Archive for December, 2014

Isn’t it typical.

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It’s slightly above 0C (32F) outside. No wind and lots of fog which makes it rather nice to take walks with the dogs. Today we’re having that weather I’ve been waiting for so I could use my “new” old camera soΒ naturally I usedΒ that last roll of film yesterday πŸ™‚ So typical πŸ™‚ But I have ordered new rolls and I’m hoping they will arrive this afternoon or tomorrow. Would be great if they arrived today because they predict much the same weather for tomorrow, most likely we’ll have less snow though because it has started to melt away now.

 

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People were up early today so there was no chance in imagining being alone in the world. One neighbor waved to me from his kitchen window, one drove to work? rather early and someone, I think the big forest owner here started to work in the forest while we were out walking, he was using a chain saw and he has thinned out lots of small trees for quite some time now. He needs to do this so that the trees he wants to grow big get a better chance to do so.Β 

 

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I’ve made apple pies these last two days, half sized ones so together they really became one normal sized πŸ™‚ I’m not sure why but they came out delicious! I did put in some cardamom in them and I love cardamom so that was probably one thing that made them so tasty. But I also had problems getting the right temperature in the wood stove, too hot is never a good thing so I kept it low instead and the pies actually stood in the oven for an hour, I only put in more fire logs for the last five minutes so it became really hot in there. They became sort of more crispy but there was something else too, something I can’t put my finger on. I guess I’ll never get the same result again if I try πŸ™‚Β 

 

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I must go to the window closest to the bird feeders every now and again to scare away the magpies. No small bird dares to be there at the same time and it is the small birds I want to feed. Magpies are big enough and daring enough to get food everywhere. I do like them but not around the feeders. I have no Jackdaws here though, they all seems to stay around the feeders up at the farm instead. I wouldn’t mind them here because they don’t scare away the smaller birds and to be honest, they are my favorite birds πŸ™‚ No they aren’t beautiful, more distinguished in black and grey but they are fun. I once had a tame one, before it became illegal to have them as pets.Β 

 

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He, I have no idea if it was a he but I named it Robert πŸ™‚ Had broken its right wing and had no chance to survive in the wild. So I caught him and tried to fix him, too late I’m afraid so he stayed with me.He was an evil bird πŸ™‚ He tortured my other pets just because he knew he could πŸ™‚ The other pets, two dogs and two cats knew they weren’t allowed to do anything towards him. He learned how to talk and he stripped the wall from the wallpaper when he was bored πŸ™‚ Unfortunately jackdaws smell rather bad πŸ™‚ So he got a tiny room for himself where I could have the window open all year long. Of course he only stayed there when I wasn’t at home, when I was at home he loved to sit on my shoulder picking hair from my head πŸ™‚

 

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Today it is illegal to save any animal unless one has a certificate and I know it’s like that in many places on this earth. Well to be honest, I can’t find any animal saver with a certificate in the phone book and can’t find any when searching on the net either so I really wouldn’t care about the law if I found an injured animal that I knew I could help. The problem on earth isn’t that there are too many people wanting to save animals, no instead there are too many that wants to kill them.

 

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It’s time for a cup of coffee and after that a short nap I think. The fog is laying heavy out there so it will be nice to take a walk in it after that nap.

 

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Have a great day!


I would stay warm.

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From now on it will get slightly warmer and the frost has already started to fall off from the trees with the help of an ever so weak wind. Soon we’ll have above 0C (32F) again, if just for a few days and all the snow and frost will melt away. Even if I don’t like snow I really don’t like when temperatures jump up and down either, first everything will get messy and then all the melt water will freeze to a smooth, slippery ice surface. I guess I should be happy that it at least isn’t raining πŸ™‚

 

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This photo looks very much edited but I haven't done a thing to it, more than reduce its size. The sky does look like they do in disaster movies :-)

This photo looks very much edited but I haven’t done a thing to it, more than reduce its size. The sky does look like they do in disaster movies πŸ™‚

 

Some weather predictions says we’ll get some snow this afternoon, some say we won’t. If it would come it will at least not be especially much but we all know how great they are in predicting the weather πŸ™‚ Nova is on medication for her bad ear, cortisone but it makes her depressed. She won’t play with Sune and she mostly sighs and moans and drinks lots of water so I’ll stop it now. Well in a controlled manner so from today I’ll reduce the amount to half for a week and then she’ll get half a pill every second day for two weeks. Just like we should have if we had continued this but for a shorter period of time. The last time she had cortisone it wasn’t at all as strong as this time and for a much shorter period of time.

 

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If my life had been a movie today it would have been a disaster movie. No birds were tweeting when we were outside and flock after flock with swans flew south. No new tracks of any animal either so it looked like they all were deserting us πŸ™‚ The animals are always the ones showing something is wrong in disaster movies πŸ™‚ The light snow fall that is on its way would of course be the storm of the millenniaΒ and since I’m the main character I would understand something is very wrong and I would bring in all fire wood to the cottage and keep the fire burning because I would know that my and my animals survival would depend on it. I would of course warn anyone I met but they would of course not believe me and later on freeze to death in their cold homes πŸ™‚

 

A winter flower.

A winter flower.

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My animals and I would of course survive it all and by a miracle I would be able to contact my American blog friends who then would send the American military to save me πŸ™‚ They tend to do so in disaster movies, the American military that is πŸ™‚ No one, in real life or movies believes the Swedish army to do anything else than to die with all the others πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ During the time I would have to wait for being rescued I would have plenty to eat since I live next door to a farm, I just would have to locate the deep frozen meat so to speak πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

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It’s time for a pot of tea and something to eat, I think I’ll watch a disaster movie too, something with bad weather πŸ™‚

 

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Have a great day!


I changed my mind.

It will take some time but the t-shirt will dry even if it is freezing outside. Up to six weeks but it will dry :-)

It will take some time but the t-shirt will dry even if it is freezing outside. Up to six weeks but it will dry πŸ™‚

-18C (-0,4F) as coldest tonight but at the time we came out on our walk it was balmy -12C (10,4F) πŸ™‚ It was actually quite nice because there was and still is no wind what so ever. Not a sound could be heard, not even a single tweet from any bird and it felt like we were totally alone in the world. There was however smoke coming out of the chimneys when we reached the village again and a tractor has passed my cottage so I know we’re not alone πŸ™‚ It will stay cold for a few more days and then it will turn towards warmer again. It’s a good thing we didn’t get that much snow, it’s so messy when it all melts away again. But we’ll have at least three more months with winter so I’m pretty sure this isn’t the last time we see snow here.

 

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After I wrote this first part I was going to write that I would do nothing today but go to the super market tomorrow. Suddenly however I decided to go today instead and I think that was a good choice, there were almost no people there so I was at home even before an hour had passed and it takes twenty minutes to drive there πŸ™‚ I needed to but more fire logs, milk, seeds for the birds and dog food even if I have enough for a week at home. I also had to renew my lottery tickets even if I rarely win more that I’ve spent πŸ™‚ They were out of the kind of dog food brand I always buy but as I mentioned I have enough for another week.

 

Down to the creek we went.

Down to the creek we went.

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The Forbidden Forest looked quite inviting.

The Forbidden Forest looked quite inviting.

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Have You seen the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey? If not I can say this much, it is full og intrigues, romance, diseases, drama, conspiracies, unlikely allies and a proposal. Not a boring episode at all and well worth watching πŸ™‚ It is strange that a tv series about an upper class family in Britain in the early 19 hundreds can be so popular. No matter what one think of those days and upper classes most people like to watch it. Naturally no upper class family would ever be that concerned about their employees and help them as much as they do, still we don’t care about how reality was we just love these people πŸ™‚

 

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The fog was the kind of fog that never came close. I could see it where we were going but not when we reached the place.

The fog was the kind of fog that never came close. I could see it where we were going but not when we reached the place.

 

None of us slept well last night, all dogs howled one time or another in their sleep through the night and I woke up feeling a bit worried in the stomach. No problems with me though, it was just gases πŸ™‚ So we are all rather tired today but I won’t take a nap just in case that makes me sleep just as bad again. No problems really since I won’t start working until January 7th πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for a pot of tea and I’m thinking of making an apple pie and have custard with it. I knew I should have bought ice cream but didn’t think of it until I was driving homewards.

 

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Have a great day!

 

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It was inevitable I guess. the world is fluffy white.

When I woke up. I'm not sure but I think the dark area at the bottom is where the flash didn't reach because of the lens.

When I woke up. I’m not sure but I think the dark area at the bottom is where the flash didn’t reach because of the lens.

I woke up to a whit fluffy world, I knew it would be so but I still felt somewhat disappointed. They are so seldom right in their prediction but oddly enough not when it comes to weather one really doesn’t want πŸ™‚ Ok it isn’t much so I don’t need to shovel any of that white garbage away. As long there’s some kind of light around the world does get a bit lighter but if the sky is covered in clouds it’s just as dark as if it hadn’t fallen at all.Β 

 

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The dogs like it though so who am I to complain. The predictions say we’re having sunshine at the moment and since I want some sunshine it naturally isn’t any πŸ™‚ Thankfully there’s no wind so it is quite nice taking walks and I’ve been out with the old hasselblad camera too today, so now I have three rolls of film to develop, there might be more since I have oneΒ more waiting in the fridge.

