Falling Willow

Falling willow

We had this Willow tree that I have been chipping away on, two of its main stems were already cut down. A couple of weeks ago it broke fairly high up. So it was definitely time to cut it down to not injure someone when it finally came down.

Now I “only” have to make firewood out of it.

A bit much water

As people following the news already know we have a lot of water in our part of the country.

Today we made our usual round, walking down to the lake. Some of our neighbors have water in houses on their property, (guests house and the house at the pier).

The trees are usually on dry land

The picnic table is close to where the shoreline used to be.

Picnic table pushed by ice.

The high water level is also influencing the water on the field by our house even if we aren’t in any danger for now.

Sunset from our porch.

This is a natural catastrophe in slow motion.

Winter returned

So… we got a “white” Christmas Eve morning but then the rain came and transformed our place to a shore property.

The lake where the field was before.

Actually our lake made it to national news as there are houses on the other side of the lake that are on lower land. On our side only our walkway along the shore became a walkway through the lake.

The picnic tables are a bit far out for a nice picnic by the lake.

But then on Tuesday evening the rain turned to snow. All day yesterday it snowed, and the wind didn’t distribute it evenly.

It was so bad that the main road we take to Höör was closed for a while and just to the south of us closed for 5 hours, but that is nothing compared to the chaos on the motorway just som 20 km from here, it was closed for more than 24 hours.

It was snowing so much my footsteps blew over while I went to get more firewood

So today it was shoveling time. Susanna did a bit too. Somehow the snow had decided the best place to settle was on our driveway.

The biggest drift in front of the garage. It was 50 cm deep.
Here it is clear how much the snow varies, to the right it’s 50 cm and on the left just about 5.

Now I’m done. That’s some good workout.

Enjoying the fire after.

So now we aren’t snowed in anymore.


Today we finally had our first homegrown meat. One of the chicken became a rooster. He didn’t get along with the old one so he had to go.

Now we finally had the opportunity to make him for dinner. Tasted really good. All the vegetables were also homegrown, just some seasoning wasn’t from our place and the wine of course. We could have had our cherry wine but wanted some Pinot Noir.

Our homegrown dinner


This last year I have had a big project. We have always wanted to have chicken and the plan was to build a chicken coop during my parental leave. It took me a year until I started with the work.

As I usually do, I first made a digital model.

Model of the buildning
The Sketchup model I made of the building.

The physical work started mid-January. First, I had to move a little hill of dirt. Then the holes for the foundation was dug. Progress was slow but steady.

Removing the little hill.
The little hill almost gone.
Corner holes done.
The first holes for the foundation. There were a few stones in the ground…

By February I had the foundation ready, but work slowed down a bit from then on. Other things had higher priorities.

Outer foundation ready.
The foundation and lower frame coming up.

As the fall (no we didn’t get any winter) turned to spring work continued. Somehow, I wasn’t documenting every step and suddenly I hade most of the outer boards up.

One side done
Boards coming up.
All sides done
The outside is getting there.

As summer came, I started insulating the house. We got some paper-based insulation as it is much nicer to work with (and more environmentally friendly).

Insulating the door
Here I’m insulating the door.

As summer was about to end, and with it my parental leave too I got in a bit of a hurry. I painted the coop and built the enclosure. Then I got some net to keep the foxes out.

Netting being mounted
Netting being mounted.

There was some more cleaning to do. All the bricks and other trash I found inside hade to be moved out.

Rubble to be removed
All the stuff that had to be moved out of the enclosure.

We got notice from our friends that they wanted to get rid of their chicken, so we had to act fast. I got the net up over the enclosure. Built the “furniture” for the house and all the other small parts that were to be made. But by the end of October we were ready for our new family members to move in.

The enclosure is ready
The enclosure is ready.

And then on a Monday morning the chicken arrived. They seem to like their new place. We got one rooster and six hens.

The Rooster and Hens looking at their new place
Figuring out their new place.
Finding a place to sleep.
Finding a new place to sleep.

We are so happy this finally is done and now we are waiting for our first eggs. Most Hens don’t lay that many eggs in the late fall, but maybe we’ll get some for Christmas.

