Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Post #102 ---things that make me SMILE

1- UFO...no more!!!! I finished the binding on this Halloween wall hanging FINALLY! (Betsy, do you remember this one? I started it at the Hamilton...recognize your fabric contributions?) It's a little lopsided on the edges but I think that adds to the folkie charm of it, don' t you think? I guess it's not technically finished ....I need to add some sort of hanging device on the back. For it NOT to be UFO anymore, does it have to have a hanging thing? I'm considering how I want to hang it...dowel, clothes pins, or what? And Rhonda has challenged the Quilting Bloggers to make a label on our pieces for historical purposes. (I'm going to use a premade label because I'm totally lazy about that! Although after seeing Rhonda's I might have to push myself alittle more, hers are so cute!) 2- Maya's drawings! Look at this adorable drawing Maya made for me while I was watching the debate yesterday afternoon! (Yes, a major Swedish network played the entire American Presidential debate on TV! with Swedish subtitles, of course!)
His nose was an afterthought because it's not her usual style of nose. She told me that she had to focus her attention on his ears because they were so big! Do you think I should send Barack a copy?

My Swedish friends and colleagues (& students) are EXCITED and NERVOUS about the Presidential elections in the USA. I really wish that all of you Americans knew just how much our actions, our economy and our President and OUR VOTES influence the rest of the world!
I am constantly amazed at how much other people, especially children, know about our USA!
My fourth and fifth graders know all about the elections and who is running and what their ideas for the future are! How many 5th graders who you know would know the name of the Canadian Prime Minister? What about the Mexican President? (your two neighbors) Or when they have their elections? Would any 5th graders or adults know the names and ideologies of the major European leaders? Do you get my point here? Please register to vote and VOTE! The world is watching us and hoping we'll use our brains!

PS- I have my absentee ballot now...I will vote this week and send it off in registered mail! I know this sounds corny but I am so proud to be an American when I vote! :-) Because I CAN VOTE....so many other countries don't allow their citizens that right!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thanks for the POSTCARDS!!!!

I'm very spoiled.....and I thank you! Getting post in the mail box outside my house is soooo much fun! My mom is an avid postcard writer...has been since as long as I remember! She not only writes postcards when she is travelling but she also sends little messages to us when she's at home. It's her little way to show me that she is thinking of us. I've lived away from home since I was 17 when I left Florida to go to Indiana University in Bloomington. And from that point I have gotten hundreds...maybe a thousand post cards from her. Fortunately, I treasure these little cards and have kept them all these years....my aunts and two of my dearest cousins are also frequent travellers who have sent me bits of information with lovely pictures from all their travels, too. (I need to mention that I also have a few special friends are also formiable postcard writers!) As a result, I have a HUGE postcard collection from all over the world! One of my summer projects was getting all these cards into some sort of working organization. I had started when Maya was a baby...an easy thing to do while I was sitting quietly nursing her on the couch and my free hand plopping the cards into a file of alphabetical order. But since then my collection has again grown and Mom helped me fill up 3 more shoe boxes into order. You may think this is ridiculous but I USE my postcards all the time in my class room....for games, for show, for reading, for reports, etc. I know a lot of photos can be found on the internet nowadays but there is something satisfying and really thrilling to have proof that someone I know was THERE! And the students LOVE IT! The stamps , the writing, the cancellation, and the photo....it validates the place, tradition and person. Sometimes I think that the internet will replace those personal touches that involve mailing a postcard....picking a card, writing about an experience, buying a stamp at a local postoffice and mailing the card. I think this why getting a postcard in the REAL MAIL is such a thrill to me now...someone's HANDS touched the card and they sent it to ME! That's special!
I guess that's the main reason I signed myself up for the Fabric Postcard Swap...it combines two of my favorite obesssions! Thanks Brenda for organizing a swap that is 'non-stress'...it's spontaneous, it surprises, it's relaxing and mostly it's fun! Rhonda sent me the above yellow fishy from Texas! (Did you realize the fpc is made up of the colors in the Swedish flag?) Maya's Barbie mermaids want this one, too! Thanks Rhonda!
And Vicki's elegant butterfly with just the right touch of sparkles! She sent the fpc in the mail without a paper envelope...stamp and cancellation were directly placed on the fabric! I LOVE THAT! The post office allowed her to place the cancelled card into a plastic protection for its journey across the Atlantic! Arrived without a mark! Thanks Vicki!
Valerie from Australia has been cruising around the UK for awhile now...she keeps up her membership in our group with real postcards! This one from Wales couldn't be more perfect for my classroom use! Thanks Valerie!
And my secret Stitcher's Angel sent this one from Iowa! (btw, your handwriting is JUST like my teaching assistant from Los Angeles...you're not Sheila are you? he he) Again, you wouldn't believe it but I don't think I have any postcards from IOWA! This is absolutely perfect to use in the classroom...state map, flag, flower, places of interest! Thanks!
You're probably wondering what the heck I"ve done for my FPC swap...well...after a slow start I finally pulled out some paper piecing that I had never tried in such a small scale. I have to admit that I placed the little fabric works into a pre-made card which I had from a kit...just because it took me so long to make the butterflies that I just didn't have the energy to figure out how to make them into a rectangle of fabric! So now that I've practiced (but not to perfection, as you can see by the lopsided wings)....I'll try some more of these later...Vicki has set the bar up for me on the paper piecing style so I'm feeling eager to try again.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Göteborg Bokmässa on Saturday