 

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They just had a press conference on tv, we won’t have any elections in spring after all. The opposition stretched out a hand (actually they did not so long ago but the sitting government more or lessΒ spat at it) and now they have negotiated some rules that will allow a minority government to get through its budget and they have also agreed on cooperating in some other big decisions, like foreign policy, our defence and important things like those. The racist party got a bit angry πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ and will now force a vote of non confidence in the parliament but will of course be the only one voting to remove the sitting government since the other big parties already have come to an agreement πŸ™‚

 

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Today, like all days so far on this vacation will be a day of relaxation πŸ™‚ I’ll soon take a short nap and I’m hoping that the sun actually will show up just in time for our next walk. I doubt it though, the sky is very evenly led grey with not even the slightest rip to be seen anywhere. I’ve fed the birds and they have become spoiled because they kick away most of the seeds, they want sunflower seeds. To my big surprise a Jay showed up, we call them nut screamer πŸ™‚ , and I have never seen them so close to my cottage before. I must say that they aren’t picky, they gulped down every seed they found and flew back to the forest πŸ™‚ The smaller birds didn’t mind them at all but as soon as a magpie showed up all small birds flew away.

 

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It is time for a pot of tea and then that nap.

 

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Have a great day!


Frosty.

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The temperature dropped down to -13C (8,6F) during the night so I woke up to a white world covered in frost. The weak wind we had when we went out for our morning walk made it quite nasty out there but as soon as we came in to the forest it turned and became a rather nice walk. Birds tweeted and I could hear some hunting dogs in near by hunting areas barking like crazy as they were following some poor animal.

 

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I showed one of my neighbors (and he’s also one of the hunters in this area), the photo of the paw print and he is sure it is made by a wolf. He wasn’t to happy about it, not so much for the fact the wolf hunts too but he is the owner of that calf who was born outside my cottage. They’ve had four new calves lately and three of them died early, only the one I saw still lives. I told him that I’ve been talking to the cow to go inside with the calf and for so long that she finally got tired of me and went indoors πŸ™‚

 

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It is a little bull and they gave it the only name it really can have being born at Christmas, so now Jesus is walking around in a pasture just outside my cottage πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ A perfect name for a perfect little bull πŸ™‚ He also told me that we now have a new neighbor here, a beaver. For some reason it has chosen a ditch with very little water flowing in it. It is a bit unlucky though because that ditch will be dug up soon, it doesn’t work especially well as a ditch any longer. But if its lodge manages to be undamaged this ditch will most likely be perfect to live by.

 

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We’ve had lost of sunshine here these two last days and perfect weather for using my Hasselblad camera. So now I have two rolls of film that I’ll send away to be developed as soon as possible, most likely next Monday. I have no plans on driving anywhere as long as I have food and fire logs enough here at home and the mail woman won’t come until Monday either, Boxing day is a holiday here so most people don’t work today. Perhaps there will be more rolls because I have three more here at home and we’ll have this cold weather for some days until it turns again. We’ll even get some snow tonight they say, I can’t say I want it but I can’t stop it from falling so there’s no use in complaining πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for some more tea and then we’ll head out for another walk. Perhaps I’ll bring the old Kodak with me this time, I must try it at least once but it is so cold outside that I’m not sure to how that old camera will react, it might freeze and stop working πŸ™‚

 

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Have a great day!

 

I promised Jouce some photos on my Christmas ham. Normally I onlu buy a brined netted ham. It has been brined for ariund 15 days.

I promised Jouce some photos on my Christmas ham. Normally I onlu buy a brined netted ham. It has been brined for ariund 15 days.

This time however I boght an already cooked one. One can either boil the ham (one hour/ kg) or oven bake it and I always oven bake it. When it is done remove the net and trim away the skin and most of the fat. It is important that there's a lot of fat on the ham when boiling/ oven baking it because the fat bring out all the falvors. But most fat can be removed before grilling though.

This time however I boght an already cooked one. One can either boil the ham (one hour/ kg) or oven bake it and I always oven bake it. When it is done remove the net and trim away the skin and most of the fat. It is important that there’s a lot of fat on the ham when boiling/ oven baking it because the fat bring out all the falvors. But most fat can be removed before grilling though.

I mix one egg and two to three tablespoons with a strong mustard, ad a tea spoon with sugar too. I normally pour in some bread crumbs sotherwise it's so runny. I spread it as evenly as I can over the ham and then I sprinkle lots of bread crumbs over it all.

I mix one egg and two to three tablespoons with a strong mustard, ad a tea spoon with sugar too. I normally pour in some bread crumbs sotherwise it’s so runny. I spread it as evenly as I can over the ham and then I sprinkle lots of bread crumbs over it all.

This is how it should look when ready. I live those first lukewarm slices but it is perfect as cold too. Christmas ham on a sandwich is delicious :-)

This is how it should look when ready. I live those first lukewarm slices but it is perfect as cold too. Christmas ham on a sandwich is delicious πŸ™‚


I wish You all a Good Yule!

Thisis one of the presents I gor from Joyce! It is so beautiful!

This is one of the presents I gor from Joyce! It is so beautiful!

I’m writing this on the evening before Christmas eve, or Julafton as we say in Swedish. I have the tv on and they have a so-called uppesittarkvΓ€ll on the two biggest networks (not together of course πŸ™‚ ). There’s no good translation for uppesittarkvΓ€ll but it means they will send a show from the same studios all evening in to the night. I have the PBS channel (TV 1) on and that is actually the most popular network here in Sweden. They cook christmas food from different parts of the world but I think they cook some Swedish ones too. Artists sing popular Christmas songs. There are a few really good artists but some are what I call b-artists, from Sweden Idol and similar shows. They try hard but are sort of out of tune most of the time πŸ™‚ The host is jolly and laughs a lot, all the time actually πŸ™‚ There’s also a man showing fun ways to for instance dry a mobile phone that fell in to water and other odd ideas and tricks πŸ™‚

 

I had to take several photos to be able to show what was packed in that big package :-)

I had to take several photos to be able to show what was packed in that big package πŸ™‚ Cookies and candy, life is good πŸ™‚

I must admit that I've already tried the Bog Ftogs :-) I mean, that name sort of demands to be tested first since I live just beside this huge bog. They are delicious bythe way :-)

I must admit that I’ve already tried the Bog Frogs πŸ™‚ I mean, that name sort of demands to be tested first since I live just beside this huge bog. They are delicious by the way πŸ™‚ New tea varieties too, can never have to much of that.

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I’ll have lost of nice evenings with hot chocolate.

 

 

Christmas eve is the big day here in Sweden but I’ve never understood why we have it on Christmas even when almost all others have Christmas day as the big one. There are a few traditions that is a bit more important than others this day, at 3pm Sweden stops because we’re all watching Donald Duck and his friends celebrates Christmas. We have seen the almost exactly same program for over 55 years now. They show short films or snippets from big films and few have anything to do with Christmas to be honest πŸ™‚ When ever they try to show a new film or snippet and removes one of the old ones all hell break loose here. One year they decided to remove Ferdinand the Bull and suddenly someone threatened to put a bomb in the house of Swedish Television πŸ™‚Β 

 

Is there anything better than a bowl of hot soup when the cold weather sets in, which it will already tomorrow they say.

Is there anything better than a bowl of hot soup when the cold weather sets in, which it will already tomorrow they say.

The dogs love their present! I haven't given the cats their yet, they are out hunting in the sunshine (which will be gone shortly, don't need to see any predictions to understand that :-)

The dogs love their present! I haven’t given the cats their yet, they are out hunting in the sunshine (which will be gone shortly, don’t need to see any predictions to understand that πŸ™‚

I also got this Hex Sign. This one is the Tree of life and it looks just like old traditional <<<<<<<<kurbits art here in Sweden!  and I do like kurbits art.

I also got this Hex Sign. This one is the Tree of life and it looks just like old traditional kurbits art here in Sweden and I do like kurbits art! Thank You Joyce!

 

Most people eat after Disney and we have the same food on our tables no matter what holiday it might be πŸ™‚ but the ham at Christmas is changed to something with eggs at Easter and we have neither on Midsummer which is almost as big as Christmas is here. We tend to have a Christmas smorgasbord, called Julbord, where we place all the food and everyone can pick as much or as little on so desire. The ham is the most important thing but no Julbord without zillion different kinds of pickled herring. I can’t for my life understand how anyone actually can eat it and say it’s delicious because it’s just nasty. Then we have salmon, usually pickled or cold smoked and I eat neither but I do eat warm smoked if they have it. Meatballs, prince sausages, beetroot salad and red cabbage usually stand beside each other making lots of people confused since they don’t always like both πŸ™‚ then we have the regional dishes like here where they often have baked brown beans. For dessert there’s usually risalamande or as we call it ris Γ  la Malta. It’s rice pudding mixed with lots of whipped cream, vanilla sugar and berries and lately I have seen apple pie too with either custard or ice cream.

