VIking-PIrate-NInja-GYpsies. Go ahead, try and find a stereotype for us.

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Hjemmelagde skjønnhetsprodukter

I det siste har jeg filosofert mye over hva er det egentlig jeg konsumerer. Etter å ha lest en artikkel i VG, eller Dagbladet eller noe i den duren fikke jeg info om at de aller fleste skjønnhetsprodukter inneholder veldig mye kjemikalier. Eller de er testet på dyr. Eller begge deler.

Når det gjelder dyretesting har jeg litt blandede følelser. I medisinske tilfeller vet jeg neimenn ikke hva jeg skal tenke, på den ene siden, så… ja, forskning er jo viktig, på den andre siden, skal dyr lide for det? Men en ting er jeg sikker på, og det er at ingen skal lide for mine skjønnhetsprodukter! Så den beste garantien jeg har for å slippe unna kjemikalier og ikke få produkter testet på dyr i huset/på min kropp, må vel være mulig å lage ting selv?

Jeg begynte med deodorant. Hva brukte folk som deo før i tia? Svaret er vel at de gjorde ikke det, men det forandret seg jo. Etter litt research fant jeg ut at en gammeldags deodorant inneholder en eller annen base, salt, natron og eventuelt en form for godlukt.
Jeg mikset sammen like deler salt, natron og kokos-olje på laaaaaav varme i en pytteliten gryte. Da alt så ut som det var blandet dryppet jeg i noen dråper te-tre olje, som er antibakteriel og ett par dråper Palo Santo, for Kevin syns den lukter godt 🙂 Blandingen ble helt over i en liten plastbeholder og satt i kjøleskapet til den stivnet.
Den lukter litt spesielt, men jeg tror det kan reguleres med andre oljer, og så langt har jeg brukt denne deoen jevnlig uten at noen har klaget på lukta mi, håper virkelig folk sier ifra hvis den ikke virker!! Natronen gjør den litt ru, så det er litt kjipt å bruke på nybaberte armhuler, men jeg bryr meg ikke så veldig om å ha armhuler som en 12 år gammel gutt, så det gjør ikke meg noe.

Ett annet produkt jeg bruker mye av, er leppepomade. Vi har veldig tørr luft i huset og sprukne lepper er kjipt…
Dette var enda lettere å lage! Like deler shea-butter og kokos-olje, og kakao-pulver etter smak og behag. Smelt sammen på svak varme eller varmbad og hell over i en liten krukke, pille-eske eller noe annet som kan romme litt leppepomade. Veldig effektiv og lukter himmelsk! Kan selvfølgelig droppe kakao, eller putte i noe annet. Tenkte jeg skulle prøve med peppermynte, vanilje-essens eller rose-olje. Jeg tror den kan bli forbedret så en av dagene smelter jeg den om sammen med litt jojoba-olje, som inneholder vitamin E. Skal gi en oppdatering på hvordan det går 🙂

-Mira


Open-Source Protein

Fruiting!:
Not the weight we were anticipating, but we’re working on delaying fruiting, to give the mycelium more time to digest the substrate.  Also trying different substrate forms (plastic kitchen containers like tupperware)

Diversify and strengthen:
-3hree fruiting cultures from jars (attempt model 1.0)

-5ive cultures on coffee-grounds and màte (fruiting attempt 1.1)

-1ne culture in a fresh load of kitchen-waste/matavfall (taking to it quite well, and about to be installed in the outdoor compost heap)

Tomorrow we buy earthworms, and make a nice home for them (hey, look at all these coffee grounds!), and by this weekend have the compost bin constructed, and the compost *properly* started.  I think the p. ostreatus and the Oligochaeta will get along nicely.

Image

Pardon the goofy eye.

Recommended reading: Organic Gardeners Composting, by Steve Solomon.

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Not bad for a shipped culture that was stuck in the mail.  In Scandinavia.  In the winter.  Then subdivided into several small cultures.  I doff my cap to the folks at backtotheroots.com

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The fruitbodies are sprouting fruitbodies.  I present to you: fractal bonsai mushroom culture


Hold up a second. . .

We interrupt this regularly scheduled (ha!) blog post to give a very important announcement.

  I (Kevin) received a letter from UDI (immigration control in Norway) saying my application for family immigration was denied.  We have 3 weeks to contest the ruling, but it’s the easter week this week, so everything is closed down.

Pasted here is Mira’s writing “2011” which recounts our story.  We are publishing both her original, and my English translation
******************************************************************************************

Klokka er snart 6 på morraen, og jeg får fremdeles ikke sove.

