Friday, September 28, 2018

Lagom And The Perils Of Feeling Smug


Lagom (pronounced [²lɑːɡɔm]) is a Swedish word meaning "just the right amount". The Lexin Swedish-English dictionary defines lagom as "enough, sufficient, adequate, just right". Lagom is also widely translated as "in moderation", "in balance", "perfect-simple", and "suitable" (in matter of amounts).


After living alone for three and half years, all the while working hard to create a new life for myself after the loss of my husband, I looked around my home and felt a great sense of satisfaction, maybe a bit smug even. 

Many things still need to be done, but I smiled to myself and congratulated myself on what I had accomplished. So happy there was no need to spend any more money. So happy that everything was just Lagom, just right, just enough. 

Then my vacuum cleaner broke down completely. I knew it was all wrong for the fur my dogs shed (Samson's white fur balls mixed with Faith's black) and the sand Samson drags in on his furry paw pads. It took me a month to decide what to buy. I knew it had to have power, but still be light. I finally settled on this pretty thing: 

It arrived just in time. My smoke alarm started yelling "FIRE, FIRE" scaring the dogs and making me crazy. I bought one of those expensive, 10-year battery deals, just to avoid scaring the dogs. When I called the manufacturer, the first thing the guy asked was, "when did you last vacuum it?" Hmmm, never and I've had it for over a year. It helped.

Then the Land's End catalog arrived, with this inside:

Suddenly Lagom didn't seem quite enough. 

Last winter, I noticed that both Christina and Joyce had very nice well-fitting down vests. Hmm, Errol and I bought twin vests, not down, at Fedco (remember them?) in 1989 before we went to Washington state on vacation. I still wear them, almost 30 years later, and it really doesn't matter here. But still, Land's End has good clothes and 40% off would make it very reasonable. So I bought the vest and the top below in the blue colors. 

As I'm also downsizing my wardrobe, giving a lot to thrift stores in town, I've decided to just keep to mostly blues and browns. Both colors look good on me and since I only wear jeans, it will all work. 

Once again, I sat back and congratulated myself on things being just right. Lagom, a Swedish lifestyle concept as it was explained just below the the Wikipedia translation. Americans seem to be interested in the lifestyles of the Nordic nations. Last it was Hygge from Denmark, now Lagom from Sweden. Maybe next we'll get into Saunas from Finland.

So a few days went by then my computer stopped working. This is why you haven't heard from me for a while. Greg, the computer guy in town, came. After some checking he determined the computer was running at 100%, which may sound good, but is very bad. 

Norton security was the culprit. It had a mass of tests it wanted to run, but was unable to, they were all stacked up like a massive traffic jam. Since my computer was old and there were other issues, I decided to pick Greg's brain while we were waiting for the traffic jam to clear up. He recommended getting a refurbished computer. So with his help, I found one on Amazon for so much less than a new one would have cost. Plus he told me what I needed in terms of bytes and all those mysterious things.

It arrived Monday and Greg came back today to set it up for me. It fits on my desk and I think I will be really happy with it. 

Now, maybe, I will have just the right amount of everything. I know I have the Lagom gene -- having just enough is very appealing to me.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Country Road With Mountain Views

Saturday morning, I stuffed my trash in the back of the Jeep and took it to the dump. Back home, I stopped to get the mail and noticed this:

The first rabbit brush bush to burst into bloom. After taking this picture, I also noticed how pretty the mountains were in the morning mist, so I took a few more pictures:

Two Russian thistles, looking green and healthy. They will later dry up and become tumble weeds. And blow down our road to land by my gate. I don't mind, I think they are pretty amazing. I just have to remember to have garden gloves in my cars because they are pretty fierce and can hurt you. 

Country road with mountain views.

More weeds.

And mountain views.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

On The Way To Town ~ By My New Camera

I took my new camera with me when I drove to town this past Saturday. With no traffic on the road, I took some pictures. I set it on auto, because it will take some time for me to learn the rest.

