Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

I say small tomatoes.




Read Full Post »

Summer in Skjefte

We’ve finally had some of those days that we wait for all winter — days when you don’t have to think about layers or wool or even socks, for that matter. Days when the humidity is just enough to keep the air warm in the shade, and a breeze off the fjord sweeps through just when it gets to be too much. Weather such that the first thing you do in the morning is open the door to the veranda, and maybe, just maybe, if your baby takes an early nap you can sit outside and have your coffee with a bit vitamin D before getting started on cleaning up after the weekend.

Know what else you can do in this weather? Hang your laundry up outside, eliminating one component (i.e. the drying rack) of the obstacle course that is our living space. And not to get housewifey again, but the line outside can manage a load or two more than the rack inside — just an added bonus.

So we were especially pleased that summer descended upon us and stayed for a few days last week when our friend from Minneapolis Chris Cullen made the long journey to spend a week with us and our craziness. Not to plug Chez Lyngstad specifically as a 5 star get away (because believe me, the odds of getting fresh baked pastry in the morning here are very closely intertwined with numbers of children and hours of sleep), but if I was looking for a place to go to slow down, soak in sun, green space, and quietness, central Norway would be it. Aside from the just general niceness of having a friend come to visit, a significant and refreshing bonus is seeing the country through new eyes again. And man, is it pretty here.

I’ve always thought that when you no longer appreciate the beauty of a place, or just plain get used to it, it’s probably time to move on. I am not ready to move again quite yet….so consider that our open invitation to help me keep seeing fresh. So tusen takk for coming to stay with us, Mr. Cullen!


Read Full Post »


No, not us. Well, yes, we as a family have also been transplanted, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Maybe later if there’s time.  Yesterday we gave our tomato seedlings new homes…kind of like getting your own room after sharing with siblings for a loooong time.  They’d sprouted and grown up in a 1 liter ice cream container on our window sill for the past 2 months or so, and things were just looking a little bit crowded.

Tomatoes with a view

This is our second attempt at growing tomatoes in pots. Our first attempt, on our apartment balcony in Minneapolis, was successful until the bearing-fruit stage. At that point the squirrels came in hordes and stole what was shaping up to be a really lovely crop. The image of Bjørn dashing through the apartment in his underwear waving a large stick and shouting at the squirrels  will be forever the image I associate with that particular tomato-growing endeavor. This year our nemesis will not be the squirrels (I’ve seriously seen 2 in the nearly 6 months we’ve been here), but the weather. Cold and cloudy are not a good combination for tomatoes, I think. Or any summer garden plant, for that matter.  A friend gave us some pumpkin seedlings which grew beautifully…until I transplanted them and put them outside. They’re still alive, but not looking so happy. I have definitely learned this spring that pansies totally dig the cold and the rain. Ours are so thrilled with the weather they seem like they’re about to hop out of the pot.


Read Full Post »