Jun 24, 2016

Market Day...Thursdays

My thoughts are free to go anywhere, but it's surprising how often they head
 in your direction. You're the first and last thought of my everyday...

Every Thursday after breakfast we go the Farmers Market.  Another of the many things we love
 and look forward to.  Not only do we get our fresh produce, goodies, Arvid's bread and some,
 but we also get to check out another part of the city and we get our exercise for that day.

When we left home the fog was still all over the city.  Made for a much cooler outing
(temperature wise)  Even so Arvid never takes chances and always wears a long sleeved top.
For me just the walk is more than enough to keep me warm, plus I don't get as cold as Arvid.
Arvid tells everyone he is a Viking, but at 78 degrees F (almost 26C) he is cold and in long pants.

After the market Arvid decided he needed to go to the barber.  he has a barber 
we go to when in Chicago, but when we got there he had moved. 
 We found another one and decided to give it a try. 

 The barber in this case was a Korean woman.  Funny as can be.  While Arvid was having 
his haircut I decided to explore the surroundings.  Here in Chicago many buildings are
 connected underground.  I actually almost got lost.  When I went back to Arvid he and the
 barber lady were having "words"  She was trying to get him to let her do a few another things
 to his hair but he kept saying no.  When she saw me she said, "all he says is NO NO!!"

After the cut of course comes time to pay the bill.  Back home in Florida, Arvid
pays the barber $16.00 and he can have wine or beer as he waits.  Those who know Arvid,
 know that he never has any.  He does not like to eat nor drink at anyone's home least of all 
in the middle of the day at the barbershop.  So when the lady here in Chicago told him it
 was $30.00 for the cut he was stunned.  All he said was, "I should have had it cut in Florida." 
 Of course the lady and I were laughing through it all.  Arvid did not see the humor.

All is good with us.  I have moments where I just sit back and remember how it was 
with Brutus, and then I am sad.  I look at Sniff and every time I am sad he somehow
 knows it and comes running to me.  Yes he comes running and the 
other day he ran to me and jumped up straight onto my lap.

Anna tells me that one day it will be good again.  Anna also lost her Buddy.  She never forgets,
 but she also has 3 other kitties that she adores and that fill her days with joy and laughter. 
 Sniff keeps us laughing.  I love Sniff as does Arvid.  It's just that I still miss my Brutus.

Hello everyone.  It is Friday and if you live in Chicago then you will know that there is never
 a loss for things to do.  The city is always buzzing with activity.  No wonder we love it!!!

Happy Friday everyone.  May your day begin with a smile on your face, love in
 your heart and happiness in your soul.  Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous..


Jun 23, 2016

Chicago Life...

Either you love Chicago or you are wrong.
Let me tell your something. I'm from Chicago. I don't break...

From our apartment you can see quite a lot of whats going on in the city.  Yesterday evening
 as we sat in the living room, we saw the large screen TV that was broadcasting the Copa
 America game between Chile and Columbia.  Was as if we had front row seats.

One thing about the city.  There is ALWAYS traffic.  Not having a car is in a way 
a blessing.  Bot Arvid and I enjoy looking and seeing everything that goes on, if we 
can't see too well Arvid pulls out his binoculars.  We do have a good time.

It's been 2 days now since Sniff Sniff decided to sit next to Arvid.  Since Brutus died,
Arvid was missing his boysie close to him when he watches TV.  Sniff now does it, for us
 it was a big moment.  I watched them and I smiled and at the same time I felt heartbroken 
because that was Brutus' spot.  Just his.  Yesterday was a rough day for me without 
knowing why I just missed my Brutus so very much.  I also thought of Shadow, 
Liliana and i was mad and angry all over again.  It was a rough day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss my Brutus.  He took my heart.
I think of little Shadow and my heart breaks.  He never had a chance.

The other day we went to feed the ducks and at the same time we had a nice walk along
 the lake and park.  The city is unbelievable.  Every turn you make yo see boat, you hear 
music, you see greenery and flowers in bloom all around you.  We just love it.

