Day One Chicago

Day on in Chicago has been fun. We beat the storm in, which was fabulous. In fact, it really didn’t start to snow until nighttime. After leaving the airport in my sexy Buick rental car, we hit Target to pick up some snacks and drinks for the room.

For Goalielocks, Target was just one more delay in eating a nice, hot slice of Giordano’s pizza. We checked out and quickly headed to Giordano’s thinking the storm would stay at anytime. Fortunately, we could leave our groceries in the car as we ate. I definitely miss that ability in Florida where we have to race home so our freezer items don’t melt!

Giordano’s was the perfect anecdote to a long day of travel. Our short layover in Detroit afforded us no time to eat. Consequently, we were quite hungry. The beauty of deep dish pizza, at least for me, is that one piece will leave you satiated for the rest of the day. In fact, neither Colin nor myself ate the rest of the day. Our late lunch at Giordano’s was enough to tide us over for the rest of the day.

The snow was absolutely beautiful this morning. We got about five inches at the hotel. The major roads appear to be relatively clean with some of the side roads still quite slippery and snow covered. I’m truly not looking forward to driving forty minutes southwest for tonight’s game. As for the temperature, it’s still pretty comfortable. The wind, however has picked up quite a bit, which is blowing snow everywhere. Meanwhile in Minnesota, my Mayor and hubby were enjoying sub zero weather.

Our hotel is nice enough and centrally located to the mall and Dunkin’. I dropped Goalielocks and his friends at the mall this morning, so they could do something other than look for ponds near the hotel. While they canvassed the mall, I headed to Ikea. I love that the store reminds me of my Scandinavian travels and the AirBnB’s we stayed in that were filled with IKEA items.

After the mall, Goalielocks and his boys headed back outside to cause trouble. They found some nice snowballs. The majority of which seemed to end up on Goalielocks’ pants and hoodie. He’s now down to one pair of pants that isn’t soaked or muddy. His nice Adidas joggers got a bit muddy after he broke the ice at the edge of the pond. You can only imagine how happy I was upon hearing that story.

While Goalielocks wrecked yet another pair of pants, I decided to do some yoga. I took a risk and did a vinyasa video from Fightmaster Yoga. It felt incredible, but it definitely got my heart rate pumping. I did modify some of the exercises to bring my heart rate back down. I’m not sure if it was the fact I’d only drank coffee today or Graves’ disease, but it was annoying either way.

Meanwhile in Minny, my Mayor is having a blast with his team and has already hit White Castle twice. Like I’ve shared before, he’s got an iron gut. At present, he and his team are playing at outdoor game not far from my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Tonight they’ll head down to the Excel Energy Center to see the Wild attempt to play. Last night, the Mayor got to see one of our favorite coaches and his mite coach, Coach Ryan. It’s awesome how hockey introduces you to great paths and how your paths keep crossing through the game we all love.

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Chicago Bound… Hopefully

We’re Chicago bound hopefully… I say hopefully because we’ve made it as far as the runway in Detroit and now are parked on the tarmac. My hopes of getting into the city and situated before snowmageddon and Chicago rush hour are starting to dwindle. Ugh! I hate driving in the snow and I hate driving in rush hour traffic.

We had a nice flight from FLL to Detroit. Including some vintage Saved By the Bell episodes. They did make me feel a bit old, but also had me reminiscing about Saturday mornings. Afterwards we had a nice run down (don’t worry mom I walked) the terminal from gate A60 to A9. And now we wait!

While we wait here’s some things I’m looking forward to in Chicago:

  • Getting to hang out with my BFF Jenny
  • Hanging out with our hockey family
  • Watching the beautiful snow fall from the comfort of my hotel bed
  • Catching up on sleep after only getting 4 hours of it last night
  • Giordano’s pizza
  • Lou Malnati’s pizza
  • Thankful that I’m not on keto- see above!
  • Finally exploring the Schaumburg IKEA after driving by it for year. It works out since I need more lingonberry and cloudberry jam
  • And especially hanging out with Goalielocks

Good news is we’re ready for takeoff!!!! Chicago here we come!

