Saturday, August 31, 2013

Peaceful Contemplation after the Rains!

Writing a blog is a labor of love! As a novice at this, but one with a curious mind, I try to think of things that would interest someone else because they interest me. Perhaps that is not the right approach, but since it is my only option I will forge ahead and hope that someone out there will  read my attempts to communicate to others.
This is the rainy season in Florida, every day we can expect thunder and lightning.  Florida is the lightning capital of the country I am told, whatever it is, I respect it! Then the torrential rains will come, this does not mean cooler climes, nooo it means dampness, mud and humidity left behind in it's wake.  In our case it also left behind a roof leak--sorry but just can't think about that at the moment, too depressing to contemplate.

In our attempt to forget roof leaks and all other miseries that life sometimes entails, after the rain,  Mr. Dude and I decided to take a walk through the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo,Florida. It was just before Sun Set. What a beautiful oasis has been created by the many Master Gardners who work daily to keep this a beautiful place for everyone to enjoy. This is a free admission to 30 acres of cultivated gardens, and 90 acres of natural environments. There are 150 types of birds, reptiles and mammals and endangered species, including the bald eagle,  that live in this space
In 1991 the concept and acquisition of lands adjoining  county owned lands began. In Dec. 2000 the EastSide gardens were opened to the public.We have a very interesting Tax proposition in this county of Florida. It is voted on by the public and called "Penny for Pinellas". This tax has been responsible for so many contributions to the support of this area, The EastSide garden was one of these, with a cost of 6 million dollars.Some other projects have been support by land management funds
This bridge is a walk way, over McKay Creek,  which brings you into the gardens. Wheelchair friendly makes it possible for everyone to travel safely to see the many different gardens.  Too many to even list, but there is a patio garden, tropical fruit garden, succulent garden and a butterfly garden. Just a few to whet your appetite
A path around the tropical courtyard, Every season of the year there are plants in bloom and carefully tended
This is not the prettiest time of year for some blooms, this is a huge bird of paradise. Every 3 months there are a change in colors as old plants begin to bloom. The Parks and recreation Dept are the primary caretakers  of this huge task, but the Pinellas county Master Gardners Program contribute constant daily care. Each Gardner contributes 75 hours as payment for the instruction program, and then 35 hours per year to maintain that status. Professional Horticultural staff is there for advice and instruction

A small waterspout  in the water lily  and one of the aquatic gardens.
What a beautiful color! Along the way there are benches for your relaxation and is is not unheard of to bring a thermos of coffee to sit and enjoy the last signs of daylight. Peaceful! There are so many things to tell you about this wonderful space, but think I will skip to the Wedding Chapel, where many couples have celebrated their special day. I was lucky enough to be there one day as this was happening, Flowers, decorations, chairs and the right weather day , made The Dude and I want to
step up and re-new our own vows. In the month of December this entire garden facility is a feast of lights and attractions, thousands of visitors make this their yearly visit.  I will re-visit this at that time, but by then it will be chilly and winter jackets will be the norm.

Remember now this is Florida so just had to include this to remind you. This sign sits on the bank of the Aquatic Garden!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Monthly Italian Market Fix-- Please Come Along With Us!

We lived for many years outside of New York City which made it so easy to run in and walk through "Little Italy" and buy fresh pasta, or stop in one of the wonderful bakeries to buy pastries. I would go armed with orders from others, " Oh you are going into the city, will you pick up some Cannoli for me?" We always would find a small restaurant for a pasta dinner, TuTu Pasta comes to mind.

When we moved to this part of Florida it took awhile for us to find places for certain ethnic foods. Swedish foods are almost impossible to find, except for the small amount that Ikea carries. Mr. Dude loves good bakery goods, and meat.  we were told about a market in St. Petersburg that we should visit. We were not told that this would become one of our favorite haunts. I buy my meat from their meat counter, fresh pasta, meatballs, Fresh ground coffee, and so much more. We always stay for lunch.

My best friend and her hubby are also from NYC and we go together, have lunch and shop!! This was our week to make our trek. There is never a time when this place is not busy, so be prepared to share your space with many others, all of us with the same goal,
to enjoy the offerings of Mazzaros Italian Market.
.  Here we enter,  and you will almost immediately see where I order my meat, which they will package while I am "tooling" around Looking for other things to put in my cart,
Now, I ask you, isn't that pretty!  Black Angus beef, home made sausage, stuffed chicken breasts and many  more selections.  As we walk along we come to the cheese room.  Since cheese is like dessert to me, I will have to leave what happens in there to your imagination.The introduction to this room are two 12 foot long 1100 lb. Auricchio Provalone cheeses encased in open crating on each side of the door. One of these will be cut in Dec. 2013.
This room also leads to a wonderful selections of wines. This week, while we were there they were having a wine tasting.

