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Archive for the ‘Sweden’ Category

Back to Sweden

Now the dreaded weekend is over. It wasn’t so bad of course, but I am pretty darn tired after working 36 hours in 3 days. Thankfully that was my last weekend night shift!! It’s days for me from now on!!

Golden rose of summer

Golden rose of summer

Today we had better weather and the sun was out most of the day. We met a couple of friends for a round of golf. We haven’t played much this year because contrary to how it looks in most of our pictures we really have had a lot of rain. I was a bit sorry I had sneakers on and not rubber boots in some areas but the grass is lush and green at least as you can well see in the pictures. Do you recognise the mystery golfer?? The light was behind him but I think it just makes him look tall dark and handsome 🙂

Mystery blogger...I mean golfer

Mystery blogger...I mean golfer

When we got back we were completely worn out, we had a little visit with the neighbors who were sitting outside enjoying the lovely weather…and we’ve pretty much crashed on the sofa ever since!! Plans for tomorrow…18 more holes!!

Next tee? Follow the bull!

Next tee? Follow the bull!

Hope you had a good weekend and the weather is as good wherever you are!!

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Girls Trip!

Sorry I haven’t been in so much. I had a week off and sooooooooo much that I was going to do with it. Time sure flies when you are having fun!! I got a  call on Monday and my surpervisor for my new position is going on vacation and would like me to work for her 3 days a week the next two weeks to make sure the children’s program at the center keeps to it’s summer plan. On the one hand this is exciting news for me because I wasn’t supposed to start my new position until August and here I will get a chance to get my feet wet a bit earlier. On the down side though it means I have less time off this summer as my current position was just 50%. (My new position will be full time from the middle of August.) The final result is that I did agree to work the extra days primarily because I am looking forward to my new job. This is just a fabulous experience for me, I have never looked forward to a new job in the same way as I do right now.

Torsö beach

Torsö beach

Not wanting to waste the summer that I have, my yearly ‘girl’s trip’ took place last weekend! Each summer I welcome two former colleagues and very good friends to our vacation paradise in Sweden. We call this our summer home and clearly you can see why. We do actually use the place all year round, but summer time is truly the best time of the year in this area. Above you see one of my favorite beaches, far out on the island of Torsö. Off the beaten path and only accessible by country dirt roads, this beach is well worth the adventurous driving as it is a natural sand beach with crystal clear water and few visitors. The water is of course the shores of the Great Lake Väneren (that big blue dot in the middle of the map of southern Sweden).

The trip also included many visits to local cafés to enjoy delicious open faced sandwiches, salads, or cakes accompanied by good Swedish coffee. This one is an adorable refurbished cottage, with a beautiful garden. Here we enjoy the shade since the temperatures were quite warm this year!

Esters Café in Lyrestad, Sweden

Ester's Café in Lyrestad, Sweden

Another important part of our trips is combing the many local flee markets in search of antique treasures and charming decorations. It is incredible what we have dragged with us home from time to time. This year my friends bought 2 complete china sets plus 2 partial sets, diverse decorations and a pink crystal chandelier!!!

Fleamarket, otherwise known as loppis in Mariestad

Fleamarket, otherwise known as 'loppis' in Mariestad

Yes, folks, the green bowl in her hand is a very popular old pattern in Sweden known as Anna, and it helped complete a set which we hauled home with us 🙂

Here’s hoping your summer is as fabulous as ours! Now get out of the air conditioning and live it up people!!!

New Years Sunset in the middle of the afternoon

Let me begin for thanking you for the last 12 months. 2008 was a good year and it was great to meet or keep in contact with so many friends out in cyberspace, and of course to share good times with my friends and family at home. Renny and I rang in the New Year with friends and fireworks, which he took a nice video of. So stay around he will have it up within a couple of days. I am happy to report he is getting around a bit better, but his back is still keeping him off the computer much of the time.
Happy New Year from Diane & RennyBA

Happy New Year from Diane & RennyBA

Many fine things have happened in 2008. Both of my children have begun new phases in their education. My youngest son began high school and is taking electrical study, and my oldest son began at the University of Oslo and is taking Sociology. Easter was spent with Renny’s family as usual with lots of snow and especially good easter eggs! In the spring I completed my first year of my Master degree, and in the fall I finished the first half of my second. Now we are in the process of a research project and writing my thesis to finish up my studies. 2009 will bring some changes in my career, I hope at least! Since I will be qualified for new jobs and new adventures.

