Jun 30, 2016

Make It A Worry Free day...

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles... by the ears,
 by the heels, or any other way you can manage it....

To this day I have not met a single person that can honestly state for a fact that they 
worry about nothing.  Does not matter what you do, what and how much you have 
does not matter one bit, we all have things we worry about like it or not.  

I am not any different from anyone.  We have a good live.  We do as we please, yet we 
also worry about so many little things be it financial, family related does not matter
 it causes us a bit of anxiety...just part of life and it's the way we handle it that makes 
all the difference. Sometimes I handle it well, others it just overwhelms.
At this time of the year I agonized about leaving Brutus.  This is the time of the 
year we go to Norway and visit family.  Now there is no Brutus to worry over.  At least 
with Sniff I don't have to worry about a paw acting up.  When we usually go to Norway my 
calendar for Brutus' treatments and medications was full.  How I miss that kitty.

I can't say I won't worry about Sniff because knowing me I will.  It will just be less 
agonizing.  The first 10 days he will be cared for by our neighbor and her 11 and 13 
year old children.  They already love him and come more often than they have to.  

I'm not complaining.  Sniff is happy.  He loves everyone.  The other day a man came to 
install our blinds and Sniff was all over him.  He was not afraid of the man's power tools 
or any of the banging going on.  The guy liked him so much that he wanted to "borrow" 
him.  Said he has a mouse in his home and maybe Sniff could catch it for him.

Wishing you all a very good day.  I tell myself everyday that no matter how much I stress,
 worry, cry or plead there is nothing I can do to change what happened to Brutus,
 and to Shadow.  Nothing.  Anna reminds me that Sniff is a gift to us.  A very
 good one and I should not forget that.  I don't Anna.  I don't.  I love 
Sniff and am grateful everyday for him.  Both Arvid and I are.

I remind myself to stop worrying about what can go wrong and to get 
excited about what can go right.  Have a wonderful day everyone.

Troubles are a lot like people - they grow bigger if you nurse them..


Jun 29, 2016

Another Beautiful Day In Chicago..

I love how summer just wraps its arms around you like a warm blanket...

No matter where where we go, mornings are always special.  Quiet.  Peaceful and just Sniff 
and I awake while Arvid sleeps.  Sometimes Sniff is also laying in bed, but as soon as I move 
he starts howling for food.  A beautiful sound to wake up to.  Of course not for Arvid.  

He needs a lot more sleep than we do.  Coffee time is the mornings are maybe my most favorite
 times of the day.  I just sit back relax, enjoy the view.  Enjoy Sniff and yes, always always 
remember the times I shared with Brutus and for a short while with Shadow.  My heart
 never forgets and my mind never shuts down when it comes to my Brutus.

Yesterday was beautiful.  Just like the last few days, but it was cooler and for walking
purposes it was great.  Of course the "Viking" in the family was cold.  He had to have on
 his long sleeved "thick" sweater as he calls it.  Not sure how Arvid survived all those
years in Norway, because as soon as the temperature hits 78F (26C), he's COLD!!!

On our walk yesterday Arvid was happy because he found Pepsi on sale.  The man loves a
 sale, especially a sale on Pepsi.  Go figure.  He's funny and we have good times together.

The days are going by fast.  Soon we will be going to Norway and we will see everyone.
Looking forward to that, but I know I get restless at times.  Every year I promise myself
to be more relaxed.  This year maybe I can.  There is no Brutus to worry about.

How I miss him.  How I miss him. Looking forward to seeing everyone and having a
few of our favorite Norwegian treats.  Summertime.  Such a good time.  Hopefully the weather
will be better than last year.  Always can hope to see a new place in Norway.  I would
 love to see some of it's mountains one year.  Arvid does not like mountains
 so it's going to be a little struggle to get him to go.  Part of the "fun"

Another cool day begins today.  Also today is laundry day.  Maybe depending on how
 I feel and how the schedule looks.  Have not checked, so will take my chances that
the elevator will not be too busy.  Somehow our days have been very busy.

