Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving is over...Christmas count-down begins!

It's the end of November..... these are the fabric post cards I sent off to my FP Groupies! I hope they arrived safely! This time I made one for EVERYONE...even the people who I haven't heard from yet! I was inspired by a member in our group, Rhonda, who has made several posts about her magical food pot and the tastful treats that are created i n it! The post office let me put the stamps directly on the fabric post card & they canceled the stamp so then I could place the fabric post card into a little ziplock bag to protect them on their journeys around the world. I am curious to know if they arrived nicely--no yucky torn plastic baggie. Vicky, another member in our group, does this as well so I guess the postal people along the way accept this packaging. Now it's time already to make the December one! Christmas Count Down begins tomorrow morning! Maya's advent calendar is filled with all kinds of surprises....she went to bed planning her morning. (get up, get dressed, open #1 door, feed the dog and fish...etc) I found this wooden advent calendar box at a LOPPIS (a community yard sale) two years ago for 10 kronor (about $1.00). It was a little beaten up but my Dad had a fun fixing it up for us. I think some other grandfather must have made it by hand. Last year we used it as a count down to our trip to the USA instead of for Christmas...then each time Maya asked me "how many more days until we go?" I just told her to count the unopened doors. It's one of the little treasures I've found at the LOPPIS!
How do you count the days until Christmas?

Our Swedish version of Thanksgiving....

Thanksgiving was delicious as usual but I really, really missed my friend Kelly Sue (the only other American in this group & it just wasn't the same without her). She's on her way "home" to Florida to see her brother in the hospital. (serious-serious and we are sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers that way!) With KS was me and the Swedes and the 3 Girlieteers! Bo's brother Leif, father-in-law Robert, Uncle Åke (still going through treatment for cancer), mother-in-law Barbro, MY Bo, Kelly Sue's hubby Peder, little Sophia and Maya jumping out of the photo...Caithlin was off doing something. I'm thankful for so many things but especially that we have each other and our health!
After dinner the 3 Girlieteers put on a theater show for us!
"The Wise Indian Catfish and the Wind Fairy"
A performance not to be repeated again, I'm sure!
Simply because there are just too many fun costumes and themes to perform, why would they repeat a performance!? Can't wait to see the next show!

Journey to Pumpkin Pie

Last year I learned 2 things ...
1- not all pumpkins are for eating (Yuck...see Maya's face below in this 2006 photo)
2- pumpkin sellers will tell you that all the big pumpkins are for eating (or maybe they didn't understand my broken Swedish...)Last year I made the most horrible tasting pumpkin pies ever because I trusted the seller's words....ok, the fresh pumpkin didn't taste right but I thought that maybe the taste would improve with sugar and cooking...WRONG! And now I've been permanently bannished from making pies at my friend's Thanksgiving dinner. How could I go so wrong you wonder? Why not buy a can of pumpkin? Well, it's not available within an hour's car ride of my house. So I've got to do it from scratch! And you've got to have the right kind of pumpkin! Which leads me to tell you how I came about getting the RIGHT PUMPKIN this year! And if my sweetie Swede husband reads this...please forgive me but it's just too funny not to share!

In preparation for today's Thanksgiving celebration I wanted to make fresh cranberry sauce. The recipe I use calls for sugar and one whole orange with skin + two days of sitting. So my hubby takes the shopping list I made for him to the grocery store in the BIG city to buy all the stuff we needed...on the list I wrote 6 oranges with nice looking orange skin (NOT tangerines). He came back with 6 tangerines with nice looking skin. Thankfully he bought everything else I wanted on the list perfectly. But I was ready to make the cranberry sauce right then and there...he went to our local store to get me the orange with nice looking skin. This time he came back with 3 yellow GRAPEFRUITS with nice looking skins! I burst out laughing, then he burst out laughing...then Maya just had to join in because it was so funny that Pappa didn't know what an orange looked like! This time I went to the store! But it was the busy time of the day so to avoid the huge lines I went to a little shop run by an immigrant man....there I found the ONE ORANGE I needed. And then I saw OPEN pumpkin, one I could hold and smell before purchasing! He cut a large chunk off for me and assured me that I could eat it! This man I could trust! Another immigrant!
Isn't this cooked pumpkin lovely? What color! What freshness! What flavor!
Can't get that from a tin can! No way....this is THE good stuff!
I made a pumpkin pie (with gluten free crust), two crustless puddings, and one Martha Stewart Pumpkin Cheesecake!
Then along came an Indian princess and ate them all up! Well, she actually liked her Farmor's blackberry pie best! But I'm sure she'll enjoy left overs tomorrow!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Looking outside & feeling loved inside

