Thursday, February 28, 2008

Ideas please!

This year Sarah is turning 5, and things have changed quite a lot since last year. She is really into her friends at school, and we are going to have a BIG birthday party with all these friends for the first time. Last year we just had a handful of kids at our house, with just the regular goodies to eat and no games or anything.

This year the party will be at an outdoor park. We have rented a large pavilion (with electricity) next to Sarah's favorite playground. It is a very nice place with lots of green areas to spread out on and a nice lake as a backdrop. Another plus is that there usually is a breeze here, and since we will have the party on May 10, it will already be Florida HOT!

We have a theme! Mickey Mouse and friends. Rumor is that Mickey Mouse himself will be making an appearance (Ken was able to find a professional costume, just like the once at Disney World, cool!) Sarah is going to die when she sees that!

My question now is for you with experience: what do we do during these 2 hours? Games? Music? I have no clue! I know most of the kids, and they all like to have fun. We are not going to rent any ponies or have any magicians or jugglers and all that other crazy stuff parents do nowadays to out do each other.

I just want a fun party with a few activities to make things flow. Any ideas would be welcome!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Corn and plants

I found out Saturday what caused the clog. A whole bunch of whole corn came out. I haven't had corn since Monday, so that was definitely the culprit. I have to remember with these things: chew, chew, chew! After the corn passed everything was fine, so I could eat again!

As you know we are having our floors replaced on April 28. The entire house (except the bathrooms which are being remodeled next). This means we will be living someplace else for at least a week. So we already booked and paid to stay at a La Quinta Inn & Suites April 27-May 1. They are very dog friendly as well.

BUT we are having problems with the contractor we chose. He just seems a bit... aloof! Ken things he is on drugs or something. I like to deal with a professional when I am shelling out thousands of dollars, and he aint it!Weeks have gone by, and we still haven't gotten the contract that he keeps promising. That and just a bunch of small little things that keep adding up. So we decided to find another, more reliable guy. Which means, starting from scratch! Arrgh! I spend so much time on this already! I have found a promising local company, apparently ranked very high ion customer satisfaction. They are suppose to call me to set up an appointment to come to our home for a quote. I sure hope this is it. I am sick and tired dealing with this!

On another irritating note: we went to the Florida Strawberry Festival yesterday. Almost 1 hour drive there... to discover it isn't until NEXT freaking weekend! How could I have missed that when I bought the tickets online? Oh well... We took it pretty good I think... But it isn't like Ken has a lot of extra time now at the height of tax season, but we made the best of it and took a long walk together around a lake nearby. It was actually pretty nice too! And hey, we still have the festival to look forward to next Sunday...

Doing some gardening today. The weather seems to have stabilized now with highs in the 80s (over 30C), and we are going towards warmer and warmer days. Time to get my annual herb garden going! 7 different herbs this year. I love cooking with fresh herbs! We are also planting some Mexican Petunias by the front door. Every year we try something new, but nothing seems to like growing in that spot. Well, the Mexican Petunias are suppose to be almost impossible to kill, and some people hate them because they just grow and grow. Sounds like what I need! Plus, the flowers are pretty too!

Mexican Petunias

Have a great day!

Friday, February 22, 2008

A close one!

Earlier today after being out for lunch I was on the phone with a friend from Sweden, and when she asked how I was doing after the big surgery and all I was very happy to report I am doing super great!

I had barely hung up the phone until I noticed I was having major stomach discomfort. It kind of feels like when I get one of those clogs, but much much worse. I have been feeling a bit "clogged", that is, partially obstructed in my new plumbing, the last couple of days. But this was so much worse! I was starting to worry it might be a blockage, which means a total stop in the intestine and needs immediate medical attention. I was a bit nauseated, which can be a sign. I know that if you throw up you have to go to the ER immediately, since it can be very serious.

Finally it was so painful I had to call my doctor. I was told as long as I didn't throw up I was OK. They couldn't prescribe any pain medication, since opiates have a tendency to slow things down and make a clog worse.

