Aug 31, 2012


One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying....

Many times I wish I could say as Steve Jobs did, "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
What I mean is that there are so many people who do not appreciate the life they have.  They spend so much of their time wishing they were somewhere else, living somewhere else of just being someone else.

Many times we do get disappointed in what life has dished out to us, but this does not make our lives necessarily a bad one.  For instance, just because a person wishes to live in another country does not mean that their county is not good.  So many people only see the negative in life that sometimes they forget what is really important.

I have seen too many people caught up in the lives of others, and they forget that their life is also important.  They forget to live and to appreciate the beauty around them.  At times even I get fed up with things, but I always remember that I have a good life and that I am surrounded by people who love me and people whom I love.

The supreme object of life is to live. Few people live. It is true life only to realize one's own perfection, to make one's every dream a reality...


Aug 30, 2012

St. Louis, Missouri

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain...

Since before leaving for Norway, Arvid reserved us a spot at the St. Louis Blues Festival and has been patiently awaiting for this day.  Well it's finally here and I can see a man already in heaven.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control we have cancelled the trip.

The reason is hurricane Issac.  Not a treat as a hurricane any longer, but it is leaving in its path torrential of rains, and St. Louis appears to be one of the places that will have lots of it this coming weekend.  This is too bad for we have been planning this since June.   Fortunately, there has been no extreme disasters when compared to hurricane Katrina 7 years ago.

Music is one of the things that brings out total relaxation and bliss to Arvid.  Not saying I do not enjoy the music, but it is noting compared to what Arvid feels.  He is transported into a whole new world where nothing matters and where he is at peace.

I love to watch him when he is like this.  Brutus makes him feel this way as well.  Seeing them together you would think that nothing else matters at that moment and you would be right. Same with the music.

Last year was the first year we started going to the St.Louis Blues Festival and if judging from last year, this year would also have been good.
 No matter what we will have a fun time in whatever we do.  Arvid already has a few thing planned so will see how it goes.
When we were there last year, we got to see The Gateway Arch.  Very impressive.  The deal I made with Arvid is that each time we go a new place for any kind of venue, be it business or just pleasure, I would like to see some kind of monument.  So far he has been good about it. 

St. Louis 2011
Well the weekend has almost begun.  Have fun everyone.  Time for us to make a few new plans.  Sounds good to me.  For me the fun is in the planning and in all the possibilities that are out there.
May you live in interesting times...

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.


Aug 29, 2012


I've learned to let things roll off my back. If people say negative things, I could care less, but I let it give me a boost of confidence if they're saying nice things...

People are people no matter where you go.  They will be the way they are no matter what you say or what you do.  That is their choice.  I also have a choice, and I choose to associate myself with positive people and people who care.

Having Danielle visiting is always such a pleasant experience.  It makes me realize that the world is full of young, smart and highly motivated people who see the positive in every situation.  Even when thinks look bleak, Danielle always has something positive to say.

I would like to believe that she took some of this from me, but I know it is all her.

When I hear people complain and just see the negative in life, I try to understand.  I try to see their point of view, but after a while it sure gets you down.  I then realize that I don't need this kind of negativity in my life.  Life is tough enough as it is without having people around you that can never see the bright side or the good side of anything.
Thank you  Danielle for being that bright spot in our lives this week.  We are really enjoying your visit.
 Positive thoughts everyone!

Sometimes you don't give someone a reason to dislike you; they just do it out of purely insecurities...

Aug 28, 2012

So True...

Treat praise and criticism the same way; let it go in one ear and out the other...

Something else I saw posted on Facebook by one of my friends and I could not agree more.
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy connecting with friends in Facebook.  I do enjoy quite a few of the funny stuff people post and I have had my good share of laughter from the silly/crazy things people say.  Facebook is fun if you make it fun.

Some go out of their way to see hidden agendas there.  Not sure why.  Like this says, many people believe that when a person updates their status, you are actually referring to them.  Insecure is all I can say. Maybe a bit jealousy also.  Many people lead much more interesting lives than others or at least  they claim to.  Me I take it for what it is.  Lots of make belief at time and just another outlet to kill some time and to have some fun.

The best thing to happen at times is when someone un friends you.  You see maybe you would have liked to do it, but because..... you just did not.  As far as Arvid goes and this I keep saying, the worst thing is Facebook.  He claims it's best to stay away.  He says the less he knows the better off he is, but then that's Arvid in a nutshell.  

Well Brutus has his own Facebook page and his friend list is growing.  This is keeping me busy to the point I have started to forget my own page.  Haha!  I'm having fun and that's what counts.  Check him out.