Well, I 'm feeling better as far as my coughing cold although not 100% better. We will be having our Thanksgiving Celebration on Saturday as planned. Can't wait to eat all that yummy stuff once again! (We've already celebrated last week with other friends!) Before I dropped off into sickyworld....this was the morning sky from our driveway as I was getting into the car on Tuesday for work at 7:35 am. Beautiful, huh? And below is the lake we live near...I just had to stop the car and take this shot out the car window! Maya agreed that it was worth being a titsy little bit late just to spend a few moments looking at the view!
Thursday after the snow had melted we found evidence that the WILD BOARS have been hunting for their grubs in our yard! Yuck...what a mess they have made in our grass! This pack of wild boars has been attacking several of our neighbors' yards over the last year...we've been lucky, up until now they've only been pooping in our yard. (Yes, I know how to identify wild boar poop! just ask!) Their constant visits to the golf course have really caused problems for the grounds keepers so this past week they've put up an electric fence around the perimeter of the course. It's low enough that we can step over it to go sledding or skiing but it's not good for our dog, who has already gotten a shock from it. Our hunting neighbors shot 4 (including a sow) 2 weeks ago but apparently this only made the boars more aggressive in the area! Bo won't walk with Pepe, the dog, into the forest at night anymore...he has heard their snorting a little bit too close for comfort! Have you ever seen a wild boar? They are HUGE! It's much nicer and safer to meet a MOOSE up close than a boar!
Just as I was feeling very sad today....(will explain later)....Bo came in with the mail! SURPRISE , SURPRISE! Betty in Orange County, California (mother of my best buddy, Betsy) sent me the most wonderful package! I don't know if she reads my blog but it seems as though some little voice (Holly?) has told her my desires! Just look....CANDY CORNS, Quilting Magazines and OBAMA headlines! Betty, you don't know how much I needed cheering up today! Thank you for that LOVE gift!! Not a note or anything! Total surprise for no reason at all! I owe my quilting interests to Betty...who taught Betsy....who lived next to me and gave me the quiltin' bug! I will devour and save these gifts!
And then the next surprise on a day I really needed it.....My American Women's Club treasurer sent out this message to all our members....
Hi all!
<>One of the jobs of the club treasurer is to pick up the mail that comes in for the club. This week we received a letter from a company that sells a product for quilters, with an offer for a 10% discount to club members.
The company has a website: where you can see the product (a two piece metal template in varying shapes and sizes for patchwork quilting). Along with the letter to the club was a sample of their patchplates - I'm not a quilter but I can describe it as a very sturdy item which I can imagine would be quite useful to folks who have the patience for this pasttime!
The letter is signed by Matthew S Jewers, 07770 673 388,
G. W.
AWC Club Treasurer and Picker-upper of the mail
PS - the board agreed that the sample quilting template should go to a special member of our club who donates a quilting square to a special FAWCO project every year - Carol Doughty.

Isn't that NICE! I was so pleased to read this message from our treasurer! :-) A feel good moment!
These are two of the FAWCO quilts I have made blocks for...the blue one has 3 of my blocks. The one for this year is being pieced together in Germany at the moment. Thank you AWC board! I will enjoy using the gift you've given me!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving in the USA and Canada! More thankfulness later this weekend from me.....

A hug to Natalie for her special message to me on her website! :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm sick...cough cough sniffle sniffle aaachoo aaachoooooooo HEADACHE
Maya's sick.....cough cough sniffle sniffle acccchhooooo acccchhhooo headache
Bo is sort of sick...he's taking care of us.

My computer has been sick....low on memory, giving me warnings, won't let me do what I want to do, working very slowly! Maybe I need a new computer! (yeah! and oh no! at the same time!)

I've got to take at least one of us to the doctor!
Unfortunately, neither Maya or I have had fever much so it will probably be the computer who goes in first!

