Aby-a-Day – 17 Mars: The return of the Silly Shamrock Hat (Silly Sunday)

You may remember that silly Guinness St. Patrick’s Day floppy hat I posed Alfred, Logan and Jacoby with last year?

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Well, it’s baaaaaaaaack!

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Freddy was a lot less intimidated by the hat this year than he was the first time.

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Rory was…

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…not impressed, shall we say.

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…Izaak, on the other hand…

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…Zak really seemed to have fun with it.

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It actually has a lining in it so it will fit on a person’s head, but if that wasn’t there, Zak would have gone all the way inside it.

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Zak playing with the hat renewed Rory’s interest in it…a little.

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But ultimately she just left it to Zak and found something else to play with.

Aby-a-Day – 15 Mars: Remembering Logan in Finland (Friday Flashback)

I have been thinking a lot about Logan recently. I suppose it’s only natural; his birthday was last Saturday, and this is the month before we found out about his FIP. I guess March is going to be hard for a while. But this is a memory that always makes me smile.

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When we took Logan to Finland for a show, Logan discovered the heated bathroom floor.

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He loved it!

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He was always a little less stocky than Izaak is.

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It was so funny to watch him rolling on the warm, but hard, floor. He was like, “What is this sorcery!?”

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Have you ever seen a happier little cat?

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He really loved it.

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When we couldn’t find Logan anywhere else in the room, we knew he had to be there on the bathroom floor. He even slept in there instead of on the bed or the chair!

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We haven’t stayed in a hotel with heated floor since then with any cat. I was looking forward to seeing what Logan would do when we encountered one again; now I’m just wondering if Lorelai and Zak will have the same reaction.

Aby-a-Day – 27 Januari: Get your mousies in a row

We are home from the cat show, and I have some wonderful stories to tell about our Sunday at the show. Neither Lorelai nor Izaak were Nominated, but they both came close. However, I am too tired to process all those photos…So that story will be told tomorrow.

Whilst we were in Örebro this weekend, the cats who didn’t go to the show were taken care of by our friends and upstairs neighbours. Apparently, one of their daughters decided to organise Zak’s IKEA mousies, because we found his Christmas box of mice like this.

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When Zak saw his newly organised mousies, he seemed to be less than impressed.

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I’m not sure what he thought about having all his mousies lined up in rows in the box. I mean, on the one hand, now they’re easy to find and play with.

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But on the other hand, they are just. So. Organised. Almost too organised.

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I wonder how long it’ll be until those mousies get disorganised?

Aby-a-Day – 25 December: The sole of Christmas (Cartoon Tuesday)

In Sweden, the main Christmas celebrating is done on 24 December. After the ritual of Donald Duck, the presents are opened and then dinner is eaten.

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The traditional Julbord, which Björn’s mother orchestrated every year to perfection, consists of pickled herring, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs with kaviar,

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the Julskinka (ham with mustard), boiled potatoes, Janssons Frestelse (a sort of potato casserole with anchovies), cabbage rolls (which I can totally get behind because they’re also a Russian thing), handmade köttbullar (meatballs – ours were moose, lamb and wild boar),

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Prinskorv (sort of like hot dogs, but better), a ball of cheese and bread, and a cheesecake.

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This was our first year assembling the feast ourselves, and the first we have done at home instead of going to Jönköping. Beer, wine and shots of aquavit are usually drunk before, during, and after the meal, but this year we also added my kickass eggnog with rum, tequila, whiskey and hazelnut liqueur. Because, hey, let’s start our own traditions! (I also introduced the hanging and filling of stockings, which we open on Christmas day, because that was MY tradition. I still have the stocking I was given on my very first Christmas, when I was six months old.

The one Swedish Jul tradition I am not completely onboard with is the Christmas Day dinner of lutfisk served with potatoes and peas. Not that lutfisk is bad…it’s just bland. It’s basically like eating hard-boiled egg whites. Which is great, I love hard-boiled eggs. Just not necessarily for Christmas dinner. And I don’t really like peas all that much, either. We would always eat it at Björn’s mom’s house…but this year, we are having goose and starting our own tradition (which also includes the oranges my mom always used to put in our stockings).

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The first Christmas I spent in Sweden, I drew this silly little drawing of a “lute fisk” as a joke for Björn’s brother…and today I got the idea to update it a bit with Abys. And a Singapura. Just a sketch for now, but…Happy Christmas, everyone!

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 – 18 December: Luciatåg (Cartoon Tuesday)

Last Thursday was St Lucia’s Day here in Sweden (Luciatåg), and it is another religious day turned into a secular celebration. December 13, under the old Julian calendar, was the date of the Winter Solstice, an important event in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries because the sun is only up for a few hours, and the nights are extremely long. After the Winter Solstice the sun returns and days get longer. The name Lucia actually derives from the Latin word for “light” (lux), so Swedes took Lucia’s saint’s day and turned it into a non-religious celebration of the lengthening of days and the return of light from the darkness of winter. Luciatåg becomes a part of the larger Jul celebration which officially starts on the first Sunday of December (although decorations start going up after Halloween) and continues through Christmas to Twelfth Night. By “tjugondag Knut” (20 days after Christmas), the decorations are taken down and the Christmas tree thrown out (if it’s a real tree), traditionally with a party but that custom has begun to disappear.

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Lucia is celebrated by girls dressed as St. Lucia (being chosen to portray Lucia is quite an honour) and Lucia’s handmaidens (“tärnor”) and boys dressed as star boys (“stjärngossar”), gnomes (“tomtar”) and gingerbread men (“pepparkaksgubbar”) who sing Natten går tunga fjät (“Night Walks with a Heavy Step”) and other songs celebrating light.

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So, naturally I had to draw Lorelai as Lucia and Izaak as a star boy…

Aby-a-Day – 4 December: Falukorv (Cartoon Tuesday)

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how, when Logan was the same age as Izaak, he was acting more like a tomcat – peeing, yowling, pacing – whereas all Izaak has done is just gotten tomcatly bulk. I also mentioned that I call him “my little sausage”.

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Specifically, a Falukorv, a Swedish sausage made of pork and either beef or veal, with potato starch and spices which originated in Falun, about 330km North-Northeast from Skövde.

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Relax, Zak…It’s kind of like baloney. Different, but…that sort of taste.

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But as he’s been bulking up, I’ve been calling him my Falukorv more and more. And today, I did a little sketch…

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…Which turned a little whimsical. I may need to finish this one up.