Monday, July 30, 2012

Friends like Connie

Connie is one of my special friends. She is everybody's special friend. Her arms always open up to a hug - and her big smile let's you know that she loves you. She truly loves you.

Now Connie is the kind of woman that you could remove from the year 2012 and place in the pioneer days -and she would cope just fine. She runs a household of children, horses, dogs, cats, chicken, sheep, and much more. She just rolls up her sleeves and goes to work, sometimes it has been without running water and plumbing in her home, other times faith has kept her family fed and well. Besides all that, she is the leader of Relief Society, our women's organization in church in Moss. She takes time out of her busy schedule to visit those who need a helping hand or someone to talk to.

But why do I mention her; besides the fact that she is an example of courage and a woman filled with faith in God and love for everybody around her - because she just adores our Hector, the Wheaten Terrier!
Hector has just spent a week at Connie's; jogging with her, playing with her king poodle, Anna May, and being loved. So instead of bringing Hector to the local kennel, I know now that he can stay with Connie and enjoy his time away from home. When I pick him up he is always newly bathed and brushed, smells good, and I can tell he has had fun.

Some people are God's helpers in more ways than one. They see the need of other's and do something about it.

Connie is one of those who besides all the everyday things (and doing funny things like spinning yarn and knitting things from fur from pets) works on her continuing education. I am grateful for good friends like Connie, who makes me want to be a little better.

The thing is, I have several friends like Connie. Goodhearted, sweet friends who teach me how to be a better person. Friends who take time, love, share, and truly know what charity means. Lucky me!

Today's art work is of Linnea when she was little. Connie's parents have a farm in Sweden. We visited one summer, ate her mother's yummy homemade cheese, helped move a stray ox, and walked to the beautiful beach nearby. I photographed Linnea with the geese and later painted this oil painting.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Feet born to be Free!

Our neighbor, Oddvar, who is a health and herbal guru, claims that walking barefooted is healthy, good for the body, and makes you sleep better. "Grounded", he calls it. And I believe him.

As a little girl in Canada, I did not want to wear shoes. Our neighbors would come to my mother and say: "Heidi's shoes are over there. She must have run off again."
I remember. I took my shoes off and went walkabout around the neighborhood, imagining and exploring. I was 3-4 years old.

I still like being barefooted - or when it's cold I wear socks - sometimes several layers -  in the house. And even if I love pretty shoes and have more than one pair, there's nothing like walking barefooted on green summer grass or on luke-warm sand by the seaside.

Feet should be free to develop and breathe.
I am appalled at the Foot binding practice in China. It first started in the 10th century to form women's feet into what they thought were feminine, dainty and refined. Well-born girls from elite, wealthy families had bound feet to exempt them from manual labor. It was a sign of beauty and a requisite for finding a husband. They were raised to serve their husbands and direct the household. 
Big footed women worked as servants. 
This horrible custom did not die out until the early 20th century when social habits changed and there were many anti-foot binding campaigns.

I am fascinated by how people can believe in such strange - and in my eyes - wrong practices. Surely deforming the body God has blessed us with is not right. I feel sorry for the millions of women who have had bound feet and not been able to run in the grass, dance, and go for pleasant walks.

Our grandbabies have beautiful tiny feet. I am grateful these little wonders can develop at their own pace and enjoy life.

Photo: Sienna's little fat feet.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The idea worked!

This is proof that some ideas are actually working! The cages I built around our red currant bushes are discouraging the roe deers from eating the berries and breaking the branches of the young bushes in the garden.

Yesterday two of our beautiful four-legged neighbors came by and strolled through the garden of the Duck and Cherry. They sniffed the cages and walked on (to the neighbor next door, who does not have any berry bushes).

I should have a picture of what I saw on the other side of the house this morning though. A magpie was having breakfast in the wild cherry tree.

I like to share, but maybe the animals should learn to share with me too. Arnfinn shared his breakfast with Emma, 3 years old, this morning.

Our little granddaughter was all smiles. She chose a pink plate and enjoyed scrambled eggs and toast with raspberry jam with her grandfather.

Sharing is a good thing, though I am trying to preserve the little berry bushes to grow nice ripe berries to put in the freezer for our winter desserts.

The roe deers can have some berries if they ask nicely, but not break the new weak branches and stomp on the frail little bushes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

White Legs Anyone?

It is summer. Off with the pantyhose! On with the....EASY SUN (Norwegian site)
I have inherited my father's incredibly (incredible?) white legs! You almost need sunglasses to look at me in the summer time.
Sun tanning? Well, yes, that might help. But, first of all, Norway has had few warm days so far this summer. Secondly, I do not like sun tanning. It's so boring! Besides, I don't want to look like a prune in a few years.

So I cheat. Easy Sun is a self-tanning towelette. It takes a few seconds to glide the towelette on my legs from the knee and down, two-three hours before the color sets in - and then voila! I have a little color on my legs for the next three days. It's so easy.

The Easy Sun that I use can be found in stores and online. No parabens, no perfume! And it's from MedicaNord.