Saturday we drove up north to the 2nd largest city in Sweden...Göteborg! I attended the annual Scandinavian book fair! This is what it looks like inside! It's HUGE! As usual, I found lots of good stuff: books, stationery, postcards, gifts and.....
After I explained to the man at the stamp collector's booth about trying to get my students interested in stamps (we collected, soaked off paper, and sorted stamps in my classroom)...he GAVE me a TON of STAMPS and loads of information to share with my kids about stamp collecting!
At another booth, I received five books with CDs to use & share with my students! It was a company my English department colleagues & I use quite regularly for our resources each year and the woman at the booth recognized my name and school ....so she threw in some freebies when I made my purchases! It's always so great to meet generous people! And my students are the winners!

Turkey and Pumpkins....

Sunday morning we took Erin and Nathaniel to the ferry station in Helsingborg...they went over to Helsingør, Denmark then train down to the Copenhagen airport...then flew to Turkey! What a sweet couple! We enjoyed having them so much at both our places! Now their REAL adventure around the world begins...no more luxury stops like Sweden! We wish them a safe and healthy journey with lots of interesting adventures along the way! Hej då! (notice that huge back pack on Erin...it's nearly as big as she is!) Next stop on Sunday morning....the American Woman's Club annual trip to the PUMPKIN PATCH! A windy fall day....bright sunshine and brillant colors all around! We picked out a few good pumps for our Halloween festivities and decor! And a few for eating, too! YUMMY!
Back to the regular routine tomorrow....the weeks are flying by! Need to continue my fabric post cards and get moving on my Angel projects....

Friday, September 26, 2008

For my Stitching Angel Swap.....

I have finished the embrodiery part of the project....soon I will get to the sewing part! This was my FIRST time doing this sort of thing and I enjoyed it! And I even learned how to make the french knots really well! This will eventually go to a Stitching Angel down under!

PS- I got a post card from my Angel! She's from IOWA! Can't wait to learn more about her and what she's making for me! FUN STUFF!

Swedish Money

One of the things I LOVE about living in Sweden is the MONEY! (although I wish I had more of it!) It is so interesting and pretty! Check out this 100 kronor bill....(the lighting on the bill isn't good but you can still see it is quite colorful)....it's worth about $15.00 usd today. It's a commonly used bill. Who's on it?! A scientist! Carl von Linné famous throughout the world for creating the system of classifying living organisms. Plants were his speciality so they are on this banknote along with his portrait. Nice, huh?Women are featured on the next two commonly used bills...the 50 kronor ($7.50 usd) has Jenny Lind on it, a famous opera singer, known as the "Swedish Nightingale" who was very popular in the 1850's not only for her lovely singing but also for her philanthropic work for children's causes. And the 20 kronor bill ($3.00 usd) has Selma Lagerlöf on it. She was the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1909.
The 20 kronor bill is one of the most used...at least in my opinion. It's my favorite one! Selma wrote a great children's book about a little boy who flies all over Sweden on a goose. He has a variety of adventures and eventually becomes a better person for it.
Here's the book, an English version, The Wonderful Adventures of Nils....just like the picture on the 20 kr. bill! Now, wouldn't it be nice to see something like that in the USA?
Here are my choices for a new bill in the USA....what denomination? I don't know....(I could insert a horrible remark about the messy economy Bush is creating over there but I won't).
I really think that a bill with E.B. White on one side and Wilbur and Charlotte on other side would be friendly! But people with spider-phobias might not want to use it.
So my next choice is....Louisa May Alcott....
Couldn't you see it? Louisa on one side and all the LITTLE WOMEN on the other side!
But my absolute # 1 choice would be....Laura Ingalls Wilder! Not only a gifted writer but a true American pioneer! Wouldn't that be wonderful to see her on a bill and the house on the banks of the Plum Creek on the other side?!
Well, I don't think it will really happen but I have my fantasies! :-) Which author would you like to see on money?

