Thursday, May 31, 2007
Har också fått ett löpande uppdrag av en av mina regelbundna kunder att översätta material för en stor marknadsundersökning som en av datorjättarna just utfört i Sverige. DET är mer min grej!
Jag vet inte vad det är, men jag tror att "juridikområdet" måste sitta nära "matematikområdet" i hjärnan, jag kan verkligen inte med matte...
Men språk och marknadsföring är kul!
De har lovat att det nog, kanske, troligen blir regn i morgon. Jag kan knappt fatta hur torrt det är, de lilla konstgjorda sjöarna är bra tomma nu och det knastrar i gräset ute på gräsmattan... I morse luktade det rök igen från någon brand. Vi behöver regn! Huga...
Igår kväll ville jag rensa lite på kontoret så jag släpade in resväskorna som stod där till stora sovrummet. Tanken var att jag skulle lägga ner grejjer som ska med men som inte ska användas innan resan, typ alla presenter. Oj! Presenterna tog upp en hel resväska! Och jag har inte handlat klart ännu! Jag får nog gå förbi Goodwill och se om de har en liten resväska till eller kanske en stor en att ersätta den lilla. Annars får vi ju knappt plats med alla grejjer! Fast det blir ju mycket rum på vägen hem för alla svenska saker som ska inhandlas och tas med tillbala... he, he...
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Another fun idea (and equally reversible, just wet and remove) are Wallies. They are pretty much little decorations made out of pre-pasted wall paper like material, with a vinyl layer so they can be cleaned, but they are easily removed. They come in all kinds of shapes and forms, you can buy them through the manufacturer or as I did, a lot cheaper on eBay. If you search for wallies you will find all kinds of vendors. They even have these in Sweden now, I noticed.
I have even gotten a Wallie mural in our master bath, so the husband has something nice to look at when he takes a leak ;-)!
Here are the Wallies I have at home:
Palm trees in the guest bath
Home decorating is fun, but I am not a nick-knack kind of person, so I tend to go light on decor. But this might give you an idea or two!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
You can order pretty much any font, size and color you want. The vinyl decoration is then applied to the wall and can easily just be peeled off whenever you like.
These are the two Swedish proverbs I have in my house. Americans can usually guess the first, but the second one they have no idea what it says!
Your Average American Name Is...
Your Scandinavian Name is:
You Are 55% Normal
While some of your behavior is quite normal...
Other things you do are downright strange
You've got a little of your freak going on
But you mostly keep your weirdness to yourself
This I already suspected:
Your Vote Score: 26% Republican, 74% Democrat
While you don't always agree with the Democrat party, it's a pretty good match for you.
Do be sure to research each candidate. A liberal Republican or independent candidate might fit you better at times.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
We just spent the morning doing chores. I figured the best way to tackle things was to jump out of bed and get going right away. It is not even noon and I managed to cook huge American breakfast (no lunch today), do 4 loads of laundry, clean the kitchen, fill up the dishwasher, clean the living room, fold laundry and hang it all away. K change the oil in my car and mowed the yard, and he is now in the garage trying to organize a few large items (he just now put the Christmas tree in its box!)
After a quick shower we will go to that old fashioned outdoor Ice Cream Social I mentioned before. Then we need to go by Publix to get groceries. We are planning on doing a simple BBQ today and then a little bit more elaborate tomorrow. This evening we might grab S's bike and go to the Heritage Harbour Park for a long leisurely walk around the bog lake again. She never really shows much interest in biking, tricycle or regular, so she needs some practice. I practically lived on my bikes when I was a kid!
Even though the beaches will probably be crowded tomorrow, it being Memorial Day and all, we will probably make our way out to Anna Maria Island or Longboat Key.
I found a great recipe for Key Lime Pie with meringue topping, so I will bake that this afternoon. We might have enough key limes on our three for it. Otherwise I will buy a bag. Key limes are quite different than regular limes, They are much smaller and have a sweeter taste. Home made key lime pie taste so much better than store bought, they can't even compare! They do require at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving, so I have to make it today if we want it tomorrow...
Better go for now. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
[ ] Jag är kortare än 160cm. (173 cm)
[x] Ibland tycker jag att jag är ful.
[ ] Jag blir lätt brun.
[ ] Jag skulle vilja att mitt hår var av en annan färg.
[x] Jag har vänner som aldrig har sett min naturliga hårfärg.
[ ] Jag har en tatuering.
[x] Jag är osäker över mitt utseende.
[ ] Jag har haft tandställning.
[x] Jag har glasögon/linser.
[ ] Jag skulle göra en plastikoperation om det var ofarligt och gratis.
[x] En helt okänd person har sagt att jag är snygg.
[x] Jag har mer än två piercingar.
[ ] Jag har piercingar på andra ställen än i öronen.
[x] Jag har fräknar.
[x] Jag har svurit åt mina föräldrar.
[x] Jag har rymt hemifrån.
[ ] Jag har blivit utslängd hemifrån.
[ ] Mina biologiska föräldrar är ihop. (Båda är döda, sedan 1975 och 2004).
[ ] Jag har ett syskon som är under ett år gammal. (Halvsyster som är 10 år äldre).
[ ] Jag vill ha barn nån dag.
[x] Jag har barn. (En dotter född 2003).
