Sunday, December 26, 2010


Yes, we are right in between Xmas and New Year's Eve...

We made it through the pre - Xmas Holi-days just fine.
No shopping stress for us.
No tree in the house, just some minor little decoration changes in the living room (red curtains, table cloth and candles) and a wreath on the front door.

It's warm in the house, the animals are taking a nap and we are sitting at our Mac's.
Life is good.
It's dawn and the birds just started twittering in our backyard. Good that we filled the bird feeder up last night, they can get started with breakfast right away.

We had yet another very cold night, temperatures way beneath freezing point.
The other day we had around -24 ℃ which is REALLY cold for this area.
They say that it hasn't been that cold here in a 100 years!
And we have lot's of snow.
A white Christmas we had, that's for sure. But isn't that what everyone wanted?! HO HO HO!

Soon it's New Year's Eve and we'll say "Good bye" to yet another year which passed by so quickly.
A great year filled with a lot of experiences to be thankful for!

What can I say, we are happy, our animals are happy and life goes on as usual.
Here is a photo of Cleo that I took on one of our walks the other day...
(And yes MJ, the photo that I used in the header before - the one with Cleo in the Snow - was taken back in Austria a couple of years ago ;-))

Cleo is wearing jackets in layers these days, as she gets older we assume that she needs them. I her younger years we felt she really didn't need them, but now she seems to enjoy the layers that help her stay warm. I bet she wouldn't mind warm winter boots either...

And Aaron and Mika ("the guys") playing on the sofa...

With the hope this post "finds you" in good health and happiness...



A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michaela, Ingrid and our 4 four-legged family members

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

I wonder how this post will look like - it is the first time I use my iPad for blogging.
The typing is of course asking a little bit patience, it takes quite a bit longer when using only 4-5 fingers then 10 as I usually would on my laptop.
But it works and I will get better at it as I go along. Other then that - the iPad is really a very nice mobile companion! :)

Winter still has a firm grip on us, on the entire country and many other parts of Europe. Even those who are not used to so much snow and the temperatures under zero this time a year.
Being on the road every day in all that snow and ice is challenging. Road conditions change day by day from icy to snowy and icy to snowy and so on. And right when you think the worst is over and they managed to clear and salt the roads, it's starting to snow again.
Like right now. 10 to 20 cm of new snow is expected today. And the wind does it's best to make sure to move as much of it as possible onto the roads :)
I didn't get to finish my post the other day.
Saturday evening it is and we did get more snow. And it has been snowing a bit every day, all week long.
And I have to say I don't mind.
It's beautiful out in the woods, and the birds empty the feeders in just one and a half days... Here they sit in the tree and wait for the feeders to be filled up again.

We found a dead buzzard in our backyard this morning, natural selection I guess. The winter is hard on the wildlife, especially on the young and weak.
After all, no one in this area seems to be used to this kind of weather, the south part of Sweden is usually blessed with mild winters.

Well, it is at it is.
I like the sound the snow makes under my boots when it is cold.

Crunch crunch crunch....


- Posted from my iPad

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It is winter!

Yes, big parts of south Sweden are covered with snow.
It started to snow about a week ago - about 4 inches at first.
Then we got about 3 additional inches over this past weekend.
Of course it's been windy and cold too.

Today it seems that we'll see some sunlight again, there are just a few clouds up in the sky this morning.
The last two weeks our skies were full of thick snow clouds that wouldn't allow much sunlight to come through.

Before it got so cold we had lots of rain pouring down on us. Personally I prefer the cold and the snow and so do Aaron and Cleo.
Especially Aaron...

Aaron is now 11 month.
Last month he finished his "pre-school" course with flying colors!
He'll be going to dog school again in spring, until that he is on winter break - and he loves it! :)

He's a very active dog, still very VERY! playful and of course, very sweet.
He's an early riser, meaning he wants to get up between 5:30 and 6:30 EVERY SINGLE DAY which means that Ingrid gets up early too.
I and Cleo get to sleep in, of course. :))
By the time Cleo and I come down, usually around 8 or 9am, the two early birds are already back from their first walk around the neighborhood.

Aaron loves to go on trips in his Aaron-Mobil (- that is what we call our KIA these days), especially since he got even more space to sit and lay down then before. Last month we purchased a professional safety grid for the car and the registration has been changed to "light truck". That means it has just two seats left, one for the driver and one for the passenger. It also means that we pay less tax! :))
But most importantly Aaron and Cleo love to travel safely and so do we.

Everything's fine at work. I mostly get to drive afternoon and evening shifts and that really agrees with me. As I wrote in an earlier post, I am definitely not an early bird and I don't mind working evenings.
Of course, driving a bus in winterly road conditions is a bit more challenging then driving on dry roads. The timetables are tight as it is, even without icy roads, but all that matters at the end of the day is safety, even though people are late for work or school.
It is stressful sometimes, but what can you do, that is part of the job.

Generally life is good, especially with x-mas just around the corner and my 40th birthday coming up in just a couple of days.
Who would have thought that.
That really is half of a lifetime, at least these days. After all I got to do and experience in those first 40 years of my life (and that has been quite a lot) I wonder what the next 40 years will bring.
I feel excitement and look forward to the unknown. I just wish to stay healthy enough to make it through those next 40 in sanity. *lol*

Here's some more photos that I took from around the house during those last few days...

Our current home covered in snow, taken on Sunday.

 The flower pot at the "stuga" (cabin) showing off it's last, all dried and frozen daisies. 

Deer family, gathering in groups during the winter.
(Photo taken about 3 weeks ago just outside of our backyard)

Even though the sun is low, it is out and that is why it is time to finish up here and to get going, Cleo is waiting for her morning walk!

