Friday, December 29, 2006

xMas - 2

Christmas Eve - part 2
Christmas Plate by Anna
We sat down around the Christmas Dinner table at 6 pm. There was Sebastian, more interesting in all the gifts under the Christmas Tree, than the food. My mother vis a vis him and inbetween, my son Niklas at the end of the table with his wounded foot. Then our old friend F and then Ingelin, who had come all the way from Miami to celebrate Christmas with family and friends. On the other side after Sebastian Solvi was seated, then my brother and finaly Anna. I sat opposite Anna.

Niklas, Ingelin and Anna

At 6:15 pm my cellphone called my attention. Who is calling this time on Christmas Eve? Someone dead or?

Brother and Anna
Oh no, it was my oldest son, which the family hardly see or hear anything from who called. He had some problems: No public transportation between 6pm and 9 pm. "Papa, I don't know what to do. I'm so desperate. What am I going to do"

I told him to try to find a Taxi and said I'll pay for that as a Christmasgift.
He arrived at 8 pm and I payed USD 120.

That was the surprise and special gift to the family this Christmas. We have not seen him for Christmas for more than 20 years. My mother could hardly keep her tears back.

Ruben at Christmas

And then the family had a very happy Christmas Eve with all the food, the presents and the songs around the Christmas tree. Sounds like Disney, but this time it was real.

Felicia ruled the Table after the guests had left

Have a Nice Weekend and a prosperous new Year.

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Around Christmas

Christmas Eve

is the most important Family gathering in Norway.
After the Christmas Cakes, we buy the Christmas tree. The light you see, is from the vendors security reflexes, which almost everybody uses here in Norway.
Anna decorating the tree
In short, I picked up my son Niklas and his son (yes, my grandson) and all the xMas gifts in downtown Oslo, then went over to the other side of the city, to pick up presents, food and cakes at my borthers place and then pick up Ingelin and Solvi and drive back to Oslo south. Niklas ski-weekend before xMas ended up with a broken foot for him, so he walked on crutches. Then the ladies and I went to Church at 4 pm (we arrived at 4:05 pm). Not a single chair left open. Had a good time in church, then drove home to prepare the Christmas Dinner.
At 5:15 pm my mother, brother and old friend F, arrived. Then we thought everybody were present. But this time no. We got a surprise. A very pleasant one.

Above: Christmas cards from Friends and Family
Down: Christmas plate handpainted by Anna

More to come. The surprise etc.
PS. Happy New Year


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yulebaking – Julebakst

A Family Tradition

Can’t really believe it. It’s more than a week ago I picked up my Son and his son, my grandson, Sebastian at the Gym where the latter play ”football” or ”soccer” every Tuesday afternoon. Seb do that once a week, even though he is 5. They really play. Running after the Ball and try to hit as often as possible. No serious Match, but they feel social and have fun.

’cause of the traficjam, I arrived some minutes late; and guess: They allready have eaten their hot dogs.

It was 3 of them. For the first time, Niklas’ (37) new ”girl” friend, M, would join us to our Winterhome to do the ”julebakst” – making Christmas cakes.

In Norway, Christmas cakes is an old tradition: It makes seven different types to keep the tradtion living. All dry. We cheat these days. Can easely buy them, but that is not the same as making them together all family around the working bench and oven.

Ingelin building the Gingerhouse

We planned for 3 only. This particular Tuesday. Conclussion: We too cheat. But at the end of the Day: We allow us time to do some baking together. What a wonderful feeling.

Back to reality:
Anna, the teacher and my wife, called me on my cellphone and asked when we would arrive.

Why? I asked.

I’m so tired. Had a hard day at school. She said. Need a rest.

Well, I’m half an hour late, so just take your nap.

Thus, I drived without hurry back home. It’s 15 km (nearly 10 miles) out of Town. In rush-hour.

The other two ”bakers” were also late. My X ’cause she felt asleep after her work in the Kindergarden, and Ingelin, just arriving from Miami the very same late morning, didn’t push.

That was a perfect unplanned happening.

But Anna and I had planned the Evening before. Done the dough and peeled the amonds.

We started we Soup. Need some energy to hard work, you know.

And in a couple of hours we did ”Tablepiles” (bordstabels) and ”amondmacrones” (mandelmakroner) and a gingersnaphouse (very wired and moderen as you can see from the picture). – FYI: My brother loves to bake, and he’ll bring what’s missing.

All well done before 9:30 pm. I drove them all home. Solvi got her share of the evenings baking, as we will be at her place First Christmas Day. And Ingelin felt asleep in the Car; hadn’t slept for 34 hours.

Finally I brought our two Cats, Rosa and Felicia, back home after another week with Cousin Stompa. Oh, that charming creatures.

What a wonderful world – if you really want to.

B4P. (blog for peace)

PS. We were not able to use all the Amonds. But Anna did make Marzipanballs in all colours, when RennyBA and the others in our network group’s steering comittee (The Norwegian IT Federation – Mangement and Strategy Group) had our yearly Christmas Dinner. Revealed for the whole World.