I basically wanted to get a feel for the camera, see how it was to hold it, and just use it in general. In this picture, I'm driving next to the railroad tracks with the Tehachapi Mountains in the background. I didn't know it was smoky still, but it looks like it in several pictures.

Tehachapi is a railroad and trucking town. Trucks come through on the main highway by the tens of thousands every day. When we first moved here, truckers had nowhere to stop, eat, take a shower, and so on. They would just pull off the highway and settle in at the side of a road. Then we got a Love's truck stop and more recently this one, a Flying J with amenities, food, Wendy's and so on. 

So far, I've learned it would have been better for me to drive to a Best Buy, or some place like that, to buy a camera. It's too important that you fit with your camera. You need to to lift it, hold it, play with the buttons, and find out how comfortable is is for you. I didn't, and I'm a little sorry now, but I have to work with it. And it's still so very pretty! 

It's heavy for me to hold with my one numb hand, the other plagued by arthritis. Fortunately, it has a strap, so when I'm not sitting in the car, trying to take pictures, I should be OK.

When I saw the online pictures of the camera, I really liked the big, bold grip handle (or whatever it's called). Due to ancient injuries, I have little to no feeling in my right hand and I've dropped cameras in the past. So I thought I would like that feature a lot. 

However, with three fingers holding it, one finger pressing the button to take the picture, that leaves the thumb. So far, my thumb keeps hitting those buttons you see there on the back of the camera. There are  five buttons and I keep hitting them. Bad words come out of my mouth! 

There must be people out there with a larger thumbs than mine. How do they manage? Has anyone complained? I have no idea, but I know this is my camera now and I better figure it out. 

Another gas station, a Denny's, a new and really nice Subway (I got three gift cards from my niece and nephew for my birthday, so I tried it out), and a hotel. I'm on my way to the post office here.  

On my way, I pass our new hospital, which is taking forever to be completed. Once it was all finished, or so we thought, it turned out the codes had changed and things had to be redone. It's been going on, and on, and on. We all thought it was finished a year and a half ago.

Leaving the post office mailboxes, I take a picture of our flag, lowered for Senator McCain. I recorded and later watched his funeral, which I found very touching, as if we said goodbye to another world. And, of course, Renee Fleming brought tears to my eyes with her gorgeous rendition of Danny Boy. I thought about Errol too and felt sad, really sad.

Here, I drive by the green trees of our town. I'm on my way to a park where the annual Go Native event is taking place. Local Native Americans gather to sell their crafts, to teach us how to make things out of reeds and grasses, and so on. I may write more about that later.

Looking at this picture though, I think my camera will take very good pictures and the rest is up to me. I like the leaves on the trees, the light between the trees, the clear shadows in front of my car. I will not give up on my pretty camera, just use it more, figure it out and, most of all, enjoy it. 

Monday, September 3, 2018

A Purple Cottage Painting

In February 2010, I visited my friend Carol in the Central Valley. I spent the night and the next day we drove to the town of Exeter, one of the best towns ever. Wonderful murals are painted on so many walls that we weren't able to see them all. I posted what we saw, but I think that post is lost. I will check again and repost if I find it. 

There are also, many antique, thrift, and consignment stores. And I remember a nice coffee shop where we took a break. Here are some of the things that caught my eye at the time:

Carol knew the woman who had this space in one of the stores. In addition to collecting and selling old china and decorative items, the woman, whose name I think is Betty, also paints. When I saw this painting of the purple cottage, I fell in love. I believe it was well over $100.00, and that I couldn't afford at the time, so I had to leave it behind. 

Time went by and I forgot all about the painting. But Carol didn't. She called earlier this year and told me that Betty was closing her space in the shop and selling everything. So Carol bought the painting for $50.00. She asked if I wanted to buy it for that. I said, yes, of course. So happy she remembered.

And here it is, on my bedroom wall, just opposite my bed. It's the first thing I see in the morning. It may be the painting -- but I really think it's Carol remembering and getting it for me -- that makes me smile. 

If they were awake, the dogs would say this with me:

Have a great Labor Day!


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