Books and audiobooks Hobby

The advantage of e-books and audiobooks


I love to read and a day without  books,e-books or audiobooks are unthinkable. I am a collector but I don’t have to fill my book shelves anymore. All of my books are now stored in a digital book shelve and that is very practical. I have learnt that reading books can benefit your mental health, so keep on reading

Bobsey twins, Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys

I discovered the magic world of books when I was about 10.But it all started when I extremely disappointed got a book without pictures as a Christmas gift. How could my aunt do that to me? I started to read one day, but it must have been of pure boredom. It was the Bobsey twins, and at that time this was a thriller for a little girl.

Later on came Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys along. No wonder I wanted to be a detective when I grew up, just slightly influenced by the literature. My friends and I looked for cases we should solve, for ex when we found a stolen, abandoned bike in the ditch. Neither of us became detectives or police by profession. Well that’s ok because we never solved a case.

Agatha Christie and David Suchet

When I was 14 I discovered the queen of crime novelists, Agatha Christie. There were many late nights because of her. One very fine memory I got is when some friends and I were tenting in our backyard. The sun was up all night so it was hard to sleep. In the northern part of Norway there is daylight 24/7 during the summer. But I got company of good friends and Agatha Christie. The book was extremely heavy. It was a 3 in 1 book. So this one could benefit as an e-book or audio book. But in the early 80’s the mobile phone didn’t exist and I don’t think the term audio book existed.

I guess I have read all the books and seen all the films about miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. To be honest Hercule Poirot was and still is my favorite. When it comes to the films, David Suchet is the Hercule Poirot himself although he appears in movies as a terrorist. Well he does a magnificent job in all characters he plays. He is a kind of actor who can fill any shoe. Just like Meryl Streep…. I should write to him because I am a huge fan of him. Well, I won’t do that. I assume there is nothing new under the sun for him.

What is it about Agatha Christie? I don’t know. I have read the books more than once. There is always a new detail. My husband think I got a memory loss….

Some Norwegian authors

Gunnar Staalesen’s books about Varg Veum and Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole have been some of my favorite Norwegian authors. Varg Veum and Harry Hole are some very similar type of guys. In my head they are both alcoholics, shabby detectives. They both solve any puzzles with in some cases an unorthodox way. Jo Nesbø has reasonly released «Knife». That will be my next audio book. A absolute must……

I have just mentioned two excellent Norwegian authors. That is unfair to the others that have had such a great impact on me. Unni Lindell is the Norwegian queen of crime novelists. I allow myself to list Karin Fossum, Jørn Lier Horst, Tom Kristensen, Tom Egeland and Anne Holt. All of them are a crime or thriller novelists so I am bit silly when it comes to genre.

There are many excellent writers around the world. I tend to read books written by Icelandic, Swedish, English or American authors.

The advantages of e-books and audiobooks

The last couples of years I have read less physical books, because I discovered e-books and audiobooks. The advantages with e-books and audiobooks are many cause both got some practical features. You don’t have to switch on your lamp on your bedside table which may disturb your spouse. When you are on a journey or travel you don’t need a physical book in your bag or luggage that uptain space and gain weight. You can easily read or listen to books in a waiting room. When it comes to digital books you can easily adjust the size on the letters, which can benefit people who is visually impaired.

If you are blind or simply love being read to, audiobooks are a very good choice. You can connect two Bluetooth devices to share the book with your spouse, friend or children. I use to connect my phone to a DAB radio. In that way I try to get my children interested.

Another advantage of an e-book and audio book is if you are rheumatic or struggle with joints- and muscle pain. You can easily set up a digital book on your Ipad, pc or mobile phone. You don’t need to physically hold a book.

The advantage of reading, whether it is a book, e-book or an audio book, as I said in the first paragraph can improve your mental health. can read or listen to books about mindfulness and affirmations.

I got some fantastic Sony headphones which I really recommend .  The housework have become so much easier. Washing the floor goes like a breeze.

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50% Off your first digital audiobook.

mental health

Self-esteem and self confidence


Self-esteem and self confidence are said to be two concepts often used interchangeably. While self-esteem is the way you see, know and love yourself, is self confidence the feeling of trust in your abilities, qualities, and judgement.

 The main difference between a narcissistic person and one who has high self-esteem is their self-image. The narcissistic person got an exaggerated and distorted sense of importance. On the other hand, people with good self-esteem is feeling an inner satisfaction that is less bloated, but more legitimate.

This inner feeling of satisfaction is a good feeling, and some sort of relief. We got to learn to drop the ambitions and just  be human for a period. We just got one life……

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”

– E.E. Cummings (from

The stress can make us ill, and the self-esteem will drop even more and it may take you several years to rebuild and recover.

Studies of the brain and self-esteem

The University of Calgary has recently published a study made of dr. Dencel Kopala. His research highlights how negative self talk can contribute to depression. The self-esteem got a tendency to become lower, especially during periods of stress. If this isn´t being taking care of, you may get stucked in this negative self talk pattern. It will become harder to feel optimistic, joy and satisfaction. The most interesting part of this is that this negative self talk causes physical changes in certain parts of the brain. Dr. Johannes Klakl from University of Salzburg got the same conclusion in a study from 2014. People with these physical changes in the brain, are more vulnerable to depression.

Many therapists say that the way you talk to yourself, is the key to recovering. If that is the case, you can actually strengthen your mental health with positive self talk. With love to yourself and a healthy self confidence are the best defence to the most changes in your mood.

Low self-esteem and self confidence

 I guess we all got days with all our ups and downs. We are only human, and if we can’t accept our limits the road to burnout is short.

Some say that a typical sign on low self-esteem are people who talk negatively about others to emphasize themselves. We are all doing the best we can, and no one can be 100% all the time. It is just impossible. If we want to find the inner peace I think we have to accept that.

When people are having low self-esteem they are doing tasks to prove to other people that they can perform the a specfic task. They are not doing it for their own benefit. In my point of view they don’t necessarily have low self confidence.I guess they would not say yes to a task, if they didn’t know they could perform it. This sign, I think, got also an element of competition.

A person may have low self-esteem when he or she is never satisfied with the performance, no matter how good and skilled he or she is. They are constantly comparing themself to others, and they are just good when no one else is better.

A characteristica of low self-esteem is that you are feeling ugly and think you would be happier if you were prettier. It doesn’t mean that the self confidence is low. Another characteristica is that you notice that you rather do what others expect of you, and behave the way you think others want you to be, rather than being yourself. If not you will have this feeling of quilty.

How can you help yourself?

I believe in positive self talks to increase the low self-esteem and self confidence. I have worked a lot with myself and my own mindset. 

As an example my son and I at bedtime, listen to an app with just positive self talk or afirmations. I got access to this app after a course I joined 2-3 years ago. Even though it‘s made for children I got benefit of this app to.

Repeat each sentences 3 times. I have also recorded my own positive self talk or afimations on the mobile phone. Here is some examples:

1) I am more than good enough

2) I am the best in the world to be me

3) I deserve to be loved for who I am

4) My best is more than good enough

5) I am a cooperative person

6) I will always find a solution

7) I am a valuable person

8) I am a creative person

9) I deserve to have a good life

10) I laugh many times a day

 These afirmations are just some of mine. You can adopt them or make your own personal.

After the positive self talk we listen to a mindfulness app for children. A lady talk you through what body parts to think of, and gradually you relax, and your mind let the problems go. You breathe more freely, and the pulse is calming down. The session ends with relaxing nature sounds.

If you love nature sounds, you can use Spotify for the same reason. I just love that and I really recommend it.

Help Yourself to Happiness

by Helen Steiner Rice

Everybody, everywhere
seeks happiness, it’s true,
But finding it and keeping it
seem difficult to do.

Difficult because we think
that happiness is found
Only in the places where
wealth and fame abound.