 

I also got a package from Dianna in Canada! With Candian coffee and Canadian tea and also some history behind them. >It'll be very interesting to try both :-) I also got a favorite cookie package of mine, Maple Leaf cookies :-) They are a bit dangerous because they just taste better the more one eat :-) :-)  Thank You Dianna!

I also got a package from Dianna in Canada! With Canadian coffee and Canadian tea and also some history behind them. It’ll be very interesting to try both πŸ™‚ I also got a favorite cookie package of mine, Maple Leaf cookies πŸ™‚ They are a bit dangerous because they just taste better the more one eat πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Β The card beside show two puppies but the flash stopped You from seeing that :-)Thank You Dianna!

A calf was born on Christmas Eve. This one was not even an hour old when I took this photo and it was born just outside my cottage.

A calf was born on Christmas Eve. This one was not even an hour old when I took this photo and it was born just outside my cottage.

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We don’t have Santa Claus here, we have the Jultomte, Yule Gnome. He looks very much like Santa now days but it was different in the beginning. Before the Yule Gnome however we had the Yule Goat or Yule Buck as we say in Swedish. This goat has its origin way back, most likely from our old pagan past. It is supposed to be one of Thor’s immortal goats that pulled his carriage when he flew up in the sky. A man dressed up like a goat, usually a head made from straw and a goat skin over his shoulders and was the one bringing the presents, we call them julklappar (Yule knocks) because in the beginning it was meant that the giver should stay unknown so they just knocked on the door, opened it up and tossed in the present and then ran away. Good thing they didn’t have good locks back then πŸ™‚ Later on the gnome took over that job but the goat still continued to stay close to the presents because he was the one pulling the carriage or sled with the packages. The poor goat was once again degraded when the horse too his place but we still have him in our homes as straw goats. They also build the worlds biggest straw goat in the city GΓ€vle and almost every year someone burns it down πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Some say it’s a shame but to be honest, no one would know it ever existed if they didn’t burn it down, not even here in Sweden πŸ™‚

 

My neighbor got two light nets.

My neighbor got two light nets.

and I a new light chain.

and I a new light chain.

One of the orchids started to open up this morning.

One of the orchids started to open up this morning.

 

The Yule Gnome is a mix of the folklore gnome and Santa. Looking at old paintings the first Yule Gnomes were quite small and dressed in grey with a red cap. Later on he grew a lot and suddenly he wore red clothes and had reindeer’s. Now days I’ve seen lots of Yule Gnomes with grey clothes again and I like that, sort of like kicking coca cola in the butt πŸ™‚ The folklore gnome is anything but jolly. He, because there are no female gnomes, is always grumpy and really dislike people. He lives on farms and help with all the work, especially with the animals and the better one treat the animals the more the gnome helps. He is almost always dressed in worn grey clothes and a red cap. He always have a long beard, usually quite white or grey and it can be so long that he can wrap himself in it totally. The gnome is very strong and can if he so see fit kill a human with one blow, if for instance they mistreat their animals. It is important not to give hom new fine clothes because he can start to believe that he can’t work with too fine clothes and decide to leave the farm πŸ™‚ If he would start to really dislike the family who lives at the farm he can burn it down.

 

A bit frosty this morning but it started to rain some when we were out walking.

A bit frosty this morning but it started to rain some when we were out walking.

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The gnome has two close relatives that are more or less extinct now days. One is the Mill Oldster. Back in the days we had loads of mills along most creeks or rivers and the mill oldster helped keeping the place in shape. He had his moments though when he could be extra grumpy, for instance if they had to use the mill at night he just stopped the mill from working. It could be because he thought nights should be calm and quiet so he could play the fiddle and he was almost as good as the water nymph NΓ€cken but he had no intention of drowning anyone though πŸ™‚ or it could be just because he wanted to be nasty. There was a way to bribe him though, Mill Oldsters are big lovers of tobacco, especially snus, snuff. So if one gave him some he allowed them to start the mill anyway. There was another reason he could do things like stopping the mill, it was because he wanted some company so he was a bit more social than the gnome.

 

Stairway to heaven? :-) These coming photos are from yesterday or earlier.

Stairway to heaven? πŸ™‚
These coming photos are from yesterday or earlier.

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The second relative was the SkeppsrΓ₯. I can’t find any good name on him in English but we can call him ship gnome. He did much the same job as the gnome but on ships instead. No one knows from where he came, some believe he sort of grew out of the tree other believe that he might be a gnome following the tree from the forest. Sometimes it happened that one grew out from the tree and one came with the tree from the forest and two gnomes can’t live on the same ship, of course :-)If they couldn’t agree on who should stay, which of course they never could, a big fight started. It could become so violent that the entire ship broke and sank to the bottom. One Captain managed to stop one of these fights by letting one stay on the ship and promised the next ship to the other one. The Ship Gnomes lived as long as the ship existed, when it sank the gnome died and since we don’t build that many ships from wood now days most of them are gone now.

 

He wasn't happy yesterday when he followe us to the bog. Lots of people around and I guess the smell of an eventual wolf doesn't help :-)

He wasn’t happy yesterday when he followed us to the bog. Lots of people around (the hunting group was out grilling hot dogs)and I guess the smell of an eventual wolf didn’t help πŸ™‚

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The pig is also a very important Christmas symbol here. Most believe it’s because we eat ham every Christmas which most likely is wrong. We haven’t eaten Christmas ham for that long to be honest but it goes way back to our pagan days. It origins from when we had the Norse gods. Up in Valhalla, located in Asgard where Odin and the chaps lived they had a pig, SΓ€rimner (I think You call himΒ SΓ¦hrΓ­mnir in English-speaking countries and I think that might be Icelandic). He was slaughtered every day to become their dinner and as long as every single bone was saved he resurrected again early next day. Practical but perhaps not that fun for the poor pig πŸ™‚ The pig has always been very important here because they gave a very lot of food for very little input so to speak. They could just let the pigs walk around in the forest and didn’t have to feed them at all, they found enough food just walking around eating what they found on and in the ground. They always slaughtered the pig at Saint Lucia’s day so they had time to make all the sausages and other things they would need during Yule and the rest of the year. In many of the old Christmas cards one can see the yule gnome, the yule buck and the pig and a few presents too of course πŸ™‚

 

The calf was very wobbly in the legs when trying to get some food and the mother didn't help a lot, she moved around all the time :-)

The calf was very wobbly in the legs when trying to get some food and the mother didn’t help a lot, she moved around all the time πŸ™‚

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Β Thank You both Joyce and Dianna!Β 

I wish You all a Good Yule!


Wolf?

It is around 10 cm (4 inches) long and slightly wider.

It is around 10 cm (4 inches) long and slightly wider. It’s not the best of photos but it isn’t a bright day and mud is dark too πŸ™‚ This is a print of a front paw.

 

Β I got up at 5 am as usual and the sky looked rather clear so I was hoping for some sun when we were going out later in the morning. But first I had to do to the super market, they open at 7 am and I was hoping that I would be rather alone in the store at that early hour. Lots of people had been thinking just the same thing πŸ™‚ But most of them were still wandering around in the store when I had paid my things and started to drive homewards again. I only needed three things and knew exactly where to find them. I was home again before even an hour had passed.

 

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and then the sky turned dark grey.

 

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We went out just before the sun was supposed to show but it never did, the clouds had thickened and there were only a few rips that still let the sun shine through. We walked down to the creek and started follow it upstream. The ground was strangely enough semi frozen, I say strangely because yesterday we had up to 7C (45F) and it never fell below 0C (32F) all night. It was actually 4C (39F) when I got up this morning. But it was good that it was semi frozen because the road was rather muddy and it was possible to walk there just because of the cold road. I had stopped to photograph something when I looked down on the mud.

 

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Β I could see one very good print just beside my foot and compared to Orvar’s foot print this is huge! At least twice as big and as You know Orvar isn’t a tiny dog πŸ™‚ He’s 75cm (30 inches) at the withers and weighs a bit over 50kg (100 pound). The print couldn’t be more than a few hours old so I kept my eyes open when we continued our walk, not because I was worried but I really would like to see a wolf πŸ™‚ This is most probably a young one walking around trying to find a place of its own. But I kept the dogs close to me, especially the old ones since they have their leg problems. The smaller ones were leashed. I can say that they were very interested in this track and I guess they were wondering who this new dog in the neighborhood is πŸ™‚

 

I had planned on walking in on this road but this isn't how dark it really was, it was much darker. I sort of felt that I might need something to protect the old guys just in case we would meet the wolf in there. I doubt it would do anything if we met it, a wolf is smart enough to know it would be outnumbered even if two of them are really old.

I had planned on walking in on this road but this isn’t how dark it really was, it was much darker. I sort of felt that I might need something to protect the old guys just in case we would meet the wolf in there. I doubt it would do anything if we met it, a wolf is smart enough to know it would be outnumbered even if two of them are really old.

