Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday Funny!

We have moved in! High five! There's still about a million unpacked boxes and I don't know where everything is, but all our stuff is out of the rental and I've returned the keys. I will consider that success!

I'm still too scatterbrained to really write anything, but I found this hilarious picture I'd love to share. It made me laugh out loud this morning, maybe it will do the same for you. =)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Home sweet home!

You know how stressed out I've been about the house? Well, everyone did their very best for me, and even though we had to postpone closing from 10:30 AM to 5 PM yesterday, it happened!

Once they figured out all the numbers I just had enough time to rush to the bank and make a wire transfer for the closing costs before racing to the closing location. I still barely believe it's true - this is the first place I've been to since I moved to the US where I feel completely at home.

I've fought for it; even dabbled as an AC technician to make it pass inspection, and I don't know the first thing about air conditioning, LOL! It needs a little TLC, but who cares. It feels like home!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Who put all this stuff in our cupboards? LOL!

I should write an eloquent blog about writing. With moving on my mind, that's not happening. My mind is filled with neat cardboard boxes. Reality is somewhat different...

Packing is clearly not one of my stronger sides. I put two things in a box, get distracted by something, and forget that I was packing. To distract myself from the need to do it, I started looking for funny stories about other people bad at it. You have to read this one about a woman who packed everything in trash bags. I'm not that bad...

Luckily, hubby turned out to be a packing machine. I went to work this morning and when I came home the living room held a pile of boxes containing everything from the kitchen. He even marked them!

I wonder how we can have collected so much stuff. All this junk can't be ours. *cough* I think some little elves run in at night and fill up the closets. That must be it, right?

I imagine the move to look something like this, but with doggies instead of kids.  =D

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I think my bank is trying to kill me. LOL.

So... closing on our new home is scheduled for Thursday this week. Thursday at 10:30. So far so good - or that's what I thought. The bank just called me and said, "Hey, we're going through the final phase in your loan, but we're not quite done yet, and we need to postpone closing. Is Monday good for you?"

I said, "No, I can't accept that. The house I've been renting is sold. I have to get out of it. If we don't close now I'll have to store everything I own and find a hotel for me and my family."

Besides that, I've taken time off from work. I've planned with the dogs, scheduled a moving truck, moving help, ordered move of utilities, address change, have handymen coming over, scheduled a delivery of a new bed, and a million other things normal people who don't work in a bank has to deal with.

There was a long silence on the other end. Thus far I've had to say, "No, I can't accept that" three times this week, and it's only Tuesday.

He finally said, "Oh... Well, I need a copy of your marriage certificate to verify your name change. Can you have that to me in ten minutes?"

I try to think happy thoughts about people around me, but this time I thought, "You're an idiot."

It wasn't a very nice thing to think. I've never talked to this man before and he was doing his best to be pleasant and helpful. He has had nothing to do with my loan up until this point, and probably won't in the future either. But anyway...

Seriously; they've worked on my documents for two months. We've had this closing date set for a month. Now you realize you need the marriage certificate, and you need it within ten minutes? I'm at work. You know this - you're calling on my work phone. Why would I have this at work?

Do people usually store their marriage certificates at work? Am I peculiar, keeping it at home?

I was really good. There's been so much back and forth with this house, the loan, the seller, repairs someone requires and everyone refuses to do, and so on, I'm on the verge of snapping.I kept my mouth closed and raced home to get the document.

Luckily I have a wonderful employer who puts up with antics like this and I don't live far away, but I'm sure going there, grabbing the papers, going back to the office, scanning and uploading them took more than ten minutes.

At this point I require a miracle for everything to come together. I've spent the afternoon pleading with the title company and the bank. (Both claim the other haven't sent the documents in on time.) I'm still working out of the assumption that everything will work out and we will close on Thursday. The title company is on board with the plan now. Hopefully, the bank will be too.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Attempts of rescue...

There's a stray dog in my neighborhood, and I want to save her so bad. She breaks my heart and I can't stop thinking about her. 