Soon I will be better and ready to cook a Thanksgiving dinner! I hope.
Will go to bed early again tonight....see if that helps.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

THANKFUL for an early Thanksgiving

Last night I received an email that makes this Thanksgiving a VERY THANKFUL one! My cousin Wendy's son had a successful lung transplant on Wednesday morning! Stephen is doing well and is already breathing on his own without a ventilator! Isn't that amazing! We are so grateful for the person who left this earth but donated their body for others to continue living! Stephen will have a longer life with healthy lungs. He has suffered with cystic fibrosis all his young life but now he has a chance for a normal life! We love you! Fabric post cards from my FPC group! They are each so fun! What talented ladies! Thanks! Mine are on the way....
Have you ever seen golfing in the winter?! It's quite popular long as the snow isn't too deep. Today the course has a steady stream of golfing groups. Our house sits next to the golf course and we can observe all their activities from our western windows! In Sweden golf carts are not allowed unless you have a physical handicap so that makes winter golfing possible...just need good walking boots!
Here's the red winter hole flag. They don't use the same course in the winter as the rest of the year...they avoid the sand pits and also have little platforms to stand on instead of muking up the teeing greens. Bright orange and red balls are used instead of white ones.
When there aren't any golfers around....we can go sledding down the hills or cross country skiing. Today Maya was only able to sled a few times as there were just enough players to that made it too difficult to be safe!
We could see that someone got up early to go skiing this morning before the golfers showed up! Maybe the snow will stay around long enough so that we can get out our skis too!

This afternoon we'll go to our friends' house to have our first Thanksgiving dinner....I've got the traditional green bean cassarole cooking in the oven! Next week we'll have Thanksgiving at our house with Bo's family and the Carlsson's. Who will you have Thanksgiving with?


Friday we woke up to a beautiful white covering of snow on the ground! Our wooden Dalarna wind workers were a little stiff but I'm sure they will start to spin again if the wind picks up. This is the view when we turn onto our street. It's a winter wonderland! Brrrr.......
Ducks still swimming on the lake!
Maya threw the first snowball of the season at me! She's getting better at it! I'll have to watch out!
And our first snow person! ....although it's only about 10 inches tall and it sits on Maya's swing apparatus. It wasn't quite the "right" snow for large snow people or quite enough either, so we settled for a tiny one this time.
I love the snow, really I do....but I forget that it takes much longer to get out of the house (layers of clothing) and then time to prepare the car (warm up, ice and snow off). And a little slower on the uncovered road by our house. As we live outside the town our road is very rarely plowed unless it is super deep snow. It's the most dangerous part of my commute to work! It's WINTER!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Look what I found while I was cleaning....

During my crafty/laundry room clean out the other day I came across this old magazine I had bought some years ago at a 'Loppis' here in Sweden. It's from England...1908...a hundred years old! I had such a good time flipping through the pages and laughing at how much "Ladies" magazines have changed during the last 100 years! Unfortunately the "free art picture on Satin" was no longer in the magazine when I bought it.
This hotel featured on the cover is flying both the American and the British flags.
This is a sample of the inside contents....mostly very dramatic romantic stories with detailed black and white sketches. I have a friend who would love to cut this up for crafts...but NO NO NO! I'm keeping this treasure whole!
When I got to this full page comic I burst out laughing when I read the caption...see below!
OH baby, have we come a long way!!!

Not only do we drive....we steer the way!

Now I want to go back the shop where I got this one and see if I can find some more! Fun stuff!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Swimming day 2

I did it again! Wow! I feel better this time around...didn't go running for the Advil this time as soon as I got home either...although I'll probably prevent some pains if I do take some anyway!

As it turns out the pool is only 25 meters long...sure did feel like 50 meters the other day! So I'll have to change my previous post to keep it accurate! Some guy in the pool told me to lie on my log but I can't do that! (See, I'm no "cheater beater"!) I can't even imagine...I used to compete in the 1,000 meter race! That's 20 laps! (40 lengths!) Once I even won 3rd Place in the City wide meet for 1,000 meters! (must have been a slow group that year! ha ha ha)

Anyway....reconsidering what I said about the whimpy breast's a good one for certain body parts that need toning up! UP UP! lol I had my own lane today! (not that it was crowded sharing it with one person the other day!)

Can't wait to go again!

Today is was below 0 (celcius) on the way to work...there were snow flurries! YIPEE!

