Eeek!!! This time tomorrow I will be with my oldest in Utah. I’d say I’m excited, but I’m afraid that’s a bit of an understatement. Honestly, I’m over the moon. Our neoprene socks arrived today, so now we’re all set. I picked up the altitude sickness medication and new Epi-pens, so I’m really ready. Okay, maybe I’m more than ready to go. The afternoon at work is going to be way too long. Eeek!
In the interim, I’m just enjoying having the Mayor home for a bit. We had dinner from Sushi Yama last night. We’ve been eating there since they opened when the boys were small. I’ve never had a bad meal there. Well, at least I hadn’t had a bad meal there until last night. I always get chicken teriyaki, which is hard to screw up. Unfortunately, the chicken was so overcooked it was inedible. It looked gross and tasted equally gross. At least I got my money back easily since I had ordered through Grubhub. I love having my groceries and food delivered, these folks are our modern-day milkman.
If I could work any job and money didn’t matter, I’d be a stay-at-home mom, a social worker, or a full-time travel blogger. Unfortunately, money will always matter, so I’m tethered to a 9 to 5 gig until I retire.
My baby’s home for a few days and it’s so nice to have him here. I couldn’t believe how old he looked when he walked in last night. Time has flown by so incredibly fast. He’s doing really well and is enjoying his time on Florida’s west coast. I just have to say we are blessed that he has an incredible billet family and incredible billet brothers. I’m glad to see him thriving away from home. My boy is definitely not tethered to my apron strings. Tonight we’re going to celebrate him being home with some Sushi Yama for dinner.
Meanwhile, I’m still packing for my trip. I didn’t get much down yesterday and need to do some laundry. I’m trying to pack light, since we’ll have laundry at every AirBnB we’re staying at. The hardest part is trying to decide how many pairs of shoes to bring. I’m bringing two pairs of hiking boots/shoes. I have hiking sandals that’ll work well for the hike through the Narrows at Zion. Aside from that, I’m trying to decide if I need to bring dress shoes. We’ll be having dinner out some nights. Clearly, I don’t want to show up in dirty hiking gear. From snippets I’ve read, it seems like Southern Utah has some fine dining options. Hopefully, the food is better there than it is in Ogden.
I’m proud of my family’s Norwegian heritage. When we went to Norway in 2017, it felt like going home. The way people spoke, and the way houses looked back in Minnesota all made sense after that trip. I could see why they immigrated to Minnesota as it looks similar to a lot of Norway. Of course, nothing in Minnesota can compare with the beauty of Fjord Norway although Lake Superior is pretty spectacular. One thing I love about our heritage is that our ancestors wasted nothing. Food and farmable land were scarce, so they used every part of the animal. In fact, it was this ingenuity that led to the creation of Brunost (brown cheese,) which uses whet a byproduct of the cheese-making process as its main ingredient.
I had a great time this weekend with the puppies traipsing through the neighborhood. I spent much of it at home binge-watching Sex Education on Netflix. The show is both well-written and well-acted. Gillian Anderson’s performance is amazing. Needless to say, the show was really entertaining and provided a good backdrop to my weekend and my weekend chores. I have to say it’s nice to have full authority over what I watch on television. It’s been a long time since that’s happened.
Saturday afternoon I made it out for my good friend Lisa’s birthday party. Lisa is one of my favorite Kaplan people and I hadn’t seen her in so long, so I didn’t want to miss it. The weather was looking a bit sketchy, so I was worried there’d be a shower or two, but the weather held out. This is important since the party was on a tiki taxi that cruises the Intracoastal. For $10, you can ride it for as long as you’d like and it comes back to the dock on the hour. It also has a bar onboard and a jukebox. Ok, probably not a jukebox, but the music covered all the genres much like a jukebox.
In addition to Lisa, there were a bunch of great people from Kaplan that I hadn’t seen in forever. I got laid off shortly before the pandemic, which really put a damper on all of our social lives. I’ve seen a couple of them at concerts, but it was so good to see so many folks in person again and reconnect. We ended up in the tiki taxi for a couple of hours. The weather was overcast with a nice breeze, which was perfect because it kept us from getting too hot. It was a great night.