And They’re Off

And they’re off to the frozen tundra for a weekend of fun, family and of course hockey. Luckily the Mayor will be playing at our old home rink, so they’ll be plenty of family to support him. It’s also pretty nice that they get to stay at Hotel Grandma and Grandpa instead of a Holiday Inn!

Goalielocks and I will be heading north to Chicago Friday for his tournament. I’m keeping a watchful and anxious eye on the weather. I absolutely hate the idea of having to drive in a snow storm, but at this point it seems inevitable. I look forward to sharing our adventures this weekend on the blog. You can be sure it will include a lot of good Chicago pizza!

Just Like That

Just like that we’ve made it to Sunday evening and are now staring down another Monday.   Sunday evening shares an odious border with Monday morning.  No matter what is on the weekend docket, it seems to fly by!   Friday ended late with hellish traffic on the turnpike and 441.  By the time I picked up Goalielocks from his friend’s house, it was well after 7:00 pm.   When I finally got home it was after 7:30 pm.  Friday night was such a blur, I can’t even tell you what we had for dinner.

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Saturday brought a busy schedule with a stretch session at Massage Envy in the morning and two games for the Mayor in the afternoon/evening.  Since my injury and diagnosis, I haven’t been able to do much at all.  Consequently, I’ve been quite stiff.  Teodora is a gem, thought, she gave me a nice, easy and effective stretch.  It would have been great to have an hour session, but I wasn’t sure how I’d tolerate it.  Simply put it felt amazing to stretch and be stretched.

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No sooner had I gotten home then we had to head up to the rink for the Mayor’s games.  Thankfully, his two games were local this weekend.  After coaxing with a trip to the Apple Store, Goalielocks joined me for the games.  The first game, against our organization’s 07′ team, was quite close.  The Mayor opened up scoring with a nice shot in the first period.  Fortunately, I not only had the goal horn queued, but it worked almost immediately.  That contest ended in a 2-2 tie.   Bottom line is we needed at least a point out of that game and we got it.

Between games, my plan was to go home, relax and have my groceries delivered, but with a little coaxing I quickly changed my plans.  We headed to the Brass Monkey, our favorite dive bar/restaurant near the rink with some of the Mayor’s teammates.  Fortunately, for me and my sparkling chardonnay, Jake was home to receive the grocery delivery (#crisis averted.). The food at the Monkey is quite good, but the service is less than stellar.  Saturday’s performance was no exception to these rules.  I think my favorite part is when the server charged all of the bills on the wrong credit cards.  Unbelievably, our bill and the family whose bill we paid were within cents of each other. It was, however, quite entertaining.

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Post dive bar dinner, we headed back to to rink for game two.  I was hoping it would be a good game, but we didn’t play our best.  We ended up giving up two short-handed goals due to silly errors.  Again I had the goal horn queued, but sadly wasn’t able to use it for our boys.  I wish I had more photos and videos to post, but I was playing music at the Mayor’s request.

Today Goalielocks and I endured iPhone warranty hell courtesy of Best Buy and T-Mobile.  The process to get it handled by insurance takes entirely too long.  While going outside of the insurance process costs entirely too much.  Ultimately, I ended up paying out-of-pocket, so Goalielocks could have a working phone.  Last Friday his school had a gas leak and his phone stopped working.  Fortunately, he actually knows my phone number, so he called me from his friend’s house.   After more than two hours, his phone was finally ready and operational.  He was ecstatic and I was exhausted!

Before venturing into iPhone repair hell, I made some blueberry muffins, as part of my meal prep, for the week.  Sadly, they didn’t make it past 12:00 pm.   Fortunately, I wasn’t the one that ate them all.   After fixing Goalielock’s phone, I came back to prep my meals for the week.  This week I made butternut squash noodles with lemon chicken sauce.  I adapted the recipe from a great recipe I saw on Facebook using spaghetti squash.  To save time, I opted for the pre-packaged butternut squash noodles. This saved forty minutes of cook time and cut down the work.  Here’s the recipe: Lemon chicken with butternut squash noodles.

