Saturday, October 31, 2009

Poor dog

Last night I did another tic check and found two more on Bob, these in between his toes. Then I decided to really check both of the dogs' ears, since I found my tiny flash light and really could get in deep. I found a tic in Stan's left ear - in his ear canal! We tried for a looong time to get it out, but it was just way too deep. Stan was a very good boy handling it well, otherwise he is usually not too fond of being held down like that.

So today I had to take him to the vet, and he was very confident they would have it out in a jiffy. Not so! Unless they put him under, which seems a bit drastic, they could not get it out. Instead they drenched it in a tic medication called Revolution, and it should also kill ticks in general for a month or so.

I quickly bought a dose for Bob too, and when they have used up their current flea medication, Advantage, I will switch to Revolution. It is more expensive, but it does a lot: it prevents fleas and tics, plus heart worms and hookworms. I rather multitask with ONE medication than apply and give several each month.

So hopefully this will keep further tics off for the next month...

After the vet visit we went trough the car wash. It was very funny to see poor Stan growl and react to the car wash brushes, too funny!

I think Sarah and I are going to go shopping a bit now, and grab some lunch. Then I plan to clean the inside of my car and a little around the house too. Oh, and I re-caulked the bathtub this morning, looks like new!

Friday, October 30, 2009

More tics!

All the time I lived in Sweden I had to deal with tics, since we always had tics. It was a different story after moving here to Florida, even after long hikes out in the wild we never had any tics on the dogs. Over 13 years I had to remove just a few, as I mentioned before.

So it has been so weird that we all of a sudden the last few months have had such an onslaught of tics! Droves of them it feels like!

This weekend I found one on Bob's TOE. Do you know how you remove a tic from a dog's toe? Not very easily! I had to clip all the fur around it, and then be very firm. Bob happens to be very ticklish on his paws...

Then yesterday I was petting him and I found a tic on his back! But after a closer examination it was actually TWO tics, almost attached to the exact same spot!!! WTF?

I managed to pop one of them while I removed them with tweezers, so gross...

Here is a pic:

Last night Ken and I was petting Bob and talking about the whole tic thing, and while I was petting him I said "at least he doesn't have tics in his ears"... at the same time I flipped open his ear and saw a big, fat tic sitting in there! Poor dog!

And then Ken found one in his other ear!!!

I tried to tell the poor dog he is suppose to be a CHICK magnet, not a tic magnet... :-)

This weekend we are treating our lawn with something that kills tics. I am against poisons of all kinds and try not to spray for pests unless absolutely necessary, but I think it is time to get in control of the tics once and for all... I guess it is just really a tic year this year!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teacher Conference

Yesterday it was time for another Teacher Conference. This is equivalent to the Swedish "kvartssamtal", a way for the teacher to update the parents on how their kids are doing in school.

I was happy to see she is doing great, and the teacher showed some tests (yes, they do both reading, writing and math tests for 6 year olds!).

Sarah has really come along way with both her reading and writing, I am really impressed! On Thursday next week the school will have its Quarterly Recognition Assembly, and I was informed Sarah will receive some kind of award then, so I will attend to show her some support, I am sure it will be a bit nerve wracking to have to get up on stage to receive an award in front of the entire school. Go Sarah!

Work is coming along great, I have been extremely productive the last few days. No more signs of whatever that was the other night, so that is good.

This weekend is Halloween of course, so there will be trick-or-treating for Sarah. Usually we all go, and after an hour or so the dogs and I will go home, and Ken and Sarah will continue on.

As a rule pretty much everyone follows, you only go to houses where the lights are on. Since we are out, we keep our lights off. Same thing when you run out of candy, you turn your outdoor lights off so kids will know. Great for people who don't want their doorbell rung all night long too!

We usually don't hand out any candy, since we are out trick-or-treating. Our neighbourhood is a very busy place during this evening!

I think the rest of the weekend will be for stuff that needs to be done around the house plus a bit of shopping. Next week it is back to work, work work again, so I better take the chance to get a few things done, like cleaning my car!

Hope you are all having a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Last night I had what I think (hope) was a lupus attack. Severe, severe body pain and a fever. Went to bed with chills and feeling miserable. But this morning everything seems normal, so I hope it stays that way.

