Oct 20, 2017

Hello Weekend ~

When I was 17 I used to admire people with luxuries.
Now I admire people with inner peace...

The last few days have been pretty exhausting for me.  Once again the
flu symptoms seem to be coming back.  Combined with constant
running around does not seem to give the body time to recoup.

As you can see Sniff Sniff feels exactly the same.  In his defense,
this is how he feels everyday.  Thankfully he is healthy and doing great.

Arvid not taking any chances.  He stays bundled up at work and at home.

Mornings are "cold" but it does warm up nicely during the days.

Weekend is already upon us.  Nothing much planned as of now,
but that can change suddenly. I do know there is another car show in town,
and if I know Arvid well (which I do), he is definitely there right now. 
Man has to have some fun too.  My bet is he's there right now.

Happy Friday all and remember, calories don't count on the weekend.

Take time to do what makes your soul happy...


Oct 19, 2017

Just Because ~

Being different is not a bad thing.
It means you are brave enough to be yourself...

This is how I feel some days.  Just different from the crowd.

Remember it's OK to be different, because 
nowadays, being different isn't really such a bad thing.
I have always been and sure don't care what others say.
I'm me and I like me and I like very much being very different.

We start our day once again on the cold side.  By noon it will be high
 80's and beautiful.  Sniff was awake very early this morning making a lot of
 noise with his box.  His foodies are bought online.  I think his favorite
part of this online shopping is that he gets to enjoy playing with the box.
Good morning all, may this be the start of an amazing day.

Don't be afraid of being different.
Be afraid of being the same as everyone else...


Oct 17, 2017

Life ~

You have to fight through some bad 
days to earn the best days of your life...

These babies live in California.  Their mama is my best friend Anna,
Her Taino is 17 years young as she says.  His birthday was October 1st.  Anna
has 2 other kitties as you can see, but her Taino is her heart and her baby.

Taino is slowing down a bit, his mama is worried.
He is after all her baby, and her baby is 17 years old.

My week has started with a bang.  Guess it will be
another week that will fly by before we know.
Difficult days and decisions lay ahead.

We woke up to very cold temperatures this morning in Branson.

Anna.  Remember hope is the only thing stronger than fear.
 We love you!  I know these are difficult days you face. Wish I was there
 with you, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you

Baby it's cold outside...


Oct 16, 2017

New Week Again ~

Be grateful for all you have,
but never settle for less than you can be...

On any given Sunday you can find us relaxing and enjoying ourselves at The Landings.  
Be it for a good meal or just browsing around, there is something for everyone.

Arvid never gets tired of checking out the cars.  He always buys
 the raffle tickets, so far we have not had any luck, but you never know 
what can happen.  It already tagged with Florida plates. 
 Would be sweet to win it and drive it home.

The Branson Fountain at sunset is always a favorite with me.  No matter 
how often we go there I always have to take pictures of it.  Always a beautiful sight.

The next few days we will be waking up to very cold temperatures.
Good thing is that as the day progresses it will get warmer and 
the sun will be shining. Could not be any better.  Loving it!

Sniff Sniff never wastes a chance to catch the rays.  He can fall asleep in the 
blink of the eye in just about any spot.  But his favorite is always to be as 
close as possible to me.  As soon as I sit Sniff makes himself comfy, 
closes his eyes and is once again in dreamy land.

Good morning everyone.  May this be the start of a great new week.

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. 
 The time will pass anyway.  Mondays are for fresh starts...


Oct 15, 2017

What's Your Day Like? ~

In the blink of an eye everything can  change.
So forgive often and love with all your heart.  You may 
never know when you may not have that chance again...

Most weeks fly by but somehow this week seemed to have dragged on and on. 
 Guess it did not help with both of us not feeling our best.  We are both 
better now and in "good"  shape again.  Earlier in the week we had freezing 
weather, then heat wave.  Today back to cooler temperatures.  Love it.

