Sunday, September 15, 2013

Friday the 13th - Christmas came early this year.....

No, I have not lost my mind..... ;)

As they say ;" All good things come in pairs".
Well, I certainly had a few pairs, lately! You probably read about a few of those already. The most recent one was me getting a job. To complete that into a pair, here's the latest good thing; a footoperated woodlathe! It's an oldy, maybe even antique. Don't know and really don't care. It works.... sort of.

With that lathe comes a little story I'd like to share.
By now you all know that my economical situation wasn't the most peachy one, but I still like to browse through online salessites like I happened to come across someone advertising with this lathe, asking for a bid. I had no clue as to its value or state, so I contacted the seller through email.
the original ad-picture
We mailed a bit to and fro and I told here that I was very interested in the lathe in order to use it, not as an ornament, but really use it as it was intended. She was very pleased with that, because otherwise the lathe would just be an exibit at the local historymuseum. The lathe was on sale in a town, some 70km away.
Just when I was about to offer a bid, the financial demon reared its ugly head again and bit me in the butt..... No spare cash for the lathe available! We actually had depleted our resources with the furnace and sewingmachine, which I deemed more desirable and necessary.

So with a heavy heart I mailed her again and told her the deal was off and explained why.
A day or 2 nothing happened, but then I got an email from her. She wanted me to have the lathe anyway, for free, since she thought it would be great if the lathe would be used and she felt that it would in place with us! I was blown away.....
So last friday, the 13th, my wife squeezed out some time and gas for the 145km v.v. trip and went to get the lathe, while I was working. And now it is standing here in our shed; rusty, dusty, a bit beat up, but in working order.... apart from the drivebelt for the large wheel. That needs to be replaced.
I felt, and still do, like a kid on christmasmorning, opening a present and finding that long wished for gift. Allthough I can not quite decide which gift I cherish more; the lathe itself or the generosity of some complete strangers, adding this little extra to my life and filling my heart with joy.
Whatever it may be, I already decided that, once I have the lathe patched up and running, the first item I will make, will be sent to them.

spindel and smaal drivingwheel

large wheel and counterweight

footpedal and drivingmechanism

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Without saying a word.....................

If your kids ever ask you where meat is being made......

Stop this madness!

Buy locally and ecologically produced foods, grow your own and consume no more than you actually need!
We do NOT need foodfactories like this nor do we need GMO.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A "grande finale" to a great summer

What an absolutely marvelous ending of 2013's "never ending summer" we had!

Last weekend was another one to remember. 
After I had been busy harvesting (more sorting) potatoes, I was beat. Haven't felt more tired in years... Of course this was the weekend we were called by our friends and asked to join them at the charcoalkilnsite for some fun, socialising and camping. I would rather have stayed at home, doing nothing and seeing no one, but that wasn't going to happen. So saturdaymorning we packed our gear and food, shoved the kids in the car (who were just as tired and just as cranky as I was) and we went anyway, all geared up and "chearfull" for that "fun"-weekend.....
On location it turned out that there was a "crowd" already; the friends that called were there and another family, who we know from the scouting and who's daughter is friends with our oldest daughter. While we were setting up camp more joined us. All through the afternoon people came and went, but most stayed for quite a while. The crowd grew, the atmosphere kept improving and so did our moods. All in all 7 famlies with kids spent the night there and that meant that a lot of cooking and grilling had to be done over that one fire... That in itself was a goodmoodbooster!
Big surprise was our local blacksmith turning up with his kids, and whom's daughter is also friends with our daughter. He started unloading and setting up his mobile forge and anvil!! This way anyone interested could try out some forging themselves!

forging in the dark is somewhat special
I must admit that, allthough I did watch others, I skipped wielding the hammer myself. Since we were so many and so many brought food and drinks and I must admit that I had a few to many. Instead of hammering I was on the way to become hammered, but I hit the brakes in time! We had tons of laughs before we turned in for the night. My wife, son and youngest daughter spent the night in our popuptent, but Annalena, our oldest daughter, spent the night true outdoorstyle; under a tarp! Together with 3 other girls she slept well away from the main camp (about 25 meters further into the woods) and some dads were saying they'd be back within the hour. Much to our surprise they stayed out all night and slept well!! Proud of my little girl!!

The next day our youngest one woke up at 06:20 and wanted to go for a walk. Since mum promissed her to take her to the viewpoint the night before......
I already was awake too, but had slept solo (or tried to), using wool blankets. That would have worked perfectly.... if the forestfloor had been a bit less uneaven. It resembled a miniatureversion of the terrain, but that was hidden underneath the carpet of lingonbushes..

Elsa at the viewpoint the night before.

