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Frankenstorm

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I feel like it was just Christmas, I blinked and now it’s March!

Time really does fly… In five years, I will have lived half my life in Norway!

While Norway is my home now and I have no regrets, New Jersey is where I come from and where my loyalties will always reside.

I follow a blog called, It’s All About Purple. It’s written by Debbie, in New Jersey (we went to school together). I’m especially fond of this blog because it always makes me feel at “home” and  somehow -a little closer to New Jersey.

Yesterday’s post especially pulled on my heartstrings.

In late September 2012 Super-Storm Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City NJ, which was already mostly underwater due to a full moon and high tides. The storm slammed the New Jersey coastline with 90 mph winds. Registered only as a category 1 on a scale of five, it packed astoundingly low barometric pressure, which gave it tremendous energy to push water inland. The storm caused massive power outages, that went on for weeks. People were left stranded and some dead. It destroyed tens of thousands of businesses and homes. It ripped away parts of our famous boardwalks and blew the sand from our beaches. It was the nightmare you never think will really happen.

All over the world devastating disasters such as this strike and we feel tremendous sorrow. Unfortunately, as the media buzz around them dies so does our interest. That’s why with summer on the way, I just want to shout out, “I haven’t forgotten about you New Jersey and I’m rooting for you to come back, bigger and better than ever!”

Read Debbie’s post and see pictures (not of devastation, only the beauty) of our Jersey Shore, here.

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7:15 this morning

I’m always posting pictures of sunsets and that’s because from my house, here on the southwest coast of Norway, I see a lot of them. Words can not describe how beautiful they are and so I take pictures almost every night to prove it.

What I can’t see from my windows is the sunrise. But this morning I saw something better, I saw the moon setting in daylight.

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I really do need to get a better camera, because these pictures in no way do justice to this rare and beautiful sight…

Painting pictures

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Nature is painting for us…

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Mia & Khloe

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I’d like to introduce you to my girls, Mia and Khloe, otherwise known as Trouble and Double Trouble. Only Kidding – well, maybe not. I do after all walk them almost everyday, pick up their you-know-what and clean their feet, so they don’t track dirt all over my house. This list could go on and on…

Khloe and Mia

Khloe and Mia

What do I get in return from these two silky, little King Charles Spaniels – love. Endless and unconditional love. Whether I’m gone for ten days, or just ten minutes, they’re always at the door with wagging tails to greet me. They never leave my side and comfort me when I’m down. Keep me company when I’m alone and make me laugh when I’m sad. I guess I need them as much as they need me.

Khloe makes me laugh every time she sits

Khloe makes me laugh every time she sits

Mia thinks she's a cat when trying to sit on the back the chair

Mia thinks she’s a cat when trying to sit on the back the chair

Khloe collects bird feathers when we go for a walk

Khloe collects bird feathers when we go for a walk

Mia loves to lay in the sun

Mia loves to lie in the sun

The grandchildren love them too…

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Sometimes you can't see where one starts and the other one ends

Sometimes it’s hard to see where one starts and the other one ends

Sunday dinner, Norwegian style

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If you are a vegetarian who doesn’t eat fish, you may not want to read this post.

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Last week the weather was cold but beautiful, with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. The weekend arrived and we were hit with another snow storm, but we didn’t let this interfere with our dinner plans.

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Yesterday we took the boat out, set some nets and then returned this morning to collect our catch. There were fifteen Cod fish in the net. My father calls Cod, Norwegian turkey.

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I don’t like seeing them jump around, gulping air. So when my husband wasn’t looking, I quickly threw the smallest ones back into the sea.

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In less than two hours the fish were filleted and ready to cook. When fish is fresh, it curls and splits as it fries on the pan. It smells like the ocean and tastes like a dream.

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Later, when my son asked how many fish we caught, I heard my husband answer “I could have sworn there were fifteen but I filleted only ten, I guess the other five jumped ship…”

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Brighter days ahead

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Here, on the southwest coast of Norway, the cold days of winter are relatively short. The sun struggles from about the end of October until the middle of January to make any kind of significant appearance. There are some hours of daylight as it lingers on the horizon, but it’s never able to reach its full potential. It will however, make up for its shortcomings by working overtime during the summer months. That doesn’t necessarily mean the weather will be nice. As always we still have the cold Northern wind and lots of rain clouds to deal with.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe a beach girl such as myself ended up here (it must have been love).

I was suppose to be in school yesterday, studying Norwegian (one can never be too fluent) but for some reason my class was cancelled, or rather postponed. It was a beautiful but cold day, the temperature was -4 degrees Celsius, that’s about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. I decided to join some friends who were going over to the mainland for a walk along the old railway track. The trail takes you from the little town of Egersund to an even smaller place called Hellvik. There are a lot of twists and turns through the mountains and along the shore.

In some places we could see the island where we live, across the ‘fjord’.

Can you see the small group of white houses in the center of the picture? One of them is mine.

Can you see the small group of white houses in the top center of the picture? One of them is mine.

We also walked through an old train tunnel, where giant icicles hung like daggers above our heads.

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There was a sign posted outside which read, Enter at your own risk. 

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You can hardly take fifty steps in Norway without walking uphill, which can be absolutely exhausting, but at least you don’t have to worry about freezing. We walked for quite some time before taking a break between the rocks, in the sun. I could barely feel the sun on my face, but it was there, trying, and that’s good enough for me. It seems brighter days now lie ahead.

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Winter-time

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Winter-time

Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885)

Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,

A frosty, fiery sleepy-head,

Blinks but an hour or two, and then,

A blood-red orange, sets again.

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Before the stars have left the skies,

At morning in the dark I rise,

And shivering in my nakedness,

By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

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Close by the jolly fire I sit,

To warm my frozen bones a bit,

Or with a reindeer-sled, explore,

The colder countries round the door.

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When I go out, my nurse doth wrap,

Me in my comforter and a cap,

The cold wind burns my face, and blows,

Its frosty pepper up my nose.

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Black are my steps on silver sod,

Thick blows my frosty breath abroad,

And tree and house, and hill and lake,

Are frosted like a wedding cake.

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A glimpse of Norway

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Christmas 2012

Welcome

Welcome

A White Christmas

A White Christmas

Table set

Table set

Dinner served

Dinner served

Baby's first Christmas

Baby’s first Christmas

Christmas is over

2012

Stranded

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I’m stuck inside today…

We got at least eight inches of snow dumped on us last night and I can’t get my car out of the garage. We live at the bottom of a very large hill and since it’s a private road, no one will be coming to plow. It’s even too slippery for me to walk up. My husband is out on an oil platform in the North Sea and my son is visiting friends in the Netherlands, so they can’t help. I tried to shovel a path for the dogs, because the snow was too deep for them to walk in. The snow was heavy, but after an hour of hard work I manage to dig out a little spot for them.

Right now, I’m just sitting here watching the boats go by…

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But I guess it’s time to build a fire, make some tea and settle down with a good book, or maybe I’ll pop on a Jane Austen film…

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It may just be a good day after all.