Sunrise: 7:49 am
Sunset: 4:00 pm

Getting darker.....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Treasures in my Crafty Room

Friday I had some time alone without distractions for a few hours and I spent that time cleaning up my crafty/laundry room! Although it looks much better I'm not willing to share with the world this little private space where I do laundry, stash my fabrics and other crafty items and cut my fabrics....but I will show you a few of my little treasures! This is my dolly corner....all handmade with special meanings to me. Abigail is the pioneer doll. My mother read me the story of her girl owner when I was around 6 years old. (Much like Little House on the Prairie series.) Then there's the Peruvian doll with her baby on the back and walking while knitting...just like they do in Peru (where I was born, in case you didn't know). Then up on the shelf...on the top is a beautifully embroidered Russian doll. Then next down a sweet southern babe holding her quilt. My favorite is this one below....made by a former colleague, Ella, at my last school in Los Angeles, Arco Iris Primary Center. She's been signed all over by all the staff members from that little school....I cherish her with all the memories she holds for me of the wonderful people I used to work with in South-Central LA!
My Aunt Jeanne had some old quilt squares framed for all the cousins one year for Christmas. The square came from a quilt that had been in our family since ???? it's old. Love it. Wish I knew more about it....if only fabric could talk! One day I'll try to find the fabric in one of those dating books.
Here's two more goodies....a little ribbon I purchased to support some guy riding his bike across the USA for some cause I can't remember! He stopped by my yard sale on his way through California. (Bets, do you remember?) And the little spool doll was also made by Ella...not only was Ella a loving and caring teacher but she is also a super seamstress! Her husband imported beautiful African fabrics...many of which are in my stash!
OK....confession time....I'm having trouble threading my needles! Yes, I have those progressive lenses (bifocals as some might call them)...but I'm still having some difficulty seeing that little bitty hole in the needle! I bought this "machine" a LONG TIME AGO when I didn't need it...but I dusted it off and I think I'll try it out! Does anyone else use one of these? Do they really work?
I'll post some other treasure from this room later....

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I feel GOOD.....

Today I did something I've been wanting to do for a long, long time....SWIM LAPS!
And I feel good! really good....although I used muscles in ways I have not moved in many years! I already know I'll be hurting tomorrow. (took Advil when I got home to prevent some of the pain!) One of my problems/excuses for not swimming before was that I was not comfortable walking around in the indoor pool area in front of all the other fit and trim Swedish mothers....but today I decided it was now or never....and most of them have already seen me in a bathing suit before when we all were in Baby Swim classes together so.....who cares, right!? right. The timing was perfect because Maya's swim class was just about to start when I left her in the area where they meet with the teachers. The first & only person I met going into the "lap lane" was the director of pre-school programs for Perstorp, someone I know, and who is also a stocky person like me! Great...not sharing the lane with a Nancy Hogshead type! (ok, most of you don't know who Nancy Hogshead is....she was an Olympic champion who used to swim on my High School team...although on the Wikipedia--I just looked her up!-- I remember she transferred to a HS in Jacksonville.) So you can see that I was very glad NOT to be sharing a lane with even a former Nancy Hogshead! Malin, the person I was in the lane with, was so welcoming and encouraging to me for making this dive back into the water! I thank her...although I know she 's not reading this!

OK---so I had exactly 30 minutes to swim before Maya's class would be over and I'd have to "collect" her from the other pool. Goggles on, take a breath and plunge!!!! Oh shit...when was the last time I moved my arms & shoulders like this!? and my back...oh my back! breath...just breath....whew... made it across 50 meters doing breaststroke (the laziest of all strokes in my opinion). Now at the turn I decided to try freestyle (my favorite stroke)....arms ok, feel like lead but that my bum floating? no sleek propelling through the water (not that I ever propelled sleekly through the water as I have ALWAYS had an ample bum!) ....oh my I having a heart attack after 75 meters of swimming? No, I"m not...the heart is just working hard...really hard...hasn't worked this hard since? well, since I used to go to the aerobics classes at the gym in Los Angeles over 9 years ago! It's a good thing, really...blood pumping all around! Keep going...just make it to the wall and I can change strokes again. A small voice inside my head was saying "CHEATER BEATER" and I know, I just KNOW it was Sara Sandeen's voice! (Sara, if you read this....I swear you were in that water with me and I was NOT cheating....because Coach Dee did not tell me I couldn't change strokes at the wall so just be quiet! I'm doing 50 meter intervals of whatever stroke I want because I'm coaching myself this time!) Next 50...side stroke left, next 50...side stroke right, next 50...upside down breaststroke, next 50...freestyle ( feels better than the first time), next 50...wimpy breast, next 50..."real" back stroke with arms UP.....and so on.... I moved my lumpy body for 28 minutes! Then it was time to get Maya.

