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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It is the time of year....

where there is lots to do around here. You might have noticed my absence on blogs of late, but I do have an excuse and pictures to prove it. It is the only way to convince you folks! Around this time of year, we gather in groups and ride for days to gather all sheep that went over the summer into the mountains.

Wouldn´t you just love to be an Icleandic horse?!

Wouldn´t you just love to accompany me on these trails for a couple of days?

We got our sheep, but as it happens one of the ones we took home wasn´t ours, so we had to return him to his own farm in our jeep. He didn´t like that much and I had to hold him down the whole way to safe him from injuring himself. But he was free at last and couldn´t wait to get away from me!

And then there was all the slaughter. Don´t worry, I won´t get bloody picturesque about it. But there was a lot of making food for the winter and it was messy to say the least. Some traditional Icelandic food is borderline babaric to prepare. Anyone know the Scottish Haggis and how it is made? Multiply that by a hundred and you get close to what I had my hands in this weekend.

But I am back, I am alive and kicking...until next weekend!

Posted by Minka :: 12:29 am :: 37 Royal Subjects

Link to this Royal Decree!


At 01:17, Blogger Doug said...

I never worry about you. How's the ram you were "protecting?"

Great pictures. I would love to be an icelandic horse but I don't have enough gaits.

At 01:21, Blogger actonbell said...

How divine it would be to take a ride with you:)
Is Haggis stomach meat? I never like organ meat. And I'm too squeamish to watch slaughter.

*sigh* your life is so interesting.

At 01:25, Blogger Doug said...

I just took the closer look of the landscape. Breathtaking.

At 01:46, Blogger Tom & Icy said...

Such a beautiful country and fascinating way of life. I used to live on a farm when young, but now am stuck in the city. I miss it.

At 02:07, Blogger First Nations said...

youu lead a life i envy, pengie. what a fantastic place!
i've done the slaughter thing too, only with pigs. very squealy. very messy. but also kind of awe-inspiring too.
great post!

At 02:07, Anonymous neva said...

again... these pictures are breathtaking! and i probably don't need to mention how gross the slaughter (not to mention anything remotely resembling Haggis) seems to my fragile little vegetarian mind. but that *doesn't* mean i can't appreciate the tradition, the process, and even the tremendous amount of time it takes to complete these preparations.

you're a brave little Penguin (to hold onto that ram like that) and i salute you!

(by the way... last week on WA? the guest post with the word Bylaw? apparently a "By" was the old Nordic term for a village *and* an ancient Icelandic term for a farm. hence a By *law* was the law of the village and/or farming community. so i meant you had been out on a By a few weeks earlier. i know. too much information and/or ancient trivia to think about!)

lovelovelove this post! thank you for sharing this fabulous slice of your fascinating life, beautiful (and hardy) Monika! xox

At 03:04, Blogger Mo'a said...

Oh!!!how I wish I could have been with you at Rettir.....ertu ad bua til bodmor og lifurpulsu? Nammi
I love your photos they are so very........heima a Islandi.

At 03:34, Blogger Miz BoheMia said...

Beautiful pics sweet Minka and yes, bohemians everywhere missed you and are glad to see you back!!!

Loved it all but a mention of slaughter and MY EARS, MY EARS!!!! AAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Yeah, veggie ways can do that to a bohemian but this one just loooves you to bits! Hope you have a good week my sweet sistah!

At 04:30, Blogger ariel said...

don't have the time to read now, I just looked at the pictures, oh my, beautiful!!

At 04:35, Blogger brian said...

Very beautiful landscape, I am sorry about the sheep. :( I know, people have to eat, but still, not my favorite.

At 05:43, Blogger ariel said...

sheep has to be prepared and cooked carefully to make a good food. lot less problem with rabbits, mmmm... :-P

At 10:59, Blogger Minka said...

Douglas, It would be fun to see you trying to "tölt" :)

actonbell, I guess I grew up with it and slaughter is just a way of life for me. I could never watch the actual cut though...I am just in teh food preparation.

