Aby-a-Day – 30 Juli: Random practice sketches (Cartoon Tuesday)

I found a couple of sketches I did back in SFI that I never posted. The first, I think we were talking about Swedish wildlife, so of course I started drawing lynxes. Then I started trying to compare a lynx to an Abyssinian.

cats+chickens-sketch

This one I did before we got Logan. We had one teacher who lived on a farm and loved to talk about all the animals she had. I guess that day, it was all about chickens. After I got tired of drawing them, I started practicing the differences between Abys and Singas. I haven’t gone to SFI for about a year now (they moved to a different location and changed teachers and we just got unengaged busywork – stuff I’d actually already done a couple of times already). But it was good for something: it made me draw more regularly than I do now.

Aby-a-Day – 18 Juli: Fuzzy Tongue Flicker (Thursday Things)

One of the supermarkets I shop at has old-school, red-painted metal and glass Beaver vending machines with toys and candy in them.

fuzzytongueflicker_7533

A few weeks ago, one of the machines was filled with Fuzzy Tongue Flickers (which, amazingly enough, is actually a safe set of words to Google). Little fuzzy balls with googly eyes and a red tongue that sticks out when you squeeze them. Yup, looks like a cat toy to me.

zakfuzzyC07971

So, when I got home, I showed it to Izaak.

zakfuzzyC07980

He definitely found it interesting.

zakfuzzyC07983

Okay, get a room.

zakfuzzyC07968

zakfuzzyC07969

zakfuzzyC07970

Then the batting commenced.

zakfuzzyC07961

zakfuzzyC07963

Apparently, the Fuzzy Tongue Flicker is an excellent toy for batting.

zakfuzzyC07965

Oooops…

zakfuzzyC07966

zakfuzzyC07967

…And was the last time I saw Fuzzy Tongue Flicker. I think he’s somewhere under the sofa. I think I need to go and find him.

Aby-a-Day – 21 Juni: Who wore it best? (Fashion Friday Flashback)

Glad Midsommar, allihopa! It’s all downhill from here…

jakemidsommerIMG_5363

Today is the greatest Swedish holiday apart from Jul, the day when we get the longest day and the latest sunset, and in a country known for winter, this is a big deal. When I posted about Midsommar last year, I included photos of Jacoby wearing the traditional flower crown.

angelmidsommarC08386

I recently found the floral crown again (it had fallen behind some books) this spring. I was thinking Jake could model it again, perhaps outside…but obviously that can’t happen. So I decided to try it on everyone else, and see who, potentially, could be my next hat model. I started with Angel.

angelmidsommarC08388

After all, Angel does have hat wearing experience.

angelmidsommarC08390

She wasn’t in the mood today…

angelmidsommarC08401<

…this is the best I could get from her.

freddymidsommarC08360

So, Alfred, how are you at wearing a flower crown? You are a native born Swede, after all…this should be natural for you!

freddymidsommarC08362

Er…Where are you going?

freddyangelmidsommarC08365

Oh, you think the top of the balcony tree is a better background?

freddymidsommarC08368

You may be right. Okay, give me looking off into the distance.

freddymidsommarC08377

Great! Now give me sensitive and thoughtful.

freddymidsommarC08375

Awesome! And now…give me the money shot!

freddymidsommarC08379

Perfect!

rorymidsommarC08304

Okay. Let’s try the other Swedish Aby. Lorelai, your turn.

rorymidsommarC08313

Once again, without the crazy eyes?

rorymidsommarC08311

Okay…better. But let’s keep going…

rorymidsommarC08315

Demure…demure is good…or it would be if you weren’t so frowny.

rorymidsommarC08320<

There you go! That’s perfect!

zakmidsommarC08321

And, now…let’s see how the Polish contestant does. Here you go, Izaak.

zakmidsommarC08325

Oooookay…could you sit up, please?

zakmidsommarC08326

And could you lose the attitude?

zakmidsommarC08331

That’s a little better…keep going…

zakmidsommarC08335

…better…

zakmidsommarC08338

Okay Zak, now you just look like a Tribble with flowers.

zakmidsommarC08347

And…yeah, I think that’s the best we’re gonna get from you today. Thank you!

So, who wore the Midsommer flower crown best?

