It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

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They’re Back From Quebec!

They’re back from Quebec!!! Thankfully, their early departure from Quebec City got them out before the snowfall started. I figured the big storm that hit the Midwest earlier this weekend would hit the Quebec area today. Luckily, we booked super early flights. Even so they were delayed an hour getting out of Montreal.

The later arrival gave me more time at the gym this morning. I feel like I’m fighting a sinus infection. Since I had no fever and no symptoms below the chest, I opted to hit the gym. I put in thirty minutes on the elliptical and was able to do 4.5 miles in that time. Happily, I can report my knees have improved dramatically week over week. Yay!!!!

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After finishing my run on the elliptical, I made it leg day at the gym. My knees feel much better, but I was careful to pick exercises that did not hurt my knee. I would usually do single leg cable kicks on leg day, but that brought too much discomfort to the knees. Consequently, I skipped the exercise.

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After my workout, I headed to the airport to pick up my boys. It was exciting to watch them land and taxi as I was driving down Southern towards the airport. I quickly parked, as quickly as one can when snow birds are involved, in the short term parking and headed into the terminal.  Fortunately, they were quickly off the plane and so were their bags. Yay! The Mayor wanted Wendy’s, but that was a hard no from both of us. Everyone was exited to see them back home especially the puppies.

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Unfortunately, my hubby had the distinct pleasure of getting to work on the broken items list right away. He immediately tackled the garbage disposal and was able to fix it quickly. Thank goodness! Next up was the air condition. I was pretty sure it was the capacitor that crapped out. Turns out I was right!! Thank you YouTube. He’ll pick up the part tomorrow, so by tomorrow night we should be in the business. Woohoo! It’s great to have him home!

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The rest of the afternoon we spent relaxing and baking. I made my first attempt at an “easy Kouign-Amann” recipe. I’ll be devoting a whole post to it tomorrow. I absolutely loved Quebec City. Moreover, I loved Brittany and Saint Malo. In 2011, we spent some time in Brittany and saw where Cartier sailed from when he discovered Quebec and the Saint Lawrence Seaway. The Breton influence on Quebec is unmistakable.

Speaking of French, I just finished volume one of Proust’s In Search Of Lost Time. While I wait for Amazon to deliver volume two, I’ve started Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. At this point, I’m only ten chapters into the book, but I’m finding it quite enjoyable. I’m off the read, good night my friends!

Last Day in Quebec

It’s the last day in Quebec for our Florida Bulldogs. They spent the morning at the Ice Hotel right outside the city. When we went in 2016, we were lucky enough to get some snow and see a wedding. From the looks of the pictures, it seems they got some snow this year.

If you’ve never been to an ice hotel or ice bar, it’s definitely worth experiencing once. The beauty of drinks at the ice bar/hotel is they’re always perfectly chilled in their glasses made of ice. As for the kids, they love the hotel’s ice slide. Unlike the Ice Bar in Sweden, the Ice Hotel doesn’t require special gear. Rather you simply enjoy the venue in your regular winter wear.

After the Ice Hotel, they headed to the Patro for lunch before heading back to the hotel. They spent their afternoon at a beautiful park up the hill from the hotel Old Quebec. The rink and surrounding area are absolutely beautiful and the ice is pretty nice. Based on the pictures, it looks like they had a great time.

Afterwards they headed to the rink for the other team’s semi-final game. My Mayor did play by play for the first period, but spent the rest of the game hanging with friends. I couldn’t watch the rest of the broadcast since I was driving to pick up Goalielocks from volunteering.

Unfortunately, the Bulldogs lost the game.  It was a tough one.  Consequently, they were knocked out of the tournament. Post game they went out for pizza. I have so many question about pizza in Quebec based on the restaurant’s sign. I guess it’s not surprise my hubby opted for a calzone instead of pizza.

Meanwhile, we’re still down an A/C unit, freezer and no garbage disposal. I’m sure my hubby can’t wait to get home tomorrow to fix it all. Needless to say, I can’t wait to have my guys back home!

One Week in Quebec

One week in Quebec for the hubby and Mayor. Meanwhile in Florida, the freezer and an AC unit have gone done. I definitely picked the sort straw in this equation. Truly, I’m just happy it’s Friday. It’s been a long week.

