Thursday, April 30, 2009

why bloggers like a good close up

it just kind of looks better, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

corner view: modes of transportation

When you are everywhere, you are nowhere. When you are somewhere, you are everywhere.


whenever i need to go into town, i go by bus. the bus allows me to see both details and the broader surroundings.
in my daily errands and doings outside of the house, i walk -

- or indulge myself in the luxury of having a private chauffeur (that would be my husband, as i don't have a driver's license. which btw is really really uncommon not to have here).

Monday, April 27, 2009

6 more things i've learned about american bloggers

continuing my pseudo anthropological observations:

1. many of them are stay at home mums (sahm), even when the kids start preschool/kindergarten. that's not common here.

2. many of the sahm's are homeschoolers. that's really not common here.

3. many of the homeschooling sahm's put a button on their blog; a portrait of darwin, words 'teach evolution'. it took me a long time to figure that one out. when i did, the ground shook beneath my feet.

4. they must keep it very warm inside their houses. i can se loads of snow outside, but kids in tee's and bare feet inside. here, we wear wool indoors in the winter.

5. their childrens birthday parties are all 'themed'.

6. i was going to write 'they're all white'. but i think i might have found one or two bloggers to prove me wrong.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

mission: impossible

i remember using a bathroom at a radical youth's community house in oslo back in the late 80's. i was there to participate in a large demonstration facilitated by the community. the walls of that bathroom had writings all over; basically, a never ending list of what corporation/country/brand/organisation/political party etc etc to boycott. i remember thinking; how silly. no matter if you boycott all of these, there will still be hundreds (thousands!) of unethical corporations etc out there, that you don't even know you're supporting.

whether we see ourselves as saving the earth, saving humanity (the same thing from two different angles), or just living an interconnected and meaningful life, i do believe that the obstacles in our culture are too many for most of us to be able to live out our ideals 100%. whether we choose to do a little here and a little there, or pick a couple of subjects that we dedicate ourselves fully to, most of us will never be able to live completely sustainably or ethically. i believe in doing our best, but i also believe in not preaching. the (so far) self imposed tasks and responsability before us might seem overwhelming. i've been practicing 'a little bit here and there' until recently, when i decided to be more systematic about it. but i started out with one subject that i dedicated myself fullheartedly to: food.

as a true child of the 80's neo hippie/post punk/goth/general freak sub culture of my town, my interest in counter-culturalism had been spurted from an early age and i, along with most of my friends, became a vegetarian. a lot of unguided experimenting, including over eating on daal (i'll never eat yellow lentils again) proceeded. i had a go on macrobiotics (but never could stand the umeboshi, nor the seaweed, and what's left then? :)), and finally got some good cooking lessons living in a yoga ashram in copenhagen. i was a vegetarian for 7 years.

when i got pregnant, i already had decided to go with my food urges if it included meat. it did. chicken, big time. i reevaluated my reasons for being a vegetarian, and i understood that the whole thing had come about as a product of two things: the subculture that formed my teens and early 20's, and my mother's bad cooking. my experience with meat was that it was a highly yucky, unchewable substance that kept growing in my mouth. my reencounter with meat was chicken only, until i met my future mother in law (a former cook) and tasted her food. (i still prefer chicken, though).

i am aware of the grain vs meat debate, and that, along with health matters, is why i think we should only eat meat (not including fish here) about twice a week. but i don't think it's unethical to eat animals, which seemed to be the main reason for my fellow vegetarian friends to stay vegetarian.

all my arguments back and forth in this whole reevaluation made me conclude with one thing: i didn't need to eat vegetaric; i needed to eat organic. but not for health reasons, which seemed to be the main reason why people ate organic back then; it was for ethical reasons. non organic food was non sustainable. it didn't fit in with my values or my spiritual views of life, man and earth.
so, when my son was born, i initiated our town's first organic foods home delivery service, and stayed an organic chica for years. even though in recent years my economy as well as my energy level has started to go in unpredictable directions, i've tried to stay true to my ideal - sometimes more, sometimes less, but never 100%.

but even if we are able to keep our basic diet organic, our family would never be able to do completely without non organic goods. we would never afford to build a sustainable house. we wouldn't be able to buy only organic clothes, food, furniture, detergents, or what about a bathtub? sink? textbooks? and even if we've managed without a car until 2 years ago, we wouldn't be able to do without one where we live now.

the point i'm trying to make is that even the best of the 'sustainable living' types out there aren't able to avoid non sustainable goods completely. a person can make a big fuzz about the chocolate industry; but what about the cotton they're wearing? and then one can scream and shout about the cotton industry; but what about the make up they're wearing? the hair products? the curtains, the towels, the coffe? the workplace? the music we buy? the plates that we eat from? our computers?

