Nov 29, 2017

~ Wednesday ~

Life doesn't require that we be the best.  Only that we try our best...

These amazing sunsets will never cease to astonish me.

Everyday from Almost Home I stay back in the evenings just to
capture them.  It's just way too pretty to pass up. 

 I also occasionally make a few stops on the way home to snap a few more
pictures from different locations.  Who can resist when the sky looks like this?

In North Carolina my parents had J, Kimsy and Max (not pictured)
visiting for Thanksgiving.  All the grand kids love spending time with grandma
and grandpa.  In Vermont Reshma was home for a few days as well during
Thanksgiving.  In Tampa, Florida Nina and David had Danielle home for a little.

In Branson it was Arvid and I and the tenants.  Overall everyone had
a great time wherever they were.  Rima and family spent it together in California
 with new friends.  This time of the year I miss being around my family.

This will be our second Christmas here in Branson.  A working Christmas.
Arvid dislikes all holidays.  I love Christmas, but I have gotten used to "down playing"
in the last few years, unless of course I am with my family.  Then it is a celebration of love,
 laughter, fun and life combined together.  Yes, during Christmas I miss my family.

As Wednesday begins, Sniff and I have been up for quite some time already.
Soon our work day begins.  Wishing all a good day and happy times always.

We don't call it homesick.  We call it missing home.
There's not a sickness involved.  It's a state of mind...


Nov 27, 2017

I'm Ready ~

Don't be busy just be productive..

Ready or not a new week has begun.  The last week was a hectic one.
Hopefully this will be a much calmer.  The weekend was spent mostly running
from one hotel to another. No emergencies.  Just regular day to day stuff. 

 At Almost Home I believe I am too protective of it.  My maintenance
couple are more than capable of getting things done, but being me I
went in just to make sure all was going smoothly. 

Monday came and went in a flash.  Pretty soon Christmas will be here.  The
weather here is just amazing!  We woke up to temperatures in the 30's but
by mid day many were in shorts.  I am always amazed that even though
it is winter, here in Branson we can still experience summer days.  Always something good.

In times of great stress or adversity, it is always best to keep busy
to plow your anger and our energy into something positive...


Nov 26, 2017

Too Early ~

The best dreams happen when you're awake...

I have a special furry friend all the way in California.  His name is Taino, Tino 
for short as his mama, my dear friend Anna calls him.  The other day Tino sent me
a little something to remind me of what it is to love and lose a special fur baby.

  Tino reminded me that love never ends, and that the heart never forgets. 
Tino also lost his special fur friend years ago.  His name was Buddy.  I hope
Buddy, Brutus and Shadow are playing together.   Also, I had 5 other fur babies.
  Reba, McGyver, Lil Mister, Buddy and Tiger.  I hope they are all together.
  I loved them all, but my Brutus took my heart.

Our week was pretty busy.  Today hopefully will be relax time.
Sniff is good.  Arvid still not fully recovered from the cold, but getting there.

Thanksgiving was good.  We catered for the tenants, but as usual there was more
food than even they could eat.  At Almost Home we had almost 2 turkeys left over.
  I gave away everything.  Pies, turkey, fruit salad and all the sides.  Somehow I am
still left with an entire turkey.  One of the tenants told me she will be making
a turkey chili with it and sharing it with the other tenants.  I'm happy.

It's not even 3:30 in the morning as yet, and I am fully awake having coffee.
Sniff of course came with me to my office for some cuddling and then
 took off to go back to bed with Arvid.  Hopefully I too will soon
 be going back to sleep, but for now I will enjoy the quietness
 of the morning with my coffee and my book.

Good morning world.  Happy Sunday to all.

Why does the world see a thing more clearly in dreams than the 
imagination when awake.  My eyelids are heavy, but my thoughts heavier...


Nov 25, 2017

Humor ~

Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.

This was forwarded to me by a friend and it made me laugh so thought
 I would share it with you and see if it does the same for you.  Enjoy..

