Saturday, December 31, 2005

Gott Nytt År!!!

And to you losers who don't know Swedish... "Happy New Year!!"

And to my Andhra Pradesh friends... "Nuthana Samvathsara Subhakankshalu!" which is the Telugu way to say it (I'm trying to learn - it's not easy, but I have a very patient teacher).

We had a quite swell long weekend including a visit to the Adventure Science Museum, shopping, visiting with friends, New Years party, excellent Chinese and Thai food, and fireworks watching from our bedroom window, which overlooks downtown...

So some of my goals this year include learning more Telugu, finding a balance between work life and home life, running the half marathon, keeping up with my friends, playing more piano, and eating less ice cream (kidding!).

I think 2006 is going to be a great year...

Monday, December 26, 2005

Sophie update

Sophie is now 7 weeks and 1 day old.

She sleeps through the night without accidents - yay!

She did have an accident today, but that is because we left her at home for 4 hours to go shopping for a diamond and white gold necklace for me (yay! again) and surround sound speakers for Todd. Totally our fault...

Right now she is watching the first season of The Amazing Race with us (or possibly sleeping - she sleeps a lot).

We think she might be bipolar - but apparently that's how most puppies are.

She is still the cutest puppy on the face of the earth - and that is *not* our biased opinion.

Speaking of cute, my husband tells me that I snored last night, but it was cute (even sexy) snoring. I'm not sure how snoring can be cute (or sexy), but I'm glad that's how it came across, because there's some pretty non-sexy snoring out there...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Sophie's first bath

Sophie's first bath
Originally uploaded by tabita.
She was not pleased. Especially with the hair drying that followed.

But as the Swedish saying goes: "Vill man bli fin får man lida pin" (If you want to look good, you have to suffer the pain...)

God Jul!!

God Jul!!
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Merry Christmas to those of you who still visit this blog. I've been baaaad about blogging lately - just been so busy. I can't say that I'll be better going forward - feel kind of non-committal, but anyway...

We've had a good couple of days with baking and a Christmas Soiree at the house yesterday evening and cozy Christmas fun at the house today - including traditional Swedish Christmas buffet and gift wrapping. And of course lots of quality time with Sophie - she is so sweet.

Right now we're watching Elf - funniest movie ever. Ho ho ho...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Meet Sophie

Originally uploaded by tabita.
Today, our lives changed forever (or at least for the next 15 years or so). We added Sophie to our family. Rebecka finally has a little sister.

Sophie is a Bichon Frise - and the softest little thing you ever held. We've been spending some good snuggling time since we got back from the breeder.

Right now, we're trying to get her to eat. It seems to be quite a challenge. She keeps on sliding away from the bowl on our slippery floor. It's quite amusing.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Wedding in India

The Americans + some
Originally uploaded by tabita.
So, I just got back from India. Again. This time I went for my friends Prasad and Madhuri's marriage. It was such a gift to be able to be present for their big day(s). Yes, it's not just a one-day event, for sure. Lots of rituals and formalities that we can't even begin to imagine here.

There was much hanging out and eating and dancing and shopping and more shopping. Last time I got made to order shoes... This time it was made to order jewelry. Too cool. My friend Balu is the best haggler in the world. :)

The procession to the wedding hall from Prasad's home was amazing. For the first part, I got to ride in the car with the groom and his sister and aunt. For the second part, I was "forced" to get out and dance with the other people. It was a blast. I suck at dancing. :)

Thanks to Todd and Rebecka for letting me go - they are so good. I promise I'll introduce you to my third home country one of these days.

Now I need to start thinking about Christmas. Shopping with Todd today - what a joy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

i almost fainted today...

yep. it was not fun.

i was skating with becka at the skate center - mommy/becka date. it was dark, lights were flashing, smoke was coming out of the ceiling. a little kid skated out in front of me. in order not to hit the kid, i fell over and landed on my hand/hip/who knows what else. not too bad - got up and continued skating thinking, "man this hurts a lot more when you're an adult..."

anyway, i eventually got out of the rink and sat down at a table and looked at my hand. bad idea. it was kind of blue and swollen. i felt the faintness coming on. i put my head between my legs to try to ward it off. it didn't help, so i stumbled up to the closest human being and told her that i was about to faint. her response: "go home..." man - people are so stupid. i finally figured out on my own that i should probably lay down, so i did and put my legs up in the air. it helped. they found a nurse for me and she said just put some ice on the hand when i got home. a few glasses of water and spoons of snow cone later, i was able to get up and drive over to panera for dinner.

whew. i hate almost fainting...

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Annual Thanksgiving Race

me and todd

5 miles

46 min 43 sec

we are thankful for...

each other

and rebecka

and you

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

not funny...

I hit my funny bone today... It was not funny. It almost made me faint - man, I'm weak.

Flew in from Orlando and went straight to Panera. This is the official hang out of the Green clan. Went to pick up Rebecka and took her to get Cold Stone... I really wish I'd had guilty parents growing up. Becka has it good... ;)

Did I mention that we're finally getting a dog? Yep - Sophie the Bishon Frise. Apparently, it's just like me - high maintenance...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

view from our house

View from our house
Originally uploaded by tabita.
We can see downtown from our house. We think that is pretty cool. We wish we were going to be here for 4th of July so that we could watch the fireworks from our bedroom window. Actually, we'd rather be in Sweden. So that's OK.

Sunday, November 06, 2005


I paid off my car today... Such a good feeling.

Elmer is finally 100% mine, mine, mine!!! :)

I love my car.


Rebecka is in the process of trying to define and put in a sentence the word regularity. It's pretty challenging/fun to try to explain this word to an 8 year old.

I do not write on my blog with regularity.
I do run with regularity.

My stomach is NOT known for its regularity.

Regularity seems a little boring but necessary.

Regularity is the state of being regular. It seems.

Rebecka goes to church with regularity. That is her sentence. Good one.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Happy Halloween/Diwali

Happy Halloween
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Yes - I know it's a little late, but it always takes me at least 2 days to get pictures from the camera and into the computer...

We had a splendid time with friends and chili (great job Todd!). Didn't have too many trick-or-treaters - probably because the hike up our hill would cause a heart attack for half of the parents.

And for Diwali, I went with many, many Indian friends to a South Indian buffet and had puri and dosa and many other good things. In the evening, I accompanied two of my good friends to the Hindu temple here in town. It was very interesting. I dressed in my Indian garb - quite fun. Afterwards, Diwali sweets at another set of friends's place. Good times.

PS. Had ice cream and popcorn for dinner today. This is what guilty parents do with their children. I guess. It was soooo good tho.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

I love my lake...

Lake beauty
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Yes - it is *my* lake! We went for a family walk at Radnor lake today. The weather was absolutely perfect and I just couldn't help but snap some "nature pics."

I have now resolved to get out there during lunch at least twice a week. It's such an amazing privilege to have access to nature like this.

Thanks God.

House Warming Party

House Warming Party
Originally uploaded by tabita.
It went well. People came, ate, drank, laughed, played games, chatted, and looked generally happy and stuffed.

I cooked/baked more for this event than for the past year combined (or something like that)... I'm thinking I will spread it out a little bit more going forward. And the next 20 parties will have pizza - and nothing else. ;)

But it was totally worth it! Smörgåsbords rock. Especially the meatballs.

Friday, October 28, 2005

new nephew!!!

I have a new nephew - Olof Levi Åhlén. He was born at 2:54 AM Sweden time in the living room. My brother David (aka Namur), delivered this new human being by getting instructions from the midwife via his mother-in-law on the phone in the kitchen...

How awesome is that?

Meatball fun

Meatball fun
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Doesn't it look like Todd and Rebecka are having so much fun in the meatball factory? (I.e. our kitchen)

Our guests should be so excited... ;)

just so you know

Singing and playing the piano is good for the soul.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

my new phone

I have a new phone. It is sooooo awesome. Now I can work all the time - even when I'm away from everything.

Wait - is this a good thing?

Baked bread tonight. Quite relaxing, but now I'm ready to crash. Have lots of preparations for Saturday's party.

Monday, October 24, 2005


i learned how to conference a second person in on my phone at work. i've just had it for 3+ years...

i'm a late technology adopter - i think.

it's quite exciting now that i know how!! makes me want to have lots of conference calls.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

so much to do - so little time...

yep - that pretty much sums up my life.

got some fun-filled weekend activities coming up. like salmon dinner and movie tomorrow night; church history department party on saturday - oh yeah; and of course sunday school led by the famous church history scholar, Todd Green, on secularization in modern europe (or something along those lines).

now if i can just get through the next 24 hours...

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

letting go

I threw away my lunch bag of 10+ years today. It was just getting really challenging to unzip it and, yes, it was quite gross.

I enjoy getting my money's worth out of stuff. Why replace it if it's still (even remotely) functional? That's my motto.

One exception: clothes. I have no problems giving fully functional clothing to Goodwill.

That's just me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Went on a field trip today. Thought I'd be able to avoid planes for at least one week. Not so much. Day trip though - good thing. Just finished call with India. Next one is in 8 hours and 18 minutes. Before then I have to sleep, wake up, shower, get ready, eat, and get to the office.

I should go to bed.

