Category Archives: Animals

How to get kids to eat less chips

“Well kids, they might be chips and they might be cobras. How about a nice apple instead?”

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Dress her like a squirell

Saw this graffiti on my vacation. I don’t know what it means, but I like it.

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Swedish ant bed

I know they say everything is bigger in Texas, but when it comes to ant beds, I think Sweden is in the lead.

These are what ant beds look like in Sweden. They are all over the forest. Mainly made with pine needles. If you go up close, you can hear all the ants moving around (as well as adjusting your eyes to realize that the entire pile is covered and moving with ants). It’s fascinating and replusive at the same time.

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Ducks climbing up a tree

These are 2 ducks climbing up a tree. It’s hard to see, but the tree goes pretty high. It goes at an angle, which is partly why they jumped on (not to mention little kids trying to chase them on the ground), but they also like some sort of berries they can only reach by climbing up.

I’m well aware that ducks can fly, but I’ve never seen them climb trees. Just seemed interesting so I thought I’d share the picture. You see something new every day.

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Rules of Swedish advertising 

Here in Sweden, advertising rules are fairly strict. No advertising to children. No cigarette or alcoholic beverage ads on tv. And no false claims, such as “Dr.Pepper is the best drink in the world!” They also took L’Oreal to court for claiming one of their products removed wrinkles, since that’s not actually possible. 

I realize this is strict, but other things are more open than you would think. However, some people tend the stretch the definition of false advertising and I can only imagine how many complaints the agency maintaining these rules receives.

One such complaint was in the opinion section of the local “Metro” paper on Friday. A woman complained that a milk company had violated false advertising laws in their tv commercial because the woman in the commercial walks around a farm with the cows and says, “These are my co-workers.”

The complainer then went on to state that in no way could those cows be employees because they don’t get vacation time, pay or holidays off. Therefore the commercial should be removed from the air. 

I don’t think there are any plans for that but her letter certainly made my day. 

Employee benefits for cows!


(Pictured above, Anna with her co-worker Clementine. )

Easter spider rabbit

My 10-yr old wishes you all a happy Easter from the Easter spider rabbit.

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Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep

I was “treated” to 30 minutes of my son singing this song OVER and OVER on the way home from school yesterday. This was after taking him to drum lessons, where he apparently forced his drum teacher, a well-respected and talented drummer, to play drums for 20 minutes to the beat of this song. The teacher came out at the end of the class, just looked at me and said, “We just spent the entire lesson drumming to Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep.”
I could see a bit of pride and dignity melting away in his eyes.

So to spread the horror that my brain has been repeating over and over and over since yesterday, I give you “Beep Beep, I’m a Sheep,” on a 10 HOUR LOOP just in case you don’t have children of your own. Oh, and as a parent, I can say that you’re lucky to get away with only 10 hours. It’s on at least a week-long loop or more at our house.

 

Ah, the comforting sound of the… peacock?

On our upcoming trip to Portugal, our hotel shows photos of peacocks that roam the walls and streets of the area. This was charming and exotic when we booked, but lately, I’ve been reminded of the sound a peacock makes. This may not be the relaxing trip we were hoping for.

Jellyfish and wine

My husband and I are soon leaving on a long weekend trip to Portugal. I was able to pack for the trip 3 months ago as the temperatures between Lisbon and Stockholm differ 25 degrees. That’s Celsius of course. After 17 years of turning my brain away from  Fahrenheit, I’m too tired to switch back again. Google it.

In preparing for this trip, I realized that I know nothing about Portugal except for the dangerous ‘Portuguese Man o’ War’ jellyfish, which apparently doesn’t have much to do with Portugal except that the shape looks like an old 1800s Portuguese war ship. I guess you learn something every day, though what I needed to learn was something about Portugal.

At this point, I’ve researched castles, churches, restaurants, local food, customs, etc. My husband prefers to go with the flow and research nothing, except possibly a restaurant or two. I think our traveling styles probably compliment each other. I like to know that I’m not missing anything by researching carefully before leaving. My husband likes to simply discover things he didn’t know about, which must work out great for him since I lead us to places where things are actually interesting.

When asking him if he knew what kind of food the Portuguese like to eat, he replied, ‘I know they drink wine, so we’re good.’

He doesn’t care much for seafood though, so unless the wine can take away fish taste, he might end up a bit hungry. Luckily his amazing wife, me, has done plenty of tapas, steak and pasta research.  I should totally start a travel agency.

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Neighborhood fox update

So now this shows up on the neighborhood forum:

“Idag på em var hela familjen och lekte i lekparken, sonen hade sin gula fotboll med sig och efter att ha lekt runt lite i parken ser vi plötsligt att bollen är borta, den försvann nästan mitt framför oss. Efter att ha letat en bra stund i parken och runtomkring gick vi alla hem, ledsna för att någon tagit min sons boll. Så om ni ser en gul fotboll någonstans kan ni väl säga till.”

Translated:

“This afternoon, our whole family played in the park, our son had his yellow soccer ball with him and after he played a while in the park, we suddenly realized that the ball was gone, it disappeared almost right in front of us. After looking for quite a while in the park and the surrounding area, we went home, sad because someone took my son’s ball. So if you see a yellow soccer ball somewhere, please let us know.”

Now you know what I am very tempted to post in response to the above.

MAYBE THE FOX ATE IT!

