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My sister recently got this book for her birthday, and since she hasn't felt up to reading for a while (she's burned out, among other things) she let me borrow it.

Now that I've read it, I must say that I really liked it. It made me really keen on going to a fancon (but things are really different here in Sweden and even though there are fancons here, lack of communications out here where I live, makes it more or less impossible for me to go anywhere fun). Cosplay is out of the question after having my twins.
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Today, we caught some intruders snooping around our yard, and our neighbors', taking photos with a long lens. They'd parked their car in our yard and had picked some flowers but didn't treat them like they cared.

My sister went outside and confronted them. The woman claimed that it was 'so beautiful' here. (Which it isn't, not particularly). She also said that they'd been here yesterday and since didn't see any car, they assumed no one was at home. Like that's an excuse to trespass. We don't have a car, so there's never a car. What's a bit unnerving is that we never noticed them yesterday. I just happened to be looking out the window and caught sight of the woman on the dirt path outside.

I really don't like living here. Hopefully, we'll be able to move soon. It's not a good place to live for more than one reason.
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In Sweden Father's Day is in November, but since it is Father's Day in many other countries I thought I'd post about the men in my family anyway.

First of all I'd like to mention my dad. He and I are very much alike in personality. I can almost hear his voice inside my head whenever something happens. I know what he would have said about whatever it is. I've posted about this before, but I'd still like to mention the many things my dad helped me with.

He always drove me anywhere I needed to go, all without complaining. He'd bring a book and read while he waited. They say my dad was born on a Sunday with a 'victory hood' meaning part of the umbilical sac, which apparently means luck. I'm not sure if any of this is true, since I have found plenty of circumstantial evidence that the woman I thought of as my grandmother (aka the wicked witch of the east) actually wasn't his real mother. Be that as it may, my dad was very lucky in his life. Once he was going to drive me to the railway station (I laugh about it now, since that short walk wouldn't have been any problem), but I had got ready too late and missed the train. I was still sleepy and told dad that we could just go back home and I'd go back to bed, but he wouldn't let me. He drove me to the next railway station on the line (a five minute drive). I told him it would be too late, since the trains are a lot fast than cars. We'll wait, he told me. And sure enough, a minute or so later the train did arrive and I got on it in time.

Secondly, he always helped me with my maths homework and he did it very well, even though he always said he wasn't any good as a teacher and much preferred to be a principal/head master. Others have tried and never managed it very well. It gave me a better grade than I would have if left to my own devices.

A third example is the time when I'd decided to stay at home instead of enduring a 'sports day' with my class. Since it was my form mistress/home room teacher who was responsible for that particular day, she called in the afternoon to check on why I didn't come. My dad had been at work and he'd left before I was up so he had no idea about what I'd done, but when I walked into the hallway, there he was, on the phone with my teacher telling her how sick I'd been. LOL. That's something I'll never forget.

Now I'd like to mention my (maternal) grandfather. He was a very honest and decent man. Very serious and reliable, but he also had a sense of humor and he was very good at appeasing angry family members. Maybe because he was one of the youngest in a family of seven children? He was a grocer and I know he was very respected both in his profession and in private.

That's pretty much the men in my family that I know and have met in person. Sure, there are mom's cousin's two sons, but I don't know them very well. They're nice and we have a bit in common, but I couldn't tell you very much more about them.

Despite never having met them, I'd still like to mention my mom's two grandfathers and my paternal grandfather.

I'll start with the latter. Unfortunately, I don't know very much about him, other than what my dad has told me. He was a business man and he was quite successful at that. I also believe he was honest in his business. My dad was in awe of him, but I can tell from the photos of the two of them together, that they loved each other.

My mother's maternal grandfather seems to have been a rather modern man for his time. In a different time, he might have been a vegetarian. He was kind and loving towards his children and loyal to his wife, even though I believe they weren't very well suited to each other. He was also quite handsome in some of the photos and he had a sense of humor. I've been told he joked a lot. He was a builder and there are still two very nice houses that he built, standing in his home town (in Sweden - he did try to emigrate to America, but his wife refused to go).

My mother's paternal grandfather was a grocer, just like his son. I've been told (not by my mother, who never met him, or even his youngest son, my grandfather, who was far too young when he lost his father) that he was a happy, cheerful man who loved his family and tried to enjoy life to the full. He loved to buy christmas presents for his children and would lead the 'long dance' around all the rooms in the house, on Christmas Eve.