A mother passing by her daughter's bedroom was astonished to see the bed 
was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then she saw an envelope propped
 up prominently on the center of the bed. It was addressed, "Mom." With the worst
 premonition, she opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:

Dear Mom:  It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to elope
 with my new boyfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with Dad and you.
 I've been finding real passion with Ahmed and he is so nice-even with 
all his piercings, tattoos, beard, and his motorcycle clothes. 

But it's not only the passion Mom, I'm pregnant and Ahmed said that we 
will be very happy. He already owns a trailer in the woods and 
has a stack of firewood for the whole winter.

He wants to have many more children with me and that's now one of my dreams too.
 Ahmed taught me that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone and we'll be growing
 it for us and trading it with his friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want.

 In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so 
Ahmed can get better;  he sure deserves it!! Don't worry Mom, I'm 15 years old
 now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure we'll be
 back to visit so you can get to know your grand children.
Your daughter, Judith

PS: Mom, none of the above is true. I'm over at the neighbor's house.
 I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life 
than my report card that's in my desk center drawer. I 
love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home. 

Our day started of beautifully, and will continue on for the rest of the weekend. 
To all a great day and always remember to make time for yourself.

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people...
When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other


Nov 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving ~

There is always, always something to be thankful for...

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest
appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them


Nov 22, 2017

Cold Wednesday ~

Interrupt anxiety with gratitude...

Thanksgiving eve.  I'm not a big fan of Thanksgiving, but I do enjoy
making others happy and in that spirit, I am BUSY!  Almost Home will be
hosting a Thanksgiving meal for the tenants.  Turkeys have been ordered, but I
"volunteered" to do some extra cooking.  Been cooking since yesterday
and will continue doing so all morning tomorrow, come to work
and have everything ready for the tenants. 

76 Inn is also having a meal for it's tenants.  Arvid will be splitting his time
between my hotel and his.  He does not mind and everyone is happy.  Good thing
about 76 Inn is that everything is already prepared.  Next year I will remember this.

Woke up to Sniff not feeling so good.  It started OK, but by the time I
was leaving for work he had puked on his bed and was laying on the bed
tucked in the far corner away form the puke.  Not happy when I left him
all alone at home.  Of course he had clean linens and lots of love before I left.

Hope everyone is having a good day so far.  May your Thanksgiving be one filled with love and shared with the ones you love.

A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles...


Nov 21, 2017

As The New Week Progresses ~

It's only Tuesday and I'm done with 95% of the week.  During these
hectic days its vital to stop for a breather and enjoy the moment...

The week started with a bang.  It's not as if things went wrong it's just
so much was happening all at once.  I cam t work and there were leaves everywhere. 
Granted this is not uncommon especially with the wind, but I like the place to
be immaculately clean.  Of course I started to sweep right away.
My maintenance couple wanted to start blowing.  Not me.  I preferred
to sweep and bag the leaves.  It was too much to just blow. 

Took a while but with 3 of us working together it was taken care of.  The I
decided to not renew the lease on one of my tenants.  Meant he had to pack and go. 
Fortunately I gave him 2 days notice.  He was not a "bad" person,
but I did not think he was the right fit either for Almost Home.

Between my maintenance couple and I we stripped the room turned it upside
down and prepped it for cleaning.  Always a deep cleaning is what we do.
All of this in the first 3 hours of the day.  That combined with the calls and the
tenants it made for a hectic start of the week.  Now should be better.

Arvid and I have not had a vacation together in a long time.  All he talks about
is wanting to go to Mexico in March.  For Arvid Mexico is the only place
where he says he can actually relax and be on vacation.  Out there we
have no phone calls and it's just so peaceful and relaxing.  I am
not thinking about it (as yet)  Too busy with the hotels.

Sometimes you just need to disconnect
and enjoy your own company...


Nov 20, 2017

17 Important Things To Remember In Life:)

One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.
Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood...

As I was reading an old magazine I came across the following and I thought it was just too good to not pass along.  We have one life to live and just one time to make a first good impression..

