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zird is the word [userpic]
In my seemingly neverendingly-growing list of things that I need to fix about myself, today I went to see an allergy specialist in Eslöv. I have been to many, many allergy doctors in my life, but it's been years and I figured it was time to get a handle on my worsening symptoms and see if there were new possibilities that might help. I spend so much time sneezing and blowing my nose and having itchy, running eyes, etc.—finally figured enough was enough.

I already know what I'm allergic to, but the nurses sat me right down and did a "prick test" where they drop tiny drops of allergens in a grid on your arm and then prick them into your skin. Sure enough, a huge blister hive for birch developed almost immediately, and the "histamine" control on the other end was nearly as big. Miniscule reactions for horse, dog, cat and grass, but nothing for dustmites, "gråbo" (a kind of ragweed-type plant) or mold. They also did a blood test but I won't have the results of that back for 2 weeks.

I filled out a 4-page form about my allergy symptoms and history, and then got called in to talk to the doctor. We talked about options and I got information on the hyper-sensitization procedure that I've heard so much about the past few years, but the doctor told me that it appeared to her as if my actual allergies are minimal and the problems that I have year round with my sinuses and symptoms are actually related to something else going on with my nose and its surrounding blood vessels. I told her about the horrible procedure that I had done a few years back that involved giant needles and cauterizing, and that it helped absolutely not at all, and she sympathized. But, she said, even if I go ahead with the hyper-sensitization, there is no guarantee it will help with the problem...though it will probably minimize the symptoms I have during the spring that are actually caused by my birch allergy.

I have to decide soon, before the end of October, since the procedure has to be started well before the spring pollen season. It involves a major commitment for an entire year: a shot a week, during work hours (either 9 am or 3 pm), plus a half-hour wait after each one in case of a bad reaction, for six months, and then a shot a month for another six months. URGH.

She prescribed some different meds for my nose/sinuses: tablets, nose spray and eye drops. I guess I either have to pay for medicine the rest of my life or kleenex. One of my friends suggested I try a homeopath and see what other alternatives might be available that way, but I'm not even sure where to begin.

Choir starts tomorrow! A new choir leader is starting too, so it will be interesting to see how things change. And Friday, we are going to see the new Cirque du Soleil show, Varekai, at Malmö Arena. Yay! I'm excited, it seems ages since we went to see any kind of show. Maybe not the best time financially to spend the money, but it's worth it, for sure.
mood: blank

zird is the word [userpic]
Pursuing: tickets to next week's Cirque du Soleil perfomance in Malmö

Targeting: my disinclination to get out and walk

Devouring: Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

Perceiving: faint calls from the cockatoo next door

Dithering: whether to continue paying HBO Nordic after the first free month

Continuing: never-ending laundry, even with one kid gone

Consuming: Anders' homemade Cheddar & Chantarelle quiche

Recovering: from the annual crayfish party last, but SO tired today!

Luxuriating: blue skies, warm temperatures, sunshine, puffy white clouds...last gasp Swedish summer? I'll take it!

Distracting: Two Dots, Instagram, iPad Cribbage

Resigning: myself to 18 months in open landscape at work. UGH

Anticipating: Dinner tonight with my two best friends in Sweden!
mood: contemplative
music: tumble dryer noises

zird is the word [userpic]
We knew what we were getting into, honestly, we did. Allowing our 18-year-old social butterfly daughter to invite 94 people to party at our house in celebration of her birthday. By the RSVP date, the tally stood at 71 people and was up to 74 a couple of days before. Anders and I have, of course, met many of the kids at some point, though not all of them, by any means.

There were teammates from the 3 different soccer teams that Karin has played on. Classmates and school friends from junior high and high school. Theater kids from the Pex group that Karin participated in last year (and is in again this year as both mentor, scriptwriter and actor). Co-workers from her last job, even.

Everyone dressed up, including Karin. She was a ninja pirate :) There were kids dressed as royalty, in suits, in wetsuits, in pizza deliveryman shirts. Everyone got into the swing of the theme.

