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Top of the Mountain

I’m approaching the top of the mountain, the proverbial mountain that is a week, as my Friday workday is now half over. I long for the beautiful vistas of a Saturday and Sunday off that I’ll see at the peak of the mountain. For now, I’ll ignore the despicably low valley that is a forthcoming Monday morning. I’m ready to ride our my Friday afternoon.\

I’m optimistic about the weekend, but I’m a pessimist when it comes to my hubby’s work situation. Seven weeks have now gone by without a paycheck. What in the actual fuck is that lunacy? His boss shouldn’t treat my hubby this way. If you know him, you know there are few people better at their craft than him. He’s a total professional. Honestly, I don’t know how some people sleep at night.

Last night Anakin gave the hubby and me quite the scare. We had Arrow and Athena on the leashes to take them out for their 6:00 pm walk when the three dogs huddled at the door. Like a star NFL running back, Anakin found a hole in our coverage and got loose. His first instinct was to hunt at the hibiscus by the garage. He quickly moved on to the hibiscus up front. We tried to grab him numerous times, but he ran out of reach.

As he ran to the stop sign, my heart stopped. I was so afraid a car was going to hit this dog. We rushed to put Athena and Arrow back inside, so we could concentrate on catching Ani. Meanwhile, he sprinted at full speed into our backyard. We were a bit worried as Anakin is afraid of strangers and reacts accordingly. As a result, I had hoped he would have stopped at the passion fruit vine to hunt, but he wasn’t there and my heart dropped. We couldn’t see Anakin anywhere.

My hubby and I split up, I stayed in the backyard and headed toward the lake while the hubby headed up front to look for him. When I heard a splash as I lamented the notion of losing my sweet Anakin. Heartbroken at the thought of losing my dog, I turned towards the splash and that’s when I saw him. He had jumped into the lake and was swimming after the ducks trying to catch them. For a split second, I was worried I’d have to go in after him, but he came right to me when he was called.

Anakin loves his AFLAC duck

At this point, Anakin has the biggest smile on his face. He had enjoyed his little adventure swimming in the lake chasing ducks. Fortunately, neither the hubby nor I had to jump in to get him out. Moreover, no ducks or dogs were hurt during Anakin’s wild adventure. We think his older sister Maya would have been proud of his duck-hunting adventure. As for now, he’s locked up while the other dogs are taken out less he tries to break free again. His adventure concluded with a nice shower to wash the lake smell off of him.

Clearly, Thursday night was the top of the mountain for Anakin, but for the rest of us Friday night beckons. We have no plans tonight, which is fabulous. The Mayor’s regular season for his travel team will come to an end tomorrow afternoon. It’s been a difficult year, but I feel like he’s grown as a player and learned a lot. Too often folks get hung up on the Ws instead of focusing on how the players developed on and off the ice over the season. The hubby and I are really proud of how hard he has worked.

Blue Spruce

Chugga chugga blue spruce was Goalielocks’ rally cry every time he saw a blue spruce during our first trip to Utah. Blue spruces had somehow become his favorite tree, so naturally, he felt the need to call our attention to every tree he spotted in the Wasatch mountains. Consequently, when I saw spruce was the word of the day it brought back great memories.

It’s funny how a word can usher in a tide of memories. Our first trip to Utah was so much. We were a motley crew hiking the Wasatch Front for the first time and making a few mistakes. I’ll never forget hiking the wrong trail in triple-digit heat with minimal shade and a big altitude gain. I tapped out before the summit. Obviously, we learned our lesson the hard way. Thou shall start with an easy hike when first hiking at over 5,000 feet above sea level in the summer heat.

