Tuesday, March 31, 2009

We are all tired at work now, because the change to summer time. I get up 4:45 am every morning to go to work and now my body screams that I have one hole hour before I have to get up even if my clock say otherwise :-) My dogs seemes also to be confused. I never have to drag them down to the kitchen normally :-) It´s pitch black again in the mornings too. Before the timechange I had daylight when I started to drive to work. I know, it´s just a matter of time until it´s light again but I don´t care I´m feeling stubborn because of these early mornings :-)

Magpies are funny birds, but can be a nusens too intelligent as they are. If they see anything shiny or colourful and it´s small enough they´ll steel it if they get the chanse :-) One of my neighbours had a tame once and that bird were even wors than my Kaja (was it Jack Draw they were called Woody?)

On the brighter side though, is that we are getting so much warmer weather now. Today we have had 13C (55F) and that I like :-) Still very early in spring and April can be snowy and very cold here. Last Year winter didn´t arrive until the last week in April. When Easter came so did the cold weather. For me that likes Nort American trees and bushes it almost were a catastrofy (well that was a bit too much to be honest, minor backdraw is a better word I think) because they had started to get leafs. Some things died and others was rather much frozen. But what doesn´t kill strengthens as my mormor (grandmother on mothers side) always said.

Last year they tried to build a nest in my neighbours spruce, but he tore it down every time. This year they have this nest in the crab apple tree beside my dogyard. They will probably be teasing my dogs all summer :-)

My dogs were barking like crazy when I got home today. Not because of me comming home I think, but I had managed to lock both my cats in the garage this morning :-) They sat in the window facing the dogyard and my dogs wanted to help them I think. I hope they caught the mice that use to walk around in my car every night, leaving their droppings everywhere. I´m a bit tired of them now I can say. Have a mouse trap in one of the seats but the little rodents avoid it like it is the pest :-)

The three first crocuses in my garden this year! This is a species found wild in Turkey.

Tomorrow it´s Wednesday and as usual I woun´t write a blog, but I´ll probably visit Yours if I have the time.
See You!

Monday, March 30, 2009

I´m going to change my working hours starting this week and a bit into the future. We don´t have alot to powder paint, but we do have a lot in the ordinary paiting and there´s only one man working there. We can´t stand there and paint at the same time so I´m now going to work Monday to Wednesday in the powder painting departement and on Saturdays and Sundays in the wet paint departement. So my weekend is going to be on Thursday and Friday. I live by my slef so I can do as I please when it comes to when my weekend is. I told the owner that I most likly is going to take my dogs with me then and he had no problems with that at all :-)

This Talgoxe shows with its wings that it doesn´t want compny at the tallow ball.

But the Bluetit doesn´t understand that :-)

They now think that we have almost fourteen thousand cranes by the lake. They couldn´t count them this morning, because one of those who had rented one of the boxes that stands in the middle of all cranes had gone to sleep while waiting for the cranes to arriwe. When he woke up he disturbed all cranes so they flew away :-) :-) The poor man got a lot of problems by doing that. It´s absolutly forbidden to disturb the cranes You see.

So finally the Bluetit has the tallow ball all for it self :-) Even if they are really small they are really agressive.

Those who thinned out the forest stopped the water of pouring as it should, so now there is a little pond slowly growing there :-)

I can feel in the air that spring is comming for real now. I can´t say what it is, but i recognise it every time I feel it. We have strong winds from south west now and that means warmer weather here in the spring. Unfortunally it usually also means a lot of rain, but one can´t get it all as we say here in Sweden. I´m sorry to say that even if I found the video with me (and at the moment I can´t) in the garden program I can´t show it here on the blog. I would get a lot of problems with the Swedish television, they own the copyright You see. I´ve tried to find it on their site on the internet, but they don´t seeme to have it there any longer. Don´t know what I can do about it at the moment.

These tree fungus doesn´t get old in the same way mushrooms does. They become really hard and can be used in the stove to start a fire there.