But there's definitely a difference when it's a party. A real party, with all that entails. Because many of the guests were not yet 18, we didn't serve much in the way of drinks, but it didn't matter since the vast majority of the guests brought their own. And because the party didn't start until 8, we didn't feel obligated to serve dinner. So we provided chips, popcorn and candy from the party's start, and at about 10 p.m., we served ice cream (the kind with 3 flavors) with sprinkles and caramel sauce. However, by that time the party was rocking so much that people didn't realize the ice cream had been served and very little of it got eaten. We won't run out of ice cream any time soon, let's just say. At midnight, we served hotdogs with buns, and they were scarfed down, all 70 of them, in a matter of minutes. :D

Because the theme of the evening was "kid's party", we had a bouncy castle, a mini ping-pong table, games to play and a fishpond, which is a staple at Swedish children's parties. You hang a sheet or blanket about 2/3rds of the way up across a doorway and provide a fishing pole with a clip on it instead of a hook. When the child goes fishing, they get a prize, usually candy, but we always have some sort of silly things on hand as well, like dirty socks, and in this case, condoms. They got quite a laugh.

The thing was, I didn't expect MY reaction to the actual party proceedings. I was anticipating that most of the time, all the kids would be out in the tent, talking or dancing. Or on the porch, or in the bouncy castle. And they were (at one point, I realized that they were dancing and singing, at the top of their lungs, in the tent to Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline, which cracked me up), but it was COLD out, and kids kept coming in the house. And staying in the house. And being very loud and very drunk, in the house.

And I was really, really not OK with it. :(
It's my own fault for not really thinking about that aspect of it. I don't like parties all that much, at least not the drunken, young-person kind. I didn't like them when I WAS a young person and since I don't drink, I REALLY don't appreciate that part of it at all. Karin had made it rather clear that people needed to be responsible and behave and that there was to be no vomiting in the house or the yard, etc., and I think overall that was the case.

Part of the problem was that even though we were home, we were mostly in our bedroom for the first half of the evening. I got antsier and antsier hearing all the noise in the house and not seeing what was going on, and also realizing that I really hadn't party-proofed the house at all. URGH. So I kept popping out and making the rounds, just to keep an eye on things.

Karin and I had gone around and warned all the neighbors a few days before and we had stated that the music would be off by 12:30 or so. They all were very agreeable and told us not to worry about it. But turning the music off, or even down, turned out to be easier said than done. We had to tell Karin, more forcibly each time, several times, that time was up on the music. We had made the mistake of not specifying an end time for the party, and of course, the birthday girl herself didn't want the party to end. She got mad at me and I got mad at her. Every time we turned the music down, it got turned right back up and I finally made Anders go out at 1:30 and take away the iPad that was running Spotify. Of course, 15 minutes after that, some idiot hooked his phone up to the sound system so I ended up having to confiscate that, too. Ha.

I guess we thought that after hotdogs and the music going away, things would sort of naturally wind down, and eventually they sort of did, as people got picked up by parents, or left or biked home. But at 3 a.m. the house was STILL full and I was about at my limit. I was tired and crabby and really, really just wanted everyone to leave so I could go to bed. With no end in sight, I finally did. I changed, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.

And then I just laid there getting madder and madder. I could hear that there were still a lot of people in the house and they were all being very loud, laughing and yelling. Karin was trying to shush them with no luck, and at 3:30 I snapped. I got up again, got dressed, marched out and told a group of very loud guys that enough was enough: shut up, get out, go home!

Three of Karin's guy friends crashed at our house for the night and I got a bit of revenge on them the next morning, at least. There wasn't much party debris in the house, because both Anders and I had been cruising around cleaning up all during the course of the party*, but the floor of the house was a disaster: spilled drinks, crushed chips, candy wrappers, tracked-in dirt and grass EVERYWHERE. I woke them all up, including Karin, at 10 a.m. and made them vacuum and mop the entire house. All 182 square meters of it.

The tent is STILL up, but it's because we borrowed it from one of Anders' friends who is traveling for work for 4 weeks so there is no rush, and we still have to return the bouncy castle, which has taken all week to get folded up, thanks to continual rain and dampness. Karin got many compliments on how great the party was, how well thought out, what a great theme, so fun, and I'm glad that she and her friends had a good time, but I can honestly say, NEVER AGAIN. Her graduation party in June will be a real let-down, if she's expecting anything near the magnitude of her 18th birthday bash.

*Drunken teenagers are total PIGS.
mood: weird
music: Erin McCarthy—You're Not That Someone

zird is the word [userpic]
We survived the party, but I will write about it tomorrow. For now, books! I realized that I had not posted about the book group recommendations and winners and figured I would just write a book post first, since I have been lame and not posted anything for a couple of weeks. Time just gets away from me, you know?

I just finished reading The Mermaid's Daughter by Ann Claycomb and loved it. I immediately went and searched for more books by her but alas, that is the only one so far. Before that, I read My Life With Bob by by Pamela Paul, also excellent, and now I am finally reading Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Yay!

