Category Archives: girly talk

Running just as fast as I can

I’m a lucky girl, I won’t deny it. I married my soul mate and together we have six wonderful children and five grandchildren to be proud of. We live in a nice house with a beautiful view of the sea. And we travel the world as often as we can. Does this make my life perfect? No.

Like most people I too have my crosses to bear and first up on my poor-me-list, migraines. I got my first migraine sixteen years ago and have had at least one every month since. For those of you who don’t know the difference between a migraine and a headache, let me explain.

A migraine is when your head pounds like a jackhammer until your neck gives out and refuses to hold it up. You are unable to function in any capacity and just when you think it can’t get any worse, you start throwing up. The only thing that helps me is prescription migraine medicine. The side effects from this type of medicine are not good. I feel drowsy, weak, thirsty and achy. My migraines usually last forty-eight hours and then on the third day I basically feel as if I’ve been run over by a truck.

I’ve learned through the years to pick myself up, dust myself off and start over as-quick-as-possible! Three days a month is enough to lose and sitting around feeling sorry for myself doesn’t help anything. Believe me I’ve tried.

This week I was really unlucky. After lying on the sofa for two days with a migraine, I got up to get my son off to school and pulled my back out. Ouch! Which ended up stealing another couple days…

This morning I  felt a lot better physically, but that poor-me-feeling was hanging heavy in the air. Before it got the chance to capture me in its tight warm arms and pull me down for another day, I got dressed and took off for the gym. (I’m not always this strong, but I try)

I turn on my iPod and run on the treadmill (today it was more like a slow jog) or I go spinning, until I feel strong and alive again.

All I can do is keep running and spinning until I’m seized by another migraine.

Book Club

The Three Swords Monument in Stavanger, Norway

Although I’m American and live in Norway, I don’t feel much like an expat. I’m married to a local and we live in a small town which is a long way from the nearest expat hub. My children have gone to Norwegian schools and most of my friends are Norwegian. I had my first real taste of expat life while living the Netherlands from 2007 to 2010 and I liked it.

After returning to Norway I decided to join the PWC (Petroleum Womens Club) in Stavanger. Its something I’ve always wanted to do, but never could because it was too far away. It didn’t seem like a good idea to drive fifty miles through the mountains to hang out in Stavanger while my children were in school here, but things are different now. I only have one left at school and he’s seventeen.

The PWC has an assortment of fun activities for its members. The three activities that tempted me most were scrapbooking, hiking and book club but due to the fifty mile drive, I could only choose one. I chose book club (surprise).

Today was book club day. All the members take turns hosting and since I don’t yet know where everyone lives, my husband and I swapped cars because his has a GPS. I got up early to walk the dogs, get one son to school and the other off to work before leaving. Book club starts at eleven, so I needed to be on the road by 9:30.

As usual I was running late and the GPS wouldn’t take the address. I ran back to the house and googled the directions.

I was no more than twenty miles down the road when a tractor pulled out in front of me, which is a common occurrence here. And you’re pretty much screwed when this happens because the narrow winding roads make it almost impossible to pass.

Another ten miles and I was seriously regretting that third cup of tea I drank before leaving, but there’s no place to stop in the mountains.

Stressing over the time and finally rid of the tractor I started speeding along the last twenty miles. Thats when I realized that I forgot to put my make-up on this morning! (****)

By the time I arrived my shoulders were up to my ears, my face bare, my bladder full and I was five minutes early!

Was it worth it?

A group of women eating lunch, drinking tea and talking about books (in English)… You bet it was!

Thats Amore


I’ve been nominated for One Lovely Blog Award by my new friend on the crazytraintotinkytown. A great blog about starting a new life in Turkey. So whether you’re in need of some summer sun, or not, check it out!

I also received a Sunshine Award from Kate, the famous creator of Spineless Wonders over at beforiforget Always entertaining!

Finally, a Beautiful Blogger Award from fellow Jersey girl Laura Stanfill she reads and knits, but mostly writes, and she’s good!

I want to do something a little different and I hope no one calls the blog police…

I want to dedicate these awards to my husband, who’s been such a great sport. First losing me to ‘the book’ and now, ‘the blog’. He has also – recently – been scarred for life and I feel partly responsible  Something big part 1.

In his honor, I’d like to tell seven things about him:

1.  He was born in Norway and although he’s only lived a total of three years in America, he talks like a Yankee (I wonder why).