Every night she stands at one of the houses across the street with her nose pressed against the door, wagging her tail. Sometimes she stands up and peeks in through the windows. They want nothing to do with her. They shoo her away. Still, she keeps coming back every day.

These people only speak Spanish. Unfortunately, I don't. I think the dog only understands Spanish too.

Every evening, I go across the road and sit on their driveway, talking to the dog, and tossing her little pieces of food. At first she was terrified of me and kept her distance. Then she dared come a little closer, and a little closer. Last night she was brave enough to come up and sniff my fingers.

I'm so close to gaining her confidence, but I'm moving in three days. Will there be enough time?

She is beautiful. She looks like a Rhodesian Ridgeback. We've only met in the dark and at a distance so I don't know if she has the ridge or not, but her face, body, and tail looks just like one. I've heard that they are extremely loyal. She sure is - much more loyal than these people deserve.

I don't know what to do with her if I manage to get her. We already have four dogs, two of which don't get along. In my heart I think there's always room for one more. Hubby's not as convinced. If I can get her, maybe I can at least get her to a rescue, find someone to care for her.

She's beautiful. She doesn't deserve to be out in the city all alone. Where does she sleep? What does she eat? I want her to have a soft, comfortable, and safe bed. I want her to be fed every day. I want her to have people who love her and get her toys.

Please, whatever forces in the universe might be on my side, give me the ability to rescue her!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday funnies!

Some of my favorite funnies! =D

Sunday reflection

I've been quiet this week. There's so much going on in my life I don't have any energy left to write even a blog. LOL! I want to finish up the re-release of Wrath of the Goddess, but it probably won't happen until after the move.

The move... Closing on our new home is scheduled to Thursday. If it'll happen or not is still in the stars. I've overcome more obstacles than anyone wants to hear about and even had to play AC technician to get the house through inspections. After managing to fix something I know zilch about I thought it would finally be downhill.

By now, I think the Universe is teasing me. It keeps tossing new obstacles in my way to see if I'm persistent enough to make it, or if I'll give up. Nothing you really want comes easy, right?

The last obstacle appeared this morning in the form of my employer's new payroll service. I need one final pristine paystub to appease the bank. Somehow, they've managed to lose almost $200. I need the money, of course, but I need the document even more.

I don't have all that much experience with US Payroll services, but I've spent enough time talking to our previous one to know that nothing comes easy. There's always a million bureaucratic reasons to why something can't be done. I'm guessing they've messed something up with my taxes, health insurance, or maybe the holiday pay for July 4th... Whatever it might be, I'm sure they won't just agree to fix it and issue a new document.

This time, however, I can't afford to be too nice and understanding. They have to fix it, because I have to have it. I might have to go down to their office and sit on them until someone brings out a typewriter and does it manually. LOL!

Why the big deal, you might ask? Well, if the closing has to be postponed because of their blunder, we'll have to store all our stuff and live in a hotel, because we have to be out of this rental by end of month. This time there's no wiggle room.

I'd better get off the computer and get back to packing. It's fascinating how much stuff I've managed to collect during my few years in the US! Hopefully I'll be back by the computer soon, with good news.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Liza O'Connor's Crazy Blog Tour!

Maria: Today we have Sam, Trent's driver from Worst Week Ever. He's supposed to give us the scoop on all the main characters. I hope he shows.

Maria: This must be him now.

Sam: Hey Maria. If I had known how pretty you are, I would have arrived a few hours early.

Maria: Be still my heart.  *takes a deep breath* So why a painting instead of a picture?

Sam: Not sure. Either Liza can't afford to buy pictures--she's a starving author, you know-- or she just likes to paint.  You like?

Maria: No complaints, just wondering.  You know, you kind of resemble--

Sam: Don't even go there. I in no way resemble Trent. I'm a real man, not some pampered Lord Fauntleroy.  

Maria: I'll grant you, you look more approachable, but you do have the same forehead, blue eyes, jaw shape. 

