Weekend Coffee Share – Almost Summer

Let’s have coffee in the garden today! A sweet mix of scented bushes, and flowers are surrounding us. The sweet scent is not suffocating pungent, just a light touch of different scents touching our nostrils as the light breeze comes and goes. It’s actually pretty perfect in my book. Yes, my vegetables wants it to be warmer yet, but I like it like this. Earlier this week the days hit the upper 50’s, now we have lower 60’s. 

The place that I am renting, is located in the outskirts of the outskirts of a small town. I am renting the bottom floor of the house, there is a small studio apartment upstairs. It is almost countryside. This house is at least 100 years old, and very charming. There is a few small outhouses still there, like a woodshed, root cellar, and storage. The front yard was once a potato field. There’s some bigger pine trees, birch trees, different bushes, millions of lupins and other wild flowers. At the moment the strongest scent comes from a couple Prunus Padus, Hägg in Swedish, that are flowering at the moment. There’s a few big rocks scattered around the property. Compared to the neighbours newer dwellings this place looks wild. I love living here, but I am happy that I am not responsible for the property. The place is beautiful, no doubt about it, it is insanely charming, but wild. I don’t mind wild at all, but how to keep the place neat without doing a lot of digging and destroying some of its imperfectly perfect beauty to fit in, is a struggle of the mind. Luckily I don’t have to make any final decisions here. I’m doing my best, and enjoying the place.

Speaking of enjoying myself, my daughter and I spent all day yesterday outside planting seedlings in bigger pots outside, scrubbing the porch freeing it from spiderwebs, weeding a spot in a garden bed for my daughters pumpkins. We might not have enough warm days for pumpkins but she wants to try. We are enjoying a long 4 day weekend, Thursday-Sunday this week. It’s the calm before the storm, the next two weeks are going to be insanely busy at work; a long evening meeting on Tuesday, oral and written evaluations to finish, organising outdoor meet and greet for new parents/children that are starting in the fall, preparing a graduations ceremony while practicing social distancing and of course the usual fun with the children. I foresee busy days, and long evenings for the next two weeks. I have been managing my time well, and I am not behind with anything, but there is still a lot to do by the end of the semester. I love my work, I feel that I have a lot of freedom and a lot of responsibilities. I am looking forward to a relaxing summer with my daughter, and then going back to a new group of children doing it all over again 🙂 I feel that I am in the right place. 

Are you comfortable? Can I get you a refill on that coffee? Or tea? Maybe you would like to taste an oat& rye ciabatta fresh out from the oven? Maybe with some cheddar cheese? Just relax and enjoy the beautiful day, I’ll run inside and get it for you. There you go 🙂

The feeling of summer just around the corner gets more intense as the weather gets warmer. I’ve updated both my daughter’s and my own closest with some necessary items. In these times online shopping is just the perfect way to go. I’ve noticed that with all the changes in my daughter’s life lately she benefits from less choices, hence I picked out a few new summer dresses, a windbreaker jacket/pants, running shoes, and sandals for her. I tried to let her pick herself, but she just couldn’t (I gave her plenty of time putting the choices right under her nose but nothing happened.) She is doing great in school, and her Swedish is progressing but I have noticed that she is really tired, maybe a slight underlaying stress about the pandemi as well? There have been some huge changes in her life. I got some extra time off this summer to spend with her, I think she needs it. School is out mid June and we are going to enjoy time off until August 3rd. 

This summer is going to be about quality time together, resting, exercising, nature, reading, crafting, hiking, photography (more about that in another post,) yoga, gardening, picking berries, going swimming in the lake, and some outdoor/social distancing playdates for my daughter. We’ve had a fabulous but very intense year. One of my goals is to get my daughter more involved in the kitchen this summer. Since leaving California I’ve struggled to get her to eat enough fruit and vegetables, because frankly they don’t taste as good as the ones we grew in our garden there (and on top of that they are really expensive in the stores.) This will be easier as we start harvesting vegetables from our garden here. There is also rhubarb growing wild in our yard, there is one black currant bush (I believe) and there is strawberry plants scattered all around the property. The surrounding forests are filled with blueberry and lingonberry, if we go a little further there is even cloudberry. The prognosis for a healthier, more varied diet for her is good. I already eat very healthy, both at home and at work (with the occasional orgie of chocolate, but hey..who’s perfect?) I enjoy the Swedish cuisine immensely and it is packed of healthy food that my daughter isn’t accustomed to yet.  During the school year we haven’t had time or energy to experiment as much as we usually do in the kitchen. I am hoping that we will do some cooking together. I often try to involve her, and it is easy as long as it is her favourite recipes; burritos, tacos, pasta, pancakes, or any type of baking, but it would be wonderful to expand that menu a little. She used to eat everything as a toddler, not so much these days. I like to cook. We eat good food made from scratch, but she need to add more fruit and vegetables, and exercise more. We’ve started to do a little bit of yoga together, and I am thinking that we will do more of that. She seem to enjoy it. 