Now is the time to have some lunch.  We went outside to find a table, and enjoy the garden atmosphere . The fans have "mists" attached to them,and even on the hottest day there is a cool breeze. My
Dude picked up "Old Brooklyn" Root Beers for us, while we placed our sandwich orders at the take out counter. I had the Panini of the day. While the sandwiches were being prepared I was on the hunt for meatballs, fresh pasta and fresh ground coffee. The coffee grinder is huge and when grinding, the smell of coffee permeates the air.
The baskets are full,We have eaten our fill, relaxed with good conversation, and now all we have to do is pay our bills.  Walking to check out we pass,The Italian scooters high above the freezer case, the olive oil isle and coffee bar, where you can have a latte and other good things. Next we pass the alcove with the statue of
the caretaker and protector of this place 

I have picked up my meat, passed through check out and paid my bill, the bags are many and full. My shopping is finished for this month  We passed up the bakery with all of its wonderful temptations---hmmm, on second thought I think I will go back and pick up something to have with coffee.  I'll catch up with you outside.  Wait for me I want to show you something out there.

I am not compensated for telling you this, this is what we enjoy and spend time doing and want to share. Why don't you visit Mazzaros on 22nd St in St. Petersburg, Florida
Aren't they adorable. The building is painted as well. This was another great day enjoying the Flavors, and smells of Italian Foods. Oh yes, I won't show you, but I bought a cake and while we have our coffee and dessert we'll think of you.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Marriage------What Does it Mean Today?

Unfortunately I have been away from this forum for a few days, "my computer" decided it had had enough, and went on a technical vacation! A wonderful "Techie Guru Dr." who makes house calls, spent a few hours, checking up, cleaning up, and sprucing up. Hurrah, at last all is well once again!

I am sitting here with a wonderful, brisk, cup of coffee thinking about my next sentence, because this was not what I had in mind for today, and I am not sure why I even want to start this, except it has been part of a constant thought process since Monday.

Yesterday Mr. Dude and I traveled across the bridge and had lunch with my niece who has been visiting from NYC. We met at a local restaurant and were engaged in a discussion concerning someone we knew who has been having marital problems. I made the statement that without Trust and Respect for each respective partner, the marriage is barren. I have some knowledge in this department, as I have been married 53 years and my luncheon companion has been married 10 years or more.

Suddenly a man at the next table entered the conversation, and said "I couldn't help listening to you"  What about Love?  Then he told us we came from another generation and things are not the same today.  Of course this comment makes the hair on the back of my neck bristle, and a thought provoking conversation ensued.  What has changed the  state of the commitment of Marriage in this time frame? As the conversation moved forward we soon another person entering the discussion, a woman. Both were probably in their early to late 40's. Most of us recognized that the first blush of lust isn't the lasting warmth of love, but my answer to his question was this:  How can love flourish if there isn't Trust and respect?  Seems logical to me.

He blamed  most of the changes on the equal opportunities woman have to move forward in their lives.  On the surface this sounds outrageous, but what  he really meant, that the nuclear family had taken a "hit" because the dynamics are different. It is true that most families today have two working parents and family life is quite different than it was 40- 50 years ago. Have we become complacent, is there some component in our own personal identity that makes us unprepared for a lasting relationship? What is it we expect? Are we morally bankrupt?  I have heard over and over again, we don't need a piece of paper to strengthen our relationship!  Hmmm--now what does that really mean?  The statistics show the demise of marriages is astronomical but those who live in non -conventional relationships do not fare much better. What really has brought us to this state of affairs, and how many have been damaged in the wake of our decisions?

I do not know the answers, but I know this,  marriages are not made in heaven, they take sacrifice, compromise and work in order to work. That is much too simplistic, for sure, but this morning that is all I have to offer because my coffee cup is now empty. For our part in this discussion, 54 years comes up in December and God Willing we'll both be there to celebrate.I am still musing on all of  yesterday's discussion. If you have time, tell me what marriage means to you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What a Day! Share My Pain!

