Category Archives: Nature

Birdies

Birdies in my garden

Photo shoot with the birds in my garden. The photos are taken with a Canon EOS 40D on a stand with a remote switch, while sitting very still drinking coffee. There are lots of other birds here too, but some prefer eating the seeds that fall on the ground so they are obviously not represented here. IMG_0505Hiding from the snow, being all fluffy. (Grönsiska  Carduelis spinus)IMG_0512Hey, I got a treat! (Nötväcka sitta europaeaIMG_0569And I’m of. Superman! (Nötväcka sitta europaea)IMG_0581Yep, handsome boy. (Grönsiska  Carduelis spinus)
IMG_0660Oh, whats in here! (Grönsiska  Carduelis spinus)IMG_0722Hmm, suspect feeding station. (Talgoxe parus major)
IMG_0746I’m taking this one, ok? (Blåmes parus caeruleus)
IMG_0808Are you staring at me while I’m eating? (Grönsiska  Carduelis spinus)IMG_0832Posing. (Blåmes parus caeruleus)IMG_0853I can pose too! (Talgoxe parus major)IMG_0854I’m not participating in this photo shoot! (?)IMG_0861How is the seed selection here. (Blåmes parus caeruleus)IMG_0876Oh, what, I’m just borrowing this! (Blåmes parus caeruleus)IMG_0877I’ll bring it back…. not! (Blåmes parus caeruleus)
IMG_0886How you doing? (Blåmes parus caeruleus)


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Tackling the Front Door

So what can we do about this looming front door and bottleneck of a hallway. How can we make this a little easier? These are some things that have been or are helping me get out.

  1. Have a plan: in a comfortable location, make a plan beforehand on where you are going to go and when, what you will wear, make sure you pee, drink and have a lip balm. Then just go through the bottleneck and front door at speed (trying) not to think about it. plan
  2. Know what you are going to wear and have it accessible.
  3. zriphoneIf you have a smartphone, make the walk more fun with apps that measure your distance and time, like runkeeper, or make it into a game with  zombies run!. Play upbeat positive music or listen to an audiobook.
  4. Make the walk more fun in other ways, like with walking sticks for nordic walking, or measuring how fast you can do a certain distance and see if you improve over time.
  5. Walk a small distance to begin with. When that feels comfortable, increase it just a little, seriously, very little, like 20m. And when that is comfortable increase it a bit more and so on.
  6. Are there any animals anywhere in your surroundings? Make a point of going by their pasture or garden to look or say hello.
  7. Or there might be something else you especially enjoy that you can make a point to pass, for me it is water.
  8. Have nice walking clothes and good shoes, stay within your budget so you don’t feel pressured to use them or anxiety that you are not. Ten tips to
  9. Walk with a friend and have a nice conversation on the way, maybe you can schedule a weekly walk together.
  10. Get a dog. Ok this one might be a little drastic. I for one is allergic, and there is a bit more to owning a dog than just having a walking buddy. But maybe you have a neighbour with a dog that wouldn’t mind you “borrowing” the dog for a walk now and then. And there are also organisations where you can volunteer as a dog walker. dog

I know that some, or all of these can feel totally daunting some days, I know I couldn’t ask my neighbour to walk his dog for example, and its ok to feel that way. Maybe one or two things on the list is possible for you. Maybe a few more on a good day, or with company.

The important thing is to keep trying and not to give up on the things we want to do. map


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Getting out The Front Door..

Getting out that front door…can be one of the hardest things I do all day, and some days I don’t even manage.

I am scared of leaving the house, its my safe, though slightly lonely and boring, place. But don’t underestimate the power of the safe place. The further I am from the house the more unsafe I feel, the more anxiety I have.

I am ok with going with my husband in the car. The car acts as a mini safe house, and usually we take familiar routes or I’m in charge of the map, and I know exactly where we are, which makes me calmer. But long trips are hard.

Its easier going outside with company I trust, then I can also manage to go further because they distract/calm me enough for me to not spend all energy on thinking about bad stuff that could happen, (fainting in a bush and not being discovered) or being in a heightened state of awareness (how long till I can get home, how much time) all the time.

But going outside myself, it’s a struggle. That door, that hallway, it’s a bottleneck for all my anxiety. What I won’t do to postpone passing through it.

