Monthly Archives: April 2012
In the midst of getting my book launched two very special things happened; I was nominated for a Versatile Blogger Award and an ABC Award! (My mom always said good things come in three.) I literally jumped for joy. You see, I’ve struggled to get my blog up and running and have made a few embarrassing mistake along the way… Thats why no one could have been more surprised or delighted by these awards than I.
I accepted the Versatile Blogger Award in my last post, so now its on to the ABC (Awesome Blog Contest) Award. I received this award from Ms. Katykins at Beforiforget. Even though we’ve never met (only through our blogs) I feel as if Kate is a true friend. Her blog is without a doubt my favorite, she writes and shares everything and anything, do check it out! Thank you Kate
The award asks recipients to name 26 alphabetical things about themselves and then nominate other bloggers…
A = Alive and well and living in Norway.
B = Blond hair and blue eyes.
C = Cake, I love it.
D = Divorced and remarried.
E = Eager to please.
F = Fussy, about certain things.
G = Grandmother to four and one on the way.
H = Harry is my husband.
I = Invisible at times.
J = Jane Austin, my favorite.
K = Kind to all.
L = Lucky in many ways.
M = Mother to six.
N = Nag, yes its true if I want something I can be a real nag.
O = Overwhelmed, lately.
P = Pessimistic, I see the glass half empty.
Q = Quality over quantity, is what I believe.
R = Realist, is that another word for pessimist?
S = Scrapoholic. I love to scrapbook.
T = Tea, I drink countless cups a day.
U = Unsure of myself.
V = Vacuum, I do it a lot.
W = Worker!
X = Xmas, my favorite holiday.
Y = Yawn, sorry its getting late.
Z = Zucchini, I throw it in everything.
Since I live in Norway, I think I should do the three extra letters in the Norwegian alphabet as well.
Æ = Ærlig, it means honest.
Ø = Øl, it means beer. Make mine cold.
Å = Åpenhet, it means openness. You can’t get any more open or honest than writing a memoir.
Now for the blogs I nominate…
Its All About Purple – reading this blog is like taking a five minute coffee break (tea break for me) its always short, sweet and colorful.
Rendezvous With Renee - This blog makes me laugh out loud and lets face it, we all need to do that.
One More Morning - I love poetry but can’t write it myself, thats why I come here. Lily’s beautiful poetry always pulls on my heart strings.
Expat Alien – She’s lived everywhere… Here is where I go to meet the world.
I Was An Expat Wife – I have a connection with this blog, because I too was an expat wife. (Who has now come home).
Wordgeyser - This is a special blog written by a special lady, who has kindly answered all my desperate messages asking which widgets I need for what.
I want to send out a big warm thank you to Zeta, an American Hermit Crab in Denmark. for the versatile blog award. Zeta’s blog is a charmingly delightful place to stop by for a cozy visit, good pictures, or a recipe. You have no idea how surprised and happy you’ve made me, Zeta. After weeks of struggling in the dashboard of my new blog, this is just the boost I needed.
The rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:
If you are nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.
- Thank the person who gave you the award. Thats common curtesy.
- Include a link to their blog. Also common curtesy.
- Select (if you can) 15 other blogs/bloggers that you recently discovered or are following.
- Nominate those blogs for the Versatile Blogger Award.
- Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.
I would love to nominate all the blogs I follow, because they all deserve this award. However, I see many of them have already been nominated by other bloggers. So without further ado, here are my lucky seven nominations:
1. Up-Rooted – Another American like myself doing the best she can in Norway.
2. Stories about my life, 92% true - Not too sappy nastalgia.
3. Hashi What? – Battling her way back from depression, this young girl is an inspiration.
4. Beforeiforget – Ms Katykins IS the versatile blogger!
5. Expatlogue – A place I simply love to visit.
6. Writing Between the Lines – Life from a writers point of view.
7. Momentum of Joy - Where Spirituality meets reality.
For all my blogger friends (you know who you are) and who aren’t on this list… There is another award to come in my next post!
Now for the seven things about myself:
I’m obsessed with Jane Austin and believe I could’ve very well been one of her main characters in a previous life.
I love green tea (especially with mint). I drink it ALL day long.
I wake up every morning and run to my kitchen to make fresh juice. I always use five different fruits and five different veggies…the greener the better.
I’m lazy. I hate to exercise, I’d rather lie on the sofa with a good book (or movie). With that said, I FORCE myself to the gym a couple times a week anyway.
I’ve had the same best friends for over forty years, even though we live on opposite sides of the pond.
For me writing is hard work!
I’m a hopeless romantic and will gladly read, or watch any love story.
A good friend of mine from America has been here visiting for the last few days. Sadly, she had to leave yesterday and her plane was departing at 6:20. We live one hour from the airport, and she had to be there at least one hour before departure. Getting in our last hours of nonstop talking, we weren’t able to make it to bed before eleven and set the alarm clock for 4:00. Whenever I go to bed knowing I have to get up early and do something important (like driving someone to the airport) I always wake up before the alarm. I was awake at 3!
I returned home at 7:00, got my son off to school at 8:00, took the dogs and went back to bed. I woke up two hours later to a knocking sound on my window, which in turn caused the dogs to stir. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but there was no convincing the dogs. Tap, tap, tap. As the fog began to clear, curiosity got the best of me and I got up to find out what all the knocking was about.
It turned out to be a little brown sparrow striking the window. At first I found it somewhat amusing, but it didn’t take long before it became quite annoying. The dogs barked at the window and chased it away several times, but the bird was not about to give up. It was almost as if the little birdie were goading them. Tap, tap, tap.
Having been gone from my computer this last week and with 250 e-mails to read, I decided to turn a deaf ear to my new feathered friend and get busy. Tap, tap, tap. But the bird was relentless. Tap, tap tap. It was time to release the hounds!
