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Gate or gate?

“Gate” is one of those words that linguists call “false friends”. The word looks alike in two different languages but does not have the same meaning. So a movable barrier in a fence in English is a street in Norwegian (pronounced as GAH-teh).  I’m bilingual, equally comfortable with my mother tongue English, and with Norwegian. […]

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Bad star

Disastrous: Causing great damage. Fortunately (heh, see what I did there?), I have never experienced a disaster. Neither of the natural kind, nor the personal kind. And that leads me to the word’s origin: From “disaster” which means “ill-starred” or to be ill-fated because of the stars. Modern astrology is more psychological and less about […]

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Egg cups are un-American

My own egg cups The thing about growing up with a Norwegian grandfather is that you assume everybody has a cheese slicer and egg cups. Turns out that one of the things American immigrants left behind in Europe were egg cups. I was reading an article on Lifehacker about how Americans eat soft-boiled eggs, seeing […]

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Savoring

I sometimes wonder if I’m able to savor. I seem not to have passions, things or feelings or beliefs that grab me with all my being and all my fiber and that I cannot and will not let go of. So I let go, perhaps a little too fast, denying myself the opportunity to savor. […]

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Trolldom in the rain

Ole Bull, violinist and considered Norway’s first “rock star”, had quite the flare for the dramatic and the mysterious. This last was why he was drawn to the island of Lysøen, where he built his last home. Portrait of a more mature Ole Bull next to flag gift from USA How famous was Ole Bull […]

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View from Landås and at airport

I mentioned a new sign (piece of art, actually) that will greet travelers when they exit our new airport terminal that’s opening in August: Art at Bergen Airport I also promised the view from Landås. I deliver thusly: Different angle: Bergen as seen from Landås And a bonus because you’re here: A child having fun […]

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Down memory lanes

Lygra As Eddie and I carefully set our feet down between sheep droppings, we caught a whiff of fresh manure. Instantly, I was transported back to my childhood in Norway, spent in the country with a potato field in front of the house, a couple of steers grazing in a pasture next to the carport, […]

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Magnet

I’m one of those people who covers her refrigerator in magnets, as seen on part of my fridge door: Typical me: An empty to-do list because I forget I have it Some are functional, meaning they actually hold something in place, like temperatures and times for a couple of favorite dishes. Quite a few are […]

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Sunny

Bergen just broke a weather record from 1952: The number of consecutive days with precipitation in June. In 1952 it was 24. This year it was 26; we had rain every day from June 1 through June 26. I pity those who will go through breaking this year’s record because clouds and wet every single […]

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Local

I was asked by a foreign-looking gentleman today, who spoke broken Norwegian, if I knew the area. And I do. He wondered if any of the buses at the bus stop we were at went to the bus station. Perhaps oddly, they don’t. It used to be that all buses eventually ended up at the […]

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Happy 2017!

Happy 2017! Time to look back in order to look ahead. Or not, considering how awful 2016 was. 2016 was rough. Thanks to social media, it felt like one beloved and/or influencial public figure after another left us in a continuous stream throughout the year. Even for those of us not experiencing death personally, there […]

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The Norwegian war on Christmas

I hear Americans go on about a war on Christmas because someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”. Bizarrely, Norway seems to be showing up the Americans on how to actually wage a war on Christmas. There are some true and some fake stories about a war on Christmas here in Norway. From a […]

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US presidential election 2016

This morning I doddle at home so I can catch the latest news at 7:30 AM. I learn that Pennsylvania has ensured Trump’s win. To my own surprise, I burst into tears. I repair my make-up and go to work. There, I discover I am the office political commentator, being the only American here. “What […]

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The ferns of fall

When I was a child, I hated autumn. I saw no colors, only leaden skies, naked ground and continuous rain. And the ugliest thing ever was to see the green fern leaves turning brown. Ferns are often called snake grass (“ormegras”) here in Norway, and are seen as similar to seaweed: A creepy plant that […]

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Voting California-style

I got my absentee ballot today from the Los Angeles Country Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk. Voting in the US is quite different than in Norway. And a lot more fun. I just voted on condom use for adult film performers. In Norway, you vote for the party you most agree with by picking their list of names. […]

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TA-DA! My new bathroom!

12 days of my home turned into a construction site, finding bits of concrete in my bed every night, and concrete dust everywhere (I still have to clean all that up). And a bold floor that is not typical for a Norwegian bathroom. But it is done! Tomorrow morning will be the first weekday morning […]

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September blessings

This is basically a list, a gratitude list. Because in the midst of nearly feeling overwhelmed by everything going on in September, I have discovered something: People helping me. The tradesman doing the tiling, also closed off the door to my bedroom and left the bedroom side looking very nice The same tradesman also washed […]

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So, how’s your September?

My shoulder scan This post contains astrology. And bathrooms. And frozen shoulders. Not necessarily in that order. I have discovered I don’t take my own advice, which makes me perfectly normal. I always tell people to get their pains and troublesome body parts checked out sooner, rather than later, but I delayed seeing a doctor […]

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A bit of post D-Day zen

A Normandy beach today Water show in Hamburg’s “Blumen und Garten” park

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D-Day, June 6 1944

“On the 6th of June 1944, on the beaches of Normandy, over 10,000 young soldiers paid for our freedom.” From a bronze plaque showing the invasion It’s 72 years since D-day, the landing of allied troops on the shores of Normandy, France, in a no-holds-barred attack on the occupying Germans. I visited the pock-marked, bomb-scarred […]