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

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…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 – 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 – Really getting into vacation mode..week 6

How awesome that you choose to join me for coffee this weekend! Come on out to my balcony. Let’s enjoy some time catching up while sipping some strong coffee, ice tea, or maybe something stronger (it is the weekend after all.) How is your week? What have you been up to? 

Several of my tomato plants are starting to shift colour.

Have you noticed that the tomatoes finally are starting to turn red? My daughter has a birthday on Sunday, and as usual she wants Mexican food at her party (a very small one this year as well, with me and her brother as only guests.) It would be fabulous if I could serve a side salad with our own sweet tomatoes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that, two days left, I think it is very possible. Besides the Mexican food that she always wants for her birthday, there is going to be cake of course. Last year she wanted to make the cake herself, this year she wants me to make it. I have very specific instructions for the cake. It’s going to be a five layer cake with three layers of soft angel cake, and two layers of red velvet cake. There’s going to be homemade creamy vanilla pastry cream between the layers, and a fresh creamy lime pastry cream on the outside, at the top of the cake she wants a layer of marzipan and her name in chocolate..and candles of course. I’ve promised to do my best…we’ll see. On Tuesday we visited a second hand shop that sometimes have gorgeous kitchen items for almost nothing. We were looking for a cake plate big enough for her monster cake. We scored a pretty one for the hefty sum of about fifty cents. LOL. I’ll try to post some photos of the cake on Sunday. I don’t make cakes so often nowadays, but I do enjoy the artistic part. 

My daughter planted an avocado seed this spring, and it is actually growing. I planted some avocado seeds in California, that grew taller than me in a couple years, but I didn’t have them long enough for them to bear any fruit. Watching the process of something you planted from a seed is enjoyable.
Another experiment that my daughter has on the balcony, a lemon seed she planted early June.

It’s been a very pleasant week weather wise here in Dalarna, Sweden. We’ve had no summer thunderstorms this week, and the temperatures have been between 75-80F, just perfect. This week my time have been divided between mountain biking in a nearby nature reserve area, and reading an interesting series of books about a midwife in Stockholm (lazily enjoying the days at my balcony with a glass of ice tea next to me.) What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods?

I’ve spent a lot of time mountain biking at Lugnets nature reserve this week.

My daughter and I met a cousin of mine and her boyfriend, and my aunt, at a cafe with an outdoor seating area today. My cousin and I haven’t seen each other since before Covid started, and it was even longer since I saw my aunt. It was wonderful catching up with them. We kept a safe distance at all times, and there were no hugs, but still so very nice to see them in person. My cousin visited me both in Las Vegas and California when I lived there, we have many amazing memories together. 

Thank you so much for the lovely company, and an extra thanks to Natalie for hosting the weekend coffee share! Please share with me all the wonderful things in your world! Have a fabulous weekend! 

Love,

Maria 

Weekend Coffee Share – I’m back!

I am so happy to be able to offer you some coffee, or tea again! My blogging break is over, and I am back with a new fresh blog; Green Dreams. In my first post on the blog earlier this week I explained how I picked the name. 

Me in one of the comfortable chairs at the balcony this morning, right after getting my first haircut since the pandemic started.

Back to the coffee! What kind of beverage can I tempt you with? There’s hot coffee from the French press (I’m having some right now,) and there’s hot, or cold tea in any flavour you can imagine. If you’d rather have ice coffee I could probably manage that as well. If you where here, visiting me in my home in Sweden, I would offer you to step out on the balcony. It’s 75F and you can have your pick of a comfortable chair in the shade, or in the sun. Half of the balcony is shaded until mid afternoon. Are you comfortable now?

Cherry tomatoes on the way, at my balcony garden.

How have you been? Are you on vacation? I’m enjoying my third week of vacation, four more to come. It’s fantastic, not having to set an alarm, just spend the days any way I please. I have to say that time off was well needed, the past semester was very intense. So far on my vacation I’ve been sleeping, reading several books, riding my bike almost every day (I got a new mountainbike in May,) I’ve had several picnics in beautiful nature with my children, and of course I’ve spent some time tending to my balcony garden.

Large squash leaf. I’m trying to grow the squash vertically, in containers, to maximise my space.
We’ve already harvested some beans, and there’s more on the way.

Do you have any fun plans for the summer? We are having a staycation, but not as strict as last summer. Last summer we literally stayed within one hour of hour house, usually much closer, the whole summer. This summer we are exploring the region of Dalarna, our part of Sweden. Here’s a post I did about a little adventure we had on Wednesday. Dalarna is a rather big region with mountains, big forests, lakes, and farm land. There’s plenty of wildlife in the surrounding forests, such as; elk, deer, brown bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx, and eagle owls. There are some eagle owls that have their nest in the old copper mine here in Falun. They had three owlets (baby eagle owls) this spring, I’ve been looking at them with binoculars on a regular basis, it’s fascinating. When they were first hatched the owlets were super tiny little fluff balls, now they are starting to look like the predators they are (still a little fluffy.) There is a Facebook group where people post daily updates, photos and videos of the owlets, if you are intereted.

Thank you for having coffee with me today, and thank you Natalie for hosting the coffee share! Happy 4th of July weekend! Feel free to share my new blog on your social media, or with anyone that you feel would enjoy some Green Dreams 🙂

Love,

Maria 

Why Green Dreams?

All my life I’ve valued intentional living, with a close connection to nature. I’m in my early 40’s, and naturally this have looked different throughout different stages of my life, I am sure this is true for many people. I am a minimalist at heart. I like the way Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist nails what minimalism is:

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.”

That pretty much describes what minimalism is to me. Minimalism can be pursued in so many different ways. Maybe you ask, what does this so called minimalism look like in my life? I’m so happy you asked!

I choose to make a lot of time for my children.

I choose experiences before possessions.

I choose to not have a car. (Starting with the choice of living where I don’t need one.)

I choose to ride my bike and walk when I need to get somewhere close by (less than 10km/6miles,) and public transportation for longer distances (sustainable public transportation using renewable fuels preferred.)

I choose to not have a TV, but instead watch things I intentionally choose on my laptop. 

I value education, and learning new things. 

I value skills that makes me feel good about my self. (Knowing how to fix things at home, cook from scratch, bake bread, grow my own food etc.)

I make good use of our local library.

I choose to spend time in nature on my free time.

My home is not cluttered with unnecessary stuff, but I have everything I need.

I have a capsule closet, (adjusted to fit the four seasons I have where I live.) 

I choose the name Green Dreams for my blog mainly for two reasons; because I like to consider the environment in my daily choices, and I absolutely love to grow my own food. I am working towards my dream of living a more self-sufficient life, growing the majority of my food myself. Life happens and the dream is still a couple years away, but it is very much alive, especially in the shape of my balcony garden (and the amount of time I spent looking at suitable land on the internet..) I’m not new to the concept of blogging, but decided that I needed a new, fresh start. I hope to reconnect with old blogging friends, and make many new friends. It’s great to see you here! What was your first thought seeing my new blog? What thoughts came to mind when you saw the name Green Dreams? What are your thoughts about minimalism? 

Love,

Maria