Mar 30, 2017


Well it's official.  The weather has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder...

Yesterday was just a very strange kind of day.  Cold, wet, dark, gloomy
 and windy.  Strange because just the day before, it was warm and sunny.
  Once again I am either getting the cold or allergies.  Sniffles and
 everything else combining to make for pure misery.

  Yeah was not a great day as far as the weather goes.  Work wise, it's just 
about always good.  I really enjoy the people, and everyday it's something
 else that you learn.  The unexpected seems to always pop up.  I love it.

  Arvid has been in trade meetings since Tuesday and he also runs to his hotel 
in between and after the meetings.  His days are much longer than mine.  
Even though Arvid has someone always there at the office, and on call 
he Arvid just can't seem to get away.  He loves it as well.  I have my
 Tony and together we handle it just fine at my place.

Arvid being in meetings gave me time alone to go and have lunch at my 
Indian restaurant.  I love Indian food.  Hmm.. must be because I AM Indian and I 
grew up with it.  My favorite food of all times.  Spicy, flavorful and definitely 
never boring nor bland.  So unlike the food Arvid grew up with.  

No offense to my Norwegian friends, but Norwegian food is boring, bland 
and tasteless.  Always exceptions.  I had my usual.  Chicken Tikka Masala.  
Garlic Naan.  Vegetable Samosas.  Can't wait to go there again. 

Sniff is doing much better with the sniffles.  He's almost like new again.
  Did not like seeing him so under the weather.  Now he runs, hides,
 plays and gets into trouble.  That's more like the "old" Sniff.

Not a very warm day today.  No sunshine in the picture as of now.
Does not matter.  I make my own sunshine and another interesting day awaits
 me at work.  I help to take care of one of the tenants kitty and that is always a
 fun thing.  I go in 2 times a day to her room, clean Kitty's litter, sweep the floor
 and play with Kitty.  Yes the cat's name is Kitty and I love Kitty as well.

Today our youngest granddaughter celebrates her 2nd birthday.
Happy birthday Vanessa.  Grandma and Grandpa love you very much.  
You and you sister Aleah make us happy.  Wish we could have been there 
with you to hold you, hug you and give you lots of kisses.  Just know
 we are sending all our love to you and Aleah.  Today and everyday.

Granddaughters are like sugar. Too much of them will make the taste of life 
even better, but too little of them will make life tasteless. You make 
our life worth living. Happy Birthday, Vanessa.

To all a good day.  Remember stay humble, work hard, be kind.

We could all take a lesson from the weather.  
It pays no attention to criticism....


Mar 29, 2017

After All This Time..I Still Miss You...A LOT!

I am a strong person, but every now and then I need someone to take
 my hand and say everything is going to be all right...

Nothing can change the way I feel today.  Just one of those days where missing Brutus 
is taking up a lot of my day.  It comes and goes in waves.  Some days are harder.

I saw this grey and white kitty that looks just like Shadow.  Found out his name is also
 Shadow.  I think that spiraled me down.  It will be OK, but today I am feeling sad.

Grief as you know is a walk you do alone.  Others can be there and listen.
But you will walk alone down your own path, your own pace, with your sheared 
off pain, your raw wounds, your denial, anger and bitter loss.  You'll come to your
 own peace, hopefully... but it will be on your own, in your own time.

Some days are going to be harder than others, but you 
must remember to keep the hope in your heart always...


Mar 28, 2017

We Learn As We Go...

View life as a continuous learning experience...

Not to toot our own horn, but why not!?  When we became owners of
two hotels, we had no clue what we were getting in to.  Never did we do something
 similar, but we looked at it as another challenge.  A change and we went for it.

Today in less than 5 months Arvid and I have learnt a LOT!  There is still so
 much to do, but together we seem to be handling it pretty well.  When we took over 
the hotels, mine, Almost Home Lodge was pretty much up and running and doing good.

Arvid's 76 Inn was really a start up project.  My hotel has never seen below 90% 
occupancy even though January, February and the first 2 weeks of March
 were really hard on all the tenants.  Today my hotel is at a full 100%
 occupancy.  Arvid's is at a staggering 95% full occupancy.  

Running a hotel has taken up quite a lot of our time.  No more "social" life
right now.  Our days of vacations are over for now.  Norway that used to be a 3 week 
trip has now been reduced to one week and the way it goes only Arvid will be going.
No longer can both of us travel at the same time.  One has to stay back and run the hotels.

