Jun 30, 2018

Happy Saturday ~

Life is made up of little things.  Fix your own 
faults before you ask others to fix theirs...

When asked what she wanted to do for her summer 
vacation, my niece Lilly Vade said she just wanted to lay 
by their pool, jump into the hot tub and get a tan.  

Since moving to California Lilly and her brothers say they 
"live everyday as if they were on vacation."  Of course now that 
they have a pool and hot tub surrounded by palm trees and just about 
perfect weather who can blame them for thinking that way. 

You can see Lilly basking in the sun after being in the pool.
  Next step was the hot tub.  Together with their friends, 
Lilly and family are living the life dreams are made of.  

When Lilly Vade is not busy in the pool, she's busy making
 YouTube tutorials on how to apply makeup.  I have a few of those
 tutorials, and not only is she hilarious, but shes also 
very serious on her how to apply techniques.

Meanwhile in Vermont, Rio is getting bigger and more
 gorgeous by the day.  His family are smitten.  Rio gets driven to 
the park and when he's relaxing at home he has his own hammock.
 He loves to share it with his papa, but when papa is busy 
Rio swings on his own.  Yeah life is good.

In Florida, Tex is being pet sit by a couple who fell in
 love with him.  Instead of them going to take care of him 
at his home, the couple brought Tex to their home.  

Talk about being spoilt.  When my sister and husband got back
 from their cruise they found Tex stretched out in the sitters 
living room sound asleep.  Tex is one good doggie.

Here at home all is good with us.  Arvid is happy as can be 
because everyday he gets to watch soccer.  The team does
 not matter so much.  He loves to see goals being scored. 

 Occasionally Sniff will join him to watch the game, but not
 too often.  Brutus on the other hand used to love napping
 by his side whenever the games were on.  Life goes on.  

Good morning everyone.  Start your day with a smile.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows...


Jun 29, 2018

Friday Is Here!...

It's Friday!  I can't wait to be ashamed of what I do this weekend...

It's Friday and for many it's the last day of a five day week. 
 Yes, officially the weekend has begun.  Let the good times roll.

This is wishing you all a very good day and an even
better weekend.  As usual, a few plans here.  Definitely feeling
 like a happy hour day.  I have gotten so very addicted to my Tropical Sangria.
Can't wait to have one again today.  My newest favorite drink.

Looking forward to some relaxing days to come.
Already thinking of ways to stay busy and occupied.

Happy Friday all.  I only party on days that end in Y.

Every Friday, I feel like I deserve a flavored latte
for all my hard work during the week


Jun 28, 2018

Happy Birthday Daddy ~

My dad has given me the best gift anyone has
 ever given me. He gave me wings to fly...

Today is my dad's birthday.  I love this man with all my heart. 
 All the goodness in me, in us his 5 daughters, we inherited from 
our dad and mom.  He taught us compassion and kindness
 to each other.  Traits that are the way I live my life.  

He showed us how to be good. How to be kind.

Our dad taught us that there is nothing we can't do once we 
set our minds on it; that the truth shall set you free.  He lived by his 
honesty and still does. He taught us to always believe in ourselves.

His empathy for others is like none I have seen. Many can be fathers,
 but it takes someone special to be daddy.  We have been lucky 
and we still are to have a daddy who is always there for us.

Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to 
be a dad, and that's why we call you dad, because you are so special to us.
 You taught us the game and you taught us how to play it right...


Jun 27, 2018

It's All Coming Back To Me ~

It's OK to visit memory lane, just don't live there...

Rima and family are loving life in California.  The kids
 are thriving, Rima and George are doing great and her 
business has taken off in ways she never imagined.  
Yes, life is good for them, but I really miss them.

  Today I am missing my parents and all my sisters 
very much.  Sometimes it just takes a sound, a 
flashback of a memory to make it all come back.  

It took Lilly Vade's voice to make it all come back and
 to set me back into a state of nostalgia.  Lilly Vade is the
essence of love.  I spoke to her the other night and it took a 
lot of control for me to not break down and cry when she 
started talking to me.  Especially when she said, 
"I love you auntie and I miss you.

The other day Arvid and I also spoke to our
 other niece Kimsy.  I called her and hearing her
 voice also made me realize how long it has been since 
I had some quality time with my family.

  Both Arvid and I spoke to Kimsy, and at the end of the 

conversation Arvid said, I love you too Kimsy."  Yup!  
There and then I wanted to give her a big hug and not let go.  
I miss them all.  We have been so busy, that I rarely have
 time to think about much other than work.  Now we have
 more free time.  Good and bad because memory lane 
kicks in and sometimes it just tears you apart.

