“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.
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?
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:
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
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.
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.
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.
We had to buy a heat lamp last week for the balcony so we can enjoy sitting outside IN THE SUMMER.
That’s right, it’s June and we bought a heat lamp.
Excluding today (which is 10 c! 50f ), the weather in Stockholm has actually been quite nice lately hovering around 20c (70f). It’s been nice and warm. We don’t even need jackets during the day. (Except today – did I mention it’s 10 c!?!)
But the problem with our apartment is that the sun only shines on our balcony until around 2pm, which means that by dinner time, we are covered in shadows and freezing – thus the need for the heat lamp.
I did point out to my husband that this might also be nice in the winter when we are on our balcony. We can sip umbrella drinks and wave across to our neighbors whose balconies are covered in 3 feet of snow.
I spent an hour the other day with a caterpillar crawling in my hair. I talked with my husband, typed on the computer and drank tea… all with a caterpillar in my hair. I didn’t discover him until I went to wash my hands and took a look in the mirror.
There is a certain type of tree here in Stockholm where these tiny caterpillars just hang down from strings waiting to live in my hair. Now I feel like things are crawling in my hair all the time.
It’s really hard to have confidence and feel good about yourself when you have caterpillar hair.
I have to buy a hat.