I must have a drink, pee, lip balm, do I have my phone, is it charged, are the bunnies secure, I have the wrong socks, do I need a hat, what temperature is it, which route should I take, forest or road, how long, what If I meet someone, are the neighbours home to see me…

hallway

Sometimes this takes so long that it starts raining, I get hungry, decide to make dinner instead or just plain give up.

When I am finally outside I usually feel much better, and when I get walking, in nice weather with my headphones playing positive upbeat music, I sometimes even forget to be anxious. From time to time.

If I walk the same familiar route, when I know exactly how long it is, and how long it should take, I like walking.
When I get to walk totally alone, where no one can see me, I like walking.
When I feel my muscles working and feel strong, I like walking.
When I get to feel I’m one with the landscape around me, I like walking.

But the anxiety comes back when I start to feel tired, or start to think of exactly how far I have to go to get back home, how much time, how many steps.

Forest

When I walk in the forest, the anxiety lightens. I have to concentrate more not to stumble on something, there are animals to see, plants and trees, and I usually walk by my very favourite lake.

summer

Taking a break on the little run down pier and feeling the water, putting my feet in when it’s not too cold, that helps. Its like the forest has a calm, serene aura that puts a dampener on feelings, especially negative ones. And the lake gives me positive energy, enough to get home. This works best alone.

But that door…


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Vegan Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a great way for us that are reeeeealy tried in the morning, like

“stir oatmeal for five minutes is too much”
tired, and
“I forgot to heat the water before I poured it over my tea”
tired, to get a good healthy, hearty breakfast.

owl
It’s a lot like uncooked, cold, slightly slimy, flavoured oatmeal, mainly because that is what it is.
I’m really selling it here, I can feel it.
Seriously its tasty! I like it and I’m a picky eater, and you can do like a million variations of it all to you liking, here are three of my favourites.

I found this first recipe for vegan chocolate banana overnight oats, but I lost the source! I have the recipe on a pice of paper but no idea where I got it from. Well not much I can do about that now. (I really looked for it)
Hint: The banana goes in the next morning!!

Chocolate Banana Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Perfect for us non morning people.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 dl dried cranberries
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of honey
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix the oats and cocoa powder, then add everything else, except the banana. Mix well, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips

You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like. And also maybe a bit of peanut butter wouldn’t go amiss in this one, you could mash it up with the banana. You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and add the sweetener of your choice.

But I am not really a “chocolate first thing in the morning” kind of gal, so I came up with this raisin cinnamon version.

Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Cinnamon always works in the morning


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 dl raisins
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix everything together, except the banana. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips


You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like.
Start with the smaller amount of cinnamon you can always add more later.
You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and add the sweetener of your choice.

And this Blueberry Vanilla one.

Blueberry Vanilla Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 5 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This one turns purple!


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 dl rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp of pure ground vanilla, or splash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp flax seeds
  • 1 tsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 dl of frozen blueberries, or fresh if you have them
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 2 1/2 dl of your favourite plant milk, maybe go a little light on the milk here since the blueberries ad moisture
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed

Directions

  1. Start preparing the night before. In a fridge safe container mix everything together, except the banana. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Next morning, take out your container, stir everything a bit, mash a banana and and stir it in.
  3. Eat and enjoy.

Tips


You have to test around a bit with the amount of plant milk to get the consistency you like.
You can of course change the seeds to anything you like and ad the sweetener of your choice.


Vegan Overnight OatsI got some more Ideas while writing..

  • how about a chocolate cherry one
  • or chocolate mint
  • maybe cinnamon orange
  • I mean almost any berry or fruit would probably be tasty

I spent the whole week trying and tasting. 🙂 I hope I gave you some breakfast inspiration and if you haven’t tried overnight oats you should definetly give it a go.


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Through Sweden, With Spring

Since I feel a bit like crap, but contented crap, if there is such a thing, after hosting a fabulous birthday party for 15 people I love very much, as an aspie and introvert, that is a bit draining and I have mostly been sleeping since, I will share some of the pictures I took (mostly from the car) on our recent trip to Stockholm. Even though you can just barely see the spring arriving, it’s still beautiful.

Lovely weather on the way home there. Obviously these are non edited pictures taken with an Iphone, but still. I love to live in a country where there are lots of open spaces, countryside, fields, lakes, animals and forests.