Two silky little, floppy eared, King Charles Spaniels scurried out the front door to chase the sparrow off. After a good ten minutes of barking I decided tapping had to be the lesser of two evils, and let them in. Giving up trying to work, I took a shower, did laundry, made the beds and vacuumed. Tap, tap, tap.
By now the dogs had given up and were fast asleep on the sofa. Tap, tap, tap. By mid afternoon I began to wonder if the Universe was somehow trying to relate a message to me through this tiny bird. I checked and saw all of my children had logged into facebook. Tap, tap, tap. I called my parents in America and asked about my ninety three-year-old grandmother, who is in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Tap, tap, tap. Everything seemed to be fine. Then I remembered hearing somewhere that a bird in the house meant a death in the family. Tap, tap, tap. Although he was not technically in the house I began to worry, my friend was flying back to America and my husband was flying home from a business trip. Tap, tap, tap!
I spent several hours trying to take a picture of the pesky little beast, because I figured no one would ever believe my story. The bird obviously didn’t want its picture taken because every time I tried, it would fly away to another window. I chased the damn thing from window to window snapping endless pictures of tail feathers flying off. If anyone saw me they would probably think I was crazy. Tap, tap, tap!
My persistence finally paid off and I got two good pictures of the bird and fifty-three pictures of various windows around my house. Tap, tap, tap. By the end of the day my friend had arrived safely in America and my husband safely home. The bird finally stopped tapping as dark set in, sometime around nine o’clock in the evening. I went to bed exhausted and thinking if the Universe was in fact sending me a message, it was probably that I was cuckoo. Tap, tap, tap.
Like many, I’m fascinated by the lives of other people, how patterns weave themselves through the generations, how shared DNA links us to people we can never meet.
How many times in our own lives have things happened and we’ve sad, ‘Well, who would have thought we’d end up here… this would ever have happened to us?’
Memoirs are generally the domain of the rich and famous, whose public faces grace the tabloids or covers of celebrity magazines.
Imagine my surprise when on a dreary day in March 2005, my Norwegian husband came home from work and made this announcement:
“There was a meeting at work today, and I was asked to work in Houston for the next two years!”
After living fifteen years in Norway, this Jersey girl was finally going home. Well, not exactly…
In a blur of packing and unpacking we made our way to the lone-star state, where we lived for the next two years in an elegant home on a quite cul-de-sac.
It was at my sons bus stop where I met the other ladies of the cul-de-sac. Congregating at eight o’clock in the morning, dressed in work-out-attire, clutching mugs of steaming hot coffee and squeezing any scrap of fresh gossip they could from one another. (Note to self…bring a cup of tea to the bus stop with me tomorrow) I felt exactly as if were on Wisteria Lane.
I showed up, introduced myself and we quickly fell into a one sided question and answer session. They already knew we were from Norway because they knew someone, who knew someone, who knew our landlord. Long after the bus had driven off with our children one of them remarked on how good I spoke English, for being Norwegian. I set the record straight, letting them know I came from New Jersey! Which in turn opened a conversation on how I met my husband and ended up living in Norway.
Long story short, I don’t think any of them made it to yoga that morning and by the time I finished telling my story one of them said, “I think I smell a book.”
Well, she must have had a very good nose because here I am seven years later, on my way to The Hague, for my book launch on Friday!
I used to be an avid reader. I read everything I could get my hands on. Growing up overseas it was the only real entertainment I had. Books could be hard to find so I wasn’t all that picky. I read whatever came my way. As an adult I always had a book going. I would usually read before bed just to relax and get my mind off things.
Maggie Myklebust’s Fly Away Home is an extremely well written, inspiring and ultimately satisfying read. In truth, auto-biography is not a genre that I tend to favour; therefore, I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was such an enjoyable experience from start to finish. In the past, I’ve often found that this genre can become a little boring; however, I was captivated by Maggie’s story, I loved every chapter and the experience of every adventure.
I love to shop!
Its true, and the things I like to shop most for are shoes, bags (especially Coach), scrapbook supplies and books! (and not necessarily in that order)
Reading is one of my favorite pastimes and I’m always either starting or finishing a book. Because of where I live in Norway, I haven’t always had the best selection of English books to chose from. Thats why whenever we were on vacation and came across a bookstore, my family would moan as I made a beeline to ecstasy. They know me well and therefore had good reason to moan. I’m like a kid in a candy story. It’s always been one of my greatest pleasures to wander through racks of colorful books, feeling and smelling my way through in search of a new gem. Thats right, smelling…who out there doesn’t like the fragrance of a new book?
The only problem is, I was left powerless in deciding which ones to buy and would end up taking all I could carry. Then we’d fly home with books evenly distributed amongst our suitcases. For years my husband accused me of being a book hoarder, and I would again have to explain the importance of not running out of books to read.
While I still feel an actual shop is a book-lover’s treasure trove and a novel in your hand is worth two on your Kindle, we have entered a new age. For Christmas this year my husband gave me an iPad and I must admit, its a handy little device.
I can download any book or magazine I want and now have more room in my suitcases for shoes and bags. I wile away the hours in online bookshops, drinking unimaginable amounts of tea, all in the comfort of my own home. My iPad has literally freed the book shopper with in, and my husband no longer sees how many books I buy.
I will now post the logo of my favorite online bookshop and hyperlink it so you can go directly in and take a look. It’s a warm and inviting space where book lovers from around the world can shop.
The Expat Bookshop was started in late 2011 by Jo Parfitt and the team at Summertime Publishing to showcase books by people living abroad for people living abroad.
Here you can find: anthology, fiction, how to books and memoirs, like my own. You can also get information on how to publish your book, or have it featured in the Expat bookshop.
Go on, check it out…