22 March 2009

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

We're back, and I have mostly managed to defeat the viral souvenir I brought home!
I'd say we're beginning to get our feet under us again.

Rod has made bread, we have two gallons of kombucha ready to be decanted, we have made tallow, and we have the bones ready for another broth. We are starting to feel like 'we're home. As much as I have loved this adventure to see all my beloved children t0gether, this Cancer soul is also glad to be home.

We have been off to visit Sweden and Denmark. My older two boys live in Sweden, and the eldest, TJ, has a wonderful partner, Wanja, and two beautiful and brilliant children, Isabella and Oliver.

It has been wonderful to spend almost two weeks with them all. We only get to see them once every three years or so, and I was poignantly aware all through the trip that if the move to Australia comes off in the next couple of years, like we expect it to, then it may be a long time indeed before we can afford to visit again.

That made it so much more wonderful that this visit allowed me to actually bond with both of my long-distance grandchildren! They are old enough now to understand that my Swedish is rudimentary at best and to speak slowly and clearly for me -- and not to freak and take it personally when I gave up and said "Let's ask Pappa".

That meant that we could really communicate -- and I spent hours colouring in and putting together puzzles with Bella and letting both children brush my hair (you would have to know me well to really understand how much I have to love these kids to let them touch my hair with a brush! *snap* *crack* eeeek!) and hanging with Leo and watching his endless cut-paper creations manifest.

One of our first adventures after we arrived in Sweden was to take all the children to Bus Fabriken in Helsingborg. 'Busa', in Swedish, means rough housing or mischief. Fabriken means factory. Bus Fabriken ("Fun Factory" is what we called when we were speaking English) is a play emporium that is easily five times the size of anything I had seen before and kept the kids amused for three hours - - the time limit set by the establishment. Of course, Helsingborg is a big town, so the waiting list probably gets pretty long on cold, dark winter days.

Anyway, the littles had a blast and Rod and I got to hang out with TJ, Wanja, and Corey and just chat, mostly unmolested. One advantage of that big an emporium is that while the seating area was unlikely to be mistaken for a library, it was quiet enough that we could actually hold conversations. Most of the noise was at the back where the wildest games were.

Corey and Wanja are enjoying their new(ish) jobs, and Corey seems to be starting to see a place for himself in the working world. He has taken an interest in root cause analysis within the manufacturing environment (something I have been working with at work) and I consider that an excellent sign. TJ is still trying to get his feet under him, and is jumping through hoops to stay on welfare while he is unable to find work. He's thinking about returning to school to get job training, since what he was enjoying so much is seasonal work and is being made even harder to find by Sweden's economic downturn. They all seem to have found a reasonable equilibrium for now, and that was good to see.

I found it interesting that the food in Sweden didn't give me the rush of energy is has in the past -- but it also didn't make me as sick as eating in a restaurant here does. My interpretation is that Swedish food is cleaner than mainstream US fare, but probably not as clean as our almost entirely unprocessed, organic and largely biodynamic diet at home. One thing that *really* struck me was that by the end of two weeks there, without access to raw milk, my arthritis (which had faded gradually enough not to have gotten my attention) was back worse than before. I look forward to seeing the end of *that*!

Since we have been back, despite feeling pretty tired and slow, we seem to have returned to our previous pace without a missed step. Saturday, we got together with Linda B and went to a coffee tasting at Cafe Luwak. The coffee was great!

Today, we hit the ground running -- Rod had to be on the other side of Ann Arbor at 8:30 for choral rehearsal before their performances this morning, but I needed the car, so Jack and I dropped him off and then came home so I could have my turn in the shower. Then we dashed back to Jack's choral rehearsal, and then we raced over to Royal Oak to pick up John, and then *back* to the other side of Ann Arbor to meet Rod for the Ostara ritual -- then back to our place for lunch/dinner (Indonesian inspired vegetable curry.) I'm ready for bed!

On an more meta-blogging topic, a couple of years ago, I posted a list of books the Disney films are based on. It has consistently gotten two or three hits a month...until earlier this year when it started to get four or five hist a week! Now, I am very glad that it is making itself useful -- but why all this interest all of a sudden? I get the feeling I must have missed something. Anyone have any idea?

I plan to try to post more regularly. Then again, we all know about the best laid plans. ;)

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  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time on your trip! My 8 yo would like to know if you stopped at Legoland in Denmark. It's her dream vacation lol. Vikings and legos in the same trip. ;)

    Happy belated Ostara.

  2. Hi, Gina! Oh, that we did! No, I'm afraid that Legoland was not on our itinerary, though we did get to peek in at the work underway at Tivoli. ;)

    Oh, not belated -- Ostara is a many day affair. it doesn't end until Jack has found all the eggs and won all his prizes. ;) (He has three to go, though he *has* won the biggest.)


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