Oct 31, 2012

Happy Halloween....

 On Hallowe'en the thing you must do
Is pretend that nothing can frighten you
An' if somethin' scares you and you want to run
Jus' let on like it's Hallowe'en fun.........

This is a blog I wrote on a previous year about Halloween.  Still holds truth.

Being born in South America I had no clue what Halloween was all about...that is not until I moved to Puerto Rico (USA)....and boy were we in for a surprise.  My first Halloween was something I will never forget.  My sisters and I did not have store bought costumes like most of the other kids.  My parents at the time did not have that kind of money to spare so we had to "create" our own costumes.

Looking back today I would not change a single thing about those times so long ago when we did not have much money wise but we more than made up for it with love and affection.

Halloween today is still a fun time for kids and actually also for grownups. 

Even though it has become so commercialized, and I hardly recognize the tradition as the one we celebrated when we were kids it is still a fun time.  Today the costumes are extravagant and some just bizarre but still cool.....Even the tiniest member of our family is enjoying Halloween.....

I will leave you with this...

Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." And then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, "Trick or treat." "No thank you."


Oct 30, 2012

A Look At Hurricane Sandy...

Man cannot influence in this respect the atomic forces of Nature...

Nature has a power all of it's own and all we can do is watch as it works it's way.  Sometimes we get spared and other times the devastation it leaves behind is so terrible that it may take years to recover.  Hurricane Sandy was a terrible storm.  Causing more damage than Irene.  Today millions of people are without power and homes....
Scenes from NYC.  Unlike Florida, NY is not prepared for this.  Wall Street was shut down for 2 days.  The Airport closed, the city is in a standstill.  This is not normal for New York, the city that never sleeps.

For some reason everyone loves NY.  

"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years"

Meanwhile, here in Fort Lauderdale we have erosion of our beaches.  As Arvid and I cruised along A1A (the beach road) we saw quite a lot of damage.  Here are a few pictures I took.

This is terrible, but I know from previous disasters that people are stronger than we know.  We humans are very resilient. and it takes more than a storm to bring us to our knees.  It is during times like these that people pull from strenghts they never knew they had.

It's time again for a nation to come together and help each other overcome this tragedy, and we will....

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot


Work As Usual...

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see...

You can say that life for us is definitely boring.  Both Arvid and I are Realtors in Florida.  That by itself is pretty routine, but occasionally has some very good moments.  We get to meet interesting people from all over and quite a few have become friends.  We also get to see many interesting properties. 

 Currently, our main "job" is to buy distressed homes, fix them up and then sell them.  Occasionally we keep a few for at least a year and rent it out to friends.
We put in many, many hours ripping things apart and then fixing it up.  This involves a lot of work, but that is something we are not afraid of.  Keeps us out of trouble and we love the challenge.  Best of all, my mom and dad get to visit every year and stay in the house.

The good thing about being your own boss is that your schedule is very flexible.  The drawback is that you can work all hours and must be on call at any given day.  You just have to do whatever it takes to get the job.  The time sometimes is irrelevant.

This works fine with us.  Fortunately, neither of us minds this schedule.  Gives us free time also to do other things.  Just these last few days, we have been up on the roof of one of our houses.  Yes, it needed some kind of a cleaning and resealing to waterproof it. Calls for a trip to Home Depot for supplies.

We both look at it as part of the responsibility of owning a house.  Sometimes you like the chores sometimes you don't.  Either way, you have to take care of it.

Both Arvid and I went up the roof.  we swept, scraped, swept and scraped some more.  Finally it was ready to be coated white.  This particular chore was fun.  The temperature was in the 60's and the day was beautiful.  We try to make everything fun even when it's not.  Arvid even cleaned the paint off  my hands:)
Good way to get a little workout, some sunshine and to get the job done.  Overall, it was a very productive day.  When we were done we were both sweaty and a little tired, but happy to have gotten the job done.  One more coating and we can call it a job well done!  As usual, Brutus was relaxing at home:)

 Remember friends, it's not the miles, it's how you live them.
Have a great day!

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life...


Oct 29, 2012

Four Legged Hero...

A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself...
In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the cat...

Whenever I read or see a story about animals I seem to always get teary eyed.  Animals are some of the best friends we can have.  They ask for nothing, but they give everything in return. Animals represent all that is good in man.

 Just read about this brave doggie and yes for moments there I was all sad and caught up in an emotional roller coaster.  I think of our Brutus and of the 5 kitties I used to have.

