Dec 22, 2014

Best Time Of The Year...

Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home...

May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love. Christmas is the time
of giving and sharing.  It is the time of loving and forgiving.  Merry Christmas to Everyone!

It goes without saying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  People seem to be
merrier and there is so much love going around that the warmth engulfs you and for
that brief time known as Christmas everyone seems to live in harmony.

All over the world there are happy faces waiting for that day just to open up their presents....
for some it may be a ton of presents for others maybe just one or sometimes not a thing...

Growing up we were not wealthy.  Our presents were not many if any at all  but the love
we shared as a family was more than enough to make each and every Christmas better and better.

Many may have forgotten the true spirit or meaning of Christmas.
  Remember it is not always "I want" , I want" but sometimes the best of times
are those spent sharing with family and friends and just enjoying each others company..
One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present....

From our home to yours: HAPPY HOLIDAYS
May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love
 and your life with laughter:)


Dec 21, 2014

Holiday Greetings To All...

Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; 
Teach us to be patient and always to be kind...

Warm greetings from snow for us, just Palm Trees and Sunshine.  Have to admit I
would love a white Christmas...just something about it makes it feel like Christmas.
 Happy Holidays to my friends all over the world and thank you very much
 for tuning into my blog...much appreciated.  The true joy of Christmas
 is in the love shared with family and friends.

May all your days be happy and bright and may all your Christmases be
 white.  May this Christmas find you surrounded by those you love and those who love you.

To all may the Holiday Season fill your hearts with joy, love and all things good.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients 
of a truly merry Christmas...


Dec 20, 2014

It's A Special Day....

In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important
in life and what isn't.  Be wise and don't let the good things crowd out those that are essential....

Someone somewhere today will be happy it is Christmas time after all.

Arvid and I have finished with our Christmas wrapping now for over a week.  
All presents are ready to be delivered and some.  Feeling excited.

For many the Holidays hold some sadness.  
My former sister-in-law Carol Riley expressed it this way:

"I'm feeling a bit melancholy and I'm sure I'm not alone ~~ tends to happen this time of the 
year to many of us ~~~  So I was wondering if we could just take one minute ~ 60 seconds
 of this busy ~ hectic season and think about all the people we have in our lives that 
love us ~~ the ones that are with us and the ones who are not ~~ Just be "still" ~ 
give yourself this one minute to reflect on this most important gift of all ~~~~ 
love ~~~~~~ Merry Christmas" 

The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always see the world smiling back.

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that 
as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart...


Dec 19, 2014

A Very Good Day...

The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. 
Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating...

Countdown to Christmas day has now really taken an intense life.  For our families in Norway,
according to Victoria, Christmas is one very busy season.  She has everyday from the 22nd
to the 28th booked with some big activity.  As she said to me, "I'm very excited, but
also when the 28th comes it will also be nice because we can then get some rest."

    That is for at least a couple of days before the New Years festivities begin.

For a few years now Victoria and Michael have always had a huge party at their home on
December 27th with big Christmas themes and prizes for best costumes.  When the party begins
who knows when it will end.  Something similar to my culture.  There is never
 a so called set ending to the evening until the last person is technically
"incapacitated."  Check out her pictures from previous parties.

It is also a very good day for kids here in the US today marks the last day of school. Yes!
Christmas vacation begins and what a better way to welcome it by this big smile on Lilly's
face.  Lilly is one very happy little girl.  I have never not seen her smiling.  She
makes everyday a good day.  Love her to pieces.  I look into her eyes
 and my heart melts.  I know all is good in my world.

This is the time also when parents dress up their show off their little ones in Santa's
outfits.  They are just too adorable as you can see.  Aleah our grand-daughter is all smiles
as is Isabel, the daughter of another friend living in Norway.  They just love the magic of Christmas.

