Sep 29, 2017

Grateful ~

Never regret a day in your life.  Good days give you happiness, bad days
give you experience, worst days give lessons and best days give memories...

As Arvid and I were having lunch yesterday, my phone rang.  I looked at
it and the picture of my sister's face lit up the screen.  Yes, it was Nirvana calling
me from Puerto Rico.  My first reaction was that this was a mistake, but as I
swiped the phone and heard her voice our day just got better.  The call
was short, but I heard her voice.  She was not hysterical. She was not
crying.  She was matter of fact and she was the one reassuring me. 

I wanted to cry.  It was just the most wonderful feeling in the world to
hear her voice.  Of course I right away called my parents and let my sisters
know what was going on.  Nirvana can only manage one call out at times, and
whoever the call goes through to is the lucky one.  It was my lucky day today. 

I am in a state of pure happiness, and if that were not enough to make this day
special, she managed to find a Wifi connection.  We all texted for about five
minutes before she "disappeared"  In those 5 minutes we learnt that J
managed to make the line at one of the restaurants open, and
after a few hours on the line he was able to get a pizza.

  Yes they will be having a "hot" meal tonight.  Also I found out that
J managed to get some gas to fill in their car.  The blessings are just pouring
in right now.  Nirvana also texted a few pictures of the military planes
flying over Puerto Rico carrying supplies for everyone.  This is a
very good day for the island and definitely for our family.

The struggle is still real, but today we take comfort in knowing that
our loved one is doing "OK" under these circumstances.  It all we can
ask for and for that we are grateful.  What are you grateful for today?

A thankful heart is a happy heart.  Gratitude turns what we have into enough.
If the only prayer you every say is "thank you" that will be enough...


Sep 28, 2017

Stressful Days ~

When it rains it pours, but soon the sun shines again.
Stay positive better days are on their way...

Another night I go to sleep wondering if my sister is all right.  Does she
 have enough drinking water?  Did she have anything to eat today?  I don't 
know, I have not heard from her in two days. What do we do?  

I don't know. I go to sleep in a comfy bed. Air conditioned home and I don't 
know what she has to deal with. I think I can imagine it, but I'm sure 
none of us can. Not unless we are living it. I tried calling several 
time.  There is no cell service. No calls are going through. 

There is nothing in the island. Soon there will be no drinking water. 
 There is no way we can send her anything   The mail service is NOT working!
Our entire family is at a loss as to what to do. I am helpless!!!!

Just about everyone in the Island is facing the same devastation.  Today
 all I want is that my sister gets food.  Water.  Maybe I am being selfish.  Of course 
I want everyone to get the same, but my main concern today is for her and J.

Hope is not pretending that troubles don't exist.  It is the hope that they won't
last forever. That hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome.  I can't do
much for my sister right now, but I am hopeful that it will soon be better
for her and everyone in the island.  I have to have HOPE!

Wishing you all a good day.
And remember never take anything for granted.

Always remember that your present situation is
not your final destination.  The best is yet to come...


Sep 27, 2017

Tomorrow Is Not Promised...

It could all be gone tomorrow.  Always remember that.

As my day begins, I have running water, we have electricity and all
these "small" things taken for granted.  I pick up my phone and I check
my messages. If I want I can call my parents, sisters or anyone I like.
  My sister in Puerto Rico sadly can't do any of this right now.

It is very easy for someone to say to you, "it's all in God's hands."
Well that's all nice and dandy, but do you know what it's like to
be without water, and all basic necessities for days? Weeks?
I do not.  My sister does as do all the people in Puerto Rico.

Today they have to make a line to get some milk and bread.  When they
get to the top of the line if they are lucky and there is anything left they may
be able to take home a little food for the day.  So far she has not been lucky.

All I want is to hear my sisters voice.  I miss he as does everyone else.
Nirvana has not spoken to Kimsy, her daughter since Wednesday when Maria
struck the island.  Mother and daughter usually speak with each other everyday. 

For my sister her nightmare is not being able to comfort her child.  For the child,
hers is not being able to hear her mom tell her "I'm OK"  My nightmare
is every minute of everyday since Maria hit the island.

Another day goes by.  Progress is slow.  Have not been able to hear from
Nirvana again.  Another day not knowing how she, J and many
loved ones in the island are doing. In a way you can say we are
"lucky"  many have still not heard from their loved ones.

For us it is another day of waiting.  Waiting to know.  It's not easy.

To all a very good day.  Appreciate what you have because as I have
said before, what we take for granted someone else is praying for.

All the little things that annoyed you so much
are the things you'll miss the worst when they are gone...


