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 – Life is good

Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea? It’s a beautiful fall weekend in my part of Sweden, around 50F/10C. We’ve had a mostly cloudy week, with some rain. The trees are still glorious with golden yellow, and orange colours. Even though I am a single mom of two, working full time, I make time for walking in nature every day. I need that recharge of my mental batteries on a daily basis. Did you have a chance to enjoy nature this week? What is the weather like in your corner of the world?

Walking home from work yesterday.

Work and school have been great this week, very rewarding. My family is in good health. My projects are going in the right direction. I even started a new little project, crocheting a winter hat for a baby boy (not yet born.) I’ll post photos when the project is done, after gifting the hat to my pregnant friend. 

One of my favourite trails last Sunday.

My heart is filled with gratitude. After sleeping in to almost 7am (!) I deep cleaned my entire home this morning. (7am I almost midday for me. LOL. I was extremely tired yesterday.) The weeks laundry is done. Grocery shopping taken cared of, I had groceries for the next three weeks delivered on Thursday. I’m definitely ready for a fabulous weekend! I have school books to read, but I am ahead of my schedule, nothing is really pressing. I’m going to spend time with my children this weekend, ride my bike, do some blogging, and prepare healthy meals for next week. Perhaps I’ll rearrange some plants around the house. How is your week?

A groove of young aspen trees close to work.

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

There is a lot of reading (for school) going on at my house this weekend, but I would be most happy to take a little break and enjoy a beverage with you. Let’s sit here by the window. The leaves on the birch and aspen trees outside display such lovely fall colours. We do not eat a lot of candy at our house, but this weekend my daughter and I are splurging a little, my son is visiting his dad and it’s just us girls and hundreds of pages that needs to be read (mostly for me, but my daughter has some homework as well.) I figure some candy would make it a little more fun. Have some!

How is your week? I’d say that we’ve had a great, productive week so far. A good mix between work and play. I had a teacher’s seminar with my colleagues on Thursday, it went very well and we got a lot of things done. The school I work for is a private school and it aims to be in the lead when it comes to young children’s education. We, the teachers, and other employees, get educated on a regular basis to constantly improve our work. I really like that! We are expected to work hard and show good results, but I think that they provide good tools for us. It’s a rewarding job in many ways.

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 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 

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 

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