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Mushrooms can the the oddest shape.

Mushrooms can take the oddest shapes.

 

I couldn’t find any more tracks and no sight of any wolf either but it might have been that one who followed us from some distance. Both the dogs and I could hear some twigs breaking and something ran away very quietly when we came closer to the village. That could of course have been wild hogs too but it sounds cooler with a wolf πŸ™‚Β 

 

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Tomorrow is our big day at Christmas and even if it is Wednesday I’ll write something but I won’t write anything on Christmas day since most people reading my blog celebrates on Christmas day and have funnier things to do πŸ™‚ I think I’ll tell You about our gnomes, the yule goat or yule buck as we actually call it, the pig who is a very important yule symbol here even if most people don’t know why πŸ™‚ and perhaps something more too πŸ™‚

 

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Have a great day!


It wouldn’t be popular today.

Today I'll have a few photos that I took yesterday mixed in with the ones I took today. You can easily see the difference, yesterday had frost.

Today I’ll have a few photos that I took yesterday mixed in with the ones I took today. You can easily see the difference, yesterday had frost.

We started early this morning by taking our morning walk when it still was pitch black outside., I was thinking of bringing the camera and just randomly take photos with the flash on but then I remembered that even if I took a lens with autofocus it wouldn’t focus since it was so dark it couldn’t find anything to focus on πŸ™‚ After that I jumped in to my car and drove to FalkΓΆping, I was going to pick up a package in Gudhem on my way home and I thought it best to buy all the food I’ll have during Christmas.

 

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My garage.

My garage.

My neighbors cottage.

My neighbors cottage.

 

There were two things I really needed to get before it was too late, cat food and toilet paper, so naturally I’ll need to go to the store tomorrow to get those things πŸ™‚ I got everything else I wanted though πŸ™‚ The package came from Dianna in Canada and I sort of know what I’ll get πŸ™‚ I’ll show You all on Christmas Eve when I open them and the big package from Joyce πŸ™‚ Christmas Eve is the big day here but I can’t tell You why because I’ve never heard any reason for why we have the big day then when almost all other have it on Christmas Day. I guess the old Lutheran protestant priests didn’t like us to have fun on a day when we’re supposed to celebrate the birth of Christ, to be honest, those guys really didn’t like us to have fun at all πŸ™‚

 

The Hazel is ready for an early start.

The Hazel is ready for an early start.

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We’ve had a sunny and very warm day here today and tomorrow will be much the same they say but they are changing the predictions faster than the eye can blink. Yesterday they predicted snow and below 0C (32F) temperatures for Christmas Eve evening now it’s more like rain and those temperatures, they didn’t predict a sun for tomorrow either but they do now, I do hope they are right now. Fewer people would die in the traffic if the sun did show, today and tomorrow are two of the worst days when it comes to that. Now is also the time when homes burn down, it’s sort of a tradition I almost said πŸ™‚ People tend to forget to put out those advent candles and since the candlesticks are decorated with moss, that at this time is rather dry and burns easily , the fire spreads rapidly.Β 

 

This one was so dark I had to make it brighter, I guess that's why they have such a blueish fur :-)

This one was so dark I had to make it brighter, I guess that’s why they have such a blueish fur πŸ™‚

A bridge can be dangerous, at least I think that's what they are thinking here :-)

A bridge can be dangerous, at least I think that’s what they are thinking here πŸ™‚

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I love a fire in the stove but I never have any candles burning, after all this cottage is over 100 years old and only the chimney is made from stone. It would probably not take long before the entire cottage had burned down. But then again, mice can chew through electric cables giving much the same results πŸ™‚

 

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Have You ever heard about the Grim? I don’t mean the one in the Harry Potter books and I don’t mean the great tv show they are making. We have the Church Grim here and while all other beings do what they can to stay away from christianity this one is a protector of it and made by humans in the most nasty way. They created the Grim by, when they were building the church, walling in a living animal in the walls. When the animal finally died it became the church grim.Β 

 

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The grim looked much like the animal that was walled in, usually a dog, a cat, an ox or a rooster but it looked like a dog/ cat/ ox/ rooster from hell. Glowing eyes, huge fangs, razor-sharp beaks, spiky horns like an ice pick and claws that could rip up even metal. They were so scary that not even grave robbers, church thiefs and other evil humans stayed away, even the other beings were so afraid of it that they wouldn’t come close to a church. I guess that’s the reason they tend to steal from modern churches now day, it wouldn’t be popular if they walled in a living animal in te walls now days πŸ™‚

 

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It’s time to check the rice porridge I’m making and the rice I’m boiling for the dogs too. Orvar has an upset stomach again and if he gets rice the other ones wants it too πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


They have it on film!

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Below 0C (32F) temperatures this morning and sunshine too. I would think that would give some nice rime on trees and bushes but to my disappointment it didn’t. Just a thin layer of frost on the grass and on a few spruces. But it was a nice morning walk and my neighbors were up and about fixing some outdoor light strings. They did put up one yesterday and they wanted to have it on blinking mode but they realise it blinked so fast it would give someone anΒ epileptic seizure so they changed that πŸ™‚

 

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Too bad the photo doesn't show the colors properly, there's blue, red and yellow lights in this light chain. They have now put up one on the cottage too with icicles.

Too bad the photo doesn’t show the colors properly, there’s blue, red and yellow lights in this light chain (perhaps green too). They have now put up one on the cottage too with icicles.

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I too fixed my lightΒ chains.Β I can’t have one in my apple tree, water seems to find its way in to the sockets making my fuses pop so I moved them to the garage where the sockets are placed so the roof covers them. I did place that awful lightΒ chain, You know the one that would look like it was dressed with spruce twigs but just looked really bad? πŸ™‚ around my kitchen door on the back of the cottage and then it shows that only the first half of it has working lights!! So I had to pick it down again. The last one didn’t work at all so I’ll toss away those two and perhaps buy a new one tomorrow morning when I’m going to town.

 

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Yesterday I told You about the Lindorm, today I’ll tell You about a relative to it that we still to this day have in one of our lakes. It might be a relative to the oneΒ they have in Loch Ness, the Sea Serpent. We cal the one we have in the lake StorsjΓΆn StorsjΓΆodjuret. Most of these sea serpents live in the ocean and can be so big that they block an entire fjord if the want to. They are believed to live in caves waiting for big school of fish to pass so they can eat them but back in the days they quite often were waiting for fishermen. They would rise up in the air and then fall down on the ships and break them to pieces. After that they ate all the fishermen.

 

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We had/ have? (haven’t been seen in ages) one here in one of our fjords (Gullmarsfjorden) . That one used to lay his huge head on the beach, used its hypnotic gaze to lure livestock and humans straight into its mouth. The one we have in StorsjΓΆn however is much calmer. According to legend it was created by two trolls that failed while making a magic potion and instead created the sea serpent with a black snake body and a cat-like head. The beast jumped out of the cauldron and in to the lake and has been there since then.

 

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In the late 19th century even the king (Oscar 2nd) contributed with money to catch it, thankfully they failed, perhaps the sea serpent doesn’t like piglets but my guess is that it is too smart to be caught in a huge fox trap. It still shows itself every now and again and they tried to protect it, it’s nest, younglings and eventual eggs by law but the highest courts found that it is impossible to do so unless one actually know that such an animal exists. Then they put out cameras in the lake filming 24 hours a day and they actually caught something 2008. Here’s a link to a YouTube film that says showing the sea serpent in the lake. It’s from a swedish news program but they show the videos that is said to show the animal: StorsjΓΆodjuret.Β 

 

Sune doesn't stand a chance when they are chasing each other :-)

Sune doesn’t stand a chance when they are chasing each other πŸ™‚

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It’s time for another walk with the dogs and then back to start the fire in the stove. It will be warmer later on and we’ll have both rain and snow they say.

Have a great day!


We know it’s still out there.

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I took a two hor nap earlier today and now I sort of can’t wake up properly even if we have been outside walking in the temporary sunshine. We never made it in to the big forest or the bog today because for once the hunters had patience and stayed until now, almost 3 pm. I think this was the last time for this year and that’s why they stayed longer than normal. It annoyed me quite a lot to be honest but now I’ll have the forest to myself for at least two or three weeks.

 

This year the villagers have decorated with lights, two places have lights in one bush each this year. Can't remember ever seeing this much yule decoration ever here :-)

This year the villagers have decorated with lights, two places have lights in one bush each this year. Can’t remember ever seeing this much yule decoration ever here πŸ™‚

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I finally found a have a heart trap that didn’t cost me half my pay check to put in my pantry, I still have mice going in there every now and again. I keep everything in containers but still it is gross finding mouse poop in there. I put some peanut butter in it and hope that our mice love it πŸ™‚ So far no luck though so I might need to change bait soon to something else, jam perhaps?

 

The WOW trees.

The WOW trees.

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Not only did they stay in the forest for a very long time today, they also came here early.

