Friday, September 23, 2016

Swedish summer houses

Hej everyone!  The weekend is fast approaching (not fast enough if you ask me) and I'm dreaming of summer houses.  (I do that every once in a while.)  The houses I pine for and pin are ones that are in the Swedish countryside and usually involve a lake view or a forest nearby.  I don't know why I do considering we already live near the ocean in a lovely forested area.  Escapism I guess.  To better explain the Swedes love of summer homes, here is is what they write on

The simple life

Anna and PG Wiklund, a teacher and doctor living in Umeå in the north of Sweden, have their own reasons for coming back, year after year, to their summer house in the Hälsingland region of Sweden.
‘It helps you to escape the daily obligations you have back home’, says Anna, whose grandfather bought the lakeside plot of land in 1942 and built the house that she and PG still use today. ‘And because you spend such a long time here, you feel that you live here. If you travel abroad for two weeks, there are so many things to experience and do; it’s not necessarily that relaxing. Most people have some sort of relationship to their summer house environment, through grandparents or through their childhood, so they can completely relax there.’

Ahhh, relaxation!  Sounds good doesn't it?  ;) My grandparents had two summer homes, one in the woods and on the beach. They were both simple homes but it allowed them to escape the town every weekend and just unwind.  No one really should have to clean a summer home!  At least just do the minimum.  I guess it's that simplicity life that I long for sometimes because as much as I love my house it is an obligation and we need to keep it up, and keep it nice. Sometimes I'd like to have an apartment and a summer house that I could just lounge around iny jammies like my Mormor!  :-)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

beach art

Process is one of those arty words I don't like to use a lot but it does describe what went into this beachy art.  I was challenged to create something inspired by El Galeon, a 17th century frigate.
First I worked up a painting, but the lines, lines, lines got me all dizzy.  See my painting and the original photo above?

Then I decided, why not just paint on the rocks instead?  I love rocks and we were at the shore so it seemed to make sense.
Here are some of the finished rocks on the deck.

Our view!  Talk about inspiring.  Can you tell a Swede is "in da house". ;-)
I decided that the rocks shouldn't live on the porch but rather on the beach which is where you would have found El Galeon at one point.  So down the path...
... to the beach I went.  The wrack line to be specific.  I took lots of shots.
This is the photo I chose to print on canvas and give to the auction.  It's to benefit our local maritime museum.  I hope whomever bids on it likes it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

6 hour workday

Check this out, it actually is not everywhere in Sweden but the 6-hour workday is being launched in Göteborg as a test.  What do you think?  The Brit in this vlog says that it's a bad idea but personally I would LOVE it! Yeah for "living lagom" (a balanced life.)  Here's the information that was orginally published on Oct 2, 2015: 

"Sweden has introduced a six hour work day in an attempt to increase productivity and make people happier. Employers across the country who have already implemented the change are reporting happier staff, a lower turnover rate, and an increase in profits. Should more companies ditch the eight-hour standard? We discuss it on the Lip News with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill.the Lip News with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill."

Write a comment and let me know what YOU think! :-)  Now get back to work! Ha, ha!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bad doggy and bad book

Hi, spending time on vacation and checking out funny Swedish videos.  This one is kinda gross but sums up many people's opinion of fermented herring or "sill", one of Sweden's cherished foods. 
watch-this-dog-eat-swedish-fermented-herring. My computer isn't working too well, it's taking a vaca too, but here's the link to the Facebook video..

I also got sucked into reading a long Viking saga called The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson.  I don't know whose fault it is that is reads like the bible, the author or the translator, but here is an example to show you how low I've sunk:
"I have had more important things to bother about than women", said Father Willibald. "And now God be praised, I have reached the age where such temptations no longer exist.  But the blessed apostles have held differing views on this subject. St. Peter himself was married, and even went so far as to take his wife with him on his travels among the heathens. St. Paul, however, was a of another mind and remained unmarried throughout his life; which may be the reason why he traveled further and wrote more." blah, blah, blah and so on....

I feel gyped, this was supposed to have been my beach read, but instead I'm getting a lesson on theology!  My other people love it, so decide for yourselves. I'm looking for another book!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Montessori Teaching

Today I'm thinking hard about my new job as Montessori teacher, I went to a two day training this weekend and the words are swirling around my head... it's a lot to take in on a beautiful August weekend but well worth it!

I thought I'd try to start my clearing up some common misperceptions about Montessori with all (!) my new-found knowledge. Ha, ha ;-)  First of all it's not too strict and it's not too loose.  Montessori is grounded in respect for the child.  That respect is shown in different ways such as shaking the child's hand, calling him or her by name instead of honey, sweetie, etc. (kind of hard for me to do!) and in the careful preparation of the environment for the child.  

The classroom is for the students. They choose what they want to do and when.  This may seem "loose" or "unstructured" but everything on the shelves teaches the children something that is appropriate to their level of development.  So, what you may dismiss as play is actually education, Play is how children learn. And they are soaking it all in because children learn at an accelerated rate that is just unbelievable! 

It can be a little daunting to think of the wonderful children who are eager and waiting to learn from me and soak in every word, movement and message - conscious or not - that gets relayed.  I just hope that I can do a good job because "I love children", "The world needs good teachers", "I will be paid for it" (not a lot), and "I want to be great at it" - see image!  :) 

On a personal note, my big boy is home from camp and I could not be happier to welcome part of my heart home.  It hurts when they are teenagers and no longer need us as like they once did, but so much fun when they do want to be with us.  He sat and talked to me last night on the porch and I was filled with pride at everything that he is and did - he's such a nice, smart, fun kid. If I do say so myself!  (Proud Mamma) :)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Recycling my old blogs, day one, - interesting thoughts on a new word "hen" which cropped up in the Swedish language. Turns out that we're trying something similar in English now. I think that's great, it's good to help everyone feel including and supported in their choices.  Just a little bit trickier when you're trying to learn a new language ;-)  What do you think?


Sweden is adding a gender neutral word to the dictionary.  It's "hen" which means he or she, and could be used for either.  So instead of saying "he likes it", you would basically be saying "it likes it", or "it gave birth" or whatever.  Perfect for describing transgender people, or someone like Pat from Saturday Night Live but I predict not otherwise to be used often in day to day speech.  Read more here.  It appears to be moving Sweden in a more gender neutral direction.  Do you agree?  It is an interesting concept but I predict difficult to implement.