Wonderful Weekend

I had a wonderful weekend and am ready for the work week. After a productive day at work Saturday, Goalielocks and I headed to the Luke Combs concert with my bro, sister-in-law, Richard and Suelen. To be honest, I’ve never been a country music fan. However, Goalielocks and I would listen to Combs every time we drove to Miami for hockey his U16AA season. Luke Combs’ music brings up so many great memories of that season and of spending time with him.

I’ve never seen the BB&T Center (or whatever it’s now called) so full. It was filled to the brim. Consequently, it took us over thirty minutes to actually get into the stadium for the show. We’ve been there a lot for hockey games and have never waited more than five minutes to get into the arena. Fortunately, our seats were club level so the lines for the bar and the bathroom were not bad. The lines on the 100 level, however, were absolutely ridiculous. I did get to see some of my favorite people from Kaplan, which was epic.

Many artists sound way better on their records, but not Luke Combs. To be clear, he sounds amazing on his records. It’s just he sounds even better in person. His voice is absolutely incredible and so was the crowd. The arena had an amazing energy that I wish we could bottle and preserve for the Panthers games. At any rate, if you have an opportunity to see Luke Combs, even if you’re not into country music, you should see him. After all, according to Goalielocks Comb is baseball cap or bass fishing cap country not cowboy boots and cowboy hat country.

I spent Sunday baking and organizing. I baked a French apple tart and made some chocolate avocado mousse. Both turned out really well. Additonally, I cooked pasta with lamb sauce, but I wasn’t thrilled with how it turned out. Don’t get me wrong, it was good just not as good as the last time I made it. Nevertheless, we had an awesome dinner before heading outside for Halloween.

It was a beautiful evening, so we rolled the cooler over to Carrie and Mark’s for drinks and trick or treating. Unfortunately, the trick or treaters were sparse and we have entirely too much candy leftover. Clearly, I don’t need lots of candy in the house on top of the tart and mousse. Even though there were few trick or treaters, we had a great time hanging out with our neighbors.

It was a wonderful weekend. In fact, I even took Anakin on a run for the first time since last spring. Goalielocks and his girlfriend carved pumpkins and then took some great picture at the farmers market near us. They turned out great. Meanwhile, the Mayor had a wonderful weekend with his boys.

Ready To Rest

Well, the tournament is over and I’m ready to rest. Unfortunately, this comes just in time for Monday. Oh the joys of the dawn of a new work week. This Friday AEP starts, so it will be a mad dash for seven weeks. I’ll be working seven days a week for the next seven weeks. At least, I’ll be busy.

I had an interesting incident occur today. A couple of things, I find passive aggressive people annoying. If you have something to say, freaking say it. That being said, however, I find a lack of reading comprehension and critical thinking to be even more aggravating. If I may be so bold as to offer a piece of advice, you should avoid me if the aforementioned items describe you.

The boys had a great game this morning. They won decisively with an 8-0 final. Fortunately, the scoring came from all lines. It was fun to watch how well they can work together. Since they won the semi-final, they were off to the finals this evening. Tonight’s game was against the Flames, who beat the boys 7-2 last night.

Tonight’s game went better, but the boys came up short. They lost 3-0. Nonetheless, it was fun to see how much the team has progressed since the first tournament. The Flames team is now, but by the end of the season our Hawks team will beat them. Moreover, they’ll beat them when it really counts. And now I’m ready to rest.

Mixed Bag

Today’s games brought a mixed bag of good and ugly. Typically, I’d say good and bad. However, tonight’s game was just plain ugly. This afternoon I thought the boys looked pretty good. Unfortunately, as good as they played this morning, they played the polar opposite tonight.

If I’m being honest, you can always tell my feelings on the game by the music I play. By the end of the game, it was all about Rammstein and Five Fingered Death Punch. So yeah, it went great. I did, however, work in a little Miley Cyrus for my bro and because why not. If they a complete gong show, why shouldn’t I join them in the party.

We have one more game tomorrow, so hopefully they play like they did last night and this morning. Let me tell you when this team is on, they’re on. They’re fun to watch and they’re having a blast playing together. To be fair, even in losing, they have fun and treat each other well. Tonight wasn’t their tonight, but tomorrow will be there day.

Hopefully, tomorrow its not a mixed bag at the rink. On the family front, it sounds like my Grandma will be discharged from the hospital tomorrow. She had surgery Thursday and had hoped to be home Friday. Despite still being in the hospital, she’s doing remarkably well considering her age.

