Dec 31, 2011

Happy New Years 2012

Here's to the bright New Year, and a fond farewell to the old; here's to the things that are yet to come, and to the memories that we hold...

Cheers to everyone....Let us not drink to the past, but to the future.  HAPPY NEW YEAR'S ALL:)

New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time...

until next time...

Dec 29, 2011

2011 ~ Goodbye...

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what youcould; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense....

It seems like only yesterday we were welcoming 2011 with my mom and dad here in Florida.  They were here with us for an entire month.

What a year it has been.  For us this has been a very good year.  We started out the by remodeling 3 houses, one of which we now live in.  This has been a new and different experience for us since we were both used to living in a condo. 

Both Arvid and I did quite a bit of the work on our own and found out that this was something we really enjoy doing...who knows maybe will make a habit out of fixing up and selling homes.  Very challenging and then seeing the end results was always a pleasure.

We had friends and family visit during the winter months.  This year even Arvid's mom made it to Florida.  We always have some friends that come from Norway for the car auction in January.  It has been a little tradition to have them over at our place and have a fun night together.  Always a good time with friends.

Business was a bit slow in the beginning, but then it really picked up.  Making 2011 an AWESOME year.  2012 is already starting to look good as well.  Just staying positive seems to have good Karma for us.

Summer as usual we spend in Chicago.  I love the summers there,  Life is relaxing and there is always something to do and places to go to.  I love the relaxed environment of Chicago life.  People are more real and down to earth.

While in Chicago we made several trips back to Florida and New York.  I was fortunate to be someones personal shopper this summer.  Made coming back and forth to Florida enjoyable and fun.  We also took time out to visit my sisters in PA, and Virginia. 

Once back in Florida, things really got busy and have not stopped.  So many plans, so much to do and so much to look forward to.  In between all of this craziness we did take some days off to spend Christmas in NC with my family.  As always those are one of my favorite times.  It was very cold for us coming from The Sunshine State, but being around loved ones makes even the cold seem like fun...welllllllllllll.....

The last few weeks of 2011 have been crazy.  It still is and will continue into 2012, but neither Arvid nor I will have it any other way.  We love challenges and it seems we always have our wish.  Our life is one challenge after another.

To all my friends I wish you a 2012 filled with happiness, love, health and prosperity.
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:  To rise above the little things....

until next time...

Dec 27, 2011

Funny Stuff...

Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment.  Everybody ought to bathe in it.....

Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

A friend of mine sent this email out and I think it is funny so wanted to share it with you...

How To Avoid The Flu.

Eat right!
Make sure you get your daily dose of fruits and veggies.Take your vitamins and bump up your vitamin C.

Get plenty of exercise because exercise helps build your immune system.
Walk for at least an hour a day..
Go for a swim..   Take the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.

Wash your hands often.
If you can't wash them,
keep a bottle of antibacterial stuff around.
Get lots of fresh air.
Open doors & windows whenever possible.

Try to eliminate as much stress from your life as you can.  We sure are doing our best to remove stresses (situations and people) from ours. 

Get plenty of rest.

Take the doctor's approach..
Think about it...
When you go for a flu shot, what do they do first?

They Clean your arm with alcohol...
Why ??? Because Alcohol KILLS GERMS..
I walk to the liquor store. (exercise)
I put lime in my lager ...(fruit)
Celery in my Bloody Mary (veggies)
Drink outdoors on the bar patio..(fresh air)
Tell jokes, laugh....(eliminate stress)
Then pass out. (rest)
The way I see it...
If you keep your alcohol levels up
flu germs can't get you!
My grandmother always said...
'A shot in the glass
is better than one in the ass!'
Live Well and Laugh Often !
Now wasn't that GOOD advice?

Laughter is an instant vacation, it is the shortest distance between two people...

until next time...

Dec 24, 2011

Merry Christmas...

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other....

