Today was a much better day on all fronts. From a productivity standpoint, I had the best sales day of the month today. The headache and stiff muscles that were a source of aggravation earlier in the week have completely abated. And thank god with AEP starting tomorrow, I need to be in tip top shape. After reviewing last year’s AEP results, I’m stoked to see what the next seven weeks will bring.
Of course, nothing makes for a better day than a phone call from Jake. He looked great, but sounded absolutely exhausted. We’re super grateful for technology that allows us to always stay connected. I am definitely missing my boy and would love to be back in Utah spending time with him. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to get back out there until next summer. Oh well, it’s something to look forward to.
I ran this evening and it was fabulous. Naturally, I had hoped it would get easier today. Alas, it did not. I was sucking wind after a half of a mile. Nonetheless, I persevered and ran the whole mile and a half. Starting tomorrow, I’ll be running in the morning before work. My AEP schedule has me working too late to realistically run after work. Monday I’ll be restarting Kayla Itsines HIIT program again. It’s the best exercise program I’ve found to date.
Well we finally made it back home early this morning from our wonderful Utah trip. We had an absolutely marvelous time spending time as a family together out west. It was the first time we’ve been able to see my parents since the pandemic started. Obviously, it was great to see them again. Moreover, we were all excited to see Jake. We haven’t been able to see him since last Christmas.
Our trip back home wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, but it wasn’t horrible either. Our first flight was delayed as our pilots’ previous flight was delayed. Since we were connecting in Atlanta, I was worried that we’d miss our connection. Fortunately, we made it in time for our connection to Fort Lauderdale. Of course, it didn’t hurt that our connecting flight was also delayed.
We finally landed in Fort Lauderdale at 1:00 am. Our bags, less one, quickly made there way to baggage claim. Unfortunately, the Mayor’s hockey stick didn’t make the connecting flight in Atlanta. Thankfully, Delta had already caught it and started the process of getting it to us today. Fortunately, they have a delivery service that dropped off the bag this afternoon. It was a bit of an annoyance this morning, but Delta quickly solved it so I’m not upset about it at all.
The hardest part of our trip back home was saying goodbye. It’s always excruciatingly hard to say goodbye to Jake. I hate that we’re not able to see him as often as we would like. Fortunately, he is thriving which makes it a bit easier to leave. Also, I’m already planning my next trip to visit him. Naturally, it was also hard to say goodbye to my folks. We really enjoyed our time together. Tonight it will be an early bed time for all of us given the lack of sleep we got last night.
Well, I’m fading quickly after slamming some Benadryl to end the allergic reaction that has mysteriously started. In fact, I really have no clue what has cause the hives/rash on my hand. It looks a bit like poison ivy (aka mango,) but I haven’t touched any mangoes in years. Nonetheless, I’ll probably be in bed before 9:00.
An early bedtime wouldn’t be the worst thing for me. After all Goalielocks and I left the house before dawn, so we’d get to practice on time. Naturally, he left the car on E, which led to an unplanned trip to Wawa. The drive itself wasn’t terrible. I just don’t appreciate the super early wake up call on a Saturday. Fortunately the great company, courtesy of my fellow hockey moms, made up somewhat for the early wake up call.
After practice, I tried to take several naps. As they say, best laid plans sometimes go sidewise. Before attempting my first nap, I did log into make a few follow up calls for work. Afterward, my first failed nap attempt, I ran 2.5 miles. I was hoping the run would walk me up, but even at 1:00 pm I was fading quickly.
I finally started to fall asleep when my hubby called twice and my older son called. Clearly, a nap was not going to happen today. Jake’s car was struck while he was grocery shopping this afternoon, so he was calling for advice. I told him all the things he should do immediately. Consequently, we hung up so he could call the cops and get all the information he needed.
Thankfully, the lady that drove into his car stuck around and did the right thing. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but worry about him. It sucks to be so far away from your kid when something like this happens. Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about because he handled it perfectly. By the time, he left the parking lot State Farm had already called to tell him they were covering the repairs and his rental car. And now I’m off to bed because I’m fading quickly.
Monday was our boat day in the Keys. This was the first time we rented a boat and it will not be the last. Initially, our boat day got off to a bit of a rocky start since someone blew up the engine on our boat the previous day. Fortunately, the staff at A1A Watersports was first class and upgraded our boat, threw in some fishing rods and even knocked 14 gallons off our gas charge. We ended up with a Grady dual console boat, which was super nice.
After grabbing the boat, we cruised back to the house to pick up the rest of our group. As we left the canal to head towards the Gulf, there were dolphins swimming in the canal. I was a little nervous as there were dark clouds off on the horizon and some heavy rain in the Gulf. Fortunately, we ended up having perfect weather all day. I love being on the water!
Our first trip was out to the light house and Alligator Reef for some snorkeling. It was incredibly beautiful! As we headed to the location, the seas were pretty calm. Unfortunately, the seas picked up when we dropped anchor near the reef. They started rolling in at 3-4 feet, which wasn’t great for several of our passengers. All of us, except for Captain Hubby hit the water to swim and snorkel. The water was absolutely perfect, however, we had to head back to the house due to sea sickness.
Our second trip of the day had us exploring the islands on the bay side. It was pretty hot out there with little wind, so we ended up pulling up our rods almost as soon we we had put them in. Unfortunately, there was no good way to keep our sweet Ava cool. Thankfully, we hadn’t ventured too far from the house.
Our third trip was a mix of snorkeling and fishing. We had folks fishing on one side of the boat while others swam on the other. The fish, however, were apparently avoiding both sides of our boat as we got only a few bites. Consequently, we moved under the bridge into the Atlantic to see if we could get on some fish. Sadly, not everyone was happy with this move. T was mad at the Captain for not dropping him off at the bridge pylon. Naturally, the Captain had no idea that T was wanting to be dropped off.
Since we forgot to drop him off at the pylon, he decided he would walk to it and climb up it. Of course this was a bad idea given the strength of the current where the Atlantic and Gulf water meet. Not too mention that the barnacles would cut him up as he tried to climb up into the platform. You gotta love teenagers and their ingenuity.
Afterwards, we headed into the Gulf to find the fish. After a couple false starts, the Hubby guided us to the Gopher Cut. Finally, we were on the fish! They were biting as soon as the lines hit the water. In fact, the kids started reeling in some respectable snappers. Unfortunately, the sea sickness started to kick in again as we were anchored. We pulled up anchor and headed back to the house. Thankfully, the sea sickness abated as we started moving again.
Our last trip of the day had us heading back into the open water of the Atlantic. In the afternoon, the seas were significantly calmer. We initially started fishing off the waters of Indian Key, but had no luck. Goalielocks and Captain Hubby decided to head out to a wreck 3.5 miles to the southeast. Truly, we should have started there because the fish were biting like mad. Goalielocks girlfriend put her line in the water and pulled up three snappers almost immediately, I had a similar experience. On her next cast, she pulled up another three snappers. It was awesome! Not to mention it was an absolutely gorgeous location. Next time we’ll start our day at this location.
The boat cost less than $600 for the day and it was well worth every penny. We all carried away some wonderful and funny memories from our adventures on the water. Obviously, the sea sickness sucked and we weren’t properly prepared. Next time I’ll be sure to have Dramamine on hand to help mitigate the sea sickness. Lastly, after the sun and salt water exsiccate my skin, I’m going to be covered head to toe in sunscreen and spf clothing. Long story short if you are in the Keys and considering renting a boat, do it and use A1A Watersports in Islamorada.
As an aside, I think they were so generous to us because we were kind and patient when they told us our boat had broken. In contrast, an asshole form New York pulled an attitude with the entire staff (all of whom were super nice and professional) as soon as he got there. Keep in mind, his boat was there and ready to go immediately. The staff, in my opinion, was way more patient and professional with him than I would have been.
He was still complaining when we brought the boat back. The man was charged for 28 gallons, which was the amount of gas he used. Thankfully, we came off akin to angels due to his poor behavior. In fact, we used 44 gallons of gas, but were only charged for 30. I guess it pays to be nice.
We finished our night with an adults only dinner at Morada Bay’s Pierre. It was quite the contrast to their Beach Cafe, but the food was awesome. The service at Pierre’s is was impeccable. We enjoyed an appetizer of shrimp cocktail and escargot. Both are amazing. For dinner, I had the fish du jour, which was a snapper in browned butter sauce. Lastly, we capped off the dinner with a key lime tart and creme brûlée. I love it!
If you go, check out:
A1A Water Sports and Boat Rental in Islamorada had several types of boats, jet skis, fishing equipment and snorkel gear for rent at a great price point. There service is also fantastic. It’s the perfect place to supply your boat day!
Pierre at Morada Bay. Their price point is high, but so is the quality. You will love it! I recommend the escargot, shrimp cocktail, fish du jour and creme brûlée. The views of the sunset are first rate.
Well, after yesterday’s shit show, today was a better day by a mile. As Victor Hugo so wisely said, “even the darkest night will end the sun will rise. Indeed Monsieur Hugo, the sun will rise. Thankfully, today was a complete 180 from yesterday. Every person I spoke with was absolutely wonderful, kind and a buyer. Okay, maybe they weren’t all buyers, but they were fantastic people.
It was also a better day traffic wise as I left to get coffee. I had been getting my coffee delivered while the boys were in school, but that gets expensive. Plus, Goalielocks doesn’t need the car in the morning anymore, so there’s not need for delivery. Also, I did miss seeing my favorite Dunkin’ crew members. Moreover, I enjoy having the time to myself and being able to listen to what I want.
I’m a bit surprised that today has been a better day in every sense since I’m fasting today. Thankfully, today has been much easier on me than Tuesday. Honestly, since I just have to fast two days per week, it should be quite manageable. For dinner, I made baked chicken breasts with cheese topping. The chickens used for this package must have been on steroids because these were the biggest chicken breast’s I’ve ever seen.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*I finished the Norse Queen by Johanna Wittenberg last night. It was so good. I love reading about Norwegian history especially given this book’s location to where my ancestors lived.
*I ran 2 miles and walked a mile. It went quite well.
*The Mayor has been on a Simpson kick lately, but tonight I’m mixing it up with some First 48 action.
*For dinner, I cooked cheese covered baked chicken. The chicken breasts were large enough to feed Paul Bunyan. Honestly, their size was surreal.
*My favorite surprise on the underwater cams, I watch during work, is seeing an octopus. Today I watched the safari cam, which never disappoints.
*Today’s word of the day is shag. When I hear the word shag, I automatically think of Austin Powers and ugly carpeting.
*I took my puppies including sweetAnakin for a walk. Today he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness, so I’d have more control over him outside. Also, the flies are still here. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies, and mosquitos? I was finally able to hang the fly traps. Nobody loves flies.
Don’t call it a streak, but seriously I’ve managed to blog four days in a row. Woohoo! It’s not easy to get back into the habit of blogging (or working out for that matter,) but once you get rolling it becomes habitual and part of your daily routine. While I’ve got back on the blogging bus, I’ve fallen off the workout bus. My knee has locked up on my last couple of runs, so I rested it yesterday and today. Hopefully, I will be able to run on it tomorrow.
I had thought about running tonight, but there was dinner to make and Stanley Cup Finals to watch. A girl has to have priorities and obviously watching the Stanley Cup Finals is a major priority. Admittedly, I’m not super thrilled to see either team in the cup. Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation for us as both Habs fans and Lightning fans can be insufferable. Yeah, I said it. Nonetheless, it should be a great series. Carey Price has been red hot and Vasilevsky is the best tendy in the league. In fact, I am pretty excited to watch the goaltender match up this series.
In other news, Jake moved into his first apartment today. He just gave us a brief tour via Facetime. The place looks great and gives him a lot more room than his dorm room. Also, he may sleep better now that the fighter jets won’t be taking off over his building anymore. Fortunately, it’s also located in a great part of town, so he can walk to a lot of neat restaurants and stores in his neighborhood. Fortunately, his apartment complex also has a great gym, so he can easily keep up his PT.
Work went well considering it was a Monday. You never know what you’re going to get in the insurance business, but today everyone was a buyer. Consequently, I hit the monthly sales goal I set for myself early. Now every additional sale will be gravy. Hopefully, the remainder of the week, including the start of July, continues to be profitable like today. Have I mentioned that I love my job yet? If not, I love my job. I worry only about myself, talk to great people all day, am appreciated by leadership, and make more money than in my old job. It’s nice when “life’s lemons” sometimes turn into tasty lemonade with a splash of Tito’s.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*I read Demons, by Dostoevsky. I am really enjoying this book so far. I don’t always enjoy Dostoevsky’s writing, so this book has been a nice surprise.
*I thought about running, but my knee said no. Instead, I ran to get my morning coffee and fill up the car with gas. Don’t call it a streak, but it’s now three days in a row that I’ve driven to pick up my coffee instead of ordering via Uber Eats.
* I made a delicious pork tenderloin courtesy of HelloFresh this evening. The meal was easy to prepare and super tasty!
*I played with the puppies before work after finishing my errands.
* The dogs started a new dental treat this week. In order to avoid controversy and Anakin losing his mind, I give them the dental treat at bedtime. Anakin is super possessive and afraid that everyone is going to steal his stuff.
*I went grocery shopping with Jake via FaceTime for his new apartment including picking out all the ingredients for his favorite home cook meals.
*I watched the Stanley Cup Finalsm, which is the best event in the history of sports!
*Today’s word of the day is nuance. Anakin has a nuance to his bark when he’s afraid something of his is going to be taken.
*I took my puppies including sweetAnakin for a walk. Did I mention I hate gnats, flies and mosquitos?
For the first time since early October, it’s been a normal Saturday for me. It’s nice not having to work and being able to relax and get stuff done. The Mayor and I started the day off at BJ’s picking up some groceries. Surprisingly, the store was pretty empty, which made the shopping experience quite easy. Normally, I find BJ’s to be utterly unbearable. This, of course, is why I only go there once a month. Also, I don’t think my freezers could hold all the food if I went there more often. Needless to say, I’m happy that I checked that trip off my December to-do list.
Yesterday we started working with a trainer for Anakin. It’s been hard to get him socialized and trained properly due to the pandemic, but Gari will be great for him. He did really well with her once he got comfortable. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of a nervous dog around new people, so it took a while for him to warm up. We quickly figured out, however, that as long as Maya was out of the crate with him, he was more comfortable. Our session yesterday was a consultation and to see how he would respond. I liked Gari’s style and felt that I learned a lot from her. We didn’t cover a lot of ground yesterday, but we’ve been practicing his new skills a lot today.
I had planned to run today, but my body is just not feeling it. After all, it’s my second week back to working out after a six or seven week hiatus. My goal is to get back to running every day for at least a mile. Additionally, I’m back to practicing yoga daily, which is helping a lot. BBG continues to deliver week after week of great workout. Since I took a break, I’ve definitely regressed a bit. Consequently, I’ll be repeating BBG 3.0 before moving on to 4.0. BBG 3.0 is significantly more difficult than 2.0, so I don’t feel bad at all about having to repeat it.
