Saturday, April 25, 2015

Trash talk

Hej! This person did such a good job of explaining the Swedish recycling system I decided why re-invent the wheel, just give credit where credit is due, in this case "The plaid zebra" for writing it all down! Read it!
The Plaid Zebra - picture of Stockholm
From a personal experience I was greatly impressed by the Swedish system.  We lived in Sweden in 2012 - 2013 and one day a nice looking brochure arrived at our rental house saying that soon we would all be recycling food.  OK, I thought, whatever.  The brochure clearly explained that we would each get a special recycling bin and paper bags into which to put all food and comestibles.  The bag sealed with a pick and stick strip, and they even sent some samples along.  I put everything in a drawer and with my American mindset thought "that will never happen".  Well gosh darn if a couple of weeks later we didn't actually get a bin and more bags delivered to the house free of charge telling us again how to use them.  Genius.  We did as we were told, and voila, we were recycling food.  So not hard but something we in America would never do on a mass scale, right? Again hats off to the Plaid Zebra who write:

Although recycling may be a foreign concept to many in the western world, Sweden has proven itself to be a leader in treating our only viable planet with the respect that it deserves.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Sometimes I feel like I am spreading the Swedish gospel.  It appears that I have become the poster child for Santa Lucia, and Swedish traditions in general.  Most recently I was part of our local multi-cultural evening where I made myself into a little Sweish gumma (old lady) and asked the kids tricky questions before giving them their stamps in "passports".
It was fun once I had the bread made, the display ready, and the son wrangled into helping me.  It is all worth it though. The kids were adorable and people interested. The librarian complemented me recently on the St. Lucia song and presentation I did about 5 years ago with my youngest, Special K.  It was special, and she remembered it. :)  Najs (nice). So I guess I'll keep on doing it. Heja Sverige!

Thursday, April 16, 2015


Well this explanation from Gevalia kind of sums it up.  But, my thoughts on fika are more like this:
Fika Haiku
Warm coffee, bulle
sugar gossip served on side
time to Fika now!
Tee, hee.  Well not much of a poet but it is nice to take some time to treat yourself during the course of the day to a break with a nice cup of joe and preferably a sweet to go with, like a bulle (bun). I miss the days of sitting and chatting with my friends, or mom.  I made this painting when I was missing the warmth of my mother's kitchen and being able to stop by for fika with her.

I've seen a lot on the web lately about the idea of fika, it's certainly not too hard of a concept but I guess the simple things are something for which we all long.  Connecting over a cup of coffee everyday is a simple but well deserved treat.  Here's a nice recipe for bullar (Swedish buns) that you may like to have with your coffee. Fika mera!

Addendum from Vecko Revyn, included in the 18 things you miss from Sweden when you live in a foreign country.  Yum!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Run, run, run

Today is the second anniversary of the Boston Marathon and hereabouts we are commemorating the victims by doing good deeds, having a silent moment and thinking of all the people touched by this senseless act of violence.  WCVB News Coverage
Carol Hamblet Adams
A North Attleboro woman prevailed by writing a song "Boston Strong, Boston Proud" and has dedicated it to all the victims as well as the former major of Boston, Tom Menino.  More on Carol Hamblet Adams and her experience at the 2013 marathon as well as her special song here: song-dedicated-to-boston-marathon-victims

All of the proceeds from the sale of this song which is on iTunes are being donated to the Gillian Reny Stepping Strong Fund at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Reny was injured in the bombings but survived and doctors were also able to save both of her legs. The song can be found here:

I like the song and think it's really heartfelt.  Here's another heart-wrencher "Run, Run, Run" by Michelle Lewis which I am posting as a cheer to all of those fantastic runners who haven't given up on Boston, including our good friend who's coming into town from Sweden to give Heartbreak Hill a try. Heja Niclas!  Good luck next Monday.  I think you'll find it to be a fantastic experience.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Steampunk Silliness

There's a festival on May 9th that I'm itching to go to.  The hubby isn't sure, but I think it's a blast, I mean who wouldn't want to dress up as a cool alterego from the 1800's wearing bodice and boots?
Photo by h.NAOTO STEAM
A corset and a hat are obvious musts - but one must have a role to play as a Steampunk goddess - and that's what I am mulling over right now.  I wonder if I could add a Swedish twist, perhaps play a mild mannered Swedish teacher/spy with a devilish side.  What do you think?  By the way, turns out that Steampunk truly is everywhere, this picture was taken in Gävle Sweden last year.  Fun!
Finally a shout-out to this beautiful blog, Turns out she dresses like a historical hobbit and I love her style and sense of what suits her!  I think I'll reach out because I'm considering using my Swedish bodice from my folkdräkt (folk costume) as part of my Steampunk design.  Stay posted!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Monkey Business

Look at these adorable little faces?  Who have guessed that these sweet little animals would be stuck in a political imbroglio involving Saudi Arabia and Sweden.  The pygmy marmosets (the world's smallest monkeys) have been denied entry into Riyadh after the Swedish foreign minister, Margot Wallström, dared to talk sense about Saudi Arabia.  (She was of course stopped before her speech but in the meantime she mentioned that she condemned the flogging of Raif Badawi*.)

“I had a phone call over Easter saying there would be no monkey business with Sweden,” said Jonas Wahlström, the director of the Skansen Akvariet in Stockholm. “The Saudis have heard that Sweden is a bad country.” Read here for more: No monkey business.

Well guess what?  We kind of think Saudi Arabia with its floggings, beheadings, discrimination of women and gays might not be the best of countries either.  But they do have good zoos from what I understand which now these little Swedish marmosets are now not allowed to enter.

* In the news is the flogging of blogger Raif Badawi who was flogged 50 times in January and was sentenced to be flogged 50 times every Friday for 19 weeks = 1,000 floggings .  His health is already bad and he was found unfit for additional floggings, but now he is in danger of possibly being found as "apostate" and being beheaded. He created a website called "Free Saudi Liberals" that is now defunct, and this is his "crime"
Does he look dangerous to you? (Here with his children who now live in Canada with this wife.)  I guess freedom of ideas and the expresssion of these is the most dangerous thing to Saudi Arabians, As Wallström tweeted before the businessmen in Sweden and powers that be made nicey-nicey with Saudia Arabia:  “Leadership = not just sailing downwind! Most questions require courage and patience. Proud to be clear on democracy and human rights.”  
I'm proud of Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström for trying to speak up! Even if nothing came of it.  More about how Sweden had to retract is posted on this site: