Sep 30, 2018

A Good Day To All ~

Contemplate the good things in your life and be grateful for them...

It's nice to go back for walks.  Check out familiar places,
 and some not so familiar anymore.  On one of our outings I 
came across a beautiful sunset of course I had to take a
 picture.  It made me think of Turkey for some reason.

Not sure I have seen it before so it sure caught my attention.
Yesterday we walked around the downtown area a bit.  
We had to go to our brokers office and since it's downtown, 
it just made sense to just check  out the area some more.

I am happy to be able to go back for my morning walks along 
the beach.  Relaxes me and I get to have some alone time. 
 Now Arvid and I are home all the time TOGETHER!

Sniff is getting into a few routines again.  Happy for that. 
 He has beds all over the place, but not the same spots as Brutus
 used to.  Sniff wants everything to be different for him.  He moves 
when we move.  If he does not see us he starts crying.

Happy Sunday everyone.  Remember when
 you think positive good things happen.

Just knowing you don't have the answers is a recipe 
for humility, openness, acceptance, forgiveness, and an 
eagerness to learn - and those are all good things...


Sep 29, 2018

And Life Goes On...

You can break down and cry, but you have to 
get back up and start living again, because life goes on. 
 In three words I can sum up everything 
I’ve learned about life.  It goes on...

Ever since leaving Branson I have been sad.  Sad 
because I left behind so much.  I who am never attached 
to any place became very attached to home in Branson,
and to the people.  I know it will be better, but right 
now I am missing a very important part of my life.  

I had purpose and I had a place to go everyday. 
 Now Arvid and I are always together. We do everything 
together. Not bad, but I was used to running a business
 all by myself.  I feel a void, and though I know it will
 be better, for now I am adjusting all over again.

Florida is beautiful. The scenery, everything about it is 
so different than Branson, yet I miss Branson. I miss 
home very much.  I do not feel at home right now.  How
 strange.  My day brightens up when a tenant texts or 
calls me.  Then I feel alive again.  I feel connected.

I know it will get better.  It always does. We move 
from place to place all the time.  Moving to Chicago 
was not something I wanted. It’s what Arvid wanted.  
It’s a beautiful city.  I love it.   I just was not ready 
for another apartment there.  But Arvid is happy.

We have been busy in Fort Lauderdale.  We brought
back a lot of “crap” stuff with us.  Two cars filled so 
now it’s a mess all over again, but getting organized 
little by little.  Sniff is doing better.  Adjusting just
 like me.  Arvid is happy and fully adjusted.  

We do take time to do a few fun things.  Checked
out the neighborhood again and even some of downtown. 
 As I mentioned the downtown area is being built up like crazy. 
 Interesting to see what our old stomping grounds looks like. 

The weather is great, a bit hot but good. 
Scenery is pretty and life goes on. I have to remind
 myself once in a while that starting today, I need
 to forget what’s gone, appreciate what still remains, 
and look forward to what’s coming next.

Life is like a road, there are bumps, 
there are cracks, there are roadblocks, but the 
only important thing is that it keeps going...


Sep 26, 2018

Life As We Knew It Begins ~

So many amazing opportunities arise when a chapter of our life ends.
 When we resign from a job that we weren't happy in, or even 
get fired, it's actually a blessing because a better experience
 is waiting to happen. It's all about perspective...

Everyone's definition of what's normal is different.  For us normal
 is the 3 of us back together.  Back in Florida.  It's home, but for 
me it seems as if I am starting a new chapter all over again.

After all we lived and experienced in Branson, it will take me 
a little while to get back into the life of being "retired"  For sure 
I have to find ways to stay busy and to keep my mind occupied.  
That's what I enjoyed in Branson.  I was busy and my
 mind did not have much time to "take off."

Sniff will definitely keep us entertained,
 and here in Fort Lauderdale there is definitely 
way more happening than in Branson.  

No comparison that's for sure, 
but for me Branson and the people
 I know will forever and always
hold a special place in my heart.

A good day to all.  Time to get back into our routines.  
To "new" beginnings once again.  Who knows what awaits 
us next, and that is always what drives us.

I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day,
 a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic 
waiting somewhere behind the morning...


Sep 25, 2018

Happy Tuesday ~

The secret is keeping busy, and loving
 what you do.   In life, all good things come hard, 
but wisdom is the hardest to come by...

Wishing everyone a good day and hope that is is better than yesterday.

