Take It Easy

Take it easy is exactly what I did today. And yes, I sang the Eagles song while typing it. Just as I’m sure you did. While I slept great last night, I was really tired today. Consequently, I took a complete rest day and even skipped yoga. Alas, don’t be concerned I’ll be going to yoga tomorrow. Also, I’ll be logging my third tempo run of the week. The extra day of recovery between the third and the fourth run has really helped. Sadly, it wasn’t all rest and relaxation today. I had to run to Kohl’s to drop off my Amazon returns and get Zachary some new pants. Since the pandemic started, he has grown out of every single pair of pants that he owns. Now he hasn’t been willing to own this fact until my hubby and I forced the issue.

Today marked the first time since the pandemic started that I’ve stepped foot inside a Kohl’s store. They only had one side of doors opened and it wasn’t super crowded, but there was a long line at customer service. While I dropped off my Amazon returns, the Mayor went to pick out some new pants. Apparently, he is planning on crossing a river as he insisted on picking out mediums that were far too short for him. Finally, I had enough as my encouragement seemed to fall on deaf ears. I insisted he put all the mediums back and only pick out large or extra-large. Eventually, he relented and put back all the smaller sized clothing items. Of course, I managed to pick out a few pairs of workout pants with pockets. As you may know, you can never have too many pairs of yoga pants with pockets.

The rest of the afternoon was spent hanging out with Goalielocks and the Mayor and binge-watching Space Force on Netflix. Naturally, I managed to be somewhat productive as I finished all the laundry, which was great. As for Space Force, I found it to be quite funny. I loved the scenes where the leaders of each branch of service talked around a table in DC. The banter and jokes were super funny. Understandably, it is funnier if you have some military background or understanding of military culture. If you don’t, it may not be so funny. Nonetheless, I’m excited to see how the series develops over the forthcoming season. Obviously, once we finished Space Force, we switched back to the Office.

This evening I took the boys to a skate for local referees. There were only a handful of people there, but it was a great opportunity for them to work on their skating. Fortunately, the boys had a great time and are looking forward to the next skate. It was nice to be back at the rink for the hour. We ran into several people, which was fun. Honestly, it was just nice to be out of the house. My hubby ordered some pizzas from our local Italian restaurant while we were at the rink, so I didn’t have to cook. As we headed home, we all remarked on how hazy the Saharan sand has made the sky and how it altered the sun’s appearance. This happens every year, but some years the dust cloud is more prominent than others.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read the The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells. It is an absolutely amazing book.

*Oh man, I may have melted in the Florida heat today, while struggling to breathe with the Saharan dust storm.

*Binge watched The Office (again) with the Mayor and our puppies. I love Michael Scott!

*I was dreaming of cerulean bays all day long from the comfort of my couch.

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 6 BBG 2.0 day 6 rest day

*I took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Two for One

It’s a two for one sale here at hockey mom did. That’s right folks two blogs in one day. Since I have no good excuse, outside of poor planning on my part, for missing my post yesterday: it’s only fair that I write two today. After all, it’s not like I did much of anything today. In fact, I slept late, kept off my foot and cuddled with my puppies. It was a great day.

Actually, my foot feels a lot better today, but I felt it prudent to hold off running for a bit longer. I’ll try my luck on Tuesday, which is a normal run day for me. Naturally, it’s good to take your foot off the pedal some time. This is especially true for those of us that suffer from autoimmune diseases. Too much stress on the body be it from exercise or other external forces can lead to a flare up that will set me back further. Consequently, I have to be more flexible in my mindset. In fact, I have to accept that some days the healthiest choice for my body is to rest. Honestly, it feels so odd saying it because I’m used to pushing myself to limits.

We finished off Seinfeld today. I think I like the finale better now than I did when it first aired. As for my Hubby, he still thinks it’s an abomination. Nonetheless, the show hasn’t lost its relevance or its hilarity. I’ll probably rewatch it again and then binge watch Curb. Maybe the second or third time my boys see it, they’ll start to understand it’s genius. We followed up the Seinfeld, with some It’a Always Sunny. These are the perfect shows to have in the background as you’re getting work done. Moreover, they keep me awake when I need to be productive, but would rather be taking a siesta.