[x] Jag har mist ett barn. (Missfall i 6e veckan)
[ ] Jag studerar.
[x] Jag jobbar.
[ ] Jag har somnat i skolan/jobbet.
[x] Jag har missat mer än en vecka av skolan.
[x] Jag har stulit någonting från min skola/arbetsplats.
[ ] Jag har fått sparken.
[ ] Jag har sagt "lol" i en riktig diskussion.
[x] Jag börjar ännu gråta av Disneyfilmer.
[x] Jag har kissat på mig av skratt.
[x] Jag har fört konstiga grisljud när jag skrattat.
[x] Jag har gråtit av skratt.
[x ] Jag har limmat fast min hand i något.
[x] Jag har skrattat tills någon form av dricka har kommit ut ur näsan.
[x ] Mina byxor har gått sönder på en offentlig plats.
[ ] Jag föddes med en sjukdom.
[ ] Jag har fått stygn på ett öppet sår.
[x ] Jag har brutit ett ben.
[ ] Mina tonsiller har tagits bort.
[ ] Jag har suttit hos läkaren med en vän.
[x] Mina visdomständer har tagits bort.
[x ] Jag har genomgått en allvarlig operation.
[x] Jag har haft vattkoppor.
[ ] Jag har haft/har astma.
[x] Jag har kört mer än 300km på en dag.
[x] Jag har flugit.
[ ] Jag har varit i Ryssland.
[ ] Jag har varit i Kina.
[ ] Jag har varit på Golfen Center. ????
[ ] Jag har varit i Japan.
[x] Jag har varit i USA.
[ ] Jag har varit i Afrika.
[ ] Jag har varit i Asien.
[x] Jag har tappat bort mig i min hemstad.
[x] Jag har sett en fallande stjärna.
[ x] Jag har önskat då jag sett en fallande stjärna.
[ ] Jag har varit på en offentlig plats i min pyjamas.
[x ] Jag har tryckt på alla knappar i en hiss.
[ ] Jag har sparkat en kille mellan benen.
[x ] Jag har varit i ett casino.
[ ] Jag har hoppat fallskärm från ett flygplan.
[x] Jag har nakenbadat.
[x] Jag har lekt sanning eller konsekvens.
[ ] Jag har druckit en hel liter mjölk på en timme.
[ ] Jag har krockat i en bil.
[x] Jag har skidat.
[x] Jag har medverkat i ett skådespel.
[x] Jag har träffat någon från internet i det verkliga livet. (Träffade ju maken på Internet!)
[x] Jag har fångat en snöflinga på min tunga.
[ ] Jag har sett norrskenet.
[x ] Jag har suttit på ett tak på natten.
[x] Jag har aprillat någon.
[x] Jag har åkt taxi.
[x] Jag har ätit sushi.
[ ] Jag har åkt snowboard.
[ ] Jag har hoppat bungyjump el fritt fall
[ ] Jag är singel
[x] Jag är i ett förhållande.
[ ] Jag är förlovad.
[x] Jag är gift.
[x ] Jag har varit på en blind date.
[x ] Jag har blivit dumpad oftare än jag själv har varit den som dumpar.
[x] Jag saknar någon just nu.
[x] Jag är rädd för att bli övergiven.
[ ] Jag har varit otrogen i ett förhållande.
[ ] Jag har skilt mig.
[x] Jag har varit kär i någon som inte var kär i mig.
[ ] Jag har sagt att jag älskade någon och ljugit.
[ ] Jag har sagt att jag inte älskade någon och ljugit.
[x ] Jag har sparat något från ett gammalt förhållande
[ ] Jag har varit förtjust i en person av samma kön.
[x] Jag har varit förtjust i en lärare.
[x] Jag har blivit kysst i regnet.
[x] Jag har kramat en för mig helt okänd person.
[xJag har kysst en för mig helt okänd person.
[x] Jag har gjort något som jag lovat någon annan att inte göra.
[x] Jag har gjort något som jag lovat mig själv att inte göra.
[x ] Jag har smugit ut utan lov.
[x] Jag har ljugit om var jag är för mina föräldrar.
[x] Jag har en hemlighet som ingen vet.
[x ] Jag har fuskat i ett spel.
[x] Jag har druckit alkohol.
[ ] Jag dricker mig berusad mer än en gång i månaden.
[ ] Jag kan inte svälja piller.
[ ] Jag har blivit diagnosticerad med depression.
[ ] Jag tar mediciner mot depression.
[ ] Jag har anorexi och/eller bulimi.
[ ] Jag har sovit en hel dag utan att ha behövt det.
[ ] Jag har vaknat gråtande.
[x] Jag har somnat gråtande.
[ ] Jag är rädd för att dö.
[ ] Jag hatar begravningar.
[ ] Jag har sett någon dö.
[ ] Någon nära till mig har försökt begå självmord.
[ ] Någon nära till mig har begått självmord.
[ ] Jag äger mer än 5 rap CDs.
[x ] Jag äger en iPod eller en mp3-spelare.
[ ] Jag har en ohälsosam relation med anime/manga
[x ] Jag äger många dyra designerväskor.
[x] Jag äger något från H&M.
[ ] Jag samlar på serietidningar.
[ ] Jag äger något från Benetton.
[x] Jag äger något jag köpt på E-bay/Tradera
[ ] Jag äger något från Diesel.
[x] Jag kan sjunga så att andra kan lyssna på det.
[ ] Jag har stulit en bricka från en snabbmatsrestaurang.
[x] Jag har lätt för att öppna mig för nya människor
[x] Jag ser på nyheterna.
[x] Jag dödar inte insekter.
x] Jag svär ofta.
[x] Jag sjunger i duschen.
[x ] Jag är en morgonperson.
[x ] Jag betalade för min rington.
[ ] Jag är petig med grammatik.
[ ] Jag är en sportfanatiker.
 Jag tvinnar mitt hår mellan mina fingrar.
[ ] Jag är bra på att baka.
[ ] Min favoritfärg är vit, ljusröd eller ljusblå.
[x ] Jag skulle ha pyjamas på mig till jobbet.
[ ] Jag vet hur man skjuter.
[ ] Jag är kär i kärleken
.[x] Jag skrattar åt mina egna skämt.
[x] Jag äter snabbmat varje vecka.
[ ] Jag är bra på matematik.[
x ] Jag tror på spöken.
[x ] Jag kan inte sova om det finns en spindel i rummet. (Inte om det är en av de där stora, håriga Florida-spindlarna…)
[ ] Jag är väldigt kittlig.
[ ] Jag älskar mörk choklad.
[ ] Jag spelar dataspel och/eller Playstation-spel.
[ ] Jag är bra på att minnas ansikten.[
] Jag är bra på att minnas namn.
[ ] Jag har ingen aning om vad jag vill göra med resten av mitt liv
Could there be some treats in there???
The chrysalis have a natural defense mechanism, if they sense a threat they shake, to scare off potential predators. Looked pretty scary to me!
Now they are all settled into their new home. Probably in about a week they should start emerging as butterflies!
Friday, May 25, 2007
For more than six months we have contemplated getting a guinea pig now. Since all the equipment will be kind of expensive we might wait until Christmas and get it for S as a gift then.
We have been talking about guinea pigs a lot lately, in fact, S have been a bit obsessed about them. So today she and I went to PetSmart to check out the little guys and look at equipment and such. I have in mind adopting one that needs a home rather than buying one from a store, but it doesn't hurt looking at them. S have actually never seen one in real life, and I think she was a bit surprised how big they can actually get! We marveled at the different sizes, coats and colors. A guinea pig can live to be about 8 years old, so this decision is not to be taken lightly.
S is only 4, so I am sure I will be the main caregiver for some time. I don't mind, I love animals and is probably as excited as she is! She has been very good lately. I will tell her "Feed the dogs!" and she will go out in the garage, get the huge bag of dog food, measure out the exact amount of food they need, close the bag back up and then put it back out in the garage.
She can't reach the kitchen faucet, but she will give them water too if I help her. She is showing a genuine interest in caring for them I think.
I ordered some books on guinea pig care from eBay (the exact same book they wanted $12.99 for at PetSmart was $1.50 on eBay!), but if any of you have any tips on guinea pigs, please let me know!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Last year we brought a whole set up out to one of the barrier islands and had a BBQ coupled with lots of swimming in the ocean.
Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer. The kids graduate from school here locally today, so it does indeed feel like summer is on the brink of erupting into lazy days at the pool, sweaty hikes though some wonderful national park, melting ice cream dripping down from a cone, the smell of coconut scented sunblock, daddies looking all huffed and puffed from blowing up their kids huge inflatable beach toys...
This year we don't have any set plans. It is usually good to avoid the beaches on actual Memorial Day (Monday), so we will probably go there on Saturday or Sunday. We also have to go and check out tile at Lowe's and Home Depot since we are getting ready to remodel both bathrooms AND tile the entire house. We decided to start with the bathrooms. That will be hard as it is, with the entire shower stall. Plus we are replacing the toilets as well.
Other that that we are sure to have a couple of cookouts, especially on Monday. On Sunday we are going to experience a real old fashioned American ice cream social, that should be fun!
Brukar ni ha (amerikansk) mobiltelfon med er? Jag har en som är olåst och kan användas världen över. Kan jag köpa ett sådant där "engångs SIM-kort" i Sverige? Eller finns det andra alternativ som kanske är bättre eller billigare... Har även möjlightet att låna en "pay as you go" mobil i Sverige.
Inte för att jag MÅSTE ha en, men man är ju lite beroende, och vi kommer att åka runt en hel del och våldsgästa släkten...
Vi kommer dock att ta med vår LINGO-dosa, så vi kommer att ha vår vanliga telefon med oss i Sverige, och om någon ringer oss kommer det att vara samma nummer och kosta som om vi vore i Florida. Det är bara att ansluta till en bredbands-router vart som helst i världen, ploppa i en telefonsladd och voila! Dessutom kan vi ju ringa vart vi vill inom Sverige och USA gratis... Men den är ju inte portabel så...
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
As you probably know by now I have a long list of auto immune problems, mainly two that dominate, Ulcerative colitis (UC) and lupus (SLE). Having an auto immune disease means your own immuen system is attacking your own body's tissue in various forms.