Aby-a-Day – 31 Maj: A date that will live in infamy (Friday Flashback)

This time of year is always special to me because my birthday is tomorrow, but for the past three years, the 31st of May is special, too; it’s the day the movers came to pack up all my belongings to be sent to Sweden…

decisionIMG_4768

…And it’s the day I was granted my temporary Swedish residency permit. I got the email first thing in the morning, but I had to wait for the Swedish Embassy to open their phones at 11 am before I could find out what the decision actually was.

angelmovingIMG_4793

The movers arrived fairly early with their boxes, bubble wrap and tape and got right to work.

angelmovingIMG_4794

As you can see, Angel was unfazed by all the activity.

jakeangeltessmovingIMG_4810

Tessie watched for a while, and then retired to the bedroom, where it was quieter.

jakemovingIMG_4767

Jacoby was his usual, bulletproof self.

jakemovingIMG_4783

jakemovingIMG_4791

He even went out in the hallway to help the movers do their job!

bikemovingIMG_4822

They did a very thorough job. This is my bicycle, all wrapped up.

jakemovingIMG_4797

The movers didn’t seem to mind Jake helping at all. They were just amused.

jakemovingIMG_4801

jakemovingIMG_4804

jakemovingIMG_4812

Jake took his supervisory position very seriously, as you can see.

jakemovingIMG_4813

He made sure the movers marked all the boxes correctly…

jakemovingIMG_4814

…noted down properly on the list…

jakemovingIMG_4815

…and he made sure they didn’t leave anything behind. Jake was such a good helper!

movingIMG_4860

Unfortunately, Jake couldn’t help us when were were finished at the apartment and moved over to the storage unit. Too bad, too; he would have enjoyed helping to pack up the floor-to-ceiling cat tree!

Aby-a-Day – 11 May: “Whenever I see a tree that is climbable, it must be climbed” (Swedish Saturday)

As I have posted before, Lorelai loves to climb trees.

rorytreeC07180

Unlike Izaak, she can actually shimmy up the on her own without human intervention.

rorytreeC07183

She also seems to feel very comfortable in trees. She routinely naps on the top of our floor-to-ceiling indoor cat tree, and she walks up the side of it without a second thought, so that makes sense.

rorytreeC07186

Not only does she feel at home in the branches…

rorytreeC07189

…she seems quite eager to see if she can go higher!

rorytreeC07191

Oh, wait…what does she see now?

Aby-a-Day – 9 Maj: “The only time I can really relax is up a tree or somewhere outside” (Thursday Things)

Unlike Lorelai, Izaak doesn’t seem to be able to climb trees on his own. He tries…oh, how he tries. He runs up to the trees at full speed, but where Rory uses that momentum to go up the side of the tree…Zak just stops short.

zaktreeC06976

So, I decided to help him out.

zaktreeC06978

I put Zak up in the tree.

zaktreeC06980

He really loved being in the tree. It was as if his every wish had been granted.

zaktreeC06983

zaktreeC06985

zaktreeC06993

He may not be able to get up in the tree on his own…but once he’s up there, he knows what to do.

zaktreeC06996

First: Pose.

zaktreeC07013

zaktreeC07018

zaktreeC07017

Second: Try to climb higher.

zaktreeC07031

Third: Pose some more.

bjornzaktreeC07024

bjornzaktreeC07028

In case you were worried, Zak wasn’t that high up…and Björn and I were right there in case anything went sideways.

Aby-a-Day – 3 Maj: Tacoby Friday (Friday Fashion Flashback)

In the States, Taco Tuesday is a thing. But here in Sweden, it’s Taco Friday.

jacoby-tacohands

Because of Jacoby’s namesake, tacos always remind me of Jake.

jacoby-tacos2251

When he was a kitten, I had to get him some catnip taco toys.

jake-tacokick

He loved those things! I wish I knew whatever happened to them. These photos were taken just a couple weeks after he joined our family.

jake-takos

He even had a little taco charm that he used to wear on his collar with his tag. You can see it in this photo.

jaketacoIMG_0820

A few years later, I found Jake a taco costume.

jaketacoIMG_0848

Which he wore with his usual aplomb. Look at him! It might as well be a silk tuxedo the way he’s modelling it!

jaketacoIMG_0830

Jake was always so chill when it came to wearing his outfits. People always used to ask me how I got him to wear his costumes. I would always kind of shrug and say, “I just ask him to, and he does it, because we’re partners.”

jaketacoIMG_0855

Damn. Now I really miss Jake…and I am dying for some tacos!