Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When you come as a visitor, it might as well be a party!
So now the Swedegirl knows the real benefit of living overseas...we may have been just five minutes from my parents "Nanny & Pa" when we lived in Florida, but now, when we come it's SPECIAL.
The girl had been hoping to stock up on some princess-y make- up, and boy did her Nanny help her out with that! She got all kinds of goodies, including princessy clothes, and some new glitter cream per her request! Now she knows who Hannah Montana is, though, thanks to the glitter marketing.

Glitter cream here, please!!!!

When you are only a visitor, it is FAR easier to command every adult's attention in the room and get them to stop what they were doing to attend your pretend tea party.

Even if the cake you serve is only floral foam

And because it's a special visit, they might even light real candles if you ask nice.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Welcome New Baby Boy!!!
Part of what made our trip to Florida extra special was we were able to meet our newest tribe member, the little baby boy here! His family was soooo surprised we showed up, we traveled on short notice and did not tell them we were coming. We had been very connected through out the birth, and it was great to see everyone glowing in their bubble of new baby love.

Dozens of Cousins and a Niece that can Crawl...
So we were so lucky to have an excuse to return to Florida. We got to see my mom's whole extended family at the wedding, and got to see my niece in that sweet and short lived 'can crawl but not yet walk' baby stage. She's cute!! And here she is showing off her new toofers.
Here she is with my cousin from Chicago, who just graduated from dental school (she IS showing off her nice teeth, here as well, huh?). Yay for graduating and working now as a dentist!!!
Once again, our family's newest babe, with my teenage cousin.
Here she goes, in action!
My Swedegirl's girl age mate boy cousin now lives a few houses away from us in Sweden. Her girl age mate cousin lived close to us in Florida. We were glad to see them at the wedding, as they are now moving to Alaska, in an attempt to one up us on the dark, cold, and far away moves. Hey, at least they speak English there.

With her lovely mommy

Next up to be married, the brother of the groom. They are getting married in Mexico a few weeks after our baby is due, so I am not so sure we will make it.... :) So were happy to give out love to them now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Eat, Drink, and be Married! My cousin's wedding....

We were awaiting my husband's US citizenship interview, when we found the scheduled interview would coincide with lots of wonderful family events, including B&J's wedding!

In some recent movie (The Katherine Heigel Dresses One?), there was a discussion of how the groom looks as the bride comes down the aisle is the best moment that says the most about the wedding. This was definitely the best moment of this wedding! My cousin was all teary, and his bride was giddy with love as she connected to him!

The bride, gushing with love and tears as she goes down the aisle.

It was a simple and deeply sweet wedding, with a fun party!

I got to connect to extended family I have not had a chance to sit and really talk with for a long time. I was so glad I went.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Colors and
Cooler Weather at School
The apples are ripe and the tempatures are dropping. Leaves are beginning to change, and the scent of fall is in the air.

Doing a cart wheel on the playground

Hire Wire Act

Monday, September 8, 2008

Green Dream
When I graduated from college some friends and I considered moving to Oregon State. We planned to make our fortunes, or a living, baking bread. We refered to the plan as 'The Green Dream'. This climate is similiar to Oregon, and for now it is foresty green and dreamy. I think I might be living the green dream at last.

This is a view of our street driving into the neighborhood, about a half mile from our house. This is our house as you approach from the main road
A beautiful little purple flower decorating my yard.
I think in Swedish it is called Stor blåcklocka, or Campanula persicfolia.
Skärvinda or Calystegia sepium
So to enjoy all this green, I went on herb walk with my daughter. We can walk from our house to the store- library- main part of the village by going first through some forest paths, then on a nice paved path. You can actually choose the paved path for the whole trek if you prefer. We went the forest path and collected nettles and chickweed. I was looking for nettles that were young enough to use. Late neetles are not the best, and can give you a stomach ache. Nettles are really best collected in the spring. But we found a number of young shoots that were worth keeping.

Fresh nettles, Brännässla, or Urtica Dioica
Since I was all gloved up for nettle collecting, and keeping the girl away from their potent little stings, she was put in charge of picking the milder herb chickweed. Susun Weed fondly calls it the little star lady. The Swedegirl would exclaim Chickweed!!! everytime she found some, then pluck it up and put it in a bag. The chickweed is good fresh, but I think for my pregnancy tea needs I am going to stick with dried nettles, I did not get that much, and its awful late in the season now.
Fresh Chickweed, Vatårv, Stellaria Media
There are also tons of these red berries growing onthe trees. The folk legend is that if there are many of these berries in the fall, then it will be a very snowy winter. I hope so! There were only three days of snow here last year, I hear. If it is going to be cold and dark, it might as well be snowy too.
I think these are called Rönn, or Sorbus Aucuparia.
And a Playground, too....
Besides finding plants and herbs that are new to us, we also found a playground that is right off the paved path on the way to the library and grocery store. Yay! On one side of the park is a big grassy hill, and on the other side facing the playground is a big wide slide. The SwedeGirl calls it 'the one that goes ba-bump-ba-bump-ba-bump', which is fairly accurate.
This hill is awesome for rolling, and I bet its the world's best sledding hill in the right season. Or maybe we should come back with cardboard boxes?
I come from Florida where hills, nettles, and even dandelions are fairly rare and exotic to us. Florida has an abundance of oranges and grapefruit- we could scavenge a whole stroller full on a neighborhood walk in the winter-and the peaceful gulf waters are warm and swimmable most of the year. But we did not have many hills or common herbs. So this climate and terrain is great new fun for us. We can collect nettles and roll down soft grassy hills. We are so easily amused.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Local Organic Farm in Veberöd
This weekend was a regional fair of all the local organic farms. Our farm distributed maps that identified all the other regional farms and what each farm produces. We found sources for various veggies, milk, beef, and chicken. We are not going to trapse all over Skåne to do our weekly shopping, but for now are making an effort to buy most of our staples from our closest farm- Mossagården- each week.
The activity Mossagården had for the expo day was free carrot picking. We ate lots of carrots that week, as they were so fun for the SwedeGirl to pick, she did not want to stop.

The other nearby local farm had a bustling cafe serving cakes and drinks, and all the animals were out and ready to meet the steady stream of visitors that aarrived through the day. We need to go back and visit this one when it is not so busy. The store selection seemed more limited, mostly dry goods, and I did not get a good grip on what fresh veggies they produce or sell. But we had fun feeding pigs.

If you want to come see us for a visit, you can make a farm tour part of your swedish expereince. There are work-stay agreement at some of the farms. It is called "WWOFing" an acronymn for World Wide Oppurtunities on Organic Farms.

Other organic foods are pretty available in swedish stores. Swedish organics are called "Krav". ICA stores have the "I*heart* Eco store brand. Don't be confused by the 'Go Green' brand, which is only organic if it is marked with the "Krav" label.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The 4-H Farm and Neighborhood Playground
Here is a nice easy adventure we can go on. There is a path right off our street that we can follow a short way through the woods that ends at the 4-H Farm. Kids in the club take care of goats, sheep, bunnies, and pigs here in an old farmhouse. It is open and accessable, and we like to go feed the goats whatever dandelions or clover we can find in the field. We used to have a little farm stand near our home in Florida where we fed goats and chickens, but sadly, that closed over a year ago. We are happy to have animals in our life again, and just a short forest walk away!

This is right near the neighborhood school as well, so there is this great little playground, too.