Long Drive

It was a long drive back from South Carolina to Florida last night, but we made it home safely. Fortunately, our drive was a happy one. The Mayor and his team won the championship Monday morning. Excitingly, the Mayor had a hat-trick in the championship game. He was on fire, to put it mildly. Speaking of fire, his goalies had an awesome weekend and earned the team the number one seed.

The problem with most tournaments is that the skill level in the brackets is all over the place. There’s usually a team that gets blown out every game and a team that blows everyone else out. Thankfully, this was not the case this weekend. There was a lot of parity in the U16 bracket. In fact, at the end of the round robin all four teams were tied in points. We had the lowest goals allowed, so we got the number one seed.

After the game we headed back to the hotel, so the Mayor could shower before we started our drive. Obviously, we didn’t want to hit the road with a stinky hockey player. Once he showered, we headed to Ihop for a quick lunch. Ihop definitely hit the spot. We finally hit the road just before 2:00 pm. As we headed out of Charleston, I uploaded and edited the pictures I had taken over the weekend. Thanks to my hotspot, I was able to upload the pics to Shutterfly and share with the team before we left South Carolina.

The drive home was pretty uneventful except for a major accident of the north side I95 in Georgia. Traffic on the southbound side didn’t slow too much despite the helicopter landing on the other side of the interstate. Its never gold to see the helicopter. Hopefully, everyone involved will be okay.

We broke up our long drive with a stop at Buc-ees in St. Augustine. For the uninitiated, Buc-ees is a chain of gas stations and convenience stores that are very large in scale. The chain is from Texas and it lives up to the reputation that everything is bigger in Texas. At the Saint Augustine location, there are 104 had pumps. The amount of food, drinks and random things sold at the store was overwhelming. However, I would highly recommend the chopped brisket sandwich. It was really good.

Swiss Cake Roll

I have loved Swiss cake rolls since elementary school, but I never thought of baking my own. After all, Little Debbie did a hell of a job with the tasty treat. And then I saw them bake a Swiss cake roll on the Great British Bakeoff. Consequently, I knew I had to give it a try. Yesterday I baked one for the first time and it was delicious, so I thought I’d share the recipe tonight.

Swiss Cake Roll

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 10-12 minutes
Rest time: 3:5- 4:00 hours
Total Time: 4-4.75 hours

Tools needed:

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder plus ¼ cup for rolling
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Line a standard 11”x17” jelly-roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper; spray paper generously with nonstick baking spray. Do not skip the nonstick baking spray. Set pan aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and vanilla together on high speed for 4-5 minutes, or until mixture turns foamy and lemon yellow in color.
  • Add sugar to the bowl in (3) separate ¼-cup additions, mixing for 1 full minute after each addition.
  • Add oil and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Fold flour mixture into the egg mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking pan. (Tip: Spread batter evenly to edges using an offset spatula.) Tap pan on counter several times to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched in center. While cake is baking, lay a large, thin kitchen cloth on counter. Sprinkle cocoa powder generously on top of cloth.
  • Once baked, immediately flip hot cake out onto the cocoa-dusted cloth. Remove and discard parchment paper. Starting with a short end of the cake, roll up cake (and cloth). Let rolled cake cool completely (2 hours) before continuing.

For the filling:

  • Using a medium mixing bowl, add whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer for 3-4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  • Carefully unroll cake and spread frosting evenly on top of cake. (Tip: Make sure to frost all the way to the edges.) Roll cake back up (this time without the towel). Wrap cake roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

For the glaze:

  • Remove the plastic wrap from the cake and place on a cooling rack set over a sheet pan.
  • Using a medium microwaveable bowl, add chocolate chips and whipping cream. Microwave in 20 seconds intervals, stirring after each round, until mixture is smooth.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes, or until mixture has thickened slightly but is still pourable.
  • Pour chocolate glaze evenly on top, spreading evenly over entire cake.
  • Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes to allow glaze to set before slicing.

Notes:

  • If you like mint, you could substitute mint extract for the vanilla extract in the filling
  • You can add sliced strawberries or raspberries on top of the filling for added flavor
  • Cooling time may very based on your climate. The times in this recipe are based on the South Florida climate.

Friday Night Poetry

It’s Friday night, so it’s time for some beautiful and inspiring Friday night poetry. Tonight’s poem “Invictus” was written by William Ernest Henley.

Friday Night Poetry

“Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be. For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance.
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
  Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
 I am the captain of my soul.”

—”Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley

I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment of Friday night poetry. I for on am thrilled have made it to the weekend.