We choose to do this so there is no complaining.  Just stating facts and the way 
it will be.  Our goal is to make it back to Florida one day, but in the 
meantime we are liking this new venture very much.  We have met 
interesting people and are learning so much everyday.

As they say, learning is experience.  Everything else is just information.

Knowledge comes from learning.  Experience comes from living.
A life without problems is like a school without lessons.  Keep doing your thing...


Mar 27, 2017

Monday ~ Here We Go Again ~

Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.  Happy Monday everyone...

As Monday begins, there is a;ways so much to do.  Our weekends are usually busy 
with runs to Home Depot, Lowe's, Menard's and Walmart.  Stocking up for 
the hotels.  Between Arvid's manager. maintenance man and mine, we get a list of 
things they want.  When it's an emergency both property managers just dip 
into the petty cash fund and get what's needed.  We do the bigger stuff.

Our Sunday was pretty hectic.  We are learning to always expect the unexpected.
So far we have not been disappointed.  Arvid and I went in to his hotel for a
 few hours.  Always something to do.  Mine runs a little more smoothly.  

Truth is Arvid is restless so he uses any excuse to go to "work"  Loves to stay busy.
  Many a time I will go with him, but there are times when I like my Sundays 
to be just quiet and relaxed.  Not Arvid.  He loves movement.

Yesterday was not quiet.  We spent quite some hours at Arvid's hotel, and then
we had to make a fast run over to mine.  Had a customer wanting a room.  After that it
 was a little outing to the Tanger Outlets in search for shoes.  This time for Arvid.

Good morning everyone.  Have a great Monday and good start of the new week.
Remember your day will go the way the corners of your mouth turn.

Train your mind to see the good in everything.
Let the rain wash away all the pain of yesterday...


Mar 26, 2017

~ Sunday Vibes ~

I try to take it one day at a time
But sometimes several days attach me at once...

Sniff is still not feeling so good.  Yesterday I called the vet to see if I can take him
 in again and find out why he seems to have the non stop sneezing.  I was told the doctor 
was not in today.  No vets are open on Sunday, not even for emergencies, and there 
is no 24 hour animal hospital  No appointments were available until late Tuesday.  

There and then I just started crying.  I wanted to go back home.  The thought of 
something happening to Sniff and not being able to take him to a doctor 
was more than I wanted to handle then.  Part of it could have been the fact that 
I was awake from 1:30 am trying to calm  him down and to be with him
 while he was sneezing.  He sneezed on an off for over 3 hours.  

He was exhausted and every time he tried to lay and sleep he started to sneeze again.  
Right now i am very frustrated and ready to go home.  I went to the pharmacy to see
 if there was anything I could give him over the counter that would help a little.

  To my surprise the pharmacist said children's liquid Benadryl was 
pretty good and that many a cats, dogs have used it.  Gave him some. 
 He sneezed but eventually he fell sound asleep.

It rained more or less all day yesterday.  Work was pretty hectic.  Nothing unusual.
Arvid came home for lunch, but had to go back to his hotel.  He was there until 
close to 7 in the evening.  On Saturdays we usually try to come home earlier.  

Usually, I can.  Then I  make lunch at home, but many a times Arvid has to go back.
  Rarely do we have much time together anymore.  When we started this venture we
 knew that our time will be occupied 100% by the hotel business.  So far it as.

To all a good day.  Sunday.  Not what it used to be, but it is still good.  Today I am 
very tired.  All I want to do is stay in and just for once not have to run around and do 
shopping for the hotels.  Will see how it goes.  Spring is here but it sure does not feel that way.

Good morning everyone.  Never forget that attitude is a little 
thing that makes a big difference.  ~ Happy Sunday ~

Don't wait for someone to bring you flowers.  Plant your own garden 
and decorate your own soul.  Happy girls are the prettiest...


Mar 25, 2017

So So Saturday ~

You attract the energy that you give off.  Spread good vibes.
Think positively.  Enjoy life...

Finally!!! Arvid has told his family about us owning a hotel.  Arvid likes secrets 
and surprises.  Me not so much especially not when it comes to such a big change in 
our lives.  My family knew about it and I was happy because then I was able to 
share my experiences with them.  They laughed about many of the things 
and many they have been a little concerned about, but over all it is 
nice at the end of the day to be able to talk to them about it. 
 Makes for happier times.  Glad the "secret" is finally out!