I also tried to make another exercising deal with her. She wants a hamster so badly for her birthday in July, and I said that given that our landlord says that we can have a hamster in the house I would get her one for her birthday, and a new mountainbike. I would get her bike (using the money I was saving for our plane tickets to Iceland, that we wont be using due to Corona) right when schools out for summer and she would agree to ride with me for at least 30 min every day until her birthday, to get the hamster. She freaked out and called me a lot of awful things! Very unlike her. I know she doesn’t enjoy bike riding, but still…she would get a new mountain bike that she also could ride with her friends now in these social distancing times, AND the hamster she’s been asking for. My daughter is absolutely not spoiled when it comes to material things. In fact we live a pretty minimalistic lifestyle. These would be big expenses for this budgeting, single mom. I thought it was a good deal for both of us, right? I’ll keep trying to find ways for her to enjoy exercising, without pushing. I have offered her many different types of exercising. I’ll just keep it up. Any suggestions? Luckily she likes exploring the forest, and going to the lake, I’m going to suggest other forests and lakes slightly further away..there’s many within walking (or bike riding..) distance.

I’m thinking that most peoples summer will be different this year. Maybe humanity will learn something from this and spend their time enjoying life closer to home even in the future? I know that there’s many places right here close to home that I have not explored yet, barely touched. This is an incredible region, and I am looking forward to seeing more of it this summer. Now it’s your turn to tell me about YOU. How are you? How is your week? Weekend plans? What is your thoughts about the summer? 

Love,

Maria

32 Comments on “Weekend Coffee Share – Almost Summer

  1. Sounds like the weather is getting better and that you have great plans for the summer. And to every life, a bit of chocolate must flow – it is healthy 😉 I do hope your daughter takes to the bike. I really don’t bike much any more, but from the time I was a kid (5?) to my mid-30s, I biked a huge amount, a few years over 200 miles a week. Anyway, continue to enjoy your time outside and have a great weekend and a wonderful week ahead!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes, the weather is very nice. I rode a bike many miles every week as a child and teenager. Before I had my drivers license..I could see myself ride to work in the fall, but that would require me riding a lot this summer, and I cannot do that if my daughter doesn’t go with me. We’ll see. Hopefully one of her friends wants to go riding with her. That would be the best motivation. Thank you for having coffee with me. Have a fabulous weekend!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh I love the start of the warmer weather it has a certain energy about it. Gardening & adventures, it is soul warming reading about your time with your treasure. A helmet & goggles & basket for the hamster to share your treasures bike riding adventures. Have a awesome weekend & make sure you rest up as much as you can through your busy time. (;

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, the warmer weather is nice. It’s raining today, and low 40’s, but it feels good, refreshing. Yes, maybe a basket to bring the hamster on adventures would put a different appeal to my deal? 🙂 Always worth a try 🙂 Thank you for having coffee with me! Have a wonderful weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for the coffee and the bread with yummy cheese! I think you are doing an excellent job with your sweet daughter. It’s not easy with two parents, I can’t imagine being a single mom. My heart goes out to you and I admire you and am proud of you and all your decisions!! I think showing by example is an excellent motivator and like you said her friends will help motivate her as well. I totally understand the food issues, it’s tough and here there’s just too much fast food! Ugh, trying to eat healthier myself! 🤣 A little chocolate I think it’s necessary! 😋

