Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Treasured Friendships

How lucky, how blessed, how fortunate am I, to have strong bonds with such special people. My amazing friends! There are people here in Sweden that I remained connected to all the long years away, living my life in far away places, such as in Minnesota and then later in California. There are those fabulous guys in Minnesota that I still hear from, yet some have left us, all too soon! The neighbors in San Jose, the coworkers at Hewlett Packard and then all those who touched our life in both Mariposa and in Oakhurst. It is a rich life I have lived, where I have learned to really treasure each and every relationship however varied and different. What I find most incredible with REAL friendships is that time somehow stands still. There have been times when forty years have gone by,between visits, when we have actually had an opportunity to see each other. Yet it has each time seemed as if though it was yesterday we had been together. Pretty amazing! Thank you all, for allowing me to be so rich!

Another thing I have pondered of late, now that my calendar needs updating, is this thing with numbers and years. I have such a hard time with both! My best friend will say, when I mention such or such event, " oh, yes that was in the spring of -87 or, oh yea, when your Mom turned 65, or remember when we were in Ireland year XXXX "! Yes, I remember Ireland so vividly, but not the year! Have a hard time remembering when John, Maria and Fredrik were born. Mix years up on the calendar, sometimes I "plug" birthdays in on the wrong day, sometimes even the wrong month, can't keep anniversaries right etc. I think it was last year I sent Maria and Ray a card for their wedding anniversary, stating: Happy 19th or 18th, when it actually had been 20 years!!!!!!!! As the Mother , shouldn't I know better? Why do I not stop and THINK??' "Cause THAT is actually part of the problem! So, to all of those of you I have congratulated on the wrong day, wishing you well for the 34th birthday when it actually was your 37th, or whatever........ please forgive me...... no offense intended. There is one very important person in my life,that does in fact, keep track of everyone in our family. That is my Auntie Helmi, what an amazing person she is! She is now 95 years old herself and has all these years kept track of all of us. So, if I can't remember when someone was born, or when someone died, I have been able to call Moster Helmi! She knows!!!!!

Now we end another decade? Is it true??When I was young the year 2000 seemed unobtainable, or so VERY far away one would NEVER live THAT long!!!! (Because I didn't stop to figure it out.) But I did! The the HYPE........... the world was going to stop, no computers would work, orders would not get filled, food would run out. The mountain men purchased ammunition, just in case! We sold baby chickens like never before and never since, as people thought that if nothing else they would have eggs to fry and chickens to eat, what a funny and wild frenzy that was! Happy New Year to one and all! Can't wait to see what's next!?

Well, next for dinner is: Tomato and Avocado Bruschetta with Shrimp, Scallops and Tarragon Cream followed by Basil and Parmesan Potatoes and Beef Tenderloin with LemonCream Sause, Grilled Zuccini, Portabello Mushrooms and Green and Red Peppers............Wan'na Come Over?

In conclusion congratulations to beautiful Hilary and Luke, Karla and Tom......Life goes on!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PS

A friend of mine sent me these interesting clips. Fun to see.

This is an interesting 1935 film commercial! It is especially interesting to those who lived or frequently visited South FL

1935 Chevy Ad. The first minute is the Overseas Highway:


http://www.autotraderclassics.com/articles/templates/video.xhtml?utm_source=cruiser+email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=ecrmart3&utm_campaign=dec+cruiser+email&articleId=46283


I remember Bob Hope doing his rendition of 'Button and Bows' , love it. For us old guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JvqRMEdU8Kk&NR=1

Enjoy


YEAR END THOUGHTS

Neta and I have been in Sweden a year now. It is pretty incredible. We sold our home in Mariposa and our business in Oakhurst just before the economic melt down. We were very lucky. We could not have planned it better. What a difference six months to a year would have made. We would not be here in Sweden.

I think back to where I came from. My parents came from Sonora, Mexico. I was born in Los Angeles in General Hospital. I lived in Mexico until I was 5 or 6 years old. I learned English in school as a second language. Every Summer when school was out I returned to Mexico and stayed with family through my junior year in high school. I was lucky enough to have stayed out of the Vietnam war. Just luck.