A Cup of Jo just posted this list by Italo Calvino, which I loved and have to share. How do YOU choose books?

Sections in the bookstore —
– Books You Haven’t Read
– Books You Needn’t Read
– Books Made for Purposes Other Than Reading
– Books Read Even Before You Open Them Since They Belong to the Category of Books Read Before Being Written
– Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered
– Books You Mean to Read But There Are Others You Must Read First
– Books Too Expensive Now and You’ll Wait ‘Til They’re Remaindered
– Books ditto When They Come Out in Paperback
– Books You Can Borrow from Somebody
– Books That Everybody’s Read So It’s As If You Had Read Them, Too
– Books You’ve Been Planning to Read for Ages
– Books You’ve Been Hunting for Years Without Success
– Books Dealing with Something You’re Working on at the Moment
– Books You Want to Own So They’ll Be Handy Just in Case
– Books You Could Put Aside Maybe to Read This Summer
– Books You Need to Go with Other Books on Your Shelves
– Books That Fill You with Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified
– Books Read Long Ago Which It’s Now Time to Re-read
– Books You’ve Always Pretended to Have Read and Now It’s Time to Sit Down and Really Read Them

I think I go by most of those, but I definitely subscribe to the section of Books That Are Too Expensive Now and You'll Wait 'Til They Come Out in Paperback, though these days, I can indulge must faster with my Kindle. :)

Anyway, we had the bookgroup recommendations list to vote on some time ago and we duly voted and here is the list, in case you're interested or looking for something to read!

Key: blue=recommended/voted for by me. green=voted for by me. yellow=already read. The ones with a star in front won.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
2. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
4. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
5. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
* 6. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
7. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
8. Secondhand Time by Svetlana Alexievich
* 9. The Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
10. The Girl Before by J.P. Delancy
11. Eight Flavors by Sarah Lohman
12. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
13. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
14. History of Love by Nicole Krauss
15. Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
* 16. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood
17. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

* 18. Giving Up the Ghost by Eric Nuzum
19. The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

20. Rules of Civilty by Amor Towles
* 21. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
* 22. A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner
23. The Spy Game by Georgian Harding
24. The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
* 25. Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown by Gerri Hirshey
26. Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
27. The Tower: Tales From a Lost Country by Uwe Tellkamp
28. Passing by Bella Larsen
* 29. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
30. Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett
31. Benediction by Kent Haruf
32. A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of the Columbine Tragedy by Sue Klebold
33. A Lady's Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella Bird

I was once again aggravated by the recommending of books by authors we have already read in book group, especially since one of them is by an author we JUST read. It's fine to want to read more by authors you like, but do it outside of book group if we've already read something by them! I was pleased that 2 of the books I recommended got voted in and promptly read one of them in advance (the discussion for it isn't scheduled until October...oops) as well of one of my recommendations that didn't make the cut.

It's a thundery Sunday. Karin spent the night at a friend's after going out clubbing last night and still hasn't called to be picked up. Anders is biking in a mountain bike race in Malmö. I am doing a load of laundry, finalizing the AWC newsletter in advance of our first meeting this coming Tuesday and reading. I am also restraining myself from going to the Flyinge Loppis that is going on in the village right now. I set out a TON of bags of stuff yesterday to be picked up, good riddance to most of it! The only other things on my to-do list are call my mom and Martin. Happy Sunday!
mood: cheerful
music: thunder

zird is the word [userpic]
I continue to be flabbergasted at the apparently unending depths to which the US president is sinking. When will the nightmare end? I am also boggled at how anyone who voted for him expected anything different. Honestly, this trainwreck of a presidency was obvious from the start. GAH.

People keep asking me how it's going, how it was to leave Martin in the US, how it is to be almost empty-nesting. To be honest, it's fine. I'm fine. I mean, I miss Martin, but at this point, I'm just really glad that he's starting school and that we aren't driving each other (as) crazy as we were the whole last year. And it's not been long enough to miss him that much yet. Karin is never home either, so Anders and I are already feeling like we've jumpstarted the whole home-alone thing.

I've been back at work 3 weeks and summer vacation feels very far away. Work is not that busy at the moment, which is surprising since it was apparently insane during the weeks I was gone. Maybe because I was gone? haha! Right now, much of Europe is still on vacation (not Scandinavia) so we're not seeing the amount of requests from the rest of the world that we usually do. We are moving to new premises next week and I'm dreading it because it's back to open landscape for us for the next 18 months. Our new headquarters is under construction but won't be ready until 2019, and we're still growing. The only good thing is that the entire Marketing department will be back under the same roof (on 2 floors) instead of in 2 separate buildings (and 3 floors).

But I LOATH open landscaping and I'm really not looking forward to it. We are 4 people in our room right now, which has turned out to be perfect, since we are all on the same team and work really well together and still have some "privacy". Now we will be 9 people with no walls. 2 different teams. At least we are not in the middle of a corridor so people, hopefully, will not be walking past us all the time. Still, all of us have a pretty constant stream of visitors so I suspect it's going to take a lot of restraint for us to manage for so long in that environment. URGH.

Anders lost his wedding ring doing yard work a week and a half ago. He mowed the entire (giant) yard and then ripped out all the strawberry plants and my dead clematis in the vegetable garden. About an hour later he came in and broke the news, after he realized it was missing. We went out and picked through two huge black garbage bags of garden debris with no luck. I even borrowed a metal detector from someone at work, and we went over the entire yard, the vegetable patch and both bags again: nothing. This is the second one he's lost (the first one was before we were even married). SUCK.

I watched the last season and last episode of Orphan Black this past week and am very, very sad that it is over. Karin and I are watching Game of Thrones together, which is nice, since my usual series-watching partner left me, but usually when I look over at her in reaction to something that's happening, she's snapchatting on her phone. *rolls eyes* Only 2 more episodes until that is back on hiatus and then what am I going to watch? The next and last season of Bron doesn't start until next year!

Right now, I'm reading The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy. It's set in Poland during WWII and is getting harder and harder to both read and put down. I just finished re-reading Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver: also both hard to read and hard to put down. And the book I read before that was one I recommended for our book group, and which got voted in (we're reading it next after Flight Behavior): All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood. It, too, was hard to read and really hard to put down. Three excellent, thought-provoking books in a row. Good stuff.

We are busy with party prep this week as well. Karin decided last week that she had picked a date for her 18th birthday party that we weren't even sure we wanted to allow. I asked her how many people she was thinking and she wrote up a list of her closest (!) friends and answered "130".

*BOGGLE* What? No.

We told her max 70. She cut and cut and groaned and cut some more and finally came crying to tell me she COULDN'T get the list under 94. As of yesterday, which was the cut-off date, the total of acceptances to the invite was 71.

Then she told Anders and I that we could go to his mom's and not come home until, like, 11:30 pm. What? No. That's not how it works, kid.

OK, OK, but if you have to be home, then you have to stay in your room.


She came up with a really fun theme. It's a barnkalas (children's party) and the theme is "What did you want to be when you grew up, when you were little?" which means that she has to come to her own party as a ninja pirate. :D

The party doesn't start until 8 pm so thankfully we don't have to serve dinner. We are providing chips, candy, ice cream (the big pack kind with 3 colors/flavors) and sprinkles for the ice cream. We'll serve hotdogs (boiled) at midnight. We are also providing a couple of beers/ciders per guest and sodas. The thing is, a lot of the guests aren't 18 yet, and we are responsible, as that's the drinking age here. We are also renting a bouncy castle and I bought a couple of cheap hula hoops. Karin is planning to make a pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey game. We're borrowing a tent and still have to rent the tables and chairs/benches, but otherwise I think we're about ready. Wish us luck.
mood: busy

zird is the word [userpic]
There's nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction you get from cleaning out a closet. Even if you mostly just tidy and don't purge that much, it still feels like a big accomplishment. We have no plans this weekend...well, at least *I* don't...Anders is still painting the window trims on the house and Karin worked 10-4 today, came home to shower and change, and left again for the evening/night. It's like we're already empty nesters.

Anyway, since I had no plans, I have been taking it pretty easy. The weather has been so changeable: sunny one second, cloudy and raining the next, then starting over. It makes for some very dramatic skies. I slept in, had a leisurely lunch and then spent the day alternating between reading, playing iPad games, and cleaning closets.

I started with our big walk-in and went through piles of stuff, then I went through my hanging clothes, then I went through the frames that are in the closet IN the closet. I filled 5 bags with things to donate to the annual village flea market and 2 bags of things to throw away. Then I cleaned out one of the closets in the computer room (which involved cables...yes, again). I have three things to photograph and write descriptions of that I'm going to try to sell, as well. Next up: front hall closet. My life is exciting, no?

