Friday, January 5, 2018

Well..... that is done...

Winter solstice, christmas and New Year have passed. The season of festivities is coming to an end. Darkness is receeding, light is advancing with the lengthening of days.
We had decided to find new traditions, new ways for our family to spend these festive days. No more presents, no more christmas tree. Just qualitytime together with good food.
Wintersolstice I thought to honour by extinguishing all light in the house after darkness, build a swedish/Finnish torch, light it and then light one candle, bring that inside, have coffee and cookies and then spread the light through the house by lighting candles in all the other rooms. Or something along those lines....
But before the end of the year I saw 2 goals finally fullfilled; the acquisition of wooden sleds for the dogs and a foldable lantern for me.

But first things first......
The wintersolstice celebrations were cut short. I ended up working late, coming home tired with a bad cold developing.... After diner I just slumped in my chair and that pretty much was that, the rest of the household pretty much going about their usual business.
Christmas was supposed to be gift-, tree- and electronicfree..... Well, my wife broke the first idea by buying gifts still, albeit a small chest with boardgames, which is in tune with the idea I/we had. Plus some very small items for the kids. She did not want to leave them emptyhanded. My youngest daughter at first complained about it not being really christmassy without a tree, our oldest daughter agreeing. So the kids ended up with small, artificial christmastrees on their rooms.We did of course have some decorations, but lacked the time and inspiration or motivation to create some with actual sprucegreens. The absense of the scent of spruce proved to be a dealbreaker! Without it it just did not feel right. Amazing how a small detail like that works!
We still had good food and enjoyed being together, but somehow something lacked. I guess simply throwing overboard old things and introducing new things just doesn't work. It needs to grow.... and we need to pay more attention to details in order to make it work for all.
And the electronic bit..... I am afraid that only worked out, because of a seriously hampered connection, often being completely absent as the mobile network in our area failed. Having a powercut, most likely due to the combination of stormy weather and wet snow, snapping a tree somewhere during the evening of the 26th, in these parts of Europe still concidered to be one of the christmas days, helped "enforce" several intentions. It did however add to the general atmosphere... We had chicken in the over when everything went dark. Not a light in sight. And I remembered that years ago I got a gasfed grillplate as a christmasgift at IKEA. Had not used that at all. Untill now....
The evening was spent by candlelight, doing boardgames and reading and talking a little...

This powerout has me thinking down the prepping-line again. Something to focus on.

On the 30th I went on a little roadtrip. I was to collect 2 large wooden sleds near Uppsala and a belanted christmas present, sent to me by a very generous swiss gentleman, going by the name of Pascal. He and I have never met in person, but it is the same guy that sent me that Swiss army canteen a while ago. And this time there was something waiting for me that I had my eyes on for years; a Swiss army folding lantern. That one would be waiting for me near the city Västerås. A good way to see how my "new" car behaves..... As I past the area of Sala, the world turned green. No more snow!
The sleds have been a logistical project that started januari 2017. Someone sold a good number of these and together with a guy from Uppsala a few of these were purchased for a very good price. Problem was just that these sleds were way in the south with no one really wanting to drive all the way. Via via they ended up with said guy and now I could go and collect mine in Heby, roughly halfway to Västerås. Then I proceeded toward the second destination, which was a bit hard to find but find it I did..... And then I had christmas in the car.... I opened the package Pascal had sent me, found the folding lantern....... and a package of matching candles!! And 3 slabs of Swiss chocolate!!
I was really moved and had to blink hard several times. This was way more then I had bargained for...

And all the while the weather continues to be irratic and hopeless. Short spells of frost and thaw, snow and rain continue to follow one another..... but improvement seems to be on its way in the form of real winterweather; freezing temperatures. And I do hope it will stay like that for a while!!

Another thing that really is going well, is my new job. A good month into it and I am really enjoying myself. I love standing behind the counter and chat with customers! Never knew I knew so many people around these parts! And as a bonus I get paid every month, so we can really start building this place into the place we want it to be. After we have taken care of all the things that lag behind.... Most of our clothes are pretty worn out or too small. The kids have grown like cabbage these past few months! Decent shoes and winterclothes are a must.
Sometimes my head spins, when we are talking about and planning what we need to do. So many projects have been lying in wait..... But when you break them down into minor projects it doesn't seem as daunting anymore. Still a lot of work though.....
For now I will settle for a seedcatalogue.....


  1. Wow, things are a bit different since I last visited but still the same. Same Ron working away at his dreams and trying ideas. Love that! Even when I don't visit I still think of the little Dutch family living in Sweden doing their best to make a good life. I really need to go back and read all your posts back to the time when I got so over whelmed that I almost gave up everything.

    I quit real estate just before Winter Solstice. It was a calculation between Marty and I. We could not afford two sets of fees and dues that the Real Estate Board and Multiple Listing Service asks of us so we decided that Marty would stay and I would become a "referral only" agent. Now I am now going forward to make something of art teaching and writing.

    Of course a couple days ago all of a sudden we are getting calls from people who want us to either find them a home or sell their home. We are not racing back to have me pay the fees. We are waiting for $$ to come in first. In real estate things have a way of not working out. We don't count our chickens before they hatch!

    Here's to a wonderful new year even better than the one before with insight, fun, self discovery, adventure, learning and love for all!

    1. Hej Renée, it's been a while!
      Yeah well... still chugging away, y'know. ;) But I guess you have some catching up to do.
      Real estate seems to be the wrong kind of work these days, just about everywhere!

    2. Really? I have no idea how it is on the other side of the pond. It's so hard because so many people do it and especially people who have lived in one place a long time which gives automatic referrals. Also we are "loners". Not natural networkers. Especially Marty. He is a cowboy. He'd rather be on a horse watching the cows. I'm going back into art teaching. (and freelance non-fiction writing) Pray for me so I don't get sick from all the students. I need the money. Our home rehab is going slowly and expensive. Materials cost a lot and we keep running into road blocks (here comes a blog about the "joys" of home remodeling!) Tu?

    3. Well, by the looks of it I can finally generate some resources in order to get some projects going and perhaps even done! The kitchenstove, an outhouse, the greenhouse on the southside, maybe even a decent family hangout. And if there's something left I want to speed up downpayments on our mortgage.
      My writing has actually slowed down considerably.