Sam: What I don't have is a billion dollars, a penthouse or a Long Island Estate. However, I do know how to treat a lady to a good time. *eyes Maria with interest*

Maria: I'm married.

Sam: *grins and gives a slight shrug*

Maria: So talk about your relationship with--

Sam: the ladies?

Maria: No, with Trent.

Sam: *sighs and props feet on the coffee table* Master Trent. What's there to say? Even with a billion reasons to like him, women don't. Guess how many of his dates I've seduced.

Maria: I've no idea.

Sam*crosses his arms*  Forty-two.  And mind you the seduction occurs while I'm driving Master Trent and his date around town.

Maria: How is that even possible?

Sam: I stare at them in the rear view mirror

Sam: Then seal the deal while helping them out of car. I know every sensitive spot on a woman's body.  Then after a crappy evening with Trent, he'll ask me to take them home while he goes to a bar and cries about his inability to seduce a woman.

Maria:  And they fall for you?

Sam: I wouldn't say fall for me. Most of these ladies are starlets or models. They see me as their tasty reward after a god awful date.

Maria: That doesn't sound very satisfying. Do these relationships go anywhere?

Sam: Honestly? They aren't satisfying and they  go nowhere. The only enjoyment I get out them is proving I can get what Master Trent can't, despite all his money.

Maria: Maybe you should forget about Trent's dates and find a young woman you actually like.

Sam: Mars said the same thing.

Maria: Who's that?

Sam: The Penthouse butler.

He was my captain when I fought in the war. He became Master Trent's butler a few years ago. He's probably the best butler in the entire country. I was shocked when Master Trent actually had the brains to hire him.

Maria: So are you going to follow his advice to find someone not related to Trent?

Sam: I have to. Trent has stopped dating. He's obsessing over Carrie now.

Maria: She's very pretty, but looks too young for Trent.

Sam: She does, but I checked her passport. She's 24. The incompatibility is that she's middle class and smart.

Maria: Excuse me, but isn't that a handcuff on her wrist.

Sam: Yeah she's prone to getting into trouble, too.  But what she isn't is an easy seduction.

Maria: You seduced Carrie?

Sam: I tried, but she barely even noticed. However, to be fair, my heart wasn't in it. Unlike all the other women, she actually likes Trent and forgives him when he's being a jerk. She honestly thinks he has potential to one day become a good boss and a great man.

Maria: And you don't.

Sam: *Shakes his head* Master Trent was a jerk the day I first met him and remains so to this day. I'll grant you he's nicer when he's around Carrie, and since he's kept her at his side 24/7 during this crazy week, he's shown improvement, but my money says when she leaves his side, he returns to being a jerk. It's his natural state of being.

Maria: For Carrie's sake I hope you're wrong.

*Sam's phone buzzes and he answers it*

Sam: What?...Having sex with a beautiful woman. What do you need?...   Be there in twenty. *hangs up phone* That was Master Trent. He needs me to pick him up at his penthouse and drive him two block to work...on my day off. Well,  that's the life of the nameless, downtrodden servants who serve the rich.

Maria: Thank you for coming. And I wish you luck in finding a woman to truly suit you.

Sam: *takes her extended hand and brings it to his lips.* It's been a true pleasure meeting you, Maria. I wish we had more time.

Maria: Still married.

Sam: I'd show you how irrelevant that is, only I've got to go

Maria: Well, that man is pretty certain of himself. Guess I'll have to read the book to see how it turns out for all of them. Now where did I put... Aah, there it is!

Worst Week Ever
by Liza O'Connor
New Adult, Humor, Contemporary

What do you get when you put a hardworking, can-do middle-class young woman together with a egoistical, outrageous, billionaire boss, then throw in the worst week of disasters imaginable?
Book 1 of the 3 book series A Long Road to Love.

Worst Week Ever.