Actually changing strokes each time was really good for my body because I worked and stretched many different muscles so I avoided getting any cramps. I did stop to stretch my lower back...that hurt the most but I didn't dawdle too long at the wall. My goggles didn't leak but I couldn't see anything of significance outside the my goggles are not prescription. As my friend Lori said on her blog...that was probably a good thing because then I wasn't watching the time so much or clocking my laps which would have really depressed me! When I got home Bo asked how many laps I did in 30 minutes...I said I had no idea but that wasn't my goal...I just wanted to move my body safely without stressing the joints. Another time I will count laps....but later. Feeling comfortable in the water was the goal today. Floating freely in the water was wonderful for this 45 year old body! (Am I really 45 years old?)

I'm going to buy a 6 month card to save some money with the entrance fee (40 kronor = $5.00 for the pay each time fee, that's too much for 30 minutes!) .... with the card I will try to go each time Maya has her lesson and another time during the week directly after work is best. Bo will support me by taking care of Maya when he is not working. Yipee! Ideally, I'd like to go before work....but the pool is not open then so I can't be like Nancy Hogshead who used to practice before school each day! I guess I won't be making it to the Olympics yet again! But I can train myself for a healthier and happier ME! and that feels GOOD!

(and I about flipped out now...According to Natalie was also swimming today! weird, huh? so far yet so near! It's a Small, small world!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Things I've done.....over the years

Things I've Done

To participate just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done. Let me know if you participated by leaving a comment!

Happy discoveries!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland & Disneyworld
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from s
cratch (all the time!)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
Seen the Mona Lisa in France
Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (isn't that what they are for? lol)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
(petted a lamb)
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (only while playing "brännball" in Sweden)
32. Been on a cruise
Seen Niagara Falls in person
Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
Taught yourself a new language (still learning!)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa (on my list to do)
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (both)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
Been in a movie (and don't ask me about it unless you want to hear a REALLY long story...and I'll NEVER tell you the name of it!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (only at a "kid" level)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
Sold Girl Scout Cookies
Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
Flown in a helicopter (in northern Sweden & I've been rescued by one in California, on Palomar mountain!)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (of course!)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (not on a SPEEDING one)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
Killed and prepared an animal for eating (fish?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life (metaphorically)
90. Sat on a jury
(only WAITED for days to be called up)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
Been stung by a bee

Gosh, I've done a lot of things...but I ain't done yet! There's still SO MUCH MORE to do during this life time!

Swiped from My Own Place....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From my child's hand to mine

As I wrote before, I have never tried to embroider until I signed up for the Stitcher's Angel Swap. With all the cute patterns Hugs from Helen was providing for us with the help of other designers how could I resist trying my hand at it? So I did it and even if I wasn't so good, I enjoyed it. And now I've been bitten by the embroidery bug, especially if I can combine the pieces with patch working! (my favorite thing!) Helena at Syverkstan is a real inspiration to me! However....why should I recreate other people's designs when I have a fine designer of my own living under the same roof? I just loved this drawing of Maya's princess with the unicorn! So I made a copy of it so that I could trace over her lines with a Sharpie pen, then trace again onto fabric with a pencil. Maya helped me decide which colors to use for each part and she drew the fall leaves directly on the fabric with a pencil. This will be for her Farmor (= father's mother = Bo's mom = grandmother) and I'll use the same autumn leaf fabric I used for my Stitcher's Angel armchair caddy to make one for my m-i-l. sh....don't tell her. Maya designed the other pocket directly on to the fabric once she realized what I was doing...and she also designed the little pin cushion piece. I will post the finished project later. It's still WIP!
Here's another Maya design that I'm working's for Mormor (mother's mother = my mom = grandmother). Hopefully she isn't looking at my blog so often and she'll miss this post! (Otherwise, Mom pretend you don't see this!) I won't tell more about this just in case Polly is reading! But I can tell you that Maya has such good ideas! It won't be long before Maya will be embroidering her own creations! In the meantime, I'll put some of her delightful drawings into fabric form!