Yesterday I attempted to come to you all for a visit and found I could not get into my blog to post and,---- well,  I won't bore you with all the details, but the word frustrating is mild! Since I had a few other things I wanted addressed, went right to the phone and called my " Geek on Call"!  He has been taking care of this monster I work from for a long time--a wonder man!! HELP!  One of the nicest things about him is his kindness.  He may be amused at my inept abilities, but he never laughs out loud!  He comes to the house and works to right my world. I made an appointment for today. 
Since I was having "computer withdrawal syndrome,  a malady that occurs when the companion on my desk is out of line, chasing its own rainbow, or dark with despair,  Mr. Dude and I decided to make a trip to our favorite spot to pick up bird seed. I have bird feeders everywhere and now have a seed bill to prove it! We have now arrived at the time when we have to buy our seed in 40 lb bags, laced with sunflower seed to keep the squirrels and our resident rabbit happy.  Yes, we have a wild brown rabbit who has taken up residence under an outbuilding. He or she is adorable, but so far I have not been able to capture him on film. He occasionally brings home a companion, but I think he or she is a "one night stand" type of guy, She doesn't stay long! We bought rabbit food, but his tastes were for the bird seed   We have traipsed around checking prices, but should have realized we had the source with the best of everything right in the center of town.

This feed company is a huge store and has equipment and supplies for large animals as well as small ones. This is a more metropolitan area now, but was an agricultural area, with huge groves, green gardens, horse stables and a large agro center. The ag center is still in existence and has become a wonderful teaching tool and a place for all sort of animals.The Largo feed store is one of the oldest stores in this area.

I know when the men, who are there every day, and are extremely helpful, see us coming through the door, which we do on a regular basis, mentally clap their hands, they know another 40 pounder is going out the door!  They supply chickens at the right time of the year and chicken houses. I wanted to show one, but was told next week we will  put one together. Guess I will have to come back with that at a later time.I would love to have one, even if just to look at. We are allowed to have chickens here in this suburb, but we are not allowed to have a Rooster. Too bad I always like the sound of a crowing Rooster, it meant the sun was up and I was alive to start another day!

  I grew up in a rural area, the New England Nashoba Apple Valley, and our feed store was a testament to rural living. Our General store, in the center of town sold you everything from meat, groceries, snow shoes, galoshes, bales of hay and John Deere. Oh yes, that is also where you filled up your car or truck with gas.  It didn't look quite like this one.  We have entered a new age,  still are meeting the needs of the public. Every thing is neat and very clean, no wooden barrels in this one, plastic bins, but they are filled with all the things we need to keep our critters happy.
That empty space on the bottom right hand side is now empty because we are taking another 40 lb bag out the door to satisfy the doves, cardinals, wrens, blue Jays, Blackbirds, Sparrows and all others waiting. When I came home, looked out the back door to see Mr. rabbit lying down like a cat, waiting for dinner! 

If you are ever  in Largo, Florida, drop in and see what Largo Feed has to offer.

I feel the need to say, at this point that I am never paid by anyone to advertise, I write about what we do and use. I am not endorsing products just telling you what works for Mr. Dude and I.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tidaholm Memories Because It is Monday

Really, Monday again!  I sometimes wonder why I can't just skip Monday and begin the week with Tuesday? Of course I should be just glad and count my many blessings that Monday is here for me at all.  The task of getting all parts moving in sync with my brain is a little "touch and go", but here I am.  To cheer myself up, I began to think back to a wonderful day Mr. Dude and I had with my cousin and her husband in Tidaholm, Sweden, where they live.

Tidaholm is a beautiful little town which has a very rich history, privately owned in the middle ages, but the history of Tidaholm might come later. My cousin asked me if we would like to walk to the Match factory which was part of this small town's industrial revolution.What a fascinating afternoon we had ! So much to learn.

In 1868 the Vulcan Match Co.. was founded in Tidaholm and is today owned by the Swedish Match Co.In the 1830s the first phosphorus matches were created .It was Prof. Erik Pasch, in 1844 who received the patent for his invention of the Safety Match. England, France, Germany and the US were all on the quest for safe match production, up to now this was done with manual labor and very dangerous. Dr. Pasch  was able to replace the poisonous yellow Phosphorus with non-poisonous red phosphorus, and then also applied the chemical to the outside of the box thus the first striking match. This made Sweden world famous!

In 1845 a young engineer invented and designed the first automated match making machine. These matches were produced in Jönköping,  Sweden, (another one of my favorite towns) and sold all over the world.

These are some of the labels that were exported to other parts of the world.