My family like I said knew as did many of my friends and some relatives.  Branson 
has still been experiencing strange temperature changes.  Last night we had 
quite some rain. And still raining this morning.  Always good  I guess. 

Washes away all the dirt and gunk from everywhere.  Arvid's daughter and her boyfriend
 have visited us.  Our first official visitors since we have moved.  It was very nice
 and we had a good time the 4 of us.  Not exactly sure Branson is their favorite 
destination, but even so they made the trip and that's what counts.
For the next few years when they come to Fort Lauderdale in the winter it is not a 
sure thing that we will be able to visit them.  Sad, but the hotel business is 
now what takes up most of our time.  Unfortunately this year I will most
 likely not make it to Norway.  I will not see Aleah and Vanessa and
 that bothers me.  They will not know me and that makes me sad.

I am struggling here to find some time to get away to my niece's graduation,
 and to my cousins wedding in Canada.  Definitely want to go and
 definitely will be doing everything possible to go.

Saturday is looking wet.  Sniff is sneezing non-stop and of course I am worried. 
 All the things that happened to Brutus makes me extremely (maybe too much) protective.
  We now are away from him so much and that also is something that right now
 will add to my anxiety.  Not as easy to get an appointment to a vet 
here as it was in Florida.  Next available is next Wednesday.

To all a good day.  Have an awesome Saturday and a fabulous weekend.

Good vibes only.  Be simple, honest and more real...


Mar 23, 2017

Move To Branson, Missouri

Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances,finding happiness, 
learning from the past, and realizing everything changes...

When Brutus died my world shattered.  It is still not the same and I don't know if it ever
 will be, yes we have a good life and all is good in our world, but Brutus took my heart.  
Then came Shadow. For the short time he was with us life was busy. He kept us on our toes.
  Then he also died. It's a miracle I did not go insane.  Enter Sniff and life continues.

When we went to Chicago last summer it was not the same without Brutus. I love 
that city, but the 4 months we stayed there were just not the same.  I told Arvid I 
wanted a change. We both actually wanted a change.  Little did we know.

Arvid is a trader.  One of his trade meetings brought us to Branson, MO last summer. 
 We drove from Chicago to Branson and while Arvid traded I checked out the city.  On 
our last day in Branson Arvid says to me, "let's go check out some hotels."  I'm always
 up for everything so we went, saw them and then we headed back home to Chicago.

Once we got to Chicago we did a lot of research on hotels in Branson.  Both him and I
 were curious; so curious that we made another trip to Branson to meet with different 
hotel owners.  We looked at each other and Arvid said to me, "what do you think?" 
 I said, " I am ready for a change.  Brutus' death has left me too devastated and 
I want to do something that will keep me busy."  Little did I know.

Busy we are.  We became the owner of 2 hotels here in Branson.  We got back home
 to Chicago and the next thing I knew is Arvid was busy looking for a house for us.
  Before you knew it we had bought a house in Branson sight unseen.

We left Chicago the first week of October.  We left Florida November 7th with our car 
packed to the brim headed to start a new life in Branson.   Sniff was still in Florida. 
 We did not close on the house until November 10th.  I went back to Florida on the 17
 of November and brought him to his new home. We were back in Branson on the 19th. 

 The change Arvid and I wanted was real.  Not knowing anything about running a hotel 
we moved into it head on.  Little by little we picked up what we needed and though
 errors and omissions we learnt to run a hotel. Everyday is a learning process.

The first weeks we worked almost 7 days a week.  24/7. There was and there still is so much
to learn.  By the time we get home both Arvid and I are bone tired.  The work did not
 end there.  At home we had to do do the book keeping, the ordering and paperwork.  
We still do, but now it's "easier"  We have learnt a lot in almost 4 months.

Our life changed dramatically and for that I was grateful. Happy to be busy. To
 not have to think about anything.  Yes it worked great, but nothing kept Brutus
 far from me, but being busy is good therapy.  Better than anything I know.

Working at the hotel I have met amazing people.  People who may not have a much as
 many others, but whose hearts are bigger than most people I know.  People who have
 taught me that in life there is so much more than just waiting for things to happen.

 I learnt that you have to sometimes crash and burn in order to succeed.  That I 
always knew.  I know that as many times as I have a setback I will always bounce
 back.  Or at least I will do my best to.  Both Arvid and I run a hotel each.

