Thursday, July 31, 2008

Helpful dogs

That is MY chair!

I come back from a quick visit to the kitchen, and this is what I find in my chair...

Stan (black) Bob (red)

Maybe they want to give me a helping paw with work? Or it could have something to do with the great view from this particular chair of the squirrels outside. Either way they are cute!


Fick ord från Danmark imorse att det var OK med förlängning, inte lika länge som jag ville men...

Och när jag satt och väntade på köpordern fick jag ett meddelande: slutkunden had ställt in hela projektet! Ja ja, så kan det gå. Det händer då och då. Tråkigt, men samtidigt en lättnad. Nu kan jag ju hinna med att slappa lite i helgen med. Dessutom får jag hela tiden småprojekt, så nu hinner jag ju med dem i god ordning med. Så det gör inte så mycket!

Fick ord från en av mina bästa vänninor som vi ska hem till på poolparty den 16 augusti att de har bestämt sig för att flytta till Kalifornien. Synd, de är så trevliga. Men jag förstår deras beslut, båda deras familjer bor där.

Nu mer jobb! Ha det!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Weird habits

I was just noticing that very often I sit with my leg up on the desk when I type (as in working).

Weird, but oddly enough very comfortable for me! I also have a very hard time sitting with my legs down when I am watching TV or when I am a passenger in the car, I much rather have my feet up on something.

Me in my most common working position (the surgery site is healing well, by the way, still needs to be bandaged up)

Do you have any weird computer (or otherwise) habits?


Jag är lite nervös, jag håller just på att förhandlar med en kund för att se om de kan förlänga sin deadline för ett projekt de vill att jag ska göra. Om de går med på det kommer jag att ha dubbla sumo-stora projekt i en vecka. Men jag räknar med att det ska gå bra, om jag jobbar lite varje kväll efter att Sarah har gått till sängs och går upp lite tidigare och jobbar lite innan hon vaknar. För när hon är hemma är det bara hon och jag, inget jobb.

Det rör sig dock bara om en extra vecka med supermycket jobb, sedan går det ner till "bara" mycket jobb. Det där riktigt stora jobbet har jag ju flera veckor på mig, så jag skulle kunna trycka in det här i mellan. Jag gör ju ändå flera andra småjobb mellan hela tiden. Det hade ju inte varit helt fel med en extra $2500 för en vecka av lite lidande (för tufft lär det bli).

Vi får väl se imorgon när min kund har pratat med sin kund (de är i Danmark). Det är ett OK projekt, är visst en hö-balningsmaskin, så inget för krångligt eller så. Tänk om jag kunde skrapa in $20 000 på ett par månader? Det hade ju inte varit helt fel alls... Skulle verkligen behövas! Dessutom har jag inget emot att slita ett tag när man får sådana här saftiga projekt, det gör mig inget alls!

Jag har hast problem hela våren och sommaren att få in Sarah i simskolan på YMCA, vi är inte medlemmar, och då måste man vänta tills alla medlemmar har tagit de platser de vill ha först. Men nu, med sista sessionen för sommaren fick vi äntligen plats! Så hon kommer att gå klockan fem varje tisdag och torsdag eftermiddag för att lära sig simma. Då hinner jag jobba innan, och hon hinner gå på sommarkollot och den 18 augusti när lekis börjar, hinner hon sluta (tror de slutar fem över tre där). Ska bli kul för henne! Klassen går fram till den 28 augusti, samma dag som mitt nästa Sverige-besök kommer, så det passar ju utmärkt.

Imorgon ska alla på kollot på samlad utflykt till Chuckee Cheese's, ett ställe som jag kallar "barnens Las Vegas", de har massor av spel och kul för dem att leka med och spela, och när de är klara så tar de sina vinstbiljetter och får välja ut ett pris. Stället är dessutom pizzarestaurang. Hon tycker det ska bli jättekul att gå dit imorgon med sina kompisar, hon har bara varit där två gånger förut, men då hade hon superkul!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Good deal

Sometimes it is good to have a husband...