My favorite time of the year has always been Christmas and still is. Christmas day is also my mom's birthday so it is doubly special.  I remember from my childhood days when we would all wake up very early and my mom and dad would gather us all around the tree while still in our pajamas. My dad would read us a verse from the Bible.  We would all listen very attentively, you see my dad is a good storyteller and whatever he was reading to us always came out in the form of an enchanted story.  We all loved these moments and looked forward to it yearly.   Those days will forever be cherished in my memories and never be forgotten.  My parents continue keeping this tradition to this day.  Now my nieces and nephews also look forward to it...

I also realize the holidays are not the favorite time for many. Today everything has become so commercialized. Many in the younger generation look forward to receiving and have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas...

For me it's a time of sharing, and being with loved ones.  I like everyone do like receiving presents, but this is not what I think of when I think of Christmas....I remember certain aromas from little.  There was baking, cooking, decorating the tree, caroling and most of all there was lots of love and laughter all around us. 

To all my friend

Arvid is not crazy about Christmas...never has been, but I am hoping that little by little he will get more into the spirit especially since we have been spending Christmases with my family and they sure know how to get into the Holiday Spirit:)

This year again Christmas will be spent with my parents and one of my sisters and her family.  We are both looking forward to this and even though it will be cold, for a few days just to be around family everything seems better.

Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen....

until next time...

Dec 21, 2011

America's Most Visited Mall...

Shopping is a woman thing.  It's a contact sport like football.  Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase...

For most Americans, it’s just not the holidays without a mall visit and trust me i know.  The Malls are decorated beautifully and once you enter you feel like the Christmas/Holiday Season is there to stay.  You become part of this festive celebration.  Just for fun here is a survey done on the most visited malls isn the USA...

Malls have gotten much more creative,” says the article. “They’ve taken what used to be traditional retail space and turned it into gymnastics studios, playhouses, trampoline places, you name it. All of these things generate revenues, and the hope is that many of the people who come for other reasons will make purchases in the more traditional retail stores.”

Shopping centers and malls, especially large enclosed malls, are increasingly attempting to become something more than just a place for the distribution of goods,” says Jesse Tron of the International Council of Shopping Centers, a nonprofit that monitors the global mall industry.

10 Most Visited malls In The US:

10) Tysons Corner Center, McLean, VA

Annual Visitors: 22.1 million

Year Opened: 1968
Size: 2.2 million square feet

It’s just outside the Beltway, but Tysons Corner is still the place where Washington insiders cruise for Brooks Brothers, Build-A-Bear, and bargains. In addition to more than 300 shops and restaurants, the northern Virginia mall has a large movie complex and a number of community programs, from business classes for high school students to the Tysons Trekkers walking club that encourages local residents to keep fit.

9) Gurnee Mills, Gurnee, IL    (Arvid and I have been here)
Annual Visitors: 23 million
Year Opened: 1991  
Size: 1.8 million square feet

Another of Chicagoland’s mega-malls, Gurnee Mills was also a pioneer of mixing retail and entertainment. Ice-skating, laser tag, miniature golf, and a 20-theater Cineplex count among its many nonshopping attractions. There’s even an indoor zoo called Serpent Safari, where various snakes, lizards, turtles, and crocodiles can be viewed and sometimes handled. Get ready to have a photo snapped with a Burmese python draped around your neck.

8) Palisades Center, West Nyack, NY
Annual Visitors: 24 million
Year Opened: 1998
Size: 2.2 million square feet

One of the nation’s newer mega-malls, Palisades sprawls on the west side of the Hudson River about an hour’s drive north of Manhattan. Even those who loathe shopping can find something to draw them here, whether it’s the large cinema complex, the bowling alley, the carousel, the ice rink, or the 40-plus food and beverage options. Its most unusual claim to fame is historic Mount Moor Cemetery, founded in 1849 as a burial place for local African Americans and now surrounded by a parking lot on the mall’s south side.

