The Tropics

The tropics have fired up early this year! Tropical Storm Cristobal is churning away in the Gulf of Mexico bringing much of the Florida peninsula rain today. Markedly, today is the first day in a minute that we haven’t received significant rain. Nonetheless, it’s still overcast and cloudy and we didn’t see the sunrise and won’t see the sunset either.

Unfortunately, the path a head for the storm brings it to our airmen’s doorsteps. Fortunately, it appears to be mainly a rainmaker at this point. Also, they’re forecasting it to remain a tropical storm at landfall. This is obviously a good thing, but it along with the path could change at any point. Fortunately, his base has been through these things before and is well prepared for whatever Cristobal will bring.

Since the weather’s still questionable and we’re still staying home as much as possible, I made today productive. Or at least as productive as I could. Fortunately, I got a lot done around the house. I started cleaning our bathroom, but fill finish it tomorrow. However, I was was as able to get the laundry completed. Naturally, I spend a lot of time straightening up the family and room and living rooms because that’s where the dogs spend most of their time.

Unbeknownst to me, Anakin stuck outside behind me when I went outside to shake out the broom. You can. Imagine my surprise when coming out of the bathroom two minutes later, I couldn’t find him anywhere. And then I heard him barking. The poor guy snuck outside and was at the front door waiting for me to open it. Thankfully, he’s a well trained puppy and didn’t run off. Obviously, we were both relieved when he made his way back inside. Nonetheless, I’m sure there are plenty of untold stories from his outdoor adventure today.

Before all of that nonsense, I got in my fourth run of the week. I decided to do a hybrid steady state and HIIT. After warming up, I ran five minutes at a steady state before walking. Once I started walking, I started the interval work. For this I alternated every 30 seconds between 7.0-8.0 mph sprints and walks at 3 mph. Clearly, this type of run brings its own challenges, but I find it goes quicker. This is likely due to changing the tempo so frequent. Afterwards, I completed my post run stretch routine, which felt great and continues to keep my legs healthy.

For dinner, I made the hubby and I cumin spiced pork roast served with vegetable fried rice courtesy of Blue Apron. Since I accidentally selected the 2 serving option, I ordered Pizza Hut for the boys. The Mayor was pleased that after having asked everyday for the last week, I finally acquiesced to his request. Fortunately, both their pizza and our pork with fried rice were great. Since we were doing carry out at Pizza Hut, we ate dinner a little bit earlier than normal as the hubby picked it up on his way home.

Today’s featured picture comes courtesy of my mother’s garden in Minnesota. The pink and white flowers are peonies. My great grandmother passed these beautiful plants down to my mother. I always loved going to my great grandmother’s house and seeing the peonies that lined her driveway in bloom. Indeed getting out of the car was a treat as the sweet aroma of the peonies hit your senses. My great grandmother also passed down the purple flower, an iris, to my mom. Unfortunately, I cannot grow either of these flowers in South Florida.

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

*Reading Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Worked on website

*Obedience training Anakin

*Cooked a super yummy dinner courtesy of our friends at Blue Apron.

*Week 3 BBG 2.0 day 6 cardio

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for dinner

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Stopping to Smell the Roses

When I’m back home, my allergies are horrendous.  Here in Norway, they’ve been much better to the point where I can even stop and smell the roses.  My allergies have been present in Norway as there is a lot of pollen this time of year here as well, but they’re significantly less severe.  I enjoyed stopping to smell the roses.

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Even on the worst allergy day here, I can still smell the roses and flowers as I walk by them.  The fragrance of the roses, in particular, is very strong.  The smell is absolutely magnificent.  There is not a candle or potpourri on earth that can replicate the smell of these roses.

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Not only is the aroma amazing, but the flowers on the plants are gigantic, brightly colored and numerous.  Thank goodness for the close up feature on my Canon, which did a pretty good job of capturing the beautiful blooms.

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Beautiful Blossoms

Since I was a young girl, I spent hours in the garden with my mom, my grandmothers, and even my great grandmothers.  In Minnesota, there is no more welcoming site than the tulips breaking through the nearly frozen ground.  The tulips were a sure sign that spring was on its way and winter was starting to lose its grip.  Soon after the daffodils and late season tulips would follow.

My great grandmother’s garden in Minneapolis was absolutely exquisite and huge.  She a beautiful path that wound through the garden and led to a little enclave near a stump where a beautiful and delicate lady slipper could be found. As my great grandmother’s garden grew, she would divide the plants and thin them out to keep the gardens healthy.  The plants that were taken out of the garden were shared with my grandma, my mom and my aunts.  My mom still has peonies that originated from my great grandmother’s garden.

Peonies are my absolute favorite, but unfortunately I can’t grow them in South Florida as it does not get cold enough here.  Now instead of peonies, tulips and roses, I’ve planted gardenias and hibiscus plants.  In addition to the new flowers, we’ve added mangos, avocados, pineapples, limes, key limes and bananas to our garden.

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There’s so much beauty and peace that can be found in the blossom of a flower.  The bloom lives a delicate short existence, but in its short life it brings the world tremendous joy.  The blossom of a flower can teach us many things.  The blossom doesn’t wait for affirmation or bees for it to open.   The flower blooms and the bees come.   Lastly, the blossom is a poignant reminder of how beautiful, delicate and short are existence is on this planet.  Enjoy the beauty of life and don’t wait to blossom.

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