Dec 31, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time....

Today's special moments are tomorrows memories.
Life is not made up of minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years, 
but of moments. You must experience each one before you can appreciate it...

I had an entire week to spend with family in North Carolina.  Brought back memories of'
childhood when we were young and carefree.  Mom made us everything we wanted and 
our dad as always was always running around doing little chores for her and us.

For us they spared on nothing.  My parents are in their seventies.  My parents
like most will do anything for their 5 daughters and 9 grand kids and the did.
Being back home was the best present one could ever ask for.

I got to enjoy each and everyone one.  Spend time with my nieces and nephews. Nothing in 
the world compares to that and to seeing my sisters and parents all together. Missing  was just 
Rima, the youngest and her family although Gabsy, their son flew  in for a short visit.

My sister Nirvan and Kimsy drove to North Carolina.  A trip that Arvid and I usually do
 in the span of 2 days since we overnight someplace, she and I did it in one day. It was just 
the best experience to have them with me in the car.  The time just flew by and
before we knew what was happening, we were already in NC.

Already waiting for us in NC was my sister Mala and family and Nirvana's son J who had
just flown in from Boston the day before.  Yes it was already a good time.  We were greeted
with the aromas of our mom's cooking.  Nothing and no-one can beat that.  It was the best time ever.

That night we ate like there was no tomorrow.  Forget diets when at mom and dad's. The next
 day we did a little malling around and then J took us all fishing to the lake.  Before you knew
 it J was giving lessons to all of us.  Sachin the youngest present absorbed it all and before 
you knew it he was fishing away.  No one caught anything but Sachin almost had one.
  The girls busied themselves with taking pictures.  I not one to miss a 
picture opportunity took tons of them.  I was happy as can be.

That night our mom made us another feast.  We ate so much, that we almost forgot our 
midnight tea time.  J is one who loves his tea-time when around family.  No he does 
not drink tea, but from the time he was a little boy we always had tea and it stayed 
with him.  Now a nice tradition when we all get-together.  Most night we 
were still awake at 3am.  Just talking the night away.

My sister Nina and family arrived on the 23rd.  Once again mom made a feast. Whenever 
Max and Danielle comes for a visit my dad goes into preparation mode for them.
My dad is always saying how max loves his chicken wings and my dad and mom 
ALWAYShave it hot and ready for them.  After the initial hello's it's was time 
to eat again.  When my mom cooks you know there will NEVER be a 
shortage of food.  With me around there is also not much leftovers.

Once we were all together there was no stopping us.  Everyday we had a blast. We went
 out for breakfast in the morning and we were a crowd of 14 when Gabby arrived 
we were a crowd of 15.  During the day we would browse around the mall and the 
nieces shopped until they dropped.  I forgot how young girls can shop, but
it was just fun to see them all excited and happy with their purchases.

The days took a life of their own and before you knew what was happening it was
already time to pack up and leave, but the memories made over those few days 
will always be a part of me.  Will cherish them in my heart forever.

Then it was back on the road again for Nirvana, J, Kimsy and I.  Once again we made the 
12 hour drive in the same day.  Something I don't do with Arvid.  I had promised J that we 
would go to JAlexanders for dinner once we got to Fort Lauderdale.  I kept the promise. 
 Arvid who was sick with the flu after being in Norway for 5 days was not sure he 
would make it, but after a little coaxing he was there.  Did not eat, but sat
 with us at the table and took J in his car as we drove my sister to her hotel.

And so came to an end one of the most memorable times for this year.
At mom and dads we always make special moments into lasting memories.  
I hope it never ends.  Thank you mom and dad for a wonderful Christmas time.

I've always believed in savoring the moments.
 In the end, they are the only things we'll have...


Dec 30, 2014

Cat's Christmas Wish...

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude
then animals are better off than a lot of humans...

May your Christmas Holidays be better than Grumpy Cat's.

Let the joy of the Holidays fill your days with love and laughter.

Be Merry and be happy everyone for Christmas come just once a year.
There are may ways to express love for me one of the best ways is Brutus.
Love after all is also a four legged word.  We love you Brutus ALWAYS AND FOREVER!!!

My other five kitties.  They live in my heart and my memories forever.
 Today I miss them very much and for a few minutes I was taken 
back to another place and another time.  Mama loves you all. 

No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat...


Dec 29, 2014

Good Times...

Family we may not have it all together, but together we have it all...

Like someone said, everyday may not be a good day, but there is always something 
good about each day.  For me the goodness lies in Arvid and Brutus.

To see them happy together is what makes for a happy home. 
 Christmas time is here and though we all have difficulties and issues in our lives,
it is also very nice to take a few moments to appreciate what we have and to be grateful for it.