After that first brutal, yet beautiful, hike each trek got successively easier. To be clear, there weren’t any really easy hikes outside of Donut Falls. The Donut Falls hike would have been a perfect first hike. Every hike was an adventure that trip and it led to a love of hiking. I found myself being at home on the dusty trails of the Wasatch mountains. I loved being immersed in the national forest deep in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

It’s funny how memories work, but I’ll take it. The word prompt spruce took me back to the Utah trips with my boys, Melly, and my folks. That first trip, in particular, will always be special to me. It was our first adventure in the mountains and the greater Salt Lake Area. It’s the trip where my boys and I discovered our love of hiking, lavender lemonade, and Goalielock’s love of blue spruce. I am hopeful the boys and I will get at least one more trip out West before Jake moves again.


Pernicious is the word of the day and as I write this I’m fighting through pernicious boredom at work. I’ve been plenty busy with folks that hang up on me today, yet I find myself mighty bored. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve rediscovered the end of the internet. There’s nothing new or interesting to see as everything has been recycled.

Jen Barber is always good for IT advice and a good laugh

Speaking of pernicious, my hubby’s volunteer status has definitely had a negative impact on my mental health. I thought we were making some headway yesterday, but I may have postulated incorrectly. I started writing in a separate journal to help cope with the stress. The strategy has worked wonderfully. After all, not all my thoughts are suitable for public consumption. If you’re looking for a journal app, I’d highly recommend One Journal. It is a free app with a premium subscription available.

It’s been nice having him home this past week. I’ve had several things on my to-do list that have been waiting for. Unfortunately due to shingles and an autoimmune flare, I haven’t been able to tackle any of them. Fortunately, he’s picked up the slack and has been knocking out several items on the to-do list. We have so much stuff upstairs that we simply don’t need anymore. Hopefully, I’ll be feeling better over the weekend, so I can help clean out the upstairs.

Season is Over

Well, the high school season is over. They lost a heartbreaker last night to the storm. For whatever reason, the boys couldn’t get it together last night. They were all sorts of off. It was a game they could have and should have won, but that’s life. I guess there are states and the all-star game left, but I’m not sure if the team or the Mayor will be playing in either. Either way, it appears the season is over.

I’ve made my opinion well-known on the subject, but it would have been nice to see the boys move forward. More than anything, high school hockey has provided a place to just play hockey for the fun of it. Travel hockey requires a lot of commitment and discipline (at least it should,) so high school provides balance to their hockey experience. I guess there is a spring season, so the North County Stars will live to play another day. I just don’t have any information on when or where the spring season starts.

Work continues to go well. This month is going so much better than the previous eight months. I’m hopeful that it will continue. The calls today have been pretty good less on strange ones. As I write this, I’m in between calls. I have found that writing a blog during the day helps me sleep better. If I write in the evening, my mind can’t shut off to go to bed. Honestly, it’s the worse feeling in the world when your body is dead tired, but your mind is ready to party.

As for my hubby’s volunteer situation, it still exists and it still sucks. It’s been a little frustrating trying to get information like using a snickersee in a gunfight. Nevertheless, his boss finally gave him a call. At least now we know where we stand and what’s going on. Hopefully, we will have a resolution and we can put this very stressful chapter behind us.

Sandler Sunday

In continuing my r&r reason, it’s Sandler Sunday in our house. We started the morning with The Waterboy and are now continuing with Happy Gilmore. In between, I’ve walked Arrow like 100 times trying to get him to go to the bathroom outside. He gets a bit distracted by all the stuff he sees on the walk. In fact, he really loves birds. I think he’d like nothing more than to catch one. He’s also a fan of squirrels and lizards like his older brother Anakin.

In between movies and walks through the rain, I made some chocolate chocolate chip cookies. The best part of these cookies is undoubtedly the dough. While the cookies are yummy, they’re not as amazing as the dough. My family has a discriminating palate, so I like to use high-quality butter and cocoa powder. It makes for a much richer cookie. Afterward, I started some bread to go with tonight’s dinner. Hopefully, I’ll manage the time so the bread comes out of the oven right as dinner is ready.

I’ve also managed to get the floors vacuumed and some laundry is done. Yesterday afternoon, I was able to finish our taxes. All in all, I have had a very productive restful weekend. The remainder of my Sandler Sunday will be spent finishing laundry, cuddling with the puppies, watching movies, and baking bread.