UC is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a disease of the intestine, specifically the large intestine or colon, that includes characteristic ulcers, or open sores, in the colon. The main symptom of active disease is usually diarrhea mixed with blood. I was 13 when I was first diagnosed, but it dragged on for quite some time before they actually did all the tests needed for the diagnosis. My mom had to kick and scream; the Swedish doctors really dropped the ball on this one… UC is a systemic disease that affects many parts of the body outside the intestine as well. Because of the name, IBD is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome ("IBS"), a troublesome, but much less serious condition. Ulcerative colitis is similar to Crohn's disease, another form of IBD.
Ulcerative colitis is an intermittent disease, with periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods that are relatively symptom-free. Although the symptoms of ulcerative colitis can sometimes diminish on their own, the disease usually requires treatment to go into remission.
Ulcerative colitis is a rare disease, with an incidence of about one person per 10,000 in
Treatment is with anti-inflammatory drugs, immunosuppression (suppressing the immune system), and biological therapy targeting specific components of the immune response. Colectomy (partial or total removal of the large bowel through surgery) is occasionally necessary, and is considered to be a cure for the disease. Lucky for me the medications for UC is also what treats my other conditions, mainly lupus.
I suffered for many years with all kinds of unexplained symptoms. My Swedish doctor was only interested in UC and that is all he saw. After moving to the
I was pretty stable and even managed to have an uneventful (very planned) pregnancy in 2002/03. I was being looked after very strictly by a specialist the entire pregnancy, they were nervous! They did an ultrasound at every appointment, and in the end I had to go for stress test several times a week. Never felt better though!
I wanted my beautiful daughter to have the best start in life as possible, so I wanted to nurse her, since this could actually prevent her from having a lot of medical problems herself in the future. I had to be off all medications while doing this, of course, but I kept telling myself I was doing just great. I started to go downhill approximately 3 months after she was born. Stubbornly I continued nursing her and insisted I was doing great. When she was just a few weeks shy of 1 year old I ended up in the hospital with severe colon bleeding. The doctors told me I was just a hair from loosing my entire colon. I had to start treatment right away. I had no choice but going cold turkey on the nursing. S took it very well. I was in paaaain. My breasts were actually square from the nurses binding them so hard, so the milk stuck in there was being molded. Ouch. Now when I think about it they could have let me pump and stopped slowly, but oh well…
Since then I have struggled to get back on my feet. I have been in and out of the hospital. I finally switched to a new gastroenterologist early this year. He has really been very helpful. Even though I despise steroids, they have been a necessary evil to put out the fire. The focus is now to find a comfortable plateau of stableness.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is potentially debilitating and sometimes fatal as the immune system attacks the body’s cells and tissue, resulting in inflammation and tissue damage. SLE can affect any part of the body, but most often harms the heart, joints, skin, lungs, blood vessels, liver, kidneys and nervous system. In my case it has affected pretty much any part of my body with connective tissue it feels like, from my eyes to my feet! Lupus is only treatable symptomatically, mainly with steroids and immunosuppressants, there is no cure. In my case I am no longer getting any response from immune suppressants, so I am trying my luck with Infliximab (brand name Remicade). It is a drug used to treat auto-immune disorders. Remicade is known as a "chimeric monoclonal antibody" (the term "chimeric" refers to the use of both mouse (murine) and human components of the drug. I heard they use mouse uterus to make it! Simply put, the drug blocks the action of certain cells that triggers inflammation by binding to it and preventing it from signaling. These cells are one of the key triggers and sustainers of the body’s inflammation response. Remicade is administered by intravenous infusion, typically at 2-month intervals, and at a clinic or hospital. It cannot be administered orally, because the digestive system would destroy the drug. Unfortunately there are many risks associated with Remicade, but at a certain point you have to start weighing the pros and cons.
Lupus research has dramatically increased in recent years but the exact cause of the disease is unknown and there is still no consensus on whether it is a single condition or a group of related diseases. My guess is the latter, since I have so many distinct different immune problems. I have Sjögren’s Disease (inflammation of the salivary glands), Interstitial Cystitis (inflammation of the lining of the bladder), Hypothyroidism (inflammation of the thyroid), Rheumatoid Arthritis (inflammation of the joints), Neuralgia (inflammation of the facial nerve), Morton’s Neuroma (inflammation of the foot nerve), Raynaud’s Symptom (immune attack causing white hands and feet in cold), Baker’s Cyst (large cyst behind the knee due to RA), Endometriosis, etc. I also have osteoporosis (common with UC) and recurring blood clots in my legs. The inserted a special filter in my Vena Cava vein a few years ago to prevent new clots from reaching my lungs and heart.
Lupus can be difficult to diagnose. There are blood tests, but often doctors rely on this list of symptoms. If you have 5 out of these 11 you would be considered a strong candidate for lupus. I had 8.
1. Malar rash (rash on cheeks)
2. Discoid lupus (red, scaly patches on skin which cause scarring)
3. Photosensitivity (exposure to ultraviolet light causes rash)
4. Oral ulcers.
6. Renal disorder.
7. Neurologic disorder: Seizures or psychosis
8. Serositis: Pleuritis (inflammation of the membrane around the lungs) or pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane around the heart)
9. Hematologic disorder.
10. Anti-nuclear antibody test positive.
11. Immunologic disorder.
As lupus is a chronic disease with no known cure, treatment is restricted to dealing with the symptoms; essentially this involves preventing flares and reducing their severity and duration when they occur. There are several means of preventing and dealing with flares, including drugs, alternative medicine and lifestyle changes. In my case, maybe because I have been taking the most common drugs for two decades now, is left with Remicade, I simply do not seem to respond to or is allergic to the other drugs (except steroids, those horrible steroids!)
