Sunday

A month of giving, day 1. Given to you by Emily.

 
The whole month of march will be a month of giving here at my blog!
 Thanks to 30 wonderful, generous, talented and OH SO kind women i have the HUGE pleasure and BIG joy of celebrating my 40'th birthday (which is on the 24'th) together with you all with having a feast of giving in here!
 
Every single day this month there will be given a new gift, made by one of these 30 giving and generous women. Together with each gift you will also get the pleasure of getting to know a bit about the maker/giver through some questions that they have answered. It has been such a blessing for me to read their sharings, i know you will LOVE it too!
Each gift post will be open for 5 days and the winner will be announced in here on the following day. Everyone are welcome to enter, the gifts will gladly be sent world wide.
 
I am so deeply touched by all the goodness, the blessings, that all of you who i have come to know through my blog, have gifted me so i can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday...*smiling...
Enjoy!
 
 


 
 
Vibeke: Are there a specific gift from your childhood that you will never forget?
Emily: The gift that is most precious to me, from my childhood, is the knitted rabbit that my Mother knitted for my cousin when she was born and which she then in turn gifted back to me when I was born.  You can read more about him here: http://mousybrownshouse.typepad.com/poised-to-take-flight/2010/05/loving-bunny.html . Bunny is a reminder of childhood, my Mother and of close family ties.  He is also the first knitted item I ever owed and I like to think maybe the reason that I find knitting such a comfort in my life now.

 
Vibeke: What is the most cherished gift that you have ever been given, and who was it from?
Emily: This is such a hard question to answer, I have so many gifts I treasure, that have special meaning and remind me of special people but I think that maybe the most amazing gift I have ever received was the 1963 Morris Minor that my husband bought me for my 30th Birthday.  “Bluebell” is pale blue and has a red leather interior, she is a happy car and when we travel in her people always stop and smile and wave at us. Cars of that age do not go very fast and when we drive in her we slow down and relax and notice things we otherwise might not!  In April my older son turns 17 and I am passing on this treasure to him so he can learn to drive.  Luckily he is very laid back and not a “boy racer” as I’m not sure racing is possible in a Morris Minor!





 
Vibeke: Have you ever, as a child and/or a grown up, secretly opened a gift before you were "allowed" and wrapped it carefully back in again?..*smiling..
Emily: Oh dear yes! I have always been so excited about Christmas and birthdays and always used to open ALL the presents under the tree and then re-wrap them! In fact I just thought that was what everyone did and was really surprised by how shocked my friends were when I admitted to this recently...

 
Vibeke: One of the most precious gifts that i can think of is acts of kindness...of compassion. It can be everything from getting help with a practical thing to a listening ear in difficult times. Have you been given a special act of kindness that you would like to share with us? 
Emily: I have been very blessed with good friends and acts of kindness and I think that I appreciate compassion in people more than any other ability. When I lost my Mother very suddenly last year, I was so touched by how many kind wishes and letters I received.  Even people I didn’t know very well offered words of comfort and I really appreciated the effort that people made to connect no matter how difficult it was to find the “right words”.  One person was especially wonderful though, Jennifer a friend I “met” online when I first started blogging.  She lives in America and we have never met in person but she managed to make me feel loved and comforted at all times and always seemed to manage to know when I needed her.  She sent me a hand knitted shawl to hug me, remedies to help me sleep and a hand made pillow spray, she added chocolate as a treat and alongside that she was always there to talk, either by message, letter or by FaceTime. I really wish we lived closer to each other but even so many miles apart she has really proved herself a true friend and I count myself very lucky to have her in my life.





 
Vibeke: We are soon finding ourselves to be in the early stages of spring here in Norway now. A season that i am deeply in love with! Every single year it feels just as magical to me to watch how nature awakens back to full life again after a long, dark and cold winter. Spring is so generous in it's GIVING, a season filled with such growth, life and light.
My last question for you is that i would love to learn which season that has a special place in YOUR heart and why?
Emily: I too love Spring Vibeke but I think I have to say Summer is the season that has a special place in my heart.  It has to be a very Welsh Summer, not too hot! But blue skies and long days, blossom and flowers and days spent on the beach are my idea of Happiness.  I particularly enjoy my Summers as I am lucky enough to work in a school and so get to spend six whole weeks at home with my children.  We spend as much time as possible outside...eating, playing, reading, crafting, drawing and even sleeping.  Every year we pitch a tent in the garden and holiday at home but we also have a tradition of spending one night each summer sleeping on our trampoline, watching stars and awaking at dawn covered in dew.  Bare feet on soft grass, birds singing and the sound of  bees on  the lavender, scents of flowers and hot earth, vivid colours everywhere and fresh fruit from the garden...Summer really gives pleasure to every sense.
 



My gift is a handmade paper cut called Butterfly Bush.  The paper cut itself is approximately 8 x 8 cm and it is mounted on acid free watercolour paper approximately  30 x 20 cm, which can then be cut down to fit a frame of your choice.  Applied to the bush are two blue butterflies cut from vintage stamps.  It is initialled and dated in pencil on the front.


