Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I get you a luxury cup of a dark French roast coffee? During the weekdays I rarely have coffee at home, I have my first cup at work. The coffee there is OK, but the coffee at home is a ‘die and go to heaven experience’, with carefully selected, organic coffee beans brewed to perfection in my French press. Or perhaps a delicious, green, organic ginseng/matcha tea is more to your likings? That is my favourite tea at the moment. There is regular black tea as well. How is your week?

We started this week with a lot of snow, we still have snow, but not as much as we had in the beginning of the week. The temperature have been playing some kind of yo-yo game. For the past couple of days it’s been way too warm and really windy. Before the week started I decided to ride my bike to work as many days as possible, 3.7miles one way. Monday and Tuesday, when we had tons of snow the bike lanes were in perfect shape. It was pure pleasure to ride to work. Riding my bike to work is my preferred way of transportation. I get a great workout, a big chunk of the way is uphill. I listen to uplifting music and start my bike riding days with high overall energy levels. On Wednesday it was warmer and the snow on the sides of the bike lanes had melted some and started to mess up the road, I decided to not ride my bike on Wednesday. On Thursday it was slightly colder, but not cold, around 25F. It was a tad but windy, but not too bad. I decided to take the bike. It was fine, a little icy on the way home, but totally doable. Yesterday (Friday) I woke up to the wind howling outside my window, as I was enjoying my breakfast it sounded like it settled a little, and I decided to take my bike…it was rather windy, and very icy. Less than a mile away from home my bike and I had a slight disagreement with a bumpy patch of ice, and we parted ways, my bike went to the right and I flew up in the air and went to the left. Somehow my ninja powers appeared out of nowhere and I landed on my feet. My bike and I agreed that she could have a day off. What is the weather like where you live?

I’m going to try to talk my daughter into going ice skating today. I know she has other plans, but I also know that she would benefit from at least doing it once before they start doing it at school next week. She haven’t been at all so far this year. She does enjoy it when she is there on the ice, but she absolutely hates putting her winter clothes on, and going to the ice rink (it’s only minutes away.) We’ll see. She also has some homework that we are going to tackle this weekend. I have some educational plans for this new semester to write, and some most interesting books for my new school to read (I am so excited about starting on Monday.) I am definitely going to the gym Saturday and Sunday. I was contemplating going to a yoga class tomorrow. It’s the thoughts of that damn pandemic messing around in the back of my head making me decide against it. I know they’ve taken measures to keep everyone safe during the yoga class, with extra cleaning, limiting the number of participants, and it’s very doable to keep distances in that big room, but still…I’ll wait a little longer. Would you like a refill on your beverage? 

Something fun I will do today, is to plant three spider plant cuttings that my little sister gifted me when we visited her over the holidays. I’ve been letting them grow strong roots in water until now, but I believe it’s time to plant them in soil. I have some beautiful terracotta pots that I am going to plant them in. These pots are small, to match the cuttings, but they are of the exact same model as the huge ones that I have my monstera plants in. I believe that is going to look fabulous. The plants are not going to be right next to each other, but the kitchen/living room is an open area, and you’ll be able to see all the flower pots at the same time, sitting at the kitchen table, and sitting in the couch in the living room. I’ll post some photos on Instagram later.

Walking home from work yesterday.

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. Tell me what’s going on in your neck of the woods. I’m going to try to visit everyone’s coffee share this weekend.

Love,

Maria  

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? Or maybe some hot chocolate? 

Yesterday my kids and I enjoyed some hot chocolate during a break while playing in the snow. It was about 2F and hot chocolate was absolutely amazing!

How are you doing? I hope your holiday season was everything you wished for. I have to say this was the best Christmas break ever! It’s been such a wonderful mix of family, nature, relaxation, good food, exercise, and just everything I wished for. 

From my walk earlier today.

On top of it all I handed in my final report for the class in Social emotional difficulties and special needs education today. It’s due on the 17th, but I was hoping to finish my report this weekend, so that I can focus on work next week, and have a little break from school until I start my new school on the 17th (Degree of Master of Science, Main Field of Study: Educational Work.) I’ve ordered all the books I will need for the first half of the semester, and they should arrive any day now. I have never studied anything on this advanced level, and I might be in over my head, time will tell, but for now I am super excited! I don’t know how well you know me, but I am very stubborn, and now I’ve decided to get this degree, and I will not give up easily. It’s just something that interests me, and that I really want to do.

Also from my walk earlier today. It snowed all morning.

Do you feel that you got the time off you needed during the holidays? Are you ready for 2022? Did you make any new year resolutions? I wrote a little about mine last week. What I didn’t tell you is that I also decided to join a local gym (I told you I was thinking about it a few weeks ago.) I not only joined the gym, I had a PT help me make up a training routine that fits me. This week I’ve been there three times, and I am planning on going tomorrow as well. I feel great! 