I went to Santa Clara University in California. Again luck. I didn't know what to do with my life. I got a scholarship to go there because of a very persistent high school teacher who made it his mission to get as many of us into college after high school. I was not a very focused student. I ended up joining a lot of social causes organizations. Mexican-American (Chicano) causes, Caesar Chavez grape workers, Community Alert Patrols (police watch dogs), Anti-War demonstrations, etc. I ended up dropping out of school.

I worked at many low paying odd jobs. Then I decided to learn electronics. Because I heard there were good jobs to be had in that field. I enrolled in the "Philco-Ford Technical Institute". I got a job immediately after finishing the school. I was an electronic technician at Hewlett-Packard testing and troubleshooting hybrid microwave components used in instrumentation.

If I got to a point on the job where I wasn't learning new technology I would move on. I worked at many electronic companies in various capacities. I also travelled a lot with the companies.

I met Neta at Hewlett-Packard. Then one day Neta and I had enough of the Silicon Valley rat race. We ended up buying a Feed Store in Oakhurst, California near Yosemite. We sold our home in San Jose, California and bought a house in Mariposa. We grew the Feed Store for 15 years. Many, many, stories to tell. Many friends along the way. And now I am here in Sweden and working with my neighbor in the refrigeration, heating and cooling business. I am learning a new trade. It is fun to keep learning. I am continuing my photography and enjoying life.

Neta and I are thinking about starting a new business at our home here in Sweden.

Neta, also has an interesting life experience starting when she left Sweden when she was only seventeen. Later on that.

Enough rambling.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Morning walk in -11.6C / 11.12F temp. Burr!

The weather has gotten cold. We have snow and ice. Crisp air and light wind. It is perfect for the season. We like it. We have gotten some very nice Christmas cards from family and friends. It is great to hear from them. We have been invited to spend Christmas Eve with some local friends, but Neta and I think we would like to spend this night alone together and watch a movie. Maybe "To Kill a Mockingbird". That is a great movie. Our friend Tom Hurley has talked about seeing the new movie "Avatar" at the IMAX theater. I am jealous. Don't have one nearby.

I read Tom Hurley's Blog about writing to one's senators and I can see how frustrating it is. I just read an interesting article about Ralph Nader's new novel. Whatever your political persuasion or what you might think of Ralph Nader his novel "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us" seems like an interesting read. Basically, it takes citizen groups to make changes in government. But it also takes time and money. Most people are too busy working to try to change things in government. The social movements of the 60's and 70's worked because people were involved. It is hard to imagine that happening today. So in comes a super rich grass roots organizer. Hear is a link to the article:


Interesting idea.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First Snow



Today we had our first walk with Ralle in the snow. It has been a light dusting but it is always nice and beautiful.

I also got an email from a friend with a fun musical experience. Here is the link http://www.snopes.com/photos/arts/musicmachine.asp

Interesting read and don't forget to see the "Animusic" link.

Here is another interesting /fun link of a San Francisco Bay Area Zeppelin ride pictures. http://home.comcast.net/%7Ebzee1b/Zeppelin/Zeppelin.html





And for a good laugh here is a movie clip of a skit from the Carol Burnett Show.


video

Some pictures of the neighborhood storks:


Bosse did not want to go out in the snow. He would rather check out the computer.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crunchy Grass and Cold Storks



Booom, suddenly it became cold! The temperatures here have remained so warm, we forgot that winter is here. Or to be more correct, winter starts next week. Now we have minus temps as I suppose it should be, this time of year, walking the dogs, yes dogs, that frozen grass crunch was audible even in the middle of the day yesterday. Why two dogs? Charlotte called in the morning, asked if I could be Immas dog-walker for the day? So, naturally I walked her too a couple of times,while they were gone. So,there was a lot of walking yesterday--good for me and the dogs!

The week was filled with such exotic stuff as a dentist visit for David, check up...........an x-ray of my shoulder at the hospital in Angelholm. My former" heavy bag carrying shoulder" that started giving me fits. I was given acupuncture treatments for a period of time and boy that worked like magic for me! The Doctor did however want to see what actually was going on inside that joint, therefore the "picture". They really know how to do scheduling for such things here. Every appointment is on time! Never have I had to wait! It is amazing! We also had been called to go and get our flu shots, an equally easy date, we received both the swine flu as well as the seasonal flu shot free of charge. The same was true for my x-ray.
We had made plans to go to the church in Viken with our neighbors to take part in the Saint Lucia celebration, but as the evening progressed we fizzled out, stayed home and plunked down in front of the TV to watch Jeremiah Johnson instead. A different kind of bright spot!