Finally, even though he's not a man yet, I'd like to mention my son, who I think will grow up to be a very good dad. He's the only living male in our family today. He's talented and charming and the most wonderful son anyone could hope to have.
crimsoncorundum: (Default)
My children were invited to the local library for a bit of book info, and to receive a book each. All children of a certain age living in this area had been invited to a little meeting in the library. Not many came. It was nice and I'm not sorry we came, but we did have to stay for a very long time for a very short 'show'. I was also annoyed by one of the locals. My children are quite outgoing and they were also the oldest children present. When my daughter, as she likes to do, walked over to this woman and her much younger daughter, and 'borrowed' a few of that little girls' things, her mother was clearly offended, not amused at all. What did she expect? My daughter is 16 months old. Both twins enjoyed playing in the library's children's room and used all the 'facilities' to the max. By that I mean that they pulled out piles of books and let them fall to the floor. :)

Here is my son considering which books to throw on the floor:

library

crimsoncorundum: (Default)
Today it's Mother's Day in Sweden, and since I have a mother and I am a mother, I thought I'd write a post about that. I'd also like to mention my dad, who is no longer with us, and my grandfather who left us even earlier, but I think I'll save that for Father's Day even if it makes me sad thinking about all those who are no longer with us.

So, today I'd like to remember and thank all the wonderful women in my family who are mostly no longer with us. Some were mothers, some wanted to be but weren't.

Thank you aunt G, who was such a wonderful aunt and who had a fascinating and varied life, despite claims to the contrary. Thank you great-aunts S, M, M, A and the two E:s, for being such kind and thoughtful aunts. I'd also like to mention 'aunt' E (another E) who I never got to meet, but who according to my mom was a really funny, cheerful and inspiring woman, despite a very difficult life.
Then there's my maternal grandmother S, who I resemble a lot. I can still hear your voice in my head and I know what you would have thought or said about all kinds of things in every day life.

Also, my mom who is still alive and well and living with us. You were a wonderful mom when my sister and I were children. We've all had a difficult life and you may be a touch grumpy and harsh these days, but I can understand why.

I'd also like to thank my sister G who is not a mother yet, but hopefully will be soon. You're my best friend and my role model. I admire you so much. This family would be nothing without you.

Finally, I'd also like to thank my children P and S for letting me be their mom. You've made all the difference in the world.

Thank you, all of you wonderful women in my family, including my mother's grandmothers and everyone who came before them, and also, thank you, my unknown paternal grandmother who gave us our dad, even though we know nothing else about you. I love you all.
crimsoncorundum: (Default)
Yesterday, my sister and went shopping for groceries. It was relatively hot, things worked out fine and I was more or less content with the little outing. However, lately I've begun to whine a lot about having put on so much weight - rather unexplainedly, I think. It's occurred to me that it might be a side effect of my medication against high blood pressure, that I got from being pregnant. I'm not sure about that, but it might be an explanation. In any case, I'm pretty unhappy about looking the way I look. For instance, I've had to put away most of my clothes and had to try and get new ones (not quite successfully, at least yet). Anyway, to cut to the chase, I decided to take a photo of my shadow, or at least part of it because it seems to be better looking than I am.



I've also started using my new handbag. It's pretty big and not my usual style (I'm not really a handbag person, to be honest). I've just been thinking I should develop my Moomin Mama traits. :) I'm going to be carrying around more stuff, that maybe my children will need (other than the contents of of the changing bag). What do you think? Is it too big for me? I thought it would be difficult to carry it, without a shoulder strap, but it wasn't.



Silly trivial stuff, I know. Just ignore this post if you think it's boring.



crimsoncorundum: (Default)
Apparently, The Eurovision Song Contest is over. I say apparently, since I don't keep up with these things. Usually, my mom does, for some weird reason, but this time she only watched some of it and mercifully spared my sister and me the whole house shaking ear drum breaking noise attack. Do I sound negative? Sorry. I'm having a bad day.

When my sister and I got curious, after the fact, as it were, about why many people were unhappy about the song that won, we decided to listen to a minute or so of each of the top ten songs. So we did, and I quickly realized that while the winning song definitely wasn't my thing, I could tell that it actually was a good quality song. The others were meh at best. To me, that is. I'm not judging the people who liked the others.

All this is just a prelude to what I really wanted to say.

I feel out of touch with the world. And considering the way the world is going, that's fine with me. But it does make me feel like some weird freak. I hate the music most people like. I hate most tv series and movies released these days. I hate the aggressive marketing strategies that most people seem to take in their stride. It makes me sound like some grumpy old 100-year-old and I hate that too. LOL.

So - what did I want to say? I'm not sure. Maybe that I want to take my family and find some out of the way place and at least be safe, if not happy. And dive into books and (probably old) movies and tv series and forget about the rest of the world.
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Reading the results of the DNA test has made me consider my identity. Before we had the results, we assumed we were more or less 100 % Scandinavian, but it turns out we actually have about 10 % less Scandinavian ancestry than the average Swede. It's certainly given me food for thought.

