Tag Archives: summer

Season 3 of the podcast

We are back! We catch up on our summer experiences, like broken toilets, meze for Midsommar and traveling in the outside world! Also, a spotlight on Fårö.

Available wherever you get your podcasts, or at:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/y6phnugg

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

FM Player – https://tinyurl.com/yy84yqcl

Summer reading

Looking for summer reading by the pool, the beach, the bathtub?

Then why not order the book that started the blog that started the podcast “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow: Essays, Observations and Lies”!? Available on Amazon in every country!

German Amazon (free shipping in EU) – https://tinyurl.com/y7kyo6oe

Amazon U.S. – https://tinyurl.com/tb5rkhh

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Gotland – a different kind of island

On this “Summer Edition – Swedes Explain” episode of the podcast, the Swede of the week, Jorun, tells us about the popular tourist destination of Gotland, an island in the Baltic Sea.

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

Player FM – https://tinyurl.com/yy84yqcl

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Charter trips – Ja eller nej?

This week on our summer podcast edition “Swedes Explain,” former guest, half Swede/half Brit Sandy, explains why Swedes love to go on charter trips, as well as her experience working for one and the odd things that Swedes request.

You can find the podcast by typing in “Life in the Land of the Ice and Snow” anywhere you get your podcast or at any of these links:

Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yyxc4lzp

iTunes – https://tinyurl.com/y2ysn8c7

Main site – https://iceandsnow.se/

Player FM – https://tinyurl.com/yy84yqcl


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Sweden – your new beach destination!

It’s HOT! Really hot! And you know it must be bad coming from someone who grew up in Texas and just got back from a vacation there.

We’ve had a bit of a heatwave here in Sweden over the past 2 weeks. Of course, I’m all for it so I can wear my sandals and jump in the lakes, but when you don’t have any air conditioning, it does become a bit of a problem.

All windows and doors are open, all of our 3 floor fans are on, (in fact I carry one with me wherever I go) but it’s still really unbearable indoors. But I know better than to complain. For 5 months out of the year I’m dressed in 3 layers and still freezing.

So I gladly welcome this new global warming, summer weather. Now if someone could make me a piña colada, I’ll be good to go the rest of the day.


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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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.


Decorate your balcony… by moving somewhere else

I’m looking up ideas to decorate our balcony for the summer. I came across this list of beautiful balconies. I like the balcony pictured here, but I have a feeling there’s just something about it that’s lacking in my own balcony.  Oh yes, I think I’ve got it now…. this balcony looks over the Italian coast and my balcony looks over another apartment building with a fat man who never wears a shirt. Might be hard to acheive the same look.

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“Someday, when the weather is better…” began my son the other day.

“Um, the weather is sunny and beautiful outside,” I replied before he finished his sentence.

A surprised look and then a smile came over his face. “Oh!”

Living in Sweden, “Someday when the weather is better…” is a stock phrase that I have to use about 9 months out of the year.  “…you can ride your bike”, “…we can go swimming”, “…you can wear sandals”, etc.

I feel we use this phrase as much as people say, “Someday, when I win the lottery..” or “Someday, when we save enough money…”.

It takes a while to adjust to actually having nice weather after such a long winter. I sent the kids out on their bikes yesterday and they didn’t come back for over an hour. And they didn’t even need to wear a jacket! For many of us here in Sweden, this is way better than winning the lottery.


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Sure, the green nail polish felt summery and fresh until the lady at the party offered me a napkin so I could “get that avacado dip off” my nails.


4th of July in Texas

It’s that time of year again! 4th of July – and we’re spending it in Texas.

Let me write the equivalent of a school essay to help explain the 4th of July for those outside the U.S.:

What the 4th of July Means to Me

The Fourth of July means many things to me, but most importantly, it means snow cones. Without snow cones, America wouldn’t be the country it is today.

A lot of Americans say that 4th of July of America’s birthday. A lot of Americans also say that ketchup is a vegetable.

The United States celebrates freedom in many ways. One of those ways is to fry any food they want, be it Oreos, butter or cheesecake. Another way is to wear horribly inappropriate summer clothing that really shouldn’t be on bodies eating all that fried food.

But the most popular thing on the 4th of July is the fireworks. Americans like shiny, loud things. And after the fireworks, we all spend the next hour cursing our parking choices as we sit for an hour trying to get out of the lot with complaining kids in the backseat.

Happy 4th of July America!  Now where did I put my mosquito spray?


We’re in Texas


Oh thank goodness…. summer is saved!

I like the use of the word “fruit-related heist.”  I’m going to work that into my conversations more often.

