Sunday, May 30, 2010


Saturday we were at Cannons Marina on Longboat Key early, just after 8 AM. We got a perfect little Scout, just exactly right for us.

It was nice gliding around on Sarasota Bay a little, before it got too crowded (the Memorial Day Weekend is a very popular weekend to be out boating in Florida).

Right away we started seeing dolphins! It is not much that can beat seeing a pod of Bottle-nose dolphins frolicking in the water! This sure set the day off to a good start!

We visited an uninhabited little island that is pretty popular with boaters, and there we hung out for a bit, had a snack and just explored the island.

After that we headed north to the end of Longboat Key, and in between Beer Can Island (actually officially named Greer Island Beach Park), Jewfish Key and the south end of Anna Maria Island (Coquina Beach) is a shallow area, just at the pass in between the islands. Here many boats lay anchor and just enjoy the sun. The waters go about waist deep on an adult, the sand is lowly, the water beautiful, and there are lost of wild life to explore.

We found lots of Spider crabs, Sea urchins, live shells (especially Lightning whelks) as well as Hermit crabs and Blue crabs.

After swimming and having fun we laid anchor at one of our favorite restaurants, Mar Vista. You can walk right up to it from the beach, bringing dogs is not a problem here when you sit outside amongst the shady trees.

After a nice lunch with blackened grilled grouper sandwiches and lots of ice cold ice tea and lemonade we went back to the pass area and swam a little more, and before we knew, the day was already over!

Lets just say that after getting home and showering, all of us, but especially Sarah and the dogs were very tired and happy after a fun day on the boat...

Saturday we had an early breakfast on Manatee Beach at one of our favorite places that unfortunately is closing in July, so we try to enjoy it as much as we can before then.

Then we found an almost deserted stretch of beautiful beach towards the north end of Anna Maria Island where we took a long walk and looked for shells. We will come back here tomorrow with our beach gear to stay the day, it is such a lovely place!

I hope you are all having a great weekend as well, now I am going to make some fish with tarragon sauce and couscous salad...

Here is our Saturday boating day in movie clips:

On Sarasota Bay - Dolphins!

Bob is a good swimmer

A great place to hang out!

Spider Crab

Sea Urchins

Mar Vista Restaurant

Friday, May 28, 2010

Recommendations on elliptical?

Can anyone give us a recommendation for an elliptical cross training machine? We would like to stay under $1000... PRECOR seems to be the Cadillac of ellipticals, but it is unfortunately too expensive for us...

Tree Results

Here are the before and after pictures from yesterday's tree trimming. It took them all day and lots of lemonade to finish, but the result came out perfect!

The Live Oak in the front of the house BEFORE


The Live Oak in the back of the house BEFORE


Have a great start on your weekends, guys!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oj oj då

Ägaren till trädfirman kom minsann inte ensam! Han hade med sig ett helt gäng karlar som hjälp. Och då pratar vi trädtrimmande starka karlar (förutom en kille som var lite för ung och liten för min smak).

Snälla och trevliga, skakade hand gjorde de alla, det ser man inte så ofta nuförtiden!

Så även om det nu blir en massa oljud ute och inne (hundarna skäller om vartannat på dem genom fönstren), så har jag i alla fall nått trevligt att titta på.

Men ekorrarna. Oj, ekorrarna är nog skitsura på mig just nu, förstöra deras hem sådär. Jag får nog köpa hem lite råa jordnötter som plåster på såren åt de stackarna...


Waiting for a tree trimming company to come at any minute. They are trimming 2 of our oaks and a palm tree, as well as chopping down one palm tree.

The owner is really nice, and he pretty much demanded I have some good lemonade at the ready, so I have just that :-)!

Our oaks are Southern Live Oaks, and it is very important to trim them while they are young (20 years old) to make sure they have the proper growth pattern. Also, the hurricane season officially start June 1, and strong winds pass trough trimmed branches much more easily...

Too bad it all cost $1250! Just part of the general maintenance of having your own house I guess...

By the way, I found this little lizard out front this morning. He is molting, that is, changing skin. Not a very good close up, but you get the idea...

I have a feeling my office will be a lot brighter after today, the big oak outside my office windows provide a lot of shade.

I hate the look of newly trimmed trees, they look like they have been butchered or something. But I feel confident hiring a company that knows what they are doing. They trimmed an oak across the street, and it went form looking like it went trough a wood grinder to looking very healthy and lush now a few months after.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Sarah är inte speciellt bra på svenska. Hon har alltid vägrat att prata svenska med mig, men jag försöker lära henne lite då och då.

