We enjoyed a different kind of Sunday yesterday......we headed down to the big city.....Sacramento....with Molly and Ross to attend the 2nd annual Swing Festival ! It was a really fun day with lots of amazing music, crazy rock-a-billy people and to top it off it was held in the State Car Museum with hundreds of old cars on display. As you can see in the photos, Molly and Jim made some new friends. Molly got a taste of Western Swing dancing with an anonymous male and Jim learned all about how old Model T's worked ! All this was topped off by a late night dinner on the patio of a great Mexican restaurant. Wow.....it's been a long time since we've had an evening like that........thanks "Rolly" for letting us tag along ! My Mom came up today and we took a little sight seeing drive up here and then got some groceries at Wortons. Grilled up some delicious Louisiana Hot Links for lunch and had a picnic on the deck......but.... since it's THIS year .......it started to rain a little.......so much for picnics in 2010! It was a fun afternoon in spite of the weather.Today's my Tessy's birthday.....#28 ! I just got off the phone with her and it sounds like she had a wonderful weekend. All her friends came through for her and she celebrated in style. It's been a sad, grueling year for her.....next year is sure to be better. Happy Birthday........my precious girl.
It was a beautiful morning as Jenny and I set out for our walk this morning. Mostly it was sunny with just a few big billowy clouds blowing around. It smelled so wonderful once I got onto Todd Valley Rd.......the "Mountain Misery" is in bloom and it SO does not deserve that name ! It"s actually one of my favorite scents up here on the Divide......very pungent, but incredibly fresh smelling. Anyhow...I quickly fell into my walking trance.....Ipod headphones on , no other people or cars on the road , beautiful wildflowers everywhere I looked. We quickly reached the two mile turn-around point were I considered to just keep going, but I had tile at home to scrub , bathrooms to clean and floors to mop......so like the good Girl Scout I am....I turned around and headed toward home. The walk home home started out as uneventful and very pleasant......when all of a sudden I heard a loud explosion.....then another. The wind suddenly whipped into a frenzy and big black clouds covered the sky. The next instant there was lightening flashing all around us.......Jenny was freaking out and I just couldn't figure out quite what to do. I know you're not supposed to go under a tree, but there we were on a narrow 10ft. wide road surrounded by tall, tall trees......many overhanging the road. In one of my more panicked moments it did occur to me that this might not be the worst way "to go".......some of the greatest moments of peace I've ever felt have taken place walking that road..........but then I jumped into "survival" mode again. We ran to a low place on the road and just sort of huddled together and in a few minutes it was all over. Pictured above is the "huddling place" ! On the way home the guys from the trailer park down the road...... and who drive by me everyday.......drove up to me and asked if I was OK...... they came looking for me when the lightening started. I don't even know their names ......I've never spoken to them before......we always just wave as they go by. Country roads........country neighbors.......I so love my life.
If only it was sunny and warm today like it was the day I took these pictures . The air was soft, there were heady floral scents everywhere and my favorite little critters the bumblebees were hard at work. Today, however, is once again, cold, wet and gray. "Bubanda" is in Yosemite camping at the infamous Camp 4.......the climbing campground.......I hope they brought a warm and cozy tent......along with some down sleeping bags ! I've been home all day feeding the fire and trying to dream up new product ideas for the coming "selling season".......not much luck , but I came up with a couple of possibilities. Also made a big pot of minestrone and some bran muffins.......and ,of course, spent some quality time with Jenny!
I had to give all the flowering plants in our yard some love........I can't believe they stuck it out in this cold dreary Spring. Somewhere they found the strength to bloom between the Arctic Blasts that are appearing about every other day this year. It feels a lot more like February than May here !The upside of all this moisture is the lushness all around.........it's almost like a Fairy Tale land out there . I actually wasn't around too much today.......I took these photos this morning........before I left. Molly and I went down to Roseville and spent the day with my Mom.........let's see, Chili's for lunch, a few productive hours in Target and lastly, a stop at Lowes to......what else......check out all the pretty flowers ! It was actually sunny and warm down there........not so here......feels like it could snow .......AGAIN !!!
I took these photos on one of my favorite nights in Norway. After dinner we headed out for another drive , along the waterfront South, I think, of Oslo. Of course, it was beautiful as seemingly all of Norway is ! Espen's soccer team [football in Norway] was playing nearby and so we swung by the game. It was freezing cold , but the Norwegian kids play in the snow so a little freezing weather isn't going to slow them down ! Espen can be a bit laid back , but not during a soccer game ! He was awesome......fast and focused. His team won easily and Espen made a "header" for the final goal of the game ! We stopped at a little store for ice cream on the way home.......exciting for everyone !
