Posted by: jeanne | June 6, 2017

settling in

we’ve been here over the weekend, so i guess you can say we’re settled in.  we’re still bouncing a little from the stress of travel, but we’re getting used to it.

the first night, friday i guess it was, the boys went to bed around midnight.  i had to go up to their room (the attic room) several times.  it was just too light, and they were over tired.

saturday everyone staggered awake at whatever time they could.  i don’t remember if i got up early and then took a nap – that sounds right.  then i went to the store for snacks to serve at the meeting of the residents, and i left until later the shopping for dinner.  big mistake.

the meeting was at 3, and i expected it to be over around 4, but it went on until almost 7.  then we raced to the supermarket, but it was closed.  oops.  but no problem, we’d have an omelet and then shop on sunday.

saturday night, it was 2am before the boys got to sleep.  i kept having to get up and trudge upstairs to hush them, and to warn them, and finally to punish them (no tablet, no swimming).  the last time i went upstairs, connor and avery were trying to kill each other.  i waited outside their room until i was sure they were abed, then came downstairs and published the previous blog post, and went back to bed.  so i didn’t get up until 11, and they boys didn’t get up first thing.  we decided we would either reset their clocks for them, or separate them for bed.  they complained about the light, so i went up and lowered the venetian blinds on sunday.

sunday was a holiday, so it turns out.  white sunday.  whitsuntide – pentacost.  something not really noticed in the states.  but here, it’s a holiday.  so everything was closed.  there was actually a brunch at kaffi klara, but i didn’t find out about it until after it was over and anyway we needed groceries, not a buffet, no matter how delish.  so for sunday’s food, i went home and cooked pancakes for lunch.  and then we went to the beach.  i packed a bunch of snacks, and everybody’s jackets, and we walked down across the river and out to the beautiful black sand beach.  it took about 45 minutes.  connor wanted to know why we couldn’t drive.  i expect i’ll hear a lot of this…





the weather in town was wonderfully hot and sunny, but there’s always a stiff breeze at the waterside, and the boys soon got cold.  but the spot we went to – a section of old cod drying racks that are no longer used, where artists from listhus (and any of the locals who like) are free to decorate and hang out.  there’s a fire pit where they’re slowly burning up the wood that blows down off the racks, and there’s a bowl of ground that’s sheltered by the dune the racks are on.  jim sat there and read his book, and the rest of us explored and played.

i checked to see if my troll houses were still there, and found that most of them had braved the three years admirably.  i had simply painted red rooflines and red windows and doors into the largest rocks, rocks put there to stop the beach from washing out during the winter storms.


the boys played on the swings, and then messed around the racks.  i checked out formerly hidden paint stash and found out that it was no longer.  any paint cans that were out there were solid, and much of them were just not there any more.  so no paint.  drat.

we moved onto the beach when a local family came out to play.  the kids took off their socks and shoes and rolled their leggings up, and then ran right down and jumped around in the surf.  i wouldn’t let the boys do that because they’re not used to the weather, and connor was already sniffling.  connor cried because it wasn’t fair.  oh well.

the beach was cool; connor dug with a clamshell and the boys scratched their names into the sand.  then they noticed the stream crossing the beach, and then they noticed the shipwreck.  it was low tide, so everything was visible, and there was lots of sand to run around on.  connor found the tracks of a dog and spent some time worrying about where the dog had gotten to.



finally we returned to the sheltered bowl and played around there for awhile, eating our snacks, examining rocks and the statues made by the residents’ planting of tree trunks washed up from norway.

when we got cold, and when the clouds started coming darkly over the mountains, we headed for home.

it was still early, so i got out into the back yard and started digging for my garden.  all i could find was hand tools, so i chopped the grass up and pulled out the roots with a hand hoe.  it was hard work, and i thought i would be sore the next day, but wasn’t.  the boys spent time in the yard with me, trying risibly to help.  and then they got chased out of the neighboring yard by the neighbor, and after that they lost interest and went back inside.  i only came in when i was called to dinner.

because the store was closed entirely on sunday, we ate alice’s food, which was lake trout siggi caught last year and froze into a block of ice.  it was delicious.  and the boys went to bed around 11 and went right to sleep because we’d tired them out so well at the beach.


because of the 2am thing, i had declared no pool on sunday, and it was just as well, because the pool wasn’t open.  but the boys thought they were being punished, so they went to bed without a fight.

and so we were up early today, relatively.  i had set the clock, because we were due at lara’s house at 9:30.  her grandkids were there, and we wanted to make sure we caught them before they left.  so a half an hour’s walk, with the boys complaining about why we had to walk everywhere.  and then jim and i spent the next three hours talking with lara while the boys played with her kids.

a painting i’d forgotten i’d done.  lara has it

weed wackers dress like space aliens sometimes.  dig all the grass on his pants

we went by lara’s school and the boys really loved the lions.  just like in venice, sort of…

we left to go to the pool, but it was still closed, and we couldn’t figure out why.  because the explanation was in icelandic, and i’m never sure.  so we went back to the house, and i went to the store by myself and bought all sorts of stuff we’ll need.  spent a hundred dollars doing so.

