Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dayly doings.... and my mancave.

What have I been up to lately? Well, not much actually, apart from losing my job, looking for another one and doing the dayly chores in and around the house....
We're still busy sorting things out after the move, moving furniture and boxes around, trying to find places and ways to store our stuff and especially our books! We have so many. Hard to believe we already got rid of dozens of them befor.... That really is a weak spot my wife and I have. Wherever we go, whatever secondhandstore or thriftshop we visit we can not pass by the bookcorner. And we always find something, too. It isn't so much the novels we love, allthough we have our fair share of those, but it actually are the books we use to learn new things or to look up that delicious recipe, that great gardentip or that wonderfull piece of information on a nature related subject. You get the idea.
We decided to use some of our limited funds to buy a few storageshelves, so my wife could get her hobbythings sorted. Now she has a place for all her wool, felt, leather, sewingkits and other things, which made room for some of my stuff, giving me the opportunity to unpack my scalemodellingboxes. I hadn't seen the contents in more than 2 years and I figured I might pickup this hobby again. Unfortunately I haven't.
This however made room in one of our cellars and I took this opportunity to organise and clean up the stuff I do use; our outdoorstuff! And I was, and still am, appalled and even a bit ashamed by the amount of stuff I/we have gathered! I still have stuff from when I begun my outdoorsy life and while going through a personal proces of growth and change, so the gear did change, showing that proces. The "old" stuff remained, however. Some of it stayed, because it was handed down to the kids or my wife, but much stayed, simply because I had not had the opportunity to sell it or give it away. Throwing away good stuff is a definite NO-NO. Moving here meant acquiring real winterstuff and that is quit bulky.
So if everything settles down a bit I'll have quit some selling to do.

I'll show you around in my mancave a bit. Here's the view, when entering it. It is the cellar next to the heaterroom, so it tends to have that nice woodsmokesmell. I have to share it with the deepfreezer. There are still some boxes left with other stuff, that still needs to find a place elsewhere in the house. The large green chest in the bottom was a Swedish army foodbox, complete with 10cm of foam insulation. That was ripped out and I am in the proces of fixing it, so it can hold my wooly winterstuff, mothfree (I hope).
The great thing is that I have a little workbench now, so I can do some indoortinkering.

The 2 bananaboxes are filled with "stuff-to-go", excess stuff like webbing, canteens with or without cup, camouflagepants etc. The other cardboard boxes are non-outdoorstuff. What these pictures do not show is a dufflebag full of Dutch army stuff, which has no use for me anymore, a dufflebag with a Dutch camouflagenet, which in Holland we used to creat of shady place for my wife (less trees and medical reasons) and a dufflebag with 4 German army sleepingbags, with which I got ripped off, since all the zippers turned out to be  broken (deliberately cut up and the zipperupperthingy removed) and a dufflebag with foammats to sleep on.

Backpacks, rucksacks, daypacks, clothing, poncho's, sleepingbags, fieldcots and tents. The redsided paperbag holds onionpeels I am collecting to do some natural fabricdyeing this summer.

My wardrobe with old fashioned shoepolishbox. Yes, I still do polish my leather footwear! The swiss backpack is a decorational item now, since the leather straps have deteriorated to much.

As I said, I did do some tinkering. I made a potstand out of a steel canteencup. The tilt comes from the mossy soil melting and it eventually made the mug and potstand tip over. I actually waited for that to happen, just to see what would happen.. There'll be more about this one in a later, separate post.

As for me personally... well....
Since the last post I did cut out the sugar as much as possible. I was more or less making changes befor, but since the last 8 or so days, I am really making an effort. No more in the coffee, the tea gets sweetened with honey, no more sweets, cookies or chocolate, no more sweets on the sandwiches like jelly, jam or again chocolate, no more cola, soda or drinking syrup (that disgustingly sweet stuff you mix with water) and I have to admit I feel good about it! I also found out that I had to go through something like withdrawel the first few days! A constant craving to not eat, but snack, a bit of a pounding head, thirsty, I sweated more than usual and it had a distinct stonger odour. There were noticeable differences when going to the bathroom (I'll spare you the details) etc. So, apart from the hidden sugar in supermarketfood, sugar has been banned. I check the ingredientslist on products very frequently now to see what is in there and by doing so, I've really lost my apetite for much of them, meaning even less readymade stuff gets used. Stuff like sauces, mixed spices or those brothcubes.... You'll be scared if you pay attention to what is used in those!
Subsequently my feedingpattern has changed more than just using (a lot) less sugar. I used to drink my coffee with milk and sugar, but switched to black instead and as a result of that drink even less of it. I ate yoghurt, but only with sugar in it. No more sugar means no more yoghurt, so basically I am dairyproductfree, too.
All in all it resulted in me drinking much more water, you know, that colourless stuff that comes out of the tap. I drink at least 1-1,5 liter of it per day now, either pure (it comes out of the ground and only soilparticles are filtered out) or as tea. That used to be less then 0,5.. I also eat much more fruit, especially if I have a snackcraving. Up to 2 pieces a day vs. 1-2 pieces a week. I learned that fresh or even some raw food tastes a lot better than befor! I enjoy knibbling on a carrot or a piece of cucumber. Even tomatoes are better! I know that the freshpart, when coming from a supermarket is anything but fresh, but it is the closest we can get to these days.


And all that in just over a week???