Fatigue

Guys the Covid fatigue is real and it couldn’t come at a worst time. Now more that ever, however, it is important to be vigilant and protects ourselves and our families. I know I’m sick of hearing/reading about it everywhere for the last fifteen months. Honestly, I’m most sick of the assholes on Facebook that think their opinions on masks and vaccines are important. Spoiler alert they’re not. Both sides are excruciatingly vapid and sanctimonious. At the end of the day, opinions on social media do nothing but turn people off. Moreover, the only opinion that should matter to anyone is the advice of their doctor. Rant over.

Of course Covid fatigue isn’t the only type of fatigue we’re battling here. With the school year and hockey season back in full swing, we’ve accepted that we’ll be exhausted for the next ten months. This year we have practice on four of five weekdays, which is great. One day off during the week is a bit brutal, but it could be worse. Practice could be five days a week like it was several years ago.

Speaking of hockey, last night we went out to dinner with some of our favorite hockey parents. I was super excited to try the prix fixe menu for Dine Out Delray. The best part of trying the special menu is it forces me to try something I wouldn’t ordinarily order. I already knew what I was going to order before we walked in the door.

Unfortunately, the experience didn’t live up to the expectations. We were sat outside, which is an incredibly beautiful space. Sadly, it was also as hot as Hades. It took almost an hour before anyone took even our drink order and another hour to get our drinks. The whole dinner took over three hours. In contrast, the dinner at the steakhouse with 15 people took less than 90 minutes. Moreover, there was no excuse for the slowness as the restaurant was not full. We won’t be going back.

The dining didn’t live up to expectations, but fortunately the company exceeded expectations. People think travel hockey (travel sports) parents are crazy for the amount of time and money they invest into the sport. Fortunately, the time and money has paid dividends in life experiences and friendships that will last long after our travel hockey days are done. Yeah, we do it for our kids and they benefit greatly, but so do their parents.


On a side note, I spent some time updating the blog including my awesome Savings page. Affiliate relationships help cover the costs of this blog at no cost to my readers. Several companies are running some incredible sales in August. You can see them all on the savings page.

Lastly, a prayer request. Today one of the Mayor’s teammates lost his father to Covid. Please keep his teammate and his family in your prayers. Please also protect yourself and your family as best as possible because this thing is insidious and deadly even though Covid fatigue has set in.

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

*I’m reading Far From the Madding Crowdby Thomas Hardy. At first I wasn’t sure about the book, but now I like it. Albeit some of the plot twists have left me aghast.

*I ran for the first time since getting sick. It felt both glorious and awful all at once. My fellow runners will understand exactly what I mean.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, all the tropical weather is moving away from us! Unfortunately, the heat has really cranked up with heat indexes in the triple digits.

*I actually drove to my Dunkin’ this morning, which was awesome sauce. It’s always good to see my Dunkin’ crew.

*For dinner, the Hubby made Osso Bucco for dinner. Honestly, it was was amazing. Furthermore, the stew meat from Butcher Box was a big win.

*Today’s word of the day is destination. Life is a journey and we’re all headed to the same destination, so enjoy the journey.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Furthermore, he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness

Celebrate

Celebrate good times my friends. It is the weekend. We have waited all week, since Monday Eve, for this moment. This week has brought a mixed bag of success and weird ass people without bank accounts. I mean it’s 2021, who the freak doesn’t have a bank account or at least a prepaid debit or credit card?

Anyway, it’s the weekend and I couldn’t be happier. Tomorrow we’re having dinner with some great friends in Delray. I’m not sure if I’m more excited about the drink menu, the prix fixe menu for Dine Out Delray, or the company we’ll be keeping. Honestly, I’m most excited about the company. We’ll be having dinner with our BFFs and the Parkers, who we haven’t seen in ages.

The last decade of our life has been dominated by travel hockey and thank god. Thankfully, we’ve met so many wonderful people and formed so many awesome relationships. Over the years, the friends have become family. As much time and money as we’ve spent, it’s been well worth the investment for that reason alone. Of course, the kids have also benefited from the experience.

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

*I’m reading Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy.

*I’m still recovering from the cold. Consequently, I think took another rest day.

*We’re tracking the Tropics here in Florida. Fortunately, all the tropical weather is moving away from us! Unfortunately, the heat has really cranked up with heat indexes in the triple digits.

*Uber Eats delivered my Dunkin’ this morning, which was awesome sauce.

