Thursday, July 30, 2015

vi er i Norge

What I said, above, is "we are in Norway.   My sister and I, and her two granddaughters arrived in Oslo two days ago.  We are jet lagged, but doing a lot of running around and seeing/ doing things.

Flying here went very well.   A short stopover in Iceland made us wish we were spending time there in addition to our Norway part of the trip!

I am really loving it here and only wish I could make this trip last longer.

I am hoping/ planning to put pictures on here.  I have been having technical issues.  First, I cannot log into my Verizon email account.  Spent a long time on the phone with "support".  Second, I downloaded over a thousand pictures from my camera.   Where did they go?  At least they are still on my phone and not completely lost!   I could email them to myself, but since I cannot get into my email.. well that's a problem isn't it?

I may just add the pictures when I get back home to my familiar computer!

Yesterday we went to the folk museum.  The girls and I went on a horse and carriage ride around a little village that has houses with  grass growing on the roofs!  Each girl took something away from that experience. I think that Sarah, older, can appreciate that the grass roof houses are real representations, and in fact real houses that people have lived in.  Jessica enjoyed the old fashion gas station, and the building that had actual furniture arranged in living areas much as it would have been in the particular era represented.   She was very impressed (disturbed) by the chamber pots, which she called "pee pots".

Being outdoors in the fresh, though sometimes rainy air was good for all of us.

Tomorrow we are going to stay with a cousin in her vacation house in Sweden .  Next, off to Tromso and the land of the midnight sun!

I have written to Tromso folks, but now that I cannot get my email, I have no idea what will happen.

Oh well, shit happens, life happens.   Right now it is all happening in Oslo!     

Friday, July 24, 2015


Why is it so hard to get myself moving?  I "should" be packing.  I am leaving the country in less than 48 hours.  Where is my burst of energy?  I guess I used it all up.

I am mostly packed. 
I think that my open suitcase with my pink pajamas looks like some sort of giant sandwich!

Austin has taken off on an adventure- what the Australians would call "walk about"  I cannot help but be worried.  he's a grown man, but I am a mom and my job is to worry.

Anyway, he looks great.  Here he is as he was getting ready to glide away

Okay, this tired mama needs to get laundry done and get ready for bed.  Good night for now!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Planning a trip or an event is so nerve-wracking.  What do I need to do?  What will I wish I hadn't done?    What will I wish I had done? Will I pack too much or too little.  What goes in the hand luggage?

Good grief!  I have traveled all my life.  Since I was 10 months old.  I traveled as a child, letting my mother have all the worries.  I have traveled as a newlywed, clueless.  I, ( have traveled to exotic places) wondering "when does it get exotic" and my husband looks out the car window, mouth open in awe of all of the exotic sights.

And I have traveled with children.  One at a time we kept adding to our family until there were five children.  Diaper bags to back packs.I feel like I have done it all.

But somehow, this is different.  More exciting.  I have not traveled outside of the US since 1998- well a road trip to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls doesn't count.

And I am flying with my sister and her two granddaughters.

The time to go is getting close.  The time we are going to be in Norway will go so fast!

We will be arriving in Oslo.  Traveling to a relative's lake house in Sweden- with her Children.   We are going to Tromsø, a place we lived almost thirty years ago.

I have been in touch with some of the people I was friends with way back then.  We used to get together for coffee and play group for the children.   All of the children are now grown, of course.

I have even been in touch with the guys who live in the house we lived in back then.   They have invited to come see the house.   I know that there will be ghosts.   Ghosts of my in labor, crying in the bathtub trying to make it stop.   Ghosts of all of the times we watched the boats and ships go by.  Birthday parties and baking bread and being a family.  A house is just a thing, I know.  But it is also a space we occupy and make memories.   It will be all different.  The furniture and carpet and drapes, it will all be different.  And I will probably say "that's where I used to sit to write letters", or there are the stairs Morgan rolled Darcy down in a blanket".

I am so excited!  Did I say that?  Well, I am.

