Podcast Episode 002: Show notes: Lisa Wik Granberg and Freja Wik – Sweden

Episode 002
Lisa Wik Granberg
Freja Wik



Episode 002: Detailed Show Notes

•Voices heard:    Ariel Andersson, Lisa Wik Granberg, Freja Wik, Lisa Nordeke, Ella Andersson and sounds of wind, horses, tractors and working Ranch.

Ella and Freja in Hato Sweden – Imperfect Parenting

CLocation: 

Håtö Gård is not far from our Cabin in the Swedish Archipelago is a magical, peaceful place,  hidden amidst the gentle hills and trees, not far from the water and only 1½ hours North of Stockholm.

The conversation between Lisa Wik Granberg, Freja Wik and Ariel takes place outdoors near Lisa’s Western Cafe.  Our exchanges happened while walking and later sitting on a wooden bench, inside their working Western-Native American ranch. 

*Spontaneous interviews.  Inspired by the spirit of the women I spoke with.

Content and topics:

Swedish mom Lisa Wik Granberg

-Lisa’s 14 year old daughter, Freja

– Living and growing up on Håtö Gård, Native American – Western Ranch

-Parenting styles

Countryside vs. city life with kids

-Freja talks about being a teen, in Sweden. 

Horse therapy:  Working with blind and handicapped people and horses.

-The spirit of the land

Native American flute and traditions and connection to Ken Roulette

– Alcohol and teens

-Boundaries

Social media and safety

ADHD and hard choices

-Family support vs. babysitting

-and much more.

Imperfect Podcast Challenges:  (a wonderful learning curve)

1st time interviewing and using lav mics, on location.  Wind blowing against mics, screaming little daughter and horses moving so that mics popped off at one point.  What an adventure!  You all will get to experience our growth along the way.

Most memorable moments:

Grandma moment with our emotional tears was lovely and touched my heart.

E002.Hato Gard.Eagle

An eagle flew overhead.  Native Americans say that when you see an eagle, takes our dreams to the creator.

Voices heard: 

Ariel Green Andersson

Lisa Wik Granberg (voice + playing Ken Roulette’s Native American Flute)

Freja Wik

Lisa Nordeke (voice and shaker during flute song)

Ella Andersson

Wind, tractors, horses, eagle overhead, Native American flute, horse shoe game in the background, and more.

The place:

Håtö Gård reminded me both of my time growing up in California and birthing Ella in Czech Republic, where we had Native American drums, Pacific Ocean and flute playing throughout the process.

The sound of Lisa’s flute was an opening for memories and feeling deep within and sparked, something, but I didn’t fully realize until I got back home.

The Conversations

Our daughter, Ella, then just over 2 years old, was taking us to this ranch, daily, as she loved the riding and environment and we could nearly not get her to leave once we got there.

Our daughter’s intuition

One day we were ready to leave and Ella sat down outside in a place she never had before and refused to leave.  She was waiting for something.  Long ago we learned not to question these moments, so we waited, too.

Ella on Hurricane

Horse Therapy:

Not long after, a family came and was ready to go for rides on the ponies and horses.  It was then that we witnessed our 1st horse therapy session as one of the son’s in the family was disabled/handicapped, yet still got to ride. 

Lisa and her husband, Lelle created a smooth, natural and easy experience.  Using a Western saddle on “Orkan” (English name is “Hurricane”) the largest, oldest and most reliable 25-30 year old horse on the ranch and great mutual trust between Lelle and he.

The Father, Lisa and Lelle led and balanced the son on the large and calm horse. 

*Later our neighbor, Robban, told me about how he had just seen something on television about how riding can actually send new signals to the body to reprogram brain for balance and more, which was fascinating.

Apparently, its not the 1st time the boy who came with his family had ridden.  Yet, still an amazing moment.  Lelle (Lisa’s husband who’s owned the land of the ranch a long time) showed up in the exact moment needed for Orkan (Hurricane) and Lisa and the boy to ride.  It was a touching moment, that gave a sense of hope and beauty mixed in with humanity.

I was touched to see that no matter what, the whole family could experience horse riding. 

Lisa mentioned that there is a blind young man who also comes with his assistant to be with the horses on the ranch, sometimes to ride and sometimes just to interact with the horses and the atmosphere around.  

These kinds of things seem trickier in Czech Republic, with its usual “it is not possible” auto phrase.

And, in US, there are too many lawsuits, liability insurance, etc.

Perhaps some places exist, yet not typically and many release forms to fill beforehand.

At Håtö Gård, this ride, even with the different kind of rider, felt so relaxed and natural, which is what people/kids are often looking for.

As a school teacher, I have seen it over and over.. all kids of all kinds just want to fit in, to be “normal”, or like other kids.

