Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More shopping today

After a night of heavy rain we drove down to southern Sarasota where we had a nice lunch at Sweet Tomatoes, a great salad buffet place.

Then we headed over to the Westfield Shopping Center, one of the larger shopping malls in our area. There Wivan got a haircut and we shopped a bit at Claire's and the Clinique counter at Dillard's. We also managed to do some damage at The Body Shop.

Wivan and Ewa outside the mall entrance.

Wivan got a great haircut, it was only 125 SEK with tips, a bargain!

Looking good!

Then it was time to pick up Sarah in school, so we stopped by Auntie Annie's to get some pretzels to snack on a something cold to drink. And that brings us pretty much up to date.

Tomorrow we are planning a visit to the Sarasota Jungle Gardens after we pick up Sarah from school at 1:15 PM.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Myakka River State Park

Today we headed to Florida's largest state park, just southeast of Sarasota. Our goal was to see alligators, and you can take a look at the movie below to see how much luck we had in that department...

At least according to the signs that abound in the park, alligators do live here...

The old oaks with the Spanish moss hanging like beards from the branches are beautiful and stately (even though it is not really a moss and not really Spanish, it is a flowering plant...)

A enormous (about the size of an adult's palm) Golden silk orb weaver (also commonly called "Banana Spider" in its web... It is venomous, but its neuro toxin (similar to that of the black widow) is not deadly for humans, and will most likely" just" cause pain for 24 hours...

This state park has an abundance of vultures, mainly black vultures and turkey vultures (these are black vultures)...

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Day in paradise

This sign in the beach house we got to borrow from Ken's friend says it all...

Wivan enjoying the tranquility on the deck...


Great spot to relax at after lots of swimming...

Wivan och Ewa compare shell finds...

The pelicans are hanging out...

The steps down to the beach...

A washed up sea urchin...

The beach house taken from down at the beach...

The front of the house...


Inside the house's relaxing living room...

From a different angle...

Wivan and her great grand child Sarah having lots of fun in the Gulf of Mexico...

Ewa on the hunt for cool shells (which we found lots of one this private, undisturbed beach)...

Just beautiful (and all ours for the day)...

The front of the house (you can see teh upstairs hurricane shields are still down)...

An infinite ocean, just us and the wild life...

I wish I had a view like this every day!

You can see where the latest storm ate away the sand all the way up to the palm trees.

My car with a Swedish flag!

Lots of fish, they used us as a reef to hide from the birds!

The girls frolicking in the surf...

Future rock star?

Sarah was dancing to the music on the TV, she acted like a real rock star!

Friday dinner out

On Friday night we had a very yummy dinner at one of my local favorites, JoTo's Japanese Steak House. We had the teppanyaki style dinner when they cook directly on the table in front of you. It is very entertaining and very deliciosus...

Ewa & me

Our food in skilled hands

Shrimp, steak and veggies

Mormor and Ken

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just a quick check in

Picking up my grandmother (mom) Wivan and aunt Ewa at the airport was an adventure, Wivan arrived with a full-on nose bleed, and when she has one of her famous nose bleeds she can bleed forever. So she was covered in blood... Jösses!

And then Ewa realized she lost her wallet on the plane, so I had to dash down to the air line counter to try and localize it before the plane left for it's next flight. Luckily, my aunt quickly realized that her wallet was not lost, just in her bag somewhere.

So far we have taken it pretty easy. Done some grocery shopping and just everyday kind of stuff. We did take mom to her first ever visit to a Thai restaurant. She is the kind of person who complains about everything, and she was going on about not being able to eat that kind of food, that this and everything...

Wivan really enjoyed her red curry dish!

When the food came in why had to pry the plate out of her hands, she loved her red curry chicken so much! :-)

Ewa has severe nickel allergy, and the silverware was all nickel plated, so she ended up having to eat with plastic utensils at the restaurant!

We went shopping for fresh herb plants at a local garden center

Yesterday we visited the South Florida Museum to get a dose of local history, and we also got to meet the resident manatee there. His name is Snooty, and he is well over 50 years old.

Snooty and his two other manatee friends enjoy feeding time (on the menu today: lettuce!)

We also enjoyed a planetary show at the museum's IMAX theater, and Sarah is here waiting for us to get let into the theater

Today is mostly going to be rest, they are still pretty jet lagged. We have to get to a store to get aunt Ewa a new memory card to her camera, her old one seem to have conked out.