Monday, October 17, 2005

secret date and other weekend happenings...

What!?!?! Has it already been 5 days. Good Lord!

My life has been insane! So I tried to leave Boston on Thursday night, but there was some "mechanical problem," so that didn't work out. Spent another night there on a Delta voucher and got up at 3:30 AM to catch the 4:00 AM shuttle to take me to my 6:10 flight. And yes - my luggage had already gone, so I was quite nasty by then. Flight gets delayed in Atlanta due to bad weather and 50 aircraft ahead of us in the line. Good times.

Finally arrive in Nashville after having to cancel four conference calls and two meetings. I have about 6 hours before I have to be at a rehearsal dinner for a friend's wedding. 1) Go to VS to get a strapless bra. Check. 2) Go home and take a shower. Check. 3) Go to the office and say hi to everybody and answer India questions. Check. Whew - almost fall asleep up there in the sanctuary.

Saturday was filled with wedding fun. It was beautiful. The bride was beautiful. The groom cried and made all the brides maids (except me) cry. Party was swell because it had a chocolate fountain. Most adults were more excited about the Martini Slide. Todd and I danced. Rebecka danced more. She was *not* happy when it was time to go.

OK, OK, OK, I'm getting to the secret date. All I knew was we had to leave at 5, I needed to wear something nice (like my little black dress), and it involved dessert (that information I was not supposed to know, but it came out during the course of the day).

It was the best date ever... Appetizers, wine, dessert, and live music at the F Scott's Restaurant and Jazz Bar. Todd had done his research and provided the perfect evening. Everything from wine selection to etiquette to a nice gift waiting at home.

Man, I'm sooooo lucky.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

steamed soy milk

I'm sitting in my hotel room, sipping steamed soymilk from the starbucks downstairs, and chatting with my husband.

It's cooooozy.

Btw - usability testing is so cool!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

i'm loving this place...

It's so nice to be in a hotel where CNN is the default channel in the gym, the gym actually has more than one working treadmill, AND the treadmills are high-quality-just-the-same-as-at-the-Y.

Familiarity is golden.

Monday, October 10, 2005

i'm back in the country...

Yeh - just so ya'll know... :)

But, not in Nashville.

Nope - I'm at a fun-filled UIE conference in Cambridge, MA. This is the first conference I've attended as a professional. Makes me feel so grown up.

My hotel room rocks. Bed is the most comfortable ever. I need to find out where they buy their pillows. Probably have their own Marriott pillow factory...

Just got back from my first run since before India. I can not tell you how good I feel right now. It was tough and I only managed 50 minutes, but whew does it feel fantastic.

Todd has gotten into this insane running kick and is now running farther and faster than me. Scary. I need to get in good shape before the Habitrot on Thanksgiving morning so that he doesn't leave me in the dust. (I'm really proud of you, honey!)

OK - time to shower and find some food. It's cold outside, but I really don't feel like eating in the hotel restaurants. And I also have lots of work to do and don't really have time to spend an hour on dinner. Hmmm - the great dilemmas we face in life. I guess I'll figure it out.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I'm in India!!

Originally uploaded by tabita.
Yep - I've been here for two weeks now - crazy! This has been my longest bout of no blogging ever (OK - since I started almost a year ago). Everything is sooo fast-paced here that it is hard to catch your breath.

I've had an absolutely amazing time though. People are so good here - so generous. Went on a fabulous weekend trip to see the "Real India" with my friend Prasad. It was amazing... Rice fields, coconut trees, suger cane fields, "authentic" toilets - yep. It also included a day at the beach at Vizag - I have some pics from there on Flickr. I'll put more pics up at some point.

Right now I'm suffering from my second installation of stomach upset, so I'm on a fun-filled diet of steamed rice and curd (at home, people end each meal with this combination). Suppsed to be good for digestion... We shall see. Doesn't seem right to go to India and not get sick.

In Hyderabad now, will be leaving for Bangalore tomorrow. Will be back in the country on Oct 7.

Ordered 4 pair of custom shoes yesterday - so friggin cool. Can't wait to see them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


whirlwind trip to IKEA - fun, exhausting, expensive :)

put together furniture fun - and not so fun - we're still not done.

carried big sofa upstairs with Todd. amazing feat - sore next day - and day after that.

i leave for india on thursday!!!!!! how crazy is that? good lord - i have so much to do.

love, bubble baths, champagne, hugs, smiles, breathing exercises...

somehow it will all be OK.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


According to a white paper on globalization that I'm reading right now (OK, I was reading until I started writing this post), two of the eight "very best global sites" are Swedish. Ikea and Saab...

Sweden rocks!

Oh, and speaking of IKEA... I'm going there on Saturday. Sooooooo exciting!!!


That is how many minutes it takes to get to work during normal morning traffic from the new house. At 6 AM it is 11 minutes. Not bad, not bad. I have no patience for traffic. It is one of the most joy-sucking things in life. If the car is not moving, my breathing becomes shallow, and my brain keeps thinking about ways that I can get around the situation. Some times it works. That is a really happy thing. Conquering the traffic beast is fun.

15 is also the day of this month when I leave for India!!! Yep - I'm finally going and will be there for 3 weeks. I'm so freakin' excited! Started my Typhoid vaccine pills today. Lots of rules around that. Empty stomach, cold water, no food/hot drink/exercise for an hour, every other day, has to be refrigerated... I just know I'll screw something up. I just won't eat or drink while I'm there...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

i feel like i'm in Clue...

Had a date with Reverend Green in the Reading Room with a Candlestick last night...

Yeh - it was romantic - flowing champange - foot massage - strawberries - red rose in new Mats Jonasson vase... Just for me.

So, we're moved it. The new house is fabulous. Official unpacking and settling starts today. Good thing we have a long weekend. Need to run. Way overdue.

Why am I still typing?

I need to go.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

cool air

today was the first day of walking out the door and feeling cool, crisp air (of course, "cool" is all relative). it feels sooooo good!!!

i drove a truck for the first time in my life last night. must mean that we're getting close to our moving date. oh god - it's tomorrow! todd is already moving stuff over. he rocks. tomorrow i'm going to spend the day unpacking with the help of my good buddies emi and joanne. should be a fun time. other people may show up eventually. mostly to see the new place, i'm sure. we'll put them to work though. mwah hahaha...

Monday, August 29, 2005

new stuff...

new week, new day, new workout gloves (which i didn't have time to use this morning, because i was lazy and stayed in bed too long to do both cardio and weights), new house (soon enough), new ideas, new concepts, new thoughts, new dreams...

prayers for the people of Louisiana and surrounding areas.

btw, what do the people at the National Hurricane Center do during non-hurricane season?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

a single rose...

I guess there are days that are better than others. I guess there are weeks that are better than others. This has been an "others" week. The focus has been gone, the joy has been gone, and life has been utter crap.

Things started getting better on Thursday evening and I was able to smile again. And work again. Friends are so important. A rose on my pillow. Hugs. Ice cream. Smiles. And even laughter. Things will be tough for a while, but I'm up for the challenge.

New house is exciting. People are so helpful. I feel bad - I've barely done any packing at all. But someone has to work, right? I'm taking a day off for the official moving day. That will just have to do. I'll be more inspired once we're moved in, I'm thinking. IKEA here we come.

Monday, August 22, 2005

where have all the flowers gone?

just felt like making that the title of a post...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Happy Birthday Todd!!!

I honor of my dear husband's birthday, I am taking the evening off! I know - it's a real token of my love... :)

Can't wait for yummy Mellow Mushroom Pizza.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

nothing has changed...

Up until 1:00 AM or so on an OSD call. Back up at 6:00 AM to go to the gym.

Maybe one can survive on 5 hours of sleep per night. But I sure feel groggy.

Problem is my brain has to be in top condition every day all the time for high-level analysis and problem solving. In fact, it never stops thinking about these things...

It constantly churns and churns and wonders what is really the best solution to this problem? Cause there's always more than one... Always.

Haven't run in two days. Made me sound irritated with my best friend on the phone yesterday. I hate when that happens. So, now I'm going running. I like to be happy - and my friends like it when I'm happy. Apparently, I should smile all the time. I'll work on that...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

dessert tip

Trying to eat healthy and still enjoy treats now and then (or daily - like me), then I have great news for you:

Soy Delicious Li'l Buddies

They are awesome! And come in several flavors. And are wonderfully non-dairy.

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

roller coaster life...

yeh. bought a house and sold a house in a less than 24 hour time period.

life is good.

will have pics/link soon.

Saturday, August 06, 2005


I finally filed our taxes. Ok - I haven't mailed them off yet, but still! This is soooo exciting.

My friends were right... Itemizing is better (at least a little).

Ok - gotta go help Todd get this house look pretty and sellable. We've found a totally awesome house - hopefully they will accept our offer and our house will sell quickly. :)

Friday, August 05, 2005

house hunting...

...and selling and cleaning and packing and I don't have time to write anything else...

...except that I went to Panera yesterday and my food was cold. Not a good start. But the soup (second attempt) was very good.