So I was left to try the best remedy the doctor have found over the years: lots of hot, green tea!

But unfortunately while making my first cup i had to rush to the bathroom to throw up big time. Oh man! I do NOT want to go to the hospital, no way! So I called back , begged to get a chance to try and fix it myself, and they said OK as long as I didn't throw up again. Phew...

So I laid on the bed and gulped down that tea... After about an hour I felt some major gurgling and the pain started to subside! Yes! I was in the clear, no hospital needed... So now I am staying on clear liquids for a while just to be sure. That was a close one!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Coins and such

My sister's boyfriend is an antiques dealer in Sweden. He deals mostly in coins, but also jewelry and money.

My sister works with him and they go on buying trips together. They usually set up shop at a hotel and have an open house for a day or two when people can come by with their valuables to sell them. They have even been featured in the media!

They also sell a lot over Tradera, the Swedish version of eBay, and they have been thinking about expanding by maybe establishing some kind of contact in the US.

Well, I might have found them just that! Behind Ken's offices is a huge building with a lot of security. We have always wondered what goes on in there, and the other day Ken happened to talk to one of the guys that work there. Turns out they are antiques dealers too, mainly coins, just like my sister's boyfriend. They were very interested in meeting with him and show us around when he gets here, so we will see if this might lead to something good. Who knows?

I have been busy trying to upgrade a few things around the house. It might not seem like a big thing, but it really have a positive impact when you replace and improve small little things you use everyday. New bedside lamps, new clock radio (I had irritated myself for years on the old one, what a difference!), and I am waiting for delivery of my new phone system today, that will be nice! I am also on the hunt for one or two basic small arm chairs for the bedroom. And a pair of folding chairs for the kitchen table for when we have more guests than our current number of chairs, I am really tired of having to drag the big office chairs to the dining room all the time... SO we wills ee what I can find!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I love food. I love to cook it and I love to serve it and I love, love to eat it!

I also collect cookbooks. As inspiration or to follow by the letter. I can read a good cookbook as it was a good novel! Of course a good match for me is to be a member of the Good Cook's Book Club. The latest selection just arrived today, and it looks really juicy. I mean, the pictures are dripping with yum! Can't wait to sink my teeth into this one. It is called "Simply Delicioso: A Collection of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist" by Ingrid Hoffman.

Perfect for someone living in Florida for sure!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You only hear what you want...

My cold is doing better, which is great since I have lots of work waiting!

I was sitting here working when Sarah just came into the office. After looking out the window for a few minutes she said: "Someone is taking off their pants".

What? I looked out, but couldn't see anything. I asked where, and she pointed to the neighbors working hard in their yard. "See, someone is taking CARE OF THEIR PLANTS"... Me and my dirty mind! :-)

She has a lot of interesting idea in that little mind, and some matter-of-fact answers all of the time. It is always interesting to see what she has to say nowadays.

Last night I was being funny when we were getting ready for bed. Before washing up and brushing her teeth she usually change into her pajamas. So I asked her to take her regular clothes off. She wasn't quite paying attention, so I had to ask several times. After a few times I started to add silly things to get her attention, like" take of your pants and your ear", and "take off your shirt and your nose".

She just looked at me seriously and chuckled: "Mom, that would be too bloody!" True in deed!

Have a continued great Sunday!

Friday, February 15, 2008


Got hit with a nasty cold out of the blue. Sore throat, achy, and fever. Oh, it will be a lovely day...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Broken toy day

Just a little while ago Sarah came to me with a toy that had broken after a little rough play. She was very sad her little mini-bear had lost a leg. Well, I don't think it was designed to be jammed into a Hungry Hungry Hippo game, he essentially lost his poor little leg due to guillotine-ing!

A little while later she came back with yet another broken toy. This time it was a little miniature toy chair that had lost a leg. This was completely understandable since it was actually MY toy chair from 1982!

I asked her with a chuckle if it was "broken toy day" or something... She sadly looked at me and replied: "I am having a very bad day" . Awww...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tulip craze

My favorite flower is tulips. Just simple cut tulips.

Great thing about tulips is also that they are in season when it is my birthday. Back in Sweden I could always count on my place having at least a couple of bouquets around this time of February, thanks to thoughtful friends and family.

Ken and I have been together now for 11 years. Usually one of the first things you learn about each other as a new couple is the other person's likes and dislikes. Mostly because you just want to please your love and make him or her happy, right?

So a simple thing as getting cut tulips for my birthday (after all, they are cheap too) should be a no-brainer, right?

Apparently not. I don't ask for anything at all. In fact, I am fine with just a "happy birthday". But since he usually buys me flowers, why not get me the kind I really, really want? Right? Right??

Ken's track record in the flower department is lacking, to say the least. On three birthdays I have received potted tulips, almost, but not quite right. I am the kind of person who is honest and rather say what I think, to foster future situations in a more positive way. I also expect that same honesty back. So I let Ken know that potted tulips is not the same as cut tulips. In fact, I really don't like potted tulips at all. So you figured after two misses over the past 11 years, he should have it down that it is TULIPS, and not just TULIPS but CUT, not potted, TULIPS that is THE thing to get me. Right???

No. I got POTTED FREAKING TULIPS AGAIN. I love that he gave me flowers, but please! Potted? AGAIN? And I even mentioned cut tulips a few hours before he bought them!

So he noticed I didn't quite shout out hurray when I saw them. He gets pissed, and I explain WHY I am not exactly ecstatic. After all, if he is capable of running a company, why can't he remember this, after all, pretty simple thing? I was annoyed, but I got really mad when he gets ANGRY with me for not being happy with the flowers. Of course I get angry! After 11 years and two previous situations with POTTED tulips, am I not worth the consideration? Why can't he remember? I am not angry because he gave me the wrong kind, I am PISSED on the other hand that he is mad at me. 11 years, Ken. 11 years...

I suggested he keep an Excel sheet or something. It is just tulips, not brain surgery.

So there you go. Potted tulips. He might be the most unromantic guy there is. But... I love him anyway.

Somehow I knew this was going to happen, so luckily I bought myself a nice bunch of CUT tulips. They sure looks nice in their vase... :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

One year less young!

I am starting to feel a bit squirmy about geting older. I am turning 34 today. It just seems so old for me, I only feel like I barley got over 17 yet...

I am all for the saying that you are not older than you think you are. Most people I know I consider young. Old to me is something that might happen after you turn 85, maybe. Then again, I known people who just had such a bad attitude.

Like my maternal grandfather. Sure he had a couple of strokes and had a hard time using one of his hands, but that is nothing to give up about! He placed himself in an assisted living facility. He was the youngest (in years at least) there, but he looked about two decades older. In fact, when my mom (grandmother) came to visit her ex-husband one time, the other residents said to him, "oh, one of your daughters are visiting you today, how lovely!" My mom felt pretty good about that for a looong time!

About a year ago my mom (grandmother) had a stroke and several heart attacks. She is lucky to be alive. When I went to see her this summer you wouldn't have know she had ever been sick! And her age is 76! Go mom!

And Ken's grandfather, who is 98, still go out dancing every week, drives, cleans his own house and have a girlfriend 30 years younger that has a hard tiem keeping up with him. He even get manicures and his hair colored. He has so much spunk that guy, I can only hope I get to be half of what he is...

I am happy with where I am. I don't like the extra wrinkles, but other than that I kind of feel like I am pretty comfortable in my body, finally. I grew up thinking and agonizing over how fat I was all the time. I had very bad selfasteem. Looking at old photos I look just fine, not overweight. I was just always the tallest one, and that made me feel so big. Not until I was 13 did any of the guys ins chool get taller than I was. But now I am so happy to be 173 cm, (5.8). I wouldn't have it any other way.