Missing Skill

Today’s bloganury prompt is all about the missing skill you wish you had. I haven’t participated bloganury yet, but with nothing else compelling to write here I am. The one missing skill I wish I had was singing. I cannot carry a tune to save my life and I love singing. In fact, I’m quite jealous of all the amazing singers in my life. This is also why I was in band and not choir.

So I was finally able to workout today. I’ve taken the past couple of days off because I jacked my knee up. Consequently, I substituted body weight exercises for the plyometric exercises. While I was able to get through the workout, my knee didn’t tolerate it very well. It’s swollen and a bit weak. I’m probably gonna need to wear a knee brace when I run and workout. Obviously, I have my fingers crossed hoping I can run tomorrow. If my knee doesn’t tolerate it, I’ll pivot to walking immediately.

Since the boys are back in school, it’s back to the status quo during the day. My door is always open to my sales assistant, who never judge me for my missing skill. Even if I’m singing Metallica poorly at the top of my lungs. They probably think I’m trying to speak their language. Nonetheless, thank god for dogs that love us unconditionally.

Winter Break

Winter break is over for the boys. They’ll finally head back to school tomorrow after a nice break. Of course, they’re just in time for the omicron variant, which means we’ll receive a boundless number of emails from school about it. Honestly, the Covid fatigue is real. I’m over all of it. Fortunately, there is no chance that they’ll go virtual, which will save my sanity.

Tomorrow the puppies and I will get back to our well established routine. While the boys are home, the puppies are a bit all over the place. They bark to get into our room and then bark or get out. Unfortunately, there’s just so much going on that they can’t decide where they want to hangout. Normally, I leave my door open so they can come and go as they please. However, that isn’t feasible when the boys are home from school.

I finished The Diary of Ann Boleyn, by Robin Maxwell last night. It was an entertaining read that fed my Tudor obsession very nicely. I’ve already ordered her other books about the Tudors. It’s all Hillary Mantel’s fault. Her Wolf Hall trilogy about Thomas Cromwell is absolutely outstanding. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Tonight I’ll be starting another Mantel novel albeit not one that involves the Tudors. After this book, I’ll circle back to Robin Maxwell and the Tudors.

Reading has long been a love of mine. For many years, I neglected this love, but not anymore. I’ve made reading daily a priority for the last three years, which has been wonderful. I’m slowly working my way through the top 500 novels. What books have you been reading? Did you ready anything interesting over winter break?

Back To It

Well I was back to it today after taking most of last week off. Unfortunately my computer, or more to the point my wifi, didn’t want to cooperate this morning. Fortunately, I was able to resolve the issue relatively quickly and then had no issues the rest of the day. Thankfully, I was much busier at work today than I have been. Woohoo!


It felt good to be back. Admittedly, I like and need the structure. Before going back to work today, I spent the weekend relaxing at home. I baked a tiramisu and prime rib roast on Saturday, which was mighty tasty. Yesterday, the hubby and I took the puppies for a walk in the Glades. It was an absolutely beautiful morning. The puppies had a great time. I, however, was disappointed that we didn’t see any alligators.

The rest of the day, we binge watched the Office and It’s Always Sunny. We had planned on having leftovers for dinner, but I changed my mind. Consequently, I sent Goalielocks and his GF to the store to get supplies for homemade pizzas. The only crust they had available was mini pizzas and a brand I’ve never eaten before. Thankfully, the new crust was mighty tasty and the perfect size.


Hubby and the Mayor are back to it tonight. That is back at hockey practice as we resume our normal schedule. This of course means a mad dash until SAHOF (the state tournament.) I’m loving my new planner and productivity stickers. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stay on top of our collective, crazy schedules.

Great Appointment

I had a great appointment with my endo today. She’s lowering my Synthroid dose (sort of,) which should normalize my thyroid levels. I say sort of because I’ll be cutting one Synthroid pill in half on Sundays. This way I don’t have to throw out the prescription I just refilled. Lastly, I don’t have to go back until June, which is also great news.

The rest of the day was not as great as my great appointment. While work was hopping yesterday, today it was deader than a door nail. I love my job, but I hate being bored. Obviously, I can’t wait until it picks up again in January. I work tomorrow, Thursday and Monday. After that I’ll be off for the rest of the year. Yay!

I was concerned about running with my thyroid levels being off, but my doctor cleared me for activity. Yay! Unfortunately, either my allergies or the common cold starting kicking my arse today. Consequently, I decided to rest today instead of running. I’m still planning on doing my BBG workout tomorrow morning. Unless, I wake up and feel like a truck hit me, which would be super lame.

