Saturday, January 26, 2008

Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen! (ORIGINAL VERSION)

Oh and, btw - enjoy this classic ;)

Oh, cell phone wonders...

... for without, I wouldn't have been able to get this photo of my daughter in the car as she hurried into her new pants from the thrift store before I could even blink my eyes. She's good at that.

So, I've been thrifting again, for the second time in less than two weeks. What's happening?!?

Well, it can hardly be called shopping. We drove by the thrift store to deliver some stuff. As I was running out of the car and into the store with the bags, I passed these pants which looked just her size, and some lovely fabric and then some more... all in less than 3 minutes. Back in the car, I showed her the pants, her father stopped by the grocery store, and while I was looking at him entering the store, she was quickly into the position you see here. And so we discovered that this was not a size 6 y/o pants, but a size 9 y/o short pants.. Oh well, who will notice? :)

What else I bought and what I did with it will have to wait (so will my 30 days project), as I'm off for Oslo for almost two weeks now. But I can tell you that it involves this fabric:

Day 19: Morning book love

Friday, January 25, 2008

A gift for a friend is a good thing to make

Sewing a bead pouch for her friends' birthday on saturday (with some assistance from her mom doing the embroidery part).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Day 17: ...

A classical forgettable moment: Doing the dishes (that you can't fit into the dishwasher) in a filthy sink.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 16: Passing by

A pile of clothes on top of a cupboard in the hallway. I've been walking by this pile for several days without really noticing it. The colours are quite beautiful.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Day 15: Snow!

We woke up this morning to this; a thin layer of that cold wintery stuff you'd expect up here. Perhaps not enough to get 'Jingle Bells' stuck on your mind (and thank goodness for that), but still - wintery feeling. The photos were shot in the last bit of the twilight our, what we call 'the blue hour'. The beautiful blueness doesn't quite show in the photos. I was amazed anything would show at all, it was much darker outside than what the photos tell. The last photo is shot through the window in our entrance door. It shows a corn dolly, a red paper heart and a paper cut made by my daughter. I know we're way into january, but I don't want to remove these last solstice decorations just yet.
And the snow?
My husband took a look out the window and said 'the kids will be lucky if it stays until lunch'.
Oh, was he right.

And with that in mind, here's one for Melissas (growing) sense of snow:
Sludd: very. wet. snow. Especially when it comes sideways, whipping your face red and sore. Very common here in the western parts of Norway. Are willing to share it with the east.
Slaps: when the very. wet. snow. hits the ground and stays, often in puddles or in huge piles kindly thrown up on the pavement by the huge cars 'removing' the slaps (removing it for the cars, that is..) and making it impossible to walk in a decent way or - heaven forbid - bring a stroller (or a kid, for that matter).


Spring's Sprung...?

The other day, we went swimming at our local workout center. There's a shortcut we use that goes through a desolated industrial area interspersed with mossy, swampy, brownish, greyish stuff.
But it's not supposed to be brown, grey or green now; it's supposed to be yellowish and covered in white snow. This is the warmest (and wettest) winter we've ever had, due to climate changes. Look, even the goat willow has its goose babys out (that's what we call them here - and yes, I agree, that picture is an excellent display of my great photographic skills - background sharp, motive blurred..)
The following night, the moon had two frost rings around it. Hopes were high.
To be continued....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh yes