My dear Ken is not just a CPA and certified financial adviser, he is also a software developer, and have among other things come out with a software aimed at CPAs.

A friend of Ken's gave him the tip that he might qualify for a Microsoft developer member (don't remember what it was called). Any way, he DID qualify, and this means he and his company gets up to 10 FREE licenses of ANY MICROSOFT SOFTWARE, ANY! Just imagine the happy look on his face when he realized how many thousands of dollars he now will save...

The best part for me is that I am an employee of Ken's company, I am actually the Director of Marketing, and as such I can also get any free Microsoft software for my computers (they only need 7-8 for his office). Wow! We will be ordering everything next week, it will be sent out from Microsoft on CDs. That is just amazing! I am SO happy, I was just about to upgrade a few things, and now I only have to upgrade my Adobe Acrobat Pro. How cool is that?


Regnet fullkommligt ÖSER ner ute, riktigt våldsamt! Just nu skulle jag gärna vilja göra som hundarna, som har virat in sig i varsin filt och sover så gott... Men, alldeles för mycket jobb för att kunan göra det. Det får nog bli en koffeinrik kall dryck istället.

Regnet är så rytmiskt och sövande, så jag behöver något uppgiggande!

Hoppas att ni alla har en trevlig vecka, här lär det bara bli jobb och vardag. Förhoppningsvis hittar vi på något kul i helgen som omväxling!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Laaaazy weekend

Wow. What a week! This is the most I have ever worked! Last night I definitely felt it, I was sooo tired! My plan for today was to do nothing but rest and have fun, after all, I have barely been out of the house all week.

Sarah and I went to a large outlet mall and stocked up on clothes for her for next summer, I usually buy a lot at this time of the year, when they all have their end of summer clearances. Got some really good deals! Then we also got some more socks and shoes for Kindergarten, since they have that stupid shoe rule...

We also got a few things for myself at the GAP and then had a slow and leisurely lunch before heading back home.

I just booked our cruise on December 18, I splurged and got a nice ocean view cabin. Should be a nice cruise, 10th anniversary and all! We are all really looking forward to it.

Now, I am thinking about taking a nap. The thunder is rolling in, and I am really tired. When Ken comes home at 5 PM we are going to a place called Smuggler's Cove, where they have some really cool mini golf. Sarah went there with school, and she calls it Pirate Mini Golf, since the whole place is a pirate ship with water surrounding it, with real alligators!

After that it is a nice dinner at one of my favorite Mexican places, the Mexicali Border Cafe. They have one of the best salsas there, all freshly home made, yummy!

Then tomorrow will be my cleaning day, since after all, I only have the weekend to that not so funny stuff. Laundry and cleaning, oh well.

And on Monday the next huge batch of work is already waiting on my computer. I have 6 weeks to finish it all, but I am planning on doing it in 2½, no more than 3. That would be at a comfortable pace without getting too worked out. Great to have some work rolling in.

I really don't mind working hard when I know I will get rewarded in the end. I probably wouldn't be so happy if I worked for someone else, it is great to be a freelancer!

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Finger cramp!

I finished the bigger project today, and tomorrow I have a large editing project, not as much typing involved in that, luckily. Just got news that the next batch of the big job will come in tomorrow! That is another 50,000 words, in money that means $6,000 for me! I have until September 1 to finish that, but if it is similar to what the last one was, which was 20,000 words and took me about 1 week, I should be able to do it comfortable in 3 weeks! That way I will have room for my other regular clients as well in between and can be done before my Swedish visitors starts to drop by in the end of August and September.

I am NOT complaining, I love having a lot of work, I need money, so bring it on!

Take care!

Great week!

First of all, I feel great! No more fainting problems at all. Sarah came home with a cold, but it seems pretty mild. I had a really sore throat for one day, but it seems to have passed now. Sarah sounds like a croaking frog, but other than that she is doing pretty OK too!

I have been working like a nut all week, and was able to finish the largest project just now, 1 day ahead of schedule. This brings the total amount for what I have made this week to just under $4,000, so you can understand I am very happy! Plus, the newest client has way more projects coming my way, at least $12,000 the next month or so. Very happy indeed!

