Duck bachelors

Every day I walk on the edge of a nature reserve near our neighborhood.  For 3 years, now a pair of Mallard ducks have made their spring/summer residence in a large puddle near the sidewalk.  Technically, this puddle is almost a small pond and I’m not going to ruin their home by pointing out that it only exists because of mud and rain.

A few weeks ago, the Mallard couple turned up again.  It was a nice sign of spring returning and I was happy to see them.  Each day for a week, they swam around, having a nice chat.  But the second week, the female disappeared only to be replaced by 2 more males.  And when I walked by this week, there were 4 males and no signs of females.  In my mind, the couple got into an argument and the female stormed off.  She’s probably tired of having to chase off the magpies while the male sits around ordering bread baskets and the latest feather maintenance products. The male’s friends heard about this and are now gathering around to make it a rockin’ bachelor pad (puddle) to cheer him up.  “Don’t worry about her man, she was always rufflin’ your feathers!  There’s other ducks in the lake!”

My husband says the females must be off laying eggs, but he just doesn’t understand human duck nature the way I do.

Male Mallard Duck Race

3-D printer madness

Hello, my name is Heather and I’m addicted to the 3D printer.  The hand I’m currently typing with has a burn on one finger and a mysterious rip in the skin on top of my hand.  I am a victim of 3D printer injuries, yet I cannot bring myself to stop.  It’s important that I make stringy, rubbery pendants and bracelets that my polite friends will have to wear.  “Gee, that’s nice, I bought you some wine and food and you’ve given me this crooked piece of plastic with strings hanging off to put on my wrist.  Well, it’s the thought that counts…. unless the thought was trying rationalize why you sit staring at wax coming out of a printer all day.”

For every stringy bracelet, there is a trash can full of decapitated robots, hearts and cogs. Something tells me the future is going to take a while.

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Will it never end?

You think I’m joking when I say everything about in Sweden is about Abba, but here is today’s homework in Swedish class.  It’s all about two men named Björn and Benny…..

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Easter Monday

Sweden celebrates Easter Monday so we have another day off.  I’m not sure why we celebrate, but I don’t complain about extra holidays.

Anyway, instead of a basket of eggs or candy, children (and lucky adults) receive paper eggs filled with candy for Easter.  I just came across this article.  Nice try undercover dentist, but it’s not going to work!

He’s just jealous ’cause no one bought him an egg.

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The coffee table needs rest too

Well it’s a 4-day weekend here and the chocolate-eating has begun….  for the adults at least.  As usual, during weekend afternoons, we tell the kids that they need to rest in their rooms for an hour while we get out chocolate and coffee and watch an episode of Downton Abbey.  We have the chocolate arranged on the coffee table so that it’s easy to throw a blanket over it quickly if a young child comes out of their room to use the bathroom.  I think they suspect that we’re up to something.  They always walk slowly, looking carefully.  “Umm….. what are you watching?”  “Uh…. how much more time until resting is over?”  All the while examing the living room with a sharp eye.  I’m not sure how long we can get away with it, but I’m all ready to tell them about how it’s important for the coffee table to rest with a blanket as well every afternoon.

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Watch out for witches

Well, it’s Easter Thursday again here in Sweden, so I feel it is my duty to inform you once again this year that Sweden will be filled with little witches demanding candy and then flying off to their blue hill.

Yeah, I don’t get it either, but it equals candy, so yea!

On Thursdays, the children dress up as witches (though they look more like hags with scarves) and go trick-or-treating for candy in the evening.  Normally they trade Easter cards they have made for candy, unless they are just greedy and lazy.

Then the legend has it that the witches fly off to Blåkulla, but my kids are usually too full of candy to do any flying.  It’s more like stumbling to a blue bean bag to stuff their faces full of candy and pass out on a sugar high.

If you’re interested in the real story of how and why the Swedes celebrate this way, check here:  http://somethingswedish.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/witches-in-sweden/

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But can I clone a sheep with it?

The family got a new toy this week.  A 3-D printer.  So far we’ve made a weird circle thing and a tiny robot.  The kids (and the adults) are quite fascinated. I imagine this will be like the VCR was to my generation. “Wow, you can just record a show and you don’t have to watch it while it’s on? FUTURE WORLD!”

I can see my kids telling their children about being one of the first houses on the block with a 3-D printer.  “And it took one hour to print something an inch tall!”  The youngsters will roll their eyes and say, “What’s the point in that? Now we just press buttons and get what we want in 5 minutes.  Oh, by the way, I need some new shoes.  Purple please.  Punch in code S34.”

I bet you’re thinking that if you had a 3-D printer, you’d make all kinds of things – but would you?  Now that we have one, I can’t think of anything.  Seems easier to just go get a bracelet at the store instead of waiting 4 hours to make one in the printer.  But what do I know?  I still read actual books.  I’m quite behind the times.

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No gum chewing!

I’m 39 years old. Just as I popped a piece of gum in my mouth for Swedish class, the teacher announced “No gum!”

Really? We’re all between the ages of 25-50. I think we can refrain from sticking it under our desks.

Amazingly, my old skills of hiding my gum returned quickly and I kept it pressed to the roof of my mouth the entire class. I hope I don’t get a detention if the teacher discovers me.

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Zombies of WW1

I currently have two television shows I’m following: The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey.  Yes, I’m a gal of many tastes.

I think if you’re going to follow any shows on t.v., you have to make sure you don’t confuse them.  Luckily, I’m able to realize that Downton Abbey is probably not the show where a person just ripped someone’s arm off and ate his brain. Of course I’m not caught up with all the seasons yet, so I could be wrong.  War is tough and they were low on food rations back then.

I find it interesting that when we watch the cast of The Walking Dead, we think about how much they must stink with all that blood and those ragged clothes.  Yet, do we ever stop to think about how rarely people bathed back in the early 1900s?  This might be something similar between the two shows.

My advice if you would also like to follow these shows – Downton Abbey is fine to watch at lunch or dinner.  You might want to save The Walking Dead for a time when food is not involved.

(I’d like to add, when I did an image search, I found I wasn’t the only one to think of this subject.)

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Be careful what you ask

Our Swedish teacher asked our class of students from all over the world today what we thought was different about Sweden and Swedes.  She was bombarded by shouting:

“They all drink coffee.  All the time!  They never stop drinking coffee!”

“Everything is white – the walls, the furniture.  These people are obsessed with white!”

“They’re super quiet until they drink.  Then they don’t shut up!”

“Darkness…Oh, the darkness!”

Our teacher just shook her head and said, “never mind, never mind” and let us leave 5 minutes early.

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