Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tips för svenska tjejer i Nordamerika!

Kolla in forumet SMÅGODIS, ett nytta forum med allt möjligt för oss, dessutom GRATIS.

Tack Anna för tipset! (Ni hittar Annas bloggar här och här.

SHE did it!

Sarah and I was shopping a little yesterday. We were at a "Victoria's Secret" store, and I was looking at some stuff, when she whispered to me: "Mommy, I farted!". Well, eh..., good for you!

It smelled pretty awful. It always surprises me how a little person like that can produce such stink. Anyway, I quickly moved to a different part of the store, so we would not be associated by the Perfume de Fart...

While we walked by the area where the cash registers are, where there were a LOT of people standing, Sarah says loudly so everyone can hear: "Mommy, you farted, it smells baaaaad!" WTF??? The little weasel! She was snickering happily as I scuttled out of the store...

She thought it was so much fun, (and it kind of was if it wasn't me). How did she develop such a wicked, evil sense of humor?!?

Daddy thought it was the best thing he had heard in a long time...

Friday, January 30, 2009


Got a little unexpected time off today - my Italian colleuges are having some formatting problems, so they can't send the document I am going to work on just yet. And I have finished three other projects that I had to do. So I am just kind of waiting around. Can't really go anywhere since I have to wait for the big project.

We are having some rainy weather today - it has in fact rained very heavily over night. Nice! We sure need all the rain we can get, it looks very dry out there, and we traditionally have very dry springs...

This kind of weather makes me just want to cozy up inside and "cocoon". I just took a looong, warm shower, and I am going to make some lunch now. And then it is time for a long walk with the pups - I think there will be a break in the rain now for a while.

I am not sure what the weekend has in store, if the project gets delayed further it will al lbe leasire, otherwise mostly work.

Ken had his kick-off with his employees last week - they are now entering the tax season, and there are a few people who only work for him during this time of the year, so they have a nice get-together an dcatch up with each other before all the grueling work starts - and ends on April 15, the US deadline for tax returns.

This of course means we will see less of Ken, but he is going to try and have all Sundays off. Hopefully that will work out.

I think it is time for lunch now, and a gossip update on E!.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sore fingers

I have actually sore fingers today, after all that typing... But it looks like the next batch won't be here until tomorrow morning, so I get a break from super-typing, and can just work on regular projects, which just require regular typing.

At least I got a chance to finish my book last night.

I "met" a guy on a support group for bowel disease people, he lives just 2 hours south of me. He also happens to be researching his Swedish family roots... which coincidentally are from Gotland...

So I get him in contact with my genealogy crazed aunts who have huge databases... and the guy turns out to be related to us!

So now I have a new "cousin". Pretty cool, huh?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Done, on to the next!

I just sent off a huge project that I have been working on. My hands area aching from all the typing... That particular agency is suppose to send me another project when they this, but lucky for me they are located in Italy, and have most likely gone home for the day.

Which means I get a breather before starting another intense work period. I have a few smaller projects to finish off in the meantime, but nice not having to be glued to the computer for now...

Sarah has a play date when she gets home at 2, so I might actually get some time to finish teh book I am reading, you never know!

Monday, January 26, 2009


I won't say too much, because then I will probably jinks it... but I am potentially getting some Swedish visitors in April!!! That would be so awesome!!!


Woke up early this morning realizing I had an intestinal "clog". That irritating feeling of pain and discomfort. I don't know what caused it, maybe some corn, popcorn or perhaps the Swedish waffles we had for breakfast Sunday morning?

Doesn't matter, it is here. Now I just have to work on UN-clogging it. The best defense is to not eat and to drink all the time, especially hot green tea seem to work great.

But I also have to work, and it is just a little hard to concentrate when your gut is upside down and in pain. But I am not going to any doctor, unless I start to throw up, then you kind of have to. But we are NOT going down that road, not this year. My goal is as little doctors' visits as possible.

Now, I am going to chug some more water. Peace be with you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Big day!


Today he turns 43. Yikes! Time sure go by fast... I am myself turning 35 on February 11. 35? That just doesn't sound right to me at all...

Anyway, I am working, Ken are working. A little later in the afternoon I am taking Sarah and the dogs over to his office for a long walk, and tonight I am making a Swedish Gräddtårta birthday cake, which I started on last night.