7) Aventura Mall, Aventura, FL (not far from us and I used to work there)
Annual Visitors: 24 million
Year Opened: 1983
Size: 2 million square feet

The greater Miami area’s largest mall is an integral part of a super-posh coastal enclave that includes the Turnberry Isle resort and championship golf course, Gulfstream Park thoroughbred horse track, and the upscale Golden Beach/Golden Isles residential area. Cashing in on south Florida’s tourism bounty, the mall organizes shopping experiences for visiting conventions and hosts special events like the Chocolate Festival, Great American Bake Sale, Miami’s Most Photogenic Baby contest, and a regular farmers’ market.

6) Houston Galleria, Houston, TX
Annual Visitors: 24 million
Year Opened: 1970
Size: 2.2 million square feet

The largest mall in the Lone Star State is one of Houston’s leading tourist attractions. An oasis of air-conditioning during the sweltering summers, the mall also lures with its upscale tennis and athletic club, an indoor ice rink, the Little Galleria interactive play area for kids, and 50 restaurants. The Galleria’s vaulted glass ceilings were inspired by Italian Renaissance arcades.

5) King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia, PA

Annual Visitors: 25 million
Year Opened: 1963
Size: 2.6 million square feet

The monarch of Pennsylvania malls is located in upscale Chester County, not far from Valley Forge on the western fringe of Philadelphia. It’s one of the oldest mega-malls, and the original core has evolved into two distinct indoor malls (the Plaza and the Court) and more than half a dozen large peripheral stores. With around a quarter of the patrons hailing from outside the Philly metro area, several nearby hotels (like the Radisson Valley Forge) offer “sleep and shop” packages that include KOP gift cards, discounts, and complimentary transportation.

4) Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, FL
Annual Visitors: 26 million
Year Opened: 1990
Size: 1.8 million square feet

Like Del Amo on the left coast, this Florida landmark is one of the anchor properties of the Simon Property Group, the nation’s largest mall owner. Sawgrass takes its name from the nearby Everglades, located just across the expressway from the mall on the western outskirts of Fort Lauderdale. In addition to the core enclosed area, Sawgrass includes an outdoor entertainment area called the Oasis and an outlet component dubbed the Colonnade.

3) Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL
Annual Visitors: 27 million
Year Opened: 1971
Size: 2.2 million square feet

Located just outside of Chicago, Woodfield is the number one tourist destination in the State of Illinois. Its name pays posthumous tribute to two of the greatest retailers of all time: General Robert E. Wood of Sears fame and the legendary Marshall Field. Many of the specialty stores are the largest of their kind in the U.S., and Woodfield is often used to test new store design and marketing concepts. Its trademark stainless-steel sculptures were fashioned by artist Robert Engman.

2) Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, CA
Annual Visitors: 27.6 million
Year Opened: 1975
Size: 2.2 million square feet

The prototypical L.A. mall, Del Amo has appeared in movies like Valley Girl, Bad Santa, and Beverly Hills 90210. It attracts a mixed bag of well-heeled Palos Verdes residents, surfer dudes from nearby Redondo Beach, and inner-city patrons from Compton and Long Beach. Del Amo’s most popular entertainment attractions are an 18-theater Cineplex and a Lucky Strike Lanes bowling alley.

1) Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Annual Visitors: 40 million
Year Opened: 1992
Size: 4.2 million square feet

The history of modern mall development is divided into two distinct eras: everything that came before Mall of America and everything after. With more than 400 shops, MOA changed the playing field radically, not just in terms of size (for years it was the world’s largest mall) but also that heady blend of retail, entertainment, and “Wow!” factor that subsequent malls have tried to achieve. MOA continues to lead them all with 40 million visitors — nearly as many as Italy’s foreign tourist arrivals last year.

I love to go shopping. I love to freak out salespeople. They ask me if they can help me, and I say, "Have you got anything I'd like?" Then they ask me what size I need, and I say, "Extra medium...

until next time...

Dec 19, 2011

Picture Of The Day....

