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Happy belated fourth to everybody. I'm happy to say it was a very peaceful celebration here, no fireworks to scare the crap outta me, and I'm very grateful about that.
Seems like it's totally impossible to get Mom to write when I want to, she has billion of excuses, no wifi, too tired, no power,and my favorite, nothing to tell ??? I beg to differ, isn't that up to me to decide ? Things are happening every day I say, but Mom says it's nothing to write about..........of well here it goes anyway.
Friday night was cousin meeting and I ended up staying in the car, because there was a lot of cats there, and I was told I'll be shredded by them. I did get to sniff a few through their cage, and they didn't really appreciate my presence.
I did get to run around in the garden since the cats aren't allowed outside except in their big run. Mom had hoped for kittens like last year we visited.
So many of Moms friends have gorgeous gardens, which is really impressive since the season for growing anything up North is very short. This is one of Moms favorite flowers, which comes in so many colors.It's called Aquilegia Vulgaris and Mom is planning to bring seeds and try her luck at home.......
Once again we visited Kajutan and Astrid were there and had the gall to kiss MY Mom on her lips, I know she didn't approve so I'll forgive and forget.
The city had the yearly big party with loud music and a race with snowmobiles on the river. Who knew they'll run on water as well as snow ?
The noise hurt my ears so we moved Lucy to the church parking lot, so we'll be close to the country fair in the next day.
Vanja visited with her new car, a car that made Mom green from jealousy
All night it was pouring rain, but that didn't stop the athletes jogging by Lucy
we also visited a childhood friend of Moms, a friend she hasn't seen in 50 years...............wow did you guys know she's THAT old ? anyway this friend is a very talented artist, who's favorite subject to paint is Greta Garbo........unfortunately Moms spending account doesn't permit buying a painting........but wow
this lady had pictures of Mom as a puppy
For a little while, the rain stopped so we went for a nice walk, well, Mom walked I rode in my wagon. The plan was to see an outdoor theater in the park, but it was canceled due to the weather.
if this isn't a brushoff, what is
We awoke to a beautiful sunny day, which was great since today we visited Mom's favorite fair in the old church village.
– A church visit often entailed tens of kilometers of walking or horse driving. Travelling was arduous and time-consuming, it wasn’t easy to get here and back in one day. Because of this, church towns began popping up.
– If you lived within 10 kilometers of the church, at least one member of your household had to attend every Sunday service. If you lived twenty kilometers away, you had to attend every other Sunday, 30 kilometers, once every three Sundays and so on. This was due to regulations brought about as part of the Protestant Reformation, established in 1681. However, the major holidays, Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, and Michaelmas were exempted from this rule.
– Then, no excuse was good enough. During these holidays, the entire parish gathered in the church towns and outside of the church services, people took the opportunity to visit markets and do business. Many men sneaked off to speakeasy bars and youngsters went courting amongst the cottages.
Although this was a rule before Mom was born, she still claims she's happy these walls can't talk since this used to be the party place when she was young.
The atmosphere here is a happy place with the traditional accordion players, and thankfully they don't play so loud it hurts
there are a lot of different instrument played, and the key fiddle looks very complicated
It's a stringed instrument dating back to the fourteenth century. It consists of sixteen total strings: four are bowed, and twelve are resonant. A key box is used in place of the fretboard, with keys in half-step intervals.
After spending lots of time here, Mom shopping some goodies, but forgot to go back to the lady and pick up something very locally made. Oh well,
Now we began the boring trip driving the big road close to the coast all the way south. Mom says it's boring because she has done it so many times (I've done it 3 times) so she knows every house, every bend, every tree..........Tree?? wait a minute, there are billions. .....ok Mom was relly exaggerating a lot.
We drove 497 miles and are now outside Stockholm. The further south we go the darker it gets. We took 2 naps on the road..........
this is how it looked from our window when we went to sleep about 2 am
this is waking up at 5.30 am
We're staying at a campsite now because Mom needed to charge PC and cameras get free wifi and to take a shower.
She's really considering this sun cell thingy more and more. That'll give us more freedom to park and sleep anywhere without worrying about what need to get charged.
Outside the door a lot of baby ducks are coming to visit, I knew they'll run if I go out to say hello, so I stayed nicely and watched them from inside.
