I'm a member of the Norwegian Humanist Assosiation and have been a local board member the last 4-5 years. This month is when we hold our annual Coming-of-Age Ceremony. Hubby, Simen and I have been helping out with the ceremony as many years, because we appreciate the year long program-course with emphasis on respect and tolerance of others, that the kids are taking part of and the beautiful ceremony that is held to honor our young teenagers that will grow up to become pillars of our community.
The ceremony is April 26th. This week we had a summary meeting with both teens and parents. Thursday is the big rehearsal. I had to step in as a chairperson for the meeting.
Speaking in public freaks me out so bad. I know it sounds weird. I've worked as a teacher, how can that be possible.
I don't mind a classroom full of kids, or adults for that matter - when I started out as a teacher, many of the students were twice my age.
Put me on a stage with a microphone and I die a million times inside. It takes all I've got to not just crumble down and faint.
I'm much more comfortable helping out behind the stage, so to speak. Being responsible for the catering, rigging, cleaning, etc. This year, however, all the other boardmembers and course leaders were away, or at their regular jobs.
Thankfully I only got 4 days' notice. If I had known for longer, I'd probably ended up institutionalized. My old mentor and former teacher-colleague had made a powerpoint presentation with notes, the wonderful young course leaders (former Coming-of-Age participants) agreed to take care of the course summary, etc, so there really weren't much left to do for me. I still had to do the welcome and go through the practical information about the ceremony. It was enough for a brainmelt. I did what I always do with things way outside my comfort zone. I go ahead and try not think about it, because it's a job and the job needs to be done regardless.
I completely forgot to present myself. A few parents approached me afterwards and politely asked my name. Sooo embarrassing. It's like I was raised in a barn with no manners
I miss-pronounced several of the participants' names during the name-call. (although this is one of the points with the meeting, making sure the participants' names are correct and pronounced correctly)
Sweat ran down my face. In friggin' rivers. I tried to wipe it off discreetly, but with 150 people watching? Nah...
I messed up a few times and had the whole room break out in loud laughter
I did manage to bring up everything I was supposed to and my voice didn't shake - which was my biggest fear.
I was so much in a hurry to get home afterwards, that I helped put back all the tables and chairs - the meeting was held at the high school cafeteria. Baaad.
I didn't sleep at all that night and I was a complete wreck the next day. All the things I could have done differently/better kept swirling around in my mind like annoyed little wasps.
I slept alright tonight, but my arms still feels like lead and my shoulders are letting me know I was a stupid idiot for carrying tables high above my head. I took Marianne for a hike down to the sea and I feel like I've been run through the army recruit work-out-routine
At least it's done and over with.
How do you deal with situations outside your comfort zone? Have you done any public speeches? How do you prepare? Does it get any better, ever?
We won in court. That is, it was more of a settlement, but mostly in our favor. We agreed on regulating the land border to include their cottage and in letting them use the road, with conditions regarding lumber traffic, etc and no maintenance in general on our part. They'll also be allowed to keep the well they put down on our land. They'll have to pay us 50 000 (8,252.26 USD) We're happy and I think the other party is too, at least we can all get on with our lives, now.
I can't go into details in public. We'll be laughing a long time thinking back on this court day.
We're without a car. Hubby decided to do some repairs and had gotten parts that didn't fit. If we're lucky it will get fixed today and we can get up to the farm for the weekend, if not....
Simen is having work training for the next three weeks. He has plans on getting a position as an apprentice with the firm he'll be working at. He's taken care of all the necessary papers, etc. I'm very pleased to see that he is mature enough to take care of these things himself. I haven't really helped him at all, just functioned as a sounding board. W00t!
He is determined to make a good impression and work twice as hard to impress them enough to let him apprentice for them. He'll need to work 2-3 years to get his necessary certificates to become an authorized electrician/automatician.
We had a great winter break. I spent some of it up at the farm.
My sisters' cottages are both finished. Whoohoo!
Simen "lost" his cellphone while he was on the school trip to Denmark back in January. Turns out somebody stole it and managed to call international calls for 5000 NOK (836 us dollars) before I got told what had happened and blocked the subscription. I'm going to call the phone comp tomorrow and see if we can avoid paying all of it, but I have to admit, my hopes aren't high...
I went hiking with my friend Marianne and her cocker spaniel; Nori, on Friday. Marianne got so excited that she pulled me off balance and stomped on my foot. I noticed a little pain - I mean Marianne weighs 50+ kg and when much of that weight is concentrated in one big paw kicking off on your foot, you notice it - but it really didn't bother me that much, so we went hiking for an hour.
My friend calls the trail we took "the Puma-trail" It's a good name, because it's straight up along a creek and then straight down a rocky mountain side on the other side of the mountain. It was extra difficult because of all the fallen spruce that had become victims of this year's winter storms.
After I got home, my foot still didn't really bother me much. Not until I made dinner. while I was cooking I felt this sudden pain in the foot and from there it just got worse. Too bad, really, as I had planned to go to Kristiansand ( one of the bigger cities in Norway, except that there aren't really any big cities in Norway, we just like to pretend so) to eat lunch at a proper sushi bar. I've never been to a sushi bar and according to those I know who have been, that means I haven't really eaten sushi.
Ellen promised to buy me some excellent balls of yarn for a summer dress for Frida, at a new "secret" yarn shop she found, as a special strained-foot-treat. Loffs her, we do!
