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Throwback Thursday

It's Throwback Thursday and that means putting up pictures from days gone by. So I found this one of me from second grade. I'm either seven or eight depending on when in the year the picture was taken. I was always the youngest in my class, since my birthday is late in the year. I remember wanting to be a veterinarian or a circus princess/performer. I think journalist was included in the future plans also. My favorite color was red and my best friend was Helén. We loved animals, especially horses and we had our own club, it was called Kla-Kla. We spent a lot of time making newsletters for our club. One time we saved a spider, I still remember this, we named the spider Victor. We would also save trees, at least we were convinced we did, by mending broken branches with tape. I loved reading and would spend hours in my room doing that, happily immersed in my book. I was very shy but very fun loving and outgoing with my friends. I played outside a lot and I collected, what we call in Sweden "bokmärken" and I had several albums full of them.



Time goes by SO fast! Now I'm becoming nostalgic......

Today

Today I went to a store called Save-U-More and I found some Swedish lingonberries and some other treats that I just love - kakao balls or like we say in Sweden "kokosbollar" or "chokladbollar" or "kakaobollar" LOL! What a nice surprise! And that of course made me feel a little home sick and miss Sweden.......Actually Save-U-More has a bunch of stuff from IKEA. No large items like furniture but smaller things like kitchen and household stuff and toys.
When I was little in Sweden, the kakao balls were actually called "negerbollar", to translate that into English would be "negro balls". Then it became politically incorrect to call them that and that's why today most people in Sweden say "kokosbollar" or "chokladbollar" or "kakaobollar".





Went for a walk with Chhaya, it is starting to get really cold now. I have on layers, gloves, a scarf....... What I need to do is get my winter jackets out this week and wash them. I need tennis balls. Why? When you put a thick fluffy jacket in the dryer the tennis balls will prevent the down from clumping. The tennis balls will keep the clothing fluffy.
Chhaya needs new boots, her little paws get frozen if it's too cold out and I put boots on her. Well, two of her boots have tears in them, therefore I have to get her boots this week too. What else am I doing this week? I think working. I thought of going in tonight but stayed home instead, I can always get busy with something at home. I really do need to go to the gym, at least twice this week. And I am going to bake an apple pie on Thanksgiving. I am going to spend Thanksgiving with some friends. And in the evening I want to relax at home with a movie or two.





Right now I am in bed. Earlier today I put coconut oil in my hair and scalp. I will leave it in overnight until I wash my hair tomorrow. I've heard good things about coconut oil and hair, never tried this before but the results are supposedly great.
Exciting day! I can't be writing about work all the time or put up half naked or naked pics every day. That would not properly describe my life.




