Thursday, October 8, 2015


these gals are the cutest. 

today began at 6 though i can't say i slept much after 5, so half-awake paranoid i was at missing the alarm and not getting all the morning stuff done before william needed to be sitting at his desk at school at 8 a.m.  the paranoia paid off and the morning went well.  everyone got to where they needed to be.  and the wind finally moved some rain into our lives, if that's what it had been intending all along.  rainy enough that i opted for rain pants, but not so rainy that the boys agreed to wear them.

i chatted with the cows after getting groceries, then went home to clean up and proof read some articles.  after that i spent, what felt like, an inordinate amount of time prepping nachos for dinner.  then tutoring. then picking up the boys.  then making the dinner. playtime. story time.  and i can hear tonight that it's the other boy tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep.  somehow they never both seem to be able to fall asleep easily on the same night.  and now i'm finding that i'm tired.  so hopefully it will be a quiet night in these parts and we'll all settle in for a good night's rest.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


did i say yesterday was windy?  
i have it in my head that 'overnight' is a mandatory transition phase for wind.  it will either stop or start while you're asleep and you'll wake up to something different.  however, yesterday's wind kept on straight through the night and is still going strong as i write this at 9 p.m.  
on this stretch you were either flying down the hill with the wind at your back, or here, struggling up it, and at other times, putting on the brakes as the wind tried to topple you sideways
but this is just the 'everything-but-heart-of-summer' season in denmark-- overcast and windy with a good chance of rain.  so why even write about it?  

this guy left today for england for a work meeting... 
but before he caught the train to the airport we got to have a rare lunch date together

which means (fingers crossed) i will be so on top of getting the boys out the door on time tomorrow.  wind, rain, or the unlikely event of shine.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


it only got windier from here... 

but aside from dropping off and picking up and taking out the garbage and taking out the compost and bringing a couple of oversized nerf-like swords back to the giveaway shed that henry'd attempted to re-home here, i spent the day inside and out of the way of the wind.

a friend was coming over and i was either going to tell her to close her eyes if she needed to use the bathroom or i was going to have to clean it.  the bathroom: which seems to stay clean for about half a day after i clean it.  i assume this is normal with boys living in the house, though i wouldn't be surprised if my two guys were exceptionally talented in the area of transforming a clean bathroom into a modern art exhibit along the lines of 21st century danish bathroom lands in the dust bowl of the 1930s.

so i cleaned it.  and if i lose my memory between today and tomorrow, i will have little in the way of clues that i put in the effort today... i just know it.  (so remind me to read this post.)

Monday, October 5, 2015

in between

what do i know about humidity?  but as i know and think about it, it seems like denmark's humidity comes with the cooler months and that the midwest's humidity is all about summertime.  

this morning as i rode this path, it was a chilly humid out, which puts the emphasis on chilly.  but by the afternoon, (when this picture was taken) it was nearly warm... 

in between chilly and nearly warm:

we had a parent-teacher conference for henry (all is swell);

i worked out with my friend, and we carried on a long conversation in danish (and it was quite do-able. (she is from cuba and has been here for roughly the same amount of time as us.) it reminds me of a time i walked into language class early and two classmates were holding a conversation in english.  neither were native english speakers.  i joined in and one of them told me they could have a conversation in english with another non-native speaker, but it was much more difficult to have speak to me in english.  i think i now understand what she meant);

i proofread some articles and helped with a cover letter;

laundry.  always laundry;

picked up the boys;

hemmed and hawed over what to make for dinner (there was no common meal tonight) until five o'clock when i decided i needed to stop looking for some magically perfect recipe and just start cooking.

did the bedtime routine

and at 9:17, right before posting this, am hoping that i have two sleepers.  i have a feeling i only have one, as the other sounds like he's up with a little cough.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

part one and part two. part three in captions

part 1: race time

the boys and greg ran a 3k... 
at the starting line

 i packed up my oats in william's lunch thermos and ate my breakfast out here while i waited for them.
not a sunny morning.  life in a cloud.

with a splash of color

i watched william come down the hill first...

taking a little walking break before rounding the bend to the finish line...

and there he goes...

he came back and helped his brother and dad finish up the last couple hundred yards...
whoops, henry.  stay on the trail!

there they go.  they will finish.  and henry will ask repeatedly if he won.

part 2: art exhibition

the modest artist...