Well friends, hope your day is good and please know that when someone says something in Facebook they are definitely NOT talking about you.  All they are doing is having a good time and passing some time in between work and the regular demands of the day.  Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent!

There’s a point in life when you get tired of chasing people. It’s not giving up, it’s realizing you don’t need certain people and their crap...


Aug 27, 2012

Online Shopping...

There's nothing better than online shopping in your PJ's with a glass of wine with the kids asleep!

For me nothing beats going to the mall, browsing around and just checking out all the new collections that have come into the stores, but now with many of us having very busy schedules going to the mall is sometimes a luxury we cannot afford.

My sisters all have children and with the hectic schedules they have, this is definitely something that does not fit into their lives, so like many they resort to online shopping.  As one of my sister loves to say, "it is absolutely the best.  No lines, no hassles just you and your computer and a few clicks and you have what you need."

In many ways this is absolutely true.  I have a few favorite sites that I shop from and I would recommend them to all of you.  The most hassle free sites I have come across are:

Victoria Secret           

Macy's          Home Depot

There are of course many more, but I can vouch for these.  With Amazon, you order today and in less than 3 days you have your items at your doorstep.  You may even qualify for free shipping in some cases.  Just a few days ago I ordered a few covers for my IPhone and I am already getting them in.  I'm happy

With Victoria's Secret I find it easy because I already know what style and size I am looking for and if I always do the same then it makes shopping so very easy.  Also sometimes the online store has much more of a selection than the mall store.

Zappos is a favorite because they offer free shipping and if for some reason you need to return they send you everything you will need to make the transaction easy.  Quite a few of my handbags are from Zappos.  They have a variety I cannot find in the stores.

I am a fan of Macy's.  I know what I want and I know my size, style and brand.  Makes it easy to just do a few clicks and get everything delivered.  Just the other day we ordered  something for our home and in a matter of a few days, it was on our doorstep.  Right now there is a sale going on and I do not have the time to get there so tonight when all is quiet, I will go online buy me something, courtesy of Arvid.  He does not know this as yet.

Home Depot has just about everything you need and not all is in the stores so online is the way to go.

With all this talking about online shopping I think I need to get off and go do some shopping....

I'm happy
Have a great day everyone!

I like my money right where I can see it - hanging in my closet...
I don't shop because I need something, I just shop for shopping's sake...


Aug 26, 2012

15 Biggest Beauty Turnoffs From Real Guys

The best kind of guy is the one that can make his girl smile, even when she's mad at him...

I just read this online and maybe many of us can pick up a few tips as to what makes us appealing not only to men but in general.  I believe in looking good, but at the same time, I don't see the need to spend hours and hours in front of a mirror to do so.
The article goes as follows:

If you are looking to attract a man with your fluffy false lashes and your flowing fake mane, it is time to take a different approach. We scouted the truth and discovered the things women do that make men turn the other way. All in all, men love to see the woman underneath the makeup, so ditch the dramatic routine and go natural for once.
Here are the comments and opinions of different men surveyed.

"It gets on my nerves when women take too much time on makeup. You would think after a lifetime they would have the process down to less than 45 minutes."

"If she has to be at work at 6am and uses the hair dryer, it wakes me up. Then, just when I get back to sleep. She is wearing her heels in the bathroom and the kitchen. Click. Click. Can't you wear slippers? "

"I'm picky about oral hygiene - brushing, flossing, mouthwash. She has to brush her teeth before bed and in the morning before we kiss. That extra care once we reach a certain level of intimacy is important."

"My wife doesn't dye her hair often enough. I don't like to see those dark roots."

"I wish my girlfriend would get a manicure more often instead of doing it herself. She is pretty low-maintenance."

I don't like extensions because when you put your hands in her hair you can feel all the lumps. It might be good to look at but not to touch.

"My wife spends 20 minutes after the shower putting on body lotion. Apparently it has to be applied evenly. For me, it is just a time suck."

"Those thick eyelashes that women put on are annoying. It makes a woman stick out and people know that they aren't real. I like a woman who looks nice and natural. Regular people don't need all those eyelashes."

"Excessive tattoos. I think inappropriately placed tattoos are a turnoff. No matter how pretty she is. Plus, they are addictive. You get one, you have to have another."
"I hate hair all over the sink and floor. I wish women would be mindful of how their beauty products and hair can clog up a common space, especially the bathroom." 

"They don't put caps back on things or they put it on but they don't screw it on so when I go get something it spills."

