In Memory of Tori McGee

30 May 2011 –  So Very Sad…

Taught English Language/American Culture at Auxiliar de conversacion, Ministry of Education/Spain. Studied International Relations at Texas Christian University. Lived in Manzanares, Castilla-La Mancha/Spain. Languages spoken English, Spanglish, Spanish.

Victoria, first-born to Kathryn & Michael passed away suddenly in Spain today where she had just completed her teaching assignment and was on her way back home to TX/USA. This wonderful young lady crossed my path in FL/USA in the early 1990s with fond memories.

Our last contact was regarding her concerns if the plane will be able to take off as the volcano ashes in Iceland were again getting in the way for the planes. Her travel itinerary was: Berlin, Cologne, Heidelberg, Hamburg, Rothenberg, Dachau, Neuschwanstein, Munich, Zurich, Basel, Madrid, TEXAS. Told her that all the fingers are crossed for her.

Oh Tori, you will be greatly missed and may you rest in peace. Such a charming young lady who was not afraid to live her life fully. Thank you for crossing my path and for your being. Sincere condolences, prayers and thoughts to her family, especially to her mom Kathy dad Michael, sister Samantha, brother Michael jr and aunt Nancy & the Bowmans.

Was so dreading to house painting and was online re-reading about a previous blog posting:

Also posted in my FB comment to someone just before the news of her passing. In my next life, I want to be a butterfly, flying freely and sniffing at the beautiful flowers; looking gorgeous for 24hrs and die ●♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♥●

And strangely as I received the news of her passing, a butterfly was outside my window. For Norway, it is too early for the butterflies (long winter&late spring this time round). Not sure if this makes any sense, had to edit (1 Mar 2013) as what was previously written was confusing as I was in a total state of shock.

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven… Ecclesiastes 3:1


30 May 2011 – How & Where to Start…

There is no emoticon for what I am feeling… – Oscar Wilde                                                                                                                              

Had a lovely time catching with Kristen & Geir on Fri. Observed on the walk home that the dandelions are done with their flowering stage and soon those seeds will be flying all over. Only a few days ago, the same pix was yellow as far as the eyes could see. The dandelions at the house are still at their flowering as they are on higher grounds.

When there are no tools in the house on a Sunday and none of the neighbours are home, forget even trying to borrow a screw-driver. All shops are closed in the area, so not much can be done until there are some tools.  Bjørn has this amazing ladder and it is now here in the house. No ladder to heaven but feels like in the circus when balancing on it to clean the walls 🙂

Painting walls sounds easy when all these procedures are already done! First to wash off stains, to be rid of all the nails screws etc, and fill in the holes, tape all the joins to doors & windows and to protect the floor. The ex-tenant had torn off bits and pieces of the wallpaper in the dinning area and this too has to be fixed. At least most of the stains are washed off and all the dandelions blooms have been cut from the lawn, for the time being this weekend!

Found the curtains for the living room in the attic which are good quality curtains from early 1980s and they were rather costly then! Well worth the money as they are still in good condition. Thanks to May & Bjørn 10 liters paint, brushes etc are in place and for misc odds & ends shopping@IKEA on Sat. Whoever says that cleaning and painting up a house is easy, has never done it! Unless the lottery is won there is no escape!! Does not get easier with age, the aches are felt in every joint, everyday but this too shall pass!!!

To win the Lottery, you must first buy a ticket – unknown

Designed for Escaping…

27 May 2011 – Thanks for the Feed-backs!

A design for escaping, but alas the Tortoise is too slow to catch a ride on the space shuttle that lifted off some time ago! And so the Tortoise thought, in my next life I want to be the Hare!! Posted the Doors of Dublin poster and the feedbacks from FB were great. Here is an example to get a 🙂 when things are not so bright and positive. Appreciate that you all will continue with the comments, tkx!

All pix (except the Doors of Dublin) today are downloaded from different sites. Like the idea of designing either a new poster with tasteful doors, windows and roofs, title: Designed for Escaping! Whoever takes up this idea and make money on it, remember where you got the idea from, LOL.