Whatever God you might believe in: Bless You.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

How to manage your digital life

Hi all,
I just found this page on the internet. Interesting.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oslo in Advent

20 Days since Christmas
To day it is 20 days since Chrismas. Alle xMas decorations have to be stewed away, to be left unseen until first Sunday in Advent 2007- Sunday December 2. This is a short cavalcade from downtown Oslo, December 2006. Hope you still have good Christmas memories.
The Christmas tree at The University Square. To right the Salvation Army's collection boxes
The icerank downtown
3:30 and the sun is downNew and old architecture From Karl Johans gate - The Parade street of Oslo
Last Sunday before Christmas I took a drive in to downtown Oslo to buy some Christmas presents. Mostly paperbooks and soundbooks (Very pleasant when driving). Here are some shots from the tour.

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Weekend with Blogfriend RennyBA - part 2

Second Leg: Karlstad - Mariestad

Bye, bye to Karlstad and the shopping mall. On to E18 (European road #18), and into the darkness. Even though I find it strenious to drive in the dark when the roads are wet, this time it didn’t matter. That’s how it is in good company. At 9 PM we arrived, parked the Car and carried all the food and wine and luggage into the appartment. A very likeable one. Anna and I was installed in an ”appartment” in the appartment. Very confy. Renny turned up the heating and the electric fireplace. Very ”koselig”.
And suddenly it was time for dinner. You can read about it at RennyBA. A heavenly good fish. When a meal is that good, we often use to say: It tastes like cream. Renny in his vacation home Greeting the World

After dinner, time for blogging. My PC was not special cooperative, so I used Anna’s.

And then we were in Cyberspace. With a glass of Calvados and a cigar. The two blogger friends. How fast times goes by in good company. Before we said: Cookie, the time was 4:30 am. What did the ladies do? Playing?

Saturday morning, was not morning: We wake up for Brunch and some time after noon we went in to the town. Found a parkingspot, and off we went. First shop: A sportswear and equipment magazin: Anna could not resist to use my Credit Card. I’m sure she found something useful for xMas gifts and the winter we hope will come.
Shop after shop had the pleasure of visiting Norwegians. Well, as you allready know, men has the ability to spend shopping hours playfully. And Renny even found himself a new puppy.
Shoppinghours allways come to an end. So did ours too. And the hunt of the day placed safely into the car.

Next stop: The Church. Guess who took the place and played at the Big Piano. Renny. He played wonderful on the, for him unknown, instrument. And people from all over Sweden listened with joy and honour. LoL. Renny playing the Big Piano in Mariestad Domkirke

Finnished shopping? Oh no: Saturday dinner had to be saved. And all the Christmas Decorations + Christmas tree to be put on their traditional places.

Avocado, caviar and mayonnaise as starter

That Sirloin was heavenly

Cake, coffee avec, just before the highlight: Blogging

We did a three meal course, relaxed a bit and guess what: Started to blog again. You may have some comments on your blog from Saturday December 9.

As our "girls" did not have time to play during their shopping, the bloggers accepted to play quizz with them. I.e. a test of who would be best; Renny or me. Anna, as Teacher, of course asked the questions. It ended with a draw (what else among friends).

We went to bed at NN am. Say no more.

Next day blue Sky and Sunny: Breakfast ( I mean: Brunch), cleaning, and a huge challenge stoving everything into the car.

Diane, Renny and Anna at Ekudden (Oaks Point) Sunday "morning".
First stop at the beach. That was refreshing. The air I mean.

Strange to think about: Only a couple of months ago, this was a crowded beach

It’s odd to think about how fast a weekend feels to go by when in company with such remarkable people like Renny and Diane.

Thank you for inviting usAnna.

Memories for lifetime.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Weekend with Blogfriend RennyBA

First meeting and first Leg: Oslo - Karlstad

Firstly we planned to pick up RennyBA and Diane outside his office in downtown Oslo.

But, RennyBA and I agreed upon it would be better if I picked them up at our local railway station, close to the activity farm, Friday afternoon. Then we could avoid the bump-bump traffic out from downtown Oslo.
We two, known each other for years, were anxious how our wifes would function together. Diane from Up-state New York and Anna from Odalen a layed backed district, 80 km east of Oslo.
First time meeting: Hugs. Then, they sat together in the backseat of my car, chatting as they allways had known each other. Both Renny and I suspected that to happen. Dreams came true.

From Oslo to Mariestad it’s 350 km to drive. In December the sun goes down before 3:30 pm. We met at 3:55.

I must admit, I would have refused to take this ride, if it was not with RennyBA. In the darkness, rain, all coalblack roads, trailers, dirt, lights hitting just in my eyes nearly blindfolded me.

RennyBA had told me of their habits: They allways stops in Karlstad, after some 2:30 hours drive, to do their shopping. So did we this Friday, luckely no rain then.

