Countdown to vacation

 For some time now I have been thinking about, then mourning,
and then finally planning the sale/closing of my store.
July is the big vacation month in Sweden, so we are officially
putting the store up for sale at the beginning of August,
when Swedish life starts to return to normal again.

Before that I have also been planning my own much needed vacation.
I was looking forward to two whole weeks off, doing nothing
except maybe cooking some nice meals for my working man.
 But then of course the whole license mix-up happened, so now
I am looking at two weeks of doing nothing, mostly by myself.

Someone with alot more energy than myself might take this time
to do garden work or take on big home improvement projects.
But the first half of this year has completely run me into the ground
 and just thinking of expelling that much energy makes me shudder.
What I really want is to feel soothed, rested and revitalized.

Well, my vacation starts in two days, and there are
a couple of small things I'm thinking about doing:

Join Facebook. (I actually did this already - come find me!)
I am going to need my on-line friends during the coming months.

Change my hair. For 10 years I have done absolutely nothing
with my hair except take household scissors to it when it's gotten
too frayed, but now I'm thinking about going back to black.

Pierce my ears. I'm one of the rare ones who is still "untouched",
but I really like the look of short hair with one big/long earring on one side.

Detox. The stress of the previous months have lead me
to develop some really bad eating and drinking habits.

Read outside. Summer only arrived in Sweden a couple of days ago,
just in time for my vacation :) Now all I need are some great books.

What about you guys?
What are your plans this summer?



Change of plans

When my man got a job we both thought things would fall into place,
but lately our lives have become more stressful than ever.

Due to a mix-up, it will take my man longer than expected
to get his Swedish license, and to get everything in order to buy a car.
Because we live without access to public transportation,
in the meantime he is forced to rent an apartment in town.

This means that during summer I will mostly get to see him
only on the weekends, and it is putting a delay on the kind of life
we have both been looking forward to. It's been a bit of a blow.



The neglected patio - a post about weather

This year Sweden apparently had the most miserable, rainy and cold
month of May in 60 years, and we felt it. I can usually start planting
and decorating the patio in April, to enjoy it in time for the first May "heatwave"
(= above 20 degrees centigrade) - but this year that was two days ago.

The lilacs bloomed long before we could sit outside in the evenings,
and the patio is full of weeds that have been allowed to grow undisturbed.
My man bought a new sun sail a couple of months ago,
and today is only the second day we have needed to use it.

 The kitties are also taken aback by the suddenly warm weather
and have been slowly pacing back and forth between the water bowl,
the food and a shady spot all day. My girl could barely muster up
some curiosity when I brought out the camera. She kind of looks
like a white goth coming out of winter hibernation, doesn't she?

The tiny little pine in a pot behind her was rescued from growing on the roof
of the green house (!) a few days ago. I hope it will grow a sturdy root system
by winter, and will decorate our stoop for many years to come.

This is my 8-year-old walnut, grown from a nut. It sprouts beautiful leaves
every summer but refuses to grow tall, no matter how big a pot it's in.
The only thing for it is to plant it in the ground, but since walnuts can grow
100 feet tall it will take some careful consideration.

The potted tree below is also grown from seed, it's a Robinia from Provence, France.
I picked the seeds from a tree during a midnight stroll 6 years ago
and amazingly it has survived some sinister Swedish winters outside.

Yes, I know. Our house is so country cute you could die.
Nothing like the dark mori purple girl that lives inside it.
But I do enjoy summer in Sweden. It's short and to the point.

How is summer treating you where you are?
Is it dreadfully hot or absolutely lovely?


Recent events

The break-in

My store was broken into during night a few weeks ago.
The idiot somehow thought that tiny shops in a tiny village
(they broke into the flower shop next door too)
would store lots of cash over night (and on a Tuesday night).

The result was some unnecessary and expensive damages,
like replacing a special window and repairing the cash register.
His combined loot from our two shops was about 500 sek/60 usd.
Damages were at least 10 times that, none of it covered by insurance.

After the break-in I have felt even more fed up with the shop,
and lately I have basically only been open when I've felt like it.
We are officially putting it up for sale a month from now.

The shoplifter

Yesterday I had to confront a shoplifter in the store.
It is a woman who has had some very rough years, I believe.
She came to the shop maybe 6 months ago and we talked for an hour,
about her problems and about what kind of help she could seek.

Since then I've heard stories, about how she has started
stealing and gotten banned from basically every shop
in the county. But even though I saw her around alot
she never came back to my store. Vainly I thought it was
because I had shown her care and consideration that one time.

But she did come back yesterday, and as soon as she thought
I wasn't looking she tried to take some earrings.
I experienced a tinge of disappointment,
but mostly I just feel sorry for her, and for people in general.
Life is f***ing hard.

The accident

Tonight as I was driving home along the narrow two-lane
highway, I spotted a cyclist. The young man was wearing nothing
but shorts and a t-shirt, and I slowed down to let an oncoming car
pass by before I'd overtake him. Suddenly the cyclist hit the gravel
next to the asphalt, lost control and did a crazy flip right into
the middle of the road. I hit the brake and came to a halt
just a couple of meters away from his sprawled out body.

Right behind me was the county bus commute
and I can't stop thinking about how the bus wouldn't
have been able to stop in time. As it was, the young man got up,
screamed and tossed his bike in the ditch in anger.
I was too shocked to stop and check on him, so I just drove on.
I really hope he is ok.


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