Thursday, March 10, 2016

Screen-free week

The annual screen-free week arranged by Familie & Medier starts tomorrow. I know it's good for me, but also that it will be challenging. Here is how it goes: apart from work and studies there will be no screen time for the next week. I can use my phone to call/text people, but not for all the apps and internet. And no TV either.

The past couple of months I have had an app on my phone that tracks how  much time I spend on it. On average it is about 2 hours a day! Isn't that crazy? I am almost too embarressed to admit it... Since I got a new phone last fall I use it to read news, blogs and articles, plus all the social media, but it still seems like a lot of time.

To prepare for this coming week I  have decided to do the following:
- Write down all upcoming birthdays so I can text, call or send a card instead of a facebook message
- Charge my ipod so I have music to listen to
- Turn off the wifi and 4G on my phone
- Use cookbooks instead of online recipes if I need anything
- Put my phone in a designated spot where it is out of sight, but still within earshot
- Check my email once a day on weekdays, and only read important ones
- Hide all apps from the front page on my phone

That should help me a on the way, dont you think?

I think I will read quite a lot the coming days, but hopefully there will be a few fun adventures as well. Maybe it is time to plant some bulbs for spring? Have a great week, screen-free or not!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Reading through the century

While looking through my book list, it became evident that I mainly read new books (from the past decade or so), or books that are around 100 years old! I can give a pretty easy explanation for both of these categories.

Firstly: New books are talked about everywhere, and it makes me curious, so I want to find out why people think this is such a great book. Also, being at the library so often, I like to look at the new arrivals, and often pick up a couple of new and shiny ones to bring home. This way I end up reading a lot of Norwegian authors that are new to me.

Secondly: Copyrights expire after 100 years in America, and it is therefore easier to find these titles available for free. Almost all the books on my kindle are in this category!

Thirdly: This is an idea I had. What if I read books from a different decade for each month for the rest of the year? That could be interesting, and I am sure I will find lots of new to me authors.

I think I will start with the 90s, and I will let you know how it goes.

By the way, it is library week in Telemark this week. Check out Bibliotekukas website for program and more. Here in Skien I will attend an Ibsen event Wednesday night, and hear mystery writer Jan Mehlum Thursday night. On Saturday the new Ibsen area and art exhibit will open, so there is a lot happening this week. Everything is free, so this is the perfect chance to visit your local library. You can even win an Ipad air!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I am

Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Isaiah 46:4

Monday, February 22, 2016

Dreaming of // Wanderlusting

On our new TV we have Chromecast, and after a show is done casting, a slideshow with all these really pretty nature photographs starts running. Naturally, it makes me want to travel. It's a good thing I have a few trips to look forward to the next months!


Bergen, Norway
This pretty city is always on our travel list, since my parents and two of my siblings live there. Especially now that I am an aunt I wish the distance was a lot shorter so we could have Sunday dinners and play with the kids!

Ljungskile, Sweden
A good friend and former roommate is getting married this spring, and the festivities will happen in a small town in Sweden where she currently lives. I don't get invited to a ton of weddings, and especially not cross-cultural ones, so this will be exciting.


Ebeltoft, Denmark
This summer we are renting a house with my side of the family in Denmark. Look at this, it is practically on the ocean! I can't wait for all that fresh air, eating good food and hanging out with the family. A daytrip to Aalborg to visit the new library there is defnitely on my to-do list for this vacation.


It will also be time to visit the in-laws this summer, so we are heading to Augusta, Georgia. We have talked about a possible weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina while we are there, and I hope it works out, cause I would love to see more of the South this time. Hopefully I will manage to squeeze in a trip to Colorado as well. It is always such a treat to see my friends there, and Denver is a fun city.

Mike and I have also talked about how much we would love a super chill beach vacation at some all-inclusive place. Just for a week or so to really relax and soak up some sun while reading a stack of books. It isn't on our schedule yet, but it is a nice thing to dream about.

Whew, what a list! But that's not all. Having friends coming to visit almost feels like a vacation as well, dont you think? So we look forward to having people come here to Skien too, and interrupt our daily life and force us out of routines. Are you planning any fun trips soon?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Zero gravity

OK Go - Upside Down & Inside Out
Hello, Dear Ones. Please enjoy our new video for "Upside Down & Inside Out". A million thanks to S7 Airlines. #GravitysJustAHabit
Posted by OK Go on 11. februar 2016

You just have to watch this!

Read // Japanese time travel

 Min fjerne barndoms by

Author: Jiro Taniguchi
Title: Min fjerne barndoms by
Year: 2015
Original title and year: Harukana machi-e, 2004
Genre: Graphic novel
Pages: 405

In five words:
Family, regret, youth, second chance.

A quote:
"Forvirret og rådvill ble jeg stående og se meg  omkring i en barndoms by jeg hadde trodd var tapt for alltid." 

"Confused and bewildered, I stood looking around at a childhood's city I thought was lost for ever."

And because this is a graphic novel, another quote in context with the pictures.

Why did I read this book?
Graphic novels have never really been my thing. But this summer I picked up another one of Taniguchi's graphic novels, and was deeply moved by the story he told, both through the words and the beautiful drawings that convey a lot of emotion. So when I had this one in my hands to add it to the library catalogue, I could hardly wait for it to go through the system so I could check it out and enjoy it.

Why should you read this book?
If you like books by Haruki Murakami, this one will resonate with you as well. There is the obvious Japanese connection, but the magic realism in the story is also a common thread in their story-telling. I am so glad I have discovered graphic novels - there is so much more diversity than I thought! I suggest you give it a chance if you haven't already.

Books like this one: 
Taniguchi's My father's diary is also translated into Norwegian, and is similar in both style and theme. I think this one is my favorite, but I will gladly recommend both of them.

For the curious ones: 
- Buy the book in Norwegian.
- More about the author.

PS. This was my first attempt of a book recommendation column on the blog. The format is still in beta-mode I guess, while trying to find a template I can easily work with. I am very happy to receive comments on these posts. Maybe you have read the book?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Living room update

For Christmas I involved a lot of family members to surprise Mike with a TV. Neither of us have had one in many years, and had grown used to tiny laptop screens for watching our shows and movies. I knew he really wanted one, but I have been quite hesitant. Since I have managed for so long, what's the need, right? And it also seemed like a lot of money. Well, since my sister suddenly had an extra TV, the price turned out to be quite reasonable. Being able to keep the secret from my husband was also a lot of fun.

After a nervous week of waiting, the TV finally came in the mail, and we had to rearrange our whole apartment to accomedate it. We got a new bookshelf and some new storage for the closet, and are both very happy with the results. The landscape picture on the wall is also pretty new. It shows the view from Alnes towards Ålesund and my home island Sula, and it is so lovely to have a piece of home to look at every day.

Picture from Alnes: Michaela Potterbaum. 
New shelf: Skeidar

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hi February!

It is already a new month! January seemed to fly by with all the home cure assignments, and now the calendar shows February. This month I look forward to visiting friends, seeing a couple of plays, one of them starring my sister, and celebrating with my Valentine. So much love (and so much cheesiness). I also look forward to spending a lot less time cleaning the house.


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