Into the Wild

This trip was exactly what we needed. 
 Except WAY.TOO.SHORT. But it could've been 6 months long and still would've been too short, really.

There's so much to tell. The campground was really pretty. We stayed in a cabin, which was TOTALLY roughing it. There was only a MINI-FRIDGE and a rinky-dink microwave for crying out loud! And a wall unit A/C. Oh, the humanity! 

Cabin Sweet Cabin

Seriously, it was great. I have no problem tent camping, but not in August in Florida. So the cabin was perfect, and we spent very little time in it. 

We were busy.... 

- Riding Jay's 4-wheeler in the woods 
- Swimming in the pool 
- Swimming in the lake 
- Getting face-painted 
- Chilling with Yogi Bear 
- Going on Hay Rides 
- Singing Karaoke 
 - Making S'mores 

 Elayna and Bee play well together, and the two of them spent a lot of time in the pool. 

I do have toes. I promise.

Hula Hoop contest!  Bee won; Elayna won Musical Chairs.

It's YOGI!!! Hide your picnic baskets!

lovely butterfly

Jay enjoys metal detecting in the lake, so he spent a few hours doing that. 

you would not believe the valuable jewelry he finds.
friends, do not wear gold & diamonds to the beach/lake/river!!

Which left a lot of time for Shelbie and I to hang out together. That was one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was good for us; we needed that.


holding my baby!!  

self portrait

Shelbie & Jay love picking on me,
which is what they were doing in THIS pic!

 Probably my second favorite was riding the 4 wheeler out in the woods. I love being out in the middle of nowhere, away from all the stress of life.

Oh and DEFINITELY another favorite: Jay cooked breakfast and dinner out on the grill all weekend. Something about cooking outdoors makes everything taste better. A simple breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon tastes AMAZING when cooked on a fire and eaten outside on a picnic table. Especially when the cook lets you sleep until 10 a.m. Bliss!

 I sang karaoke Friday night. When it started, a guy with a guitar was singing Tom Petty. I was like a moth to a flame, couldn't get there fast enough! He was a really young boy but did a great job. He played guitar and sang harmony when I sang my signature karaoke song, Leave the Pieces by The Wreckers.
Jay said the guitar guy & I should take our show on the road.
I said, if I ever sound like some of the people who sang after me, please drag me off of the stage and beat me with the microphone stand.
I'm not Jennifer Nettles (oh, how I wish I had her voice!) but I'm just saying....some people should not be allowed near a microphone. Ever.

Much to our surprise, it didn't rain on us at all.  It's been an extremely rainy summer in Florida, so three days without rain were a wonderful treat!

Anyway...it was a lovely getaway, and a good time was had by all.

Elayna on the Swing

Shelbie making S'mores


Bee. Elayna. S'mores!

The End!



*I'm not here.
I'm scheduling this post because, if all goes as planned, we're leaving for a camping trip on Friday.
Me, my girls, my FriendWhoNeedsaNameOnThisBlog, and his daughter who I call Bee.  I can't call him by the first letter of his name because it's J, and there are way too many J's in my life/past.
Maybe I'll spell it out like Bee and just call him Jay.  I think I like that.
Anyway.  Hopefully it won't rain us out and I'll have some fun stories & pics to share next week!

* I was listening to a "Top 40 Countdown" radio show the other night.  A man wrote in and among other things said "We named my daughter Alexandria - Alexis for short".  And I screamed "No. NO.  You can't do that, it just does not work that way!"  Are you with me on this??  That's like saying I named my son Timothy but we call him Tyler for short.  OK maybe not quite the same but still...NO.  You can't do that. 
(you scream at the radio/tv too.  right?!)

* There's a new addition to our family.

I was tossing around names and Toby was one that popped in my head.  Later when Elayna saw his picture, she immediately said "I think we should name him Toby", and she had no idea I'd thought of that!  So obviously, that's his name!  He's a flame point siamese (probably mixed with something).  The litter was found by a dumpster, then he was adopted by a family whose son ended up being allergic.  Thus, he is now ours!