The reason I gave this post the title "Progress" is that I just got off an hour long phone call.  I was making sure that our hotel in Tromsø had enough beds.   The reservation says "one queen bed".  Not enough for two adult women and two growing girls.   We will have a king sized bed and two singles.  Better!

These pictures make me think of the song "our house is a very very fine house".    Ah, how many houses we have lived in and made into our home!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"The Farmer Takes a Wife"

The farmer in question, is, of course, Nick. And I am the wife.

After going to the gym this morning I decided to go to the garden.   I haven't been there for, probably over a week.  Amazing.  I could not believe how much everything had grown!  Holey cow!  The corn stalks muct be over eight feet tall!

Actually, Austin and a friend went to the garden yesterday to harvest some tomatoes and onions

I have decided to just post a bunch of pictures that I took today at the garden.  One of the pictures is of my filthy fingernails.   Usually I label my pictures, but I am tired and not in the mood.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Past Lives

No, I don't believe in reincarnation.  That's not the kind of past lives I mean.  I am thinking more along the lines of my past.  Where I have been and have lived and done things and made memories.

I saw some beautiful pictures of Perth online the other day and I shared them, on Facebook and by email.

Perth was home in a past life.  We lived there.  For three years.  It was beautiful.  It was wonderful.  We went to lots of functions.  (when you are a diplomat you call them functions instead of parties).   We had rough times there too.  We are human and humans have good and bad and happy and sad times.

But I like to hold on to the best memories about each place we have lived.  And there have been many.

I could write on the subject, about each place we have lived.  I could write for hours and days.  But tonight, this is enough.  Now I will post the Perth pictures here and think about one of my many homes.

another bathroom post

The toilet is in.  Hurrah!

Now to get the door fixed so it can be closed!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bathroom progress

It should be done tomorrow.  I am getting tired of having to run upstairs to use the bathroom.  I guess I am a spoiled American!
 The upper half of the walls are painted a color called Litchfield Gray, though it is more beige.   The bottom of the walls will be done in wainscoting-which can be seen in the second picture.

The grab bar is for folks who, well, need a grab bar.  

Wainscoting can be seen behind where the toilet will be

The tile is all laid, now for the grout!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

No potty talk

Well, yes potty talk.  Have a look at what has been lurking underneath our floor by the toilet in the downstairs bath room!  Egads!  I have been aware of an unpleasant odor for a long time.  Of course, raising (and potty training) four boys may have played a small part in the under floor yuckiness!

Oh boy is there room for improvement!  And, the improvements are happening as I sit here (in a chair) writing this!

A new underfloor is being put in to replace the nast that is there.  Then, beautiful new ceramic tiles will be laid down.  

More improvements are accompanying the floor, but none were needed as badly as this.

So Happy Fourth of July wherever you are.  And enjoy your bathroom and hope it is in better shape than this one is at the moment! 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Summer is not all bad

Give me a season and I can complain about it.  I am good at complaining.  It's what I do.  It is how I express myself I guess.

I do like long, sunny days in summer.  I do not like humidity, sweat, bugs, the sun blinding me.   I like all of the plants and trees and flower that come alive at this time of year. And all of the wild life seems more vocal and alive. 

This afternoon I took some pictures in our back yard.  The pictures are of the day lilies we brought over from Nick's parent's yard when we first moved in to this house in 1983.    They originated in Iowa and some of them were prize winners-one of Nick's grandparents grew them.   I guess plants have a genealogy don't they?

Also this year there are some newcomers to the yard.  I am pretty sure I have already posted pictures of the hosta plants.  I bought them and Austin planted them. 

Speaking of Austin, he is planning to take off on his bike and ride off into the sunset.  I don't know where he is going and I am not sure if he knows either.  But, not having a plan is a plan in itself.

Here's Austin's bike, all tuned up and getting kitted out:

And here are some pictures of some garden beauties!

If you look hard, you can see the renegade potato plant.  When I planted my potatoes in a huge put, I discovered that I had missed one little piece of a seedling potato.  I just tossed it in the yard, and it decided to grow in spite of me!  Lower down the page you can see those wonderful day lilies!