Forest therapy

Today I managed to get to the forest again. I find it essential for my mental well-being to see the trees up close and breathe the free unpolluted air. Last weekend we were at my other godson’s confirmation party and it was nice too but since it was a rainy weekend I didn’t mind not getting into the forest.

I was lucky to find a lot of yellowfeet, in short time I had a decent amount of them which was great since I had a minor headache that blew up into a migraine. I had hoped it’d gone away in the forest but it didn’t. I think it’s partly due to the yin-yoga where we did some exercises to stretch the area between shoulder blades and I also had my osteopathy treatment on Friday morning.

I finished watching the Good doctor S3 yesterday evening. I must say that even thou I liked the series it got too syrupy and the characters begun to annoy me a bit. Now I’m continuing with Lucifer and then I probably continue with Bloodline which was also annoying, it started so slow I almost left it.

I went to movies to see the new Dune and it was amazing. I really liked it but I liked the old one too (I still have the soundtrack on LP). The cast and music were good but the photography was beautiful, it reminded me a lot of Tale of Tales. It was weird to be in the movie theater with restrictions minimized to one free chair between groups and they will be lifted in the beginning of October totally.

On Friday the post services finally delivered my RA auctions last item, thank you Jane. Since one of the coasters was already picked by a friend you’ll only get to see two of them here 🙂

Next Friday I’m having a day off and if the weather is nice I’ll be going with my friend Mareetta to pick mushrooms in Nuuksio forest. Now I’m going to watch tv and knit and pet Sirius.

September started

I’ve now been a month back to work and it feels like I had never been on holiday. Well, mostly. I don’t know why but I feel a bit blue, I think it may be the current situation and also that the summer has gone and even the weather is very fall-like already. Cold and wet and it doesn’t feel good in my joints.

Last Saturday we celebrated youngest one’s confirmation. We had most of my siblings, some godparents and some friends over and it was nice to see everyone. As usual we had counted for more people to come so we had cake all week. Also the flowers are still beautiful, except roses that I put to dry since youngest one wanted. I have a nice fragrance here where I sit typing this.

My pilates lessons have started and I’ve been to an osteopath, she does wonders to me and I always almost fall asleep while there. She is lovely young lady and loves cats 🙂 I also enrolled to Yin yoga classes, I hope it’ll be good for me.

Since I haven’t updated in a month I think here’s also a short video I shot at the cottage. I was sitting on the jetty/small pier in the lake shore and this little Mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) comes to sit on me. It was tickly.

RA 50 auctions

As Guylty has very generously given out in her blog post I’ll be donating the cd-audiobook The Martian invasion of Earth for the auction. I had thought of donating it already last year but forgot but now it’ll be perfect for the big 5-0 celebrations.

This post is mainly just to let you know that the cd-box includes two cd’s and is in pristine condition. I’ve only unwrapped it and copied the cd’s (because I like to listen audiobooks on my phone when I’m scrapping or doing house chores). Of course you can stare at Richard’s pic on the cover while listening if that is more your thing.

Below are the cast members. Richard and Lucy Briggs-Owen were very good as were the others too. A very enjoyable listening even if you’re not a fan of HG Wells.

Richard Armitage (Herbert)

Lucy Briggs-Owen (Amy)

Hywel Morgan (Curate)

Ewan Bailey (Daniel)

Richard Derrington (Ogilvy)

Helen Goldwyn (Agatha)

Christopher Weeks (Edward)

Benedict Briggs (Boy)

Nicholas Briggs (Martians / First Officer)

So there you go! Happy bidding!

Maritime museum and movies

This week we were expecting a bit cooler weather so we decided to take youngest son to the Maritime centre Vellamo in Kotka on Monday and it was fun.

Kotka is a city near Helsinki, about 90 minute drive from our house and I’ve never been there in all my life. My mom’s grandmother had a workmen’s dinery there in the early 20th century which is my closest connection to the said city. Kotka used to have a lot of paper and pulp mills and also an important sea port which is still one of it’s biggest employers. BTW Kotka means eagle in English.

We had first thought to visit Vellamo and then walk in the city which is now famous of the renewed parks, it’s said people drive annually to Kotka just to visit their parks but since it took us five hours to go through the Maritime centre we decided to save the parks for a later date.

The Maritime centre Vellamo was huge and very interesting. There was a nice exhibition of the great battle in Svensksund in the Russo-Swedish war in the late 18th century. We also got to visit an old ice breaker Tarmo and the Finnish maritime history including old cruise boats like Finnjet. My brother Kimmo was an ordinary seaman on a large Finncarriers carrier before he changed career due to raising a family so it was interesting from that point of view also.