 

 

I don’t think I’ve ever told You about the Lindorm (Lindworm in English). A Scandinavian Lindorm is a close relative to a dragon but it has no wings, only two front legs and canΒ΄t spit fire. Instead it has nasty big fangs and it can spit the same kind of poison ants use and the Lindorm aims very well. In Norway a Lindorm also can be a sea snake. It is a huge snake-like being with a mane shaped like a crown on the head. It usually lives beneath old oaks and it’s easy to find such a nest because that oak stays green all year round. If You find such a nest You’ll also find the Lindorm’s huge treasure it has collected through the years.

 

Not the best of photos but I didn't have time enough to adjust the camera.

Not the best of photos but I didn’t have time enough to adjust the camera.

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It also happens that it sets its nest beneath old churches where it eats all the corpses in the crypt. The only way to kill a Lindorm is to trick it to follow You through three big fires, it will get caught in the third one where it will be burned alive but beware, it has happened that the Lindorm just before dying has captured the hunter and dragged him into the fire to die with him. A Lindorm has a smart way of moving around a bit faster than if it should crawl on the ground, it just bite itself in the tail making a circle or wheel and rolls away.

 

In my neighbors garden.

In my neighbor’s garden.

Thankfully there's a small forest close to the village where they never hunt. I did miss the forest walk today.

Thankfully there’s a small forest close to the village where they never hunt. I did miss the forest walk today.

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The Lindorm is a mighty being with lots of magical powers, so if one is lucky enough to kill one, one must eat its flesh because then one will get magical powers too. For instance, if You make soup of it You’ll get the power of see into the future, the power of healing and perhaps the power of talking to animals. But if one isn’t daring enough to run through three big fires it’s quite enough to just get the skin it sheds every now and again because that is enough to get some magical powers. The beliefs in the Lindorm’s existence stayed way in to the late 19th century here in some parts of Sweden but after a man would give a huge reward to anyone capturing one and no one managed to do so the beliefs in it quickly died out but we all know that they are just too difficult to catch and we all know they still are out there, don’t we πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for a pot of coffee, I feel I need to wake up before it is time to go to bed.

 

My new little Yule Spruce, a Norfolk Island Pine.

My new little Yule Spruce, a Norfolk Island Pine.

 

Have a great day!


I wouldn’t mind some chinese food.

Salmiak wasn't happy at all to see us :-)

Salmiak wasn’t happy at all to see us πŸ™‚

Finally it’s here, Christmas vacation and I hope it will be much more calm than what the National Lampoon’s had πŸ™‚ That is my absolute favorite christmas movie. I’m not much for those over sugary sweet with happy endings ones. We Europeans do love a tragic ending when everything seems to go the heroes way but suddenly change and ends with death and despair πŸ™‚ I guess that the ultimate European christmas movie will have lots of people struggling to finally, after lots of troubled lives but all problems now solved, aΒ family will spend one happy christmas together but just as it seems to come true they all die by poisoning πŸ™‚ That is a movie I would like to see πŸ™‚

 

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The sun was shining when I was on my way home after work today. I needed more fire logs and I had to get Orvar’s and Hector’s medicine and also Nova’s medicine for her ear (we are trying cortisone now to make the swelling in her ear go down). I also needed to renew my lottery tickets and to buy some food. Too bad that the notice that I had a package at the post office at Gudhem have been laying at the post office for more than five days didn’t arrive yesterday because then I could have fetched it too today.Β 

 

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and then the rain started to fall.

and then the rain started to fall.

 

So I drove to FalkΓΆping since that would go most fast. As soon as I stepped out of the car in FalkΓΆping the smell of chinese food hit me in the face πŸ™‚ Too bad it would take too long to get all things since I had to go to several places otherwise I would have brought some with me home. But I need to do some shopping next week anyway so perhaps I’ll buy some then. The sun started to hide behind clouds when I came home and the snow, hail and rain started falling when we were on our way home during the walk. I didn’t mind especially much as long as we were walking in the forest but the winds got strong as soon as we stepped out by the fields and that wasn’t nice at all πŸ™‚

 

The sky became darker and darker and it happened fast too.

The sky became darker and darker and it happened fast too.

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I finally found the yule spruce I’ve been looking for all autumn, we call it Room Spruce but it is actually called Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla). I had one when I had my garden center that was around Β 2 meters high (6,6 foot). I brought it home when I closed the place but it didn’t like to move from a green house to a cottage with much drier air. I’m hoping this small one will make it much better and naturally I forgot to take a photo of it today but I’ll do it until tomorrow.

 

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and it just got worse

and it just got worse

and worse.

and worse.

 

It is time to give all the animals their food and after that it’s my turn. I hope there’s something good on tv otherwise it will be an early evening for me.

Have a great day!


I’ve bought the ham.

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Not much to say today, In worked in the neighbor factory and time passed fast. On my way back to my ordinary work place I went by the grocery store to buy me a yule ham. Mo yule without a ham here in Sweden, unless one is a vegetarian of course πŸ™‚ It weighs a bit over 3,2 kg (7 pound) and is already cooked, all I have to do is to put it in the oven again to grill it with a coating of eggs, mustard and bread crumbs.

 

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I don’t take any break while working in the other factory so I had a fifty minutes break to take when I came back, so I jumped in the car and drove to a nearby tractor/ harvester/ anything mechanical to a farm store and bought some oil to my car. I still had over minutes left on my break when I came back. It’s warm again and it is raining but the roads were nice so who am I to complain πŸ™‚

 

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How about another being? The Lantern man, I think You call him Jack O’ Lantern in English. He’s a tiny man most often dressed in grey or green carrying a little lantern. Normally one only see the light from the lantern. Sometimes it moves slow, sometimes very fast and often very erratic. The Lantern man is believed to be a damned spirit who one time stole land from someone else by changing the poles that marked where the property lines were. His punishment for this is to forever walk along the wrong property lines . Often one can hear him talk to himself saying this is the right property line, this is the wrong one. Only if a human follows him and place the property poles on their right places he will get piece again.

 

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Lots and lots of stars.

Lots and lots of stars.

 

It happens quite often that he just out of spite make people get lost and quite often he make them go out on bogs and let them drown in a deep hole. But he can actually be nice too if he find lost people and if one gives him a coin after being helped all is well, if not ha can be so angry he hits You and then put a spell on You so even if You’re just a yard from Your home You won’t find it. There is one thing one can do though, turn any clothes You wear inside out and the spell goes away. Quite easy to be honest πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for some tea and something to eat.Β 

Have a great day!


Slippery.

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The roads were slippery on my way to work this morning and they were nasty slippery on my way home. At least it wasn’t black ice so it was easy to see that it would take some time to reach both work and my home. It’s such a scary feeling when driving and suddenly feel that the car sort of is flowing on the road and the only thing one can do is that it at least stays on the road πŸ™‚ Luckily there isn’t much traffic when I drive to and from work so the car and I can mostly flow as we wish πŸ™‚

 

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Have You ever heardΒ about the beings called Vittror? I can actually not find any English name for them so they are probably exclusive to northern Sweden and Norway. They are relatives to our VΓ€ttar (Wights) and like the wights they tend to live close to humans and in big families. They normally look like humans but perhaps not even half the size. Unlike a wight they dress in bright red clothes and look a bit more tidy to be honest. They can however take the form of an animal, like striped worms and if one by accident would walk on one of those worms the foot usually starts aching or if one is unlucky one get seriously ill.

 

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Vittror have their own livestock and besides being much smaller and extremely more beautiful than ours they also always are bright white. Their cows and goats give much more milk too than ours do.They wear tiny silver bells thatΒ Β sounds very mysterious and melodic. If one should see one of their cows the important thing was to quickly throw a steel knife over it. If one so do one is allowed to keep the cow but the owner would pay a visit later that day with some demands. The cow could stay as long as one don’t milk it too much and if it would get a calf that calf would belong to Vittrorna.Β 

 

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Vittror always move their livestock on the same paths and if one would build a home on one of them the owner will never get any peace in that house. One can either sleep with all doors open so vittrorna can pass as they please or simply move the house to another place πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ It does happen that vittror, like trolls can kidnap a child but they will usually return the child after three days, I guess even our small children just eat too much πŸ™‚ Some vittror own lakes and if one toss in a silver coin before fishing one will get plenty of fish, unless it is one of their pikes, called troll pike, because they are impossible to get out of the lake.

 

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It isn’t easy to live with all these beings πŸ™‚ I think that I would have moved the house, open doors in summer with all the mosquitoes we have is no nice thing to experience πŸ™‚

 

This is how the writer and artist Johan Egerkrans see vittror.

 

Have a great day!


Four days left.

