Tagged: Family

Hellooooo May!

I can’t believe it’s May already. We have forever been waiting for spring here in Stavanger and when it finally showed up a few days ago, May was just around the corner.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post on this website, and I’m sorry for dropping off the face of the Earth like that, leaving you guys hanging, without even a heads up. My apologies.

You see, a few weeks back my mum got ill. Nothing really serious, just a bit of a “bad” cold we thought. A couple of days into it, I woke up to a text from one of mum’s neighbors telling me that mum had been rolled into the hospital during the night.

Since mum has a habit of getting from bad to worse pretty quickly, due to her past history of pneumonia, combined with her not doing too good with medication, because of her autoimmune disorder (Sjøgrens), (we have had a couple of scares before) I wasn’t leaving much to chance this time… and booked a ticket to UK right away for the earliest plane we could get on.

After a nine hour trip B and I got to the hospital checking in on mum quickly before we called it a night. Over the next few days we visited twice a day, talked to the doctors, discussed medication and what we needed to do, to get mum back healthy.

Thankfully because of her quick admittance to the hospital and a few days with antibiotics through an IV (pretty much the only thing that works anymore) she was bouncing back and it was decided that she was well enough that she could go home 🙂

We stayed around for a while to take care of her, you know.. alt the little things of cooking, shopping, walking the dog, being mean making sure she took her meds 😉 and in general keeping her company, until she was back on her feet well enough she could fend for herself.

We are back home now, and I’m happy to say mum is getting better by the minute, as I got a text a couple of days ago that she was out and about doing a little shopping 🙂

I’m sorry I’ve got a couple of you guys worried about what was going on, but I haven’t felt much like writing…

But hey… I’m back now… so hopefully things should pick up a little 😉

 

 

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

christmas-snoopy

It’s incredible how fast this year has gone by! I can’t believe we are right back in the middle of Christmas 🙂

This years Christmas celebration is being spent with my mum in England, and happily we get to celebrate it the “Norwegian” way, with our Christmas starting on the 24th. I explained it all in my post last year.

Our suitcase (as always around Christmas time) was filled with our regular Norwegian christmas dinner, jams, chocolate and a bunch of other little goodies. No “minimalist packing” this time around, with the exceptions of clothing, as there wasn’t room for much outside of food 😉

I’m sure some of you have found yourself in similar situations, dragging food “across the oceans”, for family members for special occasions, like maybe even Christmas 😉

We’re planning on enjoying ourselves with good company, great food, a few drink and loads laughs. And this is my wish for you….

I wish you a wonderful holiday, with family and friends, great food and a drink or two, days filled with laughter and hugs, loads and loads of hugs 🙂 

Happy holiday everyone!

 

A pile of mess!

It’s been a few days since my last post, and yes, I have recovered from my friends move in party  😉

While I’ve been busy with friends and move in party, it seem like my guestroom have had a “move in” party of it’s own. At least that’s what you would think, if you had taken a look, because it looks like a bomb went of in there.

As far as I know, no lives were lost during the bomb attack, but who knows what’s lurking in the shadows 😉

So. You are wondering, what on earth happened? Well so do I, kind off..

I have a tendency to use my guestroom as a “storage” area, for when I find things I want to get rid off. You know, that area you use to dump stuff, before it makes it out-the-door! I also tend to use it as room to stash things, that I haven’t sorted through yet.

Add several bags + an exercise ball (used as a chair) I brought with me from work, when I emptied my office a couple of weeks back. With that, what you have, is a recipe for disaster!

This room is no way fit for guests!

And my brother and his wife is coming over from UK tomorrow! Now mind you, they are staying at a hotel (phew),but if they want to stay over, I’d be hard pressed to find room for them in between the piles of crap, eh, sorry, stuff 😉

Hmmm, think it’s time to do something about it? I sure do!

So here it is.. my mess!
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Now… let’s see if I can’t get some of this stuff out-the-door…

Happy holiday!

Wishing everyone a happy holiday and a wonderful Christmas. 

Christmas starts today! Or actually it kinda started yesterday, with what we call “little Christmas eve”, the day when a lot of people decorate the tree and the house.

Today is the day we celebrate! Christmas eve is filled with Christmas dinner, a walk around the Christmas tree and the unwrapping of all our Christmas gifts.

Unfortunately since I have family in more that one country we don’t get to celebrate with everyone. Last year I was in UK at my mums place, so this year I’m spending Christmas eve at my step-mums place here in Stavanger. Fortunately mum don’t get to be alone as she is spending Christmas at my brothers place in London 🙂

Christmas eve celebration in Norway typically starts with dinner around 5 or 6, followed by very inpatient kids nagging us about “when are we going to unwrap the gifts” until about 8 or 9 when we dive under the tree 😉

Since Christmas eve tends to turn into a late evening/night, it means that Christmas day we get to sleep in 😉

Christmas day is still a day where family meet up for brunch or dinner, loads of cake and good family fun. This year we are having dinner at my step-sisters place, followed by a family brunch on second Christmas day (26th) at my place. Before some of my family members board a plane to go back to their home town.

As you can see, Christmas here, are a few days hanging out with family and enough food, to which I’m sure, will leave us with thoughts not to eat so much next Christmas, just as we did, last Christmas 😉

Here is wishing you a happy holiday, with family or friends, good food and drinks, and hugs, loads and loads of hugs 🙂 

Happy holiday everyone!

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Preparing for the Holiday season!

It’s that time a year, where everyone is scrambling around like “Looney Tunes” trying to get everything done before the holiday starts.

And I can’t say I’m any different. Just a week ago, I thought I had all the time in the world, all I had to do was clean the house, wrap some presents, buy some food and a Christmas tree, and decorate a little and I would be done. But somehow, somewhere along the way, I’ve ended up with, not enough time, before Christmas.

It might have something to do with doing errands for everyone else BUT me! Let me explain;

It’s coming down to the wire at my step-mums new place, the people that are doing the renovation should be more or less done. So much so, that we have had to go down several times this last week, just to keep an eye out and point out the things that are missing or that we are not happy with. For some reason, ever time we are there, 2-3 hours goes real quickly.

While hanging around the new place, I was told that I had promised that I would fix up the new front door with some teak oil! I can’t quite remember that, but I’m sure it must be right, guess it slipped my mind 🙂 Giving a couple of things that the workers have not done up to specifications,  I can see a few other tasks that will be coming my way also, right after the holidays… among them, putting the kitchen fronts (we picked them up this week) back on the cabinets.

Yesterday, the family all had lunch together, and somewhere during the conversations it seems like I got another handyman job or two for my step-sister as well…. there was some lamps that needs to be hung, some TV cables that needs to be extended and hidden?

Even a bed frame I needed to pick up at a store because her car is not big enough!!! And for your information, I drive a convertible, a huge car, not… and hers is bigger than mine… I think they found out that if I took the top of it would work out perfectly  for the transportation. I’m telling you, there is nothing that will be transported in my car as long as it’s raining outside 😉

So you can see how I went from thinking I had all the time in the world, to suddenly not… I did however find the time to get a Christmas tree, one for me, and one for my step-mum 🙂

Today though, I’m putting my foot down!

I need a day to sort out a few things, to; clean my house, change my bed, wash some clothing, iron, in general tidy, wrap some Christmas gifts and maybe even consider starting to put out some of my few Christmas decorations.

So that’s what I’m doing today! And now my washing machine is yelling at me that it’s done, so I gotta run…

See ya!!

 

A busy bee…

I take my hat off to my step-mum these days.

