Saturday, June 20, 2015

A House Full of Swedes and a Ripe Tomato

Yes, in exactly that order.

They arrived, Photographer Maria Berg of "Allt Kan Grönska" fame and her family!  A group of people we knew nothing about other than via Facebook and a couple of sessions on Skype.  Some called us brave others called us insane and a few cheered.

Maria bringing her family on an American discovery tour.  Rekindling memories and experiences from her trip to the States long before her family came to be.  She had a desire to show her daughters and her husband the good, the bad and the in-between!  It will be interesting to hear what the end conclusions will be.  I just hope she will share their impressions with us.  Seeing the States with Swedish eyes today, verses then.

They started with having a desire to see San Francisco! So we were their first stop, the first leg!  They loaded up in our car early one morning and took off on  the city tour.  They saw the Golden Gate disappear in fog, checked out the trolleys, Fishermans Wharf and  they "did" Lombard Street among other things.  There was a trip scheduled to attend a podcast in Petaluma.  Along with a desire to see pelicans and seals in Monterey.  The pelicans were viewed as they flew above us, too far away to get proper pictures, but Maria did capture some nice frames and some  of smiling seals in the Monterey harbor.  The true hit however, was swimming at the cove by Lovers Point!  The girls able to use up some pent up energy!

There was a trip to Costco, a lunch at Chipotle, some had the opportunity to eat a REAL burger at In N Out!  Lucky them!  There were berries, pineapple and fresh melon to eat, orange juice to drink and food on the table and everyone seemed satisfied.

Presently the adventure has taken them to the corn fields in Iowa, then they fly off to Sin City aka Las Vegas with a bit of The Grand Canyon thrown in for good measure.  Those three experiences alone are about as far apart and as extreme as you can have it.  Completely and totally different worlds.  Let us see what they think?

It has been quiet since they left our house.  The beds put away.  The laundry done.  And we are back to our everyday routine.  Up next for us is a visit from our former neighbours (from Mariposa) and  ex coworker Russ and his bride of many, many years.  Then JQ will have a week end stop over before the month is over.

Many of "mine" go to Sweden for summer visits.  Maud and her entourage. The youngest grandchildren, along with their parents are going on their annual trek to visit the lucky Swedish Grandparents and other family members in Skåne and beyond. Gary and Kevin  are going to Sweden too.  The young men to be hosted by several of our family members.  My Sister, My Cousin and My Niece and their families.  We wish them all many happy memories!  Looking forward to hearing about their experiences.

While we stay here, enjoying our first ripe tomato with many more to follow!

Happy summer everyone!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


Linnea is far right.

The parents of Linnea set out this morning driving across country to Providence, Rhode Island.  Linnea, our granddaughter, is graduating from Johnson & Wales University with a degree in culinary  arts and food science.

Big brother holding Linnea

For me it is impossible not to look back!

We, the photographer and I, will do our best to care for the dogs, the horse and the homestead in their  absence.  Wishing the entire time that we too could be there to witness the event.  However, we will follow the trip, and the special day in pictures and stories, texts and phone conversations.

Now contemplating, remembering and reflecting on a bright young life that seemingly just started "yesterday!"

For us, the old guard, time seems to pass with lightening speed.  A feeling most likely not shared with our third generation.

From the very moment this child was born there was a special sensibility about her.  A light!  A joy! A frilliness!  She revelled in pinks and purples from the get go, much to her a bit "tomboyish"  Mother's consternation!  She loved animals from the start!  Liking nothing more than horseback riding from the age of one!  Dogs, cats, calfs and goats, not forgetting feathered friends and of course people.

Now she is all grown up!

Ready to take on the world!

She is a "cowgirl", a mixologist, a barista, a world traveller, a great friend, a sister,  a cousin, a "foodie", an agility competitor,  she is talented,  beautiful, a girlfriend and a delight!

The world is her oyster!

Keep spreading that infectious smile! The world needs it!

Go get 'em Linnea!! Congratulations!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thank God for flush toilettes!

Yes, as I go through my days the silliest, the most poignant and the most ridiculous thoughts pop into my head.
There is so much to be grateful for and often, quite often, I stop and think about how truly lucky we are.