During this same time, in the United States the
Diamond Match Co was establishing their dominance in the manufacture of the safety match.
They were buying up as many small match companies as they could find . In Sweden this was also taking place. The owner of Vulcan saw Diamond as a threat and began to buy up their stock.
The man behind the Swedish Match Empire was, Ivar Kreuger who planned to control the world's match mfg. In 1932 Kreuger's company did control 60% of the world's match production, and that included a good
portion of Diamond Match's stock.  When Kreuger died Diamond was able to re-purchase the stock that was held by the Swedish Match Co..  Today Both companies are equal forces in the production of matches, and both companies have diversified in many ways. In 1961 The cricket disposable lighter was introduced to the world by Sweden Match. They are also in a leadership position for chewing tobacco and cigars. Their main markets for Red Man and Garcia Y Vega is the United States.

I think we all remember the blue box of Diamond, but today that box had. changed a little. Today both companies are highly aware of the ecological and environmental affects of all dangerous chemicals, this included the boxes which are now produced from recycled products. The Swedish Match Co. does not manufacture in Jonkoping any more, that ceased in 1971 and is now their museum, but manufacturing still continues in Tidaholm  and Vetlanda.

It was a lovely and informative day and we returned home for that special conversation time over A cup of the good :stuff" and something tasty.  The sweetest of memories!
Diamond Safety Match co 1881---present

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ode to a Desert Rose (Addium Obesum)

About five years ago My Dude and I were wandering through an outdoor garden shop that was a temporary set-up for the Christmas holidays. There was a table of very small plants without flowers, and strange looking stems. As I stood their musing on the $ 9.00 price, couldn't resist, but wondered why I was even interested. I am a person who loves Blooms! This was a naked plant with a few spindly green leaves.

The Plant lady in charge went into great detail of how fortunate I was to be able to get these plants because they had been grown from seed, as most of these plants are grown from cuttings.  Since I didn't even know what I was buying, the significance of this was lost on me.

My husband is really the Gardner in this family and he took charge. Through his research we discovered that this genus of plants is indiginious to the dry climates of Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. They are an evergreen succulent that thrives in humid climates. Well we live in Florida and that certainly is humid in the summer time. My Dude nurtured, planted, sweated and swore over this little plant until 5 years later we had this.
  Since seed grown plants are not genetically identical to the Mother plant, cuttings are used for desirable varieties. They generally do not develop the thick Caudex or root base, as a seeded plant.  We had been told this was a seeded plant, and since we did not know what to expect, repotted this plant into a much larger clay pot. This was already pretty big, but thought we should put the larger pot on a caddy with wheels. Later that year, toward the fall, several large, long, bean like pods appeared on the plant. Most of the flower blooms were gone, but if handled carefully we had the potential of many more plants.  Rsearch told us to dry the pods, which we did by laying them on a tray and left them  inside where the temperature was even.

When the pods were opened they were filled with seeds like this. Do you remember when we were kids the puff balls we used to blow at each other and watch them float away? That is what they look like. With medical precision and a dental tweezer, Mr. Dude separated each one carefully, there were over 50 potential plants in the first pod. He planted these in starter pots. Lo and behold 95 % of them germinated. Bear in mind we are not professional gardners!

They love water, but will not live if their feet are wet. In the summer they must have water and be feed with a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and potassium and low in nitrogen.  If that can't be found you can use 10-10-10. For some reason we are unable to buy this combination in the county we live in until after the fall. If that is the same case for you, stock up before summer.

Our Mother plant had to be cut back because we did not know that it had to come inside during the winter,  They cannot stand temperatures below 40 degrees. It does get that cold and colder in this part of Florida.  It came back beautifully the next year.

The beautiful trumpet shaped Flowers come in many colors and shades. Our new plants are combinations of  red and white blooms. We have gifted many, we have sold many, we have swapped them for more pots, and we still have many to enjoy.  Oh yes and we still have seeds we have not used, packaged carefully for the next round of baby Desert Roses.
 This plant can grow to 6 feet, but they are often cultivated for Bonsai plants. Most climates, that are not tropical use them as a house plant.

Whening with the plant, be very careful not to allow any sap to get on your skin, as it is toxic. I am told that in Africa, even today, this sap is applied and used in Arrow hunting of big game. Either wear gloves, or if this should happen wash immediately with soap and water.

If you are going on vacation and do not have the kindness of a neighbor, as I do, to water your plants.
check . They have a very clever watering device that will continue to water an individual plant up to 3 weeks.

