Monday, September 28, 2009

Hello darkness my old friend...

We had just finished dinner, Ole had left to take the dogs over to the field (the 9pm doggy play date is now the 7pm doggy play date thanks to the sun's rotation), and I was just sitting down at my work PC to call in for our weekly meeting when poof... DARKNESS.

Our power went out - causing several battery backup systems to cry out, as if we didn't know the power was out.

So I did what I tend to do best - I called Ole. Not that he could do anything about it, but hey, it is his country and who knows, maybe there's some magical switch somewhere I can flip. But no, the entire neighborhood was out.

Now one of the great things about this country is that there is no shortage of candles. As a matter of fact, I believe that one of the lines on that immigration form that I signed said something like.. Thou shalt always have tea lights burning... in Danish, of course.

I dutifully wandered throughout the living room and kitchen lighting every candle I could find. As it turns out, we have quite a few! Then I was lost. Candle lighting project complete, but what now? After wandering aimlessly in and out of our computer room, knowing full well that my trusty computer would not suddenly start working on it's own but hoping nonetheless, I finally sat down on the floor, grabbed the cat brush, and started grooming Mr. Pete. Happy cat.

As I sat on the floor I began to notice a procession of cars - one by one my neighbors were piling in and leaving. Then Ole got home and stated that Rema (the local grocery store) was still open for 15 more minutes, so we blew out all the candles and followed the crowd. I do believe all of Karup may have been at Rema as there were at least 30 people in line when we arrived, and on a normal busy day, there's about 10.

We came home to discover that power had been restored. Party!! I fired up the PC while Ole turned on the TV to catch his soccer match. All was right with the world.

But - before I could even get to Facebook, woosh, gone again. So I ran around again lighting all the candles, again, and then I sat down and read my newly purchased Alt magazine, by candlelight. By the time our power was restored again, the soccer match was over (his team won) and I had learned that attempting to access Facebook via the internet connection on my phone took much too long for it to be any fun.

Hopefully our lights are staying on this time!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Latest News

Yep, that's me - done with chemotherapy!
(And still able to make things rhyme.)

11 days ago I had my last chemo treatment and I can confidently say that the worst is over. Woo-friggin-hoo!! Yes I still have some aches and pains, but they are minor and each day I feel a bit more like my old self again.

On Friday I went for my radiation mapping, and though I swore I'd never do it, I now have 5 tattoos. Well okay, technically, they're just little teeny dots so that each time I go for radiation they can make sure I'm lying in the exact same position. Wouldn't want that zapper thingie to miss! I will go every day for 5 weeks starting on September 30th. Which means, if you do the math, I will be DONE in the first week of November.

What else have we been up to? Well, we bought a pretty new clock to provide a taste of New York and to go with our newly painted living room...

I don't think the color is 'true' in these pictures, but it's close enough that you can get the idea of what the NCS version of BM's Saybrook Sage looks like...

We had new gutters installed on the house and the current project is painting things outside. Before we started, everything was a very dark brown and we're brightening things up a bit so stay tuned for the final results!

Lastly, my Google calendar is starting to fill up with actual dates and times of social events. Before you know it, I may have something that resembles an actual social-life!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bragging Rights...

Yep, I'm taking this moment to brag a bit about my incredibly talented oldest brother, Jeff. Not only did he write this particular piece but the second solo is him - he's the one sitting in the dark!

And yes I do realize that the video is 12 years old, but hey, youtube didn't exist back then!

The group is called "New York Trombone Conspiracy" and if you enjoyed this performance, you can find a bunch more on youtube. :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Silver Anniversary

Today is the 25th wedding anniversary of one of our neighbors and the perfect time to explain another Danish tradition!

Last night the neighborhood was a frenzy of activity - kids running everywhere while the parents 'pretended' to drill holes in the neighbor's house. They didn't actually drill any holes but the idea is that you attempt to freak out the happy couple by pretending to destroy their house - or something.

By the time everyone went to bed, there was a beautiful 'gate of honor' at the couple's front door:

Between 6:30 and 7:00 am this morning, everyone gathered in the street in front of their house:

There was a trumpet and a flute to accompany what some would call singing...

The singing was sad. I'll give everyone credit for attempting a few tunes at this obscene hour of the morning, but let me tell you, they really needed a Ken Nelson (aka my dad), a man who can be heard miles away, to lead them in their songs. Instead, this singing sounded more like someone had woken a few mice and led them in a sad chorus. I kept thinking.. I thought this was supposed to be a happy occasion? When you have 40-50 people singing and you can still hear the flute... something is amiss! Perhaps by the time another couple on the street celebrates their 25th, I'll know the Danish better, and the tunes better, and I can attempt to lead them.

As the group started song #4, the happy couple appeared on the front stoop...

And when the singing ended, everyone was invited inside for breakfast.

While I love embracing new traditions, I must admit that to me, this ranks up there with the faulty concept of the danish birthday party. Hasn't anyone in Denmark figured out that when it's YOUR day, someone else is supposed to do all the work? The happy couple had transformed the inside of their house into a banquet hall with seating for all these people around 3 HUGE tables. I can only imagine where the tables and chairs came from - I hope they were borrowed and that it wasn't necessary to rent them or something!

Keep in mind, this was 7 am!! Which means, in order to serve breakfast to all these people, my poor neighbors were probably up at 5 am putting rolls in the oven, slicing cheese, setting out jars of marmalade, etc. I do hope that once everyone left they finally had some time alone to celebrate their anniversary!!

Note to the Danes... When Ole and I celebrate our 25th, please do come and sing to us, but, if it's not too much trouble, can you bring the breakfast with you? Oh, and some tables and chairs too? Thanks!!
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