Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Today Sarah had a big Halloween party in school. She was going as a witch, that is until I was going to put on her costume this morning and I discovered one of the dogs had peed on it! Damn dogs! So in the washing machine it went to get ready for tonights trick or treating, and she went as Snow White instead, luckily her costume from last year fit nicely still...

When I picked her up she was so happy, they had a blast at their party. Here are a couple of pictures from school of Sarah and her best friend Z. So cute!

And here is a cute clip from Sarah's very first Halloween in 2003:

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I am having a CT-scan (CAT-scan) in less than one hour to see if the infection has cleared, sure hope it has! I stopped the Cipro yesterday, but it turned out I am allergic to that as well, it just took a little longer for the symptoms to appear. So now I am itching. Again...

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The American Dream?

Sarah and I just came back from Ken's offices, where we had lunch and went for a long walk with the dogs. Whenever he has to work over a weekend and we won't have time to do anything substantial together, we like to head over there for a few hours to hang out. His offices are in a very tranquil area with a lot of wildlife around the corners. The area is usually completely deserted over the weekends (since normal people do take time off...)

We came to talk about how appearances can be misleading. I often complain about wanting to do more stuff with our house, like I really really want no flooring, I hate the carpet! But my husband, being the CPA ("Auktoriserad Revisor" in Swedish) he is, is very careful with money, preferring to pay cash when possible and so forth. So no new (very expensive) floors as of yet...

But he told me something that kind of fascinated me. The majority of his clients are wealthy, or at least seem to be. He told me most of them are in debt up over their ears, just to maintain that American Dream status. They all drive fancy cars, have huge mini mansions and are dripping in diamonds and so on. But they are barley keeping their heads above the water. Of course, a handful of his clients are truly really rich... but most are not. They are just like us, but pretending to be something else.

He didn't tell me which client is which, so next time I meet one of them it will be interesting to guess which once are really rich and which once are just pretending to be!

Do you know any people that you suspect are "keeping up appearances" like that?

Shopping and snake removal

Yesterday Linda came and picked us up in her very nice new car, and we went to the huge mall in south Sarasota. We were gone for 5 hours, and if I known we would be walking around that much I would not have worn high heels! Ouch!

We had a great time checking out all the stores, shopping and snacking. Afterwards we stopped by Super Target to get some groceries.

When we got home I went in to go and open the garage door, since I didn't have the garage opener with me. But I took too much time, so Linda and Sarah decided to go in through the front door as well. All of a sudden I hear them screaming and I run out to see what is going on. Turns out that when I went inside I must have dislodged a baby snake that had decided to hang out on our door frame, and when they went to go inside Sarah had seen its tail hanging out, and then all of a sudden it had fallen, almost on top of them!

It was hard to determine what kind of snake it was, since the color can often be a little bit different when they are young. I think it might have been a corn snake, completely harmless, but it could also have been a copper head, very venomous... We have a lot of corn snakes around our house (great for keeping pests away), so I would lean on it being a corn snake...

Linda manage to get the snake out in front of the house to some shrubs. I don't mind snakes, but I prefer if they hang out on a little more of a distance... The snake was NOT happy to be moved, and it tried to attack the broom she was using several times, it was pissed. When I came out later with the dogs it was gone. Hope it didn't decide to slither back up around the door frame again! You bet I will be looking around carefully and slamming that door hard to see if anything falls down... at least for the next few days...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Goblin Gahtering Fall Fun Festival

Despite pretty heavy rain we decided to attend the Goblin Gathering Fall Fun Festival that the county's park and recreation department was hosting for the 7th year in a row. We have never attended before, and we were excited to see what it was all about. Armed with umbrellas we arrived to a first pretty soggy looking festival, but soon the rain let up and we could have some fun!

They had trick or treating for the kids, different games, bounce houses and other fun stuff. There was also a haunted hay ride and a really cool haunted house! The main event was the costume contest, divided by different age groups. Sarah has never been on a stage before, but you would think she was a pro considering how she waved and threw kisses to the audience (don't miss the film clip at the bottom). We will be back next year for more scary fun!

Rain rain, go away! Note the Bamse umbrella!

Getting ready to register for the contest!

Sarah checking out the cool fire truck while mommy checks out the hot firefighters...

On the Haunted Hayride, listening to scary stories in the dark...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Too much!

OK, I know I have spent too much in the hospital when I get a personal greeting card signed by everyone in "my department", wishing me good health... and I know each one of them by name!

In the head of 4 year olds...

Sarah seemed to have a lot of fun playing, so I asked her what she was doing. I am just amazed at what goes on in that little head sometimes...

Apparently her compact hairbrush is a Killer Clam, on a rampage attacking everyone and everything! I was allowed to take three pictures, then she informed me the Clam was getting mad and we better stop taking pictures...

The "Clam" resting...

The "Clam" is waking up! She said this is also how it breathes, the red is apparently its mucous membranes...