And so we go on searching
in palaces of pleasure
Seeking recognition
and monetary treasure,

Unaware that happiness
is just a state of mind
Within the reach of everyone
who takes time to be kind.

For in making others happy
we will be happy, too.
For the happiness you give away
returns to shine on you.

Better your self-esteem with positive self talk

adhd and Tourettes syndrome mental health

Methylphenidate and poor appetite


There are many considerations to be done when you got a child with ADHD and Tourettes. The combination of methylphenidate and poor appetite are very common. Poor appetite in children is just one of many side-effects of the medication.

Methylphenidate and poor appetite

I got experience with methylphenidate and I wrote about it in my post «ADHD and Tourettes syndrome»

The drawback with the medicine is what I already have mentioned, it gives the child poor appetite. Both ADHD and Tourettes are energy intensive conditions. So what happens when the blood sugar drops but the child still got no appetite?

These children are often very skinny.Some of them don’t have time or can’t sit still and quietly by the table. The medicine can make them sick as well as low blood sugar. I guess a natural cause of this is that the child won’t eat. But that is exactly what it has to do. The constant high stress level won’t help the child to gain any weight. This constant feeling of stress combined with medicine and poor appetite can be a huge problem, especially at school.

When the child on medicine got no or poor appetite the blood sugar drops. The anxiety exacerbated, the hyperactivity increases and more rage. The child can become more challenging and less cooperative. Well that is how we all become when we don’t eat, but up to a point you can control your feelings. But an impulsive kid got problems to control these emotions.

In my country the children bring their own lunchboxes to school. Despite this my child went four years at school without eating his lunch. No one seemed to take the responsibility looking after her. In fifth grade one teacher finally took the responsibility. And for us parents we used four years to be heard. My daughter eats her lunch every day now. The appetite is still poor but the mood is more stable, and she has become more social. Maybe teachers and other adults in the school don’t relate specific issues with the combination of medication, poor appetite in children and bad behavior?

I don’t know the practice in countries where the children get meals at school. I can see some problems with canteens and crowded areas since these kids struggle with anxiety and the influence of stress. And this won’t help on the lack of hunger.

What can we do to help?

The children with ADHD and Tourettes are just as different as you and I. With that in mind the following advices are just mine. If you get any additional ideas when it comes to medicine and poor appetite I be happy for you. If you want to shear them with me, please give me a comment or write to me.

1) If your child are using a lunchbox send something you know he likes. Some schools want the children to bring healthy diets. And that’s ok but maybe not when it comes to your child. The aim is that something is better than nothing (I am not talking about chips). A pizza slice, some bread with chocolate topping, yogurt, cereal and fruit like a banana and a carrot.

2) Make an agreement with your child. There will be an ice cream after dinner or something. You can get kids with ADHD/Tourettes to do almost everything when they know they will be awarded afterward. Remember: A promise is a promise. If they have earn it they deserve it, matter what they have done in the meantime.

3) Make an agreement with the class teacher. I guess they are also interested in a calmer and cooperative child.

4) Let the kid get butter on the bread and fatty milk to drink

5) When you give the kid pizza, add some oil and extra cheese toppings. If you got some protein powder you can mix it with the oil before you add it on the pizza. (Tryptophan is a protein which make the kid tired).

6) Variate with fine and whole wheat bread. If your kid wants just fine bread that’s fine. Mind that he or she drinks well and gets fiber from other sources. The methylphenidate have an impact on the bowel so I don’t think you need to be afraid of constipation.

7) Children with ADHD and Tourettes syndrome are creatures of habits and routines. If you change the content of the lunchbox prepare the child. If there is cereal in the lunchbox. Let them practice pouring the milk at home and that it is ok to spill some milk and how to clean it up afterwards. Many of these kids feel so clumsy and ashamed when they don’t master a task. It all comes down to their lack of self-esteem and confidence. Since these kids are creatures of habits are there any issues in the school canteen? Should there be other arrangements for your child?

8) Try some medicine free days.

9) Give them something to eat before they take the medicine. It got two purposes: To prevent sickness and to be curtain that they at least got a normal blood sugar level before they walk to school.

10) Vitamins and minerals are always important.

11) Don’t mix the potatoes, sauce, vegetables and meat balls on the plate if the child don’t wants you to do that. Just respect this. This could be OCD and not unusual when a person got tourettes.

12) Choose your fights. If you are «fighting» you will just get so tired and exhausted and you end up with no fights and no structure. The time is on your side. Just remember that children with ADHD are more immature than other kids at the same age. But even children with these diagnosis will catch up with time. It just happens later than sooner.

I am wondering why methylphenidate is the first choice. In addition to poor appetite, children with tourettes also got more tics. Are there any considerations to tourettes at all? But methylphenidate and poor appetite cause many problems like anger, and you can not be sure whether that is low blood sugar or a tic.

So if you observe a poorly regulated child with still a lot of impulsivity, he or she doesn’t have the right medicine dose. My impression is that the regulations of impulsivity are more important than the appetite. Alternatively the doctor need to change the medicines, but this is a task for a specialist not an ordinary doctor.

adhd and Tourettes syndrome mental health

ADHD and Tourettes in school


Everybody knows someone with ADHD and got some kind of clues what it is. But what if your child in addition tourettes? School and homework are always a challenge.  But with some effort from the parents and the school these kids may have an ok school day.

What is ADHD and Tourettes?

ADHD and Tourettes are neurobiological heritaged conditions. «Attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is also categorized in some sub classifications.  The child can have mostly attention deficit or mostly hyperactivity and noattention deficit. If your child got the combined type it got attention deficit and hyperactivity.These diagnoses has be changed during the years. A typical ADHD child is immature compares with other children of the same age. They often midunderstand social rules, ending up in a quarrel or a fight. Most of them are not a team mate, and would often not function in a team sport like football.

Tourettes syndrome is a diagnose where people, school and health service have very poor knowledge of. This diagnose is full of myth, stigma and it is rarely portrayed correctly on film and tv. There is nearly always an exaggeration.

Most of the children got moderate tics and will deal with them as they grow up. The tourettes got sudden, unwanted, repeatedly movements or vocal sounds. The tics can be eye winks, facial grimace, nose wrinling, head throwing, nodding, piping, whining, sniffing, stuttering, howling, shouting, cursing and so on. In addition they can have ADHD and OCD, which is obsessive compulsory disorder. Just the tourettes diagnose is rarely.

The tics can move from one bodypart to the other with reinforcement in the presence of anxiety, stress, boredom, looking forward to something, little sleep and medicin.

What about these children in school?

Some of these children with both or just one of these  diagnosis resist changes. Settled routines are very important. Holidays can be a really challenging periode for the child and the parents.

First of all your childs school mates need to know about ADHD and especially the tourettes. The earlier they know about these conditions it could maybe prevent some bullying.

During a school day there can be a lot of different subjects. This may cause many problems like frustrations and anger. Rapidly and many changes during a school day can feed the anxiety and depression. ADHD and Tourettes energy are both intensive conditions. I wrote about this in my post « Metylphenidate, poor appitite in children» Both of the these conditions got attention-and consentration problems. There is a double up.

They struggle at school and many of them go through junior and senior high without any friends. It is important to include these children in the school yard. At least give them an opportunity to join the play. Many are just wandering around alone in the school yard.

Children with ADHD and Tourettes in school need a predictable day to reduce the anxiety and maybe the outrageous behavior. A day plan is a great idea. The teacher can make an appointment with the pupil, and write down on the scheme what exactly the pupil should work with. When the pupil stick to the appointment, he or she could be rewarded with a smiley marked down at the scheme. If the child for an example got 5 smileys during the day, the parents could reward him or her with an ice cream.It means that the main teacher and the parents have to work tighter than others.