Tomorrow is supposed to be 25 C and sunny, and we are planning on a day off, just relaxing and going for along hike at one of the many national parks around here. Should be a great day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

At last

This should be the last cold morning for us for a while. This is Florida, we don't do freezing, people! Come on now... Brrr....

Yesterday I finally got the lithograph delivered that I won on the cruise. It is very carefully packaged and I can't wait until I can afford to frame it. A nice original artwork like that deserves a quality frame job, but that is not quite in my budget as for now. So I will keep it in its protective wrapping until I am ready to frame it, hopefully no later then this fall.

Now, back to work.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Household work

I am fully booked for work until mid March, and that is full time work, so I am trying to figure out how I will have time for regular household activities. Read: cleaning.

I am just now running around the house trying to clean all the rooms. At least the laundry is all done. Starting tomorrow I should be really busy until mid next week, then a really busy period will start February 9 and run for 4-6 weeks, depending on how long the project will take.

And then you have the grocery shopping, cooking and all that other stuff, plus trying to have a regular life in between. Not easy to puzzle together. But I am determined to make as much money as I can this spring, so I really don't mind.

But I am the only person who does ANYTHING at all here at home. Because my husband works all day "to put a roof over our heads". And since I am just sitting here at home eating bon-bons and watching Oprah, I get the pleasure of doing all the house work. Heeey, wait a minute? That does not quite add up!

Plus, the husband has some weird man-disorder. Everything he does is usually making my life harder, like, instead of rinsing off his cereal bowl in the morning, he leaves it sitting on the counter. So when I have to do the dishes, it will be like trying to pry glue off that bowl!

Or, why does all his clothes end up on the floor NEXT to the hamper? A mystery... Or when he gets ready in the morning: he grabs his floss, the toothpaste, the gel, the cologne and puts it all back in its place... NOT. He spreads it all over the counter in the bathroom. Again: a mystery.

Wouldn't it take the exact same amount of energy to put the stuff back in its spot as to just randomly put it all over the counter? Hmmm...

It is a wonder to me how he can run a company with several employees with spotless records and everything in its place. Maybe he just runs out of order when he gets home? Where can I buy some more for him? Anyone???


It is right now just after 7 in the morning here. And it is -2 C outside! As in really freezing temperatures! And what temperatures are we expected to have this afternoon? Close to 20 C!

My hibiscus is not exactly enjoying this, glad I have kept all my potted plants and herbs inside the last few nights.

Nature must be really confused out there...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

GPS lingo gone bad?

The introduction of Mandy in our house has been wonderful. She is always ready to help, and she always keeps her calm. I am of course talking about our GPS, and the voice we chose was called Mandy, so that is its name.

It is very relaxing to be able to just drive, not having to worry about where to turn, or if I turn the wrong way, I can count on her to calmly direct me back on track. While there is no use for Mandy here locally most of the time, her presence has made a big impression on Sarah. She has a lot of questions on how the satellites work, how they can know where we are and how a computer in that little box can have ALL those maps in there. She is truly fascinated (I confess, I am too).

Sarah now talks almost fluent GPS. Even when Mandy is not in use she will go: "Left turn ahead" when we get close to our street. And when we do get to our house, her favorite: "You have reached your destination".

But the other day she almost made Ken drive off the road when she yelled: "Go straight to hell!" After some quick looks back and forth between us (who the heck did she get that language from, it wasn't me!!!), we carefully asked her what she just had said, and again: "Go straight to hell!" She picked up on our startled expressions and said a bit slower: "The road is straight here, so GO STRAIGHT AHEAD". Of course. We and our corrupted minds! :-)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The police just came knocking on my door

All of a sudden a couple of police cars pull up outside my car, they quickly talk to each other and then walk up to my house. Since I have nothing to hide (well, almost nothing) I open the door curious to know what is going on (I am very nosy).

Turns out someone had called the police and reported (I think) that they had witnessed something happening to a man (I am leaning towards car accident since the police officer nodded his head towards the main road when he said "witnessing blah blah... man.. blah blah.") I had a little hard time hearing him with two barking dogs. I guess they thought I might have called. But no; I did not see anything or call anyone. So a little excitement after lunch. Hope nobody was hurt!