Oh no! We angered the "Clam" and it is getting ready to attack! Run!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It looks like we are having some "fall" weather today! After 36 hours of raining the temperature is now at a very nice 75F (24C). This is in my book Siberia temperatures... :-) The humidity is way down too, which is what makes it extra nice!

Today I am suppose to clean, but so far that is not going so good... I have a few errands to run, maybe I can get into it when I get back... I really don't like cleaning...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Silly little things that makes me smile!

OK, I got a little challenge for you all! I was standing in the kitchen, peeling potatoes for tonights dinner, not exactly my favorite thing to do in the kitchen.. When my eye caught this little guy on the counter... Very silly but cute! Do you have any silly stuff in your house that just makes you smile? Take a picture of it, post it on your blog and let me know when you are done in the comments, or if you don't have a blog, let me know what your silly thing is by commenting.

Here is my silly thing... (I kind of smile when I see the silly girl in the background too!)

My awesomely cool Viking toothpick holder!

Chicken kabobs with garlic sauce

It is still raining! A lot!

Last night I threw together a very simple dinner. Here is the recipe:

Chicken Kabobs with garlic sauce

You will need:

1 lb chicken tenders or chicken breasts cut in half
Marinade or grill oil of your choice. I used a garlic grill oil from ICA.
Side dish of your choice, I used a creamy rice mix.
Green salad of your choice, I just tossed some cucumber and tomatoes together.
Small container of sour cream of your choice, I used reduced fat.
Garlic cloves, about 2, pressed or crushed.
Lots of fresh ground black pepper.

Marinade the chicken in a zip lock bag, great if you can let them marinade over night, but an hour or so will do.

Make the garlic sauce first. Put the sour cream in a bowl, mix in the garlic and pepper. Let sit in fridge while the rest of the dinner is cooking.

Tread chicken on skewers. If you are using wood skewers, make sure you soak them in water first so they won't burn.

Put kabobs on hot grill, or use the broiler in your oven, for about 20 minutes or until fully cooked. Turn skewers several times, baste with leftover oil if you like.

While chicken is cooking, make side dish and prep salad. Serve with sauce and enjoy!

Brown boy

I woke up in the middle of the night to an awesome lightning storm. The rain have been pounding on our roof ever since. Outside the light is an eerie shade of yellowish gray. I am pretending it is fall! Ha ha...

I was talking to Sarah the other day, and she mentioned this boy in her class, R, had been mean to her. I asked which one he is, since I only know about half the names of her classmates. She said "the other brown boy". I was like "huh?. She saw I didn't get it, so she said "R is brown, just like D". D is her best friend in school, and he is Hispanic. Then I met R, and he is black. It is so refreshing talking to her about this, she has no stereo types of different races, no idea of people being different due to skin color.

I prodded her a little carefully, asked what color SHE is. "Oh, I am yellow", she said. So far her notion of different skin color is just that: they are sometimes different. No more, no less. Just like I have reddish hair, she has brown and her friend sports a black mop on his head.

I just wish thats how REAL life was... People are considered different, but still the same on the inside...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Jag älskar verkligen mitt jobb. Helt klart.

Men det nuvarande projektet som jag håller på att översätta för en av mina trognaste kunder Är. Så. Tråkigt.

Stuvningssystem för båtar, anyone?

Halloween Decorations

Sarah has done such a good job helping out with the decorations for Halloween this year! She picked out the pumpkins for the front door, as you can see here, and helped me arrange the stuff.

Sarah's pumpkins...

She also made these cool ghosts!

Longing for fall

I was doing my regular morning blog round, and a lot of people are writing about fall, and how lovely it is. I miss fall so much! Don't get me wrong, Florida is pretty great, especially in the winter time, but I do miss the changing of the seasons a lot. And fall is one of my favorite times, the crisp air, the colors, the cosiness...

Here we have the never ending summer. Hot! Humid! Sweaty! Temperatures reach the upper 90F (mid 40C), and it lasts from early May until end of October... Then we get our "fall" which is more like... less summer? Usually less humidity, which is a blessing, and colder. But I have still been able to go to the beach (in a bikini!) in December... So you never know! Then what in other places is spring, with its lovely anticipation of nature starting anew, the promise of coming lazy summer days, nature exploding into fresh colors. But in Florida, not so much... More like going from a little bit cold to hot, and then very hot! No real transition. You do see an increase of activity in nature; the trees get greener, birds are getting busy, and something unique to the southeastern US, the alligators mate!

But an ideal fall day for me would be a brisk walk in the crisp, chilly air, watching the ever changing colors of the leaves, smell the earthiness of the earth. Then to curl up in front of a fire with a blanket and a good book, sipping a good cup of tea. Sigh... You just don't get that here.


Today will be a day of just... well, nothing! Just some administrative work and some Internet surfing. I am waiting for my doctor to e-mail me an appointment time for my CT-scan (CAT-scan). I am suppose to get that done today. Ken is picking up Sarah, so I pretty much have the entire day to myself. I need to buy some software too. My new computer kick ass, but I thought it came with Frontpage, but apparently not. I need something to update my business web site with. I am sure there are great, free alternatives out there, after all, it is just an HTML editor... Do you guys have any suggestions?