Yesterday I spent the morning doing chores. After lunch, I headed to Terri and PJ’s house for coffee. It was nice to see them again. I haven’t seen anyone for months thanks in part to travel and an autoimmune flare. Thankfully, I think I’ve been on the upswing. Hopefully, my doctor will think so too when I go see her for a follow-up tomorrow. I ended my weekend with some sushi and more Netflix. It was a great weekend.
The best advice I was given was to cherish and enjoy my kids’ childhoods. When you’re a new mom, the advice sounds a bit cliche. When you’re the mom of a screaming toddler, the advice seems absolutely ludicrous. And when you’re dealing with a teenager and big kid problems, woah the advice can feel dead wrong. When, however, your kids leave the nest, it makes sense completely. The bad days make up such a minuscule part of your life, but the good days and joys of raising your kids far outweigh everything else. So if you’re kids are young and you’re reading this, buckle up and enjoy the ride because it’s over really fast.
Today’s prompt is about my most epic baking fail. While I’ve had several, but if I were to pick my most recent one it would be a frosting fail. A couple of weekends ago I decided to make homemade toaster strudel. This was a part of my prednisone-fueled baking fest. I also baked an apple tart, kouign-amann, and short ribs that weekend. It’s no wonder that prednisone makes you gain weight.
The recipe was super simple and easy to make. Yet, I managed to royally screw up the frosting. I mixed everything together and it looked super clumpy. As an aside, frosting should never look like pastry dough. Since it looked so odd, I decided to taste it. It was then I realized I had accidentally grabbed flour instead of powdered sugar. Whoops! So if I may give one piece of advice, label ziplock bags when you put flour or sugar in them.
Another baking fail, and I swear it wasn’t my fault, was when I baked lasagna after Goalielocks’ graduation. My parents were staying with a few weeks, so I decided to make lasagna as it is always a crowd-pleaser. Everything was going well and I put it in the oven. When I checked on it thirty minutes into the baking time, I noticed it wasn’t cooking. That was a fun and expensive puzzle to solve! Ultimately, I was able to cook it in our bottom oven, which was thankfully still operational. Eventually, I got a new oven and I absolutely love it.
I think all bakers and cooks have failed in the kitchen. Often times the failure leads to laughs and second attempts. Some recipes take a lot more practice and refining than others. I, however, find it rewarding to finally master a more difficult bake. It should come as no surprise that I love watching the Great British Bake-off. I often end up baking items I’ve seen on the show. It’s a fun journey that connects me to my mom, my grandma, and all the bakers in my family.
It was a quick weekend and here we are back to Monday. It’s as if the weekend never even happened at all. We did have a busy weekend planned. The Mayor’s first games of the season were this weekend in Fort Myers. Consequently, we planned to drive over both days for the games. This plan was obviously not great, but that way we didn’t have to find someone to watch the dogs.
We left the house Saturday intending to drive to Fort Myers for hockey. As we were driving on the Sawgrass, the Mayor texted that he was a scratch. Since we hadn’t driven that far and I was nursing the remnants of a nasty headache, we decided to turn back. Instead of driving home, we ended up at Skate Zone watching the Typhoon play the Tampa Bay Jrs. This ended up being a pretty fun afternoon as we were reunited with a lot of our friends. It also made for a much shorter day than our original plans.
We left the house yesterday morning at 6:00 a.m. to be there by 9:00 for the puck drop. He was scratched again, but we wanted to see him and support the team. It was a great game and the Eels came out on top. More importantly, what came out of the trip was seeing the Mayor in his element and hearing about his experience. He loves the program. He accepts that he’s a young player on an older team, which means less ice time. What he has gained, however, is a bunch of mentors who are helping him and the other new kids acclimate to junior hockey.