Finally caught up, and hopefully I'll have more to tell you about tomorrow. I have a feeling we'll go visit a place I have been to many times before, since we are getting close.
ALL IS WELL miss you all
OK, so Mom lied she didn't continue my story on Monday as she said, but every day we have been running around exploring and visiting, and Mom is tired in the evening so we both pass out on our loft in Lucy. Our buddies left Sunday which feels really sad. I miss them already..........one evening at the campsite it was rock and roll for entertainment, and I met a naked girl. Her name was Astrid and she was pretty cool for a girl.
Even though this place was very dog-friendly and we were allowed to hang out loose, I decided to go home when the music started, it was just too loud for my old ears. Astrid stayed and rocked with her Mom...............see below film
Looks like Mom never get enough of shrimp when she's in her puppy homeland, because here again she's gorging herself in this delicacy............ she did offer me a taste, but yuck, just the smell is a turnoff. I bet Lilly would have loved all the fish eating going on here.
Mom and Elvy both keep busy painting in their coloring books
this picture is weird...............I'm not sure why Mom is looking so dreamingly at this stone lady's boobs ?
in the evening Ove tossed the skins from the shrimp in the river and fish came to eat. There's a lot of salmon in the river, but no luck catching any, which may be a good thing since I have enough with all the fish on the table all the time. Moose was so much better
following day we went to a place where we have stayed last year, and I watched as Ove pulled up a big fish. Why can't he go shoot moose instead ? We traded his fish to a smoked grayling that tasted fabulous ..................again, according to who ?? Lilly isn't here
After our friends left Mom comforted herself by painting a few bumble bees
Then we spent a day and night in the city before we once again headed out to Vanja's house, where we still are.
It's very nice here, and a lot of fields for me to run around on, but of course the ladies need to drive around to a bunch of places to look at flowers and more flowers.................I don't get it
at one place, though they had some pretty cool feathered puppies. Unfortunately, I did not get close enough to say hello.
these pants look pretty stiff, and Mom got an idea she may develop when back in USA
a cold hard chair was also here
Vanja is looking at this funny weather brick with a pinecone...............one is written in the dialect of this area, which made Mom giggle as they both was reading.
wet pine cone = rain
dry pine cone= not rain
cone give a shade= sun
swinging cone= windy
cone hopping= earthquake
cone gone= tornado
another gorgeous garden we visited.......Mom can't believe how much work many Swedes put into their gardens, especially when the growing season is so short.
This kid was very jealous of my ride..........at least I do think so
Yesterday we went to meet a friend Mom as not met in 50 years ??? Facebook is a wonderful thing.
Her garden was absolutely amazing, the work she put into it was mind boggling, again according to Mom. I was more interested in the gorgeous cat, who was just fine with me until I stole one of her fuzzy toys...........boy did he get grumpy. After that I was put into my carriage ...................not sure why I was the one getting punished..................(because you're the guest Mom said)
the lady served delicious strawberries and again I was listening to a lot of blablabla
For the record, I quickly helped myself to the cats treats sitting out...............just in case I wouldn't get any
This is a pretty common garden decoration in Sweden, which Mom loves
ok, so now we're finally caught up ..............hopefully, I will not have to nag and beg Mom for continuing my story. She has been reading and planning a lot lately, so I'm pretty curious what she'll plan for us next...................
all is well here almost every day has been warm and sunny
miss you all
Finally, Mom is listening to me that's time to let me continue my story, she has made a few attempts but there's always something else more important to her, and of course wifi doesn't always work either.
A week has gone by and midsummer celebration is over, so now days are slowly getting shorter again.
Still,the sun goes down at 11.30 PM and up at 1.30 AM where we are now.
We spent several days at Vanjas house, and Mom was so happy to get the opportunity to work a little in the garden. Guess she's been missing her own garden
on an early morning I got a haircut and a nice massage in the sun, it was splendid and according to Mom I look like a million bucks...............I think I always do. Mom asks me to please stay this way, but it's not easy when grass is wet and newly cut, everything sticks to me.
This guy could also use a grooming and a haircut but maybe he's like a spy or detective or something.............. you can't see his eyes so you don't know where he's looking, and he has his sidekick casually peeking out behind his butt.
