Hello World! Tried Chocolate Wine Lately?

So. It’s been a while since I last posted last for various reasons.  Mostly because I’ve gone through round after round of illnesses, nothing noteworthy or hospital worthy (yay!) but enough to make me miss more work, more running, more bicycling and more paddle boarding than I even want to think about. It’s so sad really.

I feel like I’m writing a confessional but it’s been like 3 months since I ran at all and 4 months since I went paddleboarding.  And I was doing so well, going every weekend forever!  Oh well, I think it’s getting time to get back in the swing of things.  How many times have I said that or something similar?

Anyways, that has nothing o do with what I was going to write about today.  I used to have a blog called Wannabe Winos (you know that’s a great name) and though I only wrote in it for about a year I really liked it because I used it as a journal to keep track of different wines I tried and whether they were great and should go on the keeper list or not so much.

Since Kinda Zennish is nothing if not about whatever and I’ve already professed my love of wine (and other fine spirits) I decided that I would combine the two so that I can keep track of my wine preferences again.  If you are a casual drinker of wine then you know that it can be difficult to remember which bottles were the ones you wanted to try again.  Or maybe that’s just an effect of finishing that wine quick enough that it doesn’t go vinegary on you.

Whatever. Anyways…


This is the wine I was looking at when I decided to start the blog wine journal. Chocolate wine! How could it not be good?

I poured a glass (screw top bottle, gotta love easy) and sat out in the perfect Florida weather to enjoy.

It was pretty good – in small doses. It’s incredibly sweet and has a consistency more like a liqueur than wine. You can taste the red wine in the background, and very sweet chocolate in the front. I don’t think it would be good with any food except maybe not too sweet cookies like biscotti. Unfortunately I can’t stand biscotti so straight wine it is.

I think this wine would be best for special occasions when you want to pick up something different for friends to try. Anyone have a suggestion of what would be served with chocolate wine for family and friends?







NaBloPoMo and North Carolina

I’ve only lived in 3 states. Arizona, California and Florida. Know what these states have in common? They’re mostly hot and they have no seasons.  I have never seen fall, until last week.  I’ve never seen snow except in patches either, but that will have to be remedied another time.

Last weekend we drove up to Asheville, North Carolina to finally see fall.

We had way more adventures than would logically fit in a weekend, and I decided that I’m going to spend the week writing about the various things we did while up there. I also decided to try Blogher’s NaBloPoMo again, which is a challenge to write a blog post a day everyday in November so I’ll be sharing something about the trip everyday this week.  Spoiler alert, I’ve never finished a single challenge I’ve ever decided to try, but there’s always a first time, right? And I have a ton to say at the moment. Here’s a preview of what I’ll be writing about this week.

2015_10_26_North Carolina trip

Wish me luck on my latest writing challenge!

PS: I wrote this tomorrow, because I didn’t actually join NaBloPoMo until the 2nd.  In my defense, I hadn’t checked my emails.

Time to Refresh

I have kind of fell off the blogging wagon for lots of reasons.  A promotion at work was awesome, but it means I’m working more hours and blurring the work / home life line a bit. I’m actually installing Windows roles and features and then SQL on a laptop while writing this on my computer.  Nothing like multi-tasking work and real life!

I just signed up for project management classes to get a certification so I’ll be keeping pretty busy even outside work in a non-vacationy way for a while. But those are the things that keep life interesting, right?

But I’m not fooling anyone.  I still live in vacation land and I still fully take advantage of it as often as possible.  I went paddle boarding a couple of times in the last month (I saw what was AT LEAST a 4 foot carp! Or some other kind of fish, I don’t know.) and am planning to go again in a week, to explore underwater caves.  So I can’t even fool myself into thinking I’m much of a workaholic.

I have managed to completely ditch writing, exercise, cooking much that wasn’t frozen and all that sort of thing.  You know, the basics.  The funny thing is I miss them ALL and so I’m not sure why I need to make such a concentrated effort to get back into them.  But I do, so there you go.

So I’m joining a Blogging 101 class (always fun to go back to the basics!) which is an excuse to revamp and redefine what I want to write about.  I started writing here just to keep a running journal, then more and more about running, but I’ve really merged into other areas and it’s about time to admit it.  I like to write about healthy things I’m doing, from food to running, so whenever I’m writing more I’m also taking better care of myself. Weird really, how those things are linked in my life.

But anyways, here I go on a bit of a blogging adventure, wish me luck!

What’s the Best Pet for a Teenager?

Well, it’s 10:30at night on the second day of NaBloPoMo and I haven’t posted yet.  The daily prompt didn’t really light any fires for me, it asked that you retell a story that someone had recently told you.  But it did bring to mind a text conversation that I had with my 17 year old niece last night.

She is trying very hard to convince her mom that she should get a pet that is hers and hers alone, which she can take with her when she eventually moves out.  She originally texted me to ask where I got my kittens a few months ago.  I let her know that I got them at the Tampa Bay Humane Society, the same place I got my two younger dogs.  Just to let you know, this place is spectacular. The people are so friendly and the animals seem to be healthy and kept clean and well.  Not an easy feat with as many as they have at times!