Now it´s time to make a couple of sandwiches I think. I baked a bread yesterday and it is delicious I can tell You :-) That and a glass of milk will be perfekt. I love milk and if it was possible I wouldn´t mind living of ot totally :-) But as they say, to much of anything never is never a good thing :-)
Have a nice day now!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I woke up to a mystical world today, everything was and still is covered in thick fog. Only I , my dogs and about ten thousad cranes were awake when we took our walk. It could have been a magical morning if it only had been a couple of cranes shouting, but that feeling sort of dissaperes when the cranes makes a wall of sounds :-)

These trees stand about one hundred meters (328 feet) in front of me and can hardly be seen.

Our nesting couple arriwed this morning too. We had just arriwed home when I heard one of them shout just near my cottage flying down to its territory. I walked as fast as I could round the cottage to get a picture of it in the fog while flying down. Of course it took the way on the other side of my cottage so it dissapered in the fog before I could get a picture of it. Its spose had already landed further down at the field.

With a bit of imagination one understands that passing through "the Portal" one enteres a magical country :-)

The Swedish women got a silvermedal in the World Championshps in curling this morning :-) They met China and the chinese team wiped the ice with the swedish team :-) You should have heard what the swedish skipper said about her and her teams efforts during the game. Lousy was on of the words we heard her say :-) I´ve bocome really fond of curling and it´s so much more than just throw a big stone on the ice. Unfortunally we only have a chanse to see it when it´s one of the big games going on, like the Olympics ore World championships. Strange really because Sweden usually is one of the best countries in the world in that sport. I´ve heard that pepole in Canada can se the national leage on tv, that is something we´ll never be able to do.

I have a lot to say about swedish television if I would like to, but will only write about one thing I always wondered about. In most countries if a tv program is popular they don´t change to much in it. Why change something that works? In Sweden it´s a bit different (now I´m talking about the biggest Tv company, Swedish Television). They think more like this: If something is popular it must be something wrong with it, let us change it :-) If a program have been showed more than five years and, despite a lot of changes, still is popular they shut it down :-)

The fog even had the strength to get inte the forest today. That doesn´t happen often.

Take for instance the only good garden program we´ve ever had, Green Rooms. It had over one million watchers every week and that´s not bad for a country with nine million people and to be honest, it was a garden program. Then they decided that they wanted something else, they wanted a program about garden design instead. They got loads of protest mails (paper and computor) and the answer we got was: “There are enough of people that knows how to plant a rose.” Of course the design program never got a lot of people watching it, therefore they showed it a couple of years more. No one liked it, therefore it must be a great program :-) Nowdays we´re watching Brittish garden programs instead :-)

The crabapple tree and my dogyard.

Well to be honest I´m a bit biased when it comes to that peticular tv program. I was on it when I opened up my gardencenter. They thought it would be fun to follow someone that tried to make a dream come true. I have such great memories of those two women that came and filmed me for a long time :-) We had a lot of fun these days and You should know what they did to get permission to film me at Volvo where I worked then. Or the many times we had to film the same thing over and over again, just because we all started to laughe all the time :-)
Perhaps I´ll tell You more about that some other time.
But for now, have a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It stopped to rain rather soon yesterday and so there is some snow left outside. The rain that is closing in on us seemes to go a bit north of us.

The sky changed a lot while walking with my dogs this morning. At first it was only cloudy.

I had a million and one idea of what to write about today, but now it seemes that my brain have shut down totally :-) Can´t remember any of those ideas now :-)

Then the fog came in.

More and more high bosses in buisnesses are now saying no thanks to big bonuses, they are now doing what we call a “Pudel” (Poodle in english I think). By that we mean they do the opposite from what they said a couple of months ago (sort of lie on their backs begging of forgiveness) :-) For some reason they didn´t think that share holders and customers would mind if they got big fat bonuses when the buisness went bad :-)

Suddenly it was quite clear again.

Our minister of finances was one of their biggest critics, but he sort of forgot that he himself had approved big bonuses for high bosses in state owned companies. So a couple of weeks ago he made a Poodle :-) Then the top chief in the biggest union started to shout about those bonuses until it showed that she her self approved big bonuses and pensions to high bosses while sitting in the board of big companies, so she then made a poodle too :-) But then trying to say that she was deceived when signing those decisions about the bonuses and pensions. That was a bad poodle, no one belives her :-)

Then the sun showed it self for some minutes. My cats was as usual with us on the walk and today they shouted more than usual. Don´t know why but they sure weren´t happy walking around on the roads with us.

