Setesdal´s sweaters with long collar


Today I want to share with you my two favourite Setesdal´s sweaters with high collar.

I love to knit. When I do large projects I often listen to audio books. It makes me forget that I am knitting and other problems.

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

I just glance in the pattern every now and then. Everytime I am on a new project I am really keen to finish it as soon as possible. Therefore I always start with the sleeves first.

The sleeves are joined to the body at the armholes, and continued with a circular yoke. I prefer that, because I don´t have to use the sewing machine, and then cut the holes for the sleeves. The only sewing you make is by hand in the armholes.

Drops Karisma is a 4-threaded sports yarn and got a very good form stability. It is a superwash yarn, which means you can wash it in your washer machine at either delicate or  wool program 40 degree.  The yarn is very comfortable and soft. Itching has not been a problem. Each ball is 50 g. It is recommended to use needles at 4 mm (EU), 6 (US) or 8 (UK).  The Setesdal´s sweaters with long collar can also be knitted in Darn Good Yarn´s Cascade superwash yarn. It is a perfect match. The cascade yarn must on the the other hand be washed at 30 degree Celsius, but it can be actually be tumbled dry.

I have used both my Setesdal´s sweaters a lot. The pattern differs a bit, because the white one got som beautiful lace at the edge of the body.

The Setesdal´s sweaters with long collar pattern

Knitted jumper with round yoke and Nordic pattern in DROPS Karisma. Size: S to XXXL.

Source: Susan / DROPS 135-5 – Free knitting patterns by DROPS Design

Knitted jumper with round yoke, Nordic pattern and fitted waist in DROPS Karisma. Size: S to XXXL.

Source: Ivalo / DROPS 135-43 – Free knitting patterns by DROPS

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A shawl for the winter

My granny’s yard tree bedspread



My granny’s yard tree bedspread


The yard tree pattern is said to be over 200 years, and it is still very popular. My granny’s yard tree bedspread contains of four small blocks, sewn together to one large block. My grandmother had made a large bedspread for a double bed. I fell completely in love with it and decided to knit one for myself.

My bedspread projects

Well, it took me about 30 years before I started on my project, and another approximately two years before my granny’s yard tree bedspread was completed. I got a lot of others projects in between, especially sweaters, mittens and socks, but I completed it with a lot of music and many audio books.

I knitted my bedspread for a single bed in thin alpaca, which is a lovely yarn for this project. My bedspread is mainly grey, but there are some sparkles of pink and blue in it. It doesn’t unfortunately show in the picture. Even though the bedspread was made for a single bed, it became heavy when all the blocks were attached together.

I have now started on my bedspread number two also in thin alpaca, but this time in light beige. My granny’s yarn tree bedspread was knitted in 100 % cotton. You can choose the yarn and color you want, but I would recommend you not to use a yarn with a lot of colors. The beautiful pattern will almost disappear.

Yarn and needles

For my granny’s yard tree bedspread with the size of 2.05 x 2.05 m, you will need 1300 g of thin alpaca or 900 g of Solberg 12/4. For the alpaca you need needles number 3 for europe, and 11 for the US and UK. If you choose a 100 % cotton yarn,  I recommend the needle size on the ball. My bedspread got 15 large blocks=60 small blocks.

Explanations to the pattern

K= knit

P= pirl

St= Stitch

SL1- K1- Pa1= Slip one stitch over to your right needle. Knit one stitch and pass the slip stitch over.

SL2-K1-Pa2= Slip two stitches over to your right needle. Knit one stitch and pass two stitches over

SL2= Slip two stitches

Pa1 = Pass one stitch over

K2 tog= Knit two together

Yon= Yarn over the needle ( to make a eyelit pattern on the next row) I use the term constantly whether you knit garter stitches or pirls.

K2 of 1 stitch. I pick up the back loop from the previous row and make a knit stitch. Then I knit stitch the original stitch.

*(__________)*= repeat from * to *

The pattern may make you dizzy, so I have marked the middle. Perhaps it will be easier for you to follow. My granny’s yard tree bedspread pattern demands full concentration, but it will be easier with time.

