Monday, April 30, 2012

hello monday!

hello monday! so happy to see you! 
i know you're going to be the start of a very good week.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

an awesome week

in the belief that writing is the new praying, i hereby declare that the coming week will be awesome.

i will

... do everything on my to do list.

...not waste time doing things that don't move things forward in some way. even if it's just small steps.

...not let energy-stealers steal my energy.

...remember to water the seeds we planted this afternoon.

...spend a bit of time watching the garden grow. interesting stuff. and more interesting stuff.

...spend time with people who inspire me and give me positive energy.

...try not to be totally insufferable with all this positivity.

*  *  *

i had a nice weekend (in case you couldn't tell) and i hope you did too.

Friday, April 27, 2012

is it just me?

are you looking at me?

i had a really weird moment yesterday. an unbidden, unwelcome and unusual moment (more like an hour) of an utter lack of confidence. accompanied by a strange feeling of guilt. it was especially unwelcome because i was on my way to an important meeting. and i needed my confidence and belief in my own abilities. i'm working on a project that's very important to me - it's precisely what i want to be doing - think writing, travel, writing about travel - and the meeting was about the next steps of the project. so i needed to be my real self. not some hesitant, shy, strangely guilty version of me. luckily, i had an awesome friend to call - one who happens also to be my business partner - and she talked me down. and the meeting went well and all is right with the world, project-wise.

but i'm still wondering why i felt that way. especially the odd sense of guilt, tho' i honestly hadn't done anything i should have felt guilty about. at least nothing i could think of on a conscious level. where do these feelings come from?

do you ever have that happen? you feel alone and vulnerable and lacking confidence, even when you usually face the world head-on and are pretty angst-free (tho' admittedly you do overanalyze a bit)? or is it just me?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

soul lag

my soul is lagging behind this morning. it stayed over there in the world i inhabit in my dreams. this morning that was a world filled with a very rickety elevator, where the springs of the floor were exposed, and they looked much like the springs of an old bed, tho' it seemed to work just fine. there was also a big tray of cupcakes - filled with jam and cream and frosted in patriotic red, white and blue. and an impending snowmobile trip with a group of strange old men. the lag wasn't helped by a foggy morning. the fog seeming to prolong the fog in my head as i wandered the garden, camera in hand, hoping to somehow capture the soul lag feeling in pixels.

it's left me feeling a not unpleasant feeling of apartness with the world. shifted just a bit. perspective changed. viewing things through the fog. all shapes changed to something other than what they usually are. but they hold a potential which was lurking in them all along, waiting for the fog. and the soul lag.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

animated bunny

gif creator at

just had to share this bit of fun i had with bunny photos. resolution is a little iffy, but oh well, it was free, what can i say?

Monday, April 23, 2012

baby animal monday

this is peaches - she's 12 days old. just got her eyes open. and is the most amazing color we've ever seen. i can see a bit of her mama's expression on her face. and i call her her, but i have no idea if she's a girl or not.

this is her sister, creamy. also possibly not a girl, but there you have it. it's nearly impossible to tell with bunnies 'til it's too late.

it's definitely spring around here. we've got baby animals like crazy. the first batch of bunnies all found homes this weekend. we've still got the last two, waiting to be delivered over to sjælland, so we get to enjoy them a little longer, but the other four very quickly found homes.

i suppose we'll have to find homes for these little sweeties as well. husband has declared that he won't build any more bunny cages. apparently five is enough.

and here's our other baby animal - the little black chick. s/he is doing very well. i call it a he all the time, but i do hope it will be a little hen. i wonder if the mama even notices the chick must really belong to one of the other hens. she's moved it back into the main henhouse, from their separate quarters. he peeps VERY loudly if he loses sight of her. she spends most days not far from the henhouse, showing him how to scratch and peck and take a dust bath. she's a really good mama. i'm wholly won over. chickens are not as dumb as they might at first seem.