To all a very good weekend.  Ours is looking pretty interesting as of right now.  May the
wonder of the Christmas Season forever be a part of your lives.  It is after all the


Enjoy the weekend with the ones you love. As the holiday season approaches,
 may your home be filled with lots of love,  laughter and yummy smells!!...


Dec 18, 2014

There Is Always Something Good....

Come tomorrow, I'll wake up new.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today..

Ever since I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer many things have really gone wacky with me.
Yikes! sad indeed and as Arvid says, "I'm the one who has to deal with all your changes."
I know, true supporter he is, but when I hear him say it it just makes me smile.

One of the most irritating symptoms, and trust me there are many is this cough that does not
 want to quit.  I have now had it close to a year and nothing seems to help.  Doctors say I have
 GERD  (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)  This is a condition in which the stomach contents
 (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to 
the stomach).  This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and many other symptoms.

I have taken different medications for it, but it still persists.  I have also modified my food habits,
but still it persists.  I had given up carbonated drinks, but sadly it's been 3 months now and
 I have been indulging in them again.  Pepsi is my weakness.
  Have again given it up this time for good,  Sad!

Anther thing I have to definitely cut down on is coffee.  Sad also because I sure enjoyed
my morning cafes with Brutus.  Though I have not given it up 100%, I am working toward it.
Now in the mornings I just have a small cup and usually just a few sips.  Sad!

Not one to really do the green tea stuff, I have now started again. This also means
 no chocolate, and it's another of my so many weaknesses.  All my weaknesses are 
the same things that I can no longer eat.  In my culture we are used to spicy foods.
  You guessed right another no-no on my list.  All my pleasures in food have been taken away.
It's a good thing there is so much other good stuff to sample.  Now is my chance to try new things.

Though I am being extra cautious, it did not help at all yesterday.  I took the
pill 20 minutes before mealtime, just like the doctor said to do.  Did not help an
hour after lunch I was coughing up a fit.  I who never liked milk much drink lots of it everyday.

I am actually taking a while to get used to this "new" me.  I also found out
that with this GERD your body tends to bloat up even more.
Yep.. happy days are in store for me.

Taking it all one day at a time.
  No other way to look at it or face it.

I have a new philosophy. 
I'm only going to dread one day at a time...


Dec 17, 2014


If you fight hard, you know who you are, and are proud of who you are,
 and you've got a good chance of winning...

It is a great day to be an aunt.  Yesterday my niece Kimberly Nirvana (Kimsy) was accepted 
into Yale University.  It has taken her years of preparation to get to this stage.  Kimsy put in
 what's called an early admission for Yale and lo and behold she made it.

For the Class of 2014, Yale University received 25,869 applications, and admitted 1,940 
applicants for an overall admit rate of 7.5%  and Kimsy is right there. Not only is 
she beautiful and brainy, but she has a heart of gold.  Thinking of her I picture 
tenderness, kindness and all things good put together in a little girl who
 is now a "big" girl.  Little Kimsy is now Ivy League.

Kimsy..  See your goal.  Work your goal.  Score your goal.
Needless to say her parents, her brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and 
everyone who knows her are ecstatic.  It's not like we ever doubted she will make it in, but
just getting the confirmation is overwhelming.  I wish we were there right now to celebrate with her.

Kimsy knows how much we all love her and how proud we are for her.  Getting where 
she is right now did not come easy.  It seems as if she was preparing  for this achievement
for years and years.  Goal oriented and she never lost sight of it.   

 Kimsy did what she does best she set her goals high and NEVER lost sight of it. 
 Today it has all paid off.  Her mom my sister Nirvana has played a huge role
 in the success of Kimsy.  Like all parents she encouraged her always.
Kimsy, you made it.  Now the journey begins.  I love you!!!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you've imagined...


Dec 16, 2014

What Christmas Looks Like In Florida...

Who needs snowflakes when you have seashells and palm trees...

White Christmas?  You can forget all about that when you live in Florida.  Think more
like palm trees instead of Christmas trees. That is palm trees decorated as your Christmas tree. 
 May not be your typical white Christmas, but it sure has it's charm.  That's a Florida Christmas.