Being with family is one of the best ways to spend the Holidays.

I hear Christmas Bells and I am happy.  I know that for a special few this has already
been a very very happy Christmas.  Though we are miles and miles apart
you know that I send love and good wishes to all.  Happy Holidays.

Holidays come and go, but family stays...


Dec 27, 2014

Christmas In NC...

A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, 
like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
At Christmas, all roads lead home....

Mom and dad live in North Carolina.  To be able to spend the Holidays with them and with
 my sisters is almost more than I could wish for.  If I did not think I was lucky enough just
 being with them all confirms my belief that I am one of the luckiest persons in the world.

If you click on the link below,  you can see what a
 White Christmas is like in North Carolina

As we all celebrate the Christmas Season let us not forget the true meaning of it.
If you need a little reminder here it is, Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.

To all be merry and may the happiness of the season stay with us always.

One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the
 living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly...


Dec 26, 2014

In Any Language

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful...

Christmas has its own special meaning for everyone.  For me it's the time of the year
 where hearts are lighter, people seem to be friendlier and the spirit of being caught up
 in festivities opens up peoples hearts to the needs of others rather than just their own.

Yes! Christmas time brings out charity and goodwill in people.  At least I really hope it does.
Christmas!  Yes the very word brings joy to our heart.  No matter how we ma dread
the rush, the long Christmas lists for gifts and cards to be bought and given..when 
Christmas Day comes there is still that warm feeling we had as children, the 
same warmth that enfolds our hearts and our homes.  Whichever
day you celebrated Christmas hope it was everything and more
 you wished for.  It definitely was for us.

Yes, Christmas is a season of great joy. It is a time for family and friends to get together and 
to share love and good times.  It is a time where memories are made and will forever
 be a part of our lives.  It does not matter in what language you say it...Christmas
is Universal.  It may bring out different feelings or emotions for each person,
but I believe like most that it is one of the most if not the most 
Wonderful Time Of The Year.....

Not for the presents, not for the things we expect to receive, but for the simple joy of being 
with family and feeling that specialness that just being together with loved ones means.

Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree 
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. 
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, 
is to have the real spirit of Christmas...


Dec 25, 2014

Christmas Day, Mom's Birthday...

People often say that mothers are the best teachers in the world. Over the years, 
I have come to know that it couldn’t be truer. Thanks for being the best mother 
and teacher in the whole world. Happy Birthday mommy!...

What better feeling is there that to wake up on Christmas morning surrounded by the warmth
 of family and to the sounds of laughter and all the good smells of Christmas goodies?  Nothing
 better if you ask me and today I am very fortunate to be in the right place at the right
 time.  Like I always said I am a fortunate person and I never forget it.

What makes Christmas even better in our family is that it is also our mom's birthday.
From little this was the one day our mom had "off"   Our dad would make sure she 
did nothing on her special day.  One day in the year we catered to her.

Times have changed we have all grown and have families of our own, but the one thing that did 
not change was Christmas Day.  Our dad still caters to her.  Of course now that they are

 "alone" more so.  Today with most of us together mom be given the special birthday
 treatment, but at the end of the day she will once again prepare many goodies 
for us.   We will once again be her little girls and we will be loving it.

I will tell you there has not been much sleep going on so far, and we are loving it
 and having the time of our lives.  For once in a long time most of us are 
in the same home at the same time. Can you say HAPPY?

My Christmas Holiday has so far been more than I could have hoped for.
I wish you all the same and that yours is also a wonderful time.

Merry Christmas to all.  Happy Birthday to our mom and may each of you find and
 appreciate the simple joys of being together and enjoying each other.  Life is short and we 
must always make the most of it.  For tomorrow is never guaranteed, but for us this moment sure is.

Mommy we love you.  Throughout our lives,
 you have always been the strength that holds us up in the storm of life. 

Mom, you are my best friend.  My greatest confidante.
I couldn't be any happier to have you as my mother.  Happy Birthday...


Dec 24, 2014

Christmases Past...Moments In Time

A Memory is a photograph taken by the heart
to make a special moment last forever.....

Five sisters.  When we really had nothing to worry about.

Memories.  Angel face with the snowman is Danielle.  Now in college.

Rima and J with Santa Claus.  Arvid and I many years ago in Norway.  
The little one is Michelle.  Mom of Aleah our grand-daughter and 
soon to be 2nd grand-daughter.  The years just fly by.

Arvid and his brother when only babes themselves. 
The little girl with Santa is Reshma.  A cutie always.  Me in Switzerland.

Both families.  Two worlds, but same feelings,
Christmas no matter what part of the world brings out the best in us.

Nothing like being surrounded by family and love.