  17 Most Important Things To Remember In Life:)

1. Never give up on anybody; miracles happen everyday.
2.Be brave even if your not, pretend to be.  No one can tell the difference.
3. Think big thoughts, relish small pleasures.
4. Learn to listen.  Opportunity sometimes knocks very softly.
5. Never deprive someone of hope, it might be all they have.
6. Strive for excellence, not perfection.
7. Don't waste time grieving over past mistakes.  Learn from them and move on.
8. When someone hugs you let them be the first to let go.
9. Never cut what can be untied.
10. Don't expect life to be fair.
11. Remember:  Success comes to the one that acts first.
12. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.
13. Remember that nobody makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who help you.
14. Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed.
15. Laugh a lot.  A good sense of humor cures almost all of life's ills.
16. Don't miss the magic of the moment by focusing on whats to come.
17. Watch for big problems. They disguise big opportunities.

May we never let the things we can't have, or don't have, or shouldn't have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness, let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.

Good morning everyone.  It winter in Branson

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and
then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.....


Nov 19, 2017

Sunday ~

Pajamas all day long.  Sunday.  A day to be relaxed,
 a day to be refreshed,  restored and renewed...

Yesterday in a span of 2 hours our temperature dropped from the 70's to the 40's
 and continued dipping to the low 30's.  I woke up yesterday and went
 outside and had my coffee.  Temperature was nice and "warm"  

As I left for work it was already starting to be windy and super cold.
 By afternoon looked like it was going to snow.  Fortunately it did not.

Today it is expected to be sunny and beautiful.  The thing we have learned since 
living in Missouri is that you never know what to expect with the weather. 
 It is not unusual for it to drop a good 30 degrees within hours. 
  Arvid does not like the cold.  I am not so adverse to it.

Today Arvid wants to go and check out a car show in Springfield.  Missouri is
 probably one of the states with the most car shows I have ever heard of.  Almost every
 weekend in summer there was a different one and form the looks of it, it still continues.

As usual we look forward to having some relaxing times on Sunday.  A little 
car show, maybe the mall and then a nice dinner.  After that time to come
home and cozy up with Sniff.  Sniff loves to get up close with us when we 
watch TV.  Especially with Arvid.  As soon as Arvid sits, Sniff jumps right up 
between his legs and falls right asleep.  It's very cute to watch them.

When it's this cold it sure is nice to be indoors enjoying a warm drink.
Life is good.  Hotels are doing really well and for everything we are grateful.
Wishing you all a relaxing and peaceful day with loved ones.

Last night I dreamt with Brutus.  All I remember was his paw.
We love Sniff, but my Brutus took my heart.

And on Sundays we do nothing.  Slow down 
take some time to clear your mind.  The rest can wait...


Nov 17, 2017

Soon Weekend ~

Life is good, and it gets better every day...

Arvid and I eat out 6 days a week. Boy I am so tired of eating out. My stomach
just can’t seem to handle this anymore. Just about everyday I have an upset stomach.
On the other hand cooking at home takes too much time. Time I do not  have right now.
  I miss the days of eating at home very much.  One day I look forward to this.

Now both Arvid and I are sick. Sore throat. Cough. The works. Not having good
days right now.  Comes sometimes with not feeling so good. Then there are the times
I feel guilty because I can’t spend enough time with Sniff.  With Brutus we had all the
time in the world to give to him. Sniff is getting scraps and I feel guilty😡

Started off very cold today, but as soon as I got to work I was already warm. 
Lots of running around makes for rising body temperatures among other things.

Today we will be trying a new restaurant out for lunch.  Hopefully
my stomach will not be so irritated with the food.  Though cold the days
are beautiful and it does warm up nicely.  I am still amazed at the beautiful
colors of the season.  I see why my sister in Florida misses PA.

Looking forward to the weekend ahead.  No big plans, but it is the weekend
after all.  Weather is beautiful right now.  I am really loving the cold.
  Actually very mild cold temperatures we are having.