The family is back, which is very cool. :)

And my friend (who got sick in India) will be back on Monday (or so he says). It's all quite thrilling. Must sleep now.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

post-run ramblings

FYI - When you live in Nashville, TN (Ok - Brentwood, TN to be specific), it makes a really big difference if you run at 5:30 AM as opposed to 8:00 AM (which is when I ran on Sunday). I made it about twice as far this morning - despite the complaints from my thigh muscles.

Lunges are brutal!!! I started them up last week after many months of no lunges. I eased into it, I stretched, yet I've been in pain since Wed (probably didn't help that I did a few sets on Saturday while still in pain from the last session...). Whew - but they're soooo good for you - so I'll endure the pain and hope for the best.

My friend Katie is back!!! It is such a treat. I saved her some Swedish chocolate. I've got to remember to give it to her today. :)

Btw, why is it "the best thing since sliced bread"? It should be "the best thing since oatmeal"!! Today I'm having it Scandinavian style with lingonberries. It's quite delightful. Too bad I'll be running out of this stuff in a month or so. It is available at Harris Teeter, but at a highly overpriced rate. Hmmm. I guess it would be worth it.

So - field trip today. Should be fun. I love North Carolina. I want to live there, in fact. Just wish I was here to greet my family as they return from their 3 month Europe stay. I guess I'm officially giving work highest priority... (I'm kidding, mom!!!!)

Well, the oatmeal is all gone (whaaaahhhh!) and I have a meeting that I mandated in exactly one hour, so it seems I should get going...

Until next time...

Saturday, July 30, 2005

back to normal?

No - not really, but things have definitely settled a bit and I'm starting to get used to this new scenario. It's all good. Whew - what crazy weeks these have been. Soooo glad they're over.

I'm going to celebrate by going to the gym and after that hanging by the pool while I review some fun-filled high level design docs.

Later on I'm going to go hang out at my friend Melissa's place and do a little recording... We'll see what will come out of that. Should be fun. My friend Mark might join too with his guitar. Boy am I lucky to have such talented friends.

Hmmm. I guess I should get going if I'm going to have time for all these activities.

Family comes back in 3 days!!! Oh - too bad I'll be in North Carolina at the time. I'll send our driver to pick them up... ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005



ate three bowls of cereal for dinner. one at 19:00, one at 21:30 and one at 0:15. i need my house keeper to come back. 1 more week.

thank God for friends. talked to 5 this evening. good advice and support from all. you guys rock.

Monday, July 25, 2005

min familj

In response to Apple David's previous comment, isn't my whole family so cute?? :)

Taken on my mom's 65th birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Becka in Gamla Stan

This just in. Rebecka spent a daddy-daughter day in Stockholm today hunting for a good souvenir. You will never guess what she got... Oh yeh - another stuffed animal. This time a moose wearing a Sweden shirt. I'm scared.

weekends are cool...

It's been a really long time since I did not do any work on a weekend. It's amazing how much stuff one can accomplish!!! I've got to try this more often.

Latest Brentwood news: The new Target opened this weekend - it is quite thrilling. Haven't made it down there yet, but I'm thinking I'll stop by on my way back from being measured for my bride's maid dress. Also need to go eat at the new Panera. I can't believe I haven't been there yet!!!! Craziness.

Ok - it's hot here. Need to get back to the cool air in the home land... One more year.

Friday, July 22, 2005

i've worked 40 hours in 3 days...

and tonight i'm going to sleep.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

cleaning up

I finally managed to clean up the kitchen table and other areas of the house that had gotten perpetually more messy ever since I got back from Sweden. I got to talk to my friend for a good while today and he is officially over the worst and scary part and out of ICU. So finally I had the mental energy to get my house back in order. I am so relieved. Thank you all for your prayers! Now I have a big job ahead of me to convince him to ease into the work and preferably not even work for a good while. I don't know anybody in the world who works as hard as he does. He works more hours than I do!!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the beautiful car from one of the previous posts this week: Lotus


Btw, the world has finally turned right side up again. Isn't it cool??

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Lots of things happening. Whew. Good though - opportunities.

And today has been a much better day. I talked to my friend this morning and for the first time since he was hospitalized, he didn't have to pause between words to catch his breath or break out in violent fits of coughing. I promised him that the birthday cake and dinner would be waiting for him when he returned and he promised me that he would come back. Fair enough.

Thanks for the concern and keep praying!

cool car

So in my distress last night, I forgot to mention the highlight of the day which was going for a ride in my friend Ted's new Lotus. It is swell. And small. And cute.

It helped me take my mind off the worries for a good 30 minutes.

Thanks Ted!

Monday, July 18, 2005

pray or something...

I'm back. Well, physically at least. Trip was fine. I'm jet-lagged.

Woke up at 2:30 AM this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. One of my dearest friends in the whole wide world is in a hospital in India with several scary diseases. I can't think of anything else. The worry is nagging and won't go away. He'll be fine is what they tell me. Ok. I'll believe it when I see it. The office is so empty without him. I can't even walk past his office - it's too sad. He'll be 30 tomorrow. I am supposed to make a Swedish birthday cake... That's what my Outlook reminder says. Discard.

If you believe in the healing power of prayer, please help me pray for him. That's what I did as I forced myself to stay in bed until 5:30...

Everything is a daze. Can't focus on anything. Hopefully sleep will take me away from the scary thoughts that keep torturing me. I want to go over there and be there with him - now. But how? I feel so powerless. Have to trust that God will take care of the situation. I think I have a trust issue.

Pray, pray, pray. Thank you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

so much... say, to write, to show. i'm tired now (in a good way). it will come. all i can say is that i don't want to go back on saturday. sweden is fab.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

date night

Took the commuter train into Stockholm's Central Station. Walked down some of the main shopping streets before heading down to "Gamla Stan" or "Old Town," the medieval part of the capital. It is really cool - just a tad too touristy. However, we didn't let that stop us and found a nice restaurant on the main square. It met the three criteria of having a bathroom, available seats in the outdoor seating area, and main courses under $30. It was cozy.

Unfortunately, there was something wrong with my food, so now I feel like crap and like I'm going to throw up. Todd says it's all in my head (and he has good grounds for his statement - most of my afflictions are all in my head)... But today I think it's mostly in my stomach. The thing is, I'm one of those people who will go to great lengths not to throw up, so I probably won't. Instead, I'll lie very still on the couch and watch LOTR III. Should help.

PS. Stockholm needs to stop charging for the use of bathrooms. It's such a mean thing to do.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

dangerous marriage

Originally uploaded by tabita.
My husband is officially scared of being married to me. In fact, he fears for his life.

Yesterday, as we were heading off to "Skansen," we realized as we stood on the train platform that we (oh - I mean I) had left the coupon that would give us 20 kronor (approximately $2.50) off each ticket. The train was scheduled to leave in 2 minutes. My parents live just across the street from the station, so Todd decided that he would run back home and get it before the train left. As he dashed out of the station to retrieve the tickets, he got caught in the turnstile (the sign says: "Pass through walking" - but in Swedish) and hit his right thigh on one of the "arms," thus resulting in the attached bruise. Of course this was all my fault, because I was the one who forgot the coupon... ;)

This morning, I dragged my favorite Green boys (Todd and his bro David) out for a bike ride on the dirt road. After that ride, I decided that we needed to ride some more, so we went down another road that culminated in a steep gravel hill. I was a bit ahead of the boys (they're kind of slow) and as I was turning around to go back, I saw David throw his bike on the ground and run back toward Todd who was lying on the ground. He motioned me to come and I ran over there. Todd had fallen off the bike in an attempt to get off and walk up the hill (it was steep indeed). He was on the ground, looking like he was about to go unconscious. We both yelled at him (to make him stay with us) and he came around. At that moment I realized how much I really love this guy... I guess you don't truly know until you get scared like this. Anyway, he was bleeding from a few places (face, hand, leg) but eventually managed to sit up and bike home...

Whew! He is quite sore now and wonders what's next in the adventure that is being married to Tabita. Please keep him in your prayers... ;)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Visited the big outdoor museum in Stockholm called Skansen all day today. In fact, we put in a full workday (normal people's workday) there! We saw real life glass blowing, Swedish animals such as moose, reindeer, and owls, and really old houses. And after a whole day of this, I'm very exhausted and can't write any more about it.

Unfortunately, my camera batteries didn't charge as planned, so I have no pictures from this event. You will have to use your imagination or, wait, I'll steal a picture. Here:

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

roller coasters and such

After Flumride (Really Wet)
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Went to see my sis Priscilla in Göteborg over the weekend. The highlight of the trip was taking Rebecka to Liseberg, the big amusement park in Sweden. It was a big hit (and extremely exhausting). This picture was taken right after we all rode one of the water rides and got drenched. I think it took about 2 hours for Rebecka to fully dry. Rebecka loves roller coasters and we rode the two big ones three times each. Good thing about Swedish amusement parks is the length of the lines - I think 20 minutes was our longest wait... Rebecka went on 24 rides. We all felt pretty sick toward the end of the day, but it was all worth it!

