Weekend Coffee Share

Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share!

It’s a lovely, peaceful Saturday morning at my house. There is a soft rain outside my window. I have one window slightly open to be able to hear the sound of the rain. Looking out the window I see that most of the birch, and aspen trees are green, some are starting to turn into beautiful yellow, and red, but for the most part they are still green. It looks very lush outside. There are signs that fall is approaching though, the temperature is cool at night, in the upper 30’s. Daytime temperature stays around a comfortable 60F. Summer is hanging on by a thin thread. I rode my bike up to my gardening plot earlier this week and even though everything was very green, I wasn’t met by a jungle of new growth. I actually feel comforted by the slower pace that nature guides me towards. It’s wonderful, and well needed, a contradiction to how fast the rest of the world moves. Fall is meant to be enjoyed. 

I’m sorry I got distracted, how would you like your coffee? Or perhaps I can offer you some tea today? There’s some freshly baked full-grain ciabatta straight from the oven, if I may tempt you with a breakfast sandwich to go with your beverage? I prepared the bread dough yesterday, and it’s been slowly rising in the fridge over night, to be baked in the morning. It’s such an easy way to give weekend mornings a little extra sparkle. How are things in your world? What are you up to this weekend?

Riding my bike to work yesterday morning I stopped for a moment and enjoyed this gorgeous view.

I have some wild plans of tinkering around the house, do a little gardening, and read some books this weekend. I’m going to take out all the warm weather crops, and continue building a new hugelkultur bed at the gardening plot. 

My squash plant earlier this week. I was given a tiny plant in mid July. I planted it right before an unexpected heat wave, I believe that caused the plant to stress a bit, and that might be the reason why so far it only produced male flowers. I’m hoping there’s still enough hours of sun shine and warmth for some female flowers (= harvest.) I haven’t got a single squash yet, but the plant is healthy, and the soil perfect. Still hoping.

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.

-Audrey Hepburn

Speaking of farming, I adopted one avocado tree and one mango tree from a crowd farming project this week (this particular project only deliver to European countries, but the concept exists in other places around the world.) It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a while. I’m starting out with two trees that I can not grow in my region, and if it works well I’ll adopt other trees as well. I almost adopted a pomegranate tree, but decided to wait and see how this works out first. We would love to adopt olive and fig trees as well. The farmers that grow the trees I adopted this time, two different farmers, have their farms in Spain. They are both connected to this organic farming project. By adopting a tree you support their organic farm, good sustainable farming techniques, and get a part of their harvest (you can see the minimum harvest you get on the site.) There are no middle hands, you get your produce straight from the farmer. They take responsibility for coordinating the delivery in a climate friendly way. There are many farms to choose from when you decide to adopt a tree, and some allows for visits. Spain isn’t that far away and perhaps my daughter and I visit one day, it would be a very interesting vacation. My daughter LOVES mangoes, always have. When she was an infant and first started to eat solids, mango was her number one favourite. She laughed out loud when I told her that I adopted a mango tree in her name. I’ll keep you posted about the progress.

I hope your week is fabulous! Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love and gratitude,

Maria  

Weekend Coffee Share – Inspiration for the new school year

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? How are you? 

This week have gone by so fast. The weather’s been beautiful, around 75F most of the time, cooler at night. On Wednesday there was a meeting at my daughter’s new school, they showed us more of the school, and we meet the mentors. I talked to some of the other parents, and that felt great. Everyone was very nice. Both my daughter and I are happy with her new school. It’s well organised and seem to have great teachers. There’s a new principal starting this semester and I liked what she said during her introduction speech as well. 

Dalecarlia Hotel & Spa, in Tällberg (Sweden)

On Thursday and Friday I attended a teachers’ conference with my new colleagues. It was very inspiring. The conference was located in a beautiful setting at Dalecarlia Hotel & Spa, less than one hour from home. It was 120+ teachers attending, principals, and lectures in special needs education. This years focus areas were presented to us, and suggestions of ways to reach the goals that were set. The lectures were very inspiring, and we were also given time to have reflective conversations with our teams, and write educational plans.

The food was wonderful. We all had a two course meal in the magnificent restaurant Thursday night, and a lovely breakfast buffet Friday morning. I really like my new colleagues, and I feel that we all opened up more during these two days of inspiration. I wouldn’t mind having a start-up like this at the start of every new school year! I also talked to many teachers from other schools in our district. It was a great opportunity to learn from each other and be inspired by the amazing job of our colleagues. 

During another work session with my team we choose to sit outside, under the restaurant.
The ever present view of Lake Siljan surely inspired us!

After the work day was finished on Thursday one of my closest colleague and I decided to take a walk down to lake Siljan. Yes, you may recognise that it is the same lake that I’ve written about on several other occasions. It is a huge lake located in the middle of our region Dalarna, covering an area of 112 square miles (290 square km; including Orsa and In lakes, 137 square miles [354 square km]), it is Dalarna’s largest lake. There’s several towns and villages built all around the lake. Including the town where I was born, Mora, and the town where we went camping the other weekend, Rättvik.

The walk was slightly longer than we anticipated, but was well worth the trouble. The water was almost as warm as the air. Tällberg, the name of the little village where the resort is located is as picturesque as they come these little villages around Lake Siljan. There’s old farms, and log houses/cabins built centuries ago, carefully kept and restored. Many of the new houses are built with the same methods and materials to blend in. It is almost painfully beautiful.

Lake Siljan

When we got back to the resort we enjoyed a lovely two course meal in the restaurants, followed by drinks at the huge balcony watching the sunset over the lake.

I’m thinking about printing, and framing this one.

My photos doesn’t do justice to the scenery, but perhaps you can get a sense of the experience. I can highly recommend an in person visit! I am extremely grateful for this kick-start to the new school year. I can’t imagine a more inspiring way to get started.

This weekend my daughter and I are doing little things around home that needs to be taken care of. I am going to work at my garden plot at some point. I’m in the process of preparing a new hugelkultur bed. In other words, a relaxing weekend. I also have plenty of inspiring books to read, related to school/work and others (gardening/homesteading books.)

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. How is your week? What are you up to this weekend?

Love,

Maria