Today’s song featuring a saxophone is Old Time Rock & Roll by Bob Seger.

All Star Game

We’re spending our Saturday afternoon watching the NHL All Star game. It’s the perfect way to spend a day I had earmarked for pure rest and relaxation. While the Hubby and I enjoy the game from the comforts of our couch, the Mayor is watching the game live with his teammate. Truly, it will be interesting to hear his impressions of the game. Of course, if we ask, he’ll mumble something and get annoyed.

On Thursday, the Hubby drove the Mayor down to Fla Live arena for the NHL’s All Star game dress rehearsal. He and his teammate got dressed and skated the introductions, so the camera crew could practice their shots. They paid him for his time with a nice all star game hat, which is a pretty big discount for his services. I kid, of course, he was just happy to be a part of the all star experience.

I thought I’d do a weekly recap in memes and photos.

First and foremost, the “Chinese” weather balloon, aka the Death Star, was finally show down today off the coast of the Carolinas. Please note the satire and sarcasm in the sentences before, I’ll brook no complaints about content.

The kitchen sink. Perhaps the grossest story of the week involves our son washing the shit off his shoes in our kitchen sink.

My parents headed home after a beautiful trip to paradise. I certainly wish they could have stayed here longer!

In effort to control the autoimmune flare, I’m on a restricted diet. If it’s fun, I can’t eat it. I kid, sort of…. Hopefully, I can get the flare under control by eating clean. Naturally, there will be no change to my coffee. There are somethings that can’t be compromised.

Ground Hog’s Day has come and went with the little ground rodent seeing his shadow. For many folks, this means six more weeks of winter. For those of us in Florida, it means nothing. Meanwhile, I also saw my shadow and will continue to be a hot mess. If my shadow had vanished, I’m not sure what that would have forebode.

In honor of their performance at the NHL All Star Game today, here’s Fall Out Boy’s Immortals.

Is it 6:00 yet?

Is it 6:00 yet?!?! I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to start my weekend. To be clear, I have no plans whatsoever, but that is what makes this weekend grand. After a week of shingles, I will make this weekend all about rest and recovery. My big weekend plans are exclusively Netflix and chill. I definitely don’t want to experience shingles again anytime soon. The rashes are mostly gone, but I still feel them. This whole “ghost” rash shit is for the birds.

I’m usually an optimist, so I was hopeful that my hubby’s volunteer status would move back to a paid employee. It appears, however, that my optimism was misplaced. Now I find myself feeling needing unusually pessimistic about the situation. My hubby’s cavalier approach to the situation is not helping either. Rest assured if I didn’t get paid, there would be hell to pay until the situation was rectified. I tend to be just a little bit more aggressive than the hubby.

The added stress of the volunteer status is the likely trigger of the shingles, which is excellent. The longer this situation goes on, the longer my autoimmune flare will continue. So I’m winning on all fronts here. My hubby volunteers and my son washes shit off his shoes in the kitchen. Life is good. Here’s hoping his volunteer status ends post haste and we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. Anyways, is it 6:00 yet? Because I’m ready for this day to be over.

Kitchen Sink

So I have a story that includes everything even the kitchen sink. I give your fair warning that this story is going to be gross and make you question life. Unless you have teenage boys, in which case you’ll strangely find this story believable and dare I say normal. It all began in a gate community west of the turnpike…

Our story starts off with a peaceful evening in our house. The parents and puppies have gone to bed and all is quiet. Anakin is trained to use a pad. Consequently, we leave him out at night and he usually sleeps in our bed. Sometimes, however, he misses the mark. Tuesday night he missed the mark Consequently, he left a land mine in the middle of the floor.

The Mayor, who has a weird aversion to lights, got home from hockey practice after we were already in bed. He doesn’t like the lights on, so he left them on. Unfortunately, this meant he didn’t see the land mind Anakin had left for him. Fortunately, he was still wearing his shoes, so it didn’t get all over his feet. It didn’t crunch or anything like that. It did, however, make a mess of the bottom of his shoe.

So you may be asking yourself, where does the kitchen sink play into this story? Well, I’ll tell you. Apparently, the Mayor decided the right place to clean the dog shit off of his sneakers was our kitchen sink. But wait, it gets worse. He also decided to use the brush we use to scrape dishes clean to clean his shoe. To be fair, he cleaned up the crime scene, so you wouldn’t guess what happened to the kitchen sink the night before. However, he also left the scrub brush there like he hadn’t just used it to clean up dog shit.

This all came out yesterday on my lunch break. At first, I was sure he was kidding. There’s no way he would wash shit off his shoe in the kitchen sink. But then I remember, he’s a teenage boy with the common sense of a toddler. In the end, we ended up throwing both scrub brushes away since he didn’t remember which one he used. He is also now acutely aware that messes like that need to be cleaned outside with the hose and a tree branch. As for the kitchen sink, it’s been bleached and cleaned. Yet, I still can’t look at it the same way.

Happy Hump Day

Happy hump day to one and all. I’m quite excited because my hoodie has become a castaway. That’s right I’m attempting to wear a sports bra and tank. I’m not going to lie, I feel good dressed normally. However, it isn’t super comfortable. Thankfully, I still have some steroid cream to alleviate the itching. Hopefully, the rash will be gone entirely soon.

I’m looking forward to a weekend off from the rink and work, so I can just rest and relax. One thing I definitely want to add to the house as soon as possible is a sauna. The last time I saw my endocrinologist, she recommended adding a sauna to help manage Graves’ disease. In addition, to the sauna, I started my clean eating plan on this happy hump day. Basically, it means nothing processed, no bread, pasta, etc.

Meanwhile, I’m sure Goalielocks has completed his orientation and settled into life in Orlando. I gently suggested that he work the President’s Day Tournament at Genesis Ice (previously RSV,) but he said he may have a volleyball tournament. God forbid he makes some money instead of spending money. Anyway, he’s doing great and loving his place, which makes me happy.

Today also makes the first day of PanCAN’s 28-day walk-a-mile with your dog challenge. I’ll be doing the mile walk in increments throughout my day. Of course, the dogs are always happy to go for a walk outside. They are happiest when they’re exploring the great outdoors. All funds raised go back to fund PanCan, which is funding important research, clinical trials, and supporting patients and families. The list of work isn’t exhaustive, but to write it all out would take another blog post. The 5-year survival rate is now at 12%. When we started this journey in 2015, the five-year survival rate was 5%. We’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of work to do!

One Last Visit

My parents made one last visit to our house for dinner yesterday. They’ll head back to Minny after an incredible journey to the Maldives with my younger brother. I’m so proud of my parents for getting out of their comfort zone and trying new things like scuba diving. They’re just rock stars. At any rate, I love seeing my folks live their best life after they gave my brothers and me an amazing childhood.

Before that last visit, they came up to go to lunch with the Mayor and have coffee with me. It was great to hear about their trip and see some pictures. The Mayor is always happy when someone wants to take him to lunch, especially if it’s Chipotle. I worked yesterday but scheduled my lunch so I could hang out with my folks while they were here.

For dinner last night I ordered some pizzas from Cucina Moderne. The Mayor had suggested Sal’s but I demurred his choice given that it sucked the last time we had it. As always, Cucina Moderne’s pizza did not disappoint, nor did their Caesar salad. It was a tasty meal. I particularly enjoyed it as I’m now on a clean eating regimen for the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping it helps get rid of the rash and any underlying inflammation.

Today at work I spoke to a guy that was completely inscrutable. It was like talking to Boomhaier from King of the Hill. He was absolutely impossible to understand. I’m sure he needed dental insurance, but beyond that, your guess is as good as mine. Fortunately, the rest of my calls have been fantastic today. Hopefully, the trend continues into the new month.