Doug, take your nose of your screen :)

Tom@Icy, It is a wonderful life and one I get to lead over the weekend when I drive out of town! I am fortunate enough to have both parts in my life. The "theatre going, univerity coffee house gathering way" and the "better get on my horse and bring in the sheep" kinda way.

FN, I could tell that you have gotten your hands messy once in a while!

neva, I guess it is gross ina way. But In iceland it was a way of life and still is in some areas. This country was very poor until about 60 years ago. Everything needed to be used, preserved for as long as possible to ensure survival. There are no veggies that grow here, so Icleanders never got the taste of them all that much. To be an animal in Iceland -except the once in a year slaughter- is heaven. They get to roam free without fences almost every day of their life. There is no pollution or toxic chemistry in the food they get...

moa, lifrapylsa og blodmör, lifrakaefa og svidasulta. It was a very productive day!

Miz B. I knew there were a couple of vegetarians around...so I all hope you guys are ok. I´ll have a plate of veggies for lunch today :)
Missed you too and hope the packing is going well!

ariel, it is ok to look!

brian, the sheep you see on teh pictures was just rescued by me. He is the stud of the southern sheeps and will enjoy many a day reproducing his excellent genes :)

ariel, bet you are hungry right now :)

At 12:26, Blogger FelineFrisky said...

Beautiful scenery. Out riding the range, were you? Good, fresh air & sunshine. I was afraid you were pulling double shifts of Nurse Duty! I do Love lamb. Not that lucky. I don't even know how to cook a lamb chop! sigh, I miss meat & potatoes. D :}

At 12:34, Blogger Minka said...

feline frisky, i fteh two of you ever show up here, I´ll make you Icleandic lamb you´ll never forget!

At 12:50, Blogger brian said...


I thought you liked the bunny??? How could you want to eat me? ;)

At 12:54, Anonymous Joel said...

Who knew you had a "rough and tumble" side...a regular cowboy (er, girl) you are! Fascinating. I guess this means I can't get on your case for your lack of posts lately?

At 13:43, Blogger Minka said...

Brian, yeah I don´t understand that either!

Joel, no you canæt and who are you to talk?! :)

At 14:04, Blogger Swampwitch said...

Now I'm intruigued with your everyday life and will have to go back to earlier posts to catch-up on what you really do. I thought you just posted "quizzes about famous people" and now I see you wranglin' a sheep.

At 14:17, Blogger Minka said...

swampy, I am an onion. I have layers ;)
Sometimes it is hard to find that out, because getting close to me will involve tears...but if you take the effort...I could be a nice additional spice in your life :)
Man, talk about metaphors!

At 14:33, Blogger FelineFrisky said...

Minka - I have found an adoptable interective penguin! Email me for the link! felinefrisky@earthlink.net !!!

At 14:35, Blogger G said...

And I thought I had it tough at the local Stop and Shop! Oy vey. This looks to me like a life well lived. I feel invigorated and outdoorsey after going apple picking, but this. Truth is if we had to do this to survive, we would, just Scissors would be at the helm. I'll do the dishes.

Thanks for the look of this slice of your life. Very refreshing. Now can I have a tissue, seems someone is unpeeling an onion...

At 14:37, Blogger Jodes said...

great pics.......love that you rescued that poor sheep.

At 14:42, Blogger Minka said...

feline...e-mail is on its way

g...*hands her a tissue*you made me laugh. I am only that outdoorsy two to three days a week though. I do live in teh capital city of Iceland with a normal job and stuff like that. But my sister lives in teh countryside, which comes in handy for me to engage in my energetic side and run around and get dirty and stuff.

Jodes, I did what any decent farmer in iceland would have done. I counted and I think i have wrestled hundreds of sheep during my stay in Iceland. They are not easy to hold down, let me tell you!

At 14:44, Blogger brian said...


Now who said you couldn't write prose. Your mixed vegetables and spice is why we like you. So Diane can have the lamb, you can have the steak, and I can have the veggie stew.:)

At 14:58, Blogger Sar said...