In Florida we never really watched the weather channel much.  You knew it was going
 to be hot. Here in Chicago you never know what the weather will be so we always plan 
our day after we check the weather.  Last night during the game between Columbia and Chile,
 it started to thunder and with lots of lightning.  The game was stopped for a while.

To all a very good day.  Something I remind myself of all the time;
you can't start the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

After a few hours of lightning last night, the game was resumed.
This morning the city is blanketed in fog.  From where I sit you see just white.

Life is like a camera.  Focus on what's important, capture the good times, 
develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out, take another shot...


Jun 22, 2016

Regular Day..

When you wake up thinking "it's just another day...
'That when you know it's time for change...

Living downtown Chicago means no car.  That is it is so much better to NOT have a car.  
One there is hardly anywhere to park, and if you do find a parking spot it is VERY expensive. 
 Every so often if we need the use of a car, Arvid would rent it.  We do some bulky
 shopping, definitely Home Depot, pet store, one of my favorites, Bed Bath and 
Beyond and so forth.  But not having a car is actually a relief here. 

Before we left Florida we already booked a car for a few road trips we will be
 taking in the next few months.  Even though we don't need a car, the days we
 rent one are very exciting.  I make long lists of things we need to get
as does Arvid.  We just like driving bottom line.

Another outing in the hot tub.  Arvid does this weird contortion to keep his
leg out of the hot tub.  Something to do with the blood clot and the fact that the hot
 tub is not recommended because it can cause the clot to move.  But it does
 not stop us from going.  It just too good to not go.  We love it.

One thing about us, we really don't care what anyone says or thinks.  It looked strange
 the way Arvid was positioned.  I actually told him that anyone coming would think
he was just doing yoga.  And what happens?  The first time we went a girl
came and that's exactly what she thought.  Very funny.  The other day we had
the hot tub all to ourselves so no one noticed any of his contortions

Sniff is getting more and more comfortable with his surroundings.  We could not be any
happier.  I look at Sniff and I love him, but every so often I catch myself and
 remind myself that he's Sniff and not Brutus.  I will not lie.  I miss
 my Brutus everyday.  I don't dwell on it, it's just how it is.  

Our days are busy.  Still lots of little things that need to done.  Arvid and Sniff working as 
a team, and when Sniff really gets in the way he gets a little reprimand.  Sniff is glued to 
Arvid.  Arvid moves Sniff moves faster and always in front of him.  We have to be
 extremely careful to not step on him.  Sometimes it's really difficult.

Life is good here for us.  Sniff and us are already having patterns and routines.
Sniff is so much like Brutus that sometimes when I look at him I think I see Brutus.  But then
of course I realize it was just a trick of the light.  My Brutus is not here, but he is always
with me. I miss that kitty more than anyone would ever know.  Sniff makes life good again.

Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have 
that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have...!”


Jun 21, 2016

Back Home...

We are not given a good life or a bad life.  We are given a life.
It is up to us to make it good or bad...

Back home again.  Home is always best no matter who we visit.  My family or Arvid's family.  
While visiting we always have a good time, but as you know there is no place like home.
Sniff was not dancing with joy when he saw us.  Unlike Brutus who used to miss us 
like crazy, Sniff was like,"Oh you're back?  About time."  

After about an hour then Sniff started to "talk" like crazy and then is when he 
decided to eat his soft foodies.  I guess my friend Anna was right.  Sniff had lots 
of attention when we were gone and was happy.  He's such a good kitty.

Weather wise it is beautiful right now.  Warm, but cool in the mornings.  Arvid and I already 
had our first walk for the day and hopefully later today we will head out again along the lake,
 and feed the duckies.  We really enjoy that in Chicago, plus the walks are just beautiful.

