Category Archives: silly stuff

It’s really not a small world after all

DSC02901

Many moons ago, when I first moved to Norway and telephone calls were much too expensive for my budget, I was forced to write letters. Sit down, put pen to paper and write. That however, was not the hardest part. It was the waiting. It could take weeks, sometimes months to receive a letter in return. I felt far away, isolated, living in a garden of exile.

Facebook, FaceTime, Skype and Messenger are what now connect me (and everyone else) with the outside world. They enable us to feel close to people far away, which in turn makes the world seem smaller.

After living twenty-seven years in Norway, my husband and I recently bought a condo in my home state of New Jersey. The plan is to use it as a vacation home. Fly back and forth several times a year. Most of my family and a lot of my friends live there. Plus three Grandchildren! The condo is located at the Jersey Shore, about 25 minutes from the beach and two hours from NYC. Just perfect! Happy! Happy! Me.

But… Nothing is ever easy!

We just got back from our first mini-vacation to our new place and this is how it went…

We had a one hour drive to the airport (early in the morning). Fifty minute flight to Oslo. One hour wait before boarding. The flight across the Atlantic took approximately seven hours. We landed at 1:30pm in Newark NJ. Not bad.

I have a US passport, my husband has a Norwegian one. He has always been able to follow me through the US Citizens only line, at the Customs and Border Protection counter. Not anymore. Instead, we could either split up or both go through the Non US Citizens line. Knowing I’d have to wait for him anyway, I went with him.

The Non US Citizens line was long and slow. It took crawling at a snails pace, forever, to see why. Out of fifteen counters there were only four open. People were yelling to the officers guarding the line that they were missing their connecting flights. Babies and small children crying deliriously after long flights and their parents, tired and stressed trying to manage them. Elderly people pleading for assistance. I also noticed a pregnant woman looking drained and pale, inching her way through the line. We stood there like animals waiting to get in out of the cold. Welcome to America!

In the end, it took two hours for us to get through. I planned on saying something to the officer at the counter about the long wait, but after seeing how grumpy and unfriendly he was, I chickened out. It took another couple of hours to get through the airport and car rental agency. Of course we got stuck in traffic, so what should have been a one hour drive, took two. That’s like sixteen hours from door to door.

We stayed for one fun-filled week before heading back.

Our flight left the gate on time at 7:00pm. We sat on the runway for quite a while before returning to the gate, to fix an electrical problem. A short time later, with the problem fixed, something happened that I have never in all my years of travel seen before. Some of the passengers wanted off the plane! I don’t know if they were spooked because of the electrical problem or what… But they got off and then we had to wait for their luggage to be removed. We finally took off just after 10:00pm. It was a smooth eight hour flight.

Needless to say we missed our connecting fight and had to wait seven hours in Frankfort, Germany for the next flight home! In the end it took twenty-six hours to get home, which is more than double the time it should take.

Arriving safely is what really matters… And we’re going back in August :)

 

 

No, you can not put your head through that fence!

I’ve been a mother for over half my life and throughout the years I think the word I’ve used most (and I’m sure my children will agree) is, NO!

It begins when they’re just babies crawling around on the floor with, “No, don’t put that in your mouth,” and doesn’t stop until one day you’re screaming, “No, you can not get a tattoo!”

We’ve all heard our children complaining, “You always say, no,” and we’ve complained about our own mother’s always saying no. We say it because it’s our job and it’s for their own good. Well, at least most of the time it’s for their own good.

I personally, hate saying no to my children. I want to give them everything. I want them to not just love me, but to like me too. I want to be their friend but instead, I’m their mother.

The good news is, once they grow up and have children of their own, they get it. :)

As you can see this doesn’t only apply to us human moms…

I call these two the brothers Grimm, they are always getting they're heads stuck in the fence and they're mother does not look happy!

I call these two the Brothers Grimm, they’re always getting their heads stuck in the fence and their mother does not look happy!

Search and Rescue

I think I can officially say… “Summer has returned to southern Norway!”

After a long dark winter the sun has finally come back and even though it sets around 10:30 in the evening, it doesn’t get totally dark. I can still see a glow as it shines all through the night in the north. By 4:30 in the morning it’s on the rise again. I love this time of year the only thing is, for me, it’s hard to sleep.

I stay up late not wanting to go to bed and miss out on anything and wake up early with the sun shining through the curtains. I should buy shades for the windows, but for some reason just can’t seem to do it.

