Aby-a-Day – 12 July: Sleeping in Vimmerby (Thursday Things)

Our friend Summer commented on yesterday’s post that it was nice to see Angel in a post. I do try to mix it up as much as possible, but it’s not always easy since Angel tends to avoid the spotlight.

Kalle has a really awesome Vimmerby bed from Mio. It’s a modernised version of the traditional box bed that dates back to the Middle Ages, and let me tell you, I would have LOVED to have a bed like this in high school!

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Seems that Angel likes Kalle’s bed, too! She hardly ever sleeps on our beds, so when she decided to hang out on Kalle’s bed, it was pretty awesome, and we were lucky to get photos of the rare event.

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It’s great to see her branch out. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had her, and she still acts like she did when I first brought her home. So to see her do something like this is so special. Good girl, Angel!

Aby-a-Day – 23 June: Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se (Swedish Saturday)

Yesterday, Sweden celebrated Midsommar, the second biggest holiday after Jul (Christmas), on par with the States’ Thanksgiving in terms of gathering together and feasting. The Nordic countries love their solstice celebrations.

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Swedish Midsommar is celebrated on the Friday nearest the Summer Solstice. It has varied origins, much like Christmas, but mainly comes from pagan rites. It has a lot to do with Freya and Freyr and the worshipping of fertility and a rich harvest during the Viking age (The fact that many Swedes, including both Björn and Kalle, have March birthdays may or may not have anything to do with all that fertility worshipping). Traditions include erecting a leaf-and-flower covered midsommarstång (or majstång – maypole), which Swedes dance around (this post’s title comes from the “Frog Dance” song, which involves hopping like a frog and croaking. There’s also a verse about pigs).

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Traditional foods eaten at Midsommar include lax (salmon), boiled new potatoes, sill (herring) and strawberries. People also have barbecues and dinner parties. And they drink (it’s best to get to the alcohol stores early before Midsommar, because the lines can get wicked long and they can run out of your favourites,

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Beer, wine and especially snaps (something like aquavit) are the beverages of choice. There are several nubbevisor (drinking songs) which are often based on popular tunes with the lyrics changed to booze- and food-related themes.

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Ironically for a summer celebration, the weather is almost always cloudy and/or rainy. My first Midsommar was sunny and bright, but the last two were grey. Yesterday was overcast all day…but of course today the sky is blue without a cloud to be seen. Perfect hangover weather.

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Another tradition is to wear a wreath of flowers on your head.

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Usually you see women wearing them, but men can wear a flower crown, too. The wreaths can be made using real wildflowers or silk flowers, and of course you can buy them ready-made in stores.

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I made this one for Jacoby for our first Midsommar, which happened about a week after we arrived here. As you can see, he rocked it.

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Treats may or may not have been involved in the making of this post.

Aby-a-Day – 15 June: Hi, I’m Mat (Fashion Friday)

I bought a new doormat last week. I found it at Rusta, a Swedish chain of clearance/dollar stores, the sort of place that gets discontinued merchandise from other stores and sells it on the cheap. You also have no guarantee of finding the same thing twice.

But is it an Abyssinian mom and kit, or just something that looks vaguely Aby-like.

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This is our front door. The black wooden cat sillhouettes are made in Sweden, and the stickers say “Warning for cat,” “Warning for cat hair,” and, on the newspaper shelf, “Welcome, I live here.” We also have a Royal Canin sticker advising firemen how many cats are in our apartment. So yeah, we’re known as the “cat family” the same way that the people on the third floor with the incessantly barking dogs are known as the “annoying dog family.”

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Lorelai was the first to check out the new doormat.

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She seemed particularly interested in the eyes.

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Okay, Rory, what do you think? Aby, or not?

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Alfred checked the mat out next, but didn’t give an opinion on whether or not the cats on it were Abys.

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Jake was the last to examine the new doormat.

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But he still didn’t give me any advice as to whether or not these are Abys. So what do you think? Abys, or not?

Aby-a-Day – 27 May: Typical Swedish breakfast (Swedish Sunday)

Swedes love kaviar in a tube. A paste of salted cod roe (Gadus morhua), sugar, canola oil and spices, the most famous brand is Kalle’s Kaviar, but Björn just buys the ICA brand kaviar; it tastes the same and costs less. It’s the standard condiment for hard boiled eggs.

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On her first morning with us, Lorelai investigated this fishy delight. She just needs to learn which end it comes out from.

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There you go, Rory! You’re getting warmer!

Aby-a-Day – 20 May: Jakedaw (Swedish Sunday)

Well, this was not the weekend we were expecting to have, and these are not the posts I was expecting to write, but we managed to turn things around pretty well. We went down and had a beer in the lobby and fell asleep later than we would have done last night, because there wasn’t any reason to get up early in the morning. We had breakfast, packed leisurely, and left Alsingsås around noon. We took the scenic route home and stopped at a couple of rummage sales in the countryside. Jacoby seemed to enjoy his weekend away from the kittens. When we got home, I let Jake out on his leash while we unloaded the car and schlepped things back up to the apartment.

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While I was inside, Björn managed to snap these two shots of Jake and a jackdaw eyeing each other. Jackdaws are corvids between a crow and a magpie in size, and they are everywhere.

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Jackdaws love to hang around outside cafés and eating areas in summer and they are fearless in the face of food. This one came to sit at one of the chairs at our table.

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He certainly wasn’t afraid of humans!

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Jackdays are known for stealing food off tables and bussing stations and I have even seen them go inside garbage cans to grab a tasty snack. Is it any surprise that Björn and I call them JAKEdaws?

Aby-a-Day – 17 April: When we got married (Cartoon Tuesday)

I had this post scheduled long before I even knew Logan was sick…But I will leave it here and come back to my Logan eulogy tomorrow. Thank you all for your comments…I read all of them if I don’t always respond. Just know that Björn and I are grateful for all of you.)

Tomorrow is the second anniversary of Björn’s and my wedding. Last year, Emma drew this picture of what she thought our wedding looked like. Okay…Jacoby wasn’t there, and my hair isn’t that long…but otherwise it’s pretty accurate!

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This is what we really looked like. See? Pretty close, right?

Aby-a-Day – 10 April: A sketchy packing job (Cartoon Tuesday)

While I was at the Winners Show, I found this sketch I had done on my (then new) iPad Pro with the coordinated Apple Pencil. I am not sure where I was going with this, but it had something to do with packing to move to Sweden. I wish I had put in the conversation Angel and Jacoby are having.