2. Have you heard the saying, “When the cats away, the mice will play?” My husband says, “You know what happens when the cat’s gone.”

3. Have you heard the saying, “I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off?” My husband says, “I’ve been running around like a de headed chicken.” (he has a little trouble with sayings)

4. He never says, “I can’t.” Only “I can try.”

5. He never asks what I’m mad about… He just brings home flowers and waits for it to pass.

6. He snores when he drinks (I had to tell something bad).

7. He rocks my world!

Monday, we (just him and I) are leaving on a much deserved trip to Cinque Terra, Italy. You’ll hear all about it, when I get back…

Ever since the book launch in April, life has been crazy. There are simply not enough hours in the day for book promoting, plus we have a big family. He works a million hours a week and travels, I blog (I’m sure that needs no explaining). I lost my grandmother, we got a new grand-baby and lets not forget the photo shoot of the house… Exhale, Mag!

I’ve already warned him, “I will not be pretty, on this vacation!” I am not packing makeup, I’m wearing my hair in a ponytail everyday and I will be drinking Italian wine at every meal.

We are not bringing laptops, iPads or iPhones (well maybe a phone for emergency) and I’ve already made a list of all the things I want to talk to him about, while I have his undivided attention (he’s going to love that, not)

Ciao!

A lawnmower, a dildo and a dead car battery

Norway is a beautiful country, especially when its warm and the sun shines. Unfortunately, thats not too often. I live on the Southwest coast where we mostly get rain, wind and arthritis. The locals here will always joke around and say, “Last year we had summer on a Wednesday,” or “We can’t complain, last year we had two whole weeks of summer.” Everyone laughs, because what else can they do?

I come from New Jersey and am therefore well equipped to handle cold winters, a rainy spring, even a crisp fall, but summer is supposed to be warm. I remember swimming everyday, chasing the ice cream man and begging my mother to turn the air conditioner on. The one thing I could always count on was a hot summer on the Jersey Shore.

Life has now carried me to another place, where I never watch weather reports and try hard to except what I can’t change. In reward, Mother Nature will send me a beautiful day every now and then, and from the top of my wind blown hair to the bottom of my cold little toes, I appreciate it!

I’m afraid this is the week everyone will be talking about next year… “In 2012 we had summer for a full week in May.” The weather is magnificent! The sky is a solid blue and because its Norway (land of the midnight sun) daylight comes early and goes on until late in the evening.

I love working outside in the garden, but not when the weather is bad. I guess you could call me a fair weather gardener. I called a girlfriend up yesterday and asked if she would like to go with me to the Garden Center to buy summer flowers for my pots. She has the most beautiful garden and is dedicated enough to run out at two in the morning to wash the salt off her plants after a storm. She claims to have a green heart but not much of a green thumb, which isn’t true, for she has both.

We had a great time wandering about, oohing and aahing, and picking out flowers. Delirious from the unfamiliar heat, I went a little overboard and ended up buying NOK 2,300 (Norwegian Kroner) worth of flowers (you’ll have to do the math or take my word, it was a lot)! My friend also convinced me into buying two bags of cow manure to blend with the four bags of potting soil I bought.

We loaded up the car, soil and manure in the trunk, flowers packed on the back seat and floor, I put the key in, turned the ignition and… Nothing! The car was dead?! My husband was out of town, my friends husband was out sailing and it seemed everyone was out enjoying the nice weather because I couldn’t get a hold of anybody.

First we asked if anyone at the Garden Center could give us a jump, but no one had cables. We then headed to the fast food restaurant next door, where we found four young, leather clad motorcyclists sitting outside eating and asked for help (actually my friend did, she’s braver than me). They were quick to come to the rescue (of us two cougars) and tried push starting the car. It didn’t work.

Now my car was half way down the road, the power windows of course wouldn’t go down, it was hot as blazes, my flowers were wilting and I had a trunk full of manure. We walked back to the restaurant, ordered two soda’s, called a tow truck and waited.

While waiting my friend looked at me as serious as can be and said, “This is all my fault.”

“What, how can this be your fault?” I asked

“All bad things happen in three… Yesterday I ran over the hose while cutting the grass and ruined the lawnmower, last night my dildo broke and today your car died.”

I laughed so hard, I think soda ran out my nose.