Good humor is a tonic for mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It is a business asset. It attracts and keep friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment....

Just when I think I have seen just about everything surprise, there comes along someone and proves you wrong.  Yesterday Arvid and I were out touring Las Olas with some friends.  Just admiring the lights, decorations and enjoying the busiest of the Christmas spirit when all of a sudden there comes a man with a dog on the stroller.  Best part was that the dog was actually steering the darn thing.  Needless to say it was what caught every ones attention.  It was just too cute to not stop and take a picture.  Made me smile for a long time...
Humor is a universal language....

until next time...

Dec 17, 2011

A Florida Greeting...

Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind...

Warm greetings from snow for us, just Palm Trees and Sunshine.  Have to admit I would love a white Christmas...just something about it makes it feel like Christmas.  Happy Holidays to my friends all over the world and thank you very much for tuning into my blog...much appreciated.  The true joy of Christmas is in the love shared with family and friends.

May all your days be happy and bright and may all your Christmases be white.  May this Christmas find you surrounded by those you love and those who love you.

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas...

until next time...

Dec 14, 2011

Fun Day...

This time,like all times, is a good time, if we but know what to do with it...

The other day, I was looking for a good Christmas outfit/hat for the Holidays, and just enjoying all the festive decorations in the store.  In my shopping around these are just a few things I came across... That I did not really find the perfect look for me was not a problem, I had the best day shopping and that alone was worth every moment spent looking...

You don't always have to buy to have fun.  Half of the fun is in browsing. 

No matter what you do, always have fun doing it.  That's our motto in life (one of them).

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing....

until next time...

Dec 12, 2011

7 Gifts To Avoid This Holiday

The best gift you can give is a hug: one size fits all and no one ever minds if you return it

With Christmas almost at our doorstep, many will be in a panic to rush out and buy a present for loved ones.  If your loved ones  haven't given you a wish list full of gift ideas this holiday season, you might be at a bit of a loss for what to give them. If you're considering any of the following seven presents, you might want to rethink your gift-giving plan.

According to this article I just read here are 7 items that should be on a no-no list.

Household AppliancesShe may have expressed her desire for a fancy Dyson vacuum cleaner or a convenient KitchenAid mixer sometime this year, but that doesn't make a household appliance a good gift idea. No woman wants to be reminded of household chores or think you're thinking of her as the one who does the cooking and cleaning when she opens her gift.

A Pet

Even if you think your little ones are ready for a puppy or kitten, save pet adoption for after the holidays. With guests visiting your house, holiday decorations on display, and myriad other distractions during the week, it's the worst time to try and introduce a small animal to its new home. A pet is a serious committment.  If you don't think you have the time for one then it's not for you.

Jewelry You've Seen on a TV Commercial

Despite the plethora of television commercials with messages to the contrary, most women do not want a heart-shaped pendant from a chain jewelry store. If your loved one is an accessory lover, opt for something special and one-of-a-kind from an independent jewelry designer.

Gift Baskets

The one thing there's never a lack of during the holidays is food. From cookies, candies, and fruitcakes to ham, mashed potatoes, and gravy, there's always something to pop in our mouths in the last weeks of the year. That's why no one needs any more food coming their way. While a nice gift basket full of cured meats, cheese spreads, fruit, and candy might be delicious, there's already more than enough to eat without giving someone more.

A Sweater

There's no denying a cashmere sweater is a nice thing, but opening a box and discovering a plain sweater is sort of dull. Plus, the chances of getting the exact style, size, and color the recipient would prefer is slim. Instead, add a nice cashmere scarf or pair of gloves to your loved one's stocking.

