In Like a Lion, Out Like A Lamb

Growing up in Minnesota, every year I’d hear the refrain, “in like a lion, out like a lamb.”  Funny in Florida, March is just another month of sunny, gradually increasing temperatures.  It’s still relatively comfortable, but it’s always sunny.  March in Minnesota, on the other hand, can be a mix bag of horrendous weather from snow storms to rain storms.

Of course in Florida, the “out like a lamb” could refer to the snowbirds that may leave at the end of the month as Easter approaches.  Since Easter can take place anywhere from late March to early April, I always pray for an early Easter.   Usually once Easter passes, the majority of the snowbirds head back north as we can reclaim our city.  I can’t tell you the happiness that is seeing that first car carrier outside the 55 plus neighborhood.  Undoubtedly, the snowbirds dim my joie de vivre.

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As I count down the days and weeks to Easter, we’ve managed to get back into our normal routine.  Fortunately, Goalielocks’ headaches are gone!  I’m almost scared to type that less they return tomorrow.  He’s really hoping to be able to play this weekend.  He’s been back to school this week ,which has been fabulous.  However, it’s a bit tough to get back on the algebra train after missing two weeks of lessons.  Thank God for Khan Academy.

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March is a pretty exciting month.  There are so many people in our lives with March birthdays.  My SIL and I are one day apart next week.  We’ll get a break from the craziness of hockey with no travel this spring!  Can I get a hallelujah?  Also, this year will mark the first time we’re going somewhere for spring break.  We’re travelling to Atlantis  with friends that became family, which should be an amazing trip.

 

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Intentions and Catatonic Iguanas

Today’s post is all about setting intentions and catatonic iguanas.  We’re in a deep freeze here in South Florida, which has put the regions huge iguana population into a catatonic state.   These creatures are actually too cold to move.  Fortunately, once the temperatures climb again, they should reanimate.  Its just a sight to be seen as everywhere across S. Florida, Iguanas are belly up everywhere you go.  As an aside, it was colder here this morning than it was in Norway…  Maybe I could live in Norway after all….

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Unfortunately, due to my leg injury, I can’t wear my awesome boots.  It’s sad since we only get a handful of truly viable boot worthy weather.  Hopefully, I’ll get some answers on my leg tomorrow when I head to the podiatrist.  The only thing more miserable than an iguana in 30 degree weather is going to be me in a podiatrist office during season.  Oh my goodness, I’m really going to be mentally prepared for that office visit.

 

In order to distract my mind from the inevitable craziness of my trip to the podiatrist office, I decided to focus on my intentions for 2018.  Setting intentions is something we do as a class at the beginning of our yoga classes.  Every yogi sets their own intention for their practice and their day.  Consequently, why not expand the intentions to cover the entire year?

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My intentions are broad, but purposeful.  My first intention for 2018 is to incorporate discipline into my life.  What do I mean by discipline? Living a more disciplined life means sticking to my fitness routine and being willing to wake up for the 5:30 am class.  Moreover, it means eating mindfully and with a purpose.  It also means we have to hold our kids accountable (i.e. picking up after themselves, doing their homework independently.)

My second intention is to live with gratitude.  Living with gratitude means living every moment to the fullest and being grateful for those moments.  If I were to sum it up with a hashtag, it would be #livelikeDebbie.  It is easy for us to get caught up in life’s craziness forgetting to be thankful for the our days above ground and the people in our life.

As I lament my inability to wear boots, I relish the soft throw, sweats and hoodies that are keeping me comfortable on the couch.  Tonight’s song performed by Portugal The Man is “Live In the Moment.” I know, I know you were thinking it was going to be “Feel It Still.”

Almost there

Almost there

We’re almost there.. Almost to the end of the year and the grand beginning of a new one. I started my day at Burn with circuit burn and aerial yoga. My leg tolerated both reasonably well with only the mountain climbers causing discomfort. Fortunately, I was able to modify the move to accommodate the injury.

Meanwhile, the Mayor was one an adventurous sleepover on a sail boat in Fort Lauderdale. I have to say I had many amazing sleepovers in my day, but never one a sailboat. Clearly, he’s having a great day based on the photos our friends have sent.

The Mayor and his teammate E have spent their day fishing in the marina. Fortunately, they’ve had a pretty productive day and have caught some nice fish. In fact, the Mayor even caught a nice sized Crevalle Jack!

Now the sun is starting to set and we’re making our way down to the marina. Unfortunately, it’s a bit colder than we’re used to, so we’ve got our hoodies, jackets and some blankets to keep us warm. I’m rocking my new BCBG linen pants with my not so sexy flats (thank you tendinitis.)

As we drive south, Goalielocks is playing the music. He loves his country, but he also loves Tupac’s “Hit ‘Em Up,” which is an awesome song. It definitely brings me back to my school days and the old East Coast West Coast feud. Admittedly, the song is laced with profanities and violence, but at least it’s not insipid like “Gucci Gang.”

Tonight’s song performed by Tupac is “California Love.”

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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.

Irma

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. 