Yesterday was very hot when we got home.  We had a long drive, it rained quite a bit,
 and before coming home we made a few pit stops.  Pet Smart for Sniff, Trader Joe's
 for a few treats, and the grocery store.  Overall we made good use of our time.

After any trip no matter how short or how long there is lots to do.  Catching
 up with , work, laundry, cleaning and some other chores today.  Spending time with 
Sniff and just enjoying the nice weather and views.  Last night the moon was amazing. 
 Arvid refused to get up from watching TV to look at it.  I was there enjoying it.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.  I miss my family already.  I miss Lilly Vade
 a lot.  She is as Arvid said, "a non-stop chatter box."  Love her like crazy.  Was good 
seeing them, hopefully will see Nirvana and family sometime this year, but she and 
Kimsy are enjoying so very fun times in India.  The have a very awesome guide, 
and now friend who takes them everywhere and now is a good friend as well. 

To all a very good day.  Life in Chicago is good.  Sniff is doing great.  As
 always we enjoy being here.  For me it's not exactly the same.  I am missing my Brutus,
but it is still a beautiful city with lots to do and lots to see.  When the weather behaves.

You have no idea what people are dealing with in their 
personal lives, so just be nice.  Its that simple...


Jun 20, 2016

All About Family...

Family, an anchor during rough waters.  Family is like music,
 some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song...

Not many days, but what we did have we made the most of.  We always do.

I am always so very happy to see how well Arvid gets along with everyone, and everyone 
just loves him.  Lilly Vade is always chasing him and he does not mind.  Like all
 girls, Lilly Vade, my youngest niece can talk non stop, can do anything better
 than her brothers and is into everything.  To know her is to love her.

Being around family is great, but with that also comes a lot of confusion and a lot of "noise."
I loved it.  Arvid never complains, but I knnow he likes his quiet time very much be it
 when we are with my family or his.  Another thing he likes is breakfast alone.

On this trip we stayed in the same hotel with Nina and family, and every morning we had
 breakfast together.  Was good and even Arvid did not have anything to say about it.  He liked
 it as much especially whenever he and my niece Danielle started one of their "discussions."

All of us were at Rima's for Gabby's graduation get-together.  It could not have been a 
better time.  We talked, we laughed and thhere was even soccer that Sachin and Arvid
 watched until very late into the night.  They got all the others very caught up in the game, 
and before you knew it everyone was cheering and screaming as the goals were scored.  

No home is ever complete without a pet.  Here it is no exception.  Marley is the big black
Labrador and Dexter the little Pomeranian.  Of course both dogges took a special liking to
 Arvid.  Marley followed him everywhere.  Arvid was afraid of him because he's so big.  Marley
 is big, but still a baby and just wants to play, but Arvid was not having any of it.  Dexy on the
 other hand just laid down next to Arvid, and watched the game or just slept.  Arvid liked it.

I have had a wonderful time, and I look forward to the next time together.  Next family 
gathering is in Norway.  That will also be good times to remember.  Like I said time
 spent with family is always the best of times.  There is no one like family. 

To all a very good day and an excellent start of the new work week.

Having somewhere too go is home.  Having somene to love is family.
Having both is a blessing.  Family... where life begins and love never ends...


Jun 18, 2016

It's All About Family...

A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost....
These are mys sisters....they are my best friends.....

I have four younger sisters. We fought, we patched up. We laughed at jokes that no one
 can understand. We said some of the meanest things to each other. We defended each
 other when others won't. We did some of the silliest things together and there's so 
many stories to be recalled when we are together.  Always the best of times.

I consider myself lucky.  We are five sisters and I am the eldest.  We all live in different 
parts of the USA and one lives in Puerto Rico.  This makes it difficult sometimes for all of us 
to be together at the same time.  Even so, we do manage to see each other at least once a year.  

Sometimes if we are lucky we may see each other twice.  Even though we are all so far 
apart we have maintained a bond that is unbreakable.  We are each others best 
friends.  Whenever I feel I can't talk to anyone, my sisters are always there
 to listen.  It does not matter when or what time it is.  I know I can
 count on them and they know they can do the same with me.

We are all going to meet this year in Virginia.  Going to Rima's home.  Gabby is graduating 
 from high school and it seemed like a good time for us to all get together.  Unfortunately,
 my sister Nirvana who lives in Puerto Rico will not be able to come.  She is going to
 India with her daughter Kimsy.  Kimsy has an internship in India for the next
 two months.  That is one trip I would not pass up on either.

My parents will be there.  All of my nieces and nephews except of course for Kimsy and her
 brother J.  It promises to be a good time.  For time spent with family is NEVER wasted.

To all a very good day.  May you day exceed all expectations.  Today and everyday.

When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you 
without flinching-they are your family...


Jun 16, 2016

Hello Thursday...

I know everything happens for a reason.  
But sometimes I wish I knew what that reason was...

The last few days we have been doing rearranging the unit a little.  Arvid assembling furniture,
 and always lots of cleaning involved.  It is finally starting to look cozy and more like
 home again.  Sniff is so comfy these days that it is just a pleasure to see him so
 happy, not afraid and eating normally again.  He's happy we're happy.

Here in Chicago we do not have a washer and dryer unit in our apartment.  For many this would
 be disastrous, but for us it is no big deal.  Arvid actually is happy about this.  Says we get 
less dust, and the apartment does not get so hot.  Yes he always see's the bright side
 of everything.  I agree with some of it.  Not all.  I do the laundry and he does 
he fixing up of whatever needs fixing.  Then we clean up together.

We live on the 34th floor and the laundry room is on the 2nd, somehow it seems just
natural when in Chicago to do it this way.  Of course before doing laundry I check the
schedule of the elevator.  Everyday there are move in and move outs, and deliveries.
Depending on that is when we do the laundry.  Everything has to be perfectly timed.

Arvid and Sniff have become very attached.  Sniff loves his Dada very much and every
 morning you will find him snuggled close to Arvid.  Arvid loves it because he
says it keeps him warm.  If Arvid moves, you guessed it, Sniff moves.

My sister and Kimsy are having a blast in India.  Yesterday for Kimsy's birthday
their guide treated them to dinner complete with a cake and roses for Kimsy.

Here all is well.  We have been interviewing different sitters for Sniff Sniff.  Not so
easy to come across someone you can trust.  We thought we had a teenager in the building,
but unfortunately it did not work out.  Let's say I was not happy with her, so she was fired
before she even started.  Sad because having someone in the building is best.

The above was just thorwn in for fun.  Do I believe it?  Not necessarily, but FB thinks
that this best describes me.  I really like the one that says I have someone watching over me.
  I have always know that I have a guardian angel up above.  His name is Paul Michael
Riley.  I want to believe that Brutus and Shadow are playing together and they
 know how much I love them and how much I miss them.  I will always love you.

To all a very good day.  I leave you with a few scenes from Chicago.

They say, "difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations"...


Jun 15, 2016

Nirvana Kimberly... A Force All By Herself

Some people are special cause of what they say or what they do, but you are special 
to me because of  who you are in my life, and the way you care and 
treat others. Just by being you,  you've made all the difference...

Kimsy was born in Puerto Rico in 1997.  She is 19 years old today and just like Reshma, 
I look at her and I don't know where the years have gone by.  Time is going by too fast.

 We last saw Kimsy May of last year.  Arvid and I went to Puerto Rico for her graduation. 
 I look at her and seeing the beautiful young lady she is today made me realize that I 
am a very lucky aunt and it makes me miss her very much.  I have beautiful
 nieces who are both wonderful inside and outside and who loves me.  
Can one get any luckier?  Don't think so.  I am blessed.

Kimsy grew up Bilingual.  Now she is also fluent in French and I think she has picked up
 some additional languages due to all the international travelling she has been doing.  
On Sunday Kimsy and her mom took went to India.  Kimsy has an internship at a hospital
 in India and will be living there for the next two months.  Honestly I can't keep up
 with my nieces and nephews.  The are always on the move.