Jeg er vanligvis flink til å fokusere på å eksistere i nuet, men det blir vanskeligere og vanskeligere. Dette kommer til å bli lang lesing, jeg kjente det idet jeg bestemte meg for å skrive.

Dette er vår historie i 2011-2012.

14 mars 2011 giftet jeg og Kevin oss. Vi hadde ikke vert sammen veldig lenge, bare ett år, men vi var så sikre på at det var hverandre vi ville ha. Vi har noe spesielt sammen, noe jeg aldri har funnet med noe annet menneske. Ikke ett øyeblikk har jeg vert i tvil om at dette er min mann. Min livspartner.

Som nygifte ønsket vi å besøke famile og venner i USA, for så å ta en liten bryllupsreise langs kysten i Norge. I april landet vi på Gardemoen, ved godt mot og hadde verden for våre føtter. Sammen kunne vi klare alt! Planen var å finne ut av alle regler og få Kevin i jobb og jeg skulle kjøre hardt på med å få en endelig utredning på et insomnia/utmattelses syndrom jeg har slitt med så lenge jeg kan huske.

Men først bryllupsreise!

Kevin er en altmulig handyman, men den store lidenskapen er sjonglering. Han har sjonglert siden han var 6 år gammel og har bred erfaring både som lærer og artist. Det er stort sett baller ilufta han har levd av. Vi hadde hørt om forskjellige steder det kunne være mulig å få jobb som sjonglør eller lære bort sjonglering, men han er ikke kresen, og hadde fint tatt til takke med å kjøre gaffeltruck på ett lager også.

Jeg var på arbeidsavklaringspenger fra NAV, men var mildt sagt lei av å ikke komme meg videre i saken. NAV sendte meg til legen, legen sendte meg tilbake til NAV, og fram og tilbake gikk det over flere år. I mellomtiden jobbet jeg deltid i en stressende jobb, og endte opp med å ikke orke mer. Etter avtale med NAV reist jeg en tur til Arizona for å få litt ordenltig med sol, og bare komme meg litt vekk fra alt. Der traff jeg Kevin

Vi begynte med å oppholde oss litt hos mine foreldre på Kapp. Det var litt småting som måtte ordnes, legge Kevin under forsikringa mi f.eks før vi reiste videre og vi tenkte det hadde vert moro å feire 17mai der. En god sjangs for Kevin til å bli kjent med min familie og min kultur. Han ble øyeblikkelig godkjent som svigersønn og godt likt av alle.

17mai var vi på gjøvik gård, Kevin sjonglerte, og jeg malte norske flagg på alle som ville ha. Det var en aktiv dag med massevis av folk som lurte på hva slags merkelig par vi var. I øyekroken så jeg at Kevin mistet baller litt vel ofte, men det så ut som det var en del av showet hans.

Etterpå klaget han litt over at han hadde mistet baller litt vel ofte. Vi hadde lagt merke til det ett par uker tidligere, men viftet det bort med at det sansynligvis var jetleg fra flyreisen.

Noen få dager etter dette hjalp Kevin Harald med å legge takstein på uthuset. Kevin fortalte det var noe rart med synet hans, spesielt når han så opp, og lurte på om han trengte nye briller. Vi la merke til at han så litt skjev ut.Og han ble bare skjevere og skjevere, til slutt kunne han ikke smile eller ha noe form for uttrykk på hele venstre side av ansiktet. Mamma var bekymret for at det var slag, og vi bestilte en legetime.

Legetimen endte med øyeblikkelig innleggelse på Lillehammer sykehus.

Sykehusoppholdet var tøft.

Kevin ble tatt prøver av opp og i mente, men spesielt ryggmargsprøven var tøff. Han klarte ikke gå nedover en korridor uten å gå i veggen siden han bare kunne gå i sirkel mot venstre og aldri mer enn 5 meter uten at han ble sliten og måtte sette seg. For det meste var han helt ute av hodet sitt, og jeg fikk ikke kontakt med han selv om han var våken. Vi tilbragte bryllupsreisen vår på sykehushotellet hvor jeg pleiet Kevin. Jeg hentet mat, og noen ganger måtte jeg til og med mate ham.

Etter en og en halv uke fikk han diagnosen.

Multiple Sklerose, eller MS.

