Jan 31, 2018

Hair Woes ~

Yes, yes I have curly hair,  No, I don't wish that it was straight...

Not exactly what happened, but my once frizzy and curly hair is now 
"tame and lifeless."  There was a time I wanted my hair to be straighter than 
it was, but then I was just a teen.  As I grew up I loved my frizzy and curly hair. 

 Today all of it is gone and I am not sure why.  Of course the weather in Branson 
is one factor, but even in the summertime I have no curls.  Someone
 mentioned it may have to do with the medicines I am not taking.  

Yup it's been a few years now since I have been on thyroid medicines.  
That is another factor probably in making my hair listless and straight.  
Even when we were in Florida a few weeks ago and with the humidity
in the air,  my hair still did not get back to its original curly ways.

  Just have to see what happens, but I am missing it.  I do like 
the straight look, but I prefer the curly look.  So does Arvid.  He says,
"looks like your hair has no life.  It's all flat."  Never one to mince his words.

I like both, but I think I prefer curly.  More life and I like the
 "wild" look as Arvid calls it.  I'm sure when we move back to Florida
for good one day the humidity will make it curly again.

I have had many a struggle trying to tame my hair.  Eventually I just
 accepted it and that made life so much easier.  It has not always been easy
 to control the frizz, but with practice everything gets easier.

  No matter what kind of hair you have the trick is to love and accept it.
 For your hair is your crowning glory.  Own it! Love it!  Enjoy it!

Life is too short to have boring hair.  Her messy hair is 
an attribute to her stubborn spirit.  As she shakes it free, 
she smiles knowing wild is her favorite color...


Jan 29, 2018

New Week ~

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more,
and nothing but happiness comes through your door....

And so begins another week.  What it hold I'm not sure as yet.  
Are we ready?  Yes we are, and whatever it brings I'm sure between the
 two of us we will handle it.  Some days are not always as easy as 
one expects, but working together as a team we have 
not yet encountered much that we can't do.

I really enjoy going to "work"  One day this week  if everything goes 
according to plans, we will be having Spaghetti night. Myself and another
 tenant will be making dinner for everyone at Almost Home.  Looking 
forward very much to that.  Almost Home is very family oriented.

Yesterday was as close to perfect as a day can be.  We relaxed.
Stayed in and then went for a nice long drive before trying
a new restaurant.  The food was excellent and for a
change I did not have chicken.  Can't wait to go back.

Hello Monday!  I'm ready.

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
Dedication does not have an off season...


Jan 28, 2018

Early Sunday Morning ~

When life puts you in tough situations 
don't just say "why me" just say "try me"...

The past week has been one with many challenges.   Stressful and at 
times not good.  Hopefully the week ahead will be much better, 
and all the mistakes of last week will somehow be corrected.

Yesterday was a relaxing day for both of us.  I did not go in
 to work, and Arvid only popped in for a little over an hour.  We had 
lunch at home and most of the morning was spent watching soccer. 
 Not me, but Arvid and at times Sniff was watching as well.

It's Sunday morning and too early to be awake, yet here I am.  Wide awake
 having my cafe with Brutus and Shadow.  Sniff knows it's not wake
 up time as yet so he made a brief appearance and went back to bed. 
Smart kitty. Hopefully I will soon go back to bed and fall asleep.

We have had some beautiful days here.  I love, love the weather. 
 Never thought I would prefer the cold to the heat the way I do.  It just perfect.

Every day Sniff is endearing himself more and more to us.  
We have some kind of a  routine with him.  Sniff is a chatter 
and when he wants something he sure will let us know. 
 Soon Sniff will have been with us for 2 years.  

I think of our Brutus everyday.  His picture is the only picture we have 
hanging in our living room.  It's impossible to not "see" him everyday.  
I really really miss that kitty.  He was my baby. How I miss him.

 To this day I have not been able to think of Sniff as my baby,
 but I know it's coming.  We think of Shadow, but we try 
very hard not to go there.  That is just too much.

Almost 2am  Time to maybe try and get some sleep.
Both Arvid and Sniff are tucked in and sound asleep.  

When you start each day with a grateful heart, light illuminates from within.
Good morning.  When the world says, "give up" Hope whispers, "try one more time"...


Jan 25, 2018

Almost Home Lodge ~

It's not bragging when it's the truth. A dream doesn't become 
reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work... 

Featuring "my" hotel today.  Here in Branson we have been very 
fortunate to own one of the best extended stays (if not the best) in the area. 
 We must have done something right because, Arvid keeps getting
 inquiries as to what it is we did to make this happen.  

Pool at Almost Home
I know what we did.  We work hard and we always try to make sure everything
 is running well and is well maintained.  We also care about our tenants, many of 
whom I consider friends today.  Some of the kindest people we have met.
We treat our workers with respect and we get the same from them.

