Tree-house

25 May 2018 – In 2015 And Now

Thu: enjoying the serenity in this neighbourhood with the fragrance of Gardenia scent and feeling like a child again with a tree-house in an idyllic backyard. Wow!! compare these 2pix; one when the tree-house was built in 2015 and now where the creepers are climbing higher, growing fast like the FaBuLous5. Nice with the tree stumps around a fire-pit – perfect for s’mores in the evening.

This song usually pop up when there is this feeling of being blessed and grateful to have family and friends who have given and taught me much in this life journey, so far. And the journey continues north towards ME and Canada for Jul&Aug. With tickets arranged and booked, can relax and enjoy SC for now.

Fri: TGIF – air tickets for Aug from CAE-YYZ and from YYZ-FLL (total US$299 S$400), at this price, will pass on the Greyhound which would save me US$50 S$67. Bus tickets for Jul on Greyhound (US$70 S$94) from CAE-WinstonSalem and from Wikesboro-CAE.

The strange thing with greyhounding from CAE-WilkesB transferring@WinstonS with a long layover will take 20+hrs to get to WilkesB, but from WilkesB-CAE, 9hrs. Was rather greyhounded out in 2015 road-trip, should be ok for this short trip.

Looking forward to Jul’s drive from NC-ME to do a support hike for HiHills, Pokey&Wiggs. Not sure which roads Franklin is planning to take, but will be filled with adventures and fun for sure. Have not been to ME since the AT thru’hike (2005).

Too much time on hand, wanted and could not resist these items online – Universal Travel Socket US$27 S36 Slap Sunglasses US$13 S$17 Insta Sealer US$12 $16 shipping US$11 S$15. $$$ quoted thru’out my blog are just estimated and round-up, ie not exactly to the cent! incase anyone wants to contradict or challenge those figures!! They are just for me to remember and compare how much stuff roughly cost then and now.

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Advantages with online shopping – no need to dress or drive or to go out of the house and everything delivered to the doorsteps. I can live with that – especially the dressing and driving part 🙂 Cheers to all that!  Anyone with one of these Universal Travel Socket plx provide a comment, tkx. Have been searching for something like this, ie a single piece with multi-functions. Will let y’all know after receiving and trying it out. Have one from a few years ago, but not 100% satisfied…

Track & Field 2018

24 May 2018 – Awards Banquet

Sun: so long for this time round Damascus and hopefully there will be a next time round in 2019! Appreciations to the town of Damascus and the organizers for hosting another successful Trail Days.

Random pix from this trip.

Pleasant drive back to SC stopping@Tryon NC, pop app 1,700. Had an omelette@TJ’sCafe, only place opened when we got there. Again had to doggie-bag leftovers.

Located in the escarpment of the BlueRidge Mountains, the area is a center for outdoor pursuits, equestrian activity and fine arts.

Irmo High School Track&Field 2018 Awards Banquet – well done to #1 for Varsity, Academic, State Qualifier Awards, to #2 for Varsity, State Qualifier Awards and good job to all the coaches.

Mon: laundry and a day to chill with much needed zzz. Looking forward to doing a support ME-hike in Jul when more charming places like Tryon, NC will be in some of the paths to cross and to eat lobsters for a week.

Tue: cleaning out bag&box left in the attic here. Delighted to find these AT stickers collected over time and this lovely 3Dpix by Braid – sticker at the bottom left was placed there by me for this pix.

Did not buy any stickers this time round and looks like there is more than enough here.

Such a good idea with this mini farmers’market@IrmoHigh. Tue is the day when there is a teachers’ meeting until 1700hrs and perfect timing to pick up some ready-made dinner@the food-truck and dessert@the baked-goods.

#1 request from me was the Kettle-corn and lemonade here was made to my taste, tart with minimum sugar.

Wed: Happy Birthday dear niece Yasmine. A morning to chop up left-overs for fried-rice. The onions, squash & broccoli from yesterday’s farmers’ market will enhance both taste and presentation! Baked good were excellent, especially the Red-Velvet shot, just right on the cream-cheese and moist cake.