Sep 26, 2017

An Island In Need ~

We rise by lifting others.  We can't help everyone,
but everyone can help someone...

This is what Puerto Ricans are facing everyday.  This is what my sister and J have
to deal with.  This is the nightmare that they all live and we can only imagine.

Puerto Rico Isle of Enchantment. 
One day it will be that again, today it is an island in need.

A persons most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge,
but a heart full of love an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help others...


Sep 25, 2017

New Week Again ~

New week, bring it on...

All ready to face another week.  Caffeine has kicked in and I feel
totally energized.  Bring it on whatever it is the day holds, I'm ready.

As it has been for the last few weeks, the fog is rolling in.  As the day
warms up the sun will be out and it's bye bye fog.  As I make my way to work,
I am pretty captivated by the scenery.  Definitely different, but always interesting.

Here at Almost Home everything is quiet.  Most of the tenants are still asleep.

As Tony and I plan for the day, I can already see signs of movement.  A few are up and
waking their dogs.  Some are on their way to work.  And so begins another week.

The fact that I have a sinus infection all over again will/can't slow me down.
All "medicated, caffeinated.  Ready to roll on this Monday.  Bring it on.

This is nothing compared to what my sister and the Island of Puerto Rico
 is facing.  My sister managed to get in a few words this morning at 3 am to
 our mom.  No reception so you grab it if and when you can.  They have
 been on a line for the last 4 hours.  Waiting to buy some bread at a CVS.
  So if you/we think we have it bad.  Take a step back and think again.

A new week rolls in.  A week full of promise, potential
and endless possibilities.  A week for you to pursue your dreams...


Sep 24, 2017

Long Day Ahead ~

Whoever said, "what you don't know can't hurt you "was an idiot"
Not knowing is the worst feeling in the world...

I don't know what it must be like for my sister in Puerto Rico and all the
 people in the island.  I can only imagine what it must feel like to wake up in
darkness and not know when and if you will have the basic necessities.

 Things we always take for granted.  We have not heard from her and the
 day is not going well for me.  Have not heard from Carmen either.  Just
makes for a day of more waiting for me.  Another long day ahead.

I have already had more than enough coffee and tea for the day.  I have
been on the outside and checked out the changes in color of the leaves
 and scenery.  Still I am restless.  I feel as if I should be doing more.

I see these pictures and I remember hearing this:
What we take for granted some else is praying for.

They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone.  The truth is,
 you knew exactly what you had.  You just didn't think you were going to lose it...


Sep 22, 2017

Hello's From Branson ~

Life isn't meant to be easy.  It's meant to be lived.
Sometimes happy, other times rough.  But with every up and
down you learn lessons that make you strong...

After all, Branson does have pretty sights.  I love passing by this Hollywood Wax Museum. 
Hollywood Wax Museum is a landmark on Highway 76 in Branson, Missouri,
the live entertainment capital of the Midwest and the only wax
museum in the country devoted entirely to celebrity figures.

A recent multi-million dollar renovation has brought more star power and
dynamic style to the attraction, located in the Hollywood Entertainment Center
on the strip. Branson visitors can now get close to some of the most famous
people in show business and step right into the spotlight with icons
of the silver screen, recreated so faithfully that you'd swear they
are were alive. Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson MO houses
tons of uncanny replicas of your favorite movie and TV stars.

Little by little we are hoping to see more of what's in Branson.  Like the
Branson Showboat.  Arvid and I have tickets to go on it. Enjoy the
evening cruise, the dinner and show that comes with it.

I don't feel good.  Not knowing what's happening with my sister does not make
me want to do much.  Difficult to concentrate.  Happy she is all right, but really
want to talk to her.  Hear her voice.  I need reassuring and only she can do it.

The so called cooler days are gone.  It is back to full blown summer in Branson.
Sunny days are back with cooler evenings.  Not sure it can get any better than this right now.
  Sniff Sniff is into chasing a string these days.  He has got me so trained.  As soon
as I walk into the house he will let me know what he wants.  These days it's not food first. 
It's playtime first, second and always for him.  I love our Sniff Sniff.

Goodbye Summer.  Hello Fall.
Everyone should take time to sit and watch the leaves change color.

Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open
and leave you in pieces.  Remembering is easy. It's forgetting that's hard.


Sep 21, 2017

Hoping For A Better Day ~

No matter how old I get, I always want my mom when I don't feel good...

I'm guessing it's just a sinus headache, but boy I have had it since Sunday
and nothing seems to work.  I have tried a few sinus medicines, but the headache
still persists.  Feels like my left eye will soon pop out of my face. 

