May 31, 2014

It's Called Life ~

Life throws curves, how you deal with life's
adversities is a testament to your character...

With the next week booked with doctors appointments, I was in no mood to have to listen
and answers questions again.  The hospital keeps calling to pre-register me for my
different "procedures" as they call it.  You would think that by now they had all my
information in their system.  After the first 6 questions, same as the ones asked by
 the previous caller; I was a little fed-up so I said to the guy,
"look just ask what's necessary  and let's get over with it.
  It's not like as if you are writing my biography"

As you can imagine the person on the phone became very quiet, but the
best thing was that no more questions were asked.  Maybe I was a little rude,
but after you have been going through this so often it becomes a little tiresome.
It did not help that my body hurts and aches all day long.  The doctor eventually  gave
his permission for me to take Tylenol.  That was also an ordeal just to get his go ahead.

First had to go through his switchboard.  Waited for the recorder to give me my dozens
of options.  None of which applied to me.  Eventually someone spoke and transferred
me to the doctor's nurse who also asked me a gazillion of questions.  In the middle of her
bla.. bla.. bla I had to interrupt her and say, "all I need is to know if I can take anything to
help ease the pain."  This call was at 11am.  She said, "I will call you back."

When someone says I will call you back, I'm thinking within the hour.  Comes 4:30pm,
and no call back.  I'm freaking out that it will be another sleepless night.  So I call back.
Same routine.  Eventually the nurse answers, but has no clue who I am.  To say I'm upset
is putting it a little  mildly.  Eventually she somehow clues in to who I am and what I want.
Then she starts babbling about how the doctor has so many patients and that their issues are
more important than mine.  Now I'm MAD!  I said to her, "please don't talk anymore, and
if you think living in pain is easy why don't you try it."  At this stage I have been in pain
for a week.  A reaction to being on a low iodine diet.  Would have been prepared had
the doctor or the staff told me this might happen, but no one said anything.

Today is day 13 of my low iodine "diet"  Woke up with aches and pains, but
now that I know it is a side effect of low iodine, I am at least not freaking out
that I am becoming arthritic.  It is just something that needs to follow its course.
 Does not make me happy, but at least I know what I'm dealing with.

Looking forward to getting done with all of this.  At least this part.
Not looking so much forward to having to be in isolation.
It will be extremely difficult to not pick up Brutus
nor to touch him, but have to do it.

Have a good day all and hope the weekend is a special one.
Next weekend I will be back to "normal" and celebrating!

As someone said be thankful for the hard times in your life,
try not to look at them as bad things, but as
opportunities to learn and grow....

Handle every stressful situation like a dog.
If you can't eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away...


May 30, 2014

Nonsense ~

A little nonsense now and then is relished
by the wisest of men...

So Starbucks has something called a "Gold" member, where you can get
one free drink for every dozen you buy.  Of course there is a person who knows
exactly how to get around this because, unfortunately for Starbucks, the chain didn’t
 stipulate how large or expensive the drink can be. One customer did exactly that.

Since Starbucks never said what the size of the drink was, this jolly customer
was extremely creative.  So creative that with all the extras he had added to his beverage
“Andrew” allegedly ordered a massive, 60-espresso-shot 128-ounce milkshake, which 

would have cost an astounding $54.75. That’s one way to get brain freeze, and
of course put yourself in the record for having had the most expensive beverage at Starbucks!

Wishing you all a good day and something to think about.
If you wish to be a "gold" member of this overpriced coffee, maybe you 
can also create your own "super" beverage and have it published in the newspaper.
For now, I'm just happy with my regular size overpriced coffee every once in a while.
On the other hand, I am really amazed as what will pass off as news these days....

Good morning everyone.  Yesterday we had rain and more rain.
It was really nice to just stay indoors and listen to the downpour.  When it rains
in Florida it really rains.  Today is predicted to be a rain free day.  Many possibilities.

Forgive me my nonsense,
 as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense...

May 29, 2014

Brutus' Cat Door...

Never be afraid to try something new.
Because life gets boring when you stay within
the limits of what you already know...

Another chore we have to do together.  Install a cat door for Brutus.
No problem there, but when we both have different ideas on doing the job;
there is bound to be a clash.  No exception here.  We clashed.  When helping, 
Arvid expects me to do only that help.  In this case it was to hold the door.

