Weekend Coffee Share

A thermos with coffee and the Swedish pastry “dammsugare”.

Can I get you some coffee, or maybe some tea? Let’s sit down by the lake. I brought a traditional Swedish pastry dammsugare, if you’d like to give it a try? Dammsugare means vacuum cleaner. In the old days the baker made these pastries by the end of the week, he basically took all his leftover, poured some alcohol on it, mixed it, added some chocolate, and used the mix inside these pastries. The outside is marzipan, and the ends are dipped in chocolate. I am sure there’s no old leftovers in these ones 🙂 You should give it a try! 

The weather is absolutely lovely, around 65 and sunny today. My daughter and I took a walk to the closest little lake today, we just got back a few minutes ago. The photo of the thermos and the pastry is only one hour old as I am writing this. The week have been a mix of rain, wind and sunshine. It’s definitely fall. What’s the weather like in your area? 

So far it’s been a wonderful week. Everyone is healthy. Things are going great at work. My kids are doing great. I’ve been working on an assignment for the class I’m taking. It’s due on Monday. I’m pretty much finished, just going to proof read it a few more times. How are you doing? Are you having a good week?

I’m going to do some things around the house today, listen to music, and help my daughter with her homework. Tomorrow I’m going to meet a very special friend of mine that I haven’t seen in almost ten years, I’m really looking forward to that. Have a refill on your beverage and tell me about your weekend plans! Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share…a very quiet cuppa together

Coffee, or tea?

If we were having coffee, or tea together this weekend you would have to do most of the talking. Why, you said. Well, you see I’ve lost my voice. I don’t believe that ever happened to me before. I feel pretty good, but my voice gradually disappeared this week. On Monday and Tuesday morning it took a while for my voice to warm up. I felt great, and didn’t think much about it. (When you talk a lot at work your voice sometimes get tired, and you sound like the day after a big concert with your favourite artist. That’s just how it is.) On Wednesday it took even longer, and my voice still sounded scratchy when I arrived to work. My voice was kind of OK, but after breakfast when I was leading an activity with the children I all of a sudden couldn’t talk at all without coughing (like where did that come from?) Within the next few minutes it got worse and worse, and I decided to go home. It all happened very fast. First of all, I couldn’t do my job, since being a teacher involves a whole lot of talking, second I didn’t want to get anyone sick if this was the beginning of something. I took a Covid test the next day, just to be sure, but it came out negative. My voice isn’t completely back yet, but as long as I don’t talk, I’m doing OK. I’m going to keep quiet this weekend, and hope for the best. I don’t think it’s anything serious. It’s weird though, not being able to talk. I didn’t like it at all, having to leave work on Wednesday. I stayed at home with my daughter only a couple weeks ago, and missing more work is not good. I don’t mean to complain so much. Complaining is not my thing.

How is your week?

On a more positive note, this is what’s growing in my balcony garden right now. At the top there’s an oregano/apple-mint tea mix (its heavenly, really lovely,) celery, figs and (hopefully) winter veggies. I posted a photo of my bell-peppers last weekend, and they are still doing great as well.

If we were having coffee this weekend I would have to tell you that we had some kind of breakthrough with my daughter this week. At least it feels like that, not saying that everything is going to be all smooth sails from now on, but I think her father and I got her to understand why speaking Swedish in Sweden is mandatory and not a choice. She understood that we expect her to do her best at all times, and accept the help she is offered. Tuesday morning she woke up so angry and the whole morning was a disaster. The girl has some drama in her! She screamed and throw a fit the whole way to the bus stop (2km)..phew. After that it was like all the anger had disappeared, and my sweet girl was back. I sure hope she stays. (Most of the time I’m the best mom in the whole universe, according to her, but when I’m not…it’t not fun to be in my shoes.)

Have a refill on your beverage and tell me about your weekend plans! The only plan here is to recover my voice, read and write a bit. Thank you so much for staying with me, and an extra thanks to Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share

Spinach/apple smoothie

Do you dare to try a spinach/apple smoothie? Or should I head out to the kitchen and make you a coffee? Tea? Or maybe you’d rather take a short walk down to the old cobblestone streets of our town and go out for a coffee? To be honest, I have not been out a whole lot since Covid started, but all the café’s and restaurants are open. Lately I’ve felt a longing to sit at a cafe and slowly sip a delicious beverage, something I used to enjoy from to time to time before the pandemic. Still there’s this other side of me that tells me that I should continue to be careful a little longer. 