With the weather being warmer (don’t get me wrong, it’s not hot, just warmer) I also sleep with the window open. After living in this house for last twenty years I’m used to the seagulls screaming and squawking every morning, that’s not what’s been waking me up this week…

Being a mother of five, plus one, I know what it’s like to be awakened by the sound of a baby crying for food or a dry diaper, but not because they have their head caught in a fence!

I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying, The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Well, I must live on the greener side of that fence!

Every morning this week I have been awakened by the sound of a lamb (yes, lamb as in baby sheep) crying and caught between our fence and the neighbors. I know right away when something is wrong because it’s not a random ‘baaa’ I hear, it’s more like a constant ‘AAAAA!’ Or as the Norwegians would say, ‘ÆÆÆÆÆ!’

It’s impossible to sleep knowing the little tyke is caught (plus all the screaming). So, I put on my boots, walk across the field in my nightgown searching for the lamb in need of rescue.

I don’t know how well it works counting sheep jumping over fences to fall asleep, but I can tell you this, it certainly wakes you up when they get caught trying to wiggle through.

Do you think the grass looks any greener on my side of the fence?

Do you think the grass looks any greener on my side of the fence?

Happily reunited and getting nourishment from his mamma

Happily reunited and getting nourishment from his mamma. My work is done!

Now for my choice in photos

Here are some of the shots that didn’t make the magazine:

Welcome

Welcome

Their is a small guest house over the garage

There is a small guest house over the garage

looking down into the living room from an open hall leading to the bedrooms

looking down into the living room from an open hall leading to the bedrooms

Kitchen

Kitchen

My friend Marita made the cupcakes

My friend Marita made the cupcakes

All you see from out patio is mountains, water and boats

All you can see from the patio is mountains, water and boats

The perfect look-out place

The perfect look-out place

What makes my house special? Location, location, location.

What makes this house special? Location, location, location.

Now wasn’t my choice much nicer?

2013, A New Year

super_sweet

As we stand on the threshold of 2013, I’m sure we’re all thinking the same thing –New Year,  new start. 

After stuffing myself silly in honor of Christmas this past week, I went to the gym last night. I got a tremendous cramp in my right side while attempting to run on the treadmill and spinning made me nauseous. I left having burned off maybe five, of the fifty Christmas cookies I’ve eaten. I once again went to bed vowing to give up sugar.

It’s my vow every year and yet the longest I’ve ever gone without eating sugar is two weeks back in 1997 (and thats probably because I was sick). Sugar is my weakness, it’s my addiction.

I lived down the street from a little bakery when I was pregnant with my first child and would go there at least twice -okay, three times a week to buy cake. I’d always buy a chocolate/vanilla marble, buttercream cake and eat the whole thing myself. For nine months I ate three cakes a week, before giving birth to a sweet little girl. Sugar and spice, thats what little girls are made of… Right?

My stomach would never allow me to do that today, but I still eat way more than I should.

Because of time and other commitments I’ve also recently announced that I need to give up blogging. But as you can see, that seems to be another addiction…

I may not be commenting as much, but I still read posts as often as I can and will continue to post myself on occasion. I know its a you follow me, I’ll follow you, world out there but I need to put that aside. Forget about stats and do what I can, when I can. Instead of vowing to give up sugar this year, I’m going to vow to cut back -way back and to blog without pressure.

I’d like to thank my friends Maddie and Kathy for kindly bestowing me with the Super Sweet blogging Award (it was fate). I’d also like to apologize and thank everyone for all the awards I never found the time to properly acknowledge this year. It is all of you, that I would like to pass this award on to.

Silliness aside, I hope with all my heart that 2013 turns out to be a great year for all mankind. Happy New Year!

Winter in Norway

 

As winter sets in, the temperatures drop and darkness descends across the land, it’s nice to know someone has our back…

 

Thanks Africa!

It’s been quite a year

My good friend, over at  Crazy Train To Tinky Town has been kind enough to bestow a 2012 Blog of the Year Award on me… Thank you Dallas!

But am I worthy? That’s the thought I wrestled with all night, instead of sleeping…

I thought about all the hours I spent crying and cursing over my keyboard in the beginning before I got the hang of it. The frustration of trying to figure out what a widget was and all the times I begged my husband to help me learn how to use them. Hearing from one of my children that I spelled a word wrong and the guilt, every time I fell behind in reading posts.

I also remember the thrill I got the first time someone other than a family member left a comment on my blog. That person was Naomi, from Writing Between the Lines.

How happy I was when Kate, from Before I forget offered and then wrote the nicest review of my book.

Cathy, from Expat Alien also wrote a wonderful review without me having to ask. I really appreciated it… Thanks guys!

