Daily Routines

Our days in Sweden are falling into a rough sort of schedule:

Up at 8 am, begin work around 9.
Work in the kitchen or on various projects.
Take a prolonged lunch break.
Work a few more hours, and then call it a day.

When we finish in the afternoon, generally around 2 or 3 pm, we are still left with about 7 hours of daylight to go explore the countryside.

Saturdays are a busy day for the cafe. Every Saturday there is a flea market held in the barn on the property, so visitors pour into the cafe from the flea market for their afternoon "Fika" (coffee break). We spent the morning baking, then went for an afternoon bike ride and visit to a nearby lake.

Sunday morning we woke up to a heavy rain storm which cleared up shortly after noon. On a recommendation from Tomas, our host, we hiked through the forests to a place called the "Valley of the Snakes" (I was assured there weren't actually any snakes there). Tomas had said to us that if there was one place where trolls really do live in Sweden, it's in the Valley of the Snakes.

We found our path, started into the woods, and remained mildly skeptical for about 2 miles. Then, a good ways into the forest - Holy cow. Tomas was right. This place was straight from a fairy tale.

But my camera acted up, and all the pictures we took there were lost. SO - I will leave you with that anticipation until we can go back.

On Monday morning the lot of us went on a neighbor's invitation to pick their red and black currant bushes. Six large bushes, dripping full with berries - we probably gathered about 20 pounds of berries.

Some of the berries will be frozen for later, some will be baked or made into jam, but the best bit of it is going to be pressed, fermented, and made into wine.

In the evening Jacob and I went on a walk, retracing some of our past explorations around the house. Directly behind our house;

(this house) there is a river, which is apparently wonderful for swimming, although we haven't had the guts to jump in yet. Go over the bridge and head into the forest, where a five minute walk will take you to a forest road and a pretty magical patch of woods.

A little further brings you to a field and an empty old house. Rusted farming equipment is being overgrown by grass and wildflowers, and the house is falling apart. It's a beautiful sight.

We went back in as it started to drizzle again, and sat down to your classic straight-from-Ikea dinner of Swedish meatballs, gravy, boiled potatoes (from the garden of course), and lingonberry sauce.

At dinner, Frida, 6 years old and the eldest of the two children, informs the dinner table: "There are three kinds of red berries:  Raspberries, red currants, and Lingonberries". Hah. Words you would only ever hear from a Swedish child.