    I love all your outdoor plans! And hope you get at least one pumpkin! I got one tiny one before the gophers destroyed my plants, haha, that was now a few years ago! Have a WONDERFUL weekend!! 💜❤️💙💚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your encouraging words Diana. You saw the book I ordered with all the hiking trails, she did get interested in some of those. The photos are great and makes me want to do them all. My daughter picked out five that she wants to do this summer, and she usually like to repeat hikes she likes. If she likes some of them we might have a full summer 🙂 Thank you for your lovely company!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kids aren’t always rational, are they? –hehe! Do they have geocaching in your area? Or maybe you could create scavenger hunts to make exercise more exciting. Also there are photo hunts… get a picture of this, that or the other, in town or nature.
    It’s been great weather this week (today was 80) and I did a big planting project for a client. It still needs to be mulched, but at least the planting is done, phew! I’m glad to take a couple days off. Monday is Memorial Day, but there won’t be any parades, picnics or trips to the beach. So strange, all my life it was always the big holiday heralding summer. Not this year!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I like the idea off a photo hunt! I did that with my daughter when I got her her first camera and she LOVED that. We got a new book with hikes in our region yesterday. She picked out five hikes that she wants to do, maybe I could do some research before each hike and give her a little mission. She is very into butterflies and pretty flowers. There’s plenty of those. In fact one fo the hikes was described as “Butterfly paradise”. Thank you for that brilliant idea! They have some type of geo coaching for kids here, but they include Pokemons and I’m not a big fan of them, too much violence.

      I bet all important holidays will be very different this year. We are approaching Midsummer’s Eve which is one of the biggest holidays here, and we are not going to have any gatherings, as far as I know. We are recommended to practice social distancing.

      I’d love to hear more about your big gardening project this week! I braved the weather and planted two out of three bell pepper plants outside yesterday. The weather is mild, and cloudy with occasional rains for the next couple days, and then cloudy/sunny and warm but not hot, so I figured it would be a good start. Maybe? I saved one plant inside, in case I’m wrong 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kids are good stress busters. Every minute spent with them is precious. It’s good to hear that you and your daughter are so close to each other and get involves in various activities. Else kids mostly prefer to stay indoors in front of TV or playing online games. You are doing a really great job , Mum 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you, Maria, for your coffee share. Your bell pepper plant looks very healthy in the photo. Your summer plan sounds wonderful. I think letting your daughter chose some hikes is an excellent idea. Plus with a camera or a scavenger hunt game thrown in, it should be quite fun. I love cycling and hope to do some distance this summer. Have a wonderful weekend and upcoming week!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Natalie! My daughter and I have been doing a lot of hiking all over the US, so I believe this is a good way to go. I am looking forward to re-discover this area with her, and see parts that I haven’t explored myself yet. Thank you for your kind comment. Have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

      Like

  7. It looks beautiful and refreshing. Good to see you and your girl are doing well. Thanks for the coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Maria. I’ll bet your gal had some residue stress from your final days in LV, then a big move, to a new country, with a new language, and new school and new foods and new friends and then this rotten virus lock down. Give her some rest and time with some dabs of chocolate like perk up pills and then that hamster to love and care for and I also bet she’ll settle our fine. She comes from good, sane and loving stock. In fact, by the time you read this, she is likely already well past it and is getting more comfortable with all the new things around her.
    Blessings to both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for these kind words Gary! I am looking forward to spending some more time with her this summer without a tight time schedule. I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

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  9. I can relate to so many things in your post, I hope you resolve the bike issue. The four of us are most happy on bikes exploring. Spending time is the most important thing though. Have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. My mom, me and my sister rode our bikes everywhere, and I would really like to experience this with my daughter. Still no luck with that. Aiming for some fun hikes this summer, while hoping that her friends are going to change her mind about the bike thing.. This week have been crazy busy, and very productive,. I hope your week is great. Happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Very interesting to read all what you are writing, as I am not aware of things Sweden. Being single is not easy and growing up also can be difficult. There need not be reasons but changes in the body, being a girl. I have two grown up boys, one is going to be 45 years and other one will be 41. There are two grand daughters. I have not found it difficult for their eating growing up, I have been a stay at home mum and put in lot of hard work, as house work never ends. Maybe not single, but brought them up like a single mum which is more difficult, and gone through lot of difficult issues which is not possible or proper to write in public!
    Know that you are Not alone, I saw you had read my introductory page, I have gone through so much, being separated from them for long years, while they were in Australia and I in Sri Lanka. But somehow my two sons have grown up well and become good adults. Try to give food she likes, maybe things she prefers, and in time they do learn to eat balanced diets. Just trying to give some ideas being some one much older. Anyway you are Very Brave and also fortunate to live in such fresh country side with nature and pure environment. As I write I have Healing Energy in my left hand ~ means You will also receive them and Trust and know ~ they will help or heal what ever the issues are. Need not be any ill health also. Many Blessings of Loving Kindness coming Both Your way from Brisbane Australia. Take Care ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing! I still think of 60 degrees as a bit chilly, but what a view you have! And your home sounds perfect for you and your daughter. I read the comments above and would agree with you about hiking being more fun for now. You cannot predict what activities kids will be drawn to, so I would go with what works. I love the idea of combining photography with that. Hiking will build her confidence in her motor skills and you all live in a terrific area for exploration. Your pepper looks incredibly healthy. Do you use natural light or a special lamp? Now I have to ask about cloudberry, something I’ve never heard of. Does it taste good?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Apologies for my late reply, work is crazy busy now by the end of the semester.