The weather has all of a sudden decided to get "mild", which for Florida is not cold, but just a tad less humid. It is apparently only going to last through to Monday, so we better enjoy it while we can. Unfortunately this type of weather also affects my joints, and I had a very hard time this morning, mainly because the joints around my rib caged was hurting so bad. Now it is mostly my hands that are hurting.

My aunt likes to clean. I don't. She is obsessively scrubbing away in the kitchen every day, and it is odd to have everything so clean and in order. There is just no way I can have it like that when I am by myself, but I will enjoy it during their 3 week stay!

Oh, and I had pannbiff med lök, kokt potatis med brunsås och linogonsylt on Monday. YUM!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Klona mig, tack!

Har jobbat ganska mycket den senaste veckan. Och det gör det lite svårt att storstäda inför stundande besök. Det är verkliget ett stort behov av städning här, efter 3 veckor på sjukhus och efterföljande återhämtning. Och sedan var det bara sprutt in i jobbet igen. Så det var verkligen bedrövligt häromkring.

Men hur kan man städa och jobba samtidigt? Inte alls speciellt bra. Det slutade med att jag gick och la mig stel och ojandes över allehanda kroppssmärtor efter en hel dags städande igår. Vid sådana här tillfällen blir jag verkligen påmind om att jag ju faktiskt har lupus, ju. Aj. Kunde knappt gå upprätt. Och då var jag inte ens i närheten av att vara klar!

Nu verkar det finnas hopp. Jag tror att lite dammsugning i två rum, vikning och undanplockning av 3 lass tvätt, undanplock i köket (javisst ja, ska ju äta lunch med!).

Klickan är tjugo itvå. Allt detta ska hinnas, med plus duscha och göra mig iordning. Jag och Sarah måste köra iväg till flygplatsen kvart i fem. 3 timmar. Ja det får väl bara gå det! Vila kan jag ju göra i bilen på väg till flyget, ha ha!

Men jag ska inte klaga. Jag är bara oerhört tacksam att ha fått tillbala styrkan i kroppen, det var apjobbigt att vara så trött efter sjukhusvistelsen. Usch ja!

Mormor (mamma) och moster landade i tid i Chicago, så nu får vi hoppas att det inte blir några förseningar med inrikesflyget till Tampa. Ska bli så kul!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I must be getting old or something. I had just washed all the bed sheets last night, and Ken got them from the dryer. I started putting them on, and then I realized I was one pillow cover (the one that goes under the pillow case). But I knew I had it! I could see how I put it on a pillow! But no. Weird.

So I went back to the dryer and checked, nothing. I was really starting to get some brain pain trying to figure it out when it dawned on me. I took off the pillow case from the pillow that was all done, zippered up the pillow cover. Sure enough. I had put two pillow covers on one pillow...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Odd dream

Eaaaaarly this morning I had a dream when I checked into a hotel. I took the elevator up to my room, which was on the 7th floor. After going to bed I was abruptly awaken by the family across the hallway. Their baby twins were screaming like crazy, you know, that kind of really pissed off baby scream, really loud. It kept going on and on, so finally I called down to complain, maybe they could move me to a different room or something.

Then I woke up (for real). But the babies were still crying! Confused I tried to wake up a bit more to figure out how that was possible. Then I heard it: apparently a couple of cats were having "passionate" sex outside our bedroom window. If you have ever heard cats going at it you know how laud that can be! I think it is because the male cat has some kind of hooks on his penis, and he is stuck inside the female until he has done his business. And of course, the female screams in pain. Yikes! No screams of pleasure there...

They went at if for at least 35 minutes. Then, the early morning was once again quiet. Weird how stuff like that kind creep into a dream!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Feeling kind of restless today, hope I can get stuff done.

A guy from BrightHouse cable company is coming out to take a look at our Internet. I have been noticing we have only been getting 7 Mbits the last few weeks, when we should have 15 Mbits. I just haven't had time to call them until now. They have the best customer service, always a yes can do attitude and the customer first. Much appreciated!

I need to clean the kitchen.

Need to clean on top of the shelf were the router and cable modem is too, so they poor guy don't get engulfed in dust...

Just imagine all that dust lurking high up on that office shelf!

Need to go though Sarah's billion toys and weed out the broken stuff and things she no longer need.

Need to do some laundry.

Need to do my books for July and August.