Oh... and we officially have a new President! It was very interesting (and still is) to watch the complete TV coverage. They estimate around 2 million people made their way in the cold to be present at this historic event. And what a speech he gave, he touched most of the points of interest I am concerned with, and I feel very confident in him.

The TV channel that I was watching (NBC) said they had placed cameras and microphones all around the super organized crowd, so we could catch people's reactions. You can tell the security and planning for this event must have been immense. I sure hope he will have better luck then JFK. Please, let him be! We need him!

Big Day Today

It feels almost like a layer of electricity over the country. A pleasant anticipation. I don't think the majority of people in this country has ever been this excited about an inauguration of a president before. It is a historic day, a day that will bring kick ass change!!!

So awesome.

A "generation" of chairs...

Working from home does not require a lot for me. A great computer, a fast (super fast 30 Mbits baby!) Internet connection and a few well selected office supplies. But the one thing that really matters is the office chair. I have to be comfortable.

My first chair was Ken's old chair. Nothing wrong with it, comfy if maybe a bit worn. But it started to squeak a lot due to the ball bearings being busted, so a while back Ken gave me a new chair. This baby was very nice looking with shiny leather and a mesh back. Awesome I thought, now I can sit in style.

BUT pretty is not always comfy. After a few longer projects with a lot of sitting in my new fancy chair I realized it was torture on my back. I tried memory foam pillows and what nots, but the little back support thingy that sits behind the mesh was eating through it all.

Well, Ken use only Steelcase furniture for his office, a brand that is known to be of great quality and really last. He has all Steelcase furniture and Steelcase office chairs. These things are $1,500 each and a marvel of engineering. They look very plain, but they have great adjustability so the chair really can conform to fit your body form. I have been drooling over one of these chairs for a few months now, but considering the price tag, it was out of my chair budget.

But last week, finally, Ken brought home one for me. As a "loan" chair... But we will see about that. This chair and I have bonded, and I think it would be cruel to break up our great relationship. We were meant for each other!

My old trusty chair that was with me for 8 years (that is Stan under the blanket on top of the chair)
My second chair, very modern and cool looking with its leather and steel but OUCH!

The cream of the crop, my Steelcase chair, like sitting on whipped cream, if that was the most comfortable thing EVER! You are mine, MINE! They can never take you back, I am looking teh doors!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fever fog

Yesterday was not very fun at all. My entire body was aching and my head felt like it was going to explode. AT least I didn't have a fever, it was fine when I checked it. Then when I was on the phone with my cousin I noticed I started to shake uncontrollably. Weird, I had just checked my temp, so it could not be that. I checked again, and it was 41 C! Just like that.

Then I spent the rest of the day in a fever fog, I took fever reducers but it never went under 40. That with all the aces was driving me nuts. I had a fly shot, so I don't thionk it was that. It could be a lupus attack, I have had similar stuff happen before, especially with fever like that.

I woke up at 3:30 AM this morning by the howling wind and severe rain outside. I got a bit scared thinkiing it might be a tornado or soemthing, it was pretty intense. Since I was up anyway I checked my temp, and STILL over 40! So I took a couple of Tylenols (like Alvedon), the highest dose you are allowed to take. Within one hour I started to sweat like a pig, a great sign that the fever was finally going down.

When I woke up in the morning it was just 37.5 C, and after a good breakfast and a refreshing shoer I feel so much better, still kind of week though. Hopefully the fever won't be back later.

Today is a Holiday due to it being Martin Luther King-day, so banks and schools are closed. Sarah was getting a little bored yesterday with me not being that much company, so she was very happy to go over to the neighbours and play outside in their bakyard. I can hear them playing out there. The weather is lovely outside, sunny and about 20C, so they should have a nice time playing outside.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Please be over soon!

This weather has to change soon - my entire body is in so much pain I just can't stand it. It started with just a thumb, but for 2 days now it has been in every thinkable place all over. It hurts like the worst after workout pain, bee stings you can imagine. I tried some Naproxene this morning, which usually can take care of minor joint problems. But it did not do anything at all. So I am debating to dip into my supply of heavy duty pain medictaion I have on hand, after all, this is teh reason I have them. It is just that if I take one of those I am out for the day, they make you a bit loopy and so forth.

But then again, I can't do much of anything anyway with all this pain, I have no choice...

Ken took Bob with him to the office this morning, so we have only one dog at home today. Bob really enjoys some one on one time with his daddy, and today is a good day for me not having to deal with a second dog...

