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SPRINGY WEEKEND WITH EXTRA TISSUES
If I did internet quizzes, which I don't and neither should you, the one I would be providing right now, for your pleasure and edification, is "Which one of the Seven Dwarves is Liz?" Hint: I do not have a medical degree, and while I DO like to sleep in, Sleepy is not the correct answer either.

I thought, after the interminable 3 weeks in March where I would have preferred to actually remove my eyeballs from my head rather than endure one more minute of unbearable itching, that I was done, HA HA HA, with allergy symptoms for the spring. Cue April, who set me straight: one is never done with allergy symptoms apparently. One just mutates from itchy eyes to other unspeakable irritations. ATCHOO!

We are in the middle of a 4-day (for me, 4.5-day) long weekend and I am soaking up every minute of it when I am not a) sneezing, b) blowing my nose, c) pressing on my sinuses which seem to have bloated with pollen. Is that what sinuses do? Suck up pollen like little facial vacuum cleaner bags? Do we really NEED sinuses? Couldn't I have them removed, like tonsils or my appendix (both of which I still have), and avoid this annual misery?

Yesterday was Good Friday, or as it is known here in Sweden, LONG Friday. It is yet another of the religious holidays that people celebrate here with food and not much else. It's such a secular country nowadays, that I find it peculiar that nearly all of the public holidays have religious origins. It is also the first year in the last twenty that I have not colored eggs with the kids. Anders, however, DID color the eggs (with turmeric) that he hard-boiled for dinner, but even though they were a very pretty spring yellow, it wasn't the same as getting out the food coloring and the vinegar and dipping, splotting and splashing eggs into tye-dye patterns.

Anders' mom and sister with her husband and daughter arrived around 5 for the traditional Swedish Easter buffet: herring, hard-boiled eggs, smoked salmon, boiled potatoes, meatballs, little "prince" sausages, Janssons temptation, bread and cheese. Anders also tried making cured trout from a fresh fish a friend had given him but it came out a bit too salty. Anders' mom supplied dessert which was an Easter version of a princesstårta with yellow marzipan icing and marzipan chicks on top.

We are smack in the middle of a long stretch of perfect spring weather. It's sunny, a little breezy, warm and beautiful out. We are going to have a bumper crop of dark purple lilacs behind the garage in just a few more weeks. Anders and I went to Flyinge Plantshop today and bought 4 bags of dirt and 2 big pots to plant tomatoes in. We aslo bought seed potatoes and 2 starter plum tomato plants. I plan on planting a bell pepper, a kohlrabi and a zucchini, plus maybe carrots as well. SO ambitious! Anders is moving the vegetable patch and enlarging it, and raising, too.

Then I went shopping and bought some little things to put in the kids' Easter baskets, which they won't get until they come home (mid- and end-May, respectively) and some candy for Anders as well. Just because I didn't color eggs this year, I don't have to give up completely, right? I should have gotten my act together and sent Martin something for Easter but hey, if HE can procrastinate like a champion on important things, so can I.

I was sort of thinking that I haven't done all that much today but it would be a lie, since in addition to all that, I have also grocery shopped, done my US taxes and weeded in the front garden. And started a new book by an author that is always excellent, though the premise of this one is a bit offbeat (Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken). It's her first novel in 18 years, which surprised me, though she's published a memoir and a collection of short stories in the interim. Anders and I watched A Star is Born last night. It wasn't a movie I cared about seeing, per se, but it was well-done, for the most part, and I thought both the leads did a good job. I don't think Bradley Cooper has ever been bad in anything, and he's certainly easy on the eyes. Lady Gaga, who I don't pay that much attention to normally, obviously put her entire heart and soul into the film and it showed.

Tomorrow and Monday the weather is supposed to hold and we have no plans other than working in the garden, possibly going mountain-biking or kayaking (Anders) or visiting art galleries (me) for the annual Sweden art-tour where all the galleries and studios open up for Easter week. I can't buy anything and I don't have any place to put it if I did, but it's fun to look. Happy Easter, everyone!
 refreshed
mood: refreshed
music: Dala—Compass


Comments
(Anonymous)

Well, of course, I would have been DELIGHTED to have partaken of your traditional Swedish Easter buffet, but I do not recall having received the invitation. ;-)

I've always believed I am, gastronomically at least, Scandinavian. My ancestry may have its roots firmly planted in England, but my stomach apparently came from Sweden. Herring, smoked salmon, meatballs, boiled potatoes...aaahhh!

Sorry to hear about your pollen-related woes. I've only just begun to experience minor symptoms, but none as severe as the ones I gather are plaguing you at the moment. Yes, look into having your sinuses removed...it's something I've considered on occasion!

John

It seems like a bad year for pollen (or rather a bad year for those with pollen-allergies)...but I think they say that EVERY year, so who knows.

(Anonymous)

At least you are doing more for easter than is happening here. No colored eggs or candy and Easter dinner tomorrow evening will be fish (probably salmon w/ dill sauce) asparagus and roasted veggies. Just Grandma and me for dinner -but that will be fine!
You are far ahead of me in the garden. I would recommend more kohlrabi -I think you only get 1 per plant, I tried them 2/3 yrs ago and loved them -easy to grow but was surprised that the bulb is above ground. Love, Lizardmom

Good to know about the kohlrabi, I've never tried it before, though I know John and Simone always have it. :)

I am so sorry to hear about the allergy problem - it must be a bummer feeling like that every spring when the rest of us are prancing about loving the blossoms and new growth. L-G's older son has allergy problems and he says it's a bad year this year - he's miserable and the björk hasn't even started yet.

I miss having kids around in these festive times as there are so many activities that you do with them that simply fall by the wayside when it's just the grown-ups around. And can someone explain to me why Swedes eat the SAME thing for Christmas, Easter, Midsummer? Use some imagination people and let's have variety and seasonal food. Not the same old same old. And I laugh at the way they think by changing the colour of the marzipan on a princess cake, it's suddenly transformed into a Christmas/Easter/Midsummer/Valentine/Halloween/Black Friday cake. Again, variety people!

I just checked out that book and it sounds really interesting. I'll have to add it to my neverending "to read" list.

It's a bad year every year. Every year all I hear is the same old "highest levels of pollen" song. I love the blossoms and new growth, but it does put a bit of a damper on the enjoyment sometimes, when I can't be outside without constant sneezing.

And I laugh about the Swedish festival food too: it's the same menu every time, just the desserts change slightly. :D I even saw tins of Påskpepperkakor in ICA the other day. HA! Nice try, marketing masterminds!

(Anonymous)

Dont just plant 1 Kohlrabi...
a Kohlrabi... jeez Louise.... thats like planting 1 carrot.
Built a greenhouse the last few days. Pictures coming soon.

Gotta go, just wanted to troll you a little!

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