It is of course a bit difficult to not think about the swine flu when stuff like that happens...

I just called our county's health department, and our county has so far NOT received any swine flu vaccine...

I did get the regular flu shot, and Sarah, who was on a wait list, is getting hers up the nose on Friday. I think it is lame they don't have the swine flu vaccine available yet, our neighboring counties are already in full swing vaccinating...

Now back to work.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Today President Obama is visiting the local area. Ken saw Marine One, the Presidential helicopter, and his escort fly over his office just now. They were apparently on their way from the Bradenton/Sarasota Airport to a solar energy farm out just east of us.

Tuesday update

I have been absolutely horrible when it comes to commenting on other blogs lately, but since I am so busy with work I barely have time to even read blogs...

This week will be particularly full, since I am doing a double batch for that casino job I have been working on teh last few weeks, as well as a huge (30+ hours) editing job...

Hopefully I won't get sick or anything, because I really want to work as much as I can right now.

I better get going, have a great day!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I am in the process of updating my computer to Windows 7 Ultimate. I wiped my computer clean and started from fresh, so I am now, with my fingers crossed, restoring all the software and files I want to keep from the old install.

Sure hope everything will be there... So far I really like Windows 7, very smooth.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Since I moved to Florida in 1996 I think the total tics (fästingar) I have encountered are 2. And they were both attached to one of our dogs, Bob. No surprise there, since he looooves to lay out on the grass and sunbathe.

But over the summer, we have had a total of 9 tics in the house! What gives? And they are not just on the dogs; I found one crawling on the couch, one on Sarah and last night, one crawling on top of our bed!!!


I hate tics, they just freak me out! Sarah is sooo interested in tics, she want to see me remove them from the dog, see me flush them down the toilet etcetera. But on that one day a few weeks ago when I was brushing her hair, and I calmly told her: "Oops, I think you have a tic on your head!", she freaked out and started screaming "Get it off me! Get it off me!" I tried to do just that, but it was a bit difficult when she was running around the room in a panic.

And last night! It was just pure chance that I had the overhead light on and Ken and I were talking, otherwise I would just have slipped under the covers with that big tic...

So I guess there must be some kind of record tic year or something. Oh great, now I can just feel my entire scalp crawling, like I have a bunch of them moving around up there on my head... I shudder!

Now I am going to pick up Sarah in school and then straight to the eye doctor to get a prescription for new glasses...

Thursday, October 22, 2009


An air conditioner is a must here in Florida, we are still having over 30 C!

So yesterday when I was cleaning in the garage and heard some weird noises coming form it, it sure did not sound good!

Based on the basic technical knowledge I have, it sounded like it was the bearings (kullager) in the motor that power the large fan blades. Most likely it just needed a new condenser motor. I called an AC repair company, and sure enough, I was just on the money! Too bad these types of things are so expensive, the visit was $600... but a lot better than a brand new air conditioner that easily can cost around $10,000!

So I was happy to have to pay just the $600. With the new motor, some cleaning and refrigerant the AC now runs smoothly and quietly, and he was even able to lower its temperature, so now it should take less electricity.

How do you...

sit in a chair when sitting in a chair makes you feel like your hip is splitting apart?

I went to the doctor on Tuesday, and he gave me Daypro, which is a type of anti-inflammatory. It doesn't really work on inflamed nerves that good, but that was all he could come up with.

I am never going to take Daypro or Celebrex or anyone else of the meds in that category! First of all, they can cause severe gastrointestinal damage, even hemorrhage and death. Not a good combo with my situation being so delicate in there... ANd the second thing is that these types of meds can cause blood clots. It even says on the package, "Do not take if you have ever had a blood clot". So since I have already had 3 blood clots, that is a big NO.

WTF is he thinking, prescribing that? I know there is not much to be done for a nerve problem, but still... He also gave me Soma, which is a muscle relaxer that is suppose to relax the muscles around the inflamed nerves so they can move freely. Well, Soma is like a sleeping pill, so it can only be taken right before bedtime. Unless you enjoy being a drooly, foggy mess...

So no relief for me. Just pain, pain and more pain. The good thing is that these things usually come and go. The Lupus likes to move around, focusing on different things at a time. So next time it will be something else entirely, I am sure.