This morning I spoke to my sister in Puerto Rico.  Once again she is 
without power.  Like most of the island.  That she deals with.  Not easy
 but you do the best you can under the circumstances.  But then 
she told me that there is no food.  She has not eaten a hot 
meal in so long.  When she had power for those 
few days there was no food in the grocery stores.  

This morning she made the lines at a grocery store for a few hours. 
 When she finally got in the shelves were empty.  How do you 
deal with the fact that someone you love has nothing to eat?

Here we take it for granted we will eat.  We have many favorite spots
 and all we have to do is choose a place and there we are.  Food is served.
 Nirvana, now is just happy to have a can of cold soup, some crackers.  She told
me today, "even if I did not like it before, if I can get some I will eat it."

If anyone knows of a way I can get supplies to my sister, please let me know.
You know my email address.  Best way to contact me.  My brother in law is an executive
 in J&J and the company is going to help them getting some supplies to their families.

Nirvana falls in this category.  Hopefully some of the supplies Nina and David
 will be sending will get to her.  Simple things, soap, batteries for the lamp.
She lives in darkness.  Yes most of the island does, but this is my sister
and right now my concern is HER!!!  She has water.

Lucky her at least she gets to take cold showers.  Yes we take for granted
 so much.   What we take for granted someone else is praying for.

Be grateful for another day.  Not everybody made it, so don't take it for granted.
It could all be gone tomorrow.  Don't forget that.  What are you grateful for...


Oct 13, 2017

Friday 13th ~

It may be Friday the 13th, but it is still Friday
and a reason to dance.  13 is just a number...

Finally I can actually see that my hair has grown.  Usually it grows in width,
but now I can see the actual length as well.  Happy as can be.  Yesterday
when I had a haircut I almost told the girl to cut it all off.  Almost. 

We have warmed up quite a bit again.  Everyone now complaining how hot it is.
Everyone except Arvid of course.  It's a heat wave here..again without the humidity.

Here at Almost Home I am already planning our Thanksgiving gathering.  The tenants
all look forward to their turkey with all the trimming meal.  Will have it catered, but
many have already said they would like to bring something.  That's OK with me.

Friday the 13th.  Could not be a more beautiful day here in Branson.
Happy Friday the 13th.  Have a killer day.

What did Saturday the 14th say to Friday the 13th?  
I'm coming after you.  Don't make me have to go all Jason on you...


Oct 12, 2017

Happy Birthday Lilly ~

A wise person knows that there is something to be learned from everyone...

Yesterdays sunset.  Beautiful sight no matter where you are.

Eyeballs all ready for Halloween.

Getting all set for the weekend.

The gray skies belong to us here in Branson.  We woke up to cold temperatures.
It has already warmed up a bit, and will continue to do so.  Believe it or not
by the weekend we will be having a heat wave.  I'm enjoying this weather.

  Sunny skies belong to California.  That's Lilly Vade going to
school with her dad.  She is a happy little girl and I love her
with all my heart.  Lilly Vade is the definition of LOVE!

A niece is a little girl who grows up to be a friend...


Oct 11, 2017

Chilly Wednesday Begins ~

Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful
Start each day happy...

We woke up to very cold temperatures.  As you can imagine Arvid is freezing. 
 I am actually chilled, but liking it.  Sniff came to the bed of course
 and was huddled close to us.  Mornings he is mainly cuddled 
up next to me.  Nighttime he is daddy's boy.

The life of cat cat.  Nothing to worry about all day long everyday.

Already had my cafe and banana for breakfast.  Time to get ready
 and go to "work"  Outside is definitely looking like fall right now.  Saving grace 
is that the sun will come out and we will warm up a bit, but like
 I mentioned, I am pretty OK with this cold right now.

To all a good day.  Stay warm.  
Bundle up and have some hot chocolate.

One small positive thought in the morning 
can change your whole day...


Oct 10, 2017

Cold Moving In ~

Cold never bothered me anyway...

