Is there any comfort to be had?: #LIGHTtheWORLD

1 December 2016:

The brown cabbage smell surrounded me, as I climbed out of my car, by ICA supermarket this morning. That smell is what I associate with Christmas, with particularly my childhood Christmases, since then everything was made from scratch. And Christmas Eve morning meant brown cabbage smell, one of the most traditional things to eat, in Southern Sweden. Can’t stand it myself, but the smell is divine!

This morning was a stressful one, since nothing worked the way it should have. But in the middle of this, my two youngest boys were exalted. We turned the leaf on the calendar, and the picture for this month appeared. December has finally arrived, not a day too soon, for the boys, and not only “Tomten” (Santa/Father Christmas) are watching us on the photo, but our beloved D., serving a mission for our church at present, in Wales! The boys wanted to open their chocolate advent calendars of course and I was happy to not have to have that discussion in the middle of the chaos, since their father has hidden the calendars and I know not where. But they did get to open the “Mamma Mu” calendar I purchased for this year, since she is a favourite of mine. (If you have not met her, you must look her up. A very unusual cow, who refuses to behave the way she is expected to. Always informed of her wrong ways, by her close friend “Kråkan”, a funny crow.) We did not have time to read the little book, which was found behind 1 December. Something to do, later on this rain-filled day.

Mamma Mu and Kråkan organizing Chrismas. Can it get more Swedish than this? Hardly!

Mamma Mu and Kråkan organizing Chrismas. Can it get more Swedish than this? Hardly!

Yesterday, I visited my new doctor. I have been so disappointed with the medical and health care establishment, that I have not had a blood test for two years and I have refused to go see the Chinese doctor, my health clinic assigned me, against my will. Not a good thing to not go and see a doctor or take your blood tests, when you have Hypothyroid and Hashimoto’s. But if noone listens to you, what is the point? During the summer, I changed health clinic, since I refuse to ever have anything more to do with the Chinese man, who thinks he is God. But, I still did not do anything about all my troubles. I don’t have the energy and I wanted to write down all my woes and send them in advance, before I saw a doctor, since they do not have the time to listen to you. But I never got the energy to write that letter either! That is what it is like to have these diseases! You are TIRED! But, Friday, I walked in to the health clinic in town and after failing to get any blood out of my left arm, they drained the other arm. At least that is how I reacted when I stood up and had to sit down again, from the blood loss.

And then I met with my doctor, yesterday. Don’t know what to say really. She does not want to see my symptoms as caused by the thyroid diseases. What is causing my constant anemia then? I am to have three to four iron injections via IV. She thinks that this will magically make me more energetic. And she is sending me to a gynecologist to see why I have heavy menstruations. Right! I have had that since I was 12! She is sending me to a dietician, to get help with what I can eat, since my lack of gallbladder and still having gall attacks after certain foods, has me at a loss as to what to eat. So I do not eat a whole lot. Who wants to be in excruciating pain after they have had a meal? Not me! The weight gain, which happens when your hypothyroid medicine does not take away the symptoms of your disease, is according to her, to be blamed on my age. The hair loss, to be blamed on genes. Although noone else in my family have had the problem! The dry skin and soft nails, are blamed on stress. So is the loss of words and loss of sleep at night. She feels I need a holiday. Haha, is my answer to that. So, I feel depressed after seeing her, another symptom by the way. And I did not even get to tell her all the other symptoms which are sad or depressing to live with. And in the middle of this, I have promised to take on the challenge of not just thinking about myself this December, but to spread the light, like Jesus of Nazareth did. (Boy I hate using that name for him! The older I get, the more I feel it is wrong. I would not want anyone to distort my name in another language, or change it to something else, to cut off the roots from where I come from!)

Mormon.org suggested that one could spread a video, on social media. Or pray in order to see the needy. Can’t remember the third, thanks to my hypothyroid! Oh wait, no according to my stress level. There was a long list, under the three simplest suggestions, and I decided to choose a challenge, which I actually CAN do. But, there is always a risk of alienating people and readers, by mentioning the forbidden words: faith, hope, prayer. Especially in the country I live in. Taboo! But, I have promised to do this, so here goes. I will share a story, which in a way, I do not want to share, but I am doing it, to give comfort to others, and for my children to read one day:

In 2008, I was once again delighted to find out that I was pregnant. It was the third time, we tried to have another daughter, me feeling that a daughter was missing in our family. As usual the morning sickness was overwhelming, lasting all day and night. But the hope, for another little being joining our family, made every suffering worth it. And the thought of finally receiving that longed for daughter, also made everything bearable, because I was SURE this time, that it was a girl.

Time went so slowly though. I could hardly wait till week 17 of the pregnancy to come about, when we would finally have confirmation of our hopes, dreams and intuition.  But week 17 finally came around, and like all expectant mothers in Sweden, I went to my ultra sound. We did not have any babysitter available, so D. and E. had to do their best in the waiting room, looking after F., “Kitty” and “Boo”. My husband and I walked in, I laid down on the bed and the midwife started her examination. Soon it would be revealed, the gender of my baby, if the baby was cooperative, showing the stuff. The midwife, finding out that we had four boys and only two girls, said “Well, then it is time for a girl now, isn’t it?”.

And then we saw a little penis! My heart sank, my husband squeezed my hand, and I wanted to cry. But soon, I realized that the midwife had got a very serious look on her face. She was not the happy person anymore, that she had been when we arrived. She asked me why I had not had an amnio done. And I answered “No matter what, I could never kill my baby, so why would I have an amnio done? Risking a miscarriage for what?” She stayed silent after that and then she finally said something: “There is something wrong with his kidney! It is way too big.” She showed us, what she was looking at, and the right kidney was huge compared to the little speck of the other one.

We walked out numb, from the room. Pictures of the baby in the hand, where you could see both penis but also the big abnormal kidney. When I saw my children, they started running towards me, and I guess I looked very happy, when I saw them, because my oldest daughter and D. blurted out: “So it is a baby sister!”. I hugged them all at the same time, feeling so happy over having them and being their mother. I cried and said “No, it is a boy. And he might not live to be born!” Because those were the first news we received. That, and the fact that I needed to come back, to see an expert.

Every two weeks, for the rest of my pregnancy, I had to go to the ultra sound department, in order for them to look at my baby boy and measure his right kidney. There was talk of him not living till birth. There was talk of him having to come out early so that they could operate on him or just to save his life. There was talk of putting a pipe in through my back, through my womb and in to his kidney, so it could be drained of fluid. Every doctor, being silent while examining his kidney via my growing belly. Me laying there on the bed, vulnerable and scared. And then trying to pump the doctor for information, wanting the worse possible scenario, in order to be prepared.

I can not remember a lot of what else went on during that pregnancy, since his well-being was constantly on my mind. I felt sick to my stomach, every time I entered the building for the ultra sound and I did not feel much better coming out. And then, in the middle of the summer, about a month and a half, before I was to give birth to him via C-section, I decided to pray. I did not pray for my son to live. No, I knew better than that. I prayed for the courage to face everything which lay ahead of me. I prayed for strength to accept what was to come. But most of all, I prayed for being able to stop worrying about matters which I could not do anything about. When I prayed in this manner, I finally felt a calm come over me. There was finally peace in my mind. I knew that there was nothing I could do, except get through my pregnancy.

The baby was pressing all my intestines and stomach upwards and every week, I was in and out of the hospital with gall stone attacks. They could not give me anything for the excruciating pain, because of the baby. I have never been good with pain and I was scared, but somehow, my thoughts were always with him. My little fighter in there. We called him “Sparky” after Captain Speirs, 101st Airborne, Easy Company, because he was totally “wild” in my belly and because he reacted to everything, noise, light, music, touch… We bonded he and I , in a way that I have not bonded with any of my other children, in utero. We got through it together, he and I. Both fighting for our survival. And somehow, after my sincere prayer, I knew that I would hold him one day. I could even feel his personality. That he would be the sweetest little angel, loved by everyone for his sweet disposition.

How did it all end? You really want me to tell you?

He was taken out by C-section, 14 days before time, because the strain on my gallbladder was too much and they needed to see what was going on with his kidney. As soon as he was born, he was put on medication, so he would not get an infection in the right kidney. Two months later, after lots of painful tests, he had to have surgery. But the surgery was not a success. He was born with an extra blood vein, which supplies the lower part of the kidney, with blood. So the surgeon could not perform the surgery, the way she usually did, but had to put together an emergency solution. And then they overdosed him on paracetamol and there was an infection, which they think ruined the kidney. BUT today he is a happy little boy, who is in no pain at all, even though his left kidney is doing 87% of all the work, and thereby has grown abnormally large. And his right kidney, which is doing 13% of the job, can not empty properly, so it is as big as the left one.

In 2014, this sweet little angel of mine, was diagnosed with autism and severe language disorder. But I have never REALLY worried about him, since that day I prayed about him and my worries. I have accepted one thing after the next concerning him, with the attitude, one day at a time. Every thing which he has accomplished so far, has been a plus in my book and has made me happier than happy. He is a happy, loving boy, who learns things every day. And to be honest, I do not really think about his sick kidney anymore, since the autism overshadows everything. But even there, I can feel that autism is not the end of the world, when it comes to him at least. You have never ever met a more loving, sweet boy than my “Gubby”. Yes, a child which always needs help, a child with a hundred questions, a child which has a very short memory, but a child I would not want to live without, for anything. His real name (I protect my children in social media, from being exposed) which I chose for him, means LOVED. And loved he is, by everyone who meets him.

(Yesterday, they had a Christmas Theme day at his school and they got to make a lot of ornaments, a ginger bread village and dance around the Christmas tree. His personal assistant has started to send me photos of what he does in school, since his memory is so short that I can not ask him “What did you do in school today?” and expect an answer. Instead he says “Never mind that!”. Because he does not have the language nor the memory for certain things. But the photos help him to explain and triggers the memory! I wish I could have shared them here, but I want to protect him. I will share one thing he made though!