And I feel like life has just started, I am looking forward to all the cool things to come. It will be fun, especially now when I got rid of that pesky colon of mine. Yay life!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Awesome filmtip!

I just saw one of the best film's I have ever seen! It had no action, nothing more than a few people sitting around in a living room for the entire movie, but it was so mind provoking!

You have to see Jerome Bixby's 2007 The Man from Earth if you get a chance!

The plot is about college history Professor John Oldman who unexpectedly resigns from his teaching position, his startled colleagues invite themselves to his home, pressing him for an explanation. They're shocked to hear his reason for premature retirement: John tells them he must move on because he does not age (and therefore does not die of natural death); he claims he is a Cro-Magnon man who has walked the earth for 14,000 years and must move on to create a new identity before people begin to notice he does not age. Tempers rise and emotions flow as John's fellow professors attempt to poke holes in his story, but it soon becomes clear that his tale is as impossible to disprove as it is to verify. What starts out as a friendly gathering soon builds to an unexpected and shattering climax.

A nice change! I warmly recommend this movie!

Need a break

It has been a very busy week. I have had so much work projects to do, and on top of it I had to kick our search for a contractor in high gear. People have been over to our house, measured our rooms and left us quotes.

It looks like we have picked our guy, and tomorrow we are meeting up with him to pick out the tile. On April 28 the house has to be empty and hopefully 5 days later we will have all new floors!

We will stay at a local hotel while the house is being remodeled. It will be kind of weird staying at a hotel in your own city! I think I will play tourist a bit...

Ken is super busy with tax season, so we will most likely celebrate my birthday on Sunday instead of the actual b-day, which is Monday. A nice dinner out sounds great!

My body is all worn out from this high speed week. And after reading about chocolate on a bunch of blogs that follows a theme every week, I am now craving chocolate! I just don't think I have enough energy to make it to the store....

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

They sure are cute at this age!

Sarah turns 5 already on May 8. What did all the time go? She is growing up so fast, so fast...

Here is a clip of her singing her current favorite song:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Cutie pies!

The pups sure were happy to be back home last night. Bob has this special thing he does when he wants his mommy really bad, he will burrow his head under my arm. I didn't have the heart to say no, so I sat like this for almost two hours. (Thank goodness I had a really good movie to watch on the computer!)

I guess Stan was not as bad off as I thought, but that loose tooth really scared me. He seems OK with his missing tooth. Oh, and another major bonus of having their mouths cleaned is that they have no doggy breath at all! Sweet!

Lots of work today, so I gotta go for now. Take care!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Dog update

I just picked up the dogs from the vet, they sure weren't their exiting selves! They looked pretty doped up, and Bob had a hard time walking straight.

My two little "drunks" are now enjoying a yummy dinner of soft dog food... Stan only lost one tooth! I am very happy for him!

A few more days of antibiotics and they should be good to go!

Terrible stuff

The weekend has overall been very nice; we had a great breakfast on the beach Sunday morning, followed by a little fishing.

But a couple of really bad things happened too.

The first thing and the worst was that I discovered that Stan has a very bad case of periodontal disease! This makes me feel like such a bad dog-mom... Stan has always been the healthier of our two dogs, and as late as this past summer he got a clean bill from his vet, when they were boarded there for 2.5 weeks during our Sweden trip.

The vet looked at both dogs teeth, and he said Bob had some tartar (tandsten) that needed to be removed within the next year, but Stan's teeth was great!

On Saturday I just happened to pull up his lips and got a sinking feeling in my gut. He didn't have any tartar, or even signs of gingivitis, just total erosion of the gum surrounding his upper four front teeth. One was even loose, hanging down a bit! How is this even possible? How can he deteriorate so fast without anyone noticing? After all, I keep a pretty tight eye on them and their health. Can something have gotten lodged in the gum to cause an infection? I have no idea. All I know that both dogs are at the vets right now, for a total tooth cleaning. They will both get antibiotics as well. Stan will with 99 % surety loose his upper 4 teeth. Luckily they are not as essential as for instance his canines, so he should be fine. The rest of his teeth look great! I just don't know how this could have happened! My poor baby! He must have been in a lot of pain, but he never flinched or showed any signs of pain.