Of course I also had other ideas in mind.  I mean I can hold the door and take a few pictures
of the work in progress at the same time.  Nope!  This does not work for him.  He raved again.
Every so often when he was not looking, I managed to snag a few pictures of us doing the job.

There he is giving me the LOOK!  During that pause, he once again told me he was
going to throw the phone away.  I gently told him, "hold on a second.  I'm almost done."
As you can imagine that was not the right thing to say at that time.  Even so we work well together.

The reason for the door is because in the mornings the sunlight comes into the bedroom.
Once this happens we are both awake.  For me not a problem since I am an early riser.
For Arvid....another story.  Before the door was installed Arvid googled them.  He "chased"
Brutus around with a measuring tape to get his height and width.  Brutus thought it was play time.

Above you can see work in progress all the time we were wondering how Brutus
was going to react to the door.  Brutus slept through the entire installation process.

Took Brutus all of 2 seconds to use his door.  He loves it and everyone is happy!
No more sunlight at 6am in the morning for Arvid.  The boy needs his sleep!

As you can see now the sunlight is just one bright spot peeking in.
Already Arvid said may want to switch side on the bed.  Hmm...

Have a good day everyone and for us,
what a difference a day (in this case a cat door) makes.

Come tomorrow, I'll wake up new...


May 28, 2014

A Special Man...

Do you know what it means to come home at night
 to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection,
 a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house, that's what it means...

Life with Arvid is always interesting to say the least.  While we were in Mexico,
my camera stopped working.  We both thought the camera had seen better days and 
it was time to invest in a new one.   Surprisingly enough, the camera was good.
The lens on the other hand was not.  Sadly the lens cost as much as the camera.

I was all ready to buy a new lens.  Fact is I did buy a new lens, but never mentioned
it to Arvid.  You see he was keen on taking the lens apart and fixing it.  Once he said
that, I knew all was lost, but as usual I humored him.  I had found a do it yourself article
online.  My mistake was showing it to him.  From that moment on it was a job for him.

From what I read online, this was not easy.  Too many small wires involved.  One 
person even said they started out with 6 parts but ended up with 5.  Could have been 
Arvid.  Anyway, he decided to do it.  Remember when Arvid does something it's the same 
as I doing it.  You see I have to be there and work with him.  I always tell him it's best if
I did it alone.  This way I can do it myself and not require assistants as he calls me.  Hmmm...

All I said to him before he started was, "if you feel like you want to spend the next few
days fixing the camera lens, then go ahead, but I hope you can at least put it back together
when you realize it does not work and that you can't fix it."  Enough said.  Arvid was on the job.

After about 45 minutes just trying to get theses tiny tiny screws out of the lens,(and we,
well he used a hammer), Arvid was already swearing like a sailor.  Normal!
I usually let him rant and rave for a while.  I take a few pictures, he raves even more.

Back to work.  He looks at the lens all taken a part and after 5 minutes he says, 
"you know this is not going to be an easy task putting it back together." That was
 my indication that the lens was now beyond even sending it to be repaired.

Too bad because I believed it could have been repaired by Canon.
Now I have a lens with all of its parts out.  The good thing to come out of this is
 that  Arvid agreed to "sponsor" me a new lens without knowing that I had already 
bought a new lens online. Win Win situation he was happy and I am even happier.

Still waiting for my lens to come,
 in the meantime I do have a few backups!

Hello new day.
Remember everyone, sometimes a woman needs 
a man for company,  no matter how "special" he is.

As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot.


May 27, 2014

Lucky Me...

I live in Florida, and when people ask how close to the beach I am, I say, 
“Twelve minutes or twelve hours. Depends on which beach you want to go to...

I woke up very early this morning just so that I can go to the beach and watch the sunrise.
We live about 20 minutes walking distance to it and in car less than 5, and the truth is we 
never go there.  Recently I have become more and more interested in going there early 
in the mornings for the sunrise and late in the evenings for the sunsets.

For Arvid waking up at 5am is an ungodly hour.  Being an early riser
it was perfect for me.  Time to have my cafe, brush Brutus and see the
sunrise at 6:30 in the morning from the beach and the pier.  Perfect!

Sunset yesterday evening.  On the Pier by Aruba's beach Cafe right
within walking distance of us.  Honestly I do believe we are fortunate.