Patients who require steroids frequently may develop obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis (I have had osteoporoses for 15 years now…). Depending on the dosage, steroids can cause other side effects such as a puffy face (hello my current moon face!), an unusually large appetite and difficulty sleeping. Those side effects can subside if and when the large initial dosage is reduced, but long term use of even low doses can cause elevated blood pressure and cataracts. Due to these side effects, steroids are avoided if possible.
Scary to think of, but in the 1950s, most patients diagnosed with SLE lived fewer than five years!!! Advances in diagnosis and treatment have improved survival to the point where over 90% of patients now survive for more than ten years and many can live relatively asymptomatically. The most common cause of death is infection due to immunosuppression as a result of medications used to manage the disease. That is a problem with Remicade too, your immune systom is weakened, but that also invites infections to grab on to you. I have a special fight with fungus going on rigth now. It just won't budge...
Previously believed to be a rare disease, Lupus has seen an increase in awareness and education since the 1960s. This has helped many more patients get an accurate diagnosis making it possible to estimate the number of people with lupus. In the
I try not to dwell too much on being a sickly person, but it is hard not to when it is in your face constantly. I belive in being positive and enjoy life. You would probably never guess there was something wrong with me if you ever met me. The thing that really bugs me about having lupus is that I constantly have new things pop up. Every year there has been something else, a new “gift” from dear old lupus… This year it was the neuralgia, the facial nerve inflammation. Good one! Oh well, it could be much worse. I am indeed a very lucky person...
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
It took a lot of wrangling to get everything approved, even though they had approved it last year! So finally...
The first infusion will take place on Tuesday the 29th. The second two weeks later, the third 4 weeks later, and then on an ongoing basis every 6-8 weeks. The infusions are a pain, and it usually takes around 3 hours, but when there has been problems I have been stuck there for almost 6 hours! I guess I better bring something good to read. I should ask if I can bring the laptop, maybe I could even get some work done!
The first time around I had a clown for a doctor, and he wasn't doing the infusions correctly, so hopefully this will actually work this time around! It is a very expensive treatment, I think $2,000 just for the medication itself, so it would be a shame if it was all just a waste of time.
I am a little scared since there is a risk of a severe allergic shock when you have had a longer break in between treatments, since the body can build up antibodies against Remicade. They say they are prepared for this, so hopefully everything will be OK. I am also to take precautionary meds including antihistamines and steroids (extra steroids, since I am already on them.)
I hope this will work, I don't want to go back to being so sick again. The steroids are a pain, the weight gain is now 10 lbs, and it is all in my face and gut. Not pretty at all. I hate steroids....
***Update: They called and changed my appointment (and subsequently the entire treatment schedule. Now I have to be there on June 7. And they told me it was OK to bring the laptop, so at least I can get some work done! The 7th will be a long medical day; I have another appointment with my dermatologist at 1:30 PM, and they usually find at least one mole to remove (which they do right away).
I think I get affected by low blood sugar as well. I like my food on a regular basis. If I am away out somewhere, a theme park for instance, and I don't get food and drink regularly, well, I get nasty! One time my husband said I dragged my shoulder bag after me like a monkey, I was so cranky I just had enough... He has a tendency to wait to eat until it is a little too late. For me that is. He always thinks it is better if "we eat a bit later". Well, now I have S on my side, and he can't do that any more!
I try to have snacks and always water with me on these kind of outings, but you gotta have at least one hot meal during a long day out. Or else...
I don't eat a lot, in fact, I drive my husband crazy by always leaving a lot of food. I just eat until I am full, isn't that what you are suppose to do? I think I definitely fit into the category of "grazers". I rather have several small meals several times during the day. They say it is better for you anyway! And I never shy away from a late night snack... In fact it is essential in my opinion! Ha ha!
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Nässelfjäril with a brownish background and Painted Lady with a green background.
The tiny larvae eating away on their wax-like "food".
After that we went home and met up with K, and all of us went over to a place called Bangkok Tokyo. I love that place, the owner is really nice and the food delicious. They have food from China, Thailand and Japan, so there are a lot to choose from.
Then we headed over to the movie theater were we saw the new flick from DreamWorks, Shrek the Third. It was pretty good, very well made. It is amazing how far computer animation has come, the sharp details are really good, textures have really improved. The only thing that still might lack a bit is the characters motion, not as fluent as in real life. But it is wizardry what they can accomplish nowadays!
One thing about the movie theater that really bugs me (except for the 20 minutes of previews before the actual feature presentation begins) is the seats. This is a fairly new theater with state of the art DLP digital screenings. Everything is very nice and pretty. But as soon as you sit down you get the smell of human ... something... yucky smell in your nose. I know everyone's hygiene is not up to snuff, and if you start calculating you can imagine how many people have actually sat in your chair before you. But I am wearing shorts and I really don't want to think about what could be on the seat. I am thinking about bringing some fabric freshener to spray on the seat next time. It's disgusting!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Yup, I am going for a loooong walk and then lunch and a good book until about 4 PM, then another walk and a shower before I pick up S. Sounds good to me...