 We have been doing lots of "fixing" up you can say.  Mostly small things, but they
take lots of time.  Especially when I has to be done within the soccer schedule.

To all a very good day.  May the summertime fill your days with sunshine and warmth.
 I leave with you a picture of yesterday's sunset.  Just AMAZING!!!  Stunner if I may say so.

Life is a lesson, you will learn it when you are through.  You must go through your
 worst to arrive at your best.  Wake up and spend everyday with a smile...


Jun 28, 2016

Walks...Summertime In Chicago

Every summer has its own story.  Life is beautiful...

On any given day during the summertime, you are bound to see boat after boat with tourists 
along the river doing the boat tour.  Yes many years ago Arvid and I also did the boat "thing" 
 We also did it another time when we had Danielle visiting us.  Both time it was fun.  As we
 were walking along the river Arvid said to me, "Is Melvin (Danielle) visiting this year?"

The picture below is from a few years back.  Brutus was still alive.  Danielle and 
family were visiting.  Not a care in the world.  And yes, we were also slimmer.

Walks are what we do all the time here.  Not having a car means you must walk.  Love it.
Sometimes if we have to go to far places which means an hour's walk or so we take the bus
 offered by our building. It's sort of like a Limo service for the people living in the building.

The bus ride is pretty interesting.  Mostly the elderly use it.  Before the ride is over I have 
heard quite a lot of personal stories being discussed.  I learn everyone's name without having
 to ask, and I get familiarized with other parts of the city.  Not bad at all.  The bus takes us  
halfway to our destination, and we walk the other half.  On our way back we usually take a taxi. 

Getting a cab in the city is not always easy.  There are many, but they seem to always be 
occupied.  Yesterday as we tried to hail a cab, Arvid of course shouts, yells and does a lot 
of movement to get one.  If the cab does not stop he wants me to also shout and yell.  I stand 
there and just raise my hands, but with Arvid if you are not doing a lot of movement
 means you're not trying hard enough.  The fact that he almost got run over twice 
did not seem to faze him. I was taking pictures he was getting mad.  Oh well!! 

We went to Pet Smart.  Again.  Sniff eats like crazy.  We are stocking up on soft foodies for 
when we leave for Norway, but the store does not carry enough of the flavor he likes so we 
order it online, and then pick it up the following day.  I still need to order some more for him.

As usual the days are scheduled in between of Arvid's soccer games.  Now with the Euro
 games going on our window of "opportunity" is not that large.  Well his isn't.  Me I do whatever
 I like.  I do not like sitting at home.  I like being on the go as does he, but soccer comes
 first these days so we compromise.  I do stuff and he later joins me.  Works great.

We have been having warmer than usual temperatures, no humidity so for us it's perfect.
 The next few days will be a tad cooler.  I LOVE LOVE it.  To all a great day 

Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most
 beautiful words in the English language  Summer is always good for lazy days...


Jun 27, 2016

Macy's Chicago..

Dream as if you will live forever.  Live as if you will die today.  Imagine with
 all your mind.  Believe with all your heart.  Achieve with all your might...

One of the things I really enjoy while in Chicago is going to Macy's.  It's huge and I can 
spend quite some hours just looking, and of course I always find something I really "need."

I also have a few "friends" in the mall that believe it or not have now been there for a few years. 
 I always go and talk to them, and before you know it quite some time has gone by.  Arvid 
always wonders what it is I can talk about with all these people.  Not sure what it is,
 but I have a good time.  Yesterday was no exception.  I made a new friend and
 for the remaining of the summer will chat with her whenever I am at Macy's.

I try to tell Arvid to go and check around for stuff he might need.  He goes, but is back in a flash. 
 He does not like malls, but Macy's as so much going on that it's difficult to understand
 why he can't find anything.  There is a sports bar at the lower level with beers and 
lots of screens.  He loves to watch TV, but not on these outings.  Go figure.

