Friday, April 22, 2011

Glad Påsk Everyone / Happy Easter

Easter Feathers.  Everyone decorates with them.

What a day!  What a season!  Awakening!  Budding trees!  Bees!  Sun!

Soon these tables will be filled with sun worshipers.

David has discovered the reason he thinks, why the Swedes sit in their yards, or on steps in the city, or on benches in the park, with their faces turned into and upwards to the sun!  He thinks he understands.  Today he is doing that himself!  After all that bleak, grey, and dreary, here comes the glory!  More appreciated than anyone who does not live here will understand, David did not.  He does now!  When I mention this with wild winds and dreary days I do not do so to complain!  It is the way things are here, it is very different from San Jose or Mariposa.  Yet the variations here, all that DRAMA is pretty cool!  As mentioned many times earlier, it is never ever boring and the extremes are exciting and much more appreciated because of the variances, we like it!

Several  years ago Lotta and Robert came to visit us in California along with my Mother Elsa-Maja and still to this day we sort of chuckle at a question Lotta had, asking Leslie our daughter in law, and Kellie and Gary's Mom, "why we did not sit outside to eat?"  Leslie's reply was "because we can!", right off the cuff.  Guess she is right.  We sometimes had dinner or ate our lunch out on the deck in Mariposa yet we could have done so all year unless there was pouring rain, or it snowed.  It  snowed perhaps once or at the most three times a year with the snow rarely lasting longer than a week or two, or we had some  Mono wind storm going on.


Here  in the south of Sweden, on the other hand, we now realize that from our two year experience, six months of the year you definitely do not sit out on the deck to eat.  But we did today!!  The Robo- mower is mowing away today.  Sven is his name.  About four or five days ago the lawn was gray and sallow looking, today it is growing like crazy!!

Sven.  I was skeptical at first.  But he proved me wrong with his random logic.

Great walk in the forest today, where the spring flowers make it look like the snow is back!  The Wood Anemone or Vitsippa is so abundant that it literally looks like snowdrifts between the trees.  There are some sprinkles of Buttercups in between and the Lily of the Valley is going to be ready for "sniffing" next time we are there.

The grill is up and running.  We used it today for "Hurleys"........Aaaaaah and Ooooooh  only the initiated know what those are but man oh man was that a treat!

The "Hurley".  It is a new type of tasty named after a Blogger friend of mine.

So, with that we wish you a Happy Easter and David is sending you a "picture shower" / "bild regn" of Spring and Easter related photos for you to enjoy!  We had planned on sending Easter E cards from Jackie L., but those are getting all so "the same" so, enjoy some of David's beautiful pictures instead.

Ralle encouraging the bikers.
Happy Påsk and Glad Easter to you all!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Towards the end of last week we had another one of those days!  Ripping, whipping, relentless and an "almighty powerful winds" kind of day.  The local newspaper filled with stories about fallen trees, downed power lines and the like, front page fodder.  I was watching David come walking down the road from the Sonesson's with his camera bag in one hand and a gas can in the other coming towards the Russ Mill bent over like a pocket knife with his baggage sort of dragging behind him.  Ralle was laying on his  look out "mountain" looking something akin to a seal.  Wow!!

The newspaper reports the wind at 34 m/pr second.  With sandstorms to boot.  Sandstorms always make me think of all those bad "chain reaction car crashes" on Highway 5!  No, not Lawrence of Arabia although that would be much more appropriate!!  No,  Ralle and I did NOT go on that planned long walk.  Day before yesterday we did walk all around Svedbergs Hill however and almost blew away then, but way Ray!

How fabulous it would be if we could just harness all that power!  Yes there are  many wind mills here. There could be a lot more but there is enormous resistance from the citizens of this region to putting up more even though more are needed.  People find them eyesores and offensive and ecologically bad, there are complaints about noise, the shadows they create is unnatural,  birds don't know how to navigate around them and on and on.  But what are we going to do?  Everyone PLUGS IN!  No, I am not going to start writing down that endless list of appliances and contraptions that we all seem to absolutely need that all require the juice, not to mention future cars.

How I wish we could somehow capture the enormous energy from the California sun, that which we all know is so wasted since energy in general is so inexpensive in the US of A.  How I wish we could somehow bring it here in some form.

