Weekend Coffee Share

Hi, and welcome to the weekend coffee share. Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? I’ll let you decide if you want to sit inside, or out outside. How are you? Are you enjoying a great week?

My balcony garden/sunroom today, Nov 20th, 2021. It’s still enjoyable to have coffee here 🙂

This week have been a little out of the norm. On Monday, at our evening meeting at work, our principal told us that she isn’t going to be our principal for very much longer. That she is going to work for another private school. It came as a shock to all of us. I personally really like working for her. From the very beginning, when she hired me almost two years ago, I’ve felt that she understands me, and appreciate everything I do. Of course I’m wishing her good luck at her new job, but I will miss her for sure. Not knowing who the new boss is going to be, and what he/she is going to be like, has some uncertainty to it. I get along with everyone, but I don’t like everyone as much as I like my current boss. In the end it will work out, I know that. 

Last night’s sunset.

Last night when I got home the sunset was glorious! I took these photos standing in my apartment, looking out the window in my living room.

This morning one of my colleges, and I, went to a nearby ski resort that had a huge sale of last years ski equipment. We waited in line, outside, for almost two hours to get in. They helped everyone in separate rooms, there were no crowds inside. Both my college and I, got new (to us) Dynastar carving skis for a fraction of the cost of a new pair. I like snowboarding more than skiing, but when I take the kids at work to the ski slope it’s easier if I ski. Finding used, quality equipment to use when I go skiing with the kids works perfect for me. In USD I paid $35 for a quality pair of used skis, last years model (they only had smaller scratches on the top, the underneath and the edges were in great shape.) It checks many of the boxes in my world. I really like the thought of reusing perfectly good equipment/things. 

We had number 56 in the waiting line. People were really respectful keeping distances, even though there are no official restrictions like that anymore.

Can I give you a refill on your beverage? What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? As you can see in the photo from this morning, our snow is gone. It’s been too warm. It’s starting to get colder again, and next week we are expecting snow for at least 3-4 days. Hopefully it stays this time.

What are you doing this weekend? I have some writing to do, an evaluation of my departments work this semester/end of the year report. It is time-consuming, but I actually enjoy writing this sort of things. I also promised my daughter to build a gingerbread house with her.

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share – first week of November

View from my kitchen towards the living room.

Hi, 

Since Covid numbers are going down drastically, and zero people are being treated at the intensive care unit for Covid in our town (at the moment,) I am inviting you to have coffee in my home! To be on the safe side, let’s keep a distance, but it is SO great to see you here! What can I get you? Can I get you a coffee? Or some tea? I have some delicious green matcha tea, some homemade herbal tea (mix of my own herbs,) and regular black tea (Lipton I believe.) The coffee is dark, rich, and organic, made in the french press. I have to admit the coffee is rather strong, even when I try to make it not as strong as I like it for guests, It always ends up being rather strong. It is good though, that is a promise! Quality coffee is a priority in this home. 

I could honestly say that quality over quantity is true for most things in my life. I try my best to avoid the consumerist lifestyle, only pursue things that adds value to my life, and my children’s life. That filter keeps me content and happy. Speaking of adding value, I’ve arranged a little surprise adventure for my daughter for her winter break. My son usually visits his dad on his breaks, and he is also older, pretty much independent. My daughter on the other hand spend a lot of her free time with me. During Covid I’ve restricted our life to keep us safe, here in Sweden we’ve had recommendations to follow, no lockdowns. I’ve followed the recommendation to the best of my understanding of them, leading to a lot of restrictions for my daughter, like it has for many people around the world. We are still careful, but can allow ourselves a little more freedom now. Because of that I’ve been able to arrange a little surprise, that I believe will lift her spirits. Since it’s a surprise I won’t spoil it by telling you, but I promise that I will write about it in the last coffee share of the year. I’m going to have three weeks off for Christmas/New Year. It’s something to look forward to as the days get shorter. Do you have any plans for Christmas yet? Or is it too early to start thinking about? 