Please give me some help....
Sew-Amy says she uses "crayon color" (?) to fill in color on the fabric. How do I do that?

And if anyone can give me helpful hints about embroidering with METALLIC dmc thread. I had a heck of a time with it doing the princess's crown.

Lori's Art and Play suggested that I do appliques from Maya's work...want to try that too. But can't do that while watching kid movies with Maya! ;-)

Does anyone else have an idea about how to add a child's artwork into sewing creations!? Please share with me! Or tell me which blog to look at!

Monday, November 10, 2008

School trip to Denmark* November 5

Last week I accompanied the Grade 4 class to meet their penpals at a Danish school in Helsingør. This isn't a dangerous or difficult's only a 20 minute ferry ride and a 10 minute walk to the school. The teachers are trying to teach a little Swedish and Danish to the students through this cultural interaction. After reading a typical story from each country, the Danish students took the Swedish students on a tour of their school. It is a MUCH bigger school than ours with 700 pupils Kinder to 9th, whereas our school is only 110 students, Kinder to 5th. This school was built in 1908 and ours was established in 1995. Below you can see the two classes "mixing" before we all went on a short outing to a local park. The local park turned out to be a PALACE garden! Now, for Danish and Swedish kids...this is nothing...oh sure, just another palace to play in the garden. No big deal, really. I, on the other hand, kept saying to myself (yet again because this has happened before)..."here we are playing in a palace garden, a P-A-L-A-C-E garden!" So, how often does that happen in the USA? This particular palace was having some facelifting done on it.
Isn't it lovely how the kids are making due with this makeshift football (soccer) field?
View from the palace hill, you can see Sweden on the other side of the öresund water. "Hejsan Sverige!"
Back at the school, we invited the students to eat a Spettkaka, a typical Skåne cake made out of a LOT of eggs! I'm not so fond of it myself as I find the texture a bit like styrofoam but it is very sweet! And if you are in southern Sweden it is a "must" to try at least once.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday spontaneity!

Friday evening of Halloween fun with my teacher friends....I dressed up as a gypsy fortune teller and "read" everyone's palms all night! That was fun! (didn't take any photos so that none could be used for blackmailing later!) Maya and I spent the night with my friend & her family in the morning I woke up to the lively, cheerful voices of 3 little girls exclaiming that they were going to eat OBAMA PANCAKES for breakfast! (see the O below?) Caithlin suggested that someone should make "maple syrup with a touch of chocolate" because she thought that was a really good combination! Maya only ate strawberries on hers....and Sophia drew designs with the chocolate on her p'cakes. A decadent morning meal!
Then it was off to explore the Tropikariet....rainforest "zoo". Always a treat to see what new animals have arrived to observe there! Here the girls are watching the large centipedes.
Check out these babies! So little and tiny on their mother's back! The mommy is only about the size of a hand! So cute!
Then as a complete last minute decision we decided to "go abroad" to shop for new winter coats in Denmark in the afternoon....didn't find what we were looking for but the ferries were free today so no money was misspent. Maya and Sophia were given two roses each by an elderly man on the ferry coming home. They were quite pleased as you can see! So dark already at 5 pm. After locating the men folk we all went to dinner at a greek place in Helsingborg.....what a great day! Sunday...back to the reality of laundry, cleaning and SEWING! I'll give you a peek later after we have some family cozy time!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Maya's Obama quotes and more.....

"I love Obama."

"I forgot to draw his nose because I was concentrating so much on his ears."

"When Obama wins I want to have a real glass glass so I can "skål" him." (toast)

"If McCain wins not everyone can move to Sweden." (my parents said they would consider moving to Sweden for good if McCain won and another friend said she was going to give up her American citizenship)

On the phone: "Granpa, I just want to know if anyone is voting for McCain." (response: no one we know and we hope not many)

"OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA" (said while jumping on Papa's back on Tuesday afternoon while waiting...waiting)

"Great!" very sleepily said when I woke her up for school at 6:45 on Wednesday morning telling her that Barack Obama had won.