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Today I could write about our racist party, well they aren’t racists but…. as they always say but I won’t. Well I can write this, they say that our native people, who lived here long before any one elseΒ aren’t Swedish. If any are wouldn’t it be them? They say a lot of other crap too and it is nice that they finally show their true color, nazi brown. I could also tell You that they want to register everyone that has at least one parent born in another country, even though if that person is a Swedish citizen. That’s nice isn’t it? I wonder how long it will take until they want people to wear different colored stars on their clothes? One isn’t a true Swede until after the third generation is born here, well unless one belongs to the native people or is jewish. As I said at work, at least I’ll be deported to the Mediterranean since my grandfather was from the former Yugoslavia πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ (there’s too little Russian blood in me I hope because Russia isn’t somewhere I would like to be deported to πŸ™‚ )

 

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The day has passed fairly quick and I can only hope the rest of the week will too. I know those three weeks at home will πŸ™‚ It’s like going to bed on Friday just to wake up three weeks later so I can go to work. I really need to win the lottery now πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ The cold seems to be better but my voice is going down hill, I’m so hoarse now that even I have trouble hearing what I’m saying πŸ™‚ I hope some hot cocoa will help me with that, it’s worth a try anyway πŸ™‚

 

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It looks as if the repair of the fence worked fine, there was no little slightly fat spaniel running around outside the dog yard when I came home. I’m not worried that he would run away, he would be so worried if he couldn’t see the others so the furthest he would go would be to the gate of my property. It’s those not knowing or caring that there might be animals running around here I worry about, they could hit him with tha car. I have to say that the last timber lorry that was here had a fantastic driver. It was completely black outside and I had just come home from work and like always the dogs ran anywhere but to the open gate. He was just three meters (much the same in yards) away from one of my dogs when he saw him. If he hadn’t managed to stop the car he would have torn down my garage because he’d rather hit that than the dog πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for that cocoa (we say cacao in Swedish πŸ™‚ ) and I need something to eat too. The ogs have already had theur dinner but that won’t stop them from begging for mine πŸ™‚ By te way, did You know that the Swedish name for a kite is drake, that means dragon πŸ™‚

 

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Have a great day!


Thankfully not problems of mine.

Most of the frost had melted when it finally was bright enough to go outside this morning. There still was some on the pumkin though.

Most of the frost had melted when it finally was bright enough to go outside this morning. There still was some on the pumpkin though.

The rice porridge is slowly boiling on the stove and for once there are some sounds from the fire, I guess there’s lots of resin mixed in to the fire logs this time. I could of course go outside to the wood shed and fetch some “real” wood but I feel just too lazy right now πŸ™‚ We were supposed to get some sunshine today but like always the predictions were so wrong, they don’t even get the bad weather right now days πŸ™‚

 

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I had just done the laundry, taken a shower and started to relax, even thinking of taking a nap when my neighbor came knocking on my door. The battery had given up in his car so he wanted me to bring my car so we could connect the batteries. I know they connected good because there were sparks when the last connection was connected to his car. Still the starter just clicked. Suddenly it worked for a few seconds then it died again, the starter that is. The car was totally dead all the time.

 

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A bit blurry and a bit grainy but he refused to stand still long enough and it was so dark that I had to use ISO 4000.

 

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Suddenly it worked again but it took a while before the engine started, we could smell the petrol flying out of the exhaust pipe πŸ™‚ The engine must have been totally filled with petrol after all the tries he had made before coming to me. When it did start the garage was filled with fumes and it looked like it was burning in there πŸ™‚ My guess is that he has a bad battery but also that the starter is starting to give up. I’m not sure I would have driven anywhere with that car unless it was to the garage where they can fix it but off he went to his parents and I hope he reached them. He could have borrowed my car if it was to work he was going.

 

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We walked over the fields to get home again. I wasn't sure Hector would manage to pass where the old road had fallen down into the creek. But it turns out he did it very well.

We walked over the fields to get home again. I wasn’t sure Hector would manage to pass where the old road had fallen down into the creek. But it turns out he did it very well.

Orvar however had huge problems. He was so scared that his legs trembled. I think it was the bright white color that scared him. Sune was the one showing him how to do it. He just jumped back over to the plastic covered concrete pipes and showed Orvar how to do it, several times.

Orvar however had huge problems. He was so scared that his legs trembled. I think it was the bright white color that scared him. Sune was the one showing him how to do it. He just jumped back over to the plastic covered concrete pipes and showed Orvar how to do it, several times. As You see there’s not much water to cross.

 

Tomorrow starts the last week before Christmas vacation πŸ™‚ I can’t say I will miss work even though I do like to work there but I need those almost three weeks off after this long and dark autumn. We have no holidays what so ever after midsummer, they have placed them all during spring when it’s warm and long days anyway. By writing this I know that most people don’t get almost three weeks christmas vacation, not even here in Sweden but most people most likely need it. Isn’t it amazing that these holidays we’re about to have are the most stressful ones we have when they really should be just the opposite.

 

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This is how much sunshine we got today :-)

This is how much sunshine we got today πŸ™‚

 

I forgot to write about yesterday, Saint Lucia’s day. December 13th has always been very important here and now days we celebrate the catholic saint Lucia from Syracuse, even though this country has been mostly Lutheran protestant since the break from the catholic church. But like always the celebrations have their pagan history and never really became christian no matter how much the church tried to make it so πŸ™‚ I write every year about these holidays and the pagan past they have, do You want me to do so this year too? I think I still have some beings to describe and perhaps I can dig up something new I haven’t written about before, with a bit of luck πŸ™‚

 

This is the scarf that arrived in that second package from Joyce. It is so soft that I almost don't feel it while wearing it! There were also these hand made tags/ christmastree ornaments. Each has the first letter in our names printed on them. I'll place them in the tree because they are light enough.

This is the scarf that arrived in that second package from Joyce. It is so soft that I almost don’t feel it while wearing it! There were also these hand made tags/ christmastree ornaments. Each has the first letter in our names printed on them. I’ll place them in the tree because they are light enough.

 

The porridge is ready to eat and it’s time to feed the dogs and cats too.

Have a great day!


It missed us totally.

The big black spot on this cats chin makes it look surprised :-)

The big black spot on this cats chin makes it look surprised πŸ™‚

I don’t think we had any wind to speak of last night, the storm missed us totally. The snow became rain but we were very close to it, I could see snow on the mountain and even on the farm at the base of it only 500 meters (much the same in yards) away. It was a snow chaos not far away though so we were lucky this time. Well I can’t say I love rain but it’s better than deep snow πŸ™‚

 

Snow on the mountain and doesn't it look like the barn has snow on the roof?

Snow on the mountain and doesn’t it look like the barn has snow on the roof?

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Even though it has been more or less wind free here around my cottage it still hasn’t been an especially nice day, it has been in to the bones chilly but that gives an excuse to stay indoors keeping the fire burning on the stove. I was going to vacuum the floors but swept them instead. The thought of using my huge vacuum cleaner that sounds slightly more than a jumbo jet wasn’t at all appealing πŸ™‚Β The second package from Joyce arrived yesterday but I forgot to take photos so I’ll do that until tomorrow instead.

 

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We took shelter in the old stable for a while when the rain was as worst.

We took shelter in the old stable for a while when the rain was as worst.

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Even if I took a nap earlier today I still have no energy to do anything really. Too bad because we’ll get a clear sky tonight and isn’t a meteor shower supposed to happen this weekend? Would have been nice to see it when we for once have a clear sky. It will be cold too tonight so I’m hoping for some frost photos tomorrow morning.

 

This is as high as the sun gets this time of year here.

This is as high as the sun gets this time of year here.

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It’s time to give the dogs something to eat and to make a big pot with coffee for me. I’ve had tea all day and need a change πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


We are all waiting for the second one.

Not taken today. I like it even if it is bad in so many ways :-)

Not taken today. I like it even if it is bad in so many ways πŸ™‚

I went to work this morning, I had only coughed so I woke upΒ once and felt almost close to feeling less bad πŸ™‚ Fridays are half days and I start with washing the paint box and it’s rather an easy job. We also have a meeting every Friday that is around half an hour long and with the breakfast break there isn’t much hard work to do πŸ™‚ An easy start I thought and after half an hours work I wished I had stayed at home πŸ™‚ The rest of the day was easy though and today we had a big meeting when we had alcohol free glΓΆgg, a kind ofΒ mulled wine, gingerbread and Lussekatter (saffron buns).

 

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We who work at the factory gave our yule present to the owner family and they gave us ours from them. This year we got a bottle Blueberry and Lingonberry mulled wine (not alcohol free) and a bottle of sparkling wine called Freixenet Carta Nevada (and we also got a box of chocolates πŸ™‚ ). I love mulled wine but am not a wine person otherwise but I tend to like white sparkling wine so this will most likely go down too :-)I think we gave them dinner in a restaurant in the biggest city (or town is perhaps a better word) and tickets to the movies.

 

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There's so much water in the bog right now that new small creeks are being created.

There’s so much water in the bog right now that new small creeks are being created.