After the game, we headed to grab lunch. Not surprisingly, the first thing he said to us when we saw him was that he wanted hibachi for lunch. I don’t know about you, but I’m never thinking about hibachi at 8:30 in the morning. We did, however, end up having Hibachi at the outlets and it was really good. The Mayor has matured a lot in his time away from home, but more than that he’s found a program that fits his goals. He knows it may be less ice time in the beginning, but in the interim, he’s working hard to get better, not getting complacent, and being a great teammate. I couldn’t be more proud. He did play this morning and had a great game.
I wish I understood that experiences are far better than material goods at a younger age. I think growing up I was too fixated on having things instead of enjoying life’s moments. So when I look in the mirror that is definitely something I wish I learned or should I say heeded earlier. I’m proud, however, that my boys firmly understand the importance of experience versus things. Although to be fair, they still want a lot of things. Nevertheless, we don’t talk about graduation presents, we talk about graduation trips. When I’m gone I want them to have a life full of memories made (and of course some mementos) with their mom exploring the world.
It’s game day! We’re headed to Fort Myers for the first game of the junior season. The change from youth to junior hockey is big. I’m excited to see what the season brings. Hopefully, the drive across the peninsula is quick and uneventful. I’m bringing the big camera, so hopefully I’ll have some good pics to share.
I run six days a week for usually forty five minutes. I’m loving Apple Fitness + treadmill workouts. The coaching and intervals are really helping whip me into shape. After a month of doing these workouts, I see a big difference in my fitness level.
What day is it? I woke up thinking it was Thursday, but my work computer must have thought it was Monday. Google Authenticator threw me into a death loop of back-up codes that lasted nearly an hour. During this time I couldn’t access anything on my laptop. I was completely sidelined for the first hour of the day. Unfortunately, I was not the only one locked out by Google’s duplicity. Fortunately, I was the first to get a hold of IT and got my issue resolved pretty quickly. Nonetheless, it cost me an hour of day, which does suck.
Last night we watched the Mayor’s team in its first scrimmage. As expected, his team dominated the Warriors. It was, however, a good opportunity for the squad to play together against someone else. He didn’t see a ton of ice, but did make the most of his opportunities. I’d love to see him get more ice time, but this is the reality of being a young guy on an older team. The best thing about my Mayor is he knows how to work. He’ll work harder than anywhere else to get to the next level.
I was thrilled that the scrimmage was run time. It started at 8:30 pm, so I was worried I’d fall asleep before the end of the first period. This was our first time watching a game on FloHockey. What a difference from LiveBarn! Livebarn is great because it gives you an opportunity to watch games you can’t attend, but the cameras are flimsy and the quality not great. The camera on FloHockey isn’t fixed and there is actual camera work being done. It’s not a fixed camera like on LiveBarn. I’m really excited to watch his games from our couch.
It starts with a f and ends with an uck. It’s a, as SpongeBob would say, a sentence enhancer that I use quite liberally. It’s a catch all for frustration, anger, insert negative emotion here. They say smart people swear a lot, so I’m just over here waiting for my Mensa invitation to come. While I wait, let’s enjoy a song.
“Monday, Monday” damn now I have that Mamas and the Papas song stuck in my head. It’s been a shit day at work, which happens. It’s literally one of the most normal things in a salesperson’s life. Not all days are gonna be easy. Anyway, this is usually a non factor because anyone that works sales knows this axiom to be true except for one person who shall remain nameless. While they shall remain nameless, they shall live in shame and infamy for their ridiculousness. Anyway, time to brush that shit off my shoudlers and move on.
If I seem a bit cranky, it’s because I am. I haven’t slept well since mid August and I need my sleep. The fact that I can’t fall asleep is driving me nuts. I’m hoping since I stopped taking the prednisone yesterday that my sleep pattern will go back to normal. Hopefully, once my sleep goes back to normal everting else falls back into place. This past month has been really tough. I’ve pretty much had to cancel any and every plans I’ve had even when I was in Minny because I wasn’t up for them physically.
