Friday, December 31, 2010


Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Alfred Lord Tennyson and Felisol

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sepia Chandelier

The main church in our town is built in Neo-Gothic / Dragon style.
I love sitting there, admiring new details all the time.
The chandelier is eleven meters high and is supposed to symbolize a king's crown. The twelve lanterns are reminders of the twelve apostles.
I had never even seen the angel sitting in its center until I shot this "macro".

For further details, take a look at the previous post.

Teach Mary is the host of Sepia Scenes,visit her.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Haugesund has at least four kinds of weather in a week. Lately we've had, snow, frost, storm and more snow. Here is The Salvation Army "playing the Christmas in" on the town square like they have done the last sixty years.
They are loved and respected by high and low, and use Advent time to collect money to make a proper Christmas for the less fortunate.

The Christmas tree in front of the City Hall was beautifully decorated by children from all the kindergartens of our town. The tree was roped by experienced sailors, and did withstand the storm, but the decorations were somewhat messed up.

Christmastime is also when we mostly miss our dear ones, who have created our best childhood memories. Therefor it's custom to visit the graves with candles and wreaths before Christmas. Three miniature roses on the moss and cone wreath at the grave of Gunnar's parents. He has four graves to decorate every December 17th. The one of his parents, his sister Bjorg, his grandfather and cousin Ragnar. It's a privilege to honor and visit Gunnar's loved ones.

As years go by, we try to cut down on "unnecessary" gifts.
We haven't yet reached the point of money only". Gunnar has hidden in my study to wrap in some secrets.

Our house guest, Silk Kitty. seems to have adopted us. The strong affection and admiration is mutual.

Serina came home through storm and ice and immediately took up her duties. Decorating the tree and wrapping parcels.

The Kitty and Serina fell deeply in love at first sight.

Cuddling and sweet talking for hours.

Fourth Sunday of Advent we went to the annual Christmas Concert in the mighty Church of Our Savior. Luckily some of the audience wore red robes.
Photo by Serina. The church was packed for two concerts this evening, and
inner peace and spiritual needs were richly filled.

Tears of joy could not and should not be held back.

What's moving me even more, is riding past The Thousand Homes".
A large public housing complex built in the 1920-ies. Now a refugee for alcoholics, drug addicts and criminals. Every year I am moved to tears, seeing a few Advent sticks in the windows there too. Waiting and hoping is what's keeping us all going on.

At home our Kitty lies in perfect harmony.
A blessed Christmas and New Year to all bloggers in my world.

The Nordic tenors were among the performers yesterday.
They sung this song among many others.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Prayer and the faith in a living God, who always wants the best for his children, is implanted in me from I was a baby.
Nevertheless, I tend to want to fix my own life as best I can.

"Mother, don't pray for me, I want to win this tournament by myself," my brother instructed our mother as he was entering a major chess competition. With his sense of fair play, praying to win was equal to cheating.

Yesterday not only did I pray, but I engaged my entire family and the circle of blog Sisters of the Traveling Scarf to pray for daughter Serina's safe return for Christmas.
She rode her little car over two mountain ridges, via three car ferries and two under water tunnels ( running three hundred meters under the fjords), for 12 hours, through storm and ice in arctic darkness, and she turned up at our front door the very minute she was expected. Completely safe and sound, while four buses and a trailer were blown off the road in her track.
Seldom have I felt so small as when following the news on the internet. Seldom have I felt the blessing of my tiny, wobbly belief so complete. I couldn't to anything, but leave it all to God, his angels and my co-prayers.
I needed to believe then and every day.
The- nut- shell- sailing- on- the- Pacific- feeling, is a spiritually healthy experience.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


My best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.
May angels surround each and everyone of you, now and always.
From Felisol

Teach Mary is the host of Sepia Scenes,visit her.

Monday, December 13, 2010


People in our town are very much like the average Norwegian.
We don't do much new stuff around Christmastime; we are too busy repeating our traditions. This provides a feeling of stability in an unpredictable world of storms. It's also the best way of passing on our common heritage. Like baking gingerbread cookies.

Eating rice porridge with raisins, sugar, cinnamon and a butter eye in the middle also belong to Christmas traditions. Red juice, preferably from red currants to drink.

Families, kindergartens, even the giant Statoil plant took part in making a gingerbread village, competing for the prettiest building.
The exhibition stood for two weeks in a public center for youth and elderly people together.

The center is called The old Slaughterhouse, cause way back it really was a slaughter house. We used to frequent this place a lot in the eighties and nineties.
There were also a huge craft market. I bout this hand knitted cat for less the 2 dollars. Gunnar agreed to pose with it.

Out in our garden looking inside.

Some red, even out on our terrace.