We are moving into that time of year where it seems like there is not enough time to get everything done. Now add a renovation project to that…

Things are moving along at my step-mums new place, and I’m sure they will be done shortly. To get there we’ve had a few days filled with looking at some of the materials that are going in, and now the tiles, paint and wooden floor should be in place. We’ve done some measurements, and I think we are ready to order the kitchen counter, whenever my step-mum finds one she likes 🙂 A new closet for the guest bedroom has been ordered, and sometime this week, I believe we will be picking up the newly painted kitchen fronts. I have to say, she is a trooper. I’m totally impressed with how much she have managed to get done, is such a short time.

Part of buying a new place, is the selling of the old. The first showing is on Sunday, and I’m hoping it will sell quickly and at a price she will be happy with. There are always some stuff that needs to be done, to make sure a place make a good impression, and my step-mums been a busy bee. Even so, there are still some stuff she needs help with, and yesterday a friend of mine and me, went over there and did some work on her closets (drawers removed, hanging rods added), so that it presents correctly during the showings.

It’s incredible how much work there is every time one decides to buy and sell property. There a a zillion thing to think about, and the moving itself is just part of it all, which I’m sure most you know everything about. I’m just glad it’s not me! This time around, I only have to help out a little 😉

You can see how December this year will be a little busier than normal! So stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted 😉

A new property…

My step mum have bought herself a new place to live. It’s on the 3rd floor of a 7 floor building, and it’s a bit of a rehab project!

There is a lot of things that needs to be done to it and fortunately she have found some workers that starts on Monday. They will take care of painting the ceilings and walls, opening up some walls, changing the wooden floors, tear down some old cloths cabinets and a few other bits and pieces.

Even so, I’m sure there will be more than enough small projects for the rest of us to do 😉 Like yesterday!

The kitchen needs a tiny overhaul (cherry colour, with worn out kitchen counter). My step mum wants it white and bright. So we have decided that the easiest way to refurbish it, is to keep the original kitchen (as the units are pretty OK), and paint it.

So yesterday a friend of mine and I went over there to take down all the kitchen cabinets doors and drawer fronts, as they are to be delivered to a place that specialize in spray-painting old kitchen units. All the fittings had to be removed and the fronts had to be cleaned thoroughly to make them ready for the paint place.

Even though it’s not a hard job or a difficult job, I have found that regardless of what it is that has to be done in a house, it always seem to take much longer than you originally think 😉

Tomorrow  we are delivering the fronts to the paint place, and I believe we will get them back in about a week or so… so I guess I know what the next weekend project might be 😉  After the other workers are done with the painting, mind you…

Hmmmm, seems like I can’t seem to escape from kitchen projects 😉

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A little bit of this, a little bit of that

It seem like I can’t seem to concentrate on one thing these days, If you saw my living room and guest room you would have a laugh. There are stuff all over.

I told you before I started on my kitchen, that it seems like I’m working on a “zillion” projects, and that’s exactly how my house looks 😦

I’ll clue you inn on a couple of them.

Dads boxes:
After dad passed away last year, there was a few things that ended up in my house. Some things I held for my brother, which he have received during this year. Remember I told you about them earlier in “My Grandfathers cabinet” and “Hand over“?

There was also a couple of boxes, with letters, pictures, films, audio tape, and other stuff dad had held on to, for sentimental value. It’s a mix of stuff from his life and stuff from his mothers life (she passed away quite a few years ago).

I did look through it last year, but I realized that because of some of the formats he had, like old 8 mm films and old Tandberg audio tapes, I would have to find someone that could help me figure out what on earth was on that stuff, and I packed it all away for later.

Well, I decided that later is now. It’s time to figure out what to do with it all. And I’m slowly going through his boxes.

A couple of friends of mine have (or been able to get their hands on) some old equipment, and I have found out what’s on the 8 mm films and dias (negatives in frames). I have to admit, its kinda weird, and fun to come across people you know, and see them 50 years younger 🙂 The films I have already delivered to a company that will make them digital, the dias I’ll probably deliver to the same place next week or so. I’ve found a photo place that are not to expensive, and I’ll probably have them scan some of my stuff, rather than me go out an buy a very expensive photo/negative scanner.