British soldiers and military dogs gathered at a London army barracks Thursday to honor a fallen hero with selfless courage nerves of steel — and four legs.
This doggie is named Theo.  Theo, a bomb-sniffing springer spaniel died in Afghanistan on the day his soldier partner was killed, and was posthumously honored with the Dickin Medal, Britain's highest award for bravery by animals.
All I know is that the world is a better place because of the wonderful four legged creatures we call our friends and companions.  I can't picture our life without Brutus.

Brutus is always waiting beside Arvid.  Where Arvid goes rest assured Brutus is never far behind. 

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated..
Animals/our pets have a way of finding the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we don't even know we have...


Oct 28, 2012


I know a lot about cars, man. I can look at any car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming...

I used to think it was mainly men who were that into cars, and maybe that's true, but judging from the screams and applause's coming from the ladies I may have to rethink this.
After hurricane sandy, we are experiencing some very beautiful weather with cooler temperatures.  Made for a perfect outing and on the way what better than to check out some very awesome cars!
As Arvid put it, "it's like being a kid all over again and being in a candy store."  Yes, it was fun to see, but the most fun was to watch Arvid all excited and happy to be around these cars.  Yes, he also wants one ASAP!!!

Have a great day all...

Women are like cars: we all want a Ferrari, sometimes want a pickup truck, and end up with a station wagon...
Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.


Happy Birthday Sonal...

There is no distance too far between friends, for friendship gives wings to the heart...
Friendship... is not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything...

Friendship is a strange thing.  You sometimes just know when it's right and you know that you are lucky when it's reciprocated by the other party.  It is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.

I met you just casually one day through Facebook.  We live in different continents, yet there is something that makes me feel like as if I have known you my whole life.  It's feels like as if we were sisters somehow.

Sonal, though we live far apart I just want you to know that you are a special friend.  I wish we lived closer and I do hope that one day our paths will cross.  The few times you called me, and we spoke were enough to make me want to know you better.  Friends are hard to come by and even more difficult to maintain.
Remember everyone, long distance friendships and relationships require much care and attention. Make sure you take good care of it.

Wishing you a very special day today and always.
Happy Birthday Sonal....

Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.


Oct 27, 2012

Weekend Pleasures..

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless...

Time to get in gear for the weekend.  Not sure what we will be doing right now, but whatever it is I know we will have a good time rain or no rain, always good to have something to do.  With Hurricane Sandy passing along, we are experiencing some strong winds and some rain.  Nothing that should impede us from having a good time.  Yesterday, was a little too wet for much, but even so we did manage a little us time out.

So far today it's not wet as yet.  Windy yes!  Brutus just looking out and hoping he does not have to go to the balcony today.  Our Braveheart:)

Wishing everyone a great weekend.  Remember it is not where you go, but how you get there.  Whatever you do always make it fun.
 Music loud: Check! Drink in hand: Check! Smile on face: Check! Weekend mode activated!


Oct 26, 2012

Hurricane Sandy....

The first rule of hurricane coverage is that every broadcast must begin with palm trees bending in the wind....

The latest hurricane coming is Sandy and according to most news reports, it could be a monster when it hits U.S. coast and it will probably grow into a “Frankenstorm” that may become the worst to hit the U.S. Northeast in 100 years if current forecasts are correct.

Listening to the newscasters here in Florida one would think that this Hurricane was about to knock us over and plow away with us.  I mean the Northeast of the US is where the most impact will be.  Also, it is right now probably doing some serious damage over the Bahamas, but do they tell us about it?  Not really all we hear is about these "serious" rains and the eroding beach.

Right now there is a shopping frenzy going on in all supermarkets and this is the best time for stores like Home Depot.  Most of their supplies will be sold if not sold out already.  Yes, no wood is left.  No more bottled water in the stores and you're lucky if you find a spot to park your car at the grocery store.

Panic has settled in.  When we live in Chicago, unless the news was worth reporting it was not news.  Here a minor wind storm occupies the news 24/7 and it's all about Florida and the damage some wind could do, but has not done as yet!

Yes, it was windy yesterday.  The skies were black and yes it rained.  There is damage happening in other parts, but all we hear on the news is about the Florida Beaches eroding.....

Pretty much sums up what's happening here right now.  My thoughts are with our friends in the Bahamas and all the others that have been hurt by Sandy.  Hope my sisters and everyone in the North East remain safe.  Hurricane season lasts 6 months and routinely strikes the Caribbean harder than the U.S. 

Hurricane Irene...the storm was huge news. In fact, the Weather Channel reported something they haven't seen in years. Viewers...


Oct 25, 2012

5 Surprising ways You're Ruining Your Skin....

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it..
Whatever you do, do it in moderation...

Just when us gals in the beauty department get all cocky and think we have our skin-beautifying routines all figured out (sunscreen every day, the right products for our skin type, eating plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, etc.), some smartypants dermatologist comes along and dishes out a bunch of new info to consider. According to Dr. Dennis Gross,who is a constant stream of amazing skincare advice, these are five practices that could negatively affect your skin.

1. Outdated glasses/contact lens prescription:

Anything that makes you squint — like reading or working in a poorly lit room, or not updating your contact lens prescription — leads to more fine lines and wrinkles around the eye area. Get to an eye doctor, stat!

2. Steam rooms:

We all love a good detoxifying sessions in a steam room or sauna, but Dr. Gross says to limit your exposure to these extreme-heat bad boys because they decompose skin's elastin and collagen.  Eeeeek!

3. Running (or any high-impact exercise):

"While such exercise may benefit our hearts, it can cause the fat pads to slide south, and collagen and elastin to break down. If you enjoy running, try walking," explains Dr. Gross. OMG — remember on Ally McBeal when Jane Krakowski's character invented the face bra for jogging? It was for this!

4. Not sleeping:

Okay, it's not news that pulling an all-nighter makes your skin look like crud the next day, but did you know that chronic sleep deprivation leads to long-term skin problems? "Lack of sleep can be so stressful that it actually causes our bodies, including our skin, to generate free radicals," says Dr. Gross. More free radicals mean you look older, faster.

5. Tap water:

Here is to good health
Chlorine in tap water can strip the natural oils from skin and cause dryness and irritation, especially in the winter when there is less humidity in the air to balance it out. I can vouch for that — try a shower head with a built-in water filter and you will probably notice fewer dry patches on your legs.  

Remember no one knows what's best for us, but ourselves.  I believe that as long as you do everything in moderation you should be OK.  As they say,

"Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide"

Glamour is about feeling good in your own skin.


Oct 24, 2012


He taught me housekeeping; when I divorce I keep the house...

A friend of mine shared this and I am certain that many of you may have seen it already.  Still it is quite funny, and before anyone says anything...no I don't think divorce is a funny thing.  Yes, it affects everyone involved and definitely it is much more difficult when kids are involved, but if you have a sense of humor you most definitely would appreciate this.


Dear Wife,

I’m writing you this letter to tell you that I’m leaving you forever. I’ve been a good man to you for 7 years and I have nothing to show for it. These last 2 weeks have been hell. ... Your boss called to tell me that you quit your job today and that was the last straw. Last week, you came home and didn’t even notice I had a new haircut, had cooked your favorite meal and 
 even wore a brand new pair of silk boxers. You ate in 2 minutes, and went straight to sleep after watching all of your soaps. You don’t tell me you love me anymore; you don’t want sex or anything that connects us as husband and wife. Either you’re cheating on me or you don’t love me anymore; whatever the case, I’m gone.
Your EX-Husband

P.S. don’t try to find me. Your SISTER and I are moving away to West Virginia together! Have a great life!
Dear Ex-Husband

Nothing has made my day more than receiving your letter. It’s true you and I have been married for 7 years, although a good man is a far cry from what you’ve been. I watch my soaps so much because they drown out your constant whining and griping Too bad that doesn’t work.

 I DID notice when you got a hair cut last week, but the 1st thing that came to mind was ‘You look just like a girl!’ Since my mother raised me not to say anything if you can’t say something nice, I didn’t comment. And when you cooked my favorite meal, you must have gotten me confused with MY SISTER, because I stopped eating pork 7 years ago.

About those new silk boxers: I turned away from you because the $49.99 price tag was still on them, and I prayed it was a coincidence that my sister had just borrowed $50 from me that morning. After all of this, I still loved you and; felt we could work it out. So when I hit the lotto for 10 million dollars, I quit my job and bought us 2 tickets to Jamaica,but when I got home you were gone.. Everything happens for a reason, I guess. I hope you have the fulfilling life you always wanted. My lawyer said that the letter you wrote ensures you won’t get a dime from me. So take care.
Signed, Your Ex-Wife, Rich As Hell and Free!

Divorce is not funny, but sometimes like everything else people find ways to see the humor in it.  For instance, I read this and am still smiling.

Listening one day to my friend speak of the painful DIVORCE that he and his wife are going through and the custody battle over the children. I told him, "That must be one of the hardest decisions to make. My wife and I will never have that problem."

"Why is that?" he asked.

"Because we will never get divorced."

"How do you know?"

"Because neither one of us wants custody of the kids."

I have learnt that you have to see the humor in just about everything if you want to make it in this life. "A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life."

My wife and I have been married for MANY years and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never

Oct 23, 2012

General Info...

An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong...