Ett bra tillfälle är när hon ska gå och lägga sig. Då är hon såklart villig att dra ut på tiden så mycket som möjligt, och det är ett gyllene tillfälle att prata lite svenska.

Hon brukar säga ett ord så säger jag det på svenska, hon försöker säga det på svenska och sedan försöker vi oss på en mening.

Häromkvällen var ordet "tvättkorg". Det blev riktigt roligt när det istället blev "svettkorv"...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Ken and I are as you probably already know both self employed. One thing that gets kind of expensive here in the US as a self employed person is definitely health insurance.

Due to my medical conditions it is vital for us to have very good insurance. Except working in my own company I am also director of marketing in Ken's company. This makes it possible for me to get insurance through Ken's company. We pay (for the 3 of us) about $1,200 a month just for the insurance premium. Then Ken and Sarah (who share one plan) have a $5,600 annual deductible that has to be fulfilled before the insurance pay anything. I have my own plan, and my deductible is $2,850 annually.

When I was really sick just a few years ago I fulfilled that deductible already in February, so I actually got 100 % free health care and medications for the remainder of that year. Very good care too!

Expensive but oh so necessary! Just the one surgery I had in 2007 cost almost $100,000, and that was just for the surgery and 1 doctor. Then came the hospital stay and all the other people involved with my care. It probably topped out at $150,000 in a few months there. Imagine not having any insurance, no wonder people go bankrupt after a major medical event!

We have talked back and forth about also adding dental insurance to our medical plan, and finally we did, so from July 1st we will have dental coverage as well, not that it covers all and everything, but it is worth it financially to add it after calculating how much we usually spend. Sarah and I go for regular check ups and cleanings twice a year, and Ken should do so as well.

This weekend I thought I had a cavity, not so odd since my Sjögren's disease (due to the lupus) has been acting up lately which plugs up the salivary glands and decreases the amount of saliva in my mouth and therefore ups the chances of getting cavities.

Surprisingly though it was not a cavity, but almost. So I will hold off and fix it in July, since we will have dental insurance then. I will also replace an old filling, which was estimated to cost $750, so I will get use out of the insurance right off the bat, that is good.

Sarah goes to a great pediatric dental clinic, and unfortunately they do not accept any insurance, so she might have to switch to a regular dentist if we want to use the insurance for her. The insurance would make her checkups 100 % free, so it would make sense.

Sarah takes very good care of her teeth and have had no cavities thus far. I think one major reason her teeth are doing so good is the electrical Sonicare toothbrush. That sucker cleans house! We have been using them ourselves for a very long time, and Sarah used to have a smaller electrical toothbrush, but now have the more powerful Sonicare. It was just too big for her mouth before.

I can really recommend teh Sonicare line of toothbrushes, it is awesome! My dentist says she has never seen cleaner teeth then mine before (but that could be good genes too, my mom apparently had very good teeth as well.)

I am almost done with the Hong Kong job, so I am going to take the afternoon off to clean a little. Ken is already home since he had to pick Sarah up in school while I was at the dentist.

I have some thick pork chops that have been marinating in a citrusy Mexican marinade overnight. Those babies are going on the BBQ later and will be good with some freshly made guacamole...

Itsy bitsy spider

We have a lot of brown widow spiders around our house. A lot. Another venomous spider we do see here occasionally is the brown recluse spider. So far they have not bothered us, and I try to remove the eggs sacs whenever I see them since one egg sac can hold as many as 500 baby spiders.

I think since I started going after the egg sacs I have seen a significant decrease in new egg sacs around the outside of the house.

Why so paranoid? Well, ask this woman if she is going to take spiders lightly after she got bit by a brown recluse: Spider Bite Story. I am not scared of spiders, but I get chills thinking about this...

At least we haven't found any brown recluse inside our house so far, but plenty of the brown widow (usually dead once since they are kind of shy)...

Monday, May 24, 2010


Har haft så mycket att göra idag att jag bara hann med att äta en (god) biscotti imorse. Nu kurrar det, men det hinns nog inte med någon mat nu innan Sarah ska hämtas, Det får bli hummus, pita chips och iste senare.

Inte så kul då att jobbet jag håller på med bla har en liten kokbok som hör till produkten, med mycket goda recept... Kurr kurr!

Weekend and work week

We had a great weekend, Sarah and I had a wonderful girl's only day with lunch at the Olive Garden, lots of shopping and seeing the new Shrek in 3D.