Here we are at the steps of Vanja and Lizze's house
After a few days, we went into town and parked at a place I've been to many times before. All of a sudden I heard a motor sound I recognized very well ?? Oh My Gawd ! I couldn't believe it, it's my buddies from way down south AWESOME. They're here to celebrate midsummer with me woohoooo.
Midsummer eve was nice and sunny so we all went to Moms favorite place and listened to music and watched as the children danced. These three were so cute as they posed for Moms camera.
I was lucky and got to ride in my carriage, Mom says it's so I don't get stepped on when there's a crowd.
This little girl is wearing the traditional Sweden dress, and flowers in your hair is also a part of the tradition.
This is the church Mom was forced to visit as a puppy, she doesn't care about church stuff anymore, but still feel this particular place is special. The location is gorgeous, and Mom grew up on the other side of the river opposite to this church.
this is the view from our window where we stayed the first night
Following day we drove 6 miles down the river to a new campsite that is absolutely gorgeous according to Mom. Who cares about all that ? All I care about is the fact that I now have TWO refrigerators to run between and I think there's more stuff in the camper than it is in Lucy..................Mom is cheap....
At lunch, I was left watching Lucy as Mom and her friends went to eat a shrimp sandwich. This place is famous for their scrumptious shrimp...................
I will continue this story later tonight, as for now, it's FIKA time
All is well
Finally, we woke up to a morning without rain, still not sunny, but at least it isn't raining. The same curlew sitting on the same heap of dirt calling out to her babies (she has 3) they are very shy so the only pictures Mom managed to get is through the window of Lucy.
Yesterday's all-day rain had us sitting in Lucy me napping and Mom painting on the rocks she picked at the beginning of our trip. Not sure Mom was all that inspired since the cat didn't turn out very good.
In the evening, Mom's cousin invited friends for supper and boy what a smelly supper it was
Fermented fish is an old staple in European cuisines. The oldest archeological findings of fish fermentation are 9200 years old and from the south of today's Sweden. More recent examples are the ancient Greeks and Romans that made a sauce from fermented fish called garum and Worcestershire sauce also has a fermented fish ingredient...........did you guys know that ?
One explanation of the origins of this method of preservation is that it began long ago when brining food was quite expensive owing to the cost of salt. The fish are marinated in a strong brine solution that draws out the blood, which is replaced by a weaker brine, and the fermentation is done in barrels prior to canning.
Half a year to a year later gasses have built up sufficiently for the once flat tops of the cylindrical tins to bulge into a more rounded shape. These unusual containers of "surströmming" can be found today in supermarkets all over Sweden. Don't worry about Mom serving this at her next party because certain airlines have banned the tins on their flights, considering the pressurized containers to be potentially dangerous Species of Haloanaerobium bacteria are responsible for the in-can ripening. These bacteria produce carbon dioxide and a number of compounds that account for the unique pungent, rotten-egg, rancid butter, and vinegary odor
As long ago as the 17th century, "surströmming" was supplied as army rations in the 30 Years' war. Swedish soldiers who did not come from the area where this was a staple food, as well as foreign conscripts, refused to eat it, and who could blame them ? from what I'm smelling it would be ok to roll in it, not to eat.....................on this statement Mom sarcastically said "you eat poop" so I had to correct her and let her know "it's meatballs".
The canning procedure, introduced in the 19th century, enabled the product to be marketed in shops and stored at home, whereas at one time the final stage would have been storage in large wooden barrels and smaller, one-liter kegs. Canning also enabled the product to be marketed farther south in Sweden to homesick northern Swedes and to southern Swedes as a curiosity and party food, serving as a background to schnapps as other spicy herring preparations do.
To eat this fish, the make it like an open sandwich, potatoes, butter,red onion, sour cream, tomato, dill,
and the cleaned fish. I think all the extra stuff is to kill the taste of the rotten fish..........don't be ridiculous Mom says. I stayed under the table, since begging for this stuff was out of the question. Couldn't believe all the yumm yumm sounds they made though ???
I don't know what the plans are for today, maybe if we're lucky the weather gods will give us a sunny day so we can spend the days outdoors.