Just came across this and since I have a few minutes to spare wanted to share with you.  
The top airports across the U.S. for TSA employees fired for theft are:
1. Miami International Airport (29)
2. JFK International Airport (27)
3. Los Angeles International Airport (24)
4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (17)
5. Las Vegas-McCarren International Airport (15)
6. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and New York-Laguardia Airport (14 each)
8. Newark Liberty, Philadelphia International, and Seattle-Tacoma International airports (12 each)
11. Orlando International Airport (11)
12. Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Salt Lake City International Airport (10 each)
14. Washington Dulles International Airport (9)
15. Detroit Metro Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (7)
17. Boston-Logan International, Denver International and San Diego International airports (6)
20. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (5)
With the exception of Detroit Airport (#15), I have had the opportunity to fly into all of the others.  Some just in passing other on our way to our destination.  Living in Florida, did not like the fact that Miami made it as the number one for theft. Advise to all.  Be careful out there you never know when things can happen.  Better to be prepared than to be taken unawares.
As a rule, he -or she- who has the most information will have the greatest success in life..


A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities....

Aleah...practicing your name so that we will get used to it when you arrive.  Michelle and Emil have chosen this name for the little girl they will welcome in March 2013.  Our little grand daughter will soon be here and we could not be happier.

Here she is and she's just perfect.  I look at this and my heart fills with love for this tiny being I don't even know as yet.  She is not here as yet, but she is already everyone's little Princess.
Arvid and I are soon to be proud grand parents.  For now this is what we think of when we think of Norway....we picture little Aleah and I just hope she will love me like I already love her.  i don't know Norwegian, but for her I will learn just so that I can say, "I love you Aleah."

Michelle and Emil are young, but we know they will make wonderful parents.  Michelle has been taking care of babies ever since I can remember and she is full of patience, kindness and love.  

Having only gotten to know Emil this summer, both Arvid and I think he is a wonderful young man.  Together he and Michelle make a good couple.  They are very practical, down to earth and most of all they are not envious of anyone.  

The more Arvid and I are getting to know Emil the more we like him.  Baby Aleah has a wonderful start because she already has wonderful, thoughtful and loving parents.  She also will have lots of grandparents who will pamper her, cherish her and make sure she never lacks for anything.

A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for....
Welcome little Princess Aleah


Oct 22, 2012


There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle...
Life is simple, it's just not easy...

Sometimes we all get too caught up with everyday life we forget to enjoy what's right infront of us and what is really important.  Many years ago, another lifetime it seems, I was mostly concerned about the future...someone came along and showed me that the best thing I could do was to live for today....Sometimes, just when you think it can't get any worse, it can. And just when you think it can't get any better, it can and it does

Many things have happened since then, but the one thing that has stayed with me is that what counts is today, and any good you can do, do not wait for tomorrow, because as I have seen for many tomorrow sometimes never comes....life has been one heck of a ride for me.  Many ups and downs have taught me that it is best to life for today.  Remember...you only live once, but if you do it right once is enough...

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on...


Oct 21, 2012

Happy Days...

The smile on my face doesn't mean my life is perfect.  It means I appreciate what I have and what God has blessed me with.....

Naples was fun.  I had time to spend with JR and even though she could

not make it to lunch with us, we had a few hours all to ourselves.  It was pretty good to  catch up with each others lives.  It was as if we had never been apart.  I know that one of the advantages of friendship is that no matter distance or separation the bond that brought us together in the first place will always be there.
We laughed, we joked and a few tears were shed reminiscing about days gone by.

We of course had to compared horror stories about families and I have to say this was hilarious at times.  JR has her kids living in another state and said she hopes it stays that way.  She said that as soon as the families were  together it was problematic.  As she said she loves the kids and spouses but please "don't come and live close to me.  I like my life too much to have it ruined by you."  Her words!  I laughed because some of it sounded familiar:)))

A few more laughs and some more stories and soon it was time to go.  Arvid was calling, and was hungry as a bear is how he put it.  While I was with my girlfriend, Arvid found a very nice place by the water for us to have lunch. It was beautiful.  Food was excellent and the snow crabs were delicious.   I was happy and after driving around Naples a bit it was time to go home.   Long time ago , I lived in Fort Myers and I worked in Naples.  Many good memories visiting places and people I know.

On the way home Arvid says he's in the mood for some music.  Well I was ready to call it a day.  I was awake since 5:00am and was a bit tired, but of course I went along.  Albert Castiglia a favorite of ours was playing at the Downtowner and he's just good!  Glad we went because the music was excellent .  The crowd was lively and the place was packed.  The day was good and we're happy.