Kids with adhd and tourettes syndrome need a lot of breaks. Let them go to a room where they can be alone and do their tics. It is not realistic to think that they can work intesively in 45 min. Since many of these children with ADHD and Tourettes don’t want to be at school,  we have to find a solution they can live with. Let them do their homework at school and give them a proper leisure time.

These kids need an individual school training plan with focus on social skills and spesific subjects the child struggles with. Have focus on the most important subjects. During other subjects he or she can sit by their desk and draw. They will always pick up something from the lecture.

During school test these children could answer the test orally instead of in writing. They often struggle with handwriting. If an oral test is difficult to organize, children with ADHD and Tourettes need more time at tests than other children..

Some struggles more than other. But the children with ADHD and Tourettes don’t struggle with the same things. These children need adults in school who really want to help them, and that they are being treated as an individual with love and respect.



My breast cancer treatment plan


My breast cancer treatment plan is not really settled. And why is that? The reason is caused by one tiny micro metastasis in one of seven sentinel nodes extirpated during my surgery, and not five as I may have mentioned in a previous post. I was operated BCT with sentinel node January 16 th.My BCT and sentinel node surgery

My surgeon is not conclusive when it comes to chemo therapy. So if it didn’t was for the micro metastasis, 3 weeks of radiation would be enough. In addition I need anti hormones treatment and Zoledronacid (Zometa) every 6 month for five to ten years.

Chemo therapy or not?

First of all, my tumor was 4 cm instead of 2.5 cm as the radiologist told me according to the MRI scan. I was in chock to be honest and really disappointed, and at the same time happy. Since there was only a micro metastasis the cancer has not spread in my body through my lymph system. My blood samples were also fine, so the size of the tumor and the micro metastasis are two reasons to have chemo my surgeon said.

The reason not having chemo is my tumor grade. It was graded as grade 1 which means that it is not so aggressive. At least that is some comfort to me.

A friend of mine told me when she was operated for breast cancer back in 2003, she experienced exactly the same dilemma as me. So when it comes to micro metastasis, nothing much has changed during the years. February 17th I am going to have a meeting with my oncologist. I don’t have much of an option really, because of the insecurity and my fright for a recurrence. I got to have the chemo therapy. How would I dare not to?

My surgeon told me that they are thinking about four rounds of chemo EC90. I will loose my hair, but that doesn’t matter in the long term. So this is what I know for now about my breast cancer treatment plan.


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My BCT and sentinel node surgery


I had my BCT and sentinel node surgery January 16. Personally I wanted a mastectomy, but the surgeon kind of hesitated. I was told that the surgeon preferred BCT ( breast conservative treatment) because if the cancer comes back, I will have a better chance to be in an early stage. Without a breast there is not much space between your skin and the chest wall. But if you need a mastectomy that is your best option and I guess you will be followed closely by your doctors.

The day before…..

I had to take the MRI scan with contrast. I was really anxious about this procedure. Once upon a time during a MRI scan of caput I crawled out of the scanner and went home. This time I got some Oxazepam from my doctor to ease of my anxiety.

Maybe I could have manage without the Oksazepam? Because this scanner was not of the same type I have done before. The “tube” was in a way larger. And the best thing about this MRI scan was me laying flat on a table with my face down. I had no feeling of laying in a narrow «tube» constantly giving me panic attacks. In my head phones I was listening to the radio, which made me forget in a way where I was. There was a lot of fresh air, and I actually felt comfortable despite the circumstances, because this scan would decide whether I would need a chemotherapy or not before my surgery.

Luckily the radiologist could not see anything else but the tumor. The condition in the breast was nice and he could not see any metastasis  (spread) of the cancer cells to my lymph nodes. So this scan made my day and I felt really relieved. Based upon the MRI scan it was decided that I should have the surgery BCT with sentinel node. This was the moment I have been waiting for. This heavy burden of my tumor would finally come to an end after a long period of waiting and worrying. It has ruined my Christmas, my 50th birthday and the New years eve. Unhappy new year with breast cancer

Technetium and scintigraphy

When the surgeon plan a BCT with sentinel node they install some technetium in your breast right under the mammilla the day before the surgery. It is a radioactive isotope in liquid form. After that I was to a scintigraphia to discover the radioactivity in the lymph nodes. They marked my skin with a marker pen, so that the surgeon could easily find them during the operation.

The surgery day

I was operated in an outpatient-surgery department early in the morning. At 13.30 the same day I was back home in my sofa. It took only 3 minutes before I was in T.I.V.A anesthesia ( total intravenous anesthesia) and that was great. No unnecessary chatting, straight to the point.  The next thing I remember I was in the postoperative department, and my husband sat in a chair beside my bed. I was really happy he was there with me.

Before the surgeon starts the procedure he or she inject a blue liquid in the breast. This liquid got many names, but I know it as Patent blau. This blue liquid and the technetium are “attracted” to each other and the blue liquid will follow the technetium to the lymph nodes. To find these radioactive lymph nodes the surgeon use a Geiger counter. My surgeon extirpated 5 radioactive lymph nodes in addition to my tumor. I was really radioactive, and according to my surgeon that was a good sign for me. If the lymph nodes are packed with cancer cells there is no space for the blue liquid and technetium. But I still have to wait for the pathologists to exam them and the conclusion will be revealed February 4.



In the mean time I lean on the clinical exam, MRI – and ultrasound scan that could not find any enlarged lymph nodes or metastasis. The prognosis are good and that most of us will be healed even when we got metastasis to the lymph nodes.



Unhappy new year with breast cancer


Today I got the phone call from my surgeon and she confirmed the radiologist cancer suspicion. Do I have breast cancer? I would love to say happy new year, but instead it is a unhappy new year with breast cancer.

Self examination


My Christmas was destroyed after I felt a lump in my right breast Sunday December 8. I visited my doctor who was very busy with a fellow doctor and the new data program they had installed in the office. She examined my lump and the axillae and told me she would send me to a mammography. She ended my visit with: “I am not worried about your lump. Do you have Vipps/Stripe/instant pay?”

After a few days I got the letter from the hospital where I could have my mammography January 9. Oh my God I thought, I can not wait that long. I thought I would be better knowing, but I was wrong. I visited my hospital and begged them for a mammography. My conclusion is no matter what I did would be right, so the Christmas would be destroyed anyway.

My emotions have been a living rollercoaster spiced with hope and fear, sickness, stomach pain, sleeping problems, panic attacks, anxiety and depression. You know the feelings you got when you are having tunnel sights as I call it. In some occasions the tunnel sight is spiced with blue lights. Like the one I normally get when I am about to faint. To reach out for help I was searching around on WordPress and discovered 

So thank you Ilene <3 You saved my Christmas. And now you know why I messed it up.

My tumor

My tumor was 18 mm on the ultrasound and the surgeon measured it to be approximately 2 cm x 2.5. For me that is a large lump, but not to the surgeon. She called it small and because of that she wants me to have a MRI the January 15. I must say I was relieved. What concerned me more is that I do not know yet how aggressive the cancer is, and whether it likes hormones or not. But I leave that thought for now, and celebrate my surgeons optimism.


My surgery is January 16 and I must say I am looking forward to get the tumor out. Personally I want to get rid of the entire breast, even though my surgeon recommend a breast conservative treatment (BCT). After that we have to wait and see. I guess there will be chemotherapy, but I just have to walk one step at a time. In Norway the prognosis for breast cancer are really good, so I will hold on to that thought too.

Seek help

I found a lot of help in Ilene Kaminsky’s web site “The cancer bus”. After I wrote to her my feelings calmed down a bit, and my panic attacks were not constantly turned on. At least it felt that way. Ilene tip me about Karin Sieger’s podcast and web site. She is a psychotherapist who will help you with your emotions. We are many out there.

I have written a lot about my hobbies. But after I discovered the tumor I could not find any rest in any of my hobbies like knitting and crocheting, because I start to overthink. So knitting has not been of any help mentally.  Hand knitting is mental hygiene The best thing to disturb my thoughts are audiobooks, radio or people.

I will have many ups and downs so I must say it is a really unhappy new year with breast cancer.



Do I have breast cancer?


Do I have breast cancer? Well, the radiologist seemed pretty sure, but I got to wait to January 2. before I know for certain. Then the team at the Breast diagnosis center will decide what kind og treatment I need.  This waiting time is so very long. It feels like an eternity.  I keep panicking all the time. What I fear the most is that the tumor should spread to the lymphoid tissue in the mean time, and how and what to tell my children….

The lump

First I took the mammography . And after that I went straight to the ultrasound room. I understood something was wrong when the radiologist used the ultrasound in the armpits or the axillae. She did not say anything before she decided to take three ultrasound guided biopsies. Afterwards I found out that they had found an 18 mm tumor on the ultrasound. The surgeon measured it to be 2 x 2.5 cm tumor.


After the mammography, ultrasound and the biopsies I talked with the surgeon. The only thing I know is that there will be a lumpectomy, a breast conservative treatment. When the surgeon told me this I became a little more optimistic. They did not find anything suspicious in the lymphoid tissue in my armpits.  But even though I think I will go for a mastectomy. I doubt I will undergo a plastic reconstruction afterwards with more anesthesia and another recovery period. I am feeling to old for that, and I don’t want to be treated with radiation afterwards. That is the prize for doing a breast conservative treatment.

My feelings

I am now feeling sick and I living in a bubble. The blood has dropped down to my feet and the wall of a dark tunnel is making the world narrow. It is like a rollercoaster of feelings. Every feelings you can think of. What I think of the most is my children, but I guess I should try to leave these thoughts for now. At least try to be positive. I want to give my children the perfect Christmas, so I need to come out of my bubble as quickly as possible. It helps to distract your mind. I try to listen to audiobooks and music, just to distract myself. Knitting and crochet are out of the question at the moment, because then I start to think all these negative thoughts. So right now this is not mental hygiene……

The examination

Self examination

It is always smart to examine the breasts. Some doctors say once a month and others say every second month. The most important thing is that you do. My problem is I don’t remember when I examined mine the last time.

To make my story short I discovered my tumor after I was having my shower. I could not feel any tumor but when I bent over to dry my legs I saw an entrapment in my skin. Then I started to  pinch myself. That’s when I felt it and I completely lost it….. Do I have breast cancer? Well, I am pretty sure of it.

What a Christmas this will be…….



From the concert with Chris Medina




In concert with Chris Medina


This is the day when my choir, Kalliope is in concert with Chris Medina.Choir singing is mental hygiene

I am really looking forward to it and hopefully some people find their way to the church. There are two other concerts in town so this is in a way a fight for the audience.

Backing vocalists

We are Chris Medina backing vocalists in this specific concert and we are going to perform Christmas songs like Silent night, Simply having a wonderful Christmas time, Hark the herald, What are words, O come Emmanuel just to mention a few. Chris Medina and his band are on a Christmas tour in Norway, so there are many choirs around in the country backing him up.

Before a concert

There are always some nerves before a concert and that is normal. You need a certain amount of nerves to perform, and  afterwards you will get a feeling of relief. That feeling is the best feelings of all. I am always calm and tired in a good way. Gone is the stress and everything is feeling fine.

After a concert

As a tradition the choir will have a pleasant time having a meal and a glass of wine or two in a cosy restaurant. I am really looking forward to that.

Before choir practice with Chris Medina…..

But first I have to read through the lyrics and look over my suit or dress. I can choose, but the color must be black and we are not aloud to use mini skirt. I am bit nervous about the lyrics, but hopefully I will remember the most of it. There is always a blackout when I am nervous…..

Now I am going to prepare to sing in concert with Chris Medina.

And tomorrow…..

It is time to relax…..



Health mental health

Burnout- will you ever recover?


I have written about my chronic disease, ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis and colonoscopy controls

This disease combined with chronic stress and ADHD made me taste a burnout for several years.

But you don’t have to have a chronic disease to get a burnout condition. What ever caused your problems you are maybe asking yourself: I am having a Burnout- will I ever recover?

Are you in the danger zone?

When I am at work I work very hard. I can´t even have my lunch without working. It is a bad habit, but it is hard to change when it is a part of your personality.

So personality got something to say when it comes to getting a burnout.  Are you a yes person and a perfectionist? Do you need more time alone than ever before, and most of your leisure time is all about resting? Do you forget things and are you constantly working to please others? Are you not socializing with other people and do you need something to relax? Do you feel apathetic and are you having mood swings? Well, I have to say you are in the danger zone….


I got the burnout diagnose after seeing a psychologist where I told her that I forgot names, got concentration problems, forgot appointments, forgot what I have told or not told people.  Sometimes I actually could not remember the lyrics of the national anthem. It is like having cotton in my head. 

So I have asked myself many times; will I ever recover from the burnout? It is not a state of mind you want to be in for long and you can’t rush it. It takes its time….

You have maybe been a person who took care of others, but now it is the time to take more care of yourself. Be a little more of an ego, at least when and if you can. It is a bit difficult when you got children, because you need to prioritize them.

Burnout recovering

The road back is long and I am not there yet. Some psychologists say it may take several years to recover a burnout and you need to be patient. If we are talking about chronic stress it is not a quick fix, because it is easier to prevent than to heal the condition.

Some ideas

I have found my way back, but I haven’t «found myself yet» and maybe I don’t? Anyhow I do listen a lot to audio books, mindfulness and weather recordings on Spotify. The weather recordings actually helps me to sleep and relax instead of taking a sleeping pill. It is so easy to get addicted to them, so Spotify is a good alternative.  I have been very sensitive to music, but nature sounds have never been a problem.

A walk every day,  to get some fresh air will maybe help you to find some sleep.

Yoga is very popular these days when it comes to handle stress and to relax, but it cost some money.

I am on my way……

I have knitted like a maniac, and after I while I became interested in card making, macrame, crocheting and to sing again in a female choir. The point is to do something you like to keep the depression, anxiety and the mood swing away to a certain point. These three conditions are unfortunately a part of having a burnout.

Yoga is very popular these days when it comes to handle stress and to relax, but it cost some money.

It is important to learn to say «no» when you feel it is to much, because you AND your family will suffer when you are down and out. But it is easier said than done….

Inspired by Quiltspace and Pinterest

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

Setesdal´s sweaters with long collar

Preparing of the christmas gifts

Choir singing is mental hygiene


The road back is long. Impatience will not help, but will you ever recover from a burnout? I don´t know. It depends on you. Are you willing to seek help? Personally I must accept living with my chronic disease and its fatigue. But from the burnout it will take time to recover.

It is time to relax…..

Choir singing is mental hygiene

The advantage of e-books and audiobooks

My Sony noisecancelling


Hand knitting and Mental hygiene

Ulcerative colitis and colonoscopy controls


Reprocessing of the surgeons tools


Each and every hospital around the world got a Central sterile supply department (CSSD). These departments come in different sizes depending on the activity in the hospital. People in these departments are doing a very important job, because their main focus is patient safety and the prevention of hospital associated infections. I have been working for some years in the CSSD, and I have been asking myself many times: Does the hospital management, the suppliers, the surgeons, the peri operative nurses and hospital staff in general got the enough knowledge about reprocessing of the surgeons tools?

An instrument set

What is the surgeons tools?

The “tools” I am talking about is actually a medical device, an instrument made of different components. Each instrument is made to serve a specific purpose like cutting, desiccation or holding tissue. The length on each instrument will differ too depending on the tissue to operate in, and if the patient is a child, adult, slim or obese.