My granny’s yard tree bedspread pattern

Cast on 3 st

  1. P1,K1, P1
  2. K2 of 1, P1, K2 of 1 ( This is the wrong side)
  3. P2, K1, P2
  4. K2 of 1, K1, P1, K2 of 1
  5. P3, K1, P3
  6. K2 of 1, K2, P1, K2, K2 of 1
  7. P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4
  8. K2 of 1, K3, P3, K3, K2 of 1
  9. K1, P4, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, P4, K1
  10. K2 of 1, K4, P5, K4, K2 of 1
  11. P1, K1, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P4, K1, P1
  12. K2 of 1, P1, K4, P7, K4, P1, K2 of 1
  13. P2, K1, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, K1, P2
  14. K2 of 1, K1, P1, K4, P9, K4, P1, K1, K2 of 1
  15. P3, K1, P4, K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, K1, P3
  16. K2 of 1, K2, P1, K4, P11, K4, P1, K2, K2 of 1
  17. P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4
  18. K2 of 1, K3, P3, K4, P9, K4, P3, K3, K2 of 1
  19. K1, P4, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P4, Yon, K1, Yon. K1,  P4, K1
  20. K2 of 1,K4, P5, K4, P7. K4, P5, K4, K2 of 1
  21. P1, K1, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P4, K1, P1
  22. K2 of 1, P1, K4, P7, K4, P5, K4, P7, K4, P1, K2 of 1
  23. P2, K1, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, K1, P2
  24. K2 of 1, K1, P1, K4, P9, K4, P3, K4, P9, K4, P1, K1, K2 of 1
  25. P3, K1, P4, K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, SL2-K1-Pa2, P4, K4,Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, K1, P3
  26. K2 of 1, K2, P1, K4, P11, K4, P1, K4, P11, K4, P1, K2, K2 of 1
  27. P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P4, K1, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4
  28. K2 of 1, K3, P3, K4, P9, K4, P1, K4, P9, K4, P3, K3, K2 of 1
  29. K1, P4, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P4, K1, P4, SL1-K1- Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P4, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P4, K1
  30. K2 of 1, K4, P5, K4, P7, K4, P1, K4, P7, K4, P5, K4, K2 of 1
  31. P1, K1, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P4, K1, P4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P4, K1, P1
  32. K2 of 1, P1, K4, P7, K4, P5, K4, P1, K4, p5, K4, P7, K4, P1, K2 of 1
  33. P2, K1, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, SL1- K1- Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P4, K1, P4, SL1-K1- Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, K1, P2
  34. K2 of 1, K1, P1, K4, P9, K4, P3, K4, P1, K4, P3, K4, P9, K4, P1, K1, K2 of 1
  35. P3, K1, P4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, SL2-K1- Pa2, P4, K1, P4, SL2- K1- Pa2, P4, K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, K1, P3

The middle of the small block

  1. 36. K2 of 1, K2, P1, K4, P11, K9, P1, K9, P11, K4, P1, K2, K2 of 1
  2. P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4, SL1-K1- Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P9, Yon, K1, Yon, P9, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P4, Yon, K1, Yon, P4
  3. K2 of 1, K3, P3, K3, P9, K9, P3, K9, P9, K4, P3, K3, K2 of 1
  4. P5, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P4, SL1-K1- Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P9, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P9, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P4, K1, Yon, K1, Yon, K1, P5
  5. K2 of 1, K4, P5, K4, P7, K9, P5, K9, P7, K4, P5, K4, K2 of 1
  6. P6, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, p4, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P9, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P9, SL1- K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P4, K2, Yon, K1, Yon, K2, P6
  7. K2 of 1, K5, P7, K4, P5, K9, P7, K9, P5, K4, P7, K5, K2 of 1
  8. P7,K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P4, SL1-K1-P1, K1, K2 tog, P9, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P9, SL1-K1-Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P4, K3, Yon, K1, Yon, K3, P7
  9. K2 of 1, K6, P9, K1, P3, K9, P9, K9, P3, K4, P9, K6, K2 of 1
  10. P8,K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P4, SL1-K1-Pa2, P9, K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P9, SL2-K1- Pa2, P4, K4, Yon, K1, Yon, K4, P8
  11. K2 of 1, K7, P11, K14, P11, K14, P11, K7, K2 of 1
  12. P9, SL1-K1- Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K7, K2 tog, P9
  13. K2 of 1, K8, P9, K14, P9, K14, P9, K8, K2 of 1
  14. P10,, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K5, K2 tog, P10
  15. K2 of 1, K9, P7, K14, , P7, K14, P7, K9, K2 of 1
  16. P11, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K3, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P11
  17. K2 of 1, K10, P5, K14, P5, K14, P5, K10, K2 of 1
  18. P12, SL1-K1-Pa1. K1, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P14, SL1-K1-Pa1, K1, K2 tog, P12
  19. K2 of 1, K11, P3, K14, P3, K14, P3, K11, K2 of 1
  20. P13, SL2-K1-Pa2, P14, SL2-K1-Pa2, P14, SL2-K1-Pa2, P13,
  21. K2 of 1, garter stitch, K2 of the last stitch
  22. Garter Stitch
  23. K2 of 1, Pirl stitch, K2 of the last stitch
  24. Garter stitch
  25. K2 of 1, Garter stitch, K2 of the last stitch
  26. Pirl stitch
  27. * (SL1-K1-Pa1, Yon)* repeat until you got 3 stitches left SL1-K1-Pa2
  28. Pirl stitch
  29. SL1-K1-Pa1, Garter stitch, Knit until you got 2 stitches left, K2 tog
  30. Garter stitch
  31. SL1-K1- Pa1, garter stitch until you got 2 stitches left, K2 tog
  32. Garter stitch
  33. SL1-K1-Pa1, Garter stitch until you got 2 stitches left, K2 tog
  34. Pirl stitch
  35. * (SL1-K1-Pa1, Yon)* repeat until you got 3 stitches left, SL2-K1-Pa2
  36. Pirl stitch
  37. SL1-K1-Pa1, Garter stitch until you got 2 stitches left, K2 tog

Repeat the rows 65-72 five more times= 7 rows of eyelet pattern. You can choose whether you will alternate garter or pirl stitches. Personally I prefer garter stitches on the right side and pirl stitches at the wrong side.

