Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August 2013 Art Exhibition

Art Exhibition at Galleri Deichman, Røa, Oslo

Tuesday 6 August - Friday 30 August.

Small water color ranging in price from NOK 400,- to NOK 800,- will be on display.

Address: Austliveien 4, 0751 Oslo
Phone:23 43 27 90
 Monday10:00 am – 6:00 pmTuesday10:00 am – 6:00 pmWednesday10:00 am – 6:00 pmThursday10:00 am – 6:00 pmFriday10:00 am – 4:00 pmSaturday and Sunday Closed


Wild & Crazy

What do you think about when you hear the expression "wild and crazy"?

A few weeks ago our munchkin, Scott, a handsome 3 year old who loves Cars and pirates and often has a serious, thinking expression on his face, told his mother, "I am being wild and crazy. I am not going to go to sleep." She was tucking him in, ready to kiss him goodnight, but he had other plans.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this expression is a scene from the original Footloose movie. The parson's daughter, played by Lori Singer, has an urge to be wild and crazy and not slumber away in their little Midwestern town. One day she goes for a ride with friends, climbs on top of two cars--one leg on each--and stands there with her arms up in the air, while the two cars side by side race down a country road. Wild and crazy? It's insane.

Any person can be wild and crazy in their own right. Wearing pink on a Wednesday when you usually always wear dark colors. Eating a banana split when you're on a diet. Giving away your last two dollars with no plans for the next day. Going on vacation to a foreign country with a small back pack and no hotel reservations or plans. Going grocery shopping wearing a bumble bee costume.

I have done several of the above--and survived. Life should be fun and a little wild and crazy from time to time. Or most of the time. It does not have to mean doing anything wrong. It can be something that makes you smile and think, "Hey, life is good."

Today's photo: Hypnotizing our bird. Looks like he's just wondering what on earth I'm up to.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lumberjack Husband

Many years ago my mother, my aunt Eva, and my sister went berry-picking in the woods next to my grandmother's house. Norwegian woodland is special, quiet, serene, beautiful, and the home of large elks.

The story I was told is that they were startled by noises and feared that a large elk with a young one was near. Mother's are dangerous when they protect their babies. That's the case with elks also.

My mother and aunt ran around trying to find trees to climb when they see my sister hanging with one arm from a branch high up in the air. "Am I hanging high enough?" she yelled out.

We have often laughed, thinking about my sister hanging up there, wondering if she was safe, probably worried that the elk would reach her feet and nibble on them.

Last week the love of my life climbed an enormous pine tree to tie a rope high up on the trunk in order to pull and steer it in the right direction when he and his brother chopped the tree down. Like a monkey he made his way up the trunk, forgetting his age.

I counted the growth rings and made out that the tree had been there about 60 years. Imagine the things it had seen and witnessed. It started growing a few years after WWII.

Several more trees were cut down to bring more light and reclaim the lovely view. Cutting down trees can mean progress, beautification, and absolutely be necessary. To me it sometimes makes me sad.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Things To Do While I'm Walking the Dog

Hector, the Wheaten terrier is an avid walker. He is ever so willing, a wonderful comrade for brisk walks, nature exploration, or slumbering neighborhood wanderings.

I have found that time spent walking him can be time double spent.

Here follows a list of things to do while walking the dog, with accompanying tips and warnings:

  • Compose beautiful melodies--I can make up the most amazing songs in my heads while walking, but without a Dictaphone it's impossible to remember the tunes once I am back at the house.
  •  Poetic lyrics--yes, they are also close at hand when I am out and my head keeps talking to me.
  • Read--important to keep an eye out for curbs, obstacles, traffic, and others out promenading
  • Exercise--obviously. Walking is great for the body and mind.
  • Nature observations--I am all for it. God's creations are truly magnificent.
  • Pray--quiet time outside walking is an excellent time to remember what I am grateful for.
  • Conversation--I am a clever conversationalist when I make up dialogues alone.
  • Sermons--Oh, the great sentences I can come up with when no one is listening.
  • Write books--my protagonist and other character comes to life. They speak, talk, perform. Scribble it all down.
  • Sleep--I have tried this with varying result. It works. The problem is that if you actually drift off completely, you will likely walk off the road and fall into the ditch.
  • Blog--like this one. Good ideas always pop up. Keep a notebook and pen handy.
  • Or simply be with Hector . . . which is why I went out for a walk in the first place.
Photos from walks with Hector. Did I mention bringing a camera on walks with the dog?