Sorry, just had to complain a bit. :-)

Christmas Shopping: Done!

I just realized last night that except for a gift for Ken that I already picked out and just need to order, I am done with my Christmas shopping!

This year it will have to be slimmed down a bit, since there will be a lot of extra expenses with moving. I rather put some money on new furniture than stuff we don't even need...

Plus, I had to narrow done my list of people a lot. Except for the once spending Christmas at our house I will only send presents to my mom this year. I just can't afford it, even though I would love to send stuff to other friends and family...

I even told Ken not to get me anything (especially since he sucks at buying gifts anyway...) but he wants to get at least one gift, so I picked out one that is perfect for him. Otherwise all I really care is for Sarah to have a wonderful Christmas.

What is so great about her is that she likes a lot of stuff! She is not into girlie stuff too much, she does like animals and Littlest Pet Shop, but not Barbie dolls and things like that.

Ken is working on a collection of awesome fossils for her. So far, except for all the shark teeth we have found ourselves, she has a Megalaodon tooth (HUGE!) and a Mesosaurus tooth (ocean dwelling dinosaur, see pic below).

Ken has gotten her a humongous trilobite for Christmas to add to the collection. I think since she is so interested in these types of things, these are things that will stay with her the rest of her life. And the value of the fossils actually appreciate, so it is a very neat thing in deed.

My hand next to the trilobite

My hand next to the Megalodon tooth


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday update

Sarah is back to herself again, just coughing a lot. So with her back in school I can try to concentrate on work a gain.

The last few weeks I have been working on a project that is for an online casino. Mostly video slot games. Nice with a change after doing a lot of electrical engineering the last few months!

This project will keep me busy for a few more weeks, and I am very thankful for the extra influx of cash now when we are buying a new house and all...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Visit to the pediatrician

I didn't like how Sarah's throat looked like, so I called her doctor, and as always they were able to squeeze us in.

I suspected strep throat (halsfluss) and I was right! Since it is a bacterial infection it has to be treated with antibiotics. She can go back to school on Wednesday if she has no fever tomorrow, so we will see how that works out. Apparently there is a lot of strep throat going around right now, we were his 6th case just today. We might have gotten it from S, our friend and Realtor, since her oldest daughter had it. And just as we left the office we met her and her younger daughter, now also sick with streph!

I am glad they offer a flavoring service at the pharmacy, they can flavor kid's medicines any flavor you like, and with a picky kid like Sarah that is good! Not that she swallowed it without lots of complaining anyway...

Hopefully she will feel a lot better tomorrow, and hopefully she won't give it to me... I migth have to go to my doctor this week anyway, since I am having problem with hip pain again. Probably just inflammation in that pesky nerve again, but it is starting to be a bit unbearable, especially at night. I need some pain relief here soon if I am going to get any sleep, I just haven't had the time to get an appointment, but I think it is at a point now when I will have to.

Last night I had a hard time just getting up and down from the couch, not much fun. And ignoring the pain doesn't seem to work so well, ha ha!!!

Now I am off to make dinner... what to cook I have no idea yet...


I don't like really high fevers, so I tried to keep an eye on her over night. I woke her up at about 1 AM to give her some fever reduced since the temperature was up to 41 C again. Great to have one of those thermometers you stick in the ear, very handy in the middle of the night!

So today will be another day on the couch for her, resting, drinking water and eating ice pops and watching TV... Poor thing, Hopefully she won't give whatever it is she has to us! I have too much work to do, no time to be sick ;-)

Hope you all have a great start of the week, and I hope you get a fast recovery, Taina!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dino bonanza

Sarah seemed a bit off yesterday morning, but she had no temperature and she said she was feeling fine, so we went to Tampa anyway to see the Walking with Dinosaurs show. It was quite impressive to say the least!

We had a great time in downtown Tampa, went out for dinner and strolled around a bit enjoying the cooler air that finally found its way down here to Florida for a few days.

In the car on the way home Sarah could hardly keep her eyes open and when we got home she had a very high fever.

It is very difficult to see when she is sick, she never says a peep, never complains. She just gets slow and lays on the couch...

