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Archive for December, 2012

Happy Holidays from Gullringstorp


 

It has been another year and in this year I have so many new visitors and following visitors to my blog. The Holidays are just around the corner . This will be my last post of the year 2012.

I would like to wish everyone a most wonderful and Happy Holiday !

I would also like to wish, happiness, peace and good health to all in the New Year!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Gullringstorp!

 

 

 

See you all again in 2013.


Just Way Too Much Sadness… My Heart is Crying…


 

Let’s try to ease the accessibility of guns in the USA


Swedish Tomte


Tomte are part of Scandinavian holiday lore. Thanks to Wikipedia, I can share some Tomte facts with you. For such a tiny fellow, there’s a lot to be said about him.

The tomte/nisse was often imagined as a small, elderly man (size varies from a few inches to about half the height of an adult man), often with a full beard; dressed in the everyday clothing of a farmer. However, there are also folktales where he is believed to be a shapeshifter able to take a shape far larger than an adult man, and other tales where the tomte/nisse is believed to have a single, cyclopean eye. In modern Denmark, nisses are often seen as beardless, wearing grey and red woolens with a red cap. Since nisses are thought to be skilled in illusions and sometimes able to make themselves invisible, one was unlikely to get more than brief glimpses of him no matter what he looked like. Norwegian folklore states that he has four fingers, and sometimes with pointed ears. His eyes glow in the dark.Despite his smallness, the tomte/nisse possessed an immense strength.

Even though he was protective and caring he was easy to offend, and his retributions ranged from small pranks like a stout box on the ears to a more sociopathical punishment like killing off the livestock or ruining of the farm’s fortune. The tomte/nisse was a traditionalist who did not like changes in the way things were done at the farm. Another easy way to offend him was rudeness: farm workers swearing, urinating in the barns, or not treating the creatures well would be soundly thrashed. If anyone spilled something on the floor in the house it was wise to shout a warning to the tomte below. An angry tomte is featured in the popular children’s book by Swedish author Selma LagerlöfNils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (Nils Holgersson’s Wonderful Journey Through Sweden). The tomte turns the naughty boy Nils into a tomte in the beginning of the book, and Nils then travels across Sweden on the back of a goose.

One was also required to please the spirit with gifts (see Blót) – a particular gift was a bowl of porridge on Christmas night. If the tomte was not given his payment, he would leave the farm or house, or engage in mischief such as tying the cows’ tails together in the barn, turning objects upside-down, and breaking things (like a troll). The tomte liked his porridge with a pat of butter on the top. In an often retold story, a farmer put the butter underneath the porridge. When the tomte of his farmstead found that the butter was missing, he was filled with rage and killed the cow resting in the barn. But, as he thus became hungry, he went back to his porridge and ate it, and so found the butter at the bottom of the bowl. Full of grief, he then hurried to search the lands to find another farmer with an identical cow, and replaced the former with the latter.

In another tale a Norwegian maid decided to eat the porridge herself, and ended up severely beaten by the nisse. The being swore: “Have you eaten the porridge for the tomte, you have to dance with him!”. The farmer found her nearly lifeless the morning after.

The tomte is connected to farm animals in general, but his most treasured animal was the horse. Belief had it that one could see which horse was the tomte’s favourite as it would be especially healthy and well taken care of. Sometimes the tomte would even braid its hair and tail. (These tomte braids were in fact most likely caused by insufficient brushing.) Sometimes actually undoing these braids could mean misfortune or angering the tomte.

Here are some samples of tomte:

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Something Else That Makes This Country Gal Smile, And Smile Big !!!!


In the beginning , even before we started milking our goats, I made the decision to get a hand milker. It was a product that would help older hands and would solve the problem of tiny teats of our littlest goats. No one told me that your hands would survive the pumping, but your arm would soon just drop off! My husband and I have what feels like arthritis symptoms in our hands, so hand milking these ladies was not really an option. We decided it was time to make a change and make the investment in a real milking machine. We made a long drive further down south to visit the couple selling the new milking machine. It was a lovely drive with spectacular woods covered in beautiful snow (snö in Swedish)

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I really had fun taking those photos with my iPhone, from the comfort and warmth of my passenger seat in my little car.

When we arrived we met the goats and the new prized cow. Man of the house did not like goat cheese , so no more milking the goats, great for us! A cow was purchased for her milk instead. I apologize for the quality of the photos taken in a very dark barn area with my iPhone and not my camera.

They had an old Swedish breed, Väneko. This cow known as Väneko is a rare breed brought back from the brink of extinction. This breed named after a village (Väne-Ryr) in the province Västergötland. They are found in the region near one of the largest lakes in the South West, Lake Väne. Väne cattle are remnant of the old South Swedish peasant breed and often also called Allmogeko. The breed was discovered in beginning of the 1990s.

Isn't she pretty?

Isn’t she pretty?