Our Nativity Scene have figurines assembled through years in different materials and styles. Serina's self made, happy, red haired angel is a must.

The old youlenisse is wearing a jumper my mother knitted for me when I was 1 year old. He is the Norwegian pendant to Santa Claus, but only loosely connected. Every farm had nisses living in the stable, like the trolls lived in the mountains and the hulder; partly wonderful young girl, partly cow (hidden under the skirt)lived up on the summer farmland in the woods. The youlenisse was to be fed with the best porridge for Christmas, or he could do a lot of harm both to the people and the animals on the farm. Some hundred and fifty years ago he was slowly transferred to the continental Santa. But he kept his name and his farmer clothes.

From our kitchen, a silk rose.

Our advent calendar, embroidered by my mother about 1956, with the help of my brother and me. The youlenisse is holding a jug of ale in one hand and a Holy Three King's candle in the other. Combination of paganism and Christianity.
In every Norwegian home you can see this advent lights in one or more windows. In the wooden bowl is and advent orange with 24 cloves in it.
The true fragrance of Christmas. The picture was shot last week, therefor only two candles are lit on our advent wreath.

Homemade hearts.

Our TV room is partly decorated in pastel, except for the poinsettia.
Today, Monday 13th, we celebrate Santa Lucia, a Sicilian saint. Children are dressed in white, singing the ancient song about this remote saint, while carrying candles and handing out buns. Nobody really knows why this special saint is so tightly connected to Scandinavia. Not even 500 years of protestantism has managed to delete this beautiful celebration.
Serina in front of her friends on Lucia day 19 years ago.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today

Monday, December 06, 2010

December report

A short report from over the sea. Our advent celebrations started November 28th this year, the first of four Advent Sundays. Or, to be honest, it started Saturday November 27th, as Gunnar had to carry 16 boxes of Advent and Christmas decorations down from the attic.
On the Advent wreath two lights have been lit by now.
The color of Advent is purple, but I feel free to use the colors of my liking.
In the churches it is right to follow the sacral colors though. Did you know that the church year starts with advent, the waiting for the arrival of Messiah?

Hosting a Christmas workshop is my greatest advent pleasure. Tradition from when I was a child. Earlier I invited Serina and her friends. Now my hiker friends are perfect company..

This year angels in various forms were the theme of the workshop. Our kitchen is the perfect place for these activities. No place or making food, so I ordered open sandwiches from a neighbor.
This year angels in various forms were the theme of the workshop. Our kitchen is the perfect place for these activities. No place for making food, so I ordered open sandwiches from a neighbor.
We downloaded angels from the Internet and used several techniques, decoupage, ironing on fabric, painting e.t.c.
My Youle nisser are admiring Liv's and Tilly's skills from their hiding place on top of the cupboard .
So do the angels in our window. Hearts belong to Christmas decorations as well. In 90 % of Norwegian homes you'll also see this Advent Candlestick shining from one ore more windows in December.
Our regular house guest, the cat belonging to our neighbors was also very curious as to what was going on for more than six hours that very day. He sure doesn't like to be ignored.
Who does?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


In summer we have blond nights, but in the winter, with sundown at four p.m., (and it's still going to get darker), we have the blue hour.
This picture was taken outside the church after Christmas mass a year ago, in the blue hour.
It's magic. So silent and yes,- so blue, the light is blue, the sky and the snow is blue
A fairytale tells, that the blue-nisses of the mountain make the blue hour from blueberry juice.
Our heavenly Father knows better. He knows the laws of physics and the psyche of his children. He made it so wisely, that in our darkest days, before the sun once more is turning, the scenery is dressed in white and both dawns and sunsets are blue, filled with dreams and hopes.
To day was first Sunday of Advent, and in less than three weeks my girl will be home for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the doors of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; 3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I am the LORD, who call thee by thy name, even the God of Israel. 4 For the sake of Jacob My servant, and Israel Mine elect, I have called thee by thy name, I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known Me. 5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, beside Me there is no God; I have girded thee, though thou hast not known Me;

Sometimes I wonder; have I used these wonderful verses before.
If so, they were once more new to me today.
They were given me as food for my soul and a light or my path, just this very day. I hope that I by sharing also can pass on food to somebody else.
" That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside Me; I am the LORD; and there is none else."

Monday, November 22, 2010


Summer has passed, and fall is also reckoned to be over.
We were surprised by an early snow fall at the end of October. King Frost made short process with most of our garden flowers. I managed however to save a dozen of the still blossoming geraniums. For a while our kitchen and living room were
inundated with all shades of red geraniums.
Due to lack of water, they have starved one by one.
The few survivors shall be taken care of, in remembrance of the bygone summer.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today