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According to Myfitness Pal, with the butternut squash noodles and no added cheese, this dish has 229 calories with 16 net carbs, 20 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.  Lastly, it is 3 Weight Watchers points.   If you try it, let me know how you liked it.   The meal prep containers came from Amazon and are available for purchase here.  Their top and bottom shelf dishwasher safe, freezer and microwave safe and free of BPAs.

Thursday Eve

It’s Thursday eve, or hump day as we affectionately call it in corporate America. There’s something magical about the promise of a Wednesday.  We’re oh so close to magical Friday afternoon.   In our house, Wednesdays are also the only weekday where we can enjoy dinner as a family.  It’s a nice rarity.  Fortunately for me, the hubby usually has dinner done or in progress by the time I get home.  It’s such a relief to not have to cook.

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I was reminded tonight of the importance of being exceptionally specific when giving teenage boys directives.  Sunday I had asked Goalielocks to bring down all his dirty clothes and towels, so he have clean clothes when school started.  There was one crucial mistake in that sentence: the phrase “when school started.”  Apparently, this freed the way for him to only wash the clothes he needs for this week.

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When going upstairs to find my mouse, I noticed the error of my ways.   His room still look like a clothes/bath towel box had exploded.  Clearly, he hasn’t watched Tidying UP on Netflix.  Or perhaps he misunderstood the directions to put all the clothes on your bed before figuring out what he could part with, but somehow I don’t think that’s the case.  See when raising teenage boys, you have to be exceedingly specific and definitive in your directives.  Moreover, you have to follow it up with turning off the wifi until the chore is done.

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To be fair, both Goalielocks and his older brother Jake do their own laundry, so I can’t complain too loudly about his laundry.  It’s just when Goalielocks does laundry, he only does 10%.  Marie Kondo would lose her mind!  Now for the good news.  With the youngest in seventh grade, I’m a year away from only have to do me and my hubby’s laundry.  That will be an awesome day!

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An update to the thyroid, I’m still hyperactive and there’s inflammation in the gland.  This is part of the process of they thyroid dying, but it’s taking forever and I’m impatient. Due to the thyroid, I’ve been running hot (low-grade fever) for the past several weeks.  My heart rate has come down a bit since last week, which is a relief.  It had a mind of its own last week, so I skipped the trip to Tampa with Goalielocks.  After all if my heart rate Friday was 105 bps sitting at my desk while on beta blockers, my heart rate watching my goalie would have been dangerous.   Good times!

While I wait for the hyperthyroidism to abate, I’m taking it completely easy.  At this point, I’m not even non-aggressively riding my bike.  We’ve had a cold in the house, so I’ve been taking fresh ginger shots with lemon to boost my immune system and reduce inflammation.  It’s amazing how sweet a lemon tastes after drinking ginger.  If you haven’t tried it, I do recommend it.  For my S. Florida peeps, I recommend checking out Juiceberry in Boynton in Deerfield Beach or Smoothie Whirl’d in Boynton and West Palm.  A solid online option is Jus by Julie’s boosters.  When bundled with a cleanse, they’re 30% off through Sunday with the discount code Cleanse30.   Since we’ll be traveling a bit in the coming weeks, it will be easier for me to have them delivered.

 

New Years Day and Back to Work

No sooner had I left the office Monday night, then it was New Years day and back to work.  Like right back to work.  It felt more like an abbreviated weekend than a holiday, but we made the best of it.  New Years Eve we headed to my brothers for snacks, games and of course champagne.  We even snuck in some shots of Salmiakki.  My mom made some pickle rolls ups, aka Minnesota Sushi, which brought back some great memories of the holidays of my youth.  I haven’t had them since we moved south of the Mason Dixon thirteen years ago! We rushed home after midnight, so as to try to beat the traffic.