I hardly ever go thrifting. When I say that thrifting is the way I shop, this is to be understood in one way; I never shop. I hardly ever buy anything. OK, food when the fridge is empty, tape when the tape is out, thread when thread is out, paper for printing - you get the picture. I wear my clothes until they fall apart (literally), and then - I shop. Out of necessity. And I hate it. My feet and back aches, and I'm emotionally torn to pieces from looking at my body from five different angles over and over again trying to find the right pants (because it's always pants, isn't it).
But just for the fun of it?
It's just not on my priority list, and probably has something to do with money. We have chosen a simple life with more time and less income, so that's a natural limitation to shopping sprees. It just so happens to coincide with me not being a shopping girl. Good for us.
But suddenly, I found myself having a thrifting date with a friend. She's a single mom to three boys, and had one of those rare weekends-all-by-her-self only two steps away (she's about to have one of her twice-a-year experiences, and chose to go thrifting with me? We are weird...). Then, at the hand of some mischevious force that seem to be having great fun every now and then, one of her kids break an arm and another gets a bad cough. (Last time we had a date, she ended up in the hospital with one of her boys).
So what happened? The thrifting spirit had already paid a visit, that's what happened. (Oh, I'm not worried about her kids. They'll survive anything :) ) Over the next two days, its presence grew stronger and stronger and in the end there was no other option than to acknowledge its presence in full - and go thrifting alone. I spent two hours in one salvation army shop. I must have spent 3/4 of it trying to decide which textiles to bring home and which to reluctantly leave behind. I hadn't brought enough money, so I actually had to leave behind two sets of bed linens from the 70's. (I'm glad I'm not a shopping girl. I wouldn't have been able to find my kids in all the stash. Because I am the kind of 'oh, that might come in handy' and 'oh, I could sew something out of this' girl.)

So, what did I buy? Not the dolls, that's for sure. Things are not that welcome in our house. But a beautiful huge green damask tablecloth, a small yellow tablecloth with embroideries (but bought mainly for the hem - is that the word?), a brown/pink cotton and several embroidered handkerchiefs. All going to be cut and made into something else. And you know what else? This incredible bird embroidery set - look at them! We have a whole family of these bullfinches living in a tree outside our livingroom window. I try to get good shots of them every now and then, but then - they are small.
The set came with needle, thread and everything, but I don't want to fill in these lovely thin lines with thick woollen thread. As a matter of fact, I like them just the way they are.
I came home with a couple of old frames as well. All for less than 16 pounds, all packed in this quite cool plastic bag. It says 'thank you'. Thank you for shopping second hand, and for helping us helping others.
You're welcome :)

Day 14: Industrial river

Day 13: Morning talk

Grab a camping chair, come over here in the big bed, and have a nice chat...

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Knitting again

The last couple of weeks there hasn't been much knitting going on here. There was an intense knitting period just before the solstice, then it slumbered down to a couple of pocket slippers. A really cool thing, but to be honest, a bit of a bore to knit.
One of the best gifts I opened in the evening of dec 24th (that's when we open gifts in our country - a long standing heathen tradition of starting a celebration the evening before the 'real' date) was some plant dyed wool yarn from my friend Mona in Denmark (probably dyed in this session). So I've started knitting a Nøstebarn sweater for my girl. There's just one thing. The sweater looks more and more like my mother's sofa from 1974...

I don't feel like I'm doing this lovely yarn any justice. Stripes might just not be the thing here. I'll give it another 10 cm, and then see.

My daughter likes it, though, and loves helping out winding the yarn. How lucky am I? :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Day 9: Mystery job

Scrubbing pots and stones in the rain for our special new place.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Day 7: Bird cage

I saw this tiny bird trapped inside a large building today. I know this happens all the time, and I'm sure it will find its way out. But I was fascinated by the size of it; it was sooo tiny! I'm wondering what kind it is. I really love birds, but sadly, I don't know much about them.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Day 5: Evening work

Beer, salty snacks and two computers next to each other. Husband and wife saturday evening. How nerdy is that.
(OK, we're actually working, got to get our website running)

Day 4: Late morning in my bed

(Notice that she's wearing the pj? I don't get it. She wears it all the time now. Could be alarming...)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Day 2: I see y o u ...

... my girl, boiling eggs and stirring the tomato soup.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Day 1: What do you see?