Legen forklarte. Det er en sykdom som angriper sentralnerve systemet. Den legger igjen arr på hjernen som gjør at pasienten får satt kroppsdeler midlertidig eller permanent ut av spill. Pasienten kan også få kognetive lidelser, som vil si at hjernen ikke fungerer som den skal. Noen blir forvirret og forandrer personlighet for kortere eller lenger perioder, spesielt hvis de ikke er klar over at det kan skje. Noen har lite symptomer, andre kan ende opp som 100% ufør hvor ektefellen får fulltidsjobb som sykepleier.

Imens hun forklarte satt jeg å stirret i bordet. Det var ett fint bord. Blankt og nypolert med en liten duk på. Jeg kunne se ett kvisthull i treverket, og en liten skold på lakken etter en vanndråpe som hadde tørket inn der. Jeg husker jeg lurte på hvem som hadde sølt en liten vanndråpe på bordet.

Legen fikk en telefon, og måtte løpe.

Jeg så på Kevin. Han var helt rød i øynene og tårene rant nedover kinnene. Han stirret i veggen, jeg stirret på han.

Så satt vi der da.

Kevin var ikke en sjonglør lenger og for syk til å ta en annen jobb.

Jeg hadde ikke fast inntekt, og var ikke diagnosert.

Vårt eneste hjem var en liten bobil fra 1986.

Nye problemer dukket opp. Noen måtte betale sykehusregninga på 25 000kr. Kevin er ikke fra ett EU-land og det var ikke en selvfølge at han får medisinsk hjelp uten å betale for det.

Så ringte banken og sa forsikringa ikke var gyldig for han er ikke medlem av folketrygden.

Sommeren 2011 var ett mareritt i ett paradis.

Jeg fikk utvidet lånet mitt og kjøpte en campingvogn som ble parkert på strandlinja til Stensveen. Da hadde vi litt større plass.Medisinene til Kevin hjalp ikke og han måtte begynne å bruke krykke. Ha gikk i ring mot venstre lenge etter at han ble utskrevet, og når vi holdt rundt hverandre når vi gikk, var det for å skjule at jeg måtte støtte han. Han sluttet å bruke skjorter, og begynte med gensere, for knapper var for vanskelige å kneppe.

Søknad om familiegjenforening og oppholdstillatelse på medisinsk grunnlag ble sendt til UDI sammen med papirer fra legen om at Kevin må bli ferdig behandlet før han kan reise noe sted som helst.

Vi får også streng beskjed om at kevin ikke får ta seg jobb eller forlate landet på det 6-8 månedene det tar å behandle saken.

Så ble jeg syk. Nesten 40 i feber og klarte ikke holde på væske. Da fikk vi regning på nye 25 000kr for Kevins sykehusopphold. Søknad om utsettelse ble sent, og den ble utsatt til februar. 2012.

Det var nå gode nyheter kom. Maya ville flytte til finnskogen og ville ha oss med. Vi er så glade i Maya og føler vi fungerer godt sammen. Kevin hadde akkurat vert igjennom en kortisonbehandling og følte seg bedre. Vi bestmte oss for å hjelpe Maya med å klargjøre leiligheten for flytting. Ett par dager etter at vi ankommer Sandnes, blir jeg syk igjen, og denne ganger stiger feberen til over 40. Nå er det jeg som blir lagt inn på sykehus. Det ble en kraftig antibiotika-kur mot nyrebekkenbetennelse. Jeg brukte hele uka jeg skulle hjelpe Maya på sykehuset.

Uten smertestillende.

Etter om og men flytter vi til finnskogen. Vi skaffer oss venner, blir med på lokale revyen, og jeg reiser litt frem og tilbake til Kapp for å gå igjennom psykolog-behandling for å bli videresendt til en søvn-spesialist.

Sykehusregningene går i orden, vi skylder ingen penger, takk og lov! Og jeg får plass på Bergen Søvnsenter. Så må jeg si ifra meg plassen på Bergen Søvnsenter. Jeg ble plassert i privat seksjon, jeg har jo ikke råd til å betale reise til og fra Bergen pluss behandling pluss overnatting. Jeg har ikke råd til nye bukser engang!

Vi starter på nytt og psykologen sender ny søknad til Bergen om at jeg må inn på offentlig avdeling. Hvorfor skal det ta så mye tid å starte på å gi meg en diagnose?

Kevins gamle medisin virket ikke, så han blir testet til en ny en som virker som bare det. Han kan gå mer enn 100 meter uten å bli sliten, han sjangler mindre og kan til og med sjonglere litt igjen!