We don't have much time these days for much.  Our days are filled with making
sure everything works, everyone is happy and always making sure that each day we
 learn a little more.  We maintain a safe, friendly and clean place.  We make sure
 everyone is behaving and we strive to meet every ones needs as much as possible 
and in a timely fashion.  No one said it was going to be easy.  At the same
 time no one told us how much we would enjoy doing what we do.

The cold weather did not stop us.  The first 2 months we were so busy we hardly noticed
 the cold.  We felt it, but we never had time enough to let it interfere in our work.  
Today we have managed to have Sundays off.  Mostly.  There are some 
days we have to go in.  Running a hotel is not a 9-5 job.  

Both places have managers on site, but even so we do get the calls at night when
 there is something neither of the 2 feel comfortable handling.  Since moving here 
Arvid has lost probably over 10 pounds.  He never stops.  Unfortunately, can't say 
the same for me.  Even though I am also constantly on the move, Arvid is 
a force all by himself.  He always has to be a part of everything.

I will be honest.  If Brutus had not died we would have never moved to Branson.
That's how much his death affected us.  Today I will admit that the move to Branson
definitely has been helpful.  It keeps me so busy that I rarely have time to dwell too much. 
 Nights are different.  If I'm not totally exhausted and have fallen asleep, I let my mind roam a little.

I miss my Brutus more than anyone would imagine.  When we think of Shadow it
hurts too much.  On the other hand, Sniff is just precious.  He makes everyday so very good.
The one thing I don't like about being so busy is that Sniff is left alone for many hours 
every day.  I do make up for it at all times possible.  He loves being brushed, 
played with and both Arvid and I do do that a lot.  Mostly I do.

For the next 5 to 10 years Branson is home.

Life for us has definitely changed.  I like being busy.  I love all the people I have
around me and so does Arvid.  We both agree that we have found the right
 thing to do.  As new ventures go this is probably the biggest challenge
we have  undertaken as a couple.  There is no other person in the world I
would do this with other than Arvid.  Together we are a good team.

You can do what I cannot do.  I can do what you cannot do.Together we can do
 great things.  Teamwork alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much...


Mar 22, 2017

First Time Vet Visit ~ In Branson ~

Happy are those who take life day by day, complain very little, and are 
thankful for the little things in life.  Being happy never goes out of style...

Getting Sniff into the carrier is the worst part of it all.  Both Arvid and I have to force
 him in.  I hold one end and Arvid the other and we just have to push Sniff in. 
 He hates the carrier more than usual.  We think he had a bad "childhood"
 and was forced to live for long periods in the carrier.

Once in Sniff never cried.  Of course the vet and assistants fell in love with him.
Sniff is after all a beautiful boy.  He was scared, but he never cried.  When the 
doctor was not probing him he just sat by me and wanted to be held.

The doctor did say he would be tired, but seeing him so lethargic was so not him.
Even when I tried to brush him he was too tired and just did not want to move.
All Sniff did for the rest of the day was sleep on and off.  He did not
 even want his foodies.  Not that is definitely NOT like him.  
Today he should be back to his "normal" self.

Today it is a little cold.  Tomorrow should be back to nicer temperatures.
Sniff still not his usual self as yet, but I know he will be perking up soon enough.
I don't like to see him so "depressed"  I want my little chatter boy back soon.

When someone told me I lived in a fantasy land,
 I nearly fell off my unicorn...


Mar 21, 2017

Be Happy ~

Embrace the day.  Life is not the way it is supposed to be.
It is the way it is.  The way you cope with it is what makes the difference...

Today I feel good.  Had a very productive day yesterday and it was very sunny and warm.
It was warmer that Fort Lauderdale and that at this time of the year is quite impressive.

Today is also expected to be a nice day.  Not as warm as yesterday, but definitely
you can feel spring in the air.  Unfortunately, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will 
be cooler and if the predictions are correct, we will have rain.  Not liking that 
especially since we will be having our first set of company visiting.

Another busy day ahead.  Today Sniff goes to the vet for his yearly check-up.
Fingers crossed that it will only be good news.  Sniff is healthy and I want him to stay healthy.

Hello everyone.  Make today a happy day.  My sister Rima sure is making the 
most of her days in Costa Rica.  Relax, unwind and be merry as she would say.

There are only two days in a year that nothing can be done. 
 One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today 
is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live...