As you can see in the picture (hard to get him to sit still for a picture), his teeth are clean (the brown on his canine is just discolor, not tartar. Poor thing!

I circled the tooth that is falling out. His upper 4 front teeth should have about 50 % more gum!

Their vet will give them doggy Valium, so at least they don't have to be put under or being stressed out. I am picking them up at 4. Oh my heart aces for the poor thing!

The second bad thing that happened was a total accident. Late Saturday night Sarah and I got into my car in the garage to do a run up to the store. It was pitch dark outside, but the light from the garage usually is enough to see where you are going. Ken's car is usually parked toward the side of the drive way, so you have to be careful.

While I was backing out some car was going by, so my mirrors were blinded with the light from that car. But I could see the outline of Ken's car, and I was in the clear for sure. So I backed out. Right into the outer edge of his car! Oh shit! I have never ever caused any kind of accident, had a speeding ticket or parking ticket. I consider myself a very safe driver with great judgment and attention. This was a total accident! Ken's car got scratched on his front right, and mine have a dent in the back bumper.

I feel so bad; I would never intentionally do anything like this, of course. Ken freaked out on me, pretty much making me feel like a total looser, like I don't care about my car at all. He kept saying he knows every little scratch on his car, because he always park away from people and is careful. I on the other hand have lots of dents and scratches on mine. That is not true, my car only have minor dents, all caused by other people. He is also a driver who speeds, never uses his turn signal and so on. If there was a real comparison I am sure I would come out as the safest driver, bar none. My car is almost 5 years old. It would be unreasonable to think I would have no dings by now.

Very frustrating that he would get mad at me like that. He kept going on and on. I am just not going to mention the incident any more. I think it is very unfair to treat me like that, I am a great driver, and what happened was just a result of the circumstances at the time. Maybe he should focus his energy on something more important, like, World Hunger!

I will update you on the pups when they get home.

Have a great day!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Glad I stuck with it!

Well, we have had some problems with our cable service, so BrightHouse came by and did a great job. They replaced all the inside and outside cables.

To my surprise I was still not getting access to more than half my speed when testing it!

So I figured it would have to be something in our set up. We have two computers hard wired to a wireless router, which the laptop connects to as well. The VoIP box is first, then the router. I know the router is brand new and very good, so the most likely culprit is the VoIP box. It is after all a few year sold...

I have now spent most of my morning on the phone with tech support in India. I know they are in India not just because of the accent they all have, but I asked and the guy said yes, I am in India. That was a first, usually they like to pretend they are actually in the US...

Anyway, the first guy said his system was down and he would call back asap. No call. The second guy was able to re-allocate the broadband usage of the VoIP, which I wasn't able to do by myself. The third guy is my hero! A simple thing as installing the router directly after the modem and then the VoIP box did the trick! Yes! Now everything is working as it should. Very happy in deed.

I am finishing up some laundry, then I will pack up the dogs and Sarah and head over to Ken's office. We are bringing some yummy take out and then we will all go for a nice, long walk. It will be in the high 70s today (up to 26 C), so it will be wonderful I am sure!

Tomorrow we are going to the beach for breakfast and then we are doing some fishing off of Anna Maria City Pier.

Hope you all are having a great weekend as well!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Lady Bugs!

As some of you might remember, Sarah got a butterfly garden for her birthday in May, and we followed the metamorphosis from larvae, then pupae and finally butterflies!

It was a very cool experience, and we were even lucky enough to see an actual butterfly emerge.

So for Christmas we wanted something similar, and voila, we got the Lady Bug Land.

After sending in the enclosed voucher we today finally got our live larvae. They seem to like it in their new digs.

They came with enough food to last them through the entire lifecycle. They sure are fast little critters! I will update with photos when anything new happens. It will be cool seeing these fugly little things turn into lady bugs...