Look at those horns. She's really a small cow in compared to other breeds

Look at those horns. She’s really a small cow in compared to other breeds

She is really pretty with her markings, kind of like an appaloosa pony

She is really pretty with her markings, kind of like an Appaloosa pony

Ok yes it’s true I love,  love, love  animals , hence all the cow photos, but here  is my real true love:

Now this is the real beauty!! Isn't my new Schlauerbauer Milking Machine fro, Germany something?

Now this is the real beauty!! Isn’t my new Schlauerbauer Milking Machine from, Germany something?

I just can’t stop smiling….


Christmas Lights and Snow in the Night at Gullringstorp


I know, I know , it’s a nightmare for my husband and all the other husbands and boyfriends and mothers shoveling this kind of snow. But what can I say , but I just think it’s beautiful. It’s still snowing and has been all day .

When it rains , we say, “it’s raining cats and dogs”. What do we say about snow? It’s snowing bunnies and teddy bears??

Any ideas, please share…

Anyway, I find Gullringstorp during the winter months all lit up and draped in snow, enchanting…

These are the tracks Leif makes for little Max to usse to go potty when the snow is deep. Max has short little fat legs.

These are the tracks Leif makes for little Max to use to go potty when the snow is deep. Max has short little fat legs. By the morning, they had disappeared!

Max thinks it's so much fun to have his very own tracks to walk in!

Max thinks it’s so much fun to have his very own tracks to walk in!

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The beginning oif the pathway to the stable and the goats. First over the deck...

The beginning of the pathway to the stable and the goats. First over the deck…

Past the popcicle fish in the pond, past the lust hus on t he way to the stable and the goats. Then...

Past the popsicle fish in the pond, past the lust hus on t he way to the stable and the goats. Then…

Then behind rhe lust hus to the road and ten we were on our own, to the stable and to the goats...

Then behind the lust hus to the road which had been shoveled, to the stable and to the goats…

We are on the right path, look there's the stable lit up in t he night

We are on the right path, look there’s the stable lit up in t he night

Max and I found our way to the stable and the goats. Leif was still shoveling so we feed and watered the goats. Leif arrived later for the milking.

Max and I found our way to the stable and the goats. Leif was still shoveling so we feed and watered the goats. Leif arrived later for the milking.

Leif surprised me by stringing lights on the side of the stable this year. Now I can ssee the lights from my kitchen, breakfastroom and bedroom windows. The lights look beautiful, peeking through the tall snow covered evergreens in the back. Thank you Leif!

Leif surprised me by stringing lights on the side of the stable this year. Now I can see the lights from my kitchen, breakfast room and bedroom windows. 

The lights look beautiful, peeking through the tall snow-covered evergreens in the back. Thank you Leif!

The lights look beautiful, peeking through the tall snow-covered evergreens in the back. Thank you Leif!

Max and I found our way back to the house on our pathways...

Max and I found our way back to the house on our pathways…

Looks like Max ans I are heading the right way...

Looks like Max and I are heading the right way…

Leif was waiting for us on the front porch!

Leif was waiting for us on the front porch!

Enchanted Gullringstorp

Enchanted Gullringstorp

If you have snow, I hope it’s manageable…

If you are waiting for your snow,, I hope it comes…


Gullringstorp, Almost Buried by Snow This Morning


We had a warning yesterday that during the evening we would have at least 12″ of snow fall during the night.  Well the night came and no more snow … We thought we were off the hook… We were not !

This morning we got slammed with snow, snow, snow and more snow. It is 1521 and it is STILL snowing!!!

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Leif was shoveling the driveways , before he could use the tractor

Leif had to shovel the driveways , before he could use the tractor

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Max and I got a path shoveled to the stable; at least part of the way

Pathway shoveled to the back , past the front porch

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Our fish will spend the winter under the protection  of the covered pond in a state of semi-hibernation

Our fish will spend the winter under the protection of the covered pond in a state of semi-hibernation

In addition to t he heavy snowfall , we had wind that made beautiful snow drifts and snow on our house

In addition to t he heavy snowfall , we had wind that made beautiful snow drifts and snow on our house

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Leif is heading into the goat enclosure, the only place to dump all the shoveled snow

Leif is heading into the goat enclosure, the only place to dump all the shoveled snow

This is the road behind the stable. On the right is the snowed in chicken yard. Don't wrry our hens and roosters are warm inside their heated hen house with a nice bowl full of snow to peck at. They love that.

This is the road behind the stable. On the right is the snowed in chicken yard. Don’t worry our hens and roosters are warm inside their heated hen house with a nice bowl full of snow to peck at. They love that.

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Frozen cherry tree

Frozen cherry tree

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While Leif worked hard shoveling 2 properties, I kept busy preparing a war, lunch for when he came in and preparing a warm delicious meal, chili.

While Leif worked hard shoveling snow from 2 properties, I kept busy preparing a warm lunch for when he came in and preparing a warm delicious dinner, chili.