It begins

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

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.

Endless Anticipation

Endless Anticipation

The difficulty of hurricane season is the endless anticipation that proceeds the storm.  I’ve been in South Florida for over 11 years now.   Currently, there is a level of concern in the air that I have not experienced.  When we went through Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, we were very nervous as it was our first hurricane season in Florida.  Katrina and Rita came through South Florida without much fanfare, but Wilma really kicked our butt.

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Hurricane Irma will likely be a lot like Wilma in that it will be a predominantly a wind event.  Unfortunately, along the our coastline it will be a storm surge and wind event.  It is easy to panic when you see the 170 mph winds that this storm is currently packing.  The storm is enormous!  It is supposed to weaken before a Kat 4 before hitting Florida, but storm strength is hard to forecast.

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For our family and friends watching outside of Florida, this is a troubling time.  They see this big lumbering beast moving its way towards their loved ones and are afraid.  Their hope is that we will evacuate out of South Florida, but that isn’t in our plans.

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Why aren’t we evacuating?  Well, first it is hard to think about leaving our home with no understanding if and when we can return home.   Secondly, we are inland.  Our home is not located in one of the flood zones under mandatory evacuation orders.   If everyone evacuates, the roads will become clogged.  As a result, those that truly need to evacuate are unable to get out as needed.  Moreover, their is a finite supply of fuel in South Florida. Even if we were going to go, we wouldn’t be able to get far as fuel is hard to come by.

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I shopped flights for several days with no luck, so we couldn’t fly out of here either.  The Mayor’s suggestion was that we buy a large box and fill it with food.  Once we fill it with food for us and the dogs, we should UPS ourselves to Minnesota.  I love his creativity.

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We intend to ride the storm out in our house, unless it continues to be a stage 5 monster.  Then disregard the entire last paragraph as all of S. Florida needs to get out in that case!  Our cars are gassed up for after the storm and our cupboards are full.  Unfortunately, hurricane food is not necessarily healthy food.  I tried to buy things that were as healthy as possible, but there weren’t many options available. As the storm gets closer, I’ll post updates and pictures of our preparation.  We’re planning to go check out the surf tomorrow before the weather really deteriorates.

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If you’re looking to track the storm, here are some great websites:

National Hurricane Center  – This site shows the forecast and warnings for the storm as well as the forecasted path.

Should You Evacuate? – Great article in the Palm Beach Post about whether or not you should evacuate.

Mike’s Weather Page –  This site is a great resource for those tracking the tropics.

WPTV – my local NBC station

The Sun Sentinel – Newspaper covering Broward County

Palm Beach Post – Newspaper covering Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast

 

Its go time

Its Go Time

Its go time in South Florida.   There’s a different feel in the air with this storm.  Unlike last year’s preparation for Hurricane Matthew, there is a real urgency and sense of panic in the air with Irma.  Comparatively speaking Hurricane Matthew was a relatively small KAT 4 when it threatened our coast.   While Hurricane Irma is a monster KAT 5 with 185 mph winds.   Imagine sustained winds of 185 mph! That’s pure insanity and I want no part of it.

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Here’s the problem, there’s like no gas in Palm Beach County and the turnpike is packed.  Almost all flights are sold out with the exception of transatlantic flights, which I’m not opposed to flying Paris to escape this storm.  However, we have to account for our puppies.  We can’t just pick up and leave our animals and house behind.

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Consequently, I headed to Target right after I got home from work.  The shelves were empty.  Sadly, the only bread remaining was gluten free or take and bake bread.  Needless to say, I will be baking the take and bake bread tomorrow.  When Jake and I ventured down the canned food aisle it was truly a waste of time.  There was nothing left on the shelves.  Shoppers had already scooped up everything even the canned salmon and anchovies.  You know you’re desperate when your buying canned salmon.

Unfortunately for Goalielocks and the Mayor, the my fellow shoppers had bought all the milk.  Shoppers only left the lactose free, almond milk, cashew milk and soy milk left behind.  Thankfully,  the hubby and I drink almond milk.  I would have preferred to have bought the shelf stable variety, but that was sold out.  Happily, I can say that people were polite and rather congenial at the store.  For a minute, I almost forgot I was in South Florida.    It may seem crazy, but the anticipation is almost as bad as the actual storm.

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The models continue to show a major impact to our coast.  We’re hoping the storm slides a little east, so we can be on the west side of the eye wall.  Conversely, we are hoping and praying that we do not end up being hit by the storm’s northeast quadrant.   As we experienced with Hurricane Wilma in 2005, we anticipate this to be largely a wind event for us.

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Based on the last update, it looks like the weather will start deteriorating late Saturday night.  Meanwhile, the worst of the storm should arrive in South Florida Sunday afternoon.  Since there’s no flights and no fuel, we’ve been brainstorming how we could evacuate.   My Mayor had the best idea ever.    He suggested that we pack ourselves in a box with food and ship ourselves to Minnesota via UPS.   If Irma is still a KAT 5 Saturday, we may have no choice, but to UPS ourselves out of here!

 

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