Tuesday, November 30, 2010


The kitties got a new toy yesterday.  It's a feathery stuffed bird on an elastic string that hangs from the doorframe and it made Nelson go totally nutso.  It's a good thing they invented digital cameras because otherwise I would have just wasted an entire roll of film on this scene.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hazy Shade of Winter

After we dropped Becca off at the airport this morning, The Swede and I came home, changed into our comfy pants and lazed around for the rest of the day.  I don't know how I can be so tired considering we went to bed at a reasonable hour all week (excluding the cruise) and slept in ridiculously late most of the time, but chillaxing felt like the appropriate thing to do anyway, what with the snow still coming down and the early sunset and all.  Just adding to the lazy coziness of the whole experience were the blazing stars from almost all of our neighbors windows as it is finally Advent and Sweden is aglow.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Becca's Visit Day Five & Six

Friday evening we surprised Becca with a overnight cruise to Finland on the Galaxy.  It was her first time on a cruise boat, so it was fun to see her get excited about passing the snowy Stockholm archipelago and nervous about how much the boat rocks despite its enormous size.  It was a grand time, but I'm making a note to self not to visit the Vasa Museum right before I take someone on their first big boat trip. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Becca's Visit Day Four

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Becca and I spent the day grocery shopping and putting together our dinner of baked chicken, cranberry sauce, stuffing, green bean casserole, mac and cheese and pumpkin pie.  Becca brought many of more exotic items from the States, which was fabulous because it had been a whole two years since I've been in the same room as stuffing so I was in Stove Top-smelling paradise today.  The snow continued to come down as we shared our masterpiece of a meal with The Swede when he got home from work.  Now the sink is full of dishes but we're all passing out so they can wait till tomorrow.  Sorry, Mom.  I did make the bed today, though!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Becca's Visit Day Three

It was back into the city today and, dudes, it was totally Siberian.  You know I would never exaggerate, right?  Trust me, then, when I say that it was a blizzard out there and the two of us braved it like a couple of polar bears strolling the streets of Stockholm.  We did some shopping, ate lunch at Kungshallen, visited the Vasa Museum and the Nordic Museum and shopped some more.  Becca wanted to take a photo pause at this spot at the harbor, but I'm not even close to interested in any place that forbids hot dogs and ice cream.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Becca's Visit Day Two

Our case of jetlag was apparently acute because Becca and I both slept in until after noon, despite going to bed shortly after nine.  By the time we got out of the house, onto the train and into town, most of the daylight was gone.  No problem, though, as Stockholm is just as lovely in the dark.  We popped into dozens of souvenir boutiques in Gamla Stan, contemplating a Dalahäst purchase at every stop, sampled pastries, moose and reindeer sausage, and waffles at the Christmas market, and visited the Nobel Museum.  It was the coldest, windiest day I've experienced in a very long time, but also one of the coziest.      

Monday, November 22, 2010

Becca's Visit Day One

Becca is here and we've been to Ikea, but sadly I don't seem to be able to upload any of the fabulous pictures we took there so let's try this again tomorrow, shall we?  Anyway, I caught her jetlag so I need my sleep.  Peace.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Expecting Company

As I write this, my friend Becca is in the air over the Atlantic on her way to spend the week with us!  We've spent the whole day getting ready (I got to vacuum for hours) and now the family is walking around on eggshells trying not to mess anything up before she arrives tomorrow morning.  That means you, Nelson and Saba.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

If Sundbyberg Jumped Off a Bridge

What a relief!  I've been a little stressed out about that star we put in our window too early, so you can imagine how reassured I felt when we took a walk in central Sunbyberg this evening and all of the town's Christmas decorations were up.  The lights and stars and sparkly plastic icicles shimmering in the trees and storefronts made me feel much more comfortable with my controversial decision. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Early Decking of the Halls

I have two strikes against me here.  I've broken both the Swedish rule of not putting up Christmas decorations before Advent begins and the American rule of not putting them up until after Thanksgiving.  But I just couldn't resist.  It's so beautiful, I'm already planning on strike three when I leave it up after New Year's.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lasagna: Now Surmountable

Do they have Knorr Lasagne mix in the States?  I don't recall ever having seen it, but then again I wasn't that into making whole pans of lasagna back when I was living alone.  But things have changed, son, and I am SO into making whole pans of lasagna that require ridiculously little effort and feed us for three meals that I am insisting that you head to your local grocer and try to hunt one of these down.  If it exists, it's probably neighbors with the Hamburger Helper.  Pick up some ground beef, cheese and milk, while you're at it, set aside ten minutes to slap that sucker together, bake it for the amount of time it takes to watch an episode of Cops, then enjoy.  Thrice.  My apologies if it doesn't actually exist where you live.  This would be really lame of me, in that case.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lightening Up

Today on our lunch break, The Swede, Linda and I went to the dump to unload a bunch of bona fide crapola the likes of which only a dude can accumulate over the years in his basement storage unit.  The cool thing about the dump here is that everything is divided up into separate dumpsters based on the material it's made out of, I suppose so that they can recycle as much as possible.  Like The Swede's 84 VHS tapes.  That is, unless they want to rescue Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls and pop it into their own VCR.    