There's nothing else new to report and I'm going to go continue my other two activities from the day. I wish you all a lovely weekend!
mood: accomplished
music: Wallander on TV in the living room

zird is the word [userpic]
On summer nights, with the windows open, you can hear the frogs in the pond across the street from my mother's house chuckling. They laugh all night long. At least it sounds that way from the distance of a driveway and a gravel road.

"Heh, heh heh," they chortle.

"Heh, heh heh."


The first time I heard them, I couldn't figure out what it was or where the noise was coming from. Karin and I were sharing the big bed in the front bedroom and I rolled over and poked her. "Are you giggling under your breath?"

"What? No. That's the frogs."

"Shut up. Frogs don't laugh."

"I know, but if you were closer you could hear them inflating with a pffft of air, but from here it sounds like laughing."

We were quiet for a few minutes, listening.

"Heh, heh heh."

"Heh, heh heh."

Karin started giggling. I joined in. We laughed for several minutes, then were quiet again, listening.

"Heh, heh heh."

I lost it first the next time. Once you hear them, you can't NOT hear them. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

July has come and gone, and with it, Martin. We had a lovely long visit at my mom's house in Michigan. Our friends Kathey and Russell arrived the day after we did and spent the 4th of July weekend with us.

Then my sister and her kids and her dogs arrived. Then we spent several days racing around buying all the things Martin needs for college (thank goodness for Target). We dropped him off for his 3-week summer course on July 9th and the next day Sarah and the girls and I left for an unplanned (for us) whirlwind 2-day trip to Chicago. Her daughter Danely is starting at DePaul University this fall and she and Sarah had to be there for an orientation, so Karin and I tagged along.

We stayed at the Getaway Hostel and while they were on campus, Karin and I spent time visiting Lincoln Park Zoo and Millenium Park and State Street. We listened to live summer jazz and watched the face-fountains and took photos at the Bean. Chicago was LOVELY, warm and breezy and bustling and fun. We had dinner with my friend Val and our cousin Jordon at a great sushi place (Hot Wok Cool Sushi) and had fantastic cakes and banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery.

The next day Sarah only had to be at the school for a few hours, so she met us after breakfast and we went to the top of the Magnificent Mile and walked down it. Then we cut over to Navy Pier and found the most fantastic cupcake place ever: Molly's on North Clark Street. I had a Cookie Monster cupcake and it was DIVINE. I'm drooling thinking about it. Danely was done at 4 so we picked her up and then headed home. Not long enough in my favorite town, for sure!

We didn't do all that much else during our time in Michigan. The kids went to the beach several times, we visited my great-grandmother and celebrated her 101th (!) birthday. Sarah and I almost went to Canada by accident (turns out you can't shop at the duty-free unless you head over the bridge, whoops!). We went shopping and spent one day at The Old Club on Harsen's Island with my cousin Jamie and his family. We picked up Martin both Fridays and went out to dinner (once with my Uncle Mike, Jamie and family) with him. Karin turned 18 and the three kids went to a trampoline park for the afternoon and then we had tacos and cake for dinner.

The last Friday we picked up Martin it was just us (with my mom, Sarah and kids). We went to a sushi place and then down to Greektown to a pastry place for dessert. Then we drove back over to Martin's campus and sat on the grass eating cake, while Martin took photos of Karin for one of his course projects. Then we drove him back to his dorm and said goodbye. Everyone else said goodbye out at the car, and Karin and I walked in with him, since we both had to go to the bathroom. Martin waited for us, and I came out first and gave him a hug and told him I loved him. I wasn't crying, though it was a close call.

Then Karin came out and gave him a hug and they both burst into sobs. At which, I lost it, too. GAH! They laughed and hugged and cried and laughed some more.

And then we left him there. Two days later we left for Sweden (my mom drove us to Toronto's airport) and I went straight back to work. I'm not caught up at home, though I am at work, and my shoulder is already hurting again. URGH. My mom picked up Martin at the end of his course on Saturday and got to see all his work on exhibition. She said the staff raved about him and his photos and predicted great things for him. :) He had a fantastic time, and really enjoyed it, though he was the oldest student and didn't get a roommate. The course work and projects sounded (and looked) really interesting and he got to spend one afternoon exploring an abandoned building (Detroit is full of them). It's weird that he's not here but it's not that weird, yet. And he'll be home for Christmas.

Now I need to get back on track with my life, my regular routine, and everything else. And maybe see if I can convince Molly's Cupcakes to open a storefront here in Sweden.