This evening I cooked the family a Thai inspired tilapia meal courtesy of Blue Apron. Honestly, I was surprised that both boys tried it with an open mind and little rancor. Ultimately, the Mayor liked it while Goalielocks did not. Although Goalielocks ate way more of this fish than I had expected. Also, he didn’t make a spectacle when he didn’t like the flavor, which has been the hallmark of my Mayor this week. As for me, I really liked the spice of the fish with the sushi rice and green beans. Ultimately, it’s been fun trying a bunch of different recipes through these services.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading O Pioneers by Willa Cather

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin

*Obedience training Anakin

*Facetime with my airmen!!!! I miss and love him so much!

*Week 4 BBG 2.0 day 7 rest

*Offered two for one special on my daily blogs on account of my planning yesterday.

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Taco Night

Tonight was taco night in our house courtesy of the Red Meat Lover’s Club and Potions in Motion Catering. They’ve paired up to deliver meals and drinks during the pandemic. Ordinarily they only cater events or hold meat lover’s meetings. Fortunately, I found the dynamic duo on our Socially Distanced Supper Club group on Facebook. This is our third such meal from restaurants in the group. Truly, it was an amazing meal and another great deal. Plus, who doesn’t love churros and margaritas in a can?!?!
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Fortunately, I had a really productive day and worked up an appetite for taco night. I started today with a five minute meditation. Basically, after watching Jack Canfield’s talk on Saturday, I be decided to give daily morning and night time meditation try. Today was productive and less stressful than most Mondays. Truly, it will take awhile to gauge how impactful the daily meditation is to my life. Don’t worry I’ll be reporting back my findings on the blog.

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Keeping in the spiritual vein, I went to yoga with Monica at 10:00 am. Honestly, I cannot say it enough. I absolutely love and value the opportunity to attend live yoga during this difficult time. Frankly, there’s no better way to stay centered than by spending time on the mat. Additionally, the yoga compliments my BBG resistance workouts and running. Keeping my muscles strong and flexible is the key to reducing injury. If you know me, you know I need everything available to reduce my propensity to injure myself.

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Speaking of BBG workouts, today’s leg and glutes workout so tough it was almost obnoxious. By the time I finished the second circuit, my quads felt like cement blocks. She introduced a new exercise into the workout that could be categorized as cruel and unusual punishment. In this exercises you do a plank jack into a half burpee. Emphatically, I tell you this move was no joke. Truly, the only thing that got me through it was the music of Metallica. By the time I finished round three, my legs had gone from a constant flutter to a shake. Anyway, I know it’s good for me, but today’s workout will make my run tough tomorrow.

This afternoon my Jack Canfield Success Factors and Success Factors Workbook arrived. Anakin and I were anxious to start reading it. Since I read my fiction books at night, I’ve decided to carve out my coffee time to read a chapter and complete the workbook every morning. Undeniably, this is the best season of our lives to start carving out the lives we want for ourselves. While it won’t happen overnight, we can start laying the ground work now. Today I feel hopeful. It’s not an everyday thing these days, but I feel like we have to find the hope and build on it.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and loving it!

*Gentle Flow Yoga with Monica from YogaMundo

*Started reading Success Factors by Jack Canfield

*Watched Balthazar Season 2 episode 1

*Week 9 BBG legs and glutes resistance workout

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Completed morning meditation 

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Now It’s Actually Tuesday

After thinking Monday was Tuesday, now it’s actually Tuesday. To be clear, it’s really not my fault that each day last two weeks. If they didn’t last so long, it would be significantly less confusing. Tuesday brought more virtual school, a run and some yoga. It was a pretty busy day.

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Of course, it’s exceedingly hot and humid here in South Florida. Hence, I was trying to convince myself that I should skip my run out of an abundance of caution. Since my diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I don’t tolerate heat well. Also, I run with my puppy and didn’t want to put her in danger of possibly overheating. The actual real feel temperature at 10:00 am this morning was absolutely ludicrous.

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Then I realized all of this excuses are exactly why I needs to run today. Since it was so hot, I had to prepare a water bottle for Athena and to take it a bit slower. Indeed I planned to take more walking breaks and puppy water break in the shade to minimize the risk of either of us overheating. At the end of the day, it was a tough, slow and hot run, but I felt amazing afterwards. It wasn’t my best run by any means, but I stayed on task and made no excuses and achieved my goal.