My nieces and nephews.  It is a Merry Christmas just being around them.

Remember everyone, today's special moments are tomorrows memories.
Make them count and enjoy the Holiday Season with friends and family.  Ho! Ho!

Time stops for no one, make every moment count, be happy 
and don't waste a day being sad because tomorrow isn't promised...


Dec 23, 2014

Soon It Will Be Christmas Day...

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
 everything is softer and more beautiful....

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 of 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. 

Arvid is not crazy about Christmas...never has been, but I am hoping that little by
 little he will get more into the spirit.    Hopefully this Christmas his heart 
is more into it.  Every year is a chance for him to get it right.

This year my Christmas will be spent with my parents and my sisters
and their families.  So very much looking forward to this and even though 
it will be cold, being around family at this time of the year makes everything better.

Let's all have a wonderful holiday season, and let us not forget that Christmas is a 
season for kindling the fire for hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

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


Dec 22, 2014

Best Time Of The Year...

Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home...

May the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with warmth and love. Christmas is the time
of giving and sharing.  It is the time of loving and forgiving.  Merry Christmas to Everyone!

It goes without saying that Christmas is my favorite time of the year.  People seem to be
merrier and there is so much love going around that the warmth engulfs you and for
that brief time known as Christmas everyone seems to live in harmony.

All over the world there are happy faces waiting for that day just to open up their presents....
for some it may be a ton of presents for others maybe just one or sometimes not a thing...

Growing up we were not wealthy.  Our presents were not many if any at all  but the love
we shared as a family was more than enough to make each and every Christmas better and better.

Many may have forgotten the true spirit or meaning of Christmas.
  Remember it is not always "I want" , I want" but sometimes the best of times
are those spent sharing with family and friends and just enjoying each others company..
One of the nice things about Christmas is that you can make people forget the past with a present....

From our home to yours: HAPPY HOLIDAYS
May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love
 and your life with laughter:)


Dec 21, 2014

Holiday Greetings To All...

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.

To all may the Holiday Season fill your hearts with joy, love and all things good.

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


Dec 20, 2014

It's A Special Day....

In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important
in life and what isn't.  Be wise and don't let the good things crowd out those that are essential....

Someone somewhere today will be happy it is Christmas time after all.

Arvid and I have finished with our Christmas wrapping now for over a week.  
All presents are ready to be delivered and some.  Feeling excited.

For many the Holidays hold some sadness.  
My former sister-in-law Carol Riley expressed it this way:

"I'm feeling a bit melancholy and I'm sure I'm not alone ~~ tends to happen this time of the 
year to many of us ~~~  So I was wondering if we could just take one minute ~ 60 seconds
 of this busy ~ hectic season and think about all the people we have in our lives that 
love us ~~ the ones that are with us and the ones who are not ~~ Just be "still" ~ 
give yourself this one minute to reflect on this most important gift of all ~~~~ 
love ~~~~~~ Merry Christmas" 

The greatest self is a peaceful smile, that always see the world smiling back.

Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that 
as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart...


Dec 19, 2014

A Very Good Day...

The year you were born marks only your entry into the world. 
Other years where you prove your worth, they are the ones worth celebrating...

Countdown to Christmas day has now really taken an intense life.  For our families in Norway,
according to Victoria, Christmas is one very busy season.  She has everyday from the 22nd
to the 28th booked with some big activity.  As she said to me, "I'm very excited, but
also when the 28th comes it will also be nice because we can then get some rest."

    That is for at least a couple of days before the New Years festivities begin.

For a few years now Victoria and Michael have always had a huge party at their home on
December 27th with big Christmas themes and prizes for best costumes.  When the party begins
who knows when it will end.  Something similar to my culture.  There is never
 a so called set ending to the evening until the last person is technically
"incapacitated."  Check out her pictures from previous parties.

It is also a very good day for kids here in the US today marks the last day of school. Yes!
Christmas vacation begins and what a better way to welcome it by this big smile on Lilly's
face.  Lilly is one very happy little girl.  I have never not seen her smiling.  She
makes everyday a good day.  Love her to pieces.  I look into her eyes
 and my heart melts.  I know all is good in my world.

This is the time also when parents dress up their show off their little ones in Santa's
outfits.  They are just too adorable as you can see.  Aleah our grand-daughter is all smiles
as is Isabel, the daughter of another friend living in Norway.  They just love the magic of Christmas.

To all a very good weekend.  Ours is looking pretty interesting as of right now.  May the
wonder of the Christmas Season forever be a part of your lives.  It is after all the


Enjoy the weekend with the ones you love. As the holiday season approaches,
 may your home be filled with lots of love,  laughter and yummy smells!!...