Ready to deliver

 

 

Some of you may remember from my last post that my daughter is expecting her third child. What you didn’t know is, she’s expecting this week! Her official due date is Saturday (26/05). The hospital is a good hour drive from where we live and since I’ll be watching her other two children, I have to be ready on a moments notice. There is of course always the possibility she’ll go over her due date, but she says, “NO!” She feels fat, fed up and wants the baby out.

Most women feel this way towards the end of their pregnancies, some even from day one. I suppose its natures way of getting us prepared for the task at hand… Birth. Lets face it, if we were perfectly content being pregnant, how would we ever be able to face labor?

I loved being pregnant. From the early inner secret to the growing anticipation of birth, I basked in contentment. Never feeling lonely and always reminded by the stirring within that I carried the future. A women’s belly swollen in its final stage of pregnancy gives an aura of magic, for soon there will be a newborn baby in her arms. With my maternal torch passed on to my daughters I have surprisingly found that a grandmother’s love in every way rivals mothers’.

Whenever my granddaughter from America comes to visit we read Charlotte’s Web, which is one of my favorites. She’ll climb on to my lap, rest her head against my chest and I’ll hold the book so we both can see – her the pictures me the words. I read aloud and with the top of her head right under my nose, the sweet smell of her hair reminds me of her mother, all nestled in my lap reading Charlotte’s Web a long time ago.

Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.                   -E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web

 

 

 

 

Un-Happy Memories…

 

My daughter (the one in the pig tails) recently posted this picture on facebook, it was taken on Mother’s Day 1981. When I first saw it I smiled, seeing myself again at twenty-three-years old, adorned with three beautiful children brought back happy memories. I had just given birth to my third child and that baby lying on my lap is now waiting to give birth to her third child. Where do the years go?

My heart swells with pride remembering my children at this tender age and now knowing the wonderful people they have grown up to be. I also see a slender arm and a smooth face, but there is unfortunately a flip side to this picture…

Behind the Farrah Fawcett hairdo is a girl, trapped in a controlling and unhealthy marriage. Weighed down in responsibility and much to embarrassed to let anyone know.  If you’re wondering how bad it was, I’ll tell you…

Throughout the pregnancy I begged my doctor to sterilize me after the birth. At first he wouldn’t even listen, but after pleading at every visit and discussing all other options, my hopeless tears got the best of him. He performed the surgery immediately after the birth and I was left barren at twenty-three. A desperate act, of a very desperate girl. Now take another look at the picture…

You never know what secrets are hiding behind a smile in a picture. Since my story has been published I’ve surprisingly received numerous messages from different women, some I know, others I don’t admitting abuse.

Six years after this picture was taken my life took a hard turn and I was thrown out into another direction. I was later able to have the surgery reversed, and was blessed with two more children.

I was fortunate enough to get a do over, not everyone’s that lucky.

 

 

 

 

Jane Austin saved my dinner party!

Last night my husband and I threw a dinner party for ten. Four times a year we get together with his old fotball (soccer) buddies and their wives for an evening of good food, fine wine and lots of reminiscing. I’m not kidding either, these guys can remember exactly who scored what goal at which game, way back in the 1970’s and 80’s!

Last night it was our turn to host. We got up early, I headed straight for the kitchen and my husband out for a bike ride, (he’s training for a race). For me a dinner party starts weeks before, as I pour over recipes and table setting ideas. Choose which wine to serve, order flowers, iron table clothes, clean the house and decide what to wear.

I always try to choose a meal I can make in advance, this way I avoid the stress of cooking while guests are already sitting in my living room. I found a recipe for Prince William’s favorite Cottage Pie in the wedding issue of People Magazine last year and figured if it was good enough for William, it would be good enough for us. Just to be sure, I gave it a trial run (very tasty). For color, I’d make a big salad with every different veggie I could find (I hate boring salads). For desert, I decided to make an apple & blueberry custard pie and serve it warm with vanilla ice cream.

I doubled all the recipes and stood cooking, chopping and baking from morning until late afternoon. Cleaned up the kitchen, set the table and got myself ready. The whole time in good company, as Mia and Khloe (my furry companions) sat by my side – waiting for something to drop. Meanwhile my husband finally got home from his ride and was quickly punished for being gone all day – with a list of things to do before our guests arrived.

One hour until count down we locked the dogs in our bedroom, so I could run the vacuum one last time. Heaven forbid someone find a dog hair, at a dinner party. Mia and Khloe are not used to being locked away, and took this very personally. They cried, barked and scratched to get out. I gave them treats, talked to them and even yelled at them to stop, which is something I never do. As my guests were coming in I could still hear them, I had to think quick or they would ruin everything!