We've always been different and considered different by others, but is this the explanation? That we're partly Irish (and Iberian)? Because being partly Karelian and Wallonian is no different than most people here.

All this has made me wonder what actually makes us who we are and if this in some way influences what I consider 'home' or where I'm going in life. Has our family been shaped by our 'exotic' DNA?

My conclusion, that is by no means final, is that while it's fascinating to find out more about our past, it's not where we come from that matters, it's where we belong - and that's a whole different question. In short, this hasn't helped me decide what to do with my life, but it's been a lot of fun.

If you're the least bit interested in your family history or indeed any kind of history, I can really recommend taking this sort of test.
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The genealogical DNA test results have come! I had no idea they sent these things on a Sunday, but apparently they do.

Unfortunately, most of our relatives don't seem to be doing any research so today we've only found a few people that we're related to.

What we did learn was our genetic origin.

Just like we already knew, we're mostly Scandinavian (Swedish and Norwegian - 82 %). Surprisingly, we are also 9 % Irish, 3 % Finnish/Karelian, 3 % Western Europe (most likely France or Wallonia), 2 % Iberian (Spanish/Portuguese - I'm keeping my fingers crossed it's the latter, since I have a really good friend who's Brazilian, with mainly Portuguese ancestry) and 1 % Britain (most likely Scotland). This is so fascinating. We'll probably never find any relatives from Ireland etc, living today, but just knowing about this part of our ancestry is so thought provoking. Apart from our Scandinavian ancestry, the Irish ancestry has the highest probability, but clearly there's something else as well.

I really hope we'll be able to find out more. When more people join the genealogy site (and possibly some others that use the same DNA tests), we might actually get to know people who are related to us. Maybe we'll even solve the great mystery of our family tree - 'who is my dad's real mother'?

Origin
crimsoncorundum: (Default)
Warning! Potentially boring child related post.

Last week the parents' group (or as I might have mentioned before, by now the mothers' group) had a meeting at the library. Read more... ), but it feels a little sad. Most of the other mothers have gone back to work now. Their children are in daycare and they will only be able to meet during the weekends if at all. Unfortunately, we can't get anywhere during the weekend, so I guess this is it. There are two more mothers still at home with their babies/toddlers, in this case two girls, so those few of us might still be able to meet again a few times, if anyone's still interested. Everyone except us might be able to get together during the weekends, but somehow I think most have lost interest in the group. So sad. It's been so great meeting other parents and learning more about the progress of their children.

Anyway, to begin with, the children's librarian showed up bringing a pile of books suitable for one-year-olds. I hadn't really heard of any of them, but most seemed great so I'll see if I can get my hands on at least some of them. After that, we got to stay in the private room for as long as we wanted.

A funny little incident occurred. We'd run into J and his mother G on the way to the stores the week before. Then G told us that J has met a little girl in daycare and that he's so enamoured of her that he wants to share his pacifier with her. Which might be the daycare equivalent of engagement? LOL. Unfortunately, it seems J is just as much of a philanderer as little M who so courteously approached me to obtain my permission to court my daughter (in a manner of speaking, LOL), then kiss her hand, only to have forgotten all about her the next time. J cornered Pepper and tried to kiss her. (On the cheek, naturally). She skillfully maneouvered two chairs into position to avoid him. In the end, J managed to kiss her anyway and she took that in her stride. Pepper is a tough little girl. G, J:s mother was embarrassed. Poor J seems a bit traumatized by being in daycare. He clung pathetically to his mum for a long time before he finally realized he could close the door to keep her inside. It's so sad seeing that big, confident, mobile boy reduced to an insecure baby again, just because his mum had to go back to work. G says she regrets it now and wished she'd held on a little longer.

After a while, we decided to go to the cosy cafe only a few houses away, where we usually meet. G:s mother was visiting and it seemed G:s husband desperately wanted to get rid of his mother-in-law. G asked us if it was ok for her mother to join us and we all said yes. So we asked if it would be ok to ask our mum to join us and of course everyone agreed.

So now we're a parents' and grandparents' group. :) Maybe L and E want to bring their mothers too if there ever is a next time. LOL. It's always great to have a few extra hands to help with the children. You'd be surprised how long and strong those little arms and hands can be when they're reaching for something like a hot cup of coffee.

Pepper seems to have mastered saying 'Mum' now and both twins are busy practicing their conversational skills, even though we grownups can't quite understand what they're trying to say yet. It seems they're a bit late, compared to the other children. All seem to be speaking several words by now, but T, L:'s daughter isn't walking at all yet.

And - all this happened last week, which means everything seemed normal back then. Now everything's different, after the terror attack in Stockholm that occurred yesterday afternoon. If you're interested I've blogged about it here.

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