Today our original $ 9.00 Mother plant is alive and
well. She has to be rolled in and out now, much too
heavy to lift. She continues to thrill us with her glorious and profuse blooms.

We are anxiously waiting to see if she will produce
another batch of seed Pods so that we can be a mid
wife to hundreds more of her children!

Mother plant as she is today:

Friday, August 16, 2013

Will You Have a Cup or a Mug?

How many times have you been asked that question?  My first cup of that heady brew, "COFFEE" comes to me in a mug, often while I am still in bed, brought to me by my husband of 53 years. We then watch the news together while I sip away.  I think he decided, early on in this marriage, a wife who has had her first cup of coffee is a wife with a sunnier temperament!  Smart Dude, this man of mine!

Because I am the only coffee drinker in this house, hubby is strictly a Tea drinker and very particular about the type he drinks, but  that is a discussion for another time.  My coffee is made , drip style in a 4 cup, Mr. Coffee pot that I have been known to pack if I am traveling to a place that might not have one. If we are having a large amount of guests, my 10-12 cup Gevalia Pot is waiting to be used. There are those who used only the Keurig  system with pods or little cups. This is wonderful for the 1 cup coffee drinker, or wants different blends. Now Maxwell house is making single server cups for your Keurig.

When diners were the place to meet for coffee, often a strong rich brew, of unknown origin was the fare.. Most people did not worry about the type of bean, roasting process,  or whether it had an exotic name. If you were in a cold snowy part of the country, holding that restaurant ware coffee cup, which was thick and substantial, it warmed your hands and boy oh boy,  did that cup of coffee taste good going down. You sat at the counter and had countless people around you to chat with, while they drank their cup of the good stuff, about the weather, what you were doing, and why you were doing it. The counter lady or man joined in the conversation and everyone became friends. I will have a cup of "Joe"! was the mantra.

Jackson China Co , Falls Creek, Pa  1940s
My Swedish Father had a large cup with a deep saucer and when the coffee was too hot, he would spill some in the saucer to cool. A ritual I watched with fascination. Who knew that the antique "cup Plates" that are coveted by collectors today were used for that very thing. The coffee went into the saucer to cool and the cup was placed on the small 3 inch cup plate. 

Today, in some places that wonderful old fashioned diner is a thing of the past, but coffee carries on. Now you are asked, " Do you want to meet at Starbuck's or Panera's" for coffee and cake"?  If you are sitting in Barnes and Nobel's book store, a convenient set of tables and a Starbuck's coffee bar is waiting to provide you with a favorite brew while you study, read or leaf through magazines.

Starbucks has been providing the sophisticated coffee drinker with a huge variety of exotic blends since 1971. If you just want the breakfast blend or something much "wilder " try the Komodo Dragon.

When I am traveling I know that I will be able to get a good cup of coffee at a Starbucks, McDonald's , and sometimes Burger King. If an Ikea is close by there is always a good cup to be had from their coffee bar.

Gevalia coffee, which was founded in Gävle, Sweden in 1853 is still the largest coffee Roastery in Scandinavia. I love the richness of their brews. The advertising in the United states is quite effective and they have a ship to door program that is very convenient.Their "Autumn Spice" for the fall, or their " Abyssinian Mokka" are quite special. They have 50 varieties of coffee to choose from.  I was a little shocked to learn that Kraft Foods now owns the Gevalia Brand.  Another famous American brand, Maxwell House, "Good to the Last Drop"  is also owned by Kraft foods and was introduced in the U.S. in 1892 and was named for the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Of course today that hotel is a large resort hotel and is named Millennium Maxwell House Hotel.and is in the heart of Nashville.

The most common coffee sold and used in Sweden is the one sold and used in Ikea. A filtered coffee that carries the UTZ certification . Mellanrast ( filter coffee Med. Roast) I use this when it is available to me. I am not the sophisticated coffee drinker that many are, I do like a rich full blend and when it is fresh ground it is special. There are clubs and forums for coffee, there is research from many sources, which confuse you with their facts. The head spins with the facts and figures, but in the end it is simple. Enjoying a cup of coffee with a piece of coffee cake in the afternoon with friends can be the highlight of anyone's day!

