Wednesday, June 29, 2016

They shot my house!

When I bought my house and moved in around three years ago, this was one of the calmest areas in the city. It still would be if it wasn't for the teenage neighbors across the street. I have thought - and still think - they're pretty good kids at heart. They're just teenagers, and don't think the next step when they do something.

Like, if I leave the gate open, my dog will run out and I will lose it, having to go around the neighborhood calling for it at 2:30 in the morning, which will tick off all my neighbors who are sleeping.

You know, that kind of thing.

Lately they got a BB rifle. BB rifles are fun, I love shooting them myself. Though, since I've reached an age of well over 40 I realize that if I miss my target the BB will keep going and hit something further down the road. Thus, only fire airguns - and other weapons - in a secure area.

The neighbors haven't quite reached that level of awareness. Lately they've shot my car - I had to get a new windshield on Monday - and my house. There's a big hole in one of my office windows.

How do I know it was made by a BB?

Well, I found it.

How do I know they did it?

I've seen them with a BB rifle. No one else along the street plays with one.

Naturally, they're mostly out and about when I'm not, so I put a note on their fence asking them to please pretty please stop shooting in my direction and explaining that I can't afford to keep fixing stuff they break. Besides nuisances they're up to a mailbox, a tail light on my car, a windshield, and now a house window.

Yes, I did talk to the Sheriff's office too, and they started a file. I don't want to press charges against the kids just yet, I don't think going to juvie will make a thoughtless 15-year old or whatever age they might be any better, but the deputies did promise to put the neighborhood on their list for increased patrols. Hopefully things will calm down on their own.

Keeping fingers crossed for nothing more being destroyed, and for a calm 4th of July holiday.

Other weird stuff, this showed up in my yard the other day. It was on the lawn, packed in saran wrap.
I take it as evidence that more of my neighbors than just the kids are dingbat crazy.

If you made a sermon you're so proud over that you want to spread it, maybe it would be a good idea to write who you are. I mean, how else will I know who to thank or follow or whatever? I guess it might be mentioned in the sermon, but I'm not putting that thing into my equipment. It could be anything.

It's probably completely harmless, an over enthused religious person preaching about Natalie Wood and whatever, but in an area where people shoot your house, better safe than sorry.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Sorcerer, coming soon!

Life has put up a good fight against writing lately, too much going on, but I accomplished something: the final round of edits for The Sorcerer are done and submitted!

I am very excited about this book and I hope you will be too. To be released early July.


When Anne accepts a job in a German boarding school for gifted children, her main concern is surviving without California’s sunshine and beaches. She doesn’t anticipate anything more dangerous than getting lost in an unfamiliar place. Nowhere does her work description mention three men betting on who will get her into bed first, or being rescued by the reclusive math teacher David Lindeman, a man her new friends claim is evil incarnate.

The old castle houses many secrets, and as days go by Anne finds it increasingly difficult to separate reality and superstition. She becomes a reluctant participant in an ancient battle between good and evil, and to survive, she must channel a power from deep within herself she could never have imagined. Who can she trust in a world where myths become real and nothing is what it seems?

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Weird events around my house

I live on a corner lot and my house is fenced in on all four sides. I didn't plan it like this, the house had the fence when I moved in, but I like it. It's great for the dogs, and normally enough to keep unwanted solicitors and religious people wanting to spread the good word away from the front door.

Across the road from me lives a group of unsupervised teenagers. I think they might have an adult living there right now, but they've been alone a large part of the spring. They're sweet kids, but they're also teenagers, and from time to time strange things happen.

Like, one day when I came home to a yard filled with softballs.

For the longest time they didn't have anyone driving, so they would walk to the store, take a cart back, and leave it at my house. Annoying, and if someone dumps a cart a day outside your gate, you get a lot of them quickly.

I went to talk to the kids about it, and they were understanding.

A couple of days later, there was a stack of baskets instead.

Annoying, but also really, seriously funny!

Not so funny was the day when they played football on the road and ruined one of the rear lights on my car along with my mailbox, but that's another story.

This fine evening something else strange happened. I visited Mike in the hospital, went to the store, and came home right after eight. Here in Florida, that's late enough to be getting dark. I was preoccupied by a discussion at the hospital - they want to set up a hospice thing for him in my house and I really don't want that - so I didn't pay attention at first. I let the dogs out and put the groceries away.

When I went back outside to call the dogs, I decided to walk around the house. On a tree in the middle of the yard hung a long, white shoelace. In order to get there, someone must have jumped the fence.

