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 

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