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ALL THE THINGS
Had a meeting with my boss yesterday and was informed about my raise: higher than the average and lots of praise to accompany it, which was nice. Wish it was hitting with tomorrow's paycheck instead of next month's. Would have been nice to have that extra money in the States.

Got my FBARs done, finally.

Figuring out our plans for the US trip: what to see in NYC and Boston on the day each we have allotted for them. Planning a couple of days at a relative's in Traverse City and my college roommates lake cottage. And a real American 4th of July!

We are dog-sitting for friends, for 2 weeks. Coco is lovely and fairly well-behaved but has to be on the leash when out or she chases anything that moves.

I can't wait for vacation.

I also can't believe we have already passed the solstice. I am mourning the passing of the light. Here we go, the long slide into the Swedish darkness. *sigh*

Am tired of pushing my son to get anything done or make any headway without a huge fight. Is this normal?

We have no plans whatsoever for midsummer, which is Sweden is tantamount to being outcasts. All of our friends are either away or have other plans. Even Anders' mom is busy. And both the kids are going to friends. It will be just Anders and me. Staring at each other over the salmon and strawberries.

I am not looking forward to political discussions in the US. I hope people will respect my wish to leave such things at the door.

The family bash is getting huge. My mom said more and more cousins are replying that they are coming. She is having it catered and considering hiring a Port-a-Potty! The last official family reunion was in 1995 so it's not surprising people are excited about getting together.

Only 3 of the AWC board members are considering staying on. All the activities officers (3 of them) are apparently stepping down. There is no 4th of July party planned and yet the current board is considering raising dues. I'm considering stepping up again but have very mixed feelings about it. Is it a general malaise or a real decline? Was my leaving the board one of the causes for the lack of enthusiasm and commitment I have been sensing or is just the downward bend of a usual wave? IS IT ALL MY FAULT? Or is my ego completely out of control? HAHAHAA ...Will things get better if I rejoin the board or will it be a sinking ship? Maybe it's time to inquire if people still find it valid or useful or fun. I do, but maybe I'm alone in that opinion. Really, I just want to keep our book group alive.

The roses in the back under the trellis have exploded. It's a bright orange-pink-coral jungle out there. The honeysuckle, too, are still blooming like crazy, even the useless one that never puts out any flowers and when it does only provides pathetic undersized imitations of real flowers. The little rosebush in the front is ready to blow any day...it has over a dozen buds on it. Yay! Roses before we leave!

We didn't put net on the cherry tree this year, and the other night when I was out watering I took a look to see if there were any at all. All the ones I could find were stones on stems, all the fruit pecked/gnawed off them. No cherries for us this year, bummer.

I am on a fresh pineapple kick right now. SO good.

Is anyone even reading this anymore? Hello?
 calm
mood: calm
music: none, just me


Comments
(Anonymous)

Why, hello.

Chuck

Hello yourself! :D

I have watched my mom go off and on the board of her chorale for decades. When she's on it, more stuff gets done (by her, yes, but also she then is in a position to get others to do stuff) and she feels better about the health of the organization, but it's also a ton of work, as you well know. When she's not on it, she goes back and forth between being glad she's not responsible for stuff and being forever frustrated because people aren't doing things to her satisfaction.

We just got back from Sweden and it was a delight to leave the politics behind. That said, I almost never have political discussions with people here in the US, in real life. I tend to be surrounded by people who are pretty much in my camp so even if something did come up, it's just to commiserate.

I sympathize with your mom! That is exactly how it is!

Am tired of pushing my son to get anything done or make any headway without a huge fight. Is this normal?

Of course it's normal, he's a teenager.

And yes, I'm reading, but often just no time to respond to much of anything.

I feel the same way... reading but not commenting. Need to be better about that!

Yep, hello, well congrats on your pay rise!

thank'ee kindly!

(Anonymous)

Ooops you caught me lúrking again...
was I supposed to be commenting all this time?
sorry, but I have a house to renovate. No time for silly Posts and Blogs.

Martin, if you read this. Get off your butt and do something. you are a Teenager, not a bloodsucking leech. Go affect the world in a postive way.

Exploding roses. does that hurt? not sure if I would want to be sitting on the porch when that happens. are the Thorns shrapnel? Great Name for a band.

I will talk Politics with you in ´Murica. maybe we can talk Brexit? maybe next Swexit? or Gerexit, or would that be Dexit?

Tough luck with the Euro Soccer thingy, Go root for Iceland!

Solstice, smolstice, whats the matter? cant Party all night Long anymore? Me neither.

Love ya anyway,
Your Brudder

Yes, just flummox people by talking European politics!

Iceland? I figured we could root for Belgium now! :D

Exploding Roses would make a good band, you're right. I bet we could get Quinn Pangborn to be the lead singer!

Can't wait to see you, you big dork!

Reading :) and we need you to come out to Höllviken someday! ;) US trip sounds awesome. Re:Midsommar be thankful you've got Anders to stare at - T has to be at his office in Copenhagen at 6am tomorrow AM! Stupid Danes and stupid Brexit/Bremain!

What a drag! Don't they get midsummer off in Denmark?? Is it only a Swedish thing? I hadn't ever thought about that!

BTW, where do you fly into? We encountered a new, confusing, semi-automated passport process in Boston, in case you're arriving there. It may not matter for you since your Anders is not a green card holder but let me know if you want more info about it.

Logan. Yes, please, more info would be great.

When you come in, do you usually go in the US citizens line bringing Anders along or do you go in the everyone else line with him or do you split up and go through separately?

In the US citizens line (and lawful permanent residents, which includes G) they had us go to the farthest line, which wasn't really visible from the point where the hallway opens up into the room, and it looked as if the only option was the Global Entry kiosks or foreign citizens. Once we made it over to the snaking line for US citizens, they then had everyone "just go to any machine with a green light." These are the Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks and we'd never used one before. Because it also is the customs declaration, they want to process the family together at one machine but it's not clear initially that you will need each member of the family to scan their passport and let the machine take their picture (so each person will have to stand in front of the machine so it can move itself up or down to capture your face). It will then spit out a receipt for each person in the family. None of this exempts you from having to wait in line to see an actual border guard anyway so I don't buy their claim that it's faster and think it's really only a benefit to them in that they now have a more complete electronic record of everyone entering. G also had to scan his green card and place his fingers on the scanner for his fingerprints.

Here's a video I found on the CPB website that gives you a little preview. https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/video-gallery/2015/01/how-expedite-your-entry

Other information about it (and what some of the things they refer to in the video are) can be found here: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/automated-passport-control-apc

Thanks! Also, UGH.

(Anonymous)

I always read -sometimes just lurk! Excited for you...getting a bigger raise! Remind Martin that time passes too quickly and leaves the laggerts behind -not a good thing! Waiting to see your lovely photos of the flowers in your yard.
Love, Lizardmom

He won't listen to me...maybe you can try!

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