The next morning we were going to head down to Fort Lauderdale for brunch, but that ended up being moved to Boca.  This made is a lot easier for us although I love Fort Lauderdale.   My sister-in-law Brandi and her cooking partner Phil made yet again an amazing meal.  They always partner up on Thanksgiving to make a fantastic dinner, so getting to enjoy twice this year was quite nice.  Fortunately, I didn’t include anything about food in my New Year’s resolutions or I would have broken all of them at brunch!

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After brunch, we headed out to South County Park in Boca to go jet skiing.  There is a nice lake behind the amphitheater that is deceivingly large.   There’s not a ton of room by the docks, which keeps it from getting too crowded.  Fortunately, the weather was absolutely sublime lows 80s and some cloud cover to keep it cool.

Our younger two, Goalielocks and the Mayor, were hooked after their first rides.  Once they got on, they didn’t want to get off the jet skis.  Eventually, they had to get off so other people could ride, but they were keen to get back on the water.   Fortunately, both Grandma and Grandpa got a chance to ride the jet skis.   Both of the boys got to drive the jet skis, which they absolutely loved.  Goalielocks is a little more sensible, while the Mayor’s driving style can only be described as “balls to the wall.” I can already sense how much fun we’re going to have teaching him to drive.

After several hours of jet skis and Cornhole, we headed home to get ready for our inevitable return to work on Wednesday.   Shortly thereafter, the Mayor convinced my husband to make Caribbean jerk chicken with black beans and rice.   The kid ate two full plates.  Unquestionably, he has a hollow leg – or so we thought.

He left dinner to take a shower having been on the lake all day.  After about fifteen minutes, he came back out to the family room and announced “I threw up all over the bathroom and I missed both the sink and the toilet.”  Now that my friends takes talent.   Immediately, the hubby and I got up to check him out.  He insisted he was fine having thrown up only because he ate too much too fast with too much milk.

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After making sure he was fine, we headed to the bathroom.  His assessment was spot on. He had in fact thrown up all over our bathroom effectively missing both the toilet and the sink.   I’m not quite sure what happened, but I was relieved he missed the rugs and the dirty clothes he left strewn about the floor.   Thankfully, he was okay and not harboring some insidious stomach bug.   Since I wasn’t feeling well, he cleaned up the projectile mess.  He’s the real hero!

And just like that in the blink of an eye,  we went to bed and got up for work like nothing had changed……. Our Tuesday holiday was quickly over and it was back to reality.

 

 

It’s Resolution Time Again

It’s resolution time again my friends.  I can hardly believe that a year has past since I last typed out some idealistic, but achievable resolutions.  When I look back on last year’s post, Resolution Time, I had some great goals.  Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.    I did make some of the 5:30 am classes at Burn and they were fabulous, but I only managed to run one 5k.  Moreover, I didn’t do well, which was disappointing.

Unfortunately, the pain in my left ankle ended up being more serious than tendonitis and tenosynovitis.  I tore the tendon, posterior tibial tendon,  where it meets the bone in my foot.   That diagnosis and associated pain effectively ended my running career in 2018.  As I wrote a couple of days ago, https://flhockeymomfit.com/dignity-in-aging/ , the tear in my tendon was compounded by newly discovered thyroid problems.  Oh joy! There went my fitness goals for 2018.

I was relegated to the pool with my cast cover (affectionately called my cast condom) and my new Aquajogger belt instead of hitting the gym at 5:30 am and logging some serious mileage running.  I totally fit in with the snow bird crowd. My only outlet was swimming or jogging in the pool.  If I’m being honest, I totally suck at both swimming and aqua jogging.  Nonetheless, I found a way to stay active while my tendon had me sidelined.

Sadly, I was prohibited from doing cardio once the severity of my thyroid issue was understood.  Can I tell you that it’s been pure torture? I’m using to teaching Zumba four times a week plus running 20-25 miles during the week.  The inability to do cardio is driving me crazy.  Eventually I bought a nice new bike.  My doc said I could ride it if I could do so non-aggressively.  As it turns out, I’m not really capable of doing that on a road bike.  Thus I’m resigned to riding the stationery bike.

