Friday, January 28, 2011

Iceland Days in Utah 2011

Iceland Days 2011, in Spanish Fork, Utah:
Let's get together and celebrate our love of Iceland.
ICELAND DAYS 2011 is almost here! Here's a peak into what's going on...
Iceland Days Celebration 2011 - June 25-26
Saturday: Iceland Days Family and Friends Fair - 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Where: Spanish Fork City Park (100 South Main Street)
Food: Hot Dogs Icelandic Pastries (Klejners and Pönnukökur)
Events Barnabær (Children’s Village)
Balloon Man at Barnabær
Barnakór (Children’s Choir)
Historic Bus Tour
Sunday: Icelandic Heritage Fireside - 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Location LDS Church, 300 East Center Street in Spanish Fork, UT

Thursday, January 20, 2011


The ancient midwinter Viking feast of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) is celebrated by Icelanders during the month of þorri (Thorri, or King Winter). This is a winter feast which celebrates the hardship which the ancestors had to endure. The feast can be held at any time during the month of Thorri starting the Friday after January 19th (the 13th week of winter).
Thorrablot is the feast held by the Vikings to celebrate with great feasts and plenty of dancing and singing because Thorri is the fourth month of winter which meant that spring would be returning soon. Traditional Viking food is eaten which mainly consists of putrefied shark, jellied rams head, testicles and eyeballs along with many other delicacies. Much of the food is preserved from the previous year.
In Iceland restaurants and homes alike feature special menus with some of the old traditional Viking foods. Some of these delicacies include Slatur, which is sheep's blood pudding rolled in lard and sewn up in the stomach, as well as Svith, which is a half boiled lamb's head, and of course everybody's favorite, pickled ram's testicles. Of course these foods are not part of the normal diet of Icelanders, but they are very adamant about holding on to their Viking heritage.
Participate in a Thorrablot; it is well worth experiencing.
The Icelandic Association of Utah will hold there annual Thorrablot celebration Saturday, 26 February 2011, at Spanish Fork Memorial Building, 400 North Main, Spanish Fork, Utah; Doors open at 5:00 pm Dinner served at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mount Esja

Esja is Reykjavík’s mountainous jewel in the crown. Spectacularly dominating the skyline it flanks the north of Europe’s most northern capital, providing a stunning display of color, light and rock.
One feature that often takes visitors by surprise when they visit Reykjavík is its proximity to nature. It is a rare treat to have a capital city with all its modern facilities immediately at hand and yet be able to enjoy the spoils of raw, untouched nature within minutes of leaving the city. Perhaps the jewel in the crown of the countryside surrounding Reykjavík is Esja, the extensive, monolithic mountain range that stretches itself out beyond the north of Reykjavík from the edges of the Atlantic towards Thingvellir National Park in the west.
The name ‘Esja’ is said to have come from the time of the settlement of Iceland and from the saga Kjalnesingasaga which tells of a farm called Esjuberg in Kjalarnes. The story goes that a wealthy Irish widow called Esja was amongst a group of Irish immigrants who traveled to Iceland by ship. However, as is often the case regarding historic folklore, there is some debate about this story and it’s been said that the woman’s name comes from the mountain and not the other way round.
As a mountain range 914 meters high, Esja boasts some impressive statistics. To start with, to say she has been around for a while is a gross understatement, with the western part of the mountain range being the oldest, dating back approximately 3.2 million years, and the eastern part being comparatively ‘young’, having only chalked up approximately 1.8 million years. Approaching Reykjavík by sea, Esja has a magnetic majesty humbling even the biggest cruise liner by the colossal hunk of stone that stretches across the land. One can only imagine the jaw-dropping awe that the first settlers experienced centuries ago as they approached their new homeland.
Today, Esja means many things to many people. On a practical level, views of the mountains have had a marked influence on property prices in recent times; some say they can predict the weather depending on the ever-changing palette of colors the mountain range offers; and it’s a testimony to how such a natural environment has been protected that there are no high-rise hotels or fun fairs nearby, swamping and spoiling the mountain range’s beauty.
It is perhaps this natural beauty that draws visitors to it again and again. A walk at sunset by the North Atlantic Bay in the Reykjavík suburb of Grafarvogur can be quite a special experience with the backdrop of Esja rivaling any rose-tinted Hollywood sunset. At times, she can appear ethereal and enigmatic whilst at other times she can be threatening and ominous with mist creeping tenuously down the inky, black rocks. Consequently, as an artists’ muse and inspiration Esja is a paradise. In the summer months, the mountain is covered in a soft, mossy green and on the bluest, brightest and coldest mornings in winter you can almost feel the pure, chilling air that hangs over the summit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Glen Bjarnson

