Thursday, December 31, 2009

Never too cold for a BBQ

Yes, in Sweden it is never too cold to go out with family and friends and start a fire.
Just for the record, temperatures are around -5 C right now...
I couldn't smell anything from the distance we walked by those folks today, but I am guessing that they had Glögg (some sort of Glühwein) and tasty sausages on that fireplace to heat up.

What a nice and cosy way to get ready for the big party tonight! :)

Yesterday was a nice day too.
I went with Cleo for a walk through the nature reserve "next door".
The cattle is gone and we don't have to watch out for the bull anymore. Only for huge rabbit holes!!!

The sun was shining and while walking into her direction we enjoyed the warmth on our faces.
On the way back we were facing the cold wind coming from N/E and that was absolutely not fun at all.
I decided to take a shortcut across the neighbors pastures, climbing over barbed wire and the fence they keep the sheep in all summer. Luckily they are inside now and the electric fence is not hot. :)

Cleo loves to stand on these big rocks, sniffing and looking...

Aren't those berries pretty?!


I love it when the sunlight flows through the tall trees!

Today's the last day of the year.
We (Hasi and I) just talked about this when we were walking in the woods earlier...

We look back on this past year with peace in our hearts and a very satisfied feeling.
It has been a good year.
It's been a busy year.
Full of new things and people to learn about.

Yes, we plan on moving again in spring.
Not because we have to but because we want to.
Now that we don't have horses anymore, this place is just too big for us.
And we want to live in a more quiet area.
We miss the days where we could look out the window in the morning and see the Moose standing out in the fields.
We are worried for Missy when she goes out, although she stays around the house and never crossed the road before.
And Mika isn't allowed to go out by himself anyways. Not here.
We are renting now and if we don't find a nice place to buy within the next 3 months, we'll be renting again.
We want to take the time it takes to find a place that really suits all our needs and most of our wishes.
Of course, we are not looking forward to packing up and unpacking AGAIN so soon.
But we know it will be worth it.

Well, it's time to start preparing for tonights party.
We'll be visiting and partying with friends.
At first it was planned that we would spend new years eve here at home and I bought all the groceries yesterday. Then a friend called and all the plans changed.
Now we'll be going somewhere and we'll just bring the food with us.

But before I get all busy in the kitchen I'll fix us a nice Cafe Latte!

Weather you are going to have a party or you just spend a nice quiet evening at home and you are not even staying up for the Wiener Walzer (in Austria everyone is dancing to the Wiener Walzer at midnight), have a great evening everyone!

I wonder what people here in Sweden do except for drinking Champaign and kissing and hugging...
I wonder if they dance too...

Bye Bye 2009!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

December Beach Åhus

Christmas is over.
I have to admit, we didn't do any decorating what so ever this year.
I didn't bake cookies, we didn't drink eggnog and didn't have any guests.
The Christmas tree decoration stayed in the box this year.
But we did have a good time.
Quality time at home.

A couple of days ago we went to the beach for a walk. The weather was quite okay, a bit chilly though.

But Cleo didn't mind at all in her new, warm and funny looking neoprene coat.

It's one of Sweden's coast lines where fishers still catch european eel.
Eating eel is not my thing though.
I am not much of a fish eater anyhow, probably because I grew up on a farm and we always had our own meat like pork, beef and chicken. Every now and then we had fish sticks which have really not much to do with fish anyways.

I know we should eat fish at least one time a week, especially since we live in Sweden where you can buy the best salmon you can imagine... but I guess it's just hard to get around all those old habits we collect during growing up.

There is nothing left from the snow we had last week, it has rained a lot.
Now it's cold again, under freezing point. But it feels so much colder when the icy wind blows into your face.
We went to Växjö yesterday to look at a house that is for rent.
From the outside it looked very nice and the location was just gorgeous (only 200m from a huge lake), but unfortunately it didn't look that nice inside.
That means we'll continue to look for a nice place for our little family.
Of course that house will have to meet certain requirements.
First of all it should be away from a main road so our cats can go out and stay safe.
It doesn't have to be big, but it should have at least two bedrooms.
It should be somewhere near a lake (there are plenty in the area that we are looking) and surrounded by lots of nature.

