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One of the great things about blogging is meeting new people.  OK, we’ve not ‘met’, but we’re cyberfriends.  Kimberly reads my posts daily, usually has something pithy to say about them, and has made my life a little brighter.  Her blog is called Goodness and Grits.  You should check it out.

Seriously, she’s pretty funny!

In her own words:  Kimberly Justice Mengshoel was raised in Chipley, Florida, studied in Boston, Massachusetts, learned what life is about in Nashville, Tennessee, and has found passion in Lillehammer, Norway.

An American expat floundering with a new language, the metric system, and an entirely different culture. She is married to the man of her dreams and mother of three DRAMATICALLY entertaining children. Yoga is her drug, but writing is her passion. After all, it is cheaper than therapy.

Kimberly is the author of Goodness and Grit a humorous blog about life when it smacks you in the head with a snowball.

Here’s her guest post!

Lessons Learned

Since hopping the pond eight years ago, I have learned a lot.


For example, I had no idea I do not speak English!

I evidently speak American.

I have taken this newly acquired knowledge to heart, and genuinely strive to better myself with each new grain of wisdom.  I am currently studying Oxford English, as well as Norwegian, with my children through their homework assignments, and can now use terms like jumper (sweater), lorry (big truck), and wellingtons (rain boots) properly in a sentence. But I draw the line with the accent.

I have learned to snow ski, drive on ice, and that OCCASIONALLY it is ok to play on the roof.

Roof Play

Ski Jump

Roof Shoveling

In elementary school, we learned the metric system in the fourth grade.  I remember Mrs. Foy saying,  `Someday your entire world will be metric.´  Her comment reverberates off the boundaries of my brain as I find myself following speed limits in kilometers per hour, and my car tells me how many liters of diesel I have remaining, in Swedish.

I purchase my children´s clothing according to how tall they are in centimeters and get funny looks when I am unsure how much they weigh in kilograms.

I once shared a cake recipe with a friend that found it puzzling her oven does not go as high as 350 degrees.

Problem resolved when I admitted I forgot to convert the temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius.

Oh, I know all of the conversions and can do the math, but it is not ingrained on my brain and does not come automatically the way it did in my former world of imperial units.

If your travels bring you to Lillehammer, do stop by for a cup of tea. I purchased a kilo some years ago and still have plenty to share!

It has been brought to my attention Americans are loud. I never realized this! As far back as I can remember, I have heard, `Kim, we are sitting right here. No need to yell.´

But now, as I sip my Chi-Latte at a lovely outdoor cafe enjoying a rare moment of sunshine in Norway, a neighboring table of “tourists” is annoying the Hell out of me!


From now on I am going to use my yoga voice.

There are two phrases in Norway that could be deemed the Norwegian philosophy of Life. 1-No such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!  Norway gets some weather.  If you sit around waiting for a nice sunny day to organize ANYTHING, chances are, you `ain´t going no where´!  And dressing a child for preschool, where they play outside 85% of the day despite temperature and precipitation, is an art that takes years to master.


Preschool Summer


Preschool Winter

2- `Ut på tur aldri sur!´ Which directly translates to `Out for tour (walk), never sour (bad mood)´! I have tested this theory time and time again.  And I hate to admit it´s true. The country of Norway is so damn entertaining!

Don´t believe me? COME! Go for a walk!

Oh the sights you will see… But the most important lesson learned, in this beautiful land way up north where winters are long and dark.

Bikini Sking!

Don't take the baby to the liquor store, and don't take him down the slopes either!!!

Is the importance of room darkening shades!  Three Saturdays ago we “celebrated” 24 hours of daylight!

Staying Warm

Hoping you had a Happy Summer Solstice yáll!

*It’s not that I’m lazy, there are just so many people I want you all to meet!  UP

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