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When I came home I saw something odd, I thought I saw a slightly fat spaniel running around outside the garage but very quickly disappearing behind the wood shed. I jumped out the car and walked on that side to see if I could find and holes in the ground where a slightly fat spaniel might have come out from πŸ™‚ The odd thing was that there was no hole and the slightly fat spaniel ran around on the other side of the fence? πŸ™‚ So I walked back to the car and to my big surprise I found that the slightly fat spaniel, also called Sune ran past me to the car πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

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So I walked back with a very happy spaniel by my feet and started looking again. It turns out that there’s a gap in the fence at the bottom of it, towards the ground. It was almost impossible to see but big enough for Sune to squeeze through. So the first thing I had to do was to tighten that fence towards the groundΒ which showed to be impossible. So instead I now have some boards nailed to the fencepost and hooked to the fence itself. Sune isn’t a dog that continues to try something if it fails the first time, thankfully πŸ™‚ If it had been Nova finding that hole I would have to rebuild the entire dog yard this weekend, she never gives up πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

There's a rather big, very old tree stump in the forest that I like a lot. It is so old that even the tree fungus is very old and now covered with both lichens and mosses.

There’s a rather big, very old tree stump in the forest that I like a lot. It is so old that even the tree fungus is very old and now covered with both lichens and mosses.

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Tree funguses don't rot, they just get old and wood like. Here's one totally covered in moss.

Tree funguses don’t rot, they just get old and wood like. Here’s one totally covered in moss.

 

 

We are all waiting for the storm now, I’ve placed everything that I can’t tie somewhere Β in the garage now and I’ll go outside to pick in more fire logs just in case it’s bad tomorrow morning so I rather stay indoors πŸ™‚ But it seems the storm will go much further south than they first predicted, they have changed it from hurricane wind to strong gale here in this area. it will be a hurricane where it hits further south though. We might get lots of snow though but it seems it will be mixed with some rain but then again, they predict the temperature will drop to 0C (32F) and that usually means below that here. Could be some nice photos if the snow stays for some hours.

 

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So it feels just right to watch the movie The Day After Tomorrow this evening πŸ™‚ There’s nothing like watching a disaster film while there’s a storm howling outside the windows πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


Now we’re waiting for the next one.

There it is! Only 23 days until I can open it :-) Our big day is on Christmas eve here in Sweden, when children meet the Yule Gnome in their homes and lots of them cry like crazy becauase he scares the s... out of them :-)

There it is! Only 23 days until I can open it πŸ™‚ Our big day is on Christmas eve here in Sweden, when children meet the Yule Gnome in their homes and lots of them cry like crazy becauase he scares the s… out of them πŸ™‚

A storm was passing by here yesterday night, well it continued for quite some time but the worst was during the night. We were supposed to get up to 5cm (two inches) of snow and the winds were supposed to be around 22m/s (49,2 mph). The snow did arrive much later than predicted and it melted as soon as it hit the ground. The winds reached hurricane force at some places so the predictions weren’t that super πŸ™‚Β 

 

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So how wasΒ the windsΒ like here You may wonder, well I heard them but the forest and my neighbors cottage took all of it so it was quite nice here in my garden, almost no wind at all πŸ™‚ Another storm, much worse than this is said to pass southern Sweden starting on Friday night towards Saturday morning. At first they predicted near hurricane forces here too, very unusual this far from the ocean, but it seems they now predict it to go a bit more south so we’ll miss the worst. No matter how south or north it will pass it will have the same direction as the previous one so I will most likely only hear it here and that’s nothing I’ll complain aboutΒ πŸ™‚

 

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I was planning on going to work today but after coughing away the entire night I can’t say I was way too tired and probably a dangerous driver. I did manage to sleep a couple of hours around noon and if the coughing stops I won’t have any problems falling asleep tonight :-)I started to feed the deers this week but the weather is probably to mild yet, none have turned up to eat. Perhaps no surprise since dogs are used in the hunting now and they still have plenty to eat out there. Why risk anything by going to a place with four dogs πŸ™‚ Most of the old deers seems to be gone now too so the ones left really don’t know us that well.

 

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I was surprised to see the mail woman drive down our road yesterday and even more so when she stopped at my cottage. The package from Joyce has arrived πŸ™‚ I’ve promised not to open it up before yule so I can’t tell You what’s inside it until then πŸ™‚ I have now posted all yule cards, I hope, for this year. I do hope the ones overseas will arrive to their destinations, they have a tendency not to. I think it might have to do with the mailbox in the village where I work because it’s mostly those I post there that never reach their destination, so I’ve changed mailbox this year.

 

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It’s time for a big cup of coffee to keep me awake πŸ™‚ and perhaps something to eat as well.

 

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Have a great day!


I’m using lots and lots of ginger.

She understood that I had spotted her but the ground was so filled with twigs and branches that she could move only with tiny steps.

She understood that I had spotted her but the ground was so filled with twigs and branches that she could move only with tiny steps.

We’ve had sunshine today, this I know because I’m at home trying to get rid of that cold of mine. I slept through most of it but saw it when I woke up with a nasty cramp in my left calf muscle πŸ™‚ The clouds came back but every now and again the sun peeks through the few gaps there are between the clouds.

 

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The birds in the area have understood that I’ve started to fill the feeders so there are so many now that it is impossible to count them. They are all looking for the few sunflower seeds in the mixture and toss out the other seeds from the feeders to the ground, spoiled little brats πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ No unusual bird around yet though, the winter is just too mild for them to leave the security they have in the forest.

 

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Nova accepts the cats but she has never really shown that she likes them, so You can understand my surprise when I saw her cleaning Bertil’s right ear one day and she continued to do so the entire day. Naturally I had to see if he had an ear infection or had put his head in something sticky. It turns out he’s been in a fight again, most likely with Teodor this time because they can at the moment not stand each other. He had a wound that poured out pus! I’ve cleaned it with hydrogen peroxide and it looks to heal very good. Nova still keeps her interest in that ear so I’ll be checking it for some time more.

 

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It seems Teodor also had a big fight with Salmiak some days ago, Salmiak was once brave enough to walk in to our garden and Teodor has never forgiven him πŸ™‚ It can also be that he doesn’t like the fact that Bertil and Salmiak are good friends or a combination of both. Teodor is otherwise the cuddly cat here, almost too cuddly so this was a bit of a surprise too πŸ™‚

 

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Could this be the beginning of a new dam? I wish they could start perhaps 3 meters (much the same in yards) further up stream because the creek is flowing much deeper there with high walls on both sides. If it is here they will most likely destroy it again.

Could this be the beginning of a new dam? I wish they could start perhaps 3 meters (much the same in yards) further up-stream because the creek is flowing much deeper there with high walls on both sides. If it is here they will most likely destroy it again.

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The kettle is on the stove and I’m boiling water to make rose-hip soup. Lots of ginger in it and I have no idea if that helps against the cold but I sure do like the taste πŸ™‚

 

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Have a great day!


I didn’t notice any change in speed.

I have a macro setting on my tele photo lens. I can't say it was easy to photograph this lichen :-)

I have a macro setting on my tele photo lens. I can’t say it was easy to photograph this lichen πŸ™‚

The roads this morning were soapy slippery when they were as best πŸ™‚ Strange really because it had been above 0C (32F) almost all night but it seems the last rain that fell was icy rain and it froze as soon as it hit the roads. I always hit the brakes as soon as I come out on the big road outside the village. I could hear and feel how they were working but didn’t notice much when it came to speed loss πŸ™‚ I can tell You that I’m glad I always leave for work in good time because I needed that today πŸ™‚

 

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I was almost alone on the road when I started driving on the high way so I tried the brakes again and the car stopped immediately so I started driving like I always do. The problem is that I cross the border to another county so it isn’t sure the road is as good there as it is in my county. It was when I met long caravans with cars that I understood that the road was worse in the other county. They all drove very slow so I did the same. Didn’t help much because suddenly my car started to slide a little, at the same time I met a lorry that also started to slide a little πŸ™‚

 

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We missed each other with a few inches I think and at least I came to work as planned Β πŸ™‚ and with a few minutes left before I had to walk to the neighbor factory to paint some. I can’t say I felt super fine but I did feel a bit better than yesterday. I work with a fresh air mask while painting so the air is rather cold on winter days, the only thing they do is to remove any humidity in the air because that air is also the air that keep the pressure equipment going. So it didn’t take long before my nose started running and I started to cough. The cold air chilled down the blood in my lungs so I started to freeze but my body started to heat up instead πŸ™‚

 

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Salmiak and he's not happy to see us :-)

Salmiak and he’s not happy to see us πŸ™‚

 

I went home early πŸ™‚ and now I have a fever. This might pass during the night and if so I’ll go to work tomorrow, if not I’ll stay at home. The dogs will be happy if I don’t go πŸ™‚ I have the fire burning in my stove and Sune is sleeping beside the kitchen radiator. Personally I don’t think it is especially cold but if Sune sleeps close to a radiator I guess it must be πŸ™‚

 

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It is time for lots of tea and rose hip soup. I’ll have ginger in both I think, it will give it all a christmasy feeling to the taste πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


I will put up a fight :-)

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I can’t say that I’ve had a good night, every time I tried to swallow it hurt so bad that I woke up. I also needed to go to the bathroom a lot because I drank a lot of hot tea and rose-hip soup, it was the best think to make my throat feel a bit less bad. That part I could have thought of before I drank all that πŸ™‚ My throat is still very sour but better than it was last night, now I have a head ache instead so I think I safely can say that the cold has found me πŸ™‚ Still no fever though! Well it will come later onΒ I think πŸ™‚

 

Not especially more bright today but every now and again I have seen a rip in the clouds and blue sky has shown for a second or two.

