Friday, April 17, 2015

Back home in my garden

We stepped out of the airplane into what felt like summer warmth. The same morning our taxi driver in Sweden had scraped his car windows from frost and here we were on Swiss grounds in T-shirt and shorts weather. What a contrast!

Driving home I was stunned by how much has happened during our week in Sweden. How my home has turned all green and lush with flowering fruit trees and flower beds in colors of a rainbow. Back in Sweden things are still very naked, grey and frosty... Far from green buds on trees and the flower bulbs are just about to see the light peeking up from the ground. What a contrast! Again!

The weather has been great, says Jay with a great sun tan all over him. He has obviously been working "top less" in the sunny weather while I've been away. It suits him. :) Today the weather is grey and chilly and a cold front is coming, but the Forsythia tree brightens up any grey day for the moment. It is in its peak and I just had to share. Isn't it bloody gorgeous???!!!

Jay has planted new strawberry plants, potatoes and some salad so far. We will hold back a bit on the rest as the weather can change dramatically in April. It is exciting to plant in our new garden boxes that Jay built last summer. The garden feel so organized and clean from weeds compared to before. My only problem is what to do with the place next to the shed as we had to cut down the pine bushes that got infected with some decease... Hmmm. Maybe I will just put pots of flowers there this year until I figure out what else to do.

Walking around in the garden feels great. I am looking forward to watch what comes up in my flower beds. The church bee hive looks so proud there in the middle in all its new paint beauty. We have some projects to do here this year. I think we will take away the sand box, the shed needs a new coat of paint and the broken window needs to be fixed. I might try and turn it into a Swedish shed in red with white corners. We'll see what the landlord thinks about that... Knowing "The Swiss" it might be hard to convince them to change color to something so "bright" and different... Having a garden like this is bliss. Bliss with lots of work. And lots of rewards.


PS You can see more pictures and read more about our garden adventures here.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our summer house

The guest house.

One of many sheds filled with machines and tools.

The veranda... I see potential here.

Our bay.

My brother's cottage and just 50 meters up this road is our summer house. :)
Today I am packing bags and getting ready for a weeks long vacation in Sweden. Me and the kids are flying out tomorrow and I can't wait to get out to our summer house.

You see, my brother and I took over our late grand father's brother's home in 2001. A paradise situated in the archipelago only an hour and half from Stockholm city and with 2 minutes walk down to our own little bay. Many summers and vacations have been spent here in pure bliss and joy. I even lived there for a short period of time, in transit between living in the US and Mallorca, Spain.

Since 2001 the family has grown, not just my own but my brothers' families as well and we have been waiting for someone to sell close by... We've been waiting for the opportunity to add another property to our family paradise. And last year it happened.

Our good friends Rossario and Renée decided to sell their cottage after some health issues and reaching their 70's. With no children to take over, we gave them an offer and the deal was done. They have treasured their little cottage like it was their baby for over 40 years and we are delighted to take over.

The cottage is small but we have plans on expanding it. If we can we will make it double the size. It is only 50 m from my brother's house down the road and the garden is spacious with mushroom filled woods in the back...

The house comes with everything, even a set of garden work clothes are left on the veranda. And yes, there is a veranda!!! Happy me. I see potential here. Hopefully we can close it in and make it a proper veranda, and I can enjoy hours of lazy crochet, solitary card games and reading crime novels on rainy summer days. It will be great to go back and see the house again. Our savings account might be emptied but where did the money go I sometimes wonder. This weekend I think it will all sink in for real. Our savings are not gone, only invested in our very own Swedish cottage. And we might just paint it red... Maybe.I haven't decided yet.


PS 1: All pictures were taken last fall in November when we got the key...
PS 2: I'll show you the inside some other time.

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Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Easter Egg Hunt

A lazy morning followed by hours sofa surfing in pyjamas... Yes, Easter weather didn't offer much possibilities to hang out outside as the rain never seemed to stop falling. So a pyjamas day it was. Mostly. Computer surfing and game playing. TV watching and magazine flicking, crochet and coffee sipping, Lego building and paper doll cutting... And an Easter Egg Hunt, of course. I almost forgot this big event and rushed the whole lot to get dressed (!!!) and bundled up for some "fresh" rainy air.

Me myself spent a good hour rushing around outside hiding clues in the rain, both near and far. My effort paid off as the joy of watching my now rather grown up crowd of kids, searching for clues in anticipation of finally finding the treasured Easter eggs filled to the brim with candy, was just as rewarding as I expected. Bonus points to Mama was given with lots of hugs, smiles and cuddles. The greatest prize for a mother.

We decided to get a bit crafty after the lazy start of the day, and boiled some eggs to paint and decorate. I love painting eggs. It is something soothing and relaxing drawing with pens on a round shape in white. Color therapy on high level of course. We made some simple egg cups from old toilet rolls and decorated them with Washi tape. We have some eggs left and I'm looking forward to paint some more. I really like our flower theme we have this year.

We are not believers and I am not a big huge fan of Easter to be honest, but the Easter Egg Hunt and the Easter Egg Painting can not be neglected. I have such great childhood memories from these activities at my Dad's summerhouse. And he always prepared a big dinner with a baby lamb roast and the most delicious coffee gravy served with the mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables. But with no extended family around and a husband at work, me and the kids stick to simplicity. We are keeping it small and nice. Quiet and calm.

Today the sun is out and I think I'll start out by pinning some laundry outside and later on I'll take the kids for a bike ride. And maybe next year I'll prepare a big roast dinner with coffee gravy and invite some friends. But for now a simple dinner will do. Happy Easter!


PS: Easter Egg Hunt: I usually prepare 10-15 clues on pieces of paper and hide them well (!!!) in different places, both outside and inside. Here are a few example:
CLUE: "Where we bake" - HIDING PLACE: Oven, in the baking dry goods cupboard, baking tray.
CLUE: "Your favorite pants" - HIDING PLACE: In the pocket of the child's favorite pants.
CLUE: "Take me to church la la la..." - HIDING PLACE: The bee hive church in our backyard.
CLUE: "Waiting for something from abroad/online..." - HIDING PLACE: Mailbox

It is really fun. Even for grown ups. But pay attention and hide your clues in the right order... And don't make it to simple. Kids are smarter than you think... :)

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Crocheting circles...

Thank you for your supportive notes on my last post (I just needed to ventilate a little  bit to be able to move on) and lets head over to some smiley stuff shall we? We have had enough of misery lately. Bring on a new crochet project!!!

I had planned f
or something with stripes but my hands wanted different and circles it is. A new stash buster project, using up a special light color collection of wool and acrylics, inspired by my love of rag rugs. So far 9 circles are made, many more needs to be done. Maybe 150? I am still to make a decision about the joining color...


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