Tag Archives: Norway

I Have Confidence

Songs are always going through my head, some welcome, some annoying. Right now  I have the song from The Sound of Music in which Maria sings about having confidence in many things. I remember seeing the movie as a young child and being entranced with it. We had the album from it- I still have it along with other albums I can’t seem to give up but never listen to and yes, we have a turntable- which I would listen to over and over. That Christmas my mother bought my grandparents an album of their recordings sung by them and I was crushed. I thought the actual family sang the songs that were in the musical. I guess I got over it in time. I recall also as a child seeing Maria at their lodge in VT when we ate lunch there. She was wearing the traditional clothing of Austria.

Right now I need confidence in good things. They help to counter concerns about self centered decisions being made at a national level. Not surprisingly the things that help me to relax and have confidence about the future are largely outside and in the form of plants and animals living out their lives unaffected by goings on. I have confidence in the peace and beauty of my healthy plants.

iris peony columbine june 2017

septic tank garden

Confidence that these tomato plants will grow and provide food for us at the end of summer and  give tastes from summer all winter long after I freeze and can their fruit.

tomato plant june 2017

Confidence that this elderberry bush that was so little last year will produce fruit this year:kyle plating elderberryItty bitty signs that fruit will be produced in center of plant

Confidence in the eggs that our chickens provide.eggs june 2017

Confidence that the puppies we help in a tiny tiny way to raise will someday be great companions for plucky disabled people.daisy puppy

Confidence that my friends from all areas of my life and I will be there for each other in times of happiness and tears. ( Because now the song from Fiddler on the Roof jumped into my head: “sunrise, sunset…”)becky and laura at her condo norway 2015 College friends in Norway in 2015 at Laura’s condo. This summer we will celebrate the big 60 at a house in Maine. We are wiser now and won’t leave our food for a minute in case a sea gull wants it…

These are a few of my favorite things 🙂 that give me confidence.

Norway Gardens, Spinning, Weaving

We have been back from Norway for over two weeks but I keep on singing its praises to whoever will listen. When I look at pictures I can feel transported back.

Tromso has a huge arctic botanical garden that was so fantastic that we visited it twice. It is the world’s northernmost botanic garden and contains plants suited to the arctic climate that come from many places in the world. It is full of rock gardens and very colorful flowers. It is open 24 hours a day and could be enjoyed at any hour of the day when we were there since there was no darkness. We were always sure to be there before 3:30 because at that time they stopped offering coffee and waffles at the cafe.

botanical gardens


bot garden 2I am always attracted to a water feature. Of course within view of the gardens are fjords so we had the small and the gigantic all at once.

bot garden waterfallThis one I loved because it was at eye level. bot garden eye level

It was comforting to know that we could plant gardens that would protect us from witches and elves. (I thought elves were nice but not all I guess.)witchcraft plants

One of the many other places we visited was a cultural center in Manndalen which was 3 hours north of Tromso and only about 25 minutes from the Swedish border. There we saw a style of weaving used by the Sami people who are the indigenous people of Northern Norway. Weavers can notice the top border of the weaving which is created before it is put on the loom. It makes a solid colorful band and there is no fringe. The rest of the piece is very tightly woven and the people push up on it to make it denser as they weave from top to bottom. It does look a bit like our Navajo looms.weaving NorwayOf course spinning had to happen. If a void is left in my spinning time nature has to fill it so my head doesn’t explode. Also of course I purchased some Norwegian fiber to bring home. I enjoyed the fact that the people at the center call it spinning just like we do. Talk about common ground in a country with a language different from ours!


spinning Norway

Spinning Norweigan wool in Manndalen at the cultural center.

Northern  Norway was a fantastic place to visit:

spectacular scenery with fjords everywhere

delicious sea food and coffee and waffles every time you turn around

everyone spoke English which was helpful

midnight sun

so much more than I can list!


Smitten with Northern Norway

I just returned home from a visit to northern Norway. A college friend and I visited my college roommate who lives in Tromso which is 200 miles above the Arctic circle. We were celebrating 40 years of friendship. How can it be that long??

I now think that northern Norway is the most spectacularly beautiful place that I have ever seen. I have seen many many sights that I found beautiful but none that combine water and mountains so dramatically and for a distance that seemed infinite. Everywhere were mountains going down to the water. Everywhere. We were as far away as four hours north of Tromso and still the mountains and water- fjords- went on and on and on.  I never expected so much wild beauty. So easy to imagine trolls especially in the dark winter.


norway (1)

I never knew what time it was. We were in a time zone 6 hours ahead of our own and there was sun 24 hours a day. Before I went I thought that would mean that brightness would make it hard to go to sleep. There are curtains that keep it out but that wasn’t an issue. Instead it was that we never got cues about the time from darkening skies.  People could be out and about as if it was still afternoon when it was 11 at night. How would I ever stop gardening or doing fiber things when natural light would continue on and on if I lived there? It is hard enough to stop here when it gets dark.


Midnight Tromso Norway July 2015

The flip side is that they have no sunlight for several weeks in the winter. I would not do well with that. But after this trip I think it would be fun to visit then for just a few days to see how it looks. Dark of course but how it looks with the lights on in Tromso. Mysterious and beautiful I am sure.

We did a lot of walking and of course my knitting went along.knitting on Someray (1)







Met some interesting characters.

troll guy Norway

Ate more waffles than I ever had before in a week and still always looked forward to the next coffee and waffle break wherever we went. It was always there. The waffles were always the same size and heart shaped. Toppings were fruit and sour cream. Never maple syrup!

waffles at Mt. Tide

Spent time on a beach because after all it was July! But this time with a twist- happily IMG_1523wearing my handspun hand dyed hand knit…winter headband.

snow in Norway

Snow high up in Tromso Norway July 2015


Found some snow high up on a mountain. Maybe because it had been all of three months since the last melted from our yard. Of course I had to make a little snowball.

More next time on spinning, weaving and flowers.


Someray Island