i'm happy that i found one green interest and let it grow from there. i'm also happy with the 'a little here and a little there' approach that i've had, and now i'm happy to pursue my green goals even further. i'm not happy when people raise their eyebrows at others not living up to their standards, mainly because a) it's really the most inefficient way to make the world a greener place, and b) you could easily point your finger back at them. it's just scribbles on a bathroom wall.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

rubber fern

my girl making a new rubber stamp, this time based on a gocco print from tiny happy. which by the way also got framed.

corner view: breakfast

the breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.
don't go back to sleep!
you must ask for what you really want.
don't go back to sleep!
people are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch;
the door is round and open.
don't go back to sleep!


from break (v.) + fast (n.). Cf. Fr. déjeuner "to breakfast," from L. dis-jejunare "to break the fast."

i prefer to break my fast when the others have left the house for school and work, and i can sit in silence.
the most common breakfast here in norway is bread or knekkebrød (literally 'breaking bread', as it is thin, hard and breaks off when you take a bite) and cow's milk, coffe or juice. the knekkebrød is often eaten with white or brown cheese (a norwegian sweet cheese). on mine this morning i had garlic cream cheese with avocado and herbs, and sliced cheese with salad, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and grapes. to drink; soy chocolate milk. always.

'corner view' is a wednesday theme started by jane in spain, where bloggers from around the world share photos with a related theme. last weeks theme was corner view (i missed that one), this week breakfast, next week is modes of transportation. if you want to join, sign up at jane's (the first link in the list below). others participating are:

jane, ladybug-zen, ian, bonnie,esti, sophie, cele, modsquad,caitlin, joyce, ani, couturecoucou, kim, a day that is dessert, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch, c.t.,
jeannette, outi, schanett, ritva, dongdong, francesca,state of bliss, jennifer, dana, denise, cabrizette, bohemia girl, ruth, dianna,
isabelle, amber, a girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari, jgy,
jenna, elizabeth, audrey, allison

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

domestic goddess with a tummy ache

no goddessing going on here, i'm down with a tummy ache. i don't know what it is, as nothing's really going on, except pain. so. i think it's time to do some long neglected knitting again, or maybe some paper craft. and to cheer myself up with a photo from the circus.
do click to enlarge :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009


these are the prints that found a home in my cleaning/tidying up frenzy the other day:
ecology of flowers from swallowfield, two of geninne's 20 bird prints, and earth day from the charm school drop out. (please click to view them on etsy, the photos there are so much more representative than mine).
i have more prints that needs a place to live, but my walls - oh, my walls...
we rent our house, and we never planned on staying long, so we didn't want to invest either time or money on painting. in addition, there's a certain system to the way it's painted - sponge painted orange/yellowish on top, yellow down the staircase, changing into yellow/greenish, then green down in the hallway. (yup. the owners are anthroposofists/waldorf teachers. did you guess?)
the colour is actually not as bad as photos show, it's warmer and not at all so pale, but still - at night i dream of cream white walls with no, absolutely no (nada! niente! rien!) texture.

Friday, April 17, 2009

fridays with nick

oh, you're gonna hate me a little bit today. maybe even a lot. you see - i've cleaned every window in the house. every single one! the secret is the amazing microfiber window cloth. i'm probably the last person in the country to discover these (i'm not really that into cleaning. ahem).
if you don't feel put off by that, i can add that i've also:
- removed the big carpet in the 2.nd floor kitchen/livingroom
- pulled out the sofa to vacuum behind it
- scrubbed the floors
- put on a new/old, smaller, and easier to remove carpet
- put up 3 shelves in said room and tidied all the clutter
- washed the dishes - twice
- dusted the freaking plants (!!!!)
- had a shower
- changed the kids' bed linens, washed and hung them to dry
- popped out to the clinic and seen a client
- made dinner
- had a 10 minute nap
- emptied my knitting basket, dusted it, and organized the yarn
- and best of all, i've found a place to hang some of the lovely prints that i bought through etsy a looong time ago

i stopped my cleaning spree when i caught myself sitting on the toilet, picking up my sons dirty clothes from the bathroom floor, emptying the pockets and tossing it in the laundry basket - while peeing.