We have decided we will go on that cruise for sure, so I am going to shop around to get the best price this afternoon, book it and pay the deposit. It will be great to have a few fun things to look forward, it makes everyday boring stuff so much better.

First: cousin Mari comes for 12 days on August 28, then my mom and aunt for 3 weeks on September 21, then a mini vacation when I have to go to the annual American Translators Associations conference. I have already booked and paid for a nice hotel, so we are just trying to figure out some fun stuff to go with that, and then , a cruise to the western Caribbean, including Mexico, on December 18, just in time for our anniversary on December 19. Great!

Now, back to work...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rain is good, but...

It has been difficult concentrating on work today because of the X number of mosquito bites I have on my arms and legs! It has been raining a LOT the last few weeks, which is greatly needed. But it also provides the perfect breeding grounds for these little pesky critters.

Sarah and I both have been using the antihistamine cream frequently, but it still itches... And we haven't been out much at dusk, the time of the day when they are most active. There are just a lot of them, and they are hungry!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday dinner out/Sunday work

We had a really nice dinner out yesterday. We went to one of our old favorites, the Beach House on Anna Maria Island. You can always count on a nice view there, as the restaurant is directly on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico. I had a very nice grilled swordfish, and we just enjoyed a little relaxation.

Me with the Gulf of Mexico in the background

Sarah had brought all the dinosaurs she got at the Dinosaur World, so she was having a good time playing with those.

Sarah playing with her dinos

I still felt a bit weird after the fainting incident earlier in the day, but after an afternoon of resting it wasn't too bad.

Today is all about work. I need to get as much done as I can, this upcoming week is going to be grueling, since my deadline is Friday. They will extend until next Monday if need be, but it would of course be better to finish by Friday. So the more I can do today, the less I haev to do this upcoming week.

And to work we go...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dinosaur World

We packed everyone up, including the dogs, and headed over to Dinosaur World in Plant City this morning.

The dogs were very excited, since they rarely get to come on adventurous. This park, owned by a Swede, actually, is very dog friendly. and they even encourage you to bring your canine friends.

It was a hot day, but the park (all outside) was situated in a very forested and shady area, perfect! It was pretty cool walking around all the paths, looking at the life size dinos. They are all recreated to look as close to what the researchers believe they might have looked, based on fossils.
Stan and Bob wondering what all those big creatures are over there

Hey, not every day you get to pet a dinosaur!

Sarah caught a Florida lizard (we have tons of these little things running around). She gave him a little kiss. He is after all a real relative to all those big dinos!

Oh no! It is going to swallow her!

Sarah had a great time, and after getting a few things from the git shop, she, myself and the dogs waited outside the entrance for Ken. As soon as he came out I noticed my hearing was all messed up. I could hear less and less, at the same time I felt nauseated and dizzy.

There was really no place to sit down, so I just wanted to make it out to the car, but as we were walking it just got worse. The last few feet I had zero vision and just very muffled hearing, I felt I had very little motor control. It was some really scary stuff! After getting into the car whatever that was quickly started to dissipate, and I soon felt much better.

I have no idea what happened, I was not tired, it was not too hot, I didn't feel sick, I had food and drink right before. Weird! The only thing I can image would be my low blood pressure. It has always been on the lower side, and I did faint a few times when I was a preteen. But this is the worst "fainting attack" (if that was what it was) since then! Very scary!

As soon as we got home I took a shower, and then I felt super tired, so I took an hour long nap. Now I feel OK, but still have that weird sensation in my ears, that the sound is a bit off. I think I better take it easy rest of the day, we are just planning on going don to the beach for dinner.

I guess my body i snot too happy that I have been feeling so good the last 6 months, it always have to be something, right?!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Upcoming Anniversary

On December 19 Ken and I will celebrate our 10th Anniversary. I can't believe we have already been married that long, time goes by fast! Since it is a bit of a milestone we have decided to celebrate with a little trip. We can't really take that much time of since Ken has his business, I have mine, and Sarah will be in Kindergarten.

