Oct 31, 2017

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. Everyone is 
a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody...

Halloween is part of American Tradition.  It's a time of the year not only kids, 
but adults also look forward to as well. For kids it's that day when they are allowed to 
"collect" as much candy as they can and also eat as many as possible. 

Many adults have derived as much fun out of Halloween as do kids. 
 Now with all the extravagant parties and costumes Halloween has become 
one of the "Holidays" I have enjoyed it at times because of the costumes. 

 Every year it seems to get more and more extravagant and bizarre.  Makes for
 a sometimes interesting night, unfortunately at times people go overboard and 
what is supposed to be a "fun" time sometimes becomes a night to fear.

Having a pet in our lives means that there are some extra precautions we
 take as should all pet owners.  That's why when I read this article about 
pet saftey tips for halloween I thought it was good to share.

Halloween is a fantastic time of the year – but the costumes, candy, and parties
 we love can turn into horror movies for our furry friends, but fear not. Here 
is a list of safety tips will keep you and your pet safe until All Saints Day.

Dress up for success (or not at all). A pet costume can seem like a fantastic
 (and cute!) idea…to humans. Your pet might feel differently! Give costumes a test
 run before Halloween to see how your dog or cat reacts;if he's unhappy 
or afraid, consider a lower-key ghost-themed bandanna or collar
 instead, or skip it altogether.  I used to like to dress Brutus up 
in costumes for every holiday.  He was used to it.  Not his
 favorite thing in the world, but he let me.  I miss Brutus.

Your pet may love dressing up, but make sure his outfit is safe and comfortable,
 and made from a non-flammable material. Costumes should allow him 
to see, hear, and breathe normally; avoid attire that covers his eyes
 and ears, and if his bark (or meow) sounds muffled, loosen or
 rethink the costume. Remove parts that he could chew or choke on 
(drawstrings, loose sequins, et cetera), and ensure that there's 
nothing hanging off the costume that could snag on stuff.

Go with the natural look. Make-up or face paint is a bad idea – it can irritate 
a pet's skin, and worse, it can get licked off and cause digestive distress.
 (Plus, it's more likely to get all over you and your furniture than
 to stay on your pet!) Even non-toxic make-up isn't worth the risk.

Stick to safe snacks. Most pet owners know that chocolate in any form,
  and particularly baker's or dark chocolate – is a big no-no for dogs. 
It's harmful to cats as well, and if your pet wolfs down a whole 
wrapped candy, it could cause a blockage. Keep all candy in a safe place,
 and let your pets celebrate with doggy snacks or cat treats instead.

Decorate with care. Keep edible décor like pumpkins and candy corn out
 of reach of curious paws and jaws. Inedible décor is still prime
pouncing material for cats, though; hang the fake cobwebs and
 black-and-orange tinsel as high as you can manage.

Candles add spooky ambiance – but they can also get knocked over by
 enthusiastic tails (or set those tails ablaze). Switch to battery
operated versions instead; your local hardware store should 
have a selection of kitten-safe non-flame options.

Skip trick-or-treating. Your dog could get spooked by a costume
 (his or others'), new and unfamiliar people in the neighborhood, or going 
to strange houses. If you simply must show off her ladybug outfit, 
keep the outing short, and stick to the sidewalk. Better yet,
 take photos instead and let your pet stay home.

And bring outdoor pets inside for Halloween night. Extra traffic, 
candy dropped on the ground, trick-or-treaters teasing or chasing them,
– all these things can harm or freak out your pet (and a barking dog could 
scare people away from your front door). Invite them in for the evening.

Prepare for parties. Whether you're planning a Halloween party or just 
expecting lots of trick-or-treaters, a little pet-proofing prep can 
make the experience less stressful for the whole family.

Check the cages of smaller friends like gerbils and birds to make sure latches 
are secure; remove their habitats from common areas (i.e., your front hall).

Indoor-only pets like cats and small dogs should spend the evening behind 
closed doors – a back bedroom or storage area you make comfy with
 an old sweatshirt to nap on, and/or a new toy to play with. Identify and
 close off escape routes; post a sign on the door, and lock it if you can.

Larger, more social animals should be leashed. Some children have no 
experience with dogs, and can get scared even by a friendly canine overture.
 If your dog tends to jump or bark when she gets excited, consider
crating her for the party, or installing a dog gate.

Let guests know they shouldn't feed your pets;
 a small sign on the snack table should do it.

With all of these tips your at your disposal, there is no way everyone
 can't have a safe and happy Halloween....so let's go trick or
 treating, have a great time and always remember safety first...
It's Halloween, every one's entitled to one good scare...

This is our first Halloween here in Branson.
 Our second without Brutus and Shadow.

Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night..


Oct 30, 2017

On Any Given Day ~

Our goal should be to understand our differences...

When it comes to steaks, all Arvid would eat was Filet Mignon,
I like the New York Strip.  Tastier as far as I was concerned, and a
much bigger portion.  Yes, when I eat I kike to have enough. 
Never know when I will have my next meal as I like to say.

For about a month now Arvid has switched from his favorite cut of steak
to mine, and he says it's much tastier, and of course bigger portion.

This has been a very hectic week at both hotels, but in good ways.
Staying busy and full with the right kind of people is what it's all about.  Branson
is packed with people.  There are bursts of people coming and going. 

I can't seem to keep up with it any more. All I know is that we are booked up,
and hotel life/business is doing good.  Not always the easiest of times,
but that we knew when we took a chance on this lifestyle.  One day I look
forward to going back home to Florida and being "bored" again

Not sure if this is good or not so good, but I am very attached to
many of the tenants. Running a business such as this, I don't know if
that is the best thing to do, but what can I say?  Both Arvid and I have
learnt so much from them.  It is impossible to not get a "little"
involved in their story.  Me more than Arvid.

We all have a story and bottom line I am a good listener.  I know what their 
pets eat.  I know what is their favorite candy or food, and I always try to
get it for then.  There are a few tenants whose kitties I just adore.
  Well as you can imagine these kitties always get a little
something extra from me.  I just can't help it.

My tenants have the biggest hearts.  With what little they sometimes have,
they always find it in themselves to share with others.  They look out for each
other and here at Almost Home we are just one big extended family. 

We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone.
As a general rule, it pays to be confident, helpful and nice...


Oct 28, 2017

Cold Weather ~ Is It Fall or Winter Already?

Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts
with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale...

That time of the year.  Pumpkin and spice and all things nice.

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for November evenings...
We woke up to 30F (-1C)  pretty cold start of the day.

Of course Arvid is still under the bed covers as is Sniff Sniff.
Neither of these boys like the cold.  I'm bundled up enjoying my cafe.

Change with the seasons of life. 
Don't try to stretch a season into a lifetime.


Oct 27, 2017

A Good Day To All ~

Take some time for you and get a new perspective on life.
Let yourself relax and enjoy every moment as it comes your way...

Our week has been a good one so far.  We indulge in many things we
normally won't in Florida.  Here it's usual to have a milkshake with lunch.  Not the
best eating habits, but we do frequent many diners and a milkshake is a "must"

Nighttime Arvid likes to indulge in his little snickers ice cream.  Back home
in Florida anything sweet was strictly for the weekend.  Arvid is fortunate
because he just seems to melt away all his calories.  The man is in constant
movement.   Not the same for me.  Seems to stick to my body.

It has been a difficult week to dress.  The mornings have been freezing,
but then during the day it warms up nicely.  Not complaining.  I start the day
in UGG's and end it in flip flops. Feels silly to be wearing UGG's when the
temperature hits 80's, but feels right when the day starts in the 40's.  

One of the things I love here is being able to see the deers. 
We have been lucky in that we have been seeing them at least twice
a week.   So far they have not posed any threats on the road to us. 
They just seem to like grazing on the side of the.

Weekend is looking good.  Nothing planned so far, but I know
that we will be doing something interesting.  I'm ready.

To all a happy Friday.  May your weekend be full of adventure
and cheer, and may the start of the next week be a long way from here.

Put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care,
because it's Friday. It's time to do the Friday dance.  Happy weekend friends...


Oct 25, 2017


Some people are going to leave, but that's not the end of your story.
That's the end of their part in your story...

Here at Almost Home many of my tenants are from Florida. 
In about a weeks time one of them will be going back to Florida
after having lived over 20 + years in Branson.  For her it is a
bittersweet move, but it is something she has to do.