I got good news the other day, I have been accepted to take my bus drivers education which will start probably end of January.
I am looking forward to a new career AND it won't cost me a thing. It's a good feeling to know that there is a job waiting for me right after i got my license.
Jobs are rare these days, even in Sweden.

It's time to start fixing supper, all that fresh, cold air we got today makes hungry.

Ha det bra!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A thaw has set in

Yes, all the snow we had is melting away. I doubt that there will be enough left for a white christmas.
And if there is some left, it will be a mushy christmas.

Just a couple of days ago we had -17 deg C.
One afternoon we had some sort of ground mist, it looked very mysterious and beautiful.
I took these pictures from our back porch towards our little town.

The same evening we found Mika napping in Barry's "Schnuffel Wuffel" Basket.
Isn't that cute between all the toys?!
At first he didn't notice the flash, he was really fast asleep.
When he woke up he started to stretch and made funny sounds. He seemed to be really happy to see me! :))

Yes, I know....
There are people visiting us in our home who say...
"Wow, you have a very huge basket for your little dog/and cats. Cool!"
(They don't know that we had a big dog too...)

Others say...
"Why do you keep your big basket around, doesn't it remind you too much of Barry?"

Well, the reason is very simple.
Cleo loves to play in it, she always did.
She loves to jump in an out, bark at us and Mika.
And Mika apparently loves to take a nap in it!
It's a good basket.
And who knows... there might be a puppy playing in it again someday.

One more day till Christmas!

Ho Ho Ho!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


It's cold, Mr. Winter has it's grip on most parts of Europe and North America.
At least, that is what we learn on the daily news.
Airports are closed and trains stand still. Travelers are stranded.
Busses, cars and trucks leave the roads involuntarily and people get hurt.
People freeze to death.

But there are always two sides on a coin, right?!

Kids are building one snowman after another, they use every hill to go sledding.
Their laughter fills the air and their eyes light up.
Life long lasting memories are born.
Even in countries as the Netherlands, where snow is very rare, kids get to play with masses of white glory. The waters are freezing up and an entire nation is putting on their ice skates.

Everyone, that needs to get from A to B, hates snow.
The ones that are able to stay home, love it.

Snow slows us down and we are mad about that. We are spoiled.
But we also want the perfect WHITE CHRISTMAS, don't we.
But we hate it when something slows us down.
We want to keep up, want to fill 24 hours with 48 hours of tasks.
Especially in the days before christmas the word "time" gets really overrated.
We want to do so much, the time before the holy night seems to weigh so much more then the night itself, with all those stupid and useless gifts under the tree. I'M KIDDING!
We want to have a WHITE CHRISTMAS.
In any case and any form.
With stars, glitter, good food and happy, smiling faces.

We decorate our homes for all one is worth and the baking sheets don't get a chance to cool off.



We want peace and harmony in our homes.

And we deserve it.

The world needs a WHITE CHRISTMAS, in every regard.

But that is all up to us, isn't it.

We want to have a grip on our lives, on all events in our lives, don't we.
We want to have a grip on EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE.
And too often we think we succeed.
But what if that is an illusion?
What is, if we'll never have a grip on anything.
Especially when we don't even realize that in reality LIFE HAS A GRIP ON US us and not the other way around?

I don't know.

I guess we have to RE-LEARN to be one with life and nature, not trying to have a grip on everything but being one with it all.
Alone we are nothing.
But when we are one with everything we are not alone!

All we want is a WHITE CHRISTMAS!



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Playing around with Photoshop

It's saturday, snowing and the fridge is full so we don't have to go anywhere.
Time to play with some photographs that are great in content but not in quality...

Let me know if you like the result!

You are also welcome to try to upgrade this photograph yourself, you can download the original file "here" and then post your edited image on your blog...

Let me know if and when you do so, I am curious what you are making of it!


The original wasn't too bad, the girls face was quite okay, the horses face was too dark though.
So I tried to lighten up the horse somewhat without getting the girls face too bright.
I played some with shadows, brightness, contrast, vibrance and sharpness...

I'm gonna play with some more images and eventually post them here and my other blog.
I have a lot to learn here and the time to do it now that the holidays are just around the corner!

