Sunday, July 18, 2010

Random Thoughts

Interesting Visual of the US Budget.  Dealing with big numbers. Here is the interesting video.

Within the last week in my work travels I have seen two households flying the American flag.  I don't think  that is the proper thing to do.  I don't know what the rules are concerning flying a foreign flag in another country.  I think that one must fly the Swedish flag on top with the American flag below it.  That would be OK.  It shows respect for the country one is in.  Also your less likely to offend your neighbors.  It is just common sense.  But, maybe not so common.

I am soon approaching another birthday.  And I inevitably get the question "What would you like for your Birthday?"  At this point in my life "things" don't matter much. What is important to me is to know that I am loved and appreciated.  To know that my relationships with family and friends have touched and somehow enriched their lives.  I guess I am looking for validation.  I hope I have done the same with my family and friends.  I probably need to do more.  I'm sure I do.

Since I moved to Sweden I have had culture shock.  Why are Swedes this way and that?  It is not how I think it should be.  Why are Americans this way and that?  It is not how I think it should be.  And so forth.  And in the end we are different cultures with historical roots that made us that way.  It is the difference that I enjoy and in the end it is this difference that makes me love being in Sweden and that makes me appreciate having lived in America.

My working relationship with my neighbors has improved tremendously.  They have been very tolerant with my culture adjustment.  And I have learned to embrace the difference.  I appreciate them very much.  They have been true friends through thick and thin.  I also feel that I have learned enough of the refrigeration craft to feel that I am giving them some breathing room in their business.

It is amazing to me how this "war on drugs" has caused so much pain for so many people throughout the world.  The cost and suffering in trying to control this human behavior has been huge.  There would be less suffering in the world if we just stopped these efforts.

We often get emails and send emails to friends of jokes and or interesting news items and we don't write a little note asking how they are doing.  Well today I inadvertently hurt a good long time friend with an email.  I will never do that again.  I did not know his situation because I did not ask how he was doing with enough frequency.  We need to keep in touch in more personal ways.  I am sorry I hurt my friend.

We need to keep in touch with our friends and family more often.  We need to tell them how much they mean to us.  It can never be to often.

Our granddaughter Linnea is spending a week in Florida taking a culinary class.  She loves cooking and is quite possibly looking to become a chef.  She makes me happy.

Ralle Takes Us on a Sunday Morning Walk

Ralle is a good dog.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Day of the Mills

The first Sunday in July is a day here in Scania when  the working mills open and the general public can come and see how they function.  Some mills sell various kinds of flour for baking and other kinds of food preparation and you can actually watch the various kinds of grains being crushed and milled.  Commonly used is wheat, rye, oats and barley.  Last year John and his "gang" were here and we visited several of the mills close to us.

Amazingly there are not two wind mills that are the same.  When one thinks of the age of these structures as  some mills are more than 300 years old, our mill being one of the youngest in the region, built in 1887. Mills were constructed without blue prints, built with enormous timbers with nothing but raw manpower and pure brawn.  To complete a structure could take many years, the mill in Kulla Gunnarstorp  took 8 years to build, just as an example.  It was completed around 1789 and is one of the older mills in Sk√•ne.
Operating these windmills was not an easy task, with sails and wind power!  Very similar to sailing in a sense, or so I imagine it to be.

There are of course various kinds of mills such as stubb (stump) mills, those the first mills using wind power in Sweden.  In Europe these mills were in use as early as 1100, came to Sweden around 1200 and were very common during the 1600s.  Water mills were older still.  Came to use when people wanted more power than horses and mules could provide.

Awe inspiring to say the least!  Who said we are smarter today??  All this handmade construction to the very last little detail!

Eventually some of the millers immigrated to America and as Vilhelm Moberg tells us, they brought their precious mill stones with them to the new land!

Sunday, July 4, 2010


 What on earth is it?

An Xtra Giant Silkworm......
Scanian  Canine Ralleus...
Newly discovered Golden Haired Seal..
Arctic Haired Banana slug...........