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


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:

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



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

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.

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

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 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 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: