite summery songs. Ash likes this one too and it reminds me of the brief time in which we were married by childless.

 

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Friday Five

Five Thoughts:

  1. I’m listening to Huey Lewis and the News this morning. You know, some bands are just timeless.
  2. I’m getting a little anxious to go on vacation but, as many of you understand, so much work must be done before then. Job work and house work. My weekend MUST consist of house cleaning and lawn mowing.
  3. Either tomorrow or Sunday, Ash and I are signing up for a Tough Mudder that happens in November. You’ve probably heard of mud runs or seen stuff about them. Our friends try to get us to do this every year and we finally agreed. It’s going to be insane! Watching videos about the obstacles (that I don’t know will actually be there until a week before; there are a number of them but they don’t always appear on each course) makes me incredibly nervous but also, motivated to train. I’ll keep you apprised!
  4. I think I may have finally kicked this illness I’ve been trying to get. I teetered on the edge a while: sore throat, cough only at night, headaches. I feel pretty decent right now.
  5. Goals for my day: grade papers, edit something I’m writing, and take a phone call at 11 from other job. Weekend goals: drink beer, tan, relax.

Five Photos:

At the playground:

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Self-reliance!

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I have a Martin Freeman problem:tumblr_np3uv7iGeS1rka2o5o2_540

 

Lightning!tumblr_n80f38Enls1syw1wdo1_500

 

Get stuff done:tumblr_npf0ncdlac1uwqlmvo1_540

Wednesday Hodgepodge – Kid assistant edition

Having Elliot in my office is always sort of a joy and a burden. I am used to being able to have quiet and get stuff done but when he’s here, it’s interrupted. He’s good for a while as he brings stuff to do but he also gets bored. It’s a long day for a kid who’s almost 8. Anyway, on with the questions.

1. What’s something you’re looking forward to in the month of June?

Hanging out at my parents’ house for a few days next week and seeing my grandpa. My mom and I always eat fun things (like, we make little fancy snacks and drink beer) and we’ll all swim. Then I haven’t seen my grandpa since my grandma died in January. He’s always been one of my favorite people and I know he’ll appreciate the visit. I didn’t take the kids to the funeral so he’s only seen them lately on Skype. Driving will be annoying but man, I need some kind of break!

2. In what way have you come full circle?

I did a search on my blog for “full circle” to see if I had written anything and I had one post about getting back to my normal routine after having a baby but mostly, I got posts where I talked about stopping into the bathroom at Circle K. LOL. I’m not sure how I could explain anything where I’ve come full circle. I think my life is a series of in-progress 180s. I can’t think of something specific where I am now currently back to the beginning or original setting. But as I mentioned, every time I have been pregnant and had a kid, about six months after they’re born I always feel back to my normal self and have come ’round full circle.

 3. Lonely Planet lists 10 spots in America you should see in 2015 and the reasons why. How many on the list have you seen? Which one on the list would you most liketo see?

Queens NY, Western South Dakota, New Orleans, Colorado River Region, North Conway NH, Indianapolis IN, Greenville SC, Oakland CA, Duluth MN, and the Mount Shasta Region CA.

Well, I have seen Queens and New Orleans; N.O. being one of the cooler towns I have explored. I would love to see so many places! I don’t know how I feel about Oakland but I’d go to any and all if the trip was right. I know we’ll be in Colorado at some point in the next few year.

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(Look at the far end of the table and locate Jeff with the fuzzy hair on the left. Now look for my head peeking out on the right back there. That was a breakfast spot in Queens.)

4. A song that describes your mood right now?

Because I have been listening to a lot of summer-themed songs, I am going with Sly and the Family Stone – Hot Fun in the Summertime. It’s a slow and funky kind of laid-back summery tune. It exemplifies how I feel (most of the time) right now. Fun, even though I have to work, and just sort of chill.

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5. Strawberry ice cream, strawberry short cake, strawberry pie, or strawberries right off the vine…your favorite?

I’m going with ice cream. I don’t typically order it but usually at the height of summer I get a craving for very cold fruity stuff and nothing is better than strawberry ice cream.

 6. Aesop’s birthday is celebrated on June 4th, although there is some disagreement as to whether or not that’s accurate, or if he was even a real person.  Regardless, the name Aesop is associated to this day with many well known fables. Which of the following best applies to something in your life right now? The Tortoise and the Hare(Slow and Steady wins the race), The Ant and the Grasshopper (Be prepared), The Fox and the Goat (Look before you leap) or The Crow and the Pitcher (Necessity is the mother of invention)?

