Spare Change

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Here’s an idea for a fall day… Get a dirt-proof bag, like a Target bag, (or the one pictured here, a goodie bag from a recent birthday party made out of waxed cotton) and head to the woods. This could involve some driving first, but it’s worth it. Wear shoes that can get dirty.Here’s some ideas for what you can do: Collect leaves and compare their shapes and sizes, if you don’t… Read More

It wasn’t my most brilliant idea, drive to IKEA using a GPS that can’t speak Swedish. Oh my! Once I started onto the freeway system, there was no turning back—three freeways, two interchanges, tons of construction; I felt it a tender mercy from God I only made three wrong turns. I swore when I left Europe the last time, I’d never go back to IKEA (Like ever!). During our 9 years of… Read More

It feels different now, in the year 2012, to be an American living overseas than it did back in 1999 when we first embarked on our tour to Greece. That was before the Euro Zone, before 9-11, before I even knew Al-Qaeda existed. You only have to glance up at the barbed wire fence surrounding the Stockholm Embassy to know the United States faces security risks. Naturally, I don’t like to think… Read More

It’s been a busy week with two birthdays, Jonah’s and Cooper’s. I bought a traditional Swedish cake to celebrate. These cakes are everywhere in Stockholm and on the island; it’s like déjà vu each time I walk into a bakery. Inside it’s layered with white cake, and whipped cream, and always (always) topped with green marzipan. It’s rich and filling, but surprisingly mild in flavor—frankly, it tastes like a Twinkie (only not… Read More

How did this happen two years in a row? We didn’t know it was school picture day, again, and Jonah wore the exact same Captain America T-shirt he wore last year! It was a size larger; his brother’s hand-me-down, but still. And his hair, oh my goodness…we were rushing this morning and he didn’t get it combed with gel. He ran out the door looking like an overgrown Chia pet! Sorry grandparents,… Read More

What could be worse than American reality TV?   Answer: Swedish reality TV. No, it’s worse than worse. It’s bad on steroids and not even in HD quality to boot. Why…you’re asking yourself…did I subject myself to this punishment? In all fairness, I had no choice. I was at the gym, (it has free childcare, need I say more), on the elliptical machine, (there’s only 2, it’s a small gym), facing four TV’s tuned… Read More

This generation, with iphones in their pockets, and wireless everything, who (pity them), didn’t grow up watching Little House on the Prairie, have no real concept of life before plumping and electricity, before the Industrial Revolution. These high-tech kids were exactly why Artur Hazelius, a visionary, wanted to create Skansen—a place where the past could be preserved and history revisited. The idea was to show people of the 19th Century, never mind… Read More