They have found big pieces of glass in frozen chicken here. At first they belived it might be an accident, but now it´s clear that it´s sabotage. Someone have been putting in big pieces of glass in loads of frozen chickens, so now we probably will have trouble buying frozen chicken, they have all been sent back to the factory. We have one really active group of people here that are against all consumtion of living animals (or use of their milk and so forth), but they have never done something this big before.

And suddenly the fog came back again.

Tonight it´s our turn to loose one hour of our lives. I´ve never understood why we have to do that nowdays and my body will tell me for weeks that I´m going up one hour earlier every day. I wouldn´t mind it if we kept the clock that way all year round, but in autumn we change time back to normal again. They´ve done a studie here that shows the rate of heart attacks is dramaticly higher those two days on the year. This little hour change is that stressful for the heart that I think it´s a bit stupid to change the time every half year. I think we should have Brittish time here all the time instead.

Well that wasn´t bad, I could write a lot today even if I had forgotten what to write about :-) It´s quite early yet and the sun? is shining now and again :-) Perhaps I will make a pot of tea or perhaps coffee and sit my self down on the kitchen stairs and see if I can see any cranes up in the sky :-)
have a nice Saturday now!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I would have liked to tell You how the sun was shining today. How the birds were singing and how the sky was filled with cranes, swans and geese. But I can´t. What I can tell You is how I woke up seeing how it snowed outside 04:45 this morning and how it sounded when the wind howled ouside my cottage.

My dogs were happy though, they love cold weather and snow and because of all snow they were totally clean when I came home :-) Nothing bad that doesn´t make something good happen as we say here in Sweden.

I took this picture on a break at work early this morning. It continued to snow almost all day.

Now it has started to rain outside and already tomorrow it will become warmer, so all snow is surly gone tomorrow. This is what we call April weather so i hope that we can get May weather now when April soon is here :-)

There once was a cobbler in souther Sweden that every spring closed his shoemaking shop and then he put up a sign that said: “Closed between bird cherry and lilac bloom” and I think that he probably had his vacation at the best time of the year. Of course I like to have vacation during summer when it´s to hot to work. I work just beside a hughe owen so when summer comes I have to drink up to eight litres (about 2,1 US gallons or 1,8 UK gallons) of water not to get dehydrated. But to be honest, late April and May is the best months of the year when everything is new and fresh.

But it had started to melt when I came home even if it continued to snow now and again all afternoon.
Joan Rivers is a real funny woman I can say. I just seen a “Doctors” show on TV and she made me laughe all the time :-) The show was about plastic surgery today and usually I don´t think that is so funny :-)
I hope You all have better weather than I do, so have a nice Friday now!

My dogs loves it so who can be mad about the snow then?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I took half the day of from work today, because I would get a visit later this afternoon and I had to clean the house a bit :-) The problem with having a fire heated stowe is that there is soot all over the house, even if there isn´t a stop in the chimney. So when I started to wipe of the kitchen yesterday on one place, I had to do the whole kitchen. When the kitchen was finished I realised that I had to clean everywhere on the bottom floor before the visit :-)

You should have seen tha sky yesterday, it was filled with cranes.

Why then was it so important to clean the house? Well, one of the visitors was an old lady thet was a customer of mine when I had the gardencenter,. Another was my neighbour at the gardencenter. She sort of adopted me during that time :-) So when the finances went down the drain and I didn´t have any money to buy food to myself (my dogs always got their food), she invited me to dinner every day :-) So when she finally came to visit me I felt it was important that it was presentable here :-) She is 80 years old and has resently gotten a new hip so I really checked that there were no dogtoys on the floor :-)

There is still some snow in the forest.

They now say that there is over eight thousand cranes by the lake and have put up webcameras on the place where I took the crane pictures. If You click on “Cranes” you are going to be able to see the cranes live. But You have to remember that if You live on the american continent there is a big time difference. We are six hours before You if You live on the eastcoast and nine hours before You if You live by the westcoat.