A perfect way to end a peaceful day with this beautiful sunset by the lake. Was careful walking in the middle of the road to&from the lake as there has been a couple of snake-sightings the past week.

Dusk is just an illusion because the sun is either above the horizon or below it. And that means that day and night are linked in a way that few things are there cannot be one without the other yet they cannot exist at the same time. How would it feel I remember wondering to be always together yet forever apart? ― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

Trail Days 2018

19 May 2018 – In Wet Weathers

Tue: while the house was being cleaned, breakfast at the best bakery with the best service @Blue Flour downtown on Main St – tkx to Terry and Jeremy. 1st visit to this location, usually at St Andrew’s Rd, Irmo – both locations highly recommended.

More locations on Main St worth some attention – painted steel, Unfolding Sky Cupped in Spring’s Red Blaze by EdwinWhite (2010).

Wed: camera giving problems, hope that it will not let me down until back to SIN! Grocery shopping@Walmart. Packing for Trail Days and wet weathers are in the  forecast, but thru’hikers and hiker-trash have weathered thru’ them all. According to John/MoFo’s forecast, just watch the stone – hahaha

Thu: To May&family+Norwegian friends around the world – god syttende mai, Happy NorwegianConstitution Day from SC, USA. Good jobs to Jeff for the bow and to WalMart for the cupcakes.

0845hrs, tkx to MoFo and DamascusVA 280m/450km (app 4+hrs if no stops) is where we are heading. Delicious lunch-stop@SierraNevada BrewingCo MillsRiverNC, good choice, MoFo.

Tkx to JayBlaack, learnt that IrishMossZinc is a clarifying agent used when brewing and to MoFo for the word vat – for a non-beer drinker, that is new info…

Most unexpected menu for a brewery –  prefect-size portions tasteful presented Pan Fried Quail and  Swiss Roll, one of the best tasted but unable to answer for the CatFish Sandwich, trust MoFo when he said that it was good. The food is yummy, the service terrific, the venue beautiful – highly recommended. Even the sip of beer tasted was good.

Welcome to VA.

Safely into Damascus with Pokey already there. Free Hiker Feast@the Fire-Hall was a success like every year, tkx to the OneWay Ministry and Fire Department for sharing their space.

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Thru’hikers are the best ppl to feed, they appreciate anything and everything – the coleslaw was delicious this year.

@The DamascusBrewery – 2breweries in 1day for a non-beer-drinker is the record. Again tasted some but ended with water – many hikers like beers! Wiggs did not get in until after 22hrs. Met her@our regular AlpineMotel, Abingdon.

Fri: TGIF and good to have Wiggs safely here. Appreciations to Lee&Paul for including us@The Hikers Inn for breakfast. Morning @the vendors to check out what is new – not buying yet, just watching MoFo in action!

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Hanging with the infamous AT trail record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis and@Warren Doyle’s talk.

Lunch@Mojo’s Trailside Cafe & Coffee House – the group growing, now with Cruiser & Whamo. A short rest indoors was well-received before the late afternoon & evening socials.

Linda & Alleghany who entertained us with a backpack guitar in the 2005 thru-hike – only hiker I know of being bitten by a rattlesnake. Glad to catch up with Honey&Bear who took care of us@The Cabin in ME – yummy&only lobster meal I had on the hike. Of course Loon, always happy to see him, the only hiker who visited me in Norway. Dinner@Damascus Old Mill Restaurant in the rains.

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Good music for Loon to make his dance moves with the ladies – pix with Pokey and I, credits to Wiggs.

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Sat: breakfast@our regular Zazzy’s, Abingdon with lots of laughter from funny&silly incidents during our hikes – started to make notes of them so that they do not get lost.

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Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – presented by Anne Van Curen at the TownHall. Based on the NY Times bestseller, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk – the inspiring story of the woman who saved the AT. Actress Curen transforms into Grandma Gatewood to describe what it was like to be the first woman to solo hike the AT in 1955.

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Looks like the Hikers Inn is well-prepared for the parade with their hoses. Wiggs good choice for Loon’s drag was a hit.