In the museum there was a lot of all kinds of ships and such and of course there was also a part of Estonia shipwreck. Youngest son asked about it and I noticed it still makes me cry to remember so hubby got to explain the disaster to him. You can watch videos in YT if you want to know more, just put ’Estonia 1994 news’ on the search bar.

On Tuesday I had a meeting with my osteopath and it was awesome. Later I walked to the city centre to meet Heidi and we went to movies to see Mads in Drunk. It’s a story of four teachers who decide to do an empirical test based on a study about a human functioning best in 0.5 ‰ drunk. I think you can guess how well that goes down.

I’ll embed the last scene of the movie underneath just because Mads was a dancer before his acting career and the scene reminds me of the old fandom phrase ’You can take a man out of dance but you can’t take the dance out of a man’.

Then on Friday I took youngest son to the movies to see Black widow and it was much better than I had thought. Of course one of the highlights was to hear one of the Widows speak Finnish too. It was fun I must admit.

Middlest son got a call from his Captain and he now has place in the ND Uni and will eventually become a fighter pilot! Yay! So he’ll be living here with us next winter and then he’ll go where they tell him to. I’m glad he’ll be able to do what he always wanted to as work, it helps.

Tomorrow me and eldest and youngest are leaving for summer cottage for the next ten days. Hubby has to go back to work and middlest son maybe comes for a couple of days, I don’t know and neither does he. This time we are leaving Sirius the Cat home since I fear some fox or supikoira (European raccoon) will eat her. Also she doesn’t like car trips and we all know that (eww).

Here’s a pic of Helsinki from Tuesday when I walked from Kallio to city centre. The big red brick house on the far right side is the University’s Education theory building, for the teachers-to-be. The left side bank is called Säästöpankinranta (Savings bank shore) because in the late 19th century there used to be a very popular bar and the reason for the name was that poor students could drink there for credit. Hence the name 🙂

Artsy Friday

We are having a heatwave at the moment and in order to have something else to do than sit at home eating ice cream and sweating I planned a movie night with my friends Heidi and Kristiina.

Since I was going to meet them at a cafe before the movie I thought to go city centre a bit earlier and see the Repin art exhibition in our National gallery before meeting them. I had to queue for about 15 minutes bc I didn’t want to buy the ticket beforehand as we have a thing called The Museum card here (you pay an annual fee and get to see as many museums as you like, to cover the annual fee you must visit about four exhibitions). I only took couple of photos of my fave paintings and walked through the exhibition in 30 minutes.

You can browse the other art works in the exhibition here: https://ateneum.fi/en/exhibitions/repin/

At the cafe we shared our latest news like that I got through my exams with flying colours (I was quite certain I had failed) and then we went to see Cruella. It was very good. I had expected something else so it was a very nice surprise. Of course great actors, i. e. Mark Strong 😎, and both female lead Emmas’ among others and the costumes, music and charming doggies. All in all a very good movie! Go see it it you can. We had great time and enjoyed greatly our first movie after November.

That was my artsy Friday. I had good time 🙂

Today we’ve had hottest day this summer, +31c degrees in shadow. Hubby has been driving me to swim in the sea and so far the blue-green algae is not yet bothering us. It’s been wonderful. As the beach doesn’t have boxes to lock one’s things into while swimming Hubby has been watching my stuff as he doesn’t like to swim in the ocean here 🙂

Lunch dates and road trips

The beginning of my summer holidays has been busy. I’ve met friends over lunches and dinners and had lovely massages. I’ve also been swimming both in the Baltic sea and the public pool. We’ve had great weather, sunny and over 24 C degrees. Me like.

We celebrated Midsummer just at home. I bought five kilos of strawberries to put in the freezer for winter. We also ate about three kilos before that, the strawberries are so good now and they are all ripening now. I haven’t frozen strawberries for years but it’s a kind of civic duty here and people discuss where you can find the cheapest berries.

I’ve also seen some art exhibitions.

On Monday I, hubby and youngest son visited the Serlachius museums in Mänttä which has a Banksy exhibition. I reserved our entrance in good time already back in May. Since it’s an 3-hour-drive I was sure to get us booked in the afternoon and it was a good decision, we got to sleep and eat breakfast in peace without rushing (well almost.. teens you know) and then had a coffee break on the way. The exhibition was free and it was quite nice. We also took a round around the other exhibitions there and enjoyed them too.

We drove back via hubby’s childhood summer cottage but since it was already a bit late we didn’t go visiting his uncle. Besides hubby has such horrible memories of the place he was happy just to see it from the roadside 🙂

Today I went for a lunch with my friend Heidi. We were going to see an exhibition at the AmosRex museum but then we just browsed the shop and continued to the Helsinki City Art Museum (HAM) nearby. It was nice, the free side had some Tove Jansson’s works and the paid ticket side had some interesting art made by Katharina Grosse.