Facebook has turned out to be interesting, I gave up on it there for a while, but then I actually started to find some people! How about two long lost cousins and an aunt? Plus lots of people I used to go to school with, from elementary to high school! Very cool to see what they are all up to nowadays! Some have changed (for the better) some are just like I remember them. Time has gone so fast! You can find me on Facebook under the name Swe Flo. I even found a few of my fellow Swedish bloggers on there!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Neverending story!

I don't seem to find a stable, good place after the surgery! After being released from the hospital the second time a week and a half ago, I never really got 100 % better, I could still feel some pain where the infection was. I continued taking an antibiotic when I got home, but was allergic to that kind as well. Switch to Cipro which I did seem to tolerate, but it never really cleared up the last bit of infection... On Friday, the day after stopping the antibiotics, I noticed the pain increased a little bit. Over the weekend it got worse and worse, until finally I contacted my doctor today.

I am so tired of constantly having to deal with these hiccups, and I DO NOT want to go back to the hospital! But the pain is starting to get pretty bad, and these kind of infections are not to be taken lightly... Sigh...

So the doctor gave me two options: either get admitted to the hospital and get IV antibiotics that would hopefully clear things up, but that would put me in the hospital for at least a week, and that would just be too stressful (plus they won't let me eat when there). No thanks!

The other option is to try a double dose of Cipro for 48 hours. We should know by Wednesday if it works or not, if not I have no choice but to be admitted. I am also going to have another CT-scan either today or tomorrow, I am waiting for them to call me with the appointment time now.

I am keeping my fingers crossed so I don't have to go into the hospital again, but if I do, I will try to convince my doctor to let my primary doctor handle it here locally. It would be less stressful. After all, no expert is needed since the infection doesn't involve the pouch. Being closer to home would make our lives a lot easier!

Halloween and Christmas at the same time...

On Sunday Sarah and I decided on a whim to go and see a movie, the cool 3D version of Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas. A little scary at first for Sarah, but then she enjoyed it. It was really cool to see this classic in 3D! Sarah has insisted every night that I tell her a scary Halloween story, so I figured she would be up to a spooky movie.

Here is the trailer for the regular Nightmare Before Christmas:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pumpkin Festival(s)

Today we attended the Hunsader Farm's Pumpkin Festival. This was the 11th year in a row I went there! It usually always is a pleasant experience, but we decided this was the last time we went there.

What used to be a local farm's fun fall/harvest fest has turned into a more and more commercialized beast. They nickel and dime you at every turn! $4 for parking, $7 to get in, $5 for a pony ride, expensive food and drink... Before the visit is over you have easily spent $50 on three people, not buying any stuff, just food and drink!

Last year we discovered a smaller place which have their own fall festival every weekend under October. We decided to drive over there after our disappointing visit to Hunsader's. So nice! It is usually a local farm stand/grocery store run by some Amish people, always nice. No charge for parking, no entrance fee, and food and drink is provided by local kid's, at very reasonable prices! Everything we like in a fall festival is there, music, pony rides, hayrides, pumpkins... So this will be our new "go to" place for fall fun!

Here are some pictures from our expensive visit to Hunsader's Pumpkin Festival:

Sarah loved the ponies!

You gotta go on a hayride of course!

Sarah is stuffed after a yummy lunch, but she thought the country music was too loud on the stage in the background.

Ken's favorite food at this event is always a turkey leg!

Check out this picture below, that is Sarah 5 months old trying to eat one at the Festival in 2003!

Sarah at the Hunsader Farm's Pumpkin Festival 2003!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday already AGAIN!

Time flies... Sarah had no school today, which they forgot to mention, so I started the morning by driving there just to find that out. Sarah decided to hog my computer all day. She is getting really good at handling it herself, and she had a field day with all the online preschool games. It is nice that she can figure out how it works herself now, I only have to help occasionally when she gets some kind of pop up with text she can't read. The preschool games are pretty good, and the menus usually use sound as directions, so all you need to do is hover over something to find out what it says. She has been taking computer classes with CompuChild now for about a year and a half, twice a month or so. It seems she is getting much more confident in front of the computer!

I had really bad stomach pain this morning, so I spent half the day drinking lots of water to try to flush out whatever was stuck. When something gets stuck it has a particular "clogged" feeling, so I just try to flush it out, and so far I have been successful. I have heard these types of blockages can last for days!

After that had finally resolved itself somewhat I have been puttering around the house cleaning a little bit here and there.

We have had this awful smell around the couch area in the living room for a couple of days. The first day I noticed it Ken had just come home from work. It smelled like old disgusting cheese, so I yelled at him for having bad foot odor, which doesn't happen very often. It was an awful smell! I made him go wash his feet twice...

