July 1st, 2006



Around here, Friday evenings, and sometimes Saturdays, are known as myskväll. It's a hard word to translate properly, since mys means, essentially, "to enjoy oneself"...but it often gets used in the sense of cozy and cuddly. As our family has interpreted it, it means staying home and gathering in the living room to watch a movie or special television program, with popcorn and candy (which is forbidden the rest of the week), and an 1.5-hour extension on bedtime.

At first, the candy bags were huge, and completely out of control. But after one of Martin's dentist visits where we discovered he actually had a cavity (aagh! bad mom! bad!), we lowered the boom to 10 pieces each, and they have to last for both Friday AND Saturday. We always get "loose" candy which you pay for by the weight. Each child has definite favorites, with Karin leaning toward the sour and gummi side, and Martin choosing fruit-flavored chewy candies, and lollipops. If I add some for myself, which I don't always do, it's usually vanilla fudge, chocolate-covered raisins and fruit-flavored chewies. Anders, being the full-blooded Swede that he is, subscribes wholeheartedly to the theory of salt licorice as candy, while I maintain as always that it isn't true candy, but well-disguised caramelized motor oil foisted off on unsuspecting Swedes for decades as edible. Poor, gullible fools.

Salt licorice comes 2 main ways, usually either smooth and gummy and black in different shapes, or hard and dusted with actual salt, also in various shapes. It takes quite a lot of getting used to and isn't for the faint-hearted. Many years of discussions with Swedes and non-Swedes living in Sweden, have brought me to the conclusion that salt licorice candy serves roughly the same function that cinnamon candy fills in the States: that is, it's candy with a BITE. Although, cinnamon candy is delicious and salt licorice...meh, not so much.

Granted, no one is forcing me to eat the stuff, so I don't care that it's out there, it's only the problem of contamination that makes me narrow my eyes with displeasure and wrinkle up my nose. You see, that paper bag we carefully dole out candy into at the store? All the candy is in it TOGETHER, which means that, since I'm a nice wife and always buy 10 pieces of salty licorice ickitybits for my husband, when we get home and pour it out into the candy dish to bring into the living room, ALL the candy is coated with SALT. I assure you, salty chocolate and fruity chews are NOT good. Bleah.

Note to self: In future, enforce segregation with separate bags.


Yesterday and today were the most perfect summer days in the history of summer days. Wind-still evenings, blue-skied sunshine, warm but not too warm. Forecast is for at least a week of the stuff. I am drunk on summer.


After some panicky internet-searching and frantic phone-calling, we seem to have secured relatively inexpensive accommodations* for each of our stops on the Scotland trip. 4 nights in Edinburgh, 4 nights in Inverness, 2 nights in Oban and 2 nights in Tobermory on the island of Mull of Kintyre oh mist rolling in from the sea, my desire is always to be here...erm, sorry, where was I? ...sandwiched front and back by 2 nights in Glasgow, which is where we fly into and out of. There are Highland Games taking place in Tobermory one of the days we're there, and I'm about to get online again and take a look at ticket prices for the open air performance of Shakespeare's A Midsummer's Night's Dream which is taking place on the lawn below Edinburgh Castle during our stay. 1 week to go! O! I AM getting excited!


My children are completely obsessed with Joseph & the Amazing Colored Dreamcoat. I was given the video (with Donny Osmond) by an online friend visiting several months ago, and they have watched it every day for the last couple of weeks, sometimes more than once. I also have the soundtrack CD (with Donny Osmond) of the stage show, which has been playing in between VCR showings of the video. I bought it back in Chicago, when I WENT to a performance (with Donny Osmond). We had a moment, he and I, during the show, when he stared deep into my eyes (I was in the balcony) and sang directly TO ME. Of course my friend Bev, who was with me, claimed he was singing to HER, but she was deluded, the trollop, as it was obvious he only had eyes for me for that split second. He must have somehow known that my love for him, honed by repeated listening to his 1973 album A Time For Us when I was but a sprat, has never completely waned. Ahem. There. Now you know. I am not nearly as cool musically as you thought. I hope your illusions aren't thoroughly crushed.


Big, Bright and Belated Birthday Wishes to jema!

Really Great Writing Out There Right Now: Mosaic Minds: Truth or Consequences issue

*Geez louise, things are expensive in Scotland!!