We all have days like these.  Not unusual, as long as we know we can't stay in memory lane we will be fine.  
Sometimes I really have to be strong and "walk away"

The hardest times for me to "move on" is when I start to think of Brutus.
The other day Arvid said to me, "I guess Sniff is now your baby?"  I 
looked at him and I said, "no Brutus is my baby.  My only baby."  As of 
right now I have not gotten to the stage where I can say Sniff is my baby. 
 I love him so much, but Brutus is my baby.  Sniff is my little Kitty.

Already Wednesday.  Not sure where and how the week
has gone by so fast.  My sister and husband are enjoying their
Caribbean Cruise right now.  Enjoying all the pampering and the islands.
Yesterday they spent the day in exploring the Cayman Islands, and so
 far we have not seen a single picture.  My guess is we never will.

Wishing everyone a good day.  Love what you do and always
have a great tie doing it.  Life is too short to be unhappy.

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


Jun 25, 2018

A New Week Begins ~

There are a few moments in your life when you are 
truly and completely happy, and you remember to give thanks. 
Even as it happens you are nostalgic for the moment,
 you are tucking it away in your scrapbook...

As the new week begins I am feeling a little bit of nostalgia.
Everyday is a new day and no matter what the day brings I am ready.
Life changes, but then we have always welcomed change.  

The past week was gorgeous.  We had some rain, lighting
 and thunder yesterday, but it has cleared up again and once
 again a beautiful week awaits us.  I look forward to what the
 week holds.  Soon we will be going to Norway and I 
can already feel that I am missing Almost Home.

The last year and 7 months it has been the main focus of my life. 
  I wake up with a purpose and I go to work.  I feel exhilarated 
to be able to stay busy and to see the results of my hard work.
  Arvid transformed 76 Inn.  I have made Almost Home
 into a place where everyone wishes to be.

I have formed friendships with so many, I know it will be 
difficult when one day I am no longer will be there.  A 
part of my heart will always be in Branson and an even
 bigger part with many of my tenants at Almost Home.

On the other hand a month is not an eternity.  I am already 
getting everything ready for Sniff Sniff.  I hate the thought of 
leaving him for so long.  I wish there was some way he could go
 with us, but I won't ever do that to Sniff.  The flight to Norway 
is more than I can handle, imagine what it would do to Sniff.

To all a good week. Make each moment count and enjoy
 every moment of it.  That's what I always try to do.

There comes a time in your life when you have to choose
 to turn the page, write another book or simply close it...


Jun 24, 2018

Hello Sunday ~

Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world,
if you do so you're insulting yourself.  I'm not 
weird, my reality is just different from yours...

It has been a very beautiful week in more ways than one. 
  Almost Home has been visited by many past tenants wanting
 to return for the season.  The weather could not be more perfect.

  Arvid and I have been having lunch at home a few days in 
the week, this may not seem like such a big deal, but for us it is.  
We have been eating out everyday for the last year and a half so
 anytime I can make lunch at home is definitely a great day. 

It's soon coming to that time again.  Yes, soon it's time for Norway.
I have not been there for two years, Arvid was there last year but not 
for too long.  The hotel has taken up all of our free time, but now with 
good people in place we have more freedom to do a little more.

Arvid being Arvid, we have already talked about what we will be doing 
when we come back home from Norway.  He has been checking
 out the music scene in Chicago and so far has found some pretty
 interesting concerts.  If it was up to Arvid we would be heading
 to House of Blues the same day we land from Norway.

Michelle, Arvid's youngest daughter, as I have mentioned 
before is getting married on July 21st.  Less than a month to go. 
 We're excited. I am still hunting for that "perfect" dress.  I have
 2 to choose from but not overjoyed with either.  The way 
it's going I will have to decide on one pretty fast.

I already have the accessories, but even with those I am not thrilled.
I ended up giving my sister the little evening purse I had.  
Way too  small for me.  Now I am stuck without one.  

The good thing is I don't care about accessorizing too much,
 and I have never cared about what others think or will say.  Makes it
 so much easier to just do as I like, and never feel guilty about it.

Woke up to thunder and lightning.  Sniff is very scared, but he knows 
to come to either Arvid or I for comfort.  Happy Sunday to all.  For us its 
a good day to stay indoors all morning long.  Later on...who knows

I'm aware that I am rare.  Being different isn't a bad thing. 
 It means you're brave enough to be yourself...