But the smell was still there! Then yesterday I figured out what was the problem... One of the dogs must have puked on the couch, and it had kind of dried, making it almost invisible in one corner... It was nasty! I made Ken clean it.... Thank goodness for a leather couch! Today I washed all the blankets and pillows on the couch, just to be sure, and I swear Bob smelled too (he probably rolled himself in it, they love that kind of gross stuff), so the dogs got themselves a scrub down as well. So now I am looking forward to a nice Friday evening of relaxing with no unpleasant smell of any kind! If I could only figure out what to make for dinner, so far it looks like all I can make with what I have at home is fish sticks (although the fancy kind)... Not fun at all, but I really don't feel like a trip to the grocery store. Take out anyone?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tae Kwon Do is a DO!

Sarah had so much fun attending her first martial arts class yesterday. I have a feeling she will benefit from this class in many ways! The focus on respect was great; you bow when entering/leaving the ring, you address your teacher as Master or Sir, and every time you are addressed you answer with a loud Sir! Also, when punching and kicking you scream a loud Heya! Great way to release stress, something unfortunately even kids suffer from today...

Sarah was definitely not as flexible as the other kids (yet), and when we got home she was sore after trying to do splits. BUT she was really excited bout what they had done in class, and we practiced together. I would have loved to take some kind of martial arts when I was a kid, but it wasn't available where I lived. I think I was greatly inspired by the Karate Kid movies... :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The worst nightmare imaginable

I often complain about being sick, frankly, it sucks. I often feel sorry for myself, but I usually pick myself up, realizing I have it pretty good and should not complain so much. Today I got reminded of how lucky I truly am...

I was picking up Sarah from preschool when I stopped dead in my tracks in the receptionist area. I sign that had been put up caught my eye, a sign that made my blood turn to ice. It was a memorial for a little girl who had gone to the daycare center at Sarah's school. She had died at only 3 months old. My immediate reaction was to get chills and tear up. That would probably be the worst nightmare I can imagine, my daughter dying! I don't know how she died, a lot of things can have gone wrong, but I cannot imagine what the parents are going though. What could be worse than loosing your flesh and blood? The memorial sign had her picture, so full of life. She looked like the kind of little girl that would have given her parents a lot of joy!

The school will close early tomorrow so the teachers and others who want can attend the little girl's memorial service.

This is the kind of sobering moments when you realize how damn lucky you are in life! Life is not a given...


Lista snodd från Annika:

1. När gick du upp idag?
Kl 10:10

2. Diamanter eller pärlor?
Diamanter, tar aldrig av mig mina fina diamantörhängen som jag fått av min man, har matchande förlovningsring och halsband med, Princess-skärning.

3. Senaste filmen du såg på bio
Det var med min syster, vi såg "Stardust" helt godkänd!

4. Favorit-TV- program?
Ha rmånga favoriter, Bones, NCIS, Heroes, Gray’s, Betty, alla CSI, Reaper, Chuck, plus fler.

5. Vad åt du till frukost?
Ingen frukost pga av sen uppgång (om man inte räknar de få ”candy corn” som låg på skrivbordet och som jag stoppade i munnen nyss…) Ska nog ta ut Sarah på en trevlig mamma-dotter lunch när jag hämtar henne 11:30.

6. Vad är ditt andranamn?

7. Din favoritmat?
Gillar grillat, men älskar även thailändskt.

8. Vilken mat gillar du inte?
Kalops, blodpudding.

9. Favoritchips?
Svenska grillchips, peppar, vanliga

10. Vilken är din favorit-CD för tillfället?
Lyssnar inte på CD skivor

11. Vilken bil kör du?
Har en Toyota Corolla

12. Favoritmacka?
Ingen favorit.

13. Vilka mänskliga karaktärsdrag, kan du bara inte med?
Elakhet, falskhet.

14. Vilka är dina favoritkläder?
Capri sweatshirt byxor ala Victoria’s Secret, tight kortärmad t-shirt i tunt material. Flip flops.

15. Om du fick åka vart du ville på semester?

16. Favoritklädmärke?
Gillar många!

17. Var vill du dra dig tillbaka?
Ken och jag pratar ofta om detta. Kanske ett hus i Karibien, helt klart med semestrar i Sverige i min sommarstuga på Gotland som jag SKA ha!

18. Favorittid på dagen?
Fredagskvällar när vi spelar spel och umgås, eller lördagar då man kan slappa och göra något kul tisllsammans

19. Var är du född?
Södertälje utanför Stockholm

20. Vilken är din favoritsport att se på?
Hmmm… Ingen direkt. Brukade gilla hockey, min mamma och jag skrek så pappa skämdes!

21. Coca Cola eller Pepsi?
Coca Cola. Dricker mest Diet Coke, men gillar vanlig Coca Cola som en ”treat”

22. Fotboll eller ishockey?

23. Är du en morgonmänniska eller nattuggla?
Morgonmänniska, men verkar kunna vara båda med åren!