There are tons of buses in Branson and they will be here for there
remainder of the year.  Taking tourists to see the amazing Christmas
shows, lights and such.  Right now the town is all about Christmas, and at
nights the sights are amazing.  Happy start of the weekend to all.

I woke up.  I have clothes to wear.  I have running water.
I have food to eat.  Life is good.  I am thankful...


Nov 14, 2017

Just Because ~

Challenges are what make life interesting and 
overcoming them is what makes life meaningful...

Many may have already seen this,  but for those that haven't here it is.
  I think this is so very true and thought it was worth repeating.   It's so funny
how the people who know the least about you, have the most to say,
as some one said "I will permit no man to narrow and
degrade my soul by making me hate him"

Life for us is so busy.  Unfortunately there are times because of the time difference
we can't even Skype with our granddaughter.  Life is busy for everyone.
When we have the time the grand kids are believe it or not busy.

Today it is rainy and cold.  Not freezing, but ugly enough to not want to be outside.
Most of the tenants have not stepped out of their rooms as yet.  The hotel is
quiet and work continues as needed.  At Almost Home we have a
new maintenance couple.  Love them and so far no complaints.

The change in weather has everyone feeling not so good.
Arvid is sick and many of the tenants are also coming down with
the cold.  So far I seem to be the only "health" one.

Wishing everyone a good day.  Stay warm and dry.

Life doesn't require that we be the best,
only that we try our best...


Nov 13, 2017

Pretty Sights ~

New week.  New vibes.  New goals...

Branson.  Captured in all different lighting.  Like I always say, no
 matter where you are there is beauty to be found.  You just have to look.

As the new week begins, we look forward to beautiful days.  Very chilly start
in the mornings, but as mentioned before it sure warms up nicely.

The wheel is always a favorite and no matter from what angle or where, it is beautiful.
The fact that it came from Chicago also makes it more special to me.

Arvid is coming down with the cold.  last year he took the flu shot and never had
the cold.  Of course he is asking me how come it is he did not take the flu shot this year.
It's not like I did not remind him to do so several times.  says e will see if he can still take it.

Very quiet at both hotels.  Exactly how we like it, especially when we are also full.
The next few weeks Branson will be bombarded with visitors from all over
the world.  Checking out the lights.  One of the best Christmas displays
in the Nation.   From what I have read and heard, and seeing.

Let's get going and make this a great week.

It's Monday.  Time to sparkle and shine...


Nov 11, 2017

Saturday ~

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

Friday.  Started off in the low 30's (1C), but here at home it was nice 
and toasty.  Can be because Arvid keeps it at75F or maybe
 because I was baking a turkey for hours. 

 I have never before made a turkey for Arvid and I, 
but I have already made 3 for my tenants at Almost Home. 
 The last one is just about finished.  Not Thanksgiving as yet, but I
 figured I will treat them to a home cooked meal today.  Turkeys are
 soon done and I am sure it will be enjoyed today.  I'm happy.

Sniff and I woke up pretty early.  He has already been brushed and fed.  Now he 
is running "wild"  Of course Arvid is still asleep.  He says I make too much noise 
and move around too much, so he was happy when I got out of the bed earlier than usual.

Saturdays are my "late" days.  Instead of going to work for 9am
 I get there a little later.  Those extra minutes definitely make a 
difference.  So much gets done in those "extra" minutes.  

Today we will be taking my maintenance people out for lunch. 
The are new and we are super happy with them.  Arvid also has a new
 maintenance couple, whom we have already taken to lunch
 a few times.  They are also super good for his place.

Everyday I am amazed at the beauty around us.  Like I said no matter where we are,
 beauty surrounds us.  For me the colors in the sky no matter what time of the day, 
is always stunning.  This was what I saw just the other day on my way home.

The two above pictures were taken on the same day just 10 minutes apart.
Yes, on my way home if the sunset or something interesting catches my
 attention I will pull over and definitely try to capture the  moment.

