Dec 31, 2017

New Year's Eve ~

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

Where will you be spending New Year's Eve?  Arvid and I will 
welcome the New Year right here at home in Branson with Sniff.  
This will be the 3rd New Year's Day without Brutus and
 the second without Shadow.  Time waits for no one.

My nephew J will be welcoming the New Year in Colombia
 together with his girlfriend and family.  So far from what he
 has told me, he loves it there and is having a great time.

The rest of the families will be spending it at home also with loved ones.
I would have loved to be with my family, but the truth is no matter 
where we are we usually spend New Year's at home.  Before it
 was with Brutus, then Shadow and now with Sniff.

Happy New Year's Eve everyone and may 2018 be even 
better for all of us than 2017 was.  We should all remember that 
although no one can go back and make brand new start, anyone 
can start from now and make a brand new ending.

The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
This is your year to sparkle.  365 new days.  365 new chances...


Dec 30, 2017

Cold Saturday ~

I wasn't made for winter, I want my flip flops...

We have spent the entire day so far at home, and definitely not planning on going
 out anywhere for the rest of the day.  Way cold right now and will only get 
colder.  At the hotel we have taken all precautions and hopefully
 the pipes will not freeze.  Our maintenance couple are always 
one step ahead.  We are very happy with them.

Arvid is bundled up and Sniff is all curled up in his comfy bed.
I made lunch at home which is a treat.  So tired eating out that 
I think my stomach has finally started to protest.  With more
 time on our hands we will be eating in more often.

Happy Saturday to all.  Stay warm and safe.

It is so cold.  I think hell actually is freezing over...


Dec 29, 2017

It's COLD ~

Cold cozy nights, warm blankets, and hot chocolate.
Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers...

We have been waking up to below freezing temperatures.    Wednesday morning 
it was so cold we decided to stay home.  Yes, we now have the option of not 
going in if we don’t feel like it.  I am not used to it, whereas Arvid is.  

For me it is strange, but I’m sure liking it.  It’s good to know that the
hotel is being run just as good. Tiffany and Chris are truly exceptional.  
Will have to get use to having free time again.  Loving it so far.

Yesterday Arvid and I even took time to go shopping for some winter clothes.
  Something I would never have done during the work week. We had a leisure 
lunch and then just took the rest of the afternoon off.  At first I was guilty, 
but that did not last long.  Getting used to this can be fun.

It is so cold no one comes out of their rooms unless absolutely necessary. 
That is they just come to the office to pay or to chat.  Almost Home runs
smoothly.  I love it.  I still continue to go to work early in the mornings.  

Just can’t seem to get out of that routine.  I like it.  I Get to chat with
everyone and still make sure everything is running smoothly.
As far as I am concerned, as long as we own Almost Home,
I will definitely be a presence there as will Arvid.  

Yesterday I trimmed a few of the kitties claws.  Yup, I’m the designated nail trimmer 
for the kitties.  I love it because I get to play with them a little as well.  Always fun.

Next week I plan to take some of the tenants out for burgers and milkshakes.
I did get a gift card from them after all.  Have to make sure it’s put to good use.  

Sniff is doing good.  He suddenly likes being under cover as he sleeps 
between our legs as we watch TV.  He never liked being covered before.  Maybe 
he’s cold. Brutus loved being covered.  He could stay that way for hours.

I miss Brutus so very much. Especially now that we will be going to
 Florida. I am experiencing way too many emotions and a lot of
it is freaking me out.  Florida is synonymous to Brutus and Shadow.
  Sniff did not live there too long. Not as yet anyway.

Another cold day awaits us, but fortunately not as cold as yesterday nor
as cold as it will be during the weekend.  Lots of possibilities await us. To all
a happy Friday and a good start of the weekend.  Soon it will be 2018.

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


Dec 27, 2017

Time On My Hands ~

Your time is more valuable than money, make it fabulous...

Having time to "spare" feel so strange.  Both for Arvid and myself.  It's 
been so long that we did not have a single moment to just sit and 
relax, and now that we have some we have no idea what to do. 
 Already Arvid is starting to get restless, and so am I.

We are already wondering what it is we will do with so much time.   
We have already planned a trip back home to Florida.  Arvid 
is more excited about it than I am to be honest.  

As far as Arvid goes his ultimate goal is to make it to our condo in Mexico.
  He said "that's the one place I really want to go.  It's the only place where 
we can totally relax."  I'm guessing we are going to Mexico soon.