I’ve also found out some of what’s on the audio tapes, but here I’m running into a bit more trouble. There are hours of tape, and the places I know that can digitize this, is hugely expensive, so I’m kinda hoping I can find someone with an old Tandberg player that I can borrow, so that I can digitize it myself… we will see… I’ll leave that for later.

Some of the stuff in the boxes are from my dad’s mum and even some from his dad’s, mostly letters and some pictures. And some are letters to and from my dad. The letters are a little strange to go through, because most of them are from family members that are sadly no longer with us. So reading them is like being hit from all sides. And it’s hard to decide which ones to keep and which ones to let go.

The same with the pictures, there are pictures of people there, that I know nothing about, and there are pictures of people, that are family members. I know I can’t keep it all, so I’ll have to pace myself going through them.

This is one of the things I’m working on right now, my dad’s boxes. And I know, it will be an ongoing project to decide what to keep, and get most of it digitized.

My photo collection:
The other thing I’m working on that are creating havoc in my house, is my own photo collection. Starting on my dad’s stuff, I realised it was time to tackle all of my photos as well. It’s been a plan of mine for a long time, to do something about my photos. I don’t know if you remember, I mentioned my plans for my photo collection in the post “Who the hell am I keeping it for?

My photo collection consist of, tons and tons of albums, loads of negatives, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is).  Somewhere along the way, I also decided I wanted them digitized.

In the article mentioned above, I realised that I, in reality, am only keeping the photos for me, and that I therefore do not have to keep everything…  and the conclusion was to keep key pictures as real photos, scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. And that is the task I’ve just begun.

And here is where the mess comes in. I’ve pulled all my albums and photo boxes out on the floor, And so far that amounts to 9 huge albums and 4 boxes, in my living room and 6 albums and several boxes in my guest room and a bunch of unused albums. Throw that together with my dad’s boxes and you understand my problem, yes? 😉

How am I doing with this task? Well so far I’ve only created the mess, but stay with me over the next few days (weeks), and I’m sure I’ll have a progress report or ten for you.

So there you have it, the stuff I’m working on right now. I have a funny feeling, this is something that will take quite some time, before I am where I want to be with this, but I have to start somewhere, right?

 

 

I’ve been partying!!!

I’ve been out of touch the last couple of weeks, so what on earth have I been up to?

Well, let me tell you. It’s been really, really busy, and fun 🙂

September this year, I’m turning 50 years young 😉

I figured a 50 year birthday is worth celebrating properly!

On my actual birthday I’ll be in Houston, celebrating with a bunch of friends and loads and loads of margaritas 😉

But I decided I needed to have a Norway celebration as well! So last weekend I threw a PARTY, with friends and family at this end of the world. Woohoo!!!

The plan was for an outdoor grill party, but the weather gods for some reason just wanted to throw rain at us, so it turned out to be an indoor grill party. Good thing it was a smallish group with only about 20 people, since my house ain’t that big 😉 I do however, feel sorry for the grill-chef that had to spend all her time outside gilling in the rain (I did fix a temporary roof over her, but still…).

Even if it was a small group it was a wonderful mix of family and friends. Mum and brother from UK, stepbrother and girlfriend from Bergen, friends I haven’t seen in like forever, mixed with friends I see all the time. It was a great opportunity for all of us to catch up.

It was a party filled with fun and loads and loads of laughed, I don’t think I have laughed that much in a long time (yes, tears rolling). I love throwing parties like that 🙂

Definitely worth a repeat. Now if I could just find an excuse to throw another one… 😉

The inner workings of Heathrow airport!

Remember I told your that I spent some time packing up a clock, I was going to bring with me from London back to Norway? Well it turns out that that clock would take us to the inner workings of Heathrow airport on our way back!