Jun 22, 2018

Summer Days ~

and the livin is easy...

Yesterday I saw one of our young tenants walking around
 with his pants hanging all the way down to almost his knees.
 He's one of the new "kids" and he's from Florida.  

Like everyone who comes to Almost Home I read them the riot 
act before I take them as a tenant.  If they think they can follow the 
rules they stay.  When I asked him why he was walking around 
the property with his pants almost falling out he said, "I did not 
know there was anything wrong with that."  I looked at him, 
and I said, "you don't see anything wrong with your pants almost
 falling off?  You have to hold on to them when you walk.  
What is wrong with you?  Where is your common sense?"

When I start I go on and do not stop until I have made my point. 
 I told him that this was his first and last warning and if I 
should catch him roaming around the property dressed like
 this again he can start to pack his bags and leave.

Of course he was very apologetic, but tomorrow I will

see if he did it again.  They all get one chance to
 straighten p.  Second time they are gone.

We have been having some pretty amazing weather.  Not as hot as
 last week and the best part of it is that there is no humidity.  
Definitely a good place to be right now.  Summer time 
we are very happy to not be in Florida.

Sniff loves it here in Branson.  There is always something going on. 
 To keep him entertained while we are not at home I buy bird 
food, and leave it out for them.  Sniff can spend hours just looking 
at them.  After that he is exhausted and goes right to sleep.

Wishing everyone a beautiful day ahead, and an excellent
weekend as well.  Enjoy these beautiful summer days we are
 having because before you know it, summer will
be over and the cold will set in again.

And at the end of the day your
 feet should be dirty, your hair messy 
and your eyes sparkling...


Jun 21, 2018

Always Something Good ~

In three word I can sum up everything 
I have learned about life: it goes on...

New attractions are popping up all the time in Branson.  
Definitely good for business.  The town is busy and as 
usual in summertime the businesses are booming.  

Another big name coming to Branson is the Swedish
 multinational clothing-retail company known for its fast
fashion clothing for men, women, teenagers and children. 

H&M and its associated companies operate in 62 countries with 
over 4,500 stores and as of 2015 employed around 132,000 people. 
 It is the second-largest global clothing retailer, just behind Spain-based 
Inditex (parent company of Zara). The company has a significant
 on-line presence, with on-line shopping available in 33 countries.

Our favorite spot in Branson is The Landings.  H&M is 
scheduled to have its grand opening on June 28.  Hopefully
 all will go on schedule and another store will be added.  
Something to look forward to in the months ahead.

The Landings definitely has the best scenery as far as we are concerned.
  Our favorite spot any day of the week, and lately we have been
 going there quite often.  They have the best happy hours, and I
 have found a drink that I absolutely love.  Tropical Sangria.

The week is almost done.  This has been a pretty good 
week at Almost Home.  It's quiet and as soon as we have 
an open room we have been fortunate to rent it out.  

I have had 5 people who lived at Almost home last year coming 
back and asking for a room.  As one couple said to Arvid, 
"this is the only place I will come back to."  If you don't 
have a room then we will stay in Arkansas." 

I have enjoyed this part of our lives very much and still do.  We came to 
Branson to get into the hotel business because our Brutus had just died.

  We both needed desperately to get away from that pain.  We needed
 a change of scenery.   This has helped very much.  We have been busy, 
busy, busy.  Did not make me forget my Brutus, but it helped to
 keep the mind occupied and the body exhausted.

Sniff Sniff is a constant reminder that life goes on, and that there
 is still a lot of love to go around. He is precious and I
 look forward to each day we have together.

Sometimes all you can do is lie in bed, 
and hope to fall asleep before you fall apart.

Life is like a road, there are bumps, there are cracks, there are
 road blocks.  But the only important thing is that it keeps going on...


Jun 19, 2018

Tuesday In Branson ~

Always find time for the things that make you happy to be alive...

Arvid and I were in St Louis, MO over the weekend to see
John Fogerty and ZZ To in concert.  We stayed at a pretty cool place,
 The Hollywood Casino.  We had good food, quite a few adult drinks,
 and enjoyed good music.  I really liked the hotel and surroundings, but the
 concert was in the Amphitheater and that was in the open. Not good.

Though we had covered seats, the temperature reached
101 degrees Fahrenheit.  This made for a very uncomfortable time.
 We really like John Fogerty, but it was just way too
 hot to really enjoy the music in its totality.