Credit Card Gift Cards

While a nice shiny Amex or Visa gift card sounds like a great gift idea, it can be a hassle for the recipient to use. They're processed as credit cards with a limit of whatever is loaded on the card so it can be difficult to use them for purchases that exceed that amount. And most of these cards have an activation fee you'll have to pay at the point of purchase. Instead, opt for cash or a gift card to a store you're certain your recipient likes to shop in.


merry christmas all:)

Most women love pretty lingerie, but let's face it, if you're a man buying a woman lingerie, the gift is as much for you as it is for her. And, if you're opening gifts in mixed company, it could be really embarrassing for the recipient. Save the sexy underthings for a Valentine's Day gift and get her something she really wants this holiday season.

As for me I love presents just like anyone else.  My recommendation to all of you.  If you do not want to be disappointed with your present, (who are we kidding, one way or another you will be getting a present from the one you love or from a loved one), just make sure you are very specific as to what you want.  So it may not be a surprise, but at least you will be getting what you want.  Now many out there do know how to surprise their loved ones.  For instance take Arvid, most of the time he surprises me with what I least expect and it never fails to please me, but the best present I can ever have is that card from he and Brutus...That's what I look forward to the most and to all the wonderful expressions of loved filled in best present!

You give but little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.... 

until next time...

12 Biggest Remodeling Trends...

Whether you are completely remodeling your home or using some of the readily available low-cost adaptive products, creating a safe, comfortable and accessible environment is not planning for disability - it's planning for continued independence....

If you are planning on remodeling your home or just buying and fixing up to make a fast buck here are a few things to keep in mind.

Here are 12 top remodeling trends:
1. Save Money:  Remodel Your Bathroom
Bathrooms are the hottest project, most likely it's due to the economy. Baths cost less than a kitchen or addition and most houses have more than one bath, so there are more available to be remodeled.

2. Must-Do Remodeling Projects:
Rather than going through major renovations, next year people will continue to only complete the projects that need to be done, like repairs to siding or roof leaks.

3. Warming Up The House.
Warmer tiles and colors are coming back. People tend to be moving away from minimalist, white designs in favor of cozier, earth tones. The trend, however, is not rustic. Instead, it's a mash-up of earthiness and modern design.

4. Getting Decked Out.
More and more people are building outdoor spaces for themselves. "It appears that people want to sit outside again and are staying at home more frequently. Many pools are also being built in the neighborhoods.

5. Hiring A Great Contractor: 
"Consumer diligence" is on the rise. "Folks are finally getting the message that it is important to look closer at the companies they are considering for their project. They are asking the questions they should have been asking a lng time ago:)

6. Paying in Cash.
Rather than taking out loans for renovation projects, homeowners are using cash for projects.  Homeowners are giving themselves a budget and picking and choosing what projects they can do with the money. One way to save money is by updating features, like cabinets, but not remodel an entire room.

7. Opening Up Rooms:
Open floor plans are in, so people are removing interior walls and opening up the spaces in older houses to modernize them, this gives the impression of more  square footage than they already have:)

8.Bronze Age:
Along the with warmer tones in homes are warmer tones in metallic features...such as hardware

9. Going Green.
Bamboo floors, grass thatched roofs, and bark siding may sound like something from "Jungle Book," but they are just a few of the newest green home products. In addition, people are getting energy efficiency upgrades. Upgrades on glass will be continue to be big, and people are even asking for tri-pane (windows)!

10. Industrial Flair.
Exposed beams will continue to be popular, but so will stainless steel cable and architectural products.  With so many people working from home, home will take on more of an industrial or commercial look to enforce business credibility...

11. Creating Relaxation Space:
With home values still falling in many areas and a new prediction of three more lousy years of real estate, homeowners are more stressed than ever. So it's no surprise that when they are developing new spaces, tranquility comes to mind. Many people are asking for "zen-like" bathrooms.  The bathrooms don't have to be big-but they have to be relaxing and soothing. They seem to prefer showers with the works-steam, seats, body sprays, etc....
12. Planning ahead:
"We are seeing many clients thinking about their retirement years," says Jillian Renner of Golden Rule Remodeling & Architecture, Inc. Her clients-even those far from retirement-are putting in easy-opening cabinetry, hand-held showers, and more accessible kitchens and baths. Renner adds, "Even though the clients don't need those things right now, they are planning for when they might find them needed."
Are you planning a remodeling project this year? How much are you planning to spend?  Arvid and I have remodeled our home and did a bit on two of our other homes.  It was a challenge, but in the end the results were worth the hard work..

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe...

until next time...

Dec 10, 2011

Give Me Patience...

I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights.  I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone...Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac...

Arvid always jokingly tells me that am the least flexible person he knows and the one with the least patience. Usually I laugh it off, but now I will admit that my patience level is nil when it comes to putting up with drivers here.

It seems that no matter what I do or what lane I switch to I am ALWAYS behind the slowest person on the road. I mean why do you have to drive a good 10 miles below the speed limit and to top it off stay on the fast lane?..

Seems like a lot of Florida drivers do not know that if you are going to be driving slow you should NOT stay in the fast lane. I say Florida because we have been to many other states within the US and just about everyone seems to know and observe this rule. There have been times when we are traveling and we do find someone going slow and staying in the fast lane....surprise the license plate on the car says FLORIDA!!!

Lately it has become much more stressful to drive.  With all the snowbirds in Florida traffic is at a standstill and to top it off you have some very slow people...I am usually a pretty easy going person, that is until I am behind the wheels. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive and boy does your vocabulary get someone said "Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work"  Remember folks, street lights timed for 35 mph are also timed for 70 mph. 

The elderly don't drive that badly; they're just the only ones with time to do the speed limit...Stupidity is not a handicap.  Park elsewhere..!

until next time...

Dec 8, 2011

5 Foods For Glowing Skin...

 Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not..Beauty comes as much from the mind as from the eye.... 

Most of us women are in one way or another "obsessed" with our skin and we sometimes go to extreme measures and costs to get that beautiful, "glowing" look.  Well here are some health tips that don't cost a lot and are readily available for just about all of us...

What you eat is important for your health, yes, but did you realize that what you put in your mouth can have an effect on your beauty, too? Here are five foods experts (nutritionist Lisa Drayer and others) say to include in your diet for glowing skin according to

Sweet Potatoes
Keep your skin silky smooth by including sweet potatoes in your diet. They are rich in beta-carotene and, when ingested, are converted into vitamin A, a prime factor in keeping skin touchably soft.   Not a potato person? Carrots will do the trick, too.

Any food with lots of vitamin C, like kiwi, oranges, and grapefruit, is a big skin saver. Vitamin C stimulates collagen synthesis and protects against wrinkles. In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who had a diet high in vitamin C foods had noticeably less dryness and fewer wrinkles.

Dark Chocolate.
This has to be too good to be true, right? Wrong!  Drayer says enjoying a small piece of dark chocolate will provide high levels of cocoa flavanols, which have been associated with softer, more hydrated skin. Notice we said small. Eating a jumbo Hershey's bar probably won't make you look or feel very good after the fact.

It makes your skin and nails glow, according to Paula Simpson, international nutritionist and beauty expert. It's a good source of protein and has been found in clinical studies to help stimulate fat metabolism and whittle your waistline. An added bonus: the biotin found in yogurt, helps increase nail strength.

Nuts and Seeds
Snack on some almonds or sunflower seeds. They contain anti-inflammatory and immunity-enhancing nutrients, including vitamin E, that help reduce skin flare-ups.

Many strive to be beautiful without ever realizing that beauty is all around us...just remember to close your eyes and see the beauty.

That which is striking and beautiful is not always good, but that which is good is always beautiful...

until next time...

Dec 6, 2011

The 10 Saddest Cities in America...

As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around...

Talking to my mom is always entertaining and enlightening.  She somehow always knows the news before we do and she manages to update both Arvid and I constantly.  She is always finding tidbits of news for Arvid regarding some event in Norway or something she knows he is or may be interested in.