* Irony: Someone posting comments on my blog with a fake name & no-reply status, accusing me of not having the "balls" to publish the comment. I, for one, am 100% female and don't CLAIM to have balls. Ew.

* Some of you know this, but I have a private blog in addition to this one.  I post stuff of a more personal nature there.  I have a recent post up there, and plan to post more stuff in the near future.  If you want access to it and I trust you....let me know.  ;-)

Mommy's Idea

Visit Mrs 4444's for more Friday Fragments 
AND pics of the cutest puppies you will ever see, hands down.  


50 Shades of Cyndy

I stole this from Filing Jointly...Finally.  It's ok because she said I could.

I just want to state for the record that I've never read 50 Shades of Grey, nor do I ever intend to.

Not because I'm a prude, because I enjoy GOOD writing and have heard that it's quite the opposite.

Carry on.

1. What is your best friend's Mom's name? Jeannette is her bio-mom (not sure if that's the correct spelling, nor do I care.  I'm not a fan of the chick).  Theresa is her step-mom who was more of a mother. And I am a third mom at times.

2. Where is the weirdest place you have a mole?  Um.  There.  And yes it's just a mole, it's been there for many years, ya freak.

3. Who was the hottest teacher you ever had?  I don't ever remember having a hot teacher.  Male or female.  My middle school Spanish teacher was nice-looking, but not HOT.

4. Have you ever made out in a movie theater? Haven't we all?

5. What body part do you wash first? Um, my left shoulder.  Never thought about it before, but I do have a very OCD shower routine.

6. Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms? Pfft, no.  I'm a disaster, I'd fall in, or fall off, or something.  I sit right on the seat and OMG I AM NOT DEAD YET!!!!!

7. What's the strangest talent you have? I can pick things up with my toes just like with my fingers.  Just last night I was complimented on my mad toe skillz. I'm not even making that up; it was called "impressive".  I PICKED UP A DVD WITH MY TOES PEOPLE.  

8. Do you have an innie or an outtie? An innie.

9. What's your favorite flavored Pringles? Sour Cream & Onion FO SHO.

10. Have you ever been tied up? Um. Yes.  Yes I have.  And I should probably leave it at that.  But let me just say OMG.  WOW.  

I'll stop now.  

11. What was the last thing you ever got grounded for? Probably staying out too late with my boyfriend who ended up being my husband and father of my three children and who is now my ex-husband.  

12. Do you parallel park or drive around the block? Drive around & around, you're welcome, the world does NOT need me attempting to parallel park.  Fortunately there's little need for that nonsense in my town.

13. Have you ever had two dates in one night?  Well I've made two dates and then ditched one.  Woops.  Sorry!

14. How many times have you been cussed out?  A lot, actually.  I used to work for the DMV so it happened there regularly.  And my first husband has done it many times and I'm sure there are more in our future.  Yay, good choices!!

15. Which shoe do you put on first?  The left.  

17. Have you ever been to a gay bar?  Yes, there's a gay bar with a drag show in my town and it's a BLAST.  The atmosphere is so different than at other bars.  FUN!!

18. Girls.  This is not a question.  Just want to have fun. (alrighty then?)
 19. Is there one thing all of your love interests have had in common? BAHAHAHAHA.

No.  Hahahaha.  
20. Did you French kiss before you were 16? I think I was 14.  o.O

21. Have you ever been cow-tipping or snipe-hunting?  No.  Cow tipping is mean, and I'm not stupid enough for snipe hunting.  

22. Who is the last person you usually think about before you fall asleep? It really depends. That's the time of day when my poor little mind is spinning and won't stop thinking about everything under the sun, so it can be anyone or anything.

23. Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? HAHA Yes.  On the day my divorce from Husband #1 was final, my boss at that time wrote a poem/song on the whiteboard at our office.  I can't print it here though, and that sucks because it was FUNNY.  I miss that man (the former boss, not the former husband).

