May 20, 2018

Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop ~

Where is here, when is now.  The whole key to life is 
discovering things for yourself.  What you do with that 
discovery is what lies on the other side of that door...

If you ever get to Fort Lauderdale and you love tropical fruit then this
 is the place to go. What a place. You can find absolutely EVERYTHING!!
!  It's a giant indoor and outdoor flea market with  a free circus, amusement
 rides, video arcade, and drive-in movies and much more.

Not my usual place to go but, if you need to frame a picture there are quite a few
 galleries also,  if you have some time to kill and just want to be amazed by the 
thousands of vendors with everything you can imagine it's the place to go...

Check out the link and you'll see what I mean:

Just take a look at these pictures and you will have an idea of what it's all about.
Yes, if you are in the search for a stun no more you will find it here.  
Want a sports car well you're in the right place.  Want to go to the movies?  
No problem because it has 15 screens...

If you are like me and love fresh vegetables and all kinds of tropical
 fruit then you've come to the right place.....Just take a look at the
 marketplace and some of the  fruit I was able to snag. will be 
having a feast tonight and for the next few days...a fruit feast!!

There is so much more you can find if you have the time and want to 
spend all that energy fighting the crowd and the heat......just have a look.
Looking at the pictures makes me want to go there right now.

 You are not mistaken you can even find a pet here....

So next time you are in Fort Lauderdale and have time on your hands...
the Swap Shop might be the place to spend and different if you
 are into that.  You might even find the Blues Brothers there....ENJOY!!

Live life fully while you're here. Experience everything.
 Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird. 
Go out and screw up! You're going to anyway, so you might as well enjoy the process. 
Take the opportunity to learn from your mistakes: find the cause of your problem 
and eliminate it. Don't try to be perfect; just be an excellent example of being human...


May 18, 2018

One Of Those Days ~LIFE

All it takes is one song to bring back 1000 memories...

A flashback inn time.  Left me with nostalgia today.

I don't usually believe all this "nonsense", but today it has left me wondering.

Sometimes all it take to bring back memories
is a smell, a song or just plain tiredness.

Like everyone, I have memories to last a lifetime.  Many are
 now safely tucked away somewhere far away, but always
available and with each day new memories are made.

Remember you can't create new moments if you are busy
 with your past memories.  This I remind myself of quite often.
 So have a great day and make great memories...

Make each moment count and have a great weekend ahead!

Don't allow yourself to wake up with yesterday's issues
troubling your mind.  Refuse to live backwards, see
everyday as a new chapter. Make today 
ridiculously amazing....


May 17, 2018

Happy Birthday In Heaven Brutus And Shadow ~

The most painful tears are not the ones that fall from 
your eyes and cover your face, it's the ones that 
fall from your heart and cover your soul...

Perhaps the greatest gift an animal has to offer 
is a permanent reminder of who we really are.

I will never stop saying that the day Brutus came into our
lives was one of the best days ever.  Today our little baby would
 have turned 12.  Brutus died when he was only 9 years old.

Both Arvid and I were hoping for so many more with him,
but the 9 years we had will forever be one of the best times of our
 lives and the memories we have of Brutus will never be gone from
 our hearts.  He was my baby and I will forever miss him.

I will always say, Brutus made Arvid a better person. Being a cat
lover and having had cats before, I knew exactly what was going
 to happen, but seeing Arvid change and become a more patient, caring
 and nurturing person right before my eyes was something amazing.
 Arvid is a new person and he himself will tell you that it is due
 to Brutus.  May 17th will always be special to me.

Today little shadow would have also turned 3.  He never made it to
his first birthday, but for the short time we had him with us, he was
fierce and fearless.  I hope today Shadow and Brutus are together
over the so called Rainbow Bridge.  Playing and having fun,
knowing that their mama and dada loves them very much.

Happy birthday Brutus and Shadow.  Mama and dada love 
you forever. As the saying goes, until one has loved
 an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.

Wishing you all a good day and remember.  
Grab life by the tail, and then pet it.

Your pet is not your friend.  It is your hostage.
When I am feeling low, all I have to do was watch Brutus, 
Shadow and  now Sniff and my courage returns....


May 15, 2018

It Is What It Is ~

More people would learn from their mistakes
if they weren't so busy denying them....

Who can claim to have not made mistakes in their lives?
I for one can't.  I have made many mistakes, and unfortunately I
know that there are so many more I will probably make.

What I do know for sure is that every time I make a mistake I would
like to believe that I have learnt from the experience.  Can't promise
not to EVER do the same thing again, because we all know that 
mistakes are a part of life, but at the same time we all hope to learn from them.

Some mistake we hope we never make again, some most likely we will.
As the saying goes, mistakes are proof that you are trying. The
worst mistake anyone can make is being afraid to make one.,

It's crazy how you can do nice things for people all 
the time an they never notice.  But once you make one 
mistake it's NEVER FORGOTTEN....


May 13, 2018

Sunday~ May 13th ~ Mother's Day

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. 
A dream you dream together is reality...