Yesterday Mom got a phone call about an awesome surprise, somebody is on their way here to visit us............she's not telling who, it'll be a surprise she says............come on that's not fair tell me.........nope she says, you know the saying "curiosity killed the dog", that's NOT how it goes I'm not buying it...........
all is well
miss you all
So we arrived in Moms puppy town, and we're parked at her cousin house. The first day was a gorgeous day sunny and warm, but that was it. Now it's been raining 24 hours 2 days in a row, and let me tell you, that makes Mom a pain in the a$$. Grumpy as hell laying around reading and napping. Not that I have a problem about napping, but too much of it is pretty boring.
This is the view from our window now, and if sunny it would have been ok
Before we left the other place Mom watched a little chick being born. For some reason, I didn't get introduced to it, and I don't understand why ??? so Mom reminded me of that time I bit the little gerbil at Karens house so he squealed. Well, how am I supposed to know the difference between a squeaky toy and a real mouse ? .............exactly why there was no introduction Mom said.
Another bird that has babies is this state's bird, a Curlew which has a very distinct whistling sound that can't be confused with any other bird.
I don't know exactly where the nest is, and I'm not allowed to look for it either, but I do know it's somewhere on the ground close by.
the baby has ventured out and Mom got a picture through Lucy's window. As soon as she walked outside to get a better look, the baby's Mom called her home. Looks like it has face on the neck ?
There are several meatball factories close by here too, and I've been trying to sneak off, but Mom is watching me like a hawk.
The wildflowers are gorgeous, and in a week it's midsummer and all the girls will be picking 7 different kinds, to place under the pillow to make them dream about a future mate....
Yesterday morning Mom finally tried out the on top of the stove oven. She made bread that came out pretty good
It's Saturday morning, and as of now it's not raining, but still no sun. I've heard a rumor that dinner today will be that smelly fermented fish the Northerners like so much ?
I wish I could paste the smell here, you'll be in shock and not believe anyone would eat something so foul smelling............
Mom just got a phone call that made her all excited................but it's still a secret
all is well
PS. Mom bought a thing with a fan to put the laptop on, and so far it seems to work OK
Again we're waking up in a new place that's like a paradise..............(wonder how many relatives and friends Mom has that live like this?)
They had chickens and a little baby was born while we visited..................
I made great friends with the man of the house. For some reason, it seems like I have better luck with hypnotizing men to go to the fridge and give me treats ? Mom says it's because men go there more often..............but who cares as long as I get what I want....
once again made a drive through the forest which seems to go on forever and ever around here, and the coolest part is that the sun never goes down.
first we saw tracks...................
and finally, here's the cow watching us as we're passing by. Her fur is not very nice since it looks like she's trying to take the winter coat off.
this is a flower that eventually will become a cloudberry
and this is a house where the moose hunters live
mosquitoes and spiders live here.............
a coffee pot like this one seems to be one of the most important equipment used here. It's black of soot
and according to Mom impossible to drink,but a delicacy for people living here
there's only one river left here in the north that isn't expanded with power stations, and thankfully this is now a nature reserve.
I ended up staying in the car while Mom and her friends took a walk. bridges weren't made for my little paws Mom said. Some of the swinging hanging ones aren't for Mom either. She's a big chicken sometimes. Still the area is gorgeous, if it wasn't so late (11.30 pm) we would have stayed and made a fire because her friends really like that sooty coffee.
Today we'll be going somewhere else, maybe east a few miles ? Mom need to find a city because she thinks the computer has a broken fan since it seems to overheat and crash a lot ? You wouldn't believe the language she uses every time it crashes and my blog is lost. A lot of huffing and puffing starts while she starts all over again..................meanwhile, I take a nap
She finally understands the reason behind saving your stuff now and then...........
I'm sure she'll find a solution and we'll be happy again.
Many Thank Yous and kisses to our friends that have a great full fridge (at least it was when we arrived)
All is well Buttons
Yesterday morning I was promised help to continue my story, but after my whizz and Moms morning coffee, she turned on the news and heard the news about what had happened so close to my Florida home. The rest of the day became very somber and Mom reading and watching news trying to make sense of it all.
There is no sense to this tragic event, and it's not what my blog is all about, so I'll continue where I left off.