I managed to do laundry yesterday, but I have some more that needs doing today. Maybe if I take on of those pills? I just can't sit like this all day just trying to pass the time, and I can't go to bed leaving Sarah all to her self. Not that lying down feels that much better anyway...

So a sucky day all around. Hope you have had a better weekend!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The "flea mites" are coming!

I was just cuddling with Sarah when I told her the skin on her nose is flaking off a little bit - most likely a result of being outside all last Sunday and getting a little burned.

She looked at me with big eyes and asked: "Are the flea mites going to come and get it now?".

Huh? Ohhh... She was thinking about DUST mites, those little invisible mites that lives in all of ours beds, living on little dead skin particles that fall off our bodies when we sleep...

I can see how in her mind those little critters where going to have a party with all that dead skin on her nose! Cute! (But not so cute with dust mites, they are the reason I wash my bed sheets in really hot water once a week.. Yuck!


This is one of the coldest moments in my Florida history, it is just 38F/3C right now at 9 in the morning.

Needless to say I am taking my aching joints and parking them on the bed with a good eBook. Read one entire book last afternoon after we got home from the movie (I cried at the movie, I felt so silly, it was just a commercialized Disney "will they make it..." kind of movie, Hotel for dogs).

But I have some laundry, so I will try to do that in between. And I am suppose to get some groceries... But I don't WANNA go outside!!! Please?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day off?

Since I finished the big project early and Sarah has a 4 day weekend, I decided to take most of today off. It is freezing outside, but we were thinking about catching the noon showing of the movie "Hotel for dogs" that opens today. She has been looking forward to seeing that movie for a long time now.

Last night there was some canoodling and cuddling going on in out living room. My husband had his arms around his beloved, and they slept on the couch, nose against nose. Hmmm.... I say THEY becasue I was not included in this love fest, and no, he wasn't having an affair. He chose to cuddle with Bob on this chilly night, and they were pretty cute in their tangled mess of arms and paws. They even snored in tune with each other...

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I just finished the big project, yay!!!

After that was sent off I took the dogs for a long walk. I know 11C doesn't sound that cold, but it was freezing! Of course, Floridians don't have good cold weather clothes, so no warm jacket to keep me warm. Apparently it will go down to about 4 C over night, chilly!

On our walk, we passed a house where someone apparently was playing the drums. Bob immediately stopped, cocked his head and flopped his ears around. When he had listened for a little while he disapprovingly gave out a big phnew and continued walking. I guess load drumming upset the old fart...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Despite only a half functioning right hand thumb and all, I have been doing great this week! I love when I get into "work over load mode", it just flows on and I type really fast and accurate. I am in the ZONE!!! Ha ha ha... But typing really fast is no good if you have go back and correct half of what you wrote... :-) I think I have mentioned it before, but when I am not writing for work I tend to not be very meticulous at all, I just write. I think it has something to do with not wanting to mix work with pleasure or something. Anyway, I have developed a speed typing that really works well for me over the last 8 years, and I have a really good eye for details when I work. So I was able to do enough that I will be able to finish this bigger project tomorrow.

Good, because I just realized Sarah will be off school Friday and Monday! This is due to Martin Luther King Day being on Monday, and they added a day off on Friday to make a nice 4 day weekend. But it would not have been much fun for Sarah if I had to work on Friday...

She got invited back for another play date on Friday; they all had so much fun. The girl is almost 4 and the boy is just 6 months younger then Sarah, but in one grade under her.

Now I am going to make dinner, I think fish again! Since I have been working a lot lately I have been planning ahead and made dinner menus and shopped all the stuffed needed, so I know what to make each night and can get right to it. And tonight we are having haddock, a nice white fish. Yesterday I made Swedish stewed macaroni, and it got just perfectly nice and creamy, yum!

Cold front is here!

The beginnings of the cold front came for sure over night. Here in Florida we shiver anytime the temperature dips below 20C, so to my dismay I saw it was only 7C when I took Sarah to school this morning!

At least it is cozy here in my office, with the heat on, my slippers on, and my big, soft cardigan...

After school yesterday Sarah and I went to the big outlet mall in Ellenton in hopes of finding some new shoes fo rher STAT! Here feet has grown, and she needed more room for her tootsies. It was not that great outside, cold and rainy. I was only wearing a t-shirt, so I was freezing. It was nice sitting down at a cafe over there with a cup of hot chocolate before heading home. She was very happy to have new shoes this morning!

Today is a short day for Sarah in school, which means she has to be picked up at 1:15 PM. That doesn't exactly work with the current work load I have, so I met up with the neighbor this morning and arranged a play date for Sarah after school.

Their grand kids stay with them during the days, and Sarah really enjoy playing with them. The boy is a little shy but very nice, and the girl is anything but shy but so sweat, and she adores Sarah. They all play very well together. It doesn't hurt they have a really cool playroom full of toys either!

So I can get some work done and Sarah will have fun, works out pretty good!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Damn damp weather!

I have a lot of work to do this week, which means a lot of typing on the computer.

Unfortunately we have the beginnings of a huge low pressure dipping into Florida (the eastern seaboard will be pounded with winter blizzards conditions I have heard). This is not saying it is cold here, it is actually 24C outside. But the pressure has changed, and my poor joints can't take it.

I only have joint pain in two locations today, but in really sucky places. One being the seat of the collar bone, manageable but not comfy, but the othe rspot is the rooth of my right hand thumb. It is like having a broken thumb, complelty useless!

I tried some anti-inflammatory but it didn't seem to work very well at all. But I still have to work, so not exactly that great...

At least work is going great, even though I have to get Sarah at school every day at 3 PM. Not very long work days, so I have to really go at it while she is in school. So back to it!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fort DeSoto Park in Pinellas County

Yesterday we spent all day at the Fort DeSoto National Park. It is located in Tierra Verde (St Petersburg), and has a little bit for everyone.

Boy did we all get a lot of exercise! We walked a total of 3 hours, and in between we played at the off leash dog park and beach, and had a great water front picnic as well as went hunting for sea creatures and explored the old fort. A great day!

A walk on the dog beach, where all dogs can run free. It doesn't hurt that the beach is part of North Beach, which was voted the best US beach in 2008!

A walk on one of the any trails

We found a very nice, tucked a way nature trail that was looong but interesting

You just can't beat the view from our picnic table!

We were all hungry after all that walking

One of the sea creatures we found, a baby Horseshoe Crab. It is not really a crab despite the name, it is actually a relative to the ancient trilobite.

This guy was super fast as soon as you put him down, so I had a hard time getting a picture of his shell.
Sarah, the dogs and I check out one of the many cannons at the fort. You can also climb the steep stairs and get on top of the fort, and the view from up there was wonderful.

Now, the start of a super busy work week. Take care!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nice day

Wow, what weather we have! It is sunny and almost 30C outside! Sarah and I thought it would be a waste not to go for a nice walk, so we packed the dogs in the car with some lunch and went over to Ken at the office.

We strolled around the area, which is always so nice on a weekend. Lots of animals around that area. We got a pair of Sandhill cranes screaming at us, wanting us to keep our distance. I was afraid what Stan would do, since he was unleashed, but they scared the crap out of him, so he kept his distance...

We also took the opportunity to check out Ken's potentially new offices. When his lease expires this summer he needs to move his business to a larger location so he can grow. It is starting to be pretty tight with space at his current location. One of his clients owns a building almost across the street of where Ken is now, and they are just finishing building it. Due to the realty (or I should say EVERYTHING) slump, Ken has a lot more bargaining power. He can get a much larger location for less then he is actually paying now, and brand new too.

There are so many empty, brand new office spaces in the area, he can pretty much pick and choose. Good timing for us! I wish we were in the market for a new house right now, because there are some really good deals to be had... One place that I have kept an eye on, in one of the neighborhoods I could see myself move to, there is a house for sale, two years old. The owners are trying to save themselves from foreclosure; the sale price is $240,000 less then what they paid for it in 2006! Amazing... Our house is still valued at more than we paid for it, since we bought ours just before the big realty boom, so we should be fine. But I really feel for all those overextended families out there...

On a happier note, Sarah seems to be much better, so we should be able to go for our hike in St Pete tomorrow.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Just picked Sarah up from school, and she complained her head felt funny, and her cheeks too. She felt kind of hot so I checked her temperature, it was over 39.5C, so she definitely is not feeling right.