I would love to go back to The Hollywood Casino,
but I don't think we can handle another concert under those
circumstances.  Scratch Rob Stewart and Cyndi Lauper.

We had time to stop and enjoy a few places on the way to and from
St. Louis.  Drive a little on Route 66 and of course take some pictures.
Every place we stopped Arvid of course found old cars.  He just
 spots them no matter how tucked away they are.  He gets to enjoy them
and I get to enjoy some picture taking.  We're both happy.

Once again I have been awake very early.  Of course Sniff as
well, but the smart kitty knew he needed more sleep so
 he ate, got brushed and went back to his bed.

Wish I was that smart.  Lately I have not been able to sleep much.
 I try to go back to sleep but once I am awake that's it for me.
Bad thing is that I am awake as early at 3am.  Not good.

At the hotel all is quiet.  We are still full.  Not much happening,
but I like to be there.  Yesterday I had the entire day off, but Arvid
who also gets restless went in for a couple of hours after we
 got home.  As he says,"I just like to show my face."

To all a good day.  Already Tuesday.  The week will soon
be over and once again will have to think of what we can do in
 the weekend.One thing we know for sure, no matter where
 we go, coming home is always what we like  best.

The most simple things can bring the most happiness...


Jun 18, 2018

Too Early For Me...

Dear 3am.  We have got to stop meeting this way.
I'd much rather sleep with you...

Monday just got here way too fast.  It's been a good weekend, 
but I sure am not ready for the new week right now.  If being awake 
this early is any indication of how the week will be, I think
 I would like to just go back to bed for the rest of the day.  

Add to that the heat, and the fact that somehow spiders just 
seem to love me...I think I need a vacation somewhere where it's 
COLD!.  My body is covered with welts from spider bites. 

 Not sure where they are coming from.  But it's only me who
 is getting bitten. I don't see them around, but somehow they find 
me while I'm sleeping.  Does not help that I keep scratching it 
all the time either.  Now I'm covered with scars all over.

I know once my "work" day begins the rest of the week will just fly by.
It's getting closer to the time we have to go to Norway as well.  Not
so happy to be leaving Sniff for so long.  The little dude has stolen my 
heart.  I have gotten used to that adorable little face.  I still forget
 at times and call him Brutus.  I miss Brutus so very much.

Life goes on.  Life is good.  Memories sometimes just sneak up
 on me, and for those moments I just let it take over, but I 
also know that what was will never be again.  I also know
 that what is, is very beautiful and good as well.

To all a great week ahead.  I tell myself it's OK to wander into the past
once in a while.  After all it is part of who I am, but I also have to
remember not to stay there. For we all know that we can't start
the next chapter of our lives if we keep re-reading our last one.

The only person you should strive to be better
than is the person you were yesterday...


Jun 17, 2018

Musical Sunday ~ (DONE)

Where words fail, music speaks...

One of the things we have really missed while living in Branson, MO 
is the musical scene.  With the running of two hotels when we started, it was 
impossible to do ANYTHING, and the fact that Branson does not
 have the musical venues we usually go to does not help.

Now with one hotel and having a great team working for us we
 have been able to do so much.  We have been back to The Sunshine State
 a few times already, and plan on doing a few more trip 
around town.  All thanks to Tiffany and Chris.

That being said today we will be heading once again to St. Louis 
to see John Fogerty in concert.  Yes CCR as the group was known 
(when he was in the group).  Our last trip to St. Louis took us to see 
The Eagles in concert.  St. Louis is a pretty cool place for music 
and it has the city vibe going for it.  We both love city life,
 and hope to get back to it one of these days.

Happy Sunday all.  Remember whatever
 you decide to do make sure it makes you happy.

One good thing about music,
 when it hits you you feel no pain...


Jun 16, 2018

My Dad ~

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad...
It is much easier to become a father than to be one....

A few years ago I posted this.  Nothing has changed. 
 My dad is still the first man I have loved and still love.  No one 
compares to him.  His kindness, his humanity, his love for us his 
compassion towards everyone.  Our dad is is a one in a billion 
kind of man.  Happy fathers day daddy.  This is all you!

With this being said, a smile comes to me and I picture my dad.  My dad is not a part-time dad,
 he is always there for us even if we live hundreds of miles apart....you can say he lives to be
 our dad.  I cannot recall a time when I have needed my dad and he was not there for us....for so
 many it is so easy to become a father than to be one...but my dad takes pride in being our dad.
 He has been there through good and bad and still is.  I know that no matter when, where
 and how, if we need him he is there...for my dad family is first and always has been.