We were both a bit tired so it was a bit short day today. I had a osteopathy massage me yesterday and he found some nice sore spots in my legs. Last week he did my cheek muscles..

Some piccies underneath.

Here’s a song for you too. I quite like her voice.

Summer!

Today was my last day at work before summer leave and boy is it needed!

Last week we had a tad of drama at home as youngest son was about to leave for Lapland for his confirmation hiking camp and his best friend said he won’t come on Monday. They were due to leave on Tuesday morning at 6am. On Tuesday morning I go to wake youngest son and he says he’s been thinking all night that he won’t go since BFF can’t attend and I say that it’s not an option anymore, that now he just has to jump so off he goes. I was a bit worried I must say but today he came back and he’s had so much fun and made new friends and the hills were awesome and so on. So I was glad I pushed him to go. They also had awesome weather so he is quite sun tanned now.

Also last week at work we notice the clockwork machine is odd.. It’s been counting our hours wrong all WINTER (since last August) and only now someone realized it. Then we get an e-mail, it says I have about 200 hours of time uncounted! Geez I was a bit worried. Then my bosses say they are trying to find the error in the system with HR and I e-mail my workplace steward who is very concerned and with her support the bosses and HR do the clearing a bit more speedily. Today we receive a message that due to a mistake made last summer (when our contracts were updated after a two-year agreement done by the employer and the trade unions) mine and my colleagues hours were updated by wrong contract so we need to go through all of the dates since August. Luckily that can be done after summer holidays.

Yesterday I got my braces off! I’m quite glad of the result and today I had a consultation with my own dentist Kai so we can plan what to do next. Some of my crowns are a bit worn out and the plan was to change them but Kai said he’ll need to replace about five crowns and my corner teeth need some work done too. So the project getting my occlusion fixed continues.

My studies are finally about to finish, the final exam is on next Monday. I’m glad I did the essays in good time and now I have four and a ½ days to read three thick books in English about freedom of speech and social media. Yay. I’m so done.

Some piccies underneath, mostly from my garden. Hope you enjoy.

Also a suitable song by Lenny Kravitz since I have five days til summer. Boy I miss live music, Lenny was awesome ❤

Day tripper

Yeah! Me and my friend Mareetta did a Sunday trip to a nearby city called Lahti today. We left at 10 am and I just got home an hour or so ago. We had fun day.

First we visited a second hand store and then an outlet shop of an Finnish brand where I found one nice t-shirt and a light skort (skirt and shorts combination I really like, awesome for i.e. bicycling). Then we drove to the city and had a nice dinner at a local restaurant and afterwards we did some light shopping at a department store next door. From there we drove to a shopping mall a bit further since they had a lovely waffle cafe. After that we were about to drive home but decided to take a turn at the lakeside in the city next to the famous ski jumping hills. You may have heard of a Finnish ski jumper Matti Nykänen, these were his home grounds.

Since it’s been a holiday week again (a day off on Thursday) the motorway was so packed with people coming home from the summer houses that we decided to drive back via the old highway and it was nice. We watched the local houses and farms and enjoyed the scenery.

On other news; I’ve enrolled to my last Communications Science course which is a bout the freedom of speech and it’s okay I guess but so much writing. I need to write a paper of the lectures after I’ve listened to them and also I must read five books, of two of them I need to write a paper of and three will be questioned in an exam. Whoo boy. I think I took a too large bite with this one. Well, at least the summer holidays will be appreciated.

Last Tuesday I was getting my braces tightened again and the dentist said I’ll get them off on mid-June right before my summer holidays. On my last day at work (the next Wednesday after I’ve got the braces off) I’ll meet with my own dentist and we’ll plan what to do next. I hope I’ll get everything fixed during the summer, it’d be wonderful. The money I saved during this pandemic by not travelling will be put to good use.

Youngest son is going to his confirmation camp on early June, it’s a hike in Lapland. He wasn’t very happy when I said he needs to go but it seems he’s adapting to the thought. His best friend is coming to the same camp so it’s alright. On Friday I took him to shop all the necessary stuff, i.e shell jacket and trousers, woollen set of underwear etc. I think he was most happy of the new Marttiini knife he’ll need there.

I guess this is all for now so have a nice Sunday evening and awesome next week! Here is Sirius sleeping.

Preparing for May

It’s been spring weather here. last weekend was very nice, sunny and warm with +15 C degrees. I raked all of our yard and the cat was outdoors all night (I slept poorly). Now we’ve got snow and sleet and the temperatures are just around +3 C degrees. So glad I didn’t get any summer flowers from the shop yet.

I received my first shot of Pfizer a week ago on Thursday. During the evening my arm got so sore I’d barely lift it and I also had muscle pains. Then on Friday I did a short walk in the forest and back home almost fainted.

