Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I am here. Right here.

That new grey bundle is Biene. She's a crazy, wonderful now 6-month old addition to the family. She's also a symbol for B and I growing roots for realz.


Wow, it's been a while.

A really long while.

I'm still not clear on why I haven't checked in here - and the "why" may be overrated anyways.

Reality is... I've progressed exponentially on my Sweden-to-do-list.

Responding to crisis- and wanna-be-crisis-calls in Swedish 3 days a week. Living life talking and often thinking in Swedish. Enrolled in a one-year education in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) in Swedish. Language goal? Check!

Running my business successfully so far. Working 200% but feeling only about 100% most of the time. In addition to the stugservice job I had plans on accepting for the winter I also allowed for a 14-year-old whirlwind to enter my life and home. Whirlwinds have a tendency to ground me, so things are good. The girl has been here from December 6th and will stay until June 21th. I'm a mom of sorts... and it often feels good. She's turned from a long-sleeping make-up-covered often uncertain girl into a skiing often-gleeful dog-loving sweet young lady. We've given the house a make over which resulted in sweet sweet spaces all around. Home creating goal? Check!

Roots...? --- Am still not entirely sure what roots mean to me. What I know for sure is that I am rooting and that the process is the sweetest I know. Every day Buford and I leave our house with the single goal in our minds to ski or walk to yet another undiscovered place to us. He's guided by his nose - I use eyes and emotions. I've been addicted to a skiing loop I discovered 3 days ago - just gotta repeat it over and over till another one is calling my name.

Planning on working with different organizations after the whirlwind has left. Local organizations - both "state"-funded and private - have announced interest in buying my services. No I just need to set up a sweet summer program that allows me to play and do good work with some youngins.

For now I am getting ready for another day. Let's see what this one brings....!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

German Blues.

So... Germany is teaching me that I am crazy. You know, a little out there. That I am not the person I used to be... some decade ago, when I worked in an office and guided travel agents in their struggles with clients who wanted to travel to Latinamerica.

I think I have become a rather free spirit.

Who doesn't fit into a cubicle anymore. Luckily this statement has nothing to do with physical size... ;)

But man, do I feel out of place in city environments!! Even though people speak my native tongue here I feel misunderstood and as if I don't understand some secret code. Sooo many people and soo little human connection. Not that the Swedes are terribly social, mind you!

So, really, the trip is affirming my bigger life choices... compliments to my gut at this point... cause really, I cannot claim that my brain is my guide when deciding irrational things such as leaving the States and moving to Sweden many moons ago (ok, only about 15, but you get the point...).

Am sitting in a hostel in Cologne right now... winding down after an emotionally taxing day. Sounds like I am scoring more work days in the near future... so, it's happening.

Tomorrow I'll meet three guys I've wanted to meet for many months now. We first got in touch last winter when things were rather grim for me. Hoping to score a goal in our time together!! And hoping to make some real connection. Cause they, to me, are life-affirming. And I certainly need a little bit of that in this grey, rainy country.



Monday, September 27, 2010

Front-Country Challenged.

"Hi, my name is Marlies and I think I am front-country challenged."

You know, as opposed to feeling at home in the back-country (read also: The Farm, small villages, the woods, the cliffs, being with B).

We used to talk a lot about front- versus backcountry when I still lived my life in the US. But I've never felt the difference as strongly as I do right now.


Am sitting in the train to Stockholm's airport Arlanda. Flying to Köln in Germany tonight for a little businesstrip. It's supposed to last a work week and I am supposed to meet with different potential partners. But goodness am I rusty with all of it!!

Dress code, people paths, train silence, tickets, money, ...

Yesterday this was my world:

We got enough snow to have snow drifts. I love snow drifts.

B and I met 2 bears!!! One is visible on this pic. Hurray!

Rocks. Sky. Snow. Clouds. Simply beautiful.

This is where the hike started and ended. Love the softness.


Today, I am focusing my energy to channel what I found yesterday in a way that I can share it with the agencies that may send youth my way in the future.

Seems logical that mother nature is my go-to-place to gather energy and courage for that... right?

Both powerful and a bit surprising to me how foreign the world I used to be part of feels to me right now.

But hey, challenges are good, right? And to know that I am in the right place to live my life is even better.

Here's to pushing the comfort zone.

"Front-country, come on - let's be friends again!"

(At least for a little while... ;)...).

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Friday, September 17, 2010

What does one say when...

... one has finally found a place to call home after years of searching for it?

The Farm is full of small perfect sights.

I love how well it's taken care of and how nicely it has aged.

Wanna find out if birds will nest in that little house up there in the spring?

Double-luck attracter?