but when i got back, i realized that alice and i had a meeting with anna maria, who is part of the city government in some capacity.  i asked jim to draw the projects i want to accomplish here, so i had 4 little scraps of paper for visuals.  anna maria was down at the old hardware store which everyone is busily turning into the new location for the natural history museum.  we walked into a construction zone, and back to the gallery, where they were building dioramas for all the stuffed birds in their collection.  i was very impressed by the professional way they were creating the displays.  the dioramas were perfect and looked like real landscapes.

anna maria seemed to like the ideas for trolls in the town , and advised me to go see the mayor on wednesday.  just walk in and ask for approval.  hahaha ok.

as we left, i looked over to the pool and saw cars and kids, so i gathered up the boys and jim.  i took jim back to the museum and offered his services, because they open on saturday and because he’s done this before.  we mentioned the atlanta cyclorama and someone pulled it up on his phone, and they all had a look.  so jim will go down there tomorrow and volunteer with all the other volunteers.  a community museum, staffed entirely by volunteers, and looking this good.  wonderful.

the boys have learned how much fun it is to feed the ducks.  i’m going to need a supply of bread

then it was to the pool.  i bought a year’s pass for myself, not because i intend to stay for a year, but because buying three one-month passes would have been way more expensive.  a month is about $110, and a year is about $180.  so it’s not cheap, but it comes out to $2 a day if i go swimming every day.  with the boys here, i won’t be able to miss a day, either.

jim stayed long enough to shepherd the boys thru the showering and changing process.  i walked them to the changing rooms and then the folks in the office got nervous and herded me back to the girls room.  as if.

i got a single lap in, and then it was kid duty, so i sat in the small kid pool with the small snake slide, and watched connor come down again and again, while avery went to the big kid slide so i could watch him do the same thing from 10 times the height.  i counted to 12 as he came down.  over and over.  it was fine as long as i didn’t stick my feet out of the water.  when i did, i could feel the cold and wind.  but the boys didn’t seem to mind getting out and climbing up, even in the wind.  avery did remark on how stiff the wind is at height, but it didn’t stop him.

finally i asked avery to sit with connor while i got into the hotpot.  two of the resident artists were there, so we talked and had a nice time while the boys continued to play.  but finally connor came into the hotpot and avery went back to the big slide, and i knew it was time to go, because connor just wasn’t willing to follow the hotpot rules (no splashing or yelling).  so we went back to the slides for 5 more minutes, and then in to shower.  of course i had to get the attendant to go hurry the boys out of the changing rooms, because they like messing around in there as much as they like being in the pool.

the troll rocks opposite kaffi klara, with kids for scale

after that, i made spaghetti for dinner, and time went speeding by as it does in the evening.  soon it was 9, and jim and i dashed out briefly, right before a shower, to deliver a book i’d brought for one of the residents.  and then it was 10 and the boys were not settling down.  so jim and i went to bed and read our chapter (the st mary’s chronicles by jodi taylor), and then it was 11 and the boys were not settling down.  so i went up to their room 3 times, and when i came upon them screeching sound effects with their small cars on the comforters, i made connor come downstairs and sleep on the couch.  i’d already threatened them with no pool, and that wasn’t enough.

so, next morning (now), i outslept jim, who sat in bed with coffee, and then he outslept me as i got up to start a batch of bread (i forgot to bring my bread pan omg).  the rest of the day went by like the wind.  making bread.  getting jim off to volunteer at the natural history museum.  going to tjarnarborg to arrange a troll house workshop with kids and meeting asta who runs the place.

connor’s compensation for avery having soccer practice and not him

taking avery to his first soccer practice (he totally loved it – “there’s a lot of running and kicking the ball”).


going swimming with grandpa and the kids (he thought everything but the hotpots were too cold, because he got into the hotpots first).  then dinner made by alice (baked chicken and chinese noodles, absolutely delicious).  and now i’m writing ads and notices, for the kids’ workshop and also to get the townspeople interested in letting me paint trolls on their houses.


the kids love swimming.  today there was nobody there but us, so the managers/lifeguards put connor in arm floaty thingies and let him go off the big yellow slide with avery.  he was in heaven.  you could hear him thru the tube all the way down.  the ride is 12 seconds, and he screamed the whole way down.

and now everybody’s tired, but it’s only 8, so there’s no way they’re going to bed yet.  i’m hoping they take last night’s lesson to heart – last night i dragged connor down here and put him on the couch.  avery complained this morning that he still didn’t get to sleep, but at least i didn’t hear them clomping on the floor until 2am…

more in a few days.  normally my daybook is empty.  as of this moment, my weeks are full until jim leaves, and even afterwards.  how can i be so busy in a place where some people complain there is nothing to do?





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