Traditional Swedish Christmas ornaments: "Oh, Gubby, what a nice looking orange!" (Usually the cloves are put all over the orange but my son prefered a line, obviously!) - The sticks really hurt! "What? Sticks?" commented brother "Kitty". - Yes, they really hurt my fingers! Poor "Gubby", and yet he did his best to make pretty ornaments like everyone else at the school. My little perfectionist! (See tomorrow's post!)

Traditional Swedish Christmas ornaments: “Oh, Gubby, what a nice looking orange!” (Usually the cloves are put all over the orange, but my son prefered a line, obviously!) -The sticks really hurt! “What? Sticks?” commented brother ‘Kitty’. – Yes, they really hurt my fingers! Poor “Gubby”, and yet he did his best to make pretty ornaments like everyone else at the school. My little perfectionist! (See tomorrow’s post!)

 

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#LIGHTtheWORLD

2016, has been a real annus horribilis. First Great Britain, which has always been a country of mixed people, since their Empire once spanned the globe, voted to leave Europe. They decided to close their borders and have nothing to do with other people. They who worked so hard for open trade, centuries ago. And Winston Churchill who told them, that a United Europe was the only way to go, in order to prevent another World War and another Hitler.

What Brexit brought about, was not just leaving the EU. It signalled to everyone in Great Britain, that it is perfectly alright, to be anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic in general, to beat up people in the street if they have another opinion than you do, and many, many other populist things. What we see in Britain today, five months after the referendum, is a hardened attitude which was even visible to me, on a visit to Birmingham and a Miniature show! The Britain I have always loved to visit and have always admired, is quickly disappearing. I felt uncomfortable!

But Britain is not the only country growing cold. The election in the United States, some weeks ago, showed that this country have decided to even go one step further than Britain. Having voted for a narcissist, to run their country, is perhaps not the worse thing they have done. But having voted for a man, who has given the clear sign for racism, guns without limits, anti-Semitism, hatred for Muslims, pollution, the list is really too long to go through, THAT is really, really disastrous. Instead of being a peace-maker, he is promoting hatred and a chill worse than the Ice Age. Talk about the spawn of Satan!

Many, many of us, have come to realize that we are living in the last days. And doing so, is really scary. But to just give up? To do what the Germans did, when they saw that Hitler had come to power and the Nazis were running the entire show on their terms? No, we have to do something! The Prophet of the church I belong to, has decided to try to do something about the increasing coldness in our hearts and in our world. He and his apostles, have developed a plan, for making this world a better place to live in, during December at least. And the best thing of all: You do not have to be a latter-day saint, to participate.

Yes, the bottom of the message is, that Yeshúa, the son of Miriam and our Heavenly Father, who was born on a cold night in Bethlehem, walked the earth and tried to do good. He tried to bring light in to people’s lives by being a light himself. He healed the sick, he fed the hungry, he taught the ones desiring knowledge, he helped the needy. But do you REALLY have to believe in this Yeshúa or Jesus, to do these things? Does it not feel good in every human’s heart, when they help someone? When they make someone happy? This is something which everyone can do! By looking to your neighbour or fellow human being, you will bring light in to the world, instead of the darkness which is spreading too quickly.

A Muslim, can help an old lady over the road. A Jew, can take in the post from the post box, for a neighbour who have broken his leg. There are so many small things which we can do, to make December a really wonderful month for everyone on this planet. Whether we are Catholics, Protestants, Atheists, Hindus or Buddhists.

When the sister missionaries came to show my family the film which starts it all, which one can find on mormon.org, my youngest son, who is autistic and thereby have a difficult time understanding a lot of abstract things, sat still. He watched it in reverence and he has done so when being showed the film again, at church. He can see that people are kind, and that just like we put stars and advent candle sticks in our windows, to light up the darkness, people can make people happy and spark a light in other people’s lives.

If you are like me though, you will think: But what can I really do? I am too shy! I don’t have any money to give away! I have three autistic sons to take care of! Today, I went in and looked at the advent calendar on the site mentioned above, where they will give suggestions to what one can do every day. And I hope, that I will be able to find something every day, that I will be able to do. Yes, it will perhaps mean that we have to go outside our comfort zone and everyone’s comfort zone differs. But I am sure it will be worth it. And often suggestions spark new ideas, so one is not restricted to the few things they are suggesting. The thing to remember is, that it does not have to be spectacular things! Small things count as well! What you might think small, might be big in someone else’s eyes. And this is NOT a Christian call for kindness, but a call to all nations and all people, to spread light! We can do this, if we want to, if we try! Together, no matter what we believe in!

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On the matter of bricks

My struggles with my dollhouse continues. My visiting teachers came by ( A thing which we do in our church. Two women are assigned a couple of women in the congregation, whom they are supposed to keep an eye on. No, not really, but once a month, they are supposed to visit the women and make sure they are alright. And perhaps give them a spiritual message.) two weeks ago and  got to see the mess, called my dollhouse. And when I told them that it was supposed to be a relaxing hobby, but that it has turned in to nothing but a nightmare, they laughed. “I have taken water above my head”, was what I told them and one of them, who has a wicked sense of humour said, “no, you have taken a house over your head.” The sister missionaries came next, to give us the advent calendar message “To be the Light of the World”, which is being spread across the globe. When they saw my house, they were mighty impressed, but then it was 19:30 and they could not see the awful details in the dark!

Truth is, that I am sad, sad, sad, over how the dollhouse has turned out. Not just because Bromley Craft’s Realistic Brick Compound, turned out to be much more complicated to put on, than what all the videos, instructions and reviews say. (The reviewers must have a screw loose.) Last week, I sat down to study brick houses in London, on the internet. I googled London Georgian Houses, since that is what my house clearly looks like. And I learned that the matter of bricks, is more complicated than what you or I, first thought. But the first thing I discovered, was that I am not the only one having made a mess of the brick compound! The following picture was found on the net, and if I owned THAT house, I would be very dissatisfied with my work.

What you see here is just someone who has done an equally ugly job as I have. And I am sure this person tried their very best, just like I did!

What you see here is just someone who has done an equally ugly job as I have. And I am sure this person tried their very best, just like I did!

My daughter, who is working in Cardiff, Wales, at the moment, sent me messages after seeing the house above. Trying to lift my spirits. They all said things like, Richard Bromley is a pro, he does this for a living, so no wonder he gets it right every time. And you clearly see on this picture that it is impossible to get it to work and look nice. The creator of the house above, has had the same problems as I have, getting the wrong consistency of the mixture and the overlapping being too visible. He or she has made a right mess by the door and windows.

The second thing I learned from my research last week, was a very, very sad fact. And I have noticed, presently, that the creator of the house above, missed that point too. When I bought my compound at the autumn Miniatura 2016, I trusted that Bromley Craft was informing me of EVERYTHING. I told him that I was a beginner, I showed him pictures of my house and I told him what I wanted to create. But he missed telling me the most important thing about London Georgian houses, and Georgian houses in general: They are all made out of yellow brick! And they have a very particular look above the windows! A look that is there on EVERY single Georgian house, whether it is situated in Islington or in Spitalfields! And he should have told me that I needed an extra template to get that correct look:

£3.95 at Bromley Craft

£3.95 at Bromley Craft

Without having this template, and creating this look on your dollhouse, you do NOT have a Georgian house! You have a historically incorrect dollhouse and that is what I am stuck with, since I have varnished my house now! Look at the following downloaded pictures from London, to see what I am talking about!

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They are there, on every single house and why? Because this is how things were done back then and a person selling templates and material to make a brick look, ought to know this and advice his customers! Because a satisfied customer will give good reviews and spread the word, plus they might return to buy more or other items from you!

Here it is black on white!

Here it is black on white!

But as I mentioned above, this was not the only thing I missed when I researched brick earlier on. How I could have missed it, is beyond me, but I did. Most London houses are YELLOW. You might not be able to see it, behind all the soot, but it is a fact. On this one page, I was able to learn that the bricks of London got their colour from the compact clay dug out from “accumulations of the river Thames’ deposits”. It was a dense, infertile clay not useful to anyone but perfect for brick making. The clay was mixed with water and what was called London soil. In reality it was ashes and cinder from the city. The mixture was made in to bricks and burned in local kilns, which have left their marks in street names all over London, like Brick Lane, Kiln Place and Pottery Lane.

The Georgian era saw an explosion of brick making and houses being built all over London, with it. Terraces popped up all over and the rich were not too happy, having their view of nature blocked. But houses were built of brick for everyone, rich and poor. A proper Georgian London house, in other words, should have a yellow colour. Not a red one like I chose! The red brick did not enter London until after the 1840s. Then the railway had been introduced and it was cheaper to ship in red brick from the midlands, than making one’s own. And London started to have red bricked houses all of a sudden. But from what I can tell, the majority are in yellow. So, two big mistakes made.

I was not even looking for the information above, but it came up when I was looking for mold and soot on Georgian houses in London. Last week, I finally finished bricking my front side of the house. Something which has been a very slow process since the bricks had to dry, before I could put the template down, overlapping them, to continue up the house wall. Another thing which was a blatant lie on the video instruction. Put the template down when the compound is wet, and it smears!

I was done with the bricking and much dissatisfied. But I had decided to accept facts. I am not perfect. I can not make a perfect looking dollhouse. The skills are not there even though my perfectionism is, and you can only do what you can do, as well as you can. So I had to accept looks like this. With a LOT of sorrow in my heart, and irritation!

Even though I was so meticulous and careful to align the template with two rows overlapping, it still came up uneven on the last ro as can be seen att the top of the windows.

Even though I was so meticulous and careful aligning the template with two rows overlapping, it still came up uneven on the last row, as can be seen by the top of the windows.

What happened here? Well, I had to do the top part of the house, first, and then slaughter my template to be able to make the areas between the top windows, that have raised up edges. There was no other way. The template could not lay flat if I did not cut off the frame and press it in to place, with lots of force.

And can you spot the mistake here? Clue: Two bricks are attached to two other bricks without any mortar in between.

And can you spot the mistake here? Clue: Two bricks are attached to two other bricks without any mortar in between.

Any smart person, would have done things in another way, than what I have. They would have researched more, before buying anything. They would have learned about yellow bricks and the look around the windows, before ordering or purchasing materials at a show. And then they would have started on the sides of the house, with no windows. Lots of practice before the nightmare side of the house was supposed to be dealt with. BUT, to my defence, I had to make sure I had enough brick compound to at least get the front side finished. And I was right about worrying. It took almost the entire bag of the 750 grams. So, I will in all probability not have enough compound to cover the sides, since they are bigger areas. And of course, I have a second problem, and that is that my template now is useless. I can not make straight rows on the sides, when my template looks like this:

I have to wait for a new template to arrive, before I can continue the work.

I have to wait for a new template to arrive, before I can continue the work.

But of course, there was other work to be done, still, on the front. A Georgian house did not look new in 1940. Especially not after the Blitz had started and the street fires were an every night occurence. For decades or for over a century, people had used coal for their open fires, which also effected the look of the 1940s house. As did bad ventilation and dampness, causing mold. So, now it was time to dirty down my house. And no, that can not wait till last. First of all, to put bricks on a ready-made house, you really need to lift your house over to a workplace and lay it down. Otherwise the angle becomes too awkward and impossible to work with. You have to create as much of a flat surface as you can and if you had done this “the right way” (meaning putting this compound on before assembling the house), you would have had wood pieces laying flat on the floor or a table, smearing on the compound.

Even if the bricks have dried, they are very, very fragile. You can peel them off with your nail! Nothing really holds them in place. Which is why you can add water to your finished work and remove it all, if you hate it. But then you have wasted all that powder! Thinking that you can wait with staining and varnishing till the very end, is not a solution. You have to finish one side of the house, entirely, from start to finish, before you turn the house and continue on the next side of the house. Otherwise, chances are that you will break off and ruin all your work, on the first side. No pressure can be put on that side, until varnished! And before the varnish goes on, you need to try to stain the house to look authentic. And old.

I chose to do the opposite from what Richard Bromley says on his site. I did not invest a lot of money in acrylic paints and brushes. Lets face it, this fragile brick can not even take the pressure of a brush! The paint will make it wet and dissolve the compound/making it liquid again. And to sit and paint with acrylic paints? Exactly HOW would one make it look like soot and mold? Paint is paint and I did not need to ruin my bricks more, with big blobs of black and green. Instead I invested in Tim Holtz stamp pads and daubers.

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With the help of these, I tried to create a worn look.

Soot usually gathered around doors, under windows and by edges and pipes.

Soot usually gathered around doors, under windows and by edges and pipes.

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But the true look is rarely posted on the internet. There they post the pretty houses, the ones which have been cleaned up. All this said, I tried to make my own version and I am afraid I was somewhat of a coward, since it felt safer with too little, than too much! Perhaps the wrong way of thinking, but you can’t remove the ink from the bricks!

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When I was done with the staining, which did not take very long, since you just use the daubers and put on as much ink as you feel necessary, it was time to varnish the house. Bromley Craft says to use a solvent based varnish but you can’t get such a thing in Sweden, since it is bad for both humans, animals and the environment. Jessica at Flügger Paint shop googled for me, and tried to find it somewhere, anywhere in Sweden, but the conclusion was that it can not be had here. So, I had to settle for an acrylic spray varnish, which she said was better anyway. We realized both of us, that an ordinary varnish would not work, since the brush would dissolve not only the bricks, but also the stamp pad ink, which is water based.

Acrylic spray varnish stinks! We carried the house outside for me to spray on the first layer, but this was not a good idea at all. There was a little bit of wind and it felt like all the varnish blew away, instead of landing on the house. To be honest clear spray varnish is no fun to work with at all. You get a head ache and your lungs feel like they have been subject to a gas attack. And you do not see where the varnish has landed. You need to move the can the entire time, since you can’t let that brick compound get too wet. Then it will dissolve. So, when I had sprayed over the house once, I had no idea what had really been “painted” and not. The can said to spray several layers, so every two hours I had to spray it again. After the first fiasco, we carried the house in to the laundry room, so we could close the door on the smell. My boys were sitting on the sofa in a row, with protection masks on, looking very funny. But how to protect the laundry room interior? I put out food disposal bags all over, it was the only thing we had available and we do not recycle food, I’m afraid. We can’t stand living with banana flies anymore and the maggots in the garbage bins!

I had to protect the sides of the house, from getting varnish on them. Otherwise, I can't get the brick compound to stick...

I had to protect the sides of the house, from getting varnish on them. Otherwise, I can’t get the brick compound to stick there.

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This is how the house now looks after five layers of spray varnish. I have no idea if the entire area has five layers? And I have no idea if the house is darker shaded now than before, which is one of the effects one is after, according to Bromley, by varnishing it. And of course the other effect is to seal the bricks, so they can not vanish/break off/you name it.

To show some of the soot staining.

To show some of the soot staining.

Now the big question of course is: Can I get the masking tape off and cut off the brick parts which accidentally overlapped on to the door frame and windows? Sharp knife? Or am I in for another disaster?

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Wolly Days

Monday, I had to bite the bullet and head off to the shopping center in Lund, to find a winter jacket for “Kitty”.  When I buy jackets for my children, I buy them big, so they have lots to grow in, because to a low-income family, winter jackets and snowsuits are a BIG investment. “Boo” thrash his jackets so “Gubby” can’t inherit them, which is very, very sad, since “Gubby” is a very careful child. His jackets can not be inherited, since the child who was supposed to receive them, never came about or rather ended up in the cemetery before she was born for real.

“Kitty” has refused to wear the big jacket I bought for him last year, this year, and Sunday I ordered him to put it on, to show what was wrong with it. He insists on wearing hoodies under it, BIG hoodies, and yes, I could see it looking tight then. But more over, his arms have grown enormously this past year. So, I decided to go get a size 170 cl jacket for him, which is for 16 years, and since he turns 13 in December, he should be able to wear it for a while. My limit was set to 399:- (£35/€41/$43). Not a penny more. And this was almost impossible, but I managed to find a nice petrol coloured one at Lindex, one of the three biggest clothing chains in Sweden, which I usually avoid, because I do not approve of their clothing for children above 6 years of age.

Not true to colour at all. Camel is the colour!

Not true to colour at all. Camel is the colour!

That done, my boys nagged to go to the toy shop BR, which was not something I wanted to do. Why? Since “Kitty” does not understand that I am not buying ANYTHING for him before Christmas! But, I sent them down there on their own, under strict orders to behave. I had to head to H&M, for tights, since F. had stolen my expensive shape ups. She who looks like she is 12, with a figure of a fish finger. Without my shape ups, no way I will put on a skirt or a dress. My C-section bag of a stomach, is one of my heart aches and deep sorrows. So to steal those, is just a spit in my face. As usual. While searching for tights for her, I noticed this beige knitted, over sized sweater for myself and I grabbed it, not having tried it and not being convinced that camel is my colour. Having sent the boys to a shop by themselves, with their autism, means grabbing things fast and running to them as quickly as you can.

Of course “Kitty” had a temper tantrum leaving the toy shop, since I would not buy him a Nerf rifle for 199:- (£17.41/€20.40/$22). It did not matter that I told him that Christmas is in one month, that I had just bought him a jacket for 399:-. He exploded when he saw that I had bought a sweater for myself. And I got angry because I told him that if I bought HIM a Nerf rifle for 199:- then I had to buy one for “Boo” and one for “Gubby” as well, and then we must bag Christmas all together. I also wheezed at him that “Tomten” has bought all things already. “Boo”, who is not going to make the goals for third grade, who is so way behind in Math that one wants to cry, then says “If one wishes for something that expensive, then one only receives ONE Christmas present!”. He might not be able to do Math in school or read, BUT he understands some things perfectly! Since I want to keep it a secret, who makes and buys the Christmas presents, for “Boo” and “Gubby”, I did not want to discuss it further nor tell “Boo” that HE is smart and has understood matters perfectly. But “Kitty” sat all the way home, telling them all he would do with the rifle he is receiving for Christmas. And made me feel awful, since I really was honest. I am done with his shopping. IF I buy that rifle, what do I do with the things I have already bought? I got angry with him, when he continued all evening, telling his dad about it. I asked him if he no longer wishes for the expensive gamer’s T-shirt he sent me pictures of. Oh, yes, he wants that too. He doesn’t care if the others get any gifts, as long as he gets EVERYTHING he wants. An attitude I have a difficult time accepting.

Tuesday, at 10:00, the ventilation man arrived. Our “gemensamhetsförening” (will I ever find out what this is in English? Neighbour Association?) decided a couple of months ago, that we were all going to go together and hire this company to check all our houses for ventilation. It gets cheaper that way. They gave us little notice, but we had cleared a way to most of the vents. When he arrived though, he also needed to get to the furnace. I have begged my husband to clear out the wash room for months, I have gone on laundry strike because no woman should have to do laundry in a room where she can not move and where she might break her neck on things, hanging up the laundry, but he insists on using the room as a garbage dump. For things he does not want to throw away, for things which should be taken to the city dump, which he is too lazy to do. Taking them out to the car and drive there seems to be just too much of an ordeal for him. But the washroom is also home for his plastic bag collection! He will not throw away plastic bags. He collects them in there. HUGE bags full of plastic bags. Just like his mother! I call it plastic-mania. Now, I had to stand there with the shame and try to move everything to the right side of the room, so the poor service man could go in and get to the furnace, on the left side. And still he was attacked by boxes and food garbage bags my husband has stored on top of the furnace, where one should not put anything! I felt SO ashamed and stood and apologized throughout.

