Monday, August 30

News break

Which would be a break for me, from reading the news. Life is great as a student. Time alone, sun streaming through the windows, piles of books, articles, adventure and opinion just waiting.
Children running around at kindergarten and husband at work.

Important tip and this months One Small Change for the benefit of ourselves, our environment and those around us: The Washing Nuts.
Here is a link for you Norwegians on where to buy them. They are good for the environment, good for your skin, for your clothes. Everything. And they are cheap, fair trade, organic, and they WORK. Believe me, I just washed a load of BAD cloth diapers. They are clean: smell clean, look clean, feel clean.

It is a small nut from India and Nepal, the shells contain saponin, which turns into soap when in contact with warm water, Been used for eons as natural soap.
Never again will I use chemical substances for washing anything. Totally unnecessary.
Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.

Thursday, August 26

Autumn winds

first signs of autumn.

We love couchsurfers. Baz from Australia and Kate from Utah have been with us three nights, left today for Voss. For all the lovely families out there, opening your home for the world is an amazing concept, and works great with kids. They get to practise their English, communicate and feel the importance of opening your home to travelers and strangers.

Baz came back from hiking up Folgefonna glacier, and out of the blue, whipped up an apricot souffle. We had been in a Tiramisu experimental phase, which has now been replaced by souffles. Raspberry today. Tomorrow...

Sunday, August 22

Sunday Serenity

lunch. homemade labneh with garlic and cumin, homemade/slow-food salad from the garden and roasted potatoes.

I love Sundays. And I love trying to make them different from other days. The day is white, according to our Waldorf rythm. White, clean, serene. We show it in our clothes, our table and the way we move; clean and calm.

We baked sunbread for lunch. A ritual I would like to continue everyweek. You can vary the dough, but the concept is wonderful. I had Jasmin hooked on the whole process. She has been fleeting annd not foucused lately, so it was quite a feat for her. Presented it for dad at lunch.

lea loves daddy.

funny thing is, if they get to choose, lea chooses the doll and buggy-
noa his speedster bike.
no point in fighting against nature.

a small ode to my friend charlotte's house out in fykse. they have made this amazing garden area, beautifully done. and noa.

It is raining today. Real rain. First signs of autumn have arrived, back with more later.

Friday, August 20

Mountaineering 2

As I have mentioned previously, we are into hiking now-a-days with the kids. Amazing how far a two year old can run! These are from a few weeks ago. Just a simple after dinner walk. Almost two hours, up and down. Beautiful area we live in now. Looks almost like the jungle. Anders is the photographer- thus all me, no him.

::this moment::

::a friday ritual. a single photo capturing a moment from the week.

mountaineering. from the protest march last weekend. 4km hike. photo by journalist camilla kvamme.

Orange Pumpkins

Stocked up on dates, nuts and feta.

Went a little bananas at an arab grocers shop in Bergen a few weeks ago. Everything is so much cheaper and fresher and better in town. Ah, the sorrows of living rural! Well, went a little crazy at this small shop, and came home with f.ex. a 7 kilo pumpkin, 5 kilos chickpeas, beans, parsley and miscellaneous you just cannot get out in the district. Like REAL hot chili flakes...

We have had pumpkin soup a few times, baked it in bread, and so on. Wonderful and nutritious. And very orange. Matches the late summer now well. We are enjoying hot summer days, but the cold autumn is always lurking in the back of my mind, I just keep expecting to start putting hats on the kids, and the rain getting cold, and the oak trees fading. BUT they don't. So, life moves along. Official daycare start gone well. Lucky that Noa and Lea are so old they can speak up for themselves. And say how much they missed me and love me when I pick them up.

I am bunkered down in the office, trying to write and read and do all these adult tasks. Lucky life indeed. Teh break from constant childcare is welcomed. I feel graced to able to just be me for a while, do my yoga and breathe, read what I studying with full concrentration and gusto. Very exciting.

August, by Ruth Elsassar

Am keeping up with the rhythm of our days I feel though all the same. We pick up the children at 14.45. Home to relax, we make dinner together and eat at 16.30. Which leaves wonderful time to DO things. Take walks in the wood, swimming in big basins of warm water out on the deck. We still watercolor paint, draw every morning breakfast and do arts and crafts, though they will mostly be on the days I am home with them all.

