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!

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16 responses

  1. jaz

    it’s funny to see my scarf in sweden! it’s so sweet that sune taught orvar how to cross the pipe.

    December 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    • Hi Joyce!

      It is so amazingly soft and warm! This will be a good companion when the cold really hits! Thank You!

      I tried talking him down to the concrete pipes but it just didn’t work, so I’m glad that Sune helped and showed how to do it. Orvar really has good friends πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

  2. Wendy from NY

    That scarf is beautiful! How amazing is that Joyce? A heart as big as the whole world!

    That old Bertil cat looks like a raccoon!

    Love the third picture, of the tree limbs. Keeping that one in my computer for a future background.

    You and your neighbor are both lucky that car didn’t blow you and the garage up! πŸ˜‰

    December 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    • Hi Wendy!

      It’s so soft and warm! She is amazing!

      He sort of does πŸ™‚ I hope it will take several years until we can find raccoons here. They already are here in the country, they have caught them on surveillans film further south. No matter how cute they are they don’t belong in our nature and I’ve read about how nasty thay can be πŸ™‚

      That is the only photo I really like from this mornings walk.

      I don’t think the risk of blowing us up was especially big but it took a while until I could close the engine cover so he could drive out fropm the garage, so there was a big risk he would have been carbon monoxide poisoned πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 14, 2014 at 8:08 pm

  3. Hi Christer –

    I think your neighbor has a pretty good chance of getting stuck each time he turns his engine off. I’ve had a number of cars with battery issues & bad starters. I am surprised the car managed to start at all. I learned the hard way that each time a car is jumped it damages the alternator as well as the battery. As you know, when a starter goes bad it needs to be replaced. They aren’t like a battery and die slowly. Starters usually give little sign of a problem until you go to turn the engine on & there is nothing but silence. After finding myself at a gas station in the middle of nowhere with a dead starter & being told it would take 3 days to get the part, I am paranoid about bad starters because you may be lucky & get the car going once & then the next time you turn off the engine – that the end of it. Maybe your neighbor doesn’t care if he get stuck at his parent’s house.

    It was sweet to hear how the dogs helped one another at the water crossing. Poor Hector with his shaking legs. He made it despite his nervousness. The bright white color could have been so much contrast with the landscape that it affected their depth perception. Good thing Sune coached Ovar on how to make the crossing. Ovar must be a pretty smart dog to do that and Sune is lucky to have him for a friend.
    The scarf Joyce gave you looks so soft & warm. It will be great for wearing on your morning walks once the weather get cold enough. The ornaments will look great on your tree. How nice that they are personalized with everyone’s initial.
    I meant to tell you Happy St. Lucia Day. When I was looking up the saffron buns your boss had at your office meeting I found a video that described St. Lucia Day. It sounded like it was a bit religious, part pagan & part Halloween. When you were you were a kid did you ever dress up as a Star Boy or Gingerbread Boy? The video made it sound like it was a major holiday in Sweden & that there were nightime processions with wearing white robes & lots of candles & singing. I like the part about the animals being able to talk in human voices. We hear that they can talk at midnight Christmas Eve. I also read about the different creatures that live under people’s houses and can help you make the saffron buns or ruin them for you. I can’t recall the names, but they sounded like they were helpful if their living conditions were good under your house, but if they lived under a barn or stable and the horse waste leaked through the floor & into the creature’s homes they would get back at you in not so good ways. Basically make your life a living hell. I thought those of us of Irish decent had more little people, fairies and mythical creatures, but I can see the Sweds have us beat in that area. Swedish trolls & creatures tend to be more meaner & more violent than Irish creatures too. Clearly, people had too much time on their hands hundreds of years ago when they dreamed up all these tiny personalities & the tales that go with them.

    I can understand your looking forward to such a long vacation. Here it is so different. Most Americans that have vacation time accured do not get to take advantage of it because they feel they cannot leave their job because either they are needed or the work requires them to be there all the time. The last figures were something like 89% of US workers were not able to use their vacation days. So, while Americans are the hardest workers & spend more hours working than any other country, people’s mental health & even the quality of their work suffers from rarely getting time off. Part of the reason I dislike cell phones & e-mail is that I don’t think it is healthy to always be accessible to people. When I see my young adult nieces& nephews constantly looking at their phones & even waking up at night to see if they have texts, I think they are addicted to these devices. I see adults of all types with this same behavior. When I worked I made sure I used up every day of vacation I had earned because if we didn’t use the days by the end of the year they were gone. They didn’t carry over to the next year and we could not be paid for unused vacation days. I think it is great that you can take a nice long break & really feel the benefits of leaving all work behind you once your vacation begins. Much nicer than the occasional day off.
    I hope your last week of work goes quickly

    December 14, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    • Hi Ellen!

