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Archive for June, 2007

Summertime Recipes!

Now that is summer, I’m looking at my summertime food repetoire and realizing how limited it is. So I’m appealing to my readers.

Please share your favorite summertime recipes with me. You can comment to this post and I’ll email you. I’ll collect the recipes and then put them into a pdf file format. I’ll share with anyone who wants the file. It would be really fun to see how many recipes we could get.

Any kind of recipe is accepted: dessert, bread, quick and easy, cheap, grilling, salads, kids recipes, breakfast, vegetarians, side dishes, party meals, picnic, etc.

So comment to this thread or email if you have my email address.  Thanks!

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Lists

In case you haven’t noticed it, I’m a big fan of lists. I like writing lists. I get an unholy thrill out of checking completed items. They make me feel like I’m accomplishing things.

So I thought I’d compile a list of all the things I have done in the past two months: May and June.

1. visited Ales Stenar and Glimmingehus with my family

2. went on a weekend trip to Amsterdam with my friend, Laurel in celebration of 30th birthdays!

3. continued to teach all my piano and music lessons

4. cooked numerous meals for my family

5. did numerous loads of laundry (and sometimes when I made the time, actually FOLDED and put away said laundry)

6. organized a music recital for my little students

7. welcomed guests to our home where we went to Fotoviken, Ystad, and the Island of Ven

8. Can’t forget the Island of Ven!!!! Truly worth a nice blog entry

9. baked loads and loads of enchiladas and chocolate cheesecakes and thankfully received a lot of help

10. attended my husband’s thesis defense

11. planned, prepared and orchestrated a large disputation party celebration the graduation with 75 guests and sit-down meal

12. took my kids to the zoo with their preschool

13. went on a 10-day European tour in the Great White Beast

I know that doesn’t cover it all. But those are the noteworthy things.  I just keep putting off the entries about my other travels.

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Ales Stenar and Glimmingehus

As a note: I’ve tried to be accurate with my information as possible, but I’m human and thus subject to errors. You are welcome to correct me. And if you are really interested google is sure to offer interesting finds on the places we visited. 

May 1, 2007

Yes, I know. This entry is months behind. But a lot has happened in the last two months. I’ve been a busy girl! I have a bit of breather and so can try to get caught up.

Because May 1st is a political holiday in Sweden we had the day off. We weren’t feeling particularly political or felt like listening to Swedish demonstrations and rhetoric, so we took for the hills, literally, to enjoy some history.

We drove through a beautiful area of southern Sweden and saw rolling hills brilliant with a never-ending landscape of gold from the raps fields. We headed south to the southern coast of Sweden to a place outside of Ystad. Ales stenar was our first destination.

Ales Stenar
Ales stenar is formation of 59 large boulders, set in the shape of a giant ship. I don’t remember its approximate date or even who may have created it. Before we hiked to the stones, we enjoyed a lunch of freshly caught fried fish with onions, mashed potatoes and lingon jam. Okay, I enjoyed my lunch of fish. The rest of the family ate hamburgers or meatballs. I appreciated the ambience of the harbor, sea wind, and the yummy food.
After our lunch, we hiked the rest of the way to the stones. The stone formation is set up on top of a cliff overlooking the sea. The information board rather poetically described as a place where the sea, land and sky all meet. It was an accurate description. We were able to touch the stones, walk around the formation, and really get a sense of the formation. (A contrast to the roped off walkways of Stonehenge we saw last week.)
The drop to the sea was rather dramatic. We enjoyed the views of blue skies, grey seas, green grass and mystic appearance of this ancient stone formation.

Glimmingehus
Glimminghus is one of the best preserved medieval fortresses in Sweden. I’m not sure why it received this distinction–perhaps because it was never actually tested as a  fortress?  Anyhow, this fortress was rather small in comparison to some of the castles I’ve seen. It was built by a very paranoid count who designed multiple ways to trap attacking enemies throughout the castle. There is a central staircase which is confusing to navigate and stairs which become progressively steeper the higher you go.

Some interesting tidbits from our tour:
The well was inside the bottom floor in the kitchen. It was not covered and consequently all sorts of things fell into the well. To keep it clean, servants caught an eel and kept them in the well. Eels apparently eat everything and so were the ideal source of garbage disposal.
The count who built the fortress was very cruel. There are several letters on file to the Danish king from farmers in the area complaining to the king about the count. (Skåne belonged to Denmark until ca 1681.)
Ladies carried their own toilet brush in their dresses to wipe themselves after going to the bathroom. Disgusting, I know. But at least they could use their own instead of the communal brush.
The count commissed a stone engraving of himself kneeling at the feet of the crucified Christ to show himself a pious man.
There is a legend that a young maiden was buried alive inside the fortress walls.
You can’t really complain about the modern conveniences we enjoy after you witness the conditions of the past.

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He did it!

And I am now married to a real, honest to goodness doctor. Don’t count on him to set a broken bone, but if you need someone to analyze the stacking faults of a nanowire using the SEM, he’s your man.

Brent’s defense went beautifully well. His presentation flowed well and was very clear. He answered all the questions his opponent gave very clearly and with good explanations.  He packed up his statements both by references from other scientists as well as his own observations and knowledge.

I just sat there in awe watching the man that I married 9 years ago show his ability and hard work in a really great way.

I’m more proud of him than I can say. He has studied and worked dilligently for over 9 years getting his bachelor’s degree, then a Master’s degree, and then a Licentiate degree and now a PhD. He did this while being a fantastic husband and father to 4 children.

Congratulations dear!

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This is it, people, the FINAL week of Brent’s life as a student. On Friday, barring an unexplicable disaster, he will be officially awarded his PhD and become a Doctor of Science. To say that I’m proud of him is an understatement. But we can’t dwell on that at the moment. Because, somehow, we have to get from Monday to Friday. Why is that a problem? This is what we have to do in the next five days:

finish preparing the Thesis defense presentation (thankfully, this is Brent’s job–not mine!) 

20 pans of enchiladas

7 chocolate cheesecakes

7 piano lessons

1 oboe lesson for Trent

1 piano lesson for Walter

laundry

cleaning for MIL (because I love her and don’t want her to suffer a messy house)

2 school plays

car repairs

trip planning to Paris and London

 picking up MIL from the airport

packing for our trip

grocery shopping for all the food

setting up tables and place settings for the party

finding space in a tiny freezer and tiny refrigerator for all the food. . .

did I mention cleaning????

I’m just grateful I’m not preparing the whole meal for the big party. But I have a feeling my life is going to be a nightmare of enchilada assembly.

Anyhow, this week, as you go about your lives, take a moment to think (and pray for) our family as we work to survive this week!

I will be a non-blogger for the next several weeks as we will be doing extensive traveling. However, when I do return, I’ll be working hard to share our adventures with you.

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