On another note, today was good. I got to exercise A LOT which makes me very happy. First a bike-run-bike with Todd, then a bike ride with my dad, and finally a bike ride (alone - the others played Americans and took the car) to the beach. Marvelous.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Country Road

Country Road
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Here it is (or at least part of it). I spent a good bit of my bike ride this morning taking pics of the scenery. More on Flickr. David, I'll show you in person after I get back from Göteborg on Monday. Can't wait to see you! :)

Now I will join my family in watching the rest of Sense and Sensibility (once again...). Good times.

Cruise Time

Stockholm Archipelago
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Since we didn't really have a honeymoon after our wedding (one weekend trip to go to the embassy in Stockholm was pretty much it), we decided to go for a little cruise to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary.

Destination of choice: Helsinki, Finland. We left on Sunday at 5 PM and spent the evening cruising through the Stockholm archipelago. It is the most amazing nature experience ever (OK - I've never been to the fjords, but I just can't imagine anything more idyllic). Miles and miles of little islands with little red and yellow houses. I want to buy an island - it's on my list of things to do.

Anyway, the ship was lovely. We avoided the fancy restaurants and hung out at Robert's Cafe (which seems to be the equivalent of Starbucks in Scandinavia). Dinner and breakfast. :)

We arrived in Helsinki on Monday morning and found ourselves in the heart of the city. It is a quite compact city, so we walked to everything. We saw several churches and did a lot of browsing of "Stockmanns," which is like the Harrod's of Helsinki. I bought cherries at the market. Yum. We also spent some time just sitting on a bench in the park and chatting. Sitting time is good.

My favorite "meal" of the trip was a visit to the Fazer Cafe for hot chocolate and sweet bread. Fazer is the premier chocolate manufacturer in Finland, so you can imagine the quality of the cocoa. Splendid.

Hotel was nice (for Europe) and in the morning, we partook of a Finnish breakfast buffet which was right down my alley. Lots of ecological bread and berries.

Day two brought us to one more church, which was carved out of a rock. Very cool. It also brought some actual shopping - one of my favorite pastimes (when I have the time). Picked up some gifts and swell jewelry.

Blah, blah, blah... We returned on Wednesday morning and stayed in Stockholm to visit the "Nordiska Museet" where I learned lots about my own country (weird). For example, I learned that in the olden days, Swedes mostly celebrated namesdays and not birthdays, since a lot of people didn't know when they were born. I also had some Indian food - lamb curry with nan. Good stuff. I am trying to condition my body to be able to eat Indian. It's going quite well.

Eventually, we made it back to Järna, the suburb where my parents live, where Rebecka greeted us warmly and immediately asked for her presents, which we bestowed upon her.

Flickr has more pics and words.


Dancing around the Midsummer Pole
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Ok - this is a little after the fact, but I thought I'd devote one post to this old, old Swedish holiday. It has its roots in pagan fertility rituals and celebrates the longest day of the year, which is Sweden is anywhere from 20 to 24 hours. These days, Swedes dress up, make wreaths, eat traditional food such as pickled herring and new potatoes, and dance around the midsummer pole on midsummer's eve.

We spent midsummer by hanging with my brother David and his wife Emily and daughter Ester. We went for a picnic in a park in their hometown, Örebro, where Todd and Rebecka also checked out the Örebro Castle. Later on, we met my parents and one of my aunts with family for the traditional herring dinner. I managed to stomach one of the slimey pieces (not a big fan). After dinner, it was time to dance around the pole. Rebecka and I danced our hearts out for about 35 minutes with loads of other people.

The rest of the evening contained ice cream, "kvällsmat" (evening meal), chineese checkers, and fun in general.

It was an excellent midsommar.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

don't you wish you were here???

Swedish Idylle
Originally uploaded by tabita.
I'm too tired to really post about all my adventures right now after putting a bunch of pictures on flickr (and running 6 miles, eating, showering, drying hair, eating, ordering train tickets, shopping at IKEA, eating, going for a walk, grocery shopping, and showing my dad what I do for a living).

I will blog lots tomorrow. That's a promise! (Check out Flickr for now)

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Happy Birthday Rohan!!

Have fun! Don't drink too much.

I'm off to visit my brother, the Rock Star... :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reunited at last

Reunited at last
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Whew - arrived here in Sweden on Sunday. Couldn't really sleep on the flight, so that day is mostly a blur. I do remember wrapping lots of presents by recycling paper from my mom's kitchen couch and handing out a few of those. The Jelly Bellies were a hit.

Monday, I went for my first run here and made some observations on the blurring of the gender roles in this country. I saw two dads and two sets of children/dogs out for walks. The first dad was pushing a twin buggy with two crying children and had a little one on a tricycle riding behind him. As if that wasn't enough, he also had a big dog flanking the buggy. I saw the second dad in the woods with one little girl and a big net. I'm not sure if the purpose of the net was for catching frogs, butterflies, little fishies, or whatever got in the way. I saw zero moms out pushing strollers.

Yesterday, I decided to venture out on the bike (doing a little cross-training to avoid injury) early in the morning. I drove down several bike lanes until they ended in some neighborhood until I found the most beautiful little dirt road. It wove through the green countryside with surprises around each bend - a horse pasture here, a big cage of bunny rabbits there, a stretch of trees that had been carved into strange creatures... It was an amazing way to start the day.

Today, I woke up to pouring rain, so since I couldn't go for my run after breakfast, I took a nap. Only in Sweden on vacation could I take a nap one hour after waking up. It was swell. I woke up at 10:30 and found that the rain had stopped, laced up my running shoes, and headed out toward the little dirt road again. Marvelous.

I think I have finally recovered enough sleep to function properly, which is nice. I have discovered that sleep is quite essential to my well-being.

Check out flickr for some more pics involving some Kubb playing that took place tonight. The "Green" team won, thanks to Rebecka - she is the Kubb Queen! I'm a kubb loser, but that's OK. At least I was on a team of winners.

It's light for so long in the evening. Everybody should be able to experience this. It is truly amazing. Until later then...

Friday, June 17, 2005

leaving tomorrow!!!!!

And I just sent the last business email of the day to my UI guy in India.

I need to do laundry. I need to pack. I need to take out trash. I need to do dishes. I need to take care of all things financial. I need to clean out the A/C filter. I need to put the charged batteries back in the camera. I need to find the adaptor for my laptop. I need to blog??? Oh wait - check.

Next time I blog I'll be in the homeland. Hopefully I'll be blogging frequently and posting lots of pics - so stay tuned. I'll miss you all!!!

Rebecka och Todd - jag kommer snart!!! :)

good 6 mile run...

...bad cream cheese-filled Krispy Kreme doughnut. It's all about balance... :)

Have a nice day!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Horror at Target

Katie and I were chased by a possessed shopping cart in the Target parking lot tonight. It was frightfully delightful.

That's all I can muster up the energy to write. Except for this explanation sentence. And that last one... Ok - I have to rest.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

broken promises...

Today, I had 5 1/2 hours of sleep and I didn't work out. Hmmm. I guess I'm not good at keeping promises to myself. I'll do better tomorrow. At least on the workout part. :)

I love the Internet. I just told the post office to hold my mail for a month while I go to Sweden and I didn't have to speak to a human being or leave the comfort of my home. This is swell. It's amazing how one could totally never leave the house and still get by (unless one had to go to work, or something).

The count-down has begun. Leave in four (4) days. My pal Rohan called today and asked me if I had started packing yet... What a joke!!! It'll be Friday night (stretch goal), but more likely Saturday morning panic packing. It really is just a simple 3 step process:

1. Throw entire wardrobe into humongous dufflebag
2. Throw all gifts and other deliverables into suitcase
3. Pack my swell laptop backpack with items needed for the actual journey (such as laptop, high level designs that need to be reviewed, "Crossing the Chasm" (my vacation homework), makeup, toothbrush, passport, tickets, and other odds and ends).


Sunday, June 12, 2005

it's a race...

...against myself. Yes - I have worked 71.25 hours so far this week and am well on my way to break my 75.50 hours from last week. Hmmm - wonder what my prize will be? Actually, I promised myself today that no matter what, next week I will sleep 8 hours every night and go to the gym every day. I felt like crap yesterday and decided that something needed to be done.

Enough about that.

Yesterday, I heard for the first time a Baylor University radio commercial on a local christian radio station. It was amusing. Especially the "there is so much diversity" part. Goodness.

Well, I'll be heading to the gym in a few. Enjoy your Sundays out there. I miss all of you. I promise that I'll be back by the end of July (if I still have any friends left by then...).

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Rebecka rocks!!

Yes - she called me at work yesterday (thanks - I needed a break) and our whole conversation was in Swedish!! Isn't that so cool?!?! I'm so proud of you honey! Vi ses om 9 dagar... :)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

wednesday update

My dear friend Prasad left for India today. It's quite tragic. We had lots of adventures trying to get him out of the country on time. Only positive thing about this is that I get to drive his silver Mercedes. It's beyond awesome. It's clean, it's quiet, it's fast, and EVERYTHING is automatic. Some examples:

Lights come on automatically (yes, i'm starting with the not so spectacular, but still very nice features). Oh, and they also go off automatically. Imagine that.

You know how you can flip your rear view mirror when there's someone tailgating you in the dark and their headlights make you see nothing? Well, in this car the rear view mirror automatically adjusts to the lights behind it. It's very nice...