Now back to the new "wind mills".
Put them out in the ocean they say.  There are many there already  actually.  Put them under the water some suggest.  So, how about the fish?  Will those learn to swim around the "power catchers"?
So many arguments valid and not.  Surely I have no answer or solution.  Personally, I do not find them unattractive, think rather that they look "Science Fictiony" like from the film The War of the World.  Nor do I find them noisy as I have been close to many while David is taking his pictures.  No I do not have one next to me we only live in one. Hi, Hi!!

Sunday today, April 10 a fabulous day!  Currently it is about 65 degrees F, relatively calm winds, just arrived home with a few extra blue Pensees, to add to our yellow ones.  Our morning started with an early drive to Helsingborg where we walked along the sea with Ralle.  The city is always slow and calm and quiet in the early mornings, on the weekends especially. We walked for four kilometers or more, did see all those sand dunes on the sidewalks created by the fierce winds.  The Hamilton ICA store actually had the beach on its doorstep,  actual sand dunes in front if the entrance, pretty incredible.

Time for me to prepare dinner.  Beef Stroganoff is on the menu tonight.  We have not eaten that for years!

Now I have read in the paper that so many are upset about all that sand on the sidewalks!!  Build the wall between the road and the sea HIGHER they suggest.  Sure, build it really high then you can't see the ocean so put windows in so we can still see the view........... who the heck is gonna pay for that?? How often do storms like this one occur?

Dinner night with guests Friday April 15.  Pleasant conversation and some uproarious laughter.  Oh, laughing is so good for the soul and the spirit!  A special high-light for me was uncorking the Pietra Santa  extra virgin organic olive oil that I toted home from our wine tasting trip while at Marias in California.  That alone made the "overweight luggage fee" worth the charge.  Drizzled over a salad made of a mix of arugula, cherry tomatoes, bresaola, artichoke hearts, lemon juice, cracked black pepper and coarse salt....... yea so gooooooood!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Brighter Days and a Kick in the Pants

Plaza in Helsingborg early morning

Sheets drying in the wind, sun shining, and birds singing, a cat sleeping in a basket,  and the dog in the sun on the deck.  That is how a good day should be and look if I was to be asked.  We need a lot of those kinds of days.

Helsingborg store front

Now even if the temps have become a bit milder and are aiming up into the + 10 degree range the wind keeps whipping and bending the flag pole into frightening angles.  Ralle and I have opted to skip the "long" walk a couple of times these last few days simply because we don't want to fight the fury.  At the present time it would take more energy and effort than we possess.  Can't help but send some longing thoughts to balmy Hollister, and or San Jose! , or Santa Bar....... oh stop it!

Fishing shack in Hittarp by the Sea

Better go do something fun like prepare the shrimp for our evening meal.  On the menu tonight we have a dish with shrimp, leek, spinach and pasta cooked with a little white wine and cream add a few sprinkles of lemon zest.  Tasty I am sure of it.

Looking towards Viken by the sea from the Mill

Speaking of tasty.  I have made a batch of Mexican Chorizo according to Marias' trusty old recipe from Jeff Smith's "The Frugal Gourmet" cookbook.  It could have turned into a REAL Hot Sausage.  The recipe called for 1-oz. of re-hydrated Pasilla peppers.  I had soaked and made a paste of 3 oz. !!  Was ready to add the chile paste to the ground pork and ground beef mixture when I glanced at the recipe again...... ayayay !

Looking towards the Sea from the Mill

For all the members in our family when we think of Chorizo we think of the Foppianos'.  Roz would cook Chorizo and eggs with torn bits of tortilla in a big pan over our fire or camp stove!  Boy was that some good stuff.  We started preparing it at home as we really enjoyed this tasty dish.  When Maria was at the University of Davis and had some class in meat cutting she learned what this sausage is commonly made of, Salivary glands, lips, navels and such, well, we quit buying it!  Years later Maria found this recipe a much healthier version, without all those unmentionable body parts and we were all happy to once more be able to enjoy the taste of this distinct  tasting sausage in various dishes where Chorizo plays a role, but we especially like it with our scrambled eggs.  Maria provided us with this treat and she often would bring some to us when she would come to visit,  making David  happy as a clam.  Now here I am making it in Sweden!  Who would have thunk?

