Friday, December 30, 2011

Heartballs and Hiccups

 Minnie has finally returned from her extended stay in the states and she is ready for some Gibberish and has even dressed for the party, so let's have some fun and Gibber our way out of this year. Shake up a big dose of imagination and let’s see what you got.

The rules are easy. Minnie starts a story line written in Gibberish and those that want to play continue on the storyline from the last comment posted, in the same style. If you decide to play along there is a certificate at the end as well as membership to my elite group called the Controlled Patriots of Standard Word Abuse. (CPSWA) If you don't understand or have not played this before you can click on the following link to see more about how the game is played. GIBBERISH a game for silly fun.

 Heartballs can only be drunk in the blue light otherwise hiccups will crawl onto the floor and trip anything or anyone in its way. Sucker punch was stupid and hiding behind another glass he made his move and….

(Your Turn)

 "PARTY TIME! Who wants to dance with The Minnie? HAPPY NEW YEAR BLOGGSTERS!!!------"

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Album of Life

It is the middle of the night and sitting under the Christmas tree in a room of my own design; I look outside my window and see other trees full of lights, blowing in the wind and the rain. All the neighbors have gone to sleep. Except for the sounds of beating rain and whispering wind all is silent. Yesterday still clings to me in these early morning hours and I find myself not wanting to let go. Time is bringing us closer to a new day and a new year, yet with all the dreams of the future, I know that I will still go to bed in the arms of yesterday.

A friend told me that beautiful pictures are developed from a “Negative" in a "Dark Room" so if we see "Darkness" in some of our days it means that life is developing a beautiful future for us. This past year has been a collage of beautiful days that started out in a dark room full of negatives. A daughter lost to me through a painful divorce returned to my life with a husband and two beautiful children. A son whom I had given up for adoption years ago found me and enriched my life more than I could have imagined. A year ago from where I am sitting there was only a cement floor and a rough building structure, now it is a beautiful kitchen. Then there was magic, the magic of a whole new world that opened to me through words as I entered this Space and found a community of bloggers who I have grown to know as friends. All of your support and encouragement has taken my words out of a “Dark Room,” and into the sun. You have my words, now here is a collage of some beautiful days I would like to share.
renovations well under way

Midsummer night with my husband

Daughter and Son in Larvik at a theater production
Two sisters meet,and my grandchildren
brother and sisters meet for the first time
Me and daughter after 27 years

My son and I meet for the first time in 35 years

My sons baby

Son and I outside of Southpark

Mother,daughter and son
Estes Park by Stanley Hotel
First time my son gets both his birth parents together

On his 35th birthday
The three of us at Rocky Mountain National Park
Girls Christmas Party in my new kitchen
Let us welcome the New Year hoping for a better future by learning from our mistakes in the past and applying these lessons into the year 2012. Hold on as well to past triumph and love for they also will shape the year to come. 

Happy New Year everyone! Take yesterday to bed with you but wake up with tomorrow. I hope you also get the chance to develop as many "negatives" as you can into beautiful pictures that you can put in your album of life.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spirit of Christmas

Some people say that Christmas is a really hard holiday. When I was a child I would have disagreed.  But then I was a child and still believed in Santa Claus. As an adult I can see more clearly the despair and the pain that Christmas brings with all its expectations. I can see all the lonely people that have no one to share anything with, and the holidays make that loss even harder. I can see families that cannot be together, friends that have been lost and I can see regrets as plain as the frost on my windows. Not surprising that this is the time of year that many think about suicide.

Struggling as I do on a daily basis, being in a foreign country without a lot of my nearest family, I try to get by, but the holidays are hard. I borrow the spirit of Christmas each year and wear it as best as I can. Bending culture is not always an easy thing to do. You learn to adapt and to adjust. That is what we do and Christmas is what we do as well.

To everyone that reads this, Merry Christmas! Wear your Santa Smile as best you can and take the spirit of Christmas where ever you can find it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

So This is Christmas?

Are you tired of being Santa Claus? Male or female, it does not matter. All year long you try to do the best to make everyone happy and on Christmas you put on a generic Santa mask and decorate a tree.  Christmas always comes to fast, at the last minute I find myself stressing, figuring out which credit card to use and saying to myself, “Why is it that we make this season so commercial?” It is totally amazing to me that people run around worried, looking for the best sales, the longest opening hours, and for one time of the year, decide to give.

In Norway we do not have Santas on every street corner, people do not decorate their houses in lights and fixtures for the holidays, artificial trees are for people that are allergic to pine and we do not have eggnog. We do however, wash the house, polish the silver, take out the fine china and gather around a nice table in our finest clothes, while we listen to the church bells ringing Christmas in. On Christmas Eve we call our family and friends, and we watch each other open presents one at a time. There is no Santa here. No Christmas morning. No stockings hanging on the fireplace. For small children Norwegians have someone they call “Nisse”, he comes on Christmas Eve and delivers presents for all the children that have been nice to strangers, animals, family and friends.

So, I asked you earlier, are you tired of being Santa Claus? Try this year to be a Nisse. Take you holiday spirit and give it away to someone who needs it. Santa Claus has become too commercial.  This year I have decided to do something nice for a stranger. The other day I was reading a personal newspaper ad in our local newspaper for a person looking for someone who wanted a grandparent. This is a lonely person. I know that you skeptical people out there are saying to yourselves, “This is a pervert”, but you know what? This is actually a lonely woman who sits in an old persons home and just wants to share her holidays and her life with someone who cares enough to spend time with her. Find someone like that. Put Santa on the shelf and let your “Nisse” find time to be nice to strangers, animals, family and friends.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Butter and Beef

What a strange country I am living in. We ran out of butter before Christmas and now we are running out of beef. Where I live, which is southern Norway; we get hail storms every day instead of snow. It starts to get light around 9 in the morning and dark at 3 pm. At least I am not living in Northern Norway because there it is dark all the time. I live in a stubborn country that refuses to join the European Union, where we have tons of oil but gas prices are sky high, not to mention housing, food and clothes. We pay a lot of taxes so that we can support our welfare and the unfortunate foreigners who "immigrate" here.  We also spend a lot of taxes on reforming criminals, you know, like the guy who shot all those kids last summer. He gets to spend time in a luxury facility where he can get parole after a few years. Yes we are paying our taxes to reform him, whether he likes it or not. The maximum penalty in Norway is 21 years.

Norway is rated as the 5th most expensive place in the world to live. It is also rated as one of the best places in the world to live. I don’t get it. Most Norwegians go to Sweden to buy food and to smuggle what they can, we pay taxes so that the royal family can go on shopping sprees in Paris and travel around the world on their “So called missions.” Norwegians are proud and stubborn, they give but they take just as well. The homeless are not as visible, neither are the starving or the elderly whose pension barely covers their cost of living. Sure the health care is great, but the line to get the help you need is long and full of paperwork. There are a lot of unions here in Norway and one of them is always on strike. That is why we ran out of butter and are now running out of beef. Who knows what we will be running out of next, if it is oil we are in trouble, most likely it will not be fish. Like I said, I am living in a strange country.

Norwegian Catfish

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Zombie Mom

 Crawling through the streets of Denver with 10,000 other zombies and spectators was something that definitely would make your hair crawl as well. Last October while visiting my son in Denver I got the chance to play Zombie Mom. Mildly claustrophobic and not a fan of huge crowds, I was rather proud of myself for making this daring adventure into the world of the undead. As promised here are some pictures:

 Zombie Mom with Zombie Girlfriend

 Brave son with Zombie Mom and Zombie Girlfriend

If you are like me, you enjoy a good horror story. There are two of them running as a series on TV now. One of them is The Walking Dead and the other is American Horror Story. A miniseries based on Stephen Kings book, Bag of Bones has just been released and I am looking forward to seeing that. So what is it that makes us so susceptible to a good scare? While in Denver I also got to go on a ghost tour at The Stanley Hotel which is the most haunted hotel in America. This is the hotel that Stephen King based his book The Shining on. Did we see a ghost? To be honest, I am not really sure but we did witness many strange things. You can read about that here. Anyways, back to Zombies.

Being a Zombie Mom is easy. If you have ever felt like your children don’t listen to you, that they ignore what you say, avoid being seen with you, insult you, belittle you and treat you like the plague then you know what it is like to be a Zombie Mom. Believe me, it is much more fun to put on the makeup and join a crowd of other Zombies. Because when you are “undead” who really cares what others say or do. All a zombie real cares about is food and I got my share.
Zombie Mom takes a taste

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Enemy

As a writer I often encounter many enemies, but the worst enemies of all are the ones you least expect. I am talking about family. Once my children had grown up and moved out of the house I made the mistake of thinking that my time was finally my own. Instead of sneaking time away to write in a journal, I would finally have time to write a book, and to pursue more actively what I loved to do most. At first encouragement from my family was handed out like smiles on a plate, but once they saw that it took away from their time the smiles turned quickly into frowns. Even now as I write this blog, I know there are other things I am supposed to do, things that my family expects of me. My writing has been pushed into a corner because it is not time efficient. According to them I should be able to set it aside until a couple of hours before bedtime. Inspiration should be damned. I guess they assume I can turn on my muse like a switch, and use that time to write when it does not interfere with the time they need.

Maybe if I was a published writer and money was coming into everyone’s pocket they might feel different. My question is how can you do that without investing the time you need? As a writer are you constantly interrupted by someone or something that needs your attention? Is your family constantly trying to strangle your muse? Some enemies are easy to deal with, but when “The Enemy” is the one you love, how do you deal with that? Life is full of choices and priorities. It should be easy to choose a plate of smiles and toss the plate of frowns in the trash. No matter how I look at it, at the end of the day I am still faced with a pile of dirty dishes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Games People Play

We all have our little games, don’t we? Even as adults we still play tag, kick the can, and hide and seek. Tell me if I am wrong, but my guess is that you have played at least one of the above recently. As an adult, maybe you have played the game with different rules, but the same principles apply. As a blogger I like to check my stats and one of the most visited posts I have is the one about games. Thanks Alex. I bet you get a lot of hits on that as well. So what is this fascination with games? There are so many of them to keep us occupied. Computer games, video games, board games, card games, sports games, drinking games, mind games, sex games, and party games like plain old “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” I bet you have tried each and every one of these games at least once. Some of you might have even been addicted to some of them.

We play games to amuse ourselves and to escape sometimes. Sometimes games can even be a mind drug. Oh yes they can. I have seen it first hand when “World of War craft” came out. There is even an addiction center in Switzerland for that game. Across the street I have a neighbor who plays games 24 hours a day. I know because I do not sleep well and his computer is always on. I have children and friends who hop up and down whenever a new computer game comes out. They spend hours there shooting and going through mazes that do not really exist. As if life was not hard enough already we search for a way to make it harder, or should I say, a way to make it more creative, a safe place to fight our demons and escape.

You might ask why I am bringing this all up now. Yesterday a well-educated and intelligent man who had everything going for him named Anders Brevik was institutionalized to a mental facility. You might ask who he is. He is the man responsible for killing over 70 people in Norway this past summer, many of them children. He does not have to go to jail; you see he lived in another world so he was not responsible for his actions. Just like in Monopoly he got a "get out of jail" card. He lived in the world of war craft where it was OK to shoot and kill your enemy. He lived in a game and it made him insane so now he gets to drink milk and eat cookies. He was mentally abused by his computer the poor guy. Yes, the games people play. What  ever happened to “Pin the tail on the donkey?”

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Stormy Weather

Since I have gotten back from Denver, Norway has embraced me in its weather worn arms. One storm after another has crawled up from the sea together with the darkness this season holds. You can hear the wind howling outside my window now and the darkness I am sitting in has only a few candles to break its path. The electricity has gone out again, but I don’t mind because sometimes I just like to sit in the dark.

The nature of this storm is like that of a weary traveler. Its face reminds me of my own. I have been waiting for this stormy weather to pass for weeks now, but every time the sky shows a hint of clearing another storm cloud appears. That is why my friends you have not heard so much from me lately. I have been seeking shelter from stormy weather. Today I put on my rain clothes, walked down to the sea and watched the crashing waves hit the rocky shores below my feet. The spray of the salt water on my face was familiar and comforting. My post for the Insecure Writers Support Group is late this month and that is because of all the stormy weather that has been infecting me with the blues this month. We all get those blues sometimes but the best thing to do is to write. It is medicine, believe me.

We cannot choose the weather. Even if you live in a sunny climate, stormy weather will always appear. You will fight with loved ones, endure pain and sorrow, and at the end of the day bills still have to be paid. Take shelter if you must, find your paper and pen, or just put on your rain clothes and go for a walk.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Death of a Salesman

 Guess what; today I am going to be writing about death. 

Why death? My friend, Elisa from The Crazy life of a writing Mom is coming out with her new book and she wants us all to celebrate that by writing about death, actually about loss. I am a bit early( I think)  because I can not write tomorrow. Her book, “The Golden Sky” is about the loss of her infant son.

My experience with that is limited. I have lost a son due to a miscarriage and another due to the fact that I had to give him up for adoption, but I have never had to face death like she has. I have faced death though.  

The thing I can I can tell you about death is that it smells. Sweet and pungent it sticks to your skin. It is the kind of smell that does not easily wash off. If you have ever loved someone that has died, you take that smell with you. You wrap it around yourself like a blanket and take it to bed at night. You get out of bed and take a shower, but the smell is still there. Another thing about death is that it is so quiet and so full of noise at the same time. Stand there and listen to all the noise that surrounds death and you will hear nothing at all. Death can be your best friend, it will never leave you, but what you take with you from death can either drown or save you.

Many of you don’t know that I have a company. My husband and I started it when we bought a motel in the middle of Norway over 15 years ago. Like me, this company has been through some changes. Those first great expectations withered away and died when the market fell out. Needs change, we sold the motel, moved to a small town and started the company over again. Now don’t laugh, but I really do have to tell you about the death of a salesman.

From motel owner and part time retail man my husband went from selling computers to fixing them and he took our company with him. In the middle of nowhere Norway we soon found out that computers had no lifeline and the salesman slowly died. Out of those ashes a Fireman was born. I know, I have asked myself the same question. Where did the fireman come from? It really does not matter because today he is keeping us safe. The death of a salesman turned out to be the birth of another one. Yesterday our company was selling rooms and computer fix overs; today our company is selling life protection. After working as a fireman for a while and seeing the death that fire creates, my husband decided to change our company and to sell fire protection instead. He now installs fire equipment and teaches classes about fire prevention all over Norway.

I know that this is not the kind of story you were expecting. Most of you have probably experienced a terrible loss and what I have written about must seem very trivial to you. The fact is that I could go on and on about how terrible death is. You already know that and you live with it every day. Let it drown you or save you. Your choice…