Some are power tools like a saw or a drill. Other instruments are more or less made of stainless steel, but even these instruments will corrode if they are not being taken properly care of.  Each instruments got a name and most of these instruments are named after famous surgeons.


The CSSD staff

People working in a CSSD got different background. They can be nurses, peri operative nurses, technicians and so on. But they all need a basic knowledge how to maintain and take care of each instrument. Each and everyone need knowledge about microbiology, hygiene, chemistry, metallurgy, physics, technical and IT skills.

I can´t write about all the topics whish are important in a CSSD. But the staff are taking care of the cleaning and disinfection, control of  the instruments, wrapping of instruments sets, sterilizing and the storage of each sterile product. But it is not a quick fix job. Each step means a lot of work like controlling the disinfector, controlling the autoclave, rewash, sending an instrument for repair, oiling the box lock, change an instrument, update the content list, wrapping the instrument, putting a set in a container and more. To put an instrument set in an autoclave depends on the different instrument sets which are ready for sterilizing. There must be a thought behind each step in the CSSD to make sure that you and I can be operated safely.

But despite this knowledge the CSSD staff need, they are like lowest in the hierarchy. Why?

Over time with a lot of lifting of 8 -10 kg´s instrument sets, the staff get problems with muscles and joints. The job is very stressful, because there is often no correlation between the work to be done and the available staff. We all know that chronic stress may cause a burnout. Burnout is dangerous in the CSSD because you need to be concentrated when you are doing the instrument control.

Chronic stress and diseases


In my department we say that it takes 3 hour to reprocess an instrument set. But our customers don´t believe that. So do they have any knowledge about reprocessing of the surgeons tools? Apparently not.

The washer disinfector use one hour. After the washing the instruments hold 90 degree and need to cool down, before you can hold them. The control time may take up to an 1.5 hour. It depends whether you have to rewash it in the washer machine. It may be repeated if the instrument is very dirty. First when it is visually cleaned you can wrap and sterilize it. The sterilizing process take about 1 hour, and if there are errors in this process, you have to unwrap and rewrap. When the sterilizing process is done, the instruments need to cool down before storage or sending to the customers. It takes no time to make an instrument unsterile or dirty, but the reprocessing takes at least three times more.

But it seems like the staff in the operating room forget that the CSSD is serious business. Each step is important to keep the instruments sterile.

Cooperation with customers

It seems like production and the usage of single use instrument is a trend. That is good. But it is not to your benefit that single use instruments come to the CSSD for reprocessing. It happens when the operating room staff want to save money.

The industry makes a lot of money  for in some occasion tiny little parts, and I find it unethical. Single use instruments being reprocessed is dangerous, because you change the instruments features. The risk is lack of strength and danger of breakage. Yesterday I experienced some handles that don´t tolerate liquid. These handles were actually not a single use instrument.

So suppliers must take their responsibility. Reprocessing must be the first thing you want to know something about before you buy it. The instruments are expensive, but a patient with infection is even more expensive and could actually be lethal.


It takes no time to make an instrument unsterile or dirty, but the reprocessing takes at least three times longer.


So you see I got reasons to ask; is there any knowledge about the reprocessing of the surgeons tool? It doesn’t seem like there is…..

Chronic stress and diseases

Burnout- will I ever recover?




Google- friend or enemy?


My blog has unfortunately become a non-hobby blog, and more in the addition category. It is not what I have planned, because my creativity is at its peak now. Instead I am struggling with things I don’t want to spend my leisure time on. Like Google……

Google- friend or enemy?

Google has been working fine until now, and all of the sudden its not……

I am not good with computers and programming, and I often struggle with guidelines and procedures when it is written in English. To read long explanations where you don’t get to the point and the links are linked up with other links makes me really impatient…..

I have tried to verify my web site in the search console. The problem is that I got two Gmail accounts. One account is for business and work, and the other account for private e-mails. So when I think I have logged in to my business account it has been switched to my private account. That is very annoying.

So in the search console I am declined with the message: «You don’t have the access. Is it yours, verify your domain». I find that very strange because Google knows everything about me and my accounts. Because When you are signing up for a Gmail account you need to add a second e-mail address for security precautions……..

My advice to you

If you want to make a Gmail account, I would advice you to use a second e-mail from a total different provider. Another tip is not to use the same profile picture on both accounts. That is another way to divide your accounts from each other.

I have made these mistakes and they have made me struggle. To verify my owner ship in Google you have to copy a specific Google verification code, and paste it in Yoast SEO webmaster tool. That is super easy, but not with Google…..It keeps on switching the accounts.

I don’t know how many times I have copied and pasted a code, but I am constantly declined.

Other options

I know there is other options to verify my site like pasting the gtag in the head snippet…So if someone would tell me how and where to do that I would be really happy. I am knew in WordPress so I am really careful when it comes to making changes.

So today I downloaded a plugin called WP global site tag, because I do have a Google analytic Id.

The final solution

I struggled with WP global site tag too. But my solution was the plugin «Head, foot and post injections» in WordPress, and Google tag manager. In the tag manager, under the administrator tab, I generated some codes under « install Google tag manager». One code was pasted in the <head> section of the plugin, and another code was pasted right after the <body> tag. The best part of it, I could not go wrong. The plugin took care of the rest. And voila….The plugin did the rest for me.

No wonder I ask the question is Google – friend or enemy? So now I have experienced problems with the most famous search engine and affiliate links within a six months period. What would be next?


Inspired by Quiltspace and Pinterest


I am inspired by Quiltspace and Pinterest. There are many creative persons out there, and if you are just like me in need of inspiration, these apps are a must.

I am a person who always got a project going on. But in periods where I don’t exactly know what to do with my hands, I use Quiltspace and Pinterest.



Quiltspace is more of a social app where you can publish your quilt or patchwork projects, whether they are finished or not. And you can ask questions and get advices how to solve issues related to your project. So far I have just seen positive feedbacks, and that is good. I have just used the app a couple of months so it is maybe to early to tell.

  • Potholders



Pinterest got no limits when it comes to creativity, and you can follow different categories and persons with interests in food, gardening, knitting, crochet, macrame, wood work, sewing tips, restorations and more. There is less or no contact between users of this app. I have just had one request during my three years on Pinterest, and that came from a man with other intentions than discussing hobbies…..

Pinterest has now opened up for sharing links from your affiliate merchants and your online store. But not every links you want to share are successful and are just ending up as a bold text. It just might be a restriction from your merchants. And some merchants do not accept links posted on Pinterest.

Despite the commercial, Pinterest is an inspiring app. I started with macrame because of Pinterest

At the moment I don’t know what to do next. So I will trawl the apps and I guess I soon will come up with something inspired from Quiltspace or Pinterest. It is all about to find something that will reduce stress.Chronic stress and diseases

Table runner

Sewing machine and sewing  projects

Preparing of the christmas gifts 

Is macrame a new hobby?



What is Darn Good Yarn?


What is Darn Good Yarn? The company was founded by Nicole Snow in 2008. What started with a single ball of handmade silk yarn and a desire to be the most creative version of herself. She wanted to and help others do the same. Darn Good Yarn has now grown into a global creative community.


Veteran day is coming up in November. Darn Good Yarn support them.                                                                                                                                         

What do they offer?

The company  offers handmade yarn, crafting supplies, kits and monthly subscription boxes. The company also offer clothing and accessories such as sari and cotton wrap skirts. These are handmade by company’s employees in India.

I have previously written about how the company helps disadvantage people and veterans economically.

What is yarn?

By definition, yarn is a thread made of natural or synthetic fibers and is used for knitting or weaving. But yarn is more than just thread or fibers, yarn is a story. From the beginning of its story while it is still being woven by the delicate hands of the company’s workers, to the middle as it passes from their hands to yours.