This post will hopefully be the first in a series of 30; one each day for 30 days. I was inspired by lost in transition by her project of documenting the ordinary in their lives; the little moments that you often do not notice, remember or wonder about. I call them the inbetweens; the moments when you're on your way from one thing to another, the moments where life is actually happening - unnoticed.
Fall is to me the time of year when I am especially reminded about the inbetweens. In the greek myth of Demeter and Persephone, Hades offers Persephone the seeds of a pomegranate to make her stay with him in the underworld during fall and winter. I relate the pomegranate to slowness, as embodied in the dark time of the year; nature's repose. Every fall I am reminded to take the apple. Eat the seeds. Slow down. Sink down, go inward, see, acknowledge, release. Fall goes inward. Goes slower. Goes closer. And winter confirms it. Be where you are, instead of lingering where you were or anticipating what's coming. Live more, long less. Dance the dance of Hades.
So while dancing the slow dance, I took this picture in (one of) my workplace(s). When I'm inside that beautiful place, I'm a massage therapist. Today was my first day at work there after the holiday. After every client, I go to the sink to wash my hands. The picture shows the 17th century wall I face when I turn away from the sink. I wonder what that has seen.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The reluctant African elephant

Forgive me, for I have sinned. I bought my daughter this PJ for yule - at the mall...
I usually don't buy clothes (we all have our issues, don't we? The clothing industry is one of mine). I hate shopping for them. Really. (Yes, I AM a woman :) ) (although, I admit, shopping for my kids is different..) And when I do, I usually go for second hand, for a number of reasons. We used to live in a students home for students with kids, where i arranged for a permanent swapping room - a room in the basement where people could leave behind stuff they didn't use anymore, and take with them things they needed. Mostly kid's clothes and stuff, but also adults clothing, books, furniture etc. It was brilliant. When we moved a year ago, I found myself at the mall buying children's clothes. Not often, but still... But I have to admit, the retro trend in kid's clothes right now is very appealing. And when I saw this PJ, I just couldn't help it. It wasn't even organic (the cheap-organic-clothes-at-the-mall trend finally hit this country too).
But somebody has to be laughing when the kid just won't wear it. After a series of 8 blurred pictures or so, trying to capture my very annoyed daughter (talked into) wearing it, I managed to get this. She made sure to lift the glass to hide her face, as she - naturally... - won't be seen wearing it.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Solitude is only a human presumption...

As a girl, I remember wanting to become a writer when I grew up. I read books like eating food; I simply had to have that input, the fiction, the fantasy, the many worlds. It felt like I invented these worlds myself, as I lept right into them and lived them alongside the protagonist of the story.

Then I grew up. I stopped reading fiction and started reading philosophical then spiritual literature. Then I grew some more, and for the last ten years or so, I've only been reading professional literature and childrens books.

After finnishing my masters degree last winter, the reading has been generally low and the knitting has been correspondingly high. I lept right into the fictional world of Barbara Kingsolver by chance. I stumbled upon her non-fictional Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - a year of food life, and bought it for a friend that had just moved to a house with a garden. I didn't read it myself. But via that book, I was lead to the sensous world of Prodigal Summer. After reading the description, I just had to buy it; I read it, I ate it. Every spare moment, I immersed myself in the lush, moist and fertile woods, meadows and barns of Prodigal Summer. It could be described as a sexy biology class. How about that. And more, a politically important one as well. Three different women's stories tell the tales of animal and human fecundity and reciprocity in southern American farming land. The first two chapters could be short stories in their own right. Go read.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Frozen love

We went to the graveyard yesterday, to light candles for friends and relatives that has passed away. Unlike some cultures, who remember their dead at the end of october, we do so during the winter solstice here up north. We arrived the first graveyard in the early afternoon, just when it was beginning to get dark. It was a beautiful day, cold, crisp and clear. Most graves had had visitors during the weekend, and I was struck by the beauty of them; the frozen greens and flowers, the burning candles, the small tokens put there to comfort souls - mostly the living, I suspect. The unanswered questions and helplessness of a handwritten note; a colored paper heart; a letter tucked in between the pine cones and twigs of juniper. The love so awkwardly communicated by a plastic toy; a Santa; stone carved kittens. The call for higher powers seen in tacky ceramic angels and the words hammered into the stones. The sadness and the beauty of it all.

Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.

And we bow respectfully to thee, Death, with our unanswered questions, helplessness, love and beauty.


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