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Glorious

There is something glorious about a beautiful sunset.  As I left work tonight, at peace with the past couple of weeks, I gazed upon the beautiful Florida sunset.  Albeit there are a lot of things wrong with Florida, but one thing that is oh so right is the sunsets.  Peppered by a bevy of beautiful white fluffy clouds, the red rays of the sun began to set slowly to the west as thunder and lightning rolled in over the coast to the east.  I mean you have to love Florida.  A thunderstorm out one window and world class glorious sunset out the other.  Since I was driving, I was unable to snap a shot of the sunset.  Consequently, I’ll add a picture of the sunset in Flam, Norway.

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Today was glorious because it was a gift.  I have to borrow this from my cousin Jessica, who started this as a daily reminder at the beginning of 2016.  A simple daily reminder of a profound truth.   Jessica has been a poignant reminder of how each day is a gift as she went through breast cancer treatments over the past year.   Fortunately, we were able to see Jessica and her family this summer in Norway.  My boys were overjoyed to meet her son Kai and spend some quality time with him.  Time with family near and far is a glorious gift that no amount of money can replace.

I had a brilliant conversation with a co-worker today about the Oscar Wilde quote on my Live Inspired tee and what it means.  Our conversation about this beautiful Oscar Wilde quote is how the meaning of this quote morphs with you are your progress through the stages of life.  In some sense, she’s completely right.  What defines a life well lived is dependent on the stage of your life.

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Since our youth, we are preconditioned to acquire stuff.  For example things like:  the big house, the big paycheck, the big title and all the fancy goods.  In the end, however, that is not what matters.  Importantly, what matters is the experiences we share with the people we love.  As much as we’d love to, you can’t bring your Louboutins or all that paper with you when you die.

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It reminded me of how truly lucky I was to have Debbie in my life.  I truly believe that God brings people into our lives for a reason, although I cannot yet understand why he tears them away from us.  Debbie taught me, and I think others would agree, a lot about what it means to live a life well lived.  Whenever I have a rough day, I think about her and want to slap myself silly.  I think about how graceful, how kind, how happy and how much she was throughout her battle.  She traveled the globe and the country with her family making beautiful memories.  Even on her worst day, you wouldn’t have know it.  She is and will forever be my hero.

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Another glorious conversation I had confirmed convictions I have long held about someone.  At this point in our lives, there are many experiences that we bring to the collective table.    Sometimes in understanding  those experiences, we can better understand our people and their concerns.  I’m lucky that I can speak honestly and candidly at work without fear.  This person is exactly who I thought he was and one the main reasons I cherish my current career.  Leadership is about making the world a better place.

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Fabulous Friday

TGIF!  Today is fabulous Friday!  This week has felt incredibly long despite being a short week due to the hurricane.  Irmageddon put a lot of strain on all of us with the planning and preparing we had to do for our families and for work.  Perhaps this is why we all felt so utterly exhausted today.

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I’ve been quite productive this week even though it  has been a short an painful week.  Each and every day we have a choice how we respond to our circumstances..  I choose to say F*#C you to those who seek to marginalize others.  As beaten up as I felt physically, the choice has become clear.  Leaders have an obligation, through good and especially through bad, to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Leaders have the obligation to be both the beacon of hope and the agent of change.  Bound together by a common passion and drive to be the best we can, the group of leaders I have surrounded myself with is amazing.  We will change the world for the better, so you best be ready.

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The downside in all of this productivity is that I completely missed lunch.  A complete and total travesty since I had actually remembered to pack my yummy, vegan protein shake.  No, its not an oxymoron. Its actually quite flavorful, low calorie and does not contain soy or other allergens.  I love my Zumba Shake Shake Shake (Lorbach10 is my affiliate code if you’re interested.)  By the time I realized I had missed lunch, it was 5:00 pm.  I headed home and grabbed some provolone cheese to fuel my run.

 

FullSizeR (11)Piggie and I ran 3 miles, which felt fantastic.  Nothing clears your head better than a nice run with your bestie.  The sky was amazing tonight with nary a cloud in the sky and a big, full setting sun.  Florida’s skies are thing of beauty.   Its been a rough week getting back into running outdoors.  The heat makes it tough to run, but it feels remarkable to be back on the trail outside.  There’s nothing better than running with my puppys’, to remove the stress of the work day.  Since I had such an amazing lunch, I’m treating myself to some Sushi Yama tonight.  Talk about flavorful!

Back to Reality

Today was my first day back at work and back to reality post Irmageddon. Traffic was fantastically light on the turnpike making for a quick commute. Any gains made on the turnpike were quickly given up at my favorite Dunkin’ Donuts where I waited in line with most of Pompano Beach for the better of 20 minutes awaiting my coffee. Clearly, many in South Florida, like myself, has been jonesing for Dunkin’ these past three days.

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Thankfully, I was able to pick up my coffee and head to work. The Turnpike was clear. The traffic lights right around the turnpike, in both Palm Beach and Broward county, were in working order. Once I left my Dunkin’ and headed down Power Line those lights were not functioning. Oh boy, this is a problem.

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South Floridians struggle with traffic laws. Heck they barely obey them during normal conditions. I shouldn’t be surprised that they would disobey them post hurricane. I’ve never lived in a place where people stop at a yield sign, but refuse to stop at stop sign. Moreover, they cannot for the life of them figure out a roundabout. You can imagine the chaos that has ensued since some of the traffic lights are out entirely and others are blinking. Unfortunately, the post-storm confusion this causes often times has deadly consequences.

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Here’s a quick tutorial for my fellow Floridans.  First, If the light you are facing is blinking red, you treat it as a stop sign. Secondly,  If the light you are at is blinking yellow, you treat it as a yield.   Lastly, if the light you are facing is off entirely, treat it as a four way stop. Regardless of the conditions listed above, proceed with caution. Proceed with the assumption that the other drivers on the road will not abide by the rules of the road and protect yourself and your family. I hate driving post-storm because it is patently unsafe.

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Aside from the driving, it felt great to get out of the house and get back to normal.  It stinks being in the house for days.  You start feeling like a caged animal after only a couple of hours and its no fun.  I am hoping that more stoplights will be operational tomorrow making for a safer commute for me and my team.  Thanks to everyone for sending their well wishes and prayers throughout Irmageddon.  We appreciated them very much.

Finding the Rainbow In the Storm

Irma was without a doubt a miserable experience for most of us, but even with Irma it is possible to find the rainbow in the storm.  Major events like this have a tendency to bring the good out in people  Yeah, there were looters in Lauderdale and Miami, but those were isolated incidents and widely condemned.  In fact, part of our hurricane preparation included the possibility that looters could show up at our door.  They haven’t, but had they shown up we were more than ready to neutralize the threat.  This post isn’t about the looters though; its about the finding the rainbow in the storm.

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Here are some of the rainbows I found this weekend:

    1. I got to spend a lot of quality time with my family.  Some of this time included no internet, cell or cable service, so we had to talk to each other.
    2. We have awesome neighbors on our cul-de-sac.  Whenever one of these ugly storms rear their ugly head, our neighborhood man crew mobilizes to shutter all the houses and get the circle storm ready.   For that moment in time, they’re our super heroes.   Additionally, the post prep beers and drinks are definitely a plus.
    3. With Hurricane Matthew missing us, this was really our first storm in our house.  I have to say that I felt safe and secure in these walls even as the winds howled fiercely outside.
    4. We never lost power during the storm.  We did, however, lose power twice this afternoon.  This sudden loss of power on a sunny afternoon prompted me to take my run outside, which was another plus.  I have complete and total sympathy for those that lost power as it is tortuously hot in South Florida today.
    5. I was able to binge watch (uninterrupted) the entire first season of the BBC’s Victoria with Jenna Coleman.
    6. When out preparing for the storm, people were kind and people were helpful.  For a moment, I thought I had been caught up in Irma’s tornado and deposited back in Minnesota.  Alas, I was in South Florida and people were truly being kind and considerate.
    7. Not only were people being kind and considerate, but people were being smart about the storm and preparing accordingly.  We’ve been through several storms down here.  We witnessed with Hurricane Wilma the utter devastation that accompanies a strong storm and ill prepared people.  The aftermath was awful.  This wasn’t going to be the story with Irma.   People were preparing for the worst case scenario while hoping for the best.
    8. When we were finally able to escape the cave today, we had  some fun exploring the neighborhood.  Our poor dogs have been miserable the past couple days as they’ve been cooped up inside.   Athena was living the high life as we walked the neighborhood as she shot footage from the Mayor’s GoPro.

  1. Now that the storm is over and the recovery begin, the same team that helped get you ready for the storm helps you recover from the storm.  Our dad crew was out early this morning removing as much brush and landscaping debris from the driveways and yards they could.  The Hubby left for my bro’s house just south of us to help him remove the large oak from his roof.  He’ll be back tomorrow.
  2. It’s okay to have caramel rolls and mimosa brunch more than once a year and a hurricane party is the perfect excuse.  Of course, there is a downside to all of the hurricane treats. It should be corporate policy to allow leggings and/or yoga pants for at least a week post hurricane.IMG_9931.jpg

Irma’s Aftermath

We were incredibly lucky that in Irma’s aftermath, we only had minor property damage and loss of landscaping. Moreover, the power stayed on the whole time.  We were shocked that our power stayed on during the storm, since it  tends to go out daily.

We did lose internet and cell service, which stinks. Netflix was a godsend during the storm. Currently, our cell service is intermittent at best, so if you can’t reach us that is why.  I am hopeful that our cell service will improve in the coming hours and days.

We did lose our lime tree, which has been very good to us. Every year it has provided bountiful, tasty fruit and required little to no maintenance. We try to keep our fruit chemical free, so there’s no pesticides on the tree.  Sadly, my mojito tree is no more.

We also lost some banana trees, but those grow back quickly. Our neighbors tree also fell into our backyard, but that’s about it.  Our maple tree survived the storm! I cannot tell you how excited we were to see the tree still standing Monday morning.  This is likely courtesy of Irma’s Winds that had shifted throughout the course of the storm.

We got lucky! The fact the storm weakened before hitting mainland Florida was truly a blessing. Our thoughts and sympathy are with the people of the Florida Keys and the West Coast of Florida who got walloped yesterday. Lastly, a sincere thank you to everyone for the checking in on us, the prayers and the well wishes

Irma Update

Hurricane Irma is nearing landfall on Florida’s west coast, but the entirety of South Florida is getting pummeled.  The storm hasn’t  blown us away yet and the power is still on! Yay!  The heaviest weather will arrive this evening around 8:00 pm.  However, the winds and rain have been picking up steadily since last night.  The gusts of wind against the metal shutters is quite loud.  In the video below, you can actually see the ground around our maple tree rise and fall with the wind gusts.  Unfortunately, I think we’ll be losing this tree.

Since we still have power, we cooked up some mac and cheese.  Additionally, we baked our take and bake breads as we do anticipate losing power today.  I may try to make some cookies before the winds pick up and take out the power, but it will have to wait until after the tornado warning is over.  As I type this, the lights have begun flickering and the winds have picked up tremendously.  I don’t foresee us having power for much longer. 

Hurricane Irma Sunday Morning

Happy Hurricane Irma Sunday morning to the Blogosphere, I’m happy to say that we’re still safe and enjoying all the comforts the 21st century offers.   Given the intensity and size of this storm, I would be surprised if we didn’t lose power sometime today.  We’ve experienced too many tornado warnings to count at this point.  Scarily,  many of these tornadoes have been close to our neighborhood.  Fortunately, they’ve been close to our neighborhoods, but not in our neighborhood.

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Nevertheless, the weather has been loud all night.  Given the posts on our community’s Facebook page, I’m not quite sure how we slept through one of the squalls that came through earlier this morning.  Perhaps its the pure exhaustion from anticipating the storm or the nyquil we took to help alleviate the sinus pressure.   Either way we slept through the crazy weather early this morning, but woke up to another loud squall line around 8:00 am.

One peculiar aspect of the hurricane experience, if you will, is the sinus and ear pain that comes with it.  As the pressure changes, the sinus headaches and ear pain can begin.  Last night around 9:30, the Mayor started to have a sinus headache, so he had some ibuprofen and went to bed.  No more than two hours later, Goalielocks was also complaining of a sinus headache.  I was not immune either, so I took some Nyquil before bed to alleviate the pain.   If you’re local to Florida and experiencing similar symptoms; tylenol,  ibuprofen, flonase (or any nasal steroid), or Aleve will help alleviate the pain.

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The Hubby was able to get the dogs outside quickly between squall lines and got a picture of the street.  Fortunately, there’s been no major damage here less palm fronds littering the streets.  We did, unfortunately, lose on of my favorite trees.  My lime tree.  We bought the lime tree because we love mojitos, margaritas and coronas with lime.  After this storm, we will be looking for a new lime tree.  If that is the worst damage we have, we are truly fortunate given the pictures I’m seeing from the Florida Keys, Miami and the Caribbean.  Prayers for all my friends and family in Irma’s path today and tomorrow.  I’ll continue posting as long as I’m able as it is a great outlet for nervous energy.

 

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And So It Begins

And so it begins, after much anticipation Irma and her nasty weather are here!  We’ve been able to enjoy time outside with the neighbors today before the storm and in between the feeder bands.  I can’t say enough about how amazing our neighbors are, but we are super lucky.

I had to laugh when I walked out earlier today and the neighborhood men were taking turns riding the dirt bike.  No better time to learn how to ride than during a hurricane!  Life is all about making lemonade from the lemons and that’s truly what we’ve been doing.

 

While the adults played on the bike, the kids were indoors.  Interestingly, the kids came back outside after the dirt bike was put away.  They love playing football.  In between the rain bands, and even during them, the boys were playing football with their neighborhood friends.  It was a godsend for the kids to have a chance to burn off some of their energy.  We are all getting stir crazy inside and the storm has barely just begun.  We’ve been trying hard to overcome the boredom all day.

We’ve had several tornado warnings already tonight, but have not lost power as of yet.   As long as I can post and film, I will continue to do so.  To all my readers in Florida, please stay safe and godspeed!

Irma Approaches

As Irma approaches the Florida peninsula, our preparations are completed.  The caramel rolls have come out of the oven and the champagne is chilling.  We’ll be kicking this storm off with a mimosa brunch. Life is too short to panic, to be bored and not enjoy it.  So enjoy it we will!

If there’s anything that’s awesome about impending hurricane doom, it is hurricane shutters.  Our house is so dark that we all slept until 9:00 am.  It was simply amazing!  I don’t think I want to take them down ever.  We leapt out of bed once we realized how late we had slept.

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We hurriedly rushed into the car and headed to Gulfstream Beach.  Not surprisingly the beach was closed to the public, so we headed south to Delray.  Delray Beach is public and impossible to close completely.  We found a parking spot on the north side of the beach and made our way towards the water.

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The roar of the water and wind was deafening.  Between the wind and the waves, it sounded like there was a jet engine constantly running.  As the waves crashed, they left behind a brownish white foam.  Beach erosion will definitely be a problem with this storm.  The water had a markedly brownish tint as the waves retreated back into the sea.  You could see how the waves from Irma would soon overcome the beach.

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As the waves crashed upon the beach, the onshore winds peppered with us a sand.  The palm trees’ fronds were blowing westerly in the wind.  As the  howled, the air was thick and hazy.  It was so humid and so hazy that my canon t6i couldn’t focus on anything. The pictures I was able to capture with my cell phone don’t capture the haziness of the air.

After the beach, we headed home so I could finish up preparation for brunch.  There’s no better way to prepare for a hurricane than a mimosa filled brunch.  I baked my caramel rolls that I usually reserve for the holidays.  My boys, who beg me to make them all the time, were thrilled to hear I was making them.  They’re pretty easy to make, but they’re time intensive.  I started them off last night and then finished them as soon as I got home.

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Soon after they came out of the oven, my bro and his crew arrived.  We had several mimosa with several different sparkling wines: peach champagne, asti (my favorite) and champagne.  That last minute trip to Publix clearly paid off.  Everyone enjoyed the rolls and the mimosas, which were followed up by board games.  The boys started off with the game Klask, which is sort of like table hockey with magnets.  it will be a great way to pass time during the storm.

Once they finished the rousing game of Klask, we played a frightening game of Cards Against Humanity.  Goalielocks nearly won the game, which is scary since he’s 13.  They may be a little too knowledgeable for our tastes.  Nevertheless, we played a game full of laughter and good times.  Meanwhile, all four of the puppies enjoyed the extra company and attention.  Alas, our good times had to come to an end since Palm Beach County is under a 3:00 pm curfew.  We snuck in a group picture before the crew headed back to South to Boca.

Preparations

We’ve completed our Hurricane Irma preparations and are now waiting for the storm.  After over a week of waiting that dirty girl Irma is about to pay Florida.  Fortunately,  for South Florida the track has shifted west, which should put us out of the worst of the storm.  The problem, however, is that these tracks are imperfect.  Moreover, these storms have a mind of their own.  Regardless of where Irma heads in Florida we are ready for the worst.

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In advance of the storm, we’re gonna check out the beach.   Post beach, we’ll be enjoying some mimosas and caramel rolls.  I normally only make caramel rolls for Christmas, but thought it would be a nice treat for my stressed out boys.

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Most of the stores have closed down in South Florida and Palm Beach has put a 3:00 pm curfew in place.  Tomorrow we will retreat to our house for the duration of the storm.  I will continue to post updates hr as long as we have both electricity and connectivity.  As we wait for this weather event to reach it’s crescendo, please keep us, our family and friends and Florida in your prayers.  For those of you local to Florida, remember to take pictures of the interior and exterior of your homes.  In the event you need to file a claim, this will make the process much smoother!

Tonight’s weather was absolute perfection.  Nice and breezy with clouds moving swiftly through the sky.  This is definitely the calm before storm.

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