Cast off 1 stitch on the edges on the right side. Cast off until you got 3 stitches, and finally cast off with SL2-K1-Pa2.

The lace to my granny´s yard tree bedspread

Cast on 10 stitches

  1. Garter stich
  2. SL1, * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* repeat and end the row with Yon, K1
  3. Garter stitch
  4. SL1, K1 * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* repeat and end the row with Yon, K1
  5. Garter stitch
  6. SL1, K2, * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat and end the row with Yon, K1
  7. Garter stitch
  8. SL1, K3, * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat -Yon, K1
  9. Garter stitch
  10. SL1, K4, *(Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat- Yon, K1
  11. Garter stitch
  12. SL1, K5, *(Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat- Yon, K1
  13. Garter stitch
  14. SL1, K6, * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat- Yon, K1
  15. Garter stitch
  16. SL1, K7, * (Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat-Yon, K1
  17. Garter stitch
  18. SL1, K8, *(Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat- Yon, K1
  19. Garter stitch
  20. SL1, K9, *(Yon, SL1-K1-Pa1)* Repeat- Yon, K1
  21. Cast off 10 stitches, K10

Repeat the rows 2-21 to the wanted length, and sew the seams together. And before you know it you have knitted my granny´s yard tree bedspread.



The daughter of an alcoholic


I don´t remember when I understood I was an alcoholic’s daughter. It came gradually until it was obvious that my father abused alcohol. I got two reasons to write this post. First of all I want to get rid of the ghost from the past and heal myself. The second reason is to show people with a similar story that they are not alone. I am convinced that it is better to be open about alcohol abuse despite what other people say.  Therefore this post about a daughter´s review of an alcoholic.

Chronic stress and diseases

The Vestfjord

Vestfjord crossing in unnatural weather

There is a lot of stigma and prejudices considering alcoholics. They are fathers and sons, a manager, mechanics or engineers.They are everywhere and in every society.

When did it all start?

My father was 26 when he tasted alcohol for the first time according to my mother. It all started when he had to have a drink after work to calm down. I don´t know when the snowball really started to roll and what triggered it.

He was a person who could not say no when someone asked him for help. His motto was not to wait to the next day to get things done. A motto I as an adult don´t share anymore. It can get you stressed and the burnout would be your last name. It got also a touch of obsessive compulsive disorder. You can´t get any relaxation before you have done what ever it is. When I look back I often think of him with a undiagnosed ADHD, but that is just speculations.

How to get alcohol?

It was not easy to get hold of alcohol because there was no liquid stores. You had to illegally brew it yourself or travel 4 hours. My father started to make his own alcohol of sugar and yeast in the bathing tub. And my patient mother had to clean up the mess afterwards. On his alcohol- making days I did not bring along any friends home. I was so ashamed.

Our bathing tub clogged and ended the story of his home-made-alcohol. After a while I noticed that he could order alcohol from the liquid store in the city. As an alcoholic´s daughter I preferred four bottles in a box sent with the ship, and driven to our doorstep.

The daughter of an alcoholic

I could give you many stories of things that happened during my childhood. My father was seldom physically abusive but he hit me in the face a couple of times. But he stopped doing that when I grew older and stronger and he became simultaneously weaker and weaker.

Something that has stucked to my mind are the family birthday parties. He was always carrying a shoulder bag, filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a liquid bottle. My daddy went often to the bathroom just to have a sip. Afterwards he tried to mask it off with laughter and jokes. But everyone knew exactly what he did in the bathroom. I was so ashamed.

Often in holidays my father and his boozers had a party. They drank, sang, argued and discussed while I was could not sleep. As a daughter of an alcoholic´s I got a constant pain in my stomach, but these parties made them worse. I often sat in my bed counting stamps or my napkins. It always ended with a transistor radio in my bed where I tuned in Radio Luxembourg. I just have to muffle the noises from down below.

My father was an artistic soul. He wrote poems and songs. In his creative periods his temper was rather short. If he had to write during daytime I was outdoor most of the time, or in my room.


My little brother and I was bullied. To be involved in a fight was not uncommon for me. I was unscared and strong. For some reasons I was never reported to the principal……

My experience made me wish I lived somewhere else. I longed for peace. Hopefully my son didn’t feel the same when he left home.

When your children leave home

I have during the years realized that some of the bullies also got an alcoholic parent. My brother has become friends with his bullies, and I hope they have given him an apology. The only disadvantage we got was an alcoholic daddy.

Where shall the alcoholic´s get help?

First of all the alcoholic got to admit that he or she got a drinking problem. That is maybe the hardest task. The drinking problem is the entire family´s problem. Many of the alcoholics have tribute to the society and paid their taxes, so why should the politicians and the government shot their eyes? Pretending that these problems don´t exist.

