MISC – Värmland
Help your furbaby have a good summer!
According to the Swedish Board of Agriculture, there are close to one million dogs in Sweden and over 700,000 dog owners. Come summer, there are many things to think extra about when it comes to the dog’s well-being.

Algae – Hot summers, it is common for our lakes to suffer from algal blooms. Algae can also be found in water barrels and other places where water is stagnant. This is very dangerous for the dog. Signs of algae poisoning are that the dog becomes anxious, begins to tremble and vomits. If this happens after the dog has bathed or drunk water where there are algae, contact a veterinarian immediately. Algae poisoning is uncommon but often leads to death if not treated in time.

The car – The car is not a good place for the dog in summer. Even if the temperature outside is not very high, it can get dangerously hot inside the car in just a few minutes. Just opening the car window a crack usually does not help. If you encounter a dog that is overheated or is having a heat stroke, quick action is important. Take the dog out of the car and cool it down by showering it with cool water.

Ticks – There are many ways to prevent ticks that hitchhike in your dog’s fur from biting. At pharmacies you can buy spot-on preparations and tick necklaces. If you turn to a veterinarian instead, you can get tablets prescribed as tick prophylaxis. Some claim that special amber necklaces help the dog against the ticks. Should the small bloodsuckers still get stuck, it is important to remove them as quickly and efficiently as possible, with tick pickers or purpose-made tweezers. Dogs can be affected by, for example. Lyme disease just like us, but fortunately it is far from all ticks that carry it.

Leashes – The Act on the Supervision of Dogs and Cats states that during the period from 1 March to 20 August dogs must be kept under such supervision that they are prevented from running loose in areas where there is wild game. This does not necessarily mean that the dog must be on a leash, but you need to have such control over your dog that it corresponds to an invisible leash. The law is in place to prevent dogs from disturbing or hunting wild animals during the time of year when they have their young.

Snakes – For us humans, Swedish snakes are not life-threateningly poisonous, but it is different for our, often small, four-legged friends. Most dogs get bitten in the snout and recover. The mildest cases of snake bites lead to swelling around the bite, but in the moderate cases, damage to the internal organs occurs. The degree of damage depends on how much venom is injected. When the dog is bitten in the paw and puts pressure on the leg, the contractions of the muscles contribute to the spread of the venom. Therefore, it is important to carry the animal after a snake bite and see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Toads – During summer vets are often visited by dogs that have suddenly become a little lethargic and drool. A lot of times this is due to toad poisoning. The condition is not dangerous but can be bothersome enough.

Sun / heat – Many dogs (and cats) love to lie in the sun, just like us, and just like us, they can get sunburnt. Especially white dogs are at risk as they have less pigment and are more sensitive. The heat can also be a danger as dogs cannot sweat like us and therefore cannot get rid of excess heat. Remember to make sure that the furbaby have access to shade and always have water accessible when it is hot outside. Another way to help the dog with the summer heat is with a cooling pad.

Have a pleasant summer!

Your dog wants to swim too…
Portuguese water dog Millie dips her feet at Bomstad in Karlstad.
Photographer: Lena Grahn
Millie enjoys the doggy beach with an umbrella to protect from the sun.
Photographer: Lena Grahn
So it is summer and sunshine and we want to cool off with a swim, but what do we do with our furbabies? Many dogs love to swim too but unfortunately they aren’t welcome at most public beaches. Here we have put together a list of places where you can have a swim together:

Bomstadbaden, Karlstad – have their own little doggy beach

Frykstabaden , Kil – have their own beach for dogs next to the municipal one

Sunne Campsite – have a designated area where dogs are allowed to swim

Sommarviks Campsite, Årjäng – have their own beach for dogs

Vågsjön, Munkfors – a lake in the woods where everyone is welcome

Lillsjön, Deje next to country road 62 south of Olsäter – you are allowed to bring your dog as long as you respect other beachgoers

Sölje Campsite, Glava – have their own beach for dogs approximately 70 metres from the regular beach

Kristinehamn Manor House Campsite (Herrgårdscamping) – have a designated area where dogs are allowed to have a bath

Munkeberg Campsite, Filipstad – there is a small beach for dogs

Torsby Campsite – have designated areas where dogs are welcome

So let your dog have a swim this summer! Just be careful with algae when the weather is warm and make sure to respect other beachgoers!

No summer without shrimp sandwiches!
It may not be a specialty from Värmland but more of a Swedish one but we do love our shrimp sandwiches and all cafés worth mentioning have their own shrimp sandwich on the menu. There are certain ingredients that just need to be on a genuine shrimp sandwich like shrimps of course, along with eggs and mayonnaise. But naturally many feel they want to make their own version of this beloved food.

Below follows a list of cafés that serve this delicacy, but please don’t miss out on all the other lovely restaurants and cafés that Värmland can offer:

Värmskogs Café
– come in several different sizes with lots of shrimps. According to hearsay around 20 tons of shrimps are needed every summer!

Storfors – have a luxurious sandwich with 300 grams of shrimp.

Café Freja
Kil – a café known for their shrimp sandwiches with a view and also their motor meets.

Café Slusswakten
Karlstad – is rumored to serve the best shrimp sandwich in Karlstad.

Nordells Konditori
Arvika – on homemade bread from their own bakery.

Esthers Café
Långserud – served on black rye bread with a dot of red caviar on top

in Klässbol – serve with a rolled up slice of cheese on top

Café Stationshuset,
Lesjöfors – eat your shrimp sandwich in a combined interior design shop and café.

Bjurbäckens Slusscafé
Bjurbäcken, Storfors – homemade bread and hand peeled shrimps in a lovely setting.

Yummy! I bet your stomach rumbles now!

Hello, my name is Lena and I am a shabby chic-addict
That is how I could introduce myself if I went to an AS-meeting, that is a meeting of like-minded, anonymous shabby chic addicted people. We are many who, with wide and desperate eyes are searching for IT. When the hunt begins you might not know what IT is, rather it becomes clear only when you stand there, the first one to the prize.

Hawkeyed and with the speed of a viper no means are too rough, and woe to those who would stand in your way when IT stands before you, ready to change hands.
I don’t know how many times I’ve pushed and dragged home dressers, desks, hatboxes, baskets, lace textiles and broken chairs over the years. The joy, however remains the same and the feeling of finally finding that one thing simply cannot be described. It is as if beautiful bubbles of champagne are bursting all over your body and you want nothing more than to smile at all you see.

Our eyes meet now and again, you can almost feel it in the air when another equally eager bargain hunter is on the prowl, looking for that unique and beautiful item you just have to have in your possession. If you’ve just discovered a treasure, you shy away from nothing. You crush the opposition with quick and decisive decisions whilst snatching the item and shrieking in a panicky falsetto “I’ll take it!” all the while maintaining a hostile glare in the corner of your eye and noting with satisfaction that you won. That you were faster than the others, the others to whom you would never allow first place.

Should you examine yourself, you would find that it revolves to a high degree around winning. To sail away with a smug smile with the, for the moment priceless find. Cradling it lovingly regardless of how heavy, cumbersome and dirty it might be. If you were lucky and had thought it through beforehand you might have brought a bicycle or even better a car with a spacious boot. But how often is that the case? No, more often than not you have little choice but to carry and drag your spoils through the woods, sweating rivers, arms aching and simply aren’t enough. What can you do though, when you’ve suddenly met the love of your life in the shape of a crooked wooden chair that might even be missing a leg – what does it matter when love strikes?

Finally home the items are put on display, brushed and cleaned. It is then that the bleakness of reality shows itself. Where on earth should this cabinet be placed and what was I thinking anyway? It hits you then that necessity truly is the mother of ingenuity. If I move that dresser, remove that table and squeeze the armchair between the sofa and the table whilst getting rid of that shelf I may, may be able to place the new, beautiful, old, worn down and broken wooden chest. The one I have no clue what to do with, but so badly wanted to come back home with me.

As you can hear, to love interior design and especially shabby chic, is like a drug, you constantly crave more, it’s never enough and you search for more and better fixes. Patina, abraded and vintage are words which chime so pleasantly in the ears of myself and my fellow addicts. I smile blissfully simply by writing them down on the cream white paper of my beautiful notebook adorned with ribbons, thought-provoking musings and a few angels.

You can never have too many angels and angel wings, of course they can’t be in just any state rather they must have a certain gaze and expression. Dreamy, sweet or sorrowful doesn’t matter as long as the look is misty, almost fuzzy. Madonna sculptures are also fine, a missing foot or nose almost makes it better, it provides them with a different form of dignity and surrounds them with an old nearly antique mystique. A Madonna radiates a feeling of motherhood and love, it is a common sight in a shabby chic enthusiast’s home.
Hand in hand with angels go old, gorgeous pieces of lace and pearls, preferably worn down by years gone by. It should be easy to tell that they have been part of the decadent parties of the roaring twenties, carried by someone puffing on a cigarette holder and partying into the early hours of the morning. You can imagine the atmosphere and the joy they have been part of and that now lingers in those small, innocent white pearls.