Temperatures here are very cold.  Too cold for Arvid. Sniff and
 I love it and we feel good.  I prefer the cold to the heat. For 
sure I know we will not be in Florida for the summers.

Suddenly my work days are shorter than usual.  Love it.
Just have to figure out what to do in my "free" time.

Managing your time without setting priorities is like 
shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target...


Dec 25, 2017

Christmas Day ~

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.

Today is also extra special because it's my mom's birthday.
Because of her and my dad I have learned to be kind to others, compassionate,
 and to always help those less fortunate.  By not having much as we were 
growing up our values were different.  We were raised with kindness to
 others, respect, love and to always be grateful and to always say thank you.
Happy birthday to my mom.  She will always be my role model in life.

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...

The best Christmas of all is the presence of a 
happy family all wrapped up with one another....


Dec 24, 2017

Christmas Eve ~

It only takes a moment to say thank you, but your 
thoughtfulness will be remembered a long time.  Thank you...

Almost Home is my “baby”as Arvid says.  I have been running it for over a year,
 and in that year I have grown very close to many of the tenants.  So close that 
many treat me like their daughter.  Yes most of my tenants are older.

Yesterday as Arvid and I were taking my couple and their 2 kids 
out to dinner, one of my tenants called me and she said, “Nadiya, can 
you please come over a little today after you’re done with dinner.” 
 And yes, she said all was good, but she just wanted to see me.

After dinner we went to Almost Home.  I knocked on her door and 
she opened up and gave me a big hug.  Yeah a hug that I reciprocated.
 It was very nice.  She then proceeded to give me a Christmas card. Those who 
know me know that a card means more to me than any present would.

Needless to say I was really happy and touched.  I opened the card and 
saw that it was a card she had showed to me a few weeks ago.  She 
had asked me if I liked it.  I said yes, and she proceeded to tell 
me that it was for her daughter.  When I saw what was in 
the card I was speechless.  It was signed by many of the
 tenants.  I was not expecting this at all.

The fact that there was also a gift card in the card was more than 
I could have imagined.  I did not want to accept it, but as 
Miss Wynette said, “if you don’t you will hurt our feelings” I accepted,
 but come next week it will be buying lunch for all of them.

My tenants work hard to make ends meet and many live on a fixed income.  
For me the card will be cherished always, but I cannot and will 
not accept nor take their money.  Already planning on 
what I will be buying for them with it.

I don’t know what I did in this life to have been blessed with 
all the kindness and love I am surrounded with, but whatever it is,
 I am so very grateful.  We do not have our families by us right now,
 but everyone at Almost Home has become family to me.

In Norway there is a tradition where  Victoria and Michael visit 
the cemetery of their grandfather, Arvid’s dad every 23rd of December.  
This has been going on for years now.  The best part is that they always 
light a candle and leave a special message.  In that special message I 
am always included.  It makes incredibly happy and I just have no
 words to express my gratitude other than thank you,  Thank you.

My Christmas is already special.  I received my special goodie box
 from parents.  In it there are tons of stuff mom and dad always make
for us and some especially for the holidays.  Took me back to
 my childhood and of course missing home and my family.

Sometimes we forget that the true meaning of Christmas is not always 
how much we can give, but it is how much we can give back.  I have been given 
more than money can ever buy.  I have Arvid, Sniff a wonderful family,
good friends and a life that I can say is very satisfying because 
I believe that in more ways than one Arvid and I have changed
 the lives of so many here in Branson as they have ours.

May your hearts be filled with love and gratitude and may you 
remember to never take anyone or anything for granted.  

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life 
is thank you, it will be enough...


Dec 23, 2017

It's Christmastime ~

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain 
way to succeed is always to try just one more time.....

Life as we know it is not a bed of roses.  Not in a long shot.  Many of us
 go through the motions of presenting to the world someone not 
necessarily real, someone who we would actually like to be or
 some make belief persona we want people to think we are. 
What the reasons are I can't really tell.

We all have our own "secrets" as to why we do what we do.  
I don't believe that most people are this way, but I do believe
 many are.  I at one time would have had my opinions and 
without knowing all the facts may have "judged". 

 Today I am not so fast to judge. The reason is my friend, 
yes the same one who is a bundle of laughs is also a bundle
 of sadness.  It seems to go hand in hand with her.