As for my Mayor, he and his team had a scrimmage against the Flyers AAA team. It was a completely one-sided game. Until the coaches decided to do mix the teams and do a split squad game. Honestly, these are some of the best game experiences. It’s super cool to have the opportunity to play with new kids in this environment. Also, instead of a blowout game, you get a more even and entertaining game for everyone involved. The kids loved it!  Plus, my boy got a nice goal.

Between the games and in the small amount of downtime the kids have, they spend it hanging out in the hotel. Apparently, my boy even does wake up calls. You can see how the kids are getting progressively more tired as the week has progressed. They follow a pretty rigorous schedule day in and day out. Needless to say, I think they’re sleeping pretty soundly.

My Mayor was so excited today to try sushi for the first time. Consequently, post game my Hubby took him to pick up sushi to go. He grabbed his sushi and headed to the Patro with the rest of his team for dinner. The Hubby meanwhile went out for Mongolian with some of the dads. We can only hope there was no Canadian Whiskey involved.

Here at the homestead, I attempted to flush the AC line. It didn’t work and I got water everywhere. Clearly, I’ll be waiting for my Hubby to fix it upon his return to Florida. Goalielocks set up Doordash, so we had Sushi Yama delivered. I’m far too tired to cook. This weekend I’ll be doing nothing, but relaxing.

Thursday in Quebec

It’s Thursday in Quebec and that meant game two of the tournament. Unfortunately, the squad didn’t have a good morning and was knocked out of the tournament. Fortunately that doesn’t mean the hockey is done for them as they’ll likely have more exhibition games tomorrow and maybe Saturday.

It’s incredibly hard not to be there because it’s such an amazing experience for the kids. Tonight they went out to the skate park in Shannon, Quebec. This place is magnificent. It has hockey rinks, a skating trail and a ice slide. The trail through the woods is beautiful. It could hardly get more picturesque.

As for the hockey, there’s nothing better than watching these Florida kids enjoy hockey as it’s supposed to be. Outside and without all the equipment just like The Hubby and I grew up playing in Minnesota. Incidentally, neither of us had played hockey inside or in full gear until we moved to Florida.

When Goalielocks and I went in 2016, we got some snow. They, however, have mountains of snow. I’m watching the winter storms carefully in case they’re delayed in getting out Sunday. Although I’m sure none of the kids would mind spending more time in Quebec. Lastly, I’m happy to report that the hockey dads have survived the Canadian whiskey and the bromance continues!

Meanwhile in Florida, our AC unit died!

Peewee Quebec Day 4

Peewee Quebec Day 4 was full of hockey and Canadian whiskey. Officially, our boys went 1-1 today in their exhibition games. In their first game versus LSA France, they lost a tough one. It wasn’t even close.

The second game, they played a French team and won handily. It really was the first time this trip, they were able to get their offense going. Of course, my updates ceased in the second period, but that’s a whole different story my Hubby probably doesn’t remember. I love the team picture from the second game. My Mayor has his arm around one of the French players like they’ve been friends for years. This is why Peewee Quebec is the best experience for these kids.

Now back to my Hubby and the lack of updates in game two. One of the beauties of Peewee Quebec is that the kids are with the coach from morning tonight, so the parents are free to do as they please. This is even true if it includes drinking copious amounts of Canadian whiskey early in the morning.

Today has been bizarre. The moon is full and the weirdos have come out of the woodwork. I should have know how the day would track when leaving Dunkin’ this morning there was a man out of his gourd high. I mean, high! He was talking to himself like he was in the midst of a video game and acting it out. It was surreal. It reminded me of my childhood neighbor, who when he was five would pretend to be Yoshi from Mario Kart. Only difference is about 30 years and total lack of sobriety. This man was so out of it, he didn’t even notice me or the other customers leaving the store.

The day’s trajectory continued upon this bizarro path. When I didn’t think anything else could go sideways, I got a call from my friend in Quebec. My first reaction was panicked as I thought maybe one of my boys got hurt. Alas, my Mayor was fine and my Hubby has passed out after a tangle with Canadian whiskey. Oh boy….. In case you’re wondering the final score on that fight: Canadian Whiskey 1 Hockey Dads 0

To be clear, the caller was also far from sober. My friend was insistent that I give him the hubby’s phone code, so he could update his lock screen to gay porn. At 5:30 in the afternoon, this was just the call I needed. I asked if Hubby was okay and positioned, so he wouldn’t aspirate his vomit. To which my friend responded, I put him face down, you’re missing the point I need to update his lock screen. When I suggested he used My Hubby’s finger to open up the phone, I could literally hear the lightbulb going off in his head.