Tomorrow we go to Göteborg...while the others are exploring the city and play areas, I will be at the Göteborg Book Faire scouting out bargains and looking for fun reading materials for my students! No sewing...not even in the car because I'm driving most of the way!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Belated Birthday surprises!

Look what came in the mail for me yesterday! Thank you Bets and Mar!!!! (little Maya photographer helped me with the pic) Look at all the stamps on the package! And check out this cool-o neat-o fantastic-o CARD! I thought it was so groovy like this but Maya noticed that it was rather heavy.....and then, look below.....
It opened up to display a real "vintage" needle collection! Isn't that REALLY cool! I love it!
And the gifts were great, too! Can't go wrong with the SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK!!! Does anyone else remember all the songs?! "I'm just a bill on Capital Hill...." "Conjunction, conjunction...what's your function?" Finding other girls to share the book with won't be hard! I will read it and pass it along to some of my students! Then share with Maya later!
THANKS SOOOOO MUCH BETS! You're the best! xoxxo
That was yesterday's package....TODAY I got a package from LORI!!! Maya LOVED the dresses from C's little days! (Maya already asked if she could keep the flowery one "forever"!) THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your generosity with us! And the cutie-sweetie pin cushions are perfect! I've been working on a project in our library/tv room and I absolutely needed a pin cushion there....the paisley one matches the room so I'm leaving it out in the open as a bit of decor! And the zebra one will be in my crafty room as it is easy to find! (although I may have to glue it down as Maya has her eye on it for another prop in her fairyland!...Does being a mother mean you have to share EVERYTHING with your child? I don't think so!)
Tomorrow I will post some of the great postcards I got today too! But now it's time for bed! Another long day tomorrow! Going to a "Discipline Class" with some colleagues and then run home to take Maya to swim class....still have our young visitors from the USA as well....they go to Turkey on Sunday.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Been hit up by Lori, so I must respond !
A. Attached or Single? Quite attached.
B. Best Friend? Bo, Betsy, KS
C. Cake or pie? Cake
D. Day of choice? Friday
E. Essential item? camera
F. Favorite color? cobalt blue
G. Gummy bears or worms? not fond of either...they get stuck in my teeth
H. Hometown? Gainesville, Florida although I've lived in several places growing up
I. Favorite indulgence? Ben and Jerry's icecream...any flavor with chocolate
J. January or July? July.
K. Kids? one...my heart's dream come true!
L. Life isn’t complete without? books
M. Marriage date? June 3
N. Number of brothers and sisters? 1 little brother
O. Oranges or Apples? APPLES! Macintosh are my favorite. An apple a day....
P. Phobias? crowded elevators and scary amusement park rides
Q. Quotes? We live with the consequences of our own choices. Confuscious
R. Reasons to smile? Vacations and Holidays. Traveling. Crafty creations. family
S. Season of choice? SUMMER
T. Tag 5 people: Kelly Sue, Kim, Giannina, Rhonda, Brenda
U. Unknown fact about me? I wish I had taken tap dancing lessons as a kid
V. Vegetable? ALL YUMMY when fresh!
W. Worst habit? spending too much time in blogland
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? depends on the reason....ultra sound when I could see my BABY
Y. Your favorite food? bread and butter
Z. Zodiac sign? Virgo

My birthday on Saturday!