Sarah and I at the movie theater. Sarah is ready for the movie in her 3D-glasses!

Sunday was beach day and we headed down to Venice early. Ken had to work, but he has this special tent looking thing and with that, a beach chair and an umbrella he managed to do just that right there on the beach. Beats sitting at home!

We did not find any shark teeth on this day, but we did however find a star fish!!! It is very rare to see one in the wild nowadays, in fact, Ken hasn't seen one in 38 years!

Sarah digging in the background

The sand at Venice Beach is actually a lot darker than up where we live. I think this is one of the reasons it is so easy to find shark teeth fossils here, there are just more stuff in the sand! And because the sand is darker, it is a lot hotter to walk on as well!

You often see divers just off the beach here. Most off them are looking for shark teeth of the bigger kind, since they usually can bring in a few hundred dollars each.

If you don't know how to scuba dive you can just use one of these special shark teeth scoopers to sift through the bottom of the ocean (the teeth are found in the water, not on land).

Venice Pier

Close up at the little shop out on the pier

Unfortunately we managed to get a little sunburn, hard to keep the sunscreen on you when you are constantly swimming in the water.

We ended our nice beach day at Sharky's and then had a relaxing afternoon at home.

Sharky's restaurant

The Hong Kong job is ON, so I will be super busy the next 3 days.

Oh, and I discovered I must have a cavity this weekend, so I will have to go in to the dentist and have that fixed tomorrow, bummer since we are actually adding dental insurance to our health plan, but it won't come into effect until July 1.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lite nytt på väggarna

För ungefär ett år sedan köpte jag tre planscher i affären ute i vår kära Myakka River State Park. Hela familjen är väldigt intresserade av djur och natur, med speciellt intresse i just Floridas flora och fauna.

Tyckte det var lite kul speciellt för Sarah att ha fåglar, palmer och snäckor vanliga i våra trakter på väggarna, och samtidigt ge henne lite information så hon kan lära sig mer om vad de heter och så, perfekt nu när hon läser ganska bra.

Jag köpte tre ramar från IKEA eftersom det krävdes väldigt stora ramar (bilderna är 53x75 cm) och det blev billigast så. Dessutom gillar jag ramarna i RIBBA-serien. Dock passade inte passepartouterna alls, och det är oftast dyrt som sjutton att specialköpa, men det fick gå an för den här gången...

Jag gick till Michael’s, en här i USA ganska känd kedja som bl.a. har egen inramare i affären. De visade sig dock vara väldigt ointresserade i att hjälpa mig och jag gillade inte deras idéer om hur passepartouterna skulle se ut, så det blev ingen affär där.

Ken lovade då att lämna in dem till den inramare som han använder för företaget, och som även ramat in en del till oss privat. Visade sig dessutom vara billigare än Michael’s i slutändan, men med oerhört mycket bättre kvalitet.

En med kust- och våtmarksfåglar från Florida, en med palmer från sydöstra USA och en med snäckor från Floridas golfkust. Det är ganska stora skillnader mellan vår sida, golfsidan, och atlantsidan på andra sidan Florida. Bland annat fisk- och snäckarterna skiljer sig åt mellan sidorna.

Vår sida har dessutom vitare och mycket finkornigare sand (ofta som barnpuder), med som följd mer turkosfärgat vatten, och vi har mer tropiska förhållanden med lugnare vatten (mindre vågor) och inte så stor förekomst av hajar. Hajarna gillar atlantsidan eftersom den mat de gillar håller sig till de kallare strömmarna där. Jag är absolut mer förtjust i just vår golfsida!

Så nu har vi lite nytt på väggarna som hela familjen faktiskt är glada över. Inte bara några fina bilder utan alltså något som vi alla är intresserade av, lite kul!

Härlig Fredag!

Nästan ingen värk kvar! Tjohoo! Febern är nästan borta den med, så det kan nog bli en bra helg.

Har jobbat hela morgonen och tog precis hundisarna på en lång promenad. Det kunde behövas efter att ha varit en febrig degis i flera dagar. Men OJ så varmt det var!

Vi klarade nästan inte av att andas där ute i hettan. Luftfuktigheten är skyhög idag, klibbigt och tungt.

Ska nog fixa lite lunch och sedan kasta mig i duschen. Måste komma på vad jag ska handla i mataffären så vi har lite gott att äta över helgen.

