Category Archives: Uncategorized

Allright, allright…..

Regarding Eurovision last night, I suppose I have to eat my words from yesterday (which is much healthier than what I ate during the competition…. a milkshake, chips and chocolate).

SWEDEN WON! So now of course Eurovision is great and everything is awesome!

I have to admit, I actually did enjoy most of the songs. In fact, I think I only made fun of something one time and I can’t even remember what that was now – most likely to do with frightening outfits. My kids were very confused by the in-between spots where the contestants would receive a package to do something in Austria. “Why does it keep showing them getting mail?! This is boring! I don’t care if they get a package!”  I was just rating the experiences with which countries were the luckiest. I think I’d like to be the ones that got the tickets to the amusement park and not the ones who got the bungee jumping cords.  I think Austria might have been trying to eliminate the competition.

So to sum up – I was actually impressed with some of the performances, but I kind of miss the goofy stuff. Can we run the reject contest the day after?  That goes better with a milkshake and chips.

WIEN 2015-05-21  Sveriges Måns Zelmerlöw framför bidraget Heroes vid semifinal två under Eurovision Song Contest 2015 i Wiener Stadthalle i Wien.  Foto: Jessica Gow / TT / Kod 10070

WIEN 2015-05-21
Sveriges Måns Zelmerlöw framför bidraget Heroes vid semifinal två under Eurovision Song Contest 2015 i Wiener Stadthalle i Wien.
Foto: Jessica Gow / TT / Kod 10070

Salad, soup or….. kangaroo?

I’m going to dinner this evening with one of my friends so I decided to take a look at the menu online.

Looks like I can choose from nachos, salads, hamburgers, or “kangaroo filet.” At first I thought it was just a funny name for a burger or steak because it’s so spicy it’ll hop in your mouth or something, but no. It seems to be actual kangaroo.

“Skewered lemongrass and ginger marinated kangaroo filet in a madeira and shiitake sauce,
with roasted cherry tomatoes, padron pepper and a fig marmelade.”

There are no other unusual animals served at this place.  It’s just the one dish.  I just feel like the owner had a bad run-in with a kangaroo once and is out to destroy them all. It really doesn’t fit in with the rest of the menu.

I think I’ll stick to the nachos.


(image by Carolyn Duff)

Stunning London Garden!

I’m helping some family look for a place to stay on vacation in London. This one advertised that it had a STUNNING garden!

This makes me worry about Londoners.

Skärmavbild 2015-05-11 kl. 09.58.02

Time change

My children had no clue the time changed this weekend. I got up before them and switched all the clocks. I wonder if I can apply this same strategy to early bedtimes.


Watch the eclipse – if you can find the sun

Today Stockholm is supposed to have an almost total eclipse – 90% or so I believe.  We’ve been excited all week, I’ve packed special glasses in the kids’ backpacks and reminded them what time it peaks.

However….. after a week of sunny days, today is total cloud cover (with small chance of snow!).  When I took my sons out this morning, I said, “ok, if you’re out after lunch, just look up…uh…… uh  (I twist my head all around)….. well I have no idea where the sun is at the moment, but umm….. go out at 11 and maybe it will be a little darker.”

Honestly, you think on a cloudy day that you would be able to at least tell where the sun is, but I haven’t found it at all.  Oh well… still a few hours to go until we see if there is anything to see.  In the meantime…


Give a hoot, don’t pollute

I was reading a post from my hometown in Texas about how many businesses are not keeping up landscaping or picking up litter which makes the city look bad.  They asked for suggestions from the community. Many people suggested fining the businesses, but some suggested that school kids or scouts should have a day each month for cleaning up and yard work around town.  At first I thought this was a great idea, then I started to realize that everyone is just fine with suggesting the kids clean up all the trash, but no one suggested anything similar for any adult organizations. There are plenty of organizations and clubs in town.

But ya know…. it’s like 100 degrees out there.  Let’s send the kids… builds character.

Lead by example adults!  Get out there alongside them!

Ok, that’s my rant today.  Now back to my guerrilla gardening.


St. Patrick’s Day score – 12-1, in my favor

YES!  Once again, my husband forgot today was St. Patrick’s day which ended up (as it does many years) with me dressed in green clothes, green jewelry and even green eye shadow waking him up and saying sweetly, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

“NOOOOOO!!!!!” he screams as I pinch him.  Not really the best way to wake up, but he should pay more attention. I even wore green short to bed last night and he never questioned it.