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Was at the Hyperlite Mountain Gear’s booth during their lucky-draw, no wins but bought the Shell, (5.5ozs/0.16g), ultralight water/windproof jacket US$380 S$510  made with Dyneema eVent technology (breathable) and the DaybreakPack (20ozs/571g) ultralight daypack US$184 S$248 – trying out these new material at discounted prices! Must be absolutely crazy to pay these kind of $$$, but like to try new materials!! Pix downloaded.

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HiHills&Franklin arrived in time for dinner@BoneFire Smokehouse, Abingdon before we went our separate ways.

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Wiggs had to leave in the afternoon and could not make dinner. Good to see the group and hope that I can pull off to meet in ME for their Jul hike. Appreciations to MoFo for driving me to and from Trail Days and for putting up with my chatting…

Cyberspace can’t compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face – Jonathan Sacks

Mother’s Day 2018

14 May 2018 – Start To Another New Week

Fri: nice place – Chicken Salad Chick, opened 3yrs ago but my first time here and just to pick up for Katy. We were presented with a rose each, and yes a location where I will return.

What a treat to be able to have lunch with #3,4&5@IrmoElementray and probably the only day before school is out. It is lovely to walk thru’ corridors filled with creative artworks. Amazing how my 1st-born manages her hectic end of the school-year schedules for 5kids + her coaching – overwhelming just to observe her!

Dvořák’s New World Symphony No.9 E minor Op95 – a challenging piece to perform, and not forgetting that this is a high-school orchestra with some help of a few teachers.

Congratulations to The Irmo Symphonic Orchestra with Colleen Marcou conducting. The last movement was no doubt played con fuoco – well done to #1 & her schoolmates.

Impressive attributes@Irmo High School, not only the performing arts but also the visual arts. And not to mention that Linn coaches Track&CC there!

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Missed this art exhibition Art of Healing 2018 sponsored by Lexington Medical Center@Columbia Museum of Art (13Mar) where #1 Taking Flight was displayed. Tkx to Linn for keeping the program.

Sat: clothes shopping@OldNavy&TJ Max Columbiana station, Harbison Rd  with on this hot hot hot late morning. Nothing for me@OldNavy but did find a skirt and a pair of pants@TJ Max US$28 S$37. Linn could not run any road races with a broken toe – ouch!

Sun: wishing all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day with special thoughts of my own mother who was a mother of 7 in 1950 (SIN). I became a mother of 2 in 1978 (Norway), my 1st-born a mother of 5 in 2011 (USA) and my 2nd-born a mother of 1 in 2011 (Norway).

A mother holds your hand for a while, but holds your heart forever. In us all no matter how, what, when, where or why, there is always a little bit of our mothers in us, even if just in memory.

Early service@Shandon Baptist Church and I do miss Rev Dick Lincoln’s sermons, but Pastor Wright made a good point today regarding knowing about someone as to knowing someone. Just think how many ppl we know about and yet we do not know them!!!

What a delightful idea to have brunch@City Roots, SC’s first urban sustainable farm where they grow a variety of vegetables for local farmer’s markets. Tkx to L&J, yummy lunch was savoured by grandmothers, mothers, daughter, son-in-law, #1-5. Nice to catch up with Cindy.

The first time out here was to cheer Linn@the 2014 Crawdaddy Dash and somehow those pix disappeared…

Such creative gifts by the grandchildren – still have drawings in SIN by L&M from their elementary school days!

Mon: had to get another new phone US$30 S$40 for US use during my stay – the flip phone from a year ago has a number which is somebody else number today. The flip phone was the cheapest when I got it last year and my favourite! Now with 3, have to flip away the flip!! What a waste – such it is back in the land of consumers!!! Supplements and cosmetics US$57 S$76 are much cheaper here than in SIN or Norway.

Amtrak Train92 SilverStar

12 May 2018 – Tram, Plane, Train & Uber

Mon: the neighbour’s kid has a perfect helmet, I want one too with matching backpack especially with those spites 🙂 Bye for now OSL – will be back in Aug. The International GateF has this new colourful StreetEat – did not try, already bought my food at the grocery, but got a muffin there and it was so-so. OSL-FLL 9+hrs on a full&uneventful NorwegianAir flight. 1+hrs thru’ US immigration and on the hotel shuttle to the RepCarpetInn before midnight.