Yet another miracle to report! See, we are just full of them!! My auntie Helmi's billfold, including her precious wedding rings, was returned to her a couple of days ago. A fireman came to her door with it. Telling her it had been found in the ambulance she was taken to the hospital in. Hurrah!!!!!

To those of you who have mentioned the fact that there never are any pictures of Bosse included, Here you go! A handsome hunk he is.


In closing I will note that the Storks in Ingelstrade look so cold! Three of them were huddling up on top of their chimney nest yesterday, on their long legs. They fascinate me!!!!!!


Monday, December 7, 2009

2nd of Advent and Brigadoon



The week that was, oh how quickly they go,was filled with David's first driving lesson "in Swedish", a dentist appointment, work of course, a visit to ViSkaLys kennel with Ralle to pick up dog food, a lovely birthday party at Sonesson's, where even Ralle was invited, ending with an extremely quiet Sunday when we lit candle number two!
Usually we only "grab" something for breakfast, a slice of toast, corn flakes or some granola. On either Saturday or Sunday we eat a "real" breakfast. So, after our hike around the field yesterday I cooked bacon, eggs, fried some potatoes and popped some nice baguette into the toaster. It is amazing how good such simple fare can be! How an egg can be elevated to such perfection when cooked gently in a little butter, slowly......with a lid on the pan. When the potatoes have the just right crunchy texture, orange juice fresh squeezed and the bread available to sop up the last dribble of perfect yoke. What about the bacon? Well to get the worlds best bacon one really need to go to Ireland! A close second is bacon from a meat market in Sierra Madre, an Amish bacon, thick sliced and meaty, perfectly smoked! There the Swedes have something to learn But we "take what we have" as the saying goes, and the bacon was "good enough", or as perfect as one can get it. We enjoyed our breakfast, no doubt!
It was an extremely quiet Sunday. We wondered why? David had to go to Vala Center to pick up ink for his printer. Had expected hordes and throngs but it was nearly empty. I went to ICA in Hognas and even though it was a Christmas Sunday Open Day for those blessed Christmas shoppers the town was dead. (Stores are otherwise not open on Sundays here, close very early on Saturdays, close for lunch...........it can be very annoying, but that is another story!

Charlotte who opened her lovely little shop for the second time- only on Sundays- did most likely not see much action.
A miracle?
David has a childhood friend by the name of Joe. At an early age he contracted polio rendering his legs weak and he has spent his life propelling himself with crutches. It never stopped him from participating in all the crazy and wild activities the guys in the gang of 5 did however. Camping, hunting even motorcycle riding. They would strap his feet to the pedals so he too could come along! Joe has been involved and working with the space Shuttle for thirty plus years. Recently he was informed of, that due to cost saving he would be let go! According to David, Joe was devastated and miserable, rightly so! During a phone conversation Joe spoke about what to do? In this day and age when there are no jobs to be found even for the most able among us! Well, it seems Joe's coworkers got wind of the situation! Started a protest! Voiced in unity, that Joe was an institution in himself, how could management even consider such an action????? It worked! Joe will stay in his job! Miracles do happen, even before Christmas!


The mist was dancing over the fields this morning, like elves veils as my Mother used to say. It felt just like Brigadoon. One could almost hear the bagpipes...........beautiful to say the least.










Some pictures of our travels and walks:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Not dull!

Charlotte opened her shop yesterday! After a year or more of very hard work, fixing up a barn previously used to house cows and pigs. Charlotte nearly singlehandedly filled in big holes in walls, insulated and put in a new ceiling, painted, fixed walls and poured cement to create a smoother floor! None of that work was for the faint of heart! Lars, Charlottes husband should be given praise too, as he did give some muscle power where extra strength was needed. A light, bright yet rustic space was created, where Charlotte now display some of her handiwork such as pillows, Christmas decorations, candle holders etc. along with treasures that she has purchased and added her personal touches to, including furniture. David took some of his framed photographs to her shop and it will be fun to see if those beautiful pictures get any attention. So, Charlotte had her "opening", many friends and relatives came to browse and buy, and towards the end of her first day she made a sale to her FIRST real customer!!!!!! Congratulations to a gutsy, creative and hard working girl and loads of good wisher for success!

This mornings headline in the paper speak to crimes against seniors here in our region. And as I sit here in the morning with my coffee flipping through the paper I marvel and shudder over this petty crime! Kids, teens and yes 20-35 year olds too for that matter, knock down old people with walkers and steal their billfolds and purses! Teen age girls push down old ladies and sit on them to hold them down!!!! Elderly people have their monthly pension money taken by those who enter their homes posing as repair men/women! It is for me so disappointing! Is this kind of crime prevalent in Fresno, California? Then I wonder if this kind of crime was simply too common to report in the Fresno Bee? Shortly before we left Mariposa, a former customer I used to bring food to, had a former "care giver" break into his home, in the middle of the night, to steal his medication............
Now my own dear, dear Moster/Aunt Helmi, who had to go to the hospital after yet another fall, to be X-rayed, had her billfold stolen. She kept her wedding rings, her most treasured possession in her billfold along with, off course her money. How can some one steal from a ninety five year old woman??? This comes on the heel of my brother in law Bosse losing his car! He was the proud owner of a BMW X6. In the middle of the night, about a week and a half ago he woke up due to some noise outside his home, only to see his car being driven away from his yard! He tells me there are gangs of expert thieves who know exactly how to disconnect the alarm system, start the car, drive it into a waiting truck, to be taken to Russia or Africa directly, to never be seen again!!!!! But that is a different story, a different kind of criminal, somehow easier to understand, much less personal than the crimes against the elderly, especially performed by the young! Where are these kids Mothers I ask? They are working too hard and not aware of what their children are up to, I am told.
Then, I must confess ,that when we were "ripped off" at our store, whether someone came in took what they wanted, put it in their pocket or under their jacket and left, or wrote checks full well knowing there were no money in the bank, those incidents were relatively few comparatively, yet loomed so LARGE.
Perhaps I should stop reading the newspaper in the morning?................but then I would not know that Zlatan kicked another winning goal for Barcelona, or that Celia Lamberth became this years Lucia, or that there is a light show every night until Christmas, downtown in Helsingborg called "a time and a place", or that 57 % of the voters in Switzerland voted against building more minarets! I am not naive. I just don't understand the mind set.

and so it is.

PS

It is late in the game. I felt compelled to urge President Obama to not send any more troops to Afghanistan. To stop the madness. Wonder what he will do?


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Amaryllis and lights

With the food fest behind us, the long wished for turkey sandwich consumed, as well as a bowl of comforting turkey soup ala American tradition, we head straight into the festival of lights.
Here in the dark north they know how to chase the gloom away! Today, the first day of advent the first candle in the advent candle holder is lit. You will most likely find one on most families kitchen table, green or white moss surrounding the candle base and for a bit of color perhaps some red berries or marzipan Santas are stuffed in between. This is also the day when the merchants reveal the Christmas decorated display windows and customers start thinking seriously about shopping for gifts. Considerably understated here compared to the US however.
Each city, town and village will choose their Saint Lucia today, from a group of contestants. She will along with her attendants, Star Boys and a Santa, spend time during the holiday season, visiting hospitals, elder living facilities and such, entertaining with song, Lucia bread (saffron infused sweet bread) and gingerbread hearts! A sweet and bright tradition I remember so well from when I was little. My Mother would get us out of bed in what seemed to be the middle of the night and we, my sister Monica and some kids from our apartment building would go on the bus, to visit Mothers work and various friends! Coffee and the treats in tow and we'd be dressed in our white gowns. It was very exiting! Then as my own children became old enough they too were "dragged around", Maria being our Saint Lucia with John and Freddy as the Star Boys and I the Baker and Director. And so it went until it was Maria's turn to Bake and Direct, baking loads of saffron rolls for Ryan and Linnea to bring to school and with Linnea as Lucia!!
Is Saga next?
Amaryllis, Hyacinth and Paper Whites also play a big part during this season along with the Christmas Cactus................and I think the first blossom on the Amaryllis I planted in a pot about a month ago will open today! The electric candles will turn on in every self respecting Swede's window today at dusk, remaining there to spread light and cheer until the 13th day of January! Welcome Christmas! Welcome Light!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Julie & Julia & Agneta