But we figured a good alternative would be a cruise. There are several cruises that leave out of Tampa, and that would work great. Our thought was maybe a Royal Caribbean cruise leaving on December 18 (Thursday), with stops in Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. It is a 4 night, 5 day cruise, not too long.

Ken's dad works for a travel agency, and he has always said he can get us a great deal on a cruise, so we will definitely check that out. The best part of a cruise? Except for the Internet cafe on board, where you can use a computer for 50 cents a minute, there is NO wireless access, No cellphone coverage. So Ken would have NO choice than to actually be on vacation! That would be a first ;-)!

We are of course bringing Sarah, since it wouldn't be much fun without her.

As it is now, we will probably take the ferry to Playa Del Carmen so we can visit the ancient ruins of Tulum, the famous Mayan temples. Does anyone have any ideas for excursions in Cozumel?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Today it is the world premier of a new computer game called Spore - Creature Creature. We got it in advance a few days ago, and I have to tell you it is pretty addictive creating your own aliens. At only $10 it is a pretty cheap thrill. Of course, a more advanced game will come along later on that they want you to buy, but for now, this is pretty fun.

You can download a free version (limited what you can do), but for only $10 I think it is worth buying. Sarah is in love, she loves creating her own monsters and give them individual personalities.

This game is from the creators behind the wildly successful The Sims series, so you can imagine it is pretty well made.

Check out SPORE Creature Creator and build your own alien. Cool!

Keep it coming!

As you all know by now I work as a freelance translator. I have been doing this full time (as much as being sick and having a new baby allowed) for the last 8 years.

This year seem to have been my breakthrough year. Mainly probably because I am not battling my disease anymore, but I have just become more established and my name is in more translation agencies databases. I have a nice bunch of regular clients that are happy and keep coming back, and I get more referrals from happy clients.

This all translates into more work, which in its turn translates into more money for me. In the beginning it was not at all easy to make a living as a freelance. In fact, I would never been able to survive on my own, without Ken.

But now it seems to produce a regular, decent income! I am so happy, worrying about money is never fun. Yesterday I landed my biggest client as of yet. To start I will do 120,000 words, and that is almost $15,000. In a couple of months! And it seems it might be more coming from that client as well. To top it off nicely the agency manager is very nice and easy to work with, the project is fairly easy, they have a good reputation as to their payment practices (after all, what good is it to make money if they don't pay me?)

I got the first 20,000 words yesterday, due next Friday. This means full time summer camp for Sarah next week, and full speed for me. I should still be able to take time off for both my Swedish visits coming up, first cousin Mari on August 28 and then my mom (grandmother) and aunt on September 21.

And this is on top of regular work that I will be doing to. My plan is to pay off a high interest credit card I have. I am not sure what happen, I know I am not the only one, but all of a sudden interest rates on credit cards just started to go up a LOT! So this gets me a chance to get rid of that. Then I have to pay a large chunk of payroll taxes and some of my student loan that is due in the end of August.

But this gives me a fairly good position for spring to work and put away money for another trip to Sweden... I just wish it was as cheap to go to Sweden as it is for Swedes coming here!

It is a nice feeling knowing I will have money this fall. They say money doesn't make you happy, but it sure make me very happy! :-)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Boredom

So what do you do when your 5 year is whining "I'm booooorrreeeedd, mommy"? Well, if you like me are trying to work, you get frustrated.

So we took a break and went over to Target, we had to start stocking up on school supplies for Kindergarten anyway... I found this cute little play tent in the clearance section. It had been $39.99 and was now just $5. A pretty good bargain! Sarah has now been busy setting up her new "clubhouse" and playing in there. Perfect on a rainy day like this! Turned out to be a good investment...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Roadkill Bob

I know Bob is on the plump side. And that he doesn't move a lot... but today he was apparently mistaken for roadkill!

