Simple beauty – photo weekend

Tenerife is a truly beautiful island, and you don´t need to go far to find mind-blowing views. During the weekend we went for a few short walks. Although I´m still sick and full of drugs, I need air as well as my dog. I decided to bring my camera and share some of my neighbourhood with you.

It´s amazing that all of this is just around my house, literally just walking around the block. Have you ever discovered something close to you that has been there all along, and you just didn´t see it? I feel like that happens to me all the time here.

I have a bad habit of taking my surroundings a little bit for granted. Like going to the beach or the pool, I always think “nah, I can do that tomorrow” although I should appreciate it and do it as often as I have the chance.

It´s the same with the environment. When I go for a walk, I just go for a walk. I don´t really notice the beauty around me. Except when I bring my camera. I don´t know how many times I have walked passed these exact objects without noticing them.

From now on I have decided to bring my camera as much as I possibly can and capture the beauty around me. You never know when you have the opportunity, so catch it when you can!

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Animal rescue

I have always loved animals, probably a little above average. I’ve had pets my whole life and I find them calming.

Back in Norway we’re not used to street dogs or wild cats. We buy by the brand, a clean breed. There is nothing wrong about that.

Here in Tenerife it’s very different. There’s not many street dogs to see in the touristic areas, but not because there aren’t homeless animals. I will say it’s thanks to all the refugee organizations. There are so many different organizations and they do everything for the animals.

Another great thing here is that it seems more natural to people to rescue a homeless animal, than to buy a puppy/kitten. Most organizations don’t just give away the animals, it’s usually some kind of fee. I think it shows a lot of good hearted people.

When we first came here we adopted a cat from one of these organizations. We could have gotten one for free anywhere, but I wanted to give the refugees a chance. Unfortunately the cat died after about a year. My girls were devastated and there was no doubt in getting another one.

There was also no doubt in taking a new refugee from one of the organizations. This time a very small kitten. She’s now about 4 months old and well settled with us.

Since we finally have a permanent living situation here and got permission to get a dog, we decided to give it a go. I wanted to get a puppy to train and becides, who doesn’t want a cute little puppy?

And then I saw Chucky. A french bulldog, 8 years old with heart worm and uncertain to survive. Friends and family are asking what on earth I’m thinking. Why get an old dog that might die within weeks whilst having two kids?

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Look at him?! Could you say no?

He might not survive, but he’s a friendly and loving dog who deserves a chance. Even if it might be a short “rest of his life” we’re gonna make sure he gets the beat for however long that is.

He is calm, well raised and so good with kids. No matter what my girls are doing, he follows. He sleeps with them, watches movies with them, goes to the park with them and plays with them. We couldn’t ask for a better dog.

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I think it’s important that my girls learn that everyone deserves a chance, human or animal, old or young. They should also get a healthy look on death. When their cat died I told the full truth. Now they are aware of Chucky’s state, they know he might not survive. But they will love him for as long as he lives. They will cry when he’s gone, but they will always know that they did good and gave him a chance and a good end.

I think this is something everyone should learn from. My daughters had a choice, they could choose a puppy instead. They knew all the facts and they still wanted to give him a chance. If two little girls can think like that, can you?

 

Hospital experience

Ok. Imagine being sick, stuck in the hospital with two little ones, not having time for that and not being prepared? Hey, that’s me!

As most of you know I had the flu last week. Then my daugther got it. Unfortunately it spread down the lungs, leaving me with pneumonia and my daughter with a lung infection.

Luckily, the hospital let me go home to pack some things and pick up my other daughter before getting stuck to cables and masks for three days.

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We have been through this before, so I know perfectly well how the hospital works. So here is a few steps to survive (obviously not if you’re too sick) being stuck.

1: Pack comfortable clothes! You’re most likely stuck in bed with intravenous, so it’s a good idea to bring short sleeved tops. Remember flip flops!

2: You’re gonna be bored half to death if you still have energy. Books and a laptop is priceless!

3: Ever tried hospital food? My advice, DON’T. It’s disgusting. Bread and nutella will get you far, but some snacks will make it even better.

4: The hospital provides shampoo and all other hygiene material you need. Except for a toothbrush and deodorant. I for one can’t live without my toothbrush.

5: Hospitals have a habit of making you feel worse. Maybe not physically, but you feel lazy, feel that you look like shit and smell like shit. So, yes! I bother bringing makeup. Makes you feel a whole lot better about yourself.

6: Relax! All you want to do is go home, but make the most of the time you get and embrace it. As soon as you’re home, you don’t have time anymore.

Keep in mind that nobody knows how long you have to stay. A lot can happen, you might get reactions to the drugs, they might not work on you as expected and so on. I rather bring too much than too little.

My problem (other than being sick of course) was being alone. With one daughter also sick and stuck in bed, and one completely healthy it was difficult and didn’t give me the rest I needed. We also got different medications through the nights, so sleeping was an issue.

The staff was amazing and very helpful. Since we’ve been there before we already knew much of the staff working with us. That helped a lot!

I wanna thank everybody who visited us, who helped us and for all the little gifts. It lifted our days!