Almost Christmas

It’s almost Christmas and I’m nowhere near ready. I think, like most other parents, I find December to be completely overwhelming. The only kid I’ve finished shopping for is Jake. However, I had to finish shopping for him early due to potential shipping delays. As for everyone else, I still have a lot shopping to do. I also have quite a bit of baking to finish.

Tomorrow I see my endo, which I’m excited for. I’m back to being hyperthyroid, which is no good. I’d like to be sure that I still have the all clear to workout. Unfortunately, hyperthyroidism can come with some nasty and dangerous cardiac issues, which is super lame. Nevertheless, I’m hoping I don’t have to wait for my thyroid levels get back to normal before I can workout again.

This is an expected bump in the road. Our bodies are always changing, so the Synthroid has to be adjusted accordingly. Nonetheless, I have so much to do that I don’t need anything else to worry about. I recently saw a meme that speaks to how most moms feel this time of the year… There’s so much for us to do that it can be overwhelming. Especially as we as it’s almost Christmas.

Yesterday Goalielocks had games because the league never returned out coach’s call. We had two kids out sick with COVID exposure, but since we’re not the Makos we played with a short bench. I keep reminding myself that we only have a short time left in this infuriating league. Honestly, I’ve never seen a league that applies the rules so disproportionately.

Moreover, this is the first league we’ve been apart of where the rules that are adopted are punitive or the kids and not the adults. For example, the league penalizes thr kids instead of punishing coaches or organizations. (and Like the Makos U18AA head coach coming into my kid’s locker room to recruit players before our game.) A player has to play single A because the percentage of returning players is too low on the AA team. How about instead of penalizing the kids, you penalize the known offenders?

Anyway, Goalielocks and his goalie mate had great games. We ended up winning the first game 4-2. Goalielocks had the best game I’ve seen him play in awhile. Although to be fair, I’ve missed a lot of his games this season. His goalie partner was equally impressive in the second game. They’re such a great tandem. They really enjoy each other’s company and support each other. It was a great Sunday for our Tendies!

Made it

After a sixteen hour shift yesterday, I can say I made it. AEP is over and normal life can resume. It’s been a crazy, productive and draining seven weeks, but I’m proud of how it went. However, I’m relieved the grind is over for a bit. Today was so dead, they let us leave early which was a total gift. It was slow, I was starting to fall asleep at my desk.

Since I got off earlier than expected, I was able to get some stuff down around the house. I took care of the laundry that’s been waiting to be fold since AEP started. I’m only kidding, the laundry hasn’t been sitting around that long. While I folded laundry and took care of the dishes, I finished the current season of the Great British Bake-off. I love that show and will be baking a ton over the next four days.

The best part of yesterday was receiving videos and photos of my oldest’s promotion ceremony. It was so much fun to see him being promoted. Moreover, I loved seeing the camaraderie that exists within his squadron. Honestly, love seeing how well he is loved and treated. It definitely puts my mom heart and mind at ease. The Hubby and I are so proud!

Kindness

So I wrote about struggles last night and choosing kindness. I thought I’d share an example of kindness we witnessed on Thanksgiving. This year, like every other year, we headed to my brother’s in Boca for Thanksgiving dinner. This time it would be our family, Richard and his wife along with a Richard’s dad and his partner.

Shortly after we got there, I noticed an individual I didn’t recognize. I thought perhaps he came with Richard’s dad and his partner. This young man was non-verbal autistic and was plugging his ears due to the noise. He walked around the island looking at the food. Suddenly, he put his hands into the brownie tray and grabbed a handful of brownies and ate them.

After he finished the brownies, he moved on to the chips and dip. At this point, several of us are horrified that whoever’s he’s with isn’t stopping him from eating potato chips and French onion dip directly from the container with a spoon. Eventually, my brother and sister-in-law figured it out. It was there new neighbor’s son, who is non-verbal.

My brother walked over to his house to talk to his parents. Their only response to my brother was that they had told him not to go inside the house. Obviously, this didn’t stop him from entering the house. My brother came back into the house to escort him out. However, before Jon walked the surprise visitor back to his house, he put the dip and bowl of chips on a plate for him to take home.

While my brother and his wife could have raised hell over their neighbor walking in and helping himself to their food on Thanksgiving, they didn’t. They chose to treat him with kindness and dignity. Unfortunately, his parents don’t supervise him very well. This story could have easily had a different ending. After all, this is Florida where people shoot first and ask questions later.