Shortly thereafter, I ended up speaking with his wife and my dear friend. She’s clearly a saint for a number of reasons (including last night’s recreation photo,) it today for checking in on my hubby while babysitting her’s. I’m pretty sure that’s not how she envisioned her Peewee Quebec trip. Nonetheless, she kept a watchful eye on my hubby and got some golden pictures. As for me, I was laughing so hard I was crying and that was exactly what I needed today.

Tonight My Mayor is taking in the QMJHL Ramparts game with his team at the Videotron Center. Meanwhile, back at the hotel my Hubby is “undrinking” the whiskey. Once my Mayor is back to the hotel, he’ll call home. He’ll tell me he had a fun day, but wants to go to bed and I’m preventing him from doing that. Tomorrow brings the second game of the tournament and a must win game. Perhaps I’ll even get updates through all three periods tomorrow.

Day Two in Quebec

It’s day two in Quebec City for my hubby and my Mayor. Fortunately, I got to speak with them briefly last night. I say briefly because my Mayor was more concerned with getting to bed than talking to me. Nevertheless, it was clear they’re having a good time.

When Goalielocks and I went, I did a paparazzi like job documenting the trip. Based on a handful of pictures I received from my friends on the trip, I was starting to think I’d have to photoshop my Mayor’s head on Goalielocks’ body to ensure there was photo documentation of him being in Quebec. My girlfriend did send me a couple of gems. One of my hubby and other hockey dad up to shenanigans (no surprise here.) The other of my Mayor and one of his favorite people Jack.

Thankfully, the Hubby came through tonight with some great photos and videos. Unfortunately, the only picture of the Mayor he caught at Val Cartier (tubing place) was the Mayor in his natural state -i.e eating. The Mayor hit up the Patro for lunch today and was able to trade pins with Teams from Mexico, Japan, Russia and Quebec. Word has it that the Mayor’s quite the pin trader. Apparently, he’s absolutely unafraid to approach the other teams and coaches to secure pins and make trades. That my folks is why he is the Mayor.

My boys also headed up to the Winter Carnival, which we missed out on. Our fist couple of days in Quebec City had windchills -35- -45, so we missed it. The pictures make it look absolutely amazing. I particularly love the one of my Mayor trying to eat an ice sculpture. For those that know him, they’ll tell you the kid can eat. For the uninitiated, I can tell you he comes with three stages: hungry, hangry and satisfied for the moment. It is absolutely imperative that you try to move for hungry to satisfied for the moment. His hangry is mean!

While the boys had a blast up in Quebec City, Goalielocks and I took some time for nature. We headed over to Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge for an afternoon of walking and photography. It took me a half hour to find all of my stuff, but only five seconds to realize my camera’s battery was dead. Oh joy!

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon here in Florida with temperature in the low 80s and not much humidity. The Everglades are absolutely beautiful. They’re serene and calming with all the beauty nature has to offer.

I was chasing beauty and serenity, Goalielocks wanted adventure. He was certain he had seen a wild boar through the binoculars and was intent on following it. Fortunately, my mom sense (aka common sense) won out and we went the opposite direction.

This trip through the park we saw five gators that were pretty small. We went up to the fishing dock before leaving, but it had been closed down. There were no gators that could be seen although I’m sure they were everywhere.

I also took a trip to the gym. The movement is definitely helping my joints. Unfortunately, I still have quite a bit of pain in my left knee. My right knee, however, has improved markedly. I finished my workout with some ab exercises. I wanted to go back to lifting, but felt it would be too much stress on my knee joints. My new plan is to start next Sunday. Afterwards, I celebrated my run with a fresh ginger shot. Oh, how times have changed….

Here’s one more video of mini golf:

Peewee Quebec 2019

IMG_7363.jpegIt’s time for Peewee Quebec 2019! For the uninitiated, Peewee Quebec is the penultimate youth hockey tournament in the world. Goalielocks was fortunate to go in 2016, so we’re thrilled that the Mayor has the opportunity to go.