Is it because I have lived a long life and have seen so many changes?  Having lived in situations where there was no in house WC, washing machine, dishwasher, or refrigerator?  No tumble dryer or automatic garage door openers.  Who knows?  The point is, I am thankful every day.

With family near by, friends in our neighbourhood, incredible weather, Garbo to love, Mister Cat to smile at, plants and herbs to tend to, food to cook, guests to entertain, the Photographer to share a life with, well; life is good!  So, these are some of the thoughts that flutter in and out of my head as I move through our day.

This morning when I got out of bed Garbo and the Photographer were out for a morning walk. While  I got to sleep late.   Fixed breakfast so it was ready when the two of them returned home.  Yes, Garbo ate an egg too!

The latest updates from Casa Palos include Garbo "graduating" from the Beginner Class in Rally. Where Tiffanie Moyano of "Dog Logic U" has so patiently guided both Garbo and her rather untrainable owner through the first segments of behaviour in the sport. Our instructor cheering us on with never ending praise and encouragement!  Garbo now owns a certificate to prove it!  We will soon start the next session of classes.  Garbo and her "Mom" really like the challenge, no matter how silly we might look out there!  Garbo is a Pyr not an Aussie.  Garbo's  owner is not Laura Pryse.  :-)

Last weekend I had the pleasure of hosting a Ladies Lunch for a few of the "girls" on our street.  What a fun group of women!  We ate, drank, and were merry!  Talked about everything from soup to nuts, our  world and politics.  Imagine that!

Looking forward we have the "future Chef's" graduation coming up in the end of May.  Her parents are presenting her with a car as a graduation present.  She will need it, as she will be working as an intern at the FDA in Baltimore for the next three months.  Let us see where life takes her after that?

Linnea is bottom center
We, who have watched her grow, all wonder where the time went?  How can it have gone by so fast?

In June we look forward to having guests from Getinge, Sweden for a few days.  Photographer Maria Berg of Allt Kan Grönska is bringing her family to the US on a discovery tour!  They plan to visit  various parts of the country with San Francisco as one of the cities of interest.  What a thrill it will be to have them here.  We hope they can squeeze in a lot of memories.

Tomorrow we celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  Time for some Margaritas and a Mexican fiesta!

Saturday, April 4, 2015


It was time for another road trip!  The Photographer loaded the car, prepared the backseat with Garbo's hammock and off we went.

Mister Cat promised to "hold down the fort" with help of the soon graduating culinary students Mother.

It just so happened that Saga, the Future STAR, was performing in yet another musical production,  so the timing was close to perfect!

Yes, our talented little ten and a half year old had been invited by the West High Theatre Department in Torrance California, to sing and dance in the high schools Spring Musical.  The name of the play was "BROADWAY .. a class assignment."  There were five performances for this production at the Scarlata Theater in Torrance.  Pretty exciting we think.  Four other fifth grade students from various elementary schools were also invited along with Saga to be members of the "Junior Ensemble" to sing a solo.  Yes, I am bragging!  Yes, I am!

This play was entirely performed, directed, choreographed and arranged by the students at West High.  Costumes were designed by the students as were most of the set designs, construction and lighting just as they were in the "The Jungle Book"; the last musical our grandchild was involved in.   I, for one, am totally "blown away" by how professional these productions are.  Impressive!  Fabulous!

The talent these young people possess is both inspiring and awesome.  Sitting in the audience watching these students sing, dance and perform it was impossible not to be emotionally moved.

Impossible not to reflect on how much better the world would be if ALL children and young people had the opportunity to use their various talents in this creative fashion.  It pains me to think of all the schools that no longer provide a curriculum including music, band, chorus and the arts due to financial constraints.  These young talented kids so full of energy and creativity made me forget what ails the world!

These kids sang and danced their way through some forty songs from Broadway plays from both the Golden Age, The Rock Rebellion and all the way through the more contemporary musicals.

Educating not only themselves about the various styles in both sound and "style" but all of us.

What a treat for both ears, eyes and the heart!

May they continue to be inspired. May they continue to inspire.