Temperatures are dropping fast here in Branson.  The next 2 days
our lows will be in the mid to low 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  How sweet is that? 
Yes, I am happy for the cold weather right now.  Arvid not so much,
but the good thing is that it will be in the mid 70's during the days.
  At night the cold makes for good sleeping.

Hotel business is doing good.  Arvid still has the cold and a heavy voice.
He says I am the least sympathetic person he knows.  Maybe he's right.

  One of my tenants who has been here for many years came today and told me
she will be going back to Florida next month.  Of course I am happy for her,
but at the same time sad.  I have grown attached to many here. Branson
has been her home for over 20 years, so it is with mixed feelings
that she says she will be leaving us by next month.

One of the hardest moments will be when one day Arvid and I leave.
Not happening for a while, but I have grown attached to everyone here.

How lucky am I to have something
that makes saying goodbye so hard...


Oct 9, 2017

New Week Begins ~

I never lose.  Either I win or I learn.
Think positive and positive things will happen...

Another week has gone by.  Soon it will be a year since Arvid, Sniff
and I moved to Missouri.  We have had a dramatic change in lifestyle and
what we have learned in the last year has forever changed us. 

We have experienced more than we imagined.  The good and the not
so good. Goes hand in hand in this business, but most of all we have learnt
from the people.  Here it is not about what you have that matters, it's about 
how you share what you have.  It's about helping your neighbors. 
It's about giving and not expecting anything in return.

This has been a good week.  We had a friend visiting from Florida
and managed to spend time with him.  We showed him around and took
him to our favorite place.  Seeing Arvid and him together was good they
both miss each other very much.  One day we will be back in Florida,
and things will be "normal" again.  For now though life here is good.

We enjoyed a quiet and relaxing day at home yesterday.
Both Arvid and I were more than happy to not go out.  Having the "manflu"
definitely puts a damper on going out.  New week begins, still not feeling 100%, but
 better than Arvid right now.  He is hoarse and his voice sounds pretty dreadful.

In Vermont, Reshma, our niece went home for the weekend.  Long weekend
and all college kids go home to their parents for a little pampering.
 At least she did, and in the process they have been checking out on some
adorable golden retrievers.  Now I'm in love and I also want one.

In California, our nephew Riley celebrated his 15th birthday.  All he
wanted was to see Coldplay inn concert.  Wish was granted
and he saw them in San Diego.  Lucky kids.

Happy new week to everyone.  Today is Columbus Day.  Many have the day off,
fortunately for me the malls are still open and I think I will visit one of them.

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...


Oct 8, 2017

Happy Sunday ~

There are many beautiful reasons to be happy...

Sunday.  Peaceful.  Quiet and relaxing.  That's what we look forward to the most.
  Arvid has the cold/flu symptoms.  Not to say anything, but I have had it 
for quite some time and I still have to do what needs to be done.  He
 walks around wrapped in a blanket and with a heavy/hoarse voice.

A beer or 2 on Friday actually seemed to help Arvid.  Better yet when
 we have a good friend with us.  Of course we had to go to our favorite wing 
place here in Branson.  Back home in Florida that's  what 
we would have done.  A little outing by the beach,
 beers for Arvid and some chicken wings.

Our day started good.  We had a little over an hour today to Skype
 with the girls.  Can't ask for a better start of this beautiful Sunday morning.
 As you can see Sniff is always part of Skype, even if he's soundly napping.
He wants to be close to us.  Beautiful and happy day to everyone.

Don't let the silly little things steal your happiness...


Oct 6, 2017

End Of Her Summer Here In Branson ~

A mind that is stretched by new experience
can never go back to its old dimensions...

Through the course of the last few months, Branson has seen quite a number
of international workers.  Our hotels have housed students from many countries.
  Every summer Branson has an agreement with different countries
to bring in foreign students into their work force. 

I have seen quite a few and have met even more.  I have been in contact
with one young woman from weeks before she was leaving Romania
to come to Branson. We messengered and we talked making
arrangements for her and some friends to stay at 76 Inn.