Admittedly, it could have been dropped by a bird, but it was so neat.

Back home I wouldn't have paid much attention to it. I would have assumed the bird-theory was correct. After eight years in the USA, surrounded by gangs and dog fighting rings, and being fed conspiracy theories through the Internet, I'm significantly more paranoid.

And, in my defense, I'm a bit rattled after losing my Bonnie just days ago and Mike ending up in the hospital. The doctors say he's on the last stretch.

I called the dogs inside, muttering, "If you want to steal my dogs you'll have to deal with one armed and bad-ass momma," locked the door, went to get my gun, and called the Sheriff's office.

I said, "I feel like an idiot even saying this, but I have to ask... Is this a sign or something? You know, all the crap one reads on the Internet about dog thieves and such has made me paranoid."

We have the best deputies you can imagine, and none of the people I talked to laughed, even though I really felt like an idiot voicing my concern. They also knew nothing about a shoe-lace gang. We have many, many, many gangs in this city, but none is known for using shoe-laces. Haha.

I'm thinking, either it really was a bird, or the kids dared each other to enter the yard. I'll still keep an extra eye on things for a while. Just in case there are puppy-stealing, shoe-lace-wielding maniacs out there.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

My princess is gone

Today was an extremely tough day for me. My Bonnie, my princess, my furry daughter and best friend is gone. 

I knew she was going to cross the Rainbow Bridge sometime soon - her congestive heart failure was getting bad - but no matter how much your brain knows something is going to happen, your heart is never prepared.

She seemed very tired yesterday, but was perkier this morning. We took a walk around the house and had breakfast - I'm very happy I let her taste everything she wanted - and then I set out to the store.

When I returned, she got up to meet me, but slowly. Then, she fell over. I feel that she waited for me to come home, to say goodbye.

In a way I'm happy that she passed at home where she felt safe and happy. That in no way makes me miss her less.

Rest in peace my Bonnie. One day I'll see you again, on the other side. Until then, know that mommy loves you. I have always loved you and I will always love you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I have lived in the USA since 2008, and for the most part Florida agrees with me. It hasn't always been smooth sailing of course, life rarely is, but I was pretty sure I had settled down and wanted to stay.

Good Friday this year, that changed. It was as if someone flipped a switch in my head. We were talking about holidays at work and I said, "Back home, at my old job, I would have worked a half day yesterday, and Easter is a four-day holiday."

I might only be a three-day holiday now, I know we moved one paid day off to get the new national holiday on June 6th, but I can't remember which holiday we took it from. Either way, Swedes like paid holidays.

One of my colleagues said, "Wow. How do you manage that?"

As she finished the sentence I thought, "Damn, I really want to go home."

Just like that I missed everything Sweden.

I missed "fikaraster" - the Swedish coffee break that is protected by law, it's a time when people come together and chat over a cup of coffee. I missed our abundance of vacation days, being able to go to the doctor without worrying about the bill, having all these paid holidays us Swedes love so much, Swedish pizza, tasty water from the tap without chlorine and chemicals, and a million other little things.

I know many Americans will react with a knee-jerk move. "If you like it so much, you should go back."

You know what? I will. I've been thinking about it ever since Easter. I'm not sure how - moving across an ocean with pets is more complicated than it looks at first glance - but it will be my new goal.

I'm just so tired of crowds, traffic jams, people hitting me with their shopping carts in the stores, people waving their religion in my face and screaming I'll go to hell if I don't repent, hatred towards other religions, sexual preferences, colors, genders, you name it.

There are crazy people everywhere, but the average Swede doesn't care what deity you believe in, which restroom you use, or any of all that stuff that gets Americans all worked up. That is, we don't care as long as you leave us out of it. If you try to pull us into your whatever-it-might-be we will resist.

Many things aren't perfect in Sweden. I remember many things that drove me crazy when I lived there. But things aren't perfect here either.

There are a couple of things keeping me here. The husband, but seeing life in a flash of reality, he will either die or get better. Seeing that he currently weighs maybe 90 pounds and is unable to rise up on his own, the former is significantly more likely than the latter. And, there's Cat Depot. I love my job, the cats, and my colleagues. However, with the Internet, it's possible to be friends over a distance.

I'm sure the pets won't appreciate the move when it comes, they'll hate the long flight, but they'll get over it.

As much as I hate snow and being cold, I come from a land of ice and snow, and it's getting time to embrace it.

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...