Kimsy is the celebrity in our family.  Her life is centered around the who is who,
but even so she is one of the most kindhearted, grounded young lady always there to help
out. To know Kimsy is to love her.  She is soft spoken and a fierce defender of 
her brother J.  After graduation she began college life in Harvard.  She now
 lives in Connecticut, but still jets around. I just adore her free spirit.

Just thinking of her and I smile.  The girl is just lovable.  I remember one year when
 visiting them in Puerto Rico, she insisted we go to the Care Bear Shop, and get
 ourselves a care Bear.  She already had a huge collection, but just seeing her 
so excited made me get caught up in the moment.  So we both walked 
out of there with new care Bears and a big smile.  Brutus had some 
good times with Lil Mysulf as mine was called.  My Brutus.

Thinking about her makes me long to see her, J and my sister.  
All my nieces and nephews are SMART!, but there is something about the girls 
that take them to another level.  Kimsy is no exception.  She excels in everything. 
 If there is something that needs to be done, guess who was volunteering?  

My beautiful niece is all grown up.  You are unique and special, and the 
world is an open book.  Happy Birthday and we hope we can see you all soon. 
 Go on and conquer the world.  Don't ever stop Kimsy.  Live life to the fullest always.

There will always be people in your life to tell you U can't.
Look them in the eyes and and say WATCH me....!


Jun 13, 2016

Moments At The 2016 Chicago Blues Festival...

I like my music's volume high enough to not hear you...

Just look at his face. Arvid could not wait to get going to the festival.  He said to me,
"this weekend no one can get hold of me.  I'm not turning my phone on."  And he had a big smile 
on his face.  The man is happiest when he hears the Blues, and Friday did not disappoint.

Said Arvid, "dear music I will never be able to thank you enough for being there for me."

As always I love being outdoors.  I may not always sit still, but I'm having a good time. 
 I enjoy watching everyone and capturing moments.  Makes me happy.  Very happy.

People of all ages were there.  Old, young, infants.  You name it they were there.  
Some came on bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers and of course many like us just walked.

The first day was HOT!  Just about everyone wore a hat.  Unfortunately, 
I have too much hair and no hats really stay put on my head.

Saturday on the other hand was even hotter.  Neither Arvid nor I felt we wanted to go out and
 sit in the heat, even for the Blues.  As you know we live in Florida, and we rarely go out
 in the heat.  So on this day we stayed home with Sniff Sniff and listened to the music from
 our balcony.  Was a treat and best of all we were in the shade, yet heard everything.

I took the above pictures from our balcony.  Not too shabby after all.  We like it.

Yesterday the temperatures dipped into the 60's F, of course we were cold, but more
so Arvid.   As you can see he had to borrow my scarf for the remainder of the evening.
 After that it was good.  We moved around a bit and at some point we had a
 little sunshine which help quite a lot in warming us up.

As far as Arvid and I are concerned there is no place better than Chicago.
In the summertime  The Blues Festival has the best place to call home.  Chicago.
The views from each stage is just breathtaking.  Arvid and I are just fortunate to
 be living in the center of all the amazingness that is Chicago.

In the mist of all of this, tragedy surrounds us.  As the world now knows, Orlando,
Florida an American-born man who's pledged allegiance to ISIS gunned down 50 people
 early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando.  The deadliest mass shooting in the
United States and the nations worst terror attack since 9/11 according to authorities.

Life sure is put into perspective,  There are hundreds of families mourning the loss of loved
 ones.  Tears that will forever be a part of their lives.  It makes one really appreciate what
 we have and who we have in our lives.  To all, what are you grateful for today?

Good morning all.  Remember to never let the things you want make you forget the
 things you have.  I also remind myself of that quite often these days.
If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.  As we express our gratitude,
 we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them...