Kevin, Maya og jeg etablerer oss fint i finnskogen, jeg ser etter jobber jeg kan ta når jeg er ferdig behandlet. Og Kevin vil ha en deltidsjobb når han får oppholdstillatelse, han er lei av at alle må ta vare på han og leve på mine arbeidsavklaringspenger. Han vil også bidra økonomisk, betale litt tilbake til alle som har hjulpet han. Kjøpe klær, mat, ta meg med ut på restaurant, betale skatt!

Vi snakker masse om å starte opp egenbedrift når alt papirarbeidet er i orden så vi kan jobbe sammen hjemmeifra, få en stabil økonomi, og rett og slett slå oss til ro.

Det er da vi får brev fra UDI.

Avslag på midlertidig oppholdstilatelse og på familiegjenforening.

Han må enten sende inn en klage, eller forlate landet innen 24 april 2012.

Avslag på familiegjenforening fordi jeg ikke tjener nok penger. Jeg må tjene 225000kr i året for å få lov til å leve livet mitt med min mann i mitt hjemland.

Avslag på midlertidig oppholdstilatelse fordi Kevin ikke er syk nok. MS blir ikke beregnet som en alvorlig nok sykdom til å gi opphold på humant grunnlag. Selv om sentralnervesystemet hans vil bli brutt ned uten medisiner, medisiner han ikke vil få i sitt hjemland.

Vi fikk brevet 28 mars. Jeg ble helt satt ut, selv om jeg mistenkte at det var slik det ville bli. Det tok meg to dager å summe meg etter nyheten. To dager hvor jeg ikke klarte å fokusere på noe. Jeg ble helt apatisk. Da ble jeg minnet på at det er jo påske, alt stenger jo! Advokater vil ikke jobbe i påska mer enn andre, vi mister kanskje ei uke hvor vi kan jobbe med en klage.

Hvis vi flytter utenlands må jeg begynne på nytt igjen med en utredning, og skal jeg være helt ærlig har dette året tatt forferdlig mye av energien min. Jeg vet ikke om jeg orker å starte på noe sånt igjen hvis jeg avslutter det nå…

Dette ble langt, gratulerer til alle dere som har lest hele greia!

Vi har møtt så mange hyggelige og positive hjelpere på vår vei, alt fra litt økonomisk støtte, papirarbeid, brukte og nye klær, skuldre å gråte, varme klemmer og ord. Tusen takk til dere alle! Jeg er så glad for å ha så mange fantastiske venner på mitt lag. Jeg håper det ordner seg og UDI forandrer på reglene så det er mulig å få være med de man elsker, uten økonomiske premisser.

Klokka er snart 8, jeg burde prøve å sove litt.

Dette er ikke en unik historie, vær så snill å del så flere blir oppmerksomme på immigrasjons-systemet.
**************************************************************************************************

The time is near 6 in the morning, and I still can’t sleep.

I’m usually good at focusing on being in the present, but it is getting harder and harder. This is going to be long reading, I knew it when I decided to write.

This is our history in 2011-2012.

March 14, 2011 Kevin and I were married. We had not been together very long, just one year, but we were so sure that it should be us. We have something special together, something I have never found any other man. I have never doubted, not a moment, that this is my husband. My life partner.

As newlyweds, we wanted to visit family and friends in the United States, and then take a honeymoon along the coast of Norway. In April, we landed at Gardermoen, in good spirits and had the world to our feet. Together we could do anything! The plan was to figure out the rules to get Kevin in a job and I would work hard to get a final report on an insomnia/fatigue syndrome I have struggled with for as long as I can remember.

But first, honeymoon!

Kevin is a handyman, but the big passion is juggling. He has juggled since he was 6 years old and has broad experience as both teacher and artist. There are basically balls in the air that made his living. We had heard about different places it could be possible to get a job as a juggler, or teach juggling, but he is not picky, and had been fine to settle for driving forklift in a warehouse as well.

I got support money from NAV [social services], but was very tired of not getting through on the matter. NAV sent me to the doctor, the doctor sent me back to NAV, and back and forth it went for several years. In the meantime, I worked part time at a stressful job, and in the end I could not take it anymore. In agreement with NAV I traveled to Arizona to get some sunshine, and to just get away from it all for a little while. There I met Kevin.

We started out spending a bit of time with my parents at Kapp. There were some things that had to be arranged, like adding Kevin under my insurance policy before we went on. And we thought it would be fun to celebrate 17th May there (Norwegian national holiday). A good chance for Kevin to get to know my family and my culture. He was immediately recognized as in-law and well-liked by everyone.