My best friends daughter Anna sent me the book Julie & Julia for my birthday! What a hoot! I just finished it after several days of laughing out loud ! Laughing is good! As a critic I too think that that perhaps the language could have been less foul, but then, that is the way Julie expressed herself and for good or bad I think we are all becoming desensitized ! Bad language surrounds us.
Today "gosh" and "darn" just does not cut it! The book is so much fun to read. As a fellow "cooker" I can't wait for Thursday, we are having a cooking and feeding frenzy here at the mill, not French fare exactly, but gooey mashed potatoes, stuffing and ooooh, gravy! And other treats including apple crumb pie. Hoping not to mess anything up as these tiny little turkeys came at a price of + 70.00 dollars. Imagine that! No free turkey here no matter how much money you spend at the ICA store. Yes, turkeys , in plural. A turkey larger than five pounds is not to be found. No growth hormone here! So, to feed our guests, there had to be two. David is already dreaming of turkey sandwiches, my mouth waters just thinking of turkey soup. Haughte Cuisine alright!
In between now and then there is some Cranberry bread to be made, more shopping to do and vacuuming.........did I say how much I dislike vacuuming, haven't I done enough of that already?

Maria ran her Mini Marathon, was a STAR and finished in about half the time allowed.

Freddy is in escrow, holding his breath.

John is planning his family feast for Thursday and is actually going to eat the turkey meat.

Next on the reading list a book I already started, another birthday gift ( how lucky am I ) this one from our unbelievable neighbours, entitled : Jean Bernadotte The Man We Chose written by Herman Lindqvist
now that is a bird of a different feather...........a historical novel about Swedish history from 1700 on. How I love to read, so much to learn, history has always been a favorite subject, no wonder I hate vacuuming. It takes up too much time!


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Lid recovery

It helps to live in a five story house, in this case old windmill, if you want to see for miles!
Yesterday started out like most grey days with drizzle and mist, giving my face a hydrating and skin plumping effect as we walked our way around the field Ralle and I.
David was off to Kavlinge, to install some sort of heat pump or air conditioner in this brand new police building there. Once there, he realized that he had in his pocket the only other existing set of keys, for Sonesson's main work van. Not a good start of their day! Considerable time, energy and money having to be spent on the key exchange.
As the day progressed I started hearing wind warnings on the radio! Not uncommon here in the "flat lands", I have to stop and think sometimes, when I go out, having to for example hang on to the car doors for dear life, in an effort to not have them fly off the hinges. After all, we live in a wind mill! Yes, if we had wings on this mill still, we would most likely have been able to generate enough electric power yesterday to light up the entire region! Or as someone put it last time we had similar weather, could have milled a lot of flour!
The wind got crazier as the day went by. We ended up skipping our walk around the two some kilometer triangle since we could hardly get the front door open! Don't think Ralle minded.
Trains stopped running, the bridge between Sweden and Denmark was closed, roofs flew,trees fell, car accidents occurred and David was happy to get home!
As David and Lars have this great relationship and much fun together, David after sitting here eating his pork chops sent Lars the following message. (Our house was at this point not creaking but absolutely groaning!) SMS
David:
"Lars, I think the top of the mill just flew off! Can you check to see if it landed in your yard?"
Lars:
"I saw it on the news! It is in Landskrona!!"
David:
"We have a hitch on the Ford Fiesta, can I borrow your trailer? Wanna come??"
Lars:
"Sure!"
..............then we laughed until our stomachs hurt. What is greater than a sense of humor like that?