Have a blast this weekend!

At present there is no escape as all doors, windows and roof which need to be either cleaned or painted and here is a quote to keeps some sanity in life…
God, give us grace to accept with serenity 
the things that cannot be changed, 
Courage to change the things 
which should be changed, 
and the Wisdom to distinguish 
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time, 
Enjoying one moment at a time… – Reinhold Niebuhr

When all doors led to LaLaLand…
    • Mette Backer That is so cool 🙂
    • Amy Lam Never know what is in the attic until the boxes are opened 🙂

    • Denise Schade Is that what that photo is about. I have it in a book about digital photography and symmetry. I love it in colour. Keep it! keep it!

    • Amy Lam Many have copied that design later but the first was this one, Doors of Dublin!

    • Denise Schade Aren’t they fabulous doors?

    • Amy Lam When all doors are closed, then go open them! Otherwise go thru’ the windows. Now why has not anyone come up with a design for windows?
    • Denise Schade Windows! There is a great idea to investigate. Not sure my neighbourhood would be very interesting though!
    • Denise Schade I quite like roofs and gables too! We could produce a coffee table book.
    • Amy Lam Good idea… name it ‘Ways to Escape’ 🙂

    • Denise Schade That’s brilliant! maybe “Designed For Escaping”. Maybe continue the poster theme.

Weird Perceptions…

26 May 2011 – … And Thoughts!

Joplin, Missouri (CNN) – Residents of tornado-ravaged Joplin, Missouri, continued picking up the pieces, totaling the damages and counting their blessings Wed, killing at least 125 people… thoughts and prayers out to the people affected.

Linn’s cross-country and track coach, Tom Hammontree made a comment on FB: Linn I thought of you yesterday about OKC and am glad you don’t live there any longer. Thanks Coach for the thoughts, feel the same too! Linn & Jeff lived in Oklahoma City for a short period and that is part of the USA known as tornado alley! OKC is also where Katy is born and where the 1995 bombing killing 168 people.

Yesterday was a beautiful afternoon and had to be in Oslo on legal matters with the same lawyer handling all my legal situations since early 1980s. She is good! The bus to and from Oslo is NOK 90/S$20, must find out how much the bus cards here cost! Have to be more efficient about living here or end up using too much time on walking, smelling the flowers and getting nothing done! This morning sitting in the dining room with the overgrown lawn and weeds in clear view is no escape for the tired hands 🙁

The mind has been receiving strange inputs lately, like making cheesy comments on FB and  trying to find a good international word for cheers. Received some responses but came to the conclusion that maybe the best international way is still sign language by lifting up your glass… again shows that action speaks louder than words 🙂

Maybe breathing in too much of strong detergents and paint fumes are getting into the head! Or is it the side-effect of living in Viking-Land again! Received a comment that the postings are too short with words, which have never been my forte. If there is a one-liner to say it all and say it clear, that is the best! Apologies but will for the most remain short, like the blog owner… LOL

Sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste – William Shakespeare

Those Were the Days…

24 May 2011 – When All Doors Led to LaLaLand…

The last two days have been windy, can’t say much about the colour of the wind but quite serene to hear especially inside a nearly empty house. Spent a whole morning scrubbing the vent above the stove. Do not understand how people could make food in such filthy conditions! Was tempted to buy a new vent but the old thing still functions perfectly well and would be a waste to get a new one just because of laziness. Thank goodness for a bag of old rags in the attic which was most useful!

If only these layers of grease could tell their stories, that could have been interesting – just a few distractions to keep sane when doing such a tedious and non-thankful job which will shorten life breathing in the fumes of these strong detergents 🙂

Found the first poster of this design, Doors of Dublin bought in Dublin during the late 1960s and later framed it after the move to Norway. Another piece of my first is an embroidery of Norwegian vintage design of a klokkestreng/Bellpull, wall embroidery made in the early 1970. Do not even remember why these are in the attic.