and today, pepchen had four kittens. there will be photos of them soon - the ones i took were either a bit dark or the kittens were a bit slimy. but now they're dry and cute and perfect and mama is tired, but very content. spring is a very good thing in the countryside.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

too much and more and exactly enough

23/3.2012 - golden hour

sometimes it seems like there's just too much:
~ fear.
~ wanting.
~ consumption.
~ anxiety.
~ wondering.
~ worry.
~ procrastination.
~ jumping to conclusions.
~ thinking the worst. 
~ wasted energy.
~ wasted food.
~ angst.
~ impatience. 
~ negativity.
~ envy.
~ wandering.
~ t.v.
~ baby bunnies (that would be too many).
~ madness

there needs to be more:
~ believing.
~ letting go.
~ beaches.
~ running.
~ music.
~ positivity.
~ acceptance.
~ expecting the best.
~ believing (did i mention that already?)
~ acting on ideas.
~ room.
 ~ travel.
~ energy.
~ daring.
~ kindness.
~ creativity.
~ thinking.
~ disipline.
~ mascara.
~ nail polish.
~ baby chickens.
~ beauty.
~ strawberries.
~ dreaming.
~ sleep.
~ evolving.
~ transformation. 

there's precisely enough:

Friday, April 20, 2012

grateful friday

it's friday and i'm grateful for that.

i'm also grateful for:

~ good books (just finished per petterson's out stealing horses).

~ sunshine.

~ good business partners with lots of ideas.

~ baby animals (we've got bunnies, a single chick and will soon have kittens).

~ allergy meds.

~ all that business travel i did, which is helping me so much right now with a job i'm doing.

~ børnepenge, which always feels like free money when you least expect it (tho' it comes on a predictable quarterly basis).

~  the stable where we keep our horse - knowing that they take great care of her, even if we're really busy and can't get there for a couple of days.

~  really clever writing.

~ exciting work on the horizon.

~ blueberry plants.

~ taking a photo every day.

~ families who want to adopt a bunny.

~ stædtler fineliners.

~ moleskine notebooks.

~ i found lamb chops at the grocery store.

~ fresh nettles.

~ it's the weekend.

happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

goodbye hr. møller

denmark's richest man, maersk mckinney møller, died yesterday at the age of 98. he would have been 99 in july. taking over from his father in 1965, he built maersk into the company it is today. it's the largest container shipowner in the world, but the company is also in oil and gas, supermarkets, terminals and a significant sake in denmark's largest bank. i happened to work for the company for a number of years. and everytime i saw hr. møller, it was like encountering a rock star (in a good way). he had a powerful presence, even tho' he was thin and elderly. and if he could walk up the stairs to the fourth floor, the rest of us certainly could as well.

i remember a day when i was walking in through the security gates with a colleague as he was walking out. he smiled and said to us, god eftermiddag søde piger (good afternoon sweet girls). one couldn't even object to being called a girl by hr. møller. it might as well have been george clooney, as much of a thrill as it gave us.

and now he's gone. of course, at 98, he had a marvelous, long and successful life. he lived and ran his company according the principle of rettidig omhu - constant care.  and it was said that no detail was too small. this was nowhere more apparent than in the opera house he gave to copenhagen. legend  had some of the facade stones placed different locations around copenhagen. he would go by and pour water (which he carried in bottles in his car) over them in different light conditions to check the surface and how it reacted to the light. no detail too small.

i was surprised how sad the news of his death made me. i instantly teared up when i heard it. within the company, we used to joke about "if" he died, rather than "when," as he had some kind of immortality about him. an invincible strength of principles and personality. but die he did. and it's hard to be sad after he lived such a long and successful life.

but i think i'm most sad that i can't think of other great, remarkable men (or women) like him in today's world. where are the people of principle? the people who build something real and of value? and leave something solid and lasting behind? i don't see them  - not among business leaders and certainly not among politicians. and that's surely the saddest part of all.

goodbye hr. møller. i'm proud that i worked for your company and had a role, however small, in what you built.

Monday, April 16, 2012

future kitchen progress

it seemed like time for a little kitchen project update. when i first showed this to you back in march, it looked pretty impossible that it would ever be cleared of all of the old cement flooring, pig bones and 2800+ buckets (husband didn't count, but he calculated) of dirt. but this weekend, husband hauled out the last bucketful and it's now ready for the next stage - which is fixing the foundation and preparing the flooring (structure, insulation, heat elements, pouring of cement).

march 18
march 25
april 1
april 8
april 9
april 15
april 15
i find it quite unreal that husband did all of this by hand and mostly by himself. i kept him supplied in coffee, various cakes and lunches. it was impossible to get a machine in any of the openings to do it with a small digging machine, so it had to be done completely by hand. pretty amazing, don't you think?