As for travel, I had a fabulous year.  I started the year with a trip to Chicago in January with the Mayor and Goalielocks.  In February, Goalielocks and I headed to Massachusetts/New Hampshire for a tournament.  That trip was a bit of a mess with Goalielocks’ injury.   Nevertheless,  we had a great time exploring the area before he got hurt.  In March, we spent spring break in the Bahamas with our awesome extended family.  April brought an amazing momcation trip to Turks & Caicos.  The trip was absolutely spectacular.  Finally, we hopped the pond to explore Sweden, Finland and Denmark in late October.  I can’t wait to go back!

Lastly, I was able to take on responsibilities with the Broward/Palm Beach PanCan affiliate.  This was my first year serving as team and individual development chair for PurpleStride.  It was absolutely rewarding to be a member of the team!   Goalielocks attended many of the meeting with me and volunteered with me at the event as well.  This was one of my 2018 resolutions that I was not willing to break.  Excitedly, we exceeded our fundraising goal for the event!

Last year was difficult, but wonderful.  I lost a dear colleague in September, which was very hard.  My family and I experienced some serious health issues throughout the year.  Fortunately, 2019 will bring a resolution to my thyroid woes.  I’m looking forward to a fruitful year in which I can get back to doing the things I love and feeling like myself.  Honestly, I’ve been craving a run.   If you asked me five years ago if I enjoyed running, I would have laughed at you.  And now, I crave it.  Life is so odd.

Here are my resolutions for 2019:

  1. Be patient in my recovery.  I’m not a patient person, but given the risks I’ve been compliant with my doctor’s no-cardio/take it easy orders.  Needless to say, I’ll behave.
  2. Focus on getting stronger – more weights/more days in the gym.
  3. Explore the world – nothing feeds the soul more than exploring the globe with the people you love!
  4. Run a 5K and not suck at it.
  5. Involvement with PanCan
  6. Blog regularly
  7. Eat to perform

I saw some great memes this week on new years resolutions.  For example, people will pack the gym (like sardines) for the next 3 weeks only for it to be empty by February.  While I didn’t meet a lot of my goals for 2018 as set forth in my resolutions, I also have to acknowledge that much of it was outside my control.   So this year, if you find yourself unexpectedly out of commission and unable to meet your goals, be kind to yourself.

Happy New Year!

Continue reading “It’s Resolution Time Again”

Holiday Baking

Holiday baking is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.   It’s steeped in tradition, heritage and reminds me of my childhood.  Growing up we made mint cookies and molasses cookies every year.  Christmas morning my mom would serve her Christmas tea ring.   The memories of making Christmas cookies with my family are some of my fondest.    I’ve carried on many of these traditions making the mint cookies every year.   Over the years, we’ve stopped making the molasses cookies in Florida as they take too much flour to make them manageable.  In lieu of the tea ring, I’ve made my caramel rolls to serve at brunch for over a decade.

I had an amazing time exploring Scandinavia this fall with my son, brother and sister-in-law.  It definitely strengthened the connection I feel to our family’s heritage. As a result, I wanted to infuse some traditional Norwegian and Finnish cookies into our holiday baking.  My aunt, a lefse baking pro, provided us with the recipe for lefse.  I found the recipes for the Norwegian cookies in Norwegian heritage groups on Facebook.  Finally, I was able to find Finnish recipes via google.

The baking started off by baking the mint cookie dough.  I planned to bake several dozen since these cookies were a sure bet.  Unfortunately, dough vultures (a.k.a my kids) thwarted my first attempt.  My next attempt had to be more covert.  Indeed, my mom and I ended up baking three more batches.  We had to hide the dough in one of our three refrigerators to ensure we’d have enough to bake cookies.

My holiday baking this year was more special since my mom was here.  It made our culinary adventure through Scandinavian traditions more meaningful.  Our first task was to make the dough for the kringlas (Norwegian) and juolutorttu (Finnish.) Each of these doughs was quite easy to make.  The kringla is a sour cream dough, while the juolutorttu dough is more of a pastry dough.  Normally, the doughs would need to rest for an hour or two. However, we left them rest overnight due to the climate in Florida.

Cloudberry juolutorrtu
Lingonberry juolutorrtu
Blueberry juolutorrtu

The next morning we started by making the dough for the pulla, a Finnish sweet bread.  Since the bread had to rise for 90 minutes, it was the perfect place to start.  While it raised, we were able to make the juolutorttu and the kringlas.  Traditionally, the juolutorttu is made with prunes, but I didn’t have any and I don’t really like prune.  Consequently, we made ours with lingonberry, blueberry and cloudberry jam that I had purchased on my recent travels.  Both of the cookies were a bit fussy to make, but they were much easier to make than I had to anticipated.   The pulla was relatively easy to make and smelled divine.

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As the pulla baked, I headed to the gym for a quick workout before we undertook making lefse.  Once it was completed, we fired up the lefse griddle.  (Naturally, I had bought an entire lefse baking kit.- get it here.)  The lefse would be, by far, the most difficult thing we made that day.  While I was at work the Friday before, my mom mixed up the dough since it had to sit overnight.  Nonetheless, the lefse was still difficult to handle.  Our first attempt was an utter failure, but we improved with each lefse.  By the end of it, we were professionals.

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Our first attempt

In the end, we worse ourselves out will all of our holiday baking.  On Christmas, we had a plenty of sweet Scandinavian treats to last til next Christmas.   We had great beginner’s luck on all of our Scandinavian treats and I can’t wait to make them again next year.   Below you’ll find the links to the Scandinavian recipes we used this Christmas.

Krumkake with cloudberry and blueberry jams

 

Recipes:

Juolutorrtu (also called juolutorts or north stars)

Kringla

Pulla

Dignity in Aging

There’s no dignity in aging that is for damn sure. Along with radiation, isolation this pretty much describes the last couple months of my life. You may recall that I tore my tendon last summer while running. It was a complete buzz kill and put me on a boot and scooter for ten weeks. The injury, a tear in the posterior tibial tendon, was a surgical injury. Unfortunately, in my pre-op blood work they found that my thyroid had gone rogue. I went back two weeks later to ensure it wasn’t an anomaly and sadly it was not.

Now I was sidelined with a torn tendon and a rogue thyroid. I guess they weren’t lying when they said there’s no dignity in aging. Since my thyroid was hyperactive, I was no longer a candidate for surgery, so I opted for the controversial and expensive stem cells injection. Further complicating matters it the fact that our tendons ability to heal is heavily influence by the thyroid. Thus its unlikely that I’ll see a full recovery in the tendon until my thyroid has stabilized. #winning Nonetheless, between the torn tendon and the hyperthyroidism, I’ve been unable to do cardio since late July. It’s been quite the adjustment both mentally and physically.

My visit to the the endo was pretty straightforward. We were both confident that was the culprit behind my hyperthyroidism given that Graves Disease runs in my family. She did stress that I was lucky to have found the disease early as it progresses quite rapidly. Moreover, she laid out a plan of action to confirm our suspicions: more blood work and a thyroid scan and uptake test. If the diagnosis was confirmed, we proceed immediately to RAI (a.k.a. radioactive iodine) treatment. The nice thing about my endo is that she does’t make me come in to get test results or discuss next steps. Naturally, I have my appointments, but it’s nice not having to go into the office each step of the way.

Once my blood work came back abnormal the second time, my GP referred me out to an endocrinologist. Apparently, in South Florida they’re in very high demand. I initially made my appointment in early August for late October. I was none to pleased with that timeline. Fortunately, an appointment opened up in early September.

 

In late October, after more blood work and thyroid scan/uptake test, she called to confirmed that our initial suspicions were correct. It was Graves Disease, an autoimmune disorder that attacks the thyroid gland causing it to be hyperactive. My next step would be the RAI treatment. Fortunately, I was still able to go overseas and enjoy all that Sweden, Finland and Denmark have to offer before completing the RAI treatment. Admittedly, I was far from 100% during the trip, but I still had the most amazing time. (I’ll be sharing more from the trip in the coming days.)

Once I was back on the continent, the appointment was set and my family I prepared for the three days I’d spend in complete isolation. (Fellow moms, I know what you’re thinking – complete silence and alone time= complete gift. You’re not wrong.) This was also the run up to the Purple Stride event and I was serving as Chair for team and personal development for the first time. We had to buy a lot of disposable plates and silverware, since my dishes couldn’t co-mingle with the family’s dishes. I also bought a lot of cough drops and throat spray as throat pain is one of side effects of the treatment.

Early November 19th, I headed over to DCA where they’d administer the RA-131. By this time, I was anxious to get it over with and get back to normal. They called me back and then there was a problem. When they called to schedule, they neglected to tell me that a negative pregnancy test had to be on file. At this point, I was quite aggravated and not willing to move my appointment. It was, after all, their mistake.

Fortunately, I was able to negotiate a compromise with the tech and radiologist. I quickly left DCA and headed to CVS where I bought the cheapest pregnancy test I could find. I hurried back to DCA, took the test, handed it to the tech and got my RAI. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture of the mini-keg the pill came in. I did have some trepidations as the tech handled the keg with thick lead gloves as she pulled the pill out of a thick glass test tube from within the keg.

The following days were quite uneventful. I worked from home effectively only missing conference calls since my throat hurt and my voice was weak. I binged watch all of the shows and movies I can’t ordinarily enjoy in a house of boys. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that my neck didn’t glow. I had grandiose plans of making a video of me singing radioactive with a glowing neck, but alas that couldn’t happen. Since the boys were off that week, they took times dropping off water and food to my room. By the end of the three days, I was ready to see civilization again.

 

As I mentioned, the boys were all home from school that week. You would think that while I was in insolation things like the dishes, sweeping, and putting away clothes would have been taken care of, but alas they were not. No sooner had I left my isolation than I was already willing to go back into it.

It’s been almost six weeks since the RAI and my thyroid should be slowing down by now. However, my thyroid, as mentioned before has gone rogue. It is now more hyperactive than it was before. Needless to say, I’m quite disappointed. I cannot go back to working out until my thyroid is no longer hyperactive. So say a prayer that when I go back to my Endo in six weeks, my rogue thyroid has been reformed and on it’s way to being normal or hypo.

In the meantime, I’ll continue taking the beta blockers and trying to adhere to a sedentary lifestyle that’s miserable. The disease has made watching Goalielocks in net a bit perilous. Fortunately, the beta blockers keep my heart rate and rhythm from being totally ridiculous. Thankfully, the Mayor is a second year peewee and not in a checking league, so his games are still pretty relaxing for me. (You know I had to bring some hockey into it!). I’m utterly exhausted day in and day out, which is a major downside of the disease and the meds I’m on.  Sleep is hard to come by when your thyroid is hyperactive. The beta blockers make it even more difficult. One thing is sure, when this is over and it will be soon, I’ll be quite grateful for good health and the ability to be active. I cannot wait to run again!

 

Exploring Stockholm

We spent today exploring Stockholm, its history, its food and its drink.  Our day started with a wonderful and real authentic continental breakfast.  It wasn’t the paltry continental breakfast every hotel at a hockey tournament tries to sell you.  This breakfast was legit.  There were no watery eggs or overcooked bacon to be had.  The only similarity is that this breakfast also had a waffle maker, which we definitely enjoyed.

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Our time here in Stockholm is short, so we wanted to maximize our time and see as much of the city as possible.  The best way to do this, especially in the winter, is the hop on and hop off buses.  They run continuously throughout the day with several stops and a narrated tour to boot.  If the weather were a bit warmer and my ankle/foot completely healed, this would be a perfect walking city.  Truly, if my foot was better, we’d probably have walked most of the city.