Need to see that cool movie I have saved on my computer...

Need a caffeine boost - NOW!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Bad doggy!

We have a very pissed off daughter right now... I just got back from picking up Sarah at school and going to the grocery store.

When we got back to the house she discovered that the dogs (most likely Stan) has helped himself to her art she brought home last week. It was a beautiful plate with red colored pasta shapes glued to it. It is now just a plate. No more pasta.

Yum, said the dog. Hm.

Money starting to come in

Spent this morning paying bills. Finally people are paying me! 4 of the biggest amounts due are all coming in this week. There is only one that seems to be problematic, a company in Canada.

I have a strong feeling they are not planning on paying me the $750 they owe me. I gave them a last chance to pay, we will see. But I am NOT going away quietly, I will contact a collection agency in their area, since I only have to pay if they collect. It would be worth it even if I only got to keep half. I will also contact their local Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, plus post to the payment practices boards I belong to for translators, to make sure no other translators work with them.

I called the company today, since they are not responding to my e-mails, and they hung up on me! No you don't!

They will not get away with this easy, that is for sure! They really piss me off!

Friday, September 12, 2008


As you remember, the other day I sprayed the entire outside of the house with bug spray.

Well, apparently that didn't quite take. I was going in through the patio doors, when in the last second, I noticed a couple of black widow eggs sacks INSIDE the door handle! Shit, they were NOT There the other day... A closer look, and sure enough. Mommy spider was still around, guarding her off spring.

I kind of panicked, sprayed her with the water hose, but she only looked pissed off. Don't ask me how I dared, but I took some pictures f her! You can really see the distinct red hour glass shape on her abdomen. After the pictures were taken she got thoroughly showered in bug spray, no WAY she could have survived that... And the egg sacks got soaked in poison as well.

When I walked around the house to turn off the hose, I saw more egg sacks hanging from the kitchen window. I decided to take a picture of those, and not until I looked at the camera's display did I see the angry mother spider, she had been hidden from my sight, but since I angled the camera up there I got her in the shot too, apparently. She is now also dead.

Here are some comparative pictures:

Pro picture of a black widow

My picture of a black (or brown) black widow (you can hint at the red hour glass shape on the belly)

Pro picture of a brown widow and its egg sacks

My picture of widow egg sacks (and the mom I didn't know was there!)

So the conclusion to this is that the very venomous widow really likes our house!

Great day!

The fungal stuff works great, it is already so much better! The only bad thing is that the infection must have irritated the wound, so now it is wide open again. It had started to slowly close up. But I think it will get a chance to close up again now when the fungus is taking care of.

It is pretty unbelievable, but I still have not gotten paid from some of those clients that owe me money! I was starting to get really uneasy abut my bills piling up (not that many, but I really don't like to pay anything late).

Well today I got electronic receipts saying that money is on its way from two of them, one is a bank transfer from London, and the other one a check from California. So I should have at least $3,000 by next week. Finally!!! Then I can wait patiently for the other $5,000 I am owed, at least my bills are paid and I have food on the table.

Since I have been very careful with the little cash I had left, I have taken the opportunity to go through the freezer and the pantry to see what I can cook from what I have there. We actually had some really good dinners with that (grilled provencal salmon with cheese and garlic tortellini with tomatoe sauce anyone?), and I got my freezer cleaned out which is something that needed to be done anyway.

Another fun thing that happened was that the hospital were I had teh surgery contacted me to ask if I wanted to be featured in their next newsletter they send out to people like me, that has had colorectal surgery. They considered me to be such a positive person with a great attitude, so they wanted to show other patients that surgery can be positive too. So they interviewed me and asked all kinds of fun questions and that will appear in the next issue along with my photo. Cool!

And a third fun thing was that I today got a package from Allure magazine, one of my favorite magazine (mostly beauty related, I look to this magazine to see what is new and in on this front).

I have been a member of their reader panel for a while, and now they contacted me saying they had selected me to be one of the featured reader reviwers. This is usually a small section in the magazine with three women or so, talking about a product they have tested, how they liked it or not. The product they sent me for testing was Chanel's new mascara, Exceptionnel. Fun fun fun! So look for my picture and review in an upcoming issue (I will let you know if I find out which one).

Now Sarah and I are taking a long walk with the dogs before dinner.


I have to take anti fungal medication for 2 weeks. But that is OK. I woke up this morning with a whole lot less itching! Didn't even know you could get a fungus infection in a wound!