This weekend I think I might take S to the beach or pool early Saturday, since K has to work. We have plans of going out to eat and then see the new Shrek movie in the late afternoon. Maybe the beach again on Sunday, with yard work and BBQ in the afternoon.
Life is too tough sometimes, huh ;-)!
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Igår fick vi vår nya laptop, och det var kul att leka med alla nya grejjer på den. Det tar nog ett tag innan jag vänjer mig allt nya som finns i Windows Vista, men det verkar ju bra.
Vi hade innan två datorer, varav en sprillans ny, men jag var ju alltid fast på kontoret. Den nya laptopen har WiFi och vi har anslutit en mojäng till routern så vi kan få Internet vart som helst i huset. Dessutom kan vi ju ta med mojängen när vi åker någonstans, vart det än finns en router kan vi koppla in den och dela bredband, vilket ju blir perfekt i Sverige. Så lite bloggande i trädgården kanske... Eftersom maken i princip endast inhandlade detta under så att han ska kunna göra vissa grejjer från Sverige utan att behöva oroa sig för datorproblem så kommer detta att vara mest min dator. Praktiskt när man är ute och reser!
Vi har en bärbar DVD-spelare till S, men nu får den nog stanna hemma under Sverige-resan eftersom det är mycket lättare att ha några filmer på datorn, som ju dessutom har ett extra batteri.
En av de första sakerna jag ska inhandla i Svedala är ett svenskt tangentbord. Ni märker säkert ibland att det slinker med 8:or och 9:or och dylikt när jag skriver å, ä och ö. Det är för att jag måste knappa in en rad med 5 tangenter för att få de bokstäverna när jag är på Internet, i övrigt har jag en inprogrammerad tangent var för sig när jag t.ex. jobbar. Har funderat på svenskt tangentbord länge, men eftersom jag inte varit där på 9 år så har det ju inte blivit av. Men det kommer nog att ta en del att vänja sig vid tangenterna på andra platser än vad jag är van med!
I woke up from Stan wanting to go outside to pee. When it comes to Stan, you better take him out immediately or he will pee on the patio doors! So needless to say, I grabbed my bathrobe and let him out. Turned out I didn't grab a robe, it was just a regular towel. So here I am in the backyard with a towel wrapped around me and no glasses. I was completely blind (and sleepy) so it didn't register at first that something had caught Stan's interest. Then he started to jump for joy and bark a little bit.
At the same time I realize there is some kind of small, furry animal out there (remember, I am half blind here), Bob runs out from hearing all the barking. Bob is the kind of dog that runs off like no other, so I am trying to grab him first, since I know Stan will come if I call him.
Then from the corner of my eye I see Stan grabbing this furry little thing (possum? mole?) in his mouth, happily shaking it about. He probably thougth it was some kind of cool toy!
Horrified I managed to grab him under my other arm, while holding the towel up and Bob under the other arm.
I hurry inside to grab the real robe and my glasses. But when I go outside to see if the poor animal is OK he is long gone. So I figured he might be OK.
Then S and I just came back from a walk and we found him. It was a possum. Dead.
I feel so awful! But again, it was really nothing I could do about it and I really don't think Stan meant to be evil, just playful! Well, he sure lives up to his nickname, Stan the Man *ironic*. Good going, dog!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
We got Bob, the red one in fall 2000. I had no whatsoever experience with dogs, in fact I have always been more of a cat person, but with an allergic husband, a dog was my only option. I wanted a breed that was as much as a cat as I could find, hence the miniature pinscher (dvärgpinscher). I had never actually seen a real live min pin, but after extensive research I knew it was the kind of dog I wanted. I also kept hearing "don't get a dog at the pet store, you only support all the horrible puppy mills", so I looked for a professional breeder. I was also dead set on finding a red min pin, rather than settle for the more common black and tan... I finally saw an ad in the paper and went all the way to north Florida to pick up Bob! (That is 9 hours back and forth!) He was registered with the AKC, and his parents were on the premises, his father was a handsome champion, very strong and sturdy looking.
Bob went on to be a pretty sickly dog (we are kindred spirits, he and I!). He should have been dead, really, but he is doing remarkable great!
A year later I decided to add another min pin to the family, but this time I was happy to have learned about the Miniature Pinscher Internet Rescue Organization. If you ever are looking to get a dog of a specific breed and don't want to go trough the regular pound or humane society, please, please look up that breeds rescue organization! There usually is one for any breed, sometimes several in one state. These organizations have dedicated foster care parents that put a lot into rescuing these animals. You usually have to go through an adoption application to ensure you are a good candidate (we even had our home checked!), but their fees are usually very reasonable and most likely will include neutering/spaying, vaccinations and micro chipping. Through them I was able to adopt Stan, who was at the time 18 month sold, just a few months older than Bob. (By the way, the husband named both dogs, I got veto right on any name for our first born).
These guys are a horrible nuisance ;-)! Stan can jump 5 feet straight up in the air, getting things off of the kitchen counter is a snap. They are like mischievous little kids. I love them!