Soon we will be heading back to Florida where Sniff is patiently
 waiting for us.  Can't wait to open the door and see his little face.
 Yes, now we start making memories in Florida with Sniff.  Good times
 await us all and time to get back into the lifestyle we left behind.

It was good to be back in Chicago, especially to
be back in our own apartment.  It still needs a little more work to get
 it all ready, but come next summer we have something to do.

 The most important part of the apartment is all set up.
  Sniff's spot is ready for him, and that's what matters.

A long drive back home awaits us.  NOT looking forward
to that, but the reward that awaits us is well worth the drive.  Both
Arvid, and I take turns driving so as to not get too tired.  Somehow
 as soon as it's my turn I am sleepy.  How strange is that?

Wishing everyone a good day.  Remember life is
to be lived and experienced.  Whatever it is you do do it
with a smile and a grateful heart.  Have a rocking day.

One of the things I learned the hard way was that
 it doesn't pay to get discouraged.  Keeping busy and making
 optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself...


Sep 23, 2018

Happy Days..

Be crazy.  Be stupid.  Be silly.  Be weird.  Be whatever.
Because life is too short to be anything but happy...

A lot of work, at the same time we are in the city we love. 
 Not a bad trade off.  Most of the time we spend unpacking, 
but we always make time for some fun things as well.  Anyone 
who has been to Chicago knows that it's a walking city. 
 One of the things we love so much about it.

One of the tallest building in the city.  Trump Tower.  
Our walks always takes us this way.  Beautiful by day stunning at nights. 

So much to do in not too much time, but that's OK.  I did not 
want to be here for many days.  Arvid wanted to, but Sniff is home
 alone and we need to get back.  Back in Florida we also have lots
 of unpacking to do.  Our car is full of stuff going back with us.

There is always time to have some fun.

Let a series of happy thoughts run through your mind.  
They will show on your face.  Practice happy thinking everyday...


Sep 22, 2018

Best Of Times ~

Doing what you like is freedom.
Liking what you do is happiness...

We are here and it feels so good.  What a sunset!
This was from our last apartment. I'm still amazed.

The pool in the building has one of the most spectacular views, and at
nights it's even better.  The city lights up and transports you to a magical
 place.  You can understand now why we like this building so much.

We may not have much time to enjoy all of the amenities,
 but definitely the hoot tub will be used.  Arvid has never stopped
 talking how much he misses using the hot tub.  Our apartment
in Florida has none.  In Branson he always "threatened"
to buy one.  I always protested.  Did NOT want one.

Lot to do.  Unpacking as much as we can to make the place
comfortable and safe for when Sniff comes back with us next
summer.  Poor Sniff so many changes, but at least he will have
 close to a year to "adjust" before getting on a plane again.

Good morning everyone.  Wishing you all a great day.
  Life is good and we plan to continue the adventure.

Work hard to get what you like, otherwise you 
will be forced to just like what you get.  In the end
 we only regret the chances we didn't take...


Sep 21, 2018

Back To Chicago ~

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, 
but anyone can start today and make a new ending...

Seems we can't get Chicago out of our minds.  This is the 
fourth time buying an apartment in Chicago, and always in the
 same building.  You can say we really like not only the city,
 but the building as well.  The building is smack in the 
middle of downtown.  Our views are of the lake,
 city and park.  Sure does not get any better.

This was our view from our last apartment.  We bought
 it back in 2015, right before we made the move to Branson,
 and became hotel owners.  Brutus did see it for a little.
  Sniff lived there also for a couple of months 

Yes the view was spectacular.  But once our life as hotel 
owners started we realized we were not going to be able to use it much.
  We had given ourselves a timeline of 5 to 7 years to be in Branson, and 
make the hotels flourish.  Luckily for us it took less than 2 years,
 by then we had already sold our place in Chicago.

With the hotels sold, the obvious thing to do was move back to
 Chicago for the summers.  Of course we visit Norway,
 but Chicago is where we want to be most of the summer.  
Wintertime it's definitely Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Arvid has become quite good at buying our homes online.  
He bought our house in Branson online, so when we bought in
 Chicago it was no big deal for him.  You see he has studied every 
stack in the building and knew exactly which one we would like.

When he went to Florida a few weeks ago, I guess he had too 
much time on his hands, because when he came back he 
said to me, "pack your bags we are moving to Chicago." 

 He had already bought us an apartment.  He said to me,
 "it's your fault because you did not want to come to Fort Lauderdale
 with me.  You know what happens when you leave me alone."