Dec 18, 2014

There Is Always Something Good....

Come tomorrow, I'll wake up new.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today..

Ever since I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer many things have really gone wacky with me.
Yikes! sad indeed and as Arvid says, "I'm the one who has to deal with all your changes."
I know, true supporter he is, but when I hear him say it it just makes me smile.

One of the most irritating symptoms, and trust me there are many is this cough that does not
 want to quit.  I have now had it close to a year and nothing seems to help.  Doctors say I have
 GERD  (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)  This is a condition in which the stomach contents
 (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to 
the stomach).  This action can irritate the esophagus, causing heartburn and many other symptoms.

I have taken different medications for it, but it still persists.  I have also modified my food habits,
but still it persists.  I had given up carbonated drinks, but sadly it's been 3 months now and
 I have been indulging in them again.  Pepsi is my weakness.
  Have again given it up this time for good,  Sad!

Anther thing I have to definitely cut down on is coffee.  Sad also because I sure enjoyed
my morning cafes with Brutus.  Though I have not given it up 100%, I am working toward it.
Now in the mornings I just have a small cup and usually just a few sips.  Sad!

Not one to really do the green tea stuff, I have now started again. This also means
 no chocolate, and it's another of my so many weaknesses.  All my weaknesses are 
the same things that I can no longer eat.  In my culture we are used to spicy foods.
  You guessed right another no-no on my list.  All my pleasures in food have been taken away.
It's a good thing there is so much other good stuff to sample.  Now is my chance to try new things.

Though I am being extra cautious, it did not help at all yesterday.  I took the
pill 20 minutes before mealtime, just like the doctor said to do.  Did not help an
hour after lunch I was coughing up a fit.  I who never liked milk much drink lots of it everyday.

I am actually taking a while to get used to this "new" me.  I also found out
that with this GERD your body tends to bloat up even more.
Yep.. happy days are in store for me.

Taking it all one day at a time.
  No other way to look at it or face it.

I have a new philosophy. 
I'm only going to dread one day at a time...


Dec 17, 2014


If you fight hard, you know who you are, and are proud of who you are,
 and you've got a good chance of winning...

It is a great day to be an aunt.  Yesterday my niece Kimberly Nirvana (Kimsy) was accepted 
into Yale University.  It has taken her years of preparation to get to this stage.  Kimsy put in
 what's called an early admission for Yale and lo and behold she made it.

For the Class of 2014, Yale University received 25,869 applications, and admitted 1,940 
applicants for an overall admit rate of 7.5%  and Kimsy is right there. Not only is 
she beautiful and brainy, but she has a heart of gold.  Thinking of her I picture 
tenderness, kindness and all things good put together in a little girl who
 is now a "big" girl.  Little Kimsy is now Ivy League.

Kimsy..  See your goal.  Work your goal.  Score your goal.
Needless to say her parents, her brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and 
everyone who knows her are ecstatic.  It's not like we ever doubted she will make it in, but
just getting the confirmation is overwhelming.  I wish we were there right now to celebrate with her.

Kimsy knows how much we all love her and how proud we are for her.  Getting where 
she is right now did not come easy.  It seems as if she was preparing  for this achievement
for years and years.  Goal oriented and she never lost sight of it.   

 Kimsy did what she does best she set her goals high and NEVER lost sight of it. 
 Today it has all paid off.  Her mom my sister Nirvana has played a huge role
 in the success of Kimsy.  Like all parents she encouraged her always.
Kimsy, you made it.  Now the journey begins.  I love you!!!

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you've imagined...


Dec 16, 2014

What Christmas Looks Like In Florida...

Who needs snowflakes when you have seashells and palm trees...

White Christmas?  You can forget all about that when you live in Florida.  Think more
like palm trees instead of Christmas trees. That is palm trees decorated as your Christmas tree. 
 May not be your typical white Christmas, but it sure has it's charm.  That's a Florida Christmas.

Every home you pass by has a palm tree on the outside and it is fully decorated.
This one is in the front of a condo building.  Beautiful always.

Here in our building we also have the palm trees decorated with lights.

A little look at how Christmas is in Florida.

Here in Florida winter for us is anything 70 degrees and colder.
People pull out their heavy sweaters, scarves, UGG boots and everything they can
 think of. The ones who want to be "cool" just hang out in flip flops and yes with socks.

No matter where you are, Christmas is magical and will always be.  Some like it
many don't, but there is no denying the spell it casts over us.  As someone said, I couldn't
give you a list of things I got as gifts when I was a child, but certain memories do stand out.
Most often they are togetherness moments, memories of fun shared and things done together.

Dear Santa, I have been very good for the last week or so.
Let's just focus on that....