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Fortunately, they were running the sprinklers in the neighborhood, so Athena got to run through the sprinklers to cool down. Consequently, Goalielocks had a towel ready for the Piggie when we got back. Piggie got toweled off and we both got some fresh water. While Athena relaxed on the cool tile floor, I went into my room to complete my post run stretching. Even though I was attending yoga at noon, I still spent 20 minutes rolling out my leg, glutes and hips. Thankfully, I have a lot less pain in my legs and ankles since adding a vigorous post run stretch session to my routine.

Yoga was noon was awesome as usual. I love having my regular 12:00 pm yoga date with Monica and Pam. They’re two of my favorite people. Our class started with some alternate nasal breathing, which is a great tool for relaxation. In fact, I’ve used it to effectively manage pain when I couldn’t hold down medicine. Honestly, my yoga practice and yoga family have really helped me move forward on my healing journey.

The afternoon I spent with the puppies watching the remained of Balthazar season one. Fortunately, season two drops on Prime next Monday. I love Balthazar for so many reasons. Perhaps the best part is that it forces me to put down my phone and pay attention to the subtitles. While I studied French in both high school and college, I definitely need the subtitles as a safety blanket. If you’re looking for a good, procedural show to binge watch, I highly recommend it.


Last night I started Wuthering Heights after finishing my last book To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf. After reading the introductions, there were three, I only ended up reading only one chapter. I’m sure that I’ll finish this book pretty quickly given that there’s still a ban on going anywhere. Fortunately, I love to read and love literature. After this book, I think I’ll go back and reread The Decameron as it’s topically relevant to our current situation.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

*Watched Balthazar and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia 

*Completed BBG day 2 week 8 recovery workout – full body

*Ran 2.5 miles with Athena at a snail’s pace in a sauna

*Attended Gentle Flow Yoga with Monica from Open Heart Yoga Studio 

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on multiple walks

*Worked on Obedience Training with Anakin inside.

*Pulled my hair out (again) managing my teenagers virtual schooling.

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Pandemic Reading List

I thought I’d make a pandemic reading list to share with my readers. Truly, this time of social isolation is the perfect time to pick up a book. Two years ago I made a commitment to read every night before bed. It’s the perfect way to decompress every night and I love reading. Here’s the list:

  1. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaci was originally written during the 14th century during the Black Death., This collection of short stories is sure to both entertain and amuse you. Much like today, the characters in his novel were forced to self isolate in a castle outside of Florence to avoid contracting the plague. Despite the ominous backdrop of plague, the tone of this book is quite buoyant.  See social distancing is not a new idea! This also happens to be one of my all time favorite reads.
  2. Resurrection, by Leo Tolstoy. There’s no Black Death in this book, but plenty of the characters are dealing with consumption. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of redemption. Tolstoy’s ability to develop characters and his stories is second to none and on full display here.
  3. Narcissus and Goldmund, by Herman Hesse. This story follows two friends that take wildly different paths after finishing monastic school. While Narcissus remains in the Monastery as a teacher, while Goldmund explores life outside it’s walls. Consequently, Goldmund experiences the ugliest society has to offer as the Black Death tears through the region. He often finds himself lonely during this travels. Ultimately, he ends up returning to the monastery and his best friend.
  4. The Divine Comedy, by Dante Aligheri because clearly we’re stuck in purgatory. Of course Dante’s classic works touches on more than just purgatory, but since we’re living it you can appreciate that piece of the work. Moreover, purgatory is the place between heaven and hell, which means it could get worse, but it can also get better.
  5. 1984, by George Orwell. I’m not sure this one needs much introduction, but it’s storyline and themes might feel too close to home.
  6. Pride and Prejudice,  by Jane Austen because we can’t just read serious stuff throughout this pandemic. Who doesn’t love a great love story? I love Austen’s characters and the way they develop throughout the book. I’d highly recommend anything that she has written.

To open your pandemic reading, I would start off with The Decameron.  Just be aware that this 14th century novel can be a bit saucy in parts.   Tonight I’m hoping to finish up Vanity Fair before starting Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse tomorrow.  

