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So much for not having winter. It snowed for 3 days straight but it was so cold that it was just dry and powdery. It glistens like diamond dust in the streetlights and blows all over the place. Tonight the moon was huge and round and hanging white in a pale blue evening sky. When I drove home I passed a huge snowy field covered in resting geese, their bodies black and plump against the whiteness. It's a photo opportunity I've missed twice: too cold to stop and I'm pretty sure I'd scare the geese if I started walking towards them, even slowly, with my phone extended. Ah well.

I haven't written in ages because I've been really having issues with my shoulder and sitting down to work at the computer makes it flare up painfully almost immediately. Work has been hell lately, what with the amount of work and having chronic pain every day. I'm living on Advil and tiger balm, with the occasional massage thrown in for good measure.

In much more exciting news: Martin got in to his first choice university! YAY! I am very proud of him, but OMG that means he is moving to America THIS SUMMER.

That is, if we can figure out how he is going to afford it. I went, within the space of 12 hours, from being really excited and happy for him, to completely freaked out and panicking, and that is not even factoring in the fact that my baby is going to move halfway around the world. I know, I know, I did it to my mom and now it's come back to bite us in the ass. Dammit.

It's the College for Creative Studies and it's smack in the middle of downtown Detroit (which is apparently such a hip, up-and-coming place to be that it was listed a top place to visit last year. Okaaaay. It's a least a little comforting to know it's not the derelict horror-city of yore that will eat him alive. It's also comforting to know that my mom is only an hour away and that my cousin and her kids are close, as well as several friends.

He received a scholarship from the school that will cover about a quarter of the cost for a year's tuition, but that still leaves us to figure out where we're going to find nearly $30,000 a year. He's applied for financial aid in the US and CSN here in Sweden but we haven't gotten the decision on either one yet. He is also still waiting to hear from the two other universities (both also in Michigan) that he's applied to, but this one is really the one he wants to go to. He's had no luck finding scholarships and many of them have already passed their deadlines. I warned him to get started on that last fall, but he didn't listen and now he's going to literally pay the price. UGH.

There is a summer program for international students that runs from July 9-29 and the official move-in date if he doesn't do that (which he probably will) is August 27. Classes start September 5. So, as soon as we figure out all the monetary logistics and get deposits taken care of, our next step will be also figuring out how to pay to get him there. *freaked out look*

I can't believe that I'm going to be the mother of a college student, for real. EEK.
mood: optimistic
music: The Finn Brothers—Won't Give In


Nearly! 30,000! per! year! I cannot even fathom. I think Evie will just stay eight a little longer. (She is actually nine but I convinced her last year to stay eight and it's working well for me.)

It's actually more than $30,000 a year. It's a private school and all together tuition, room/board, books, fees will cost around $55,000 a year. PLUS spending money and necessities. URK.

So much for skipping winter. Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

Sorry to hear about the pain. Chronic pain is very wearing. Have you tried Naproxen for it? I have found it more effective than Ibuprofen when my osteoarthritis flares badly. The 250g ones are over the counter at Apotekek. I kind of stumbled on to it by accident. I was taking Naprogesic (an Aussie form of naproxen) for period pain and discovered that my wrist and knee were so much better on those days. It used to be prescription only in Sweden (knobs), so I got my friends visiting home to bring it back for me, but now I can buy it here.

What wonderful news for Martin! Congratulations. The costs are eyewatering ... I do hope you can work out a solution to that so he can take a step towards fulfilling his dreams. And don't forget, you'll have to repeat this total cashectomy in a couple of years for number two! Eeek!

We had snow and freezing temps all week but now it's abruptly warmed up and everything has melted. Now we're back to the usual wet, sodden, dark, dreary overcast Skåne that we know and love.

I haven't tried Naproxen but will put it on my shopping list and give it a try.

Martin got his answer from CSN yesterday and the amount he is getting will cover a great deal, if not all, of the costs, so we are feeling quite relieved... of course, it's LOANS, which isn't fun to think about...

I love the above comment, total cashectomy! Wow, it is so expensive. I really hope you find a way for it to be paid for and seamlessly incorporated into the family budget. Fortunately in the U.K. fees are much lower and praise the Lord the Scottish government foots the bill for most first-degrees, but my daughter is going on to her second course next year, and the costs just keep growing.

I hope you solve the shoulder pain. I really do! Not just because it means you'll be composing your eloquent posts about snow-geese more often.

It's actually more than what I had said, as we did some more calculations and then I proceeded to have panic attacks for several days. GAH. I have friends with kids at university in Scotland and they say that even though the tuition is free (or rather reimbursed in some EU way), the costs of room and board can be nearly equal to the total costs of some of these high-end universities in the US. crazy.

From Megsie

I love your description of the geese. So lovely to picture them all fat and tucked in.

I am so sorry about your pain. I really wish I had advice for you, but I don't. I also wish that a wish could wish it away...because I am wishing for you right now. :(

Congratulations to Martin! And I feel you on the costs. It is SO MUCH MONEY! I hope that somehow it gets figured out and maybe he can get some sort of grant or something. Tell him to keep hunting, you never know when one might crop up.

Sending love to you! xoxoxo

Re: From Megsie

The money sitch is crazy, but we got an answer from the Swedish gov yesterday and it appears he will be able to get enough to cover most, if not all of the costs with financial aid (loans) here. Yay!

One of the reasons we're eager for Ingrid to do the IB program at her high school is that we think it would make it easier for her to attend university in Sweden (or potentially elsewhere in the EU) and the sole reason for THAT is the cost. Most of the schools I'm familiar with are double the figure you mention above and unless she were to get a free ride, it's just not possible. I live in dread of filling out the FAFSA. So, I completely get your freaking out! I hope something comes through for Martin so he can go to his first choice. Does he have a Swedish university plan as a backup option?

Check carefully about IB, though. They have changed the way the IB grades are translated to Swedish grades and lowered them rather drastically, which means that even high IB grades are not top marks for the regular Swedish schools. :(

The figure I mentioned above was not the whole picture, unfortunately. We did some recalculating and it's more like $55,000 a year. Thankfully, CSN has come through and we think he'll be fully covered (with loans, but whatever) thanks to the Swedish government.

He has refused to consider looking at schools in Sweden, which I think is insane, but it's not up to me...


30,000..... bah.... that is nothing!!! Danely's top choices are all over $57,000 and the second choice place is over 69,000. AGH!!!

I also love the CASHECTOMY!!!! that is great. because it is exactly what it is.

As for the FAFSA tell.... whoever wrote that (I can't remember and it doesn't show the other comments on this page) that it is not that bad.... Just have ALL your Financial statements from everything and last taxes in hand and it is just filling in the blanks.

College student.... me too. EEK

But now I will get to see him more. :)

Love Seester

We did the calculations again and it is actually over $54,000 a year not counting spending money. :/. Urgh


Yeah.... that too.... :(

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