Category Archives: health

Champagne Hike

Saw this event being advertised for tomorrow. Yeah, I think the photo is pretty accurate.

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Creamation, uh.. I mean cream with your coffee?

I live next to a graveyard that is also a World Heritage Site for it’s architecture and placement in a forest. It’s a nice place to walk around. Greta Garbo even has a gravestone there.

Today I had an ad show up to let me know that I can tour the architecture with a guide when I visit the graveyard, or I can even have a snack in their nice cafe.

It’s a graveyard.

Not a church.

A graveyard.

And people go there to chat over cinammon buns and coffee surrounded by gravestones.

It just seems rude to eat and drink in front of people who can’t.

(Actual photo from the ad… these gals look pretty happy. They must have been to a funeral for someone they didn’t like.)

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Go ahead, have a good cry!

Next time someone seems very sad or is crying, be sure to check that they don’t have bees living in their eyes!

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Frightening sick children

My son was sick last week with a bad cough and fever. After giving him some cough medicine and tea, I told him to rest. I then put on some music for him to relax. Unfortunately, the Horrible Histories album was already cued and when I hit the power button, the radio blared, “Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!”

I spent the next few minutes assuring my son that he did not have the plague.

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Fast Food Coma

I waved my kids off at the airport this morning and went immediately to both KFC and Pizza Hut, as they were in the area. Of course, I had to grocery shop first because these crazy Swedes don’t eat fried chicken at 9am in the morning. (Just wait until they discover fried chicken and waffles.)

I just ate a small snack at KFC to try it out (first one in Stockholm) and I put the pizza box on the passenger seat and turned the seat warmer to HIGH! It worked great!

As I rarely eat fast food these days, I of course fell into a fast food coma for the afternoon. But I’m awake again and ready to tackle the leftover slices in the fridge tomorrow!

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I’m about to become a surgeon!

Found this while looking for activities to do with my kids. My comments:

  1. Whoever did the write-up is brilliant!
  2. My grape wants to know why it has to wait almost 2 weeks to get it’s surgery done.
  3. I’m totally putting this on my cv.

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Death by Chocolate

We keep our candy very high up in the cabinet so as not to be constantly tempted by chocolate. I thought I would sneak a small piece so I climbed on the counter to reach the chocolate. IT WAS A TRAP! Half of the chocolate fell down and I was wearing slippery socks. Luckily I half-way caught myself on a chair but I think I bruised my foot pretty badly.

I’m very thankful it wasn’t worse because either the hospital staff wouldn’t believe me, or they would be laughing too hard to help.

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Are people really this stupid?

A bag of special snack Doritos from the U.S. Is it really necessary to remind people to chew? If you don’t know that you need to chew chips, then maybe you deserve to choke.

 

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Another tale of Swedish trick-or-treat

My son’s friend went trick-or-treating with his sister last weekend (because in Sweden, Halloween is 2 weeks for some reason).

The Swedes are still learning how Halloween works, which leads to some strange things ending up in the treat bag. On this occasion, the boy and his sister knocked on a door belonging to an old woman. She dug in her purse and dropped an old piece of money that is no longer valid and an aspirin.

Maybe the aspirin came in handy later for the parent who had to deal with sugar-hyped kids.

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Thanks for the image, son.

After eating a bit too much curry at lunch, my son had to spend a long time in the bathroom yesterday evening. When he finally came out, he said:

“I thought I had dysentery! But not like Oregon Trail, more like Oregon ROAD!”

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I need some air, take out an organ

Always take a shower in the morning! You never know what the day will bring.

Example, a lazy day last week turned into an overnight stay at the hospital and one son without an appendix!

I have to say that everything went smoothly and everyone was very nice. My only complaint was that there was hardly any air-conditioning! I think they possibly have a very weak system running, but it’s awful. They put a small desk fan in my son’s room, which helped a lot.

The only cold room I experienced was the operating room. I was allowed to go in until they put my son under. I almost wanted to grab a scalpel, cut myself and yell, “I have to stay here!” just to get some air conditioning.

At the same time, my son had a friend traveling in the U.S. with major appendix problems who ended up in an American hospital. I was impressed that my son’s room actually had a t.v. (I’ve never had that experience yet in a Swedish hospital room) and that we had 6, yes 6 channels! His friend in America not only had a t.v. (and air conditioning, I assume), but also a Nintendo Wii, a therapy dog and a visit from the Boston Red Sox.

But when you consider how much that American hospital stay is going to cost compared to the Swedish hospital stay, I’d still rather be here. Guess what our total bill was?

0

There’s never any cost at all for anyone under 18 in Sweden. Not having to worry about getting sick or being able to afford long hospital stays is totally worth not having a Nintendo Wii in your room. My son may not agree, but when he complains, I just shove some ice cream in his mouth.

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It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

I planned to bring both of my sons to the beach yesterday. I packed two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, because they’re cheap to make and I already had everything. Plus, they like them, which always helps.

Just before leaving, my oldest son got an invitation to go somewhere else, so my youngest invited a friend to join us instead. “No problem,” I said. “I’ve already got two towels, two sandwiches and two water bottles.”
And then on the way there, it occurred to me… most Swedish children have never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
I have this same problem with two other standard American kids’ foods. The first is macaroni and cheese. I can’t think of a kid in America who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese, but guess what? Swedish kids seem to hate it! I have no idea why, other than it’s unfamiliar. Or maybe their environmental, super-healthy senses can tell on some level that a typical box is probably full of chemicals and additives. Still though, it’s pasta and it’s cheese. What’s not to like?
The other problem we often have is frosting on birthday cake. Again, these Swedish kids who aren’t exposed to grotesque amounts of sugar just don’t seem to enjoy it. We have to have whipped cream or fruit to get them to eat it.
So you can see my concern that the peanut butter and jelly sandwich might be rejected by my son’s Swedish friend. That would mean I would actually have to stop and pay for another meal, which I was really trying to avoid.
Luckily, I remembered one of the most annoying songs ever that every kid seems to love, no matter what country they’re from. PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!
If you’re unfamiliar with the lyrics, here are a few sections of the song. Please remember it is meant to be shouted over the music, and not sung:
It’s peanut butter jelly time!
Peanut butter jelly time!
Peanut butter jelly time!
….
Peanut butter jelly! Peanut butter jelly!
Peanut butter jelly! Peanut butter jelly!
Do the peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly
Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat
Do the peanut butter jelly, peanut butter jelly
Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat
Now, I may not have had a baseball bat, but the song did the trick. The sandwich was accepted and eaten by the friend. Money saved! Though I did have to pay in another way by having that horrible song stuck in my head all day.
pbj

Apple pie burger

We were told to visit a popular burger place in East Texas that serves an Apple Pie Burger. I pictured a burger with an actual apple pie between the buns (honestly, it’s not that much of a stretch with some of the other crazy foods around there), but it was a burger with apple pie ingredients added – apple pieces, brown sugar and maple syrup bacon. It actually wasn’t that bad, though I prefer a regular burger.

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Happy Swedish mother’s day

Today is Swedish mother’s day and I got one present from my youngest son a day early when I picked him up yesterday afternoon.

Mamma, I got you a present.

(digs in pocket)

Here! It’s mascara! I found it just sitting on a wall by the street. It’s still got some in it! I thought you could use it to color in your eyebrows! You’d look cool with black eyebrows!

Thanks, son.

 

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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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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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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

 

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

Cabbage

(help…)

Cabbage

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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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