And along with all other flying things, our garbage cans lids flew away! I was lucky to recover the cans themselves actually, struggling to get them to a place where the wind would not pick them up again! On my trip out to pick up the newspaper this morning, in the dark, I found one lid, the other one, no place to be seen. Then as I was getting ready for my day, brushing my teeth to be exact, in the bathroom on the fourth floor, I spotted it through the window. There it was, out in the tall grass at the far end of our back back yard, having flown over hedges and fences! Lucky us, the lid was recovered.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Venus version

While David is outside fortifying the fence in an effort to keep the beautiful beast on the inside of it, I wanted to just update a little. All is well in Ryssmollan! This morning I woke up with the sun shining in my eyes, after a cup of coffee Ralle and I went for a wonderful walk around the field. That is always such a nice way to start the day.
Our new addition is working out very well, life seems more right, more like the way it is supposed to be, with a dog. The only negative thing is that he does not like to be left alone. We have to work on that! Left him this afternoon to get materials to improve the fence, he was in the house, had knocked over a plant in one of the windows and piddled in the kitchen. Nothing major, but it will be nice when he can relax and realize we will return.
My incredible Auntie Helmi seems to be getting along well in her new senior living situation. We had a nice little chat this afternoon.
While I work in the yard, bake and or cook, read or go for long walks with the dog, David is either working or pondering the economic mess or in particular American politics. To me both those issues are equally messed up!
So while David tries to figure out how to change the world, I am watching the world close to me change. Just now all the sugar beets are being harvested and placed in mountain high piles in the fields nearby. Other fields have oat stubble still standing, to be plowed under in the spring before another crop of something else is planted. Yet another version of the nearby fields is winter wheat growing, nice tender green. I love the fact that it never looks the same two days in a row, the scenery always and forever changing! This being true throughout the year. Here in Sweden they have this cultural philosophy about walking and being outdoor, everything is easier, everything will be better if you go for a walk! The climate here is perhaps better suited for this age old activity, it is seldom too hot or too cold or too wet. And indeed it can bring you a new perspective, it can make you think more clearly and generally make you feel more invigorated. So, for me , walking around here also gives me a close and personal connection to what goes on close to me. This morning during our walk a flock of, I think swans, flew southwards above us, pretty awesome!
Maria was running a "mini marathon" in the Monterey area today! Go Mia Go!!
Freddy is pondering the purchase of a house in the south California area where he presently lives and is throwing in the towel regarding finding employment in Sweden. No one is biting no matter how many are involved in trying to find a good job for him
John is happy with his situation in Seattle, life is good there, C J has been invited to start at a local college a year early since she has such exceptional grades!
Ending my rambling here to do kitchen Goddess stuff! Cheese Ravioli with Toasted Walnuts and a nice Salad coming up!





Monday, November 2, 2009

Life Goes On



A few weeks ago we lost "Bella" to a sniffles/sinus infection. She was not yet a year old. Agneta's sister gave us two kittens just after we arrived to Sweden. Agneta and I have always had many pets in our lives. We miss her and her brother "Bosse" does too.

We have been contemplating getting another dog. We lost "Rontu" our Great Pyrenees just before he was to come to Sweden with us. We have gone to dog shows and researched dog breeders of Great Pyrenees. We chose a breeder and as luck would have it they had a 5 year old male they were looking for a home for. Well the rest is history. Here we are walking "Ralle", Swedish for Ralph, on the beach by Viken. Viken is a small community about 8 kilometers from where we live.





Some pictures of Viken by the sea.


Life is good.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update

Neta did not get chosen to participate in the TV food program "Halv åtta hos mej". We are disappointed. We will just have to have our own party.

Our neighbors business is doing well. This is great, but it also means that I have to work more. I enjoy the work, but I also miss my three day work weeks. This is OK for now. I feel very fortunate to have a job here in Sweden and to have great people to work with. It is not easy to get a job here.

I have been keeping up with the political and economic situation in America. And I am very disheartened with what is going on. Here is an excerpt of an email I sent to a friend:

I am very fearful that the course American politics is taking is to another worse economical and human crisis within the next 8 to 12 years. Maybe even sooner. Things are still very bad. Wall street, insurance companies, and big corporations are in charge. They have no fear. And the news media, the big boys, are nothing but entertainment shows. They have also lost there way. President Obama is part of the problem. He has to date joined the "old boys" club. Obama needs to clean house. He needs to have a revelation of how things are. And, frankly I don't think he has it in him. He has accepted the way of doing things in Washington as they have always been done. I had such high hopes. I am really saddened and disappointed by President Obama.

I have thought this now for a long time. This Bill Moyers TV show has solidified my views. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/10092009/profile.html

I would urge you to watch this program.