Not especially more bright today but every now and again I have seen a rip in the clouds and blue sky has shown for a second or two.

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A nights work from the wild hogs. We could both hear and smell them but from different directions, so I guess we had at least two flocks of them close to us.

 

 

I had hoped for some frost this morning because the night was clear and rather cold but it was warm and very windy when we woke up and now it rains. No heavy showers but enough to make me want to stay indoors, even the dogs rather stay here in the cottage. I must go outside in a while anyway to fill the bird feeders, I’ve just bought 30kg (66,14 pound) of wild bird seeds. Normally I almost only buy sunflower seeds but I’m hoping to see some Gold finches and other birds who don’t like sunflower seeds especially much.

 

It's never wrong to save some photos from the summer :-) Looks so much nicer than how it is outside now :-)

It’s never wrong to save some photos from the summer πŸ™‚ Looks so much nicer than how it is outside now πŸ™‚

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The result of buying wild bird seeds, is that the right way to write it? it sounds like I could use those seeds to sow wild birds πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ , is that next year will have to pull up lots of hemp plants, they are so illegal to have even if they have been sowed by birds πŸ™‚ I’ll also pour out some deer food later but I’m hoping the rain will calm down some so the pellet’s don’t dissolve to a porridge before the deer arrive. I was planning on checking the light chains outside too but the weather really don’t encourages me to do so πŸ™‚

 

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The laundry is hanging on the patio to dry in the wind but I think the rain might reach it, well I can always see it as an extra rinsing πŸ™‚ It can stay out there for a few days before I need to bring it in to dry properly, at least as long as the wind don’t get stronger or change direction. It comes from the right angle today so most of my garden is wind free.

 

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It is time for more hot tea, some ginger and honey. I might lose the warΒ against the cold but I will at least give it a proper fight πŸ™‚

Have a great day!


They are behaving like 4-year-old kids!

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I’m sitting here a bit annoyed, the weather is so boring but at least the rain has stopped falling. But I have also lost over 30 photos that I just downloaded to the computer and naturally I deleted the photos as soon as they had been downloaded. I have no idea how or why this happened, I did like I always do but suddenly they just aren’t there!!! I mean, how can something I’ve just downloaded just vanish without a trace?Β 

 

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We had almost fog here this morning, it sort of was there but in a distance, it looked like it would come closer but it was like something stopped it on its way here. At least with the fog the morning could have been interesting instead of just very dark πŸ™‚ Even the hunters gave up much earlier than they use to, the rain might have helped to take that decision too of course.

 

Not the brightest of days and this is way after the sun had risen.

Not the brightest of days and this is way after the sun had risen.

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The only thing we see and hear about in the news now is politics, the minority government fell in the voting about the budget. The racists had put forth a budget of their own as had the rest of the opposition (four parties that was our previous government, they call themselves the Alliance and each party doesn’t seem to have a view of their own now days). First the racists voted for their own budget which of course fell, then they voted for the Alliance’s budget which then got more votes than the governments one πŸ™‚

 

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The government then had three options, they could either ask the Speaker of the Parliament to look for another way to form a government, they could just accept the budget that was voted for or decide that we would have a new election. The Alliance counted on the Prime minister to ask the Speaker of the Parliament to see if there was another way to form a government and had already sort of created a new one. Even if the rulers in my county accepted to rule this county after the oppositions budget πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ it really wasn’t an option for this government and they would sure as h… not let the Alliance take over.

 

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So to everyone’s big surprise they decided that we’ll have new elections on Mars 22. The Alliance is behaving much like the Republican party in the USA, say no to everything and refuse to even consider cooperating on anything (because they didn’t like losing the powerΒ last elections πŸ™‚ ) and then blame the government for not doing anything πŸ™‚ The government we have isn’t much better to be honest and the racists are like they always are. The racists have also pissed of big groups that would have gained on the budget they voted no to, so they might not gain anything from this and they know that. Especially since 40% of those voting for them did it because they like their leader, not their politics. Their leader is now on sick leave because he worked so much that he hit the wall so to speak. It is doubtful that he will be able to come back before the election.

 

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So at the moment our parliament is filled with people who behaves like jealous 4-year-old kids, everyone blaming everyone for the chaos they have created. I wonder why they get paid at all to be honest! They shouldn’t get any pay checks until they started behaving like the adults they are supposed to be and take responsibility for what they are doing no matter what party they belong to!

 

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It’s time for a cup of tea with some honey because my throat is sour and I fear the cold found me too.

Have a great day!


What I accidently bought myself :-)

Itb is hard to believe that this photo is taken around pm, it's so dark now.

Itb is hard to believe that this photo is taken around pm, it’s so dark now.

It has been a gray and dull day with some drizzling and some heavier rain too but thankfully not over my village because the old boys weren’t especially muddy. It rained a lot more up on the mountain when I went to the grocery store/ postoffice in Gudhem. The new owner of the store was so sick, an awful cold that also hits more and more people at work, so she really should have been at home in a warm bed drinking lots of hot cocoa and eating yummy cookies πŸ™‚Β 

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It is the same film that I use in my Hasselblad.

She must have had a high fever because she was a bit slow in thinking πŸ™‚ and her eyes didn’t follow especially well when she was looking towards me. Well that’s life when one has ones own business, it’s impossible to be sick and to stay at home if one can’t find or afford someone else to come in and work instead. I opened up the package as soon as I came home, something the dogs didn’t like especially much since they were expecting us to take a walk πŸ™‚

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I wasn’t supposed to buy this camera at all but I was looking around on the Swedish eBay, called Tradera and no one had placed a bid on this camera and it was just a few hours left until the auction was going to be over. Normally the bidding starts as soon as the first bid comes in so I never thought I would get it πŸ™‚ I paid the astonishing amount of 29 swedish kronor (that would be around $ 4 US) for it. It is fully functional and the speed on the shutter is correct too. The fun thing is that a precisely exact camera was sold for a lot more the same day πŸ™‚ The shipping however costed almost twice for whar I paid for the camera πŸ™‚

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I will of course try it at least once with film in it but after that I think it will just stand as an ornament here at home. It took some time until I realised how to put in a film in it, one simply removes the camera from the case and puts it in from the front πŸ™‚ The camera needs a good cleaning though, it is impossible to see through the seeker at all πŸ™‚ The lens is also a bit dusty but that seems easy enough to reach from the inside. It is made sometime around 1930ish and has been standing in a camera shop camera museum in northern Norway. I guess the seller might haveΒ inherited all these cameras because he is putting out lots and lots of them right now, perhaps not the best idea if one wants to make money on selling them. He sort of floods the market.

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It is time to give the dogs, cats and myself something to eat and after that I better start writing those cards so I can send them away on Monday.

Have a great day!


They were quick!

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As always during the dark winter, the photos shown now is from the weekend or earlier.

I have to say I’m impressed by those businesses making my Β yule cards, I say those because I ordered from two different places. Why You may wonder and I would say I did it because I don’t use my brain much enough πŸ™‚ I had already ordered two packages of cards when I realised I only had ordered one package, so I ordered one more and when I had done that I noticed that the card I used only consisted of 19,8 KB! It should be something over 1MB so I thought those cards would be rather crappy to be honest.

 

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So, since it was a bit embarrassing and I guess they would start to wonder what I was doing I looked at another business that I’ve used before. This time I found a square card and liked how the photo looked ( after checking that I used the right one this time πŸ™‚ ). This card was much more expensive but I did like it a lot. Today all cards arrived in the mail and it turns out the ones I thought would be crappy actually are quite good too πŸ™‚ They would have worked just fine as yule cards after all πŸ™‚ But to be honest, the square ones are worth their higher price.

 

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Nothing much has happened otherwise today, the temperature has stayed just above 0C (32F) and we’ve had that kind of rain that is almost like fog but too thin to even create haze. It’s just annoying when it hits the wind shield when driving home in the dark, as soon as one meet another car it’s impossible to see anything. Well they did come today to continue the renovation of our paint box, now it’s even worse than before πŸ™‚ The more they work with it the more peculiar things they find πŸ™‚ They upgraded the soft ware and suddenly the machine told them that nothing really is ok with it πŸ™‚

 

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Before the machine was so stupid that it didn’t understand that it actually couldn’t work with the different parts in it πŸ™‚ It seems that some owner before us picked out things that we really would need now and they had put in things that has no use at all πŸ™‚ We can still use it but only in a total manual mode, we don’t even have the pre programmed programs to see how much paint we should use to each and every part while painting, it will get more interesting for a while now πŸ™‚

 

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It’s time for a pot of tea and something to eat, tomorrow is Friday and a short working day and I’ll also walk over to the neighbor factory to work for a few hours. After work I’ll go to the post office in Gudhem to pick up a package, I bought something I really hadn’t planned to but it was so cheap it doesn’t matter πŸ™‚ I’ll tell You more about that tomorrow πŸ™‚

Have a great day!