Then I remembered… Whenever I don’t feel good and need quiet time, I’ll pop a Jane Austin film in the DVD player and lie on the sofa all day. The dogs seem to understand this and will always lie quietly next to me. I made a quick dash to the bedroom, chose Pride and Prejudice (its a long one) put it on and hoped for the best.

Sure enough, Jane Austin to the rescue! I’m pretty certain she could tame the wild beast in anyone, Khloe and Mia were as good as gold. The food was delicious, we talked about goals, injuries and penalty kicks, everyone had a great time and in reward for being good, the girls were later allowed to join the party.

That is after their film was finished, of course.

Lets dish People

For those of you who don’t know me, let me tell you a little something about myself. I read People magazine from cover to cover, every week (and have been doing so for years). I usually download it on to my iPad every Sunday afternoon and then along with a plate of cookies and a large mug of piping hot mint-tea, I devour it.

Its not just about Hollywood movie stars, its full of real stories about real people. Some stories make me laugh and others make me cry. I recently read an incredible story about a 96 year old man named Jim Henry, who’d been illiterate his whole life. Two years ago he learned to read and write and has now published his first book, In a Fisherman’s Language.

There is a section called Style Watch, featuring the latest styles and trends of the season. Although I seldom find myself in the market for a new dress, I still like to check in and see the latest frock Kate has been wearing. I’m also obsessed with all the beautiful dresses worn on the ‘red carpet’.

I’m always humbled by People’s, Hero’s Among Us section. Just click on the hyperlink and you will too.

There are new Movie, TV, Music and Book Reviews every week. Whenever my husband and I leave a movie theater with him grumbling, “Next time I pick the movie.” I simply reply, “Its not my fault, People gave it four stars.” I like the Music reviews, but love the book reviews and have thus far been totally satisfied with almost all of their recommendations. Since I live in Norway and they’re reviewing whats on TV in the States, this section really doesn’t apply to me.

All right, I’ll admit it, I saved the best for last. Star Tracks, Scoop and Passages are my guiltiest of pleasures. I can’t help it, I’m just so darn curious as to whether or not Heidi and Seal will get back together. What Lindsey Lohan will do next, and why friends and family hope its not too late for the troubled actress Demi Moore.

Welcome to Hollywood my friends, playground to the stars. Entertainment on and off screen. Where its fun learning who’s dating who, the break-ups, the make-ups, the melt-downs and the plastic surgeries.

Why do we give these people we don’t even know and who don’t know us so much of our precious time? Because celebrity gossip gives us a common interest and something to talk about. I think as long as its kept on an entertainment level, its all good.

Guilty or not guilty?

Do you know that ‘why-did-I-do-that’ or ‘why-didn’t-I-do-that’ feeling we get everyday?

For example:

  • Forgetting a birthday or anniversary (when it was written down on your calendar)
  • Ordering pizza instead of making dinner (twice in the same week)
  • Meeting friends instead of cleaning the house (and you have company coming)
  • Haven’t called your mother in weeks (and promised yourself everyday, you’d do it tomorrow)

I think we can all agree its called guilt. If you don’t feel guilty about these things, then chances are you’re probably a man.

We women on the other hand are guilt hoarders and can very easily tie ourselves up into knots of shame over anything and everything. Sometimes we even go so far as to feel guilty over feeling guilty. It would seem this is our burden to bear for being the more caring and sensitive sex.

If this isn’t bad enough, we take it one step further by feeling guilty about things that make us feel good and then beat ourselves up for breaking our own rules!

For example:

  • Chocolate (I promised myself only on weekends)
  • Shopping (the last thing I needed was another pair of shoes)
  • Gossip ( I should have never told her that)

The question is, what can we do to lighten the burden of our guilt?

Well, I’m no expert but I’ll tell you how I deal with my guilt. I let it quickly roll over me in waves. Some waves are stronger than others and I’ve actually been knocked down a time or two. But I just keep telling myself, if I didn’t feel guilty then I wouldn’t care and there is nothing wrong with caring.

As for those guilty pleasures… Whether you’re having your nails done and really can’t afford it, having a few cookies with your last cup of tea before bed, or just Keeping up with the Kardashian’s. (I’m guilty of all three) Don’t worry ladies you probably deserve it.

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