Denise a FB friend posted a Simplicity 7975 Misses’ Pullover Caftan she made when she was age 19! Oh yes! do we remember those patterns, so useful for making the children’s clothes as well as Linn’s school dances’ dresses. Hmmm… Denise we were young and clever then or maybe just young 🙂 🙂

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they’d never end
We’d sing and dance forever and a day
We’d live the life we choose
We’d fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way
La la la la la la
La la la la la la – Mary Hopkin

Box-wine Fashion & Red Tapes…

23 May 2011 – … Only in Sandvika

Sandvika is the administrative centre of the municipality of Bærum where the most beautiful town-hall is located (to my eyes) and is designed by Linn & May’s great-grandfather, Magnus Poulsson. See posting:

Had to be there today to make sure that all the red tapes and official papers are in order for me to stay! And to do some shopping for the house!! Pix are from the center of Sandvika which of course is not the same as it was from the first visit, summer of 1968! It was a cold and stormy night and L&M’s father had to catch his bus in front of the town-hall back to his military training then!

Now the main street where my first Norwegian bank account was opened then was Bergen Bank, now DnB and no longer on the main street which is a pedestrian street. The first row of pix is more the old Sandvika and the next row is the new Sandvika; the pix below, hmmm, how do you like your prom dress made of recycled box-wine containers?  The French will certainly frown on that, not only for box-wine but the fashion 🙂

Bus from Kolsås takes about 15mins and cost NOK30/S$7oneway. Today is my lucky day, found NOK 200/S$45 on the ground! Decided to spoil myself by taking the bus both ways and had a snack! Walking there will take nearly 2hrs but too tired and lazy after a whole weekend of cleaning.

May & Bjørn transported second-hands dish washer, fridge/freezer, stove and washing machine (all in good condition, except to clean them!) in their SAAB over Sat & Sun. Was really impressed how Bjørn managed to get those appliances from the original place to his car and out to the house. Now all the appliances are ready to be used  thanks to them…

Now, as always, the most automated appliance in the household is the mother – Beverly Jones

Doll Houses…

22 May 2011 – … in the Attic

1981 when we moved into the house, the attic had no floor, thus was not usable or the insulation would be destroyed. The flooring was later placed only to the area where one can stand without too much of head-bumping! No children nor flowers in the attic, but children’s books and toys!! Went thru’ all the stuff in 2008 and threw away many loads of garbage. Was going to give the rest of the stuff to the salvation army or to whoever needed them. Linn & May had then voiced that they would liked for me to store the books and toys.

A Doll’s House was published on December 4, 1879, and first performed in Copenhagen on Descember 21, 1879. The work was considered a publishing event, and the play’s initial printing of 8,000 copies quickly sold out. The play was so controversial that Ibsen was forced to write a second ending that he called ‘a barbaric outrage’ to be used only when necessary… highly recommended play to read and watch if performed well!

When you’ve sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don’t do it a second time – Ibsen’s A Doll’s House Act 3

For those who have read and know this play, just a tease and my version to the ending of Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House! Nora returns to the attic to find two doll houses which have been kept for the next generation’s plays… hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

Trail to Løkenhavna

21 May 2011 – Judgement Day@1800hrs!

89yrs old tele-evangelist Harold Camping has predicted that at 1800hrs local time in each of the world’s regions the Rapture will happen and good Christians will be beamed up to heaven… which will not happened! But if it is does, heaven is fully booked with only good Christians, but not being one, would instead like to film this beaming on video to show to those who are not yet@1800hrs or not being beamed 🙂 🙂 🙂

Spent Fri night here in an empty house but strangely it was rather peaceful and serene to hear one’s own breathing, foot steps etc echoing thru’ the house. Today have been checking around while it is daylight to assess what really needs to be done and believe me, there is quite some work there for the next 2 months. Took a walk to the nearest shopping center to discover some new short-cuts thru’ the woods. Even with these so-called short-cuts, would take app 15mins fast walk downhill. To get back is uphill all the way and that would take app 30mins… no wonder the AT was possible, considering all that walking done when living in Norway 🙂 🙂