Trent Lancaster spends one month without his Executive Assistant, or as his drivers refers to Carrie: 'Trent's brain, left hand, and right hand'. He's had a miserable month without her at his side and to ensure it never happens again, he intends to marry his brilliant beauty. Only given all the times he's threatened to fire her, he's not sure she even likes him. However, the future of his company and his happiness depend upon him succeeding, so Trent begins a slow one week seduction that happens to coincide with Carrie's Worst Week Ever when everything that can go wrong does so in hilarious form.
(Hilarious to the reader--Carrie is not having much fun this week.)

The door burst open and Trent strode in, followed by a man dressed in a black suit, carrying a tray of food. “Good, you’re finally awake. Saves me from having to throw cold water on you.”
Trent sat on her bed as he pointed to the desk. “Put her breakfast there.”

“On the one of a kind, heirloom desk, which has been in your family since 1845?” his butler asked.


“No!” Carrie yelled over him. “Let’s put it on the bed stand.” She pushed the Tiffany lamp further back to make room.

“Thank you, miss,” the butler said as he placed the silver tray on the stand and then stepped back.
“Will there be anything else?”

“No,” her grumpy boss snapped. The moment the butler stepped into the hall, Trent slammed the door closed and glared at Carrie. “Do not countermand my orders to the staff. They’re impossible enough already.”

She chuckled. “I’m sure they say the same about you.” The tantalizing aroma of her food caught her attention. Unable to resist, she peeked beneath the silver lid.

Trent sat a foot away from her on the bed and sniffed at her plate. “I told the cook she’d be fired if you didn’t eat it.”

“If you actually said that, you should go downstairs and apologize. You appear to have a wonderful cook and should value her.”

He shrugged. “She’s okay. Not as good as the last one though.”

Unwrapping her fork from a swaddling of fine linen, Carrie dug into the egg-white omelet. Her eyes rolled in ecstasy. “God, this is fabulous!”

“Really?” He moved closer and stole her fork so he could try some.

She expected him to smile at first taste. Instead, he became annoyed. “Come on! Your taste buds can’t be that jaded.”

His eyes narrowed. “It’s very good. Far better than the crap she feeds me.”

Carrie shook her head and swiped the fork. If the cook prepared Trent mediocre meals, she understood why. During her first six months at Lancaster Chairs, Trent had threatened her with unemployment on a daily basis and she’d hated it. She nearly grew to hate him, would have, except his remarks always lacked sincerity, as if he’d learned them rote.

Once she’d consumed a quarter of the omelet, she offered him the fork. He smiled and shook his head. “You finish it. The cook will serve me my gruel later. Probably spit in it for good measure.”

Author Bio:

Liza lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels. She loves to create interesting characters, set them loose, and scribe what happens.

Author Links

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Exciting month coming up!

We're finally about to move. If all goes well, we will be out of our rental house within two weeks! Hubby and I have been packing, and I took inventory of all our large things today, trying to figure out how big a truck we might need to rent, and how long we'll need it.

Wait... Let me back up... (Yes, this is relevant, I promise, LOL!) I have a Honda Fit. It's a compact hatchback, and it's definitely bigger on the inside. When I stand outside the car, it's tiny. When I sit in the driver's seat, it's a full size car. Step out of the car again, I've parked in a corner of the parking spot and it looks ridiculous. Fold the back seat down, and it's possible to load pieces of furniture that appear larger than the car.

Anyway, I was taking inventory of our large things today. I moved over the Atlantic equipped with two suitcases and everything that didn't fit had to be left behind. Hubby had some stuff, and we've bought a lot through the years. The little house we rent is filled to the brim. Still, there's only a dozen things that won't fit in my Honda. (Not at the same time, of course - a dozen things that couldn't theoretically be moved with the Honda. Like, the bed.) Is that a good thing, or is it sad?

Where am I going with this? You're tired of hearing about my move by now, aren't you? Well, the point is, if everything goes well, I will meet August in a new home. I will have an office space that's larger than a closet. That's worth celebrating!

In my new office, I'll be prepared to meet the excitement of August!

"What is she babbling about?" you might ask.