(Thank you, if I didn’t share that thought here, I might have actually had to post that and caused a neighborhood war.)

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What does the fox say? “I WILL EAT YOUR CAT!”

Well, the big news around our neighborhood this week is that we allegedly have some foxes going around EATING PEOPLE’S CATS!

Once again, these are animals that everyone in my neighborhood sees (last year it was badgers) but I never catch a glimpse. We live next to the forest and I walk through there all the time. No foxes, badgers or beavers that I can see. Plenty of deer and rabbits.

Anyway, it’s been fun to read the threads in our neighborhood group. On one side you have the cat people “Protect your cats!” On the other side, you have the bird people, “It’s good that the foxes eat the cats because the cats eat too many birds!”

A few more choice favorites are the guy who posted that “city cats are WEAK! A country cat could take out a fox any day.”

And just for fun, if you hit Google translate on some of these, they get really weird. Here’s a case where a woman is talking about a 3-legged deer in Swedish. Google turns more gruesome:

I called Marshall who came here and shot a “Three-legged” kid in my garden for a couple of years ago. I didn’t know if it was right or wrong

Yet another Google translate mistake (with the name of a street) turned another post into something quite poetic:

“I saw a fox last week at the ancient path. It had a cat in his mouth and went with a firm step against the park in front of the ancient house. He seemed very fearless.”

I will do my best to keep you updated in the “Neighborhood Fox Saga.” I hope it lives up to last year’s “Badgers in our Gardens.”

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Buried news

With all the government news lately, I’m starting to feel that we might be losing focus on what’s happening in other fields. On CNN today, there was a list of stories all having to do with governmental issues, except for one buried right in the middle. Do they expect us to glance over this, because it’s the only one that really caught my eye.

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You see it too, right?

After reading the article, I understand that it’s about growing specific human organs in pigs for organ transplant and not, as this avid Doctor Who viewer originally thought, a race of pig slaves. That was a relief. I wasn’t ready for a Dalek invasion right now.

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Commercials in another country

Even though I’ve lived in Sweden for almost 17 years now, I still see many commercials through the eyes of an American laughing hysterically at weird “foreign” ads. But honestly, how can I not when things like this are common?

This is an ad for a glassses company.

And this is an ad for a mobile phone company.

Extinct giant cows return to Europe

They’re heiffing mad and they’re not going to take your bull any longer.

 

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Merry Victorian Christmas pt. 3

I’m not really sure if this is an actual Christmas card, or just a general “My headless goat wants some apples” card that people often send. Though I prefer “headless ostriches who want bananas” on my greeting cards.

 

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Merry Victorian Christmas pt. 2

This week’s Victorian Christmas card depicts a party of birds apparently on their way to torch another bird’s nest. At least that’s how I interpret it. Bird army.

I also think the caption “Lighten your Christmas hours” is not funny, but rather creepy as these birds do not look happy and obviously have it in for someone.

 

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Merry Victorian Christmas pt. 1

It’s that time of year again… time to wonder what kind of drugs people in the Victorian age were on when they made Christmas cards. Also time to wonder what their deal is with frogs.

I give you, Victorian Christmas card number one. Frog and Beetle dancing on beach with a dragonfly playing tamborine.

If you can get past a frog and a giant beetle dancing together, much less that they would make a tambourine small enough for a dragonfly to play, I still say the beach scene makes no sense at Christmastime.

 

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Bad parent

According to my kids, here are the reasons I’m a bad parent this week:

  1. Ordered clouds to block view of SuperMoon in Sweden.
  2. Did not buy chewable Vitamin D, but nasty adult swallow-type pills.
  3. Forgetting 5-day Pokemon catching streak and having to start over.

My kids have it very hard. I hope child services won’t be called.

On the plus side, I did agree to protect them from the evil eye of Cthulu’s heart, should he ever emerge from the depths of the Earth, so I gained a few points with the kids there.

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Eye troll

For the second time in a month, I’ve gotten a nasty eye infection. Yes, yes I know it’s my makeup and it’s all been thrown out now to make way for new, fresh, not-digsuting-bacteria-contaminated makeup.

The eye infection causes my eyes to swell up, turn red and develop hideous bags that go into my cheeks. I’ve taken to wearing one of those Venetian masks to the dinner table so that everyone can eat.

On Monday, we had some repair people coming to the house. I didn’t want to scare them and they had their own keys, so I took to the forest to pick blueberries for four hours.

It occured to me that I would have to go deep into the forest so as not to frighten joggers and small children. I already had a vision of someone coming up to me, tapping me on the shoulder and then running away in horror as I turned my freakish head and hissed.

We live in Scandinavia where there are numerous tales of gnomes and trolls living in the forest. I’m starting to realize where some of these tales may have originated.

My eyes are healing now and I feel confident enough to head out into society where I can buy some fresh makeup. I was a bit afraid they wouldn’t sell it to me during the height of my infection and ask me to leave the store by the back door. In which case, I would have turned them into billy goats or demanded they answer a riddle before I left.

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How fairytale is this kid?

This headline was on CNN this weekend. “Boy sells enough lemonade to buy pony.”

Does this kid only get to read and watch books and shows from the 1950s? This is great!

Number 1: How quaint is it for a kid to sell lemonade these days?
Number 2: How many kids ask for a pony? Not a PlayStation or phone, but a pony. It’s like a storybook!

This kid is great. Every kid should be like this.

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