(That does not mean I live like a monk now! Had a sugarcoated belgian waffle last night and just thinking about it now makes my mouth water. Literally..... and I still have my chips and beer in the weekends)

Because of all this I spend much more attention to food and the preparation of it. We used to use basic ingredients befor, but we are in the proces of stepping this up more. I tend to look at things like saucages, canned food and such more seen as survivalfood rather than real food. Survival as in backupresources. How this will develop in the future and how this effects our finances, we'll have to see. Because let's face it; bad food is cheap food....

Even although I am going through that dreaded changing-of-the-seasons-thing it is not nearly as hard as it used to be. I still am at a deadpoint, where I feel tired and not up to much, but the biggest diference is between my ears; I do not feel depressed or moody! I don't know if that is because we are living with the seasons much more or if that is because of the change in diet. Probably a mix of things. This probably means getting a headstart, when spring does kick in and the atmosphere here at home greatly benefits from that as well.

Apart from some significant changes indoors, there are significant changes going on outdoors as well. We had an unusual coldsnap these last few weeks with some serious frost, strong eastern winds and dry snow. This makes a quit unpleasant mix!
Going out became dangerous. The thaw preceding this period and the refreezing of the meltwater had created an ice sheet of the flatter surfaces. The strong winds with the dry snow scoured the surface smooth and than covered it by powderdry snow. Slipping up was quit easy. We tried and have proven that. After several ungentle and hard landings, with or without injuries, by some familymembers and visitors, both large and small, we limited going out to the bare essential. Getting wood for the heater was treacherous and even the kids refused to go out. There wasn't much activity in the village either. For next winter we definitely need to by some of those spiked over-the-shoe-puller-thingies.
During this period we were visited by a group of sidensvansar, seeking shelter from the hard wind in the large pinetree in front of our house. An excellent opportunity to study them. Beautyfull birds with interesting colours, their headfeathers blowing about in the wind, making them look like one of those cartoony longhaired pianoplayers.

But that has been changing the last couple of days! The wind has gone and so has the snow. The sun shows it's growing force by giving us temperaturs on the positive side of the scale and the icesheet melts away again.
Yesterday afternoon I enjoyed some warmth and sunshine on our balcony and discovered that this has another advantage; it's position and hight allows us to be nearer and higher up in the canopy of the trees around us, giving us a better view of the life within it!
I stood there for at least an hour and a half, looking at the birds, listening at their sounds. They have become so active now and their calls have changed even more. I heard a gale of wind approach as it moved through the trees towards me, like the rushing of a nearing wave. And I enjoyed the smell of the wood on the walls
Don't know the pretty lady, but the pic shows what I meant to say.
being warmed by the sun. This wood is covered in faluröd-paint, which is a residual product from the coppermines nearby, ground into a powder and mixed with lineseeloil (I think). This gives a faint, but distinct smell and one which I happened to like. And while standing there my hightened sences picked up something else. Something which I had not noticed consiously befor.... Another distinct smell; very faint, but still very noticeably, filling up the senses, the body and the head, triggering an instead reaction deep within.
It was softly sweet, earthy, plantlike, flowery. The scent of spring! I believe the sap has started to rise!

Life around us is stirring again too!
Two days ago I had some live entertainment during lunch. Two woodpeckers were busy feeding at the large birch in front of our kitchenwindow, hacking away pieces of bark and pulling out white grubs.

The domherre (bullfinches) have definetely begun to pair up. I seldom see a single one. I love these birds; their colouring, their posture.. And when they sit in the sunlight the males seem to give of light in a bright pinkish orangy red and the females glow in a brownish grey.

And for the first time in months I spotted a blackbird. They're coming back....

The falcon I spotted earlier has visited again too. He sat in a tree behind the large birch with its back towards the house. It looked like a giant darkgrey washpin. He didn't sit still for long, though. Busy little bird, but not as busy as the several tits-species. The whizz and buzz around the house, chasing each other in hot pursuit and very close to each other, not even disturbed by a pair of crows that have shown up. These are some big birds!! I saw one of the jays again too. Only the female. Maybe the male didn't make it.


  1. Good to see you are making progress Ron.
    I'm still struggeling to get rid of the mother of all flues. But I managed to get a few excelent days up in the mountains this week.
    Wish you and your family a happy easter weekend!

  2. Congratulations on giving up sugar!
    After a few weeks, you will never know how you were able to drink coffee with sugar in it!

    1. I allready am finding drinks I have a hard time drinking, because they contain a lot of sugar. Applejuice for instance.

  3. strix-aluco (waldkauz)April 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Whoaw, your mancave (what a funny word;-)) looks great. But, dear Ron:
    Are you a gear junk? *laugh* So much things, puh.

    Well, looks like springtime´s coming. Enjoy the sun, and smell the nature.
    Don´t forget to bring a smile on a butterfly ;-)
    Nice days & may the spirits be with you!

  4. Hej Käuzchen!
    Yes, it does seem like a lot, but as I said, it does include sleepingbags, fieldcots and tents. No, I am not a hoarder, since that what I do not need gets passed on or sold (I hope). When my storagebox for winterclothes is done, I should have a lot more room on the shelves!

  5. THAT is a man cave! Nice, Ron. :) Right now, I'm stuck with "man closet" and "man storage area in the apartment building basement". ;)

    I'm happy to hear that you have cut most sugar from your diet. It's not good for the body and is only empty calories. I like to use honey for sweetening tea and coffee as well. It gives coffee a different, rich flavor!

    Glad to see your settling in is progressing nicely. Our move is still ahead of us!