A week or so ag we went together because he needed a few jackets.  He forgot his in
 Florida, and going to Norway is the same as here.  You never know when the weather will 
change.  You need something to block the wind.  I was hoping we would look around a bit, 
but nope!  We went straight to the men's department and withing a half our, maybe less we got
 him his two jackets and were on our way home.  Shopping for him is: you go.  You get.  You leave.

For me it's an experience.  Every time.  I walk around.  Look.  Try on stuff.  talk to everyone 
I meet.  Maybe get a little something or not, and definitely end up at the coffee shop.  In this 
case Starbucks.  Macy's has as least 3 coffee shops (that I can remember)  maybe more.
I love to look at the fountain, and the beautiful displays always there.  Just pretty

I had a little time on my own on Saturday night.  Was great.  Did what I liked and,
Arvid did not even know he got me stuff.  Well now he does.  Sometime this week we plan
on going again and hopefully he will get me something else.  It's more for him really.

To all a very good day and may the new week be prosperous and productive.
It's Monday.  The beginning of one beautiful week.  Greetings from Chicago to all.

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by
 merely changing his attitude.  Rise up and attack the day with enthusiasm...


Jun 26, 2016

Scenes From Chicago...

I live in a big city.  There is so much stimulation when you walk outside 
that a television is not required in the home.  I love Chicago...

Life in a big city is a one of a kind thing.  I am a city girl, and for me it's the best there is.  When
we  decided to buy an apartment on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale I had to convince Arvid of
how wonderful it is to live in the city.  He said he had never before lived right in a city.

 From that point on he loved it as much.  Here in Chicago it is a HUGE city
 compared to what it is in Fort Lauderdale.  It's perfect for the summer.

On our walks from home we encounter beautiful sights.  Between tall buildings there is
the lake, flowers, boats, and life buzzing all around us.  Always something to do and see.

Our grocery store is a mere 5 minutes walk form our apartment.  It's unlike the ones we
have in Florida because here as I have mentioned before, they cook burgers, hot dogs,
 your meat, there are concerts on the outside and now we also have a Mimosa Bar.

Also as Arvid and I were coming home yesterday we noticed a group of friends
sitting outside with beers they had bought from the store and were drinking it on the
outside.  Arvid looked at the and all he said was, "how I wished we had
something like this in Horten when I was growing up."

Yesterday we had company from Norway.  Svein, and his friend Rune.  Svein usually does
Route 66 together with a group of other Norwegians.  They drive from Chicago to LA.

They are on the road for almost a month.  Sounds great, but I am not sure I can do
 a month on the road.  Arvid already said he could not.  Guess that means not Route 66
 in a group for us.  Arvid said if we ever did it, it would only be he and I.  Sounds better already.

The guys took off to listen to the Blues.  Gave me some alone time to do what I wanted, and of
course one of the places was to walk around the city in the evening and to visit some of my
favorite hangouts Arvid does not really like that much.  Both Arvid and I had a good time.

Wishing you all a very good day.  Beautiful day here in Chicago.
Remember don't judge my story by the chapter you walked in.

It's not the future you are afraid.  It's repeating the past that makes 
you anxious.  Life is short.  Smile now while you still have teeth...


Jun 25, 2016

Good Morning Everyone..

It's really nice to wake up in the morning realizing that
 you have been given  another day to live...

I arise in the mornings torn between a desire to improve the world and a 
desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.

Good morning everyone.  Hope your weekend has been good so far.  Busy day
 yesterday with a little fun outings and some work.  Waking up to some cloudy weather 
which I hope will not last all day long. Either way it will be a good day 

No day for me is a good day unless it starts with my cafe, and today is no exception. 
 With Arvid still in bed it's just Sniff Sniff me, and a good cup of cafe to begin the day.

Mornings with the kitties are always the best part of my day.  I loved my mornings with
 Brutus.  Nothing will compare to those.  Then came Shadow.  Our mornings was me 
giving him foodies on the counter top.  He loved his chicken.  Sniff is a sleepy head, but 
he also loves when I give him soft foodies, but he does not rush to get out of bed.