so yes, i think i deserve this invitation from nick today!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

in which i have no title

on sunday, we visited my brother, his wife and their children - 3 of my kids' 5 cousins (to say that we are a small family would be an understatement). i thought we were done with the easter candy, but my brother had arranged for a quiz with prizes - we left from there with a whole bag of leftover candy. thank goodness they're back in school with wholesome lunches, so i can eat all the candy while they're away :)

the photo turned a bit pale, but here's wholewheat couscous, organic scrambled eggs with herbes de provence, tomatoes, cucumber, organic paprika, soy sauce (in that cute little fish bottle that comes with store bought made sushi), a small slice of organic bread with organic peanutbutter, and a tiny container with nuts and dried fruits. phew. all that 'organicness' should make up for some of the candy.

here's the hankies that i sent off to robinsunne. i made her two, both from vintage pillow cases. i added a definately non organic ginger and lemon chocolate. i hope she liked it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

bye bye easter

{our eggs turned just as pretty as last year}

{after the egg hunt: wet note cards, wet eggs - blue eggs dued with blueberry, yellow with onion}

great food, great friends, and a welcomed change of scenery. we did our egg hunt in pouring rain. the girls didn't seem to notice; they were too busy solving the riddles that would take them to the next egg, crawling under stairs, tripping in the mud, happy and eager and probably already knowing that there would be a candy filled easter egg at the end of the hunt.

but when you're as tiny as this little fella, you're happy with an egg filled with raisins, cookies and strawberrys.
now i'm actually looking forward to the routine that school provides to our chaotic family life. some people struggle to get out of routine, we struggle to obtain it. i'll miss the sleeping in, though..

Friday, April 10, 2009

bad, bad mothering

my soon-to-be-13 y.o. son has taken a big interest in horror movies lately. every weekend, he begs for one to watch, and every time, he's turned down. until a couple of weeks ago, when he tricked me into (read: i didn't check the movie first) watching doomsday.
oh my gods and goddesses and kings and queens, lord of hell and the devils grandma.
there wasn't really much i could do (was it?), as we were sucked into the story from the first scene, paralyzed by the action and unable to move except when we had to go pee - together. we clung to each other the whole movie through, and laughed with relief and adrenalin still pumping when it was over. that was one hell of a ride.

maybe i should tell you that i don't like horror, splatter or thriller movies. i never watch them; i'm too easily scared. i have very clear memories of heavy nightmares (even during the day, awake) as a kid, not from seeing such movies, but from just hearing about them. luckily, my son is different. when the LOTR movies came, i decided to read the books to him before he got to see the movies, but i gave up. the language was too detailed and boring and the books far too long for him to keep his interest up at that age. when he finally did get to see the movies, he wasn't scared at all. neither was he scared by harry potter or other similar movies. in fact, the scariest movie he has seen is 'the day after tomorrow'. "because it's so real, mum - this could actually happen".
thank goodness he's put together like that. when my husband found out what we'd been watching, he said "you won't let him watch mad max, but you'll let him watch that?!?" (we'd had a discussion about the mad max movies, which our son had heard of somehow and wanted to watch, but i said it was too violent).
needless to say, i was ashamed. i made him promise not to tell anyone at school that i let him watch it. pathetic.
and he? he loved me more than ever. he really enjoys a good scare. but i'm worried that now that i've (accidently, but still) pushed that limit, i have to deal with more begging for horror in the weekends. my husband thinks i'm over protectice, and are more than happy to share stories of what he and his friends did at the age of 13. i shut my ears.
if you have kids at a similar age, how do you deal with this?

(on a sidenote; even for me who don't like this genre, i have to say that doomsday was an extremely well made adrenaline rush and even funny. and i do love bob hoskins, i really do:)

fridays with nick

now you see me, now you don't...
i was going to post the original video for cave's 'stagger lee', with a warning about 'foul language, violent and sexual content, and a touch of homo erotic dancing' (i love contrasts - and evrything in between :D ), but it's gone from youtube. it was there a few days ago. so i leave you with another one of his dark tunes instead.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Tuesday, April 7, 2009


{she's a rascal. can you see that? with a way too huge gum in her mouth. and gigantic teeth.}

my mailbox held a new gift today - the handrolled hankie and poem from robinsunne, my swap-choo partner. i opened the letter and saw the first line of the poem she chose. my heart started bubbling and i laughed out loud.

leonard cohen. and that song!
cohen's music is part of my upbringing; it's in the livingroom of my parent's house, it's daylight and my happy daddy dancing with me standing on top of his own feet. this made me joyful today!
robinsunne is a fiber and mixed media artist, and the text was written on a card of her own design. the hankie was made of a fabric she dyed herself. i can't beat that one. and of course, it was beautiful - thank you, robinsunne!


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