In The Rearview Mirror 2017 pt. 4


Flashback Friday


    October arrived, more work of course. We had friends over for a Swedish dinner party, filled with snaps, meatballs and good company. Gorgeous sunsets by the lake and the terrace. At the end of October we went to New York. I explored all of Central Park and managed to do about 9 miles walking per day on average. We saw Columbia University and a lot of other pretty places in the city. After that we went to Princeton, New Jersey. I fell in love with that small town. What a place. Like England on steroids, in the middle of nowhere, or so it felt. Fall colors had already arrived and I saw some great art at the art museum.



    November came and with that more fall. Fall has become a sad season for me, since my mom died in November 2016. This November our cat Olive got sick, and we though she just had a cold or something. We took her to the vet, and brought her home after some antibiotic shots. A week later we were there again, because she was breathing weird. That's when they noticed the water in the chest cavity, which apparently equals to "she will die". And she did, about three days later at a different vet, she stopped breathing while they were putting the catheter in after we decided to put her down. She died on her own terms. She was only about 8 years and had cancer in all of her stomach, so there wasn't anything we could do. 



    December and yet another Christmas. This year we did not venture out to Bozeman, instead we stayed in Madison. I baked, a lot. So much saffron in this house. I had been a bit sad about the lack of snow and thought that this would be the first Christmas in the US without snow. But on Christmas Eve I woke up to snow falling on the ground! Later that morning we went to Natural Bridge State Park and explored it all by ourselves. Apparently no one else go hiking on Christmas Eve. We celebrated christmas both on Christmas Eve, the Swedish tradition, and on Christmas Day, W's tradition. We even managed to have a fire outside, which was great. I always forgot how nice it is to have a fire outside, especially when it's cold.


In The Rearview Mirror 2017 pt. 3


Flashback Friday


    By July the garden, well the dill, had almost outgrown me. And the cucumber were growing like crazy. I had a hard time keeping up with the pickling of the beets and cucumbers. Fieldwork season was not over yet and I got to go to both Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park to help out W with fieldwork. I flew into Jackson, Wyoming and then we spent the rest of the time there either in The Tetons or in Yellowstone. We did a lot of hiking for fieldwork, and camping. But we also managed to get a couple of shorter hikes in, well as in about 13 miles. Back in Madison even more cucumber awaited for me, which meant more pickling. 



    A lot of things happened in August, more pickling for instance, of beets this time. And then the best thing about this year, my dad arrived. He brought l;sgodis as we call it in Swedish, or pick n mix candy which is the english term. We planned our trip through Yellowstone and then W went to a conference in Portland, Oregon. He was going to meet us up in Bozeman, Montana for our wedding, while dad and I drove from Madison all the way to Bozeman. We had very long days, but still managed to see a lot. The first night we camped in Badlands National Park, about 740 miles from Madison, and the longest day. Next day we drove all the way to Beartooth Pass (about 470 miles), which is out of this world too. What a landscape, and what a ride. We camped at a campground and managed to snag the second to last campsite in the afternoon. The next day we drove through Yellowstone National Park to finally arrive in Bozeman, Montana, about 160 miles later. We had a rest day or two and then we explored Yellowstone with W who finally arrived by plane. Then we had the wedding with friends and family in the mountains of Homestake Pass. After that we went on a short camping trip with friends and finally started the long way back to Madison. This time through the black hills and Mount Rushmore National Park. Once back in Madison we went north to another wedding and finally Chicago for the last day before dad got on a plane back to Sweden. I am pretty sure he had the time of his life, we sure did!



    Temperatures were still mild and even hot in September, and garden was still producing, a lot. We had some more short hikes, trail runs and mountainbike rides. All and all, a lot of September was actually kind of a recovery from everything we had done through July and August. We ate good and I baked a lot as usual.