I took a look on the surroundings by the factory where I work. It´s quite beautiful actully.

There came five big groups with cranes in the sky when I walked the dogs yesterday and I took loads of pictures. Unfortunally only one picture was good enough to be shown :-) But there were over fifty in the sky beside each other. The nights are still very cold here and this night they say that there will come up to one decimeter (four inches)of snow. It was a bit early to hope for spring last week. Normally it wount start until April here.

Now it´s time to see who is going to be Swedens worst driver :-) Fortunally none of them live close to me :-)
Have a nice evening now!

Even if I work in a small town or perhaps a village is a better name, there is farms all around :-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A little about sweeds and Sweden.

Woke up this night when the house started to tremble. Couldn´t understand what happened at first, but then I heard the wind. It must have been storming for a short while I think, outherwise the house wouldn´t tremble like that. Unfortunally the wind came from north east and my cottage always gets freezing cold then. The arctic winds has flown down over our country all day and will continue to do so for a couple of days. The newspapers screamed that we were going to have extreme weather this week, but when I read what the article said I understood that we just were going to have normal March weather :-) :-) But they had probably no other news yesterday and extreme weather always sells copies :-)

Today I had to walk in the forest because the arctic wind was terrible out on the fields.

Perhaps You want to know something about Sweden and the sweeds?

It seemes that sweeds is seen as some what stupid out there in Europe :-) In Spain they have a saying: “Don´t make Your self sweedish”, by that meaning “don´t make Your self more stupid than you are” :-) And in Brittain they call the rutabaga for a sweed :-) I don´t think that we are more stupid though. But when we think we know someone very well we have a tendency to trust them what ever they say or do.

There were two deers that didn´t get especially bothered by me and my dogs.

If You walk into a home in Sweden (as in Japan)You always take of Your shoes as soon You are indoors. It´s a big NO NO to let Your shoes stay on Your feet, unless they who lives there says that You can keep them on. I have three big dogs that makes the floors at my home durty, I usually tell people to have their shoes on :-)

We have the highest taxes in the world, but few complaines about it. Sometimes we actully wants it that way :-) But we do get a lot for the money. For instance we never pay more than (in todays American dollar price) 218 dollars for healthcare a year. The same amount for medicines too. So next time I have to get my hip fixed I only pay that amount.

The little creek once again has a layer of ice. It´s awfully cold at nights now.

Suicide is the most common way to die here if You are between 15 and 44 years old, but we are far from being worst of that in the world. We have everything to be honest, but still we seems to feel miserable.

Sweden is slightly bigger than California, but we are only nine million people living here. Sweden is the fith biggest country in Europe and has the third, sixth and ninth biggest lakes.
Our National day is june sixth, but few knows why :-)

It is said that it was swedish vikings that founded Russia, but don´t blame us for what has happened there since then :-)

The only birds I saw today was four swans flying just above the tree tops.

We have a king and queen and our flag is one of the oldest in the world (the danish is older though). Sweden hasn´t been involved in a war since 1814, before that we were always in war with someone. If it wasn´t Denmark/Norway it was with the russians. Sometimes we were way down in Europe too.

We joined the European Union, but we don´t like it :-) If we can protest about what the union wants to do we protest :-)
We also were the first to start reality shows and I do appologise for that :-) The first one was what most countries calles “Survivor”. No other country thought that was a good idea, but us. Since it became a hugh succes here other countries followed. After that all the hidious shows just started all over the world and I do appologise once again, I´m so sorry about that :-)
Have a nice day now!”

Monday, March 23, 2009

My Kaja Robert.

Nowdays it´s forbidden to have any wild swedish animals as pets (exept for badgers. Hunters need tame badgers when they train their burrovers for hunting). In most ways I agree with that law but it has a disadvantage. If You find a hurt animal You can´t take care of it Your self, it must be trained people (they get a license to help hurt animals from the city) to help them. If there isn´t such a person nerby You have to leave the animal to die. I don´t think any Sweed would do that, we have a tendensy to love animals more than humans and laws :-) I wouldn´t care about that law if I once again found an injured animal.