*Today I watched the live Safari Cam, which is always amazing. I love seeing all the animals of the African bush in real time.

*For dinner, the Hubby made steak fajitas for dinner. Honestly, they were amazing. Furthermore, the flank steak from Butcher Box was a big win.

*Today’s word of the day is resignation. Unfortunately, this afternoon I was resigned to the fact that all my leads sucked until I spoke with a very gracious gentleman from gracious. I definitely wanted to celebrate that sale!

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk. Furthermore, he didn’t pull my arm off or anything like that. I put on his harness


The Day is Finally Here

The day is finally here that special day we have all longed for. The end of 2020. To be certain, 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year, but that’s not to say there weren’t some bright spots. It’s become too easy to focus on all the negative 2020 has brought, mostly because it’s omnipresent, but 2020 has also brought us some blessings. First of all, we got a chance to slow down the pace of life. The pandemic brought a hard stop to the incredible business of our lives. Since our kids started travel hockey a decade ago, every weekday and weekend has been incredibly busy. It was nice, for once, to not have anywhere to go. Obviously, the novelty of nothing to do wore off really quickly.

Unquestionably, 2020’s greatest blessing was watching our son graduate from BMT. Having a kid far from home with no way to contact them was a test of strength for us. His graduation couldn’t come fast enough for the hubby and me. When we caught our first glimpse of him during the Airmen’s Run, we could tell he had changed. The way he carried himself was completely different. In fact, I would say we dropped off a boy at the recruiter’s office in December to be reunited with a man at BMT graduation. Truly, the change was that dramatic. More importantly, it was obvious that he was where he belonged.

His class was one of the last classes to have public graduation ceremonies before the pandemic shut them down. In fact, our first clue at how severe this pandemic would become while on base for his graduation. We just happened to be on base when the Americans evacuated from Wuhan arrived on JBSA Lackland and the base hotel. It was surreal seeing the CDC folks there in their contagion suits. I shudder to think of how I would have felt if we had been denied the opportunity to see him graduate from Bootcamp. Undoubtedly, his BMT graduation will forever be one of my best and proudest memories.

Of course, he left BMT for tech school and his transition continued. Now he’s at this FDS and in his first “real” job. I have no idea what he does, but I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular. Nevertheless, 2020 gave us the gift of watching our child launch from unsure teenager to mature and gainfully employed adult. That’s pretty awesome! There will be no “Failure to Launch” parodies inspired by this kid. Now our oldest has started his career in a growing field, which will always be in demand, and continues to develop in his role in the service. Moreover, he’s taking advantage of the resources provided to continue his education and broaden his skill set. I’d say we’re pretty proud of him, but that would be a gross understatement of how we feel about his accomplishments.

2020 also brought us our newest addition to the family, Anakin. It’s been almost a year since we’ve added him to the family. Athena and Maya love him dearly and he loves them. Amazingly, all three dogs get along very well. He and Athena have the best time playing together, while Maya basks in the joys of being left alone. Albeit, Maya does like to join in on the play from time to time. She does, however, enjoy the fact that Athena no longer harasses her to play all day every day. All three dogs are happy to have Jake home for the holidays. They also enjoy our new normal of work from home and virtual school.

Anyway, the day is finally here. We’ve waited since March for this dreaded dumpster fire of a year to be over. While I sift out the negativity that 2020 brought, over and over and over again, I count the blessings that the year brought. I reflect in gratitude at how much good came out of a year that was so very bad. Here’s to 2021 a year full of love, gratitude, health, and opportunity!

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

*I read The Red and The Black, Stendhal by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 8, which means it is cardio day. However, I still have to complete the arm workout.

*I’m so excited!!!! He’s here!

*Our NYE’s plans have completely blown up as our youngest was exposed to the virus. He won’t be playing in that 3v3 tournament after all. Bummer!

*I will, hopefully, finish my baking again. We’re doing a brunch 2.0 for Jake.

*Today I ran two miles and walked a quarter of a mile. I’ve started running with Anakin outside since the weather has been nice. He’s much faster than me, so it’s been quite the adventure.

*Today’s word of the day is turn. I cannot wait for the year to turn as I watch the countdown in understated elegance (aka my pajamas.)

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin 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 of the day is How Great Thou Art performed by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill:

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours. As I write this, we’re still celebrating with family at my brother’s house. I thought I’d write while we wait for the the steaks to be finished. Lord knows I could use some protein after carb loading this morning. Speaking of morning, I started my day early since I decided to make a double batch of caramel rolls.