The end of the story is what you decide you want it to be. Whether you decide to buy yarn and turn it into your own creation, or if you decide to buy a ready-to-wear item. Darn Good Yarn sells more than just yarn because they believe in products with a story. Darn Good Yarn has fabulous art yarns in many unusually unique fibers, the materials for spinning, doll-making, rug hooking, jewelry making, fiber art, mixed media projects and more! If you need amazing craft supplies and want to support a great cause, you’re in the right place.

What is my passion?

My passion is yarn. I collect them just like other collect stamps, and the balls are laying in my shelves until the projects are popping up. I mostly knit sweaters and socks, but I crochet and weave too.

To be honest I feel good every time I have purchased something from Darn Good Yarn, because of their social contribution and support.

Your browser does not support the video tag.

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

A shawl for the winter

Health mental health

Should I feel any shame?


The society is going in the wrong direction. Each and everyone of us must work faster and more efficient. We are all running with blue flashing lights on our shoes like an emergency car. Having a good simultaneous capacity is in the long term not a good feature. I ended up with a overheated brain with lack of concentration and I started to forget things. The brain fog was extremely thick. My doctor and psychologist had to stop me. But should I feel any shame?Burnout- will I ever recover?


I have worked a lot. To much I must say when I think back.  A peri operative nurse working with brain fog would be extremely dangerous. But I changed work when I felt something was wrong. You can feel it, but it is hard to explain what is wrong.

In the working life there is no room for diseases, and when the day comes and your body says «No», you feel you are being punished. When you are on sick leave long enough you have to beg for money. The politicians are still proclaiming that it should pay off to work. Yes, but at what cost? My body has really been paying off. Should I feel any shame?

A burnout with following fatigue, depression and anxiety is not a status disease like a heart attack. Even though it got such an impact on your life and family. It is «only» a psycho- somatic disease….. And when you first got that label it follows you through the health care. A psychologist told me once that depression is a symptom of a stressful brain. I have kept that in mind every time I have struggled.

Symptoms of burnout

Norway got a law. I guess in English it would be called working environment act. This law got many important paragraphs talking so nicely about including people with disadvantages. But I truly believe that if the pace in the working environment could slow down a bit, people with different diseases could work more. I also believe that there would be less people with burnout symptoms.

Can anyone make a good decision in a stressful environment? Maybe up to a point, but it would not last until you are 70. Of course it depends on the job and your profession. But I guess any job would stop you in the end

Should I feel any shame?

I have already answered this question. I don’t feel any shame, but the only thing I regret is not stopping myself in time. But how would I know? I was stopped and if I weren’t what would have become of me? The downhill was very steep and there was a brick wall in the end. No one is irreplaceable and no one would thank you the day you hit the wall. So please take care of your self and your family. Learn to say no, when you feel you have to take care of yourself and be honest about it.

Chronic stress and diseases

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

The advantage of e-books and audiobooks

My Sony noisecancelling headphones




A shawl for the winter

A shawl for the winter

I have knitted a triangular shawl for the winter. It is an easy pattern, and anyone can knit it. I have used Nordlys from Viking for my shawl. I started this project a couple of years ago and have finally managed to finish it of. It may become a Christmas gift or I give it to the organizations that give care to the homeless….

I casted on 3 stitches on needle no. 3 (11). Because I want an even edge I never knit the first stitch in the beginning of each row. This shawl is knitted in garter stitch.

The shawl for the winter

The first row you knit 3 stitches. On the second row you take the first stitch off and over to your right needle. Then you take the yarn over the needle, knit one stitch, yarn over the needle and knit the last stitch.

The third row you knit five stitches. On the fourth row you take off the first stitch, yarn over the needle, knit one, yarn over the needle, knit one, yarn over the needle and knit one.

The fifth row you knit seven. You increase your work every other row with four stitches and then you just knit until you get the wanted size. 

I crocheted the edge all the way around the shawl. In one stitch you crochet:

1 double crochet,1 half double crochet/ half treble crochet,1 treble crochet,1 half double crochet/half treble crochet and 1 half double crochet.

In my shawl I crocheted these tongues every second stitch from the needle. It make a finishing touch to the shawl which I like.

What is Darn Good Yarn? 

Darn Good Yarn helps people

Preparing of the christmas gifts

Hand knitting is mental hygiene


Recycled Silk Yarn “Spice Market” – $16.99
from: Darn Good Yarn

Books and audiobooks Hobby mental health

It is time to relax…..


It is time to relax and when I do that I love to listen to nature sounds. I have found some weather recordings on Spotify, and use them every day.

When I got sleeping problems or just needs to calm down I put on my noisecancelling headphones. Gone is the noise from the traffic and neighbor’s dog….. Instead I can relax to calming waves, heavy rain, thunderstorms, birds or stormy weather. That is the best sleeping medicine.

If you struggle with the same problem, nature sounds may be the solution. It helps. Other apps like mindfulness may be helpful too, or maybe artists like Enya or Enigma. I have used Spotify for many years now. I find it hard to switch.

It is a great combination with wireless headset, Bluetooth and Spotify. Since the app can be used offline, I can play it everywhere where I do not have any WiFi connection. And I do not have to worry about mobile data costs.

Well, it is time to relax and it is time to go to bed….



Health mental health

Ulcerative colitis and colonoscopy controls


I got ulcerative colitis and it was confirmed with colonoscopy i 2012. Personally I was rather old when I got the diagnose, but I was ill long before the bleeding diarrheas occur. In addition I had stomach pain, headaches, dizzy and fatigue. When the gastro specialist said «you got ulcerative colitis» he put me on medication right away. It was tablets, suppositories and rectal installation liquid. During a couple of days the bleeding stopped.

Colon with ulcerative colitis versus normal colon


Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammation in the colon. It is an autoimmune disease where the body actually attacks its own cells. The scientists are not sure about the reasons. It seems to be some genetic, immunological and psychological reasons to it. But never the less, ulcerative colitis attacks the colon causing ulcers, bleeding and diarrheas. Ulcerative colitis and colonoscopy controls have become a part of my life.


The ulcerative colitis easily explained by CanadaQBank on You tube.


The examination

Once a year I am having a colonoscopy control. Before a colonoscopy you have to have a couple of days on a diet and to use some laxatives. The diet can be different between the hospitals. But the common rule is some days on clear liquids without milk. The day before the examination you may drink the laxatives. On these days I am on a sick leave, because you got to “cling” to the toilet. A lot of water and other clear liquids with sugar are important. You need energy and to prevent dehydration. 

A colo scope


A Colonoscopy can be painful. Some patients will need painkillers, or something to relax on during the procedure. The medicine has to be given intravenous. So far I have managed without the painkiller, and that is simply because of the doctor handling the scope.

The doctor is using water, air or CO2 to expand the bowel. You can watch the whole procedure on the monitor if you want. During the procedure the gastro specialist will take biopsies. Every now and then you have to turn and change the position to make the access and the doctor’s view easier.



Living with ulcerative colitis

Each person with ulcerative colitis got an individual history. Personally I have been using one type of medicine called Asacol all the way. Other people must use other medicines, and some needs surgery. It is all about taking control over the disease. 

 I have read a lot about the disease. Some scientists say that food has no impact on the disease and some recommend the foodmap diet. It is difficult to live on a diet when you got a family. But over the years I know what food to eat.

Persons with ulcerative colitis have to be careful with certain medicines. It is medicines which contain acetylsalicylic acid like aspirin, ibuprofen, voltaren and naproxen. In addition you shall not use iron supplements. These medicines can actually trigger your disease.

Stress triggers my disease. It must not be to many things going on at the same time, or the same day.  I have found my ways to calm down and recreate, like my hobbies, music, audiobooks, affirmations and mindfulness. Meeting up with other people with the same disease can help you accept the situation and deal with your life.