Similarly, the windshield wipers come on automatically and adjust the speed to the amount of rain that is coming down (I actually came up with this invention several years back, but someone must have stolen my idea...). Oh - and the squirty stuff that you can invoke to clean your dirty windshield - yep - automatic as well.

I could go on and on, but I have 50 bugs to prioritize. So, ta-ta.

PS. Elmer (this is my car), I still love you more than any other car in the world!!! Even though NOTHING is automatic about you.

Monday, June 06, 2005

i hate mondays!!!

That's all.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

the notebook

I've seen the beginning of this movie two days in a row at the YMCA this weekend. I have to know how it ends! It's a beautiful love story. Makes me want to cry. I'm a fan (however it ends)...

computer trivia

Today, I learned how to select and deselect a checkbox using the keyboard. It's the space bar!!! My computer life is getting incrementally easier. I love this kind of stuff.

Saturday, June 04, 2005


The Swedish word for Saturday is lördag (no - we do not capitalize days of the week). The words that it originated from is "lögare dag," which means "bathing and washing day".

Well, today I celebrated lördag by showering and doing 7 loads of laundry. I think that's a record. Only 3 drying cycles tho - I consolidate. I've used about 1/3 of the electricity this month as opposed to this month last year. Which is good.

Ok - I'm tired. Need to put the sheets back on the bed and crash. Night.


Why can't people spell? Why do people not know the difference between "its" and "it's"?? Or "there," "their," and "they're"??? Why????

Ok - I know somebody who has nothing better to do will not proceed to go through my posts in an attempt to find a misspelling somewhere. That's fine. Have fun. :)

On another note, it's the weekend. I'm working 100% of it (except the couple of hours I will spend at the gym). Feel free to drop a meal by or come help me with my laundry. Good times (as Katie would say).

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

i knew it...

I knew it was a bad idea to slack off all weekend... Have worked 15 hours so far today, and I'm sure it will be 1 hour and 5 minutes more. Then the next day's time card will kick in and the fun will continue...

I'm tired. Need vacation. Ooooh - I leave for my vacation in 18 days. Pretty cool, eh?

Hi family - miss you! Hoppas att ni har det bra. Längtar efter att se er!

Saturday, May 28, 2005


Ok - it's official. The Atlanta IKEA is finally opening on June 29!!! Isn't this exciting!?!?

I guess I'll be in Sweden when that happens, where I can go to IKEA every day if I want to... But still!!! It is quite thrilling. I'll be taking a field trip down there at my earliest convenience after returning to this country. It'll be swell.

Ok - back to relaxing. :)


I'm forcing myself to relax this weekend. It's quite nice. Stayed in bed until 10:30 AM - unheard of.

Field trip to San Diego was nice. The average (or median - not sure which one) house price there is $500,000... The median (or average - not sure which one) house price in the country is $230,000... Crazy. But the weather sure is nice there. All the time. Maybe it would be worth it...

Anyway, today I plan to walk around the lake and go shopping. Sounds good, eh? And tonight wedding party for my dear friends Pete and Emi. Too much fun.

This relaxing thing is cool. I should do it more often.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

wednesday... so much better than Monday, but still not even close to as good as Friday.

This particular Wednesday I am going on a field trip to San Diego for a two-hour meeting. Should be fun-filled. I haven't been to San Diego since 1992 when my whole family went for a CA vacation all the way from Sweden. I believe we had to sell one of our cars to finance the trip - but it was worth it!!

Alright - my stomach is growling and those of you who know me well know that this is not a good thing... Hungry Tabita == Cranky Tabita. Can't have that. Happiness is so important.

Thus, I will now venture into the kitchen for some frukost. The pretzels on the plane are not going to cut it (even if they give me two bags).

Sunday, May 22, 2005

weekend update - part 3

80 minutes of strenuous hiking at the lake + brunch at the Pancake Pantry = the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning

weekend update - part 2

Saree 4
Originally uploaded by tabita.
So, to the cultural experience...

Yesterday I spend a good 30 minutes dressing for a dance recital at the Hindu temple. Why 30 minutes, you may ask... Oh, well, just look at the picture. I had to take help from a website to figure it out. But it came out OK in the end. :)

Rohan wore his traditional Indian clothing as well and it was very cool. The dance recital was fun, but sleep-invoking. We left early after chatting with my friend Subba (who lent me the Saree) and came home and changed back into our normal selves.

Ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery followed and then movie at home. Nice day.

Now it's Sunday and work stuff is starting to occupy my brain again. Whew, better get out and do some more walking - it's such a good way to clear the mind.

Anyway, if anyone needs tips on how to put on a saree - I'm your gal. India, here I come. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

weekend update - part 1

Saw the latest and greatest (and last - sob) Star Wars movie last night. I was there with my two dates Pete and Rohan (no worries - we're *just* friends) and ate lots of popcorn and coke (to stay awake).

More thrilling than the movie though, was the preview of "The Chronicles of Narina - The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe". I've read that series of books so many times and even wrote my final high school project on it (and won a prize!). I'm totally in love with C.S. Lewis (in a very non-erotic way). And finally they are coming out with the movie (where Aslan isn't some guy in a lion suit). I'm excited.

Dragged poor Appwiz around the lake this morning and then he patiently played some racquetball with me. He's really good. I'm really bad. Good thing is that I provide some level of entertainment as I ran around chasing the ball.

And... The weekend saga continues. What's next? Who knows? But, I'm sure it'll be fun.

Friday, May 20, 2005

It's Friday...

Isn't life great??

I mean - a whole weekend to hang out with friends, relax, eat good food, explore other cultures. I'll tell you tomorrow or Sunday what I mean.

Appwiz is coming to visit. Haven't seen him in like 2 years. Should be lots of fun. I'm working on the plan - I promise. It'll be good.

And on the Sweden front: Rebecka is already going over to friends' houses and taking over the instruction of English in her class. Todd is being taken out to lunch by the people at the archives where he hangs out. I'm sure they are a lively gang! :)

Leaving in 29 days. Crazy.

I have no idea what is going on in the world, so I can't comment on that. Anything earth-shattering happen in the last week?

Sunday, May 15, 2005

no more responsibilities!!!

Did the last choir performance for the school year this morning. Whew - it is so good to be done with it. I'm a little burned out, I must say. So, now my Sundays are free, free, free!! Ok - I do have to go to an "end-of-the-year" party next Sunday, but that should be fairly low stress.

So, now I can work even more hours each week!

Saturday, May 14, 2005

it's all about the presentation

I went to dinner at a local Thai restaurant last night. My food was served in a pineapple. It made the fried rice meal about 10x as exciting. I'm eating the leftovers right now. It's not quite as fun without the pineapple - but the flavor is still there - makes me happy. Excellent post-workout meal.

First weekend without the family. Weird. Miss you guys! Glad you finally got reunited with your luggage.

Friday, May 13, 2005

good cause

I went to a benefit for Planned Parenthood last night. It was delightful. They raised over $42,000. Pretty awesome, eh?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

home alone...

...listening to the soundtrack of Love Actually and working feverishly on a very insane project.

Family: you should be glad you're many, many miles away...

Friends: sorry i'm ignoring you... i still love you!!

Other Random Readers: ehm - my blog is typically more interesting than this - i think...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

they leave today...

Yep - by 3:55 pm the family will be "out of North America and going to Europe" - to quote Rebecka as she was talking about her (almost) 3-month-long trip to Sweden with some of her friends.

I'm excited for them and sad at the same time. Our little house will be empty. But now I don't have to feel guilty when I get home from work at 9 pm and just barely have time to say the night-time prayers with Becka and plop into bed, exhausted from the demands of the day.

Hmmm. Please write me a lot - and call. My parents won't mind the big phone bill... Right? ;)

On another note - for you celebrity-obsessed readers out there. Check out the Huffington Post for lots of celebrity blogs and the latest news. From this dandy site, I found out that Clinton and the next Governor of Arkansas are starting a "ten-year campaign to get the fast-food industry to serve smaller and healthier portions and to improve school dinners."

Finally!! Let me know how I can help.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


...I organized my house. Now I can sleep. God Natt.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

morning run

Start off slow... No watch, no idea how far I will be going. I'm tuning in to the birds chirping, gazing at the blue sky, and enjoying the warm spring sunrays on my body.

Turn left to get onto one of the famous Brentwood "pikes" to see where it will take me. Pass the big white house with the brown fence - 1.5 miles - this is my only landmark that has a distance associated with it. Too early to turn around - keep going - past the big funky house with the musical notes fence. I'm sure there is a good story behind that one.

Greet occasional early morning runners as we pass each other. Cross a little river - how nice. Oh - and there is the park where Rebecka learned how to ride her bike. Wonder if she still remembers how...? It's been a while.

I guess I'll keep going.

Come to a fork in the road - left or right? There is a big hill on the right - I'll go left. Pass a horse farm. "Hi horses! You are very beautiful." Is it time to turn around yet? Not sure... I have no concept of time or distance. Ok, I'll turn around at the next traffic light. I hit the next traffic light. Ok, I'll go a little bit further and turn around at the next traffic light. I hit the next traffic light. I turn around.