I hope wherever you are, you are not buried under snow. But if you are, I hope you have someone strong and caring to shovel for you…

Thank you Leif…

PS. Leif just came in from his last shoveling of the day before the darkness at 1515 to tell me that in his estimation, we have had between 40″-50″ of snowfall today.


Breath Right During Cold Winter Temperatures


After nearly 2 weeks in bed with a horrific  case of Sinusitis, I went to the Internet to look up ways to protect my nose. I go out to the stable with a scarf wrapped around my face looking like I could rob a bank.

When I am out on the town during winter months I cleverly wrap my wool shawl around my face  to be able to breathe in warmer air. Since I have been blessed  with both asthma an Sinusitis, it’s important not to breath cold, dry air directly in my nose. Believe me, it sounds easy, “inhale through your mouth and exhale through your nose”, it’s not. It’s a bit like hopping on one foot while twirling a hula hoop or blowing bubbles all at the same time. You start out fine then all of a sudden you are inhaling through your  nose!

After hours on the Internet we finally found a site to be able to purchase this item in Sweden and not have to import it.

This item is called Airtrim Cold Weather Heat Exchange Mask

AirTrim masks are designed to help people breathe easier in cold and/or dry conditions — this includes exercise induced asthma in these conditions. This light-weight mask has a filter that absorbs some of the heat and moisture from your own breath to re-heat and re-moisturize the air when you inhale. This helps keep you warmer and makes breathing easier. Often called a cold weather mask or heat exchange mask.

Invented in Sweden for skiers, runners, cyclists and others involved in cold and/or dry outdoor conditions. Athletes with cold, exercise induced asthma will find this mask helpful in training and racing.  AirTrim is an Offical Supplier to the Swedish Ski Team to help them train in the cold. There are many athletes in Canada who have started using AirTrim so they can continue training in cold and dry conditions. Mountain climbers have used the AirTrim mask too.

This mask can help you if you :

 

  • exercise in cold weather
  • work outside in cold weather
  • work in the refrigeration industry
  • are sensitive to cold and/or dry air
  • active in a dry to extremely dry environments
  • climb at altitude
  • have cold weather asthma
  • have exercise asthma

Here is my AirTrim mask with a special Asthma filter and an extra filter and a cute little tote that arrived in the post this morning:

Yippee!!!

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When a Lady Says No, She Means No !


Alika decided that she was NOT going to get milked, last evening !!

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Winter Has Arrived at Gullringstorp


We are now in the beginning of a real winter. We have had nothing but rain all Autumn long with mild temperatures. December has been rung in with not only low temperatures -14c but SNOW!
I love Gullringstorp in Spring and Summer but Gullringstorp really shines during the Winter!

This snow has caught us all a bit off guard. Like everyone in the countryside, we are now scrambling to get everything done that needs to be done before being buried in snow.

We have stocked up on hay and straw supplies in the stable, Leif has weather lined the stable doors that needed it and covered our pond the has many koi. Of course all the shovels have been activated and the chains have been placed on the tractor which is needed for moving large quantities of snow around Gullringstorp.

Max has worn last year’s winter suit and I realized that little Max, like all of us has put on a few pounds, so I have been in the market for a new winter suit for him. My husband laughs when Max gets “dressed” to go out but, he is not a big dog and he does get cold. Not now, because he has a new warm winter suit!

Gullringstorp in the winter

Gullringstorp in the winter

My chubby little Max, stuffed into last year's winter suit

My chubby little Max, stuffed into last year’s winter suit

 

A view of the back area from the bedroom window

A view of the back area from the bedroom window

rees in the front of the house

Snow covered trees in the front of the house

 

Snow looks like whipped cream

Snow looks like whipped cream

In the back of the house where the tractor is housed

In the back of the house where the tractor is kept

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Pretty snow

It is important to get all the supplies need for the goats, they need fresh hay and straw especially during winter. Any hay or straw that fall to the box floor, is added cushion and warmth during the cold winter months. Our goats, like all goats love to ear hay and straw and some of it will and always does hit the floor. We don’t mind.

We have this huge bale of straw inside and 42 smaller bales in a storage outside

We have this huge beautiful bale of straw inside and 42 smaller bales in a storage outside

 

Just look at that beautiful hay...

Just look at that beautiful hay…

More snow

More snow

 

Time to cover the pond

Time to cover the pond

This is the tarp which covers the layer of styrafoam

This is the tarp which covers the layer of styrofoam

Leif is busy placing the styrafoam in its proper place

Leif is busy placing the styrofoam in its proper place

Preparing the pond

Preparing the pond

The pond is getting all the attention it requires in wintertime

Max in his new winter suit

Max in his new winter suit

Cute little warm Max

Cute little warm Max

 

And off he  goes... in his warm suit

And off he goes… in his warm suit

 

 

 

 

 

Soon Gullringstorp will be beautiful in the snow and Christmas lights

Soon Gullringstorp will be beautiful in the snow and Christmas lights

 

I hope your winter is beautiful on your eyes and heart…