As usual Sundays are days to relax and just be lazy
 around the house.  Most of the day we spend in our pajamas 
until we have to get out of the house four our Sunday meal
 and outing.  Perfect day as far as we are concerned.

Happiness is a sunny day and right now we will be having 
lots of it. Wishing everyone a beautiful and relaxing day.  Remember
 to always make  your own sunshine and to never depend
 on anyone but yourself to make you happy.

Just look at Sniff.  No worries at all.  He is a happy boy all the time.
And as you can see, he's all prepared for some sunny days ahead.

Here in the United States we celebrate Mother's Day today.  Here is to 
my mom, my sisters and definitely, Anna and all the moms.  Enjoy your 
special day.  The sacrifices you make for us, only a mother knows.

My mom was and still is my greatest teacher, 
a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness.  Because of her
 and my dad I am the woman I am today, and I like the
 woman I am.  Thank you for shaping my life. 

Life began with me waking up and loving my mother's face.
No matter how old I get, I always want my mom when I don't feel good...


A Few Days In The Sun

We are ready.  Bring it on.
vacation next exit...

And suddenly it's almost time for some fun in The Sunshine State

When we were going to Mexico, Arvid's excitement was contagious.
He was totally relaxed, smiling and even happier than usual.

It had been over a year that we had a vacation.  Not sure I even
 knew what it is was to relax anymore.  Here in Branson I  have slept with
my cell phone under my pillow ever since we have had the hotels.  

When we go places now, I don't worry as much about Sniff as
 I did with Brutus, not because he's not loved.  It's because he's healthy and
 does not need medicines all the time.  Our little Brutus he's missed.

I think of Brutus so very often.  Not a day goes by that I don't. 
 I miss him, but I will be honest, the grief is not as heart wrenching.  
Well not all the time.  There are days when I want him back so
 badly, that I sometimes feel as if I am neglecting Sniff.

Shadow is a memory that I try to keep locked away, otherwise I freak out.
Life is good.  No one has everything they want, but we must all be
 grateful for what we do have.  And yes, I am always grateful.

A little time in the Sunshine State.  Strange, but as of now I still don't
 think of it as home, but we get there there are memories that hit me
like a ton to bricks.  Brutus is in every corner of the apartment.

 It does get a little overwhelming for me because everytime we
open the door I expect to see his little face.  I know it will get better.

Happy day all.  What are you grateful for?

You can't get to the happy moments in
 life until you get through the bad...


May 12, 2018

Saturday ~

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts...

Any day that includes a good cup of coffee is a good day.
Allergies have been a little better so very happy about that as well.

May your Saturday be one filled with positive vibes, 
lots of laughter and always a reason to be grateful for.  

Sniff Sniff.  Full of love and affection.  That face, impossible
 to not love.  Yes we love our Sniff Sniff very much. 

 Everyday I remind myself that we can't reach for anything new
 if our hands are still full of yesterdays "junk"/"sorrows"  

My Brutus is always in my thoughts and in my heart.  I know I 
love Sniff, but sometimes I do feel guilty because I know 
that both Arvid and I are probably holding back.  

I keep reminding Arvid and yes me that Sniff deserves all the love
 we can give to him.  He's not Brutus.  He's our Sniff Sniff, and he is a
good, good kitty.  I hope one day I will be able to call him "my baby"
  So far I just can't bring myself to do it.  You see Brutus was/is my baby.

It's been 2 and a half years now since our Brutus died, and 2 years 
Shadow died.  Time makes that agonizing, gut wrenching pain more 
bearable, but time has not erased a single memory of what I am missing.
Sniff has made life so much better today, and for that I am grateful.

I miss you.  I don't know what else there is to say...


May 11, 2018

Allergy Season ~

Spring, when your nose does more running than you do...

It's not as if I wanted to be awake this early, but since
 moving to Branson, Missouri I have had the worst 
case of allergies.  From never before having 
allergies, I have it in the most extreme way. 

 I was awaken by the sneezing, itchy eyes and everything 
you can think of.  It's only 3:30 am and I do not wish
 to disturb Arvid,  so I get up, brush Sniff, feed 
Sniff, and have my cafe.  All I can say is that
 it's going to be a very long day.

Almost Home will be having on of it's inspections 
today for the pool.  Next week we will be having another
 set of inspections, so overall it will be some pretty
 busy and interesting times ahead. 

 Last year was more stressful because I had to do it all 
on my own.  The paperwork and running of the hotel. This
 year I have Arvid, so together with Chris he makes sure everything
 is up to par.  It's so good having just one hotel.  Now Arvid 
can take care of the paperwork and I just run the hotel.

Sniff ate his foodies, got his brushing but decided to 
go back to sleep.  Smart boy.  Just wish I could do the same.

Today we take the gang from Almost Home out to dinner after work.  
We all love the BBQ wings at Drafts, so that's where we will be 
heading. Hopefully I will not be sneezing throughout the meal.  

Looking forward to the weekend and to see what it holds. 
 For sure soccer and lots of sunshine.  Weather has been great.  
Actually has been downright HOT!  It's a nice change to not 
have to wear winter clothes.  Yes, summer weather is here.