What become of the children when they grow up? Would they be a swing -door- patients because of PTSD, anxiety and depression? There have been a lot of focus on drug abuse, and that is important too, but the alcohol debate has silenced.

As a daughter of an alcoholic I saw my father off to an alcoholic clinic and I visited him once. I did not recognize him. He was so thin and he looked great. I was so proud of him. And then guess what happened when he came home? He started to drink more than ever because no one helped him afterwards.

It is easy to blame the alcoholic for not being strong enough, but if the problem is anxiety and depression they need help for that.

The end

When my father started to drink again in 1985 it took only three years before he pasted away at the age of 49. One summer day he sat in the doorway on a chair and looking at the sea. I asked him why he was sitting there. He replied: “This is the my last summer.” He felt his time had come.

As a daughter of an alcoholic I got mixed emotions. At the end he got diabetes, no balance because the neurological system gradually failed, he started to hallucinate, got pneumonia and large wounds at the legs that would not heal. Finally he could rest but to young.

One day when I was on my way home from work, I saw the ambulance plain. I just knew it was my dad. According to my mother he was in and out of coma. But one of the last thing he said was: ” The eagle is about to fly”.

Hobby mental health

Chronic stress and diseases


I read once an article on a Norwegian web site about how chronic stress can give us diseases. It was actually an interview of Rune Jonassen  from 2014-12.25, a psychologist and scientist at the University of Oslo.

What is normal stress response?

Jonassen explains stress as the condition in which we experience demands exceeding or approaching the level of what we are capable to handle. We all know that stress reactions are normal physical responses, and that some people handle stress better than other.

When we get stressed the heart rate increases and we breathe faster. The stress hormone cortisol release glucose into our muscles and liver, and in this way the body gets extra energy. The immune system is triggered, but when the stress becomes chronic, the system is weakened instead.

Can stress make us ill?

Scientists say that a high level of cortisol is associated with a variety of diseases, because the cells of the immune system stop responding to the inflammation in the body. The consequences are that stress can make us ill.

Chronic stress

Stress that last over a long period of time can trigger various autoimmune diseases. The immune system stars to attack its own tissues and cells, because the body perceives it to be foreign components. It is the same response as if it was a bacteria or a virus. This response can cause diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.

During stress the blood supply to the skin and gastrointestinal tracts may become insufficient. The metabolic process may slow down, and the food can be digested more slowly. Chronic stress may therefore cause diseases like gastritis, ulcerative colitis and ulcer.

When it comes to the skin you may experience pimples and itching.The constriction of blood vessels may also be the reason why the skin lose elasticity and cause early aging. Hair loss are also common, because the body loses zinc. If you got a low value of zinc it may cause burnout, headache, mental disorders and heart problems.

Stress over time can give you a depression. One hypothesis is that depression can have a function to protect the you from the stress.

My chronic stress and disease

I am actually a living proof how chronic stress can have such a bad influence on the body. In 2012 I got ulcerative colitis. I recognize many of the symptoms I read about in the article. Every bone and muscles in the body was painful, and it felts like a non-stop flue. I struggled with sleeping problems for a long time and could not find any rest. The hair loss was massive and always commented by my hair dresser.

To sleep at night I listen to Spotify and sounds from the nature. That really calms me down. Hobbies like knitting , Audiobooks, mindfulness and a long walk each day are important in my recovery program.

Burnout- will I ever recover?

Should I feel any shame?

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

It is time to relax…..

Hobby mental health

Is macrame a new hobby?


After my son left home a couple of days ago I have really been in a vacuum condition and decided that enough was enough. So I looked through my chest where I store all of my yarn balls. In the bottom I found some yarn for macrame I had forgotten all about. Well why not? Maybe macrame is a new hobby of mine?

I remember making some plant hangers over 20 years ago,  as a birthday gift to my my mother. But she was not fund of them. I could read her like an open book. This time I would like a wall hanger for myself in an accurant size. Afterwards I see it as an oversized, impulsive and an overoptimistic task for a beginner. Anyway, the macrame is done and my fingers and hands are sore…..

As I said I found some macrame yarn in the bottom of my chest. It got a beautiful blue color and made of cotton. I bought it on a web site in Norway together with some wooden rods. I was disappointed when I got the yarn and even more disappointed when I saw the sizes of the rods I had ordered. The yarn was thin and very stiff. It was not easy to work with. The rods were only 5 mm in diameter, so I must have punched the order incorrectly. As a perioperative nurse I know extremely well these sizes in diameters. We use 5 mm optics for arthroscopy everyday. Anyway, I decided to keep the stuff.

Macrame research

I made first some research at You tube and Pinterest. There are so many clever people out there, who are so passion about macrame. First of all I had to refresh the different knots.

I got my inspration by the following video made of Ideiascriativaspap.

My impulsive macrame project

I made some 20 feet cordings and used to 5 mm rods.  I attached each cords to the rods with larkhead knot.

