Monday, March 08, 2010


Chef Elisabeth made a delicious as the two of us were celebrating 30 years of rare sisterhood.
Elisabeth became my college working in a home for mentally disabled in 1980. She was and is that kind of brave, honest,caring and outspoken person I can't help, but admire. We connected immediately and are still close.
15 years ago there was a great change in the way mentally challenged persons were treated.Disciples of the American psychologist Skinner, preached and forced nurses to practice a strong regime of extreme punishment and reward.
I was away on sick leave at the time, but Turd and Elisabeth stood tall and denied to exercise a Guantanamo like treatment against innocent people.

That created a huge storm all over Norway. TV and our two largest news papers reacted on behalf of the mentally retarded and my two friends. Locally the persons in administrative power, the union and even the politicians went to court to get my friends sacked. My friends won after 3 rounds and 5 years in court. It even resulted in a change both in laws protecting mentally challenged and a whistle blower act.
Elisabeth was even rewarded with a special price, only offered to 10 people in Norway, amongst others our former king and our crown prince.

The fight and the victory had its dark side. Both my friends are suffering great health damages as a consequence the long battle.
Like heroic soldiers, Elisabeth has to cope with post traumatic stress syndrome. Life is not that fair. Never has she given up. She's a wonderful mother, friend, daughter and wife.

She smiles like heaven when she talks about good food, and is indeed a master cook. The other day she invited me to a wonderful evening.The menu for two was fresh lobster, crab fish, shrimps, salad and pink champagne. I smiled too, when Gunnar picked me up at 3 in the morning.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today


nonizamboni said...

What a wonderful post! Fighting the good fight is never easy but necessary and I'm glad it was ended in a good way. What a feast in celebration of your friendship!

Kitchenmaus said...

The buffet table photo looks like a painting!!! I had to stare at it (partially because my eyes were affected by the allergy i have with apples) and because the colors are too good!

I commend you all for fighting against that kind of treatment...they are already lacking and lacking for understanding makes things worse...though at times, the mentally challenged are better than those who are not, they are innocent. I feel disappointed sometimes when I see older people (we live across a home for the aged) out in the snow, they snuck out of the homes wearing slippers and no jackets... :( Lack of love I thumbs up to you and your colleagues!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post: text and photos. Such friends are important.

Ralph said...

True friends are few, but always there for each other. To converse and linger over a meal, the camaraderie will never grow old.

As someone in a wheelchair with an obvious physical disability, it is not hard to see the challenge. Yet those with 'hidden' disabilities, have to often live in the shadows with a fear of being found out. Those in worse situations of mental illness are denied the treatment that can increase their ability to live, and thrive.

Disabilities cause much of the world to operate in an irrational fear...

You and Elisabeth are true friends, and a lengthy meal and talk over such delicious seafood!

Debbie Petras said...

Elisabeth sounds like a wonderful friend and a person who stands up for her convictions. As you wrote, they often take a toll though. I'm so glad to read though that she stood up for those who couldn't stand up for themselves. We are created in the image of God and I believe we are to respect all persons. Good for Elisabeth. As a nurse, I wouldn't be able to mistreat people no matter what the authorities told me.

Your dinner looks so delicious! I love seafood and lobster ...oh my. I'm so glad to read that you had such fun spending time with your friend.

Love you,

Kim, USA said...

Good food, good wine and good friends what can we ask for. Happy days ahead!

Christmas Cactus

Lindz said...

yummm making me hungry with your post said...

Good for Elisabeth! I'm so glad that their efforts resulted in a real change. Standing up against the 'establishment' for the causes of those less fortunate is right out of the Bible, and I know God honors that. So glad you shared this Felisol, it's an encouragement.

Not to mention that FOOD!! Oh I would love to sit and enjoy such a beautiful meal... anytime.



Leora said...

She sounds like a beautiful person. Hard to hear the toll her fight has taken on her. But she has a beautiful smile, and I love that she loves good food.

I do hope scientists will find ways to treat mental illness - new discoveries and treatments have been encouraging.

Chubskulit Rose said...

The shrimp is making me hungry!

Red Gloves

Terry said...

oh felisol..what a tribute to your dear friend..the kind of tribute that MUST be made while the person is alive!
she is such a hero in the way that she protected these dear mentally challenged people.
you know, felisol, bernie used to live in an institute until he was 18 years old.
in that building were 2400 hundred children...there were orphans, which is why bernie was there but mostly the rest of the patients were mentally challenged people.
bernie said that he had a good life there.
in the 1980's the hospital was closed because the ontario government came out with the plan to make satellite homes for these dear people instead of their having to live in an institute.
and many of these so called "slow" people have blossomed into an important and vital part of the communities.
it was sad though, when bernie and i visited that hospital school in the early seventies, one girl, when she saw bernie, wheeled her chair as fast as her arms could carry her to see him.
and she was so excited!...she said to bernie, "guess what?..i have learned to READ!"
oh she was so happy and yet she had no legs. i quite often wonder what great job she has gotten since that institute has closed.
the staff at that building were heroes just as your dear friends felisol...
i am glad that you told this story!
and i am glad that you put elizabeth's picture in here.
you can see that she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!
god bless her and god bless you deares terry

Amrita said...

Let me begin by sayig how much I honor and respect the way you and your friends have stood up for the righteousness and justice in your country. I admire heroes like this. Yoiur are beautiful both inside and outsde.
Will pray for inner healing for Elizabeth.

Then food she prepared is so appealing even to me a non-seafood person.Splendidly displayed , with all those colors, I need no persuasion to try it.LOL.

Snooze said...

beautiful red spread and wonderful story too ... so much red goodness in the world.

John Cowart said...

Hi Felisol,

Here you've presented a fabulous feast and a fabulous lady.

Good job.


Robin said...

Your friend Elisabeth is such an inspiration. What an incredible woman, a real hero. And that lobster, my god... I'm drooling all over my keyboard!

(To answer your question, this bottle brush tree (turns out that really is what it's called) was blooming in early February on a kibbutz a bit south of where I live. I photographed it when I was there for a conference. Flowers in January are one of my very favorite things about Israel.)

Unknown said...

Wow... great pictures, great food too, I am sure.

Happy TQM!
Happy RT!
Happy HOT!





Patti said...

What a delicious and fancy meal you and Elisabeth had to celebrate 30 years of friendship. She sounds like a wonderful woman. Her smile is beautiful!

I also commend you and her for fighting for the mentally challenged and those who cannot speak for themselves.

This is truly an inspiring post. Felisol.

Eaton Bennett aka Berenice Albrecht said...

Hi Felisol, how special to have a wonderful long time friend...that cooks such delicious looking food. :)

Jada's Gigi said...

What a wonderful friendship you share! God has blessed you both.

Marice said...

30 years?! thats amazing! sweet :) love it!

u may view mine here

❀~Myrna~❀ said...

Thank God for people like your friend who will stand for the defenseless in this world ! She is beautiful & the food looks delicious!

Trish said...

Dear Felisol...You are blessed to have such a wonderful and brave friend. The meal looks delicious and I know the your visit was even better!
The table does indeed look like a painting. How lovely it would be hanging on someones wall.

Kris said...

She sounds awesome. And the food looks amazing. As usual, the photos are lovely and the post is such a good read. It improved my mood. I send her good vibes. And you.

Jim said...

Hi Felisol, I do hope you had a little take home doggy back for Gunar. That seafood looks sooooooo good!
I am glad you could celebrate with your friend. I am also happy for her award. Too bad it was so costly with the court and all.
Happy RT! I didn't post this week, I'm working on income tax. My Sunday post of little KP is my last one for a bit.

Jim said...

A note for you

Sunday I also had a cute little poem on my other blog, second post down, called "Hesitation."

Crown of Beauty said...

What a lovely post Felisol, with the warm pictures of your friend, her sincere smile, the good food, the wine...

And the story of her fight with justice.

God will reward her.

Thank you for sharing this story and pictures on your blog!


Mrs. Mac said...

What an inspiring story of national merit. A lasting friendship through all of the trial and tribulation. That meal is fit for a queen. What a treat. I bet by three in the morning much of the problems facing man had been solved;) You are both blessed because of friendship.

EG CameraGirl said...

What a wonderful post about your dear friend. Good for her for sticking up for what she believes is right. But it so sad she had to fight so hard and has suffered bad health as as a result. Sounds like you have a great friend, Felisol!

Saija said...

you Norwegian ladies are so beautiful ... both inside and out ... :o) ... great story on your friend ...

and your King & Queen were here in Canada for the olympics ... their english is really excellent and your King said he was quite familiar with Canada, having even spent some extended time here ... very sweet sounding couple ...

blessings on your week!

Felisol said...

Dear Saija,
During ww2 our King and crown prince had to flee over to England to avoid becoming German hostages, when our country was occupied.
The Crown Princess Martha and her three children were brought over to the American continent where they stayed for five years.
In Canada there was built an air plane base to educate Norwegian pilots for the battle of Europe.It was called Little Norway. Our king Harald, who was a young boy back then,frequently visited the air base.
I think Harald always has been a great representative for his people and also totally identify with them. Both he and the queen are always dressed like the athletes when they are watching the Olympics.

I think they are great.