Anyway, I didn’t get much accomplished this weekend outside of baking. I did, however, get our bushes fertilized and trimmed. Unfortunately, the skies didn’t open up like I had hoped, but hopefully we get some rain today. Afterwards. the Hubby walked me through his plans for the bedrooms upstairs. Spoiler alert, they’re going to look amazing once he’s through with them. My only feedback was to get the painting and closet organizers done first, so we can maximize the space.
I did two bakes this weekend to keep myself busy since leaving the house was a risky endeavor. The first bake was a homemade toaster strudel. I’ll share the recipe in a later post, but it’s super easy. It’s literally puff pastry, the filling of your choice, and simple frosting. Honestly, this is a recipe I’ll make often when the boys are home. It’s simple, but really tasty. The second bake I made was an attempt at Paul Hollywood’s recipe of Kouign-Amann, which is a magnificent dessert from Brittany. It was a lot more complicated, but very tasty.
My ideal week is one spent exploring the world with my family. It’s not spent behind a desk or on a couch. I’m looking forward to the week I have planned for Jake and I exploring Utah’s Mighty Five and the surrounding national monuments and state parks. Adventure, hiking and exploring the world is something that I enjoy. I find myself at peace up in the mountains of Utah, so I’m really looking forward to my trip.
I’m just sitting here dreaming of Norway. One of my high school friends is there now. Yesterday she posted pictures from Bergen, which was my favorite city. Today she’s posting pictures from the cabins in Flam where my family stayed in 2017. Fjord Norway is such a magical place and the connection I felt to the country was profound. My mom wants to go for their 50th anniversary or was it the big birthday (I forget- sorry mom) and stay at the Husom Motel. This is right over the mountain via the Vindhellaveven from the Borgund Stave Church.
Jake and I have been looking for races to run in Norway. He’s a bit more ambitious than I am and was looking at one that goes over a mountain range. The race he was looking at is call led the besegloppet. It’s a 14 KM (8.6 miles) that goes over the bessegen mountain pass. Fortunately the, elevation gain isn’t insane and unlike Utah we’d be starting at a reasonable point. Also, we’re not neophytes to this type of run/hike thanks to Jake’s time in Utah. The views, however, are absolutely incredible.
While we both dream of running races in Norway, we’re both focused on getting ready for our hiking trip in the Might Five. The hikes are long, difficult and remote, so it’s important that we’re both physically ready for them. I’ve been on prednisone to clear out the asthma and supplements to improve the anemia, so my doctor doesn’t think the trip will be a problem. Nevertheless, we’re working hard to be physically and mentally ready for these hikes. I’m even working on matching neoprene socks, so we can be quite the fashion plates as we traverse the Narrows.
Am I holding a grudge? You get I am. What is said grudge about? That’s private. If and when the time is right, I’ll share the circumstance surrounding said grudge. As for now, it’s best kept quiet.
We’re half way to Friday. Could there be a better gift than a short work week? I don’t think so. Absolutely everything about a shortened work week is an absolute delight. What has not been delightful this week is my inability to fall asleep thanks to the prednisone. I’ve tried everything from teas, to patches and gummies, but nothing helps. Once I fall asleep, I’ve been sleeping pretty well. Hopefully tonight will be one filled with a goodnight’s sleep.
Work continues to pick up and be busy, which is a welcome change. The past 16 months have been way too slow. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to make some good money during AEP. I’m not, however, looking forward to working the insane hours that AEP brings. Next week our company publishes its annual results, so I’m anxiously waiting that report. The stock hasn’t had the best couple of years, so some good news would be welcomed.
In 2018, Jake and went to Scandinavia with my brother and sister in law. On this trip, we visited Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen. Helsinki is the furthest I’ve been from home clocking in at 5,100 miles away. Nevertheless, like the rest of Scandinavia, I felt completely at home in Helsinki. We spent several days there and watched the Florida Panthers practice. I really enjoyed the city, it’s sites and it’s people. I’ll definitely return to Helsinki.