I found out later on that the macrame cordings were to short. It means that my wall hanging project became smaller than I wanted. Well, I added some new cordings. I decided to change the knots from square to spiral. Between the square and the spiral knots I put a new rod. At last I tied some knots on the fringes in different hights. I decorated the wall hanger with some flowers intended for my cardmaking. The flowers can I change when I got tired of them.

Is macrame a new hobby?

This was a very funny project. I learnt alot and would give you some advice:

  • You got to hang the macrame on the wall, but not to high. If it hangs to high you will quickly feel it in your arms, shoulders and neck.
  • Plan your project better than I did.
  • You need long enough cordings
  • As a beginner I would use a specific pattern.
  • Use some good shoes if you got a very hard floor. I got backpain
  • Use a thick and soft yarn
  • Use some branches from the nature. It add something special to the macrame.







When your children leave home


I’m in grief. The day has come and my oldest of my two children, Alex is leaving home for university approx 550 km from home. I must say I got mixed emotions.

The Arctic university of Tromsø

Preparation for my children leaving home

I have over the years been collecting table- and cookingwares and bed linen for my sons emigrant day. I have been well prepared, cause Alex has shared his future education plans.So that he his leaving home came not like a bomb. As a parent I am supporting him. But still I am mourning.

I guess this feelings are universial and natural. It is just something we have to go through. Some may say: «Well, that’s life». We all know that, but to come to an acceptance you have to grieve. That’s something I learnt in my psycology lessons once.

When I was leaving home

Personally I left home for highschool when I was 16. My son i I had to rent a room and be very careful with the money. It was actually a tough experience. In the 80’s there was no programs in highschool where the aim was, to take care of young students who had moved away from home. I recall many drop outs. Maybe a social program could have prevented that? I was always broke and lived on sausages, ketschup and spaghetti. That was not much of a diet.

How I envied the students who could still live home with their parents.They got everything. I sat in my 10 m2 rented room and counted every penny…..

I travelled home every weekends. The travel was «an american route» as we used to call it. It was several hours in the Vestfjord in all kind of weather. Always seasick and beaten. I write about The Vestfjord in

Good luck my dear

I described my feelings as very mixed. I am actually also lucky and excited on behalf of my son. Alex is back in school. He don’t have to pass a fjord, and the university got social student programs. There are many friends in the university, so there is no need to feel completely alone, as I did. A healthy, kind, independent and determine young has now left the base. So I just have to say to myself. That Alex will be fine. It will make him good to leave home…….


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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.


My Sony noisecancelling headphones


Have you ever got a gift you didn’t know you needed, and which after a short while meant the world to you? That is the story about my Sony noise canceling headphones.

Headphones, as we all know,  come in different variants and mostly wired. They also come with ear plugs that almost don’t seem to fit the ear tubes. They seem to pop out like pop corn in the micro wave. You can just feel how they are slipping out of your ears and in the next minute they are on the shoulder or the chest. How annoying isn’t that? And those wires I always seem to forget. A little step aside, and the phone is in the floor with a «big bang». I started to use a little fanny bag, but then I have to struggle with the zipper to reach the phone.

Last christmas, as a chrismas gift, I was so lucky to have these beautiful headphones.

Since last christmas me and my headphones have developed a kind of symbiotic relationship. If I don’t have my headphones around my neck I feel naked. It is just like driving a car without a car belt. It is unthinkable since the car belt is mandatory.

Technical my headphones are called LE_WH-1000XM3 to be precise. They come in a nice little bag with connectors to pc, radio and a charger. I have only used the charger so far, which is a little bit to short to be honest. I found out I could charge the headphone with my phone charger. In that way the headphones could charge safely at the table. They can connect to any device with Bluetooth and the reach is approximately 10 m.

You can easily choose between ambient sound control on or ambient sound control off, and noise canceling. So if you listen to music or an audio book, you can choose to hear human voices or you can shot them nearly all out.

I listen a lot to audio books and music. It has become so much easier when I don’t have to think of the wire all the time. My Sony noise canceling headphones have also been a must during this summer, because of some couples of sea gulls nesting on a neighboring roof.

Children with ADHD and Tourettes with sleeping problems will benefit using this type of headphones at bedtime and as a noise cancellor at school. Children with ADHD and Tourettes got sleeping problems. That is a part of the diagnosis and a part of medication.  These children are very audio sensitive, so the noise canceling function is an advantage for them. So while they are in bed they could listen to affirmations, mindfulness or just an audio book.The headphones are very comfortable to wear than ordinary ear plugs and much easier to accept. I write about ADHD and medication in

After I started to use the headphones,  I have realized that we are surrounded with a lot of unhealthy sounds. I don’t understand how I have managed without them. Personally when I realized that I have become so very audio sensitive. Maybe I should get an appointment to the psychologist…..


A new blogger in WordPress


I have always wanted to write and that is the reason why I decided to have a blog. So I am a new blogger,  a typical freshman, a beginner who has to make all the mistakes you can think of. I am among the so called dummies who reads all the articles about do and don’ts. Anyway, I will do the don’ts.