If you want to enter in the drawing of Emily's lovely gift just leave a comment under this post before the end of march the 5'th. And please do REMEMBER to put with your email address so i am able to contact you if you become the lucky one..*smiling...
The winner will be announced in here on march the 6'th.

The best of luck to all of you
from
Emily and me.


You can find Emily here:
blog, etsy and instagram.

Friday

A beautiful bouquet of women!!

 
Here are a few of all the 30 GENEROUS and WONDERFUL women
that has made my wish for celebrating my birthday with a whole month of giving in here in march possible!!
 





                  The whole month of march will be a month of giving here at my blog!
 Thanks to 30 wonderful, generous, talented and OH SO kind women i have the HUGE pleasure and BIG joy of celebrating my 40'th birthday (which is on the 24'th) together with you all with having a feast of giving in here!
 
Every single day in march there will be given a new gift, made by one of these 30 giving and generous people. Together with each gift you will also get the pleasure of getting to know a bit about the maker/giver through some questions that they have answered. It has been such a blessing for me to read their sharings, i know you will LOVE it too!
Each gift post will be open for 5 days and the winner will be announced in here on the following day. Everyone are welcome to enter, the gifts will gladly be sent world wide.
 
I am so deeply touched by all the goodness, the blessings, that all of you who i have come to know through my blog, have gifted me so i can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday...*smiling..
 

Thursday

Birthday celebration soon!!


The whole month of march will be a month of giving here at my blog!
 Thanks to 30 wonderful, generous, talented and OH SO kind women i have the HUGE pleasure and BIG joy of celebrating my 40'th birthday (which is on the 24'th) together with you all with having a feast of giving in here!
 
Every single day in march there will be given a new gift, made by one of these 30 giving and generous people. Together with each gift you will also get the pleasure of getting to know a bit about the maker/giver through some questions that they have answered. It has been such a blessing for me to read their sharings, i know you will LOVE it too!
Each gift post will be open for 5 days and the winner will be announced in here on the following day. Everyone are welcome to enter, the gifts will gladly be sent world wide.
 
I am so deeply touched by all the goodness, the blessings, that all of you who i have come to know through my blog, have gifted me so i can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday...*smiling..
 
 
 
 

Wednesday

wrapped in sunlight

 
 
 
 

The Sun


Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful

than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon

and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone--
and how it slides again

out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower

streaming upward on its heavenly oils,
say, on a morning in early summer,
at its perfect imperial distance--
and have you ever felt for anything
such wild love--
do you think there is anywhere, in any language,
a word billowing enough
for the pleasure

that fills you,
as the sun
reaches out,
as it warms you

as you stand there,
empty-handed--
or have you too
turned from this world--

or have you too
gone crazy
for power,
for things?


-Mary Oliver.

Sunday

The gift of ordinary days..

 


 
 
“It has taken awhile, but I certainly do know it now ­­– the most wonderful gift I had, the gift I finally learned to cherish above all else, was the gift of all those perfectly ordinary days.”
 
 




nothing happening here these days that are not of the ordinary kind.
i find so much to be grateful for in the ordinary....for me it is nothing "small" about it!

i have eaten chocolate pudding with vanilla sauce two days  in a row

looked at the stars with my mother late last night

hanging out our cushions and duvets from the bedroom window on sunny days,
smells so wonderfuly fresh and "airy"

having one of my windows open more often, wearing woolens so i can have it open even
a bit longer (it still turns cold quite fastly but i can't help myself)

soon starting on re-potting some of my green plants.
i am sure they are longing for fresher soil again

dreaming of re-decorating our stairs (i want to get it painted and add a woolen
carpet to the steps)

reading blessings by John O'Donohue by the burning fireplace in the evenings
and
i am soon starting on one of Patrick Modiano's novels

drinking a mug of warm milk with cardamom before going to bed in the evenings

my husband read in the newspaper that someone had already found a blåveis/liverleaf
not so far away from here
THAT'S an early sign of spring!

looking forward to celebrate my birthday next month

my friend Anna has just opened her own online shop, Gregoria fibers, so happy for her!!
i find it so incredibly exciting when someone are able to turn a dream of theirs into reality...*smiling wide...

Wednesday




It seems like i am not alone about finding myself both happy, refreshed and excited
by the growing daylight and milder weather because when i wake up early in the mornings the birds are already singing now.
Some bright green colored stockings that i didn't buy over a month back is stuck in my mind....dreaming about sleeping (and waking up) in a bedroom with the same beautiful colors that Kristin has in hers..
in other words the color of green is a lot on my mind!
I think this is a yearly "syndrom" that i always get when nature shows signs of spring moving closer.
I am finding myself spending more time in the other part of the livingroom, it's closer to the window that faces towards the birdfeeders in our garden. The morning fog has slowly started to lift it's grey veil now and the sun is starting to bathe my livingroom. I think this can turn into a "warm" enough day to open a window for a while. Every year it filles me with such happiness when i can start having a window wide open for some moments...*smiling...