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I baked bread with almond milk, and oats yesterday. It turned out to be delicious. The loaves had a soft, soft inside, and a slightly harder crust (not too hard.) My daughter claimed that this bread is now her favourite. I put some in the freezer. I usually cook and bake a lot in the weekends, and less during the work/school week. I try to make everything we eat from scratch. At least the kids always have the option to eat homemade meals, sometimes they choose other food, but I try my best to give them healthy options. I aim for us to eat by the season, and purchase local ingredients, or grow myself, when possible. Right now we have garlic greens, and an abundance of salad growing at our balcony. There’s some parsnip and other root vegetables on their way (still tiny, I tried some yesterday.) The nights are freezing now, but it is still warm(ish) at my screened in balcony/sunroom. What is the weather like in your area?

Yesterday I took a longer walk all by myself. I walked around two lakes, and taking a shortcut through some picturesque backroads of our town on my way back home. I love going for long walks to clear my head.

The rest of this weekend will be relaxing. I am planning on going for a bike ride later today, I have a little bit of school work to do, I am going to read with my daughter, bake some more bread, and make a nice Sunday dinner for the kids. There is absolutely no stress what so ever. All the important have to’s are already taken cared of. Can I give you a refill on your beverage?  What are you up to this weekend? Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share

Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? If you’d like we could bring it with us and enjoy the beautiful, sunny day outside, or we could sit at the balcony and chat. What do you prefer? How is your week?

I feel like I’m an old record player on repeat when I say that it’s been a great and busy week. We had our first snow on Tuesday, but it only lasted for a couple hours. When the snow stopped, it turned into a very cold rain. We had an evening meeting at work on Tuesday, and when I was riding my bike home in the dark the rain felt extremely cold on my hands. I had the wrong gloves so they got soaking wet (it was 28F and windy that evening.) The rest of the days this week offered perfectly, beautiful cool, but not cold days. We’ve seen the sun on many occasions this week. The sun has been shining all day today. The nights are freezing now. When I was riding my bike around Lake Varpan earlier today, as I usually do at some point in the weekend, it was 32F, and sunny. It was very beautiful! I have great tires on my mountainbike so I’m not worried about patches of ice on the road. I’ve been riding that way so many weekends in a row now that some people are starting to say hi when I ride by their house. I kind of like it! In fact I would love to live in that area, it’s reasonably close to the city, and my work, but still very much the countryside, surrounded by pine forest. I could see myself living in a small house there, with a big garden outside. There are several small farms with horses, sheep, and chickens that I pass by on my ride around the lake. To me it’s just so perfect.

An old stone bridge you have to cross while riding a bike around Lake Varpan. I often stop to admire it.

What else happened this week? My kids have a cold, I don’t. They are on the mend, and I hope they both are well enough to attend school on Monday. My son missed two days of school, my daughter only one. I’m happy they are feeling better. It’s awful to see them sick. 

I’ve spent a few hours finishing up a report about Children in social emotional difficulties, it’s almost done. It’s due on Monday, but I am planning on handing it in tomorrow. The class I am taking (with the same theme as this report,) is of outmost interest, and it inspires my work on a daily basis. I am so happy that I am taking this class. 

I tried to take a photo of the current state of my balcony garden on the 23rd of October, 2021.
In the middle of the photo there are several pots that from a distance looks empty. At a closer look you’ll see these little spikes coming up. It is garlic for next year, planted two weeks ago. I am going to cover the garlic with leaves, to protect them from the coldest cold this winter.
These are greens growing behind me, from where I took the first photo. Considering the nights are freezing now, things look good. My green dreams are alive!

Are you hungry? I have a lentil soup, with the last bell-peppers from the garden simmering on the stove. It’s almost ready to enjoy if you want to stay for a bit and tell me about your weekend. Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share …and future goals

Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea?

It’s been a busy and inspiring week, I could use a coffee break and a good conversation! It is so good to see you! How are you? 

If we have coffee this weekend I would tell you that I’ve made a big decision this week. I’ve decided that the next step in my career, after finishing the class in Social emotional difficulties and special needs education that I am taking right now, will be working towards a Degree of Master of Science, Main Field of Study: Educational Work. I am planning on working towards the degree over a period of three years, while working as a kindergarten teacher at the same time. I am very interested in special needs education, and at some point I will further my knowledge more in that field, but I’ve came to the conclusion that I should start with a Masters of education. I am excited about this.

What is the weather like in your corner of the world? It’s been a somewhat cloudy and rainy week here, with the exception of some cool, clear nights in the beginning of the week, with some sights of northern lights in my area. (I was sound asleep every night, and missed the northern lights.) This weekend is promising some sunshine. Sunshine equals bike rides, and there will be plenty of that this weekend, mixed in with some lesson planning for work, and some school work. It’s going to be a fabulous weekend, I can feel it! I have not been super active in the blogging world lately, but I do enjoy visiting your blogs when I get a chance. I very much enjoy being a part of the blogging community, sometimes a more active part, and when life is busy a little less active, but I am still here!

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

I’m having hot coffee today, what can I get you?

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? There is ice tea in the fridge if you’d like some, but I’m definitely going for some hot, black coffee today. 

Fall is on its way here. We’ve had a high of 10-15C/50-55F this week. Tomorrow it’s suppose to be 21C/70F and partly sunny, giving us perhaps the last day of summer? Earlier this week we’ve had some rainy and very windy days, and some days with a tiny little bit of sun. I like fall weather, except the very windy days. There is a long downhill slope on the bike trail I take on my way home from work, on Thursday afternoon the wind was blowing so hard in my face that I had to work really hard going down that big hill. I think that was the windiest day. (Naturally the wind was blowing in the opposite direction when I was going to work in the morning.)

The garden are showing signs of fall as well. The cold nights are stunting new growth, and many leaves are starting to yellow. 

Today’s harvest
I’m thinking it’s time to make some green tomato/ginger marmalade, it’s SO good with some cheese on salty crackers.
More green tomatoes.

I picked the red tomatoes in the first photo today, but I have maybe 6kg/13lbs of green tomatoes left. I’m thinking of picking all the green tomatoes today, and make green tomato/ginger marmalade. I made it for the first time last year, and it was SO good. 

Last years green tomato/ginger marmalade

Speaking of my garden, I’ve planted some cold weather crops for a winter garden; celery, cauliflowers, and parsnip. It’s an experiment, we’ll see. I might plant some more cold weather crops, like broccoli perhaps. I am definitely going to plant some garlic this fall as well. 

Living in an apartment I don’t have enough space at my balcony to be self-sufficient on vegetables, or legumes. I grew some beans this year, they were delicious, and they are all long gone. Last year about this time I ordered a few big bags of different types of dried beans, and lentils from an organic wholesale site. I decided to do the same this year, minus the lentils since I still have some left. I received them yesterday; 5kg/11lbs black beans, 5kg/11lbs kidney beans, and 5kg/11lbs garbanzo beans. I also ordered a 1lbs bag of an organic sprouting seed mix, that I love having on my sandwiches, in my salads, and as topping on soups. It feels good to be stocked up on the basics. Next month I’m hoping to score some locally grown turnip and carrots, they are being harvested in September and are usually very inexpensive to purchase in bulk during harvest time. Hopefully I will be able to grow all my own beans, and veggies myself in the future. For now this works great.

What have you been up to this week? There is a big Covid outbreak in town. One class at my daughters school is closed. When I picked her up on Thursday she had a sore throat and a stuffed nose. I ordered a Covid test for her, she’s going to take the test on Monday morning at a nearby medical center. (Tests are actually done in a tent outside the medical center, to avoid spreading the virus.) Adults do self tests at home if they have symptoms, but children aren’t allowed to do that. My son started to feel ill today, he is also going to get tested. I hope they just have a cold. (I feel great.) There’s so much to do at work now with the startup of a new group and a new semester. I am leading my team from home the best I can when I cannot be at work physically, but it is difficult. Especially in the beginning of a new semester I think it’s extremely important to lead by example, which is hard to do from home. My colleagues do know that they can call me anytime for support, and input when I’m at home, and they do. I also know that they are doing a great job, but still..

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 

Growing in my balcony garden

Today’s tomato harvest

We are nearing the end of the gardening season in my part of Sweden. The tomato harvest have been bountiful this year. The photo above picture today’s tomato harvest. I imagine that there will be similar amounts of tomatoes every day until the first frost in 2-3 weeks. I am very happy with this season, the first at a new location. The first year at a new spot is always trial and error to some degree. I will do some things different next year, but overall I am very happy.

This tomato is on its way to becoming salsa 🙂

I only got a couple figs this year, but my tree is very young. I purchased it last year, and expect a better harvest in 1-3 years. I am very grateful that one out of my two fig trees survived moving during freezing temperatures last December.

What are you growing in your garden? This post is a respons to this week’s Sunday Still, temporarily hosted by Natalie, since my friend Terri is busy this week. Please join us here!

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – out of the ordinary

Coffee at my balcony

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? It’s still warm enough to enjoy a cup together at my balcony. I closed the glass panels a couple weeks ago, and now it’s like a little greenhouse again. Most of the veggies are harvested already, just a few tomatoes, and some bell peppers left. We’ve been blessed with an abundance of tomatoes this year. How are things in your world?

If we were having coffee I would tell you that things have been a little out of the ordinary this week, for several reasons. We welcomed new students to my class. That is always very exciting, getting to know new individuals and their guardians. 

There was some serious flooding in the region (not close to where I live.) It rained moderately Monday and Tuesday, but started to rain heavily the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. I rode my bike Monday and Tuesday (trying out my new rain-gear,) but had planned on taking the bus on Wednesday, since I knew I was going to get my second Covid vaccine dose in the afternoon (I got so dizzy after the first one.) While I was chatting along with a friend that happened to take the same bus on Wednesday morning a lady on the bus starts screaming, I looked out the window, and this was what I saw. 

I work a little outside the city, and this is not close to the center of the city, or my home. Many of the roads, and some houses in the region was damaged after the worst flooding in over 30 years. In the city of Gävle, one hour South-East from us, the flooding caused some real damage in a couple neighbourhoods. As far as I know no human was injured by the flooding. The flooding here, and the horrible fires going on in so many places in the world are a real cause of concern. At some point in the future I still plan on having a homestead, even though I’ve had to change the location several times the past few years (due to fires in Northern California, and drought/bad air quality at the property in Arizona.) It is still my dream. So many variables to consider; I need water, but it cannot be too close to water (danger of flooding.) I need trees (healthy air quality, and firewood,) but the area can not be too dry (fire danger,) but I do need it to be sunny enough for gardening..Sometimes I wonder if this place exists.LOL. I know I will find the right spot one day. I am not in the business of purchasing a place today, or even this year, but I look at different options and keep track of the market (land prices,) and weather data for different places almost daily. 

I got my second Covid vaccine dose on Wednesday, and had a reaction to it. After the first dose I got dizzy. After the second dose I was dizzy at first, but not as bad as after the first dose (I was extremely dizzy for three days, didn’t dare to leave my home.) The morning after the second dose, on Thursday I woke up at 4.30 am with a fever of 101F/38.5C. I had a fever for 24hours, and then it disappeared. My body ached yesterday (Friday,) but I felt pretty good otherwise, today Saturday I feel great again. I didn’t go to work Thursday and Friday, but yesterday I got a lot of work done from home. 

Now I am ready for a relaxing weekend. There’s no other plans than doing little things around the house that always needs to be done, clean up a little on the balcony, maybe read a little, go for some walks, rest, spend time with my daughter, have a nice family dinner on Sunday. (We always make Sunday dinner a little more special.) It is a beautiful cool, sunny day outside, 51F/11C right now, and we expect it to warm up to 62F/17C later in the day. The leaves have not started to change colours yet, but that’s probably not that far away.

What’s you plans for the weekend? 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 

Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share! Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? Hot, or cold? 

It’s a gorgeous day outside, about 72F. My daughter and I took the long way home after work. We walked along the river that runs through the city, we stopped and looked at beautiful flower arrangements, and enjoyed ice cream at one of our favourite ice cream places. It’s still (late afternoon,) beautiful outside, and I might take another walk later, right now I am enjoying sitting down here with you for a spell. How are you doing? How is your week so far?

Falu River, taking the long way home from work today.

If we had coffee, or tea, I would tell you that the beginning of the week was rough. My daughter had some kind of stomach bug.. no details needed.. Let’s skip to the end of the work-week, the kids in my group are starting to come back after their summer vacation. I am excited about the new group of children I am blessed to spend time with this year. It is always super exciting getting to know a new group of children, and all the unique individuals in the group. Today I ended up answering a lot of questions about dinosaurs! Am I really sure that no dinosaur ever ate a human being? Or? Am I really, really sure? I love how every day is full of surprises when you spend them with 5 year olds. 

My balcony garden is doing great. The past month I’ve harvested more than 5kg/11lbs of tomatoes, and there is more to come. I’d say that this gardening season have been rather successful. In the beginning of the summer there was beans and peas. We’ve had some herbs and salad throughout most of the summer. I am happy with the result, even though I can think of some changes I will consider next season.

What’s you plans for the weekend? 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