17Th May we were working at Gjøvik Gård, Kevin juggled, and I painted the Norwegian flag on anyone who wanted it. It was an active day with lots of people who wondered what kind of odd couple we were. In the corner of my eye I saw that Kevin lost his juggling-balls a little too often, but it looked like it was part of his show.

Afterwards, he mentioned that he did not juggle too well that day. We had noticed it a few weeks earlier, but waved it away that it was probably jetleg from the flight.

A few days after this Kevin helped Harald lay roof-tiles on the shed. Kevin told me there was something odd about his eyesight, especially when he looked up and wondered if he needed new glasses. We noticed that he looked a bit uneven. And he became more uneven and unsteady, in the end he could not smile or have any form of expression on the left side of the face. Mum was worried that it was a stroke, and we ordered a doctor’s appointment.

Doctor’s appointment ended with immediate admission to Lillehammer hospital.

Hospital stay was tough.

Kevin went through a lot of tests, but especially the spinal tap was rough. He could not walk down a corridor without going into the wall since he only walked in circles to the left and never more than 5 meters [less than 20 feet] before he got tired and had to sit down. Mostly, he was out of his head, and I could not keep a normal conversation with him even if he was awake. We spent our honeymoon at the hospital motel where I took care of Kevin. I brought food, and sometimes I even had to feed him.

After one and a half weeks he was diagnosed.

Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The doctor explained: It is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It leaves scars on the brain that cause transient and/or permanent disabilities throughout the body. The patient may also have cognitive disorder, which means that the brain is not functioning properly. Some are confused and get personality shifts for shorter or longer periods, especially if they are not aware that it can happen. Some have few symptoms, others may end up as 100% disabled, where the spouse receives full-time job as a nurse.

Meanwhile as she explained, I sat staring at the table. It was a nice table. Shiny and polished with a small table cloth. I could see a knothole in the wood, and a small mark in the finish after a drop of water that had dried up there. I remember wondering who had spilled a small drop of water on the table.

The doctor got a phone call and had to run.

I looked at Kevin. He had red eyes and the tears ran down his cheeks. He stared at the wall, I stared at him.

So we sat there.

Kevin was not a juggler anymore and too ill to take another job.

I did not have regular income and my own condition was not diagnosed. Our only home was a small motor home built in 1986.

New problems emerged. Someone had to pay the hospital bill which amounted to 25 000kr. Kevin is not from an EU country so it was not a foregone conclusion that he gets medical care covered.

Then the bank called and said the insurance was not valid because he is not a member of the State.

The summer of 2011 was a nightmare in a paradise.

I extended my loan and bought a caravan which was parked on the shore of Stensveen. Then we had a little larger place. Kevin’s medication did not help and he had to start using a crutch. He kept walking in circles to the left long after he was discharged, and when we hugged each other while we walked, it was to conceal the fact that I had to support him. He stopped wearing shirts, and began with sweaters, buttons where too difficult to handle.

An application for family reunification and residence permit on medical grounds was sent to the UDI [immigration control] with papers from the doctor that Kevin’s treatment must be completed before he can go anywhere.

We also got strict instructions that Kevin can not take a job or leave the country for the 6-8 months it takes to process the case.

Then I got sick. A fever of nearly 40 [104 F] and could not retain fluids. This is the time we got the bill for another 25 000kr for Kevin’s hospital stay. The application for postponement was sent and it was postponed until February of 2012.

It was now the good news came. Maya wanted to move to find the forest and would have us. We are so fond of Maya and feel we work well together. Kevin had just gotten a cortisone treatment and felt better. We decided to help Maya prepare the apartment for moving. A few days after we arrived in Sandnes, I got sick again and this time the fever rises to over 40. Now I am the one being in the hospital. It was a powerful antibiotic treatment for kidney inflammation that saved me. I spent the entire week I was going to help a Maya in the hospital.

Without painkillers.

Finally we moved to Finnskogen. We made friends, join the local theatre and I traveld back and forth to Kapp to go through psychological treatment to be forwarded to a sleep specialist.

Hospital bills are in order, we owe no money, thank goodness! And I got an appointment at Bergen Sleep Center. Then I have to cancel my appontment at Bergen Sleep Center. I was placed in the private section, I can’t afford to pay for travel to and from Bergen, plus therapy, plus accommodation. I can’t even afford new pants!

I restart again and the psychologist, who makes a new application to the Bergen that I must be on official department. Why should it take so much time just to start giving me a diagnosis?