After reading all these articles I have realized that blogging is an art. I believe that each and everyone of us got a story to tell. We all struggle with something that writing can help to heal or ease of. It is a sort of mental hygiene or mindfulness were you either put your problems on hold or become healed.

When I started to blog I first had to decide what language I had to write in. It was not difficult. If I wrote im Norwegian I had already excluded many potential readers. But my problem was that I have not written English for several decades, so the grammar is a bit rusty. In a way I am a beginner in English too. Like how and when to use for an example this and that, who and which and so on.

We got English in school and we also pick up English through movies and tv. I understand the most of it. To master English writing I got to push the button in my head, where I just think in English. But anyway I can not guarantee the English grammar to be right. I still struggle with at, in, on and of, because they are used differently than in Norwegian.  Reading other people’s blogs will hopefully help me.

A freshman in WordPress compared to Squarespace

WordPress is great that way where people can follow each other’s blogs. It was not that easy with Squarespace. I felt in a way more lonely. Just me and my blog and not to forget all the technical problems I got.

I stopped using Squarespace after a couple of months because I did not like it. I normally blog from my mobile phone. In Squarespace I lost many of the edit options on the screen. They edit functions were just accessible from my lap top, so that was very unpractical. I was more annoyed about the technical problems that I did not got time to blog in a proper way.

I gave up blogging then. After a few months pause I decided to try WordPress. Well, I must say I am not disappointed. As a new blogger I will recommend WordPress. It is so much more user friendly and intuitive.

When I found out what plug-ins to use for my blog, WordPress takes care of the rest. I only wish that I could have some free recommended plug-ins from the very beginning. I guess I can find articles about this somewhere. My hard disk is overloaded and full now, so I can’t read more for a while. I lost the micro SD card somewhere during the  summer holiday.

The largest problem for me besides mastering English, is to find something to blog about. There is a lot of things going on every day, but is it something to write about? How I envy people who got a new post every day……..!

Affiliate links Hobby

Darn Good Yarn helps people


Darn Good Yarn helps people with disadvantages and I am therefore proud to promote the firm. I am also really proud to promote a company that is environmentally, ethically and socially engaged.

Darn Good Yarn helps people with  disadvantages around the world to have a meaningful day, even though the company is seated in New York. Despite the company has to earn money to stay «alive», they got a business policy with an unselfish wish to help people. Countries and borders are no limit. I will try to ecplain it. You can find the company at  shareasale

Buttons from South Africa
Darn Good Yarn and people

Darn Good Yarn supports victims of domestic violence and they are also empowering women’s economi. They support fair trades and eco friendly production, so recycling products and materials is an important part of this policy. 

Darn Good Yarn helps people with developmentally disabilities, disables and veterans. People who are discriminated for the their race, caste or gender are also supported of Darn Good Yarn.

It is all about the keywords like integrity, respect and love to people. I would like to see more of this mentality among employers. Darn Good Yarn focus on love and that each and everyone of us are worth something.

Earrings from Darn Good Yarn‘s many projects
What is Darn Good Yarn’s goals and values?

The company creates jobs so that disadvantaged people can provide for their own food, education for their children and healthcare for their families.

This is as we all know, very important for the integrity, self respect and self-esteem. In worst cases the children may have to contribute to the economi, instead of having an education.

They may have to start begging or selling their bodies, and I guess that is not much of a life. It is all about quality of life.

The firm is, as I mentioned before, supporting eco-friendly, sustainable and fair jobs around the world, and they are cooperating  with producers and organizations with similar goals. They try to find solutions so that the employees can offer safer and better working environments.

An example of unsafe working environment

I was curious about milk cotton once. There was some big problems with the production method. They used acrylic, formaldehyde and aluminum salts. We don’t have to be chemist to understand how harmful these substances are for the workers , environment and the consumers. As an peri operative nurse I have worked a lot with formaldehyde. We use it to fixate organs and there are very strict rules how to handle and store it.


Darn Good Yarn is having an ongoing campaign to help victims of domestic violence. For each purchased skirt they give one skirt to a victim.

These skirt are made in India of old saris which they recycle. They are really fantastic. 

Sari skirt made in India

I ordered a large dream catcher a month ago. I was not disappointed and my colorful dream catcher is now hanging in my living room. It was handmade in the Himalayas.

Dream catcher from the Himalayas
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Card making is joy and creativity


I got a new hobby last autumn and I have realized that card making is joy and creativity. It is just like a puzzle where all the bits and pieces shall fit together in the end. If you make a mistake, your idea of the card will change. You may accept the change and continue or start over again.

Recycling an old Christmas card

I am a beginner, a trained card maker will see that. But it gives me so much joy and pleasure. I can’t say I don’t care when the comments are positive, but it is hard to please a perfectionist…..

Card making investments

I have made investments in a lot of things like Sizzix big shot, cutting and embossing dies, glue, tape, craft paper, bling and a lot more.

Using Pinterest and blogs have been really helpful giving me a lot of ideas, but I am trying to go my own way. I am really tempted to buy a lot of new stuff every time I pass a hobby shop, but I have decided to use what I already got.