Yup, that's how bad it is.  Even so, there is no time to stay home and take
the day off.  Have to go to work and do what has to be done.  Right now
wish I was a little girl once again and mom and dad were there to take
care of me and tell me everything is going to be all right.

Our lives have gotten so busy we hardly can afford to not feel well,
much less take time off.  I know that I can take the day off if I wish,
but I feel guilty about that.  Guess we were raised to be extra
responsible.  Good and sometimes not so good.

I see the weather changing.  I feel it as well.  Cooler in the mornings with fog
rolling in.  Dark skies with a bit of rain.  That how it has been the last few days.
  The good part though is that the sun comes out everyday and warms us up.
  Feels really good right now.  No humidity, but I believe there is something
in the air making allergies kick in.  Take the good with the not so good.

Rima and family are settled in.  As she says, "California just feels like home."
They are all happy.  The kids are in school and life continues for everyone.

Here in Branson we are doing good.  Business is great, Arvid, Sniff
and I have each other and for that we are grateful.  We do miss some of the
lifestyle we had before, but I know one day we will be enjoying it again. 

Puerto Rico, my once home and now home to my sister and family
 is destroyed. The devastation is more than anyone can imagine. For me
devastation was hearing my sister crying as she said to me,
"I lost everything.  The island is destroyed."

This was yesterday after Hurricane Maria devastated then.  They are
 without water and electricity.  This can be anywhere from 4-8 months in
some parts of the island.  As of yesterday we have not heard from her.
Ask me how we feel.  Ask us what is going through our minds.

We know they are alive.  Grateful for that, but I can't get over how broken
down she was.  Nirvana is strong, and everyone is allowed a little
 weakness, but as the new day begins, I know my sister.  She
is a fighter like all of us.  She is probably helping the ones less
 fortunate right now. I want to be there with her.  For her.

For now wishing everyone a good day and keep making memories.
Be grateful that you were not affected by all these natural disasters, and if
you can find t in your heart to help in any way the do it.  There
 are so many that will be living a nightmare for years to come.

To all my friends and family in Puerto Rico.  It is only you and you alone
that knows what you are going through.  I can say how devastated I am, and I am.
But you are living the devastation and the horror.  You know what it is to
wake up to water in in homes and watch everything you own in ruins.

 I can only imagine it and it's horrible.  You live it.  I am so relieved my sister
 and loved ones are safe.  Yes, I am selfish right now.  All my focus is
 on the ones I love, but I know there are millions as well who are so
 less fortunate.  For today I just want to be grateful that my
sister and loved ones are safe.  The island is destroyed,
 Puerto Ricans are the people with the most heart in them.
Together they will overcome this and they will become stronger.

Never give up no matter how much
"you gotta be freakin' kidding me life throws at you"...


Sep 20, 2017

Waiting For The Storm To Pass...

Millions of lives were changed in a day by a cruel and wasteful storm...

At 4:20 this morning my sister's last text to us was, "now it's hitting us. 
 May not be able to text for a while.  Power has been gone since 
2 am and water has been shut off since yesterday."

Our parents in North Carolina have been awake.  For a mother this is
 terrifying knowing her child and grandson are in an island right now where
 Hurricane Maria is wrecking havoc to any and everything in its path.
 Including her daughter and grandson.  No sleep for anyone.

My sister in Florida is awake as are the ones in Vermont and
 California as well.  There is absolutely nothing we can do right now, 
but knowing that all of us are "together" with Nirvan and JC makes for
 a little comfort.  Right now we are all awake.  Sipping on coffee and waiting.

Even Sniff Sniff who was all curled up again me on the bed did not hesitate
 to wake up as I left the bedroom.  Arvid also woke up, but he said to me 
"it's the middle of the night.  Come back to bed."I can't.  I can't sleep. 

 Like the rest of my family we are worried.  Worried about what
 is happening  right now in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.
  Worried for Nirvana and JC and all the people in PR.

Having being raised in Puerto Rico and living in Florida, hurricanes
 are very familiar.  You can never take it too lightly.  It's path is
 usually unpredictable.  Terrible thing about Maria is that its path
 is NOT unpredictable.  Puerto Rico is in for a direct hit.

As of right now my sister is being battered by the storm.  She and J are
in their condo.  The neighborhood where her house is has been hit HARD!
 The destruction as she just told us is way too much to calculate right now.  When daylight
comes my sister's house may no longer be standing.  Please God, protect them and everyone.

Courage doesn't mean you don't get afraid.
Courage means you don't let fear stop you...


Sep 18, 2017

A New Day Begins ~

Look for something positive each day,
even if some days you have to look a little harder...