Kevin’s old medicine did not work, so he got tested on a new one that works much better. He can go more than 100 meters without getting tired, he staggers less and can even juggle a bit again!

Kevin, Maya and I established ourselves well in the woods, I’m looking for work I can do when my diagnoses is done. And Kevin wants a part time job when he gets a residence permit (i.e. is allowed to), he is tired of everyone having to take care of him and live on my rehabilitation money. He will also contribute financially to pay back a little to everyone who has helped him. Buying clothes, food, take me out to dinner, pay taxes!

We talk a lot about starting up our own business when all paperwork is in order so we can work together from home, get our personal economy stable, and just settle down.

That is when we get a letter from UDI.

Refusal of temporary residence permit and family reunification.

He must either file a complaint, or leave the country within 24 april 2012.

Refusal of family reunion because I do not earn enough money. I have to earn 225000kr a year to be allowed to live my life with my husband in my homeland.

Refusal of temporary residence permit because Kevin is not sick enough. MS is not considered a serious enough disease to provide a residence on human grounds. Although his central nervous system will be broken down without medication, medication he will not get in his home country.

We received the letter on March 28. I was completely put out, although I suspect that this was how it would be. It took me two days to “wake up” after the news. Two days where I could not focus on anything. I was completely apathetic. Then I was reminded that it’s Easter, everything is closing! Lawyers will not work in this Easter more than others, we might lose a week where we can work with a complaint.

If we move abroad I have to start over again with a medical report, and I’ll be honest, this year has taken awful lot of my energy. I do not know if I can start on something like that again if I quit now …

This turned out to be a long read, congratulations to all of you who have read the whole thing!

We have met so many nice and positive helpers on our way, from some financial support, paperwork, used and new clothes, shoulders to cry on, warm hugs and words. Thanks to you all! I am so glad to have so many wonderful friends on my team. I hope it works out and Immigration is changing the rules so it is possible to be with those you love, where the love and not economic terms are deciding if you should stay together.

The time is almost 8, I should try to sleep a bit.

This is not a unique story, please share as more people are becoming aware of the immigration system.

The time is near 6 in the morning, and I still can’t sleep.

I’m usually good at focusing on being in the present, but it is getting harder and harder. This is going to be long reading, I knew it when I decided to write.

This is our history in 2011-2012.

March 14, 2011 Kevin and I were married. We had not been together very long, just one year, but we were so sure that it should be us. We have something special together, something I have never found any other man. I have never doubted, not a moment, that this is my husband. My life partner.

As newlyweds, we wanted to visit family and friends in the United States, and then take a honeymoon along the coast of Norway. In April, we landed at Gardermoen, in good spirits and had the world to our feet. Together we could do anything! The plan was to figure out the rules to get Kevin in a job and I would work hard to get a final report on an insomnia/fatigue syndrome I have struggled with for as long as I can remember.

But first, honeymoon!

Kevin is a handyman, but the big passion is juggling. He has juggled since he was 6 years old and has broad experience as both teacher and artist. There are basically balls in the air that made his living. We had heard about different places it could be possible to get a job as a juggler, or teach juggling, but he is not picky, and had been fine to settle for driving forklift in a warehouse as well.

I got support money from NAV [social services], but was very tired of not getting through on the matter. NAV sent me to the doctor, the doctor sent me back to NAV, and back and forth it went for several years. In the meantime, I worked part time at a stressful job, and in the end I could not take it anymore. In agreement with NAV I traveled to Arizona to get some sunshine, and to just get away from it all for a little while. There I met Kevin.

We started out spending a bit of time with my parents at Kapp. There were some things that had to be arranged, like adding Kevin under my insurance policy before we went on. And we thought it would be fun to celebrate 17th May there (Norwegian national holiday). A good chance for Kevin to get to know my family and my culture. He was immediately recognized as in-law and well-liked by everyone.

17Th May we were working at Gjøvik Gård, Kevin juggled, and I painted the Norwegian flag on anyone who wanted it. It was an active day with lots of people who wondered what kind of odd couple we were. In the corner of my eye I saw that Kevin lost his juggling-balls a little too often, but it looked like it was part of his show.

Afterwards, he mentioned that he did not juggle too well that day. We had noticed it a few weeks earlier, but waved it away that it was probably jetleg from the flight.

A few days after this Kevin helped Harald lay roof-tiles on the shed. Kevin told me there was something odd about his eyesight, especially when he looked up and wondered if he needed new glasses. We noticed that he looked a bit uneven. And he became more uneven and unsteady, in the end he could not smile or have any form of expression on the left side of the face. Mum was worried that it was a stroke, and we ordered a doctor’s appointment.