Glen Henry Bjarnson 1925 ~ 2010 Glen Henry Bjarnson - One of the "Greatest Generations" - died at the age of 85 in his home at Salt Lake City Utah. He was born November 25, 1925 in Springville Utah to Ray I. and Flora G. Bjarnson. He learned the value of hard work at a young age; thinning beets, picking cherries, cleaning chicken coups, and driving logging and construction trucks. Later, he worked as a journeyman brick mason, where he learned the trade, formed his own construction company, built his home and two apartment buildings; accomplishments of which he was very proud. He also worked for Dunham Bush Heating and Engineering, then 15 years for the Utah State Tax Commission when he retired.
He graduated from Springville High School and then joined the Army and served in World War II; stationed in Germany, There he was wounded and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Upon his return from the war, he married his sweetheart, JoAnn Stewart. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple. The couple recently celebrated their 62nd wedding anniversary. Glen is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as the ward financial clerk, Assistant Scout master, home teacher and enjoyed his volunteer work at Welfare Square. An avid nature enthusiast, he enjoyed trips to the Grand Daddy lakes and Alaska. He loved to paint scenery and Western art and bronze sculpture. Many families have a piece of his artwork in their homes... He loved to travel. With his wife as they took many wonderful trips together to the UK, Russia, Finland, Scandinavian countries, Central and South America, Australia, New Zealand and Israel. In addition, he was in his height of glory behind the wheel of his motor home where they traveled throughout the U.S.
He was a loving husband and father. His grandchildren and great grandchildren are the light of his life. He is survived by his wife JoAnn Stewart Bjarnson and children: Terry (Kara) of Kentucky, Tina Andersen (Morgan) and Tracie Denney (Arlen) of Las Vegas Nevada, 20 grandchildren, ten great grandchildren and three brothers: Ray, Leon and Lynn and one sister Joyce Simpson. He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Wilda, and Rosalie Daybell.
He will be missed for his sense of humor and loving and giving ways. The neighborhood will miss his Fourth of July WWII jeep rides, his "Fair to Meddling" and his "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise". We know you are "On the Road Again" Glen. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2011 at the Mt Olympus 7th ward, 4407 S. Fortuna Way (3605 East). A viewing will be held in the same building Friday, January 7, 2011 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and also prior to the services from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Interment will be at 2:00 p.m. at the Evergreen Cemetery located at 1997 S 400 E, Springville Utah. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the kind and tender care Glen received from Hospice for Utah. Please share condolences at
Glen’s grandparents Thorarinn Bjarnason and Ingveldur Ingimundardottir immigrated from Iceland to Spanish Fork, Utah.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Raymond G. Anderson

Raymond George Anderson died December 30, 2010 in Salt Lake. Born February 9, 1926 in Spanish Fork, Utah to Bruce and Catherine Anderson. Next to his love for God and Family, was his love of Country. He served in the Navy from 1944 - 1946. He was married to Sarah "Sally" Summerhays Anderson August 3, 1951 in the Salt Lake Temple. Besides being a member missionary his whole life, he served a full time mission in Denmark, Iceland and as a service missionary in Rose Park Stake. He completed a Bachelors degree from BYU, Masters from University of Utah, working many years as a teacher, a principal and a creative provider for his family. He is survived by his wife and 12 children: Lynette Engle, Craig, Clair, Brian, Colleen Stokes, Clyde, Janae DuRee, Catherine Hegstrom, Caroline Casselman, Bruce, David, Sara Bulla; their spouses and posterity, also sisters Kathryn Ivie, Mary Shepherd, Margaret Harker. Funeral Services in Salt Lake City: Viewing Friday January 7 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Larkin Sunset Lawn, 2350 East 1300 South; and Saturday January 8, 9:30 - 10:45 at LDS Chapel, 1750 South 1500 East, followed by the funeral at 11:00. Burial Salt Lake City Cemetery.

Ray is a full blooded Icelander. His parents were both born in Spanish Fork Utah. His grandparents immigrated to Utah from Iceland. They are Bóas Árnbjörnsson and Björnlaug Eyjólfsdóttir and Eggert Kristjánsson and Sesselja Jónsdóttir.