I have been having the blues these last few days.  Not a day goes by that my thoughts don't go 
to Brutus and Shadow.  I will not lie, I miss my Brutus a lot.  I wonder how Shadow would
 have been with us had he had a chance to grow up.  I see Sniff and my heart fills with 
love for him, but I still can't stop missing my Brutus.  I love Chicago, and I am having a
good time, but something is missing.  Something small and furry.  Brutus.

Even so I am grateful for every new day.  I am grateful to wake up and see the sunrise.  
To have Arvid and Sniff by my side.  To know that I can count on my family and friends, 
especially Anna who is always there with some cheerful anecdote for me.  I love you
 Anna and my life is always better with you in it.  Thank you for your daily cheer 
me ups.  They always make me smile.  I'm actually smiling right now.

Hello all.  A new day begins and from where  we are it is looking to be pretty good.
Arvid and Sniff are already awake.  Sniff had playtime with the laser mouse,
 ate his soft foodies and is once again napping.  Life of a cat...

Greetings to all from beautiful Chicago.

I continue to smile each day because life is simply 
way too short to cry of anything that's worthless..


Jun 24, 2016

Market Day...Thursdays

My thoughts are free to go anywhere, but it's surprising how often they head
 in your direction. You're the first and last thought of my everyday...

Every Thursday after breakfast we go the Farmers Market.  Another of the many things we love
 and look forward to.  Not only do we get our fresh produce, goodies, Arvid's bread and some,
 but we also get to check out another part of the city and we get our exercise for that day.

When we left home the fog was still all over the city.  Made for a much cooler outing
(temperature wise)  Even so Arvid never takes chances and always wears a long sleeved top.
For me just the walk is more than enough to keep me warm, plus I don't get as cold as Arvid.
Arvid tells everyone he is a Viking, but at 78 degrees F (almost 26C) he is cold and in long pants.

After the market Arvid decided he needed to go to the barber.  he has a barber 
we go to when in Chicago, but when we got there he had moved. 
 We found another one and decided to give it a try. 

 The barber in this case was a Korean woman.  Funny as can be.  While Arvid was having 
his haircut I decided to explore the surroundings.  Here in Chicago many buildings are
 connected underground.  I actually almost got lost.  When I went back to Arvid he and the
 barber lady were having "words"  She was trying to get him to let her do a few another things
 to his hair but he kept saying no.  When she saw me she said, "all he says is NO NO!!"

After the cut of course comes time to pay the bill.  Back home in Florida, Arvid
pays the barber $16.00 and he can have wine or beer as he waits.  Those who know Arvid,
 know that he never has any.  He does not like to eat nor drink at anyone's home least of all 
in the middle of the day at the barbershop.  So when the lady here in Chicago told him it
 was $30.00 for the cut he was stunned.  All he said was, "I should have had it cut in Florida." 
 Of course the lady and I were laughing through it all.  Arvid did not see the humor.

All is good with us.  I have moments where I just sit back and remember how it was 
with Brutus, and then I am sad.  I look at Sniff and every time I am sad he somehow
 knows it and comes running to me.  Yes he comes running and the 
other day he ran to me and jumped up straight onto my lap.

Anna tells me that one day it will be good again.  Anna also lost her Buddy.  She never forgets,
 but she also has 3 other kitties that she adores and that fill her days with joy and laughter. 
 Sniff keeps us laughing.  I love Sniff as does Arvid.  It's just that I still miss my Brutus.

Hello everyone.  It is Friday and if you live in Chicago then you will know that there is never
 a loss for things to do.  The city is always buzzing with activity.  No wonder we love it!!!

Happy Friday everyone.  May your day begin with a smile on your face, love in
 your heart and happiness in your soul.  Make today so awesome, yesterday gets jealous..


Jun 23, 2016

Chicago Life...

Either you love Chicago or you are wrong.
Let me tell your something. I'm from Chicago. I don't break...

From our apartment you can see quite a lot of whats going on in the city.  Yesterday evening
 as we sat in the living room, we saw the large screen TV that was broadcasting the Copa
 America game between Chile and Columbia.  Was as if we had front row seats.