Today my kids asked me why you get pinched if you aren’t wearing green on St. Patrick’s day (this after a warning that it’s not practiced in Sweden so they better confine that behavior solely to our home).  I didn’t know the answer, so I looked it up.

There are 2 explanations.  One has to do with not showing enough pride when the Irish were struggling and not wanting to wear colors to express your support of the country.

The other explanation is to watch out for pinching leprechauns.

Guess which explanation my kids got?

(By the way, my husband and I have spent 15 St. Patrick’s Days together.  Twice he remembered and once I forgot.  I think he slipped something in my green beer.)


30 Amazing Outdoor Kitchen Ideas

I saw a friend post this title on Pintrest with a gorgeous summer outdoor bbq, counter, grill and patio furniture in a lovely setting.

This was all I could think of.  It’s about the only “outdoor kitchen idea” that we do here in Stockholm.



I saw a dentist office with a video screen facing outside the window showing tools digging through people’s mouths. Why would this encourage me to visit that particular office?  I don’t see hospitals with Jumbo Trons outside showing gallbladder surgery.

“Hmm…I like that they use the Pembroke scalpel. Maybe I’ll switch places.”

Just put a sign up, Dentists. We go to you for YOU to look in our mouth because we don’t want to and we sure don’t want to see everyone else’s. Save your videos for the Christmas party and scrape off my plaque.




Can we quit throwing around the word hero? I just saw a sign saying “bicyclists are heros!” Yeah. Thanks for not using a car and all, but hero? Hey grandpa? Remember when you saved that woman when the building collapsed on her? Well we’re both heros now!

And around here, are people really all riding bikes because they care so much about the environment? Because I’m pretty sure a few are saving money on a bus card or just trying to avoid sitting in traffic.

I recycled some cans last week. Where’s my comic book? Where’s my medal? Hero! My kids will be so proud.


Strange moments

Sometimes when I sit on the subway with my headphones blasting music, I hear a mumble of the driver announcing something from the speakers. Everyone looks around and then we continue. By the time I take off my headphones the announcement is over.

It’s these times when I wonder what I missed :

“Ladies and gentlemen. All passengers exiting at the next station will receive pie.”


“Fellow passengers, keep your eye out for Texans. They walk among us.”


I wrote a book!

Did I mention I wrote a book?  Yes, now you can have all my thoughts and nonsense in one book!  And I promise it’s not the same stories as on the blog!  It’s short essays and thoughts about life in Sweden, childhood in Texas (there are Goat Men involved and nachos), and important life lessons (Nah, just kidding.)

I hear this book makes everyone who reads it happy and may also be able to give you super powers ( though that hasn’t been confirmed yet.)

It’s on Kindle, and Amazon.UK.  I hope you all enjoy it!

(Psstt… Kindle’s the cheapest. 😉 )   for U.S. readers (or Kindle) for European readers.

It’s also available at all other Amazons around the world from what I understand.

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 18.09.23

The Bird is the Word

This morning, “Surfin’ Bird” by the Trashmen came on the radio as my husband and kids were walking outside. It’s such a good song to start the day with. As I stood on the third floor of our building, I held the radio over my head with the window open and blasted it to them as well as the rest of the neighborhood. You’re welcome neighbors. Remember the most important lesson in life: The Bird is the Word.


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.


Candy coma

I’ve been away from the computer for a few days.  I blame it on candy coma.  The holidays were just a 2 week candy binge.  It’s actually not over yet.  Today is also a holiday here in Sweden.  Well, if I must… I guess I’ll have to have a few more chocolates.

We generally have a rule to only eat candy on Saturdays (many kids here do this and it’s good advice for adults too).  But during holidays and vacations – every day is a Saturday.  Right?

eat things


Mall Tycoon

As my mind was drifting last night, I started thinking about fountain features in malls, as most people do late at night.  Then I started thinking about what goes into designing a mall, which led to the natural question – where’s the game for that?  I have Rollercoaster Tycoon and Zoo Tycoon.

Where is Mall Tycoon?