To everyone a very good morning.  I am on day 9 of this low iodine
diet.  So far i am not freaking out.  Occasionally I want to cheat, but 
I have not.  Not to my advantage.  Only thing I have not managed to 
cope well with is the aches and pains I am having.  Today I call the doctor
see if I can take a painkiller.  I am definitely NOT one to bear pain well!!!!

Meal times so far have been good.  As much fruit as I like.
I always have popcorn handy to snack on and when eating out, I carry 
my own spices and I also pack a few extras to add to my salad.  My two containers
contain shucked corn on the cob and fresh ripe mangoes.  Overall pretty delicious and tasty!

For now have a good day everyone...

A simple life is good with me. I don't need a whole lot.
For me, a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, barefoot on a beach and I'm happy..


May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day ~

A hero is someone who has given his or her
life to something bigger than oneself...

Very pleased with the two pictures I took over the weekend.

To many, Memorial Day, the federal U.S. holiday that takes place every year on  the 
last Monday of May, is just another excuse for a three-day weekend. It’s also known  as the
 day that marks the official start of summer and as a day devoted to getting great deals
 at the mall. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day  
goes far beyond barbecues and mattress sales.

The holiday began after the Civil War, and at that time was known as “Decoration Day.” 
While it was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, 
Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service.

Patriotic Americans should take a moment from their day of celebration and leisure
 to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given their lives for this great nation. 

I have learnt that being an American is being able to follow your own personal calling.
As they say, to be able to do what you want to do is incredible FREEDOM!



Being an American, it's the way you think
and the way you live...


May 25, 2014

Sunday ~

Don't limit your challenges.
Challenge your limits...

Low Iodine Diet!
Never thought it would be so difficult,
 and I am not referring to the food part.

The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. These hormones control 
the body's metabolism  and many other important functions. The body also needs
 thyroid hormones  for proper bone and brain development.  
Getting enough iodine is important for everyone, 
and right now I am iodine deficient.

Everything aches.  From my head to my toes.  Suddenly at 78F I am freezing cold.
Without doing much I am exhausted and this makes me upset.  I am just tired.
After reading, I found out this was OK or "normal" during this low iodine diet.

Still many more days of this.  I will do it, but the muscle
and joint aches are really unbearable.  My doctor never
warned me that this might happen so it took me by surprise,
but now that I know, I am no longer worried that I am getting crippled and 
developing early stages of arthritis.  YEP!  all is good again.  Just to deal with it!

Sunday.  Can't really eat much from the restaurants right now,
but being prepared I always carry my own salt and seasonings with me.
That way I can have a salad and salt it with my non-iodized salt.  Already feel better.

Happy Sunday to all.
Remember, don't confuse inconveniences with problems.

When you put your energy behind something,
the results will be powerful...


May 24, 2014

Rima's Raspberry Lemon Fizz. ~

Those fruity drinks better have a lot of caffeine in them
or I will never make it through World Issues...

As my sister says, "It's beginning to feel like Spring/Summer already,
time to try my Raspberry Lemon Fizz"  Rima, my sister writes a
monthly article in the DC Ladies Magazine.  Check it out.
DC Ladies

Her featured article for this month is her Raspberry Lemon Fizz.

Just by looking at the picture makes me want to have some.  Can already feel my
taste buds acting up and demanding I make some as well.  I am not one to deny  myself
much when it comes to trying something new, and if it looks like this even more so.

The article she published goes like this:

Flowers are blossoming, birds are singing, warmth is in the air. 
The world is more colorful…it’s starting to feel like Spring!
I’m outside planting my flowers, and although it’s still a bit chilly,
 I can feel the warm sun trying to break through the layers of cold. 
The hours fly by without realizing it when you are outdoors. Oh, how I’ve missed it! 

Since we will all be spending more time doing what we love outside the house,
 I thought it would be nice to share a little refreshing drink recipe,
 that will quench our thirst…and most likely leaving you asking for more.
It’s energizing, tasty, easy and it packs a kick. 
If you’re like me and are tired of the same ol’ kiddie lemonade,
 you’ve got to try this Raspberry Lemon Fizz!


1.  Fill jar with ice
2.  Add 2 ounces of gin
3.  Add 1 cup of Sour Mix
4.  Add a half cup of Cran-Raspberry juice
5.  Add a splash of Sprite  (this is the fizz)
6.  Stir and garnish with fresh cut lemons and raspberries

As Rima says to her follower's, "don't say I didn't warn you
this stuff is addictive,  Happy Spring!"

