Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Because Changing Tires is Exciting.

Well, snow is in the forecast. I'm hoping it's wrong, but I guess we just have to wait and see. But with snow on the way, we have to prepare our car.

Growing up in California, the only time a person changed his/her tires was for one of two reasons: one, you have a flat. Two, the treads are worn out. 

But in Norway (and probably other places in the world that don't have year round sunshine), you change your tires regularly. Twice a year, actually. Once to put on winter tires, and once to take them off and replace them with summer tires. If you're like me and completely naive to this subject, you might ask "what's the difference?"

In short, winter tires are:
 - Deeper in tread depth
 - Softer 
 - Studded (in Bergen, you have to pay extra to have studded tires - approximately 1500 kroner...a little over 200 US dollars - for the environment, apparently. Bergen has a slight pollution problem and the studded tires create more problems, so I'm told).  

Winter Tire!

Today was the day we had to change our tires. We found a big open space that was perfectly flat. I was super helpful by documenting this delightful afternoon (I really did have fun, actually). 

Stian did most of the work (big suprise!), but after watching him do one, I decided it wasn't that hard and that I would do one, too. 

So here I am getting my hands dirty and changing a tire...(and this post is about as fun as watching water boil, right??):

Using the car jack...
(all I could think of was the South Park song about San Diego "jackin' it, jackin' it, jackety jack!")
...and I thought it was super fun, obviously.
Loosening the lug nuts with my cross wrench! (See what I've learned?!)

Success! 1 down, 3 to go. 

Putting on the dirty winter tire.
It took me twice as long as Stian to do this, so naturally I let him do the rest. While raising the car up with the jack, the jack broke, which meant we had to take a little trip to the hardware store and buy a new one before we could put the last tire on. 

But the job is done and we're ready for the snow...

...sort of. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Sunny Sunday in October

It has been a beautiful day, and lucky for you, I just got Instagram (I know, I know...I'm so behind!), so I can show you all the gorgeous pictures from today. 

First, I started out the day by making bread. I've baked many cakes and cookies before, but never bread. It turned out really dense (I guess I didn't let it rise enough before I baked it?) and I didn't put in the pan nicely so here's my "monster bread." It's hideous, I know, but edible! 

Next time it will be prettier, I promise. 

With the weather being so nice, Stian and I went for a walk. A long walk, but a lovely one! 

Blue sky! Amazing!
I think I've seen more sunny days in October than I did almost all summer. I still can't believe how beautiful autumn is here! All I remember from last year is hail. Lots and lots of hail. Luckily for me, that's not the case so far this season, and we've been blessed with good weather.

Hoping for a hand out!

I love taking pictures of trees, especially in autumn. I have so many tree pictures on my hard drive from when I got my first digital camera in 2005, and actually, I've ended up framing some of them. Maybe I'll frame one of these one day, too:

That tree dropped these leaves:

My favorite!

En gamle mann ut på tur

I think we walked through 3 parks today, and I took loads of pictures in each one.

Lovely, huh?:

Bonus with Stian in the picture
I hope you're enjoying some good autumn weather wherever you are!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ahh, Autumn.

Autumn has arrived after the mildest summer I've ever experienced. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't San Diego or my hometown at the beach. But, such is life - things are different now.

Autumn is here. With all it's color, and all it's beauty. 

Stian and I (and my brother-in-law) took at little drive up to the fjords this weekend to meet our newest nephew:

I couldn't get enough of the little guy!! Such a sweet baby. We're already making plans to go back in a few weeks to see how much he's grown, and also visit more with our simply darling niece. 

Finally warmed up to onkel Stian, who adores her.

Not quite two, she's bursting with energy and figuring out how to live with her new brother. I can't tell you how much it melts my heart to hear her call me "Tante!"

Besides taking in all the love radiating from the in-laws' growing family, I can't help but notice how beautiful everything is this time of year. 

The snow is already on the mountain tops (the last of it finally melted at the end of July...and here we are again!), and everything is starting to turn golden, orange, and red. 

These are just a few pictures I took from the car on the way up to Stian's hometown:

And then waking up to this in the morning took my breath away:

From the living room window at Stian's parents' home.

I've seen more rainbows here in Norway (and especially in good ol' rainy Bergen) than I think I have in my entire life in the last couple months. I feel like such a kid when I see one - it still brings me so much joy!

As if new babies, beautiful weather, and plenty of rainbows weren't enough to satisfy my soul, there is more to celebrate in the upcoming months. My mom, grandma, and niece all have birthday's coming up, and I am currently enjoying høstferie (autumn break...gosh, it's good to be a teacher!) so don't have to work all week. Also, I can start pulling out my Halloween decorations and start hunting for the perfect pumpkin to carve. 

We will be installing a new fireplace this week, just in time to cozy up as the darkness and cold and crispy autumn air settles in.

I hope your autumn is turning out to be as koselig (cozy....a really important Norwegian word!) as mine.