Doctor’s appointment ended with immediate admission to Lillehammer hospital.

Hospital stay was tough.

Kevin went through a lot of tests, but especially the spinal tap was rough. He could not walk down a corridor without going into the wall since he only walked in circles to the left and never more than 5 meters [less than 20 feet] before he got tired and had to sit down. Mostly, he was out of his head, and I could not keep a normal conversation with him even if he was awake. We spent our honeymoon at the hospital motel where I took care of Kevin. I brought food, and sometimes I even had to feed him.

After one and a half weeks he was diagnosed.

Relapse-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

The doctor explained: It is a disease that attacks the central nervous system. It leaves scars on the brain that cause transient and/or permanent disabilities throughout the body. The patient may also have cognitive disorder, which means that the brain is not functioning properly. Some are confused and get personality shifts for shorter or longer periods, especially if they are not aware that it can happen. Some have few symptoms, others may end up as 100% disabled, where the spouse receives full-time job as a nurse.

Meanwhile as she explained, I sat staring at the table. It was a nice table. Shiny and polished with a small table cloth. I could see a knothole in the wood, and a small mark in the finish after a drop of water that had dried up there. I remember wondering who had spilled a small drop of water on the table.

The doctor got a phone call and had to run.

I looked at Kevin. He had red eyes and the tears ran down his cheeks. He stared at the wall, I stared at him.

So we sat there.

Kevin was not a juggler anymore and too ill to take another job.

I did not have regular income and my own condition was not diagnosed. Our only home was a small motor home built in 1986.

New problems emerged. Someone had to pay the hospital bill which amounted to 25 000kr. Kevin is not from an EU country so it was not a foregone conclusion that he gets medical care covered.

Then the bank called and said the insurance was not valid because he is not a member of the State.

The summer of 2011 was a nightmare in a paradise.

I extended my loan and bought a caravan which was parked on the shore of Stensveen. Then we had a little larger place. Kevin’s medication did not help and he had to start using a crutch. He kept walking in circles to the left long after he was discharged, and when we hugged each other while we walked, it was to conceal the fact that I had to support him. He stopped wearing shirts, and began with sweaters, buttons where too difficult to handle.

An application for family reunification and residence permit on medical grounds was sent to the UDI [immigration control] with papers from the doctor that Kevin’s treatment must be completed before he can go anywhere.

We also got strict instructions that Kevin can not take a job or leave the country for the 6-8 months it takes to process the case.

Then I got sick. A fever of nearly 40 [104 F] and could not retain fluids. This is the time we got the bill for another 25 000kr for Kevin’s hospital stay. The application for postponement was sent and it was postponed until February of 2012.

It was now the good news came. Maya wanted to move to <strike>find the forest</strike> Finnskogen and would have us. We are so fond of Maya and feel we work well together. Kevin had just gotten a cortisone treatment and felt better. We decided to help Maya prepare the apartment for moving. A few days after we arrived in Sandnes, I got sick again and this time the fever rises to over 40. Now I am the one being in the hospital. It was a powerful antibiotic treatment for kidney inflammation that saved me. I spent the entire week I was going to help a Maya in the hospital.

Without painkillers.

Finally we moved to Finnskogen. We made friends, join the local theatre and I traveld back and forth to Kapp to go through psychological treatment to be forwarded to a sleep specialist.

Hospital bills are in order, we owe no money, thank goodness! And I got an appointment at Bergen Sleep Center. Then I have to cancel my appontment at Bergen Sleep Center. I was placed in the private section, I can’t afford to pay for travel to and from Bergen, plus therapy, plus accommodation. I can’t even afford new pants!

I restart again and the psychologist, who makes a new application to the Bergen that I must be on official department. Why should it take so much time just to start giving me a diagnosis?

Kevin’s old medicine did not work, so he got tested on a new one that works much better. He can go more than 100 meters without getting tired, he staggers less and can even juggle a bit again!

Kevin, Maya and I established ourselves well in the woods, I’m looking for work I can do when my diagnoses is done. And Kevin wants a part time job when he gets a residence permit (i.e. is allowed to), he is tired of everyone having to take care of him and live on my rehabilitation money. He will also contribute financially to pay back a little to everyone who has helped him. Buying clothes, food, take me out to dinner, pay taxes!

We talk a lot about starting up our own business when all paperwork is in order so we can work together from home, get our personal economy stable, and just settle down.