Happy Saturday everyone.  Hope the weekend kicks off with a blast.
For many this is a long weekend.  Already Memorial day Weekend.
Do fun things, but always be safe and remember if you drink do not drive.  Thankfully
we live close to a few pubs so last night we started our weekend with some music and so adult drinks.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
 taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.


May 23, 2014

A New Venture...

The best way to predict the future is to create it.
If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door...

For years now my mom has been making her special HOT SAUCE.  Trust me 
nothing compares to it.  Nowhere in the USA or any other country would you find
a sauce like hers.  Of course it is the special ingredients and the fact that she grows most
of it herself.  Whenever she visits, we all know we will be stocked with her hot sauce. 

Mom ships her sauce to all 5 daughters and now to some of the grand kids in college.
She also supplies family allover the United States and some in Europe.  She also takes
it to friends in the Caribbean whenever she visits.  So far anyone who has tried it, is hooked.

If you like spicy and tasty, this is for you.  If you are a wimp and don't dare
to try new things then not for you.  Only for the brave and for those who want
to spice up their taste buds and cuisine.  We have had some of our Norwegian
 friends try it.  Let me just say once they started breathing again they were hooked.

All varieties of peppers are used to make this sauce.  
Every pepper in that picture above was picked from my mom's garden.
As you can see only the best ingredients are used.  That's my mom either the best or nothing.

Soon ready to be bottled and sold!

Soon some lucky customer will be spicing up his/her cuisine. It is a must try. 
 Please visit my mom's FB page VALERIE'S PEPPER and click like.
As she says, "it's organic, garden fresh HOT HOT HOT pepper sauce
straight from my garden in North Carolina."

All I can say is that you will NOT be disappointed!

Friday already.  Wishing you all a good start of the weekend.
Interesting to see what our weekend holds..especially for me.

The people who get on in this world are the people 
who get up and look for the circumstances they want and, 
if they can't find them, make them...


May 22, 2014

Feeling Grateful ~

I've been lucky. Opportunities don't often come along. 
So, when they do, you have to grab them...

Everyday I wake up I realize how fortunate we are to live where we do.  Sunshine just
about 365 days a year.  We are also fortunate that we have finally found the place we
would like to call home for many, many, years to come.  Let's say forever.

yesterdays sunrise.
Florida is where home will always be.  If Chicago were not that 
cold I would have loved to call it home.  Unfortunately, 
we no longer have our condo there, but that does
 not mean we can't go back and visit. 
For now, we love where we are.

The days are going by very fast, but  for me not fast enough.  I'm already
starting to miss regular foodies.  I can have lots of stuff, but that salt substitute thing 
is just horrible.  Rather go without salt than use it.  First time I tried it I almost puked.

Today is the fourth day of this "diet"  So far it has been easy to do,
But the weekend is coming soon.  Will just have to watch Arvid eat.
Eating out is going to be difficult.  I can have a baked potato with nothing 
on it.   Boring, but having Brutus entertain us sure make up for everything else.

Boring as it is, at least I can still eat. For that I'm happy!!
Yesterday it was ripe plantains and corn on the cob.

Awake again early.  Time to see the sky light up.
Here in Florida it is 6:30 in the morning.
Been awake with Brutus for about an hour.
Ready to capture the start of the day.

From where I stand, it sure looks like it's going to be another beautiful
day here in sunny Florida.  Wishing you all a good day.
Thirsty Thursday after all.  For some the weekend begins today.
If so, enjoy and remember everything in moderation and be happy.

The trick is to live a long time without growing old...


May 21, 2014

Still Doing Good ~

If you're happy, if you're feeling good, 
then nothing else matters..

The day started out out pretty busy, but nothing unusual here.  
I got up early and as usual begin with taking my thyroid medicine. 
 Not sure what will happen if I forget to take it, but according to Arvid I 
would become even more "aggressive" than usual.

I am still adjusting to the hormonal changes going on and the medicine is still
 being monitored. Eventually I will get to that stage where it will be fine tuned, 
and hopefully so will I.  Know Arvid will be very happy.  As will I.