Instead of following Harold’s signs, here are better signs to follow! To get to the suburb of Kolsås, take a bus from Oslo. After you get off the bus, follow these pictures to the neighbourhood of Løkenhavna taking Glitterudvn, thru’ the woods and you will find a little piece of peace@Piggsoppgrenda. Welcome 🙂

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds – Edward Abbey

St. Hanshaugen

20 May 2011 – A Garbage Affair!!

St. Hanshaugen/St. John’s Hill is a borough of the city of Oslo and the park is planted by the city in the years 1876-86, just 2mins walk from the apt. In the 1840s the inhabitants of Oslo began to use the park as site for their Midsummer Eve/St. Hans bonfire. St. Hanshaugen means Midsummer’s Eve Hill. It has a stage used for outdoor concerts and is hilly with great views to downtown Oslo; also the site of Kongene på Haugen, an annual local music festival.

This early morning with the weather on my side, took a beautiful stroll, watching life goes by at this green park. Some school kids were having their field-trip, people jogging and walking their dogs etc peaceful feelings. There is an impressive size garbage disposer and a disposer for the one-time used grills. Other public parks need to take note of this good idea! Enjoying this day before having to move out to an empty house tomorrow to start work on it. A good weekend  to everyone 🙂

If you put garbage in a computer nothing comes out but garbage. But this garbage, having passed through a very expensive machine, is somehow ennobled and none dare criticize it – Rory Bremner

Speed Post…

19 May 2011 – …via a Historic Route!

Wed: lost count of the times of this walk but it still never fails to fascinate me. App 20mins walk is like walking thru’ many centuries on Ullevålsveien starting@St Hanshaugen Post Office towards the cemetery and downhill to the library. With a perfect morning walking weather, it took about twice as long with the new camera! Had to be at the library to print out some documents and courier them to Malaysia costing NOK573/S$128 taking 3 days and that is the speed post!!

Vår Frelsers gravlund is a cemetery created in 1808 as a result of the great famine and cholera epidemic. Its grounds were extended in 1911. The cemetery has been full since 1952. The cemetery is known primarily for Æreslunden/Norway’s main honorary burial ground. Many famous people are buried there,  just naming two which are internationally known are Henrik Ibsen & Edvard Munch. It is serene to stroll here.

Schola Osloensis or Oslo katedralskole/Oslo Cathedral School founded 1153, the only high school in Norway that offers the study of Latin & Russian. More commonly as Katta is a prestigious secondary school. Edvard Munch and the King of Norway attended this school!

St Olav Domkirke/St Olav Cathedral. A Catholic church inaugurated in 1856 and boasts a tabernacle in Italian marble, donated by Pope Pius in 1857, a bishop’s throne used by Pope John Paul II on his visit in 1989.

Vor Frue Hospital/Our Lady’s Hospital: St Joseph Sisters built this hospital in 1896 and ran it until the 1980s when Oslo municipality took over the building. Today with 39 beds, this hospital treats mostly patients with schizophrenia, long-lasting psychoses, severe personality disorders and mental illness combined with substance abuse.

Trefoldighetskirken/Holy Trinity Church was consecrated in 1858 and is one of the capital’s most beautiful churches.

Deichmanske Bibloteh/Deichmanske Library serves the county of Oslo and is Norway’s largest public library based upon a testamentary gift from the estate of Chancellor Carl Deichman/1705-1780. Through this gift, the library was bequeathed a collection of handwriting and books, nearly all of which are preserved today. The building from 1933 is much too small for the current level of activity. Plans are now underway for a new public in the vicinity of the Oslo fjord and City Hall. This will be a 24-hour Library, web-based services in addition to traditional on-site services.

Thank you to Ingrid for a yummy dinner, nice to end Wed by catching up and appreciations for the ride to and from her house in the cold rain. What started to be a lovely morning ended in rain. Luckily no rain on 17 May 🙂

A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life – Henry W Beecher