What is so special is how different their personalities are. Stan lives for love. He has a psychological disorder. If you don't pet him he will force you. He can be a pain in the but. But it is a nice disorder to have! He always comes if you call him, hoping you will touch him somewhere... Bob might come. If you have food. He is not the snuggle type. Stan sleeps between the husband's legs at night, Bob sleeps on a pillow on a chair in the living room. He can't stand when it is too hot! (Plus he snores like an old man, so he is kind of banished from the bedroom...)
Stan is slim and in great shape. Bob has two distinct fat rolls on his neck and butt. And stretch marks on his belly. And a slight resemblance to a pot bellied pig. Stan can tolerate any torture from the daughter, he will pretend to get mad and dole out a wet bite, no teeth. Bob hates being messed with, and he bites as if his life depended on it! Stan loves new people and will sit on anyone's lap. Bob will not stop barking as soon as any visiting male opens his mouth... They both have a special spot in my heart, they truly are family!
Monday, May 14, 2007
Det är en fråga som jag ofta frågar mig själv, det är så lätt att få idéetorka på denna front... Jag har massor av kokböcker, jag till och med samlar på dem, men när det blir dags att komma på nått gott till middag blir det ofta blankt i skallen...
För ett tag sedan snubblade jag över en jättebra blog, den är mycket välskriven och har massor av toppenrecept kategoriserat. Dessutom brukar författaren ta kort på det hon lagar, så man blir riktigt inspirerad... Skrivet i blogformat, så det borde ju gå hem hos de flesta av er ;-)
Helt klart rekommenderad! Kolla in på Matplatsen!
Compared to Florida's East coast I would say this side beats it hands down. Our sand is like I said outstanding, the water is beautiful, and often warmer due to the protection of the Gulf of Mexico. Yesterday it was reportedly 78 degrees in the ocean! We also tend to have less sharks here since sharks follow their pray, which likes the cooler stream sin the Atlantic. The reason people get attack is often due to sharks following schools of prey that went closer to shore, and they just mistook a person for their preferred meal... Not that we don't have sharks, but to a much lesser degree...
Our favorite beach is very secluded compared to the common hangouts. There are no signs, no tourists and no facilities of any kind. Just a long stretch of beautiful beach! It is located on the north tip of Longboat Key, just before the bridge to Anna maria Island. It is so nice to be able to sit down without someone on top of you, to walk the stretch along the water without watching for people going into the water, nothing to listen to but the waves, the seagulls and an occasional boat or water ski passing by outside the high tide marks... Wonderful!
At the very north end is a place called Greer Island Beach, but as we after a few years found out it is not really an island but is connected with the rest of Longboat Key. You can walk there by following the water line or hike through the woods, which we did both on Sunday. You can read a little about Longboat Key's history here.
After we got home we had a nice BBQ and topped it off by making ice cream sundaes, yummy!
Today I had to work in the morning, and in the afternoon S and I hung out at L's house, she has a very nice patio with a great view of the river. S enjoyed the kiddie pool and I enjoyed the shade.
I am just getting ready to make some potatisgratäng to be put into the oven later, K won't be home until 9 PM. I am also going to grill some beef to go with that, got some fancy steak waiting.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Our plans are to go to this yummy Mexican restaurant called Mexicali - as you can tell by the name it is a bit of a fusion place with a Californian take on Mexican food. Either way they have the best freshly made salsa! I can eat just that and be happy! it is also a very nice atmosphere there with cool things on the walls for S to check out and a relaxing wall size water fall. They are also one of the very few Mexican style restaurants that have a kids menu with food S will actually eat...
After we have stuffed ourselves we are going bowling. This is not something we do often. In fact, this will be the third or fourth time we go since I moved here 10 years ago! We went a few months ago with S ad she really liked it. The smoke haze is still bothersome, so we figured this would be a great indoor activity we could do.
S and I took the dogs and went to a nearby park yesterday. Except for a lone guy fishing we had the entire park to ourselves, nobody wanted to be outside in the smoke! We just had to get out and get some exercise, so we brazed the smoke. We went for a very long walk around a huge lake and then we played in and outside the very nice playground they have there. S's game is very simple: She is Snow white and the dogs and I are ghost monsters that have to chase her up and down the hill. Great exercise for everyone! After that our throats were all weird form breathing all the smoke, so we treated ourselves to some ice cream from McDonald's on the way home... Even the dogs got a lick, but Stan doesn't understand that he is just suppose to carefully lick; he takes a big chunk!
Oh well, we had a good time and hopefully will this afternoon as well. Hope you all will too this weekend! Tomorrow I hope the smoke will let us go to the beach!
Friday, May 11, 2007
Not long ago I happen by chance to notice they changed our outgoing flight from Tampa to Philly without notifying us. This change gives us very little wiggle room for delays in Philly, and since I really don't want to miss out connecting flight to Stockholm I decided to call and try to get our original reservation back.
Glad I did.
It turned out to be no problem getting that changed back. I rather have an extra hour to kill than miss a flight due to delays! BUT when the lady checked out other flights it turned out they have canceled the connecting flight on our way home! The new one we we were on only gave us 20 minutes from landing until the next one takes off, obviously that is not going to work! the only other flight they have that day to Tampa is at 8:35 PM. That is an almost 8 hour layover in Philly! Adding to that the traveling we have already done it will make the trip door to door 24 hours. not much fun for anyone...