Off we went. Firstly to Systembolaget. That is the Swedish answer to the Norwegian Vinmonopolet. Norwegians ”love” the Swedish one ’cause of the lower prices (exception is high quality wines and sparkling wine). And RennyBA, he knew exactly where to go, while I had to study where to find my White Wines of preference. The selection in Norway and Sweden are somewhat different. When on tour, we usually buy BiB, Bag in Box. The quality of BiB-wines have for the past years come to a acceptable quality. And I bought a couple of bottles with screw-tap, which is very practical when you have no room for ”standing” bottles in your fridge.

We had our charriots well filled up with wine and ”avec’s”.

Neighbouring Systembolaget is a large supermarket. Time for food. And for bringing low priced ”stuff” back to Norway.Diane and Anna - Shopping is fun

Anna and I were in this large shop for the first time. While Diane and Renny did know exactly where to go and pick up the goods, Anna and I were afraid of beeing lost. Then I come to think about: We’re driving in my car. Puh. Saved. And it felt very well to go around the shop with Renny and Diana and discuss what we needed for the weekend and with Anna what to bring back to Norway. Besides, no secret that, I need a little rest from driving in the dark and rain.Packing with a smile

We shopped vegetables, fruit, milk, juice, cream, egg, butter, margarin, bread, cheese, water etc.
Renny pays with a smile
Then payed with Visa-Card and stowed it all into the car. On the road again in the Darkness.

Stay tuned, more to come.

PS. If you have problems to comment this post, you must sign into comments as "Other", then write your e-mail adress and your URL. (Or as Anonymous)

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Cats on Tuesday

It was one of these afternoons I needed a little nap after coming home from work.

From floor to ceiling

Tired I layed down on the bed, and was nearly in Dreamland, when the wardrobedoor, suddenly slided asside. The wardrobe goes from floor to ceiling. I could not see or hear a thing. I’ must have dreamt, I figured out. And I was half back to Dreamland again, when the wardrobe door slowly closed. What a realistic dream.

Then I fall in deep afternoon sleep. I didn’t even dream. Sure did me well, if it was not for the sudden awakening: Something heavy suddenly hit my stomach and dissapeared as a fast shadow out of the sleepingroom. Felicia – oh that adoreable cat. Need no alarmclock when taking an afternoon nap when she’s around.


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NewsFlash - xMas tradition

Sebastian with his father Niklas, his girlfriend, Solvi and Ingelin (she’s on vacation from Florida) will come to our traditional Christmas baking evening. No Cats around. I’ll pick them up after driving all the ”bakers” home during the evening. It’s such a nice tradition.

Pictures to come.

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Wheather report

If you read ET’s blog, you recall the flood in Vancouver and how ET and P strugled for clean water. Well, here in Norway, we are excperiences more or less the same wheater a couples of weeks later: South-Westh Norway: Up to 100 mm rain, flood, roofs blowing off, closed roads, mudslides, extraordinary mild for December to be: + 10C. Some exceptions though: Oslo. We live there. And we see the Sun today.
And have in mind: Going with RennyBA and Deedee to their Vacation Home last weekend; wheater is important when driving 350 km in darkness.
Tune in. Photo by Digital Vision

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Now revealed

In the shopping mall

Norwegians are good shoppers when in Sweden, and Anna is no exception. When in Mariestad, at RennyBA’s place, she had good assistance from Diane in Womans clothshops.
Such events tend to take time, and RennyBA and I need to find something to do while waiting. We are very patient both of us, I must add, but just to sit like flowers is not exactly our style. In this particular shop, the owners had learned to handle children, when their moms goes shopping. So, what was more natural for RennyBA that shown on the photo below. So, now for the first time in history: RennyBA revealed when woman does shopping.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Going home

Stompa is going home again this afternoon. Anna and I will miss him. He has been so cute living with us and Rosa and Felicia for the past two weeks, while Solvi did visit Ingelin in Miami.

Will Rosa and Felicia miss him? Not for the first week. They will go on "vacation" to Stompa, when Anna and I are in Sweden with RennyBa and Deedee.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Cats

Felicia on top

Most people coming home from work are looking for their cat(s) hiding under something.

If you're looking for a Manx and bend down in hope to find the animal, you’ll most probably search in vain. Watch Up. Felicia loves to be up here on the very top of the Sideboard. If you don’t believe it:
Just look at the second picture.

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Christmas Market, Tivoli, Copenhagen

Entrence to Tivoli
We entered before noon on Friday, December 1, 2006. As you can see, no blue sky, but luckely, no rain. Too mild for snow. Not too many people, this time of day. I did not buy anything but a Christmas Lunch.


Kiosk with Colourful Christmas articles

The Beerman's kiosk

Classic carousel

If you feel cold, go here and heat up around the open coal fire

The choice is your's

The IcecastleA cold pleasure in December - must be Vikings

You only need a Christmas tree after shopping here.

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