Winter is Here

Winter is Here

Brace yourself folks, winter is here!  Even in sunny Florida, winter is here.  That’s right the Sunshine state saw even saw snow today!  Fortunately, the snow was nowhere near South Florida, but even here the mercury has fallen to a chilly 52 degrees.  As the night progresses, the temperatures will continue to fall bottoming out somewhere around 37 degrees.  There’s a slight chance, ever so slight chance, that we may turn on the heat this week.

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Back at work, we’re all getting back into the routine, which feels good.  January is a magical time of new beginnings.  My goal is to hold on to the hopeful feelings January brings well into 2018.  I mean my year is off to a great start with me gaining 1/2 of an inch in height!  Things are definitely looking up.

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Of course, I swore I was going to start behaving this week and being more mindful with my eating habits.  Nonetheless, one of my dear colleagues (PS) brought in some magically delightful and calorie free tasty treat.   Who doesn’t love homemade fudge?  It truly was magical and oh so tasty.  My boys should thank their lucky stars that they actually got some of the fudge.  Fortunately, they got some fudge and they devoured it.  I’m hopeful by the time I get back from work tomorrow the fudge is all gone.  Otherwise, I’ll eat the rest of it.

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Anyway, new year, new me, new you and a clean slate tomorrow. I’ll be back to my healthy eating (no more treats!) habits.  2018 is all about being disciplined in all aspects of life.  In the interim, I’m going to try and not freeze as South Florida plunges into the 30s.  Be prepared for pictures and news stories of South Florida’s deep freeze including the inevitable picture of a catatonic iguana.

Tonight’s song performed by Florida Georgia Line is “Cruise.”

 

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hurricane irma

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

 

Manic Monday

Manic Monday

There are days I miss Norway more than others and today was one of them.  Another manic Monday on the roads of South Florida was enough to drive me batty.  I don’t know what it is about S. Florida that people here think the rules and laws apply to everyone but them.  Sometimes I feel like the Transporter as I mentally prepare to drive in South Florida.

While waiting to make a right hand turn on McNab today (always a logjam) I watched someone drive down the right, grassy shoulder to move through traffic more quickly.  This illustrious person, who shouldn’t be allowed to drive, felt their time was more important than the people’s property they drove over.  They were a total douche canoe.

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Twenty minutes later, I watched in disbelief as another driver drove up the shoulder on the turnpike lest they wait in traffic.  This poor woman may have been late for her bridge game had she waited with the rest of us peons.   I truly do not understand what it is about South Florida that makes it so magnetic to the world’s worst drivers.  According to SmartAsset.com, Florida’s drivers are the worst in the nation.  They’re not wrong.

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So what does this have to do with Norway?  Not one Norwegian honked at us during our trip.  Even when we mistakenly drove down a pedestrian area (whoops) or were driving a little slow to find a stride, nobody honked at us.   Norwegians drove as if the law applied to everyone.  Imagine that!  Nobody drove like they were above the law.  That and the fact Norwegians keep their country very clean.  They pick up after themselves and even public bathrooms on top of mountains are clean.