Feels like Norway here today........cold and wet. I went down to see my Mom this afternoon and it was much warmer down there. We went to one of our favorite salad places, Panera.......yummm. Omelets here for dinner tonight.......maybe I can postpone a grocery trip for another couple of days ! Right now it's time to start a warm cozy fire.
These are some of the photos I took before, during and after Espen's confirmation. It was a Humanist ceremony ........Grandma Jean would be so proud !.......a civil ceremony as opposed to religious. It was held in the Oslo City Hall , which is where President Obama received his Nobel Peace Prize this year. It's an exquisite building , rich in history and the acoustics are amazing ! The ceremony was , of course , in Norwegian so I can't report exactly what was said........and you probably wouldn't want me to if I could !! There was a wonderful Brass band.......beautiful in any language. After the ceremony we took the train back to the house and enjoyed a sumptuous catered dinner with Espen's extended Norwegian family. It was a wonderful party and what a great bunch of people. I'm so glad we were there ........Espen means the world to me. Today I met Molly in Auburn and we spent the afternoon together .....catching up on her busy life. I also picked up groceries for our little late Mother's Day celebration scheduled for tomorrow. Wouldn't want a chance for a family get-together pass us by !
We're back ! We had a wonderful trip, enjoying every minute of it. It was great to be in Jilly's lovely home and experience a "slice of life" Norwegian style ! We enjoyed a lot of sightseeing drives , soccer games , and warm family meals around the kitchen table. The weather cooperated while we were there, lots of sunshine and fairly warm temps. Jill has a wonderful , full life over there .......she loves her teaching job , loves the outdoor life style of Norway and enjoys the many friends they have. The next few posts will include photos I took while there with brief explanations of what you're seeing. Today's photos are of Jill's kitchen where we spent a lot of fun times. Everything was in wonderful shape when we returned home Tuesday night. My Molly was there to meet us at the airport and gave us a ride home......it was great to see her ! Yesterday my Mom drove up to Auburn and I met her there. It was also great to see her !! And then............the stomach flu struck !! I was sick all last night and slept from about 3:30 in the afternoon until this morning. I feel better today and actually we've already been out and gotten 2 loads of firewood !! I think I even feel like eating something now.......surprise, surprise...... !
Well, I think we're just about ready !! Suitcases are packed, gardens are watered, and we've tried to give Jenny some extra loving ! Just a matter of getting a good night's sleep..........zero chance of that !.........getting up in the morning and heading to the airport . We leave Sacramento about 1:00 and will arrive in Norway about 3:30 Wednesday afternoon.I'm sure there'll be smiles and tears all around when we walk through those airport doors in Norway. I'm not bringing my computer , but Jill's household has plenty so maybe I'll have a chance to stay in touch.....but we shall see ! Don't let this springtime weather disappear while we're gone.......soooooo....talk with you soon !
Although we're going to miss it , this years Iris crop is going to be amazing ! They're still at least 3 days from opening up, but each plant has about 3 huge, tall flowers. It'll be spectacular........I hope our "housesitters" Amanda, Seth, Ross and Molly remember to take in all the splendor ! We spent the day today working in the garden and with the flowers getting everything set up for our absence. We'll water once more tomorrow and then the fate of it all is in the "kids" hands !! Amanda just called to assure me everything was still a "Go" and that they are still planning to take us to the airport. I really appreciated her calling.....we're so lucky to have all these great kids. I also spent a lot of the day on the computer straightening out our airplane seat assignments.....we had to upgrade in order to get two seats together on the flight from Sacramento to Chicago. What a bummer.........but I know it'll be worth it !! And how often do we go on vacation ????
At last.......the sun is shining , the air is warm , a smile's on everyone's face......Spring has returned !!! All the plants and flowers are virtually bursting out all over, what a relief for all growing things that they can finally get busy with the work of blooming , feeding the hungry bees and sending new sprouts in every direction. I went down to Ross and Molly's today to say "good-bye"......we leave in 2 days.....and we had sandwiches out on their darling deck in their backyard. I'm miss them while we're gone, I see quite a bit of them and always enjoy the time spent. When I got back home I made myself sit down and print out maps of the various airports we'll be landing at........trying to figure out how to get from point "A" to point "B". Jim loves deciphering maps so I'll put him on that detail ! I plan on posting a few more times before we leave........go out now and enjoy the sun, breathe in that sweet air !