Run is halfway done. I'm running faster now. Pass some fragrant flowers - mmm - lovely. My legs are begging to run faster, like a tired horse who knows she's getting close to home. "No, not yet. You'll be too tired at the end if you start speeding up now." I think about work, the day ahead, more work, friends. Woah - I forget that I'm running. Slow down - still to far to start pushing.

Eventually, I turn right to get back on the road that leads back to my starting point. "Ok legs, you can go now." And off they go. So fast that I have to stop and walk before it is really time to cool down. That's OK. Long cool-downs are good. I finally get back to the YMCA - it's been an hour. An amazingly beautiful and relaxing hour. "Hey legs, let's do it again soon!"

Friday, May 06, 2005

Happy Anniversary Dear!!!

Yes - today is our 10th wedding anniversary! Scary, but true. At least we made it over the 7 year threshold for reducing the risk of divorce (love statistics) - so that is good. :)

I'm the luckiest woman alive - that's all I have to say.

Luv ya!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

talent show

Come out to the 2nd Annual "Second Stages" talent show on Saturday at 7 pm at Second Presbyterian Church in Nashville.

Rebecka and I will be doing Mama Mia (among other things). Oh yeh - it'll be great. Also, our Associate Minister will do her Elvis thing - it is hillarious. I mean hillarious.

See ya there!

Tuesday, May 03, 2005



somebody throw me a lifesaver, please?

Saturday, April 30, 2005

shoe trauma

So, I have the weirdest feet ever. Those of you who know me well already know this, but for the rest of you: They're short, they're wide, and the toes bend up in a weird angle which makes my dear husband say that they are "deformed" (in a very loving and sweet way...).

So, when it comes to buying shoes, it is like trying to fit a camel through the eye of a needle (for you biblical scholars out there). Finding winter shoes (or closed toe shoes) is not so bad, because nobody really knows that there is an inch or two of space in the front. However, trying to buy cute sandals for the summer is hellish.

The first three attempts to find the perfect black, strappy sandal was spent in local shoe stores in the Cool Springs shopping area. No luck. At Dillards, we even got an Egyptian shoe expert to help us, but after he measured my foot and told me I was a 5 1/2 M, I just laughed and moved on to the next store.

The next attempt was to order three pair of 5 1/2 W sandals from the one and only They showed up within a couple of days (their service rocks), but alas, my poor feet couldn't squeeze into any of them. So they stood in my hallway for a week until I found 5 minutes to print out the return slip and drop them by the UPS store.

At that point I pretty much gave up and decided to wait until I can go to India, where they apparently have stores that will make any shoe in the store to order. It sounds like a magical country.

Then I got impatient and irritated and decided to see if there were any 5 1/2 WW sandals that fit my criteria for a cute, black, strappy sandal. Results returned:

I ordered them. They're borderline - could work, but a tad wider would be nice.

Search for 5 1/2 EE Black Dressy Sandals returns:

Sorry, no results found.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

new favorite snack...

Ok, if you haven't tried the new (well - at this point "newish") Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars from General Mills, you don't know what you're missing!!!

The almond bars especially are heavenly. They're not the lowest calorie bar out there, but at least no trans fat, and they're better than a candy bar.

My friend and colleague Prasad and I make trips to the Publix across the street *just* to get these. I bet we go through four boxes a week between the two of us.

Well, what are you waiting for!??! Go out and get some and experience the magic...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Close-Up at Six Flags

Close-Up at Six Flags
Originally uploaded by tabita.
Rebecka and I went to Six Flags over Georgia this weekend. It was a blast. I wasn't quite sure how she would react and the first Roller Coaster wasn't exactly a good way to ease into it (more like being thrown into it). But... Rebecka's reaction was: "That was awesome!!!!!" And for the rest of the day we rode roller coasters - and pretty much nothing else.

We also got to spend some QT with my pal Steve. Lovely dinner and comfy couch... :) And breakfast at Panera, of course. (Come see me soon!)

Since Rebecka hadn't been back to Atlanta since she was around 15 months, I also showed her where she used to live, including Columbia Theological Seminary where Todd got his M.Div. She was mostly interested in playing hide-and-seek with Steve and swinging on the playground, but hopefully it was slightly educational... ;)

Fun and exhausting weekend - as a weekend should be.

Friday, April 22, 2005

more geek proof...

As I'm sitting behind a black Toyota 4Runner on my way to work, I take note of the licence plate and smile: JDK - Java Development Kit...


Wednesday, April 20, 2005


As some of you may know, I was naturalized and became a US citizen a while back. Rebecka shared this information at school and her teacher, Mrs. Hughes, asked me to come talk to the class about the process. So, I did.

The other day there was a big, manilla envelope by my spot at the table when I got back. It contained thank you letters from the kids in the class. I thought I'd share a sample with you (I'll omit the salutations and closings):

"Thank you for coming to talk to us. How do Sweden people talk? Have a nice time in America."

Well, people from Sweden, i.e. Swedish people talk like this: Hej, hur mår du? Jag mår bra. Visst är det kul att blogga? Men är det någon som läser eller bryr sej? Vem vet?

"Thank you for coming to talk to us. How old were you when you Immigrated? Was it fun on the ship or plane?"

Hmmm - I was 21. Just a young 'un. The plane ride was fun. I love flying alone.

"Thank you for coming to talk to our class. Was it hard to learn the U.S. language? Was the test very, very, very hard?"

Learning the U.S. language wasn't too hard, because I grew up bilingual. However, I still have trouble spelling because the U.S. language doesn't make sense. The test was very, very, very easy.

"Thank you for coming to our class. You are a vary good U.S. citizen Mrs. Green. And was the test really hard? I am so glad you were born in Sweden."

I'm a good citizen? Ok. Again, the test was a friggin' joke. And I'm glad I was born in Sweden too - it's a swell country.

Kids are so cool... :)

PS. I'm going on a field trip to MN tomorrow. Will get so see my dear friend Katie. This is a very happy thing. :)

world-wide conservatism

So I guess it's not just the US that is moving further right. Appears as though the entire world is moving in that direction (or, I guess the Holy Spirit - if that's who you think elected the pope).

Welcome Pope Benedict XVI - Good Bye any chances of women priests or other progressive changes.

Btw, isn't it just a little suspicious that the Holy Spirit went with the favored candidate? Seems like the Holy Spirit would think outside the box and not give in to outside pressures... But what do I know?

On a side note, my dear husband found out today (unofficially - well, I guess it's official to the blogging world now) that he passed his QEs with "even more than flying colors." Congratulations Todd!! I'm so proud of you.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

geek proof...

You know you're a geek when you're balancing your checkbook at 6 am and the fact that the ending balance is a palindrome puts a big smile on your face...

Different topic (well, same topic in that it describes my personality as well): As I was cleaning the kitchen around 5:30 am this morning, I came across three very brown bananas.

Normal thing to do: Throw them away or possibly cut them up and throw them in the freezer.

Tabita thing to do: Make some nutritional banana-nut bread.

The aroma in here right now is to die for - totally worth it. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2005

what a life...

During lunch, the hubby and I went for a lovely walk around our favorite lake. The sun was shining from a clear blue sky and the temperature was just perfect for a brisk walk. There were these awesome purple flowers growing everywhere and little white flowers that look just like a very famous Swedish flower, vitsippan. It all made me very happy.

As we turned the curve to finish the last stretch of hiking back to the car, we saw an insanely cute sight: A little turtle family of three was lined up on a log that was sticking out of the lake. Each family member had its little head reaching toward the sun. What a life.

I'm filing for an extension for our 2004 taxes. Some guys at work convinced me that I should itemize. I don't have time for these things. I'll be calling an accountant tomorrow. The Greens are filing for an extension - perhaps this is the end of the world...?

spring cleaning!

I took a time-out this morning to clean my desk. Not just remove piles of paper and such (I never have piles of paper). No, this was more like remove everything and dust and spray Windex and wipe clean and move things around and throw things away and...

It's awesome!!! I will be 10x more productive now. At least for the first few hours.

CNN question of the day

So, this morning, the CNN question of the day with Jack Cafferty was something like: "Should Wisconsin allow cat hunting?" Apparently there are 8 million stray cats in this country. I wonder if we can get this allowed in Tennessee??

Completely different topic: As I am always pressed for time, I'm always thinking about ways to make my life more efficient. So, today, I had a break-through in the locker room. Every time after my workout, I walk over to this shelf to get three plastic bags to put my stinky clothes/shoes in (don't ask about the '3' part - it's all very logical to me). Anyway, I spend several seconds standing there, tearing off bag by bag. Today, I realized that I could tear off all three in one tear and do the individual tearing of the bags on the way back to my locker - saving several precious moments. Very exciting.

And a small side-note: why the heck did the YMCA powers-at-be switch to cinnamon-flavored mouthwash??? It's disgusting!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005




barely have time to breathe,



but my running will NOT suffer.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

has it really been since wednesday???


It's been a busy week - that's for sure. But - 4 days with no entry!?! This is absurd. Well, I guess the few moments that I've been free, the weather has been so nice that I haven't wanted to sit at the computer.