24. Pedikyr eller manikyr?
Pedikyr. Kan inte ha lack på händerna, det blir avbitet inom ett par dagar!

25. Vad ville du bli när du var liten?
Journalist, författare

26. Bästa barndomsminnet?
Har många roliga barndomsminnen!

27. Varit i Afrika ?
Inte ännu!

28. Nånsin rullat in någon i toapapper?

29. Varit med om en bilolycka?

30. Favoritdag i veckan?

31. Favoritrestaurant?
Rod & Reel Pier

32. Favoritblommor?

33. Favorit-snabbmatsrestaurant
Taco Bell, Pollo Loco i Miami

34. Äger du en cykel?
Ja, men den har hängt i taket på garaget i ett par år nu…

35. Vem fick du senaste mailet från?
En kollega om ett jobb

36. I vilken affär skulle du välja att utöka ditt kreditkort?
Inget, vill inte ha mer kredit. Skulle dock vilja ha råd att handla mer ekologisk mat på Whole Foods

37. Läggdags?
Vanligtvis efter 11 nuförtiden

38. Senaste personen du delade en middag med?
Ken och Sarah

39. Vad lyssnar du till just nu?
Bob snarkandes på golvet, vatten som droppar i gästbadrummet, bilar som brusar förbi, datorns fläkt som snurrar. Klicket av mig som skriver.

40. Favoritfärg?
Olika; blå och grön. Beror på vad det är. Gillar svart i kläder med.

41. Hur många tatueringar har du?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I have seen some postings on other blogs about "over-scheduling" kids... We don't really have that problem, in fact, I have been looking for some kind of physical activity I can sign Sarah up for. I just feel she needs a little more exercise. Now it is done! She is taking her first trial class of Tiny Tigers, a martial arts class. If she likes it she will take it Mondays and Wednesdays at 4:30 PM for 30 minutes. It will mainly be Tae Kwon Do, but I think they incorporate some Karate in it as well. I like martial arts because they incorporate many things such as focus, respect, fitness, confidence and stress release.

I am myself getting ready to join the newly formed chapter of SWEA, which is something I have been wanting to do for a while. I won't be able to go to all the meetings, since many will be in Tampa and will just collide with regular life, but I think there is one next Tuesday night (film night) and then on a Saturday here locally. Will be fun to meet some other Swedish women!

Now back to work!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Potatisgratäng/Potatoes Au Gratin

Lots of work today, as well as a visit with a very cool allergy doctor, she really cracked me up! Nice to get a doctor who is not all stuck up... After this current rash has calmed down she is going to help me pinpoint what medications I am really allergic to, so I can plan for the future.

Sarah picked out a large pumpkin today, and yesterday we put up some other Halloween decorations outside, among other things these little white ghosts we made, really cool!

Next on the agenda is dinner. Tonight I am grilling a lemon pepper marinaded turkey file (loin), and I am making some Swedish potatisgratäng, kind of like potatoes au gratin.

Here is my recipe for the potatoes:

You will need:
About 5-6 large potatoes
1-2 large yellow onions
2 garlic cloves
About 2 cups cream or half-and half
Freshly ground black pepper
Cheese, about 2 cups (I like sharp cheddar on this)

The best way to slice the potatoes is by using a food processor with the slicing attachment. Peel and then run the potatoes trough the machine, and you got perfect, thin slices! Put potatoes in large casserole pan (glass or ceramic), then run the peeled onion through the machine and mix it in with the potatoes. In a bowl, combine cream, salt and pepper, use a garlic press or finely mince the garlic, add to bowl and mix. Then pour the mix over the potatoes and onions. Add cheese on top, enough to cover the casserole nicely. Add to preheated oven (450 F) for about 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I am not getting anything done today, all due to the horrible, itching rash I have! At least now we know it is caused by antibiotics. Found out my father and sister also had/have severe antibiotic allergies, so I have to watch out with Sarah in the future!

I am thinking about calling an allergist/immunologist tomorrow. I am not getting any relief from antihistamines, and I just can't stand it. My regular doctor haven't been able to help me.

It might be a good idea to find out exactly which antibiotics I am allergic to as well.

I did get a few Halloween decorations up, but I really needed to clean and do laundry. But it is ITCHING!!!

Thai Beef with Broccoli

Today we are going to have one of my favorite dishes for dinner. This is easy and fast to make and very yummy!

Thai Beef with Broccoli

You will need:

1 lb lean and tender beef sliced into bite size pieces

1 tbsp soy sauce (I prefer the brand Tamari)

Ground black pepper to taste

1 tsp fish sauce (I don't like fish sauce so much, I use just a little bit. You can omit this if you prefer or don't have it at home).

3 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp cornstarch (potatismjöl in Sweden)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp cooking wine (this is optional, I usually keep one of those small size bottles of white wine in the fridge for cooking, but you can actually use any kind of alcohol, even Tequila!)

½ cup cooking oil

3-4 big cloves garlic, minced

Fresh broccoli, as much as you want. I usually get one of those plastic wrapped heads for just the two of us. Cut into bite sized pieces with or without stems.