A little day dreaming never hurt anyone.  Right now I am day dreaming 
about the ocean, the feel of the sand beneath my feet, a fancy drink with an
 umbrella and not a care in the world.  Ahh, heaven right now.  For the next
 few minutes I will be escaping to some tropical paradise with Arvid.

What would be perfect right now is my walk on the beach.  Missing that very
 much this minute, but I know that as soon as I leave home a busy  day
 awaits us both, and before you know it things begin and the day runs
 away from us.  Not bad at all.  Never a moment to dwell on
 much nor to be bored.  Just what we've always wanted.

Another hurricane is on it way.  Once again heading to Puerto Rico.
Again hoping for the best and wishing it diverts from my loved ones.

Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude
is going to determine how you're going to live your life...


Sep 17, 2017

Peaceful Day ~

I believe in the person I want to become...

Today looks like the start of fall.  As I look out the window, the leaves
 are falling, the sky is dark, and it just looks like a day where all one wants
 to do is stay in, bundle up a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  
Who knows maybe that's what I will end up doing.

Sniff is already bundled up and napping on my desk.  He has chased
 butterflies and a few other insects for the morning.  He is inside and the
 "bugs" on the outside.  This little exercise has worn hi out.  At least for now.

Not feeling that great today.  Don't know the exact reason, but I'm 
sure as the day goes on it will get better.  Arvid's mom is still in the hospital,
  but not ICU.  She's doing much better and hopefully will be able to
 return back to her home very soon.  Always hoping for the best.

Our Sunday is looking to be another very relaxing day.  As always soccer in the 
morning for Arvid, and then a little this and a little that.  Makes for a good day.

Wishing everyone a quiet and peaceful day.

Wake up with the determination to go to bed with satisfaction...


Sep 15, 2017

Fall Is In The Air ~

Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall...

I can feel fall in the air.  Cool fresh air.  I'm really liking it. 
Looking forward to seeing the change of colors.  From what I know
and have seen, it will be a sight to behold.  Not something we experience
in Fort Lauderdale, so while we can, I am going to really enjoy it.

As Hurricane Irma left Florida, millions have been without power.
We included.  Not being there right now during the hurricane season is good,
but there is clean up to be done in the unit.  We are fortunate to have Liliana.
No matter what, she is a true friend.  I know I can depend on her.
Arvid was the one who said to me, "call Liliana."

Another week goes by.  As the weekend approaches cooler air is moving in.
Mornings are beautiful  Crisp with zero humidity throughout the day.

The pool at Almost Home is closed for this year.  It's only September,
but already all the stores are geared towards Halloween.  Not sure
if we at Almost Home will have much of a Halloween thing
going on, but definitely we will for Thanksgiving.

It coming.  Comfy sweaters, warm drinks and pretty colors.
I can feel it.  I can see it.  Wishing you all a great start of the weekend.

You're not going to master the rest of your life in one day.
Just relax.  Master the day.  Then just keep doing that every day...


Sep 14, 2017

Thursday ~

Time is just flying by.  We take phots as
a return ticket to a moment that is otherwise gone...

Pool season is over here at Almost Home.  For the few months
that it was opened everyone enjoyed.  Until next year.

The weekend is looking to be very warm, but since it cools off a lot
in the evenings no one has been using the pool this last week. 
Made my decision to shut it down easier.

Another beautiful day here in Branson.

Happy Thursday all.  Have no clue where the week has gone by.
It sure is good to be busy.  Makes for happy days and a feeling of accomplishment.

Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters...


Sep 13, 2017

Some Of Branson ~

Your imagination is your preview of life's coming attractions...

Chateau on the Lake  Yes, we do have some pretty spots not far from us.

Something about the water.  Makes one forget about everything,
 at least for a while.  Peaceful, serene, calming.  Just what we like.

It is a great spot to catch the sunset.

The views are good, but our favorite Sunday spot still is at The Landings.

Here is to good times always.

No matter where we are, we try to make the most of it. 
Having a good time and enjoying life .

Happy day to all.  The older I get the more relaxed I am.

Live life fully while you're here. 
Experience everything...


Sep 11, 2017

Sights ~ Mondays ~ Grateful ~

One small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day...

At nights the Strip is pretty.  

Not sure what was his deal, but this gentleman seemed quite content
 carrying the cross on his shoulder.  It was not a full moon night either.  
Everyone likes what they like.This guy is smart.  His cross has wheels.  

hAs the new week begins, hope everyone is doing good.  Happy
that Hurricane Irma is fading away.  The damages to where friends
and families are were not as devastating as predicted.  Other places have
not been as fortunate.  Always grateful for the little things in life,
which are actually the things that matter.  Happy Monday.

Start each day with a grateful heart.
A thankful heart is a happy heart...