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Thumbs Up

Oh my goodness, have you ever seen anything so cute?  Not me.  Oh, well, except for maybe this and this.  We were doing some home improvements today and, without knowing it, The Swede transformed into some adorable character out of a romantic comedy who, of course, can't paint without getting some on his face because, of course, it's a romantic comedy.  And, of course, I swooned. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Love Seat

I'm obviously not the only one who appreciates the new addition to our family.  The empty vacuum box is the cats' new favorite make-out spot.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Love Affair

Remember that gift card Mama and Papa Swede got me for my birthday?  Well, just please look at what I got with it!  Is it taking your breathe away or what?  I just had the best vacuuming session of my life, no lie, and I can't wait till the next bit of fur flies off one of the cats so that I can do it again.  Basically, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it.  Obviously, since I'm putting it on the Internet.  Thank you, Swedes!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chaos Inside

When I was a kid, if the phone happened to ring when things were especially chaotic in our house kid-wise, my mom would answer, cheerily, "Grand Central Station!"  I've still never been to Grand Central in New York, but I've been to Stockholm Central Station many times and if it was anything like that in our house, well, gee, Mom, I guess I owe you an apology for being so wild.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Here

I woke up extra early to catch the train to work, had lots of chores this evening and feel like I might be catching whatever bug has been plaguing The Swede for the last 5 days.  So it's time for bed.  I leave you, then, with the news that it's now winter in Sweden fo' shizzle.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ya Got Trouble

Big box of cookies + frequent culturally-sanctioned coffee breaks = trouble with a capital "T" that rhymes with "G" and that stands for gingerbread.

Making Out Like A Bandit

The birthday extravaganza continued yesterday with the arrival of gifts from my grandparents and Selah.  The latter has recently returned from a glamorous safari/business trip in South Africa, so I received ostrich shell earrings and a zebra print clutch while The Swede got a hand-painted bottlecap pin for his laptop case.  Themed birthday presents.  Love it.  Thank you, everyone!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Good Company

Four of my fabulous friends from Swedish school met up with me at TGIFriday's in the city for lunch today.  We drank champagne, ate tasty American food and indulged in some girl talk of the nastiest sort.  It was fantastic and something I've really been missing.  Oh, and I got to pet a pony, so it was a great day.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

28 is Already Looking Good

Boy, oh, boy, I had a really nice birthday yesterday, y'all.  We packed up Julia and Elin and headed down to Söderkoping first thing in the morning.  After dropping them off with their papa, The Swede proposed that we take a walk and maybe grab a bite to eat down by the canal.  So we headed out into the cold and stolled down to the swank hotel in town, where The Swede suggested we check out the lunch menu.  But get this!  He had already planned for us to eat there then spend the afternoon in the spa.  He had secretly packed our swimming suits in his coat pocket and everything.  It was a total surprise and one of the most luxurious and relaxing experiences I've ever had.
P.S. He loves me.
After, no kidding, nearly four hours steeping in the hot tubs, sweating in the sauna and lounging around in kimonos we headed back to the Segersten homestead and had a pizza dinner followed by Funfetti cake and Idol.  Best birthday ever, right?

Morning Message

Our nieces left a sweet message for me while I was in the shower.  Long arms and good spelling for 2- and 8-year olds, eh?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Birthday Eve

Tonight Mama and Papa Swede brought over our nieces, who have been staying with them this week, so that we could have a little pre-birthday party for me.  Yes, it's tomorrow.  If the Cartier watch isn't in the mail yet don't even bother because you're too late.  The Swede's folks gave me flowers and a gift card for something I've been longing after for quite some time; something I'll do a extremely enthusiastic post on after I make the purchase.  Then, after a casual McDonalds dinner, the grown-ups left us all alone with the kids.  And, boy, we got an education.  We learned about formula and eraser collections and potty training and that this is some hard work, having kids around.  I'm really not quite sure how I'm still awake right now.  Oh yeah, Elin is telling jokes like a regular George Carlin or something.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ikea Evening

Since The Swede had a football date with some of the fellas from work, I took the opportunity to spend unlimited, non-weekend time at Ikea.  The non-weekend bit is important as it's just not fun at all if there are too many people there, though I do imagine my crowd tolerance has increased significantly since last weekend at Ullared.  First, I had a meatball dinner.  ALL.  ALONE.  I haven't done that since my Little Italy days and I didn't even have a book to read, however in Europe we use both our fork and knife to eat and somehow having both of my hands occupied made it a little less awkward.  In case you were wondering.  Afterwards I wandered and wandered, to the extent that I required a break, so I sat down on a Kivik and admired the Ektorps my mom has.  I walked out with chic and inexpensive blankets and pillows for when Becca visits in, like, less than three weeks!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Papa Swede was just here to change the lighting fixture in our bathroom.  Yep, he's an electrician, and it never hurts to have one of those in the family.  It looks like he's been caught stealing our fixture here, but actually that's the new one.  It includes a power outlet which, up until now, we haven't had in the bathroom.  I'm pretty pumped not to have to drag out an extension cord from the kitchen every single day to dry my hair anymore.  Thanks a million, Papa Swede!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pot of Gold

Check out what I found at the grocery store today!  Looks like Sweden finally got the memo.