In The Rearview Mirror 2017 pt. 2


Flashback Friday


    The first day of April we went skiing into the mountains of Denali National Park. The ability to go skiing into the mountains of Denali is truly out of this world, or to just be able to go skiing in areas like that at all. Definitely something I took for granted while I was living there, now I understand what a different world I actually used to live in. Back in Madison Spring was well on its way. Went on a couple of trail runs and also planted the garden. Then, I signed up for a half marathon, and because I am the way I am, I wanted to run the route before the actual race. That combined with the fact that you actually do need a lot of training before committing to something like that made me hurt my chin, and I ended up not doing the real half-marathon. But, I did finish the half-marathon I ran on my own a week before the actual race, and celebrated with Swedish chocolate in bed. 



    By may we had full on summer. We went to Minneapolis and celebrated W's brother for graduating from law school. Garden was going really well, surprisingly well actually. We had some nice after work sessions at a local bar, that also has the most adorable dog. We went up to Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. A forest that appeared to be infested with ticks. We went there for memorial day weekend, and managed to snag the very last spot at the campground at about 5pm in the evening. The days there were rainy, but we did manage to go on this amazing mountainbike trail, 12 miles in mixed weather conditions. We had everything from sun to hard on rainfall (which makes for an interest bike ride on slippery rocks). 



    We went on a couple of more mountainbike trails closer to Madison and then I went to Puerto Rico for fieldwork. I spent about a week in the rainforest on private land but also in El Yunque National Forest. Such a beautiful island and made me think of all the people that we met while we were there, later on when the hurricane hit. Especially this old nice lady who lived in a very simple house on top of a mountain. I still wonder what happened to her house and how she is. The rainforest has all sorts of poisonous and thornlike creations. Which is pretty interesting since there aren't any real large herbivores on the island. After having spent more than a week treading though the rainforest I finally got an hour or so at the beach. I never saw San Juan except for the airport. Not your regular type of tourist trip to the island I bet. Back in Madison I celebrated Midsummer by making a nice strawberry cake. I also managed to harvest my first beets, already in June, unbeliavable. 


In The Rearview Mirror 2017 pt. 1


Flashback Friday

First quarter of 2017

    I can not believe that 2017 passed so fast. My first whole year in Madison, Wisconsin. As always a lot of things happened during the year. In January we celebrated the second day of the new year by going downhill skiing, and in February we all of a sudden had 61 degrees F. Finally came March with a trip to my favorite place in the world, Alaska. 


    We spent the second day of the new year at Maverick Mountain, which is an old ski resort that just recently got reopened again. We drove there on January 1, braving bad road conditions and snowstorms. When we finally arrived we went to the hot springs, well they were hot springs but not really that hot unfortunately, but still fun (could also be because the temperature was between -20 to -30F). The next day we braved the cold (-20F) and were the first people on the ski lift. We skied in our down jackets, and I got tired after only a few runs. Before we traveled back to Madison we went to the Madison river outside Bozeman for a short hike and saw some cool wolf tracks. It was still cold in Madison once we got back, of course, but we did some curling indoors. 



    February brought some weird weather. It was cold, but then all of a sudden we got 60 degree weather. We went to Devils Lake state park on a very icy hike. We made some sausages with our new attachment to the Kitchen aid that we got for christmas. We went up to the Northwoods, no skiing but pretty hikes and lights. I finally got my sign up for my office, and felt like an official research specialist, finally. And then before you knew it, the ice on the lakes had melted. 



    February might have thawed the ice on the lakes and made the trees disoriented, but we still got snow events in March. I made the Swedish baked good Semla, but the mini version, for the second time this year. We also went to Guillermo del Toros exhibition at the art museum in Minneapolis. I love that director. Going through the exhibit was a mixture of wow and oh and eek. We also finally went back to Alaska for about a week. We went skiing to Castner Glacier, east of Fairbanks, on a sketchy ski trip that could have ended up in one of those pools of water by the trail. We also timed our visit to Denali and were lucky to be able to borrow our dear friends dry cabin there. What a trip.