This last picture shows the building that holds the stable area, my garage, my gear storage room and some wonderful handiman area... and my actual live-in house in the back ground.

I'm not sure what to say now that I have a home.

Am waiting for the wood stove to be activated for me so I can start heating my space that way.

Have spent hours the other day with a chainsaw... readying myself for the cold.

Have berries in the freezer and rhubarb.

Bought a wonderful bed and ordered a couch.

Taking small steps to making it more mine every day.


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Thursday, September 16, 2010

An Afternoon Hike.

I'll let the pics do the talking this time ;)

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Skinny Dip Inspiration (... or Invitation?).

Ups, I did it again.

Couldn't resist a waterway's invitation to join it for a few seconds...

Maybe I captured it's beauty well enough for you to be tempted as well?

Wait, that is just a fuzzy pic of B and some fern-lings!! :)

I had no clue that my backyard offered a 200 yard waterfall...!

I'm in love. The colours. The energy. The simplicity.

In other news:

Had a real wonderful first date with a wonderful fellow yesterday.

Up on the fjäll.

Caught several rainbows.

Ran with B.

Who ate some berglemmings (= sadly some very cute little creatures).

Life continues to be wonderful.

And maybe a tad less lonely.


Where and when are you next going to be inspired to take a dip?

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Friday, September 10, 2010

In the Moment.

I promised some in-the-moment blogging after having caught you up on my past months' adventures. Funny how life is challenging me further by bringing oh-so-much into my life these days.

Over the past few years I have learned that I have most success in grounding myself by

a) being in nature,

b) taking photos, and

c) enjoying B's presence.

Beautifully, these three coping strategies can be combined... :).

So, I am enjoying them all a lot recently.

Currently I am "in between" being with clients. Accordingly have I taken advantage of the relative calm by moving, nesting in the new environment, taking drawn out mountainbike- and hiking-trips with B every day, picking blueberries, getting a haircut, making scrumptious food, watching movies with a glass of wine for company, buying, putting together and loving my new bed, slowly setting up my personal spaces around The Farm, finishing the process of registring my company, opening a business bank account, organizing bills and paperwork, setting up my winter job, studying Swedish 3 days a week, and connecting with some seemingly sweet souls via online dating (hoping for a first encounter with the sweetest of them this weekend).

Rich days. And after my initial struggle to land my feet after having been on an intense journey with a young man for 52 days have I finally found some moss to plant my feet on.

I've been writing here about my struggles and successses and everything in between for over a year. Interestingly, I have never been this close to actually follow the Sweden To-Do-List. Now, my life actually reflects 1) Learn Swedish, 2) create a home for Buford and I, 3) grow roots. Intentions are my strongest weapon in realizing my dreams.

In the midst of my rather self-centered life (beautifully so) - I get to celebrate movement. Things are for real now. I'm going to travel to Germany at the end of the month to meet up with some people from the company that sends me clients. If all goes well the previous client will join me on my way home and stay with me another 4 weeks before I shift my business into "winter mode" (essentially working 20 hours with a vacation rental place for a full-time salary and skiing tons). Still gotta ponder what adventure we could tackle this time if he happens to come.

But, I have also been contacted by another company that I have been in touch with during the dark winter days last year. When I was grasping for whatever opportunity I could find on the WWW. They wrote that they would love to have me work with a "very troubled girl" of theirs. Apparently they thought of me right away... To me there is a lot of beauty in this. I am given more client opportunities than I can handle a mere three months after starting my business, while not even having advertised what I am doing here! Haven't found the time to even create a web presence cause I am so busy with doing the actually work. I could not have imagined this a year ago... or maybe I did? Am certain that that voice of mine was pretty meak back then...

But now it's strong. And it speaks Swedish a lot. In all kinds of circumstances. And German. And English. And I feel grown, and rich, and strong. Wanna continue with wandering in each direction from my place and find ever more beautiful spots to go with B, and take photographs.

Soon my fire place will be "installed". Cannot wait to spend evenings cuddled up with B in front of it. It's been cold here. Incredible, crisp autumn days. In the morning there is often frost outside. It's crunchy under B's hurrying feet when he seeks a spot to take care of his very personal business first thing in the morning.

The community here is wrapped up in the current moose hunting season. I've had the luck to see a moose a couple of days ago on my way to Swedish class. They continue to amaze me in their stoic beautiful presence. Hope that one didn't get shot.

Thanks for being part of my journey by reading here and sometimes commenting.

Life in Sweden is still a little lonely for me. Lots to decide and ponder all on my own.

But... it's happening. And with mine and B's feet planted a little more sturdily on that Swedish moss does it seem like only a question of time till we're a bit more connected with other humans and their four-leggeds.

Have a wonderful day!

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