not the two in the back, and, oddly enough, not the united states flag print, but the rest is W...

william collage close-up...
what does it all mean?
and now my computer ineptness has me unable to get out of caption mode.  i guess that's my cue to very quickly say that part three was william shoveling wheelbarrows full of dirt in the afternoon to help with what was leftover from yesterday's workday, and then to say goodnight.  goodnight!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

floating bubble kind of way

sometimes i will tell people that we live in our very own little danish bubble.  it is the best way for me to describe that, when we are here, because we are so far away from family and many of our friends, and because it still takes a very concerted effort to understand danish, it is like the four of us are in our own little world, in a mostly very nice floating bubble kind of way.  not an isolated feeling, because any isolation we may have felt, say, the first winter we lived here, has long since passed.  we feel at home in our danish bubble.  it is the freedom to direct the way our free time is spent, as an example.  it is many distractions (both wonderful and tedious), many obligations (again, of the welcome and unwelcome variety), falling away... never having existed here for us in the first place.  and, speaking for myself, i like it very much.  just as much as i like being back home in the united states, amongst friends and family, the familiar spaces, the abundance of places to go and people to see and the ease of getting to all of those points.  i like them both.  they are so very different.  two worlds that are many miles away from intersecting.  

this is relevant to today, in my mind, only because today was an outdoor workday for our community.  there were trees to plant, compost bins to clean up, weeds to remove, and a new terrace to build.  groups of neighbors out working together, kids running around, alternately helping and playing.  henry had four little salamanders and one big salamander, one frog, and four snails all temporarily housed as pets in our plastic terrarium today.  when i went up to their room to see them the little lid door, which is broken anyway, was half off, and so only time will tell if we're not still providing shelter somewhere for one or two of them.  it was a day filled with lots of good, hard outdoor work (on a day that was once again beautiful) with lots of socializing, lots of practicing our danish, coffee and/or beer breaks, pizza dinner... and just feeling like a part of our little neighborhood here.  and liking it just as much as i like our little danish bubble and just as much as i like feeling at home with friends and family in the u.s.  part of me thinks i'm just stating the obvious-- who wouldn't like being around friends and family?  who doesn't value having time together with their own little immediate family?  and who wouldn't feel good after a day of hard work outside with a group of people to get something done?  to me that seems almost like the most obvious of all.  (after all... not everyone enjoys being around family, right?)  but working in a group-- isn't that probably the way nearly everything's been done and gotten done in all of human history?  and outside for most of it no less?  and taxing physical labor?  well... it's not always the way we do things nowadays.  so maybe it's not so obvious.  maybe it doesn't sound so nice.  but i'm not a very evolved creature.  i don't enjoy isolation.  bubbles, yes.  isolation, not so much.  

one other thing-- on my energy-- i don't know how i will feel tomorrow.  i may have been borrowing against tomorrow's energy.  i fear that i may have, because sometimes i push it, either knowingly or unknowingly.  but i appreciate days where i feel healthy and strong.  i feel like any physical work i can do or any exercise i give myself is helping keep cancer from returning.  (and if that is not to be, then it is helping me build up the strength to deal with it.) so i do greatly appreciate a day like today. 
muddy shoe, sock, muddy jeans
 så jeg siger tak for i dag. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

independence man

it's friday!  a henry day.  we went out to pick weeds near the playground as part of my outdoor work group responsibilities and didn't make it any further than the cherry tree behind our house...

henry in his element...  (as you've figured out by now)...

he told me he wanted to sleep in the tree... so he closed his eyes and "took a nap"... 

the cherries are all gone for the year, but we have at least two jars of them in the freezer and a couple jars of dried cherries in the cupboard.  and just next to the cherry tree there is an apple tree... 

after the tree climbing, we were both weeding together.  and then henry said, "this will be my thistle pet" and he went home and put him in a jar... 

later, after some more weeding together, he disappeared again for some time.  i went looking for him and found him at the kitchen table.  he'd made himself a peanut butter and honey sandwich and grated the rest of the parmesan cheese.   "i remember you said you would have to hide the parmesan mama, but i will just find it."  

once again, this is henry in his element.  he would nearly always prefer to do something (especially food related) himself rather than have us do it for him.  though i cannot say that this is necessarily true about the cleaning up and putting away part.  maybe when he's five.