In August, Undercover will be released as a paperback. My new scifi romance novel Operation Earth will be released as e-book, it's going on blog tour, and Kidnapped is a finalist in the RONE awards. Three big things in one month. Exciting times!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Do you want to host me?

My new sci-fi romance novel "Operation Earth" will be released in a few weeks - August 11 - and the book and I are going on tour. It is coordinated by Bewitching Book Tours, and if you would like to host a stop on the tour, you can find more information here! =D


Seven billion people on Earth go about their daily lives, and no one is prepared when a global EMP slows the world to a crawl. With all our technology incapacitated, everything changes. Within days alien soldiers line the streets, and life will never be the same. Rachael struggles to adapt to the new order, doing her best to keep herself and her cat alive.

On a ship far above the planet surface, Peter just got his new Earth name, and can’t even remember his identity from the last world he visited. It’s another day on the job, one more world on a never-ending list. That is, until Rachael bumps into him, dropping exotic objects all around his feet. His culture taught him females should be obeyed and protected, but he never had an urge to leave himself at a woman’s mercy until now.

Rachael’s neighbor Ryan hounds her to join a brewing resistance movement and make a stand against the newcomers. She still befriends Peter, enthralled by his enigmatic personality and hypnotic golden eyes. Would falling in love with an alien be treason against humanity? When the rebellion gains momentum and open conflict with the newcomers is a fact, Rachael’s personal insurrection might be her doom, or bring salvation to us all.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

Breed Specific Legislation - the idea of banning certain dog breeds - is popular amongst some people afraid of dogs. It doesn't work. There will always be irresponsible dog owners, and they'll remain irresponsible regardless how many family dogs are seized and killed.

Looking at statistics from areas that implement Breed Specific Legislation, the public safety benefit is unmeasurable, while loved pets and service dogs are ripped away from their families and put down because they happen to be - or look like - an outlawed breed.

I know this doesn't have anything to do with books and writing, but it's a subject close to my heart, so please bear with me.

In my opinion, the owner determines what a dog will become. 

You can make any dog vicious. Unfortunately, a certain type of owners are attracted to a certain type of dogs. Punishing law abiding families and their dogs can never solve that problem. Even if you seize and kill 2,000 family dogs the criminals and really irresponsible dog owners will make sure that they still have theirs.

Protecting the public from criminal elements and dangerous dogs is a great idea and BSL is founded in good intentions, but it doesn't work. If the population experiences a problem and the current solution doesn't do anything to solve the problem, shouldn't we look for a better solution?

Also, a lot of people think they're not affected by BSL because they don't have Pit Bulls. I myself have Border Collies and an American Eskimo, what do I care?

While I can understand that line of thought, I'd still recommend everyone to think long and hard before making up their minds when it comes to this. Observing areas where BSL is in place today, all sorts of dogs are seized and killed, and these are not exceptions to the rule. In many places it's enough that the dog is large, has a split face, or a wide forehead. Bulldogs, Boxers, smooth Border Collies, Ridgebacks, Vizlas, any dog that remotely resembles a Pit Bull becomes free game. Sure, there are cases where the owners get their dog back, after going to court, and in some cases fighting for years.

I'm not saying everyone has to love every kind of animal, but legislation stemming out of fear is rarely effective. May 24th, Governor Brian Sandoval signed Nevada AB 110, stating "A local authority shall not adopt or enforce an ordinance or regulation that deems a dog dangerous or vicious based solely on the breed of dog." Good for Nevada!

In Florida, BSL is not allowed, but counties/cities that already had it were grandfathered in. That's how Miami can have a breed specific legislation.

Prince George's County in Maryland has done the most thorough assessment of BSL to date. They found that:
  • The cost for the county to confiscate and euthanize one single pit bull came out to around $68,000
  • In the fiscal year 2001-2002, these expenditures totaled a dazzling $560,000
  • The county lost revenue due to a dramatic reduction in dog shows and exhibitions
  • Dog bites decreased at the same rate amongst all breeds
Amongst the indirect losses, the investigators found people moving away from the county because of BSL. Tourism decreased because people with banned breeds can't - or won't - visit. And, there is the loss of trained service dogs, not to mention the heartbreak of families who lose their pet.

