Friday, December 30, 2005
In an earlier post I mentioned snow. Ha ha ha. I thought I had seen a decent Swedish snow storm. Not even close. The stuff is pouring out of the sky at such an amazing rate it is almost a parody of a snowstorm. It snowed all day yesterday, and guess what? It is snowing again now. After investing in some serious snow shovels I am now thinking of upgrading to a commercial grade snow plow or perhaps a nice military grade flame thrower. The former being more practical, the latter being more fun.
In any event, the girls promptly headed out to make snowmen (or is the PC term snowpersons). Sofia created a lantern using snowballs and a tea candle. Karl, while interested in sledding and other snow related activities, elected to avoid the blizzard conditions and enjoy an episode of Scooby Doo. And me? I'm trying to maintain a viable path between our house and the rest of civilization.
But in the battle of Tim v. Mother Nature it is starting to look like a complete and utter rout. By the way, to those of you in Florida - Yes, I know you are having a good laugh right now.
Maybe tonight we'll enjoy a nice cozy viewing of "The Shining".
We went to Sofia's parents house for Christmas. Lot's of food, drink and merriment. (do all Scandanavians sing during parties or is it just the Swedes?)
The kids had a great time as evidenced above. In the second photos the girl in the middle is their cousin Hannah.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
In our continuing summer recap, here is a photo from an evening barbeque. While the weather currently isn't condusive to this sort of thing, when the temperature is up, the Swedes come out. In this case, Sofia's family was out for a visit. From the left, Henrik, Marita and Nils-Ake.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Lucia, which is celebrated on December 13th, is a Swedish tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. Though there are many versions of the story, as with a lot of folklore, the constant is that Saint Lucia was an Italian Christian in Roman Times. There was allegedly also a Swedish festival prior to the arrival of Lucia called Lusse (devil). The earlier festival was based around the winter solstice and marked the beginning of longer daylight. Eventually the Lutheran church stepped in and things got switched around a bit, as you might imagine.
Today it is a very popular holiday especially for children. They eat cakes (saffron bread with raisins), drink milk and eat gingerbread cookies. Rumor has it that the devil festival was a little more spirited (pun intended).
This is our kids first Swedish Lucia (above with their first grade class), and they adapted both to singing and dressing up in traditional costumes as well consuming large quantities of cookiea and cakes.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Before we moved to Sweden we spent about three weeks in Italy dividing our time between Rome and Umbria. The photo of Karl being assailed by Roman soliders was taken outside the Colosseo. The photo of the kids on the barrel was taken near Todi in Umbria. The kids and the dolphin was in front of our hotel and is most notable for the small blue dog Erika is holding. The dog accompanied us throughout the trip though he has since fallen from favor.
The most amusing part of this cultural odyssey was the kids response to the question: "What was the best part of the trip?" Their answer: "The pool".
Thursday, December 01, 2005
This sign is baffling. The obvious point of it is, 'be careful there is water near the road'. But if you need a sign to inform you that the large flat surface next to the road is, in fact, a body of water, then you have a problem no mere sign will remedy. Perhaps a checkpoint where they administer an IQ test would be more appropriate.
Guess it is akin to the genius of Florida lawmakers which require bicyclists to wear a helmet, but doesn't require the same of someone on a motorcycle.
Ain't government great?
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Snow can be very pretty. It can also be pretty annoying. Especially when you are moving it via a shovel of the manual variety. Guess we'll focus on the aesthetics. Norman Vincent Peale would be so proud...
One thing is certain - the kids love it. They demonstrate this through their gleeful pelting of me with carefully crafted projectiles.
Monday, November 28, 2005
We're going to try this as a quick and easy way to keep up with folks. It doesn't require as much work as editing our own home page, so I should be able to update it more frequently. Which depending on your perspective, may be a good thing, or not. For those in the latter camp - that's why they invented the delete key!
In the interest of open disclosure, getting Patches into the yard for the accompanying shot required me to bribe him with a large piece of steak. In the end, he seemed less than satisfied with his compensation.
Hope this finds all of you well.
Tim, Sofia, Alex, Erika, Karl and Patches!
From the top....
1) In NYC - I don't know and no it wasn't staged.
2) A windmill in the middle of Estonia. On Route 2 on the way to Tartu for frequent travelers.
3) A mid-fall forest scene in Akron, OH (Goodyear Height Metropolitan Park)
4) The Dome Church in Tallinn, Estonia (circa 14th century)
5) Holiday light in the old town square in Tartu, Estonia
What does all this mean? Hmmm....probably nothing.