I am a collector so I got a huge amount of old Christmas cards I am trying to recycle, more or less successful.

Mental hygiene, mindfulness and creativity

Anyhow it is just like knitting, the time and my thoughts fly.

Hand knitting and Mental hygiene

It is mental hygiene and mindfulness combined with creativity, and most all recreation. When I sit by my desk I listen to audio books or music. After a while I breathe more freely, the pulse and blood pressure drops, and I just feel the energy coming back. It is recreation and that is the clue with any hobbies, I guess.  If you don’t feel joy or pleasure, it is time to move on. But for now, card making is joy combined with creativity. Gone is the stress and problems when I am in the card making bubble.

Burnout- will I ever recover?

Chronic stress and diseases 

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


The Vestfjord


I guess we all got a childhood kingdom with good and bad memories. My kingdom is divided from the mainland by the Vestfjord. A fjord with a hell of an impact on me and my emotions related to the ocean.

It is very strange how you change the perspective after living in a different place for several years. I was 16 when I moved from Værøy in Lofoten to Bodø for highschool. I was young and felt I didn’t fit in. No friends, no family, no money, no clothes, no everything. How I envied the teenagers who lived with their parents and had enough of everything! I was so determined I should never ever live in Bodø, but I am still here. That’s the irony of life. It makes me think of some words of wisdom:

The life is happening when you are planning something else

In highschool I travelled home every weekend, every fridays via Røst. The travel was back then a 7,5 hours travel over the Vestfjord in all kind of weather. The ferry, m/s. Mosken, was by origin a remodeled trawler and no weather could stop it (so it seemed). Some time I felt I had been beaten by King Kong and King Neptune because I was so seasick. A really knock out! The passengers laid everywhere, under and upon tables and in the corridores. You had to be careful where you went and hold on to something really hard, because the waves made you walk in places you really didn’t plan to go.

I found out early that the best place to be was on deck in fresh air. In the 80’s the smokers sat everywhere and that didn’t actually help, since I so easily got seasick. I also hated the smell of the diesel once I stepped onboard.

After a strenuous travel, nothing was better than the bed at home, where I after some minutes shivering finally got a good night sleep. And sundays I had to return to Bodø and often with da Capo.

A lot of things have become better since the 80’s. No smoking and no smell of diesel onboard. Most of the ferries crossing the Vestfjord these days are using gas. I am so positive and surprised about the comfort onboard. And crossing the Vestfjord takes only 5 hours via Moskenes in Lofoten. And where do I still live? In Bodø and I wouldn’t live anywhere else.

A modern gas ferry
M/s Mosken

mental health Tourettes syndrome

Tourettes syndrome and side effects


Tourettes syndrome and its side effects are many. ADHD is just one of them.

To be honest it is hard to reveal what is what. Is the cursing bad behavior or is it tics? Is it just impulsive?

Tourettes syndrome is an neurobiological condition just like ADHD. Tics are words, sounds, behavior on repeat which the tourettes can’t control. Stress, joy, tiredness can increase the amount of tics. Tourettes syndrome and its side effects got major consequences for the child in every aspects.

Tourettes syndrome with addition

But it is a fact that these kids in addition to TS got ADHD/ADD, Anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsory disorder (OCD) and  obsessive compulsory behavior (OCB). When the kid got his/her diagnose there is to much focus at the ADHD condition. The diagnose you can do something about is the ADHD. Some doctors just put them on medication like methylphenidate and that’s it!! Often they are put on medicine just to please the school and that is an ethical dilemma….


The benefit of medication is increased attention and maybe a calmer pupil. But what is the cost? Well, some tics even more. And in addition, an extreme anxiety which strike like lightning. I have previously written that ADHD medication can cause tics, and for a child with tourettes that is very unfortunately.

The side effects of tics

Tourettes syndrome and its side effects are many, but the most famous are tics. They come in different strength and variety. The side effects of tic can be extremely painful because tourettes got such an impact on muscles, joint, skin and viscera.

Tics can be hardly noticeable like a wink, stretching a joint, finger or a toe. They can try to swallow air,  rolling eyes and coughing, They  can imitate others or repeat a word several times. On the other hand they can be very loud, got a bad but not intentional behavior. They can bite their finger nail so short, that the finger tips and the nail beds get extremely sore. Tics can be gnawing their fingers so much that they got wounds or friction wounds.

The side effects of tics can therefore be muscle- and joint pain,  headaches, exhaustion and fatigue. Considering the exhaustion and fatigue they may have sleeping problems.

Additional side effects

Many of these kids are very rigid and at the limit to be called autistic. The rigidity is just a way to reduce the anxiety. So these children need a predictable day with no sudden change. Anxiety can cause a lot of anger and mortifying scenes, especially for the child when he or she has calmed down.

Obsessive compulsory disorder can come to surface when child wants things to be done in a specific order or way. Examples like the right sock before the left, right shoe before the left, just walk on the white lines in the pedestrian crossing, not mix the dinner on the plate and so on. 