Monday, July 15, 2013

I Would Rather Be Camping With a Dog than a Bear


Does the word bring you happy childhood memories or despair?

I think of sunny days and rainy days. Hot tents or sometimes wet puddles in the corner of the tent. I think of mosquitoes, fresh air, and birdsong. Ice cream (if camping is on a camp ground with a kiosk) and easy cooking. I have had small tents where you have to get dress lying down. We have stayed in campers and also small cabins with electricity.

Last year Arnfinn wanted to camp in the mountain above our cabin. Right before we went up to the cabin we heard on the news about a bear in the area. I refused to sleep outside in a little tent with no other protection than a dog and a husband without a gun. Maybe another year--when the bear is moving around somewhere else.

Camping with Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, is a little more work than without a dog. He is great at night, keeps watch, listens for sounds of anyone getting near our area. He keeps track of any dogs walking by, sleeps right next to us on the floor and is a great heater to cuddle if we get cold at night.

But even though he is a mud puddle king and loves to wade up to his stomach and play in the water, he is not fond of swimming. It's getting to the point that when we went for a swim this morning we had to leave him behind. He seems to think Arnfinn is drowning. He grabs his arm and tries to pull him back. He makes a lot of noise and bystanders can easily misunderstand and think we have a loud, boisterous dog.

All in all, I like camping. We do it every summer. I have already booked our space for next year.

Photos from trips to the mountain. No bears in sight.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Mastering Obstacles Like a Dog

If I climb to the top of the hill, I will see the view. (This is if weather permits. Norway weather tends to be unpredictable.)

If I overcome this obstacle, I will learn something and gain experience to help me the next time another obstacles gets in my way.

If I strive forward I will attain the knowledge I seek. (This is true except when I do genealogy. Going forward with family history research means looking back. See, it's not always black and white.)

Last month, Arnfinn wanted to line up some large tree trunks crossing a creek by our cabin. Brave Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, ran across the logs, climbed the rocks, and triumphantly paraded on the other side of the cold mountain river.

I admire his eagerness to climb a hill, his patience in reaching a goal. He is full of life and loves challenges.

There's a lot to learn from Hector. He is patient, forgiving, and ever loving. We have observed that he requires much of our time, his needs must be met, training him and giving him challenges to grow and develop needs to be scheduled into our busy day. But, you know what, we have chosen to have him and the joy he brings to our family far outweighs any negative issues. Luckily, I enjoy walking him even if the rain is pouring down, the gusty autumn wind pushes us down the road, and blistering snow hurdles around us. It doesn't matter. Nature is refreshing. And the saying in Norway, there's no bad weather, only bad clothes, rings true. Hector doesn't care. I have often wondered how he can run out in freezing ice and snow without warm boots. His woolen coat helps, I'm sure. And getting wet does not seem to worry him as long as he gets to go out and play and sniff the ground.

Arnfinn likes him as a companion for bike rides, jogging, and cross-country skiing. In fact, I believe Hector thinks of Arnfinn as his playmate as I am the one who feeds him and disciplines him. At least he is more obedient to me.

And that's another thing Hector, the Wheaten terrier, teaches us. Obedience. He is a good example--most of the time, that is. There's a saying that obedience is the first law of heaven, and I have seen both animals and humans prosper when they are obedient. At least, I am very pleased when he is obedient. It makes my day much easier.

After hard play, after working, learning, and mastering new skills, no one in our family takes naps as well as Hector. Arnfinn comes in as a close second. This is a obstacle in my life. Learning how to rest without feeling guilty about it. Mastering that would probably relieve me of some stress.

Photos today: Hector, the Wheaten Terrier, in the mountains and with his pal, Arnfinn, napping on the couch at the cabin.