• 24Aug
    Categories: musings, travels abroad Comments Off on Swedish Doors

    I’m obsessed with Swedish doors!

    They’re all different….

    …but somewhat the same.

    They seem to be made of planks.  Some are horizontal like the first four, but they’re not the most common.

    These chevron designs seem to be quite common.

    I love the nail head detail on this one.

    This is a very old door.

    Here’s a combo of chevrons and horizontal planks.

    A variation on the chevron theme is the diamond design.

    This is probably the most common.

    Blue is a popular color,

    as is gray.

    Often a natural stone is used as a step.

    Great detail around this double door.

    An interesting combination.

    I love the little diamond windows.

    Another very old door.

    I love the stairs in front of this one.

    Another fancy surround.

    I thought the arched top of this door was interesting.

    The following are all at least a century old.

    I think these very old ones may actually be carved.

    Amazing paint.

    What a cheerful way to be greeted when visiting someone!


    When we built a Swedish cabin in our woods, it had to have a Swedish door, too!



  • 15Aug
    Categories: travels abroad Comments Off on Swedish Windows

    Sometimes beauty is in the details.  That’s the case with Swedish windows.

    There are so many designs of leaded windows.

    Some of these are centuries old.

    I know leading served a purpose…

    …but making it decorative didn’t make it any stronger.

    It just made it more beautiful.

    These windows are not just lovely to look through…

    They’re lovely to look at!

    Even shutters can make a statement.

    The heart finds its way into lots of Swedish folk art.

    This shutter is in Nås, Anna Lena’s hometown.

    Some windows have decorative trim.

    This is a very popular design.

    Here’s a fancy one.

    I saw this one on a resort island.

    Round, anyone?

    The designs here are painted on the building and not really part of the window.  How ingenious!

    Look carefully at the upper story of this house.  With the exception of the tall window in the gable end, all the windows on the second floor (not just the trim) are painted on!  At one time, you were assessed taxes based on how many windows you had in your house.  Perhaps that’s why these aren’t real windows.

    Of course flowers enhance any window.

    This is the design the windows in my dream sunporch will have!

    I liked the greenery both inside and outside this window.

    Hope you enjoyed this peek at Swedish windows!


  • 14Aug
    Categories: Everything!, travels abroad Comments Off on Some Swedish Food

    The food in Sweden is wonderful–and so beautifully presented.

    This was our breakfast buffet one morning…

    …on the island of Öland.

    This was called “Summer Farm Hard Bread.”

    Even the fast food/take-out is amazing.

    We enjoyed some fine meals, like this tuna…

    …this pasta…

    …and these were the best French fries I ever tasted–crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

    Picture yourself at an amusement park and going into a fast food restaurant for a bite to eat.  You go up to the counter and order, someone slaps some food on your plate and you find a place in the crowded restaurant to sit down.  Do you expect it to look like the photo below?  Well, that’s what it was.  And I have to say, the meatballs were some of the best I’ve ever had!

    This was the coffee service in the same restaurant.  Help yourself!

    Berit served dessert outside while we were at her house.

    We discovered rhubarb crisp with vanilla sauce was quite popular.

    On, and in Visby we discovered a crepe shop!  It doesn’t get much better than crepes served with ice cream AND whipped cream!

    It isn’t midsummer without a strawberry whipped cream torte!

    In Sweden, waffles are dessert.

    I showed you in an earlier post the pastries offered at McDonald’s!

    Well the next THREE photos are in a 7-Eleven!



    One of my favorite signs is “Konditori,” which means bakery.

    The selections are always incredible.

    Besides sweet rolls, the breads are wonderful.

    Sweden has the best strawberries, and when they’re in season, they are everywhere, like on these tarts at the bakery in the NK Department Store.

    When you graduate from high school in Sweden, you wear a cap like the one shown below.


    So it was no surprise when we saw cakes baked to look like the graduation caps!

    I thought they were so fun.

    Of course, I’m very fond of the traditional Princess Cake–the green ones are the most traditional.

    And you see a lot of them in bakeries around Sweden.

    But now there’s a new cake–the Princess Estelle cake…

    …named for Sweden’s newest royal, baby Estelle.


  • 01Aug
    Categories: Everything!, musings Comments Off on New Member of the Herd

    A few days ago I had a voice mail from Sandy, a retired teacher and volunteer extraordinaire.  She said something about a horse looking for a new herd—that it was free from disease and well mannered.  Hmm…..

    Then, yesterday I got home and this bag was on my porch.


    I brought it in and found this Dala horse and a letter inside.  It read, “Dear Karen, I am so happy you are going to let me join your herd!


    “I came to the United States in 1971 on a big airplane (I think) locked in Mi Britt’s suitcase.  For a few days there were lots of parties and welcomes for the person who brought me.  I thought this was the way I would live forever.  But, I was wrong and soon was given to a lady in a big building.


    “I was put on a shelf and there were lots of young people who came in and out.  Many of them picked me up and that felt so nice.  And, they exclaimed how pretty I was and wondered about my ancestry.  I lived there for many years and mostly was quite happy.  Sometimes there were pretty long periods of time when no one much was around.  I think they were called vacations.  But, even then sometimes, the lady I was given to would come in and once in awhile she even picked me up and talked to me.


    “Then, one day, for no reason that I knew I was put in a box with some of the friends I had made while sitting on the shelf for all those years.  We were all confused because we didn’t do anything wrong so why were we being locked up?  At first we were in the box in a warm place so it wasn’t too bad.

    “Later we were put in another place that was kind of cold and we were really scared so we huddled together and tried to be content be we weren’t successful.  We had heard of a fellow who just went to sleep for many many years so that is what we tried to do.


    “Just a few days ago the lady came and opened our box and we were so relieved to see light.  She picked us up and talked to us again and that felt really good.  Now, she has told me that I get to live with another very nice lady who has a whole herd of my kind and I am very excited!  Thank you so much or letting me come live with you and my new herd.

    “Your new friend.”

    And so it has come to pass.  Here’s the new member of the herd making the acquaintance of some of “his kind.”


    He found a comfortable place among his new friends.


    I think he’ll be very happy here.  Thank you, Sandy!