About Sweden

A while ago I read an article in Vanity Fair called Nordic Exposure . Written by somebody named A.A Gill. The author is saying that "we" meaning the world or I suspect more like the US is having a "Scandinavian moment" and elaborates on that topic.
I still have that magazine laying around and before I get rid of it, I want to comment a little on that article. You know, I think I have something of substance to add since I grew up in Sweden.
I always thought (got taught this in school) that Scandinavia is made up of five countries - Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland. But depending on who you ask and where you look for information, you might get a different answer.
First of all, not everybody walking around in Sweden is blonde, blue eyed and tall. There are many people in Sweden from different countries. But many of the "real" Swedes are indeed blonde, a real blonde, not dyed. I am not considered a blonde in Sweden, though many refer to me as blonde here in the US, in Sweden I would be a brunette to simplify things. Though I would probably say golden brown or honey colored.
I personally LOVE ABBA and Ikea and many other things and traditions that I grew up with.
I know pretty much every ABBA song and when I was little I would sing along to them in the mirror, pretending to be Agnetha.
Yes, you do pay taxes in Sweden, rather high too - around 30 % but it's of course more complicated than that when you break it down. You also get taxed on every item you buy in the store, it's called "moms" and that tax is rather high too. Visiting a restaurant, buying alcohol and cigarettes is also rather costly due to the "moms". Many Swedes make a trip on some ferries that run between Sweden and Finland to buy cartons of cigarettes and bottles of booze, no taxes on the ferry - therefore hefty savings.
But there are also lots of perks when you live in Sweden, such as four consecutive weeks of vacation between June and August and sporadic vacation days throughout the rest of the year. When you have a baby you are allowed to stay at home with the child for well over a year and they also want the father to take part in that time. The parental leave is paid for by the state and your employer if you were employed somewhere prior to getting pregnant. When I lived in Sweden I never worried about paying for school, even university studies and any doctors visits.
I think that's great and basic human rights, I never questioned it - that is just what I was used to.
I never took advantage of the system either. I don't have any kids and I am not on welfare, here in the US or when I lived in Sweden. Some people make a career of popping out kids that they can't provide for - milking the system of everything they can get. I do not agree with that whatsoever.
I also think that Sweden has a too generous immigration policy. That is my personal opinion after seeing what has happened in the country the last couple of decades of allowing way too many people in that do not embrace Sweden, don't want to at least somewhat integrate and basically abuse the country. There has been cases of honor killings in Sweden due to "religious" reasons and that is NOT the Swedish way of life.
It is very common that men and women co habit in Sweden without any plans of a marriage.
I never grew up dreaming of a large wedding and a diamond ring, not that much emphasis is put on that there. I would rather spend money on a long, exciting trip somewhere than a diamond ring. You are protected by co habit laws in Sweden that take effect if you seperate. People look at co habit partners as married anyways, a ring on your finger is just that. A ring. It is a symbol and does not mean anything when it comes to your personal moral compass.
Yes, the views on nudity are more relaxed than in the US. It is common to see topless women of all ages on the beaches and nobody raises an eyebrow. We also enjoy saunas, naked men and women AND children together. Nobody is even thinking about pedophilia. It is nothing sexual about it, because to me and many people in Sweden - nudity and sex are two separate things. That's why I am so relaxed about nudity. Although I know better than to just drop my clothes anywhere. DUH!
But I hear that Germany is even more lax about nudity than Scandinavia. Don't know if that's true or not. If so, good for them!
The standard of living is high and comfortable. Especially in Norway, lucky people in Norway, it's a very rich, beautiful country with not many inhabitants, only about five million. A great place to live.
The one thing about Sweden is that you are supposed to be "lagom". That would be, not too much and not too little. Just right. There is an archetypical Swedish proverb
"Lagom är bäst" - meaning "The right amount is best". That is the standard and generally viewed the best way to be in society, though unspoken of.
Of course there are plenty of people that don't fall into that category either. Sometimes lagom is good and sometimes it's also good to go your own way. A mix of both.
Many people outside of Scandinavia seem to think that suicide is rampant there and that people are depressed and unhappy. I think that fake happiness is more common here in the US, people pretend to be a certain way in public while they are on one or more prescribed medications daily to help them deal with themselves and reality. I keep in touch with my friends and family in Sweden, not many use and abuse drugs, prescribed or not.
I did not come to the US to escape any hardships in Sweden. I had everything there, every comfort that I have here and many more friends btw.
I came to the US kind of on a whim, it was a fairly quick decision and I did have a job lined up in California, NO not dancing (stripping). That happened later. After some years here and an acquired mortgage (the brick around my neck) and my beautiful friend Chhaya I am kind of "stuck" here. I am not complaining though!

Swedish Summer

I am up early today......sitting around thinking about Sweden. The best time to be there is the summer time, I love summer in Stockholm.
My dream living arrangement is to live somewhere (nice) where I will settle, spend about four to six weeks in Stockholm in the summer time and about two consecutive months in New York City each year to get my big city fix. And take a few other vacation related trips throughout the year.
I miss going to cafe's in Stockholm for delicious latte's and sweets. And of course I miss my friends......








Tatiana ❤ Pippi



Tatiana is thinking of changing her name to Pippi.
Pippi stands for the things that Tatiana likes and believes is. If you are familiar with Pippi, you know what Tatiana is talking about.......



This is Pippi's house, Villa Villekulla, it's at Gotland, an island outside Sweden, Tatiana went there once.....she has to go again!





Speaking Of Coffee

Got a new book yesterday, "There Are Things I Want You To Know About Stieg Larsson And Me", by Eva Gabrielsson.
Eva is the woman that was together with Stieg for 30 years, they lived together but since they never had children and didn't get married
before his sudden and unexpected death, she had some problems with book rights, money etc. Legal stuff.
(Stieg is the author of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" books.) So it's basically Eva's story.
What I can tell you is that it seems like there might be a fourth book coming eventually,
"The Vengeance Of God" judging from the info in this book. Yeay! I can't wait, because I love Lisbeth. Besides that, the book was rather boring - though I feel bad for Eva.
But I do want to quote some lines from it regarding coffee,"People often ask me if the Swedish drink as much coffee as the characters do in The Millenium Trilogy. Well, we drink a lot indeed, given that Finland is the only country in the world that consumes more coffee than we do."

I can tell you that when I go home to Sweden for a visit, I spend a lot of times in cafés, sipping on a latte, having a sandwich, pastry or some pie.
There is some really good pie in Sweden, I prefer the blueberry or rhubarb with the most delicious vanilla sauce. Vanlijsås.......I NEED!!!
I always meet up with a friend or two and chat away. There are a ton of cafés in Stockholm, nobody is too busy for "en fika". There is more of a "taking time to meet my friends" culture there, I think. Here people are "too busy" and much more focused on themselves,
which I do not like at all. (My experience.) If you are too busy for your friends then maybe you should change your lifestyle? Seems like a sad life to me.
I have always prioritized my friends but I have noticed that many of the people I know here, don't feel the same way. I should probably get rid of those "friends". I will most likely be better off without them.
Anyhow, speaking of coffee......I am going to start the car, let it warm up and go get a coffee.
It is snowing. I did not go to work last night. I was too tired.....But I think I am going tonight.
Here is some Swedish coffee, Gevalia.



Swedish Christmas

I MISS SWEEEEEDEEEEN!!!!!
:-(
Homesick for a real Swedish Christmas with Swedish food, all the decorations
and Kalle Anka Julafton!
We always have a star in at least one of the windows and an electric candle thingy in the window/s.
Don't know how to translate it, in Sweden we call it adventsljusstake.
On the kitchen table we have one too but with real candles, you light one candle each Sunday until all four are lit at the same time and then it is Christmas. Sooooo pretty and very traditional.
You see the adventsljusstake and the star in many windows of homes all over Sweden at this time of year.
It's almost 4 30 am and I can't sleep, I am looking at pictures of stars and candles and miss Sweden.





The Girl.......

Later this month the American version of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is coming to theaters. Exciting!!!! This time Rooney Mara is playing the lead,
the role of a lifetime!
Rooney Mara

I did see the three Swedish movies with Noomi Rapace playing Lisbeth Salander and I loved them. And of course I read the books. They are great!
If you haven't read them, you should. The author? Stieg Larsson. Brilliant man.
I might have a weakness for the books since the plot is taking place in Sweden, mostly Stockholm, where I grew up. Stieg writes about people
and places that I am familiar with.

Noomi Rapace

Unfortunately Stieg died much too early from a heart attack, otherwise there would had probably been more books about Lisbeth.
He is one of the best-selling authors in the world.
And he incorporated my heroine Pippi Långstrump into the story. Pippi, everybody in Sweden knows and loves her. Supposedly Lisbeth is a grown
version of Pippi, through the eyes of Stieg. I think he did a great job of capturing Pippi's spirit.

We also love ABBA in Sweden. I grew up singing ABBA songs into the handle of my jump rope while dancing in front of the mirror, pretending to be
either Agnetha or Anni-Frid.

Look at those butts, looking absolutely amazing the way they are, no surgeries or padded panties here!


Isn't it kind of funny that both the actresses playing Lisbeth have double O's in their first names?

Last day of November........

Already? Jeeeez, time goes so fast! Does it start going faster when you get older OR has time in fact started to speed up?
I heard a theory about that on Coast To Coast AM, had something to do with 2012 and the end of times.
I remember the first couple of summer breaks in between school when I was little, they seemed to be going on forever, not anymore!
I am going to send out all my Christmas gifts pretty soon, I got almost everything bought, only a few things left. But I still need to take care of the
Christmas cards. Every year I get overwhelmed with all the people that I have on my list for either a gift, a card or both. I feel like Santa, lol.
I have a list. But I love giving, it is exciting to think of something to give to another person and it feels good to make somebody else happy.
Every year I promise myself that I will cut down a little but I usually don't.
Then I have to give to kids that need gifts too, at least two gifts, for a boy and a girl. And then I need to donate cat and dog food to the local animal
shelter. If I don't, I feel guilty.
I like Yuletide with Christmas music on the radio, it is nice to drive around and see how others decorate their yards, houses and put lights up.
All my Christmas stuff is in Vegas, so I don't think that I will have a tree this year, I don't want to accumulate even more decorations and ornaments, I have a bunch already.
Hopefully I will use it all next year. Stockholm, Sweden is sooooo nice around Christmas time, especially if there's snow.
Walking around Gamla Stan (Old Town) that time of year is magical.
Sitting down at a café in Gamla Stan to warm up with a latte and some warm blueberry pie with vaniljcreme is the best.



But it seems like many do not share the spirit of Christmas.
Many dread the crowds and the long lines, others fear gaining weight, some fear going into debt and others dread "having to be nice".
Well, that's why I have 80 % of my shopping done already, I get things throughout the year and put it away for Christmas.
And as far as "being nice".......I can't stand fake smiles and pretend personalities, yuck.
Just be yourself already, everybody can have a bad day and some pms. Stay home or avoid mingling then if you don't want
to "be nice" - whatever THAT is supposed to mean. Or up your meds. Take an extra bong hit
I never understood the whole fake personality thing, that is probably why I have been called blunt and a bitch countless of times but whaaaaatever,
I take that as a compliment. At least I am not fake. And once I am your friend, I am a good and loyal friend. That gives Christmas gifts.
;-)