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We grabbed the bus at Stockholm’s Central nation, which is super nice.  We somehow managed to missed it twice.  Once it was our fault, the second time it just drove by.  When the third bus came by, we were sure to be first in line.  We sat atop the bus and rode for about half the tour before realizing we should have grabbed the headphones downstairs.   The bus takes you through all the major neighborhoods in Sweden and provides a lot of great information about the sites.

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We rode the thing throughout the complete loop before deciding to hop off at Gamle Stan near the Royal Palace.  As soon as I exited the bus, I was cold.  We were dropped off right across from the palace and not far from the water.  The wind was whipping off the water with no buildings to slow it.  I was getting cold fast!  We made our way up the palace stairs to check it out.   Our timing was sublime as we entered the courtyard right before they started the changing of the guard.   I filmed it in its entirety, but I almost froze my fingers off!

As soon as the ceremony ended, we made our way into the Palace to check out the Royal Apartments, the museum and find a bathroom.  The Palace is stunning and a beautiful example of the baroque design style.  Throughout the palace, the artwork was sublime.  At every turn, every room there were a myriad of paintings, sculptures and tapestries.   There was one drawing room in particular that was full of portraits of the royal family.  It reminded me of Harry Potter and a couple of other movies where the eyes in the portraits follow you as you move through the room.

After exploring the palace grounds, we headed to find food.  We explored the palace while past the lunch hour, so we decided to go for dinner.   At the recommendation of our bartender last night, we headed to Aifur.  It was an adventure through Gamle Stan to find it with two pit stops at Stortoget, the oldest square in Stockholm, to get coffee and mittens.  Finally, we headed down the hill to Västerlånggatan, the main thoroughfare, to find Aifur.   I tried to behave, but couldn’t help perusing a few of the stores along the way.  Humorously, when we finally found the restaurant it wasn’t opened yet.  Naturally, we killed the half hour at Corner Bar enjoyed  a few drinks.

Dinner at Aifur was quite the experience.  The restaurant is an homage to Scandinavia’s Viking heritage in its decor, its food, and its staff.  Consequently, the dining room was set up with several long tables with benches on both sides.   On the tables, there were candelabra, silverware and glassware in keeping with the theme.  Each of the dishes on the menu were inspired by the Vikings.

We started our meal with a charcuterie board inspired by Ragnor himself.  Largely, it was compiled of different types of sausages, including reindeer heart.  Surprisingly, the reindeer heart sausage was tasty.  I enjoyed the reindeer sausage with some cheddar chess on a cracker.  While I had the elk sausage on bread with cheddar and boiled apples. It was a nice exploration of the different types of sausages from the region.

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Our main courses were just as yummy.  Jon and I enjoyed venison with hash browns on root vegetables served on a creamy mushroom sauce.  Jake had the porcini risotto, which he thought was okay.  I really enjoyed it!  Brandi had the dwarf chicken also served with the risotto, which was also quite tasty.  We accompanied our dinner with Mead from Poland.

The best part of dinner, aside from the company and the food, was the atmosphere.  Every time new guests would arrive, the host/hostess would announce them to the dining room sharing both their party name and where they’re from. It was fun to guess where our other dinners guests hailed from.  I’d be lying if I said we were good at that game.  Nonetheless, it made for a fun night.  Lastly, as we ate, we enjoyed live traditional Scandinavian music keeping with the restaurant’s theme.

Post dinner we walked back to the hotel and then headed up to The Capitol Bar at the Scandic for the first of two night caps.  I ended my night out at the bar downstairs with a great apple beer from Belgium.  While I got ready for bed, the rest of the party closed down the bar and went on a fast food run.  Sadly, there were no Doritos burgers tonight only zombie burgers from Burger King.

Tomorrow we’re off to Helsinki for several days.  Stockholm has been a blast and we’ll definitely be back!

If you go:

Sightseeing bus: Hop On Hop Off Bus

The Palace: Royal Palace Complex: 

The Dinner: Aifur