      I believe that going with what works is what we are going to do. I realise that my daughter have the need to have no “have to’s” for a while, as she had many changes in her life this past year. She does love spending time in nature and I am very grateful for that.

      I have one window in my house that has great light for growing plants. When I use that window no extra light is needed. This pepper is grown there. All the veggies are outside now, in different stages of growing. We’ve had a warmer week, and next is going to be even warmer (around 75 which is about how warm it gets here.) Do you enjoy gardening? Cloudberries are magical! They are often sold to high end restaurant for a lot of money. They are usually growing very far from where people are, in wetlands in mountain areas. One summer when I was about 15 I worked very long, hot days in a bakery. My little sister did nothing all summer, except three days when she picked cloudberries, and she made a lot more money than I did working three months! She had overheard some elderly neighbour about their luck and asked if she could come with them over the weekend. Cloudberries are unique.

      I hope you have a wonderful week ❤

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  12. Hi Maria,
    I love reading your coffee shares every week and hearing about your life s a Mum in Sweden and your ups and downs with your daughter. Parenting is very intense at times. Intense love but also fear, hurt, and probably much of the time confusion, particularly in these strange times. I’ve never been a fan of exercise, although I’ve certainly been more active in the past than I am now and finding what rocks your boat in the exercise sense is probably very much like choosing a musical instrument and it’s wonderful that such diversity is available so people can find something they personally enjoy.
    One of our kids has been glued to his computer screen both in terms of getting his school work done via zoom, but particularly gaming. He didn’t miss talking to his friends. Saw no need to go out and was told to stay home by the government etc due to the virus. He started returning to school two weeks ago, one day a week and suddenly, it all caught up with him and his mind is whirling round at 1000 miles an hour and he has loads of questions and can’t sleep. We received an email from the principal and she shared how the return to school went on Monday and kids had no food, pens, books and it seems to me like they were almost shell shocked. They’ve come out of the bunker and are like deer staring in the headlights. While the virus numbers in Australia have been minimal, the impact of being in lock down and isolation has been huge, especially right on the back of the bush fires. The bush fire smoke alone was so thick, it could be seen circling the globe a few times before it dissipated. That’s intense.
    I’m not always mad keen on exericise myself but one of the things I try and do is incorporate it into my daily life. Walk down to the shops instead of drive. I love photography. So, I like to go on a walk and talk the camera, although that doesn’t always do wonder for my heart rate, especially when I’ve stopped with my camera point up a tree or out to sea. Scavenger lists are popular with kids and looking for berries would be fun. The key is not avoid turning it into a battle. My mother used to get onto me about eating and going on diets and it didn’t go well. Somehow, they need to take these ideas onboard for themselves, but you might need to wait until they’re 40.
    Take care & best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind comment, and apologies for my late reply. Work have been very intense this week as we are closing in on the end of this semester.
      I feel so grateful to experience this journey that it truly is to be a parent. It feels good to hear about other “real” peoples journey. Thank you for sharing glimpses of yours.
      I love photo walks! I love taking them, and I love enjoying others that they share 🙂 When I moved from Las Vegas six months ago I sold my camera to generate some cash for the move. I’ve missed having a camera so badly, my phone doesn’t have the best camera (its not the latest model by any means..LOL.) Last week I decided that I could give myself a new camera, so I did. Without a camera I’ve almost felt like half a person, if that makes sense. I’ve been taking pictures every day since I was five years old. I am going to have seven weeks off this summer, and I plan on enjoying my new camera every day, and do more blogging of course. I am excited about that.
      I hope you are having a great week. I’m going to try to take some photos of all the flowers and plants in my garden today, and share them in my coffee post this weekend. ❤

      Like

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