24. If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which would you rather not wash? Um, ew?  They'd both get stinky after a while.  I can't pick.

25. Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable? I used to always find my Christmas presents in their closet.  

26. What was your childhood nickname? Cinderella.  And my Mom called me Cyndy Lyndy.  Those are the only ones I remember.  

27. When is the last time you played the air guitar? I can't say as I recall.  

28. Have you ever peeked in the opposite sexes locker room? I don't recall doing that either, but hey, I may have.  

29. What's the weirdest thing you have done while driving?  Hmm.  Probably changed clothes.  

30. Have you ever bitten your toenails? EWWW.  I think I did this when I was little.  It was one of those "because I can" things.

31. How do you eat your cookie? What kind?  Oreo, I take off one cookie and throw it in the trash and eat the cream & one cookie.  Because two is too many.  Same with EL Fudges.   Also they have to be Double Stuf, the regular kind are a joke.

32. When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt? I don't even understand this question.  Which probably tells you I haven't been to a gym in a lot of years.

33. Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others. Heh heh heh.  

Oh um....I don't know.  Scratch my butt??
36. How many drinks does it take before you get drunk? Depends on the drink.  Two strong ones.  I'm a lightweight.

37. Have you ever sniffed an animal's butt? Seriously?  Who does that?  NO.  Also? HELL NO.

38. How often do you clean out your ears? After I wash my hair because they feel all soapy and wet.  So about every other day.

39. Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper? I scrunch.  I'm concerned about why you need this information.

40. About how many times a day do you pick a wedgie?  Usually NONE because I do not enjoy discomfort so if a pair of drawers gives me wedgies I will not wear them.  The End.

41. Do you have any strange phobias? Well I don't think it's strange but I am utterly terrified of snakes.  I also hate feet but that's more of an aversion.

42. Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose? I pierced my nose, does that count?  Well I didn't do it myself, a totally hot piercer guy did it.

43. What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar? Passed out.  In my defense, it was my first time drinking more than one drink since gastric bypass surgery and a significant weight loss.  I didn't know my limits.  I was carried out.  I lost a shoe.  Thank God for good friends!

44. Have you ever been dared to do something you totally regretted?  I don't think so.  I was never big on taking dares.

45. Have you ever called your love interest by an ex's name? Nope.  "Baby" is a very handy term.  I'm just saying.

46. Have you caught a guy/girl farting while on a date? I don't think so.

47. Have you ever played naked Twister? No and the thought of it makes me giggle uncontrollably.

48. Have you ever been drunk at work? Nope, can't say as I have.

49. Have you ever found your date's/lover's brother or sister more attractive? Sister, yes.  KIDDING.  I don't think so.

50. Do you want to bring sexy back? It depends.  Where did it go?  Because if it retired to the Keys or something then by all means, let it stay.  Because if I brought it back it would probably be PISSED.  I know I would. 


I Had Forgotten

I am not sure when I'd been to Saint Augustine last.

My long-time readers may remember how much I love St Augustine.  My ex-husband John and I used to go as often as possible.  For a while, we probably went once a month.

But I think it had been about a year since I'd last been, maybe more.

I had truly forgotten how much I loved it.

Photo by Elayna

Photo by Elayna

  On our unexpected visit last Thursday, it all came back to me.

Fiddler Crab
Photo by Elayna

When we drove into town, as I looked around at all of the familiar sights, and inhaled the salt air, I broke into the hugest grin, and it never left my face the entire day.

There's something about simply being there that fills my spirit with happiness.

Mommy & Elayna
(This is the big goofy grin to which I referred.)

The company helped, too.

Elayna is a sneaky photographer....

We didn't even really do anything there on Thursday.  We arrived late in the day.  We walked, looked in the shops, toured around the fort, ate ice cream, took pictures, and just enjoyed the sights and each other's company.

Castillo san Marcos
B & Elayna

B & Elayna at the Wishing Well

Elayna & B....only a 3 year age difference,
but B is a tiny thing!