They flew out yesterday, flying to Montreal and then driving to Quebec City. Fortunately for my hubby, his booking faux pas paid off. It turns out they wouldn’t have made their connecting flight to Quebec City due to flight delays. Thankfully, it also meant our friend’s who missed their connecting flight were able to catch a ride to Quebec City. My Mayor called me from the road to let me know they had made it to Montreal and were headed to QC.

Their night ended late last night, while today started bright and early. The Mayor’s team had their first exhibition game of the trip against the Les Esclairuers. It wasn’t a pretty game, but the Mayor had two assists and a good time. After the game, they headed to the Patro to eat.

I can’t wait to hear the Mayor’s impression of the Patro. When we were there the cashier looked like Sloth from Goonies, but with a French accent. It was super cool to see the teams from all over the globe. On our first day there with Goalielocks, his team met the teams from Calgary, Ukraine, Austria, and Minnesota. It’s a pretty unique experience.

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Tomorrow the Mayor’s squad will take on a Czech team before hitting the slopes at Val Cartier. We had an absolute blast at Val Cartier, so I can’t wait to see how my hubby and my Mayor enjoy it. It’s an amazing tubing park and absolutely beautiful. While they’re in Quebec over the next eight days, I’ll be sharing pictures from their trip and our first trip in 2016

Meanwhile in Florida, Goalielocks and I made pan friend ribeye steaks last night. He wanted an appetizer, so we kept it classy with pigs in a blanket (puff pastry since we’re fancy.) Tonight we made home made pizza and French bread pizza with the leftover bread from last night. Goalielocks made the pizza crust for our pie from scratch. We fancy!

I also hit the gym, which felt good. Unfortunately, my joints did not tolerate my treadmill at all. I’ve got a lot of pain and swelling in my knees and other joints. My doc said the pain should abate as my thyroid levels normalize in the coming weeks. I hope she’s right. In the interim, I’m sticking to the elliptical and bike to ensure I’m getting the joints movement with minimal impact. Also taking shots of fresh squeezed ginger and turmeric post workout to help mitigate against the inflammation.

Here’s the video of their entrance this morning, be sure to watch to the end.

Just Another Saturday

It was just another Saturday spent at the rink. Goalielocks had five games to referee this morning while the Mayor had a marathon practice for Peewee Quebec. Today’s games were Goalielocks first travel games. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, they were mites or as we call them now U8.

For the uninitiated, hockey parent craziness seems to be inverse to the age of the kids. Meaning as the kids age, the parents tend to mellow. At U8, however, every kid is going to the NHL and every game brings an intensity from the parents you only wished to get out of your players.

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in mite hockey, but the cavalcade of cowbells quickly brought me back. I found my seat in the bleachers next to the hubby, so we could anonymously watch him ref.

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Honestly, I only made it through one game. Refereeing is hard enough because of all the rules and all the responsibilities that go with it. When you add crazy parents screaming at you and you’re only fifteen, it’s a whole different world. At least from a mom’s perspective. I think the best part is watching them scream at both refs for not calling penalties forgetting that penalties are assessed at the end of the game. I left, but my husband was quick to point out this cycle continued. How quickly people forget….

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My ref was good with it, which is why refereeing is so good for our kids. You learn so many viable life skills. On the otherhandn I headed home to take care of the laundry and grocery shopping since I had no desire Not wanting to get into a fight. Goalielocks did end up having to eject his first parent. No surprise here, but it was a goalie dad. We goalie parents are a special breed. Long story short, my boy enjoyed his day refereeing.

Midway through Goalielocks’ marathon ref session, the Mayor’s Peewee Quebec practice started. His practice ran from 11:30-5:30 with Coach Shawn putting them through two on ice sessions and off ice. I missed the practice, but the hubby was able to watch most of it.

We’re so excited that our Mayor’s been given an opportunity to play at Peewee Quebec. Goalielocks did the tournament three years ago and it was one of the best trips ever. I love Quebec City, especially old town, so I’m bummed I’m going to miss this trip. Nevertheless, someone has to hold down the fort in Florida!

The best part about the last practice before the tournament is getting all the swag. My Mayor was wearing his new hat all night! The pin bag brings back great memories for both Goalielocks and I. I know the Mayor will love trading pins.