Mar 20, 2017

Hello Spring ~

Spring is Nature's way of saying let's party.
Goodbye winter..Hello Spring...

First day of Spring and definitely it is feeling and looking like Spring today
 in Branson.  Weather is going to be sunny and warm, the birds are 
out torturing Sniff and the flowers are blooming.  I see the grass
 starting to grow again on our backyard, and the front. 

 Definitely not looking forward to doing yard work, but sure am loving the greens,
 the pinks, whites and all the colors of the blooms coming up.  Allergies!!!  
Not happy about that because can feel the sniffles, itchy eyes
 and more as well.  Spring!  Love it!  Yay!

They say if you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually
 renewing itself, you can't help but learn.  Yes, everyday I am learning a little 
more.  Learning to deal with what is not so good and enjoying what life 
have given us and always being grateful for what we have and 
for the chance to wake up and enjoy another day.  

Life throws at us many a not so good deal, but how we deal with it is what defines us.
  I don't always manage to deal with it in the best possible way, but I learn to deal with it. 
 Through stumbling blocks I pick myself up and even if I fall again I get 
up and continue.  It's a step by step day for me for many. 

Good morning everyone.  My sister Rima is currently relaxing in Costa Rica on
 a Yoga retreat way up in the Rainforest  Like all of us, she has earned a 
much needed vacation.  For the next week it is relaxation 
and pampering for her in her Rainforest Resort.

You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.
Begin each day with a little courage, a little curiosity, and a little step in your spring...


Mar 19, 2017

Hello New Day ~

Some days you just have to create your own sunshine.
It's good to have a good day.  Hello Spring...

Friday was a pretty gloomy looking day, but at least it was not as cold as the last 
few days.  A little rain but that was also OK.  The trees need to be watered and the 
flowers need nourishment.  As Fridays go, very different from what 
we used to do back in Florida. Still it was a good day.

  These days it's just staying busy, doing errands then going home and doing more "work" 
 Yes all is good here in Branson.  Looking forward to see what Spring brings us.
  I want to think that winter is over, but every time we get comfy we are hit
 with a new cold spell.  Today is warm so a good start already.

Arvid does what Arvid does best.  He is always staying busy running from place to place. 
 The man is happy and always excited.  Can't keep a good man down.  He says he eats 
better here and has tried more foods than ever in his life.  Maybe he is right.  
In Branson Mexican food is now a favorite.  That would not be him back in Florida, 
but here he "loves" it.  They see him at his favorite Mexican  place and already knows 
what he will be having.  A man of habit and routines.  Always sticks to the same.

Everyday I meet more and more people.  I am starting to get to know my way around 
town a little better, and do not have to use the GPS as much as I did.  Arvid happy 
about that! When the day is gloomy I try to make it better by having a favorite 
of mine.  Alaskan Snow Crabs.  Always a winner.  Everyone who knows
 me knows that food cheers me up and snow crabs make me happy.

Sunday.. not so "quiet" as usual.  Few things to do and places to run to, 
but the fact that it is a warm day makes everything better.

To all a very good day and may you always live in interesting times ~

Sunshine and a smile is my favorite accessory.
No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn...


Mar 17, 2017

Fun Days~

Quiet people have the loudest minds...

My day yesterday was busy.  Aside from what i had to do, I also helped a few people
 out with their kitties.  Pictured below is Bozo and I.  Bozo is super friendly, 
and I have seen him so many times that he already knows me and 
meows for attention. Probably because I bring treats with me.

The weather has still not warmed up, but at least it was not freezing yesterday.
I was even able to walk out without a jacket.  I did have 3 layers under so 
maybe that helped quite a bit.  Sniff has been going crazy bird watching.

This wheel came from Chicago and it is a big attraction in Branson.  Arvid and 
I went out to lunch yesterday, and the restaurant is right across from the
 wheel.  I just can't not take a picture of it.  Food by the way was good. 
 Arvid loves his pork chops there.  Me I always stick to chicken.

In Virginia, Rima's kids had a snow day.  Lilly Vade got comfy with her doggie Marley.
Seems as if Marley was colder than Lilly was.  Marley is a big baby after all.
My sister Rima is soon off to Costa Rica's Rainforest for and entire week.

Today everyone is Irish ~  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all.
As the Irish would say: may your troubles be less and you blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness comes through your door.

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well...