After he had left, the house kept going colder and colder. But I thought, “we live in a wood house and perhaps the temperature is dropping outside and I have hypothyroid, so I am always cold, so it can’t be anything but me and not getting the right medicine for my disease”. When the children got home, it was freezing but noone said anything. I did complain to my husband though that the radiators were stone cold and he went around airing them. That is when people started screaming in the shower, saying that there was no hot water, blaming “Boo” for having taken it all, since he had showered first. THEN I started to get really suspicious. Since we are so many people, we have to put the furnace on extra much hot water. What if the boiler had been set back to normal, when the ventilation man had turned it off and then on? So my husband went in there with me in hot pursuit and what did we find? A dead panel. It usually tells you with a number, what is wrong, but it was solid black! My husband looked in the water-damaged yellow manual that can hardly be opened, since it has been soaked and have dried in that manner.

There was nothing to do, except letting people take freezing cold showers and in the morning, I stood and boiled three big pots of water and also filled the electric water kettle, to heat water. With much hassle, I took a “shower” by pouring one pot with hot water in a dough bowl and mixing it with cold water from the shower. And then I took a small pot and filled it from the bowl, pouring it over my head. I don’t know, but I never feel clean having showered this way! And then, when done, I put on the sweater I had not decided on whether to keep or not, it not being my colour really. But at that moment, I could not have cared less. As long as it was warm, I cared naught. It has wool in it and alpaca. Good enough. All the others escape this awful house every day, but I am stuck here and my prison was on an antarctic level all day!

To preserve energy or should I say heat, I just got on thick wool socks after dropping the children, and then crawled under a blanket in my armchair, where I hassled the toy shop BR all day, for messing up entirely. (I tried to order some Lego from them Friday 18th, when Lego was 25% off. They are the only ones who have a specific set I can not afford for “Gubby”. But it is the only thing he wants for Christmas. With the 25%, I decided that it was within reach. But the page just kept spinning, after I pushed the pay page, and I never received a confirmation e-mail that the order had gone through. So, I wrote several e-mails to them, then was on the chat for an hour and the person finally said, no order was registered, one box was left in town, so me on to the phone and reserved it, and I had to waste petrol going to buy it. Then Tuesday, the box arrived in the post! The thing which customer service said was never ordered and was out of stock anyway! And no return label included! So, hours of e-mails and then on to the chat again, since no way I am going to pay for their mess up and pay that postage! And still no confirmation e-mail!)

In the afternoon, the boss of the ventilation man, showed up and he could not make heads or tails of what was going on. But we saw him do one thing, which he is not supposed to do, and that was turning one button from off to on. It is supposed to stand on OFF! He told us to phone, IVT, which is the makers of the boiler, the ones my husband had phoned earlier in the day, who said they knew nothing and wanted to do nothing. Now, my husband got back on the phone with the IVT people, who told us to phone the on call service after 16:00. Which my husband did. He was first in queue, the voice said. For one hour, for two hours… The on call ends at 20:00. My husband was still first in queue at 20:00 and at 21:45 they disconnected him! Then he had been prevented from working. His plans had been to drive in to church and sit there and work till a church meeting was to start at  18:00. As it now was, he could not go in to Lund at all, but had to stay by the phone and try to work in our living room instead.

While he did that, I tried to feed the children and then boil tons of water. I decided that the best was to pour it all in to the bathtub upstairs. And then mix in cold water. It made for a perfect WWII regulation bath! Max 5 inches of water. Both “Gubby” and “Boo” climbed in happily, even though it was a tight squeeze. I used the small pot and poured of the water over their heads and then let them shampoo their hair, whereupon I repeated the pouring of the water. The water now getting more and more mixed with soapy things! They had to stand up and soap themselves and then try to roll around in the small amount of water in the tub. They had a blast, which I was grateful for, but “Kitty” would not hear of such a thing, so he skipped showering/bathing all together. When the boys were done with their splashing, I walked down and told T. that if he wanted a WWII bath, he had warm used water upstairs. He jumped at the chance, instead of having an Antarctic shower again.

When Thursday came around, I was so sick and tired of being cold, and having to stand there pouring boiled water over myself. How many days was this going to go on? At 07:00 my husband started phoning the on-call again but being first in queue again did not impress him. Not until 07:30, did he get through and then it was to the office, where people had now arrived to work. They told him that they would phone me in half an hour, so I carried my mobile with me in to “Gubby’s” school and while dropping “Boo” at the bus collection point at his school. But no phone call. Not until 09:10 did a woman phone me and said “We can send a repair man out to you tomorrow at 10:00. Take it or leave it!” “WHAT!” I half screamed. “TOMORROW! I have stood and boiled water for my family, to take a communal bath in the same bath water, all of them, one after the next. It is like living in the 1800s here. I am sick and tired of boiling water and I am freezing to death. Tomorrow I really need to wash my hair. How am I going to do that?” “Well, why did your husband not phone the on call service then, like I told him to do yesterday?”. “HE DID! He phoned right away and was first in queue from the time he had talked to you till 07:30 this morning, all afternoon, all evening, all night! Noone picked up that phone and he was supposed to have gone back to work and go to an important meeting and instead he was stuck here on the phone!”. The lady could not understand this but suddenly she changed her mind about things and decided that we were first priority. She had a repair man coming in at 09:30 and she promised to send him straight over and she would also check the switch board to see what on earth had happened to the on call service.

Finally, at 10:00, the repair man showed up and he opened up the furnace to see what might be the problem. At first he said it was the circuit card that was ruined. So I asked him if they can put another one in. “No, there are no spare parts for this model of furnace anymore!” “What? No way!” was my answer to that. I phoned my husband in panic, right away. A new furnace cost more than 80 000:- (£6,985/€8,194/$8,685) and for us, who still have not paid off the paint from last year’s painting of the house, who have a now four-year car loan left, and that car being the worse money pit, constantly needing repair work, a new furnace is not possible! My husband sent me a site which sells spare parts for old furnaces, next, and I walked out to the repair man and showed him that things are available but I needed to know exactly what to look for, because most of the things were just abbreviations and numbers. When he saw this, it sort of sparked him to do a better job I think. He made a phone call to his boss but I could not hear what he was saying. But I think he said something about us not being in the market for a new furnace. Then suddenly he was done! He came out with a small little black plastic piece and told me that this small thing had burned on a wire. He said it was due to the button having been put to on and not kept to off. So, my question is: Who will pay for the repairs?

He could not make the compressor work though, something which cost a fortune and which has broken twice before. He had to

A most welcome sight!

A most welcome sight!

go to the next job, but told me to keep a watch on the compressor light on the display. “It should kick in after 20 minutes but could possibly take longer.” Those were scary 30 minutes. I kept running in there and praying! And finally, 30 minutes later, the light came on! What a relief! It took all day for the house to start getting warm. But it did get warm enough. I could almost stand it when wearing wool socks and wool sweater, sitting under a warm blanket. My hypothyroid is really driving me mad at the moment! Good thing I am seeing a doctor on Wednesday 30th November. Something really is out of whack. Of course it always is, but it is not normal to have icicles for fingers!!!

Friday, Joakim from BR started hassling me. Two days after I thought things were sorted with Jenny of customer service, at BR. Here I still sat with the second box of the same Lego, which I had bought in the physical BR shop, not being able to send it back to BR in Kolding, Denmark, because after two days, a return label had still not showed up. And now Joakim claimed that I had not paid for my ordered box. NOW hell broke loose. I was not going to take this laying down! I told him to go talk to his colleague Jenny but knowing he was not going to do that, I started bombarding him with ALL e-mails and conversations I had had with Jenny. All in all, I think I sent him fifteen e-mails and the idiot still did not understand what had happened. He just sat there ranting on about his money and that return labels always being included. I got nastier and nastier in my e-mails to him because there was nothing unclear in what I wrote. But that is the problem with this sort of new customers service. When you only are able to communicate via e-mail or chat, there will be 100 more misunderstandings, than if you got to talk to an actual person on the phone! It seems like people are dyslexic or something, because they can’t read what you have written or they do not understand. So, you have to sit with them on a chat for an hour instead of five minutes max on the phone or even more on e-mail, since then it spreads out over days. Yesterday, in church, I got two more offensive e-mails from Joakim. He wrote me on Black Friday right!? I ordered the Lego a week before Black Friday. And he sits there and says “Jenny could not see your order because our site crashed on Black Friday and paypal payments did not go through”. I mean, what sort of intelligence does this man have, when HE wrote me on Black Friday about a package I had received three days earlier? I get so tired of people like that!

To conclude my frustration about the Lego deal: Friday morning, I went to the hospital clinic, to have my blood drawn for all the tests my new doctor wants to do, pertaining to my hypothyroid. After they had filled NINE vials of blood or more, not being able to get any blood out of my left arm, so that my husband now thinks I am a living dead, and having to take the blood from the right arm, I first almost fainted and had to lay down for a while. Then I headed to the shopping mall for Black Friday shopping. Or “window” shopping because I was not impressed with the deals. But my real reason for going was that Jenny from BR had sent me an internet code for 200:-, because they had messed up. I intended to use the 200:- to buy the stupid nerf rifle for “Kitty”. Only, when I got to the shop, they told me it can not be used in the shop, only on the internet, since they are two different entities. Very strange, because you can return what you have ordered, to the shop! As long as you have the order confirmation with you! The one I never received since the item was not ordered! It just showed up here by magic, unpaid for! The 200:- was ridiculous compensation in other words, because I have sworn to not use that site ever again! Let us say, I do not need weeks like this in my life!

