Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mom visits Sweden - Uppsala

This is how my system works. Take photos. View photos on computer, and write down which photos I like best and would like to put on my blog. Never edit or upload photos. Have tons of post-it notes lying around the house.

So I decided I wanted to start tackling this problem of mine. I went to a stack of post-its, and chose one. And guess what I found! A list of photos from when my mom and Joel visited Sweden last summer! I was surprised to find I hadn't posted these yet (or maybe I had and am just really bad at searching my own blog).


We took a ride on the old steam train, Lennakatten. That was the conductor.


Greg's beard looks so wimpy these days compared to what it once was!




The above photo of the cathedral during dusk was made possible by the fact that I had been carrying my camera everywhere while we had visitors. And on this particular day I had to go to one of my first Swedish classes, and I also had a flat bike tire, so I was on foot and able to admire everything around me. (I didn't have such a positive outlook at the time, but I'm glad I stopped to take the photo.)


At one point we were just walking along and we heard a crash, which was a potted plant being dropped from an upper floor and breaking on the sidewalk. I took a photo (above) and these guys were all shocked about what was happening and maybe asked if I knew what was going on. Sorry gentlemen, I have no clue, I just like to take pictures.



I know I have tons and tons of photos from the Linneaus gardens in Uppsala. They have such a huge variety of plants and flowers, and somehow I managed to narrow down my photo choices to just these two. I'm tempted to go back and look through all the photos again, but I do always spend a lot of time cultivating these little post-its of photo numbers, so I just have to trust my choices and give you what I've got!

Friday, April 25, 2014

7QT - food, ballet, and needing new pants

1. Earlier this week I reached the epitome of Uppsala residency - I was about to put on a pair of pants when I realized the butt was nearly worn through from riding my bicycle. I'm a little sad that I can't wear the pants anymore because I really liked them, but I feel proud of myself too, like I earned a badge.

Then I spent some time reading about commuter pants, which are specially designed to look like normal pants you can wear at work, but are built with reinforced fabric in the bike-seat-regions. (The really cool ones also have some reflective material that is on the inside of the legs, so that it shows when you cuff your pants!) Unfortunately, most of the available commuter pants are made for men only. I don't know what is up with that. I'd like some commuter pants please. Although I'd probably have better luck getting the men's pants to fit than any option they could come up with for women…

2. I've gotten so much better about not letting myself get needlessly stressed out about work since my days as a PhD student. This week I had some things that absolutely had to get done by the end of the week, and I was not entirely convinced they would get done. Luckily they are done, and now that I am past this I realise that I was more than a little stressed about them.

Now I'm just basking in the post-task completion (and trying not to think too much about how this all sort of has to be repeated once I get more data). My current activities include things like cleaning my computer screen and installing updates on my computer, both of which I had been putting off for far too long. Having a fresh computer makes me feel so fresh by proxy(:

3. Even if I already said this, it is worth saying again. For Easter I made homemade Reese's eggs following this recipe from Natalie. The recipe was such a completely perfect match. Just so much deliciousness. I can't even make sentences about them. I also sprinkled a tiny bit of sea salt on the top, so I have to say, these were even More amazing than the original.

4. On my last day of my third decade I get to go to the ballet! Ballet fascinates and amazes me, and I'm really excited to see something other than The Nutcracker (which I love, don't get my wrong, especially the Swedish interpretation).

5. This reminds me that there is a new ballet documentary that is out or soon to be out called Ballet 422. I really really need to not forget to see this when I figure out if/when it is released.

6. All week I've been really lazy about cooking (a result of #2, being stressed about not having enough time to finish work tasks). Last night I decided I better eat something more healthy than frozen pizza. I had some salad greens already, so I decided I'd make some hummus to put on top, plus add some chopped carrots and tomatoes, and call it a meal.

However, when I got home I started to dread the amount of time it would take to actually make the hummus properly with the immersion blender. This is when I realized that I could just dump the chickpeas on my salad, and make a dressing from tahini + olive oil + lemon juice. Same ingredients as hummus, just a different presentation. It wasn't as tasty as hummus, but it was a passable substitute. Most importantly, I didn't feel like I was wasting any time with food prep. Some days are just not for prepping food.

7. This final take is made possible because I just started cooking dinner and decided to go ahead and let my onions and garlic rest after chopping and before cooking. I read about this on Kate's blog, and normally I'd enjoy doing more reading on the topic instead of blindly trusting, buuuutttt…. what have I got to lose? So my onions are resting!


The End & The Link-Up!

More Kiruna - Mostly Churches

We spent only a few days in the north of Sweden. Most of our time was spent working, but we did get to explore a bit. First is a photo of some wind turbines in the distance. I really love taking photos of wind turbines.



This is the dish at the EISCAT facility.


This old church is located in JukkasjÀrvi, outside of Kiruna. The Swedish Wiki page says it was built in 1607-1608 and finished in 1785 (not really sure what the gap in time means). Also, apparently they were making some repairs in 1907 and found 87 graves under the floor of the church.



Finally we come to the Kiruna church. I was so impressed by this church. The outside looks pretty great, but once you get inside it is just spectacular. The construction with wooden beams is so beautiful and impressive to see. (Sweden at large agrees, naming it their most well-liked building in 2001.)






The craziest thing about this church is that they are getting ready to take it apart so that it can be moved, along with the rest of the city, two miles to the east and then be reconstructed. Kiruna is a mining town, and apparently the mine is gradually being dug under the current city, making it necessary to completely relocate. I'm just glad I got to visit while I could still visit this church!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Kiruna - The Ice Hotel

At the beginning of March Greg and I travelled to Kiruna. I took many photos, but never spent the time to go through them properly. But I have finally done so, and now I shall finally post a bit about our trip!


Most of the photos I have are from the Ice Hotel, which is located just outside of Kiruna. We went on a tour of the hotel, but did not actually spend the night there. It is really expensive to stay there, and I really don't like being cold, so that was not an option for us.





About the above photo. This was a hole in the ceiling. I am guessing it is to prevent hot air from gathering and melting the hotel prematurely.



Every year there is a competition among artists from all over the world to design rooms in the hotel out of ice or snow. The photo above (and the one of Greg & I at the top) was my most favorite room, called Solid Flow. Here is some info about the room from one of the artists.

Also, I found (thanks to #capture317) this video on the interwebs showing a time-lapse video of the construction of the room. Pretty neat.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Right now

Right now I'm typing this out while waiting for the water to heat for coffee. I woke up much earlier than planned due to some sort of loud crashing sound. It woke Greg up too, so I asked him what it was. I thought his response was something about wine, so I said "what?" and he clarified, "different line styles… on plots." Okaaayy.



Here are a few old photos I found on my camera. I feel like I need to erase or edit a lot of what is going on in this post, but instead I'll just forge on.

Last night I pulled out my needle felting to make a small round bird. I was doing just as good as I could have hoped for until I got to the beak. I never got my beak small enough, so I'll have to start over with a smaller bit of wool.

Photo on 4-21-14 at 8.46 AM

The End!