Luckily she has the weekend to rest up, hopefully she will be up for a hike at Fort DeSoto in St Petersburg on Sunday, we have plans on taking the dogs and hitting the trails their. Should be a cooler day in the low 70s, so not too hot.

But I rather have her rest at home and be all better for Monday if she is not up for it. I just closed the deal on a project for next week that will be very demanding, and I might have another big one as well. With a sick kid at home mu chances of being able to concentrate on work would be greatly diminished...

All in all, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend of cleaning and doing laundry. In any case I will be super busy come Monday, so I might as well get the house in order before that.

Now I am going to clean teh kitchen, the play soem Wii with Sarah. We have been working our way trhough a very faschniating game called "Endless Ocean".

Have a great Friday evening everyone, and enjoy your weekend!

Tips! - Svensk bio i Tampa

Om det är någon svensk i trakterna av Tampa Bay som är sugen att se Låt den rätte komma in, så visas den på bio (med engelsk text) på Tampa Theather. Jag tror det kostar $9 per vuxen, kolla länken till vänster för tider. Bion ligger på Franklin Street i Tampa.

Framtidens askkopp!

Förr i tiden brukade säkerligen barnen komma hem från skolan med egenhändigt ihopknåpade askkoppar. Inte så nuförtiden. Jag fick istället en jättefin keramikskål att förvara mina USB-minnen och SD-kort i. Sarah visste att jag ville ha dem alla på en plats, så hon tyckte jag behövde en liten skål. Och finare förvaringskärl får jag nog leta efter!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I have created a monster :-)

Sarah, the Wii-monster, in action!!!

But she also has her very slow, non-reactive moments, like this morning before heading off to school. Don't even try to talk to her before she has had her breakfast...


Last year about this time, I was getting lots of work, in fact, I was super busy!

It seems it is gearing up to be a similar situation this year as well. I was just negotiating with an agency last night, and if the final approval is granted for a go-ahead, I should have a full time project with them ready to start in February.

Full time, but I will still do all my regular work, so it means really FULL TIME for me! But I enjoy periods of really intense working. And the pay is a nice carrot at the end. I have been contemplating if I will go to Sweden or not this summer, but I have decided that my money will be better spent paying off some debt and increasing my credit score. I am doing OK, but I want to be feeling very confident financially, and therefore I am sorry to report there will be no Sweden trip this summer as I was hoping...

At these uncertain times it is better to put your money on security. I am so happy our cars are paid for, our mortgage is very low. I don't have a huge amount of bills, the biggest thing every year is usually my Swedish student loan payments. But I would like to pay off a credit card of mine. So that is the decision. I know a few people will be very disappointed. But I will feel better this way.

My goal is to be mostly cash based within a couple of years, which should be doable. I just don't like credit cards, but they have been a neccessity to build up my credit history in this country. Everything revolves around your credit history here. If you don't have one, you are pretty much stuck and can't do much financially.

Now back to work.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ecological choices

If you have kids, you, like us, probably go through a ton of batteries. It really adds up! In our house there are toys and games and flashlights that constantly need more juice.

I got tired of throwing out and buying new once all the time. Yesterday my new baby arrived: A Sony Rapid Battery Charger. This thing will make sure we always have fresh AA and AAA batteries at hand, and also making sure we reduce our waste.

Another thing I started to implement is replacing most cleaning supplies with greener versions. Sure, the dish washer detergent I now use smells like crap, but it works great and contains no harming phosphor. The ecological bathroom cleaner I now use says on the bottle that it smells like "Green Mandarin and Leaf". Stink-leaves, maybe!!! Yuck. But hey, I am not pouring poisons down the drain anymore. I think I will try the Method-brand next time. They are available all over, especially at Target, and they seem to be environmentally friendly AND smell good, a plus in my book :-)!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas - again!

Last night we all of a sudden got a knock on the door- it was my mom's annual Christmas package that finally got here!

We had fun opening up all the stuff (thanks Ewa for the awesome Dalahäst-napkins!). Now we have the entire house full of candy AGAIN (but at least this time it is all Swedish stuff...)

My mom had put in all kinds of stuff, refrigerator magnets, cooking utensils, cook books, food items and so on. So now I am very happy! Nothing like getting a package from Sweden, no matter how small (this was HUGE!).