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My WWII dollhouse disaster! or a Review of Bromley Craft Productions realistic brick compound

When I got back from my trip to Miniatura in Birmingham, 3 October, I was totally up for charging on with my dollhouse. During my conversations with Richard Bromley, at Bromley Craft Products, I explained and showed what my dollhouse looked like and told him what I wanted for it. That I wanted to create a brick house look and I was more or less told what to do, in order to achieve my dream. It sounded easy enough, and after various conversations with paint shop people in Sweden, I settled for a chalk paint from Panduro hobby shop, to get that matt finish, which mortar has. Since you can read about all of my preparatory work, in my previous post on this topic, called “The destruction of Copenhagen”, I will not mention it here. But I will say, that the surface I painted grey, had been sandpapered in order to get all glue off (from the plaster details that had been attached to the house).

First try, leaving the bottom to paint white with texture.

First try, leaving the bottom to paint white with texture parts.

Happily, I followed the instructions and painted slowly and carefully. I had taped all windows shut with masking tape, and I waited extra hours before putting second coats on. I was rather pleased with the look and anxious to start the brick finish, but the can said, to wait two days, before putting any pressure on the paint, so I interpreted that to mean, do not meddle with the paint for two days, in any manner, shape or form. Finally, it was time to start making brick. But then, I started hesitating. Bromley kept saying “make a test first, make a test first”. So, before I started, I painted the only piece of wood I could find here at home, a creation of one of the children’s, which was some sort of bizarre car. I told everyone that it was for a good purpose! I painted this untreated wood piece twice, waited two days and got the template out to make bricks on the piece.

I have tried to ignore the costs. But I am going to be honest and tell everyone, who is interested in covering their new dollhouses with brick, that this method, sold by craft-products.com is not a cheap one at all. You pay £8 for each bag of compound yes, but you need a couple to at least cover three sides, which is what most people do. One side facing the wall, not needing this luxury treatment. But then you have to add tools. You can buy their plastic set of spreading tools, but you can get away with using your own spreading knives from home. What you do need is the template though, and I am starting to suspect, that you will have to get more than one, even though they say that it is reusable! That cost £6.95. Then you have to get repositionable spray. I had to run around all over trying to find this and the only place which sold it in our town of Lund, was an artist shop. At premium price. One can costs 148 :- (£13) and this is not cheap, since I also suspect that you will have to use quite a lot of it and maybe will need a second can.

Mixing the compound without exact directions is NOT on the plus side, for Bromley Craft Productions' realistic brick compound

Mixing the compound without exact directions is NOT on the plus side, for Bromley Craft Productions’ realistic brick compound

When I sprayed the template as told, it did not get sticky at all. It took up to four sprayings, before it was sticky enough to stick to imagethe test piece. Then came the next annoying thing. Bromley craft sells a compound, a powder, with no instructions as to how much water to add. YOU are supposed to test that yourself. In other words, you will get uneven mixture on the entire house! My daughter and I stood there and added more water and then it became soup, so we added more powder, and then it became too thick to spread, on with more water, and it got too loose again. And I got so vexed over this, because you can’t just tell your customers that it should feel like cake icing! It would have been so simple to have said, add 1 dl powder and so and so much water, for perfect mixture. But this they have not done. So there will be a lot of waste! I made too much. All that said, I started to smear it over the template and it looked very nice. I let it dry and then I started the dirtying down process of it.

Richard Bromley had told me to get acrylic paints in a hobby shop and make soot/mold/dirt on the bricks with that. But the people at the hobby shop warned me about this and asked me, how on earth I would be able to do this and make it look real. I had already thought the same thoughts. You take a brush, dip it in say black and then put the brush to the brick.Chances are that it will not look like soot at all, but it will look like some painter dropped a paint can on the brick. Instead they told me to get Tim Holtz distressed stamp pads, and these little make up looking sponges, called sponge daubers. With them, I can stamp on ink, which will give a mild colour/stain without looking painted on. But of course this meant further delay. I had to go on eBay and send for the distressed ink pads and the sponges. I will not bore you with prices, but yet another cost…

I sent for three different stamp pads, not knowing which would look the best. And not wanting to pay shipping more than once. Plus of course, not wanting to sit and wait over and over, for merchandise to arrive. I bought the colours Tea Dye, to just stain the brick a tiny bit, Black Soot, to create the sooted look all houses have in London, thanks to them having used coal fires, and then Peeled Paint, for the green mold look. The colours work well enough, the black a tiny bit too black to my taste, but it will have to do, since the stamp pads were not cheap!

I tried my stamp pads out on the brick created on the sample/test piece. And it looked well enough. I was quite impressed with the result. But then you must remember that the wood was untreated before I started and I never moved the template to see what that is like.

imageNow, I had mixed too much brick compound thanks to not having any instructions of how much water to add. Instead of throwing it out, I decided that it was time to test it on the real thing, on the house, because there was nothing more to wait for. So, I tried to put the template on to the house and understood at once what Bromley had said when he said that it would be better to take out the door and windows before trying to apply brick to the front. Now, I do not have that alternative. I can’t take out the windows since they are too fragile. If I try, they will break and then I will have to pay over £100 for eleven new windows. The door is already gone, since it broke off by mistake, when I laid the house down, in order to get the wallpapers off, inside the house. The template did not want to lay flat because of the windows. Bromley had suggested that I do the front last and cut off the surrounding frame on the template, to be able to move it about as I need it to, maneuvering between he windows etc. But, I have to start with the front! In order to make sure that I have enough brick compound for at least that side of the house. So, I had to be brutal with the template and press it down.

On the video it says that you do not need to be in any hurry what so, but can take your time. This is not true. The compound

You can see how the compound has dissolved the paint behind, in between the bricks and how the compound has not stuck to some parts.

You can see how the compound has dissolved the paint behind, in between the bricks and how the compound has not stuck to some parts.

gets grainier and grainier, the slower you work. You might have the perfect mixture when you start out, but a minute or two later, it is no longer perfect and it gets worse and worse the more you try to fix the ugly look on your house! I managed to put on brick compound on both sides of the door, but when I started to inspect it, after lifting the template, I noticed imperfections. Like it not having got attached in spots, so that you could see the paint through. Now, the video says, that this is alright. That you can just put the template back and fix the ugly spots. Sorry, but this is a lie. When I did this, the compound smeared so you no longer had the crisp lines with mortar between the bricks. I got so upset that I decided to get a wet rag and wipe off the compound and try again. This is when true disaster struck. When I wiped off the compound, I also wiped off grey paint and parts of the yellow paint!

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In other words, I quit. I was ready to take the dollhouse to the city dump. I screamed and cried, because the house looked awful and I just thought about all that money wasted. And I cursed my husband who would not let me get a kit and build from scratch. Then I would not have had all the hassle of not knowing what the lady had painted with previously and glued with. I drove over to the local paint shop, even though I knew the man over there washes his hands of anything smaller than an ordinary house, not selling test cans and not wanting to talk about dollhouses. I took my chances anyway and showed photos of what had happened. He just told me, that the yellow paint must be the culprit. He ordered me to sandpaper down to the wood and then put on a primer.

In my desperation, I wrote Bromley Craft and the owner wrote me and said that he doesn’t use any special paint at all, just regular paint used on British indoor walls and then a solvent based varnish on top of the bricks. He told me to look for latex paint or emulsion paint. So me on to the phone and every paint shop I spoke to said “Latex paint? Never heard of it. Emulsion paint? You are talking about plastic paint and that is the worse paint possible, noone wants that. We don’t sell crap like that!”. So what to do? Once again, I wanted to drive the house to the city dump. What was the point of keeping it? What I wanted to create was not possible!

Then I drove in to a place which did not answer their phone. Flügger paint. Finally I ran in to a woman who knew what she was talking about. She could not understand why latex or emulsion paint would be recommended, since nothing grips on that. She told me to get rid of as much paint as possible on the house, then paint with this primer which gives a matted look. It acts like both primer but also paint, if one wants that. And she thought it would be great since it was just going to act mortar. So, I bought the paint from her and she added a grey tint to it, to make it look like mortar. During this time, I was desperately trying to sandpaper the dollhouse, but not having the physical strength.

For some reason, I headed to a place called Biltema, which I think originally sold only car products. The name tells that story anyway. But now they sell bicycles, toys, garden things, tools, as well as the car items. I headed down there after researching tools on the internet. According to the internet, what I needed was a sander, a sander called a sander mouse, because it resembles a computer mouse. But when I got down there with my two youngest boys, I realized that the sander mouse was too big. It would not fit between the windows of the house nor really between the different floors of the house. So, I went to talk to the staff.I stood and talked to this girl for about an hour, the boys being miserable,  discussing my options and my problems with the house. And then she declared that she was not the expert. And that I should talk to her colleague. But he was not interested in talking to me what so ever. He was arrogant, patronizing and snapped at me! He was more interested in unpacking products and just told me to get a paint remover for the house and buy the sander mouse. He was not even listening to what I tried to say!

I got angry but grabbed the bottle of paint remover. I did not get the paint scraper he pointed at, but decided that my stove scraper would work as well, and I went to grab the sander mouse. But then I looked at the spare sandpapers for it and another tool called a multi tool and grabbed that one instead, since the area of the sandpaper was so much smaller. I drove home and got it out of the box, and decided for once, to read the manual. As I did so, it said that I must wear a protective mask and eyeglasses which I did not have of course. And then it said that I had to attach it to a suitable vacuum cleaner. What on earth is that supposed to mean? The staff did not say that only certain vacuum cleaners will fit on the tool, nor did it say so on the outside of the box. The box was hermetically sealed in the shop, so you could not open it to see what you were getting.