That is when we get a letter from UDI.

Refusal of temporary residence permit and family reunification.

He must either file a complaint, or leave the country within 24 april 2012.

Refusal of family reunion because I do not earn enough money. I have to earn 225000kr a year to be allowed to live my life with my husband in my homeland.

Refusal of temporary residence permit because Kevin is not sick enough. MS is not considered a serious enough disease to provide a residence on human grounds. Although his central nervous system will be broken down without medication, medication he will not get in his home country.

We received the letter on March 28. I was completely put out, although I suspect that this was how it would be. It took me two days to “wake up” after the news. Two days where I could not focus on anything. I was completely apathetic. Then I was reminded that it’s Easter, everything is closing! Lawyers will not work in this Easter more than others, we might lose a week where we can work with a complaint.

If we move abroad I have to start over again with a medical report, and I’ll be honest, this year has taken awful lot of my energy. I do not know if I can start on something like that again if I quit now …

This turned out to be a long read, congratulations to all of you who have read the whole thing!

We have met so many nice and positive helpers on our way, from some financial support, paperwork, used and new clothes, shoulders to cry on, warm hugs and words. Thanks to you all! I am so glad to have so many wonderful friends on my team. I hope it works out and Immigration is changing the rules so it is possible to be with those you love where the love and not economic terms are deciding if you should stay together.

The time is almost 8, I should try to sleep a bit.

This is not a unique story, please share as more people are becoming aware of the immigration system.


Mira drikker Kombucha

Da er det Mira som skriver 🙂

Jeg tenkte det kunne være greit med en post om hvordan jeg føler kombucha virker for meg. Det er tonnevis av påstander på internett om hvordan kombucha er en helsebringende vidunderdrikk som grenser til selveste ungdomskilden. Jeg syns det er litt oppblåst… Jeg finner lite fakta fra virkelige studier om emne, og de fleste “studiene” er egentlig personlige historier.

Dette holde rmeg ikke unna å drikke kombucha, og det vi VET om kombucha er at det er en flott kilde til antioksidanter, inneholder mange B-vitaminer (bra for veganere) gir mer energi, hjelper fordøyelsen og er det er en detox. Så for all del, kombucha er fantastisk, men jeg tviler på den kurerer AIDS 😉

Personlig merker jeg stor forskjell på de dagene jeg drikker kombucha, og de dagene jeg ikke drikker kombucha. På en “bucha-dag” har jeg mye mer energi, føler meg mer opplagt og ett mindre sukkersug. På lang sikt har jeg merket at jeg har gått en del ned i vekt. Det kan være en direkte effekt av at det våres, jeg spiser sunnere (har mindre sukkersug) og beveger meg mer (har mer energi). En annen ting jeg merker, er at jeg har renere hud. Siden kombucha er detox, passer jeg på å drikke mye vann vedsiden av, dette kan også være grunnen til renere hud. I alle år har jeg hatt en kjip og treig fordøyelse, det er det slutt på, og her er jeg rimelig overbevist at det er kombuchaen som har skylda. Det er en forfriskende og ren følelse å kjenne at alt fungerer som det skal, jeg har ikke hatt en eneste forstoppelse siden jeg begynte å drikke kombucha. Bank i bordet!

Konklusjoen min er:
Kombucha er en fantastisk drikk til værdags for å holde systemet igang, få mer energi og bli sunnere, men for en sunn livstil holder det ikke bare med kombucha. Drikk masse vann, spis mye råkost, vær ute i sola og ta vare på deg selv. Kombuchaen kan absolutt hjelpe deg på veien med å gi ett energi-kick og fjerne litt søtsug (sånn det virket på meg ivertfall).

Jeg liker å blande litt solbær, rips eller eplesaft i kombuchaen min. Jeg blander den også sammen med yoghurt i müsli eller mixer den inn i en smoothie. Ettervert vil jeg nok lage en liste langt som ett vondt år over ting man kan bruke kombucha til i forskjellig styrke.

Skål!


The March of Progress

2 jars have started fruiting, 1 should start soon.
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The plastic containers of coffee/mate blend are taking off quite strong.

There is a culture that is still alive and growing in the compost.  The snow is almost all melted, so soon we will have worms 😀
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Another step. . .

The jar of mycelium that had kombucha culture introduced to it has naturalized and is rapidly consuming it.  On a roll. . . .


NOTE TO SELF

SAVE POST BEFORE PUBLISHING

 

M’kay