Imorgon blir det tjejdag. Sarah och jag ska ner till Sarasota och det stora shopping mallet för att gå på bio och handla lite, lunch och ha det allmänt trevligt. Trevligare umgänge kan man nog knappast önska sig, hon är för go!

På söndag blir det Venice Beach (världens hajtandstätaste strand), lunch på Sharky's men innan det blir det fram med skoporna för att se vad vi kan hitta i vattnet... (Skoporna är en typ av sandsil me dlångt skaft som man gräver upp ett lager sand med och sedan låter vattnet sila bort sanden så man kan se om man fått något kul i skopan).

Ha en bra helg nu allihopa!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Since today is such a sickly day, I can at least look forward to dinner tonight. I am making Swedish brown beans (bruna bönor). Not something for everyone, either you like it or you don't. I love it and so does Ken!

Back in Sweden I loved to eat it with falukorv, a special sausage, but a traditional way to eat it is with stekt fläsk, a type of thick bacon-like pork meat. Today we are having it with regular thick cut bacon, very good as well!

Not much going on today

I had a very tough night with severe pain and high fever, so I don't exactly feel well rested. I hate when the pain feels like bee stings all over. This time around it also feels like I have been training with an Olympic team the day before or something, very sore all over...

Nothing I can do but wait until this lupus attack decide to leave me be. So I think i will just veg out in front of the TV and computer today. Hard to get any energy up with a fever. Oh well, could be worse :-)!

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Igår hade jag planerat en myskväll med lite TV. men nähejdå, lupusattack, hög feber och ont. Så det var bara att gå och lägga sig.

Sov 10 timmar men är ändå helt slut, men febern verkar ha gett sig, så nu har jag bara ledvärk, vilket inte är så farligt. Vänsterarmen är dock "låst", vilket händer ganska ofta. Det går liksom inte att böja så mycket. Man inser liksom inte hur beroende man är av en arm tilsl den inte funkar längre, väldigt irriterande!

Sitter och väntar på att Hong Kong ska komma in på kontoret så jag vet om det blir superjobba som gäller de närmsta dagarna. Pengarna hade ju varit bra, men känner mig inte i tippform för det just nu, så vi får se om de godtar de krav jag hade för att ta deras jobb...

Ihelgen ska det bli härligt men ack så varmt. Det blir Venice Beach för oss. Vi ska skaffa Sarah en egen hajtandsletarskopa, så hon kan hitat egna hajtänder. Pappas skopa är alldeles för stor för henne. Själv blir det nog lite flytande på en upplåsbar madrass. Och sedan en tidig middag på Sharky's perfekt! Ska försöka trycka in ett biobesök med, Sarah vill gärna se nya Shrek.

Hittills har vi ingen olja här, det verkar som om Tampa-området kommer att klara sig ganska OK. Oljan har gått in o golfströmmen, så det finns risk för att Key West kanske drabbas om några veckor, men det hoppas vi verkligen inte, eller hur Desiree? :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Det finns bra företag med...

Jag är inte en stor användare av min mobiltelefon alls. Men den är alltid med mig och har blivit ett nödvändigt ont.

Sist jag var i Sverige lånade jag någons gamla mobil och köpte ett kontantkort så jag kunde ringa billigt inom Sverige. Det var dock jobbigt att använda en mobil jag inte var van vid, och att inte ha några telefonnummer i adressboken.

Jag funderade starkt på att köpa en ny mobil här i USA, en olåst, så jag kan ta med den till Sverige med alla mina telefonnummer och bara sätta i ett svenskt SIM-kort. Men det är dyrt med olåsta mobiler, och jag har verkligen inget behov av en riktigt super fancy mobil, men är precis lagom...

Så jag skrev ett trevligt brev till vår operatör, T-mobile, och berättade vad jag behövde, och påpekade att vi har varit trogna kunder hos dem sedan 1997 (innan de ens hette T-mobile). Jag fick snabbt svar att de verkligen uppskatatde oss som kund, och såklart de kunde låsa upp min mobil så jag kan använda den i Sverige!

Detta var ganska snällt av dem, med tanke på att de faktiskt har International Roaming, dvs jag KAN ringa med den i Sverige, men det är väldigt dyrt (genom kontot vi har med dem).

Så det finns inget i detta för dem förutom att göra en gammal kund glad... Så tack!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Mycket jobb idag, så lite stressigt. Hade dock en härlig helg med vattenpark på söndagen och hemma och fixa på söndagen i ösregnet (som verkligen behövs). Slapp laga mat igår med middag på Outback Steakhouse (Sarah fick äta gratis tack vare sitt "Student of the month" certifikat).