Marianne did her best to kiss it good again, so I forgave her for stomping on me.
Remember the pesky cottage neighbours up at Vintland, the ones who built their cottage way onto our property? We're meeting them in court this Tuesday. Should be interesting. We contacted our lawyer before Christmas and he tried to get a meeting with them to settle this outside of court, but that didn't work, so he filed a case for us to make sure we met them in the court that would best suit our case. The legal system in Norway is a lot different than the American one. I can't really explain it. I'll help find links of info for those interested in the comment section.
We had two choises. "Jordskifteretten" - which is basically a court for properties and they mainly deal in maps and don't take much else into consideration. We didn't want this. Instead we're meeting in a court called "Forliksrådet" It's basically the lowest type of court. it's legally binding and official, but it is pretty informal and there are no jurors, just a judge, the parties and their lawyers. They will however take into consideration that we have a farm and taking out lumber is a source of income and it's the only way to make some money from the farm as it is today. The area that we own, that they have "conquered" is next to a private road that is the only way to an area of the wood with trees fit for lumber industry. The plan from the days my grandfather own the farm, has been to either sell it to a contractor or buy the necessary equipment and do it ourselves. We are not willing to take the risk of somebody's cottage being ruined by leaks, or their garden being ruined from the huge machine needed for this type of work. We have been clear on this and told this to these neighbours even before they started remodelling the old little cottage, when they bought it and we heard of their plans.
From what we've heard from the other neighbours up there, these pesky pissants decided that we just said all this to be difficult and mean and that this is why they didn't need to care about it. They can't for the life of them understand why we have to be so difficult with a little piece of wood(even though it is our property and not theirs) and think that we should just give this whole area to them. For free!
Need I remind you that these pissants also thought it was their right to fish in all the lakes and hunt in all the woods up there in addition to take out as much firewood they needed for all 3! of the cottages they have bought/built up there...yeah...such lovely people.
The letter from the municipal hall in Lyngdal has already stated that what they have done is illegal and that they have to tear down and remove everything they have built on our property. We should - according to our lawyer win. We'll see. I take nothing for granted at this point. At least our insurance cover most of the expenses. I think there is a set fee we have to cover ourselves, but it won't ruin us - lawyers and court cases are insanely expensive.
Runar is at a meeting today. Two investors have been invited and has accepted to join the firm. Runar and the two other investors will each own 30% and the young partner who couldn't afford to continue owning a business of any kind, will be given 10% as a token of sorts. Runar will be the manager while the young partner will go back to being an employee only (salesman).
We'll be taking up a loan and Runar and the two investors will put in money enough to end all of the financial difficulties they've had. It will enable them to invest in all the equipment needed and they will be able to have a stock. In other words, they'll be able to sell a lot more and a lot faster.
The firm will continue as it is today, but they will be manufactoring a type of sifters(?) for industrial use, basically for big mean mo-fo crushers. link to their company: KSTEK AS It's all in Norwegian, but there are pictures of what type of machines they're dealing in.
For me it means that Runar is happy and easy-going and we'll be getting a regular paycheck at a set date each month. Whoohoo!
You know, it's the perfect place for when you know you ought to be doing something useful, but you just can't be bothered right now
I have nothing nice to say, really. Winter depression is getting harder to fight off. We're down on luck and every time we(Runar and I) think we'll have a chance at just chilling out with some alone-time, something happens and...well, you get the picture.
Instead I give you today's annoying, weird, sick and cute from Pintrest
There are some great stuff over there, but some of it just makes me want to scream cusswords
All this does to me is that I want to say: Oh, go fuck yourself!
No, it wont
Deep. Any deeper and you'll have to learn Chinese
Thing is, Pintrest is like Netflix, it gives you what it thinks you like. I get a lot of weird (what a surprise *), but it is usually the weird stuff that makes me laugh.
Then there are these random weird ones that makes you go WTH???
The text says: Donkeys have been working animals for at least 5000 years!
heh, okay then
I can't help it, this is too cute. I may try to knit one of these. No, I have no idea what it is, but it makes me happy just looking at it.
We've had rain and/or snow for a month straight. Today sun happened. I can't even begin explaining how much that really means.
Frida, my youngest niece, is in hospital. She has a hole in her little heart, but they believe this will mend itself in time and shouldn't give her any issues in her life until, maybe, when she's an old lady. What IS a bit more scary, is that they believe she has hyper insulinism. Yeah, I'm not quite sure how to explain what that is, but basically it's diabetes-opposite. Her body produces way too much insulin (as opposed to ordinary diabetes where a person produces too little). Results seem to be the same, her bloodsugar levels reach dangerously low. They have been in hospital with her for two weeks, now and they are on the last few tests of finding a diet and medicines that helps. We all hope that she isn't diagnosed with the more dangerous type, which means she'll need to go to Paris for an operation. Keep your fingers crossed.
We've been watching their dog, Vera. Two dogs is soo much more work than one dog. Just sayin'...
Vera trying to do her business in the snow. She wants you to know that is not easy!
Mostly they're good friends. What they want to do, is to play-fight all the time, until they drop dead. We've reached an understanding. No playing indoor. It works. Most of the time...
There is some jealousy, but as you can see, there's plenty room on the sofa for everybody