      I could see his car by his cottage now so he did come home πŸ™‚ But I know to well what You mean πŸ™‚ It could help to hit the starter with a hammer a few times and then it worked for a while but it was doomed in the long run. I always had a hammer in my old cars just in case πŸ™‚ My last battery just died, no warnings what so ever but thankfully it died at work and there’s a tractor/ harverster/ anything farm equipment store just 100 yards from where I work and they sell some things, like batteries to cars too πŸ™‚ Expensive things those batteries!

      The young ones do take care of the old guys πŸ™‚ Nove makes sure Orvar has no accidents indoors at night and Sune helps him across places he’s afraid of. Sune and Orvar are best friends so I wasn’t surprised that if any dog would help Orvar over this scary place it was Sune that would do it.

      All our christian holidays are more or less pagan to be honest, the church has tried to make it otherwise but has never been especially successful in that πŸ™‚ I have been a star boy but normally I was forced to dress like Saint Stephen and sing his song in front of the entire school. I hated it and still don’t like that song πŸ™‚ It isn’t an official holiday but it is a major day here. School children dress up as Saint Lucia and her maids. Boys are usually star boys, gingerbread men (girls can of course be gingerbread women), Saint Stephen is there too and of corse a lot of gnomes πŸ™‚ Either they sing for the school or go to retirement homes and sing for those living there. As they do the ones watching and listening have coffee and gingerbreads and Lussekatter (saphron buns). They also show a big LuciatΓ₯g as we call it on tv, at least twice that day.

      Yes the Lucia day is full of magic and I wrote about those living beneath our homes, they are called VΓ€ttar. But loads of those beings are out there that night. Our trolls are usually quite friendly and very much like us but with long tails. The mountain trolls however are shrewd and dangerous, not too bright perhaps and very big. Lots of these being are as You say rather dangerous but can be nice if they wish too. It’s always a good thing to help them when one can but never ask them for help, that will cost much more than one can believe πŸ™‚

      The reason that I can take almost three weeks is that the holidays comes in the middle of the week, so I’m only taking five days off to be honest, the rest are paid holidays and even though Christmas even and New years eve aren’t holidays we still get fully paid for those days. Thank You Unions for that πŸ™‚ After working one year everybody has the right to five weeks paid vacation here in Sweden. In the EU it’s four weeks minimum and in France they have six weeks paid vacation. We can save up to five days of our vacation for up to five years if we wish and then take aten weeks vacation one year:-) We have however very few holidays in this country.

      It’s the same thing here with mobile phones, too many are now addicted to them and go crazy if they lose it or it doesn’t work. Many people now sleep bad and finally they hit the wall really hard. I like my phone and laptop but I can live without them if I wish πŸ™‚

      This day passed fairly quick anyway πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:42 pm

  4. Robin Larkspur

    Even though you say the photo is blurry, that is a great photo of Bertil! And what a sweet brother Sune is to help Orvar. I KNEW there must be a scarf. Gee, I wish I could knit. But…why are you looking at presents already??? It isn’t Yule yet. Hmmmm.

    December 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    • Hi Robin!

      I dolike how he looks at something behind me, sort of with a look of surprise πŸ™‚

      The young ones do take care of the old ones, especially Orvar. Hector only get stressed by loud noises so he manages good anyway even if this was a bit scary for him too πŸ™‚

      It is so soft! Joyce told me that I could open this small package so I have no bad conscience for that πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm

  5. Dianna

    Hi Christer! Sounds like your weekend went as fast as mine! We had a very sepia-toned weekend. It drizzled rain since last night which is so strange this time of year. But now we are in for the nasty weather again. I fear that tomorrow morning is going to be so slippery to get to work as it is still misting out and its nightfall now and I am watching the temperature fall. I will just have to take it slow, but I worry about all the bad drivers out there! I baked butter tarts today, gingersnaps and biscotti. Another baking marathon next weekend too! Then I have to plan my Christmas meal. I am so glad you are getting some well deserved time off. 3 weeks is a very generous amount! I have a couple days that I am taking on the 31st and the 2nd to make another nice long weekend. I still have time I have to take before the end of March or I lose it all. I have some plans taking shape! I hope your neighbor gets his car fixed, sounds like a new starter is in his future! πŸ™‚ Fantastic pictures today – love the pumpkin!