One thing about the city.  There is ALWAYS traffic.  Not having a car is in a way 
a blessing.  Bot Arvid and I enjoy looking and seeing everything that goes on, if we 
can't see too well Arvid pulls out his binoculars.  We do have a good time.

It's been 2 days now since Sniff Sniff decided to sit next to Arvid.  Since Brutus died,
Arvid was missing his boysie close to him when he watches TV.  Sniff now does it, for us
 it was a big moment.  I watched them and I smiled and at the same time I felt heartbroken 
because that was Brutus' spot.  Just his.  Yesterday was a rough day for me without 
knowing why I just missed my Brutus so very much.  I also thought of Shadow, 
Liliana and i was mad and angry all over again.  It was a rough day.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss my Brutus.  He took my heart.
I think of little Shadow and my heart breaks.  He never had a chance.

The other day we went to feed the ducks and at the same time we had a nice walk along
 the lake and park.  The city is unbelievable.  Every turn you make yo see boat, you hear 
music, you see greenery and flowers in bloom all around you.  We just love it.

In Florida we never really watched the weather channel much.  You knew it was going
 to be hot. Here in Chicago you never know what the weather will be so we always plan 
our day after we check the weather.  Last night during the game between Columbia and Chile,
 it started to thunder and with lots of lightning.  The game was stopped for a while.

To all a very good day.  Something I remind myself of all the time;
you can't start the next chapter in your life if you keep re-reading the last one.

After a few hours of lightning last night, the game was resumed.
This morning the city is blanketed in fog.  From where I sit you see just white.

Life is like a camera.  Focus on what's important, capture the good times, 
develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out, take another shot...


Jun 22, 2016

Regular Day..

When you wake up thinking "it's just another day...
'That when you know it's time for change...

Living downtown Chicago means no car.  That is it is so much better to NOT have a car.  
One there is hardly anywhere to park, and if you do find a parking spot it is VERY expensive. 
 Every so often if we need the use of a car, Arvid would rent it.  We do some bulky
 shopping, definitely Home Depot, pet store, one of my favorites, Bed Bath and 
Beyond and so forth.  But not having a car is actually a relief here. 

Before we left Florida we already booked a car for a few road trips we will be
 taking in the next few months.  Even though we don't need a car, the days we
 rent one are very exciting.  I make long lists of things we need to get
as does Arvid.  We just like driving bottom line.

Another outing in the hot tub.  Arvid does this weird contortion to keep his
leg out of the hot tub.  Something to do with the blood clot and the fact that the hot
 tub is not recommended because it can cause the clot to move.  But it does
 not stop us from going.  It just too good to not go.  We love it.

One thing about us, we really don't care what anyone says or thinks.  It looked strange
 the way Arvid was positioned.  I actually told him that anyone coming would think
he was just doing yoga.  And what happens?  The first time we went a girl
came and that's exactly what she thought.  Very funny.  The other day we had
the hot tub all to ourselves so no one noticed any of his contortions

Sniff is getting more and more comfortable with his surroundings.  We could not be any
happier.  I look at Sniff and I love him, but every so often I catch myself and
 remind myself that he's Sniff and not Brutus.  I will not lie.  I miss
 my Brutus everyday.  I don't dwell on it, it's just how it is.  

Our days are busy.  Still lots of little things that need to done.  Arvid and Sniff working as 
a team, and when Sniff really gets in the way he gets a little reprimand.  Sniff is glued to 
Arvid.  Arvid moves Sniff moves faster and always in front of him.  We have to be
 extremely careful to not step on him.  Sometimes it's really difficult.

Life is good here for us.  Sniff and us are already having patterns and routines.
Sniff is so much like Brutus that sometimes when I look at him I think I see Brutus.  But then
of course I realize it was just a trick of the light.  My Brutus is not here, but he is always
with me. I miss that kitty more than anyone would ever know.  Sniff makes life good again.

Sometimes we focus so much on what we don't have 
that we fail to see, appreciate, and use what we do have...!”


Jun 21, 2016

Back Home...