Sometimes I let him hang out on a leash in the front yard. He loves basking in the sun, and I can see if anyone tried to go up to him from my window (not that he wouldn't bark their head of first).

So when he started barking this afternoon I figured it was just a kid on a bike that went by or something. To my surprise I found to vultures ("gamar" in Swedish) walking around Bob in circles. There were no other roadkill or anything else nearby that I could see as being interesting to them. They saw Bob and saw a meal. Poor thing! Check them out below:


Siting here and waiting for my dental appointment. Have to fix 3 small cavities, the kind that only shows up on X-rays and is between the teeth. I hate drilling. Luckily I very rarely have cavities...

Sarah is at Summer Camp all day today. This morning I felt so tired so I went back to bed after she and Ken left at 7:45 AM. Slept for another 1½! That was a long time since I did that! I knew I only had a few smaller projects that are easy to deal with for work, so I didn't feel that bad.

The only positive thing about going to the dentist in the middle of the day is that I can blame that for not having time to clean. Aw shucks! Darn, and I who just was looking forward to cleaning sooo much...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cypress Gardens

We took the little longer, scenic route to Cypress Gardens, which is located in Winter Gardens, in the mid central Florida. It took us almost 2 hours to get there, but I rather look at farms and pastures than the boring I-75 and I-4 highways roadsides...

We had a very nice day, riding rides and enjoying the beautiful surroundings along Lake Eloise (I can't keep from singing that Swedish "dansbandsdängan" "Eloise" when I hear that name.. Eeeeelloooiiiiss!

We even got Ken to ride several roller coasters, which is extremely rare! There was one of those things that takes you really, really high up in the air and then just drops you in a free fall. Sarah and I went on that, and I was like shivering jell-o after that one, but Sarah didn't mind, even though she didn't like the ride. She got nerves of steel, that kid! On one of the roller coasters Sarah and I stayed on 4 times in a row, since the line was so short.

The scariest ride by far was the "Pharaoh's Boat", you know, one of those ship things that slings you high up in the air until you think it is going to topple over. Not that the ride itself was that scary, no, in the middle of the ride all of a sudden I felt a sting! I look down inside my shirt, and out flies a hornet. Ouch! Right on my boob! That looked a bit swelled and painful for a few hours, but now I just have a faint bruise where the stinger was. But don't get stung on a boob, I don't recommend it! ;-)

Before we left we took a stroll to the beautiful butterfly garden. One of the butterflies took a liking to Ken, as you can see here below:

Sarah and I on our way up in the Ferris Wheel, we got a bit crazy in the rain!

Ken and his new friend.

Sarah and one of the classic "Southern Belles" that stroll around the Gardens.

Friday, July 11, 2008


Just came back from picking Sarah up from summer camp. I had just finished the last work project for the day and figured it was a great stopping point for work, it being 4:15 PM and all.

I did hear the thunder storm outside, but I normally have no problem with thunder, in fact, I love it!

That is, when I am safe and sound at home... Today I had Ken's car, a convertible with a fabric roof... Those lightning bolts were coming from all over and I saw several hit things along the road! I drove all hunkered down in the car, as if that would do much good if some lightning came my way. The dogs were with me in the car as well, and they were just as scared as I was. It didn't help that the rain was so bad I could only see a little bit in front of the car...

I guess Tampa Bay is not called the "lightning capital of the world" for nothing... Apparently 10 people die from lightning strikes in Florida every year. And the statistics say people in their 30s are the most likely to be hit! Yikes!

Fat and healthy...

I saw my rheumatologist the other day. He was all giddy over how good I am doing after the big surgery, but he was especially happy that I had plumped out so much and gotten juicy. Apparently that is the best sign that my body is doing great, that I am able to utilize the nutrients in the food that I eat.

Of course I am not very happy! I had gotten quite happy with feeling skinny. Well, most good things don't last for long. And since I was only 125 lbs after the surgery, I now feel like a stuffed sausage. I gained 20 lbs! I know, I know it is a sign I am doing great and bla blah.