New Years Sunset

New Years Sunset

This afternoon around 3:30 we took a walk to the beach and found this beautiful sunset. At the darkest part of the year the sunset is quite early so I had to actually hang up from a call to my brother in order to make sunset on the beach hehehe. But since it was 9:30 am on the east coast of the US and I got him out of bed I don’t think he minded all that much. Sunset pictures are taken with my SonyEricsson G502 telephone camera.

Sunset over Vänern

Sunset over Vänern

So to start the new year off right let me offer you this wish:

“Every new year people make resolutions to change aspects of themselves they believe are negative. A majority of people revert back to how they were before and feel like failures. This year I challenge you to a new resolution. I challenge you to just be yourself.” Aisha Elderwyn

Swedish cottages and gardens on Torsö

Recently Renny and I took a little drive out to the charming island of Torsö, just outside of Mariestad, Sweden. One thing I enjoy looking at when travelling around our summer home is Swedish houses and cottages. All pictures are taken with our Nikon CoolPix camera, click on them to enlarge.

Farmhouse cottage - notice the mailboxes

Farmhouse cottage - notice the mailboxes

On the island of Torsö just outside of Mariestad lay a number of beautiful cottages surrounded by cultivated landscapes, natural flora, and forest full of wild berries and mushrooms. Here you can rent a boat to explore the beautiful lake Vänern, take the cable ferry over to the island reserve Bromö, or just enjoy the lovely sandy beaches. There are also a number of small cafés where you can have an ice cream and a cup of coffee, or try some of the homemade cakes or pastries.

Swedish Cottage for rent, decorated with a bicycle

Swedish Cottage for rent, decorated with a bicycle

Today I will keep to just the lovely cottages on Torsö because they are just so adorable. My favourite cottage is one I refer to as The Rose Cottage. This cottage is painted in traditional red. The most famous red paint for wooden houses in Sweden is Falu Red Paint. The name Falun Red Paint is registered and protected by law and may only be used for paint containing pigment from the Falun mine There is evidence that the paint was used as early as in the 1500s. Timber houses painted red were symbols of wealth and status.

The Rose house

The Rose house

During the 1700s the red-paint techniques spread from the cities and throughout the countryside, and manor estates were built using the cross-beamed method and painted red. From the manor estates, the fashion spread to wealthy minor estates, farms and clergy residences. During the 1800s the farmers also began painting their their houses and sheds red. National romanticism swept the country and Carl Larsson’s Sundborn estate contributed to the dream of the little red cottage.

House with name sign

House with name sign

Another charming habit is naming the country houses. This is not a street sign but the name of the house or farm. Berget directly translated means hill or mountain, so it may be a description of the area or often it is also a family name

Renny and I have done a bit of synchronised posting this evening. If you would like to see more of the lovely sites from Torsö, for example the old church house, some beaches and countryside then drop on in to RennyBA’s Terella. He’ll be more than happy for the company!

Living color in Skövde

Yesterday’s trip to Skövde produced just too many good pictures for one post. The light was good for picture taking and our spirits were in it too. My poor son said it is kind of like having white japanese parents when we have to take pictures of absolute everything, but you know often the best pics come of the simple things. That is the best part of digital photos, I could never afford to take so many pictures if I had to buy film!! Gosh remember the old days when we used to have to run out for more film, and heaven forbid that you had to buy it at a turist shop because it would certainly cost double! I wonder sometimes how many pictures are lost on uncounted rolls of undeveloped film. Then again the next best thing is that I can simple delete the really bad pictures of me and they are never to be seen again hahahaha!!

Today’s theme is color. There were some wonderful color pics from our trip (and even more today…but that we will wait a bit for). We are having a very good vacation, just like the good old days…running around and exploring the local area as a family 🙂 All pictures are taken with my Nokia mobilephone camera, just click to enlarge.

Green garden in Skövde

Green garden in Skövde

Renny stopped the car so I could run out and take some pictures of flowering bushes…but what I found just over the hill was even more worthwhile. A lovely lush green park with running water and cool shade!

Bees do it

Bees do it

Even the bees were posing for the camera….well actually they were just enjoying the abundance of flowers to choose from. Kind of like a little bee smorgasbord!

Lively color

Lively color

The colors were so vibrant that they attracted more then just bees. Your eyes were drawn to them and eager to devour this visual delight!

Adorable hanging colored bottles

Adorable hanging colored bottles

In a courtyard cafe I found this adorable hanging blottles which were used as candle holders. I bet they look fantastic at night. I couldn’t resist stealing a picture of this simple treasure!

One of the best things about summer is that I have time for such wonderful experiences. I am eternally thankful for having a husband and family that support my indulgences, and even participate. Stay tuned for more adventures, as today we were on the island of Torsö for futher explorations!