So why is the treatment ending with just a ADHD-medication in some hospitals? Well I don’t know, but in my mind this is a lack of knowledge of the doctor/ psychologist/ psychiatrist. The parents and school need counseling how to reveal the tics and act in a good way. It is wrong to punish a child for its tics. It is important that the child doesn’t feel useless, hopeless and unworthy. The self confidence and the self-esteem are basically poor.

These kids need a team around them all day long at school. Social skills are essential, and school is maybe the largest arena for that.  Personally I find social skills to be more important subject than mathematics. And to prevent incidents like bullying, arguing and fights, there must be an adult just five steps away. I believe these interventions will in addition reduce the anxiety, depression and OCD.

Self-esteem and self confidence 

Methylphenidate and poor


ADHD and Tourettes in school 

Summer holiday

A Campsite holiday in Sweden


Our weekly summer holiday in Sweden has sadly come to the end. Sweden is a popular country for us norwegians and it is close.

The weather has been superb except the last 48 hours with some rain. Well I don’t mind. All weather like all the four seasons got its charm. To be honest I am not a sunbather. I just love to sit in the shadow and knit. I never get a proper sun tan but turn first red, and then icteric. Well that was a little sidetrack. Our time in Sweden has been flying but its time to go home now.

We have been visiting campsites like Kraja in Arjeplog, Camp Gielas in Arvidsjaur, First Camp Umeå, Bureå camping and we have done some shopping in Skellefteå. Even though there is a lot of people gathered together in a limited area there is not much noise. I don’t mind the children but even then I sense an relaxed atmosphere. There is usually alot of activities at the campsites so I guess many of the children jump early to bed. And you have children late up at night that makes me wondering where the parents are… I am maybe oldfashioned but I find it really important that the children get enough sleep. Who wants a crumpy and angry kid the following day especially when they are up at the same hour no matter what? It makes no sense to me.

Our summer residence is a Polar caravan 590 model of 2002. We almost got everything except for aircondition and a stove. But it is not a big problem, because every campsites we have visited in Sweden got a service building with a kitchen. And we got a grill so we can barbeque every day if we like. The hygiene is good despite all the people that use the showers and toilets. This year we did not have to pay for having a shower in Umeå. The hat off for them.

From Umeå we drove up north to Bureå camping. It is at least 15 years since last time. But back then we stayed in a four beded cottage. But after we got the caravan I can’t bear the thought of spending the holiday in a cottage. There is an old barn at the Bureå campsite. 15 years ago there was a senior danceparty there. Now they have changed the barn to a mini legoland. They sell lego and you could also sit by a table and make your own lego composition. It is super for kids from 0-100 years. After a night in Bureå we headed for Arvidsjaur and Camp Gielas. It feels almost like home for me. It is a little wistfully to leave but there is a time for everything. After 5.5 hours drive to we are home and already looking forward to the next holiday in Sweden…

Our summer residence

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.


The last few days in Umeå, Sweden


We have now spend 5 lazy days in Umeå, Sweden at First camp. It is like little Norway because there are norwegians everywhere spiced with some finish, dutch, germans and some swedish people in between. The First camp is an expensive place even with our caravan and you even got to pay for a non- existing internet. And if you are travelling with a teenager that is a must. So next year I’ll bring my «mobile router or broadband» along. Well internet and television have never been a big issue until the kids became teenagers. I really don’t want it but the holidays are not just mine…. Finally you can take a shower without paying «shower money». I don’t know how many times I stood in the shower and there was no money at the card….

In perspective this is just trivialities. I feel so ashamed! These issues don’t matter at all. Yesterday there was a tragic plaincrash in Umeå where nine people lost their lifes. I am thinking on them, their families and friends

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.


Hobby mental health

Hand knitting is mental hygiene


I love to knit and I really believe hand knitting is mental hygiene. But everything you love to do is mental hygiene. You are perhaps not thinking about your hobby in this way. The hobby has helped me recover a long period with disease. Burnout- will I ever recover?

A good combination

I combine it often with an audio book or Netflix. I am sure I couldn’t finish anything off if I didn’t cut out the thoughts. The distraction from music, audio books or a movie help me to continue my project instead of hiding it and forget all about it.

Blankets and sweaters have become a peace of cake…. It hasn’t always been like that

In perspective

I learnt to knit when I was just 10 years old. In my childhood there was nothing to do in the leisure time. Inspired by my grandmother I learnt to knit and crochet from a book. I was really proud of myself. But there was just small projects. The goal was to finish something off very quickly and I didn’t like to knit something in pairs. I always knitted something to myself. But that has changed. I just have to give my projects away because it gives me joy, and because I know the person I give it to would be very happy.

The goal now is just to relax and have a good time. The larger project, the better. And suddenly I am there where I am to suppose to cast off…… Strange thing but I guess it is because I have reached a certain age…..

Hand knitting is mental hygiene

So I seriously believe hand knitting is mental hygiene.  The Anxiety release, a lot of problems are solved during the knitting even when your mind is floating….. The blood pressure, pulse and stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin increase. You meet your social needs if you combine the hobby with a friend(s) or meet other people in a knitting café, which is very popular some places.


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