Some features of Mall Tycoon:

  • Good variety in food court
  • Place for kids to hang out
  • Mall cops, Bathrooms, and stores of course

This got me to thinking about my hometown’s local mall, which has sadly gone way down in quality the past 10 years.  If I were to recreate this mall, I would need:

  • 22 flea market shops
  • 2 teenager/stoner/poster shops  (I’m looking at you, “Hot Topic.”)
  • 14 shoe shops
  • Abandoned sealed off wing full of dead pigeons
  • 2 decent department stores to lure people in
  • 2 abandoned department stores turned into storage facilities
  • 1 Bath & Body

Stay tuned next week when I describe my new game – Mexican Restaurant Tycoon  ( Set price of Margaritas to 1 dollar – Restaurant full!)



Rainy days and explosions

Woke up this morning to a light rain.  Ah, I thought… what a great day to be unemployed!  I’ll crack the window open a bit, smell that fresh rain smell and read a book.

I forgot that they are constructing a new garbage area for our building.  This consists of a giant hole in the ground covered by a canvas bag which collects garbage that we throw through a nice chute at the top.  A truck will come by twice a week, open the chute and lift the canvas bag into the truck.  It’s a nice system.

Once again – hole in ground, bag, chute.

So tell me why they’ve been working on this for 6 business days and why they need explosives to dig a hole about 10 feet deep?

Every day I’m at home, I heard the sirens go off.  BEEP BEEP BEEP!  (here it comes….)  BOOM!   Then the all-clear beep.  I’m scared to stand too close to the windows.

What are they blowing up?  I’ve seen the hole.  They scooped it already with a tractor.  They blow it up all day long but it doesn’t get any deeper or bigger.  I’m thinking they’re just using it to test explosives when no one is home.  Just people playing around saying, “woo-hoo!  How much longer can we get paid for this?”

Pretty soon they’re going to start constructing new apartment buidilngs right across the street from us.  There is currently a large hill there.  If it takes 6 days and about 20 explosions to dig a 10-foot garbage hole, I’m not looking forward to seeing what it takes to demolish a hill and build apartments.  I’m going to the store today to buy earplugs and a foam suit to wear around the house.

(All of this construction and I can’t get them to fix the flush on the toilet.)


After all of my teasing of the Swedes who are too eager for spring, I myself became a victim.

Thinking stupidly that since it was April I could take my kids to the lake, I grabbed some stale bread to feed the ducks and marched them on an hour-long walk in a snowstorm to the lake.  Yep, a snowstorm.  On our way there, it started to snow like crazy.  Yet, I still persisted in heading to the lake.  After an hour, we looked at the GPS and found that we were standing on the lake although there was no lake there.  It was completely covered in ice and snow.  I had very angry children on the hour long walk back.

That’s what I get for trying to pretend I live in a normal place, where spring starts now.  Well, that’s it!  I’m fixing my bubble bath, getting my hot chocolate and staying bundled up until May, when I MIGHT try to venture out again.


Today’s complaint – Delivery men

I was asked today to wait for delivery men to drop off 2 large 250 lbs pinball machines.

I did not want to do this job, because last time I was asked to wait for a couch from Ikea, the delivery men put it on it’s side up in the air (taller than me and completely impractical, even for setting it down).  It’s like delivery men take one look at me (small, girl) and feel like they can use me as their joke of the day.

Today was no different.  This guy just came to the door with 2 giant pinball machines on a wooden pallet (total weight – 500 lbs).  I asked if he could bring it in the door.  He said no and that I could do it myself.  I am 110 lbs.

So now I hope there isn’t a fire, because I’m almost completely blocked in my door with 2 giant machines sitting right outside.  I can barely squeeze past them.

I can’t wait until my kids invent teleportation.  Take that delivery men – don’t need you anymore!

Stab Assistant to the Royal Family!

The job ad says


Now, I know I could just ask or translate that and it means something totally different than I’m thinking, but I prefer to be alone with my thoughts of the Royal Family needing an assistant who stabs things when needed.

Also, isn’t it funny that the Royal Family has to advertise positions on the government website?  It goes under a different name for the organization that’s in charge of their business but I still find it funny.  I can’t imagine the President of the U.S. advertising for things like “window washer” on a national government website.  I’d hate to be the person who has to go through all of those applications.  Even funnier again to imagine the President adverstising for a “stab assistant.”


Edit:    I forgot to add that the reason I found this job is that the government job site recommended this job to me as I have the qualifications.

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