Driving through swedenThe winter is so hard, so dark and so depressing this far north, but that makes the coming of spring so much bigger and such a huge miracle! The first tussilago = coltsfoot flowers along the roadsides are truly a thing to marvel about, to take pictures of and carefully pick one or two, but leave most for others to see. And then spring sort of slowly explode, plant by plant. I have so many spring-flowering plants in my garden because of this, lilac, rhododendron, and daffodils to name a few, spring is my favourite season, f**k the hay feever!


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The Car as a Safe Place (New Car!)

Wednesday BNC (Before New Car):

We are getting a new car! I am so exited, I am so exited! “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow, you’re only a day a waaaaaaay!” does it show?

Our current lovely car is a teeny tiny Toyota Aygo, that has been a great car for us and that I have felt very safe and at home in. We got it eight (wow is it really so long ago) years ago when we were living in Bredäng, a suburb of Stockholm.
It is a fantastic little city car. Not so much a forest car though.
It is blue and the thing is that it has absolutely no extras, it has negative extras, it is practically bare. Which is a good thing, because that means that a really nice, though small, car, had a comparatively low price, low weigh = good mileage, and is quite big on the inside (since there isn’t anything else in there).
Seriously it does not even have a glove box, it has a glove “shelf”. 🙂

aygo2

Don’t misunderstand me, I really love this car. It quickly became a safe place outside my home, and has made it possible for me to go places that I could not before. We could not have found our house and the one before without it, and we could not have lived a bit remote, like we want to.
It has made going shopping so easy, except for the getting the stuff we bought actually inside the car and home, but its surprising how good you get at gauging what can fit and “tetrising” things inside it. We have brought home a sizeable coffee table, a small desk, five rhododendron plants and know the exact length from the dashboard to the trunk door, for cutting pieces of wood at the lumber yard. Actually the things that has stopped us from getting things in there most often, is the size of the door openings.

This has been a great car, and it has not given us any trouble what so ever during these eight years, until a few weeks ago when the exhaust pipe got loose and rattly, which apparently is quite common and was easily fixed. We have called it little snail, the new car will be called Monster (Monstret), why will become evident very soon.

Thursday ANC (After New Car):

This morning we got up horribly early and got a ride from my parents to the car dealer, and after a lot of door openings, button pushing and paper signing we drove home in our brand new, literally its a 2017, red Skoda Yeti. Yeti = a Monster. 🙂

The new Skoda Yeti in red.

I love the aesthetics of this car, I like a high car and we were also thinking about a few other models with a similar profile. The Toyota Aygo is actually a quite high car too, despite its tinyness, and that was one thing that attracted me to it, also that we could actually afford it at the time. 😉

skoda-yeti-monte-carlo-available-with-12-tsi-and-110-hp-20-tdi_6

To change it up we went with red, and it is a lovely true red. Skoda calls it a mini SUV and it is comparatively huge and filled with extra things.
This one does not have a glove “shelf” it has a glove compartment that chills your drink! It has little storage places everywhere, as the picture below shows, all the orange are storage.  And it came with (excepting all the normal car stuff) a first aid kit, a reflective vest and an umbrella!

We have at least double the trunk space now and you can fold down or completely remove the back seats if you need to move something really huge. Also you can actually sit in the back seats, the ones in the Aygo were more for decoration. It has comfortable seats and it isolates the sounds of the road a bit better.

On huge difference though, we are leasing this car.
We know nothing about cars, and we really don’t want to know anything about cars, more than the parts that deal with driving the thing and simple maintenance. We don’t want to figure out what its worth later on when we need to sell it, or what that blinking red light wants us to do!
Now we don’t have to bother with any of that stuff, if there is anything wrong we just call a number, we know exactly what we have to pay and they do all the service and tire changing and red blinking light fixings.

yeti-mc-design-01

I feel really good about this car, it suits us here in the forest. We can rent a trailer and get firewood from my parents place. It can make it up the hills even when it is dirt roads or snowy in the winter. I think I will feel that “second home” feeling in this one too. Especially since we can bring more stuff and go on longer and more comfortable drives. I am hoping to take some small trips around beautiful Sweden this summer, which is a bit of a big deal for me as an aspie who needs her home base.


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