Har haft rejält med ledvärk de senaste veckorna, och i helgen hade jag det tvivelaktiga nöjet med att ha ledvärk UNDER fötterna. Inte så bra kombination med allt klättrande man gör i trapporna på en vattenpark. Hade dessutom rejäl träningsvärk i benen på söndagen efter alla dessa trappor. LÅNGA och mycket HÖGA trappor... Mina stackars otränade ben fick jobba hårt, flåset med :-)!

Återkommer när jobben har varvat ner lite!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Det har varit en bizy vecka, hinner inte med i svängarna!

Har redan varit ute på ärenden på morgonen. Ska städa och jobba hela dagen. Sedan kommer en trädfirma för att se hur vi ska trimma våra ekar och palmträd. Imorgon är det fundraiser efter skolan, och vi ska till ett ställe som heter Bounce U. Det är en hel lagerlokal proppfull av olika hopptorn och saker att studsa runt på. Efter detta är det pizza-middag på samma ställe.

Sedan på lördag är det vattenpark igen. På söndag hoppas jag att vi kan ta det lite lugnt. Sarah fick ett certifikat att gå och äta gratis middag på ett steakhouse med sin "Student of the Month"-utmärkelse, så kanske kan vi göra det på söndag.

Nu ska jag fika lite för mig själv med en iskall Diet Coke och svenska dammsugare (punschrullar) från IKEA...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

This weekend, the 28-31 is usually considered the unofficial start of summer here in the US. Everyone usually have at least 3 days off, there are BBQs and parades, things of that nature.

In our area it is usually all about hanging on the beach and BBQ.

I just rented a boat for that Saturday, so we will be cruising on the inter-coastal (the area between the barrier islands and the main land) all day long.

Going out into the open Gulf of Mexico is not recommended unless you have a lot of boating experience, which we do not. The inter-coastal is like a road, the waters are very shallow, so they have dug canals that are marked that the boats have to follow (unless you want to get stuck).

We will bring the dogs and a little BBQ as well. We did that once before Sarah was born, when we only had one dog, and it was a lot of fun! (Bob the dog loves boats!)


Sarah was very excited to go to school today. She has been selected Student of the Month for April, and she will shake hands with the principal and go up on stage in front of the entire school today and get her award and her picture taken. Afterward she gets to have lunch with the principal.

This is all very cool and all, but what she really really is looking forward is the ice cream for dessert that only the Student of the Month gets...

After school today Sarah and I are going to IKEA in Tampa. It has been a while and I need a Swedish fix! :-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


De gick med på $1000. Så nu är den saken ur världen. Låt detta bli en läxa till er alla: även om ni tror att ni har köpt en laglig bild på Internet, så länge som ni inte har en kopia av copyright certifikatet som säger att ni äger bilden så är chansen stor att någo av de stora bildföretagen äger bilden!

Desto mer jag läser, desto värre situationer läser jag om. $8000 är inget, det var ett par som köpte en hemsida klappat och klart. ALLA bilderna som de fick med hemsidan var stulna! 25 stycken. Deras räkning var på $75 000!!!

Köp inte ens foton från kända fotleverantörer, såvida ni inte får ett kvitto och ett copyright-certifikat. Och köp aldrig sådana där CD-skivor med massa bilder som man ofta ser i affärerna. De kryllar av stulna bilder!

Så jag kom undan med $1000... Det hade vi kunnat få en mysig weekend-resa för. Nästan en biljett yill Sverige. Shoppat loss rejält...

Så nu kan jag i alla fall lägga undan den dåliga smaken jag haft i munnen ett par veckor, lugna ner mina nerver och gå vidare. Men fy fan vad taskigt. Jag önskar jag visste vem det var jag köpt webb-mallen av, jag skulle gärna vilja ge dem ett sanningens ord...

Vi får se vad det blir

Kommer ni ihåg de där $8000 de ville ha för en bild som var med i en webbmall som jag köpte och som mig ovetandes de inte hade rättigheterna till?

Jag erbjöd att betala $360, väldigt lågt, men man ska ju börja någonstans... De kontrade igår med $3000, men lämnade även dörren öppen för vidare förhandlingar.

Jag har till och med på fredag att gå med på en slutlig förlikning. Jag erbjöd $1100. Vi får se om de godtar det. Mitt max är $2400, mer skulle det vara svårt att skaka loss kontant sådär på stört, då skulle jag behöva mer tid.