My experience as a patient

You will experience good and bad days. And since ulcerative colitis is an autoimmune disease, it may have effect on the entire body. Many got symptoms from their joints, spine, eyes and skin and sometimes it feels like having the flue. But not all of the doctors accept these facts. Why is it so hard to believe? You are rejected with this psycho-somatic label, which is similar to “I am not taking you seriously.” Whether there are some psychological components or not, should not define you as a human being. It does not matter what disease you got, there is and will always be a psychological side of each and every one of us. Are there any diseases that don´t ?

Will there soon be any new knowledge?

My experience is that this disease is a low status disease and it is surrounded with taboos. The quite opposite of a heart attack, where the blue lights are blinking from the doctors and nurses heels. Yes I now a heart attack is acute, but these patient may also get anxiety. But this anxiety is more legitimate than someone with just a bowel disease.  Are there any scientists out there working on the case? Nothing much has changed during the years since I graduated the nursing school. The laxatives have changed though, but I hope that the patients with this disease are soon to be examined with something else than through a colon scope.

I have heard about these examination capsules you can swallow, but I have heard about them for several years now…. During one of my examination I told the gastro specialist that I could not have a glass of red wine, because it gave me stomach pain. But my intestine where fine. She meant that I had an irritable bowel syndrome. When I was about to leave the gastro lab the nurse came towards me and said: “Well now you can have your glass of wine.” She is a typical example of what kind of comments people with lack of knowledge can give you. As I left I said: “No I actually can´t. Think about it. This examination did not give me the answer why I can´t.” 

Well that is my life with ulcerative colitis and colonoscopy controls. I just wish I could live without them.



Choir singing is mental hygiene


Choir singing is mental hygiene because it improves the mental health. According to the scientists the oxygenation of the body increases, the muscles are stimulated and the endorphins and dopamine are released. The choir singer will get energy as well, feel more engaged and reduce stress. It is said to be a booster for “inter personal processes”. (Batt-Rawden, 2010).  

A choir singer can´t sing as he or she is the soloist, because each voices have to blend in to each other. The choir are supposed to sing with one voice even when it´s not unison. Every choirs need an income, and the members have to contribute in some way. Because the choir need money to pay the conductor and to buy original music sheets.

Choir singing, yoga and mindfulness

I compare choir singing with yoga and mindfulness because they all got some similarities. You got to focus on your breath, the tongue- and body position, and were you actually place the tone.

As in yoga there are some hard positions. For a choir singer it may be the position of the tongue, because the tip should lay almost glued to the back of the lower teeth. That is a “position” I find difficult. When you are warming up the voice, you are at the same time trying to release stress and tensions in your muscles. These tensions can have a huge impact on your performance as a singer.

When it comes to body position it is important to wear some comfortable clothes and shoes. Personally I like to wear shoes with a small heel so I don´t tilt backwards. I also try not to sing in jeans, because the give to much tension to my belly.

It is very interesting how your mindset can contribute to a quality tone or not, so positive self talk is actually of importance as a choir singer too. 

Some scientists say that singing in a choir may have a huge impact on the mental health in people, whether they got a psychological disease or not. (Clift & Hancox, 2010; Judd & Pooley, 2014). So if you struggle with depression or anxiety it may help to sing in a choir, or at least sing? And If you are not having any psychological problems it may prevent you from getting any? A Norwegian study shows that singing in a choir may give you an increased feeling of wellness and it does not matter what choir you sing in, level or the choir members background (Balsnes, 2009).

 A conductor´s impact

I have been singing in a female choir as a 2.alto for many years, and my conductor for 12 years has been Kristin Kostopoulos. She was a professional opera singer, vocal coach and most of all she had ambitions for my choir. Her ambitions for the choir inspired the choir members to work harder and practice at home.

As a 2.alto I guess I would be miming when we did Sour Angelica of Puccini if it was not for her.

Kristin used to say that you had to place the tone up to the front teeth/ nose, and sing to the back of the room. She taught us to sing with an inner smile to lift the tone, and make it lighter. I have really experienced how the inner smile can make the difference of being in pitch or not.  Kristin is conducting the choir in the you tube video I share with you below. Sadly Kristin passed away in 2016.

A female choir from Bodø

Is choir singing always healthy?

To be an amateur choir singer is pretty much voluntary, and like everything else you do in life, you can become tired of it. The choir is depending on you and because of this it may be hard to quit. For a period of time I did not get any energy of singing in the choir or felt any inspiration. So I ended up with no concentration, forgetting the text and so on. Well, I decided then to have a longer break to recover.

Now I am back and I really feel all the positive effects the scientists talk about. My energy levels have increased and it was really funny to be back.  I am even singing at work again. After a rehearsal I am always feeling so relaxed and tired, but still full of energy. My head is full of music and text lines, and that can be a bit challenging when I am going to bed. So my conclusion is, that under the right circumstances choir singing is mental hygiene.

Chronic stress and diseases

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

Burnout- will I ever recover?

Should I feel any shame?



Preparing of the christmas gifts


I must admit I am preparing christmas gifts in september. Normally this is far to early, but I hate the last minute shopping. It always ends in something I would regret. My golden rule is to buy something to other that I want for myself. With last minute shopping this rule is at stake, or I end up buying to expensive things.

Preparations for christmas

So why do I talk about christmas in september? This year I have decided to make most of the christmas gifts myself. My kids are out of the question, because it is hard to keep something secret. They don’t like for an example knitted sweaters even though it has been trendy for a longer periode. Knitting has got a renaissance these days, and there are many who didn’t learn to knit before they beca adults

I have knitted a pair of long socks after a pattern from Pt design. They are knitted in Pt 5 sport and contain 80% wool. That would be great on a cold winter’s day underneath a long skirt and boots with long shafts.

Long socks 66 cm

I love this pattern from Pt design, but sadly I can’t find it on their web site any longer. The pattern was free, so if you want the pattern you are welcome to e-mail me. I guess Pt design would not mind.

The pattern from Pt design doesn’t excist any longer?

To be honest I made these socks during may. My first intention was to sell them. Then someone in my family told me how much they wanted the pair, so actually after a closer thought, I was thinking about christmas in may.

Table runner and table cloths

It is 12 years since I last time had a sewing project.

In my box of fabrics I found fabrics with christmas motives. It seems a little childish with baby bears pattern, but I love it. I have made the patchworl for the table runner and are now half way with the table cloth. When the patchwork is done I am going to quilt it. It will not be an advance quilt, but I will make it so easy as possible.

A table runner

Half way with the table cloth

Other handmade gifts

I bought two sari skirts made in India. They are super light and very comfortable to wear. These skirts would be great for some cousins of mine who love to travel to warm countries like Spain, Italy or Greece.

Sari skirt made in India

So september is the month for finishing of some projects of mine, and I have only mentioned a few of them. But I also got a shawl and the Megan jacket.

The Megan jacket

So september is the month for preparing of the christmas gifts.


Sewing machine and sewing projects


Finally weekend, and finally can I see the contour of the autumn. I love this time of the year with the beautiful colors and the constant shifting weather. In the northern part of Norway it is getting gradually darker. And I must say it is charming. I can finally light the candles and that is pretty evocative and cosy. But the best part of the autumn is that I got an excuse to sit indoor with my hobbies. Knitting is practical in the summer and I carry my knitting projects everywhere, but I am now having a longer break because my fingers are protesting.

Last sunday I just sat in my hobby room and didn´t know what to do next. Then my eyes catched my long forgotten sewing machine. Well, that is maybe the beginning for my sewing machine and sewing projects.

My sewing machines

I have always had an ambivalent relationship to any sewing machines. My first one was a Husqvarna, and it tore off the thread all the time or broke the needles. It ended up deep down in my closet. Well, that is why I one day for about 15 years ago, bought a Janome Jubilee 85.