Yesterday as we were relaxing I called my mom and after talking for a while she asked me if I read the news about the 10 saddest cities.  I had not so she goes on to inform me that of the 10 cities, Florida made 3 of those in the top 10.

It seems even with all the sunshine the people in Florida, according to the article are really not happy.  Seems like they are depressed and highly suicidal.

It seems like only yesterday Florida was considered the happiest place in America. A bounty of sun, no state income tax, 700 miles of beaches, Disney World and more new condominiums than speculators could flip. It’s no wonder that just five years ago, one thousand new residents arrived each day. But this week, Men’s Health magazine tells us the Sunshine State is arguably the saddest place in America.

Florida’s five largest cities landed among the magazine’s top 20 “Frown Towns” – and three of them, St. Petersburg (America’s saddest city, according to Men’s Health), Tampa (number four) and Miami (number eight) make the top 10.  Jacksonville came in at number 13 and Orlando at number nineteen.

Here is the breakdown according to the article:  Saddest Cities Article

There are three Florida cities in the top 10 saddest list, which makes us wonder: Is Florida just an awful place to live? Or do sad people flock there seeking warmth, sun, and a mood boost? (Maybe it’s just the humidity.) We’re still not sure. We do know that Miami has the fifth-worst unemployment rate among our 100 cities, and the third-highest use of antidepressants. The latter stat has a silver lining: At least residents are seeking help. 

Tampa’s the Rodney Dangerfield of cities: It gets no respect. And residents are clearly feeling it. It ranks poorly in terms of the number people feeling down all or most of the time, and its suicide rate is 13th highest among our major cities. Also, unemployment is nearly 11 percent, way above the national average. At least the Bucs are having a good year! Okay, they’re not. Just trying to cheer you up, Tampa.

If you want record-setting sunshine, St. Petersburg is your city—it once soaked up a Guinness-certified 768 straight days of rays. But there's an asterisk: The people of St. Pete also have the darkest clouds hanging over their heads. We put America on the therapist's couch and discovered that not only is St. Petersburg our Saddest City, but Florida in general seems to be a depressing place to live.

Says the author of the article, we aren't shrinks, so our diagnosis is more statistical than psychological. To come up with our rankings, we calculated the following:
•suicide rates (CDC)
•unemployment rates (Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of June 2011)
•percentage of households that use antidepressants
•the number of people who report feeling the blues all or most of the time

perfect temperature in the winter..
 Maybe it’s better to ask the tens of thousands of people who’ve been leaving the state in recent years. Florida actually saw a net population loss of 58,000 in 2009, the first for the state since World War II, and here’s what many of them have been telling us: the peninsula didn’t turn out to be the paradise they’d been promised. The ever-widening gap between what people earn in Florida, a state that continues to rely on low-wage industries like tourism, and what it costs to live there – there actually is a state income tax in Florida, and it’s called homeowner’s insurance – is just one factor clouding the sunshine. Being able to wear flip-flops in January just doesn’t seem to offset lousy government, nonexistent public transit and underachieving schools anymore.

All I can say it that for us it is ideal weather in the winter.  I do believe that people are nicer, friendlier, more trustworthy in many other States when compared to Florida, but weather wise it can't be beat during the winter, and for us that is enough.  For us the choice is easy...

Life is the sum of all your choices...

until next time..

Dec 4, 2011

Any Given Day....

There is more to life than increasing its speed...

Arvid and I have come a long way.  There was a time when our life was focused on business, business and more business.  That was good, but today our life is better.  We continue to foucus on business, today we have the time to do things leisurely and to just enjoy each other's company and the little things that make such a big difference in our quality of life.  With just Brutus to worry about, we are completely at peace, and content with our life.  Like everyone, we do have things we worry about, but just knowing we have each other and that we can count on each other makes it better and doable.  We have made a promise to each other to never allow anyone to disrupt our life nor the peace and harmony we have found with each other...worth it.  On any given day we have each other and it's enough....
Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer....

until next time...