De VET att jag har blivit lurad av den som snodde bilden, men de skriver bara att det är något som jag får ta upp med den personen jag köpte webbmallen av (och det har jag faktiskt ingen aning nu vem det var, om de ens (knappast) finns kvar...). Och de har ju rätt. Det känns bara så jävla surt att jag ska behöva betala för något som jag faktiskt inte gjort själv, men lagen är på deras sida, hur taskigt det än är.

Så vi får se hur det går. Nu går förhandlingarna via e-post istället för brev, så det borde ju gå lite snabbare att få svar...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah

I went to bed super early Friday hoping to feel better for Sarah's party, and luckily enough, no fever, just some joint pain.

Sarah got a birthday donut with a candle and a few presents in the morning. She was suppose to be sleeping, but she woke up and had to wait on our bed until we had everything ready :-)!

Then we got all our stuff ready and took off to Sarasota Jungle Gardens to get ready for the party. There were more than one party this day, and we were lucky to get the only shady spot.

Lots of shade trees in the picnic area

The picnic area, almost ready for the party

We also had a flock of flamingos walking around our tables the entire time, and they together with some parrots gave us a very good jungle backdrop. Man, those flamingos were noisy! Flamingos like shiny things, and they tried eating the guests jewelry, but they don't bite hard, so nothing to worry about. One managed to bite me in the but, ha ha!!!

Some of our visitors

They were a total of 8 kids, just perfect. In this picture it is Sarah and the girls from her class, the others were still eating:

It was very warm, probably around 38 C in the shade, so we were glad we had a cooler full of cold drinks and water. We had ordered pizza delivered to the park, and after everyone ate one of the zookeepers came up with Oreo the Skunk. He was sooo cute! Even if he did not have his stink glands anymore, he still had a very musky odor to him. The dogs went nuts when they smelled Sarah's t-shirt later that day!

After Oreo we got to meet Peter Pan, a one year old alligator. Luckily he had some tape around his snout, because he looked like he wanted to eat someone!

Sarah is a little shy during the Happy Birthday song

After the party Ken's mom came with us home and decided to stay the night, so we took the opportunity and took her out for a Mother's Day dinner at the Outback Steakhouse.

Sunday it was Water Park Day! We took off at 8 AM and arrived just before they opened at 10 AM. You are allowed to bring coolers, so we had one packed with drinks and food for the day. Sarah LOVED the water park, she said it was better than Disney's Magic Kingdom!

We had a really fun day, but I tell you, most of those rides are really high up, and you have to carry your inner tubes up long, steep stairs to get to them. Lets just say I am not in tip top form...

We spent over 6 hours there, riding and having fun. I can really recommend Typhoon Lagoon, it was great fun! I am just glad I managed to apply sunscreen good enough that nobody got sunburn... Next weekend we are off to the other Disney water park, Blizzard Beach. Should be fun!

Now I am going to run a few errands, I have to take the dogs out, then off with some papers to Ken's office, and then I have to find a new bathing suit. I need a good one piece. My old tankinis are on their last leg... Have a great day everyone!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Blah and good

A couple of hours ago when I was still cleaning, all of a sudden I blacked out. When I sat down I noticed I was not feeling good at all, super dizzy and perhaps a fever. Checked the temperature and it was 102.5, not fun!

Now every single joint in my body hurts, so I am pretty sure it is just a lupus attack, so hopefully it won't be too much in the way of our weekend plans... I feel like I am well of 90 years old, it is painful just to walk. And I haven't vacuumed yet, which have to be done, I have been dusting everything down on the floors, looks awful...

The good news are that the cake came out looking pretty good! We asked that they would use some plastic animals we brought in, since they did not have any good ready made jungle themes, and I also hinted Sarah really likes tigers the best, so they put the tiger in the center and accented everything in tiger colors. Cute! What do you think? Looks good enough to eat, right?!

So the plan is to finish the vacuuming, then take a shower and then RELAX! Luckily I have some shrimp scampi that just need heating in the micro for dinner, it will have to do tonight!

Idag kom det...

...ett litet paket på posten. Postsämplat i Sverige! Alltid lika kul såklart.

Tack mormorsmor säger Sarah för presenterna, och tack säger jag för den finfina svenska kokboken och godiset...


How did this week literally just disappear like that? swish and it was Friday again!

Yesterday I was a working machine, cranking out projects left to right. Today is all about cleaning. I work a bit this morning, and then I unleashed my inner Mr, Clean and got a lot done.