Elayna on St George Street

I just soaked it all in.
I can't wait to go back.....

Unknown Mami

Visit Unknown Mami for more Sundays in my City posts!


Because WE are the Griswolds!

Or at least, it felt like we were on Thursday.

School starts next week for our kids.  My friend and I were off on Thursday.  We decided to make a trip to Wild Adventures.  We had just been there two weeks ago on a Thursday.

Elayna and I made a dozen sandwiches.  We packed our swimsuits and towels and sunscreen.
We all loaded up in my friend's car, along with his daughter, and drove to Georgia.
94.7 miles.

And we arrived to a scene eerily reminiscent of this one.....


It seems Wild Adventures closes during the week once the school year starts in their area.

Which I have never heard of.  Living in Florida, the land of theme parks, this just doesn't happen.  Some of our parks change their hours during the fall, but mid-August?  Closing completely except for the weekends?
Who does that??!!

Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia.  That's who.

But....we made the best of it.  Our plan was to spend the day at Wild Adventures, then take my friend's daughter to her Grandmother's house for the weekend.  We were to meet up in St Augustine.  So, we just went to St Augustine WAY earlier than planned, and spent the day there, hanging out and having fun.

The girls were great sports about it all.

Elayna on Ice Cream

Elayna and I - photo by B, 8 yrs old ;-)

Lately, my life seems to be all about making lemonade out of lemons.  I wouldn't mind if the lemons stopped being hurled at me!  But in the meantime, pass the sugar...........

We don't call this Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional for no reason!


KickAss Stuff I Pinned*

I wanted to post SOMETHING.
But I'm drawing a blank.
So I thought I'd make like the Cool Bloggers and direct you to my Pinterest.
This is the board where I put the best stuff.
 Simply Awesome
There are bad words & stuff, so enter at your own risk.
Any injuries you sustain from laughing are not my fault.

*stole the title from The Bloggess.  I don't she'll notice mind.


She Was an American Girl

I grew up in the same town as Tom Petty.
My brother is 10 years older than me (he will be 49 this month!)
 and was a big musical influence in my life.  
So it's no surprise that I'm a big Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fan.

One day I hope to see them in concert, 
but until then a great substitute is a good cover band 
playing in Tom Petty's hometown.
It's almost poetic.

Heavy Petty
Gainesville 2012

It was a free outdoor concert.  I have been to many of them; 
my friend who went with me had never been to one.  
It's a very laid-back, hippy-flower-child atmosphere.  
My friend is decidedly not a laid-back, hippy-flower-child guy.  
But kinda like when he got me out of my comfort zone and onto roller coasters....
he ended up having a BLAST.

Sometimes two people who are different can compliment each other,
sometimes they can drive each other crazy.
We'll see how this goes.....

Heavy Petty
Gainesville 2012

At the end, they ran off the stage...he said "Aww, they didn't play your song!"  
I said "They'll be back.  They'll come back and sing Last Dance for Mary Jane and American Girl."
And they did exactly that.  It was great!

image credit The Fab Lab

....raised on promises....

Unknown Mami


WWTK ~ apparently TEXTING edition for me!!


{1}What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
Crappy reality TV.  I know it's awful and garbage and rotting my brain and corrupting society, but I just can't stop watching.  My favorites are Toddlers & Tiaras and OMG the gypsies, I looove the Gypsies!

{2}What is the ONE thing you're never too busy for?
Hmm, this is tough.  I'd have to say texting.  If I get a call I may be unable (or unwilling) to answer but I can almost always return a text.  

{3}They say love is in the little things. What is a little thing someone does to show you love?
I love getting texts asking if I'm ok when someone knows I'm having a rough time.  It lets me know that person is thinking about me and cares.

{4}What were you doing 30 minutes ago? 
Texting.  LOL  That seems to be the theme of my WWTK this week!  I was actually texting and watching crappy reality TV - 'cause I can multitask.  :P  

{5}If you could be on any game show what would it be? 
Probably Wheel of Fortune because I'm good at it.  But I think Family Feud would be a blast!