Now we’re happy to be home! We’re still feeling rough, still doing medicine cocktails and still in need for a lot of rest. But damn, it’s good to be home. The best is actually to be able to eat and drink what I want when I want.

Upgrade

I love interior, and have to have it nice around me. Without I can’t relax. Back in Norway I have refurbished a couple of houses. I easily see solutions for how to change pretty much anything into what I like.

After moving here to Tenerife it’s been very different. All houses are rented out with furnitures, for a short time and it’s not allowed to change anything. Everything has felt temporary. Every time we buy something we think “what do we do with it if we move?”.

Now we got great news! We get to keep our apartment for as long as we want. Of course I went straight to ikea.com and making the first step of changes in our home, upgrading it to be more my style.

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This used to be out livingroom with very empty walls and little personality. Here is the new look:

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I had fun in the process and proved to myself that I’m very handy when I don’t have a man to do the dirty work for me. Seeing solutions, both simple and complicated is so much fun!

There is still some more changes to come, but it definitely feels like home now.

 

Motherhood

To be honest, I never really liked kids. Still don’t actually, with a few exceptions. But I love being a mother, even though it’s crazy! It’s complete chaos in every situation.

I’m a very spontaneous person, so the planning was the biggest change in my life. It still is. I’m still spontaneous, but at a completely different level. And now that my boyfriend is away for the summer I’m really getting the taste of life as a single mother and the puzzle of the daily hours is a bigger challenge.

People talk about all the sacrifices, that you have to grow up and can’t do whatever you want or be whatever you want anymore. I have never seen it that way. Yes, it’s more difficult to jump on a plane and just go somewhere, go out late at night or just say yes to an extra hour at work.

But I still feel like me and I still feel free, even more than before I had my little girls. I can still go out once in a while, I still do what I want, but I think what I want in life changed with their lives.

For example, I stopped drinking when I had them. I can still have a glass or two, but I haven’t been drunk even once since my birthday 7 years ago. Not because I see it as wrong to get drunk when you have kids or because I don’t want the hangover with them the next day. I simply don’t see the joy in it anymore. I still love to go out and dance through the night, but I can do that sober.

Sometimes I think people are overthinking. It’s too much pressure, too high expectations. The most important for me is that my girls are happy. And in order to be happy they need the basics (food, clothes, education etc), they need love and confirmation, but they also need to know what’s right and wrong, rules and limits every day. And I think I’m doing good!

I believe manners, moral and compassion are the most valuable characteristics in people and we should all have more of it. And I try to teach mine that.

I have two very polite, helpful and respectful little girls. Of course they have their outbursts, bad days and are testing limits, but they know right from wrong and at the end of the day that’s what’s important. The fact that they say “sorry” without being told to, says more about their moral than calling someone “stupid” during an argument.

National Day

May 17th is a very special day for all norwegians.

Back in 1814 the men gathered in Eidsvoll and made our constitution law. And after the second world war in 1945 Norway was finally free. The people celebrated in the streets with flags and cheering. Since then it has been a tradition. We do it every year no matter what country we’re in.

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The citizens are looking sideways at us. I’ve heard them say such as “the vikings are taking over”. I think they find it a bit funny and don’t really understand it. I don’t know any other country celebrating like this.

We started the afternoon by meeting up outside Sjømannskirken (the scandinavian church). Everyone was dressed up nicely and we all act like we know each other. The mood of the norwegian people and how we open up to each other on this day is truly amazing. All of the sudden we are a community even if we never met before.

We walked as a group with our own little orchestra waving our flags, singing our songs, blowing our flutes and cheering in the streets.

We are celebrating our constitution, our freedom and our country. It’s amazing, don’t you agree?

After the parade we all went to the church. The priest, Åge Løsnesløkken, did as tradition says and held a funny speach about our history and freedom. We had games, cakes, ice creams. The vice-consul Toril Wullf spoke and kindly talked to everyone in the norwegian community. A fantastic lady and person for us to contact while spending time here.

A fantastic day, a fantastic country and a whole bunch of fantastic people!

Some say we’re crazy, some doesn’t understand, some envy us for our unity, some laugh at us, but we’re proud of it all.

I want to thank the vice-consul and the danish photographer Carstein W.Lauritzen for giving me the pictures for this post.

My birthday

Yesterday was my birthday! My last year in my twenties is on. My very first birthday wish came from my boyfriend at midnight. A very nice rhyme only he could come up with.

My day started with the little ones waking me up with the birthday song and presents they went to buy themselves (with some help).

Still filled with flu we had to stay home. I only left the house to get medicine and spent the rest of the day coloring in my new book (thanks Emma!) and watching Disney.

I was going in waves. From full of energy and good mood in one moment to completely knocked out the next. Our neighbors dropped off homemade cookies and some juice to get me better, another went grocery shopping for us and all my friends were calling and texting. I’m lucky to have all of you in my life.

I only had one wish for my birthday this year. All I wanted was my boyfriend, but unfortunately we couldn’t be together. I was a bit sentimental and sad to not have him with me yesterday, but he will make it up to me!

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I want to thank everyone for all the attention and help yesterday, you are all lovely people. I’m still not well, but getting there.

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