Life is a series of tiny miracles.  Notice them.
To all Veterans,  Happy Veterans Day.

Life is short.  Capture every moment...


Nov 10, 2017

Our Anniversary ~

I love you not because of anything you have,
but because of something I feel when I am near you.
Grow old with me.  The best is yet to come...

Seventeen years ago I met Arvid. I will never forget the day. I saw a tall 
handsome man smiling at me and I think I fell in love right away.  His voice, 
his laughter and his smile were the first things that made me realize he
was the one.  Arvid is unique and that says a lot all by itself.

Sixteen years ago today we were married and though we have had a few bumpy moments, 
quite a few actually; nothing would make me change the life we have.  Arvid believe it or
 not, is one of the most romantic men I know.  More romantic than me in many ways.

  He never forgets an important date in our life and always surprises me with
little details.   I think these are the times I love him even more.

He makes me laugh when I don't want to.  He takes me places where I never imagined 
going and he tells me the most wonderful things any woman would love to hear.  
The difference is that with Arvid everything he says is because he means it.  
When he told me that he wants forever with Brutus and I, I know that I am one
 of the luckiest persons in the world.  His eyes light up and I see love.  

Brutus is no longer with us.  Today we look forward to that forever with Sniff.
I know Brutus and Shadow are somewhere over the rainbow, and that hopefully they know
that we love them, and as far as Brutus goes he will forever be our special boy.

Through The Years
As for me, I adore him.  He is the one I look forward to spending forever with as well. 

 When I watched Arvid with Brutus it made me realize that what we have is
not so common.  We are lucky and we know it.  We appreciate what we
have and we always promise to never take each other for granted.
As I see how Arvid, Sniff and I are together today.  I am grateful.

I love you Arvid  Hvidsten.  When you came into my life I never thought I was ever 
going to fall in love again.  I was sad.  I was hurting and you changed all of that. 
 For me it will always be you.  Brutus and I love you with all our hears and 
we promise to always be here with you.

He has a way with words I would have never believed.  I always 
(maybe wrongfully), thought that woman were the romantics in relationship,  
but everyday he proves me wrong and I adore him for this.

I love you Arvid  Hvidsten.  When you came into my life I never thought I was ever 
going to fall in love again.  I was sad.  I was hurting and you changed all of that. 
 For me it will always be you.  Brutus, Shadow, Sniff and I love you with all our 
hearts and we promise to always be here with you.

He has a way with words I would have never believed.  I always 
(maybe wrongfully), thought that woman were the romantics in relationship,  
but everyday he proves me wrong and I adore him for this.

Arvid is my second chance in life and in love. 
 One that was  unexpected, unplanned and totally AWESOME!!!

I know that the best is yet to come, but between us
 everyday is that day.  We love you Arvid Hvidsten!

I love you.  That's my secret.  No hearts.
No pretty drawings.  No poems or cryptic messages.
I love you.  Now and Forever...


Nov 9, 2017

Beautiful Days ~

Beauty isn't about having a pretty face.  It's about having
a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul...

The fog combined with the colors of fall makes for a very scenic drive to work.
Yes it was a cold start of the day, but the sun is shining and the day is beautiful.

As I left home this morning the most beautiful sight awaited me.  A family
of deers.  Of course the looked at me, and then took off.  But not before I managed
to get a few pictures of them.  I look forward to them everyday.

That's them in flight mode.  Boy do they scare easily.  As they ran away,
a little black and white kitty chased after them.  Nope did not get that picture.

Quiet day here so far.  can't complain about that.  It's how it always should be.
At Arvid's hotel it is also calm and quiet.  The next few weeks Branson will
be flooded with tourist again.  Like I have mentioned before, the colors
of fall and the Christmas lights draw a huge crowd every year.

I love driving home in the evenings.  That's when I get to see the beauty of Christmas at
every turn you make.  Branson is definitely a beautiful place at nights.  Especially now.

To all a good day.  Soon Friday already.  This week has just flown by.

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters...