Day 6: Things I learned in Stockholm

An elevator (aka lift), is identifiable by a silent HISS:

This is a Western Jackdaw (image from because those taken on my phone are poor quality). We kept hearing and catching glimpses of the bird yesterday, but weren’t sure what it was. Now we know. A Western Jackdaw!

It’s possible to walk a whole lotta dogs without any muss or fuss:

The National Library of Sweden has very nice toilets that are FREE to the public, plus nice statuary next to the entrance/exit:

Zebu, Zippy, and a very chill woman.

The last thing I learned? It’s WAY easier to take photos with my camera and download them to my laptop than to transfer between phone and computer . . .


Twofer Tuesday: Tulip edition

Today’s post is brought to you by people who no longer live here. The first tulip was planted by former neighbors, but not when we were gardening side-by-side. Rather, they did one of their infamous “drive-by plantings” when we weren’t looking, and gifted us some miniature tulips.

The next tulip is a senior citizen and was planted by the former owners of our house. Next month, we’ll have lived here 20 years.

That red flower is a lesson in being beautifully tenacious.


Bunny Monday


When we were together in Florida last October, sister Katie spotted this Marsh Rabbit sitting next to the water in Kapok Park. No big deal, right? Just a bunny hanging out.


You know why? Because other residents of Kapok Park include these:


When I look at this photo, JAWS music plays in my head. (And yes, I know this is an alligator and not a shark.)

So, it’s actually a very big deal to be a small rabbit chillin’ in that habitat. And maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here: the environment is treacherous for that Marsh Rabbit, but she survives by being vigilant and standing her ground.

On this Bunny Monday and going forward, I aspire to do the same.




Bunny Monday

This is what I saw out the window this morning, a bunny at rest. A symbol of calm in the universe.bunny-at-rest

And then as the bunny hopped to another position, I noticed this:torn-ear

I guess that’s to be expected.

Because nobody goes through life without a scar.
Carol Burnett


Mail drama

Too tired to go into all the details, but will say that I truly do appreciate the employees at my local post office. It’s a whole new experience trying to mail something to another country. Throughout the lengthy transaction (itemized Customs Form, I’m looking at you!), the postal employee was patient. I messed up a number of things and she set everything right.

I’ve long been a fan of the people doing that vital work and today want to publicly salute everyone at the United States Postal Service. Thank you for your service.

United State Postal Serevice logo

There are major efforts being made to dismantle Social Security, the public schools, the post office – anything that benefits the population has to be dismantled. Efforts against the U.S. Postal Service are particularly surreal.
~  Noam Chomsky

I’m with you, Noam.


Fight or flight at the library

I’m at the library again, doing my best impression of The Little Engine that Could. My study carrel is in the quiet section that is liberally decorated with these signs:

About an hour ago, a man had a conversation on his phone within spitting distance of one of those signs. Several people glanced around as if to say, “What the hell?” but no one did anything. Including me. I figured we all deserve one free pass and that was his. Well, the dude started up another phone conversation. So I channeled my inner Pete Seeger who once said, “If there’s something wrong, speak up!” (and yes, I do realize that Pete was talking bigger issues than cell phone etiquette.)

I stood quietly by the man’s carrel as he continued to talk. And the longer he talked and refused to acknowledge me standing there, the more uncomfortable I felt. But I stayed put and when he hung up, I held out the sign and politely said something like, “I wanted to remind you about this.” He finally looked at me and his faux surprise at seeing the sign was laughable, but he did say, “Oh, okay.”

And that was it.

I’m taking the time to blog about this because I couldn’t believe how much adrenaline was pumping through my system after that interaction. I felt physically ill because of one polite conversation regarding cell phone usage, and I’d like to figure out why.

At this point, the only thing I know for sure is this:

Pete Seeger quotation





This may or may not be evidence

Zebu has completed two years of college and is getting ready to study abroad for the next year. He just finished sorting through an accumulation of notebooks, folders, and binders filled with paper from high school and the last two years.

He came across personal notes that made him cringe, Calculus test scores he’d rather forget, and class notes from his all-time favorite class so far, a Latin American history course.

Here’s something I rescued from the recycle pile:
Zebu vocab notes

He believes it’s from a high school English class and as he held it out for me to see he said:

“This may or may not be evidence of me cheating on a vocab test.
I honestly don’t remember.”

Know what?
I honestly don’t care.

Gaining perspective is a beautiful thing.



Give me adorable, STAT!

I’m a big fan of Craigslist and have used it to buy and sell and give away all sorts of stuff. I’ve had some annoying experiences (I’m looking at you, SAGA OF GIVING AWAY THE FREE ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE), but nothing too bad.

This morning Zippy figured out that the PayPal deposit Zebu received for the laptop he was about to ship out of state was fraudulent. When the guy texted Zebu to follow up on the scheduled shipment, Zebu informed him that we knew it was a scam. The guy tried to bluff his way out of it and Zebu ignored him. A couple hours later Zebu received another text: the guy said he was alerting the FBI. (Obviously, Zebu needs to block that number.)

Instead of jumping in the car for a road trip to Missouri to beat the guy’s ass, I’m gonna look at these three.








Do unto others

Yesterday I posted some photos of myself along with a few words about my uneasy relationship with cameras aimed my way. Less than 24 hours later, I took out my camera and pointed it at Zoey.
Zoey at rest

Zoey doesn’t like her picture taken, either. I know this and yet I sometimes try to coax her into looking my way. She’s a big-hearted dog who wants to please me so she usually complies.
Zoey with faraway gaze

But only up to a certain point. Then she lets me know I’ll have to settle for blurred images.
Zoey has enough

Oh, my Sweet Zotato. Thank you for not sinking your teeth into the pushy photographer.