I guess I'll start with yesterday, cause that's as far back as I can remember... Awesome run - first "almost-6-miler" since my knee started acting up way back when. Pleasant visit to the shiny, new Publix across the street from my office. I love that store!!! Hmmm. Oh - yeah. Birthday Party at the Nashville Humane Association! How could I forget? Rebecka and her little friends had a fun-filled time doing crafts, playing games, and learning about animals. Somebody knew her quite well and got her - yes, you guessed it - a stuffed animal cat. I'm not sure how Fluffy is handling this new rival.

Later on that evening, Rebecka and I went with my friend Subba and her girls to a dance recital at Vanderbilt. It was awesome! I love dance. So much. My favorites are the ethnic ones like Indian and West African. The Indian dance was set to Ellai Illa Inbam. Sound familiar, oh readers from India? I think if I were to pick up dance, it would be African - it is so intense.

Good day all in all. Yep. And today the sun is shining on a clear blue sky with little fluffy clouds gliding around up there. It is absolutely heavenly. We went to the park for a while to soak up the beauty of the day. Wow! Ok - I'm hungry. I'm going to help Todd cook (I know - it's shocking).

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

April is National Humor Month

So - I encourage you to laugh as much as you can and make people around you laugh (at you or with you - I don't care either way). One website describes the benefits of laughing as follows: “Laughter is internal jogging.” Need I say any more??

Read more here...

Go Lady Bears!!

And congrats to Todd for finishing his final qualifying exam yesterday. My housekeeper is back!!!

That's all I have time to say.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

the human body is strange (at least mine)

This morning, I woke up at 6:00 am sharp, after less than 3 1/2 hours of sleep, and bounced out of bed for an outdoor run - craving it. I was greatly rewarded. A chorus of morning birds cheered me on (much better music than at the Country Music City Marathon) as I ran down Oaks Drive and when I turned to go east on Old Hickory Blvd. - what a sight I beheld: My friend, the Sun, was making a grand entrance, painting the sky with a purply, redish, orange color. Too beautiful to imagine.

I let gravity and my body weight pull me down the hills - enjoying the exhilaration of running faster than most people would ever dream of - even if chased by wild dogs. This didn't work quite as well going back west and against the wind - but my legs picked up the slack. 30 minutes and no knee pain later, I ran up the last hill to my house feeling better than I've felt in a long, long time.

Man, if everybody who reads my blog does NOT become a runner, I have failed miserably. Anyway, we'll see what my body has to say about all this in a few hours... But for now I'll enjoy the thrill - and my morning oatmeal.


I don't think I've ever seen my computer switch over from 23:59 to 0:00... It was pretty cool.

Tonight, I learned what the ISO 8601 standard for date is: YYYY-MM-DD. Good to know. Why can't everybody just do it the same? And who uses a.m. and p.m. anymore...? Ooooh - wait - it's just the US (and perhaps one or two others). Well, my application's home page will comply with the International Standard - there you have it...

Monday, April 04, 2005

grapple time

So, I just had a piece of grapple - yes - it is an apple soaked in grape juice to make it taste like grape. Crazy! If people want grape taste, why don't they just get grapes?? Well, I guess this tastes more like the fake kind of grape taste that you find in sodas and candy. Becka loves it!

Maybe there is something to the theory that this will make for healthier children. It is not often that my child asks for a fruit for snack... If so, I'm all for it. But I think I'll stick with regular old apples...

it worked!

Yes - I slept until close to 5 am this morning... Slightly more normal awakening time. Maybe I'm just so incredibly excited about life these days that I don't want to waste too many hours on sleep?!? That's how I'm going to look at it.

Yesterday was good.

In the morning, I was feeling really sluggish and Todd said: "Why don't you go workout?" To which I responded: "OK." Best suggestion ever. Two hours, one workout, and one shower later, I felt like a new person. I was ready to conquer the world. Whew - it's amazing what a good run will do for your spirit.

In the afternoon, Todd's advisor called with some superb news... He passed his first (out of three) qualifying exam!!! This was especially good news, since he was 100% sure that he had failed. He takes the second one today. You'll do great honey!!

In the evening, I went to church for my two choir rehearsals. The kids were great - so talented and fun-filled. I gave them highly discounted Easter candy - they were thrilled. My adults were awesome as well. We have this Cameroon processional that we're working on that has a little dance to it. Some of the guys are not ecstatic about the prospect of dancing down the aisle, but it's going to be fantastic. We're even going to have real, live percussionists. Yipee!

OK - time for oatmeal. Have a great Monday everyone!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

time changes...

It's 6:06 - feels like 5:06. I'm liking this time change thing. Especially since I've been having this problem lately of waking up at ridiculous hours like 4 am. Now it will be 5 am, which is almost normal.

Sweden changed their time last week. For one short week we were 8 hours apart instead of 7. What about India? Do they change the time there? I need to know, so that I know when to call my UI designer.

Speaking of India, I've been learning a lot about that country lately. I have several very good friends from there (you know who you are) and they provide me with wonderful details about the rich culture. I want to go. Soon. Preferably to a wedding (no pressure...). I love the music, the religion, the festivals, the languages, and the people - of course. They are funny, generous, open, spiritual, and very intelligent (don't you just love generalizations?).

I saw my first Bollywood movie the other night. My friend Rohan gave it to me to show off the city where he grew up. It was different - that's for sure. So colorful. So musical. So very, very different from Bergman... I think you need both extremes of movies in your life - to achieve balance.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

let the right team win...

If Louisville wins today, I win the pool at work - no matter what happens in the final.

Everybody cheer for Louisville, please! :)

PS. I can't figure out how to make these damn comments links smaller... I need help.

face lift...

Just FIY - I'm still working on this... I accidentally published a bit prematurely... Ooops. But what can you expect - I'm Tabita. I'm the one who thought that her computer was dead when she really had turned off the power to the outlet to which the laptop was plugged in. Yeh - having a high IQ does not often help with everyday life.

Anyway, I have to stop my beautifying process for a bit and go pick Rebecka up from her sleepover and bring her home by 7 o'clock so that she can leave for her next adventure, which is going to Atlanta with one of her friends. She has a kick-ass social life.

Stay tuned for more style sheet modifications...

Friday, April 01, 2005

it's clean!!!

Gracie did a fine, fine job. Happiness is a clean house.

Crazy day - didn't get much sleep, woke up to a dead computer (come to find out it was really user stupidity), freaked out, went to work, computer came back to life, talked to friends (only good part of the day), went home to work, went to lunch (ok - that was a good part too), worked some more, fell asleep, woke up (phone call), worked some more... Now I'm dehydrated. Need water. Better go downstairs and get some.

This weekend had better be good. And it will be. It's up to me, right?

Thursday, March 31, 2005

cleaning for the cleaning lady

I'm now officially one of those people who clean the house before the cleaning lady comes over. I've never had anyone come clean my house before, but I did have a feeling that I might be one of those people - and sure enough... Everything is picked up off the floor, counters and tables are clear, the laundry is put up, and the shoes are in the closet rather than in a pile by the front door.

But - there's still plenty for Gracie to do when she comes over tomorrow. I'm so thrilled. My house will be clean once again!!!

PS. Congrats to Rebecka for making the AR "Wall of Fame" - i.e. she's read books and taken comprehension exams worth over 150 points. Way to go girl!! :)

The Borowitz Report

If you're not already familiar with Andy Borowitz... Check him out. He is beyond funny...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

namur news and random acts of kindness...

Remember the guy who ordered Namur CDs and works 2 blocks from my office...? Well, he got us in touch with this guy at and guess what?? Now you can buy Namur CDs there. Isn't that awesome!?! Go buy one - or two - or ten. However, if you want a t-shirt - I'm your woman.

I'm overwhelmed by the kindness of friends in these weeks of insanity leading up to Todd's qualifying exams. Just one example:

Today, Rebecka went home with our good friends, the Findley's, after school. When I arrived at their house to pick her up around 7 pm (loooong meeting at work), they offered me wine (yes, please!) and dinner (yes, please again - they both have chef school on their resumes) and boy was it good! AND they offered to take her home again on Friday and next Monday.

We're too lucky to have such good and caring friends.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

where to begin...?

It's been a busy couple of days... Wrapping up Easter, wrapping presents for Rebecka's birthday, wrapping up a High Level Design for our next release - lots of wrapping... In addition to that, I spent some fun-filled time at Granbery Elementary yesterday for Rebecka's birthday. I had a McDonald's Cheeseburger for the first time in I don't know how many years. Rebecka likes it when I bring McDonald's when I come to eat lunch with her ("That's what all the other parents do...") and this time I thought I'd go all the way and have it myself. It was surprisingly delightful. No - I did not ruin it by checking the nutritional information...

Today was a lovely day. I spent a good bit of time at the gym in the morning and walked out into a beautifully sunny day. Wow! It makes me so happy. I love spring - with a passion. Had a late and leisurly lunch at my favorite Mediterranean place with Prasad. We sat outside. It was heavenly. I'm of the opinion that if the weather is perfect and you have the opportunity to sit outside and eat, then it is a crime not to do so. Got lots done at work. And now I'm about to watch the Amazing Race with the fam. Yep - a lovely day.