Next post Neta and I will talk about some of the culture shock we have experienced here in Sweden.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Blown Away

It is Monday morning and the wind is still blowing hard. The weekend was windy and wet. On Saturday Neta and I went to a science fiction convention. It was interesting and fun. We saw Richard Kiel at the convention. It is a small world. Richard lives in Coarsegold, California 7 miles from Oakhurst. Richard is the actor who played Jaws in some of the James Bond movies.

On Sunday we took a drive along the coast to be out in the weather. It was not raining much but the wind was blowing 35 to 40 miles per hour. The wind was furious all night and it has subsided some this morning. Now it is only 20 to 25 Mph. The wind mill where we live creaked and at the very top you could feel it slightly move. It was a little scary.

Well, got to get ready for work now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Halv åtta hos mig

They came and interviewed me and took pictures of my house and film of me during the interview. The whole interview took about 45 minutes. I will be notified in about a week if I have made the cut for the show. Very exciting.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sugar Beets and Geese

THE FARMERS HAVE STARTED THE SUGAR BEET HARVEST. SUGAR BEETS ARE PILED IN MOUNTAIN LIKE PILES AT THE EDGE OF THE FIELDS TO BE PICKED UP AT A LATER DATE FOR DELIVERY TO THE PROCESSING PLANTS. LAST YEAR SOME OF THOSE BEETS REMAINED UNTIL JANUARY, ALL COVERED WITH LOOSE STRAW THEN SURROUNDED BY BALES OF THE SAME TO KEEP THE BEETS FROM FREEZING. THE BEETS ARE USED FOR BOTH ANIMAL/CATTLE FOOD AS WELL AS FOR MAKING SUGAR AND SYRUP.
SOME OF THE OTHER FIELDS AROUND US ARE ALREADY TURNING THAT BEAUTIFUL TENDER GREEN, SPROUTING SHOOTS OF RECENTLY PLANTED WINTER WHEAT.

THE GEESE WHO HAVE JUST STARTED THEIR JOURNEYS SOMEWHERE SOUTH STOP,FLOCKS OF HUNDREDS AT A TIME, TO FEED. QUITE A SIGHT! THEY STAY FOR A DAY OR TWO, THEN TAKE OFF IN A JUMBLE TO SHORTLY THEREAFTER ORGANIZE IN THAT FAMILIAR V SHAPE, WITH THEIR LEADER IN FRONT CHATTERING THE ENTIRE TIME. WHAT A NEAT SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR. I AM ALWAYS IN AWE.

THE TREES ARE STARTING TO LOSE THE GREEN COLOUR TOO. BIRCHES ARE TURNING YELLOW, SOME HEDGES ARE CHANGING TO BROWN AND GOLD THOUGH WE ARE YET NOT INTO THAT EXPLOSION OF WILD AND VIBRANT COLOUR, BUT IT WILL NOT BE LONG I PREDICT. THE GEESE KNOW!!!!!
THE DAYS ARE A BIT COOLER, THE NIGHTS EVEN MORE SO, BUT UP UNTIL VERY RECENTLY WE HAVE ENJOYED RATHER MEDITERRANEAN WEATHER. VERY PLEASANT FOR US.

LITTLE "BELLA" OUR ADORABLE LITTLE FEMALE KITTEN NOT YET A YEAR OLD IS GIVING US WORRIES. SHE NEVER SHOULD HAVE BUT INDEED DID CONTRACT CAT SNIFFLES, THE COMMON CAT COLD SHE WAS PROPERLY VACCINATED AGAINST. SHE HAS SINCE UNDERGONE INTERFERON TREATMENTS TWICE AND PROLONGED PERIODS WITH ANTIBIOTICS TO SEEMINGLY NO AVAIL. SHE STRUGGLES FOR BREATH AND IS RESTING A LOT, BUT IS OTHERWISE SO FULL OF LIFE. IT IS HARD TO UNDERSTAND WHY THIS IS SO DIFFICULT TO CURE. WE HOPE EVERYDAY TO SEE HER BEAT THIS BACTERIAL "MONSTER", HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Last few days

The family owned business that I am employed by has been getting a lot of new orders for cooling machines. I have been working full time the last week and this may continue for some time. My work schedule had been three days a week. Since Neta and I are semi-retired it is nice to have some income coming in instead of it all going out. I do miss the three day work week though.

The work is very physical at times, climbing ladders to roof tops, carrying tools, etc. It keeps me in physical shape and that is good.

Neta went to her cousins 60th birthday party in Linköping on Thursday. It is about a 4 hour ride by train. She walked about a kilometer to her house from the train station. She had a wonderful time with family. I was working.

Today we went to a dog show in Åstorp about 20 minutes from our home. We have been contemplating getting another Great Pyrenees. But, we think that having the freedom from the obligation of taking care of a dog may be more important. It ties you down in many ways. We have had pets for much of our adult lives and we know how much love they give us. But at this stage in our lives we may want the freedom to travel to California to visit our kids and our grandkids. And to travel some in the rest of Sweden, Norway, Finland, etc. Well we haven't yet decided. We are pondering.

We had planned on running a bed and breakfast. But we wanted to take it easy for a time. We owned and ran a Feed store in Oakhurst, California for 15 years. We had a great time and it was all consuming. It is nice not having that resposibility. Neta now has time time to read. She has joined a book club with the local bookstore where for a nominal fee she can read as many new books as she wants for a year and end up keeping the last book. She has read 35 books since she got here. It has almost been a year. I have bicycled many roads here and have taken lots of photos of our travels here. We are in no hurry to start another business.

Life is good. There are many things to say about our adventure. Enough for now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Changes

This morning we got up at 5Am as we do every day Monday thru Friday to go the gym from 6Am to 7AM. The morning was particularly beautiful. The sun just showing its rays, and a gentle calm with a slight wind that was beginning to increase its strength. It was just a nice feeling.

Work for me today was exciting as it usually is since I am in the learning stages of a new work profession. Refrigeration, cooling machines is what I work with. It is exciting. Today I was up on a roof of a commercial building directing a crane operator who was lifting one of five new cooling machines on to the roof. It began to rain. I was somewhat prepared for the rain, but I still got soaked. I don't mind it really. I am enjoying all that is new and different. On the way home today the work van I was driving suddenly quit. It felt like it just ran out of fuel. A light indicator on the dashboard was telling me that the fuel injection was at fault. I was able to coast to a safe place where my boss was able to call for a tow truck. All was taken care of and my bosses husband came to pick us up at the Mercedes dealer where the van was towed.

I work for a husband and wife team in the refrigeration business, who happen to be our neighbors as well as good friends. More on how this came to be later.

Fall is here, we can feel it slightly.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Exciting Development

Today I came home from work and got some exciting news. Five months ago I entered Agneta to be a participant in a cooking show we had been watching since we arrived in Sweden. And today they called and want to come to interview her with a camera crew next week Tuesday at 10AM.

Those of you who know Agneta know that she is a wonderful cook and loves to feed people. She and I are excited and with any luck she will be chosen as one of the participants. The TV show is "Halv åtta hos mig" which translate to "7:30 at my place". The show takes place each week in a different city in Sweden. Four people in each city take turns hosting a dinner party for each other. They meet each other for the first time at the first dinner. The person hosting the dinner party is judged by the other three on a scale from 1 to 10. By the end of the week all have hosted a dinner party and the winner is revealed. The winner is awarded a sum of 15,ooo Swedish Crowns which is approximately $2,200. It is really a fun show.

As we learn as we go about blogging I will try to include some pictures.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beginnings

Agneta and I moved to Sweden in October of 2008 from Mariposa, California USA. This is our first time writing a Blog and are new to this medium. We are not writers and don't pretend to be. We want to present our ideas and our feelings without worrying about proper structure and writing techniques.

Today we decided that we should put down in writing our experiences and our views of our decision to move to Sweden. We want to be able to express our ideas and our thoughts. This blog seems like a good beginning. We want to be able to express ourselves. We need to share our ideas and feelings and be able to in essence talk with others about our thoughts and our experiences.

We left the USA to live in Sweden because Agneta, who is Swedish, wanted to go home. She left when she was 16. She went to America by herself on her great adventure.

We have been here for almost a year and do not regret making the move. We do love it here.
We live in Skåne in southern Sweden. We live very near Helsingborg between Allerum and Mjöhult. Enough for today. It is a good beginning.