Siam, mouse-hunter master and friend.

Siam died. We are sad. He was a great and beautiful cat.

Siam on the bathtub

Sadly he caught something and became ill, very ill. We didn’t realise how bad things were until mid-last week when we contacted our veterinarian. They didn’t have any appointment before Monday and told us to contact some other place if he became worse. And he did. So on Saturday I went to the animal clinic in Lund to see what can be done. He was barely able to walk when we got there. Just skin and bones. The veterinarian told me she was surprised that he lived with that low of a body temperature. There were only very slim chances of him ever getting well and the best thing would be for him to die.

So he left us. Back home we gave him a nice little burial.

Siams grave

Hi is missed. By me, by everyone in our family. The kids got to say goodbye before we left for the animal clinic.

Siam and Milo hiding under the sofa.

He came to us in the beginning of 2006. It took him a while to start to connect to us, but when he did he really enjoyed my company.

They soon started to enjoy our garden and the surroundings. Making life difficult for all the rodents and some birds too. The wild bunnies moved out of our place rather quick after one of them losing to Siam. Siam was the big hunter, but both did a great job keeping mice out of our house.

Siam on the field

It took a while until they dared to come close to our kids. All of them have had periods when they chased them. They are also loud, and Siam didn’t like that. For the last couple of years our daughter has become a person they trusted though.

The cats didn’t sleep in our bedroom for most of the time, but came for a cuddle after we went to bed frequently.

In the end Siam was friendly with all kids; he even enjoyed being petted of all of them at the same time.

Siam and Milo on the sofa.

We are so happy we got this time with him. Now we will take care of Milo who has lost his brother the best we can.

Susanna is the best! 10 years!

Today we have been married for 10 years. That is the Tin-wedding-day. I’m so happy I am married to Susanna; she is a great friend, wife and companion.

There are so many things we have done together.

It was a really nice day back then. There have been many good ones since.

Here is a picture from then.

Us standing in front of the altar.

Thank you for this time Susanna and all the things you have brought into our life!

A new project at home

A new project at home

We have been dreaming about having chicken for eggs as long as we have lived here. We thought we would build a chicken coop for a while now too. As I have been on paternity-leave it was always the plan to build it during this time. We didn’t start yet though.

Now I have kind of started though. The planning started some time during the autumn. I like making models so I made one in SketchUp. It’s probably not final. I think I might widen the door a little; just 50 cm wide might be a bit narrow.

Here are two pictures of the coop.

Model of chicken coop

First from the outside; I’m having it raised so that the chickens have a place in the dry when being outside.

Cross section of the chicken coop model.

Here a cross section; the inside is not entirely ready in the model, there is no feeding tray and water-place yet.

The first real work has started too. Because there was some old garden-waste pile there I have started to flatten the ground. I don’t know how many wheelbarrows of soil I have moved.

The place where the chicken coop with be built. Flattening the ground.

I’m almost done with this first part. Here the chicken coop will be placed in line with the wood-shed and all other buildings on our plot. We will fence in an area around it so that the chicken can stay outside in safety form other animals.

I’ll try to update the progress on a regular basis, but who knows how fast things will go, I just hope I’ll be done before I start to work again, I have kids to take care of too (and they want to help).

Last harvest of 2019

The end of 2019 is near. It was a good year. Susanna started working again and I have been on parental leave. The children are growing. One is in school and two at home. We are keeping busy with all kinds of stuff.

The garden has given us plenty of vegetables. And will continue to give us more in the next months, we still have plenty of potatoes and onions. Today we harvested for the last time this year. Carrots, red cabbage and regular cabbage. Now only thyme, parsley and kale are left for later harvest.

Today’s harvest.

Happy New Year!

May 2020 bring plenty of fun and good things!

10 Years

Today it is 10 years since Susanna and I became a couple. I’m so happy for these years, they have been filled with so many good things, like us getting married, our children and the move to the country side. The best part is you Susanna, all the other things wouldn’t be without you.

Now we have a year of celebrations ahead of us, next up our 10 year engagement in June, hope we can have that on Bornholm like you though would be a good idea. Later comes my 40th birthday and as a grand final the wedding anniversary next January.

Susanna; You are the best!

2016 and 2017 in pictures

I have finally managed to get the pictures from 2016 and 2017 sorted.

Here some highlights from 2016:

Canoeing on a calm day, the lake is like a painting.
Canoeing on a calm day, the lake is like a painting.
Right after we got home, Johannes had a study-trip with work to Madrid.

Here you find the pictures of 2016: wolfmaier.se/2016-in-pictures/

And some highlights from 2017:

This is one of my favourite places, the view is just beautiful and you can really see the end of the open land and the start of the forest north of the lake.
Our daughter practising to ride a bicycle this summer.

Here you find the pictures from 2017: wolfmaier.se/2017-in-picutres/


How did 2018 go so fast?

It’s been a long time since I wrote here. Sure, there was the Christmas greeting and the advent calendar, but I think it was back in august 2017 I made a real update. And there have been happening things since.

First; I’ve been busy, like really busy, having three kids isn’t good on the spare time account (or any other account for that matter). Second; sitting at the computer writing stuff isn’t easy when three kids want to use said computer when I use it. Third; my computer is sick, it needs a safety override to start and if I run any program that runs it warm (like most games, sketch-up and such) it shuts down. This resulting in only really necessary things being done on the computer. Blogging wasn’t one of them I suppose. Actually I just recently realised that I hadn’t transferred pictures form my phones and camera to the computer (and the subsequent backup’s thereof). If I had lost my phone I would have lost all pictures from January to November. That would have been sad.

This year has been really nice though. Last year (2017) we were learning to be a family of five. Learning to deal with a sick child and just cope. Dealing with broken cars and the hassle of getting a new one. Having a broken heating system, and disappearing plumbers. Just not a year to enjoy.

This year was so much better. It was decided that our little one didn’t need surgery. Work was good. Life was much more balanced. We had low expectations and got good results. The new car exceeded our expectations. We got our heating system fixed after more than a year of living with it only partially working.

We also got some other good things going.

First: Our garden.

Even though there was (is) an epic drought in Sweden, we had a wonderful garden this year. We also got our greenhouse done last winter. This resulting in us getting our own cucumbers, tomatoes (they would have grown outside too), chillies, paprika, water-melons and some other things that usually doesn’t grow here.

Our garden with the greenhouse in the back.

The garden provided us with abundance of mangold, carrots, potatoes, onions, beetroots and herbs. We also had squash, corn, strawberries, salad, cabbage and broccoli, just not as much. And we actually took care of most of it. We still enjoy our own carrots (and they will last some time still), beetroots, potatoes and onions. We have some frozen mangold and herbs left too.

Our apples were also in abundance, we couldn’t take care of them all. But there will be apples for a long time still. Plums and cherries were also plenty, we have made some marmalades and chutneys with them. The blackberries didn’t really like the drought though, and we didn’t water them, we got some but not that many.

And the best part; almost no mowing of the lawn and snails.

Second: Our kids.

Our kids enjoy each other. We get time to do other things, while they are playing. Our daughter is now in school for real, learning new things every day in first grade. Our sons are still at home with us.

We are not burdened with our youngest’s condition any more, as he doesn’t have any symptoms and doesn’t need medication now. He is still monitored though, once every half year there are some tests to be made, and once a year an ultrasound. For you that doesn’t know more: He was diagnosed with gall-stones when he was just a little over 3 months old. About the same time we ordered our new car. It took a few days till they found out what it was. Then some more to figure out what to do. First medication and later surgery. The surgery was to be done in Stockholm but was postponed many times. About one year ago we were told that his values were good enough to not do surgery, but they will monitor him, if it comes back.

Our kids at the Zoo playing with water

And he is a talker. We aren’t used to that. Both our daughter and our older son didn’t really make sense before they were almost three. But he astonishes us with his speech.

Maybe I should have put our kids first…

Thirdly: Our house.

Last spring, (you see the pattern) we lost pressure in our heating system. Like there was a leak somewhere. The problem was just we didn’t find any leak. So we hired a plumber. He didn’t find any leak either. But when he tested the system there wasn’t any leak any more. A few months later (after summer was over) the pressure disappeared again. And the plumber too… So we called a different one. And he didn’t come when he said he would. So I added a few taps to get our heating system working in parts of the house. So we had central heating in our bedroom, storage, hall and laundry/shower-room. The rest of the building had to rely on small electric furnaces and our wood furnace in the living room. It was cold in the mornings.

A few months later the plumber did come and they didn’t find the leak either. Now it was leaking after testing though. He said he would figure something out after new-year. And he disappeared again. Later he told us he couldn’t help us. So we called our insurance again and they referred us to him… Luckily they had a backup. Now a third plumber came, and they performed the same inspection as the previous ones and didn’t find anything. They also dyed the water in the pipes green to see if there was any green water somewhere, but no. They did know a guy though that could test the system with gas (no not the American kind) and he pressurised our system and found that the leak was probably below the newer (1994) part of the house. He couldn’t tell what pipe it was, there were two going that way, so he recommended us to reroute the pipes going under the new part of the house. So we asked the previous plumber for a price. And it was hefty. So we asked a different plumber (one that had repaired a radiator right after we moved in) and it was a bit better. So we went with that guy. And he fixed it. In the middle of the summer we had heating again. And we tested it, as good as one can test a heating system on a day with 30° C outside.

We did have a minor leak later but only affecting our hall and laundry/shower-room, this we had fixed by our guy just before Christmas.

We always had a slow pressure decrees in our heating system, but I thought it was due to a faulty valve in the boiler room, but it was probably just the pre-stages of the big leak. Now we don’t have that problem anymore.

The truck with the insulation pumping into our house.

We also got some extra insulation under our roof, so now we have a much nicer climate on the upper floor.

Fourth: Our cars.

We have two cars, like we’ve had all the time we have lived here. Last year we needed a new one, because our old had an accident. So we did some calculations and realised that a new electric car would cost us about the same as a used ICE. We are very pleased with our ZOE, not just the new-car feel but mainly the running costs. We have been driving it a bit more than we thought we would. Basically it’s our first car now and our Megane is just if the ZOE is busy or we need the bigger trunk or roof-rails for shopping. Sadly neither has a hook for trailers, but we might get one some time. I just hope we can keep the Megan alive until we can afford a second electric. In a couple of years there should be a few more to choose from.

Charging our ZOE in Germany

In spring we did a trip to Germany. We decided to use the ZOE, it would be so much cheaper and we need plenty of stops anyway. It went really well. I guess that it won’t be as cheap in the future though, more than half of the charging posts didn’t charge for the electricity. We learned that using charging posts is easy in Germany and Denmark, in the Netherlands you need to do some planning first, but thanks to Tesla (and a free and open destination charger) we got to our destination there too.

Fifth: The summer.

This last one is with a bit of ambivalence. It was a great summer, I love the high temperatures and sunny days. I’m not as happy about the drought it brought. We still have much less water in the lake than usually, maybe 80 cm lower than it normally is in December, even if it has risen maybe 20 cm from its lowest. Our lawn stopped growing, except for some weeds. It wasn’t entirely yellow though, probably because of the proximity of the lake. We got some good time at the sea too, both the Baltic and the Westcoast.

Sand castle at the beach

Looking back on this year is good. Looking forward is exiting. I will be home with the kids while Susanna has a new job (that she will find soon I hope). It will be different then the last times. There will be strict daily routines, the oldest has to be at school in the morning and picked up afterwards. There will be many more activities during the weekdays for the boys. But I think it will work well.

A new car

On Tuesday we finally got our new car. It’s a Renault Zoe, a small electric car. We ordered it in the beginning of April after we had an accident with our Škoda and it had to be scrapped. It took some time for it to be delivered, but it was worth the wait and we had another car (a Renault Kadjar) from the dealer until it arrived.

Here is a picture of the car (sorry for the quality of the picture):

Picture of the new car

Here is a picture of the loaner:

Picutre of the car we loaned

Here is a picture of the damage on the Škoda, it wasn’t a bad accident, airbags didn’t deploy, but the insurance company rather traded in the car then letting us fix it:

Picture of the crashed car