Archive for December, 2014

Isn’t it typical.

DSC_0021

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 soย naturally I usedย that last roll of film yesterday ๐Ÿ™‚ So typical ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

DSC_0022

DSC_0023

DSC_0025

 

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.ย 

 

DSC_0031

DSC_0032

DSC_0035

 

I’ve made apple pies these last two days, half sized ones so together they really became one normal sized ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

 

DSC_0037

DSC_0038

DSC_0039

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 

 

DSC_0040

DSC_0043

DSC_0046

 

He, I have no idea if it was a he but I named it Robert ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ He tortured my other pets just because he knew he could ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately jackdaws smell rather bad ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0052

DSC_0054

DSC_0055

 

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.

 

DSC_0056

DSC_0058

DSC_0060

 

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.

 

DSC_0063

DSC_0064

DSC_0065

 

Have a great day!


I would stay warm.

DSC_0025

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0031

DSC_0033

DSC_0032

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

DSC_0027

DSC_0028

DSC_0036

DSC_0037

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ The animals are always the ones showing something is wrong in disaster movies ๐Ÿ™‚ The light snow fall that is on its way would of course be the storm of the millenniaย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A winter flower.

A winter flower.

DSC_0039

DSC_0040

DSC_0041

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ They tend to do so in disaster movies, the American military that is ๐Ÿ™‚ No one, in real life or movies believes the Swedish army to do anything else than to die with all the others ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0043

DSC_0045

DSC_0046

DSC_0047

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0049

DSC_0050

DSC_0051

DSC_0053

DSC_0054

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

-18C (-0,4F) as coldest tonight but at the time we came out on our walk it was balmy -12C (10,4F) ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

2014-12-2 (1)

DSC_0025

DSC_0027

DSC_0028

DSC_0029

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

DSC_0031

The Forbidden Forest looked quite inviting.

The Forbidden Forest looked quite inviting.

DSC_0033

DSC_0034

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0038

DSC_0039

DSC_0040

DSC_0043

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0047

DSC_0048

DSC_0049

DSC_0050

DSC_0051

 

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.

 

DSC_0096

DSC_0097

DSC_0098

DSC_0126

DSC_0127

 

Have a great day!

 

DSC_0121

 


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 

 

DSC_0051

DSC_0052

DSC_0053

DSC_0054

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 oneย more waiting in the fridge.

 

DSC_0055

DSC_0056

DSC_0057

DSC_0059

 

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 lessย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0067

DSC_0068

DSC_0069

DSC_0071

 

Today, like all days so far on this vacation will be a day of relaxation ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ , 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ The smaller birds didn’t mind them at all but as soon as a magpie showed up all small birds flew away.

 

DSC_0072

DSC_0073

DSC_0075

DSC_0076

 

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

 

DSC_0078

DSC_0079

DSC_0088

DSC_0093

 

Have a great day!


Frosty.

DSC_0020

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.

 

DSC_0024

DSC_0025

DSC_0026

DSC_0027

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0029

DSC_0030

DSC_0031

DSC_0032

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ A perfect name for a perfect little bull ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

DSC_0034

DSC_0036

DSC_0037

DSC_0038

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0041

DSC_0042

DSC_0043

DSC_0044

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0049

DSC_0052

DSC_0059

DSC_0060

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 uppesittarkvรคll on the two biggest networks (not together of course ๐Ÿ™‚ ). There’s no good translation for uppesittarkvรคll 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ The host is jolly and laughs a lot, all the time actually ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Cookies and candy, life is good ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ New tea varieties too, can never have to much of that.

DSC_0036

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ร  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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I also got a favorite cookie package of mine, Maple Leaf cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ They are a bit dangerous because they just taste better the more one eat ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ย 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.

DSC_0045

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 Gรคvle and almost every year someone burns it down ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

DSC_0051

DSC_0052

 

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 Nรคcken but he had no intention of drowning anyone though ๐Ÿ™‚ 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? ๐Ÿ™‚
These coming photos are from yesterday or earlier.

DSC_0021

DSC_0022

 

The second relative was the Skeppsrรฅ. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_0026

DSC_0027

 

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, Sรคrimner (I think You call himย Sรฆhrรญmnir 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_0059

 

ย Thank You both Joyce and Dianna!ย 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a print of a front paw.

 

ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

DSC_0015

DSC_0016

and then the sky turned dark grey.

 

DSC_0017

 

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.

 

DSC_0018

DSC_0021

DSC_0023

 

ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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.

DSC_0025

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

 

DSC_0027

DSC_0028

DSC_0029

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ and perhaps something more too ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0030

DSC_0031

DSC_0033

DSC_0034

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ After that I jumped in to my car and drove to Falkรถping, 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.

 

DSC_0007

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ I got everything else I wanted though ๐Ÿ™‚ The package came from Dianna in Canada and I sort of know what I’ll get ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll show You all on Christmas Eve when I open them and the big package from Joyce ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The Hazel is ready for an early start.

The Hazel is ready for an early start.

DSC_0026

DSC_0027

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_0035

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0039

DSC_0042

DSC_0044

 

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.ย 

 

DSC_0005

DSC_0008

DSC_0010

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0004

DSC_0006

DSC_0002

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a great day!


They have it on film!

DSC_0022

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 anย epileptic seizure so they changed that ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0023

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.

DSC_0025

DSC_0026

 

I too fixed my lightย chains.ย 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 lightย chain, You know the one that would look like it was dressed with spruce twigs but just looked really bad? ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

DSC_0027

DSC_0030

DSC_0032

DSC_0033

 

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 oneย they have in Loch Ness, the Sea Serpent. We cal the one we have in the lake Storsjรถn Storsjรถodjuret. 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.

 

DSC_0035

DSC_0036

DSC_0037

DSC_0038

 

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 Storsjรถn 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.

 

DSC_0039

DSC_0040

DSC_0043

DSC_0045

 

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: Storsjรถodjuret.ย 

 

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

Sune doesn’t stand a chance when they are chasing each other ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_0052

DSC_0057

DSC_0059

 

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.

DSC_0003

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

DSC_0005

DSC_0007

DSC_0008

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ So far no luck though so I might need to change bait soon to something else, jam perhaps?

 

The WOW trees.

The WOW trees.

DSC_0011

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

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 canยดt 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.

DSC_0020

DSC_0021

DSC_0023

 

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.

DSC_0004

DSC_0007

 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

DSC_0011

DSC_0014

DSC_0015

DSC_0018

DSC_0019

 

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!