View towards Denmark from Viken

Want to make some Italian Sausage next.  Maria cannot understand why we can not find Italian Sausage here when we are so close to Italy?  Can it be that there are only 500 Italians living in Sweden?  Who knows.

View from Viken

Interesting to find that someone in Russia is looking at our blog. Wonder if the Russ Mill had spiked that interest and caused the viewer to peek at our blog.  Hmmmm....... Still see Russian viewer is viewing even long after the Russ Mill Chapter.  I like it already!!


Ralle has been "beautified" at Spa Vi'Skaly's.  The supposedly responsible owners were scolded as he has gained too much weight (just like the supposedly responsible owners) although that part, those owners were not mentioned.  We are really going to work hard on reducing all our girths, hopefully it will be an easier thing with weather more kind, perhaps we can go back to a regular walking schedule, and yes we're stapling those lips shut!  Gave me a "kick in the butt" a much needed kick! We need to knock off the cookies! Our Ralle is an elegant guy and to look elegant slim or slimmer is key, for  both ourselves  and he ........ yet , here I am talking about lips stitched shut at the same time as I talk about Italian Sausage and Chorizo, how much sense does that make?

Old railroad station in Höganäs.  Now City offices.

This very first Monday in April we walked to the Sonessons' and around the field in only a fleece jacket! No scarf, no Russian fur hat, no sweater underneath the jacket, no gloves!  Boy, it feels good to not have all that stuff on.  Perhaps I better not put the cart before the horse, I should say that I did not need to wear all that stuff today.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Couple of Weeks in Review

This is mainly a low down on the last couple of weeks told primarily in pictures.

Sonessons Kyl and I began work on a new cold room for the Helsingborgs Krematorium

The Crematorium is going through a lot of renovations and to enlarge its capacity.  It is an interesting job for me to be a part of.

The weather was ever changing.

Charlotte, Lars's wife, is helping as we install the condenser on the roof.

Lars is preparing some of the pipes for soldering.

Lars in the compressor room.

Some of the evaporator pipes we have installed.

The cold room being prepared by another company.

Lars and I then had to go do a service job in Helsingborg in an office building.

Helsingborg near Kärnan tower

Later I had to go and replace a filter and recharge a "Steam Roller" with refrigerant and make sure all was functioning to specs.

To me these machines will always be "Steam Rollers" from cartoon days.

Lars back in the office after a hard days work.

Charlotte going over a days scheduled job.

It is now Friday and in Sweden on this particular day of the year it is Waffle Day.  We are having our neighbors over for Swedish waffles.  I have also decided that everyone should wear hats and change them throughout the evening just for fun.  I supplied the hats.

Setting the table.

Lars being greeted by his buddy Ralle.

Agneta preparing the waffle batter.

Enjoying each others company.

Ready to eat and drink.

Oh, by the way John Zavala, can you spot your picture in the background?

We are having a great time.

Lars and Charlotte.  Swedish Mexicans?

Winding down.

On the weekend Neta and I took Ralle for a walk and enjoyed the sunny crisp weekend.

Going towards Mölle.

Krapperup Castle

Krapperup Castle Work Barn

Krapperup Castle Moat

Looking towards Kullaberg Mölle

Near Mjöhult

The following week we went back to the Crematorium to continue work.  Work was being done on the glass window high atop the dome at the Crematorium.  I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to go up the scaffolding and take pictures.

It was an interesting climb

Following are some views from the top.

The Belfry Tower

An Angel above the smoke stack to carry you to Heaven

A moat surrounds the Crematorium

Repair work on the glass dome top

Evaporators in the cold room

The top of the dome from inside

As we left work this friday at the crematorium I took these pictures.  We will be back on Monday.  I feel a sort of reverence during my time here.  It is hard not to be affected by the funerals that happen during the day here.  I also met a priest here and during our conversation in my imperfect Swedish he said that he spoke better Spanish than English.  Well I began to speak Spanish with him.  He was very impressed to have found someone there with whom he could speak Spanish.  He had spent 8 years in Mexico and in Central America.

The Belfry tower

This weekend we will take some more outings and some more photos.  Sunday we take Ralle to his second mother for a grooming.  He is going to be beautified.