I just came back from a very hot and sweat dripping long walk with the dogs, and now I am going to enjoy an ice cold Coke while I watch Lyxfällan on TV3. Then back to cleaning again...

After picking Sarah up form school I have to go by the grocery store and pick up her birthday cake as well as a few odds and ends for the party tomorrow.

After a little back and fort they are now going to be 8 girls, 3 still at a maybe. Plus the adults, it should be a nice little party.

My mother in law will come back with us to our house (hence all the extra cleaning...).

Sunday is Mother's Day here in the US, and we were thinking about what we wanted to do, and we decided to go to one of Disney's Water Parks in Orlando, Typhoon Lagoon. I think it has to be 9 years since I sat a foot in a water park, but I think it will be fun. We have been wanting to go, but wanted to wait until Sarah was a good enough swimmer, just in case.

After this Disney visit we have one more visit before our tickets expire, so we will go to the other Disney water park here soon. I am not happy about the thought of parading around in just my swimsuit all day, but I am sure I won't be the only one thinking that. I just haven't gotten used to the 20 lbs I gained after becoming more healthy after my surgery in 2007.

At least America is the land of many body shapes, so I am not going to fret too much about it, just enjoy my day!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Vi har diskuterat fram och tillbaka hela morgonen om det här med husköp.

Vi har ju absolut ingen panik med att flytta alls. Det handlar ju mest om vill, inte alls måste.

Indikeringarna är starka att det skulle vara mer förmånligt för oss att vänta till i alla fall slutet på året att köpa ett hus. Då hinner vi betala av lite saker och dessutom spara lite mer kontanter till en större handpenning.

Vi får se hur det blir, men nu när vi har pratat ihop oss kanske vi bromsar oss lite. Det är ju ingen panik. Ja jisses, detta är verkligen upp och ner, fram och tillbaka! :-)

Busy day

I managed to get up, take a shower, eat, get Sarah ready, drive to the mechanic shop, drive to the airport and drop Ken off at the car rental place, drive Sarah to school and drop her off just as the bell rang (phew!), drive to look at a house real quick (just a walk around).

Now I have work to do. No more houses in my mind, just work. Ken will start the mortgage application, but that is it. I need a break from all the ups and downs of buying a house... at least for today!

Now, some caffeine and I am ready!


Oj, vilken jobbig och stressig kväll det var igår, inte kul alls! Efter att vi hade lämnat in vårt bud, men innan säljaren hade officiellt skrivit under mottagandet, fick de in ett lägre erbjudande än vårat, men KONTANT, alltså inget lån. En investerare som svepte in, helt enkelt, Cash is King och vårt deal åkte ut genom dörren fort som fan.

Så kan det gå! En jävla berg-och-dal-bana var det, fy sjutton. Ken och jag är helt slut idag, och ändå måste vi upp vid halv sex för att hinna lämna in Kens bil på verkstaden och hämta en hyrbil, skjutsa Sarah till skolan etc...

Förvånande nog känner jag mig bara lite besviken, det var mer som en ballong där luften gick ur liksom.

Vi startar låneprocessen idag, så att det i alla fall är klart, för vem vet hur lång tid det kan ta, och det vore ju skönt att ha det klart, nu när jag har fått Kens arsle ur vagnen och han har gått med på att husleta på riktigt allvar menar jag... Och förhoppningsvis är pre-qual brevet klart idag så att vi har det ifall vi får för oss att bjuda på något...

Nu ska jag gå och väcka Sarah. Hoppas att ni alla får en bra start på dagen!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I just found out that someone else is looking at the house tomorrow, and this person has been waiting for this particular house to come on the market, so chances are this person will submit an offer tomorrow...

So it is submit an offer today or we will lose out, pretty much!

Since this offer has to have proof of funds, we need to include either a pre-approval letter or a so called pre-qualification letter. A pre-approval letter is exactly what it sounds like: a letter stating you are already approved for a loan in so and so amount.

A pre-qualification is not as good, it is just a letter from a lender saying that "yeah, we will most likely give this person a loan in so and so amount based on the information provided", but it is not a guarantee you will get a loan, but acceptable to most sellers.

We were not expecting to make an offer on a house now, so we didn't have any of these letters at the ready, and the one we used for the other two houses we tried to buy is now outdated...

So last night we had to scramble to request a pre-qualification letter. A pre-approval would take a few days with the lender we are using, but a pre-qual can usually be done in hours.

We used, since we just need a letter in general, from any lender, not necessary the one we are actually going to use... last time it took two hours. This time; not so!