How is your week so far? It’s already mid weekend here (we are 6-10 hours ahead of my friends in the US, depending on time zone.) Work has been busy as usual, busy and good. Most of my free time this week have been dedicated to my daughter that has a (hopefully) temporary breakdown about living in Sweden. It’s hard to deal with. She is stressed and refuses to speak Swedish, which naturally complicates things since we live in Sweden now. She’s always preferred to speak English, but still tried her best with Swedish. Her Swedish is pretty good, but she doesn’t speak like a native, and now she refuses completely. She has a new teacher that she strongly dislikes (to put it mildly,) and that doesn’t help. Every morning have been a battle this week. My heart goes out to her, she’s always loved school and adored all her previous teachers. Now she don’t want to go to school at all. We could let her start a new school, closer to home, but at this time she doesn’t want that. I have talked to her teacher, she gives me one version, and my daughter another. My main goal this weekend is to make my daughter feel good about herself and school next week. Unfortunately there’s a ton of schoolwork we have to finish, since she refused to do it at school. Of course I’m not OK with her refusing to do the work her teacher tells her too. I just can’t do much more than reasoning with her when I’m with her. At this point no logical reasons matter to her. I believe it may be some underlaying loyalty towards her dad, that she haven’t seen in more than two years due to the pandemic. For that reason I arranged for the two of them to talk about the situation at school over the phone today. They talked for a long time. Her dad told her all the reasons I told her, why she needed to learn, and speak Swedish while in Sweden. The fact that we both agreed upon this matter made her even more devastated. It’s going to take some real effort to get over this hurdle. I’m OK, its just heartbreaking to see one of your children struggle like this, and to hear over and over that she wants to live in the US a gazillion times a day.

The weather have been wonderful this week, 65-70F. Nature is still showing off gorgeous flowers. I always stop at least a couple times on my way to/from work to really admire the beauty of nature close-up.

Have a refill on your beverage and tell me about your weekend plans! 

Thank you so much for staying with me, and an extra thanks to Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share

A beautiful fall day

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? There is a beautiful fall day outside 57F/14C and partly sunny. My children are feeling much better, and I managed to get some me time earlier today. I walked around a lake, and stopped to meditate at a beautiful spot. The sun was reflecting in the water, there was a gentle breeze, and the air was filled with the scent of the surrounding pine trees = a perfect fall day. 

Rowan tree

The rowan trees have tons of berries this year, there is an old saying that if the rowan trees have lots of berries there is going to be lots of snow the coming winter. We’ll see 🙂 I like snow.

My homemade soup mix; red lentils, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and black beans.

I had some times on my hands this week and among the things I did was preparing my favourite soup mix, just perfect for cold winter days. When I lived in Las Vegas I had Sprouts Farmers Market around the corner. I loved shopping healthy food there, and one of my favourite things was their soup mix, that you can buy in the bulk section. I later started making the mix myself, I use red lentils, garbanzo beans, black beans, and kidney beans. I believe it’s green lentils as well in Sprouts mix. It’s so easy having all these goodies in a beautiful glass jar. The shelf life if properly sealed, and stored in a dark place, is very long, I’d say several years. It would never last that long at our house, but I did prepare several jars of the soup mix. When I make the soup I take 1/4 of a jar in a big bowl, add water and soak overnight. The next day I mince one garlic (not one clove, I like garlic,) I fry the garlic in olive oil, add the soaked soup mix and new water to cover the mix and then some. I let everything boil for a couple minutes, and after that simmer for 1-2 hours. I always add salt and pepper. I sometimes add any fresh herb that I happened to have at home, I often add chili. If I have vegetables that should be used soon I’ll add them to the soup. Sometimes I switch the garlic for freshly grated ginger. The variation you can make are endless. Legumes are a rich source of B vitamins, various minerals, protein and fiber. It’s a very healthy, hearty, and inexpensive soup.

How are you doing? I feel at peace. I deep cleaned my home this morning, and I’ve spent time alone in nature. I have nothing I need to do this weekend. Life is good. Next week is going to be a busy week at work, and a relaxing weekend is perfect. I might go on a longer bike ride tomorrow. Even during a relaxing weekend with no particular plans, I like to get out and get some exercise. My son told me about a lake that I have not seen, I might check it out tomorrow. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while. 

Have a refill on your beverage and tell me about your weekend plans! 

Thank you so much for the lovely company, and an extra thanks to Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria