Sunday, February 28, 2010

Seeing beauty in everything

The 'worst' seems to be over, winter is slowly packing the bags and makes room for spring.
It has been raining on and off and the snow is melting and melting and melting...

The birds are very enthusiastic and start training their voices for the big spring concert (I don't have a date yet;-)...
I filled up the bird feeders again yesterday, probably for the very last time this winter.
They will be able to find enough food without our help as soon as the snow is gone.

Mika loves to sit outside under the hedges and study bird behavior.
He's allowed to go out every morning, while we keep an eye on him. We don't want him to go too far cause the road is very close by the house. So far he hasn't been interested in wandering off, but that might change as soon as the snow has melted (he doesn't like his paws to get too wet!).

Cleo is a very happy and frisky dog. She loves to play with the little balls she and Mika got from Auntie MJ, and that can be very noisy.
She loves to bark and pushes the ball with her nose in our direction. She knows how to get attention and when you look in her eyes she's all happy and proud that she did it again.
She makes us smile and laugh every day, we are blessed to have her with us.
I think life would be very boring without animals, at least for us.

We'll move out (of this house) between end of April and end of May, hopefully we'll find something else until then. We've been looking for a while now, looked at a few properties but it's not easy. It definitely doesn't help that we are very picky about the location. There are tons of houses for rent and for sale right next to a main road, nice houses, very affordable, but that is not what we want.
We want a nice, cosy place on a quiet location, somewhat off the main roads.
Nothing wrong with that, right?!

We went looking at a house on wednesday and on the way there we say the house in the photo above. Nice looking place! It just needs new windows and some paint!
The location isn't bad either, situated on a slope looking west over a beautiful landscape with lake.
I really wonder why places like that (and there are many around here) just sit there, abandoned. No one seems to care, not even for selling them...

Yesterday we went for a walk on the beach by Åhus, but we didn't see much beach, only lots of snow and ice. But it was still a nice walk, most importantly for Cleo. It's not easy to find places to walk at this moment, places that are somewhat "dry" and clean.
Cleo doesn't like to get dirty or wet.

I hear a lot of people complaining about the weather, the long winter we had, and I have to admit that I too think sometimes "this is disgusting, all the rain, the dark clouds, not much sun, the cold, BÄH!"

But that's just the way it is her in this part of the world.
AND there is nothing we can do about it.
The only thing we can change is the way we think about it.

One can decide to complain OR to see the beauty in everything.

Yes, there is beauty in everything, it just needs a bit more effort to see it.

Have a fantastic week everyone!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aaron Update

We were finally able to visit Aaron today.
It stopped snowing and the roads are clear and mostly dry.

Aaron is now little over 6 weeks old.


He had been playing for a while before we came, all of them were. That's why they were tired and just a few minutes after we arrived (around 3pm) 4 of the pups decided to take a nap.
Only Aaron and his big sister stayed up and played some with us.

But not for long...

Sweet dreams little guy!

This is a little Jack Russel (twice as old as Aaron and his siblings), who loves to huddle up against - the somewhat bigger - shepherds.

My schedule is pretty tight right now, that is why I don't get to post on a regular basis, unfortunately.
Sorry for that. I hope you all will stick with us anyways, times will change and I WILL BE BACK!



Greetings to all of you from a very white Sweden!


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winter is showing us his power - again!

Just two days ago we read the weather report and had smiles on our faces when we heard that the temperatures would go up...

But winter changed his mind and now we are back to snow and stormy winds!
Of course! Why not!

The animals are smart, in the morning they look out the window for a little while and then they take naps. All day long!
One after the other.
They are so smart!
They find the best, softest and warmest places in the house, and often they place themselves in our arm when we sit at the PC (luckily we just need one arm/hand to operate the mouse and surf the web! )

Cleo is more active, sometimes she even tries to wake Mika up to play with her, but he's just not interested...

Yesterday we got to celebrate our best friends birthday.
Together with her and her little girl we went into town and had a fancy dinner.
We all had a great time!

The best part was when we got to eat desert, apple pie with vanilla sauce, Creme Brulee and Ice Cream for me and the little girl.

She must have felt like it was HER birthday too, because she was allowed to eat the whole thing all by herself - with her fingers.
She started out using her spoon, but soon she seemed to think fingers work best.
It took her forever (and as a result everything started to drip down on her) but she seemed to be in trance - or just plain happy!

We'll take it very easy for the rest of the evening - and week, if it keeps snowing like that.
Our friend is having a big birthday party on saturday, hopefully the storm will be over by then!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Still Winter in Skåne

FIRST - new photos of our pup Aaron!

Our little man is 5 weeks old now.

Only 4 more weeks until he will come home with us!!!


Yes, he's adorable. And so are his brother and sisters.
They are very open and friendly, playful and funny.
The breeders are doing an amazing job preparing them to be family and working dogs.
It's the first weeks of a dogs life that are the most important, what they learn and experience during that time, good and bad, will stay with them forever.

That is also why we try to visit him at least once a week. We are very lucky that the breeders allow us to do that.
It's also nice to see that they don't lock the puppies away in a shed or room, they are in the kitchen almost all day and well integrated in family life.
They've already met the vacuum cleaner, are accustomed to kitchen noises and meet every visitor who comes in.
What a great start!

As I said, 4 more weeks and he'll come home to his new family. :))
Knowing that he is in good hands makes the waiting easier.

SECOND, it's still winter her in Skåne.

We got some more snow this week, not much but enough to spend some time clearing snow in the yard.
We had to call in the help of our little tractor this time, the first time this winter. And probably the last time. :))

We've been walking with Cleo of course, found a new place/road with almost no traffic, but nice to walk on. Most of the trails are impassable at the moment and that's why we have to swerve out on the farm roads.
Which gives fantastic photo ops IF the camera is brought along...

Young cows at the hay feeder behind a huge farm.

Lot's of silage left for the cows! :)

Farming equipement on winter break.

Old(er) barn/shed in swedish barn RED - a splash of color in all that white.

And a modern barn/shed. Modern but not as beautiful as the older, smaller brothers. :)

Have a great week everyone!!! :))

Saturday, February 6, 2010

4 Weeks - Aaron is getting bigger and cuter!

We just came back from another visit at the kennel.
Our little AARON is getting not just bigger, he's getting cuter too.
Last week he and his siblings couldn't stay on their feet for very long, today their walking was still wiggly but much better. It's good that their feet are still so short, every time they fall over it is not far to the floor! They just roll over!

Aaron is tired...

But one thing is for sure, the more they move around, the harder it is to get a decent shot.
The light on the kitchen floor was bad and my (Canon-)kit lens has to work hard to keep up with them.

Their ears have grown a lot and they start to look like real shepherds now.

The picture below is from the breeder's website KENNEL TARRIQ
Aaron was just one or two days old when it was taken..:

We'll go back next Saturday.
It's so much fun already to play with them now, they look at you, come to you, sniff, lick your face and crawl on your lap.
One female pup, Aaron's biggest sister, tried to scare my camera away!
When she saw that big, black thing in front of her, she got a very belligerent look on her face and if she would know how to bark, she would have done that too.
She walked up to the camera like "What's up! Are you talking to ME??!!"
And then she seemd to say "You stop looking at me like that, I am not scared! Yu betta getoutahere!!!!!"
A very dominant little girl, let me tell you!

My first few days in the bus drivers course went very well.
For now it is only theory we have to learn, the driving comes later.
I am looking forward to that though. That's the fun part!
Until that I'll just keep learning new vocabulary, swedish road signs and traffic rules.

The past week was pretty nice weather wise too.
We had quite a bit of sunshine and the we'll have 9 hours and 2 minutes of daylight tomorrow.
It's almost time to say "good bye" to winter, we'll just have to be a little more patient, that's all.
Just a little...

I really have to go back to work now, have to study a little today and then I have to update a friends homepage as well....

Take care you all!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Additional Family Member!

South sweden has been blessed with more snow and wind over the past few days.
Driving conditions are really not best because as soon as the snow plows have cleared the roads from all the snow, the wind starts moving it right back on again.
That is one of the disadvantages of flat landscape. Large parts of south Sweden are like that.
Lots of agricultural land, not so much forest.
AND after the long winter many European countries have to deal with a large shortage of road salt. I mean, I don't mind driving on snow, it's cool. I like it better then driving on slobber-mix of snow, salt and dirt. Because that is what you get when it's cold and they throw salt on the roads. It is slippery like hell!
I think, compared to countries like Austria or Germany, Sweden is very cautious about the use of road salt. They really think a lot about the damage it does to the environment and only salt when or where they really have to.
I like that about Sweden.
All you have to do is to adjust your way of driving, right?!

That is how the roads looked yesterday. Luckily most swedish drivers are wise enough to slow down when the roads are like that.
We left around noon for another trip to see the German Shepherd puppies.
What would normally be a 1hour 25 min trip was a 2 hour trip yesterday.
But we didn't mind, the excitement and curiosity about seeing them again was worth it.
We enjoyed cruising cozily through the winter landscape.

The pups have grown a lot and are already walking around a bit. They are still very clumsy but that's what makes them extra cute.
When we arrived at the kennel (those folks are very nice!) the puppies were having lunch. The little ones live with their mom in a room upstairs that is set up with a big box where only the bitch can climb out. They have installed a surveillance camera to be able to see what's going on 24/7. The screen is set up in the dining room and the breeders say that watching the puppies is much more fun then watching TV. I believe them!!!

Anyways, after they (the pups) were finished with lunch (at moms milk-bar of course), they (the breeders) brought down the bitch to say HI to us and to take her outside (to do her round).
We went upstairs and.....

well, it's hard to describe what you feel when you see 6 little puppies, just 3 weeks old! And the smell, they smell soooooo goooooood!


While we said HI to all of them, the breeder told us that we would be more then welcome to pick one of the two males IF we would like to.
(That was a very nice surprise to us and we were really really excited by then!!)
We made our decision based on what we felt in our hearts and that made it very easy. We went for the (somewhat) smaller one of the males.

We named him AARON and here he is:

It was funny, because he seemed to know!
We are sure he knew!
While all the other pups went to sleep after we made the decision, he was still up and looking at us, playing with Hasi's finger, biting in her nose and licking my hand.
He even sat down and posed for me - for a perfect shot!

It felt so good to have him in my arms!

He liked playing with Ingrid's finger...

But the camera was interesting too...

We was very curious!

This picture speaks for itself, doesn't it?!!

We'll be able to bring him home in about 6 weeks!