About ¼-½ cup water


Cut up beef and put in bowl, add soy sauce, fresh cracked peppers, fish sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, garlic and cooking wine.

Mix everything well. This dish tastes even better if you let it marinade for 2-3 hours ahead of time, but it is not necessary.

Now heat a frying pan or wok over high heat, about ½ cup of cooking oil in the wok or frying pan until the oil gets really hot (I use canola oil (rapsolja) because it is healthier, it stir fry well too). Toss in the marinaded meat and stir fry quickly. Throw in the cut up broccoli. Keep stirring and turning the meat and broccoli over. Add the water, more if it looks dry (the more water, the more sauce).

Keep stirring until the meat is cooked and the broccoli is tender but crispy. Enjoy with jasmine rice!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mexican Casserole & Guacamole

Tonight I made some really quick and yummy Mexican food. This is a modified recipe of my sister Carina's Taco Pizza and a different casserole I used to do. It can easily be changed to fit your own taste. This makes about enough for two hungry people!

Mexican Casserole
1 lb ground beef
1 packet/envelope Taco spices
½ jar of salsa, mild, medium or hot depending on your preference (I use hot)
½ large sliced yellow onion (Vidalia works well)
Enough of a Mexican cheese blend to cover the top

Brown ground beef, breaking it up into little pieces. When no longer pink, add Taco spices, stir until blended well. Add salsa and stir. If you like you can add other extras here, corn works wonderfully, but I can't eat that anymore, so none for me!

Add to small casserole dish, pat down, add sliced onions on top, then the cheese. Put into 400 F oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted.

To this I serve my quick homemade guacamole and some reduced fat sour cream.

SweFlo's Guacamole
2 avocados
The juice of 1 lime
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
Jalapeño, minced to taste (I use about a third of one)
½ red onion, chopped
Handful of fresh Cilantro (leaves only)
Few rounds of fresh ground black pepper
A couple of pinches of Kosher salt (regular works too)
If you like you can also add 1 chopped tomato

Combine all ingredients in the food processor on the pulse setting, until desired chunkiness. Don't over process. Can be mashed with a fork too. Let sit in fridge covered with plastic wrap until ready to eat. Taste better if it gets to sit at least 20 minutes, so is best made before the casserole.


Almost 2 months after the surgery

Don't read this if you are easily squeamish! :-)

Anyway, I just recently went to the bathroom. It was 7 PM. I have not been to the bathroom (other than to pee) since last night!!! This is probably not something you can understand if you haven't had Ulcerative Colitis. The past 4 years I have been running to the bathroom 20-30 times a day! This is a miracle! Absolutley awesome!

Today when we were at the ice rink I noticed the Restroom (toa) sign on my way out of the building. In the old days that would have been the first thing I located as soon as I entered the building... And I would have used the facilities several times during our 2 hours stay. And I would have missed some precious family time. And had stomach pain.

If I would just have known how well I would have felt after this surgery, if I would even have KNOWN about this surgery YEARS ago, oh man, imagine how nice life would have been! So much suffering that could have been avoided! If you have Ulcerative Colitis and is considering J-Pouch Surgery, go for it. I suffered and was in pain for over 20 years! Of course, read up on the risks first. But even after just have spent a week in the hospital with a severe intestinal infection (not in the surgery area), I am so grateful and happy!

I was just looking at my stomach, and marveled at the lack of evidence of the major surgery I just went through. It amazes me how skillful the surgeon was. Look for yourself below! (I am not sure why it looks all orange around the bellybutton, must be some weird shadow.) I don't have a beautiful stomach at all, but I am very pleased to share with anyone who might be considering this lifesaving surgery how good it can look afterwards. Considering they yanked out the entire colon and the rectum, created an internal pouch from the small intestine, then re-attach the whole shebang with perfect results! Awesome!

Forgot to mention...

I am having a huge problem with antibiotics! Turns out I am allergic to almost all kinds, especially penicillkin! I know my father was allergic to antibiotics, but I don't know what kind of allergy he had, and now he is dead anyway, so too late to ask!

The very first time I had a rash (for two horrible weeks) we weren't sure exactly which medication had caused it, but after suffering through three kinds of antibiotics that I was apparently allergic to in the hospital, it is clear that antibiotics have been the culprit all the time...

And last night, my second day on "at home" antibiotics I got a rash again! So I called Dr S this morning, and he prescribed a different kind to take the reminding 5 days. But I am itching. All over. Arrrgh! At least this time around I know better than to scratch, even if that is all I can really think of.

The weird thing is that I have been able to take antibiotics previously in life, with no adverse effects. The doc thinks it has to do with the fact that I pretty much have been on some kind of immune suppressant or steroid for the past 20 years or so... Now my immune system is "clean", the "lid is off" so to speak... So it is reacting. Big time. At least I guess I should be happy it is an itchy rash and not something more serious like problems breathing...