This young woman, just to use he as an example, came to Branson. 
Worked 2 jobs and in her spare time visited just about everything
worth seeing and doing.  Her job in Branson has come to
an end, but she continues to see as much as she can
in her last two weeks here in the USA.  

Her first stop has taken her to The Bellagio in Las Vegas. 
From there on as she puts it, "anything and everything is game" 
Boy I know when I was younger we did not have these opportunities. 
This young girl just barely 24 years of age has probably seen more
of the USA than most people living here in the USA.  She has visited
just about every country in Europe and she is just 24.

Today's destination takes her to Arizona.  The Grand Canyon.
She and friends are definitely in for a treat.  An amazing sight awaits them.

Back in Romania she is a software test engineer.  Summertime she
chooses a different state to visit and to work.  After she is done with work
she takes 2-3 weeks to visit as many other places here in the USA as
possible. To be young again... No matter age, opportunities are endless.
  All it takes is for us to want it enough and determination.

Life is a journey with problems to solve, lessons to learn,
but most of all experiences to enjoy...


Oct 5, 2017

I Miss You Everyday ~

Never judge someone without knowing the whole story.
You may think you understand, but you don't...

It has been rough without Brutus.  I live.  I do what needs to be done.
I don't spend my waking hours crying.  I laugh, I joke and I am happy with life,
but a part of me is missing and always will be.  My Brutus took my heart.

Life goes on.  We keep moving.  We even left Florida to get away from the pain
 of having lost Brutus and Shadow.  Distance does not change anything.  
The heart wants what the heart wants.  It's just  not always possible
 to have it.  I love our Sniff Sniff, but my Brutus left his paw prints 
in my heart and I really miss him and I want him back.

Though I can't see you.  I hear you in my heart.
And if you've never felt your soul being torn apart,
you've never loved anyone with all your heart...


Oct 3, 2017

So Begins Tuesday ~

It's all about finding the calm in the chaos...

I'm still battling the flu symptoms.  Fortunately it has not become the
worse as yet, but it is definitely irritating and though it tries to slow me down,
it has not succeeded as of yet. Happy for that.  Arvid has the sniffles,
but he says it's just minor allergies. Hope that's the case.

We have both been very lucky since coming to Missouri.  Neither of us
has had a major set back as yet with the flu or anything like that.

Hotel business going well.  No complaints there.  Weather could not be
more perfect, and communication between us and Nirvana in Puerto Rico
 is getting a little better.  At least once a day she manages to
 send us a little message.  Happy and grateful.

Yesterday our friend from Fort Lauderdale came to visit us.
He will be in Branson for a few days and we will be showing him
 a around a little.  Last night we brought him home, had a little nibble and
 of course Arvid could not resist to tempt him with some of the
 items he has for trade.  An interesting few days it will be.

Like everywhere else, the stores are full of pumpkins and everything Halloween.
I have had as mentioned before, Halloween candy in my office since mid September.
  Little early, but it sure seems to go fast.  Just have to keep restocking.

As this day begins, rain is in the forecast.  Truth is we can do with some rain
 right now.  It's been a long time since we have had some.  My surviving tomato
 trees sure can use some watering.  I'm not good at doing it, but at the same
time the tree seems to survive on its own.  I checked on it yesterday and I
 have probably a little over 30+ cherry tomatoes on it.  I did put some
water on the tree, but I am sure it is thirsty for more.  So rain, please come.

To all a very good day.  Our days are good.  Not a day goes by
that I don't miss our Brutus and think of him.  On the 5th it will be one year and
11 months Brutus has been dead.  One year 7 months Shadow dies.

Life did not stop, but a part of my heart will never be the same again.
 My Brutus took a big part of it.  We love our Sniff Sniff, but Brutus took my heart.

A new day begins and we always keep moving forward.

In my life I have lived, I have loved, I have lost, I've missed, 
I've hurt, I've trusted, I've made mistakes but most of all I have learned.
Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in...


Oct 2, 2017

Monday Again ~

I might look like I'm doing nothing, but in my head I'm quite busy...

Did not feel like getting up this morning.  The weather was tempting
me to stay in bed.  Snuggle with Arvid and Sniff and forget about the rest.

That of course cannot happen.  Work calls and we go.

I'm thinking of the beach and of taking a walk there right now,
Does not hurt to daydream a little as long as I snap out of it and get back to reality.

Mornings are foggy, but the fog soon clears away and beautiful
sunshine comes along.  All is good with us.  Keeping busy is what we do best,
and with 2 hotels we don't have to try that hard.  It just happens.

Each new day greets us with no rules except for the rules we place on it.
Greet the new day with open arms and endless possibilities...


Oct 1, 2017

Live, NOW!

Don't be fooled by the calendar.  There are only as
many days in the year as you make use of....

Many times we forget that all we have is NOW! Regardless of what
happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow, NOW
is where we are and now is the time to make it count!

How many of us have more than once fallen into a pattern where we say, "I'll do it tomorrow" or "there is always time."  Let me tell you this is no guarantee.

Many years ago I met someone who I came to admire and respect very much.  This person was always living his life like as if tomorrow would never come.  He lived the moment intensely and passionately.  He died doing what he loved most, and if he were here today I can guarantee he would say he had no regrets, but that's something else.

Life my friend is unpredictable.  Here today gone tomorrow.  Sounds very ominous, but lately we have seen quite a few of our friends die.  They thought they had all the time in the world to do the things they wanted, they did not!  

Another "lesson" from my handbook on Being Happy.

Time does not really exist, except as an abstract concept in your head.  
The present moment is the only time you have.  Make something of this moment.

Mark Twain once remarked that he had been through some terrible things
in his life, some which actually happened!  Isn't this so true?  Our
tendency can be to put ourselves through hell in our mind,  contemplating
what could come to pass, yet if we look at the present moment,
which is all we have, there is no great problem at all!

That's why...Live in the now!

I am happy to say that this is something Arvid and I practice.  We live
for each other and we live and enjoy life everyday.   Arvid said that
since  being with me he wants to enjoy more of life and to LIVE!

This we are doing and we are loving it!  None of us has a guarantee
that we will be here tomorrow...now is all we have got.  So enjoy!

Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one...


Sep 29, 2017

Grateful ~

Never regret a day in your life.  Good days give you happiness, bad days
give you experience, worst days give lessons and best days give memories...

As Arvid and I were having lunch yesterday, my phone rang.  I looked at
it and the picture of my sister's face lit up the screen.  Yes, it was Nirvana calling
me from Puerto Rico.  My first reaction was that this was a mistake, but as I
swiped the phone and heard her voice our day just got better.  The call
was short, but I heard her voice.  She was not hysterical. She was not
crying.  She was matter of fact and she was the one reassuring me. 

I wanted to cry.  It was just the most wonderful feeling in the world to
hear her voice.  Of course I right away called my parents and let my sisters
know what was going on.  Nirvana can only manage one call out at times, and
whoever the call goes through to is the lucky one.  It was my lucky day today. 

I am in a state of pure happiness, and if that were not enough to make this day
special, she managed to find a Wifi connection.  We all texted for about five
minutes before she "disappeared"  In those 5 minutes we learnt that J
managed to make the line at one of the restaurants open, and
after a few hours on the line he was able to get a pizza.

  Yes they will be having a "hot" meal tonight.  Also I found out that
J managed to get some gas to fill in their car.  The blessings are just pouring
in right now.  Nirvana also texted a few pictures of the military planes
flying over Puerto Rico carrying supplies for everyone.  This is a
very good day for the island and definitely for our family.

The struggle is still real, but today we take comfort in knowing that
our loved one is doing "OK" under these circumstances.  It all we can
ask for and for that we are grateful.  What are you grateful for today?

A thankful heart is a happy heart.  Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
If the only prayer you every say is "thank you" that will be enough...