I have been very busy with work, so that has been nice and distracting as well.

The house looks normal again. Luckily we had a guy to come here yesterday to fix a problem with the grout on our floors, and that meant I had to clean up a bit. So nice to have that done.

And yesterday and today I wen ton my first long walks with the dogs. It was hot, but my energy lasted throughout. Great!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Medical Curse Strikes Again!

I should have known better then start feeling all good again. With my energy almost back to normal I was looking forward to the wound closing up (not yet) so I can get on with life.

A few days ago I noticed a slight discomfort. This is now a major discomfort that drives me insane almost! The wound is all red and full of little tiny blisters. Not like you can scratch an open wound either...

Finally this morning I e-mailed my doctor's office with a close up picture. They were luckily able to tell from that picture (yay for modern technology) that I have a yeast infection in the wound! Great to know it is something simple, but it will probably take days before I get any relief from the infection... Sigh. What have I done to constantly get hit by medical problems? I must have been really bad in a previous life or something...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Följ min blogg med bloggkoll

Upptäckte nyligen hur smidigt det är att använda mig av Bloggkoll. Jag matar bara in alla de bloggar som jag följer och sedan kan jag se alla nya inlägg och automatiskt tas dit, istället för att gå runt till alla bloggarna och slösa en massa tid om de inte har uppdaterats. Funkar kanonbra!


When my cousin was here I discovered we had a lot of spider egg sacks hanging all around our house. These are not ordinary eggs, these are from the Black Widow. (Actually, what I have seen, I think we have the Brown Widow). Anyway. These are potentially deadly spiders, so naturally I would like to kill these baby spiders before they get a chance to hatch.

Yesterday I sprayed the bug poison all around the house, inside the patio, around windows and doors and in the garage.

This poison is something I normally would like to avoid using, hence, the accumulation of spiders. After all, a home full of poison sprayed all around does not sound that great to me. But I need to protect my family... This spray works for 6 months. What is very common the day after spraying is that bugs of all kinds, but mainly cockroaches, come out of the woodwork to die. Yeah, this spray works great on the cocharachas too!

Last night when we were watching TV, Ken all of a sudden stood up very quickly. A huge roach had been crawling on him! We weren't able to get it before it disappeared into the couch... I have no idea how my dear husband could stomach sitting back down on that couch! All evening I had that creepy crawly feeling all over, imagining bugs crawling around.

Just now, I was going to pick up Sarah's clothes that were on the floor in the office. Then I stopped myself. Next to the clothes was this beast:

An unwanted visitor

This humongous roach is now thoroughly sprayed with bug spray and flushed down the toilet. You can tell it wasn't feeling good to start, normally it would have fled quickly when I got close to the camera, so it was probably already dying. Maybe it was the same guy as last night? Disgusting...

But to be fair, roaches is not a common sight in our house, luckily... But if you live in Florida, you have roaches. You just might not see them...

Welcome to Florida, aunt Ewa. I know you just can't wait to get here now! :-)

Monday, September 8, 2008


This morning I dropped my cousin off at the airport. Always such a sad moment. But we had a lot of fun, even though I am still a bit weak and I STILL haven't gotten paid much by any of the clients that are late with their payments! I just got enough to make it through. very irritating! I have bills to pay, and I need to get a load of groceries. I better see that money start coming in this week... I have been contacting all of them of course, and they are just slow. I don't care to hear your excuses. Just. Pay. Me.

We ate good food, we did some shopping and we had a bit of fun. Yesterday we went to the Myakka River State Park to see the alligators. We did see a few, but no close ups. The water is just so high from all the rain. What a difference from when I went there in June! This is the only close ups we got of alligators yesterday:

We also visited the park's canopy walk, but I wasn't able to climb the stairs all the way up, my legs just aren't ready for that yet! You get a very nice view from up there. We were so hot and sweaty after our visit, so we really enjoyed some cold ice cream at the Myakka Outpost in the park. It is still very hot here in Florida. Of course, it didn't help that we spent a few hours floating on air mattresses in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday. I got really bad sunburn...

Sarah and Mari heading over the canopy walk bridge
The tower leading up to the viewing platform
Mari monkeying around in the park

Sarah enjoying a cool treat

Now I am really looking forward to my mom (grandmother) Wivan and aunt Ewa to arrive on Sunday September 21!