Saturday was my birthday! After a lazy, calm morning chatting in the kitchen over breakfast, we packed up the car and drove to Farhult (the summer house) where we spent the night. While Bo was at home getting things done in the yard, I took our American guests to 'fika' at Krapperup Castle on the west coast of Skåne. The castle is privately owned but in the old stable area they have created an art gallery, concert hall, bakery shop and a small restuarant that serves delicious lunches as well as fantastically tasty desserts for FIKA! The castle has a large, well manicured garden. You can see that it was built in stages and in different time periods.
What a great way to eat my way through the 45th milestone! And how delightful to have young guests who are tolerant of my constant babbling about life in Sweden!
Maya and Nathaniel had carrot cake (which was my favorite), Erin choose apple cake with vanilla sauce, and I had....this interesting angelfood cake covered with a chocolate chip merenge crust, whipped cream and walnut sugar sauce. (it was very rich and gave me ....well, lots of "excuse me"'s later) The waitresses gave me a flag for the table when I told them it was my birthday! (A very Swedish thing to do!)
Aren't they so cute!? Nathaniel and Erin are travelling around the world to some very exotic places together over the next 6 months. Hungary, Cech Republic, Sweden, Turkey, Eygpt, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, Nepal, .....perhaps some SE Asian countries...depends on their money situation. They are very interested in environmental issues/law and will begin graduate school when they return to the states. This is the first time I've spent so much time with Erin although I've known her a long time (I'm closer in age to her mother and father). Bo and I can't get over how much she is like BOTH her parents...looks and especially gestures and speech patterns. So it is almost like having Melanie & Steve visit, too! And Nathaniel....what a nice guy!! (interesting to talk to, does dishes, reads Maya stories, looks to see how he can help....he's a keeper, for sure!)
They will stay at our summer house and use my folks' car for a few days while we are at work...that way they can explore Skåne at their own pace and interest. We'll be together again at the end of the week before they leave for Turkey.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I just have to admit....

since starting my blog I have become ADDICTED to blogging...not just adding new posts, photos and gadgits to my own blog but reading other people's blogs and finding MORE NEW blogs to read! I'm totally hopeless! I really want to dedicate more time to creating my own fabric crafts and reading other people's blogs does inspire me but the problem is that I just keep looking and looking at all these wonderful blogs filled with gorgeous quilting things, funny children's sayings and events, sceneries and interesting stories. And as a result...I have even LESS TIME to do my stuff! And now I have less time to do the stuff I was doing before I was blogging (like reading in bed at night!). So....what should I do? Does anyone else have this problem? Is there a cure? HELP ME please! LOL but I'm serious as well!

Explain this....

In my addictive prusuing of the quilting blogs....I keep reading a few acronyms (spell check--) that I can't figure out....would someone be so kind as to comment to me about them....


(Beautiful Objects Manmade?)
Big Old Materials?
(Unfinished Fabric Objects??)
Unclaimed Fancy Obsessions?

Ever wonder if your husband is with someone else?

I have to admit that sometimes I am a little jealous of my animals.....especially when I find them cuddling with my husband alone on the KITCHEN floor! This is not the most romantic spot in our house but I've seen them plenty of times together by the fireplace in the winter! It's getting colder each day and this morning we were ALL (5 of us) in the bed this morning...well, Pepe wasn't in the bed but he was standing next to the side with his head on the bed. (there are limits, you know!) My family, including the animals, are very cuddly!

We're off to pick up our guests at the Copenhagen Airport this morning. Don't know how much sewing I will accomplish this week as I'm accommodating them in our basement room for more privacy, so I'll be giving up my sewing space for a week. We'll be out around Skåne this weekend especially because the weather is suppose to be sunny and 50ish all weekend.
If you don't hear from me, you'll know why!

My fabric postcards are flying in the mail today....just 3 of them today will begin their journey across the Atlantic!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I got an award!

What a surprise! I got an award from a blogger I didn't know was reading What's Happening!
Not only did she give me the award but she also gave it to 6 other interesting people. And now I must pass along the surprise to someone else! After dinner is served I will try to post the blog addresses of G'Gma's other winners because their blogs are all quite worthy of looking at too! And G'Gma's is a delight as well!
THANK YOU for that recognition! ;-)

And the winners are....drum roll...the blogs I LOVE to see and read....

Lori's Art and Play - a creative, crafty, caring friend who was once my teaching partner in the 80's (can it be that long ago?)
lizardek's obiter dictum - a witty, wordful, wise wonder woman who writes with wacky words (about entertaining insights of family, thoughts and events)
According to Natalie - a life loving lady who has hardly changed (except gotten better) since our high school days
Syverkstan - a stitching Swede with her own studio and sweetness to share
The Quilting Bookworm - a reading mom who is ready to stitch or ride at any moment
Kviltstina - another quilting Swede with stories to tell about kids, nature and creativities
The Closet Quilter - quietly relates her passions and creations

Thank you ladies for sharing your BLOGS with us in blogland!

