As far back as I can remember, I've been really hung up on trees. I have always had one or more trees around, who have been mine, who have drawn me to them. I remember one especially, it was in the middle of a wheat field, and I'd look at it every time the school bus drove past, I'd look at it twice a day and I just loved that tree. It was a simple pine tree, but it was beautiful. It's still there.
My current tree is this. It's an oak, in a field, on the side of the road. I've watched it change through the seasons of the year, and it's so majestic and beautiful and solitary. I drive past it twice a day, and every time I pass, I send the tree a little look, just to confirm that yes, we have a secret friendship, it's you and me, I see you.
Every time we add new members to our band, on the drive home we always look at each other and say "Jesus Christ, what have we done!?" - and laugh. Today was no exception, when we were on the road with five little ewes in the trailer.
We are now sheep-farmers! It's really quite unbelievable and so amazing! We have five ewes (female sheep) from the old norwegian breed Spælsau.
This marks the start of a new era for us, and it's a special kind of feeling. A big day at Zoo Payne!
Two years went by. She went from being an unknown creature in my belly, to becoming so very Freja, so unmistakeably herself, so wonderfully known to us and yet such a mystery.
I think I tagged along on that journey a little bit too, becoming more known to myself as time passes, perhaps not understanding the mystery more, but feeling safer in it, all the time. Ps: It's not her birthday yet, but the photos are two years between.
This morning, after having done all that needs doing and made everyone ready to leave for school, I popped up to the bathroom for a second, and there, on the mirror, was written with my pencil eyeliner, in big letters: DETDREVILATARESKALJøREMDER SKADEREMOTDEM. (Det dere vil at andre skal gjøre med dere, skal dere mot dem/ Do as you would be done by)
Our wise, thoughtful, pondering girl.
It's autumn. No doubt about it.
I spent the night at work on Friday, which is a part of my job; to sleep there and be available to the students. I have two-three shifts like that a month with my current 80% position at the school. In some ways, spending my sacred Friday night away from home was not-so-good. I tend to miss home. But then again, there is something really cool about hanging out with the kids (19-year olds mostly) outside of the normal school hours. They are funny, smart, curious, weird, cheeky, and really really open. We had supper, with tea and home made bread (one of the students are Danish, and his mum had brought him home made rye bread, which he so brotherly shared), and we talked, about many things. The wind was bustling outside the big cantina windows, and inside were 80 people having supper, with candles lit on the tables, and we managed to create a really intimate atmosphere.
I love my job.
Saturday morning: dugnad in the kindergarten where Freja and Nik spend their days. (Nik just works there, he's all right.) It was one of those fresh, crispy autumn days. Parents working and kids playing and helping out, all rounded off with everyone sitting down together, rosy cheeks, sharing soup and bread. Oh, and yes, the horses were taken out and everyone who wanted could ride a little bit; so we did.
Sunday; today. After a wonderfully quiet morning, with the fire lit and calm playing inside, my sister and her son came to visit. We made pizza, sat everyone down around the dining room table, and shared a rainy day Sunday meal together.
I love autumn, I really do. And I love sharing meals with people.
This weekend has been filled with both.
...Ronja was still a little girl with pigtails (why oh why did we cut her hair), not yet a schoolgirl and not yet a big sister.
This weekend two years ago she spent on our family cabin in the mountains (on the foot of Hardangervidda) with my parents.
Wanna go there, now!
Things are going slow with the house project, we are waiting for our building application to be approved. In the meantime, we have taken timber out of the forest and had it cut out to become materials for the house - and we have had our yard dug out and prepared. So much fun to see the changes, and it all suddenly became a lot more real. Also, it made it easier to visualize how it's going to end up.
Butterflies in my tummy!
An animal is a magical area in movement, all the time making sure you are surrounded by good energy.
The words of Emir Kusturica ring true every time I see this little quote, hanging on my fridge door. It is amazing what an impact their presence has on us. Love!
Most mornings, I find myself (or rather, lose myself) stressing around trying to get everything ready for take-off. Feeding the girls, making lunches, doing dishes, packing bags, sorting out animals, trying to put some mascara on, and more, pheeew.
But some mornings are different. Suddenly, there's time. And with time to spare, so comes the good mood, the giggles, the hugs, that extra cup of tea sitting down, the sweet moments. And from that, this family can go out into the world with good feelings inside, and not that knot in our tummies called stress.
What makes the difference? Preparation.
I'm climbing towards the better!
This horrific scene met me as I walked into the dining room the other day.
I'm bewildered, and feel the need to further investigate. Did the deer hang himself onthe cow? Did the cow hang the deer onto himself? Did someone else do it, but made their escape before I walked in? Why does the cow look so manic? Why is the flower smiling so innocently? And who left their yellow crayon at the crime scene?
The mystery is yet to be revealed! Although, as the brilliant private detective I am, I have my suspicions...
It seems like autumn has arrived. There's rain in the windy air, and small yellow leaves have started to spread on the ground in our garden.
Today calls for an indoor Sunday, all snuggled up - and with ambitions to make apple & plum crumble, yummy!
Photos below from what I suspect was the last day of this summer.
Zoo Payne is Mr. & Mrs. Payne and our three sugarplums Ronja (8), Freja (3) and Falk (0). With Billie the Wolfhound, cats Boo and Sioux, Marius the horse, a pair of cows, a band of sheep and a bunch of chickens, the Paynes live the dream on a farm in Norway.