Archive for September, 2007

may-pictures-2007-192.jpgjuly-aug-2007-075.jpgOne of the beaches on VenThe view of the harbor of VenIn between Sweden and Denmark is a charming island that was once owned by Tycho Brahe. We took two trips there this year. Both times, we felt like the journey was worth it!

To get to Ven, one must take a 30-minute ferry ride from Landskrona. Once there, one can drive, take the bus, OR rent bicycles and cycle around the island. We rented yellow bikes with trailers for the kids. My two oldest boys had their own bicycles and we set off to explore the island. We started on the Southern part of the island, bicycled to the east and admired the scenery.  Our ride took us past old farmhouses, chickens enjoying a farmyard, horses, and beautiful scenery by the cliff.

We biked around to the Tycho Brahe museum which proved to be a disappointment because I didn’t come away with a very good sense of Tycho Brahe’s scientific accomplishments.

I had to look up the info on wikipedia–so if there are faults in the info–they are not mine. Tycho Brahe was a Danish astronomer in the late 1500’s who was granted the estate of Ven for his studies. He made a huge difference in the field of astronomy by introducing a more scientific method of studying the skies, movements of the planets, by developing highly accurate instruments that were used to make measurements day after day. We saw some replicas of his instruments. You can read more about Brahe here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tycho_Brahe

A funny fact about him is that he lost part of his nose in a duel and it is speculated that he made prosthetic noses out of metal. He was related to one of the owners of Trolleholm Slott so there is a picture of him and a room dedicated to his memory in the castle.

After our stint in the museum, we biked to the north part of the island to the church up on the cliff. We had the good fortune to run into a wedding party and so the area was filled with wagons and huge horses ready to take the wedding party to the next destination.

We had to leave after this, but really enjoyed our day in Ven.

The second time we visited was in August on our baby’s first birthday. We biked around and then went to one of the many beaches and bathed. There were tons of jellyfish and the kids had a great catching them. I enjoyed the clear water and the scenery.

We biked back to the harbor on the west side of the island and enjoyed all the charming houses we saw.

Ven is truly worth a visit if you ever get a chance!


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Robert Jordan died

Robert Jordan, the author of the wheel of Time Series passed away 10 days ago.


Probably most of my readers don’t care. But the Wheel of Time series has been a subject of much debate in my family–especially with my husband.  Jordan created an unwieldly series that had gotten out of hand with plots, subplots, characters, etc. I had told my husband that I thought Jordan would die before he finished the series, leaving a lot of people very unsettled.

My deepest sympathies for Robert Jordan’s widow and all of his fans who will have to live with the void of no resolution.

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Pie Jesu

I’m not sure what possessed me, but I saw a poster advertising the need for a Soprano soloist to sing Pie Jesu in an upcoming concert of Gabriel Faure’s Requiem. I sang that piece nearly 15 years ago in High school. I contacted the director and auditioned on Tuesday. It was such an exciting experience to prepare for an audition after all these years. I practiced, listened to the song, over and over again, and then I went to my audition.

I was very pleased with my performance and felt that I gave the best I could. Because of that feeling, I don’t care if I get the part or not. The real reward was trying and doing my best.

The best part was that the beautiful, peaceful and faithful words have been floating in my brain for days now. Blessed Jesus.  . .

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Tender Mercies

I saw the most beautiful sunset yesterday. The sun lay low and pink on the horizon over the Öresund bridge which connects Sweden and Denmark. The sea looked so tranquil as it lapped over the rocks.  The air was fresh and a bit cold.

I was filled with wonder for the beautiful world that we live in and how Heavenly Father gives us reprieves when we feel burdened. Little reminders that He is there.

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David McCullough

I’m a huge fan of his, even though I have never read any of his books. They don’t carry them in my local library in Sweden and it costs a lot of money to ship books to Sweden. Anyhow, I read with great interest an article on www.deseretnews.com of Gordon B. Hinckley, president of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who received a citizenship award. David McCullough was present at the luncheon and gave the keynote address. His remarks were so profound that I had to share them.

The article can be found here:


Delivering the luncheon’s keynote address, McCullough fretted that more and more Americans are historically illiterate and no longer write, or can think, the way John Adams and Abigail Adams did.

“To write well is to think clearly. To write very well is to think very clearly,” McCullough said. “And we don’t do much thinking on paper any more.”

McCullough urged increased emphasis on history, wherein he said lie lessons of humanity. “History is about consequences, the consequences of actions. It’s about faith, about human nature.”

He added, “We are up against a force today that believes in enforced ignorance. We do not.”

The historian, known also as the narrator for the movie “Seabiscuit” and Ken Burns’ series “The Civil War,” said Americans should not shy from difficult times and quoted a letter written by Abigail Adams to her 12-year-old son John Quincy Adams before he sailed to Europe with his father. The mother told the son, “The habits of a vigorous mind are born in contending with difficulties.”

“How often today,” McCullough said, “do we hear people say, ‘Now, are you comfortable with that?’ She is saying exactly the opposite of that. ‘Comfort, schmomfort.’ ‘Great necessities call out great virtues.’ If you want words of inspiration to print on a banner that would explain how it could be that we could have achieved what we did in that founding time against such odds, there it is, ‘Great necessities call out great virtues.'”

 That is powerful stuff.

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Waiting in Sweden

Sure, you are all breathlessly waiting for news from our family. Short answer: there is none.

Long answer: we are also breathlessly waiting for news from a job interview dh had in August. Keep your fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I’ve started teaching piano lessons and music classes again. It’s a thrilling time when little ones come to you, fresh and eager to discover the magic of playing their own tunes. I love it and feel like I am improving over the years. I am still coming up with ideas that are helpful.

Really need to finish posting about other travels we’ve had.

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