We are super selective at Almost Home.  Not everyone is allowed.  Like I have
told our maintenance/managers, I do not mind having an open room.  If the person does 
not meet our standards, that person is not welcome to be part of our family.

Have we made bad judgments?  Well who hasn't?  It's always part of the learning 
process.  When we started this business a little over a year ago, we had ZILCH 
experience about running a hotel.  Today I know we can take any hotel 
and make it better.  Question is do we wish to take on another hotel?

Being determined is what drives us to do better, and seeing the fruits of our 
hard work sure brings a smile to our faces.  Do we still have challenges ahead of us? 
 Better question is, who does not have challenges ahead?  Life in itself is
 a challenge.  Everyday. But every so often it is nice to take a step back 
and say, "boy have we gotten a lot accomplished in a year."

There are many a days we wish we could just stay in bed, 
but as we all know, determination is doing what needs 
to be done even when you don't feel like doing it.

I am extremely protective of everyone at Almost Home,
 and all I know is that when we were in Florida, I missed everyone
 and could not wait to come back home to Branson.

Good morning all.  It is soon time to start our day.

I believe success is achieved by ordinary people 
with extraordinary determination. Never let a stumble in the
 road be the end of the journey.  Dream BIG!!!...


Jan 24, 2018

Early Start ~

Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise...

All I can say is that it is way too early even for me to be awake.
Sniff had his brushing and petting, but even for him it was a little to early
indulge in foodies.  After a little cuddling he went off back to the
 warmth of is bed.   I am still awake.  Enjoying the quietness 
and my cafe.  Would definitely prefer to be asleep though.

Not exactly sure why I am awake this early.  A few
 days ago I had the flu shot.  All seemed good, but since 
yesterday it 
feels as if I am getting the flu all over again.  

Hopefully I am mistaken and it is just allergies 
causing me to sneeze all day and all night long.

Good morning everyone.  It may have not been my choice
 to be awake this early, but as they say: purpose is an incredible alarm clock.

You did not wake up today to be mediocre...


Jan 23, 2018

And So Begins Another Day ~

Because when you stop and look around, life is pretty amazing...

Yesterday’s temperatures were in the high 40’s (F) but even so, 
it was one of the coldest days I can remember. Colder than when 
we hit -4F. The wind was wicked and it was roaring like crazy!  

Sniff did not get a moment of rest. All he did was run from window to window 
watching the leaves fly.  When we got home he was still running around. 
He did not even want to eat, but as soon as we sat down Sniff suddenly
 was tired, hungry and was ready to cozy up to us.

It rained so much last night, but my car still is not sparkling clean.
  Silly me. Thought it would get a good wash. As soon
 as the weather warms up a good wash it will need.

Mom an dad are all settled into their rental apartment and they love it.  
Lucky for them it has two bedrooms and 2 baths.  Already they 
are booked with family visiting. They love it.  My parents are a 
people person.  They love to have company and to entertain. 
 Same with the rest of my sisters, and Arvid's family. 
 They love company and they love to entertain.
Wonder what happened to Arvid and I ?

Arvid and I are a whole different story. We like company, but we are not
 much for entertaining. We like our quiet time in the evenings and Arvid does 
not like to miss his shows.  Company is good, but not if they overstay their 
welcome. I remember once I had to ask some friend of Arvid's to leave. 
 My parents are the opposite. Growing up we entertained a lot!

When we lived  in Florida, February was an interesting month. 
We had family visiting an we usually has some interesting meetings 
we went to.  Also we would visit my parents in NC.  

Life in Branson is now relaxing.  Tiffany and Chris have made all
the difference.  Enjoying life everyday!  Working hard is always fun, 
but with so much time on our hands I am starting to get bored!

Hello Tuesday.  Hope today you are going to be kinder than yesterday.

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, go ahead take another shot...


Jan 22, 2018

Monday Again ~

Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm...

The weekend was great.  Weather was perfect. Almost shorts and t-shirt time.
Made for a very welcoming change after what we had a week ago.

Compared to our families, we were doing pretty good in the weather department.
Last night we had a heavy rainstorm with tornado warnings for many places.
 Luckily we are OK.  Will see how the hotel fared later in the morning.

The weekend also saw us taking out our maintenance/office couple and their
two boys to dinner.  The chicken wings were a hit and even Arvid had dessert.
 Here in Branson, Arvid seems to be enjoying much more of a variety in his meals.

If you haven't as yet.  Please check out my nephew's page.
Tie Dye Manatee   Hope your weekend was a great one, and that the week
ahead is an amazing one.  I am ready and looking forward to what it may bring.

For the next month and a half my parents are enjoying life in The Sunshine State.
They once called it home, just like two of my other sisters, but though they
 like it in the winter they do not seem too keen to move back permanently.