Stay warm you all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Weekend

Last weekend was very nice. My sister in law came for a short visit from Holland. We went for walks, "played" with our iPhones, (Hilde put a protective shield I had "left over" on the screen of her iPhone), drank good coffee, watched ice speed skating on TV and laughed a lot. We played a lot of Solitaire on our Macs and iPhones as well. (Now we are hooked! We blame you Hilde! ;-) ♥)

Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning!

And then it's time to put the protective shield on the touch screen...

On Sunday we took a trip to see some of our friends ride their horses.
This grey QH was really handsome and seemed to be more focused on the mares in the riding hall then on the rider.

Hilde went back to Holland Monday evening. The "peperkoek" she brought from Holland is already gone, but the cheese is still in the fridge. What a treat!!! :)) Tack Hilde!

Yesterday we were hoping for a little snow, but it didn't fall.
What fell down from the sky was rain.
But then, tonight, the rain started to transform into snowflakes. First it was little ones, falling from the sky. Then they got bigger and bigger.
It has stopped again, but we got at least about 1 inch of magical white! :)

Mika made his first contact with the magical white - he doesn't know yet if he should like it or not.
On one hand it's soft (cats like soft), it's fun to play with snowflakes and everything smells interesting.
On the other hand it's cold and wet...
After a very short time he was ready to go back in...
I guess he's very happy about having a warm house!

Christmas is just around the corner people!!!!!


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I ♥ Faces - "Pets"

This is the first time I participate at the "I ♥ Faces" Photo Challenge!
How exciting!
This weeks theme is "Pets Only", and guess who's face I am entering...?

It's Mika's!
Isn't he cute?!


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Tack Malyn och Philip! Vad coolt!


Friday, December 11, 2009


Yes, 39!
That's how old I am already!
It's really strange how the world I live in has changed in those 39 years.
How I have changed and have grown since that 10th of Dec. 1970.

What a journey it has been, with lots of UPS and DOWNS, with STAGNATION and GROWTH, with all those wonderful things that make our time here on earth so special and worth experiencing.


We had invited a few friends over yesterday, had a good time eating, chatting, laughing AND I got to unpack a couple of cool gifts.


I was in school in the morning and when I came home, Hasi had already decorated the dining room.

It was nice to come home to a fine cup of coffee and presents on the table.
So I started to unpack my first round of gifts before we prepared the Apfelstrudel and snacks for our guests, which arrived too soon! The Apfelstrudel wasn't even in the oven yet (it's best when it comes fresh out of the oven!), but I didn't panic and finished what I had to finish. Hasi entertained the guests and offered them the first round of coffee.

Our last guest arrived at 3, perfect in time for a warm Strudel with Vanillasauce...

Then I got to unpack my second round of gifts!
All nice things! :)

Creams, Honey, Chocolate, a handcrafted star and "tomten" from Moa, iPhone accessories and a little helikopter for indoor flying!!

Just a little while ago we were joking around with friends of ours about what we would do if we had a lot of money...
I said I would buy a helicopter right away and we found out that our friends husband P. had the same dream...
And since neither of us can afford a real one our friends thought it would be fun to get me a little one for my birthday!
So cool!!!

Of course I had to try it out right away and it is a really cool little gadget, flying it is fun.
Cleo is a little afraid of it though, Mika on the other hand thinks it is something he has to practice his hunting skills with! *lol*

Well, we had a great afternoon and after cleaning up after the party, we decided to watch a DVD that we had gotten from our friends a little while ago. They were absolutely excited about it and thought it was worth seeing.
The movie is called "Peaceful Warrior" and featuring Nick Nolte.
Here's the link to the homepage of the movie in case you are interested.

It's now a quarter past 3pm and time to get to the shop for some Milk and Eggs. It's already getting kinda dark and raining some.
We'll be off to Växjö airport later to pick up Ingrid's sister. She's coming for a short visit.

Have a fantastic weekend everyone!!!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Snow Snow Snow... but not here and now!

I had my day off school today, every second tuesday.
My birthday is coming up and I am looking forward to thursday, I invited some of our best friends over for coffee and pie.
And Friday we'll have a visitor from Holland, Ingrid's sister will come for a couple of days which is mighty cool.

I still don't have any details about the bus drivers education which is supposed to start some time in January, but the guy at the meeting last week told me that they have enough people already signed up to start a group. That was very positive and I am looking forward to hear from him again sometime soon.