There wasn´t a bird in sight when I came home today, so I just put in the same picture of the Kaja i did yesterday :-)

Because that´s what happened when Robert came into my life. Robert was a Kaja (I found an American name for it I belive, Eurasian jackdaw) and that is a small (as big as a city dove) relative to the crow. I found him right after I had found a dead bird in a rat trap I had by my dogyard in Gotheburg. Normally I perhaps wouldn´t care so much about a hurt kaja, but after seeing the other bird in the rat trap I couldn´t just let it be :-) he (or she. I couldn´t see a difference) had broken his wing and was easy pray for any wild or tame animal. Even if he couldn´t fly he was really difficult to capture and when caught him he kept on struggeling. I have to admit that I was surprised over how strong he was in his beak. He didn´t let go when he got a grip on my finger and I thought I would loose it :-)

I didn´t feel like walking in the forest today, but regreted that decision when it started snowing :-)
Unfortunally the wing never healed properly so he could never fly again, but that didn´t stop him at all :-) The first two weeks he really hated me. If he could he aimed his beak towards my eyes and he bit me several times, but suddenly one day he got nice. Think he must have realised that he had to stay with me for the rest of his life and he was smart enough not to bite the hand that fed him :-) That did not however mean that he was kind to the other animals I had in my home :-) Espesially my cats were in grave danger when he was on the loose in the appartement. If they were asleep he very quietly walked to them and then take a strong grip in one of their ears and starting to pull away :-) He could grip some whiskers and pull them right out of the poor cats.

My dogs however he could be real nice to. If he could take a cookie from the table he then jumped down to one of them sharing it or just looking through their fur. I was only in danger when he was bored :-) he knew that it was forbidden to tare the wallpaper in small pieces. So if he wanted my attention he jumped to the nearest wallpaper and started to tare small pieces from it . He got my attetion I can say :-) There was only one problem with Robert, he smelled awful! I had to have a window open all year in his room (Yes he had a room for him self when I wasn´t at home). I don´t know if all birds in the crow family smells as bad as he did, but it was awful! Being an outdoorbird he didn´t mind having the window open.

I woke up this mornig and saw that it had snowed rather much this late night. It´s gone on the ground down in the village, but it can still be seen on the mountine.

In summer I had him at my dogyard. The place the dogyard were at was really built like an allotement garden. We had a small cottage (the doghouse) and a small garden and high fences. I actully think that it was the only place like that in Sweden. So I had my dogs there when I was at work. When I came home I fetched my dogs and went home or I could stay and sleep the night there. In that garden of mine I had a small apple tree and Robert lived there during summer. It´s easy to learn a Kaja how to speak, they are oftyen better at that then parrots, and so he sat there in the apple tree shouting what ever he had learned :-) Kajor can be really old, but Robert wasn´t that lucky. One day (a neighbour told me) he was walking around in the garden when a falcon took him. I hope that he didn´t have to suffer too long at least.

A sure sign of spring, they have started to spread manure over the fields.

So if I ever come across an injured Kaja or Crow I wouldn´t heasitate helping it, even if it wouldn´t be able to fly again. They are incrediable fun and intelligent birds, but this time it would have to be in a big cage outside. That smell is hard to forget :-)
Be good!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

They are showing a brittish gardenprogram on swedish television this spring from an ekologikal farm. I like it a lot, but there´s a little problem with it I think as with many other programs like this, they alredy have perfect conditions in every way. For someone totally new in gardening this can be overwelming and they woun´t even try to grow anything after seeing this program. But for us that has been around for a while understands that one doesn´t need an upper class farm in brittain to grow ones own tomatoes :-) But I have to say that I wouldn´t mind having that farm, because it´s fantastic :-)

At least the surface on the pond is ice free now. But this pond was frozen to the bottom so I don´t think that it´s totally free from ice yet.

What I really would like to see is a program showing peoples allotment gardens. I don´t know if You outside Europe knows what that is? It started over hundred years ago, in Brittain I think, when they saw that people in the cities didn´t have enough money to buy enough food and then got deficiency diseases. Then some people got the idea that if people in the cities could rent small pieces af land to grew their own vegetables that would lead to a healthier life and how true that was. Anyway, I would like to se programs about that. Sweeds that have an allotment gaden usually grow more flowers than vegetables today, so I would prefer that they showed our immigrants allotment gardens instead. If any one knows how to grow vegetables it´s them.