I gave her some Tylenol for the fever and she perked right up, we even went out to look at soem furniture, but I just took her temperature again, and it was almost 41C! I have a feeling it will be a day home from school for her tomorrow... poor thing!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I am feeling just a tad bit stressed today, I have a lot of work that is due on Monday. So I might have to work a little over the weekend.

I missed a work day when my mother in law was here Wednesday, so I have to make up for that. We ended up going out for dinner that night, and it was pretty good. They happened to have a comedy magician walking around, and we got our own personal comedy/magic show. Sarah was laughing at his corny jokes and she was pretty amazed over his magic tricks! So dinner and a show!

Ken's daughter will be coming down on November 5th and stay for 4 nights. Hopefully we will have enough time to get to know each other, show her around and talk. It is difficult to take time off for anyone of us, since we all work.

Tomorrow we are going to St Petersburg to see the world touring show from BBC called "Walking with Dinosaurs". I have a feeling Sarah is really going to like it! It is based on the wildly popular TV series BBC made a few years ago. And if you are in Sweden, the show ill be at the Stockholm Globe Arenas on October 23-25!

And we will FINALLY get some fall weather! This morning at 8 AM when I dropped off Sarah at school it was 27C... It is still well over 30C at daytime here. BUT over night a cold front is coming on, and we will get 3 days of much cooler air! Yippee! They are saying it could be a high as low as 24C! That might not sound like much, but that is heaven...

OK, better get to work now... Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More life changing events

Well, today we finally got the answer to some nail biting questions... This is perhaps kind of personal, but what the heck, I usually am pretty personal on here anyway...

This is a long and complicated story, but since part of this now will be part of my everyday life, I am going to tell you the short version so you get an idea of what is going on.

Ken and I met in 1997, and it was very clear from the start that he had been very hurt by a woman. He met her back in the mid 80s when both of them were serving in the military.

Ken's goal was to complete his military obligations so he could get his college education (the military pays for it after your duty is over). After a while Ken got shipped overseas to a military base in Germany and stayed there for 18 months, and they were broken up while he was there.

After he got back they got back together and ended up getting married when Ken was only 22. The marriage lasted 3 years, but they were actually only together for about 1.5 years, they were just not very compatible. Ken had ambitions to get a Master's Degree and do something with his life, she was just happy living by the day and do nothing.

She got pregnant, and they had a daughter. Then Ken walked in on his wife in bed with another man, and after a lot of drama he found out there had been other men as well.

His wife told him he was not the father of the little girl, now 5 months old. During the divorce she stated he was not the father, and he had to sign papers that he did not have any responsibilities or rights to this child. This was in 1992, and Ken just could not afford a DNA test, they were not exactly common or cheap back then, so he never knew for sure. She had the better attorney, so she ended up taking the child and pretty much everything else they had together and took off to another state, leaving Ken without as much as a plate to eat off of, deeply wounded and heartbroken.

Since he was legally established as not being the father in court he was not entitled to any contact with this child. He has kept an eye on her as much as he could over the years, a newspaper clipping when she made the honor roll in her local school, things like that.

Then he lost track for a few years, but a couple of weeks ago he decided to do another Internet sweep and see what he could find. He found her on MySpace! She is now 19 and an adult, so he could now legally approach her (gently and carefully) and she immediately knew who he was and a relationship was quickly established.

She is a very smart and ambitious young woman, unfortunately she has not had it easy growing up with her mom and her new man, but it seems her hard times have made her stronger. She is now working full time at the same time she is going to college. She has big ambitions it seems, just like Ken.

So what about the paternity? Well, both she, Ken and I were in agreement that it needed to be established ASAP for everyone sake, it just wouldn't feel right not knowing for sure, even though we all just felt like they had to be father and daughter. So they did a DNA test, and today we got the result. Yes, 99.99999987 % chance they are father and daughter! Ken feels great, a weight finally lifted from his chest, and I feel great too, just like you kind of do when you all of a sudden gain another family member. And now Sarah has a sister!!!

We are now waiting for her to call, she lives up in Ohio and should get off work any minute now. She doesn't know about the result yet, I have a feeling she will be thrilled too.

Right now she is going through a rough time. She hastily made some decisions early this summer that might not have been so great. She married her boyfriend of 2 years... He has no interests but to stay home and smoke weed it seems. Finally she couldn't take it anymore and demanded he would do something with himself, go to rehab and get on with his life. But it seems they are at a standstill. They lived at his mom's farm, and she has now moved back to her own mom, whom she has a really hard time getting along with. A divorce seem to be where they are headed... Trying to concentrate on work and school at the same time as all this drama is going on is not exactly easy for her.

We have talked about what we would do if paternity was established, and most likely we will send her a plane ticket to come down here for a few days so we can all get together and really get to know each other.

If she likes it here we want her to feel welcome to stay with us while she finish her college degree. There are three nice local universities here that offer her program of choice in Criminal Justice, so we would tour those and she what she thinks. After all, we will have plenty of room in the new house, and she has her own car, so I think it could work out just fine. She says she is ready for a major change of scenery, and frankly I have a feeling she could need a change of "people" as well...

She would get free health care and she could work extra at Ken's firm if she needs extra money. But room and board with all the amenities she could possibly need paid for might not be an offer she can refuse. We will see what she thinks after she gets to see our area. She shouldn't feel like she is a guest or anything, she can come and go as she likes. We just want to be able to give her the kind of break she deserves. She seems to be a very caring person and we would like to help her out any way we can. We have all gotten a really great connection and I feel a wonderful relationship growing out of this long awaited reunion.

I can imagine some of the things she must be thinking, after all, after my mom died when I was 1 and I moved in with my grandmother, I lost contact with my dad. When I was 15 I finally let my curiosity take overhand and I contacted him with a soon to follow in person meeting. He was nice and all, but he also had "butter fingers", if you get my drift. Not exactly a father figure. So I never got to the point where I saw him as my father, more like an uncle or something. He passed away in 2004, but unfortunately he was as immature then as when he abandon his fiancee (my mom) on her death bed "because he couldn't deal with it"...

What do you all think about this?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Today I have to take my car to have a window motor replaced. Sooooo much fun sitting around there waiting!

I also have to clean a bit today, since my mother in law is coming over tomorrow to stay the night.

So a really FUN day planned :-)!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Intressant samtal

Jag har precis haft ett ganska intressant samtal! Det var exmaken till en av de svenska damerna i TV3s Svenska Hollywoodfruar. Eftersom jag inet tog betalt för samtalet anser jag det OK att nämna det här...

Det var exmaken till hon som har ett dubbeltförnamn (vill inte skriva här eftersom han verkar Googla henne rejält).

Han hade med intresse följt tvserien och ville bara ha lite översättning av vissa delar av det 4:e avsnittet. Det verkar som om han är oerhört förvånad över att hon har varit och tittat på hus i 42-62 miljonerklassen, han fattar inet hur hon ska ha råd med det, och han och hans advokat håller på och gräver runt lite antar jag.

Lite häftigt att få lite inside information sådär! Han verkade riktigt trevlig. Jag kunde dock inte direkt ge honom någon information eftersom hon inte pratar om honom alls förutom i förbigående i programmet.

Det är ganska så intressant hur många jobb jag faktiskt får är antingen en man elelr kvinna tror att den andra hälften är otrogen och de vill ha reda på vad de säger i diverse email osv. (Där den ena parten är amerikansk och den andra svensk). Hittls efter 9 år har jag aldrig hittat annat än helt oskyldiga skriverier. Folk kan verkligen vara misstänksamma ibland!

Columbus Day

This is a National Holiday and banks, postal office and schools are closed... well, except for Sarah's it seems! Regular day for her today, but they get the 26th off instead.

We had a nice Sunday. Apparently a new heat record was set yesterday, and I believe it! It was hooooot. We took the dogs and went for a nature hike. They almost burst their lungs trying to pant. Luckily we brought cool water for them to drink and I always put water on their heads and backs to cool them off a bit. We were all thankful for the cool AC in the car on the way back :-)!