Moderation is the key--if you drink 30 cups of coffee a day you can expect some type of problem , but if you drink 2-4 cups a day, ---hmm that's for me!  When I am in Sweden, the best part of my day is when the telephone rings and I am asked to join the 11:00 a.m. Kaffe with Friends or family. The art of sitting and resting instead of drinking that cup on the "Fly" gives you a sense of peace for the rest of your day. It is more than the coffee, it is a nourishment for the soul--a little conversation, a cuppa of the good stuff, a little cheese and crisp bread and a sweet cake. What more could we ask for?

My Older Cousin Gunnel , My younger cousin Orjan and I looking at a family Album while having coffee time in Herrljunga, Sweden

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hearts the Universal Symbol of Love

This topic was not my intention today, but I found an antique cookie cutter with the Heart and Hand symbol that I have had for many more yearns than I want to remember. My own art work has often been the subject of hearts.Where does this fascination come from?

The organ, which is located in the center of one's body and sustains life by constantly beating, has been exalted in discussions on Papyrus and documented around 1500 B.C. Every culture and religion throughout time , has always considered the Heart as symbolic.

Over the years the shape has changed, and evolved to what we recognize today. The Egyptians have been credited with bringing the heart shape to Europe in the 6th century A.D. and many Christian religions have used the heart, the heart with flame or the bleeding heart, Have you heard the saying "my heart bleeds for you"?

We see this symbol, somewhere every day, perhaps we wear it as jewelry. In the 18th c. it was the constant motif of the Folk Art Artist, who used it on all objects, signifying  Life, Love and Sorrow.  In 1984 a wonderful book was written by Cynthia V.A. Schaffner and Susan Klein. It is titled "Folk Hearts" a Celebration of the Heart Motif in American Folk Art. I am not even sure this book is still in print. today, but if you love Hearts and  American Folk Art and you should see this book, grab it and don't let it go. It will warm your heart! Valentine's day, or any day there will be a hjärta ( the Swedish word for heart) in your future.

Some examples

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Must Read for All Women

This week I had a birthday and my Dear niece, an educator,  who knows of my interest in American History and the women of that history, sent me a copy of "ABIGAIL ADAMS" by Woody Holton. A Bancroft Winner Historian. I am originally from Massachusetts so the Adam's family itself has great interest. Most other things written about Abigail have glossed over her most powerful traits and talents. This biography tells of her participation in her own personal declaration of independence and how she was able to amass her own personal fortune. She was not a woman of neutral emotions and this will be made clear in the reading of this fascinating book  I believe the book is available at Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


To day is a very special day in the life of Our first Grandchild. He will be leaving for college and starting a new adventure.

Matthew is the big brother to 3 younger sisters and they are already telling him how he will be missed. He is enrolled as a music major at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  He will continue his studies in composition, performance and writing.  As his Grandparents, the night that he was born, to our only child and his wife, well, excitement is not a strong enough word.  We were waiting in the nursery for his arrival and as he was being weighed he grabbed his Grandfather's finger--a bond was formed forever.  We are proud of this young man, his love of the Lord, his talent and his consideration of others. Success will be his! 

Monday, August 12, 2013


Good Afternoon to all you readers out there.  On our way to Tampa, my husband and I stopped to fill the tank, which is becoming the expense of the month! As we sat there a wonderful car pulled up and I couldn't resist asking the owner if we could take a picture.  Now, I ask you, how cool is this??

The gentlemen was a proud owner and told us that he had constructed the entire vehicle from a kit. When he drove away it "purred" like a kitten.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

                                        Welcome To My Blog

 The banner picture at the top of my blogging page makes me think of  Farm land in my home state of Massachusetts. This could represent any state with rocks, rolling hills and red barns but in fact it is Blekenge, the second smallest province in Sweden. It is in the South East corner and borders Småland, Scania and the Baltic Sea. It is often referred to as the Garden of Sweden because of its Beauty.

I am American born of a Swedish Father who loved America but also loved his country of Origin. His family was and still is from Västergötland. It has been our great joy to be able to know and spend time with my many Swedish cousins in Sweden. The customs of the country were familiar to me, as a young child I thought  everyone had a Father, or my Far as he was called, who ate boiled potatoes and sill, or herring, for breakfast. His name was Carl, his brothers were Gunnar and Harold. Not all Uncles bear the names of Swedish Kings but it seemed normal to me.

At the end of the summer, in this case August, The celebration of Kräftor and Surströmming takes place. We  would just call this a Crayfish extravaganza!
of Tampa will be having their Crayfish Party this month for 9.95. If you want a taste of Sweden this might be a good time to enjoy. If you plan.  to bring your children, they have a special seating section for them .