Jan 10, 2010

Betwixt and Between  
(Christmas and New Year's)
Flygplatser 'R Us
The "Tail End" of the Holidays
(With some of the Prettiest Girls in Sweden)

Christmas was hardly accomplished when the flights began!  If you look on the map above, we are in Västernorrland, significantly inland,  northwest of Örnsköldsvik, about 15 minutes from the Jämtland border  and about half an hour from the actual Lappland.  (Surprisingly, they are showing the thriving metropolis of Junsele on this map...but not the cosmopolitan village of Eden. 
 Between Christmas and New Year's:   Louise and Manny left on the 27th for FOCUS in Stockholm, an all-Scandinavia Church activity for singles ages 18-30, and Gustav  left the same day but on a different bus for BOLLIADEN in Goteborg, also an all-Scandinavia Church activity for singles ages 14-18.  With Papa also gone,  that meant that Nainy, Sophia and Clint were here to tend the farm until the 2nd of January when Manny and Gustav returned.  Louise flew back to Utah straight from FOCUS and Sophia and Clint went to Umeå about two hours north of Örnsköldsvik (in Västerbotten) to visit friends until they also flew back to Utah on January 7th.

but before the Exodus:

Louise, Manny and Gustav spent a day on the slopes in beautiful, downtown Junsele.  Here they are getting all their snowboarding gear on, ready to roll.

Just a few runs in, Manny, who is famous for his coordination hit the snow flat out.  Louise was racing down the hill at the speed of light, and Gustav and Louise snuggled up tandem-style taking the lift back up to the top.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, Sophia and Clint relaxed a bit and after barn chores visited with friends in the village and spent a lovely New Years Eve with one of Sophia's high school friends and her family from Junsele.   Nainy took advantage of the relatively peaceful moments to catch up on some "cow beautification" in the barn.

With all the Fjällko girls spiffed up from their shaving, it was time for some attention to "de-tails".

Nainy is convinced that the cows are multi-lingual.  She talks to them the whole time she is working with them and getting ready for the "tail trim" was no exception.  Here she is with one of the younger cows, explaining that there is absolutely nothing to be worried about, that this procedure is going to make her (the cow) even more beautiful than she was before, if such a thing could be possible. 

 It doesn't take long for the tails to become tangled and matted.  Although the tail shaft has been shaved, the end is an overgrown mess with bits of hay and dirt stuck everywhere.  The first step is to feel for the end of the cartilage and cut off the excess hair straight across. 
Once that is done the hair can be tapered up from the bottom, removing all the dried debris and cutting away more of the bulk.  Then the tail is swished and dipped into a bucket of warm soapy water, squeezed out, shook and fluffed . 

 It's amazing how quickly it will dry.

And here is the "Tail End" of the exercise on both sides of the aisle!  Everyone is cut and clipped and trimmed and swished and squeezed and dried and fluffed! (Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that this group truly includes some of the.....)
 Prettiest Girls in  Sweden.

All in all, it was a wonderful Holiday Season for every one of us.  We had beautiful company, beautiful food, and a beautiful place to share it all.

May you have a truly Happy New Year in 2010!

1 comment:

Lauralee said...

I'm having a problem wrapping my mind around my sister beautifying cow tails. They do look lovely though and I can see you are right into it. I loudly applaud my sweet Milk Maid sister. Well done! You're right, they are the prettiest girls in Sweden, all spiffed up and ready to eat!