We submitted the request last night, almost 24 hours ago, and it is still pending. I called them, and they told me it sometimes can take up to 72 hours! Yikes!

So our Realtor is going to submit the offer without the letter (unless we get it tonight) and hope the seller is OK waiting for it... They can say no, but they can also say yes. If they accept to review our offer without it, they are required to not accept any other offers until they have given us an answer (they have 72 hours to do so), and since we are offering full asking price, hopefully that will be a yes...

I am a wreck, and I had a very had time getting anything done, just staring at the page with the status of the document, hitting the refresh button every so often.

Now I need to clean the house a bit, it looks like a wrecking crew passed through the living room.

Stay tuned for more updates, this one is a nail biter!

Nerve wracking

I hate being dependent on other people to get things done. We are waiting for important papers from two places. Luckily we have until tonight to get things ready.

I hate waiting and being nervous! I was going to water my plants out in the back yard, so I filled up my big watering can in the bathroom, and then I went into the garage. Last time I checked, I had no plants needing water in the garage...

Soon it is time to pick Sarah up from school and then we have to go by the grocery store and order her Jungle Cake for her birthday party. Hopefully I will get that right at least!


OK. I think we have found THE house. We will have to act quickly to get this one, it is bank owned and will attract a lot of interest I am sure. Awesome. Beautiful. Great investment, priced $50,000 under current market value.

It came on the market yesterday, and it is perfect , perfect, perfect, perfect...

We are going to try and scramble together an offer today, and hopefully this will be IT!

Stay tuned...

Monday, May 3, 2010

What a wonderful weekend!

Saturday Sarah and I met Ken for lunch, then we spent hours at the mall. We also managed to squeeze in a movie while we were there, we saw "Furry Vengeance" with Brendan Frazer.

On Sunday we packed the dogs and our selves into the car. First we stopped at Dunkin Donuts for some coffee (Ken) and unsweetened ice tea (me) and chocolate milk (Sarah). I also got a bagel to eat later.

Then we stopped at Wal-Mart to get a new cooler (our old one is so big and really hard to carry, the new one has a handle and wheels). We filled it with ice and some picnic food before taking off. That is when I realized I left the bagel in the car, and of course, the dogs had eaten it while we were in the store...

After that we drove around and looked at a few houses. Nothing spectacular to talk about. We both have a feeling we will have better luck finding something towards the end of May, especially now when the tax credit for home buyers is over.

Then we took off to Fort Desoto Park, an awesome national park with many things to offer. The first thing on our agenda was a hike on one of the many nature trails, so the dogs would calm down a little. It was a HOT weekend with temperatures in the shade of 35 C. Bob managed to step on a snake, and the snake was NOT happy and tried to attack, but luckily Bob was smart enough to get the heck out of there!

After that very hot walk we went over to the off leash dog park where dog dogs were happy to get a cool drink and run around freely for a while. Then we took them down to the best part: the Dog Beach! Hundreds of dogs running around in the sand, swimming and just having fun!

After that, another round in the dog park and a shower to get most of the sand and saltwater off.

Then we drove over to our secret picnic spot where we had a nice lunch right by the ocean. The dogs and I stayed at the picnic site while Sarah and Ken explored the beach and looked for treasures, they did find an really cool horseshoe crab shell!

Then we explored a little more, but it was so hot we had to carry the dogs for a while, their paws were burning on the hot sand. We also stopped by the beach at the park, which was voted America's Most Beautiful Beach in 2005. Sarah and Ken went swimming while the dogs and I hung out in the shade with something cool to drink, apparently the beach water temperature is now 27 C, not bad at all!!! It was a very hot and tired family that finally drove home...

After everyone got a shower I made some homemade potato salad that was yummy and we did a little BBQ. A great end to a a great weekend!

Today I am feeling like a truck ran over me. When you have lupus you are a bit allergic to the sun, and it can make you feel like you have the flu. Even with layers of sunscreen on. But since I really don't want to skip being outdoors, it is just consequences I have to deal with. It also gives me little itchy hives, but they usually only last for a few days.

My lips are still super dry and cracked, so I don't think the dermatologist was correct, it is just not dry skin. I have been taking extra vitamins and have been using super duper lip moisturizers. I might have to ask my lupus doctor, I know Sjogren's disease can case cracked lips like that (I have secondary Sjogrens from the lupus), and the salivary glands have been acting up lately, being clogged a lot. So who knows? I just really hate having painful lips all the time, sigh.

Hope you are all getting a great start to your week!