Be sure to visit the hosts Mamarazzi and Crazymama for more WWTK posts!




in the literal  or strict sense: What does the word mean literally?
in a literal  manner; word for word: to translate literally.
actually; without exaggeration or inaccuracy: The city was literally destroyed.
in effect; in substance; very nearly; virtually.

Literally set my house on fire this weekend.  My kitchen has very little cabinet space.  In desperation while moving in, I put a few dishes in the oven.  Including large plastic bowls.  I haven't cooked much lately.  Then this weekend, I decided to make a delicious chicken dish.  In the oven.  And turned it on to preheat.  With the dishes still inside.  Came back into the kitchen a few minutes later to hear a strange sound.  That sound was FIRE.  In my oven.

Literally used a fire extinguisher for the first time in my life this weekend.  The fire would not be fanned out and I didn't have any flour (told ya I haven't cooked much lately).

Literally got my feet ran over by an old lady with a walker yesterday.  Retirement villages are dangerous places!  And old people are very impatient.  I could insert a joke here about WHY that may be, but you may not appreciate my dark humor.

Literally cringed when I saw THIS:

No, no, NO!!!!

Literally snorted while watching THIS:

Happy Tuesday, Y'all!


Fun? Is that You?? HEY I remember YOU!

This past week and weekend, I was reintroduced to an old friend.
It's my old friend FUN!  
I hadn't seen fun in AGES.
It was a very happy reunion!

Then on Saturday, Elayna had the opportunity to be a bat girl for the 2012 Softball World Series!
She was bat girl for a team from New Hampshire on Saturday.  She had a blast!

I had planned on taking the girls to the Springs this weekend
(something I'd been wanting to do forEVER but things kept coming up).
Then we were invited to go to the springs with friends!  So of course, we accepted.
Despite it being overcast most of the day, we had a good time.

We swim with the fishies!

The friends who invited me are a couple, both of whom I went to school with.  But they just started dating recently.  They reconnected through Facebook...just like I reconnected with both of THEM through Facebook.  The girl was one of my best friends throughout childhood & high school but we had drifted apart in adulthood.  When it comes to stuff like this - I LOVE Facebook!

Sidenote: I apologize for all the vague postings recently. If you want to know a little more of what's going on, shoot me an email.  But regardless, thank you for supporting me even though you had no idea what I was talking about half of the time!  ;-)  Love you guys.  And hopefully this crap will be kept to a minimum from here on out.

Hope you had as great of a weekend as we did!  

Unknown Mami


Regardless of the Outcome: Look it Up.

Mommy's Idea 


It's always nice to say goodbye to a HORRIBLE week. I work every other weekend, so some weeks Friday is just another work day, but I'm off this weekend so....TGIF!!

It's been an incredibly difficult week, and I will elaborate more on that on another day.

But, as I almost always TRY MY BEST to do, I'm going to focus on the positive & happy things.

~ The girls will be with me this weekend and we may even get to do some FUN stuff.

~ In an effort to bring some happiness into my utterly horrible week, my good friend took me to an amusement park.  I rode roller coasters all day - something I haven't done in literally over 20 years!  We also rode water slides, and all kinds of totally silly fun stuff.

~ Today I was reminded of a quote by a good friend that really helped me put some things in perspective:

~ I was also reminded that I have some pretty great friends.

 ~ Unfortunately another reminder was that some people are so sick and eaten up with insecurity & jealousy that they take GREAT pleasure in other people's unhappiness, even when cause of that unhappiness involves tremendous pain to CHILDREN who this person claims to LOVE. Sick and sad.

 ~ But you may remember this from my post from last week: "Regardless of the outcome, you will not win." (Psst, "Don't Deceive": you may need to look up 'regardless' in the dictionary; I know it's kind of a big word.) "You won't win because you'll always be you, and I'll always be me."

~ Oh and....

....just sayin'.

 Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend! 
Don't forget to visit Mrs 4444's for more Fabulous Fragging Fun. =D