Oh I am most definitely the tortoise and the hare. At least, I see myself that way. I know that if I just keep plodding along, I will get there. Though I will say, I do tend to be good at improvising if need be so the Crow and the pitcher might describe me on some days.

 7. The answer is yes…what’s the question?

Do you watch Sherlock? LOL. People keep asking and the answer is an enthusiastic yes! I know you’re sick of hearing about it but seriously, you must watch. It’s so good! I am rewatching every episode for stuff I missed. I heart them so much.70feea378cf52bccd0e96c2f8b27eae3

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I think my Endoflex just kicked in because I suddenly feel just fine; happy, calm, ready to work. It’s crazy how well those oils do work. My mom wants me to order one called Vetiver, which is known as Xanax in a bottle. In July, I will be able to buy more oils and I really want to start taking them more often and reap the benefits!

Random Tuesday – DIY, Summer, and kid out of school

Stacy Uncorked
  • I keep having images of summer flash through my brain: backyard grilling, summer light shining on the kids’ swings, the fireflies that start  popping up – here, there, between those branches – as the sun is setting, though it is nearing nine o’clock. I love summer even as I hate feeling hot sometimes. For the most part, even though summer brings many annoying things, I love it so.
  • It also makes me feel less inclined to work. I sit here and try to keep up my normal multitasking fervor. I usually write, blog, work, and read all day every day. but I steal a glance out my window and see the bright sun and really, all I want is my lawn chair, bathing suit, and beer. Or to hit the beach again but we’ve got too many busy weekends coming up.
  • But Elliot is here today so he’s sitting across from me watching a movie. So I have a limited amount of time to get stuff done before he needs to be directed again. And I can’t seem to log him into his account for this one game. I’m waiting on my husband to tell me the security answer. Sometimes the internet is annoying.
  • If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, holy crap! They wasted the first three episodes of this season but it’s been awesome since then and Sunday’s episodes was crazy. I cannot wait to see how this wraps up.
  • Can you believe it is June? I say it every month, I guess, that I can’t believe another has passed. Funny how time moves.
  • Time to move onto the Tuesday Chat prompt!

Do you DIY??
Uh… some? We have done some projects around the house since we moved in but nothing huge. First, we installed a fence in our yard.435523508_fd83c33432_z
And we also built a rock climbing wall. This photo is obviously of it unfinished.3759544029_0b50254044_z
It used to be a lot easier to do projects before we had kids. You know, they didn’t get in the way.
My husband put shelves up once:2224601700_610cd67649_z
And each time a kid was born, we put down carpet and painted:470527476_63e5794583_z
But aside from some minor sanding and painting of small furniture, we’re not huge DIYers like you see on TV who tackles  big projects. We knocked down our deck but haven’t built a new one. We’ve replaced faucets and fixtures and Ash has built things (arcade control panels) but we just leave our house as is. I think mostly because  with kids, it’s best not to make anything too nice, lest they mess it up!

MMMM + Here we are… another Monday

I’m getting unreasonably excited about things in my future. Which, while exciting, also make me very anxious. Next week we go to my parents’, which means eating and drinking and extra hands for the kids and swimming in the pool and Disney. (But then I remember having to drive all three kids and two dogs on my own, because Ash will already be down there. And then I have a minor panic attack.)

At the end of the summer session, my boss always has a picnic for the new people and that is so awesome. People bring food and we swim and it’s just… nice. (But then I remember how much work must be put in before any of that fun can be had.)

And of course, come October, I’ll be in Hawaii. But SO much has to get done before then I can barely bring myself to think about it. SO, I’ll take things one day at a time and try not to be grumpy. Though I was grumpy this weekend and I don’t know why. Friday was fun: Ash and I had Mexican and beer and decided not to see a movie. We were going to walk some trails but instead, we took a nap.

We didn’t do an awful lot on the weekend; we ate and played outside and shopped a bit. I did get some cleaning done and I worked out. We had Momo’s pizza for lunch on Saturday and Elliot played at his friend’s. But since today is his last day of school, it feels like we’re on the edge of change. You know, that odd summer time. This week and some of next, I have nothing for him to do so he comes to my office. And he does OK, for a little while. He plays and watches movies and reads but then gets whiny. Thankfully he has camp after we get back from O-town.

So yeah, that’s what we’re up to and now it’s time for music!

 

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Freebie week!

I’ve been feeling James Taylor again lately because XM has made an entire channel. Here’s one of my favorites.

And I’ve been feeling this Jimmy and Little Feat song too.