I was offered a refund, but that would apparently take 3 weeks, and I need that money to book another trip, so not a chance I want to take. I then spent a very long time being bounced around in different phone systems, but I was determined not to give up. I will thank myself on our trip home...
I finally got a very helpful customer relations lady on the line, and due to the fact we were never informed of any of these changes she was able to hook us up with a hotel voucher to the Marriott Airport Hotel in Philly. So at least we can rest there, watch some TV and take a shower. She gave me a special customer relations file number, and told me she had put an authorization in our booking, so all we have to do is contact any USAir desk in Philly when we arrive and they will help us. I believe it when I see it, but hopefully everything will work out. We won't arrive in Tampa until midnight local time, so it is nice to know we can at least relax a bit in Philly...
It is a "dense smoke advisory" for the Bay Area. I guess the remnants of Tropical Storm Andrea on the East Coast of Florida has whipped all the smoke our way... Here is a live came where you can see some of the smoke haze: Live Tampa Bay Camera
Under Manatee, click on the Bradenton Manatee Memorial, that is just 5 minutes from our house. And check out Tampa International Airport! Wonder if they can even operate under these conditions!
It is about appreciating your mom, letting her know how much you love her. Not about buying the biggest diamond or box of chocolates...
I received a perfect present from my daughter, she made this bouquet of "flowers" in preschool with her hand prints. So sweet!
Our mother's day on Sunday will be spent on the beach just hanging out, followed by an early dinner at one of our favourite ocean front restaurants. i think there might be some flowers involved, too, but only because one of my husband's clients is a florist... :-)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The last few days I noticed the screen once in a while flickered a bit. Kind of got darker, or had a blue tint to it. Just to be on the safe side I called Dell technical support this morning. I also mentioned the speaker bar had a little crackling sound to it (it is attached to the monitor). No problem, you will have a new monitor and speaker bar tomorrow. Wow! That is what I call good service... All I have to do is put the old one in that same box, slap a sticker on it and send it back. I am very pleased since I hate things that gets complicated.
We just ordered a new server and a laptop from them too, so I am looking forward to being able to blog on my own computer from Sweden! You won't get rid of me that easy ;-)!
I received the new monitor via fedEx at 9:50 Am the next morning! WOW! The speaker bar arrived an hour and a half later via DHL. THAT is fast!
The super power of steroids (though evil little pills due to all the side effects) have now kicked into full swing. I have enjoyed not only looooong walks, I was able to go to the beach and just enjoy myself! No worrying about where the nearest bathroom is, no pain. Wonderful! I was able to even lay on my stomach, which is a first in I don't know how many years! I am still not great, but at least I have some control over the situation. I feel so relaxed!
So far I have gained about 5 lbs from the Prednisone, all of it on my stomach and my face. The bloat of steroids is not pretty. You tend to look like the Michelin man! I am just so grateful to have some normalcy back in my life. I can take my daughter to the park without worrying! We are going to a secluded beach on Sunday, it is our secret, special beach. No way I could have gone there just 2 months ago, since there are no bathrooms there! No all I have to worry about is if I have enough sunblock on...
I am a little worried what will happen after the steroids are finished, at the end of summer. I am suppose to start Remicade infusions, but we are still waiting for the OK from the insurance company (even though they allowed it last year). And it didn't work last time. But, this time I am better of, not having uncontrolled inflammation, so it might have a chance to work. All I can do is hope for the best. I am so tired of being sick. It really have ruled my life the last few years.
If I get this work project done in time I might go for another walk this afternoon. I am not sure Bob (the red min min) can handle it. He barely made it this morning, he had to stop in a shady spot and catch his breath. But he needs the exercise, so I will drag him along.
i just had bruna bönor for lunch. Life is beautiful!
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
For you who are familiar with Florida, you will notice that it is not its green self! We have a tremendous draught going on right now (hence all the brush fires, see post further below). Our rainy season starts soon, and then we can look forward to a summer of exploding colors everywhere. Right now, not so much...
OK, here we go...
Very American picturesque
Some very odd looking seed pods on a tree with yellow flowers. It was covered in them! Like little alien things...
Speaking of odd, something I have noticed about Florida is the grass. In one picture you see normal grass (to me). Here we call it "northerner" grass or "golf course" grass. You don't normally see this in someones lawn. The Florida grass is very robust and sturdy, very large, broad leaves, as you can see.
As you can see it is rather breezy today!
One of my favorite palm trees, the wanderer palm, also known as the triangle palm.
Lots of lakes!
Well, this IS why we came out here... bring out the bag! (At least one thing those flimsy American grocery bags are good for!)
Gotta sniff EVERYTHING!
This giant white Egret kept following us.
You can still see some of the smoke haze from this morning, even though the wind has done a great job clearing out a lot of it.
Yay, we are back at our house! We have two very tired dogs with their tongues hanging down to the ground... My office (I work from home) is behind the two windows on the front right, and I am probably sitting right behind that tree inside that window right now ;-)!
OK, no Starbucks like Annika, but a cool drink of sloppy water will do!
Thanks for walking with us!