Weather wise I don't have much changes to report. It's still kinda grey, sometimes tries the sun to come through. It's not really cold, but that might change in a couple of days. We might even get some snow which would be welcome!

I took following pictures a couple of years ago back in Austria.

Here in Skåne, the most southern province of Sweden, is this amount of snow rather unlikely.

We'll wait and see, it's only begin of December and enough time before winter get's really started...

Until then we'll just look at old photographs. :))

I took all these photos with my little Konica KD400Z

Saturday, December 5, 2009

As we move along...

It's one of those very quiet Sunday mornings again.

I enjoy going through other peoples blogs, watch Mika play and racing around and I look out of the window every now and then.
It's "grey" outside.
At least it seems to be, that's how we like to describe it...
A thick blanket of clouds "sits" between earth and sun.
Nature seems to be asleep.
I see a few birds flying from tree to tree, hopping from branch to branch.
The air is thick and there are no shadows.

In reality it is not grey outside.
That is just what our mind makes of it.

We love sunshine, we love warmth and color around us.
And if the sun is "missing", we call it "grey".
We do name a lot of things "grey" if we don't like them.

We like to be able to see clear.
We like to be able to see where the light ends and the shadows begin.
We like to have the knowing that something is either black or white.
We don't like it when things are "grey", when they are not clear to us.
We don't really like it when we don't understand, when we are not able to have a clear explanation in our heads.
Grey is mysterious to us.
We don't like it if there are no shades.

(I'm wondering..... Is it because we can hide so well in those shadows??)

Light and darkness cooperate to produce those shades that our senses pick up instantly, that we look for and are drawn to constantly.

I hear a flock of geese. I love it when they fly over our house.
There are not much sounds on such a quiet sunday morning, it seems.
But as soon as i focus, concentrate, I can hear a lot.
Every now and then a car is going by our house.
I hear the ticking of the clock, the heating installation down in the basement underneath the living room.
I hear water dripping from the roof above and the turning van that tries to cool my laptops processor.
I notice my own breathing now, the gentle noise that is produced by air going into my nose and coming back out.

And between all those noises, there it is.


It is in the space between everything.
I can hear it sometimes, this silence.
I can even see it sometimes, as strange as this sounds, that is the truth.

Silence is in between black and white, darkness and light, thought and anticipation.

Silence seems to be in the grey that we so often resent, that we even fear sometimes.

There is no reason to fear or resent the grey.
We need to welcome it when ever we find it or when it finds us.

We will feel the silence when we are open for it.

Silence brings peace to our hearts and minds.



This past week was interesting, filled with insights and ups and downs.
As we move along with the universal flow, we make life and reality our own.

We seek faith in everything, because it's the only way we can make a difference.
It's the only way we can make ourselves visible in a positive way.

The energies we radiate influence others.
When we realize that, it's time to act.
It's time to take on responsibility.

Energies flow back and forth.
If I am influencing others, my surroundings, in a positive, implicit and unconscious way, I will be "rewarded" with that same energy coming back to me.

Isn't that a nice thought?!

Have a great Sunday everyone!


I don't want to withhold this picture from you...

It's our lovely Cleo, showing off her brand new jacket!



Our Mika is growing into a real teenager!

That's how sweet he was just 5 months ago...

Now he's more then just a handful!

All he wants to do in the mornings is play play play.

And when he's in a certain mood (wild look in his eyes) you can't even pick him up properly.
He tries to bite and scratch you... But then it is important to not let him get what he wants, freedom. So I keep holding him, which isn't easy.
He tries to bite the hands and reach your face with his paws...!
On the last picture you can see that my hands are having scratch marks, Hasi's too...
Well, the trick is not to let go, even though it hurts a bit. He needs to learn that he can't always do what he wants, right?!
Not that he is mean or anything, he just doesn't want to be retained.

Going for the face... saying "leave me alone woman!"

And my ear...

Between 6:30 in the morning and around 2pm he's not just going for all the curtains in the house, he's also going for computer cables, plants and Missy's tail...
He's chasing her around quite a lot. Sometimes she likes it, sometimes she doesn't. :)

Mika absolutely doesn't like the water jet coming out of the spray bottle! ;-)


Sometime after lunch he takes his first afternoon nap.
And when waking from it he is usually ready to be cuddled a lot!


PS: Photos taken by Hasi