Tuesdays wildflowers,pressed on watercolor painted boards
(sample wooden floor boards we receive in the mail for the new house)

Beautiful Lebanese singer/ songwriter

I was lucky enough to experience beautiful Youmna Saba twice while I was in Beirut.

She is wonderful. Lyrics in Arabic of course, but just listen!

Here is a link to a few songs.

I have not been able to find a legal way to purchase her music online yet. She will be releasing a full length album hopefully this autumn. You could always use the illegal version and send her $10...

Sunday, August 8

Simple Sunday

July's painting in our birthday calendar, by Ruth Elsassar.

Constantly drying woolies.

Say no more.

Summer days are longer then others. And they are crammed, packed, full with what and where and packing- unpacking. Beach, mountain, walk, picnic, snacks, coffee, tea, rain, boots, sandals. The weather is shifting, but warm. Been alone with the kids since Wednesday, and am getting into the routine, the meal planning, the songs, and the clothes, the laundry and the washing up.

Today we had second breakfast up in the woods, in the rain. We all came home drenched. Did not help they all decided to go wading in the lake with there clothes on. Their boots were NOT waterproof when the water levels reached their armpits, and flowed down the insides of their rain pants.

We had lunch outside in the garden with homemade soup and bread. Then, after watercolour painting and miscellaneous catastrophes, we ended up heading down to the beach at 4pm, the sun beating down, and went swimming. Back to make dinner, falafel with all the extras, and then off to bath, story, bed. Well, that is our days.

There are small things in our environment that are vital components of our day worth mentioning. The play silks are always in use, everywhere-all the time. The bird feeders we have hanging outside are a frequent focus, and conversation topic. Jasmin is an avid and genius, Memory -game player (the one where you find two of the same). She gets me to play all the time. I tell myself it is good brain food for me as well.

Birthday breakfast, with our birthday ring, and main gift wrapped in 5 silks, to be taken off one by one.

My little girl has reminded once and for all how old I am getting. She turned 5 in July, spent a wonderful morning eating breakfast outside with Farfar (Anders' dad) and Bente. Hard to fathom at some times. Other times, when she is arguing her point to her mother, I believe it.

The greatest change in our lives at the moment starts tomorrow. Jasmin will be switching to the outdoors- kindergarten here where we live. All 5 year olds, running around outside all day, based in a lavvo (a Norwegian tee-pee) if it rains. It will great for her. She has never been the ultimate sit-still-and draw-girl. She does, but would rather rough-house, and run up a trail.

The little ones will starting kindergarten too, three days a week, so I can finish my degree before it gets outdated (or I do...). I am excited for them, but already dread the moments I will miss out on, the small ow's I will not be able to blow on, and the smiles that will be gone to the wind. I am happy for myself too, seems like a vacation at the moment, the thought of NO kids, just ME, and books, papers, lunch and my Mac. I know things will look different as the deadline creeps up, but for now, all is joy.

Lea and farfar.

The whites beaches of Denmark. And crawly kids.

Anders and I planned LAST summer we were going to both get a kite surfing course this summer. That was our adrenalin ration for the year. When we lost the house and was dragged through the insurance this winter, we decided to post bone it, till we had time AND money. (Well, truth be, Anders is taking a weekend course this COMING weekend, so we have one down...) Anyway, second best was slack lining. Anders bought a small set-up, and we practised as we travelled around Denmark. Super fun, and easy to learn. And children get it quite quick.

Wednesday, August 4

Time flies when you are having fun

Even my father started to complain about the never changing blog page...

Time had flown by, we have returned home now, and reentered normality. It has been hectic, wonderful, and an amazing two months. Lebanon, Denmark, Trondheim, Hitra and back to Hardanger.

Anders will continue traveling to work on a boat festival, kitesurfing in Oslo and signing *insha'allah* the contract with potential contractors in a few weeks.

Will be back with more, as we reenter housekeeping, back to school for me, and the wonderful autumn to come.