In truth, I don’t believe in “normal/perfection”, yet this was a chance for experiencing things like everyone else, which was really cool to witness.

Hato Gard Western Ranch

How did Lisa get to the Ranch? 

Lisa had moved to the area of Håtö Gård with her then husband and family, many years ago.  She ended up at the ranch because her daughter, Freja, was begging to go and ride the horses over and over again. Once that happened, well, that was the that.

Opening the gates of Håtö Gård to the public had been already going on for a while, though mainly for private rides.  And, otherwise, her husband’s business was about taking down trees and so on.  Lisa took over the horses and her husband mainly works with the big machines, now. 

Opening of Lisa’s Western Café (and Shop)

As well, Lisa Wik Granberg (and Lisa Nordeke ) opened a lovely café with a mix of traditional and healthy treats and drinks for all weather with beautiful Native American Inspired goods.

Lisa Wik Granberg other work

Lisa is as well a nurse that works in the closest town of Norrtälje, working every so often to keep her hand in.  Her Nurse work is more about home care and being on call.  In summer, only once a month during the busy time with horses.

Håtö Gård is both family home and workplace:

This year was an unusually hot summer in Sweden, so less riding than usual.

And, the big job of being a mom kept her busy.

Lisa has 3 girls.  All the daughters are very different people.

When her oldest daughter was born, they lived in the countryside.  Then, they moved to the city.

Lisa was raised in the countryside, as well, like me (Ariel).. and that seems to be where the peace is, at least for us..

Now, here on the ranch, there are a lot of animals and other things to keep them busy.  

City vs. Country living “stranger danger”

Comparing being a mom in urban vs. countryside there are different dangers.

Lisa was 1st a mom at 20, then 24 and, in the city, they were mostly in playgrounds close to the apartment.  They had an emergency code word for the girls and they had to ask for the code, even if it was someone they knew who came.  If someone didn’t know the code, then the girls were supposed to run home and scream like hell.  Lisa says, “there are too many scary things in the world to not be prepared.”  

Independence or helicopter parenting?

Things have gone too extreme, these days with helicopter parenting in the US and some other places.  

We need to give kids a chance to build their confidence through freedom and self sufficiency.

It can be maddening in the beginning, but later amazing.

Strong willed daughters

Lisa’s girls are also very strong willed.

1st daughter was easy, no major willfulness.  Normally pretty easy.  Maybe once she did the full tantrum.  She never did it ever again because Lisa got down on the floor and did the same, asking for daughter who was nice and so on.

2nd daughter was harder.  There was more lying and sneaking around and so on.  

This daughter was like Emil, Pippi long stocking and Ronja Rövardotter  .. all in one daughter.  Intense.  Now, she is a truck driver.  That was a struggle.

3rd daughter is Freja.  The youngest has a way to get into your heart.  It’s hardest to say, “ no” to her.  The other daughters are now grown up and gone.

Now, Lisa is a grandma as her eldest daughter has her own kids.  Freja was 7 years old when she became an aunt.

She has more freedom and not at the same time.

Now, she is getting into boys and so on.

Social media dangers

Social media is stronger now than when the 1stdaughters were growing up.  It’s a danger.  Lisa spoke with Freja about being worried about who these online guys were who she was communicating with.  And, talked about the realities of who might be behind the screen.  Lisa asks questions when things come up around men, meeting and so on and puts her foot down.   No way.

The only way Lisa would say, “yes” to meeting some random guy, was if Freja was willing to tell him to come with his parents to the ranch, or bring a friend and their parents there to him, but of course, there was no way Freja wanted to do this.

Lisa says,“I’m sorry dear, I will be a pain in your ass, for a while, .. you will thank me, but later on..”

MEET FREJA, LISA’S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER:

FREJA

*We started our talk as Freja lead Ella rode the pony, Casper, along the Ranch Road, as you will hear. Sound is a bit low with all other noise around, however, I was thrilled she was willing to talk with us about her side of life, in English, with screaming Ella near.

While Ella was riding on Casper I asked Freja a few questions.

How long has Freja been living here?

Freja has been in Håtö Gård area since she was 1 andher mom met Lelle and divorced her dad.

Mother/daughter

Freja was running under the horses when 2 years old, regardless of her mom, Lisa, telling her to stop. 

When I asked if Lisa was a hard or soft mom, Freja said, very clearly that she was both.

They have a good relationship and they go on holidays and ride horses together.

Her mom.. is different because its different out on ranch. They do more together than others.  Her mom is here at Håtö Gård nearly all the time. 

And, Freja is either working here at the ranch or at school, most of the time.

Social media

When I asked if and what social media she used.