I also went by the pharmacy and got my regular flu shot yesterday. Greta that they have drop-in like that, 7 days a week! So now I am ready for the swine flu shot which will come in here soon. I can't take the nasal spray since it uses partial live virus, it is not recommended for someone with a compromised immune system

I will call and see when Sarah's pediatrician will theirs ready. There is no charge for the vaccine, but depending on where you go, there might be a fee for administrating it. If you can't afford a regular doctor, you can go down to the Public Health Office and get your s their. Good to know the vaccine is truly available for all!

My mother in law is coming on Wednesday to spend the night, we haven't seen her since May, since she travels all summer long. Should be fun, Sarah is very excited to see her for sure!

Tomorrow I have to spend about 1 hour at the car dealership. They replaced a motor for one of my back windows, but it was a faulty part, so they have to replace it again. Luckily it is all covered by insurance. But considering how much work I have to do this week, I am a bit stressed about not having enough time. But I am sure it will all work out just fine.

Ken and I talk about the house a lot, it is really weird having to wait this long, I just want to have it all done! But it will all hang on the house inspection I think, until that is done we won't know for sure if this will be the house or not... But we both fell in love with it, so we sure hope so!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fruitville Grove's Pumpkin Festival

Today we visited Fruitville Groves's Pumpkin Festival.

They have a year round fruit and vegetable store, and they are run by one of the local Amish families. You can also buy all kinds of Amish food items like sauces, jellies and bread inside the store. I got some hand made anise candy, tasted just like Swedish "Kungen av Danmark".

It is a small Pumpkin Festival, but compared to other larger once in the area, they don't charge for admission and parking. Of course you have to visit the Pumpkin Patch and pick out some pumpkins and gourds. I got a few funny looking gourds for the kitchen, since I moved to the US they really give me that "now it is fall" feeling.

We enjoyed some grilled food and cool drinks after walking around and looking at all the festival had to offer. Unfortunately Florida is having a bit of a heat wave right now, so at 37 C and sweltering humidity, it is really hard to stay active outside too long.

Here are some pictures form today:

Funny "grave markers" decorated the parking lot

Pick your pumpkin in the Pumpkin Patch

Lots of veggies and fruits to choose from

More yummy stuff

Sarah practicing her driving skills

Ken and Sarah strolling through the market area

Local vendors offering their goods under a giant old oak, hoping to cool off a little in the heat

Sarah on the farm's little "train"

Sarah pretending to use the outhouse :-)

Sarah enjoyed a pony ride in the shade of the oaks

Sarah in the Pumpkin Patch

Thursday, October 8, 2009

House Update 2

The house is now officially off the market. Hopefully the bids will go to the bank by Monday, and we will know exactly how many bids we are competing with. Hopefully only that one low ball offer.

The listing agent informed us that we can expect a very lengthy process, and he doubted we would close by January 15th. But our Realtor thinks we will at least know if we have it by November, we will see.

Another dark cloud is also to be address later on.

Many houses in the US that were built between 2004-2007 has faulty drywalls from China (kallmurar). Not a good thing at all! There are a few houses that are confirmed in the subdivision we are looking at, and it looks like the next door neighbour to the house we have an offer on have this Chinese drywall. Since they were built by the same builder and at the same time, it is most likely so that "our" house has it too.
This will be determined later on during the home inspection, but we will also hire a Chinese drywall expert, since it can be difficult for a regular home inspector to find out, it is a bit of a forensic process. So if this is the case we will of course not but this house, and just look for something else.

I just wish we could get a confirmation if we have the house NOW, do the inspection NOW, and know for sure if this is our house to be or not, but patient, patients...

Now back to a ton of work projects that are piling up!


Meddelande till familjen hemma i Sverige:

Morsan (aka mormor beroende på vem i släkten som läser detta) är sugen på att åka till Florida igen!!!

Om någon har lust att åka med henne så vore hon nog riktigt glad. Hon har inte råd att bjuda på biljetten, men om det är någon som har funderat på att åka men inte vill åka själv så är detta ett tillfälle.

Visst, hon gnäller mycket (mest angående maten och att "inget är som hemma"), men det är ju morsan (mormor), så SÅ illa är det nog inte! (Ha, ha, ha!!!)

Och vi kommer ju att ha ett mycket större hus, så vi kan nog gömma undan henne i något rum om hon blir för besvärlig :-)!!!