And now, if you will...please pass this AWARD on to someone else!

The rules are.........

1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.

2. Link the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put links of those you nominate on your blog.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you've nominated.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I bet you want to know what we did Saturday night!

Well, let me show you.....we got all dressed up and CUTE! (wearing the tooth fairy necklace)We drove to Helsingborg and were met at the door by two sweet little rabbit sisters!
One little rabbit invited Maya to try out her "new" big girl bed! My oh, my was it JUST RIGHT!
After a delicious "orange, cashew meat stew"....we sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a NINE YEAR OLD! Yes, the candles are in a box of ice cream because....
the Daddy rabbit had made a wonderful APPLE PIE to go with the ice cream!
And the Mommy Rabbit (Kelly Sue) and I got all caught up on our summer stories, family gossip and future crafty plans! We had a SUPER TIME! Thank you to the CARlsson family!

Project things....

My Angel Stitchery projects are moving along slowly now...I've choosen the "fall colors" that my secret person said she likes....I won't be using ALL of these but until I'm ready to cut and stitch I want to keep the adorable bundle together! I just love these fat quarter bundles that they sell at the quilt shops and fairs. Looking at them reminds me of my last months in Los Angeles when I went around one day with my colleague and good sewing buddy, Ella. She made sure that I moved to Sweden with PLENTY of fabric for the long winter nights! I think we hit at least 8 shops that day ALL over the LA basin! What fun! Anyway...it's time to start using these cutie bundles! One of the projects requires embroidery floss....I thought I'd have to break my "diet" and buy some...until I remembered that I had been given ALL of these from a friend in Florida a couple of years ago. Her mother had died and left all her sewing things....(can't take it with you to heaven, unfortunately!) so Anita thought of giving it to my mother....who then gave it to lucky me! Anita's mother was certainly organized! Each packet has the name of the color AND its color number! (She must have been a cross stitcher.)

I got a BLOG AWARD from G'Gma!
Thank you, so sweet of you! I'll be looking forward to pursuing through the other recepients' blogs as well....a few other ex-pats quilting around the world! FUN! As soon as I figure out how to retrieve my award, it will be displayed on my sidebar...and then I get to pick some other winners!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday night stitching

After getting Maya settled down into bed** I was finally able to sit down and do a little stitching on the Angel's Stitchery Swap project...I didn't do so badly considering that I've hardly ever used an embrodiery hoop for anything. My main problem was that I was watching a DVD in my OPRAH 20th Anniversary series that I really have wanted to watch since I got it 2 years ago (I think, can't remember) but....complications with Region 1 DvDs (North America) vs. European region 2 (?) and our various dvd players that won't play it upstairs or downstairs and stuff like that....(I'm sounding like a techno Winnie the Pooh story) ....anyway.....the real problem I have with doing embrodiery and watching Oprah is that I ALWAYS cry when I watch her show! Either because I"m so touched by the stories or her comments or I"m so happy or I'm so moved....it makes it really hard to see the small stitches through my tears! (with my new progressive eye glasses I can no longer lay the blame on the dizziness I used to feel while sewing and watching TV!) So next time I'll stick with the funny episodes of that collection while I'm sewing! (I don't watch much regular TV because I'm too lazy to figure out what's on and when...it's much easier to avoid the Swedish and plop in a DVD or VCR tape in English!)

**You know how I"m always complaining about not having time to sew...well, one reason is that I don't like to sew down in the basement while my daughter is asleep upstairs (2 floors away) so that limits my time very much. So this weekend I bought a new baby monitor (the one I had when she was small gave out on us years ago). No more excuses that I have to be in hearing range while she sleeps....now I have the monitor on outside her room so I hear all the way in the basement if she wakes up and is looking for me. Problem solved? Not tonight...our first night using it...Maya was so excited that I had set it up so she popped up and down out of bed to talk into it directly just to make sure it was still working! "Can you hear me Mommy? I think I need a glass of water so that I'm not so thristy anymore." "Mommy, can you hear me? I want to cuddle more." AGH! GO TO BED! I'm sure it won't be so exciting tomorrow...I hope!
I probably shouldn't have told her about it! Live and learn!
Some of you are probably wondering where my husband is to help out...well, he often works at night so he's not around and tonight was one of those nights! Just so you know...

Getting ready for another visit from the USA! Friday Erin and Nathanial come for a week visit! We are looking forward to seeing Erin and meeting her honey-pie...they are travelling around the world before starting graduate school in the spring semester! Oh...to be young again!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Perfect Friday night

What a perfect Friday night for Maya and Mommy! (Pappa is at work!) We snuggled on the couch and watched "The Muppet Show" while we munched on B & J Ice cream (YES! it's available in SWEDEN....even in our little village!) and popcorn! After one episode Maya was ready for bed with a smile on her face! What a great show! I haven't watched in years and it brought back so many memories! In my freshman year of high school my "gang" all had nicknames of the characters....
Sara was Kermit (she swam breast stroke on the swim team)
Kathy was Ms. Piggy, of course!
Sheryl was Gonzo, I think
Doug was Big Bird (a cross over character)
....oh that's all I remember! Someone was Animal but who???
I still have Fozzie Bear "stuff" from those days! Mug, stuffed bear, poster, ......
And NOW I have my OWN SWEDISH CHEF!!! yar, yar, yar...waga waga!

Who was your favorite character?

My Swaps....

Look at the pretty fabric post cards I've gotten in the mail this week! The fabric ladies behind the red rose is from HOLLY (the fabric mom)....some of those women look like me! Thank you, Holly! (What did you put inside the layers to make it so stiff? I'm sure it would travel in the mail well without an envelope!) This pink embroidered one is from Brenda, our leader of the Fabric Post Card Swap! Your hand stitching is so small and neat, I'm impressed! Maya really like it, too! I've got to keep my eyes on these fabric post cards or they will ALL end up as part of Maya's Barbie house decor! Believe it or not....these colorful fabrics have been sewn together for my fabric post card group...FINALLY. Soon they will be flying in the mail to you! I am a little worried about my Stitcher's Angel Swap...I'm checking in on many blogs of the other swappers and see that so many are really fabulous stitching women....I have NEVER embrodiered anything worthwhile although I can sew quite well. All I can do is try my best...and if it doesn't look good, I'll try something else! I must say that I am a little bit disappointed that my Angel doesn't have a BLOG so I have NO idea about her interests or life style so that I can make something that will be especially for her...I do have what colors she likes, so that is at least something! Whatever I make, I hope she will like it!

I"m having trouble using the SPELLL CHCEK on my compoter so fi you sea any misteaks, it's HOT me, it's mi cumpoter! Can anyone else using bloggerspot make their spell check function? HELP!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BACK to SCHOOL night

Hello! Just got back from the fall parent meeting at my school! I LOVE PARENT meetings! I think it is so interesting to meet the children's parents each school year. Makes me understand my students better! I teach 4th and 5th grade so I keep "my" parents and their child for 2 years at a time, so in the fall I get to meet the new 4th grade parents. Before they introduce themselves, I play a little guessing game with myself to see if I can match the parent with the kid. Their facial features, gestures, hair and body language are my clues...usually I guess correctly. It is great to see the 5th graders parents again after the summer break. Most of my students and their parents come to all the "Developmental talks" twice a year (we have no formal grading system in the Swedish school system for children this young, yet) so I have some contact with them between meetings. Probably the main reason why I like parent meetings so much is that I get such positive feedback from the parents about my English/Spanish/Art programs...sure makes it easier to face each work day knowing that the kids REALLY do like what we do in class together! I have learned that I am one of those teachers who seems to get along to a variety of students...even the students no one else can say anything positive about. I had a couple of really grateful parents give me hugs for just that tonight! So if you're a parent of a school aged kid...and your child likes going to school...PLEASE tell the teacher! It feels so wonderful to be appreciated for all the work we do to help children learn. And it isn't always so easy!

AND....did I ever mention that I LOVE MY JOB! Although I fantasize about having another career or just working at home, I think that I wouldn't find it nearly as exciting as working with students every day! Because no day is like the next....always something new to think about, do and try again! Those kids make me laugh, cry, yell (on the rare occassion), and challenge me to be better and better!

Do you remember all your teachers? From how far back? Why are some of them so memorable? Are you in touch with any of them still?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And one more thing....

I got a fabric post card from HOLLY!

THANK YOU....it's great! I will post a photo later this week!


