Showing posts from December, 2014

Happy Holidays!

God Jul!  Merry Christmas from our house to yours! A link to a nice song here, and to for some more photos of a winter wonderland, check out these shots from our recent visit to Portsmouth's Candlelight Stroll at Strawberry Banke open air museum.  Here's wishing you a beautiful, magical Happy Holiday!


Here's an eerie and sweet song by the Swedish band Garmarna called "Euchari".  The lyrics are really special, check them out in English below.  This song makes me think of Christmas because when I was a girl I sang songs such as these (often with a one verse in Latin that went on and on) in Domkyrkan's choir. The church located in Lund is really special and as you can imagine singing the Christmas service there was intense.  The history that seemed to steep through the stone floors and the clear, cold air with the scent of candles and the flickering of their light combined to make it an experience that I'll never forget.

Eucharist O Euchari In leta via The sun's warmth dripped into you
Like the fragrance of balsam
The sun's warmth dripped into me
Like the fragrance of balsam
All moving things breath steadily
Sweeping across the ground
The sun's warmth dripped into you
Like the fragrance of balsam O Euchari In leta via Your hands reach out for me
In t…

Finally ready! And re-vote in Sweden

Hej friends!  A new year to come, a new look on the blog.... seems appropriate to me, let me know if you like it.  I really should take a blogger class on beautiful photography and learn how to code, and then ask advertisers to advertise, and link to other people's pages, and check my stats ... and all that!  I know, I know, but what I really enjoy is reaching out to you who have similar interests and just taking a minute to think about what's going in the world and in Sweden in particular.  Would love to learn how to make beautiful pictures like this one of the star, but for now, we will have to make do.

Currently, on the global level, I am following the re-vote in Sweden.  Turns out that they will vote again to get the right mix in the Parliament and as an American I don't quite get it.  Here we live with whomever wins, chads or no chads!  (Remember that?) ;-)  Well, as I understand it the Swedes are re-voting on March 22nd because the budget didn't get approved due…

Happy St. Lucia! 2014

So the old lady dusts off her dress, and her singing, and starts in on St. Lucia again... even though last year I vowed that it would be my last.  Read more about the holiday here.) I just can't resist spreading the love and seeing the looks on the kids faces.  This year I suprised the kindergarten class that I worked in.  At first there were a lot of giggles but then total silence as they watched me circle the room and I sang the Sankta Lucia song for them.  Later I offered them some homemade sweet bread, and we made crowns.  The little girls in particular seem to get inspired by St. Lucia, one even asked me for the recipe!  So, after a lot of preparation it was very successful day yesterday and today on the actual day (December 13th) my children sang it to HH and I in bed. Coffee, buns, and the song - they did it all and I sure am one proud mama!  Did your children sing to you today?  Drop me a line, I'm curious.

Oh snap! Gingersnaps and pepparkakor

Vi komma, vi komma, från Pepparkakeland...
Three little guys (gubbar) marching from gingerbread land... this little song is just one way that gingersnaps show up in Swedish culture, especially around the holidays.  We made our pepparkakor today.  So fun!  I let the kids mess around with theirs, debasing them with icing and sprinkles, and using any shape that they chose.  My son made a mindcraft man, and my daughter lots of broken hearts (glimpse into the future?) ;-)  At any rate, we all had fun but once things settled down I shooed them out, and made some my way.
Just simple cookies with an almond in the middle and using gingerbread shapes from home.  I love the horses and the pigs.  I read that in the Middle Ages anyone with a pig was considered well off, and so it represents wealth.  The horses remind me of "Dala höstar" (see more here), and the stars and hearts are also typical.  Plus of course the "gubbar" or guys. And some ladies too.  Yum it smells good aro…

Glad Second Advent!

From my house to yours wishing you all a Happy Second Advent!  There are four Sundays leading up to Christmas Eve, and the Swedes celebrate them by lighting a candle for each of the four.  It's just another way of saying "holy **** it's only two weeks left until Christmas!"  We got the tree today but the rest of it -- decorating the house, the tree, the kids, & the cats will have to wait.  Just a moment to breath and enjoy the pinescented room with candles lit for now will do.  Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving (late) and St. Lucia (early)

In the States we celebrate Turkey Day with lots of food, fun and family.  I was lucky to have been surrounded at our house with these wonderful things and I enjoyed every moment although I was a little scared that the turkey wouldn't come out right.  Well no need to fear, thanks to my mother in law's recipe* and sister's husband's help we enjoyed a beautiful and moist 25 pounder on Thanksgiving Day.  Then today after all that good food we waddled out of the house in the snow to do our part in the St. Lucia celebration that the VASA lodge puts on.
What mother's heart wouldn't melt to see her little sweeties singing angelically in this procession?  I know mine did, the kids did great and I am just so proud that they handled it like they did.  It's a beautiful tradition and I certainly don't mind having played a part in doing it two weeks early.  This way Mormor, and my sister and family could see it as well.  Normally though St. Lucia is held on December …