Aby-a-Day – 17 March: My goodness, my Guinness (Silly Saturday)

At this local pub we go to for book club meetings and the occasional pub quiz was festooned with these silly Guinness pint glass St. Patrick’s Day floppy hats when we were there last Thursday. Of course, we had to snag one to show the LunaTicks. It turned out to be just the boys…Angel, sagely, made herself scarce.


Logan was in his favourite brown nest bed and I couldn’t drag him out just for some silly photos. So, I just put the hat on his bed. I think he liked it.


When Alfred came into the room, I moved the hat to our tree stump cat tree.



He was actually a little afraid of it.


He’s usually so brash and fearless, it was highly amusing to watch him be so wary of a new thing.


I tossed it on the floor, and I think for a second he wondered if it was alive.


He examined it thoroughly, inside…


…and out.


Then I did that slightly mean thing that all cat people do…I made the “Pssssst! sound and he jumped back.


Which actually might be a good thing. Maybe I can put it on places I don’t want him to go.


Jacoby, on the other hand, was unfazed…or should I say, unfezed?


This is Jake’s 8th St. Patrick’s Day, of course, and he used to live at Ground Zero for the legendary Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade. I guess it’s all old hat to him.


Meanwhile, Logan came out of his bed and joined us on the sofa. I came up for a different way for him to “wear” the hat.


I’m not sure if he liked it or not. With that face, it’s hard to tell sometimes.


Okay, then. Guess he didn’t like it. Well, St. Patty’s Day isn’t really a thing in Sweden anyway, apart from some bars.

Abys are Everywhere: “Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds”

The other day I came across a Facebook post (in a Bengal group, of all places) that caught my eye for a couple of reasons: one, the Somali, of course, and two, it was a warning about Easter lilies.

As I have posted before, lilies kill cats. Easter lilies are among the worst, but it’s safest to avoid any sort of bulb plants (remember, garlic and onions are also bad for cats, and they are also members of the lily family).

Aby-a-Day – 14 February: Wordless Wednesday (Why are your Valentine’s Day roses way up there on the high shelf? …Oh. Him)




Aby-a-Day – 13 February: Alla hjärtans dag (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last year for Valentine’s Day (called “Alla hjärtans dag,” “all hearts day” in Sweden), I had an early morning class, and I left for class before Björn went to work, so I drew him a little Valentine cartoon.


Later, in class, I doodled Jacoby with some roses. And a little poem for Björn which says:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I’ll love you
When you’re old and grey


(It rhymes in Swedish.)

Aby-a-Day – 2 February: Who wore it better? Mistletoe edition (Friday Fashion Flashback)

I know Christmas (or Jul, as it’s called in Sweden) has been done and gone for over a month, but I couldn’t resist this comparison. Remember the first time Jacoby wore his mistletoe hat? He wore it like a pro. And later on?


Yeah, he was still wearing it like a pro.


Even as late as our first Christmas in Sweden…



…Jake was still rocking that mistletoe hat like a boss.


But the first time Logan donned the famed mistletoe hat?






Yeah…not so much with the rocking and the bossing.


Although, to be fair…Jake had his moments with the hat, too.

Aby-a-Day – 2 January: Holidays in Sweden (Cartoon Tuesday)

In my Swedish language classes (SFI, Svenska för Invandrare or Swedish for Immigrants – it works in both languages), I have reverted to a habit that sustained me through junior high, high school and university: Sketching in class alongside my notetaking.

I usually doodle things that go along with whatever we’re learning about, starring Jacoby, Angel and the kittens (collectively called “The LunaTicks”). Last holiday season, I did these three little cartoons. The first is Thanksgiving, or as they call it here in Sweden: “torsdag.” It’s not celebrated here, but turkeys are fairly easy to find. They are TINY (I can barely find one that’s 5kg (11 lbs), let alone the 20+ pounders I used to get back in the States. And instead of cooking on Thursday, I do the turkey on Saturday, but other than that it’s the same feast I always make.

Including the grabby Aby hands. Jake is saying, “My turkey…all for me…” and Angel is saying, “And me!”

After Thanksgiving, of course, comes Christmas, or Jul. It actually starts after Halloween here, with lights in every window to ward off the increasingly dark days. Sweden is an incredibly secular country, but they celebrate Jul to the hilt, combining a variety of Norse and Germanic traditions with a smattering of saints and advent and, of course, Donald Duck. Jul is a big deal here.

One big day in the lead-up to Julafton (Christmas Eve, the day when Tomten (Santa) brings the presents and the big meal is eaten) is 13 December, Luciadagen, a celebration of Santa Lucia, a 3rd-century martyr, who according to legend brought “food and aid to people hiding in the catacombs” using a candle-lit wreath to “light her way and leave her hands free to carry as much food as possible.” Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a festival of light. 13 December also happens to be the first day of Christmas, 12 days before Christmas.

Santa Lucia’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, because of her name (Lucia = light) and she is represented as a young woman in a white dress with a red sash, wearing a crown or wreath of candles on her head. She is attended by other girls dressed the same (except for the crown) and boys portray stars and Tomtens. It is said that to vividly celebrate Santa Lucia’s Day will help one live through the long winter days with enough light. It seems to be a perfect blend of pagan and Christian traditions.

So of course I had to draw Angel as Lucia.

Another Lucia tradition are saffron buns called “Lussekatter,” Light Cats or Lucia’s Cats, so called because they look like curled-up cats.


Of course, Jake was all over that part of the tradition!

Another Jul tradition is the Julbock – the Christmas Goat. Commonly, it takes the form of a straw goat, but there is also a depiction of a man dressed in a sheepskin and a straw goat mask who carries a sack over his shoulder filled with toys for all the children…it’s complicated.

But of course if Angel was Lucia, Jake had to be the Julbock.

Aby-a-Day – 9 May: Nueve de Mayo (Hipstamatic Minature Monday)

When Björn was here, we had all-you-can-eat Taco Tuesday at Tavitas in South Station.



While we were there, the “Corona Girls” were going around handing out free bottles of beer, all dressed up in an adorable Corona serape.



Well…of course you know what we had to do with that, right?



The little serape was just about the right size for Mini-Jacoby!


So, okay, maybe Cinco de Mayo was a few days ago, but apparently Mini-Jake is still celebrating.