Every home you pass by has a palm tree on the outside and it is fully decorated.
This one is in the front of a condo building.  Beautiful always.

Here in our building we also have the palm trees decorated with lights.

A little look at how Christmas is in Florida.

Here in Florida winter for us is anything 70 degrees and colder.
People pull out their heavy sweaters, scarves, UGG boots and everything they can
 think of. The ones who want to be "cool" just hang out in flip flops and yes with socks.

No matter where you are, Christmas is magical and will always be.  Some like it
many don't, but there is no denying the spell it casts over us.  As someone said, I couldn't
give you a list of things I got as gifts when I was a child, but certain memories do stand out.
Most often they are togetherness moments, memories of fun shared and things done together.

Dear Santa, I have been very good for the last week or so.
Let's just focus on that....


Dec 15, 2014

A Good Day...

Each difficult moment in life has the potential to open my eyes and my heart.  
If you don't start out the day with a smile, it's not too late to practice for tomorrow...

Just took it easy yesterday and it felt good.  According to my mom we have been entertaining quite a 
lot these last few months.  Maybe she is right, so for now it was just a quiet Sunday for the 3 of us.

As you can see the boys were relaxing over a soccer game.  Brutus is in Kitty Heaven.

We did family time with everyone and lots of catching up and was just a feel good time.
Already the new week has begun and the countdown for Christmas is even more real for many.

For us it's as always a busy Monday.  Why is it that Monday's are extra hectic?  No clue.
The rest of the week  is also pretty packed so it will be interesting to see how "crazy"
things can get around here, and trust me with Arvid one never knows.  Fun.

Lots of leftover food from the boat parade night.  Happy that Liliana is around.
She and our other guests took most of it.  Everyone is happy for that.

Brutus had a bad day yesterday with his medicines.  After finally managing to get them into
 him he puked everything out and did not eat for quite some time.  He has until Saturday before
 his pills are all over.  After that it is back to the vet with him for another follow-up and more pills.

People often say that motivation does not last.
Well neither does bathing, that's why we recommend it daily...


Dec 14, 2014

Yesterday's Boat Parade...

Believe in the magic of the season...

These were all taken last night from our balcony.  Enjoy and Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad


Gondola Passing By




It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air...


Dec 13, 2014

Winterfest Boat Parade...

Even though you're growing up, you should never stop having fun...

Every December around this time we have the pleasure of seeing the Fort Lauderdale Winterfest 
Boat Parade from the comfort of our apartment.  Not to brag, but we have one of the 
best views in town for this event.  Don't have to go anywhere just out
 in our balcony and the magic begins.  View of last years boats:

This year like last year we will be having friends over.  One year my parents were here to 
watch it with us.  Was one of the best times ever.  This year also promises to be 
lots of fun because we threw in my girl-friend Liliana into the mix. 
 You know we will be entertained even more.

As some one said about this parade:  You'll see all types of boats in this parade from small
 dinghies to 3 storey sight-seeing and party boats to barges and everything in between. 
 From the appearance, some of these boat owners and the companies that sponsor
 the larger vessels must spend days putting up strings of lights and
 decorations, many cover every inch of their craft.

The spectators are also a trip, with many cheering and taking photos of the boats, 
while others complain bitterly when a large yacht passes by with just 1 measly string
 of lights on it (the owners didn't try hard enough for their liking), but applaud loudly
 for tiny private boats where the owners obviously went all out.

We have seen the parade many times and sadly we have "lost" that feeling of wonder
 about it.  Our friends on the other hand look forward to it yearly and even though 
they have seen it for over 30 years, it still holds magic for them and that
 is what will make the evening special.  Their excitement combined
 with our lack of interest is a combination for a good time.

Never, ever underestimate the importance of having fun.

We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take
 time to enjoy where we are.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all...