Some months ago Maya wanted us to use our fancy silverplated champagne I told her that if Obama wins Papa and I would use them to celebrate his victory. So Wednesday night when we were getting ready to pop a bottle...Maya said "Wait, you said you were going to use the Special, SHINY glasses for this celebration." (what a memory!)

(I was in Denmark on Wednesday so I wasn't at work until today, Thursday.) All day today my Swedish colleagues were congratulating me on Barack Obama's win. (I've been wearing a button or t-shirt for the last week for my own mental therapy since I couldn't really do too much from here for the elections.) It seems that EVERYONE is so excited and hopeful for our country even knowing that the task at hand is a tremendous one.
During Maya's swimming lessons at the local pool mothers were approaching me about the election. You must understand that Swedes are usually quite private, especially when it comes to politics. The enthusiasm I have felt today from these contacts touchs my heart very deeply...I am PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN AGAIN! And that feels damn good!

Thanks to everyone for voting!

I've made arrangements already to take off work January 21 so that I can REALLY enjoy watching the inauguration ceremony all afternoon and night on the 20th. I want Maya to watch too...a great moment in history! I hope she will remember forever!

PS- and at some point here, I will calm down and get a little more sleep! I've been in "Obama dilirium" for days!

Swaps to my Stitcher's Angel in Australia

My Stitcher's Angel in Brisbane, Australia finally received my package of now I can show you all the things I sent to Margaret! (she doesn't have a blog site yet) Because this was my first swap, I think I went a bit WILD with my extra goodies! I'm sure Margaret didn't mind! The Swedish Christmas Goat is rather special, so I sent her a cross stitch kit and fabric with the JULBOK on it. And some wonderful Swedish chocolates......Japanese fabric print cards and a lavender candle. I also made a simple angel star goodie holder to hang on her tree...inside a little angel key ring. I have to admit that it was a little hard to decide what to send to her since I couldn't "spy" on her blog for I put a little bit of this and that into her package!
Here's my FIRST ever embrodiery project.... the armchair caddy from Hugs and Kisses designer, Helen Stubbings. I liked doing it so much that I'm making two more's a surprise! The other little thing is a "pin ring". These were made out of the autumn fabrics she said she liked. Sorry Margaret...I'm a just getting back into sewing and I couldn't muster up the skills needed to do hexagons for you!
Here it is in use....a pin cushion ring! Very handy!
Margaret said she like 1930's I used these reproductions to make a pincushion and needle book. The needle book is decorated with some hand made dollies I bought at a Loppis in Sweden. Both of these came from patterns from Anne-Pia Godske Rasmussen 's book Traed Nålen. She's a Danish stitcher I've met a couple of times...just love her stuff!

Here's the email I got from Margaret today....She's been quilt traveling!

Hello Carol,
When I returned home just after lunch today your parcel was waiting for me on my doormat.
I just love the contents - Thankyou. I love 1930s fabrics and just love the pincushion and needlecase and I've just returned from a three week trip to USA in the northern states where we saw all the golden, red, brown leaves etc so your autumn leaf fabric on the armchair caddy and pincushion couldn't have been made with a better fabric. All the other bits and pieces are really lovely too. Figs are one of my favourite different type of fruit - we used to have a fig tree growing in our yard when I was a kid, a long time ago, and I just love figs so am looking forward to trying my chocolates.
I don't have a blog so don't really know how I can photograph and show my goodies to others but I will look into it. And, thankyou for the goat fabric - I thought they were reindeer until I read your note - I will make something when I come down from cloud nine after all that has been happening in the last few days since getting home.
I went to USA on a quilting tour organised by my local Patchwork shop (30 ladies in all) and we went to Chicago and then the Amish areas of Napanee, Shipshiwana, Lansing, Frankenmuth and then down to Houston for the Quilt Festival. We arrived home on Tuesday morning after two flights within the US ( 2 hours and 3 hours each) then our 14 1/2 hour flight from Los Angeles to Brisbane. I slept all day Wednesday to get over the jetlag and feel quite good today and needed to go out this morning to purchase food etc.
I've been downloading my photos (all 600+) to my computer this afternoon so will be able to have a good look at them soon.
Thankyou once again for my gifts -the parcel had been opened by Australian Customs, they put a note in the parcel to say they had opened it and inspected the contents but not removed anything from the parcel. Both my suitcases were opened between Los Angeles and Brisbane too and then sealed again but everything seemed to be in order.

Bye for now,