The ASPCA states the problem is never the breed, but the way a dog is treated by the humans around it. The three most aggressive breeds are actually the Dachshund, the Chihuahua, and the Jack Russell Terrier. Ironically, none of these have ever been covered by a breed specific ban. These are small dogs, of course, and probably appeal to a different kind of owner than the large and muscular dogs normally associated with dog bites.

A friend of mine pointed out that she'd rather be bit by a Chihuahua than a Pit Bull. I can see her point of view. However, she shouldn't have to worry about being bit by any dog. As a dog owner, it's your responsibility to train and look after your dog. As an adult member of society, it's your responsibility to know something about how to approach/not approach a dog. As a parent, your children are your responsibility. You have to teach them how to behave around animals.

A majority of serious/fatal dog bites in this country pertains to children left alone with a dog. No one knows what took place between the child and the dog before the bite. A dog can warn in a large number of subtle ways before they actually bite, and a kid or a person unused to dogs might never pick up on the warning signs. It can look like the attack came out of nowhere even though the dog has been trying to say "no" for several minutes.

Be aware and use common sense. Do you want to be poked in the eyes? Neither does the dog. Do you want someone to pull your hair? Neither does the dog. And so on.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) made a study on dog bite fatalities in the US and have published an interesting fact sheet. They conclude that each year, 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs. These bites result in approximately 16 fatalities. Out of a population of 314 million, 16 people each year die of dog bites. Don't get me wrong, these 16 are tragedies, but it's hardly a number statistically large enough to cause worry. According to the fact sheet, the data on which breeds might be more dangerous is inconclusive, and they say, "Many practical alternatives to breed-specific policies exist and hold promise for preventing dog bites."

The CDC also gives some good hands-on advice on things to consider before getting a dog, and on how to prevent dog bites.

To round this discussion off, I found this interesting image. Here are 25 dog breeds. One of these dogs is a Pit Bull. I bet you that if any of them bites a human it's likely to be recorded as a Pit Bull bite, because people in general aren't trained to spot dog breeds. Seriously, I'm a dog person who works in the pet industry, and I did horribly on this test. I haven't even heard of some of the breeds before!

1. American Bulldog
2. Dogue De Bordeau
3. Alapaha Blue Bulldog
4. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
5. Vizsla
6. Rhodesian Ridge Back
7. Dogo Argentino
8. Labrador Retriever
9. Bull Mastiff
10. Jack Russell Terrier
11. Fila Brasileiro
12. Rottweiler
13. Presa
14. Boxer
15. Cane Corso
16. American Pit Bull Terrier
17. Patterdale Terrier
18. Olde English Bulldog
19. Catahoula
20. Bull Terrier
21. Black mouth Cur
22. Alano Espanol
23. Boerboel
24. Car de Bou
25. Thai Ridgeback

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Upcoming paperback and new blurb

During August, Undercover will become available as paperback. How exciting is that! I can't wait to see this awesome cover in print! And, to celebrate, the book is getting a new blurb!

Jenny Moore is good at her job. Her colleagues have become family, and her life is enriched by both good friends and a cat with personality. There's still something missing. She longs for adventure, but in a nice moderate dose that will fit in with the rest of her life.

When Alexei Roshenko steps over her threshold the tall, dark, and handsome stranger sweeps her off her feet. He appears to be the answer to every romantic fantasy any woman ever had, and to make things better, he's mysterious and exotic.

There's more to Alex than meets the eye, and a dark and violent past is catching up with him. Jenny acts on a whim and follows him to Russia, where she soon finds herself entangled in a web of deceit and secrets beyond her wildest imagination. Survival will depend on an inner strength she didn't know she possessed, and only one thing is certain: life will never be the same again.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Telephone wires are not known for electrocuting people...