Heh, heh heh.
mood: cheerful
music: The Corrs—Give Me a Reason

zird is the word [userpic]
Got home from the week in Germany last night, sailing up through the country like we had jet propulsion, in stark contrast to our crawling, staggering, stuttered drive down. What took us (and should take us) about 11.5 hours including the ferry and stops on the way back took a horrendous 16.5 hours on the way down, thanks to massive, unending construction and unbelievable traffic. Between Hamburg and Hannover on the way down, while I was at the wheel, 30 kilometers took us nearly 3 hours. ON THE AUTOBAHN.

We had a lovely week with my brother, Simone, the boys, and my mom, in John's new, beautiful, huge house that they have renovated in record time. We had scorching hot weather as well (30F!) and sunshine the entire week. Anders and John spent two full days laying their new deck and we enjoyed bug-free evenings outside in the yard and then on the deck.

Today was laundry, chores, groceries, etc., and tomorrow starts a 4-day week for me that includes insanity at work with a huge amount of stuff to get done before Friday including training our summer worker. Add to that an eye appointment, naprapat appointment and hair appointment as well as WW and a visit to Anders' mom plus PACKING and you can see why I am starting to freak out a little bit. Hard to believe the summer is actually here and we are heading to the US (without Anders, wah!) in 5 days and Martin will not be coming back with us.

Anyway, I'll have to catch you on the flip side since writing possibilities will be scarce while I'm in Michigan. Happy Summer!
mood: busy

zird is the word [userpic]

mood: silly

zird is the word [userpic]
Anders is cooking dinner with the groceries I bought after I dropped Martin off at the bus station in Södra Sandby: salmon, new potatoes, spinach and a creamy herb sauce to go with it. I bought three big artichokes, too, but figure we can have those tomorrow.

It's another long weekend and yesterday was simply lovely; it was what I needed in every way. The sun was shining, it was warm but not too warm and I left the house at 1:30 (after practice-driving with Karin to her soccer match and finishing a very good book which made me late but the friends I was going to meet are both readers and totally understood). I drove to Lund, picked up Camilla and then we drove to Nova Lund where we met Debbie and proceeded (in one car) to drive up the coast to Helsingborg to Sofiero Castle for the afternoon.

We talked and talked and talked the whole way, and I was able to tell them about all the things that are upsetting me right now and get some good advice and hugs and understanding that I needed. Sofiero castle is a little summer place that the royal family built in 1865 and donated to Helsingborg's city in 1973. It has extensive gardens containing over 5000 varieties of rhododendrons and many other gorgeous flowering shrubs, including azaleas and many, many other species. During the month of June when the rhododendrons are flowering, the park gets thousands of tourists.

We came kind of late, since we didn't arrive until nearly 3 p.m. The park is open until 6 though, so we went straight to the café and ordered sandwiches and fika and sat on the terrace in the sun enjoying the view over the Öresund (you can see directly across to Hamlet's castle of Kronborg in Helsingør, Denmark) and, of course, talking. Then we walked all over the park, and took a bajillion photos of flowers. I literally filled up my phone with flower photos.

Then we drove back to Lund, picked up dinner and spent several hours at Camilla's...talking some more. I have the best friends.

Today it's been overcast and raining that kind of misty drizzle that is super-annoying. My hair is freaking out but I didn't bother to try to tame it today. My list of things to do today and tomorrow includes defrosting the freezer (done) and cleaning out the fridge (tomorrow) and starting an email campaign to reach former AWC members for renewal, and Anders and I are probably home alone tonight, as per usual. Karin has been working all day and Martin has already left to spend the evening with a friend.

Neither kid is going to Germany with us, for different reasons. Karin has just gotten a new job. She charmed the heck out of the manager at the café at the plant nursery here in the village and her start date is the same weekend we are planning to leave. She will only be able to work for 2 weeks before leaving for a month so she's chosen to stay home and work as much as possible instead. They called and told John, who was understandably disappointed but I am more concerned with how his kids will feel about it, considering they haven't seen their cousins for a year. :( My mom will be there though, and I am looking forward to it, regardless, even if I am super-disappointed that we won't all be going together.

I am still having so many issues with my arms and neck that sitting down at the computer to do anything is something I almost dread. But I can't blog from the iPad because it's such a pain to type on the keyboard there, so here I am! Although dinner is ready now, so here I go!
mood: calm
music: Salmon sizzling in the frying pan

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lizardek's obiter photos
lizardek's obiter photos

Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

obiter snippets

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Findus the cat as used in my user icon and header is the creation of Sven Nordqvist.