But I would be a LOT happier right now if it wasn't itching so "infernaliskt"!


Sarah and I getting ready to enter the ice rink

We just got back from two hours of ice skating, the very first time for Sarah! I decided to just watch this time, since I am still a bit weak, so I just snapped a few pictures and filmed a little. Below you can see a little clip of "Bambi" herself!

Good to have two steady hands to hang on to!

So much fun!

Only in Florida will you probably see someone (me) wear flip flops to an ice skating rink!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I can tell I am doing better today, so when this weekend is over I should be back to somewhat normal, I am sure! I think it is just a matter of eating and getting the body's energy storage filled up.

I had a hard time walking the dogs, still get real weak, but it is such a nice day you just can't help but love life! It is still hot outside, but you can sense a shift in the air. Today it is "only" 85 degrees outside.

I am heading up to Publix to get some groceries, and I am planning on making some of my favorite food tonight, Thai Green Curry. I think with pork today, and some yummy veggies. The more I like the food the more chance I eat a lot of it, my appetite isn't that great yet.

The only bad thing is I have to wear long sleeves (too hot really), because it is so embarrassing with all the bruises and needle marks on my arms, I look like a druggie! So I will cover up for now, rather than people stare at me... :-)

Ken talked about taking Sarah ice skating tomorrow, so I think I will come with them, but just as camera man. We have a pretty nice indoor skating rink just 10 minutes form here. I have never been there before, so it will be interesting. A novelty in Florida for sure!

Oh, and check out the absolutely beautiful pictures taken from my sister's kitchen window, showing the season changes. She lives in Norrland (northern Sweden), and they had their first snow the other day! Gorgeous!

Have a wonderful Friday with lots of "mys"!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Så skönt att vara hemma, men min hjärna vill mer än vad kroppen orkar verkar det som. Har inte ätit någon riktig mat på en vecka, så det tar väl ett tag att återfå styrkan. Väldigt irriterande! Kastar i en tvätt, vilar med kallsvett på soffan, en tvätt till och en tur till på soffan. Tänkte avsluta eftermiddagen med en lång härlig dusch innan maken och dottern kommer hem.

Dessutom har hundisarna, som varit väldigt skötsamma när jag varit borta, beslutat sig att ha diaree mitt i natten. På den ljusbeiga heltäckningsmattan. Så jag MÅSTE dra ut matt-schamponeraren, inget snack om saken... Och inget bröd fanns hemma, och ingen chans att jag orkar åka till affären, så jag kastade i en sats i brödmaskinen med.

Bara jag vilar emellan grejjerna så går det nog bra. Har sett i fatt de nyaste avsnitten av Grey's och lite annat under dagen med.

Sov förfärligt illa igår med, så jag mås nog bättre imorgon. Jag behöver bara upp och fixa iordning Sarah för skolan, sedan har jag hela dagen för mig själv, ska bli skönt. Ska inte börja jobba förren på Måndag, alldeles för yr i bollen.

Jag ser ut som värsta knarkaren med supermånga blågula märken efter diverse dropp och annat. Tillslut var de barmärtiga och gav mig en sk "pick line", vilket är en sorts slan som går in i överarmen och ut i bröstkorgen, där kan man sedan injicera vad som behövs och ha dropp och näringslösning. Man får ett ganska stort hål i armen efteråt, vilket är lite läskigt. Mitt förra hål från operationen hade knappt läkt ihop!

Nu ska jag ta ut min nybakade limpa och schamponera hundbajs. En salig blandning eller hur, ha ha!

Back home

Just wanted to let you know I was released from the hospital and got home at 10:30 PM last night. I am still really tired, so I will write more later. The intestinal infection is still there, but they say it looks like my body is taking care of it, and I have to stay on antibiotics for another week.

It is great to be home, but on the other hand it feels overwhelming, with all the stuff that needs to be done around the house, the 400 + e-mails that needs to go though, laundry, you name it.

We will see how I will manage all that, I just feel like curling up on the bed and sleep, but it is more stressful seeing all that needs to be done...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Super fast update!

I only have access for the computer for like a few secs... Still in the hospital, no real diagnosis. Haven't had food or deink for 6 days, just yucky TNP though IV. They think it might be an inflammation/infection from something, maybe I can convince them I can go home tomorrow. This sucks so bad you know!

Will tell you more when I finally get home. My regular doctor is out of town, so I have been bounced aound a lot. See you soon.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Very quick update

I am currently in the hospital same department as for the suregry.

So far I know a have a severe infection of the upper small intestine, no involment of the pouch at all! So I should be able to treat this with several different antibiotics. A very big BUMMER that I am fighting for them to understand is that on Thursday night, the second day on the Flagyl antibiotic, I started to feel a very familiar rash rearing its ugly head.

It is starting all over for sure. It must be the Flagyl, because I took that the day before the surgery, and a nurse did tell me it could be a culprit, even not hit until after several weeks.