While I was working on that previous post...Bo took the dog out for a walk...Pepe came back in, ran up the stairs to give me a doggy HUG....and he smelled like, excuse me, SHIT!!! Alllllll over! qucaklllllyyyaldlljrurt yuck! and double yuck! So I put him outside until I could gain control of my senses again....then Bo and I escorted him to the basement shower where I doused him in doggie shampoo. Wet dog smells so much better than SHIT dog! I'm not convinced if he's totally clean, however the smell is probably coming from the laundry basket where my stinky pants are hiding in shame after having been rubbed on by shit dog! GROSS GROSS GROSS...I'm not so sure he should go on a leashless walk at night anymore!

And luckily for you all...I don't have photos of this episode!

Mushroom Sunday

For those of you who didn't know this....we live in the forest. Therefore, we have access to all the beautiful things that grow, live and sit there...to look at, smell, touch, eat and photograph! (If you want to see any of these photos in a bigger size, just click the photo mosaic and it will POP UP in a larger format for you!)

Here are some of the colorful things we saw on our Sunday walk with my Swedish family! I've mentioned this before but now I'm showing you proof...my father-in-law is an expert mushroom hunter! He teaches mushroom classes every fall in Malmö with field trips to local forests to put theory into practice. Every time we go into the forest with him I learn so much about these little fungii. The variety of mushrooms, their characteristics, their strangeness...their delicious flavors....when Robert is with us on a mushroom walk we always take home a greater variety for eating because he knows so much more about them. I trust him completely! He would NEVER take a risk of poisoning us. If we find a mushroom that he's not so sure about he puts it in a separate bag so that he can look it up in a book (or two or five) later. Maya is fascinated by all this knowledge and she knows the mushroom picking rules thoroughly! Never eat mushrooms in the forest. And always show them to an adult. Some are for looking at and some are for collecting.
Our silly dog loves to go with us....and he carries his own leash with an owner at the end....actually, we allow him to walk on his own because he is a very good dog! Can you find him the leaves below?
Barbro, my mother-on-law, is an excellent mushroom prep cook! We ate these fried in a little olive oil with pepper and salt....with raclette grill for Sunday dinner! YUMMY!
With this warm and wet fall... we'll be finding a lot more to dry, soup, fry and pie!
PS- Because I can already anticipate your question....NO, Gilbert, we don't pick THAT kind here!

PPS- check out these mushroom and pumpkin decorations! click HERE

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tooth Fairy comes tonight!

EXCITMENT tonight....The toothfairy is coming to our home for the first time! The dentist decided to pull the first tooth that was hanging by a thread today. Very proudly Maya placed the tiny-weeny tooth inside a "tooth pillow" under her pillow before going to sleep. She decided that she wanted the "AMERICAN TOOTH FAIRY" to come first, next time it will be the Swedish one. You see, the Swedish tooth fairy takes the tooth from a glass of water instead of from under the pillow! She can't wait to see what the tooth fairy will bring her! If it is money she will add it to her piggy bank...money that she's saving for a mermaid watch! (But I think the tooth fairy is also bringing her a silver " winged tooth necklace"...a gift from good fairy friends in Gainesville, Florida...been saving it for just this night!)

Besides money, what else can a tooth fairy leave for a tooth?
This fairy is seeking creative ideas! Please share!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My First Swedish Wedding (other than my own)

September 6th....a special day for two wonderful couples!

Fifty-six years ago on September 6, 1952 Polly and Paul Doughty became wife and husband! On September 6, 2008, Kristofer Nilsson and Frida Emmertz became husband and wife!

Saturday turned out to be a great day for a wedding in Bosarp, Skåne...warm and overcast but not eye-squitting sunny or humid! Bo's cousin, Kristofer married his sweet heart, Frida in an old church (1847) along the eastern coast of Sweden. (We were just there with my brother 3 weeks ago.) It was my first Swedish wedding, other than my own and I learned so many new things about getting married in Sweden! We had a lot of fun participating in the festivities, chatting with family and new friends, and eating delicious food....