"My wife uses scrubs and bath salts in the tub, and the grains never go down the drain. All that oil makes the bath so slippery."

Now I can't wait to see the list of things about men that annoy women.  Pretty interesting it should be.  Now I dare anyone of you to say that these things do not apply to you.  Not all, but probably one of them.  Now we can see what the other party.
Women are like remote controls. It gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know the right buttons to push, he keeps trying...


Aug 25, 2012

Money...Part 2

He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money...

What's worst having money or not having money? They say that "Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy." 

It seems that money makes enemies out of everyone and brings out the dark side of all involved.   Growing up we were far from what you would call wealthy.  My parents worked hard (just like most do today to keep us afloat and though we did not want for anything, we never had much in excess.  We had what we needed and that was it. 

Today it seems that many have much more privileged lives that what I was used to when I was their age.  It also appears that because of this many young people take too much for granted and have lost some of the values many parents have instilled in their children about the benefits of hard work and responsibility.

Lately a recurring topic on the news is about children taking advantage of their rich parents.  Just for an example, last night we saw a report on how an elder parent was suing her child because she claims he has robbed her of her life's savings.  This may seem like an isolated case, but more and more I see it and read about it.

What is it about money that brings about this dramatic change in a person that they would go so far as to steal from their own parents?  These are parents who have worked their entire lives to just take care of their children.  I see this and immediately I see red!  It's like as if I were to "steal" from my own parents.  When our parents are older their job is not to provide for their kids anymore at least not financially.  That's how I see it.

My parents, have given to us everything we need to make it on our own.  A good education, values, they have thought us to respect others and ourselves and with this we are more than capable to go out in the world and make our own future, which thankfully we have done.  Nothing like hard work to get you what you want and where you want.  That I learnt from my parents.  My dad always says if at first you don't succeed then you try again.  No one said the road to success was easy, but no one said either that it is impossible.

Today the first thing I read on the news is another parent who says that her children are not fit to receive money from her.  According to the article, if you ask the rich about the biggest problem created from their wealth, they will usually say their kids. Most of today’s self-made rich didn’t grow up with money.  Surveys show 75% of millionaires didn’t inherit their wealth,  and today’s rich parents expect their kids to grow up with middle-class values– just as they did

The article goes on to say that Gina Rinehart, an Australian mining billionaire, who inherited a mining empire from her dad, shut her kids out of their ownership stakes, because she believes that they are not fit to handle money.  The kids are fighting back. Her three kids were left with a stake in the family trust.

She goes on to say that none of the kids can handle a job unless it was provided by the family.  This is just another example of how money divides parents and their children.  I am not saying it happens a lot.  I am saying that I am seeing this  lot in the news all around the world.

As I said in the previous blog..Is it worth it?
Something else to think about...
Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort...The art is not in making money, but in keeping it...
until next time

Aug 24, 2012

Some Favorites...

If we are at home for the weekend - and that is almost never - we tend to get twitchy at about eight o'clock in the evening because our body clock is timed to be on the move.  I don't know what to do with myself....

Just a few weekend favorites..the day does not really matter

Good times at the Lil Red...

My Coco-Di-Mama mojito in Eleuthera.  

Arvid occasionally blended 2 beers to get the right taste @ Coco-Di-Mama

When in doubt, try the chocolate.  Never fails to bring a smile.

Nothing beats a good Pina Colada @ The Keys, Florida

Arvid's all time favorite....a gin and tonic

Well whatever you do, have a great time.  Maybe today I might be a little brave and try something new again. If not coffee is always good as well.
Cheers all and have a good Friday.

There aren't enough days in the weekend...



Make each day of the week like Friday and your life will take on new enthusiasm...

Friday..almost weekend for us and fortunately, it is looking good even if it is a bit too hot right now.  Just the thought of being Friday makes one more relaxed and ready to "party."  One's entire mood is different.  End of another work week and time to enjoy an "adult" beverage as I have heard it being called.

Our weekend started a little early this week.  On Wednesday we were just out doing chores when all of a sudden Arvid asks if I would like to call in to one of our favorite stops just for a drink.  Usually all I would have is iced tea or coffee, but today I decided it would be nice to try something else.  Let me just say I was completely knocked out after a few sips, but boy did it taste good.

Arvid is in charge of our weekend schedule.  Usually he selects what clubs we will be going to.  Of course I have to approve, but most times I do.   It is always fun to see what he chooses.

Hope your Friday is also a good one and CHEERS!

Friday is like a superhero that always arrives just in time to stop one from savagely beating the coworkers with a keyboard...


Aug 23, 2012

Stamp Collector..

