Aby-a-Day – 24 December: Julafton and Kalle Anka

It’s hard to describe how important watching Kalle Anka (Donald Duck) at 3pm on Christmas Eve is in Sweden.

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Jacoby…seriously. It’s a big deal. Go sit down and watch.

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That’s better.

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Having experienced four Swedish Julaftons now, I can attest. Donald Duck and Christmas are a thing.

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The annual broadcast, shown in Sweden since 1959 consists of Jiminy Cricket presenting about a dozen Disney cartoons from the 1930s to the 1960s, only a couple of which have anything to do with Christmas. There are “Silly Symphonies” shorts and clips from films like Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and The Jungle Book. The special is pretty much the same every year, except for the live introduction by a Swedish host and the addition of one new snippet from the latest Disney-produced movie (This year, it was a scene from Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet and a scene from The Incredibles II).

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The first year we lived here, we went to Jönköping and watched it at Björn’s mom’s house. We have done that every year…until this year. In a manner of speaking, Jake spent Christmas at Björn’s mom’s house before he even lived here.

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This year, we had Julafton and watched Kalle Anka at home in Skövde.

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But it was hard to not think of the Juls we had spent at Björn’s mom’s house. That defined Christmas in Sweden to me…and Christmas in general to Björn.

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We did miss Björn’s mom’s Christmas tree, decorated with hand-cut paper hearts.

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And also the weird straw pig that lived underneath the tree.

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Björn’s mom also had this display of her collection of Dala horses. Jake tried to fit in.

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“Ugh…these guys are a bunch of stiffs!”

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Like his mini-me, Jake posed with the row of Tomten, too.

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This Julafton was wonderful…but I miss the holiday in Jönköping.

Aby-a-Day – 23 December: “Momma, don’t make me wear that old thing again…I got them ugly sweater blues” (Silly Sunday)

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you know that one of our holiday traditions is dressing up the cats. This year is no different. Especially since I have this little red dress with a plaid skirt that I knew would be just perfect for Lorelai.

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And I was right. She rocked it.

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…And then she went off to fight with Izaak, still wearing the dress…like the tomboy she is (She won, too).

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Jacoby, of course, put on his Santa sweater and Mistletoe Hat like the pro that he is.

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He gave me all his best poses.

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I love him so much. Good old stable, reliable Jake.

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What would I do without him?

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Angel, too, is no stranger to the annual holiday dress-up routine.

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She’s not quite the show-off Jake is, but she knows how to pose. Her ears aren’t really mad, though. That’s just the elastic on the hat.

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She also knows that if she gives me a few good poses, I’ll take off the stuff and let her go.

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Alfred didn’t get dressed up last year, so this was his first experience with our tradition.

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It took him a second to really get the hang of it.

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But he soon realised it really wasn’t all that bad. In fact, it was kind of fun!

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“Freddy the Elf…what’s your favourite colour?”

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Zak got to wear the infamous Christmas Tree Costume.

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He…was less than thrilled.

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He decided he wanted to leave.

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I tried to tell him that trees have roots and can’t move, but he wasn’t having any of it.

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Logan also wore the tree costume last year.

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Who do you think wore it better?

Aby-a-Day – 21 December: A festive trip to the vet (Fashion Friday)

Wednesday, Izaak got his Suprelorin implant.

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It was chilly, so I dressed him in Jacoby’s red fleece snowflake hoodie and his festive red flannel diapers

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He knew he looked festive and he owned it.

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He also posed with the Jul decorations in the cat waiting room…like the Jul Goat.

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He was also very interested in my tea.

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Zak had a good time exploring the waiting room.

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At last, it was time for Zak to go in and get his implant.

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Unlike Logan, Zak had no problem with the lidocain, and he didn’t react at all to the actual injection. Even the vet commented on how great Zak accepted his implant compared to the way Logan accepted it. Zak is completely fine, two days later, and he doesn’t seem to need the diapers anymore, either. I think he’s already happier now that he’s on Suprelorin.

Aby-a-Day – 7 December: “I joined the Navy to see the world…what did I see? I saw the sea” (Fashion Friday)

When I first moved to Sweden, I found a Baltic pet life jacket at a second-hand shop. Björn’s brother has a boat, so who knows? Jacoby might go on a boating trip some day. Besides, it was too good a deal to pass up. In pet shops, these vests are at least 200kr (about $22), but I got this one, in perfect shape, for 25kr (about $2.75).

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Not only that, but it’s a perfect fit, and Jake rocks it.

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He knows how good he looks in it, too.

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That feel when you know you’re spectacular.

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Then Björn got the idea to put a little sailor’s hat on Jake to finish the outfit.

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Which, of course, Jake wore with panache.

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If anything, he was even prouder of himself than he was before!

Aby-a-Day – 30 November: Jacoby’s Don Draper suit (Friday Fashion Flashback)

Can you believe it’s been FIVE years since Jacoby got his United Bamboo retro suit that he, famously, wore as JFK to my Marilyn?

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But it’s true…it was five years ago this year that I got Jake his “Don Draper” suit.

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My, how time has flown, right?

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Can you believe it’s been that long since Jake got his cool suit?

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Because I can’t.

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It seems like he’s always had it…and yet, at the same time, it feels like he just got it. Time is funny that way, isn’t it?

Aby-a-Day – 2 November: A Red Sox Therapy Visit (Fashion Friday Flashback)

On Sunday, the Boston Red Sox won their fourth World Series in fourteen years, which is incredibly awesome. Even more awesome, I was able to watch them every step of the way, because just this year, Swedish television started showing MLB games. I mean, I have been here for over two years, but when I saw they were (finally) showing baseball, I was so happy.

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It also reminded me of when they won five years ago. About a week before they won, at the beginning of the series against the Cardinals, Jacoby and I went on a therapy visit to the Fuller Center in full Red Sox regalia.

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We rocked it – I even found some real baseball pants to go with my jersey.

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Jake was so good about wearing his Red Sox hat.

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He actually wore it for most of the visit. He’s such a good boy.

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I actually miss going on therapy visits, with Jake or with anyone else (Lorelai and Izaak, I think, would also be great therapy cats), but there doesn’t seem to be anything like that in Sweden. Too bad, too…because Skaraborg’s Sjukhuset is really close to where we live and super easy to get to by bus

Aby-a-Day – 12 October: “Unbelievable – No more going to Yankee Stadium and having to listen to ‘1918.’” (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Five years ago this month, the Boston Red Sox won their third World Series in 10 years, and of course our Jacoby wore his jersey to cheer the team on.

Well, this year the Red Sox have had an amazing season and just beat the Yankees in the first playoff round and face the Houston Astros at Fenway on Saturday night. I’m lucky in that just this year they actually started broadcasting MLB games on Swedish television! They’re shown live, which is…challenging, given that they start at 1 or 2 in the morning, but I usually DVR them and watch them the next day.

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Of course, it being October and the Sox being in the ALCS reminded me of the last Boston World Series game we watched.

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I found a bunch of photos of Jake watching that game that, apparently, I never posted here. Of course, Jake was excited to watch the game.

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Nothing like Boston during a playoff game – especially one at Fenway!

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The Dropkick Murphys sang the National Anthem. That was awesome.

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This was Game 6, and Boston was leading St. Louis 3-2.

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Checking out the Cardinals’ line-up.

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Make sure you have your bat, Jake!

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Let’s just hope that the Red Sox can get past the Astros. GO RED SOX!