Tue: finally back on the soils of the US of A –  quite a contrast in nature&wild life here in FL from OSL, internet sooo painfully slow at this inn.

Had an omelette breakfast next door@The Reef and there was enough for me to doggie-bag for another 2meals – welcome back to the land of plentiful. The cab fares to the AmTrak US$15 including tips. So all in all with transport, food, accommodation and train tickets US$150, S$200+S$530 (RT-airfares OSL-FLL-OSL) still makes this trip affordable.

First time@FLL train station

and while waiting for the train, some drama with an emergency and someone wheeled out to an ambulance.

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The trip last year, did not get to take pix at Tampa and

Orlando, stations – this time round, stepped off the train 15mins stop for a few mins to capture these.

Wed: was 30mins delayed getting into Columbia at 0440hrs and was greeted by a friendly Uber lady driver (Katy) who got me safely back to the family this early morning. The efficiency of today’s world of technology!

Linn was already out and about running and working out with her runner-friends. The rest were still in their dreamland, Zuno welcomed me with his wagging tail – amazing that he recognized, remembered and did not bark!

Lost count of the stops on a comfortable 16+hrs (cat-nap here and there, bad internet connections) Amtrak SilverStar, but who is counting when am finally reunited with the FaBuLous5. Quite a zombie the rest of the day, must admit that this has taken more a toll mentally&physically than expected and might have to re-consider my future travelling routes if I remember to read back on this blog posting. As the years go by so quickly, so does the memory!!!

Thu: unpacking and repacking from what is left behind to check what is needed to be purchased and looks like shampoo and soap are on top of the list.

The staff at the NorwegianAirlines counter were impressed that I am travelling for 6months without checked-in luggage, just a backpack not knowing that I have stuff left behind both in Norway&US.

Fri: TGIF according to my laptop set in SIN time and since it is exactly 12hrs difference, did not bother to reset the time. Fri happenings will be in the next posting as it is actually still Thu here.

From the 1970s

7 May 2018 – Norwegian Friends

Thu: refreshing walk into town to catch up with Kirsten for a cuppa between her appointments. It is quite normal for me to find places with WiFi access incase of changes or delays so that I can be contacted!

VårFrelsersGravlund/OurSaviourCemetery, now a member of the European Cementries Route! also where Munch&Ibsen graves are located,

This time round, taking a slight detour via the vet-school to St Hanshaugen, Ullevålsveien – been a long while ago I took this route, since when May was living@KraftsGt.

Christiania Glasmagasins on Stortorvet is no longer suppliers for HadelandGlass – a store for my eyes only! Some unusual knives, silk scarf Bit of Norway costing NOK1,000+ S$165+. Looks like the table is set for the 17May celebrations.

When L&M great-grand mother was alive, she would take me shopping here as she was a share-holder and she was entitled to a 20%discount then. Got my 1st waffle-iron there in the late 1960s.

Eventyrveien=FairytaleRd on a lovely fairytale-like late afternoon.

Fascinating to watch this disposal truck crashing everything from bicycle to furniture. Ppl were so eager to rid their junk and the men in charge of the trunk seemed to have a blast just pressing the button to crush the stuff. They were of course there loading the bigger and heavier when their help was needed.

These 2dogs had such a fun time with the kids cheering them on instead of playing soccer! A bowl of yummy hot-steaming soup@Bicks hit the spot after standing an hour+ outdoors watching a soccer get-together!

Fri: TGIF and and what an amazing afternoon, thank you Kari, my oldest (from 1972) and the first Norwegian girlfriend, a beautiful lady in every-way who has taught me much about Norway as well as life.

To celebrate our friendship – where else than Theatercaféen,

a place where time stood still – charming location with lots of personality, like us oldies! and the few places that serves good BiffTartar.

A perfect afternoon with dessert@Slottsparken/PalacePark by the lovely cherry blossoms. Got back in time to wish Rich welcome to Norway. Yummy BBQ chicken dinner by May. A good weekend to all.