Sunday we were lucky to get a ride from Moms nephew far into the forest to look for moose and to find a very rare and protected orchid named Norna.
Mom was so impressed that our guide knew exactly where this flower was, and that with no paths or markings.
For some reason it seemed a lot harder to locate a moose ? We saw only one little cow who was standing on the road watching us .
This is a message to my buddy Max in Florida. I did take your advice to hunt down a moose on my own.
I jumped it from behind, bit his neck and quickly chomped down all I could eat before getting stopped by Mom. ................burp...........true story ..........
We continued driving on small roads that are made for the people working chopping down trees with their heavy machines which is a shame since not a single tree are saved. They do put down new plants, (Mom has been part of a team doing that years ago) but it takes years and years before it's a forest again.
We made a stop at a gorgeous summer cabin and there I met some friends and was free to roam.....................what a great life these guys have.
While I was free to roam, Mom and her friends made coffee and sandwiches on open fire.I did get a small taste and it was real good.
Oh yes, there was another little incident I wasn't planning to tell, but Mom is forcing me............while everybody was walking into the woods to look at the orchid, I was left alone in the car, and lo and behold there was this great tasting bologna left for me. Well, it wasn't for me they said, but nobody was willing to eat the part where my teeth has been, so I got more ( Great thing to know for the future) I'll lick it and it's mine
Mom showed her little fishing rod and tried it out, but it didn't work very well, despite help from guys that knows a lot about fishing.
mosquitoes was getting very aggressive ( according to Mom) so we continued on home.
The moss on the rocks looks like it's painted on
Wind has died down and the water is like a mirror,
Adrian, Mom did take your advice not to go further north yet but mostly because she found out that this year it wasn't much snow on the wilderness road towards Norway so the novelty and the excitement would have been lost.
and we're now at another gorgeous place where relatives live, but I'll tell you more about that tonight.
On Thursday, the weather still stunk, windy and cold,so we mostly relaxed inside Lucy, and Mom painted more lady bugs for my blog
We were ready to continue our trip around lunch (we slept late because of late visiting the night before) and Moms cousin shows up and here goes blablabla again, then she invited Mom for lunch, and according to her it was delicious. A lot of moose, deer and other wild stuff. I'm pouting because nobody thought of bringing me any. Eventually, we continued our trip and Mom quickly got her punishment for forgetting my treat..............gravel road for miles and miles. boohoo to her
Driving very slowly Mom was hoping to see a bear or at least a moose, but all we saw was Santas deer on the loose.
Mom's Dad has a connection to this church, and the location is very pretty, and in real good shape for the age.
Already in the mid-1800s was the old church too small when the ward 's population grew , and they decided to build a new church . 1867-1869 was the years of crop failure and famine, so construction does not start until the 1880s . All wood was felled in the vicinity of the church parish by the men , who had an obligation to do day labor by cutting timber for construction.
The church was consecrated on August 29 , 1886. At that time the whole building (including organ ) cost a total of 70 000.( $8 500) We passed this church that's located in the small town where Moms dad grew up. The church is the largest wooden church and has space for 2000 people , 1800 seated and 200 standing
We didn't drive very far because we once again went to visit a relative, and this time Mom was treated to more moose meat which she said was delicious, but the icing on the cake was the dessert. Ice cream and cloudberries, Moms absolute favorite, and there is a reason it's called the gold of the forest. Pain in the neck to pick, because they grow in wet mars land full of mosquitoes and no seams. Man of the house said he loved picking them and Mom had no shame she served herself seconds and thirds of this forest gold...........All I have to say is.... One of these days I will get a taste of moose.
We are now parked on a hill in the country, and I got to run around free as a bird and chasing deer, lets move here Mom, I like it here a lot Mom..............sure it's nice in the summer, but you'll freeze your a$$ of in the winter and it'll be dark she says............such a party pooper she is.
Mom made a movie of me, does it not look awesome ?
The view from our windows are amazing, deer grazing, birds singing and..........
This picture is snapped at 1.30 am, still pretty cold here but Lucy is keeping us warm and comfy. Today we're promised a tour into the wild forest and I can't wait to make friends with some bears......HA Mom says, you'll be their supper if we meet any..............such a party pooper she is.
All is well, miss you all
kisses from Buttons