Then I promptly tried to talk her out of a kitten.  In all fairness, I am a dog person, I’ve never quite trusted cats.  The only reason I got the two I have is because I am a total pushover and my kids really wanted them.  My daughter got straight As last year and somehow worked that into a visit to the Humane Society to get a kitten.  Somehow we came home with two…

I have to admit that the little beasts have grown on me and now I am very much attached to them – but don’t tell them that!  However, cats can get anywhere they would like to, including on top of the bookshelf, the desk, inside my daughter’s backpack (they stay in her room most of the time) and basically wherever you put whatever it is you don’t want them to get into.

I’m skipping the entire subject of dogs simply because the average parent isn’t going to think that a dog is low maintenance – they need and deserve as much time as you can give them, and being a teenager means you have to convince your parents that your idea is a good one.

So what does that leave? I’ve had chickens, and as neat as an idea as that was it didn’t work out.  We’ve had little pets like fish (too much work cleaning their tank and they are kind of boring) and hamsters (They bite. Enough said.) which I was not too thrilled with.  The other two pets we have experience with are a rabbit and rats.

We go our rabbit on accident – and as a result it has lived in my bathroom for about 7 or 8 months.  I would get it a hutch but it’s used to having it’s own room and a hutch just seems so small in comparison.  And as odd as it may seem I have gotten used to him (or her) being there – he runs up to me when I go in the room, and I can sit on the floor in there with him, which of course I couldn’t do if he was in a hutch. I never would have picked a rabbit as a pet but I can tell you now that they are very affectionate and really a cool pet if you keep them inside.  Not to mention the fact that they are automatically litter box trained as well as or better than a cat. The down side?  (S)he chews on EVERYTHING including the floorboards, the door, and several phone cords when left out in my room. There may be a way to stop that, but I haven’t found it yet.

So what then is the ideal?  Strange as it may sound I recommended getting rats. They are inexpensive, we got our cage for about $20 on Craig’s List, obviously they don’t eat much, and the only other thing you really need to buy is the litter for the bottom of their cage.  They seem to love attention and people in general, and I’ve never seen one bite.  And if you have the time and the inclination, you can teach them a pretty amazing variety of tricks.  Check this video out that I found on YouTube:

So, what do you think?  What kind of pet would you recommend for a teenager?  They are old enough to take care of a pet but young enough that they still need to convince their parents that they can, and in all reality taking care of a really labor intensive pet may be a bit overwhelming at times.  Let me know what you would suggest.



NaBloPoMo and Writing Freedom

Hello strangers! Welcome to complete randomness.  Maybe for a while, maybe permanently, I’ll let you know if you care to come back and find out.  🙂

When I started writing here in January 2011 this was a personal journal of something new I was trying – running.  I just wrote about how far I ran and how hard it was.  Then I started writing about other things as well, mostly fun things here in Florida like paddle boarding or festivals and posting the occasional recipe.

I’ve gone back and forth between writing quite a bit and not writing at all for long stretches of time, and I’ve tried several ‘writing challenges’ to get me back into the swing of things but I haven’t finished any of them.  Why?  Because I tend to feel that I should stay ‘on subject’ and write mostly about running.  But just like with writing I go through phases of not running at all.  I’ve just started running again after several months off, I want to start writing steady again too.  But how to get back to writing consistently?

This month I am trying something totally different for me.  I’m joining Blogher.com’s NaBloPoMo, which is a commitment to write a post every day this month.  I’ve tried challenges like this before, but I usually stop writing because I have a hard time tying the writing prompts into anything related to what I usually write about.  So this time I’m going to go at it a bit different.  I won’t be limiting myself to any subject at all for the entire month.  I might write about running and things fun to do in Florida, but I also might try writing a piece of fiction related to nothing at all or I may do a post that is just pictures.  Photography is an area I think I’d have fun doing more of.

So if you’ve been following this blog please bear with my wandering and rambling, but I think it is time I get more zen out of writing Kinda Zennish.  🙂

Just to get the randomness officially started, here is a picture of Boots, one of our 3 would-have-been-snake-food rats. How do all people not see how cute and friendly rats are??

Boots eating

Have you ever found you have set limits on yourself that were unnecessary in hindsight?

Are you joining NaBloPoMo or another writing challenge? If so what made you decide to join or what are you doing differently than you have before in your writing?



So Here’s the Thing.

I like running.  I do!  Not every run, but for the most part. I also like writing, or I never would have started writing here. So why haven’t I been writing much lately? Because somewhere along the line I must have subconsciously decided that I could only write about running here.

And, I have a slight problem with an odd cross between the squirrel syndrome and being obsessive. That combination can be better than it sounds, except for when it’s worst than it sounds.