You see, it’s a huge clock! It has a diameter of 122 cm (48 inches). Not exactly something you put in a regular suitcase!

I bought this clock when I was in London, over Christmas last year. It used to hang behind the bar, in my brothers “local” pub, The Bridge House. My brother and his wife lived just around the corner of this pub when they first moved to London, and even though they now have moved further away, they still stay faithful to their “local” pub. And I understand why!

The people that works there are super friendly, always smiling, keen to help and they make even me who don’t get to go there often, feel like part of the family 🙂 No wonder my brother choose to hold his wedding reception in their upstairs party room. They did a wonderful job, and did I mention, their food is really good!

Darn, sitting here, writing about it, makes me miss the place! Guess we need to get back to that clock! I had been searching forever for a big clock to hang in my home, and walking into the The Bridge House, over Christmas, I saw it hanging on the wall, and “fell in love” 🙂 It was made by an local artist, and I couldn’t believe it when Wayne (the owner) let me buy it from him. Big, BIG hug, Wayne 🙂

Turns out shipping wasn’t quite as easy as we thought it would be, so we decided I would bring it back with me on the plane on my May trip.

We packed the clock into a home-made “box”, really some thin mdf type plates, added some wooden pieces, nailed it all together and taped the heck out of the edges with duck tape 🙂

I was a bit nervous about if the airline would let it on the plane, but as soon as they checked it, I felt a sense if relief.

When I turned around to leave for the passport control, I got stopped… “Not so quick madam, you need to come with us!” What the heck? With a sinking feeling I followed this guy who was rolling away my “box”.

Now what? Through some big doors we went, into a tight looooong hallway, deeper and deeper into the inner workings of Heathrow airport. The guy didn’t speak English much, so an explanations wasn’t really forthcoming!

After something that felt like we’d been walking forever (probably really about 5 or 6 minutes) we stopped. The guy tried to put the “box”, which was starting to look as big as a house, through a machine… but nope, no luck! The box was to big, so onwards we went, twisting a turning around all sorts of things, in this low ceiling, dark, tight hallway.

I was starting to wonder were in the world we were going, when he finally stopped in front of some huge doors, and with not a word, he disappeared. And there I was, way into the dark dungeons of Heathrow airport, standing there like a fool, not knowing what was going on, no one around to explain. And no way to get back!!

Suddenly the doors “exploded” open (actually pretty calmly opened, but that doesn’t make for such a good story, now does it 😉 ) and I’m beckoned through, and are met by 3 burly men standing there in their yellow vest looking at me. Oh yeah, this feels really great…

Finally someone who spoke English (sort of). Turns out the machine he was trying to get the box through was an ex-ray machine. And since the box is to big, they have to manually check the box, could I please open it!

What!! Open it, did they know how long I had spend trying to put the darn thing together, and how there are nails, and how much duck tape I had used (and how I had nothing left). Well, turns out, they didn’t care, it had to be opened!

So now this hunt starts for someone with a manual scanner, something to cut the duct tape and some tape to put it back together with.

My goodness, I’m glad I decided to add a few hours to my airport time (just in case), because this wasn’t quite the easy transit I was expecting!

Thankfully, it turns out the guy who scanned it manually, was nice enough to let me not have to open it fully. (I think this was due to me showing a picture if what was inside, and fighting like hell not to have to open all of it. Since it would be a serious pain to put it back together, and they had no tools). Turns out, all I needed to do was open the edges enough for him to stick his magic scanning wand (and arm) into the box, from two different sides. Phew!

So about one hour after I checked the “darn” thing, the box was taped back up, the guys was smiling and I was worn out, but at least free to once again, try to find passport control 🙂

Remind me, NEVER to do this again 😉

You were wondering if it made it to Norway in one piece?

Yepp, it did, here is the box, with airport tape and all! And the clock? Well it haven’t made it to the walls yet, but it’s leaning pretty comfortable to a piece of furniture, for the time beeing 😉

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