We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun....

Arvid is never one to shy away from anything.  He enjoys a challenge even more than I do at times.  As I have mentioned before, he is into trading.  He will trade for just about any and everything and at some point he has.  Many a times I have told him that he would trade Brutus and I if a good deal and opportunity ever showed up.  He says, "Never.  That's where I draw the line."  Of course I was only joking, but he was very serious when he answered.

Arvid is a one of a kind in so many ways.  Not necessarily always what I would choose to do or how I would be.  The man though has guts, determination and when he gets into something he never gives up. He is a driven man in every sense of the word and I love him for it!

Back to his stamp, we bought a boat around Christmas of 2011 about the same time we got our apartment.  He claimed we really need this boat because now that we were back on the water it would be so very nice to just get in the boat and cruise along the Intracoastal.  

I enjoy a boat trip just like everyone else, but that did not mean I wanted a boat.  You see we had boats before and I knew what was involved and I knew sooner or later Arvid would be bored with it.  Anyway he convinced me it was going to be fun.  I gave in and before I knew it we had a small boat.  Arvid was as happy as a kid with a new toy.  The boat got all the little "toys" you can get. 

We brought the boat home.  We admired the boat, cleaned and cleaned the boat and yes we had about four really fun trips in the boat when it finally happened.  Arvid wanted something new.  He was bored with the boat.  Being me I never forgot to tell him, "I told you so."

One day as he was at a meeting he met an old man who was into stamps.  They talked and talked.  When Arvid came home he was again as excited as a kid with a new toy.  He explained to me all about stamps and how easy it would be, no maintenance, no worries by collecting stamps.  I just looked at him and said what what do we own now?

He asked me what would I think if we traded the boat for stamps?  I said, "go ahead."  He said, "I know I love you for a reason. You are just like me always ready to get into something new."    We traded our boat for stamps.  LOTS of stamps.  We also traded a beautiful lot in the Bahamas for stamps.
You see Arvid does not know when to say no to a trade and if the stamps kept coming he kept trading.  The value of the stamps was never confirmed, but that did not matter.  He was convinced he could not lose with stamps.  As he says, "I never lose."

Of course he got all kinds of programs to learn about stamps.  Now he is quite the stamper.  He does it all day long and is as happy as can be.  This is still something new and I have to say I really enjoy seeing him busy and content.  Sometimes when he finds a very valuable stamp I would tell him that now would be a good time for me to get something pretty from the mall.  He so far has always agreed with me.  Ahhh... stamping has it's good sides.

One thing I have told him is that from now on if we are going to trade, we have to see what we are trading for.  Most times he just says yes over the phone.  Once he traded for a car and this car was beautiful.  A collectible, but Arvid was too tall to fit in it.  The car came from Texas and we never saw it until it was at our doorstep.  That never bothered him because he trade the car for something else.

Who knows?  This stamping business can take us all around the US.  After all we do have to see what we will be getting for our stamps.  I see some fun times ahead of us.
 Have a fun day all!

We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort...


Aug 22, 2012

The Simple Things....

Everything we possess that is not necessary for life or happiness becomes a burden, and scarcely a day passes that we do not add to it...

The best things in life are free just as long as you know how to appreciate it.

Watching these two makes me happy.  Just look at them content and not a care in the world.  Brutus is our remedy to everything.

The best things in life are not only free, but the line is shorter...


Glass Window Bridge, Eleuthera, Bahamas...

Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them...

When I think of Eleuthera, it brings back so many happy memories.  A friend of mine shared this picture on Facebook.  This is Eleuthera, The Bahamas-The Glass Window Bridge. See The Three Colors Of The Water.  Spectacular Sight.

This famous bridge links North Eleuthera to the mainland of Eleuthera. It is notable because on can see the dark Atlantic meeting the aquamarine Caribbean at the thinnest part of the island.
Glass Window Bridge, originally the site of an extraordinary natural arch linking the Exuma Sound to the Atlantic, is one of the most impressive sights on Eleuthera.

 It takes the brunt of hurricanes, and storms and has been repeatedly damaged.  If you look closely you can  see the blend of three amazing colors of the water.  
Whenever I see pictures of Eleuthera posted by our friends in The Bahamas, it brings back fond memories of the good times Arvid, I and Brutus had there.  Life there was relaxing and easy going.  Eleuthera,The Lil Red and all the friends we made there will forever be of of the favorite times we have had.  Hopefully we will soon be going back for a visit.  For now, the beautiful times will always be a special part of our lives.  Luckily, we have thousands of pictures (hobby of mine) to make it more vivid.