This bird is called Kaja in swedish. It´s a close relative to the crow and raven. Nowdays it´s forbidden to have any swedish wild animal as a pet, but before that law I had a Kaja. It´s one of the most funny birds one can have, but they smell awful. Learns to talk almost better than parrots. Have I told You about my Kaja anytime? If You want to know about it just tell me.

When I lived in Gothenburg one of my favourite things was to walk around on the places where they had allotment gardens. In some places they have allowed tiny, tiny cottages, but mostly it´s just a piece of land to grow what ever one wants to grow. The best places were filled with all sorts of vegetables, toamtoes, potatoes, onions..... and when I found such a place it was immigrants that had that garden. I wonder what their secret were to get those hughe harvests. I´m not totally unaware of how to grow vegetables, but I have never even been close to what they got :-)
Some ditches where the sun wount reach still have some ice left on the surface. Teodor just had to test it today :-) All went well even if he is a bit heavy nowdays :-)

My own tomatoe seeds have now become small plants and are ready to get pots of their own now. Every seed germinated and soon I´ll have to decide how many I can keep. This year it´s seeds from cherry tomatoes I bought in the store some weeks ago. I usually don´t want those seeds we can buy in the stores here. They are hybrids and those tomatoes usually don´t taste as good as older sorts. But there is a tomatoe club where we can buy other old sorts from and they taste delicious. Mostly old russian sorts but also some old sorts from north America and Europe.
To get some ourselves from other countries outside the EU is forbidden. There are some tomatoe diseases we still don´t have here You see so thats why it´s not allowed. The same goes for potatoes too and there the rules are even strickter. I´m not allowed to take potatoes (unless they are cooked of course) from Denmark over here because of the same reasons. But to be honest I don´t think people knows that here :-)

The first flowerbuds on the crocuses are now showing above the ground :-)

Well today it´s clody again and some rain is comming they say. Typical! I washed the floors yesterday and wacumed and cleaned the carpets from everything the dogs brings in. I do that quite often otherwise too, but this time it felt like I cleaned out winter so to speak. I even bought a new floor mopp because of that :-)

Remember the ice on this ditch that I showed You a couple of days ago? Now it´s gone :-) But they say that there will be more snow and below freezing point in a couple of days.

Well now it´s time to think of how my little wall greenhouse should look like. In my mind I can se an octagonal one, but I don´t know if I can find the tools I need to do that. I have a special saw that can cut the timber in the right angles for that, but I think only God knows where I put that :-)
Be good!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have to appologise to our meteorologists today, because we did get sunshine today :-) But to be honest it didn´t seeme like it when I woke up. The clouds lay low and was really thik so it didn´t look like it would be the warmest day here this year. No wind to speak about and it got up to 10C (50F) warm.

This one we call "Lieutenant heart", but I think You call it "Bleeding heart" in english.They willbloom in late spring and a long time in to summer.

I took the chance to get rid of some weed from my cacti flowerbed. That is always a painful thing to do :-) I have picked thornes out from my fingers all afternoon now. Many cacti are hardy enough to grow here in sweden, if one only plantes them in sand and preferably sheltered from our quite frekvent winter rains. My stands to shady so they wount get to bloom there, so I have to move them to a better place I think. The problem is to shelter all animals from their thornes. They don´t know what a cacti is, so they walk right on them.

I have four kind of cacti in my garden. They all look miserable after winter but soon they´ll look just fine. I have mine a little bit to dark, so they wount bloom.

Yesterday it was the Vernal equinox and then the day was as many hours all over the world, twelve hours I think it is. But now we in the north is going to get longer and longer time with daylight. Way up north they wount even get dark at all in the summer. The sun then never gets down at all. Here there will be at least four hors with darkness in summer and wery long dawn and dusk.

Teodor and Bertil does enjoy the sunshine. I´m happy that the brothers era still very good friends.

Well now I´m going to enjoy some more sunshine, one never knows when that will happen again :-)
Be good!

My snowdrops in full bloom! At some places they spread like weed, but here they become no more or less than always.