Today a whole new day.  Laundry and the usual cleaning.  Some phone calls and then out we go again. Today it seems we have to change the bedroom blinds because Brutus does not like them and we worry he might hurt himself.  So far we had all the blinds custom made, and we already gave away the ones for the kitchen, now it's soon bye bye to the ones in the bedroom. 

Beautiful day for a picnic and a car show.  
Hope yours is also good.

At the end of the day before you close your eyes, be content with were you've been, and proud of who you are....


Oct 20, 2012

It's Going To Be A Good Day.....

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down...

JR and I both live in Florida and we have been friends for over 20 years, yet we hardly ever get together.   She lives in Napes and though not the longest of drives from where we live, the timing it seems is never right.  Hopefully today the timing will be right.

JR is originally from Sri Lanka, but has spent most of her life in the US.  First living in Manhattan, which is where we first met and now Florida.  I think her heart lies in New York, but her job brought her to Florida.  JR is what I would definitely call international.  One never knows where she will be next.

I remember one time when I visited her she also had the Buddhist priests' delegation visiting from Sri Lanka. I had quite an amazing time both with her and with the priests.  They were very funny and very wise.  That day I learnt quite a few things.  What an interesting time.  They were "normal" just like you and I:)

With JR you never know what to expect.  She always has some surprise in store for you, and that with me is just all right.
Life has changed us, taken us separate ways, but we always somehow manage to get back together and the bond between us seems to strengthen each time we are together.  It is always nice to talk about the times we shared in New York and to catch up with our current lives.  Both she and I have gone through quite a few things and we have shared secrets that you can only share with friends...

In the good times and in the not so good times JR was always a part of my life and today I look forward to spending a few hours with her.  As Arvid always says, "with friends you can never go wrong."

Have a good day all and remember, a friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same.

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down...
There comes a point in your life when you realize who really matters, who never did, and who always will...


Oct 19, 2012

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. 

This is wishing you all a very good day and an even better weekend.  As usual, a few plans here.  Hopefully this weekend I will get to see a girlfriend I have not seen in ages. Though we both live in Florida, we are still a 2 hours drive from each other.  We have been friend for over 20 years, dating from my time when I lived in New York.  

Yes, it should be good, and hopefully Arvid and I can treat her to lunch and enjoy her company.
Also, hopefully we will meet up with some other friends visiting from Denmark.  Sounds like a very friendly kind of weekend... Sounds good to me.

As Friday's go, we will most likely walk over to the beach and listen to music.  There we will also meet 
with friends and definitely have a good time.

Yes, Friday is good.

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


5 Of The Worst Celebrity Beauty Blunders Of All Time

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former...

I did not write this article, but when I read it I just had to share it.  It just goes to show that common sense is not so common after all we all make mistakes does not matter if we are a celebrity or not.  Hope you see humor in it as I did...remember, never say, "oops."  Always say, "Ah, interesting." 

Ever gone all morning with lipstick on your teeth, or attended a wedding with orange, self-tanned palms? Or maybe you've accidentally dyed your hair a shade of garbage, or used Nair where you shouldn't have and ended up with two giant blisters on the sides of your upper lip. At one point or another, most of us have experienced an embarrassing beauty blunder. But! We're not alone. Celebrities suffer from the same affliction -- it's just that when they make a mistake, it's immortalized on the Internet forever. I mean, the worst consequence we face after a makeup disaster is a morning spent untagging a million Facebook photos....or deleting some irritating person. 
I bet these stars are probably mortified by their beauty bloopers, but they make us "regular"  non celebrity people feel better about ourselves because, somewhere along the way, we, too, have been there, done that. So these 5 stars should take comfort in the fact that women everywhere tooootally know how they feel.

Take Christina Aguilera for instance.  She sang "At Last" at Etta James' funeral back in late January and it might have been the first time in history when people were more blown away by her legs than her voice. Streaking down the inside of her stems was some dark orange self-tanner, and boy, was it distracting.

Then there's Nicole Kidman. She apparently got into a fight with a powder puff before her Nine premiere, and the powder puff won. I mean, it must have really beaten the crap out of her -- it's in her hair and everything.

And could somebody please fill me in on what's happening with Kelly Osborne's hair? It's not grayish purplish on purpose, is it? 

Naturally, or rather completely unnaturally, Lindsay Lohan takes beauty blunders to the next level with this terrible synthetic wig, yellowish foundation, bronze eyeshadow, and a pale, overstuffed lip.

Here, Britney Spears shows us the dangers of hair extensions. Many of us have tried extensions once or twice and know that if they're not properly maintained or styled, things can get ugly. And bumpy. And oddly spaced. And ... just ... no.

There are more fools in the world than there are people....