I decided to skip the gym completely today, and take a really long walk in the snow instead. I just love snow.

I also spent some time cleaning out my closet during my break. I have a routine of doing that at least twice a year, once in the winter, and once in the summer. I have a capsule closet, and I like having only what I actually use there, anything that I don’t use I donate to charity. This time I also donated some holiday items that I don’t feel a need to save. I’ve limited myself to only store one box of holiday decorations, and the tree in our storage unit. (I would never rent a storage unit, because I think it’s insanity to pay to store stuff that you don’t need, but there is a storage unit that comes with my apartment. We mainly use it for our bikes.) 

I know that it’s going to be a very busy spring, and I am so happy to start out feeling great, and on top of my game. Would you like a refill on your beverage? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share, and thank you for sharing your initiative with the food bank in your community. You are an inspiration to all of us! 

Stay safe out there, and please tell me what’s going on in your neck of the woods. I’m going to try to visit everyone’s coffee share this weekend.

Love,

Maria  

Jamtli – an exciting journey through the history of Jämtland 

During our visit to Östersund earlier this week I took my daughter to Jamtli, a place close to my heart. A place my mother often took me and my little sister, when we were kids. What is Jamtli? It’s a whole world of wonder! Jamtli covers a big area in the outskirts of the city of Östersund (Sweden.) There is an indoor museum with some permanent exhibitions about Vikings, The Sámi people – Sweden’s indigenous people, and how it was to live in Sweden 100+ years ago. The indoor museum also have temporary exhibitions, this time we viewed one thought provoking exhibition about food, one exhibition about democracy, and an art exhibition of famous Swedish painters. Jamtli offers an exciting journey through the history of Jämtland (and Härjedalen.)

There is also a large acres of an open-air museum of historic farms and houses. They have local breeds of farm animals; cows, sheep, goats, pigs, hen, horses etc. We took a guided tour of the open-air museum, with a Christmas theme. We learned about how it was to celebrate Christmas in Sweden in the 1850-1950, how people prepared for Christmas and celebrated Christmas. The tour included a tour inside time typical farm houses decorated for Christmas. It was most interesting to see. 

A farm house from the 1850’s
A regular well-to-do farm usually had several outbuildings, such as a hay barn, a house for the workers and elderly, a root cellar, and a barn.
Mountain cows at Jamtli.
Klövsjö sheep at Jamtli.
Most of the houses at Jamtli are original farm houses, the church is a new built, made the way they traditionally looked in the 1800’s. We were allowed to enter the church and it was small, but very beautiful on the inside. There was no heating, and the outside temperatures were around 5F..the temperature indoors were about the same.

Jamtli often showcase local craftsmen’s handicraft and local artists. They have a wonderful Christmas market, that is a highlight of the year for many kids. Growing up I learned how to process wool by hand at Jamtli. They often have practical activities like that for children, especially in the summer time, including animal husbandry. We are planning another visit this coming summer. One of the things my daughter appreciated the most was going through the interactive part of the museum, where she could try many things the way they used to be done a hundred years ago. 

A beautiful wooden horse standing about 14hh, showing the main way of transportation back in the days.
The permanent exhibition at Jamtli showcase many of the animals that lives in the surrounding forests, including the lynx.
…and the brown bear.

My daughter was very fascinated about the Sami’s wooden tents “lappkåtor”, and the area of the museum where you can learn about how they live/lived. The Sami are one of the world’s indigenous people, and one of Sweden’s official national minorities. There are about 20 000 Sami people living in Sweden at the moment, they own about 260 000 reindeer. They have a similar dispute over grazing rights that ranchers all over the world experience. Sami people are traditionally nomadic, but many modern day Sami have a permanent residence somewhere, and a cabin in the mountains for the grazing season. There are 51 Sami villages in Sweden, where the Sami have special rights to the land, fishing, hunting, building facilities they need for reindeer husbandry etc. Just like the Natives in the US, the Sami culture have a great history of storytelling. Their craftsmanship is well known, I personally enjoy looking at their knives and other tools when opportunity arises. I sometimes purchase smoked reindeer meat from a special store they have here in Falun (most Sami live further north from where I live.) I would love to take my daughter to a real Sami village, and not just a site at the museum, even if that is very interesting, and can spark a greater interest in their traditions. 

Lappkåta
Inside the Sami house. (The ones that I’ve been inside in real Sami villages have been larger, at least that is how I remember them.)
A beautiful reindeer. The Sami use every part of the reindeer.

I hope you enjoyed this little taste of Jamtli. It’s a place you never get tired of. The permanent exhibitions are beautiful, and the temporary exhibitions are always of very high quality. The activities changes throughout the seasons, which makes visiting interesting as well. The gift shop have beautiful handicrafts for sale, and a most interesting section of hard to find books.

We will leave you with this photo from Jamtli’s cafe. See you soon!

Love,

Maria