Tonight we grilled some flank steak fajitas (recipe below) and served it with grilled onions and roasted peppers for a healthy low carb dinner. Well, mine was low carb as I used romaine lettuce as my tortilla. I know what you’re thinking, I’m taking my life into my hands using romaine lettuce and you’re probably right. The Mayor was deeply offended by our gross dinner choice, so he made himself pizza rolls.

Make it here:

Steak Fajitas:

1 flank steak

1 juice of one lime

2 onions sliced

1-2 lbs of mini bell peppers, sliced lengthwise

Olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Instructions:

If using a charcoal grill, get it started.

Onions:

Cut the onions into slices.

Coat the onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place onions on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender.

Peppers:

Pre-heat oven to 450

Slice peppers lengthwise

Coat peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Roast the peppers for 20 minutes and remove from oven once the edges have started to turn black.

(If using regular bell peppers, I prefer to cook them on the grill with the onions.)

Steak:

Use the juice of one lime and olive oil to coat both sides of the flank steak. My hubby prefers to rub the steak with olive oil and freshly squeeze the juice over the steak. Use the salt and pepper to flavor as desired and set aside until the grill is ready. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will get mushy.

Once the grill is hot, cook five minutes per side. We cooked ours for about ten minutes and it was medium rare, which is how we like ours.

Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle against the grain.

And then assemble. I should have taken a picture of the final product, but I ate it too quickly! It’s so simple and so good!

Not So Super Bowl

After a not so super bowl, it’s been a brutal forty-eight hours.  Seriously, could there have been a more boring game?  I’d go over some highlights, but the only one I can think of is not having to use Melatonin Sunday night because the game put me to sleep. Unfortunately, we learned during the game that the hubby’s cousin was seriously injured in a snowmobile accident.  She’s presently recovering in ICU at the University of Minnesota, please keep her and our family in your prayers.

super-bowl-memes-more-entertaining-than-the-game-was-30-photos-15Yesterday while I was on a conference call, Goalielocks started screaming.  Fifteen year olds usually don’t scream for S&G, so I was concerned.  I quickly ran out and found him with our eldest and beloved dog Maya.   Maya was coughing up blood and Goalielocks was hysterical.   After calming both of them down, I returned to my call and the hubby called the vet from the job.

We were able to get her into the vet late yesterday afternoon.  My Hubby came home early, so he and Goalielocks were able to take her and I could keep working.  No sooner had they left when Athena began crying and howling.   She had spent her day cuddled next to Maya’s side.   Athena loves her sister and is very protective of her.  Literally, she cried the entire time they were gone.

The vet appointment took a long time, so I had to pick up my Mayor from the bus stop.  I had him take Athena out, but she would only pull him to the front yard and not do her business.  She was too preoccupied with Maya not being there. In fact, she broke out of the garage.  Instead of running freely and as quickly as possible as she usually would, she stopped in the driveway again looking for her sister.

Unfortunately, the doctors found a mass in her lungs that they think is lung cancer.  We are devastated.   Maya is our first dog and has been a member of our family for almost ten years.  Truly, she is an integral part of our family.  The boys took it really hard.  Goalielocks spent the night laying next to her making Maya was comfortable.  The next steps are for Maya to go in for an ultrasound and some additional diagnostic testing. We’re hoping to do this in the next week or two.   Meanwhile, I ordered every CBD treat and treatment I could find for dogs.  I’m anxious to see how our doggies enjoy the peanut butter turmeric CBD treats we bought her.   Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Saturday I took the Mayor to get a haircut. As he gets older, he is looking more and more like Jake.  They truly could be twins separated by a mere seven years.  More than that, he just looks old.  He’s not my baby anymore.   Sunday afternoon he had two games, which were fun to watch. It’s always nice to be at the rink ad with our hockey family.  Plus, it wouldn’t be Super Bowl Sunday if we didn’t have a late afternoon hockey game.  More to come on Sundays games and bad hockey parent behavior in a future post.

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Meanwhile, in Minny my parents survived the brutal cold that is January in Minnesota.  They’re presently looking forward to more accumulating snow as the week wears on.  I have to tell you, I don’t miss it at all.  Nevertheless, I’m relieved that my family is all safe and warm and wasn’t impacted by any of the energy outages experienced during the brutal cold.

I’m off to practice a little yoga and read a little Proust before heading to bed.   Please keep our family in your prayers.