After a long conversation with her  I have learned that not 
all is what it seems.  Here I was thinking she was relatively happy 
and content with her life.  I mean she's always smiling, 
being funny and not seeming to have too many
 worries until recently.  It's not always easy.

What many do not realize is that the holidays are not always a 
"happy" time for everyone.  Many spend it alone.  No family. 
 No one to share that special time with them.  Yes for many 
it's loneliness and sadness rather than joy and happiness.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow -
You may succeed with another blow.

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all 
sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will 
beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. 
You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; 
it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. 

How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. 
Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth.
 But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers 
saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. 
Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that..!


Dec 22, 2017

Happy Day ~

We couldn't have been happier- it's
great news when you get that phone call...

To all a very good Friday.  It's cold, but it is a wonderful
 day here for us in Branson.  Life is just getting better and better. 
 Little by little our goals are being met.  Happy day.

She stood in the storm and when the wind did 
not blow her away she adjusted her sail...


Dec 21, 2017

Learning As We Go ~

Amazement awaits us at every corner.
You will never influence the world by being just like it...

We have been experiencing some very warm days for winter.  
Come the weekend the temperature will be dipping low into the teens.  
Neither Arvid nor I have winter tires on our cars.  Presents a little challenge 
for the next few days should it snow and the roads become icy and slippery.  
As a precaution, we took our office couple and showed them where
 we live.  In worse case they will pick us up.  The Jeep is 4 wheel drive.

Work is quiet.  Everything going smoothly in both places.  
Still catching up with the tenants and meeting a few new ones that 
checked in while I was out sick.  Happy to be back and even happier
   knowing that if I wanted to leave early all is covered and
 taken care of.  I have lots of time on my hands.

The next two weeks Branson will be packed with visitors.  They will 
be coming from all over the country and world to check out Silver Dollar City
 and it’s Christmas display of lights.  Arvid and I so far have not done it.

This year has gone by way fast.  It seems as if it were just yesterday we 
started running the hotels.  Boy have we learned a lot.  I believe Arvid and
 I can take over any hotel here and transform it into a much better run
 business.  Arvid has implemented so many rules at his place that now owners 
from other hotels are calling him and asking him “how did you do it?”

How did he transform a place that when we took over did not have the best of 
reputations to now a place where we have a waiting list of people wanting 
to come in.  Key to it is being selective.  Knowing when to say no.  

Arvid has worked hard to make his hotel stand out.  He has a reputation of
“not putting up with BS” from anyone.  Arvid never backs down. 
When he says you’re out you’re out.  His tenants, and mine
 know he does not fool around with that.  

 He, Arvid will even help them pack if it came to that.  One year in
 Branson and we have gained the respect of most of the hotel 
owners.  As everyone says “you guys are different.  You care.”

As the year soon comes to an end, we have both been challenged with 
everything you can imagine and some things you would never dream of.  
We have had many a sleepless night when we first started.    

As time went by we got better at it.  Not saying we know everything, 
because that will be impossible.  But what we know today makes 
us so much more prepared to face the new year and to take on more 
challenges.  Can't wait to see what the New Year has in store for us.

From a business perspective, 2017 has been very good to us.  
We accomplished what we set out to do.  Own a hotel and run them 
successfully.  I have to say  that when I stop to think about it, we have done
 a pretty amazing "job"  That is for 2 people with no prior experience.  It has 
not been easy, but it has been one heck of a journey so far.  And it's not over.

Happy Thursday all.  Soon it will be Christmas day.

In order to be irreplaceable, one must be different...


Dec 19, 2017

Start Of Another Good Day ~

You don't always need a plan.  Sometimes you just need
 to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens...

I woke up yesterday morning filled with excitement.  Yes I was all excited 
to be going back to work.  To the hotel and to my tenants.  I did not
 realize how much I missed them and how much they missed me. 

 It was very nice to walk in and have the tenants come in give me big hugs,
 and tell me how happy they were to see me.  Of course after that
 they all tried to make me go home and get some more rest.

  It was very nice.  One hug in particular stayed with me.  My 
lady from Colorado hugged me and did not want to let go.  
It was a very long and much needed hug I received.  

I got to work even earlier than usual.  Guess I was just ready.
  Everyone was still in their rooms.  Gave me a chance to walk around 
the property and make sure all was good.  And it sure was.  