Friday

Lately


“When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”
― C.S. Lewis








Having had several days lately were my body hasn't been so good. Both the strenght and energy has been lacking even more than usual and the sensitivity towards light and sound has been dominating. Still i feel that these days have been filled with so much happinness,
so many things to pause by, focus on and say thanks for. Like 
having my mother visiting and making pancakes in my kitchen,
getting to know new and kindred spirits through the web (hello there Ashley!!),
the increased birdsong outside,
growing daylight...days filled with much more of it,
kindness...having so many kind people
in my life....people living both near and afar,
having several things that i hugely look forward to..*smiling!







Sunday

A cup of tea, with Caitriona.


I am quite passionate about tea and because i hugely enjoy both drinking it and talking about it i have "sat down" together with some lovely tea drinking ladies and asked them a few questions about their relationship with tea. This time it is the sweet Caitriona and i who are having our tea-time together.




V: Caitriona, have you been drinking tea for a long time?
C: Yes, I have! As a child, I remember thinking it was a tasteless drink for grown ups and couldn't understand the big deal about it. As I grew up, I think starting from when I was a teenager, I came to love and appreciate a good cup of tea and its restorative, reassuring and reviving qualities!
 
 
V: What are your favourite teas?
C: To be honest Vibeke, my favourite is a good, old fashioned cup of strong tea made with Lyons tea bags with just a little bit of milk added. I believe it is sometimes called "builders tea", I just call it "real tea". Although in the past few years I have been trying new flavours and infusions (thanks to reading blogs like yours Vibeke which have opened up the world of tea to me!) - at the moment I like rooibos with vanilla (it satisfies my sweet tooth!) and in the colder months, infusions with ginger and cinnamon are good. A treat would be Sea buckthorn ginger tea  from the most amazing little tea shop in Galway, An Cupán Tae (which is Irish for a cup of tea!).
 

V: Do you prefer loose tea or teabags?
C: Both :) usually tea bags just for handiness.

 


 
 
V: Where do you mostly buy your tea?
C: Luckily there is a small grocery shop across the road from where I live!

 

V: Is your country, Ireland, a country where it is very common to drink tea? Are there any tea traditions there?
C: It is very common :) (this question makes me smile, it would be difficult to find a kitchen here without any tea in it!). The most common tea tradition here is to offer a visitor (be they friend or stranger) a cup of tea. Don't worry if you are too polite to accept the first time, you will be offered again. And again!


V: Something specific that you like to enjoy/eat with your tea?
C: I have a sweet tooth so usually I would enjoy a tea cake or piece of chocolate with my tea. One of my favourite things is a slice of brown soda bread with butter and raspberry jam on it with tea. For simple comfort, buttered toast with a cup of strong tea does the job for me.


V: Most times do you do something while having your tea?
C: Having tea is a reason/excuse for me to stop doing things for a few minutes! In summertime My favourite thing is to sit outside with a cup and do nothing but feel the breezes. If I have a good book, to read a bit while having my cup. And I love having tea with my aunts, cousin and Mum (altogether!) or catching up with friends.  That's the beauty of tea drinking - It can be alone time or sociable. Now that I think of it, I do do something while drinking tea: for my elevenses  I usually read some nice blogs while sipping! One thing I can't do is have tea while painting - guaranteed to dip my brush into the cup of tea instead of the jar of water by mistake every time!.
 




 

V: How does a typical "tea-day" look for you?
C: 5 days out of 7 I will start the days with porridge with an apple and mint tea (trying to start the day well!). So my first cup of "builders tea" is usually around 11 after a few hours of work or a walk. I usually have a cup of tea after my lunch and then a much appreciated one for my 4 o clock break. Another cup around 6pm after my dinner and then one between then and bed time! They are like pauses (sometimes the highlight!) in my typical day.

 
V: Which cup of the day do you enjoy the most and why?
C: Ooohhh, this question really got me thinking Vibeke! Honestly, I enjoy them all the most! The cup I have for my elevenses I really savour - maybe because its my first "proper" one of the day. Also the 4 o'clock one  - it revives me and keeps me going for the last stretch of the day.

 
V: Do you have any favourite cups or mugs?
C: I have a favourite size of cup/mug! It is not as large as a mug or as small as a cup. And I prefer it not to be filled up to the brim - for some reason I think it tastes nicer when the cup is 3/4 full! I absolutely have a favourite cup-mug. The plain white one. It was a birthday present from my friend ( nearly 20 years ago! I still drink out of it almost every day!) it is a Kaj Franck design made in Arabia factory in Helsinki in Finland. Although produced in a factory, the handles are attached by hand (so they say) so that when you feel it with your finger, it has that soft feeling you get when you rub your earlobe which is meant to be very soothing. I always find tea drunk from this cup very comforting.  Also the stripey little cup from Rosie's pottery in Sligo , I bought it on holiday in the west of Ireland.

Also Vibeke I just want to thank you for sharing this "cup of tea" conversation with me. Your questions really got me thinking and made me grateful for tea :)