    December 15, 2014 at 12:20 am

    • Hi Dianna!

      Yes it passed way too quickly!

      Still no cold weather to be seen here but I guess that when it comes it will be bad πŸ™‚

      I haven’t baked anything yet but perhaps I’ll do it this weekend. I think I at least should bake some bread. I hope I’m not to late to buy the spices for wort bread, a traditionally christmas bread here, that and thick slices of a strong cheese and there’s no need for anything else πŸ™‚ Well Julmust of course πŸ™‚ Swedes are very traditional when it comes to christmas food, we have much the same every year. Come to think of it, we have almost the same food everyt holiday, we just swap the christmas ham for something with eggs when easter arrives πŸ™‚

      To be honest, it’s only because the holidays is in the middle of the week that makes it possible to get three weeks of, I actually only take five vacation days and one with compensation hours πŸ™‚ We can save five days each year for up to five years, if we don’t use all vacation days after those five years they put the money in our bank account instead and usually they get a bit angry because we don’t use all our days, a tired worker isn’t a good worker πŸ™‚

      I saw his car by his cottage and he already had an appointment at the garage this week so I hope the car works until then at least.

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:52 pm

  6. I would love to hear more about your holidays and magical beings : )

    December 15, 2014 at 12:23 am

    • Hi dustbunny8!

      I’ll strt writing about it later this week, so I can do some reaserch πŸ™‚ Perhaps I can write something about any being today, I haven’t decided that yet πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 6:54 pm

  7. Christer,
    I too would have helped my neighbor but would have groused in my head having to get up from my relaxing about to be nap. Schools get a Christmas vacation but workers have to choose it as their yearly vacation to get more than Christmas Day off from work. Most people get two weeks vacation each year.

    Strange things scare dogs and not all of them are scared by the same things. Sudden noises used to scare Maggie. When I sneeze, Gracie goes running outside and waits until I stop before coming back inside.

    It was actually a nice day here even without the sun.

    Have a great evening!

    December 15, 2014 at 1:11 am

    • Hi Kat!

      I was just happy it wasn’t my car πŸ™‚

      If the holidays comes in the middle of the week as they do now most factory workes take the holidays off and most of us take as lomng as possible. To be honest, the factory owner and his family wants to stay away from work too during the holidays so theyt usually don’t complain πŸ™‚ We have five week paid vacation here in Sweden and most of us have compensation hours that we use this time of year. So I can sort of say that I’ll have seven weeks of vacation thisnyear and it’s all paid πŸ™‚

      Noises are Hectors fear too but Orvar, who normally is calm as few just couldn’t figure out this, I think it was the bright white plastic that scared him. It will go easier next time I think.

      The rain poured down most oif the day here today, so I had to shower both Orvar and Hector when I came home πŸ™‚ I just can’t understand why they prefer to stay outdoors when they have a house so big that I almost can stand straight in it πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 7:01 pm

  8. Hi Christer,
    Sune is a wonderful dog to take care of Orvar and show him how to go over the pipe. Frankly, I’m not sure I’d have walked over it either. πŸ™‚

    I bet that scarf is warm and cozy. The yarn looks nice and squishy soft. Joyce is very talented and generous.

    The first photo is really interesting. When I saw it, I thought it was a photo of Mars from a satellite or something and wondered why it was there. πŸ™‚ Duh. Frost on the pumpkin.

    Today was sunny and relatively warm. The dogs and I went for a couple of nice walks and we sat out on the top step for a long while, too. Rocky and Piki Dog even got to play with Jack the dog from down the street. We’ve all been cooped up inside for over a week because of the rain. It was good to be outside under actual sun.

    Enjoy the day.

    December 15, 2014 at 3:56 am

    • Hi Caryn!

      They do take care of that old kiund bear πŸ™‚ Nova at night so no accidents happen indoors and Sune outside if he gets worried πŸ™‚

      It is so soft and warm! and generous isn’t word enough.

      Don’t tell anyone but it is Mars, I njust didn’t want anyone to know I’ve been there lately πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :-)It would have been much more interesting though πŸ™‚

      The rain poured down here today so I had to shower both the old boys. I haven’t started the radiator in there yet so I wonder why they prefer to stay out in the rain instead of going inside the dog house. After all it is so big that I almost can stanbd stright in there and I can stretch out properly iof I would lie down too πŸ™‚ No slightly fat spaniel outside the dogyard today πŸ™‚

      Have a great day!
      Christer.

      December 15, 2014 at 7:07 pm

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