We are not given a good life or a bad life.  We are given a life.
It is up to us to make it good or bad...

Back home again.  Home is always best no matter who we visit.  My family or Arvid's family.  
While visiting we always have a good time, but as you know there is no place like home.
Sniff was not dancing with joy when he saw us.  Unlike Brutus who used to miss us 
like crazy, Sniff was like,"Oh you're back?  About time."  

After about an hour then Sniff started to "talk" like crazy and then is when he 
decided to eat his soft foodies.  I guess my friend Anna was right.  Sniff had lots 
of attention when we were gone and was happy.  He's such a good kitty.

Weather wise it is beautiful right now.  Warm, but cool in the mornings.  Arvid and I already 
had our first walk for the day and hopefully later today we will head out again along the lake,
 and feed the duckies.  We really enjoy that in Chicago, plus the walks are just beautiful.

Yesterday was very hot when we got home.  We had a long drive, it rained quite a bit,
 and before coming home we made a few pit stops.  Pet Smart for Sniff, Trader Joe's
 for a few treats, and the grocery store.  Overall we made good use of our time.

After any trip no matter how short or how long there is lots to do.  Catching
 up with , work, laundry, cleaning and some other chores today.  Spending time with 
Sniff and just enjoying the nice weather and views.  Last night the moon was amazing. 
 Arvid refused to get up from watching TV to look at it.  I was there enjoying it.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.  I miss my family already.  I miss Lilly Vade
 a lot.  She is as Arvid said, "a non-stop chatter box."  Love her like crazy.  Was good 
seeing them, hopefully will see Nirvana and family sometime this year, but she and 
Kimsy are enjoying so very fun times in India.  The have a very awesome guide, 
and now friend who takes them everywhere and now is a good friend as well. 

To all a very good day.  Life in Chicago is good.  Sniff is doing great.  As
 always we enjoy being here.  For me it's not exactly the same.  I am missing my Brutus,
but it is still a beautiful city with lots to do and lots to see.  When the weather behaves.

You have no idea what people are dealing with in their 
personal lives, so just be nice.  Its that simple...


Jun 20, 2016

All About Family...

Family, an anchor during rough waters.  Family is like music,
 some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song...

Not many days, but what we did have we made the most of.  We always do.

I am always so very happy to see how well Arvid gets along with everyone, and everyone 
just loves him.  Lilly Vade is always chasing him and he does not mind.  Like all
 girls, Lilly Vade, my youngest niece can talk non stop, can do anything better
 than her brothers and is into everything.  To know her is to love her.

Being around family is great, but with that also comes a lot of confusion and a lot of "noise."
I loved it.  Arvid never complains, but I knnow he likes his quiet time very much be it
 when we are with my family or his.  Another thing he likes is breakfast alone.

On this trip we stayed in the same hotel with Nina and family, and every morning we had
 breakfast together.  Was good and even Arvid did not have anything to say about it.  He liked
 it as much especially whenever he and my niece Danielle started one of their "discussions."

All of us were at Rima's for Gabby's graduation get-together.  It could not have been a 
better time.  We talked, we laughed and thhere was even soccer that Sachin and Arvid
 watched until very late into the night.  They got all the others very caught up in the game, 
and before you knew it everyone was cheering and screaming as the goals were scored.  

No home is ever complete without a pet.  Here it is no exception.  Marley is the big black
Labrador and Dexter the little Pomeranian.  Of course both dogges took a special liking to
 Arvid.  Marley followed him everywhere.  Arvid was afraid of him because he's so big.  Marley
 is big, but still a baby and just wants to play, but Arvid was not having any of it.  Dexy on the
 other hand just laid down next to Arvid, and watched the game or just slept.  Arvid liked it.

I have had a wonderful time, and I look forward to the next time together.  Next family 
gathering is in Norway.  That will also be good times to remember.  Like I said time
 spent with family is always the best of times.  There is no one like family. 

To all a very good day and an excellent start of the new work week.

Having somewhere too go is home.  Having somene to love is family.
Having both is a blessing.  Family... where life begins and love never ends...