Gazing like a fishmonger examines if the fresh fish truly is fresh, I examine lace, whether it is as old and fragile as appearance would suggest. There are really only two types of lace, sewn and bobbin lace. All others are imitations even if they also are old. The history of lace is long, interesting and reaches as far back as the 16th century. A very long time ago, lace was comparable to gemstones and was valued more than even gold. Today you can find these delights for next to nothing which makes the hunt for the right type of lace even more rewarding. You can afford to be selective and take time to find the right texture, pattern and nuance.
What do you need all this lace for, asks my beloved who most often trudge loyally alongside me. It’s like asking how long a string is, there is no straight and easy answer rather it just ends. I might wake on a Sunday morning when all other house occupants are sound asleep and tiptoe up to see if the newly caught lace wouldn’t be perfect as décor on that old hat box, I bought on the internet late last night. And of course they were made for each other and together with the pieces of the old broken pearl necklace sprinkled on the top of the box, I have created a unique and beautiful addition to my interior design that no one else have in their possession.

I believe that much about us who are born Ms. Shabby Chic revolves around being a little special and unique. To not march along well charted paths but to trailblaze and fight through the thicket. Lots of imagination and patience are virtues to possess, as are strong arms and legs. To have a place to put all the finds you drag home, the ones that might not for the moment fit in but once in a different shape and colour may one dayfind a place in the right surroundings of our unique and cosy, if somewhat over-furnished, but charming home.

This is your guide to barbecue fire safety
Ola Åkesson heads the Emergency Service’s fire prevention unit in the Karlstad region. Here he tells you how to barbecue with fire safety in mind.

In the summer many of us turn into master chefs in the forest and on land, and at home in the garden. Grilling is one of the most popular activities in the summer.

-I think we are quite good at managing the fire risks, but it is a different story with the handling of disposable grills, says Ola Åkesson who heads the Emergency Service’s fire prevention unit in the Karlstad region. Most of all, he would like to see them disappear.

– During the dry summer of 2018, there were actually retailers who removed the disposable grills from their assortment. They also cause littering, and they put animals at risk as they are difficult to take with you.

About disposable grills
Åkesson admits, however:
-Of course, disposable grills are simple and flexible. I use them myself sometimes. The thing to keep in mind is to have water, or maybe sand, available so you can extinguish the disposable grill and take it with you after the grilling. Of course, you should avoid grilling on piers and the like.
In a normally dry summer, the Swedish people’s passion for grilling is not a major problem, according to Åkesson.

– It is actually very rare that grilling causes more severe fires. People handle it quite well. However, problems can arise when a fire ban has been in place for a long time. Then people tend to lose their patience and return to old habits. It is important that we can reach out to the mass media and clarify the seriousness. Furthermore it is also problematic to reach out to foreign tourists with the message.

About banning fires
During the summer of 2018, there was a fire ban in many areas of the country and for a long time. The questions of whether lighting a fire could still take place safely and under what circumstances were many. Not least when it came to grilling in your own garden. Ola Åkesson clarifies what applies:

– The concept of banning fires was modernized after today’s use of open burning and now there are two levels, a regular fire ban and a stricter fire ban where the stricter ban may be enforced if there are very dry and extreme conditions. In general, it can be said that a fire ban does not apply to gardens and courtyards in residential areas, but the ban on lighting a fire only applies outside cohesive settlements. In the event of a stricter fire ban, however, it may be relevant to ban fires that are not intended for cooking even WITHIN cohesive settlements.

About gas grilling
Gas (LPG) grilling generally poses a greater risk of fire than coal.
– It is important to look over the gas grill hoses and the seals at the connections. Both visually and with the help of soapy or detergent water.

What should you keep in mind when grilling in the forests and on land?
– The very best thing is to use fixed grill sites. The municipalities have become good at those and they reduce the risk of fire. These are even found on small islands. If you light your own fire, it should be surrounded by stones and it must not be too dry around the fire place. The site must be carefully chosen with regard to wind strength and wind direction. It is important to be prepared if you have to put out the fire quickly. Ola Åkesson says and looks forward to a nice and safe barbecue summer.