Hockey Season

Hockey Season is in Full Swing

.After a somewhat disjointed start, our hockey season is in fully swing.  The start of our hockey season was hijacked by a hurricane named Irma, which is a bit ironic for this winter sport.  However, this is one of the hazards of Florida hockey.  This time last year, our Columbus Day tournament was cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew, which barely missed our coast.  While most hockey families up north may have to contend with the occasional snowstorm and blizzard, here in Florida our chief weather worry is a hurricane.  I stayed glued to NOAA’s website during hurricane season and the beginning of hockey season.

To me there is no better way to spend a Sunday than watching my boys play hockey.  Today it was the Mayor’s turn.  His squad took on the team from Miami and from Pompano Beach.  It was a split decision for our peewees or U12 as they call them now.  Both games the squad gave a solid effort, but we just didn’t have enough in the tank to bring the second game home.  Nonetheless, the Mayor was quick to point out his team was 1-1, while his brother’s team was 0-2.  Score one for sibling rivalry.

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This morning, before we left, the Mayor stole his brother’s warm up shirt that honors our dear friend Debbie.   Surprisingly, Goalielocks did not pitch a fit when he saw his brother wearing his shirt.  It was actually pretty sweet that he let the Mayor wear it.  He looked super cute and the shirt proved to be quite popular.

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One thing I enjoy about watching the Mayor play is that he plays with all his heart.  By far, he is the smallest kid on the ice, but he plays like he’s 6 ft. tall.  Moreover, there is something incredibly gratifying about watching yours kids do what they love.  I can’t wait to watch him play in the tournament this weekend.

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One thing I could do without is the god awful smell of the hockey equipment.  The stench of the Mayor and his gear effectively killed my appetite as we drove home tonight.  It’s an amazingly awful smell that likely protects our house from intruders.  I’m fairly certain if they approach our garage, they start to smell the equipment and likely think there’s a dead animal or worse in said garage.

Thanks to a lunch trip to Buffalo Wild Wing, between games, I probably ingested more sodium in one lunch than the preceding month.  Sadly, the menus at  BWWs now have the calories listed next to all menu items.  Consequently, the menu is an absolute buzz kill and reminder of why America, myself included, is fat.

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Trying to get back on the wagon post Irma is proving to be quite a challenge.  Unfortunately, the busy days travelling with hockey do not help.  I suppose it doesn’t help when you bake apple pies at home either, but what did I do Sartuday?  I baked a pie I saw on Snap Chat.  I’m already exhausted by Monday and we’re only heading back into the work week now.  My disciplined eating habits driven by a busy schedule and lack of appetite will be back in full force.

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reality

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.

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Finding the Rainbow In the Storm

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

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Here are some of the rainbows I found this weekend:

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

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

Irma's aftermath

Irma’s Aftermath

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

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

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

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

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

Irma

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. 

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Hurricane Irma Sunday Morning

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

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

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

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

 

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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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