Lily, from One More Morning who writes the most beautiful poetry and leaves the sweetest comments.

Paula, from Stuff I Tell My Sister who has always been supportive and friendly.

Beth, from It’s a Whole New World who has also been a source of great support.

Debbie, From It’s All About Purple lives in my hometown and is a former classmate of mine. Her blog feels like home.

Robin, from Robin Coyle who always makes me laugh.

Dianne GrayMaddie Cochere and Dallas are a few more of the great blogs I’ve become acquainted with (I wish I could list them all).

The conclusion I’ve come to is this… All bloggers deserve a Blog of the Year Award!

I guess I’ve already listed my nominations, so here are the rules:

  • Select the blogs you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012 Award’.
  • Write a post and tell about the blogs you have chosen and present them with their award.
  • Please include a link back to this page Blog of the 2012 Year Award and include these rules (do not alter the rules or the badges).
  • Let the blogs you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the rules with them.
  • You can now also join our Facebook page – click the link here Blog of the Year 2012 Award and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience.
  • As a winner of the award please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award. Proudly display the award on your side bar and start collecting stars.

Thanks everyone!

Preserving memories

Some of my scrapbooks

Hello, my name is Maggie and I am a scrapaholic.

Well, I used to be – lately I just can’t seem to find the time for it. I started scrapbooking about seven years ago, while living in Houston. My neighbor was a Creative Memories consultant with a great sales pitch. In no time, I was running back and forth across the street buying her products.

My scrapbook supplies

The idea of making albums and preserving memories completely resonated with me. I started out making an album of our time in Texas and that lead to making albums for each of my children. I soon moved on to the grandchildren, weddings, vacations… I couldn’t stop!

I went to all day cropping sessions and on weekend scrapbooking retreats. Women would gather to spend the day clipping, pasting, sharing supplies and ideas. Some of their books were like works of art, they were beautiful. I wasn’t quite as talented, but I had fun.

When the time came for us to leave Houston and move to the Netherlands I went out and bought a hoard of supplies to take with me ($$$$). I was making keepsakes and you certainly can’t put a price tag on that. Can you?

Scrapbooking can be a very expensive hobby. The more embellishment you use on your pages, the more its going to cost you. I’ve made some examples:

Cover the pages with paper and add pictures. Basic and easy.

Cut the paper, add pictures with minimal embellishing.

Layer paper, frame pictures and lots of embellishment.

I have a die cutting machine for making my own letters, flowers, hearts and butterflies, but I cheated and used sticker letters instead.

See the sticker letters? (not so nice)

Eventually I went from not writing anything more than a name, a date or a place in my albums to journaling whole stories. Thats when I realized I needed to take some writing classes, which led to the book, which led to the blog.

The only thing I have time to make now, are digital ones.

Really easy, surprisingly cheap and I can make them right on my Mac.

A dogs life

Khloe and Mia got haircuts…

Mommy is sick and tired of vacuuming up dog hair

Oh no, I’m next!

What did you do this weekend?

 

Around and around I go

 

Khloe with a feather she found on her walk

One of Khloe’s favorite pastimes is chasing her own tail. She’ll spin around and around in hope of catching it, but she never does. Sometimes I feel like I’m chasing my own tail as well.  Meaning – nothing I ever do seems to get done!

I can spend the whole day washing clothes, go to bed, wake up and the basket is full again!

I go food shopping twice a week and yet we’re always out of something.

I sent my first child off to school in 1982 and my last child still has two years left to go. That means I’ve been packing gym clothes and school lunches for thirty years now! Don’t even get me started on the homework (If I’m not helping, I’m nagging them to do it).

Day after day, year after year, Its my job to decide – WHAT to make for dinner? I don’t even mind cooking it as much as I hate deciding WHAT to make.

And as hard as I try, I just can’t seem to get my inbox empty these days either (I guess thats thanks to blogging)

I’m not complaining… Well, maybe just a little.

My husband works and travels a lot, so its hard to count on him for any of the ongoing tasks that keep our house running. Instead, he’s in charge of projects and repairs. These things can take weeks, even months to finish, but eventually they get done and he can move on. After he’s finished everyone will praise him for a job well done, or tell me how lucky I am to have him.  Sometimes I wish our roles were reverse and he could chase his tail for a few years…

He just called me outside to show me the new project he’s started. He’s building steps from our house, which sits on top of a cliff, down to the water.

I took this picture to show you what he’s up to…

I wonder how many months this will take

I better go – I think I hear the dishwasher peeping…

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 384 other followers