Alternativt att någon åker med henne hit och att hon stannar kvar ett längre tag och sedan åker hem själv. Hon kommer i vilket fall att åka som handikappad båda vägarna, så hon får rullstolsskjuts mellan flighterna. Hon orkar nog inte riktigt med att gå någon längre sträcka.

Hon vill som hon sa, gärna åka till Florida en 3:e gång "innan jag lägger sockarna i vädret"...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

House Update

Everything is still a bit up in the air. The seller's agent has to wait until Friday or Monday to send in the offer to the bank, and if he receives any other offers before then, they will be included as well.

So that is the only problem, not knowing if our offer is the one they will like the best or not. At least we offered a little above the asking price, so that should help...

The seller's agent also said we should be prepared for a long wait, since they bank is really slow in everything. He doubted we would be able to close by January 15, but who knows?

I have actually come to peace with the entire process. I don't care who it goes. The longer wait is good, since it will give us plenty of time to prep our current house for renting and also find a renter. Plus, there are so many great houses on the market right now, so if it won't be this one, I am sure we can find one equally great!

So whatever happens, it happens. No more crazy butterflies!

I am going to concentrate on the now and try to work as much as I can, so I can save up some money to buy fabulous new things for the new and BIGGER house!
Plus, the Holidays are coming up: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's. Plus a little mountain vacation in between. Lots to keep me occupied!

The great thing about moving is that it gives you a chance to go through all your belongings and clean out a lot you don't need. And because we are waiting at least 3 months, it gives me lots of time to collect boxes for moving stuff in, they are so hard to find nowadays when stores recycle everything right away...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

OK here it goes...

I still can't talk about the second event that is going on, it is very private, but we should hopefully have a conclusion to that in a week or so...


What I can tell you is, as Petra and many of you probably guessed... We are buying a new house!

Unfortunately these are tough economic times and a lot of people have found themselves stuck with homes too expensive, not being able to pay their mortgages. This has recently flooded the real estate market with lots and lots of opportunities to get a great deal on short sales and foreclosure properties, if you are in the market to buy.

The house we are hoping to get is a so called short sale. This means the owner of the house can no longer pay their loan, and the lender has agreed to letting the owner sell the house to a significantly reduced rate. What this does is of course keep the owner from foreclosing (loosing the house to the lender) on the property. So no major credit flaw! The lender on the other hand usually gets a better deal through a short sale since they don't have to go through the lengthy and costly process of foreclosure.

But a lot of people don't want to buy a short sale property since it can take a looooong time. Actually, 3-5 months is the standard!

Lucky for me, one of my best friends is a Realtor, and she was able to negotiate with the Realtor of the house we are interested in, and if our offer is accepted by the seller, he will take the house off the market until we here back from the lender if they agree on the price. At least then we can be sure of no other offers coming in and potentially beating ours.

Our offer is going in today, and so far they only have one, very low offer, so we should be good. I guess we will just have to wait until Thursday to know if we are in or not.

But even if the seller accepts our offer, the lender still have to approve it. Since the lender is the largest lender in the US, it can take a month just for them to open and look at our offer. Then they will do an appraisal of the property to see if they will accept it. And THEN they will tell us yes or no. So basically we are looking at a closing date at the earliest January 15, 2010. Could be as late as March too.

Because of this procedure a lot of people shun away from buying a house that is a short sale. But they can be a real bargain, as is the case with this particular house. It has been on the market for almost 2 years now, and they have been lowering and lowering the price. Friday they slashed it finally another $100,000. From the original listing, the price has been reduced a total of $286,000!!!

And now for the fun stuff: the house is absolutely beautiful! It is in a quiet little community just north of us, a little closer to Tampa. It is right off the Manatee River, and there is a brand new school just 2 minutes away. Lots of things to do outside in the area, and the community itself has hiking trails along the river and a place to launch a canoe into the river. You can actually go all the way out to the Gulf of Mexico on the river.

There is a nice clubhouse and a pool for all residents to use, as well as the standard tennis and basketball courts and playground.

But what we both liked about the area is how right it feels. Very relaxing and surrounded by nature. No traffic, no noise...