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What I bought

What I bought

I tried to attach our vacuum cleaner to the tool, my daughter tried, my husband tried and then we just had to take the machine back. But I could not do that, on that day. So I decided to attack the house with the paint remover. I smeared it all over the front with a brush and boy did that smell foul! I let it sit for 45 minutes, instead of the 15 recommended. It said that it could take hours for tough paint to dissolve. After the 45 minutes, I tried to scrape off the paint layers. But nothing worked! So, on with more paint remover and I left it for about four hours, the smell almost killing us all. THEN I could scrape off SOME of the paint. What on earth did this woman who built the house, glue with and paint with? I have never seen anything like it. I scraped as hard as I could and managed to totally ruin the wood in two places, getting under the surface of the wood, so my husband had to put putty there. When I had scraped the house, there was still lots of yellow paint left, so I had to put on a new layer of paint remover which turned really soupy this time, when the paint layer was not as thick. After this second scraping was finished, I had to get a wet sponge and wash off all the remover. The entire house of course got wet and I had the fan going the entire time, to try to dry it as fast as possible. When the house was dry, I started the sandpapering. From morning to night, day after day, I was sandpapering and my daughter with OCD hiding my things as soon as I walked away from them for a minute. So, every sandpapering session starting with me spending an hour searching for all my “tools” and things. She is driving me totally insane with her OCD and this is an entire different post I’m afraid.

When we were able to, we drove back to Biltema to ask for our money back. The girl in the returns said, that it fits all vacuum cleaners and I told her that this is not true. A co-worker then came up to me and said “No, it is meant for an industrial vacuum cleaner”. Now, I ask you: 1. Why does it not say on their site or on the box, that “this tool can ONLY be used together with an industrial vacuum cleaner”?. How honest is it to sell a tool like this without that warning. 2. How many professional builders owning an industrial vacuum cleaner, will drive to a crap shop like Biltema and buy cheap tools there? Biltema’s market is amateurs and hobbyists! They do not have the money to buy the real tools for the real money, since they do not need the tools for work, but for home repairs and hobbies! The man told me to get this mini multi tool, which he owned himself, using it for model making. He told me the aisle and then he left with the words: “Did you tell the man you talked with last time, that the paint remover was for a dollhouse?”. – Yes! “That stuff can’t be used on a dollhouse. It will run off looking like soup!”. I said no more!

Happily I grabbed the tool he had told me to get, in order to sandpaper the house with. And when I got home, I wondered if he had tried to be funny or what? The tool only work sideways! So wasted money. But I realized that I could use it for working on the door opening. The door I ordered from jandasupplies.co.uk did not fit even though I gave them precise measurements. I needed to work off a little bit of wood, on the corners among other things. So, I set out to do this. Just working on one little corner, wore out three of the attachments entirely and I who had planned on using this tool to maybe work on dollhouse furniture. The best attachments are now gone. When I went back to Biltema to get a protective mask, eyeglasses and thin work gloves, I asked this girl, where spare attachments could be found. She laughed at me and told me that I was an idiot. That their tools are so cheap since you can never have any spare attachments for them and you ought to understand that they are crap products,  when you buy them. I drove home very angry indeed. But then, that girl will always be a looser, working in places like that and no make up and bleached hair is going to alter her intelligence. I drove back, a smart, intelligent person, who might not be the best dollhouse renovator, but I still have lots of other things that I am VERY good at.

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imageFinally, all paint gone and every little speck of sawdust removed, I started to paint with the primer on both the dollhouse and on a new test piece. The paint was much different in consistency than the chalk paint, bought in the hobby shop. Thicker than thick. And taking longer to dry. But I am not in a hurry, so I was ready to wait. I also put brick on the test piece. No problem. And stained the brick with the stamp pad ink. No problems so far. But before I started  on the house, I decided to go back to Flügger to get the varnish and do the entire process first, on the test piece. I got to talk to Jessica there, again, who knows the entire story, and we decided to follow Bromley’s advise and not use a varnish which one applies with a brush. No, spray can was the only way to go, since a brush can dissolve the brick compound AND perhaps smear my distressed ink. But then she discovered that their varnishes are not solvent based! Like he tells on his site that one should use. Now what? She went on the internet and looked at every place possible selling varnish in Sweden and solvent based varnish is just not sold here. Because it is bad for you, for the environment, does not really work with the paints sold, since it can make the wood raise up so it looks like orange peel. In other words, Brits don’t care about the environment as long as it is cheap and quick to use? Once again I got angry at everything. But I walked home with an acrylic varnish and we sprayed it on the test piece, making the entire house stink. Nothing happened! But then, the coat does not get very thick when you spray it on! I have no idea how I am going to be able to spray down the entire house with this stuff? Where to put it to dry for 2 hours, when it says it must be 15-25 degrees Celsius. We are in the middle of the winter now and it is about 0 degrees outside! Or less!

Top test piece, stained with different stamp inks. Bottom piece with the primer/paint right before staining and getting varnish on.

Top test piece, stained with different stamp inks. Bottom piece with the primer/paint right before staining and getting varnish on.

Today, I started to put brick on the house! And I am upset once again. The template had to be sprayed with repositionable glue again, TWICE, since it would not stick at all anymore. And then it had only been used four times before! I had the toughest time making the brick compound the right consistency and started on the left side of the door. It became pretty decent looking and then I washed off the template and felt that it needed more glue. I mean, that is not supposed to happen! When I had done the right side and washed the template, the next step was ahead. Align the template with the already existing bricks and move upwards with the rows. The video says that this can be done, very easily. Not so! The frame is in the way so the template will not lay flat! The new part looked horrible with smears, since air got in under the template! (The windows are no longer a problem since the paint remover and sandpapering took away the frames, sticking up!) No crisp lines there at all, just smeary looking bricks and by now the compound also had gone really grainy and thick, so when I tried to cover an area where it was not sticking, I made compound  come off in another place. I decided that I could not live with this ugly looking area, so I got a wet sponge and tried to remove the compound. The newest made part. But the sponge was too clumsy ruining everything. Finally I had to wet a corner of a nice clean towel and try to wipe off the compound before it started to dry. The white towel is now terracotta stained.

My feedback on the Bromley Craft compound thus far, will be one star. The head ache and tears it has given me so far, is not worth it. Does it become cheaper than buying bags of ready-made little bricks to glue on individually? I strongly doubt it at this point! And you have more control over tiny little bricks. Because you have no control at all over this brick compound. One mistake and you have to wipe it all off, the powder wasted and you having less left to work with. And the mistakes happen because your template can’t lay flat, thanks to its construction and because the compound dries too quickly. SO far, I have not found a good way to remove the mistakes without having to remove all my work, because as soon as water gets close to the “bricks”, they dissolve. I am trying one more thing now: Letting the area dry completely before I move the template on to the last two rows and making a new area. This garbage about you being able to correct your mistakes and put the template back while the compound is still wet, well that is not true at all. This is more time-consuming than it would have been to glue little bricks on and the result on my house will definitely be uglier. I am positive at this point that I will hate the end result and having wasted tons of money. And each little area will take an hour to make, since that is how long it takes according to Bromley, for the brick to dry. My next desperate thing to try, is to slaughter the template and cut off the frame work around it. That will make it less sturdy and will make room for more mistakes. I will let you know what happens. Maybe it will be a photo of the house having been thrown in the wood section of the city dump.

The area I thought looked alright, BEFORE it dried. On closer inspection, after it had dried and I had finished the post, It is far from perfect. If you study the lower row, you will see that the brick has evaporated somewhere? Where to? Since I had it all covered with mixture.

The area I thought looked alright, BEFORE it dried. On closer inspection, after it had dried and I had finished the post, it is far from perfect. If you study the lower row, you will see that the brick has evaporated somewhere? Where to? Since I had it all covered with mixture. Now there is just brick coloured stain left! Not the effect I was after!!!😦 When does one accept defeat?

 

 

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Welcome to the Fourth Reich…

Yesterday's headlines: The American nightmare... or the first woman?

Yesterday’s headlines: The American nightmare… or the first woman?

formerly, the United States of America. Although, welcome is the wrong word, since the borders, will now be closed. Too late for many to get out even, because how will the world be able to absorb all Americans, now fleeing their nation? I just read that the Canadian Immigration site has crashed.

Nazi America, has voted for the re-incarnated Hitler, who today is called Trump. Like Britain did in June, the Americans want their country back. Although, back? Back from what? They have not been paying absorbent amounts of money to the EU, so they can not get their country back from SOMEONE. What they want is to GO back. Turn the clock back, like “Alice in the Looking Glass” just did in the cinemas. What the IQ-liberated Americans do not understand (Trump has informed them all that he is the only one with an IQ in America, but that they should not feel sorry about this fact.), which Alice got to learn the hard way, is that there is no way to turn the clock backwards, there is no way to go back. You can only move forward, you can’t stop development and progress.

Trumpland wants to go back to the good old days when everyone was a cowboy and carried a gun at their hip. When it was allowed to shoot anyone on the spot without repercussions. When it was allowed to string up a black person in the nearest tree, because the person was not white skinned. When women, laced up in corsets, had no rights to vote or had no say in anything, but stayed by the stove cooking, cleaning and having children. They want to go back to a time, when the few women allowed to work, had to accept sexual innuendos and that the co-workers stuck their hands up their skirts, because no trousers were allowed! And they want to go back to when it was perfectly normal to keep your child away from school, when you did not approve of the curriculum. Now they will have that, because Mr Hitler has promised them that!

The women, were the ones who got Hitler in to power the last time! They adored him, they loved him the more, the worse he treated them. He made sure they always sat on the front row, when he gave his speeches, to give him the courage to say what he had to say, and to give him all the self confidence, a look of excitement and love can give. They worshipped him, even though the nazis spat at their women. They were not allowed to work, to get an education, to wear make up or fashionable clothes. They were supposed to be plain, baby-making machines.

And this nation, who voted yesterday, who fought the nazis, and the fascists over in Japan, side by side with Britain. Thousands of young men died on the beeches of Normandy and in the forests by the Ardennes, fighting Hitler, and now the nation has been conquered by Hitler, just like he said would happen. He claimed that there was no need to invade Britain, that things would sort themselves out. They did! Brexit, is just another word, for the success of Hitler’s Third Reich. He won! He won the war, his ideas has conquered the world. He now has conquered the former United States of America. There was no need to waste young German men, time was all that was needed.

Like Hitler’s most devoted followers were women, so are Trump’s. I sat and looked at them yesterday, and of course all of them need to be lobotomized, since there is something seriously wrong when a woman looses her mind over a man who insults her in any manner possible. They say they want to go back in time, well, it is not Mr. Darcy the gentleman they have voted for. And no, he is not going to abandon that prostitute of his, to marry you. Nor did Hitler abandon Eva Braun. These leaders love bimbos yes, but you have to be a good-looking bimbo to get all the furs, jewels, swimming pools etc.! And ladies, honestly, even if you put a blind fold over your eyes, so you can’t see the man who is groping you, you honestly do not want THAT man to grope you! Even if Mr. Darcy is not available, one does not throw oneself at Mr. Collins or Mr. Elton! Yes, I do realize that in these women’s view, being groped by anybody, is a dream, and so is Trump’s fortune, but to sell yourselves, like his wife has done?

Businessmen in Nazi Germany thought Hitler was a clown, who could be ruled like a puppet. That his time would pass quickly.

It did not start with gas chambers but with hatred!

It did not start with gas chambers but with hatred!

Too late they discovered that he was a dangerous clown, someone who let people live out their darkest fantasies. He was the devil let loose, and “He’s back!” from the dead! Noone is going to be able to put a stop to Trump’s madness. The fool has fooled you all. What he said was not funny, not one bit. Instead it was a crystal ball, telling the future he was offering. What his govern will be like. And people swallowed it hook, sink and line. You don’t vote for someone, because you think that he is hilarious! You don’t vote for someone, who spreads hatred in society! You do not vote for a person, who lacks every ounce of humility and who tells everyone, that this is the way to be. You have just put Lucifer, the son of Lies, at the helm of your nation, America!

If I was a Jew, I would pack my bags as quickly as I could, and flee to Israel. Do not wait till Trump has built the camps! For all Mormons, pack your bags. America’s constitution is no longer valid. There will be no freedom of speech or religious freedom at all. Pax Dickinson, who I am sure will receive some important governmental post, has already promised a holocaust on all Mormons. He says it is long overdue and he is Trump’s best buddy. And I do not think that the muslims are in any doubt, where they stand with Trump. His first order of business will be throwing them out, alternatively sending them to Gitmo. Not to mention all the disabled, who have no future in Trumpland. How long will it be till he has resurrected and implemented T4?

A president who can not tolerate people less "perfect" than himself? How did you think here, America?

A president who can not tolerate people less “perfect” than himself? How did you think here, America?

I am ashamed of everyone, who voted for Trump. But even more ashamed of the people, who did so because of the FBI boss James Comey. How many millions did Trump stick in his pocket? Who in their right mind, votes for a fascist, because they do not want a woman in power? Or because that woman has sent some e-mails containing nothing worth repeating? How can one think that Hitler is to prefer to anyone?

And you know who I am the most ashamed of? The ones who did not vote at all! The bystanders, who said nothing while they could. The bystanders in nazi Germany, stood by and watched when Hitler took all the handicapped and terminally ill people, and gassed them. They stood by, when Hitler arrested all Jews and gassed them. After the war, they said they knew nothing or that they were never nazis. But if you do not speak up, you are silently agreeing. If you did not vote for Hillary or other candidates yesterday, YOU VOTED FOR TRUMP! YOU gave him the power, since you said nothing, like all the dissenters did with Hitler.

My poor husband is in shock, you can’t even talk to him. He thought Trump a clown that noone would take serious. My American part of the household, all voted Hillary. But Britain has gone fascist, now it was America’s turn. It doesn’t matter that there are people who do not agree with the policy of their nations or who are in charge. The ones who could have made a difference stayed silent. And the righteous do not scream loud enough or have just accepted the new reign of the dark side.

We have now entered the book of Revelations in the Bible, the final chapter has begun. I fear for my children. I am glad that I will never ever set my foot in the US again, or in Trumpland, but unfortunately, that nation effects all other nations. This morning the stock market has crashed and the dollar is going down, down, down. But do I feel like doing any shopping? No, I need to prepare for war instead. And the weapon needed this time, is faith and repentance. To stay strong, because the winds of war will be strong and colder than cold. No nation, will be able to say, who cares who rules in Trumpland?

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Halloween finally over for 2016

Not on HayDay of course, which always keep their animal decorations on, as long as possible, till we are ready to puke. Like having Santa hats on the pigs till Easter! But this post is not about that game! But about a holiday which does not really belong in Sweden and when it does, it takes the most bizarre shapes. All that said, it was difficult not to indulge the children this year.

“Gubby” with his autism, is a worry wart. He worries about everything and is scared of everything. For weeks, he has asked about his skeleton outfit. Worrying that it was missing, that noone knew where it was. And every day, I opened his drawer and showed it to him and tried to calm him down, telling him that mamma had everything under control. His outfit, not being specifically a Halloween costume, was a sweatshirt set from h&m, in black and with a white skeleton print on it. Hoodie and sweat bottoms in other words. Can be worn at any time really.

“Boo” with his autism, expected everything to be identical to last year. At the party, in church, he expected all the same decorations hung in the same place etc. It is when things do not become the way he has expected, that he explodes. So he was already dead set on owning a vampire cape, since his favourite programs on the children’s channel, are all about vampires. The ridiculous “Rysberg family”, who has immigrated to Sweden, because there is a lack of blood in Transylvania. Not even famous actor Petra Mede (Eurovision contest hostess) and popular rapper Markoolio, can lift the series. And for Happy Jankell, playing their daughter, who obviously got the part thanks to her famous biological parents, she gets the thumbs down entirely, since she can’t open her mouth without swearing. I have been forced to sit and watch it, so I can tell my boys to never ever utter the words which come out of HER mouth. Disgrace from SVT to broadcast all that swearing! And then there is his other favourite “Young Dracula” from Britain, where count Dracula has moved to Britain with his two children, after his wife ran off with a werewolf. His son wants to live a normal life, while his best friend dreams of being a vampire. I guess it is alright? At least there is no swearing, but it is tedious.

And for autistic “Kitty”, it was all about candy, doing as little preparation beforehand as possible, and absolutely no itching make up on. How to please them all, keep them calm till the two dates and prevent them from exploding? My usual helper E. left for Cardiff, Wales, Saturday. So no help there. And my American husband, likes to do as little as possible, since it is tiring. So, it was up to me to shell out the money and for F. to pick up the baton, even though she does not get along with brother two and three.

“Kitty” got to go shopping with school, for pumpkins, and they had an activity last week, cutting the pumpkins. Happily, he came home with his contribution. And T. finally bought us an enormous pumpkin, Friday, but did not lift a finger to do anything but carry it in from the car. Don’t know where our third little pumpkin showed up from? My contribution was buying a little cauldron for “Gubby” to carry and collect candy in. Sadly, the shop was sold out, so ONE was the only thing I could get hold of. I alsoimage bought their last window ghost. There were shouts of glee, when I arrived home with them both, especially the ghost which changes colour every 30 seconds. It outdid the cheap pumpkin T. bought, which does the same thing. I also bought, “Boo” a vampire cape, but he was just not stopping the nagging about it, so I had to bring it out a week in advance, just to stop him from going on and on about it. These children do not prefer surprises at all!

Monday, “Boo” suddenly told me that he needed vampire teeth. F. said she could paint some, and he exploded of course, because that was NOT how he had planned things. And then she declared that she had no idea where the paints were. So, Houston, we had a problem. No reliable babysitter who could keep from starting a fight with the siblings. And needing to go shopping. I had to do the best of the situation and bring “Boo”, who is a loaded cannon, and hope that the other cannon would stay dormant. Can’t bring two cannons to the shops! Not on my own anyway. We headed for “Biltema” in Lund. Despicable place! I will mention it in my next dollhouse renovation post, but for now, I can reveal that I needed safety glasses to not get sawdust in my eyes, a mouth piece, to not breathe in the sawdust and dangerous fumes from the paint remover, which is a real humdinger! And I also wanted to buy a piece for my new multi-task machine, which I thought could be used for sandpapering with. To save my muscles and arms. We arrived to “Biltema” and found the glasses, thin work gloves, so I will not start bleeding again, from the sandpaper, and the mouth protection. And then we walked over to the tools to look at these:

the sander attachment

the sander attachment

imageTo my horror, I realized that this tool was not made at all, to be attached to the machine I was told to buy two weeks ago! I went in search of a salesperson and every single one, was busy unpacking things. This I have learned, at “Biltema”, is a BAD sign! Then they become extra rude, since they are under pressure to put up all the merchandise and have no time for the customers. But I had to have an answer to my question, so I asked a girl, who looked less busy. Also girls usually being less rude, when compared to the grumpy middle-aged men, who have realized that their lives have been wasted so far in a job demanding no qualifications what so ever, not even charm and service mindedness! But this was a mistake on my part. This little, I don’t know what to call her, “nippertippa” in Swedish, so let’s call her stupid cow or airheaded blonde bimbo, did about everything she could to insult me. She laughed out loud at me having bought a tool at “Biltema” because everything they sell is crap, according to her. And if I had had any intelligence, I would have known that. To use the sander attachment shown, I needed to buy yet another tool, a power drill. I told her, there would be no more machines bought by me, for this dollhouse renovation. But I wanted to at least know, what happens when MY machine’s attachments wear out? Because I could not find any spare parts. Once again, a condescending laughter “We can get cheap machines in to this store, but there will never be any replacement parts for them!”. I took “Boo” and told him, “let’s leave this crap store NOW! I am not going to return ever again!”. We did buy the items, mentioned above, but I was livid. The way that this cow looked at me, the way she talked to me, the tone of her voice. That girl, should be fired on the spot! On the other hand, she fits perfectly with the rest of the personnel there. I don’t think I have ever encountered such a bunch of idiots in one place. On the drive home, I reminded myself, that I have almost enough points for two University degrees, and probably could apply for mensa still, so… She will remain a looser, because all she has, is all that make up and bleached hair!

Angry, we got back to the village and ran in to the toy shop, to get make up and fangs for “Boo”, since he had seen some there. To drive in to Lund’s toy shops, was out of the question since the Pope of the Catholic Church had decided to visit on this day. Tax payers money was used to keep security top-notch and yet, Lund was an utter traffic chaos! And how did we explain his visit to our children? He came to celebrate that Martin Luther told all catholics that they are bigots and that they should start believing in his view of christianity instead. I guess the pope came out of goodwill? Better fight united as Christians, than let internal bickering open up for the dangers of fanatical Islam? Strange country to come to though, since we are famous for being the most secular country in the world! On the other hand, we few who are religious ARE religious!

Our little village toy shop, was a mad house. I think all mothers had decided like me, to avoid the Pope, and try locally instead. Which meant that we were about ten people wanting white face paint and there were none to be had. The girl working in the shop told me, they might get some in the next day, and vexed I answered her “But Halloween is TODAY, I don’t need it tomorrow!”. While “Boo” was having a fit, because he could not find the fangs he had dreamed of, I saw a package with fangs, nails and a small little make up thing which had red, black and WHITE make up in it! I grabbed it and I could see how all the other mothers had vulture eyes, ready to grab it out of my hands. It was the one and only, and in my head I thought “The white better be enough for four kids! May they use it sparingly!”. I paid for my package and made “Boo” happy, since those were the fangs he had wanted but he had expected different packaging. These ones were the ones which only go on the top. All others are both up and down, which means you have to be silent, because if you say something, your dentures will fly out of your mouth. He did not want those, since he says they hurt your mouth and he wanted to be able to say “Trick or Treat”. In Swedish of course.

We got home and F. tried to get her brothers to help her with the carving of the two pumpkins. Unfortunately, “Kitty” has no patience, “Gubby” do not like sticky, slimy things and “Boo” has both fine and gross motor problems, so pumpkin carving is not really their thing! F. got angry with them and I did not want to stand and shout to her, for the 100th time, that they have autism and  patience, slime and precision carving, do not work then! They loved helping her pick faces from the internet, but the digging contents was not at all popular. I did not volunteer, since the smell gets me nauseous. And it is not my holiday!!! They did end up with three funny pumpkins though and later on, when I was home alone, to greet the trick n’ treaters, kids commented that it smelled very nice at our house and that we had the best looking pumpkins, so I relayed that to the kids.

image

Instead, I tried to attach the ghost to, F.’s window, to show kids that they actually can get candy at our house as well. Through the years, we have only had one set of kids, a year, and all that candy for me to eat up, in the evening. Comes from living room and kitchen facing away from the walk path, where the kids walk. They can’t see any lights on and sometimes the wind has taken out the candles, in the pumpkins. So, this year, I put up the ghost in F.’s room which faces the walk path and in my room, I put up imageboxes and then the pumpkin T. had bought, changing colours. It was pitch black by the time he got home, and it looked so spooky with only that ghost and pumpkin giving light to the walk path. Of course we had also lit the pumpkins and the boys were getting make up on. “Gubby” screaming “Not the eyes, not the eyes” and F. still putting black all around his eyes and in his eyebrows, poor thing. He thinks it itches and is scared of the painful removal process, since it has to be scrubbed off! “Boo” was even worse, he was petrified of getting paint in his eyes and his skin is so sensitive to touch, that he screamed just because F. was touching him. I had to go out and have a serious talk with him. In the package I had bought, there was also ampoules to bite in to, so that stage blood would run down your chin. THAT was not something “Boo” was willing to do. He did not want to feel the running of fluid in his face nor did he want to taste what ever it tasted like. So that was wasted money. I was glad in a way though. Who knows how that would have stained things?

I wish I could have put up the photos I took, but since I want to protect my children’s integrity at least somewhat, I will not. But I had “Gubby” put on leggings under the sweat bottoms, long T-shirt under the hoodie and a brand new wool cardigan, horrendously priced at Polarn’ and Pyret, in order to stay warm. I have a difficult time finding clothes he will wear, since he is very sensitive to seams, touch of fabric etc. So, Saturday I took him to Polarn’ and Pyret, so he could try the cardigan on, which will be worn under his snowsuit all winter. They happened to have a jubilee, so the children were treated to Princess cake and a fish pond, where you received candy. This made me feel obliged to buy the cardigan, even though the price almost made me faint. Good thing it is big, so he can wear it for years to come! All three boys also got to put on their brand new winter boots with fur inside, in order to keep them warm, because Monday night was not a warm evening. T. walked around with a beanie which had a bloody knife sticking out through it! Bought by “Kitty”, who later decided to also go as a skeleton, putting on his onepiece, also from h&m. F. loaned a nice Next shirt from me, which is a combined sweater-blouse. She better return it to me, which she usually does not, when she loans things. She told us that she was supposedly a zombie. Hm!

While the children were out trick or treating, I held down the fort here at home, trying to do things on the internet, but getting interrupted every five minutes. All children went up to our door bell this year. I guess, the decorations did the trick. The only sad thing was the ca. 12-year old boy and girl, who rang the bell, as one of the first groups to do so. I did not bring the bowl with candy to the door, since I had not yet got in to the routine, so I opened the door, said hello and went to fetch the bowl. And when I returned, only the boy was there. “Was there not two of you?” – She got scared and ran away! “Do I look that scary?”. I felt offended actually, because I love children and alright, I am not this extroverted bubbly person, but I do not understand how I could scare anyone? I gave him double candy. In one way, I hope he did not share it with her, because if you dress up as a horrifying zombie and then run off, because you get scared of a woman wearing jeans and a petrol coloured top, you do not deserve any candy! Halloween in this country is all about scaring, blood and gore, and I was neither! And if you can’t take pumpkins or meeting new people, you have no business being out trick n’ treating! Especially when you are 12-13 years old!

image

My children came home, with a gigantic basket full of candy. I got nauseous just looking at it, but I am proud that my countrymen go all out and give all the children candy, cookies, what they have at home, even though it is not our holiday! Now, started the fight to get them in to the shower and trying to remove the face paint. “Gubby” had started himself and had made a right mess of things, getting the paint in to his eyes. I had to get my useless make up remover out, from former Miss Sweden Yvonne Ryding. The expert at “Lindex” clothing and cosmetic shop, told me that all her products are great, but all this remover does, is place an oily film in front of your eyes, so you have to look through a fog, till you go to bed. I never use it anymore, since it is so useless, but using wet wipes from Primark, like I do, was going to use up the entire package on one boy! I had to try to at least get the worse off, with that horrible stuff. And then send him in to the shower, while I started with “Boo’s” face. He of course screaming, through the entire ordeal.

Tuesday and Wednesday was spent, trying to make the children not eat up the kilo each, of candy, they received that night. And then, last night, it was time for the Primary Halloween party in church, which Young Women and Young Men were supposed to help out with. They carved pumpkins for it Friday, as an activity, but “Kitty” never went. F. sent him angry, nasty messages all evening long, but he was ANGRY and I can understand him.When he gets home from school, he is exhausted and doesn’t feel like taking the bus back in to town, to go to an activity and then coming home late. He much rather sit in front of the computer, at home, playing games. And this particular day, some boys had called him a “DAMP kid” at the bus station, so he was very upset when he got home and forbade “Boo” to go outside, since he would be ill-treated there.

For the party, F. and “Kitty” had to be in church at 16:00, at the latest, so they left on the bus. And left behind, were two worried boys, who would not listen to me, when I told them, that yes, they were going to the party, but F. and “Kitty” had to take the bus and be there early, to decorate. Sometimes it truly feels like I am talking to the walls, because my autistic children do not listen to me. They are so in to their spiral,  that they can’t be reached. Thank heavens, T. arrived earlier than usual from work, so they could see that something was happening. I got them dressed and the three of them left, for the party, in plenty of time, for F. to help them put face paint on again, in the chapel. Deep sigh. I get so stressed up when I have to plan and prepare the children for these dress up things. Especially since they can’t think and plan themselves, but I have to keep track of everything, and if I fail, then I have hysterically disappointed boys. When they had left, I sandpapered on my dollhouse and then sat down and didimage something I had said I would never do, I watched YouTube videos on how to colour nicer. Actually I sat and watched how to colour gemstones, so they look alive, since Hanna Karlzon’s colouring books, all have gemstones, on almost every page. I do not aspire to ever becoming an artist, but I do not like ruining the books either. Who doesn’t want to be happy with their work? The hours ran by quickly and soon I had the gang home again, happy with their evening and unhappy about the cleaning up process they once again had to go through. Now, I can rest till Easter: Hooray!

(Post written Thursday 3 November)

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