Ok - I want one of these Fox Blockers. I don't get FOX at my house, but I want it just for the awesomeness of it... Ooooh - maybe I can sneak one on the back of the TV at the YMCA... How cool would that be?? (Thanks AnonD for that link... ;)

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Happy Easter!!

It's been good so far. Got to sing the Hallelujah Chorus with the choir at the end of the service - this is always fun... Now we're off for good food and fun at the Bjordahl residence.

Enjoy, relax, and remember to live your life to the fullest - every day.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

four angels

I want to introduce four angels: Joanne, Lala, Subba, and Priti.

What do these angels have in common, you may ask...? Well, these wonderful women all took care of my child at some point during this crazed spring break. They fed her, bathed her, housed her, took her to McDonalds and Chuck E Cheese, gave her a brand new toothbrush, let her play with their dogs and children, took her to the Adventure Science Museum, and much, much more.

Angels, you have no idea how much help and stress-release you provided. Thank you!

Friday, March 25, 2005

erring on the side of life...

Shouldn't "erring on the side of life" also involve the following:
  • Not executing innocent black males because they can't afford proper legal aid
  • Not signing laws allowing doctors to override the family's wish to keep a loved one on life support if they can't afford it
  • Not attacking other countries for the heck of it
  • Allowing children and the elderly to have the same quality health care as the people on Capitol Hill
  • Keeping guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who use them to "settle arguments"
Bush's approval ratings are at an all time low - do you think that it has anything to do with the fact that people are finally starting to realize what a hypocrite this man is?

bball rocks

I'm currently ranked #2 in the office pool. This is quite thrilling. What an awesome evening of hoops (like I saw any of it - who has time to watch TV?!?!)! I will definitely employ the same resource to help me with the brackets next year. Just next time, I won't let his bias for Alabama drag me down to #2... ;)

Thursday, March 24, 2005

gym stuff...

Today was the first day of the year where I wore shorts only to the gym. Ok - not *only* shorts - that would be kinda scary... But no long pants to cover up. It was a little chilly, but it is a good sign that spring is on the way.

Also, today I ran for 30 minutes for the first time since my knee started acting up without feeling any pain. After 20 more minutes on elliptical - still no pain. I'm excited!!

Finally - the dressing room is incredibly empty at 9:00 am. Just a handful of little old ladies getting ready after their morning swim. I must come at this time more often.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

to my friends...

Thanks for caring. And for making me laugh. For stimulating conversations and comfortable silence. For music and singing. Togetherness. For enjoyable meals and games and fun. For correcting me when I'm wrong and listening when I need to talk. Sharing secrets. Smiles - in the hallway - through email - across the table - brightening my day. Understanding.

I love all of you. So very much.


Don't do Pilates without proper cushioning.

Good Lord! My neck and spine are in total pain. Not good.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

pilates 101

So, I ordered this Pilates DVD and a mat from Amazon... This morning was the first time to try it. I started easy with the modified basic workout and then did the basic workout three times. I'm wondering if perhaps my mat is too thin, because my back is hurting a little from the "Rolling Like a Ball" move. I'm wondering if they're assuming that you're putting the mat on carpet rather than really, really hard laminate floor. The guy in the DVD has a super thick mat - it's like a doctor's examination table or something. Hmmm. I'll figure it all out.

If my abs are hurting tomorrow, I'll stick with the basic workout... If not, I guess I'll move on to intermediate.

Any Pilates fans out there?

Monday, March 21, 2005


So much to do - so little time.

Survived Palm Sunday - my little kiddos did a good job waving palm branches and singing Hosanna. The rest of the day was spent doing various things including a meeting (boring, but necessary...), walking around the lake (awesome!), going to the mall (makeup emergency), and chauffeuring Rebecka to various locations.

Today was a typical Monday - let's leave it at that. I'm enjoying hanging out more with my friend Prasad. He's one of the smartest people I've ever met. Yep. I like smart people.

I have a Flickr account now. Not many pictures there yet, but hope to load a ton over the course of the next few weeks. Thanks to Rohan for the tip. What would I do without my "on-top-of-new-things-on- the-web" friends? I would still be using Yahoo! maps...!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

tech support fun

My friend Lyn sent me the link to this skit. It is awesome. You must see it.

cool shoes and other things

My dear bro-in-law, aka AnonD, sent me a link to this article that talks about the new Addidas running shoes that "uses a sensor, a microprocessor and a motorized cable system to automatically adjust the shoes' cushioning." I had read about this shoe in Runner's World, but kinda forgotten about it. I guess the $250 price tag made me think (as with many other things such as the iPod, PDA phone, etc): "I'll just wait until they get cheaper..."

But - for all you runners out there with some disposable income - go buy a pair - and let me know if they're worth it. Btw - the Adidas website is cool. Being in UI redesign mode, I'm looking at the www in a new light now... Where are they putting the logout link? What colors are the using? Is the search on the same page as the search results? How easy is it to navigate? Whew - I just need to stop surfing.

So I have a few new candidates for my new shoe... Let me know what you think:


PS - The FedEx man delivered my tickets yesterday - yay!!

Friday, March 18, 2005

gun control in philly? and other news...

I love the Mayor of Philadelphia. It is not often that one gets to hear intelligent discussions regarding guns in this country, but today CNN offered just that. The Mayor actually had the brilliant idea that if they restrict access to guns, then there won't be as many out there, and people won't grab for the gun when in an argument and kill each other. What a novel idea...! And just like it would be harder for regular folks to get guns, it would also be harder for the criminals to get guns... Why can't people understand this very simple concept...?

On the Shiavo story - just let the poor girl die and be over with it. I mean - how can keeping her alive be good for anybody? Note to self: Create living will so as to not end up in vegetative state forever should something bad happen.

And finally - did you know that there is summer gasoline and winter gasoline?? I love picking up these little pieces of new information...

PS. Only four of my picks lost yesterday... That ain't so bad, is it? Thanks for the help Mike! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2005

my night

Fell asleep somewhere between 8 and 8:30 pm watching the second episode of Pride and Prejudice in the bed with Rebecka. (I had promised to stay awake for the first episode and managed to do so - albeit painful)

Woke up at 2:10 am. Went to the bathroom in the dark in order to be able to go back to sleep. It didn't work. At 3:08 am I broke down and went downstairs to eat a snack and read my Runner's World - hoping that I would fall asleep again... I think it worked, because around 4:45 am, I woke up with drool on my face. Decided to go back to bed. Forced myself to lay there until 5:55 am, when I jumped out of bed and into the shower.

Today is going to be interesting and I will be taking drugs tonight.

PS. Here is my impulse buy from the weekend:

Do you understand why I *need* it!?!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

my sweden vacation...

I booked my tickets!! It's really exciting because I got exactly the dates I wanted (6/18 - 7/16) and I'm flying with SAS, the greatest airline in the world. All this for under $1100. Not bad, eh?

Jag älskar Sverige!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

credit card applications and other junk

I just have to express how completely and utterly I hate junk mail - especially credit card applications.

There was a time when we couldn't get a credit card from anybody. We had already passed the college window of opportunity and didn't have an income sufficient to qualify for even the smallest amount of credit. The only reason we wanted one was so that we could sign up for internet and the only method of payment was credit card.

We finally managed to get a credit card through the bank that the church was using (one of the many minister perks) with a limit of $500. Because they helped us in need, we have stuck with them through thick and thin and probably will until we die.

So - back to my point - I spend several minutes every day opening credit card applications and other crap. This includes removing the stupid fake cards from the paper and making sure that the gummy glue is off the paper, because it'll ruin the shredder... Then I analyze what needs to be shredded and what can go straight into the paper recycling. Finally, I shred the stuff that needs to be shredded and recycle the stuff that needs to be recycled.

In my life, every minute is valuable. I hate having to spend precious moments on this worthless activity. I wonder if there is some study out there on how much time the average American spends on this over the course of a life time. Nah - it would be too depressing.

OK - gotta watch the Amazing Race now, so I'll stop bitching.

vacation in sweden

Nope - I'm not talking about mine (although it is coming up in 94 days), but rather this story that Todd found the other day.

I want to travel "across snow and ice on sleds pulled by sturdy dogs through unspoilt nature"!! Unspoilt nature is the best thing ever. I always get really depressed when I drive through landscapes that must have been amazing before the interstates and fast food joints and ugly billboards took over... I imagine the Native Americans slowly riding across the plains on their little ponies and buffalo strolling nearby...

Yes - I am a romantic.

Monday, March 14, 2005

why are there no sugar cubes?

Rebecka is learning about arctic things in Encore (the gifted program at her school). Tonight, she wrapped up a cereal box project on polar bears... We found out some interesting things like: Polar bears kill seals by smashing their skulls - and - they don't hibernate! Can anyone guess why?

Tonight, Rebecka also reminded me that she is supposed to bring sugar cubes to Encore tomorrow, so that she can build an igloo. Well, being the super devoted mother that I am, I set out to find some sugar cubes. I started with Kroger... They were out. All those other even more devoted parents had already been there. The space where the sugar cubes were supposed to go was completly empty. So, I went across the street to Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market. What was I thinking?? They don't even have basics like Kefir or the soy milk that comes in the cool container...

Rebecka will be building her igloo with marshmellows.