Tiffany and Chris, my couple at work have everything under control.  It felt 
as if I was no longer needed there.  Kinda made me sad because I like
 being there.  Now I find myself with time on my hands and not sure
 how I feel about this.  Guess we can soon have a life again.

The day went by very fast.  The office is now shared by Tiffany and myself.  
I have to make adjustments here.  I have to remind myself that everyone 
does things differently, and to just let it be.  I tend to be a bit more aggressive,
 blunt and upfront with the customers.  Tiffany is all sweet with them. Good 
thing is that everyone likes Chris and Tiffany.  We are happy about that.

I have to now learn to relax all  over again and to let go.
I have become too attached to the hotel and to the tenants, and feel 
that I should take care of them.  I will still do that, and at the same time give up 
control more and more to Tiffany and Chris.  Not easy, but will be for the best.

Looking forward to see what Tuesday holds and what I shall do with my 
time. To all a good day.  If this is all I have to worry about, then I've most 
probably got it made right now.  And I do know it and appreciate it.

Go easy on yourself.  Whatever you do today let it e enough...


Dec 18, 2017

Back To The Grind ~

Train your mind to see the good in everything...

It's back to work and I am happy as can be.  Hopefully will not have to do 
too much talking.  Would hate to break out in a fit of coughing on the
 tenants.  They are older and the last thing I want to do is to make
 them sick, but I feel good and ready to face the week.

It's a little strange right now going back after 10 days being "gone" 
  Arvid and my new couple have been running the place in my absence.  Everything
going great, but in a way I feel as if I lost control of my own hotel.  Arvid has his way 
of doing things and I have mine.  Not the same way, but the end result is the same.

This week I will be training Tiffany and Chris to use our computer system 
for the hotel.  Being fast learners, and the fact that the program we use is 
so easy it should not take much time.  Now I find I have more time 
on my hands than ever.  Feels strange and not sure if I like it or not.

Here in Missouri one thing is for sure.  You can always find a car show, and 
we always do.  No matter how busy our days are, we still find time to do a few things
 we like.  It's not all work.  We also take time out for some fun and quality time together.

As Monday begins hope everyone is ready for the new week.  
Christmas is soon here. Arvid and I may go to Florida in January.  
Fingers crossed.  Looking forward to seeing some of our
 friends and going to a few of our favorite restaurants.

Happy Monday all.

It never gets easier, you just get better.
Remember how blessed you are to see another day...


Dec 17, 2017

Good Day For Happiness ~

Start your day with the right smile...

As I stepped out the front door to "check" the temperature, it looked
 bleak and I thought it was going to be much colder than it actually was. 
 Fortunately, I was mistaken.  Bleakness did not mean cold.  It was just 
crisp and fresh.  I do like the cold weather so much more than the heat.

Arvid has the heat turned up to 75 degrees (24C).  I'm hot and he is still cold. 
 Occasionally, I manage to sneak in and turn it down one degree, but he would say, 
"is it cold in here?"  Then check the thermostat and turn it back up.  We do this often.
Sniff is like Arvid he is also cold.  Strange,  both cuddle with blankets.

As always Sundays and saturdays Arvid watches soccer. In between phone
calls on Sundays he's cheering for his team or whichever team scores a goal. 
He says he just loves to see goals so for him it does not matter too much
 who scores as long as it's an awesome goal.  He does have his favorite
 English team.  Liverpool.  Then it does matter who scores.

 Constant battle with him and the TV.  Very difficult to talk to him
or to show him anything while soccer is on.  He is glued to the TV.

I'm ready to back to work tomorrow,  Has been many days if being "idle"
I feel energized and excited to be back in the "game" of running a hotel.

Happy Sunday to everyone.  Wishing you a day filled
with love and friendship.  Wherever you go, no matter what
the weather, always bring your own sunshine.

Happy Sunday.  Count your Rainbows. 
 Not your Thunderstorms...


Dec 15, 2017

Friday ~

Sometimes you just have to step forward, and move on.
No questions, no doubts, no looking back.  Just move on...

I have now been home for over a week with the exception of a little
check in yesterday at the office. I can say I am pretty much well rested and
 ready to go back to work.  I miss my hotel and I miss the tenants.

Been spending time with Sniff, but he still sleeps most of the day,
so I read, watch TV and read some more.  Occasionally Sniff will wake 
up beg for food and after hovering about for a little will head back 
to one of his beds.  Right now he is asleep next to me and my laptop.
  He loves to be by my side when I am working on my computer.