The house is situated on a lot tucked in the back of the community, at an angle so you really can't see into the neighbors yards that much. The back of the house consists of a large grassy lawn, then a huge lake and behind it is a nature preserve with the river snaking through it.

The patio is pretty big, 36X12 (11x3.5 meter), and off the top floor is a huge 44 foot (13.5 meter) long deck/balcony overlooking the lake and the nature preserve.

The house is very big, almost 1.5 times bigger than our current house, so lots and lots of room for visitors (blink, blink).

Speaking of our current house, we decided to keep it and rent it out for a few years until the market stabilize a little more, so we can get back the money we put into it. That is another plus with the new house, it is only 3 years old, so not much that need to be done. It has tile and wood floors in all the living areas downstairs, and high quality carpet upstairs. I have a feeling we will probably get rid of some of the carpet later on, and we also want to add a little fence in the back for the dogs, but other than that we should be good.

3502 square feet (325 square meters), 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, 2 half baths (5 toilets to clean!), a formal dining room with a little sitting area, upstairs media room (will probably be a playroom for Sarah) and a large bonus room with access to the upstairs deck, plus indoor laundry room and a huge 3 car garage.

Here are a couple of pictures, not very good quality I am afraid. You can't quite see the lake from the deck in this picture, but the edge of it is right there in the upper right.

So as you can understand I am very excited. How I will survive waiting for months to even find out if they will accept, I don't know! And of course there is a chance we won't get it, but based on the information we have, it looks very promising. If not, there are lots of other fish in the sea... Bottom line is that when spring comes around, we WILL be in a newer, bigger house!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Life Changing Events Going On!

Wow. The last week and a half have been the start of some pretty life changing events for us!

I don't want to say what until things are more set, but I can say that I am NOT pregnant :-)!

Two events, both equally BIG! Wow. But the good thing is that both are 90 % POSITIVE, so that is a plus.

I just have so many thoughts going through my head. Both Ken and I couldn't get any sleep until after 1 AM both Saturday and Sunday night after the second event came in play on Saturday morning.... I am so excited! I went to bed Saturday thinking that all the butterflies in my stomach would have settled by Sunday morning, but NO! And they are still in there...

How I possibly are going to be able to concentrate on anything but these two events I have no idea. But I have a huge work project coming up soon, so I am hoping that will be the distraction I need right now.

I will tell you all about ALL this as soon as I can. And if I hear anything about these things from anyone, I KNOW who told, since only two people know about both events, and a third person knows about the first event. You know who you are, hope you can keep quiet ;-)!!!

Hopefully there will be some developments in one area this afternoon, I just can't wait until all this is done!!!

So how about that to get the Monday started? :-)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fresh start on the weekend

It feels like I haven't done anything today, but when I start thinking about it, well...

I did two translations jobs, I washed a huge load of laundry, I walked the dogs, I watered all the plants in the garden, I watched Grey's Anatomy (from last night), I made and ate lunch, I did a lot of admin on the computer...

So not too bad... I am going to pick up Sarah in about 20 minutes, and I think I will spend the afternoon making the house nice and clean, always nice to start the weekend out fresh!

And maybe I can get Ken to bring home some Chinese food, that would give the weekend an even better start!

First taste of fall...

For two days now we got to pretend fall is here. We have been waking up to low humidity and only 20C. Heaven! Too bad it was over 30C again after lunch! And even sadder that it was just temporary...

But it is coming, the heavenly time in Florida known elsewhere as fall! I am looking forward to many pleasant walks without being super soaked in sweat afterward...

So Friday again... Ken has planned a visit to the Marina Jack waterfront park in downtown Sarasota. It is such a wonderful place to walk, people watch and just enjoy your day. They have a cool tropical looking restaurant right on the water that we for some reason never have tried, so we will test that out too. And Sarah is looking forward to the awesome playground in the park. Should be a nice day!

I have put some of my Halloween and fall decorations out, I have gotten the traditional "cinnamon broom", these things are hand made little brooms, soaked in cinnamon oil. They smell very strong of cinnamon, so I usually place one at the front entrance, so when you go in and out you get a nice whiff of cinnamon. I also got my first pumpkins yesterday, one big and a couple of mini once.

Our pumpkins out by the front door, you can see the top of the "cinnamon broom" behind them too.