My wife shot the next 2 photos too on her way back

An overnighter in the woods needs to be followed by a decent breakfast. Traditionally that means oatmealporridge..... but I went for a "full Irish"-breakfast; bacon, eggs, mushrooms, sausages, toast and coffee. I missed out on the tomatoes and potatoes...

the girls "next door".

Dutch section main camp
In the morning most of the campers packed and left after breakfast. That meant those who stayed had the opportunity to try some forging. Erik, the smith, had demonstrated a sort of bottleopener, with some curls and twists. I was eyeballing another piece of metal, envisioning a vikingstyle steelstriker. That didn't work out, mainly due to inexperience and lack of time.
I did find a strangely shaped bar which had been split at one end and I worked with that instead.




the blower is a handcranked airraidshelter airfilter...

the mobil anvil.
I love the simplicity and efficiency of the design!

the Mss. had a go herself and did make such a bottleopener.
As said my wife did make a bottleopener and I made a grillfork, resembling a pitchfork, both in shape and size! At the end there's a hook, which can be used as a bottleopener as well. Our smith called this a true multitool....
He had brought 2 bags of last years charcoal, just to show the kids that that stuff isn't just used for grilling and barbecueing.
Our creations.

My wife, sitting on this years kiln, which is named after her...
We also spent some time berrypicking. We haven't had much time to do so this year, but we really wanted to have a taste of the forest too. Together we picked a small bucket with a mix of lingon and blueberries.

It was such a wonderfull warm and sunny day, that we almost forgot it was actually autumn! It seemed just like a summerday and later that afternoon, when we were home, we received a phonecall. One of our friends was asking us if we wanted to join them for an late-afternoon-splash in one of the lakes. It would probably be the last time this season, so we agreed.
The water resembled the temperatures of autumn more than we expected......

here you can see how much the level of the lakewater has dropped; almost 60cm's!!!

Winds of change.

There has been a wind of change here, these last few days/weeks.

First of all I have become a "farmboy", helping with the potatoeharvest. It is a whole new area of work for me and I've learned a great deal about the part of agriculture or agriculture in general. I also learned to drive well enough to handle a tractor with loaded lorry with confidence.

It is wonderfull, being outside all day, looking at the land whenever I have a moment time, looking at it in wonder, suddenly realising I do that with a true and genuine affection for it. I see it's rolling hills, its richness in colour, shape and pattern. I see many birds gathering in ever increasing numbers; cranes, geese and lapwings. They are foraging on the freshly harvested fields, fueling up for the long journey ahead. And whereever there are birds, there are birds of prey, so I see and hear plenty of those too.

On my way to work in the morning....

And today I noticed a profound change in the air; the warmth of summer has gone and gave way to the chills of autumn. It is still warm in the sun, but the air itself has lost its warmth.

Yesterdayevening however came another, and totally unexpected, change for me personally; I HAVE A JOB!!
I'll be working fulltime in a restaurant, called; "Vardagsrummet bar & café".

Actually I was preparing for another challenge; a similar job in Kiruna. That would have meant spending the winter above the artic circle, all alone in a cabin, since it would be 1200km to the north of where I live now. Working for 12 days there and being home for 9, leaving my family to fend for themselves.....
Luckily the owner of that place is the owner of the Vardagsrummet too and that is situated a mere 30km's from here.... and he was more interested in me working there. I am glad I will be home with my family, but I must admit that the challenges of being on my own in the circumstances mentioned triggered my liking for adventure too.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Investing in the future

Since I managed to get a bit of work like fixing a wooden fence and helping with the potatoharvest, I was able to make some purchases, both for the future and also to learn from and use. Having lived on a small budget has made me a master in hunting for bargains..... So I found some wonderfull things for very small prices. ;)
It's a crummy picture, but that's all I have right now.
Some of the larger purchases are real investments. I bought a woodstove for the kitchen and an antique hand- and footoperated sewingmachine. I also have a footpowered woodturning machine, that needs a bit of work to make it working.
The stove is a 1950's Husqvarna, enamelled in a soft yellow, which happens to be the colour we have all other kitchenaccessoires in as well. It has room for 3 pots, pans or kettles, has an oven and a hotwaterreservoir too. It weighs about 200kg, so it was a bit of a chore to get it here, on a trailer and off. Now all we need to do is get it up here (and I allready dread the thought) and get it installed....
The sewingmachine is a 1943 husqvarna, complete with accessoires, manuals and even warrantycertificate! No more irritation behind our "modern" sewingmachine, that has a tendency to eat the thread, than spit it out all at once or make a mess out of thread and cloth, creating the most bizare knots... It also has the tendency to go wayyy to fast... or not at all, without inbetweens.
This one should be able to handle even leather and canvas, which the modern one most certainly can not, and you can control the speed yourself. It is also very silent. It's weakness might be the drivingbelt, so I should start to look out for a replacement already.