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

*Watched The Office season 9

*Ran 2.5 glorious miles.  The weather was amazing, my stomach was not.  Nevertheless, my time was much better than Tuesday’s run.

*Run virtual school for my two teenage boys

*Took Gentle Yoga for a Strong Back on Zoom with Jenn from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on a walk to see Goalielocks fishing 

*Worked on Obedience Training with  Anakin 

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Reading My Way Back to Health

In order to keep myself sane and intellectually engaged,  I’ve been reading my way back to health.  Over the past eight months, I’ve been out of my normal routine due to injury and health concerns.  Sadly, I often found myself too exhausted to write.  Fortunately, I was able to draw my reading list off The Greatest Books.  First, of all I like the site because it has a thoughtfully curated list of the best fiction and non-fiction works of all time.  Secondly, I love that you can track what you’ve read and what you want to read.

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I’ve read some amazing works from a myriad of different genres and authors across time.  Since I’ve read some wonderful works of fiction, I’d thought I’d share some of them with you.   Here’s the list of my favorites:

If you’ve never read Wilkie Collins, your missing out.  He’s a one of kind author, who narrates his stories from multiple viewpoints.  His plot development and character development are amazing.   Collins was a contemporary and good friend of Charlies Dickens.  He was also a huge influence to Edgar Allen Poe.  Once you read both these books, I think you’ll find that the great Agatha Christie was influenced by him as well.

When I first picked up Ana Karenina, I was a bit intimidated.  It is a thick book. As I got into it, I loved it.  Tolstoy doesn’t waste a word.   I was happy to find that Tolstoy didn’t incorporate essays with in the books or long tangents like those found in his contemporaries works.  Both Ana Karenina and Resurrection are beautiful stories.  In Anna Karenina, he tells the story of the titular characters life and the consequences of her choices.  It’s a tragic story told beautifully.  In Resurrection, he tells the story of man confronted by the impact his choices had on someone he loved.   In the end, he finds his redemption in a most obvious spot.  Truly, after finishing both novels, I feel compelled to travel to Saint Petersburg and the rest of Tolstoy’s Russia.

After finishing Nabokov’s Lolita,  I needed a literary pick me up and a shower.  That book will leave you feeling dirty…. I turned to Hesse’s Siddharta.. Hesse, of German-Swiss descent, bring a unique east meets west perspective.   This novel follows the spiritual journey of Siddharta.  His quest for enlightenment puts him in places and situations he never could have imagined.  It’s a beautiful book.

I loved Narcissus and Goldmund, which tells the tale of two best friends who are diametrically different, but still love each other.  While Goldmund leaves the monastery in search of the meaning of life.  His mentor and friend Narcissus stays in monastic life.  Throughout their lives they take different paths, but eventually their paths reunite.  It’s a beautiful tale of friendship and life.

It took me awhile to get into Steppenwolf, but eventually I was pulled into the world of Harry Haller.  Like the other two Hesse books, this one explores the duality of human nature.  This time in main character Harry Haller and not two separate characters like in Narcissus and Goldmund.   At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with any of these books by Hesse.

Since I was heading to Scandinavia this fall, I wanted to read something that was Scandinavian.  After much research and a couple of recommendations, I decided to read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. While in Finland, I finally started reading the book and I couldn’t put it down.  I loved that I could imagine where they were in Gamle Stan in Stockholm since I was just there.

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It’s an awful tragedy that we lost Stieg Larsson before these books were publishes.  He turned in the manuscripts for the first three installments in the Millennium Series, but died shortly after.  His books are incredible.  There are few characters in literature as vivid, damaged and bad ass as Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander.

I’ve already read the first four books in the series and cannot wait to read the fifth.  Since Larsson’s premature death prevented him from finishing the Millennium series, David Lagercrantz took up the mantle.  I was worried that Lagercrantz’s take on Larsson’s characters would be unfaithful to the original.  Lagercratnz had huge shoes to fill, but he did it beautifully.  The continuity between the characters and stories between Larsson’s and Lagercrantz’s books is seamless. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it.  If you love Daniel Craig, like I do, you’ll love him in the movie version.

These are just a few of the books I’ve read since last summer that really resonated with me.  I’ve included links to Amazon for each of my recommended books.  I’m always looking for good book recommendations.  What’s your favorite book?  What books do you recommend?