Last year my squirrel was gardening.  One minute I was thinking about how my mom used to grow lettuce in the side yard, the next thing I know I had bought 2 raised gardens and was finding out more than I needed to know about what a too-rainy season in Florida could do to a garden.  Also, I now know what an assassin bug is.  Just as cool yet not at all cool as they sound.   I even started a new blog with my niece to keep track of the garden.  Here is where I started, take a look if you are feeling bad about how your yard looks and would like to realize just how great it really is.

Then everything died except the basil plant, then my dogs ate the basil plant, then gardening season was over.  On to the next adventure.

Until a few weeks ago when I was feeling a bit overwhelmed reading about all of the GMO veggies in the local grocers and remembered I already had a fence up, why not start another garden?  So I bought a bunch of non-gmo seeds from SeedsNow.com and Clear Creek Seeds. And of course since nothing other than radishes, a few cucumbers and the basil lived last year I decided to start bigger.

20140216_144944The 2 square shaped beds are the ones I bought at Sam’s club last year, and I built the L shaped bed in the back a few weeks ago using these directions.

Of course I had to fill the beds and I originally intended to partly use dirt from the yard mixed with other stuff.  Then came the next squirrel. The dirt in my yard was full of disgusting things that I found (thanks Google) out are slugs.  They live under ground and eat roots and kill all your plants.  Even vegetable plants.  And did I mention they’re gross?  It was a little bit like finding out evil little aliens lived out there.

So I spent the better part of the day Googling how to get rid of them.  Guess what?  Basically the entire internet laughed and said too bad, all you can do is HAND PICK THEM and drop them in soapy water.  Now I swear I’m not a total wimp but no.

As I continued to (desperately) read I found a single ray of hope.  My new squirrel.  Yep, and I’ll tell you all about them later. That’s right slugs, take THAT!


How about you, do you ever take an idea and start running with it before you know exactly where it is you’re running too?  If not I have to say, I highly recommend it.  🙂



Oops, I ….

Yes, I did it to myself AGAIN.  I was doing great with my running, I was up to 4 miles and keeping to a running schedule, running 3 or even 4 times a week.  Great, right? Right.

Then February hit and I just fell right off every wagon there is.  Stopped running, stopped blogging, stopped doing yoga, guess how great I feel about now?  Yep, not that great.  But all of that is just the start. Guess what I’m doing in the morning.  Less than 12 hours from now.

Mud Endeavor! Not just any mud run. This one is 5 or 6 miles, depending on how they decided to set up the course.  So not only is it the longest mud run and longest run I’ve done yet if I must be honest, it’s after taking an entire month off of doing anything even remotely healthy for me.

I really don’t hate me, but I CAN be my own worst enemy.  As a matter of fact, I excel at it!  Does it make it better or worst that I am super excited about the run tomorrow instead of dreading it like I think I probably should be?  Oh yeah, and I have a case of tennis elbow so bad I’ve been drinking my coffee with my left hand.

There won’t be any kicking ass tomorrow but I will still have a ton of fun!

So what exactly have I been doing with myself besides watching Netflix (I’m in the midst of a full on 4400 kick) and drinking hard cider? Gardening!

I cleared out the side yard (yet again), build a new raised garden, and planted the whole thing with non-gmo seeds.  I have lots of things sprouting and I’m planning to share pictures but at the moment it’s a wee bit too dark outside and I just wanted to share my insanity of the moment, my longest, most unprepared for mud run.

So with me luck since I’m going to need it, and come back later to see if I made it.  Ya, you can laugh.  Goodness knows that’s what I’ll be doing.

Lost that Blogging Feeling

I ‘m not sure why but it seems I lost all interest in all things computer over the last two months.  I stopped blogging, stopped participating in Twitter run/healthy something chats (the fact that I like motivational twitter chats is embarrassing yet true), even looking at Facebook or surfing the net.  I’d like to say it was because I did some get off the couch and get outside challenge, but if I had tried that you KNOW I’d be at the computer every day.  Actually it was probably more the fact that at work I comb through databases most of the day and just got tired of looking at computers and of thinking in general.

Whatever.  I am not the most consistent person or the best at convincing myself I should do things that I don’t wanna do (ya, that has to be said like a 3 year old would). 

I’ve always been kind of cyclical (sounds better than back and forth or irresolute). The same way I lost any desire to write about anything  I suddenly found it again.  I even signed up for a class, Stunt Writing for Personal Growth on Canvas Network.  Sounds kind of dangerous, it should be fun!

I haven’t tried a class on Canvas Network yet but they offer free and inexpensive online classes.  I found out about them when my sister asked me if I wanted to take Society, Science, Survival: Lessons from AMC’s The Walking Dead with her.  Um, yes.  Of course I want to take a class based on surviving a zombie apocalypse.  You know you’re signing up too. They have quite a few classes that look interesting but I’m going to wait to sign up for anything else until I find out whether I like these classes or not.

Well, I’m off to pick up my son.  I intend to be back soon but you know how that goes…