To all  a very good Friday.  Hopefully you all
 have gotten more sleep than I did so far.

May your weekend be filled with positive thoughts,
kind people and happy thoughts...


May 10, 2018

Life ~

Just take one step at a time.  That's really all you can do...

Jesse turned one year old today.  Her mom and dad were 
not able to be there with her.  As I have mentioned
 before, her dad, Phil is in the hospital battling 
for his life.  Mom Liz is by his side.  

Yesterday I visited Phil in Springfield.  What I saw is 
heart breaking to describe.  From the man we all knew less
 than 2 weeks ago this "new" Phil was NOT him.  Heart 
wrenching is mild.  What Elisabeth is living right now
 is a nightmare no ever wishes to have to live.

Even in all of her grief Liz asked me if I could 
please get Jesse a treat for his birthday when I got back 
to Almost Home.  How could  not?  Jesse feasted on salmon 
in a gourmet sauce.  Not her usual according to her mama.

Look at Jesse eating.  The bowl she has once belonged to Brutus, 
then Shadow and then Sniff.  Sniff did not want t use it so Jesse
 now owns it together with a few other bowls belonging to Brutus.  
We all go on with our lives.  It is what it is.  Though we say 
someone else's tragedy touches us, we don't actually think 
of it once we "leave"  What I saw at the hospital yesterday
 is firmly an image that won't leave me in a long time.  

Phil was slipping in and out of consciousness, but 
when I spoke to him and touched him on the arm he 
turned his head toward me.  He tried to speak to me.  

You see at Almost Home we are a family.  Phil and Liz
 are dear to me.  Phil recognized my voice.  Phil wanted 
to talk to me.  That's the image I have right now.

Another day begins. No one knows what it hold.  None of us.
So whatever you do always live life to the fullest.  Enjoy 
each moment.  Make memories that will last a lifetime.  Be kind
 to each other and always make room in your hearts for compassion.

On a little lighter note.  Our nephew Max Dyal now to be
 known as Dr. Dyal, graduated from Duke University with 
a doctorate in Physical Therapy.  He passed the Boards already. 
 As soon as that was done he had 2 interviews last weekend in Florida.

Max was interviewed on Friday.  Before he even left the building
 he was offered the job.  Yes he was offered both jobs!  Dr. Dyal 
will soon be heading the Physical Therapy Department in his job.  

I am forever proud of all my nieces and nephews.  
Their accomplishments is nothing we are not used to,
 but every so often I find the urge to brag.  

Unlike many, Max and his family do not advertise their lives
 on Facebook.  You will NEVER know where they are or what they
 are doing if you base it on Facebook.  Unlike so many of us, whose
 moves can be tracked all day all night long just by a little click.

Another proud moment for our family.  CONGRATULATIONS 

And suddenly you just know it's time to start something 
new and trust the magic of beginnings...


May 9, 2018

Wednesday ~

Why is it that whenever you try to hold something
 dear and beautiful, it always slips away...

When I took over Almost Home November 2016 many 
of the tenants there were already there for a few years.  
Today I still have most of the "original" ones left. 

 They have been there now for some years and
 many do no plan to leave.  Sad as I sometimes
 find this, they are content and very happy.

As you may imagine, most of the "originals" have become my
 friends and I have grown very attached to them.  I also have 
had a few new tenants that came to the hotel within weeks
 of me being there.  Many also are still there, and then 
we have the ones that come for the season. 

One of the couples that came within a few weeks of me
 being there is now going through some extremely difficult 
times.  Both her and her husband are are my friends.  

Unfortunately, the husband is now in critical condition
 and will most likely not make it.  It's heartbreaking to watch
 how Liz tries to be strong.  I talk to her and she's a mess.

Her life is of stress, pain, heartache and despair right now.  
Knowing that feeling, makes me even more sensitive 
to what she is going through.  It's hell on earth.

Her husband is in the hospital about an hour 
away from Almost Home.  He's in Springfield.  Liz 
has no transportation to go back and forth to see him.  
Of course I have volunteered to be that transportation. 

 That being said, sometime today I will be going to Springfield.
  I will visit Phil and hopefully I will manage to take Liz out 
to have a bite to eat.  She's a wreck and is just on automatic 
pilot right now.  It's heartbreaking to watch.  Life is unfair.

I have been awake very early.  Laying in bed trying to think 
of what I can do to make her life a little easier.  The pain and the 
despair is something she will have to face all by herself.  

Yes, friends and family will be there, but at the end of the day
 no one knows what it is unless they live it.  No one can take 
away that heartache from her.   For now I will help with
 Jesse her kitty.  I am also helping with her rent by lowering 
it and trying to help getting it paid by her boss.

Life changes from minute to minute.  Second to second.  
Just a few weeks ago Phil was laughing.  Talking to me. The three
 of us were joking and I was making fun of him (in a nice way).  Now this.
  Remember everyone, what you take for granted, someone else is praying for.

Today her forest is black.  The trees are sad 
and all the butterflies have broken wings...