Growing up I have so many memories of him as a child.  The first 4 years of my life was 
spent with my mom and dad.  The next 5 years we were raised by my grandmother in Guyana,
 but my parents were always in my mind.  Looking for a better life for all of us, my mom
 and dad "left' us in Guyana and went to America as we called it back then.  I was only 
4 years old, but I missed them everyday and I looked forward to their yearly trips 
every Christmas always hoping we would be able to go home with them.

My favorite memories of those Christmases were not the presents nor the candy they 
brought us...it was knowing that for 14 days I would be going everywhere with my dad. 
 No matter where he went he took me with him.  He was always holding
 my hand making sure I was safe and that nothing ever happened to me...
for as long as I live I will never forget those days..

When we finally left Guyana to be with them, it was one of the happiest days of my 
life because you see we got to be with mom and dad EVERYDAY after that.  
We did not have much as far a money goes, but what we lacked in that 
department we made with love.  As they say a truly rich man is
 one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty...
my dad's arms are always open for us.

My dad was and still is the most liked man in the neighborhood.  He was and is kind to 
everyone he meets.  All of the little kids loved him because he would always buy
 them ice-cream from the man that came in the bus.  The grown ups love him 
because he is Mr. Friendly.  Making friends is just his nature...a quality I 
believe all of his 5 kids have inherited....and it seems his grand kids as well. 

Being a parent is not an easy job...I have no kids, but I see my sisters, friends, parents
 and others and I realize that it takes lots of work and sacrifice and even so you never
 know how they will turn out.  Fortunately, we turned out OK if I may say so.

 For me Father's Day is everyday, but on this special day dedicated only for dads I would
 like to wish my dad a very happy Father's Day.  Daddy, I love you and I want you to
 know that I never take you for granted.  From little you taught us to be kind, and 
respectful to everyone....no matter who they are... a quality I find very lacking
 in today's younger generation.  You were very strict on us when we were little
 and today I am thankful for that as are Nina, Nirvan, Mala and Rima....

Looking forward to many, many more Father's Day...
I love you daddy.  I found this poem and thought of you....

What Is A Dad

A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.

A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.

A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail...


Fathers Day is tomorrow, but for me Father's day is everyday.
I love you daddy.  No other man can ever be the dad you are.  
Your kindness, generosity, honesty, humility, empathy
 (I can go on and on) toward everyone is something
 not seen enough in today's world.

I've had a hard life, but my hardships are
 nothing against the hardships that my father went 
through in order to get me to where I started...


Jun 15, 2018

Friday ~

I don't work on Fridays.  I make appearances...

I'm tired.  Every week it seems I get stung by a spider. 
 Hopefully a different on.  This has taken a toll on me.  I am not
 sure why but the last few days I have been pretty lethargic. 

 I blame it on the spider bite, not the fact that we are experiencing 
100+ degrees Fahrenheit in temperatures.  To stay cool Arvid 
and I went driving to a "beach"  There was sand and the water was 
cool to the touch.  Made for a refreshing afternoon.  And no, we did
 not swim.  If we don't swim in the beaches in Florida, small 
chance we would here in Branson, but it was pretty.

I have never eaten so much ice-cream as I have so far in Branson.
 On the other hand, I have never seen Arvid eat this much either. 
 He enjoys a little ice-cream everyday be it at home or out.  He keeps telling
 me he will soon stop. He does not gain weight, so I tell him, "enjoy."

Very happy it's Friday.  Though the week has gone by fast,
 I am exhausted.  Looking forward to the weekend and to doing 
something fun.  Arvid keeps telling me we have to slow down and
 live again.  I am all for it, but as long as we still have the hotel,
 that will be my first priority.  I just can't shut if off.

Everyone at Almost Home is really enjoying the pool.  I even take time
 to feel the water and sometimes just let my feet cool off for a little.
  Refreshing.  Now it's very warm, but still it feels so good.

Wishing everyone a good weekend.  Who knows maybe
 today we go and enjoy Happy Hour at our favorite spot
 at the Landings.   I can already taste the Sangria.

Have to wait and see how the day goes, but
 I know I am already wanting Sangria.  Today is extra special 
because today is Kimsy's birthday.  Happy birthday
 Kimsy, I love you with all my heart.

Happy Friday and happy start of the weekend all.
We got that Friday feeling.  Life sure is good.

Every Friday I like t high five myself for getting
 through another week on little more than caffeine, 
will power and inappropriate humor...