It's a new day and the grind continues.
It's Monday, time to sparkle and shine...


Jan 21, 2018

Cats Rule In Our Home..

When you touch a cat with your spirit
in return they touch your soul with their heart...

When Brutus was alive he knew he was the boss at our home. 
 When he wanted something all he had to do was look and either 
Arvid or I will move.  Sniff is not there as yet, but given
 time he will soon learn to make us do his bidding.  

He has a few tricks up his sleeves, but Arvid and I are "trying"
 to make sure Sniff is more independent than Brutus.  We were on 
Brutus' beck and call.  He wanted something we moved.  I
 would do it all over again as would Arvid, but with Sniff we are 
"letting" him be independent.  It's for his own good.

We also know that if Shadow was alive he would have had us "trained" 
by now.  Cats have a way about them.  They really don't have to say much
 to make us do whatever it is they want.  All they have to do is look 
at us with their big eyes and we become their "slaves" and we love it.

When we got Brutus, Arvid had a million rules.  Let's just say by the end of
 day one Brutus had rules for Arvid, and Arvid could not  have been happier.
It was love at first sight and we never looked back.  I really miss our Brutus.

Sniff is now with us,  He makes us smile and he keeps us guessing.
We love him and one day I hope our bond will be as strong as it was with Brutus.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do,
 but how much love we put in that action..


Jan 19, 2018

Friday Vibes ~

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

Sometimes we all take too much for granted.  Me included.
But then I look around me, and I am thankful and grateful for another day. 
 I am grateful for Arvid, Sniff our families and the good friends I have.
No one said life is easy.  Far from it.  For many everyday is a struggle.

As Friday approaches, the snow is almost gone from our backyard.  The day
is warming up nicely and I am looking forward to another day at work.
I never thought I would miss Branson and everyone so much.

Sniff and I were awake very early.  As usual he jumps on the bed.  Does
his cute little sounds.  Lays down beside me for a little then decides
 it's time I should get up feed him and give him his deserved
 brushing before he goes back for some more sleep.

Sniff's latest trick is to "steal" my chair.  Every night for the last few days
as soon as I move he jumps and takes my chair.  I let Brutus do the same, and
now Sniff is.  I am not that involved in watching TV so for me it's all good.

To everyone a good day and happy start of the weekend.

Life becomes easier when you learn to accept the apology you never got.
Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations...


Jan 18, 2018

Happy Thursday ~

Life is like underwear, change is good...

So we finally made it out of the house yesterday.  Happy day indeed.  
I was chatting with my step-daughter Michelle in Norway telling her how 
much snow we have and of course in the process I send pictures. 

 Michelle, practical as always said, "that's not a lot."  She's absolutely
 right of course, because compared to what she has in her hometown
 in Norway and what my sister has in Vermont we have NOTHING!

Chatting with Michelle is always fun.  She never sugar coats much.
When we got back from Florida I knew a special package was waiting for us
 from Norway.  I knew exactly who it was from, because Michelle gave me
 the heads up.  I secretly opened it and waited until the next morning
 to see if Arvid noticed anything different as he opened the refrigerator.

It took him a few minutes, but he did.  Our granddaughters from Norway.  Now
 we "see" them every morning and as many times as we open the refrigerator.
Aleah and Vanessa ~ they make us smile everyday. Thank you!!!

Almost Home and most of Branson still has some snow.  But with the warming up the 
next few days it will all soon be gone.  Hopefully not to come back.  Too
 much work when you have to think of the safety of 80 plus people.

Here at home Arvid has his own special way of dealing with snow.
He prefers to kick it away with his shoes.  And we did end 
up buying a snow shovel, but kicking was "faster"

The sun is shining.  I see the birds and squirrels outside.  
Sniff is happy and following Arvid around ~ yes we are home and
 it is going to be a good day.  Wishing you all the same.

A year ago, I would've never pictured my life the way it is now....


Jan 17, 2018

Hello Wednesday ~

Because when you stop and look around this life is pretty amazing...

Today we are suppose to have a cold but sunny day.  Meaning the snow 
should melt and we will finally be able to get out of the house. 
 As of right now that is still not happening.  Still below 
freezing and to top it all off, it has begun to snow again. 
 Lightly, but still not what was expected.

I gave Sniff his sweater this morning.  He was not too happy about that.
The only thing he was interested in was sniffing it.  It belonged to first
 Brutus, and then Shadow.  Guess Sniff was still able to smell them.

The above pictures are from our home front and back.  As of this minute
 all is still white, and the flurries keep coming.  My fingers are crossed that 
today we will be able to get out.  I am completely restless and feel the need to be
 at the work.  Arvid of course more relaxed about the entire set up.

On a totally different note, my niece Danielle was published in Amazon.
  The girl is just unbelievable.  Wicked talent is what she has.