where all that dirt and rubble went.
husband hauled trailerload after trailerload down to our lake, where he built a little road (not shown) and this small peninsula, from which we'll build a little dock to tie up our little boat and generally from which to enjoy the lake.

project pizza oven
and because he can never stop, on sunday, he worked all day on bricking up the pizza oven and foundation for a little smokehouse so that when we get our pigs and it's time to make sausages and bacon, we'll be able to pop them in there to smoke.

project smokehouse
i hope also to be able to use the smokehouse, without smoke, to dehydrate fruit, veggies and herbs.

under the old oak tree
this is placed out the door of the new kitchen and will eventually be a large patio area. there will also be a small sauna. that's something we wanted at the old house, but didn't get to because we decided to move. the pizza oven is also a long-desired feature and it's nice to see it starting to happen. just out of this shot on the lefthand side is a gorgeous old, majestic oak tree. it's gonna be great!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

would you eat a false morel?

false morels

sabin and i spend a lot of time picking bunny greens (don't even ask how many rabbits we have). they love the new, tender dandelion leaves and we comb our property far and wide, filling a basket twice a day. today, our bunny foraging session took us down to our new apple orchard. to get back, we walked through our little shelter belt, which consists largely of pine trees.  there's a path through this little forest that our mole man once disturbingly referred to as romantic, and it might be that, but not when your companion is an elderly man carrying two dead moles in his hand (but i digress).  the path is cool and quiet and smells for real like those pine-fresh cleaning products they tried to force on us for years.  and along the way, i spotted this funny little mushroom. so i picked it to take back to the house and identify it.

false morel in better light

according to my three mushroom books (roger phillips, john wright (for river cottage) and politiken) it is the false morel - gyromitra esculenta.  a cousin of the delicious spring morel (morchella esculenta), which is the mushroom of my childhood. its habitat is sandy soil in a pine forest - which is precisely what we've got. it seemed to like areas where there were quite a lot of fallen pinecones - which they blend in with very nicely.

false morels

john wright, the wonderful forager of river cottage, writes most damningly of the false morel. he says, "this is the puffer fish of the fungal world. raw or poorly prepared it is deadly, yet with proper treatment it is, by all accounts, delicious." he goes on to say that gyromitrin, the toxin in the mushroom, when coupled with human stomach acids turns to monomethyl-hydrazine more commonly known as rocket fuel.

false morel in situ

yet still, the mushroom is considered a delicacy by many europeans. it's available in markets in finland (with a warning and careful cooking instructions) and in poland (where 23% of mushroom deaths are attributed to it). if you don't detoxify it - either by boiling it and then discarding the water and then boiling it again, or drying it thoroughly for several months and then boiling it to prepare it - it could very well kill you.

false morels seem to like the fallen pinecone habitat

mushroom expert tom volk says that even the boiling process can be toxic, as the fumes rising while you boil it contain the toxin and can make you seriously ill. but interestingly, tho' my danish mushroom book mentions the rocket fuel aspect and the boiling, it doesn't actually suggest that you shouldn't eat it. in fact, it gives it 3 dots for edibility - which is the highest of any in the book. and the everyday name is spiselig stenmorkel (edible stone morel).

more false morels

so what to do, when your forest yields a significant mess of mushrooms and they have a gorgeous texture and smell divine? i did take a small whiff, tho' i was a bit afraid after volk's warning about the fumes from the toxin. they don't smell toxic at all. mushrooms are such a wily foe. but wouldn't you know that any you can find in quantity might be quite dangerous. *sigh*

do not eat raw

i picked a whole mess of them anyway - it was such fun. i sliced them and have them laid out on a tray on a high, dry shelf, to see if they'll dry, while i decide what to do. what's worrying about the warnings is that it's thought that it's a toxicity that builds up, so while you may not become ill the first time you eat them, you might the second. or third. and ill isn't just ill, but we're talking liver damage, delirium and coma. but still i couldn't bring myself to throw them out after i'd had such a blissful time in the forest, gathering them. the good news is, all three books say that it's likely that real morels will grow in the same spot. so i'll definitely be looking in the next couple of months for those.

playing outside

our baby bunnies are a little over a month old. 

we decided it was time they experienced fresh air and sunshine.

it took some courage to leave the bunny basket (we always carry them in this).

but it turned out to be both safe and fun outside of it.

plotting bunny hijinks.

do you think we could dig our way out? 

mama mira came along too, to teach her babes the ways of the big, wide world.

time for a bit of rest.