Yesterday we took Brutus to the vet for a follow-up.  The good news is
the the medicines he is taking are still working.  The dubious news is that we
do not know how long it will work.  The vet was very honest and did not spare our
 feelings.  She said it may come back and we may have to look into amputation again!

For now he is doing great.  In this case we go day by day and are happy
as long as it is not bleeding, oozing and hurting him.  Tomorrow is another day.

Day three on this low iodine.  Still eating fruit.  Also discovered some unsalted
crackers that's allowed, but boy it sure taste like cardboard.  Even Brutus had to agree
that it was not the tastiest of foods.  Found out that the non-dairy creamer I was using was
a no-no.  Now coffee and tea is black with lots of sugar.  I look at it this way, at least I still
get to have coffee so not all is so bad.  After all most people take their coffee black and love it!

Have been trying to seasoning the food with that salt substitute thing.  Taste like hell.

The Mrs. Dash is a little better.  Found out that I would rather eat the food
without salt than season it with that substitute thing.  So far so  good.

Still have lots of fruit left so I'm happy.  Corn on the cob is also pretty 
good without salt.  Yesterday had that and some pasta for lunch.
Let's just say that better days are just around the corner!

Wishing you all better days than what i am going through right now.
They're not bad, but let us just say, I'm looking forward to eating "normal again.

Some people grumble that roses have thorns;
I'm grateful that thorns have roses...


May 20, 2014

Day 2...

Discipline is doing what you know needs to be done,
even though you don't want to...

For the next two plus weeks I will be going on a low iodine "diet."   Seeing the word
diet the first thing that went through my mind was, "oh yeah! will lose a few pounds."
Well the truth is I doubt it.  I can basically eat just about everything, but have to watch
out for the salt content.  That being said I can't eat any kind of bread or milk product.
Breakfast here is a little challenging because cereal without milk is pretty bad.

Fortunately for me, there is fruit.  I can eat all the fruit I want.  So for me
breakfast for the next 2 + weeks will be a combination of all fruit imaginable.
Yesterday's breakfast was a combination of raspberries, watermelon and carrots.

Yesterday we also went to the Swap Shop.  They have a large fruit selection.
There I stocked up with, mangoes, guavas, bananas, coconuts, avocados and papayas.

Should be very interesting the next couple of weeks.  I love my foodies, though I will
not die of starvation, there are many things I will not be eating during this period.
Challenges, boy do I enjoy a good one.  This one will definitely test my will power.

Well everyone good morning. Day two is here, and remember,
discipline is choosing what you want now and what you want most.

This was my last "good" meal for the next couple of weeks.
Will miss splurging on Sundays.
I don't diet,
I just eat according to my goals...


May 19, 2014

Feeling Happy~

Wake up with determination.
Go to bed with satisfaction...

I'm happy again.  My camera is working!  When we were in Mexico it stopped
taking pictures and no matter what we tried and where we went everyone kept
saying that it will probably be best to just buy a new one.  I was very not content.

We came back Wednesday night.  After taking care of immediate stuff on Thursday,
my next stop was Best Buy.  Even they said they had no clue as to what was going on.
Either I upgrade to a newer model or take a chance and have it repaired.  Which I was
told could cost about half the price of buying a new camera.  My mind was already set on new!

Living by the water gives me more reason to want my camera in working condition.
As you can imagine there is always something going on and I never like to miss an 
opportunity to take pictures.  I am a learning more and more everyday about my camera.

After my trip to best buy, I actually purchased a camera.  I came home and tested
it with my lenses and what do you know, that camera did not work either.  Guess
I found the problem.  My lens was defective.  I was happy and not so happy.
The lens cost as much as the new camera.  Bummer.  Of course I returned the camera,
even though I wanted to keep it since it was a newer model and had many more options.

 Not that my camera is working again there is no stopping.  
Yesterday we went for a walk and I happily took pictures of everything in sight.

I took all the pictures and was very pleased with the results.  Still not happy about
my favorite lens not working, but already working on remedying that situation.

I guess Brutus and Arvid are not so happy because now I hound them.
At least Brutus cannot say much.  Arvid on the other hand threatens to
throw the camera way.  Hmmm...that's why you don't see many of him.
He's always running away.

You have to admit, I do get good pictures of him trying to escape :)

Good morning everyone.  New work week begins.
Remember, train your mind to see the good in everything.

It's not how much we have, but
how much we enjoy that makes happiness...