But seriously. I need to start thinking more about what I eat. Not going on a diet, that is a big no no for me, just skipping all the sugary temptations I so crave. All. The. Time. I am a true sugar addict I might add.

So my plan was to stop buying crap and just eat my three regular meals a day. Not diet food, just regular food. No candy, no baked sweet goods. When my sister was here we all went overboard with the eating, really enjoying ourselves.

Now I would like to fit into my old pants again. But on the other hand, I don't think my body is really designed to be a size 6. But a size 8 would be nice. I am a large size 10 right now. But since I am 5 foot 8, (173 cm) I still don't look that fat, more like... little bloated.

I have actually been able to loose 4 lbs this week just by sticking to the good stuff and skipping the junk food. See! But I would like to weigh no more than 135 lbs. Oh well, good luck with that, since I have two more Swedish visits to look forward too, I just couldn't say NO to a great big bag of Swedish "smågodis" now could I? ;-) That would be downright RUDE of me.... ;-)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Leg and work

I probably mentioned earlier that I had a mole removed that turned out to be cancerous. No big deal for me, since it is not exactly the first time. I go for check ups twice a year and I am very aware of all my gazillion moles.

This particular mole was a little tiny black dot on my left leg. Nothing much, but since it wasn't there during my last exam I asked her to slice it off. And sure enough, it was a bad bugger!

Usually when they slice things off that is it. If it was benign, good. If not, they usually got all of it. This time (as a few times before) they didn't get quite the clean border they needed to have to ensure it wouldn't spread. So they had to cut some more.

As soon as she started to cut I knew the numbing meds hadn't taken. So she had to give me more. And more! I got 4 times the normal dose, but still felt a little, but at that point I just told her to cut anyway, since I just wanted it over with. Since this is a secondary cut it is a bit deeper and will likely leave a pretty good scar, so I will make sure to really take care of the wound for a long time to minimize that possibility. This is the first time I had a secondary removal in such a visible spot, so I really want to do what I can to minimize the scarring. Ken thinks I should tell people the scar is from a shark bite or something like that. Sounds better than saying you had a mole removed, ha ha!!!

Since it is a deeper cut I also have to have a pressure bandage on for a while, before switching to regular bandages. Sigh! A bit hard to work today with all that throbbing pain. I might have to dip into that bottle of nice little white pills they gave me for the pain... But hey, at least I am cancer free (for this time)! :-)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer slump

I don't know what it is, but I just haven't ha dmuch energy for blogging latly. Maybe it is teh hot summer days... I haven't been doing much but work and clean and othe rboring things the last few days. We did go out and saw some really nice fireworks on 4th of July, downtown Bradenton.

Sarah had her first day back in "school" today (or summer camp as it is called). She was extra excited about going to Smuggler's Cove mini golf park today, something she has been wanting to do for a while. They have a pirate ship and real alligators swimming in a mote!

On Saturday we are planning on going to a place called Cypress Gardens. This is one of Florida's oldest amusement parks.

Founded in 1936, Cypress Gardens was a showcase for Central Florida and paved the way for other parks such as Disney and Universal to follow. The beautiful botanical gardens became the backdrop for beautiful belles and peaceful boat rides, as well as many movies and thousands of advertising campaigns over the years. Familiar Starlets who have visited include Betty Davis, Johnny Carson, Carol Burnett, Esther Williams and Elvis to name just a few.

Proclaimed the Water Ski Capitol of the World, Cypress Gardens became the birthplace of performance water skiing in 1941.

The park was closed in 2003 after a severe blow to the tourism industry on September 11, 2001.
The park is now reopened and more beautiful than ever! Everything has been renovated, and the park has so many fun rides it is hard to ride them all in one day. The great gardens around the lake are still in full swing, and it is just a family vibe over the whole thing. I think the park is still struggling, since their location in the middle of Florida makes it a bot difficult to find. Last time we were there we could stay on all the rides and ride as many times we wanted, since there were that little people. They also have a nice water park within the park itself that is included in the admission. And that we got 1 free ticket and one at 50 % off doesn't hurt either. Should be a fun day!