I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the person you are now...


Aug 21, 2012

Summer Days...

Yeah we got it all, no problems my friend, it’s a holiday in the sun....

Summer in Chicago.  So far it has been good.  Danielle's visit makes it even nicer.  She's gone, but while here we did so much with her.  I miss that smile and hug from her.  This weekend was the Air and Water Show.  Private viewing from our apartment makes it an all day even for us.

Considered to be the oldest and largest show of its kind in the country, Chicago's Air & Water Show attracts millions of spectators each year and features several high-flying acts, including the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Bill Stein Airshows Zivko Edge 540. 

The Air & Water show also features water-based performers including the Chicago Fire Department Air and Sea Rescue Team.

Admission is always free.  Here are a few awesome pictures I got from the internet.  We are fortunate, to be able to see the show from our balcony and living room.  Even Brutus is amazed by the airplanes.

Chicago has hosted an air show of one form since at least the 1930's.  The modern North Avenue Beach Air and Water Show is in its 54th year in 2012

Just a glimpse at the crowd.  The city is packed with people.  Yesterday was the last day of the Air Show. Soon all the hecticness will calm down a bit.  School starts and "normal" life goes back in place.  For us it is summertime in one of the best cities and we are having a good time.

Last night I got this email from Danielle,
Auntie Nad,

I miss you guys so much too! Usually when I come back from some vacation, I'm happy to be home, but right now I just wish I was back with you guys getting irritated at Uncle Arvid for switching the channel every five minutes (ahaha!) and eating raspberries.

Thank you so much for letting me stay for a week every year, it's one of the things I look forward to most every summer, and I already cannot wait until next year's trip. You and Uncle Arvid always make me laugh, and it's so refreshing to spend time with you guys. And Brutus too, of course, even though he has trouble admitting that we're best pals.

Tell Uncle Arvid not to strain himself too much on the Solitaire, and not to beat himself up for losing to a master like me - it was inevitable, after all (haha!). I can't wait to win all of your money next year, but more than that, just to spend time with you guys, even if half of that time is spent at the lovely Mariano's (just kidding! I liked it there!).

Thank you guys so much.
Love always,
 Yes, I miss her.
Hope you all have a good day.

Every now and then we hear our song, we’ve been having fun all summer long....


Aug 20, 2012

Back To Our Routines...

Life goes on and the roads always lead to unexpected destinations...

Nothing lasts forever and our time with Danielle has come to an end. As Arvid said, "she's the easiest company we can have."  Danielle never asks for anything and is happy with anything and everything we do.  She as usual had a great time and so did we.  Just look at that smile.

our last outing for the summer..dinner and movies
Our summer in Chicago is half done.  So far it has been really good and when the time comes to head back to Florida I will also be happy.  I miss having my car and driving around with the top down and just going places all by myself.  In Chicago we go and do everything together.  Not bad, but I love the freedom of just taking off in my car and going.  It's fun.

 I love the feel of the wind through my hair and the smell of the ocean.  Back to our normal routines again.  Always good, but the apartment feels empty and it's very quiet.  Even Brutus is looking for her.   I miss her.  Luckily Arvid has is stamps so he is already busy.  Life goes on as usual....

goodbye time
Hope your day is a good one.

Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have..


Goodbye To A Favorite Show...

All television is educational television.  The question is:  what is it teaching...

As far far television goes, I'm like everyone else.  I enjoy a few shows and we have a few favorites that we follow.  For the last few years one of our favorites has been The Closer.  

The Closer is an American crime drama starring Kyra Sedgwick as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, a Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief of Police. Originally from Atlanta, and CIA-trained, Brenda has a reputation as a Closer—the nickname given to interrogators who not only solve a case, but obtain confessions that lead to convictions. Deputy Chief Johnson sometimes uses deceit and intimidation to persuade a suspect to confess.  Either way she always gets her guy or gal.
After seven seasons The Closer finally came to an end last week.
This leaves Monday night with a vacant spot and knowing Arvid we have to start looking for something to fill it up otherwise I will be watching Storage wars, Auction Wars, Barter Kings or some other similar show for hours.  
Hmmm...even though I may enjoy some of them a half hour is good enoug, not the entire night.
If you have never seen The Closer and you are looking for light entertainment, some police investigations and some humor, you may be in for a treat.  Pretty good show.  Sorry to see it gone, but already there is a spin off of the show called Mayor Crimes.  Same characters minus Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson.  

Exit The Closer, Enter Major Crimes

Enjoy yourselves everyone!
Television has proved that people will look at anything rather than each other...