Killer Whale Karma

While watching “Blue Planet” with my son last night, we came upon a lovely part of the documentary about the migration of grey humpack whales. A mother was traveling at a slower pace in order for her newborn calf to keep up. It was very touching until…


A gang of 15 killer whales surrounded the mother and calf, spending 6 hours trying to drown the calf. Finally they succeeded and then swam off after only eating the calf’s jaw, leaving the heartbroken mother to travel alone.

So this got me thinking…

Were we too quick to condemn water parks for training killer whales for our entertainment? Did we look into why the human race started holding them in captivity in the first place? Because I’m thinking we must have made a deal with the peace-loving humpbacks to put those killer whales where they deserve to be. Entertaining children instead of drowning and eating them.



The modern family

As I’m sitting here typing this in my nice comfy slippers from my iPad, my husband plays games on his RetroPie from the bed, my oldest son is using Skype to play Minecraft with his friend across town, and my youngest son is in a virtual reality world. Welcome to the future.

My current view as pictured above.

Full coverage!

Why does renting a car have to be such a procedure? If we already booked the car and filled in all of our information on the computer, why do we still have to fill it out AGAIN on paper once we get to the rental counter? Isn’t that what the computer was for? Check my license and give me my keys!

That’s just a general rant about every time we rent a car. In Italy, you can imagine how slow the paperwork is, mostly because they are marking all the damages that are ALREADY on the vehicle.

After being talked into a good deal for full coverage insurance on our rental car (and taking 15 minutes to fill out paperwork that was already in the computer), we made our way to the garage to pick up the car. Knowing that they don’t always mark every dent and scratch, we checked the car and found two scratches to report so that we would not be responsible once we were done with the car.

My husband went to report the scratches to the attendant, who was very reluctant to move from his chair. He took a look at the paperwork, shrugged his shoulders and said, “Is no problem. Who cares? You have full coverage. Run the car into a wall if you like.”

Our motto for the rest of the trip, while driving down narrow streets full of potholes was “Oh well – FULL COVERAGE!”

Indifferent Young Man

The little plane that could

As I mentioned before, my husband and I took a 4-day long anniversary trip to Italy this past weekend. With only 4 days, we wanted every minute to count, which turned out to be a problem when the Italians decided to strike at the Rome airport. Our plane was delayed 3 hours until they could confirm landing clearance, so we were given vouchers for food (that worked in every restaurant except the specific one we went to, of course), and boarded our plane later in the afternoon.


Once the plane finished boarding and the doors were closed, it needed to be de-iced. The de-icing truck began to do its job and then ran out of de-icing liquid. We had to wait 20 minutes for another de-icing truck.


Finally, the de-icing was complete and it was time for the plane to be pushed back from the gate. We slowly moved backwards and then stopped after just a few feet. The truck pushing the plane broke down and we had to wait 20 minutes for a replacement truck.


The flight went smoothly after all the delays and we landed at Rome’s Fiumicino airport … only to wait on the tarmac an additional 20 minutes because of a plane in front of us.



Isabella de’ Medici was not a nice person

My husband and I celebrated our 18th anniversary in the town of Bracciano, Italy over the weekend. While there, we visited the 15th century castle that towers over the town. It’s one of the most impressive castles in Italy and luckily it’s open to the public. Each room has a plaque with information, so one can learn about the furniture, portraits, or the people who stayed in the rooms.

One of the most “interesting” rooms was that of Isabella de-Medici. Isabella was rumored to push her lovers through a wooden door to the side of her bed when she was done with them, where they fell into a pit of blades and lye.

There were couples in the tour group in front of us that stopped to pose for smiling pictures with their arms around each other in front of the bed with the door in the background. My husband and I skipped that particular photo opportunity.

Orisni-Odescalchi Castle

Can I Photoshop us into summer?

I thought maybe if I used Photoshop, I could make winter go away and feel better. I tried this picture with my son, but I still don’t feel very summery…

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Nordic gardens

There is an event taking place in March, here in Sweden, called “Nordic Gardens.” This is what I picture:

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It’s -9c this morning (16f) and that’s just wrong.

I’m hitting my winter breaking point. It usually happens sometime in February. You can only take so much darkness and cold. I spend my days right now wondering why people would ever settle here. Sure, maybe they showed up in the summer, and maybe they thought the winter wouldn’t be so long, but by February, they had to be saying, “Let’s go invade the Riviera. This is no way to live.” But instead they invaded England, probably during the rainy season, and ended up going back to Sweden (my guess was the bad English food).

The point is, I understand why the Vikings were angry and I really need to go invade the Riviera.


Pay toilets

Someone today brought up how strange it is that many European countries have pay public toilets. This is something that’s always bothered me here in Sweden. I’ve been here 18 years and still think it should be a basic human right to use a toilet when you need it.

I get the reasons behind it… messy people, drug people, crazy people, etc., but when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Water is clean and free here, but not so public toilets.

