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.

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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.



Affiliate links

Careful with the affiliate links


I learned something today, and it has made me very annoyed. It is my own fault, but I have learnt to be careful with my affiliate links. I signed up for Dollar Tree and that´s ok. I read all the precautions and demands and sent my application. And hurray, I was accepted.

So I did what I use to do, I added them in Thirsty affiliate where I usually connect links to certain keywords. It simplifies your linking, and the only thing I think of is updating them. You can also decide when the link shall expire, but that is something you add in the Thirsty Affiliate application.

But, back to my story. I grabbed some links from Dollar Tree into Thirsty affiliate, but when I checked upon the links the screen went completely white. There was many thoughts, and I could not find out what the issues were. I got all the security features I think I needed.

Nothing more happened until the next morning. I got an unpleasant E-mail from Jetpack. They are taking care of my security, so I should be glad they were on the task. They told me that my web site was down, but they were looking into it. Oh no, I said to myself. What has happened here? What on earth have I done? Well, I could get into my admin after a while, but I could not view my site. This ugly message “The page can not be found” is still there. In the header I find tree 😛

I wrote an E-mail to Dollar Tree, and they could tell me that they did not accept keywords. Oh,how could I have missed that? Maybe I just assumed they did? But I can´t recall reading it. So I advice you to be very careful with the affiliate links. The answer for my problems I guess, is Thirsty Affiliate. Read very carefully what your merchant expects from you.



An update

Thirsty affiliate or WordPress could not help me remove the horrible /dollaretree addition in my web site address.

Dollartree has not replied to my e-mail, which I find really disappointing and annoying.

I have changed my affiliate plugin and cross my fingers that this would not happen again……



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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