Before we opened presents, I started the second batch of caramel rolls. Meanwhile, I set out the first batch to bring the dough back to room temperature. Fortunately, the boys sleep in later on Christmas morning now that they’re older. I even managed to make a quick trip to Dunkin to grab a coffee before we opened presents.

It was awesome having Jake back home to open presents. We definitely missed him last year. Although he was the highlight of last year’s brunch when he called us from BMT to wish us a merry Christmas. I know having him home for the holidays is the equivalent of winning the military lottery, so I’m cherishing our holiday all together. I was definitely filled with jubilation when I heard his leave had been approved.

We had a wonderful brunch with family and friends, who have become friends. In addition to our traditional mimosas, I added a peach Bellini to the drink menu. Additionally, my sister-in-law added some coquito to the mix. Unbelievably, we went through more than 40 rolls, a pan and a half of cholesterol bake, hash browns and countless cookies. Needless to say, we were all in a carb coma after the meal.

Afterwards, we cleaned up the leftovers, while the Roomba vacuumed up for us. The hubby took a quick nap and then we headed over to Mel’s house for games. At Mel’s we played dachshund themed Monopoly game followed by poker. I lost badly at both games.


Now we’re finishing the day at my brother’s house with another awesome meal. Fortunately, this one is heavy on the protein. Albeit, I couldn’t pass up Brandi’s incredible hash browns. Consequently, I have now eaten enough in one day to meet my calorie requirement for the rest of December. For the love of humanity and my clothes, I should probably fast all day tomorrow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Still Don’t Know What Day It Is

I still don’t know what day it is. Early into the pandemic, I wrote a post about having no idea what day of the week it was now that everything is on a from home basis. Flash forward to now and I still don’t know what day it is. You would think it would have gotten marginally easier as time elapsed and some normal activities have started again. But alas, I’m still lost. In fact, I spent much of today thinking it was Friday. However, as my calendar so painfully reminded me, it is only Thursday or Friday eve.

It would be magnificent if it was Friday as it would mean my new fridge would be here and the workweek would be almost over. As it happens, I’ll have to cook one more dinner traipsing between the garage fridges and the kitchen. Our fridge is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow between 7:00 am and 1:00 pm. If there anything like AT&T, they’ll arrive in January. Obviously, I’m hoping that there on time and nice, professional people. Honestly, I’m a little fearful of having them deliver a fridge without the hubby home. After all, a delivery man employed by Best Buy’s delivery contractor murdered a woman last year when delivering an appliance. If you haven’t read the story, it’s horrific.

Also, if it was Friday, I’d be one day closer to Jake being home. I mean, the countdown is on! I cannot wait to have all three of my boys back under the same roof even if it is only for a short time. As for the younger two, they’re pumped that Jake will be home for Christmas. We are all looking forward to seeing how Maya and Athena react to having him home. Athena is quite perceptive. Every-time he would come home from the recruiter’s office, she would be depressed. It was like she knew that recruiter was going to her Jake away from home. Needless to say, I think she’ll be beside herself when he gets home.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 4 of BBG 3.0 week 6, which means it cardio day. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather yesterday, so I’ll be completing the upper body workout today.

*I’m so excited!!!! I’m counting down the days until my oldest boy comes home for Christmas! His arrival is getting closer!!!!!

*I still don’t know what day it is…..

*Today I ran a mile and walked a mile. It went well today.

*Today’s word of the day is bomb. I hope I don’t bomb my life insurance licensing exam tomorrow. Instead of decorating with rustic simplicity, I’ve been studying the nuances of life insurance.

*I love the footprints the puppies leave on the patio when coming back in every morning. I’m a bit sick of them tracking in the mud on the freshly vacuumed white tiles. It has been so humid here in the mornings that they’re getting a bit muddy in the backyard.