Snapchat was top of the list.  Then, Instagram where she has 3

different accounts:  Private, a little private and public.  She has Facebook, yet it is not used much.

Teen reality in Sweden vs. U.S.

We spoke about teen movies and she said she does watch them and I spoke about how unfortunately some the mentality shown in those movies is real, in U.S..  Yet, country life is similar in nature and realities to Sweden.

When I asked about Freja’s feelings about similar issues of mean girls and so on, she said that the whole thing with “Inner circle popular” issues was basically the same, in Sweden. But, less bullying, compared to U.S..  Some girls, like Freja, are friends with both boys and girls.

Tricky (anywhere in the world) is the emotional reality with girls. 

For her it is great that she can escape to the boys who are friends when it is too intense with the girls.

When we talked about love and possibilities, I said that I believed it was still OK to expect some good high and romantic love. 

Everyone believes different things.  Realistic has its place.  Yet, there are some great loves and romantic moments to be had out there, too!

Hardest/Best about being a teen?

Hardest things in life is all the emotions

Good thing in life is friends.

If they are mean, she let’s them go.

Friends come, go and come again.

Women..are jealous and often more emotional.  That is just the female reality, it seems, a common line all over the world.

Feeling everything so strongly is both good and not.. it is all just really intense.

Wrapping up

We then gave apples to the horses, with Ella.

And, Freja gave last words of advice:

“If things don’t go right?  Go left”

Thank you, Freja!

BACK TO LISA

Lisa’s parenting style compared to her parents?

I asked, “Do you feel your parenting is similar to what you grew up with?”

Lisa’s answer was, “yes”.  Her dad was cool, too.  He told her that even she was drunk, though her prefer she wasn’t all the time, he would be there for her.  So, needless to say, it didn’t happen much, because what was the fun in that?

Alcohol

As a young adult, Lisa was allowed both at her dad’s house and at her mom’s house, to drink at home. (Remember, European mentality is very different on this and in most countries people are allowed to drink at 18 years old).  So, by the timeLisa was allowed to drink, by law, it was less interesting.  In general this happened a lot.  She didn’t have the big rebellious screaming and so on with her family, that a lot of her friends did.

Why do some teens rebel and others not?

Those friends who had parents who gave freedoms had no fighting, less rebellion.  But, the friends who had freedom until they were teens and then suddenly strong restrictions, well, this led to more fighting and problems, in the end.

I then asked, “What do you think about your parenting style, Lisa.  Is it usual?”

Important Boundaries for kids

Lisa, “Seems like many young parents are letting their kids rule and they get all they want. The child is deciding for the whole family.”

Lisa then said the most important advice of the day, “But, if you say no once, then you have to keep to it.  Don’t give in, or you are done.”

I go through this with Mats, my husband, at home.  “No” isn’t easy for him to say. 

They will thank you, later.  It is important.  It shows the love you have to keep the lines.

Ella also a strong willed daughter

That said, Ella and I had a 2 hour stand off.  She was being nasty and pushing the line.    At the end of 2 hours..and Ella kicking and screaming and demanding that I pick something up that she was standing next to..

Finally, I suggested we just we hug and make up and that we don’t have to always agree. And she agreed.

Everyone judges

Lisa is a tough mom, sometimes.  And, even her teachers said you have such a hard mom, because Lisa didn’t just carry her away.  Yet, she has a big heart, regardless of people’s assumptions.

Everyone judges how things “should” be, according to them.

This is why we are doing “imperfect parenting podcast”. There is too much stress about all things and my least favorite word, “should”.  Core values make that a tough one.

Sometimes, Lisa will just validate a mom who is struggling and say, “you are doing a nice job.” 

Sometimes, this is welcome and sometimes, not. (I would love it if someone said that to me on the street!)

I told Lisa, honestly, that I also, at 1st thought she was really tough.  Yet, was lucky enough to see other sides.

What has been Lisa’s greatest joy/challenge?

#1 would be Freja.  She has been the hardest nut to crack.

ADHD, drugs, or not?

Both her older and youngest daughters were diagnosed with ADHD.  Freja was 6/7 years old when they 1st realized.

Lisa was very grateful for Freja’s pre-school teacher who was brave enough to suggest checking Freja to see what might be going on.  It was actually a relief and validation about what she had been also feeling. If anyone else mentioned it, she would have been more defensive.

Lisa didn’t want drugs, preferred an assistant in school or other possibilities. 

Later, Lisa’s sister, who was diagnosed at 32, with ADHD, advised Lisa to try drugs for Freja to help her in her life, even though that wasn’t Lisa’s top choice.

Tough decision.  Not her 1st choice.

They tried 1st different environment in the classroom, special pillow and so on.  But, it wasn’t enough and Freja’s social life and more, was suffering in strong way.

Finally, she is on 4th or 5th ADHD medication and all is well.  With previous drugs, Freja often she didn’t have an appetite. And, she was so skinny and they tried to do different things to balance it all out.  Finally, this drug is working the best.  She seems healthy, now.If she wants to stop the drugs she can.  Freja will make that decision, on her own.  Yet, now, Lisa can see the difference between when she has taken the medication and not.  It’s dramatic.  Freja is functioning, now.

Lisa watched Freja go from the girl who had no friends, to the girl who is now social and has better relationships.  It is so essential at this age, any age really.

(Ella arrives on the scene and things shift, a bit.)

What is relationship to Native American culture and music?

The spirit of this Native American-Western life, has always been in Lisa’s soul. She was always drawing horses and feathers and so on.  She may not be related to this life by blood, but always it’s always been there.

I spoke briefly about my own story of connecting to Native American culture during my Waldorf school years.  But, in every day Northern California, we didn’t get a lot of information about the culture back in the 1970s.  But, it was present all around.

In Czech, they got a lot more information and books and so on, than we did in US, believe it, or not.

My 1st Impressions of Håtö Gård

At 1st, I thought it was only a theme ranch for profit, but in fact, I started to realize this all went deeper.  Both for Lisa, Lelle, their family and friends and his parents who had been collecting things from the Western-Native American culture, for a long time.

When Lisa and Lelle (her now husband) met, it was like a perfect match.  Lisa helped with an injured horse.  And, then at coffee, Lisa realized this life and world that Lelle had created with family, was her lifelong time dream.

Spirit of Håtö Gård and lifestyle

Her 1st time sleeping in tee pee was on this ranch, in winter no less.

She hasn’t met too many people with this same passion for this culture.

Lelle met a woman, fell in love and stayed.  Later, his son moved here too. 

Most friends, like the ones we met earlier, have a common line.  Everyone feels a deep connection to all of this.  Everyone into the scene and gatherings and so on (that happen around Sweden and beyond).

Native American Flute

When Ken Roulette offered for Lisa to buy his flute it was scary for Lisa.  She only knew how to do flutes and recorders from school.  But, practiced and practiced and over time, she learned songs and now, intuitively makes up her own songs.

Like cooking, the joy and intuition work together so you can create.

Lisa’s advice to mom’s

I asked, Lisa, “What would you tell a mom to help her not lose herself in the process of motherhood?”

“Get your own time. Even if only once a week, have something just for you, so you don’t lose it.”  “Also, with your partner, be more than only parents.”

Family support vs. babysitting

Do you have a support system?

Do people use babysitters in Sweden?

Lisa’s grandmother made herself available while Lisa went to nursing school.  She even had dinner waiting, etc when she came. Later, when Lisa went, once a year, to High Chaperal, only husband and adults allowed to come.  And, her dad took care.2 days a week.

Freja waits to go to this event.  At 16 she can come.

With grandma.. there are a lot of memories with her. Best friend. Oldest daughter still goes to see her.

(Lisa welled up and me too.) 

Age and kids

Lisa 44.  Me 48.  I round up my age for effect, mostly because it freaks people out, here in CZ.  Choosing to have a child isn’t just about what doctors say.  We have to listen our your bodies, relationship wants, etc.

Lisa has been on low carb diet 4 years for some health issues.  (So, she was careful about the soup that Freja brought on offer.)

Magical eagle moment

Wow! An eagle. Amazing moment. White tailed one. An old one.  Young ones have a brown tail.

There is apparently always more to do. Looking at what they have created at the ranch. There is a harmony here.

Now, they are fixing cabins around the land. In future, they will do Ranch stay/farm stay/B and B option for people. They already do exchange with people working, living and mutual sharing of ideas.  Lisa Nordeke said that’s what they do at the ranch. 

We end with lovely Native American flute playing by Lisa and shake by Lisa Nordeke to wrap up the conversation.

Lisa Nordeke showing us her wolf drum.

Thank you to all of you out at Håtö Gård who make the place amazing and special.

Thank you to the horses and ponies and lovely animals and sounds of peace all around.

And, most of all, Thank you to Lisa and Freja for the openness, here on Imperfect Parenting. 

We look forward to bringing you more from here and to follow up in the future to see how things are evolving.


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6 Replies to “Podcast Episode 002: Show notes: Lisa Wik Granberg and Freja Wik – Sweden”

  1. I?m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that?s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  2. Thanks for sharing this! It’s so relaxing hearing the sound of nature! I really wanted to live in the county but still having the perks of living in the city. I do hope there is a place like that.

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