In an effort to get more omega-3 I have decided to eat more fish, which I love anyway. So far I have made brown sugar and mustard glazed salmon fillets and last night I made smoked salmon chowder. It was enough soup over for a yummy lunch today as well.

Tonight we are having pork file, but on Wednesday I am making a delicious fish and shrimp stew. Too bad we can't get Sarah to at least try some of all this, but she will hopefully grow out of her lack of interest in trying new stuff...

Talking about Sarah, we have stumbled over a gold mine in regards to getting her to do what we want! Oh, we are so mean!

It turns out she really, really would like to pierce her ears and get earrings. She has watched a girl her age getting it done, so she knows what will happen and that it really hurts. But she can't wait.

We told her she has to prove she is a big girl and really can take responsibility to make sure her ears stay clean and all that. The first test was to tell her she would have to wipe herself after doing some more substantial business on the toilet, which she has refused to do so far. No problem! She immediately started doing it!

We felt that maybe this was a too easy task for her to prove herself, so the second task we gave her was a biggie: stay in her own bed ALL night!

As it was up until now she always comes in to us sometime during the night. Nothing bad with that, but she kicks and moves around a lot when she sleeps, so not so comfy...

The first night I woke up around 2, hearing her cry. I hurried in to her and she said she at least wanted a dog with her, that she was a bit lonely by herself. I said that of course she could come in to us, any time she really needed it, but she really was upset at herself, because she really wanted to prove she could do it.

Before the next night I told her that she should try to stay in her own bed, but if she had a bad dream or felt scared, she could of course come in to us, without jeopardizing her chances of getting earrings for her birthday in May.

Not a peep all night. I woke her up in her room for her first day back to school, and she said that she would have preferred if one of the dogs would have slept with her in there, but otherwise, no problem.

Awesome! So we hit two milestones in a matter of a few days. The power of the looming earrings proves itself mighty BIG... What else can we make her do? I am thinking vegetables for dinner... Moahhhahaaahaa...!!!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to reality

We have had some really nice relaxing days, Sarah and I (because Ken has been working as usual, of course). Today is Sarah's last day on Christmas break, and tomorrow, Tuesday, she will go back to school.

It feels kind of like we have been on vacation, not much work, lots of play and lots of nice, long walks. The weather has been lovely, usually around 80F/27C in the afternoon, but some cooler days as well.

Sarah has finally taken a likening to her bike, so we have gone on long walks/bike rides in a local park (over 2 miles/3 km each walk, pretty good for Sarah and the dogs to handle that).

We have also hiked in the Desoto National Park a few times; it seems I learn something new every time I go there... A place steeped in history, known and unknown. They have found settlements from the Indians that are almost 2,500 years old. Cool to walk along the shore there and imagine how life was for the people back then. The entire family, dogs and all, really like this national park.

So did I make any New Year's resolutions? No. I tend to get too ambitious and never uphold them, so why bother. But I am making an effort to improve my life a little this year. This means healthier food, less candy, more exercise, using more environmentally friendly products and hopefully also making new friends.

It just dawned on me the other day that the last person I know in town has moved! Except for the neighbors, there is not one single of my friends left in town! My closest friend lives 45 minutes north of here, which does not exactly lend itself to spontaneous visits...

Ken's closest friends have also moved away, and after a few years there is only really one he keeps in regular contact with. He works so much, which of course prevents him from having much of any social life, though he has acquaintances he enjoys.

So I am having a friend-crisis of sort. Very sad, since I consider friends (and family) to be essential in life. Without them I feel empty. So that is my situation. No local everyday friends anymore! 

I need to try and make new once, after all, Americans are known to move a lot (hence the friends that moved on from here to better jobs and such). I am sure I am not the only woman without friends here in town. There has to be a few newcomers that are eager to get to know new people.

Maybe I can get involved in Sarah's school, but the PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) seems to be run by a few Nazi-inspired women who run everyone over to get what they want... Or arrange a play date for Sarah and one of her classmates? She sure would love that.

Another option that I was thinking about was a cooking class or two. Publix, our local grocery chain, has wonderful cooking classes, both hands on and with celebrity chefs that visit. I have been thinking about one of these classes anyway, and it might be a good place to meet people.

If you guys have other places or ideas to help me find some friends, let me know. Except for one fall back in Sweden when I lived on my own in a new city, I have never had this problem before, and I do not like it at all.

Everyday friends are so important!