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Midsommar and EVIL Midsommar

This past weekend, we celebrated Midsommar here in Sweden. It’s a celebration of the longest day (though that’s actually yesterday, I believe), where Swedes dance around a Maypole like frogs…. this after eating pickled herring and drinking lots of schnapps.

So I filmed a little one-minute video of our Midsommar celebration last Friday, Swedes hopping around like frogs, etc.

But while I was filming it, I started to wonder what it would be like with different filters and sound effects.  I think you’ll like the result:

A distaster of Swedish proportions

This headline is in The Local Sweden online news today.

Once again, if this is the biggest disaster Sweden faces, I’m glad to live in this country.

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BlueBell off the shelves. Texas mourns.

As anyone living in Texas or the southern U.S. knows, BlueBell ice cream is one of the best things to come out of Texas. Most Texans eat nothing else. Recently, Bluebell had to shut down and recall all products due to listeria concerns, causing Texans and southerners to stare at empty grocery shelves (and lose weight). Most Texans are blaming the recent devastating floods and storms in the state on the loss of BlueBell, claiming God is angry or God is crying. To sum up, Texans are loyal to BlueBell, and its disappearance is causing frustration and desperation. To get a feeling of the current attitude in Texas at the moment, one only has to visit the BlueBell Facebook site and read the comments. I’ve listed a few of my favorites here:

We are dying over here in Louisiana. WE. ARE. OUT. OF. ICE. CREAM.

Please hurry! I……must……..have……my……Blue…Bell……ice…cream……
I’ve been having to drink more beer to replace my ice cream intake.

Hurry, I’m losing weight!!!!

I haven’t eaten another other brand. Need to hurry up! God is crying and Houston is flooding.

We bought a freezer just to store BlueBell and deer/hog meat.

We are DYING here without our Blue Bell!! That other stuff just ain’t the SAME!

Oh noooooooo!!!! This could be traumatic and require therapy!

I remain faithful to Blue Bell.   Wives? Not so much.

I cry a little more each day.

Honestly, I would be ok with getting sick or dying from BlueBell. The ice cream is worth it.

We tried another brand. Nasty.

I am having withdrawals in a bad way!! I may need some counseling if I do not get me some quickly!!!

Without Blue Bell, sex is our only alternative and we are getting tired.

Everything else is garbage.

I don’t care if it has ebola or e.coli or whatever, I want my ice cream now!!!


Shirt made by Doodle Bug Designs

Why are Swedes not the happiest in the world?

Well, did you ask them during the month of January? That could be part of your problem.

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I will never understand

It’s the time of year again when some Swedes eat rotten fish.  Yes, rotten.

It’s called Surströmming.  It’s fish in a can that has been allowed to ferment at least 6 months.  It has been described as “of the most putrid food smells in the world”. You are not allowed to eat it inside your apartment building.  It must be eaten outside because of the awful smell.  Then people try to cover it up with bread and potatoes and drink schnapps to get rid of the horrible taste.

This has gone on since the 1600s when this was provided as army rations during the 30 years war.  If you gave those soldiers from the 1600s the choice of their canned rotted fish or a decent burger, I don’t think they would ever touch fish again.  I fail to see why this is a “tradition.”

I try my best to fit in my new culture, but this is the main place where I have to draw the line.  It’s not happening.  Rotted fish was not on the immigration form.  I’ll eat your salmon, your meatballs and your cloudberries, but surströmming will never happen.

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When I was growing up, there was a new water toy called the Slip-N-Slide that you could set up in your own backyard for hours of fun during the summer.  One of my neighborhood friends had a nice, flat yard which was the ultimate place for the long, yellow tarp filled with water for kids to slide across.  We had so much fun back there until his parents discovered that we kids had turned their beautifully manicured lawn into a mud pit.

After that, we had to move the Slip N Slide to my backyard, which was not so lovingly cared for.  My backyard was full of bumps and rocks.  A trip down the Slip- N -Slide would leave me with dark purple bruises daily.  But that didn’t stop me or my friends.

Recently, we bought a Slip-N-Slide while in Texas so our kids could have the same joy that I did when I was a child.

I didn’t account for the fire ant problem in my dad’s backyard or the random rocks and sticks there as well.  I’d say the amount of fun the kids had just about equaled the amount of bruises and tears.  Glad to see they get to experience some parts of a typical Texas childhood.


Why does my children’s school torture the kids?

Here is the school planning for this week:

“This week the children will continue to work with the summer season. Last week they looked at a day at the beach.
On Monday we will be having “a picnic” in the park!(in the classroom).
We will look at a picture where a family is having a picnic (work with vocabulary and word-picture-association).”

Temperature outside –  -1c.  It’s just cruel.


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