I never know what to expect with Arvid. Life with him is 
very unpredictably, but as he said, "never boring."
I guess we are moving back to the city.

As our families have all said, "life is back to normal for us." 
 After all that has happened in the last 2 years we are 
picking up and starting back where we left off.

Let me tell your something.
 I'm from Chicago. I don't break...


Sep 20, 2018

Home Is No More Home ~

It's time to say goodbye, but history never really says goodbye. 
History says, 'See you later.'How lucky am I to have known,
 to know so many that makes saying goodbye so hard...

It's time to say goodbye to so much.  This may not be the
 "grandest" of homes nor places as far as many are concerned
 me included, but a part of me is heartbroken today as we
 say goodbye to Branson and yes for me home.  It was 
the one place where I felt a sense of belonging.  

Life in Branson gave me a purpose, and I leave very sad.  
I leave behind too many people I care for and too many
 memories.  Life in Branson kept me busy and my
 mind was always occupied.  I leave  part of my 
heart here. I never expected this to be so difficult.

Arvid and I have moved so many times, something I am 
really getting tired of.  I have never been attached to any of 
the places like I am to Branson.  I leave with a heavy heart, 
but with the satisfaction that we accomplished, and did
 something that will forever be one of our biggest challenges. 

It's now time to seek something new again.  Time to 
move on again.  And we sure know how to do that.

Branson will forever be special to me, and I definitely look
 forward to going back and seeing everyone next summer.  
For now it's goodbye.  I will miss you very much, but I have 
also learned to keep moving.  Our life is a constant move.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing
 new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps 
leading us down new paths.  There is truth in it.

Today I am very sad.  Tomorrow is a new day,
and we move on.  Everyone does. My dad taught me not to
 overthink things, that nothing will ever be perfect,
so just keep moving and do your best.

It's time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are 
sad and I'd much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure. 
It feels right. But it's emotional. Saying goodbye
 to anything you've done that long is hard...


On The Road Again ~

Woah, all I want is on the road again.  Just can't wait to get on 
the road again The life I love is makin' music with my friends,
And I can't wait to get on the road again..

Quoting Willie Nelson.  Seems like our life is constantly 
on the road again.  I don't mind it.  Arvid likes it, but
 sometimes it can definitely be a little too much.

Today we say goodbye to our life in Branson.  If all goes
 well we will not have to come back and take back the hotels. 
 Today we close on the sale of our house.  Bittersweet day,
 but if you want to keep on having adventures
 one has to keep moving.  It's life.  

We accomplished all our goals and more than what
 we expected to do here in Branson. Proud to say we have
 definitely left a positive and lasting impact in Branson, 
and in the lives of many.  That is my reward.  

  In return they changed mine.  For that I will forever
 be in their debt and always grateful.  Today as 
we leave, I also leave a little of my heart and a Branson 
family.  Thank you Branson and Almost Home. 

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, 
a stranger into a friend.  That being said I am sad.

We can’t know what’s going to happen. 
We can just try to figure 
it out as we go along...


Sep 19, 2018

Another Move ~

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's
 end.  Today as I close one door, another door opens.  
Time to start a new chapter in our lives...

I feel like a Gypsy.  Constantly moving.  I don't like it, 
 and I am having a very difficult time feeling "at home"  
I really felt at home here in Branson.  When Sniff and I went 
back to Fort Lauderdale I just didn't feel it anymore.  
Now that Sniff is not here I am even more at a loss. 
 I miss him very much.  Sniff anchors me.

Yesterday Arvid and I got the moving truck, and we 
started to load.  This may be one of the "easiest" moves 
we have ever done, even so I just am not into
 it anymore.  I just do it because I have to.

Arvid keeps telling me that this is the last time we will
 move, but he tells me that everytime we move.  I told him 
the next time he decides to move he can go alone.

Arvid never seems to get tired of moving.  He loves it. 
 Having breakfast on boxes is just "like camping out" he says. 
 One thing I have to say.  The man has a forever optimistic view of
 everything.  I have to smile even when I don't want to.

I am extremely sad.  A chapter is coming to an end.  
I am usually used to it, but somehow this is very difficult 
for me.  Now that the days are numbered it is very real. 
 I want to be where Sniff is, and now that's not here.

Wishing you all a good day.  I am in turmoil right now, 
but I know I will get over it.  I'm trying so very hard.  
I don't recall ever be so attached to any place.

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, 
charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures
 that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open...


Sep 18, 2018

I'm Home But ~

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep 
your balance, you must keep moving...

Back in Branson, but now without Sniff it no longer feels
 like home.  Sniff is already settled in, well mostly settled in back 
at home  in Florida.  After all this time he sure got the
 hang of where everything was.  Real fast.

As we drove around, there are a few things here I will
 miss seeing.  Aside from Almost Home and my tenants/friends,
 I will miss a few sights.  These sights became part of my daily
 commute to work for almost two years.  One of my favorites 
is the Branson ferris wheel.  No matter how often I 
passed it, I almost always had to take a picture.

Today Arvid and I pack the truck in preparation for 
our move from Branson to Chicago.  Yes, first stop is Chicago 
where in the next couple of days I will see for the first time
 our apartment.  The one Arvid bought without
 my knowledge.  Should be interesting.

The last time we bought an apartment in Chicago, of course 
we both saw it.  We went a week ahead without Brutus to fix it
 up and make it kitty safe for him.  It would be the last time
 Brutus travelled.  This was in September of 2015.

After the apartment was ready, I then went back home to
 Florida for Brutus.  Was gone only a few days.  When I got back to 
Chicago, Arvid had already put the apartment we just bought up
 for sale, and bought another one.  He claimed the first one did
 not have the right view.  Said "this one is more our style."

Brutus had a few weeks in his new home in Chicago, we then 
went back home to Florida and he died November 5th.

Today is a busy day for us here in Branson.  I am already looking
 forward to going back home to Sniff.  I miss the little dude and
 without him we are not complete.  The house is way too quiet.

As I had my cafe in the morning it did not feel the same.
  Little Sniff was not around to keep me company.  As I left
him yesterday he was fast asleep. I got a text early
this morning.  His new pet sitter was already there.
She goes in twice a day.  Happy for that.

To all a very good day and may you always live in interesting times.
They say life changes, but memories as you know don't.

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and 
doing new things, because we're curious and 
curiosity keeps leading us down new paths...


Sep 17, 2018

Feeling A Little Sad Today ~

Your emotions make you human. Even the unpleasant
 ones have a purpose. Don't lock them away. If you 
ignore them, they just get louder and angrier...

I am very conflicted right now.  I am happy to be going home.
 But I am home.  I hate leaving Sniff on his own, but we 
will be back soon.  Home is where the 3 of us are.

Sniff has gotten to be a little more familiar with his Florida home.
  He has already rediscovered his favorite spots.  Aside from 
under the bed, where he never used to go before,
 he loves it best on his condo.  From the top he 
sees everything, but mostly he sleeps.

I have had a very relaxing time with Sniff.  We had no 
agenda and we never had to rush from place to place. Peaceful. 
I ate whenever I wanted.  Did not follow a "schedule" for
 anything.  I visited many of the places I so much enjoyed 
and I even revisited our old stomping grounds.  

Downtown Fort Lauderdale sure has gone through some big
 changes, and it's still going through changes.  Will be interesting 
to see.  Everywhere new buildings are popping up.  Never knew 
there was still so much space left to be built on.  Not only in 
the downtown areas, but everywhere in general.

I enjoyed eating out at a few of my favorite places.  
Saw a few movies and did whatever it is I wanted without
 having to rush or feel pressured.  It was good.  Enjoyed the quiet 
times with Sniff.  Mornings were beautiful seeing the sunrise 
while having my cafe.  I thought of Brutus and Shadow a lot.

Now it's time to go home again.  Soon my Branson
days will be a thing of the past.  Like I told Arvid
 this morning, I will be missing some of Branson.
 A piece of my heart will always be in Branson.

As I go home to Branson for the last time, I am also 
sad because I leave Sniff.  For him it is still a "strange" place.  
He sure does not understand what happened to his window
 sills, the birds and his favorite places at home.

  Sniff is already home in Florida where soon Arvid and I will be.  
Here is to good times to come again.  The next few days will 
be very busy ones for us.  Loading a truck.  Closing on the
 sale of our house in Branson, moving to Chicago into our
 new apartment and then heading back to Florida.

As the new week begins I wish everyone happy times.
 Call me crazy, but right now I am sad at the thought
of leaving my Branson home.  Go figure.

The heart is a strange beast and not ruled by logic.
There is no market for your emotions, spo never 
advertise your feelings just display your attitude...