As a little treat and a way of saying we will miss you, I took her and her
closest friends out to lunch.  Her place of choice was Steak and Shake,
because "I just love their chocolate milkshake" is what she said.

I have grown accustomed to her.  To all of them and I will miss her.
At the same time, we all wish her the very best in this new chapter in life.

She leaves behind her some very good friends, and one
in particular is going to be missing her very much.

In the extended stay business that we own, we see people come and go. 
At Almost Home I have a steady set of tenants who have been here from
the time I have. many still are and it is those that I am attached to.
I am grateful to the many things I have learned from all of them.

All the best to Miss Barbara in this new chapter.  You've got
a new story to write and it looks nothing like your past.
Our day begins very cold, but will soon be warming up.

The thing about new beginnings is
that they require something else to end...


Oct 24, 2017

And So Begins Our Day ~

My favorite winter activity is going
back inside and putting my pajamas on...

Time to start getting used to the cold again.  Time to also pull out the winter clothes.
I get to wear my UGGS again.  The most comfortable shoes I have ever owned,
 and probably one of the most unattractive as well.  I take comfort any day.

Today is a good day for UGGS.  Really cold and the next few days even colder.
Luckily I am keeping warm with delicious Indian food at least once a week.

When Arvid is too busy to have lunch with me, I sneak away to the Indian restaurant.
I never leave hungry nor disappointed.  Already looking forward to going there
by the end of the week.  The most delicious food I have ever eaten is
Indian food.  I am Indian after all and it is what I grew up with. Spicy, tasty
and totally ,mouth watering.  If you have never had it, you have not lived.

Sniff has filled our lives with laughter and wonder, but there are days
that my thoughts are occupied by another furry baby.  Yes, I miss Brutus. 
Not everyday is bad, but yesterday was really one of those not so very good days.

Trying to explain how much I miss you is like trying to count the stars.
You can try, but it is impossible.  I really miss you Brutus...


Oct 23, 2017

New Day ~

Monday is the perfect day to correct last week's mistakes...

After a fairly exhausting work week, we have managed to have some relax
 time over the weekend.  Feeling refreshed and almost ready to face the 
new week ahead.  Sniff as always is constantly refreshed.  He does
 get lots of cat naps so life for him is fairly easy going.

Arvid and I went to one of our favorite spots on Saturday.  Enjoyed the
 ambiance and a little nibble.  Always makes me happy and makes the weekend 
even more special to just getaway and see something different.

Yesterday was rainy and a bit on the cold side.  Even though the
 temperatures were not that low it felt cold to me.  Neither Arvid nor I felt 
like going out to dinner so we stayed in.  Had a home cooked mean and did
 some paperwork. Was good to spend most of the day at home with Sniff.

Fall is beautiful and I am witnessing here in Branson.  Fall in Vermont is 
stunning as per this picture my sister sent over the weekend.

The above picture was taken by my brother-in-law in Vermont.
The colors, the fog everything combines to make it a perfect postcard picture.

To all a very good start of the day and may this new week be a
 productive and amazing one.  Hello cold Monday.  Let's do it!

You can't change what happened last week, but you 
can learn form it and choose happiness this week...


Oct 22, 2017

Little Things~

It's the unexpected that changes our lives...

I am excited and surprised to have found out that some kind
of a berry is growing in our yard.  Now I can't wait to pick it and eat it.

Also our tomato trees have tomatoes.  Super excited about that.  Most of 
the tomatoes will be taken to work.  Unfortunately, I can't eat much of it.  Too 
much acidity, and now my stomach does not tolerate it.  Among other things.

When it's not raining, I try to enjoy the sunshine as much as possible.  It is
very warm right now.  That's good, but I have been warned by the tenants that 
the temperatures can soar to 100 F and last for days.  Not sure I am ready for that.

When we first got Sniff Sniff he did not like being picked up.
New he loves cuddle time and every chance we get we pick him up. 
 He is such a good little kitty and we love him very much.

A new day begins.  Hopefully a quiet one at the hotels.  Wishing 
everyone interesting days filled with happiness and a touch of magic.

The unexpected makes the story more interesting...


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...