Sat: Happy Cinco de Mayo to all celebrating. Tkx to Karin who informed me that it is la batalla de Puebla and is not celebrated in Mexico – 19Sep is their NationalDay, learn something new everyday!! Here we had all kinds of spreads for breakfast before a bowling trip – 15mins car-ride into town but an hour to get back due to road closures for the

Holmenkollstafetten, a relay referred to as the most beautiful adventure in the spring. It is one of Norway’s largest athletics event in the number of enrolled and held in early May each year since it was first organized in 1923.

Sun: 1+hr drive on E6 with interesting wooden overhead bridges, been sometime ago since on this section of E6 by Mjøsa, app 100km north of OSL and the largest lake in Norway & EU.

Heading away from E6 before the suspension bridge to Vallset, again where the church is located on the best site there!

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And I am not kidding – the above 2pix are views from the front and back of the church!

Still some small patches of snow on the road-side. StenhammarKoia can only be located on the trail map and here for B to set up his cameras to detect life in the woods.

An absolutely beautiful day was had by all lunching on grilled hot-dogs. Enjoying this day to the fullest before having to pack and head on to the US tomorrow. Sure looks like the neighbours are having a busy day building his shed in the garden and making hay while the sunshine

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Nursery And Bakery

3 May 2018 – April Showers Bring May Flowers

Tue: Happy May Day, Labour Day and ode Spring after a cold dark stormy wet night – April Showers bring May flowers. Quite a contrast here with flowers from the tropics, but all flowers are beautiful and all 

Flowers are restful to look at. They have neither emotions nor conflicts – Sigmund Freud

Today is a public holiday here in Norway and only a few places are opened. A trip to the nursery for #6 to choose some seeds to be planted. Good selection of seeds, outdoor furniture and service here. Could not resist getting this frog NOK249 S$40 for the family to place in their balcony for measuring rainfall, especially today!!

Such irresistible beautiful colourful flowers but managed to fight the temptation today! Rhododendron, Calla-Lily, Campanula Bellflowers and Impatiens – having worked in a flower shop (one of my favourtie summer jobs) in Tromsø many moons ago still gives me the advantage for knowing and remembering the names of these non-tropic flowering plants.

Another location opened today is Baker Hanson and a cup of hot cappuccino hit the spot on this cold wet day –  my regular hang-out joint for their baked-goods, salads and with a tagline, nesten som hjemme=just like home is as good as you can get. There are at least 25branches here in OSL. Coincidentally, Ellen just mentioned a few days ago that Baker Hansen crossed her life’s journey path.

Yummy omelette to start the day, first time tasted it baked in a muffin-pan made by #6. Checked out the new À L’aise, with their Danish chef Ulrik Jepsen who has experiences from known Michelin***restaurant. It was closed today and also probably not within my budget! Home-made Lemon-Grass-Chicken was on my dinner menu!

Wed: today the white blossoms are in full bloom in town, not long ago the roads were white with snow and soon they will be white again, not with snow but with all these blossoms when its time for the leafs to take over.

 

Perfect weather and temps for an hour walk to OsloS and with billboards –  Ett tog erstatter 600 biler=One train replaces 600cars, am more than happy to walk, especially when I can stop by Freia to pick up a few pieces of my favourite chocolate. Appreciations to Evy for taking time to meet, has been 40yrs ago since we last met!! Had a good time catching up and reminiscing about our Tromsø days where we crossed path at the Music School there&then.

The cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also short. Due to their short bloom time, Sakura blossoms are a metaphor for life itself: beautiful yet fleeting…

1 May – Happy May Day/Labour Day

5 May – Happy Cinco De Mayo

6 May – Happy Bdays WONG Wai Kit & Jan SOSA

10 May – Happy Bday Andrew LAM

13 May – Happy Bday Susannah LAM

17 May – Happy Bday LAM Poh Chee & hurra for 17 mai

18 May – Happy 50Wedding Anniversaray to Lawrence&Mabel. Happy Bday Helen VICKERY-YEO

23 May – Happy Bday Yasmine AMEEN

27 May – Happy Bdays LAM Sui Chang & Karen LIM

28 May – Happy Bday Vanessa LAM

30 May– Happy Bday Hans Kristian HUSTAD