And so begins another snow covered day here in Branson.

Sometimes our life has to be completely shaken up, changed,
 and rearranged to relocate us to the place we're meant to be...


Jan 16, 2018

Another Beautiful Day ~

And since we have no place to go let it snow, let it snow...

Can you tell I am really liking this snowy weather?

No matter how we look at it, it is COLD!

I'm really loving my winter jacket with the furry hoodie. 
Last winter I think I wore it maybe 2 times.  This winter I have already
done so several times.  Yup!  This winter is breaking records here
 in Missouri.  Branson has not experienced these cold
temperatures in years.  Lucky us that's for sure.

Where can you enjoy sunnies skies, warm temperatures, and frosty flurries
 all in one week? Missouri, of course! Ask any Missourian and they 
will tell you how temperamental our weather can be. 

One day it’s tee-shirt-and-shorts weather and the next, we’re bundling 
up in wool coats. So if you’re wondering what winter weather in 
Branson MO is like, I’m afraid you're in for a big surprise.

You can go from the 70's to the 30's  all within hours.  That being said,
by the end of  the week we will be having close to 60F  (16C).  

Amazing if you ask me.  For now I am still enjoying the view
 from my work space at home.  The skies are blue and the
 grounds are covered in white.  Stunning sight.

Good morning everyone.  Stay warm and
 always remember to make your own sunshine.

When it snows, you have two choices:
 shovel or make snow angels...


Jan 15, 2018

It's Another Snowy Day ~

Winter it the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk
 beside the fire, it is the time for home...

The snow continues to fall.  This is the most snow I have seen since living in 
NYC and California.  Yes, California.  Big Bear Mountain in California
 had lots of snow and it was the view we used to have from our
 bedroom. Today my view from my office at home is Sniff
 sound asleep and the snow gently falling. The backyard is 
covered in white.  It's a beautiful sight.

I can't seem to get enough of this snowy weather.  Even Arvid agrees that it's 
not that cold.  That being said it would be OK for the snow to stop now. 
 It affects us being able to go to work and having a business one
 needs to be able to be on the move and to be present. 

 With these conditions it's not possible.  Fortunately we have a 4 wheel drive.
We gave it to our couple at Almost Home since they did not have a car.  
They came to pick Arvid up this morning so he can do his stuff.

The snow keeps coming down.  Sniff sound asleep.  Arvid and I tucked
in for the day.  Tonight the temperatures will be dropping to the teens and 
we will wake up to temperatures of 4F (-16C), now we are talking really cold. 

 To top it all off our heat has been acting up.  It comes on and off. 
 Arvid called the heat company, they said they were busy. 
 Then they said, "but it sounds like that's  normal."  I think 
it's warm, but Arvid says it's not heating good enough.  

Hello winter.  Although I am really liking you and the white blanket you 
are leaving in your path, please go away.  You are not good for business and you
 have created unnecessary work for us and everyone who needs to get around.

Kindness is like snow, it beautifies everything it covers...


Jan 14, 2018

It's Snowing~

A man travels the world over in search of
 what he needs, and returns home to find it...

This was taken by Tiffany from Almost Home Lodge.  Yes,
our hotel looks like a winter wonderland.  Unfortunately, we are 
"stuck" here at home.  No snow tires means we can't get out of the driveway, 
nor can we get up the hills that would take us to the hotel.

The front of our house looks all white and pretty.  I have been 
out for a long time trying to get pictures and build a snowman.
  Arvid of course is tucked indoors watching TV with Sniff.

It is still snowing right now.  Arvid and Sniff are cozied up watching TV. 
 Well Arvid is and Sniff is just snoozing away.  He is so happy to see
 us back home, and we are happy to see him and be together again. 
 Sniff is all over us and I love it.  Missed him so much!

It's just the perfect day to stay in under warm covers and relax.
Happy Sunday to all.  There is no place like home, and we are home.

Home is wherever you leave everything that you love and never question 
that it will be there when you return.  Home is not a place, it's a feeling...


Jan 13, 2018

Beautiful Day Ahead ~

Live for moments you can't put into words...

Waking up to watch the sunrise is always special.  
No matter where we are, always a beautiful sight.

In the last year since we have been gone a lot has happened in our
 stomping grounds.  Every turn you make there is new construction.
  Many are already built and people are already calling it home.  Building
after building popping up all over the Fort Lauderdale area.

These last few days alone we have driven around  and seen more that we
 usually do when we live here.  How strange is that?  Now we are both
looking forward to eating at home soon again.  We have been
"bad" and I have not cooked much during this stay.

Wishing everyone a great day.  This trip has been very emotional for me.
No matter what, some memories can never be replaced.

The only reason people hold on to memories so tight is because memories
 are the only things that don't change when everything else does...