Awesome pictures, and good for you. But I'm with our other sistah, Mizzy, and when I hear you mention slaughter, I plug my ears and say lalalalalala I can't hear you!

At 15:03, Blogger Minka said...

brian, can I have the gravy too?

sar, you are cute when you ar ebeing chidish :)

At 17:46, Blogger ariel said...

it must be a fun time of the year! I knew a guy who recognized his more hundreds sheep by face. no kidding, I swear he did. we don't slaughter sheep but pigs, I have many bloody pictures of my young brother. :)

Brian, noway I want to frighten you but there's nothing like fresh fried rabbit legs... *gulps*

At 17:57, Blogger IDiveAtNight said...

Great pics and great blogging! I spent part of a winter working in Iceland and I'm really glad I found this blog. It's cool to see the summer grass and read about your daily life there Minka!

From Sept 23 you've got pictures of lots of trees. Is that Iceland too??? When I was there I was told a joke that if you ever get lost in an Icelandic forest, the solution was to stand up.

Keep up the awsome work!

At 21:05, Blogger Solace Cai said...

I don't know anything about Haggis, but I've watched my dad and grandfather gut deer and watched my dad have to slaughter our 5 month old hog because it broke its hip and the butcher wouldn't do it for us then. That was really disturbing.
And I don't even want to get into the problems we've had slaughtering the cattle before...
But those photos are beautiful!


At 21:54, Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Minka, you remind me of New Zealand. Except Aotearoa has trees. And its volcanoes don't do black lava. They're into gray dust. And wiping out the country every 50,000 years or so - about the frequency with which Lake Taupo erupts.

And as for "bravery": they're called "sheep" for a reason, eh? Especially if they know you. Is that how you knew about the one that wasn't yours?

At 22:33, Blogger SquareGirl said...

Well, I was about to get on your case about your blogging absence lately :P but I'll let you off the hook.

That honestly looks like a blast! And beautiful too (not the slaughter part, but the scenery)

At 22:33, Blogger SquareGirl said...

Well, I was about to get on your case about your blogging absence lately :P but I'll let you off the hook.

That honestly looks like a blast! And beautiful too (not the slaughter part, but the scenery)

At 22:55, Blogger Doug said...

Minka, are you a penguin or an ogre?

At 23:57, Blogger Minka said...

ariel, this might frighten you but I recognize our sheep as well. We knew whom this one belonged to by its number on its ears!

idiveatnight, well hello there. I do live in iceland and most pictures I publish are of icleandic nature;) Depending on when you were here, we probably crossed passes at some point:)
yeah I know the tree joke as well, it is infamous and not entirely true. But we pretend, can you imagine the tourism when people actually figure out it is not all that cold here, we have trees and double glassed windows?! I saw in your profile you are a Pratchett reader...that is very high on my list and earns you a plac ein my sidebar. Welcome!

solace cai...I think it takes guts to slaughter.(bad pun I know!) I don´t have what it takes, but whatever happens after teh atcual event I am game.

Oc...what are you trying to say? Will there ever be a day when you are non-cryptic? Any sheep-if you know it or not and I doubt they have too much brain- will go nuts when driving in a jeep over teh hilly countryside of Iceland. Holding that thing down while being thrown back and forth in the back of a jeep is actually quite a challenge :)

Square, it is ...all of it ...in moderation ;)

Doug, I so could pull off Fiona!

At 23:07, Blogger Tim Rice said...

The rounding up does look and sound like a lot of fun. Great pictures. Glad I didn't have to help with the slaughter even though or maybe because I grew up on a farm.

At 02:45, Anonymous shayna said...

So you eat sheep? Really? Lamb?

I think I would just stick with sheep wool... not eating it but wearing it! LOL! :)Less Messy I would think!

At 19:34, Blogger Minka said...

Tim...it is a lot of fun.

shayna...I have several jumpers out of hundred percent Icelandic wool. Really warm!


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