This post is mostly for my mom and dad...they know the couple from family parties. But if you're interested, keep reading. It was a creative party!
Follow the photos to understand the day....(left to right, top to bottom) Click on the photos for a bigger size.
1) We drove to the restuarant where the reception dinner was to be held later in the day and parked the car. We all boarded two "vintage" buses and rode together to the 1847 Vitby Church (2) on the top of a hill. (3) The minister greeted us before the ceremony and the couple walked in together smiling to all the guests. (middle photo) The ceremony was sprinkled with palms and songs, prayers and oaths, tears and smiles, rings and kisses! (4) The couple rode in an old fashioned bright red firetruck decorated with branches, balloons and bells. The two buses followed and delivered us to a park (5) over looking the Baltic Sea. At this beach side park there were bronze-age rune stones (6) set in a circle around a central boulder. Just simply beautiful and historic! The wedding families gathered for photos and photos (7)...this is the Nilsson family. (8) Maya had a little chat with her Great-Uncle Bengt on the field. (9) The amature photographers were wild outside and inside...probably 1 million photos were taken! (10) Kristofer, Frida and Kristian (groom's brother) shared in the champagne toast. (11) Maya playing around with headless Bo (the program cut him off, not me!) (12) A lovely archway photo at the church.
After the spinach and salmon mini empanadas and champagne on the cliff, we boarded the buses again and rode back to the restaurant in Brosarp. Maya's Swedish grandparents took her home to our house (about an hour and a half away) so that Bo & I could relax and enjoy the evening. The dinner was delightfully fun...I wished my Swedish was better so that I could have understood ALL the jokes and stories but I did understand the geest of most of them.

(Follow the photos again by number...left to right)
Each guest received a little booklet at their place on the tables (1 & 2) . I sat across from Andrea, the bride's little gragarious sister with a loverly voice and Kristian, the groom's big brother (3). Our seating arrangement was in the little booklet and each guest had been assigned a number (4). Also in our little booklet, beside each of our numbers was a description of us! Yes, they wrote a personal note about each of the 90 guests!!! In the description, it said who we were with...mine said "She is married to no. 42." (5 & 6) That gave everyone a starting point for conversations although we had to do a little reading first! The dinner entertainment was completely organized by the hostess of ceremonies (toastmistress), Frida's cousin. Various friends and family stood up and read poems, sang songs, told jokes, gave helpful advice, etc. to the newlyweds! It was VERY TOUCHING! So loving, personal and FUNNY! One of the ideas that I just LOVED was from two of Frida's friends (7), they passed out papers (8) with all of the anniversaries on them (first anniversary - paper, 25- silver, 50- gold, etc....), we were to pick an anniversary then on another piece of paper write a note, wish, saying or whatever to the couple about the anniversary we picked, then place our personal message in an envelope with the number of anniversary on the outside. The two women in charge of this are going to send Frida and Kristofer the envelopes on those anniversaries! WOW...what a committed friendship! I choose Wedding Anniversary 28 - masonite- because that will be exactly half way to my parents anniversary 56th-- the day that K & F got married. PHOTO (9) shows one of the surprise visits....a char woman showed up and told silly jokes about love and marriage and she even sang a love song to the pair! (She's actually their dog's groomer who also is a part time actress.) PHOTO (10) shows one of the weirdest Swedish traditions....each time the groom leaves the room ALL the men are supposed to go over and kiss the bride on the cheek. And the same happens when the bride leaves the room...ALL the women jump up and go to kiss the groom. As you can see from Frida's face...this is the fun part of being the bride!

Another weird tradition they have is when you clang on the glasses, the newlyweds must kiss--OK, we have that in the USA, too...but here they must STAND ON THE CHAIRS! (I was nervous for Frida each time she stood up on the chair with her long train and high heeled shoes!) And if the guests thump on the table tops, that means the couple must go UNDER the TABLE to KISS! Poor bride! I was thinking if I was to get married again with a dinner like that I'd wear a sweatsuit bride's dress with all that climbing around! he he

After the dinner, we had cake and coffee and liquors....then the band started playing at 11:30pm. We watched for a while but as Bo is not a dancer, and I wasn't ready to make him start dancing...we decided to head home, arriving around 1:30 am....then we chatted with my in-laws for an hour before going to bed! What a fun evening!

It was a WONDERFUL event and I'm so glad that Bo and I went to ALL of it! And now I'm joining my friend Natalie in waiting patiently for my daughter's wedding...'cause I want to be involved with creating something like the wedding I went to on Saturday! (oops, I guess Maya should be the one to decide, huh?!) OK...someone else's daughter needs to get married soon! Let me know...I've got new ideas for you!