Have a nice time everyone!!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Easy blogging

I haven't been very motivated or inspired to blog lately.
And I still feel not much motivation or inspiration today.
Let's see if I can put something nice together anyways...

The weather hasn't exactly been inviting to take the camera for walks either...
One morning past week I took this photo of our car, through the living room window.
It had been raining and a layer of ice was covering the car, a thin layer of snow on top.
Our first snow this year.

This week we've had everything from warm and sunny hours to heavy rain and ice showers.
Real april weather in october.

I put out some bird feeders and I have to say the birds really appreciate that already.
They act as they didn't have food for months!

While the horses in the neighborhood eat this years last grass, they wear either thick blankets or a thick self made coat, like these brood mares who have been separated from their foals just recently.

The house we live in is usually very privacy shielded.
The entire garden is surrounded by trees and shrubbery and that makes the house practically invisible from all directions. But now it's the time where all the foliage ends up on the ground and the house becomes more an more visible.

Here some more impressions from the backyard...

As I already said at the beginning of this post, I am not very motivated to blog right now.
I don't really want to take a real break from blogging either.
So I will continue to practice a form of EASY BLOGGING.
Feels good, no pressure and no must.
Easy blogging feels good!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A wednesday in October



Autumnal feelings. 

A sea of colors.

Going outside and take a deep breath!

It was a gorgeous day, once the sun was out it warmed up quickly.

The nights are getting colder, the soapstone fireplace gets fired up every day now and it really warms up the entire house nicely.

It's cosy, not just inside. It might seem strange to some of you if I use the word COSY in the same sentence as FALL.

Autumn is a cosy time of the year where everything in nature prepares for a deep and long winter dormancy.

And guess what, the first time in my life it feels like that to me.
For the first time in my life I don't mind the fog, I don't mind the foliage to change color before it comes all down onto the soil, only to become one with it at some point.

The sunsets are especially cosy. It was especially quiet in the forrest today, no wind. Magical.

There are still some birds visiting / living in and around our yard.

We see sparrows, titmice, robins, treecreepers, black billed magpies and...

Jaybirds collecting acorns, what else!

MIKA is spending much time outside. Sometimes he tries to sneak up on the birds but they know exactly where he is and do not take him very seriously.
Even though his teeth look very impressive, don't they!

"ROAR" !!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tracking dogs - the first steps

This morning at 9am we went to Aaron's dog school.
It was time for a little tracking lesson out in the woods.
After gathering at the club house we got divided in groups and drove out to Rinkaby Skjutfält, into the woods at the coast, located south-east of Rinkaby. The area is normally used by the military for shooting practice purposes, but especially in the weekends (and always when the barriers are open) it is okay for the people to go in and use the area for recreation purposes as well.

We went there today to get instructions on how to teach a dog to track... and to see which of the dogs had the interest and talent to do it.
Since we have all kind of different breeds in the class it was exciting to see how everyone would do.
Of course, there are breeds who are predestinated for that kind of work, like hunting dogs and shepherds...
but it is amazing how even a little Chihuahua or a crossbreed (mutt sounds so diminishing) are able to get excited about following their owners tracks and how happy they are when they find their favorite toy in the grass somewhere between the trees. :)
It's all about the attitude, right!

Well, here (for the ones that are new to this kind of dog sport) is how it's done...

At first you have to make sure that you lay out the track in the right direction, meaning you have to make sure you have the wind in your back (ideally) or coming from the side.
Then you need to bring your dogs favorite toy and maybe a small wooden stick and some goodies.
On a short track you don't need to mark where you lay it out, but when you go and lay out longer tracks you also need a couple of ribbons or something that you can tie to a tree or something along the way.
You need to be able to remember where you went cause when the dog get's distracted and you are not sure where you went, you are screwed! *lol*

Ingrid and Aaron got to be the first to try, maybe because Aaron was already anxious to get into action, I don't know. Jessica, Ingrid's and Aaron's trainer, gave Ingrid instructions and then she took over Aaron.

Ingrid had to walk away from Aaron in a straight line, about 75 meters. Then she placed the toy at the ground, made a 90° turn to the right, walk another 15 meters and then make another turn to come back to us/Aaron.
Aaron was getting all excited and when Jessica told him to sit down he had really a hard time following her instructions. Once Ingrid was back, he couldn't wait to go and "find out" why his mommy went into the woods between the trees, he just looked at her, jumped and said LET'S GO!!!
Ingrid took Aaron to the starting point and gave the command for him to start tracking...

Boy was he quick! No doubt that he LOVES to track! He doesn't even want to stop after he's found the toy, the target, the destination, whatever you want to call it.
He wasn't very interested in playing, he just seemed to want to go on and finish the entire round Ingrid had walked. But that is, of course, not the goal. So Ingrid had to take him back the same way he had tracked before even though Aaron didn't seem to like that. He was sure he wasn't done with his job!
It was so funny!
He really did well on his first GO.

After everyone was finished with tracking for the first time, it was time for "fika" - a coffee/tea and sandwiches.
Everybody was equipped with something to sit on, a outdoor chair or just a blanket to sit in the grass... only we didn't have anything. Well, NEXT TIME we'll be prepared! ;-)

Time to practice "Nose-trick"

All the dogs got to try a second time and it was nice to see how much everyone improved and did their best to their abilities.

Here are some more impressions of a very nice Saturday morning in the outdoors, humans/families spending time with their best friends, their dogs...

Have a great weekend everyone!
Use it and spend time with your loved ones and animals! ♥