Some days I feel extremely foreign. There are things in the US I just don't get, and it's probably a cultural thing. Like... I just met the FHA appraiser at the house I want to buy. She was really nice and seemed content with most things, but wrote some details down on a check list for the final inspection.

I understood one of them: we couldn't get the thermostat to the AC to work, because the old batteries had leaked battery acid all over the circuit board. From what I've read, the AC isn't technically required for an FHA approval. In Florida it still needs to work, I won't debate that.

They also require the heat to work. In a state where it in my opinion goes from hot to hotter back to hot, this seems bizarre.

Another requirement is that there can't be any loose wires hanging from the walls. In my understanding, this point is to prevent people from being electrocuted, which makes perfect sense. Here's where it becomes funny: there are some old telephone wires hanging in the garage. The appraiser said, "These must be capped."

I said, "Uuuh, capped?"

There's no way that wire could hurt anyone unless someone pulls it down and uses it to strangle someone else. That might not work either; it's so thin it'd probably break. (And, yes, I've seen too many movies and my imagination is a wee bit too vivid, LOL!)

At times like this, it's hard not to laugh. I know the appraiser is just doing her job, following a protocol someone made in an office somewhere. The protocol says there can't be any loose wires, and capping them isn't a problem. Especially since my wonderful real estate agent said she'd take care of it. It's still hilarious!

If the appraiser doesn't find anything worse, I'm eternally grateful, but that telephone wire will keep me chuckling!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th!

Happy Independence Day! Is that the right phrase, or is it supposed to be Happy 4th? Happy Holiday? Five years in this country and I still haven't figured it out. Or, rather, I figure it out over and over again every year, because my memory is non-stick coated, and I forget.

The first year I lived in US people asked me how we celebrate July 4th in Sweden. It took a little while for me to understand that they were serious. "Umm, we don't... This is an American holiday. We celebrate our holidays."

To me, coming from a small country, it seemed self evident. Now, after living here for a few years, I understand the question better. People can live here their entire lives without being directly affected by the surrounding world. We travel to other countries, and here people travel to other states. It's a cultural difference...

I like that America celebrates the national holiday with enthusiasm. Norway does that too, on "Syttende Mai" (May 17) and I think us Swedes watch them with a sting of envy. We celebrate some holidays with heart and soul, but the national holiday has always been a bit... lame. Actually, we didn't even have one up until a few years ago.

That might sound strange. How can a country not have a day to celebrate itself? Well, historically, we had a bit of a wild side. We'd go out and conquer. First the Vikings and later our Kings were all over the place, invading not only the countries around us, but also parts of Russia and Northern Europe. One of them died while making war in Poland. We haven't had a national holiday, because we're lucky. We weren't conquered, so we never had to break free.

I think every person in the country appreciates this and is grateful for it. That doesn't mean we don't envy other peoples' ability to engulf in celebration. In Norway, everyone dresses up and goes into the streets waving flags. There's traditional food, and many feast for days. In Sweden, we go "Yay, a day off work!" It's a big contrast.

To be fair, we do celebrate other things. Like the last day of April. This day we try to scare the last remnant of winter away with bonfires, songs, and fireworks. Bonfires and fireworks go well with Easter too - at that time a year we believe evil witches fly to BlÄkulla, and fireworks will scare them off so they don't land on the way. And, there is Midsummer, of course. I stubbornly celebrate that even here. No one else does and people might think I'm a bit crazy, but I have to celebrate the summer solstice. It's a a part of who I am.

Anyway, Independence Day... In my part of town the neighbors celebrated big time yesterday. I'm assuming they have to go to work tomorrow, and took the opportunity to be hung over today. LOL. They were playing with fireworks for hours. Tonight, it's our turn. Thus far today we've had a NERF war.

However you celebrate, whatever you do today, stay safe and have a great time! =D

The Universe - or is it Fate - is fickle.

If someone had told me yesterday that an asteroid would collide with Earth, that we'd have a flood of Biblical proportions, or that a so...