When I was pregnant, I managed to make a list of all hidden and free bathrooms around Stockholm. Don’t ask me for it though. It’s of high and secret value and I can’t have all you people messing up my free bathrooms.

Where’s MY emotional support peacock?

Have you ever been around a peacock for a long amount of time? They have the most horrifying scream. There’s no way a peacock could make someone calm.

Now, when it comes to meetings with people I don’t like, however, this would totally come in handy. I gotta get one of these.


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Royalty in the park

The weekly school report informed us that our youngest son’s ice skating class had its schedule adjusted by 15 minutes today because of a “state visit.” So I looked it up, and the “state visit” was a bit of British royalty – Prince William and Kate – visiting a bandy practice in the park.

Turns out we had a school meeting today anyway, so I forced my husband to take a bit of a detour by the park to catch a glimpse on our way there. It’s always good to take someone tall when you want to take photographs. There was just a small crowd of people (most people had to be at work).

Occasionally, there are benefits to being unemployed.


Note the red carpet on the ice. I thought that was a nice touch.


Chicken obituary

I check the Houston news about once a month to keep up with things happening back in Texas. I want to be on top of current events and important developments happening in the city, so I know what’s affecting my family and friends.

Sometimes I think I should check the news more often than once a month, and then a story like this pops up as one of the top headlines and I think, “I really don’t think I’m missing anything.”

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It’s melting!

The snow is melting today and it’s just a big slush of muddy roads and giant slabs of ice falling from roofs. I think most people here who claim they hate the snow don’t really hate the snow, they hate what’s going to happen because they know that eventually it will get melty and slushy, which I agree is no fun.

I think people would like it more if slush days were declared days off.  When it ices over in Texas, most people get the day off school or work because it’s dangerous to drive with no winter tires. Well, when melting snow is making ice fall from the roofs, we should all get the day off work here and stay inside as well.

It’s actually quite dangerous with the snow falling from roofs, and many sidewalks are blocked off so that people don’t get hurt. All the more reason to order people to stay inside today.  Can we just have this one thing? I mean, we don’t have sun for 5 months a year, so maybe a few days off on the nastiest days? I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

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foto: DN


Children are our future

My husband gave a presentation to a 4th grade class yesterday and asked the kids how they veiw the future and what new technologies they think we will have 50 years from now.

I asked him how it went and he said, “It’s amazing the number of children who answer Robot Slaves. In fact, one kid drew a picture of himself pointing and yelling ‘Bring chips!’ while a robot bent over meekly in the corner.”


Ding! Ding!

One of my favorite Christmas gifts from my husband about 3 years back was this hotel bell.

One of my husband’s biggest regrets in life was getting me this hotel bell.

He gave it to me because he thought it might come in handy any time I was sick and needed something in bed. And it has come in handy – for WAY MORE than that!

DING! Can you bring me a glass of water?

DING! Did you remember to make reservations at the Italian place?

DING! How come Netflix isn’t working?

Sure, I could get out of bed, but why do that when I have this nifty bell? I just want to make sure I use it a lot so my husband knows how much I enjoy his thoughtful gift.

DING! Thanks for the bell! By the way, can I get some tea?

I’m a cabbage man…

My husband got a special pickling jar for Christmas. He is currently buying all the cabbage available in Sweden and filling our fridge and counters with sauerkraut and kimchi. Everything in the fridge smells of cabbage. The kitchen smells of cabbage. The apartment smells of cabbage. I’m afraid to go out and meet friends today because I know I smell like cabbage.

Cabbage cabbage cabbage






Boxing day

It is only this year that I learned what “Boxing day” means. Most Americans have heard this term and I guarantee that the majority of us just picture a boxing match or taking out frustration on relatives after being cooped up in a house with them over the holidays.

So for those who, like me, have never understood why the UK has a day to beat the crap out of people after Christmas, I will give you the information I learned this month from Reader’s Digest:

“… it’s actually a celebration of charitable giving…… The name comes from the ritual of opening ‘the box’ – the alms box – in the local parish church and distributing the contents to the poor.”

That’s nice, but there are still a few people out there who could use a good knock-out.


Christmas card 2017

Our family Christmas card this year. I’ve already heard several of my friends’ children complaining that our family has a flying saucer and their families have to take the bus.



Last-minute gift ideas?

For the person who has everything… Well, I bet they don’t have THIS!


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It’s like riding a bicycle

I was talking to another parent in my son’s class about the weather being so snowy and icy outside that it was hard to walk anywhere without falling. The other parent told me that she has been riding her bike in the ice and snow lately, but is a little nervous about crashing.

I said, “I can’t even ride my bike in the summer without crashing. That’s how I got this scar on my chin.”

She laughed and said, “I remember that happened to me too! I have a scar on my chin from falling off my bike when I was five years old!”

I said, “This happened in September. This year.”

She smiled and moved on to talk to someone more coordinated.



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