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin 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 of the day is Forever (Garage Version) by Mumford & Sons:

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O Tannebaum

O Tannebaum that wonderful Christmas song celebrating the arboreal symbol of our greatest holiday Christmas has been playing in my head since yesterday. Last night, we put up our new tree. I had ordered it after Thanksgiving and they finally delivered it yesterday. To be fair, when I say we, I really mean the hubby put up our new tree. While it needs some plumping and some time to decompress from its packaging, it still looks pretty good. Immediately, it’s presence transformed the house into a place of holiday warmth and good tidings. It’s no wonder we left it up so long last year. It’s hard to be upset or disappointed when looking at a beautiful tree.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to start decorating the tree tonight and this weekend, which will only add to the cheer it brings. This year I’ve added a few Air Force ornaments to celebrate Jake’s service. Over the years, I’ve also picked up Christmas ornaments throughout our travels. Scandinavians know how to do Christmas, so I bought plenty of Christmas decorations while in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Not only do they represent our heritage, but each decoration carries with it memories from our travels. Consequently, since we haven’t been able to travel much this year, our memories of journeys past will have to sustain us during this time of pandemic.

As we get ready to decorate the house, I’m reminded of how much I need to bake. This year I’m planning to make Pulla (Finnish cardamon bread,) Joulutortu (Finnish Christmas star cookies,) mint cookies, Krumkakes (Norwegian cookies,) Kringla (Norwegian cookies,) and lefse. Ordinarily, my mom and grandmother make molasses cookies, which I love. I have found, however, that with the humidity in Florida it is hard to make good molasses cookies. They usually come out to wet or way too dense. Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to baking this holiday season. For the star cookies and krumkakes, I’m planning to use cloudberry, lingonberry and blueberry. My personal favorite is the cloudberry.

Unrelated to Christmas, Anakin starts puppy kindergarten today. He really needs training as it has been delayed due to COVID. Due to the pandemic, we’re bringing someone into the house to work with him one on one. He’s a fabulous puppy, but he needs to be better trained. I’m excited to see how he does with the trainer.

And now for some entertainment, here’s the Mayor singing his version of O Tannebaum on a random drive to the rink nine years ago.

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

*I read The Idiot, by Fyodor Dosytoevsky

*It’s day 5 of BBG 3.0 week 4 and I’m doing the ab workout today. If it’s anything like the other two workouts, it’s going to kick my butt.

*Today I ran one mile and walked a mile today.

*Today’s word of the day is propine, which means a gift.

*I’m looking forward to crashing on the couch after work with my beloved puppies!

*Before I crash with the puppies, I will be cooking up a delicious meal courtesy of HelloFresh.

*After today, my running streak stands at 4 days.

*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 sweet Anakin 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!

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Two Day Streak

I don’t mean to brag, but I have a two day streak of getting dressed in real clothes. This is probably the first time since the pandemic started that I’ve worn non-workout clothes on two consecutive days. Last night we went to dinner, so I dressed up. And then today we went to a friend’s house for dinner, so I got dressed up. Don’t fear, however, as I plan to go back to my covid uniform of yoga pants and workout tanks.

Since we we had dinner plans followed by hockey practice, I had to make my morning super productive. First, I had to study insurance for a forthcoming exam. Next I had to complete my BBG ab workout for the week. Finally, I had to log my mile run. Thankfully, all three went superbly. Albeit, I have to say I hate raise leg sit-ups. They’re the absolute worst. Also, I’m still not a fan of half burpees. Nonetheless, I slayed the workout and look forward to my abs being sore tomorrow.

We had dinner at our friends house, so the Mayor could see his injured teammate. AG broke his wrist in the tournament last week. Unfortunately, he’ll be having surgery to correct the break on Wednesday. Please say a prayer that his surgery goes well and recovery is quick. All weekend, my boy has been harassing me asking when we’d be going to his house. I mean non-stop from morning til night.

When we finally headed to their house, the Mayor was quite happy. We had a blast hanging out with them. It’s been far too long since we’ve been on the same hockey team or hung out. If tonight was any indication, we’ll have an incredibly fun season. The food was also delicious. I don’t think I’ll need to eat until tomorrow evening.

Afterward we headed to the rink for practice. Originally, we had hope to setup a scrimmage this weekend, but no teams were available. Fortunately, we were able to run an extra practice with the ice team, which is probably more important than a scrimmage at this point. The squad worked hard and the coaches wore them out. As for the rest of the night, we’re just chilling on the couch watching Family Guy.

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

*I read A Room With A View by E.M Forster

*This morning I completed my independent health insurance study course.

*I ran a mile and walked a mile today.


*After today, I have a two day streak of dressing up and a five day running streak.

*I’m a little jealous that Mel is visiting Jake. I’d love to go for a nice hike on the woodsy side of the mountains.

*BBG 3.0 week 1 day 5: abs, cardio and yoga

*Oh Sally, thanks to you good weather was nothing but an illusion this weekend. 

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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