This afternoon, I mixed up some cookie dough for Christmas cookies and ordered more decorations. Like many Americans, I find myself decorating the house more this year. After all, 2020 has been such a gloomy year, why not brighten it up with some Christmas cheer. I’ve also been working on my memory book for Jake’s Air Force journey. It’s so fun to look back on the pictures from the past year. Hopefully, I’ll finish the book later today or tomorrow. This evening we’re headed to my brother’s for dinner. Again, since I’ve gone nowhere in like seven weeks, it will be nice to leave the house.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky
*It’s day 6 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing nothing. I decided to rest on the 6th day because I’m a rebel like that.
*Today I thought about running a mile and decided to take the day off. It was good thought.
*Today’s word of the day is share, which is why I write this blog. To share my thoughts great and small with all of you.
*I’m enjoying my normal Saturday with absolutely nothing on my to do list.
*I’m headed to my brother’s tonight for dinner and board games.
*After today, my running streak stands at 0 days and I’m not mad about it.
*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. Today’s footprints may have included some ashes since they knocked over the grill. There are, however, no kitties in this house.
*I took my puppies including sweetAnakin for a walk. Today Anakin is wearing his Christmas bow tie. He looks mighty dapper if I say so myself. Naturally, I bought all three dogs Christmas outfits. I can’t wait to share the pictures with you. You’ll love them!
Today’s song is Superheroes by The Script, enjoy!
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I recently finished reading Slyvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Admittedly, I was not super familiar with Plath or her writings before I read her book. Yes, I had heard of her and her untimely death, but beyond that, I knew nothing. In fact, I didn’t even know what to expect when I started reading the book. Well, at least until my dear friend Terri asked if I was emotionally stable. Whelp! I was totally stable, but starting to question my decision to read this book during the bleakness of a global pandemic. My morbid curiosity got the best of me, so I read the book. Alas, the scene in Family Guy between Lois and Meg finally made sense to me.
Despite the gravity of the book’s storyline, I decided it was important to read it. Plath is a terrific writer, who I was starting to enjoy. However, there was something off about the heroine from page one. Her internal dialogue was not something I could relate to. For example, I didn’t understand why she referred to people in their lives by their full names. Instead of saying my boyfriend at Yale, she would write Buddy Willard. I’m not sure why, but it just struck me as odd. I found myself unable to relate to Esther and her apathy towards her amazing internship in New York.
At one point, just like when I read Nabokov’s Lolita, it was uncomfortable to read. Perhaps because I know the ending of the author’s story or the honest and unbridled look at a person’s downward spiral was unnerving. Also, I felt like I was intruding on a deeply personal struggle. As Esther, aka Sylvia, devolved into her depressive state it got harder and harder to take. I struggled to relate to her struggles. Perhaps this is because the majority of downward spirals I’ve witnessed have taken a narcissistic bent on social media.
There was, however, one theme that I felt we could all relate to during this pandemic. Plath writes several times how Esther feels trapped under the bell jar with no air and no escape. For those stuck in the bell jar, the word itself is a bad dream. To me, 2020 kind of seems like a global bell jar. I say this, by no means, to minimize Esther’s/Slyvia’s struggle with mental illness. I say it because we all have felt like we’re trapped without a way out of the 2020 “bell jar.”
Eventually, Esther receives the treatment she needs and is able to resume her life at college. For us, eventually, the pandemic will abate and the bell jar will be lifted. In the interim, it’s important to find ways to lift the jar and give ourselves room to breathe. Here are a couple of ways you can do that:
*Get outside – walk, run, hike, bike, swim. The great outdoors are cathartic as is exercise.
*Adopt or foster a pet
*Exercise – Youtube has plenty of free workouts If your gym is currently closed.
*Find a community to connect with. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting up in person or on Zoom. Connect with people.
*Check-in on family members and friends. Particularly, check-in on the elderly, who haven’t been allowed visitors due to the pandemic. Imagine how lonely they must be and how grateful they would be to hear your voice.
*Start something new. I will be starting a book club this week as it is a great way to connect with people. If you’re interested in joining, let me know.
*Watch playoff hockey- the games have been incredible and there is no better sport in the world.
Here’s a list of our day’s activities:
*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. This book is more my speed.
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.
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.