Now, the personnel on this hospital doesn't seem this could be ppossible. Why not? It is the only new substance I have taken... I asked to consult with an allergist, and when they called him he said to take Benadryl! As if we nev er tried that... So far there has been NO doctor here at all. I was told Dr S would be in before 5, now it is 7:30. Ken is cranky, he is stressing me. If it wasn't for Sarah I wouldn't want them to visit at all...

So here I am with horrible pain, not getting any clear answers on anything. I am not allowed any food or drink, the TV has very few shows that are tinted green. And I have this evil super rash lurking to take over, and nobody seems to believe me. SUCKS! Well, at least this time they give me shots os something that makes me care less of all this mess. I just want to go home, decently weel and with no rash. So now you know. Maybe I will let them come and visit my tomorrowtoo and I can let you know how things are. And he forgot the portable DVD player and all those good movies I had planned on watching, the TV bing all green and all. I hate when I don't get to be in the loop about medical stuff pertaining to ME. The nurse just came in and told us DR S will be in at 9PM. I am not a happy at all right now. Not all! In fact I have been crying in pain most of the day since they are so slow getting you your meds.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Just wanted to let you know how things are, unfortunately they are not good at all! This hurts more than the incisions hurt right after the surgery!I can barley move around, and forget about getting up from laying down, I scream like a pig! Thankfully the pain pills take the edge off a little bit, but this is not fun at all.

They said to call them with an update in 2-3 days, I guess the antibiotics should have started to kick in by then. So I guess I will call them if I still feel like this tomorrow, but if I (hopefully) feel better I will call them on Monday instead.

Now I am off to feel sorry for myself! At least I have the entire day to myself, Ken is picking Sarah up in school at 5:45 PM.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I am in too much pain to even sit right now, so just a quickie. Woke up at 4 AM in horrible pain and with a high fever. My doctor says it is pouchitis .

Feels like having an infected appendicitis, but all over the insides! Hopefully the antibiotics kicks in fast, this is torture! :-(

They say this is why I have been feeling so sick lately too, not the steroids! Sucks either way... Grumble...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Fire lips!

I was just prepping a bit for tonight's dinner, making a citrus marinade for some chicken breasts. I am also going to make mango and avocado salsa later, so I wanted to make the dressing for that now.

In goes the fresh orange juice, fresh lemon juice, a little bit of honey, lots of garlic, a tad bit soy sauce, some spices and some minced jalapeño pepper.

Too bad I forgot to rinse my hands before I decided to scratch my lip! My mouth is on fire! At least I didn't poke myself in the eye, that would have been just peachy! Ha ha!

Weather woes

We have what is called a "tropical disturbance" over Florida right now. That is just a fancy way of saying "hey you guys, there is some really bad shit dumping lots of rain on you, and blowing you all around, but it is not strong enough to be called a tropical depression...."

So there you have it :-)!

Have a great day!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Crème fraîche

I mentioned before that I couldn't get a hold of crème fraîche. Today I went to Whole Foods, which is quite a drive for me, but I had a feeling they might carry it. Besides, I needed to stack up on healthy kids' snacks...

They had it! On sale! Regular price was $5 a tub, holy cow! Now it was 2 for $7... So this will have to be used for something very special. Luckily it has a long expiration date...

They only had one brand, Vermont Butter & Cheese, but I heard that one is suppose to be good.

Any really good suggestions what to do with this liquid gold would be greatly appreciated!

Monday again!

Woke up feeling much better than yesterday! The husband had not quite gotten over his work stress, so he was up at 4 AM and went to work really early. But he is in a more loving mood, so that is good!

I had to take Sarah to school this morning. I prefer getting ready later in the morning, after taking the dogs for their long walk, since I usually get all sweaty then. So I probably looked REALLY good dropping her off! Having to do that gives me only 2 hours at home before having to pick her up again, since Mondays are short days. So only a real small work project got done today.

I think today will be a cleaning day. At least all the laundry is done, so I can concentrate on all the other really boring things that need to be taken care off. Our house is completely covered with toys it feels like! Oh well, I look at it as at least our daughter enjoy all those toys we got her, and her imagination soars, just watching her play is great! She likes to talk out loud when she plays, so it is kind of like watching a play. Very enjoyable to hear what goes on in her mind! So I don't really mind all the toys, but I like to at least once a week make an effort to see the carpet so I can vacuum it without a bunch of tiny Polly Pocket accessories getting sucked up with the dirt. If you have young daughters you KNOW what I am talking about ;-). Especially those shoes, they are not bigger than little specks of dirt!

Trying to plan a few dinners for the week, I already have some ground beef out that needs to be cooked, so I am thinking Swedish järpar again, but this time wrapped in bacon. We have a lot of left over bacon from when my sister was here, so that would be a great use of that. With Swedish cream gravy and mashed potatoes. And lingonberries of course... Also found a great looking recipe for grilled lemon chicken, and a mojo flavored chicken with avocado and mango salsa. Looked yummy! Have a great day!