My Janome Jubilee 85

It was an expensive, impulsive purchase, but I was lucky.  What a difference? It even sews through thick multilayered jeans and denim fabrics. The machine also got an embedded «thread the needle» tool, so I don’t have to use a microscope to find the eye of the needle. So my conclusion is that anyone can sew. It is all about your sewing machine.

Projects 12 years ago

It is now approximately 12 years since I did my last sewing project, a baby diaper bag and a little blanket for the stroller.

Baby diaper bag

Stroller blanket

A long break for the baby, but it included so much more.

Projects 2019

Last sunday I was sitting in my hobby room, I recalled some beautiful vintage fabric in my box of fabrics. The fabric was precutted with super easy instructions for a rusty sewer.

A Cath Kidston hand bag

The original Cath Kidston hand bag. Instead of an ordinary button, I put a pushbutton inside for easier access

The adjustable Cath Kidston pattern

I have made a few bags and some of them are not after the pattern, accept the 5 cm cut off in the corners of the bottom.

I am not a fan of the iron, but when it comes to sewing it is very important. It can be the matter of success or complete failure. Each and every seam edges are always gentIy pressed before the next sewing step.

The bottom and the sides are first sewn with zig zag seam. The pieces are then pinned together inside out, and the bottom and the sides are then sewn together with straight stitch. The seam allowance was 1.5 cm.


Side edges and bottom pinned together inside out and sewn with straight stitch.

The bottom and the sides are now sewn together.

The top edge was folded over and my top edge was 3 cm when I was finished. I sew it first by hand before finished it of with the sewing machine.

The strap and rounded edge

Pattern to the shoulder strap. You need two of them.

I did sew the two pieces for the shoulder strap inside out. But 8 cm before total closure I stopped and cut the thread. I then turned the outside in and closed the opening by hand. If you want a rounded edge I recommend to make some tiny triangular cut offs in the fabric.

Cut off some tiny triangular pieces for rounded edges

I sew one button on each sides of the bag and two button holes on each sides of the strap

So this was my story about my sewing machine and sewing project.






Family Hobby

Genealogy- which methods are best?


Genealogy- which methods are best? Is it a data program, or pen and paper with access to a digital archive? I have tried them both and have made my conclusion. Genealogy is a time consuming hobby which make me forget time and space. My experience when it come to data programmes is My heritage, where names firmly pop up and make it so easy to collect information.

My great-great grandmother Lotte Myhre 1882-1945

Genealogy in Norway

For many years ago I sign up for DIS-Norge, The Genealogy Society of Norway. This is the largest association for genealogists in Norway. The most famous database is Gravminner. This is the Norwegian name of the DIS Headstone database, which is one of the tools I have used the most. This is a free tool which DIS-Norge provides for their members, and others who are looking for their ancestors.

I have used The National Archives of Norway (Arkivverket) especially the Digital Archives ( Here you can access censuses, parish records, emigrant lists, real estate registers, probate records, tax list and more.

The National Library of Norway has preserved copies of everything published in Norway, which have given me a lot of help. The library has preserved books, newspapers, magazines, photographs, phone books and even train schedules and election files. The web adress is They recommend to send them an email at before visiting the library.

I have had a lot of help of the nationwide censuses held on regular basis. That mean that 1801, 1865, 1875, 1900 and 1910 are available online along with lists of males back to 1664. The web adress is

Parish registers have been a valuable contribution to my reasearch and is very interesting reading. The priests started to keep records of baptism, marriages and funerals in the beginning of the mid-1600. Most of the registers can be found at

“Village books” have been of invaluable sources for my genealogy projects. You get a good insight in how your ancestors lived.

The digitized genealogy research

Whether you want to search your ancestors “by hand”, or set up a digital programme you need a name. age, place and occupation. I have for may years been written my lineage chart by hand, but a couple of years ago I decided to give My heritage a try. You sign up and get a frontpage at the web site. You can write messages to other people through My heritage, and in some cases that is a nice feature. My heritage is not free and you got to pay a annual amount. Genealogy with a digitized method is really fast.

My heritage is very easy, and you don´t have to be an data expert to use it, and you can easiliy add names and other information.

The disadvantage with My heritage

As you work, you soon will discover other people searching for the same ancestors as you. The problem with My heritage is all the names popping up constantly, and you get suggestions from other people’s lineage chart. Then you have to decide to add the suggested names into your chart or dismiss them, even if you got the names in your chart or not. There are step mothers, step sons, sisters to an aunt or somebody´s uncle, four-,five and sixth cousins and so on and the question is; do I need all the information?

To be honest, I didn´t like these pop-up suggestions. I wanted to do my own research. My lineage chart became to big, because certain names actually doubled. In the end I was so confused. I could not remember who has been added to my chart or not, and it became so difficult to know whether I was really related to all of these people or not. The clues are in the documentation which you don´t have any access to at My heritage.

One lady wrote to me on my “My heritage” frontpage and asked why I dismissed her lineage chart, because they were correct. She seemed really furious about it…… On the other hand I may have misunderstood the purpose, but for me it was just disturbing.

My heritage promotes their DNA tests. But is that really necessary when I through my research find exactly where my ancestors lived?

Which methods are best?

I decided to change method and go back to pen and paper, which gives me better control and a better chance to remember the names. The digital archive in Norway has all the documentation I need and given me the access to the parish registers, censuses and the Headstone database.

I am so old now that my grandmothers and grandfathers have pasted away a long time ago, so I can´t use them as a source. Even they tried to tell us about their childhood in Lofoten or stories about their grandparents.

So I have now invested in “Village books” and genealogy books for my own children. So genealogy- which methods are the best? Pen, paper and the Digital archives.


Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather


I crossed the Vestfjord yesterday in an unnatural weather. It was so hot in Bodo, so I was really looking forward to cool myself off in the fjord.

The harbour in Bodo

I expected a cold crossing as usual.The crossing took three hours, but the temperature did not drop much even in the middle of the fjord. The doors to the deck was open the entire trip, and I was sweating.

A hot day in Bodo, Norway

I love warm weather but the humidity is the enemy.

The harbour in Bodo from the ferry’s window

You can expect summer temperatures in the autumn, but 27°C is very rare.

In the southern part of Norway, they got stormy weather with thunder and lightning. People are delayed to the airport in Oslo, because of floods. In the south west of Norway roads are closed because of soil avalanches. The weather is in a way turned upside down and that is frightening me. The north should be south and vice versa, and that is the way it used to be.

People trying to cool off at sea

In the harbour of Bodo, there were a lot of small boats at sea trying to cool off maybe, and no or little wind for the sailboats.

No wind for the sailboat

 The Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather

In the fjord there was more wind, and the waves became larger and swelling. It was a south west wind, still warm, sunny but still no rain. That is unsual and unnatural. You could sit on deck and not freeze. As the waves became larger, people went inside to lay down. The heavy ocean washed the headlands right outside Bodo. I did not like that, because normally the sea would become rougher when we were getting closer to Vaeroey. So I prepared for the worst.

Soon ashore

Luckily and surprisingly I was wrong. One hour before we should dock, I looked through the window. I saw that the wind direction had changed from south west to north. Lofoten was lying in a thin layer of fog, and the sea had calmed down.

What was this? I should be glad. But I got suddenly this feeling that something is wrong with the clima.

Lofoten in a thin layer of fog

The colors at the sky were beautiful, and it was getting dark.

Tourists fishing right outside Vaeroey.

Beautiful colors are the scenery, when another ferry is leaving the island.

Ashore there was 19°C. It is at least 5°C more than normal temperature. Even the wind had a warm touch against the skin. That’s why I would say the Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather felt a bit spooky.

I have realized that the global warming is closing in and we need to take actions.