Now I am bored.  Told Arvid I would like to go out this weekend.  
Maybe take my maintenance/property manager couple and their kids
 out to dinner.  I am really hungry and am in the mood for a steak. 
 Of course Arvid said, "will see how you feel.  Can't have you
 coughing on everyone."  Arvid, always so good with words :)

It's another very beautiful day.  Sun is shining and the birds are singing.
All is good at home, and at the hotels.  At every turn there is Christmas in the air.
Friday in Branson.  Definitely a lot different than Friday in Fort Lauderdale.

Back home in Florida we just missed the boat parade.  Always a pretty sight.
  Even if we did not really pay much attention to it when we were there.
  Now thinking about it and knowing that all we had to do was step 
out on our balcony and see the boats makes me a little homesick.

Wishing everyone a happy start of the weekend 
and a happy holiday season.

I always knew looking back on the tears would make me laugh,
but I never knew that looking back on the laughs would make me cry...


Dec 14, 2017

Thankful ~

My life isn't perfect, but I am thankful for everything I have...

Some of the things I have learnt in life.  True then and still true today.
Looking forward to another very relaxing day at home.  Being sick has a few
 good merits.  I get to do absolutely nothing all day.  Truth is I
 am getting a tad bit bored, loving it at least until Monday.

Even if it kills you I always advise, "put on a happy face."

Said a friend of mine not so long ago.  We all have had a sample of this 
in one way or another.  Unfortunately, some more than others.  Called life.

Grief is something I know a lot about.  Many think that there is a time limit for grief,
 that's because that person has no idea what grief is all about.  We do not let
 it fester in us.  We do not sit home crying all day.  It's just something that's
 there and some days it is more overwhelming than others.  Some days
 it just rips you apart, and just like that you start all over again.

I try to remind everyone including myself, that life is not always what
we want, nor how we want it to be.  At times it can be downright harsh, cruel
 and depressing, but on the other hand there are times when we also
 need to sit back, reflect and appreciate all the goodness around us.

There is always always something to be grateful for.  Sometimes
many of us tend to forget this.  I include myself here, but then
I look around me and I am thankful for the opportunity I have to wake
 up everyday and appreciate another day full of life and love.

Good morning everyone.  May today be a day we learn to appreciate
all the goodness, kindness, compassion and love we have surrounding us.

Keep in mind that someone else is happy 
with a lot less than what you have...


Dec 13, 2017

Having One Of Those Days ~

Memory is the diary we all carry with us...

It's only Wednesday and t seems as if the week has been going on forever.
Time sure goes by slowly when one is "idle"  Missing my work and
 my tenants. Definitely hoping to make it in tomorrow. 

Starting to feel as if I am losing control at my hotel. 
Arvid says everything runs smoothly.  I believe him, but still.
It's a beautiful sunny day outside.  No wind.  Just calm.

As Frosty and I enjoyed the sunshine, Sniff was watching us from his
favorite window sill.  I also want to believe that Brutus and
Shadow were also there watching.  I miss them and I think
of those kitties often.  Shadow was such a little thing.

Sometimes having a lot of time on hand can be not so good.  It makes your
 mind wander to places you though were securely "shut down"  Does
 not work all the time.  The mind and the heart does what it wants.

The mind replays what the heart can't delete...


Dec 12, 2017

Another Sick Day ~

When I'm feeling sick I google my symptoms and usually
 find out I have cancer or that I should be dead already...

It's back to the doctor for me.  Pneumonia seems to have attached 
strongly to me.  Unfortunately.  It's been 5 days now since I 
have been "out of commission" today I will be going to another
 doctor for a second opinion.  Did  not like the first one.

I am really enjoying this time at home.  Though I don't do much
I get to just relax and take it easy.  Sometimes I even manage to take a little nap
 during the day.  Something I have never ever done.  Does feel good.

Arvid has been going from his place to mine.  It is not so easy for
 him right now but he loves it at my place because it is so much calmer, and 
my people are so much more relaxed.  His place runs smoothly, but Arvid is 
particular on how things must be done and is very into everything being
 in its place.  Truth is if Arvid and I had to be at the same place all 
the time he will also find "fault" in my organization skills.  

To all a very good day, never forget 
to ride the energy of your own unique spirit.

Being different isn't a bad thing.
It means you're brave enough to be yourself...