On Monday we had youngest one’s medical examinations (=blood works and ultrasound) and when we got to the lab we found out the doctor had forgotten to send the referral so we agreed with the nurse we’d go first to the ultrasound and I’d try to call the doctor so we’d get the blood works taken while in the hospital. So I left son to wait for the ultrasound and went to the pediatric department where a nice nurse did the call for me and I met youngest son halfway back to get him and we went back to the lab and got all his tests taken. Doctor said she’d call us if there was anything concerning results.

I’m glad they examine everything but it’s been a bit of a bother as the hospital is over 20 minutes drive and since I don’t drive hubby has to take us there. Luckily it’s been good with his work schedule.

Well back to the header. The year is turning to May and we Finns celebrate the May eve and The first of May as a national carnival. Now as the current pandemia is raging the traditional celebrations are available in the Net second time around. In May eve the statue of Havis Amanda at the city centre is washed and then she gets a student cap at 6pm when it’s a sign for all who have passed the matriculation exams to put their student cap on. On May day people gather to the parks and especially to Kaivopuisto in the city centre for picnics. The traditional labour marches are not so popular anymore. You can read more of Finnish Vappu here.

Since Rachel asked I thought to share with you the traditional sima (Mead) recipe. It’s fairly easy to make and is a nice and refreshing drink in summer time too.

***

Mead

4 litres of water

250 g dark sugar

250 g caster sugar

1-2 lemons

small amount of yeast (about 1 pea)

raisins + sugar for the bottles

Take a plastic bucket or large glass jar (or whatever the liquid fits) and boil half of the water. Put the sugars into the bucket, add both warm and cold water. Rinse the lemons well and peel their skin, put the skin into the sugar water. Strip the white part off of the lemons (it makes the mead sour) and slice the lemons and add them into the sugar water. Stir so the sugars melt, add yeast (be careful not to put too much yeast bc it makes the bottles pop).

Leave the bucket to a warm place over night or two nights until it fizzes when stirred. Add a teaspoon of caster sugar and about 5 raisins to each bottle before the lemon water. Strain the mixture through a sieve to glass or soda bottles.

Put the bottles to fridge or cellar (if you have one) and let them be about 4-5 days. Mead is ready to drink when the raisins float on top. Check the corks every day since you don’t want the bottles to explode.

Finnish mead is slightly alcoholic and the longer you let it ferment the more it fizzes. My mom once found a bottle from previous year and it was like cider.

***

I’m having a short working week. Since we don’t have clients and it’s pretty quiet at the place I decided to take Thursday and Wednesday off. On Monday is the last time we are sharing the foodbags as all the schools will open on May (youngest one is going tomorrow already) and on Thursday middlest son comes home again for a week.

I hope we’ll get decent weather so I’d get outdoors. I’m planning to open bicycle season too. In the pics some of my bakings and Sirius and my new Riddari sweater. I’ve also knitted a cap for a friend which still needs blocking and I’m currently knitting a light sweater for my cousin’s son.

Where did the chocolate eggs disappear?

I wonder where… Before Easter I was almost at the same weight as five years ago. After my mom died I gained some kilos and my thyroid acting up too made me gain weight. Now it seems the thyroid meds are in correct order and so I’m finally getting a bit lighter. During Easter thou it’s impossible not to eat good food and desserts which is good but luckily not every day is a holiday.

I had some days off during Easter, mainly because we don’t have much work as we don’t have so many clients. Since I last updated I’ve continued at the foodbag delivery and supervised matriculation exams at my former high school. It was fun to visit my old school, when we graduated it had middle grades and high school but it’s since turned only to a high school and now has about 860 students. At my time there was probably around 300 students all together. To house all of them there’s also been renovations done and built more space. Nowadays the high school specializes in media studies so the kids who go there can later find themselves working in some media career.

I have finished two sweaters, one is a Riddari and it’s very nice and the other is the Suolaulu sweater but it needs a bit tweaking still. I’ll take piccies and upload them around weekend (I hope).

Youngest son continues school at home. Now it’s decided that the middle grades go to school on schedule so that all the 9th grades are at school next week and then two weeks at home, then it’s the 7th graders turn and the 8th graders go last. Yay. I hope they all will be able to go to school on May.

Middlest son has been home from the army for a week since Saturday. He has done the single flying test and so can go flying alone when it’s allowed. He also applied to the National Defence University even thou he already has a place in the Engineering University. If he gets the place in ND Uni he’ll get to fly the new fighter planes when they arrive. I’m not so sure if I want to see that.. The ND University is located here in Helsinki, not very far from us and they have very nice facilities. His official army time ends in June.

Here are some pics. Yesterday I went to the forest for a walk but it was still pretty wet so I had to stay on higher ground and couldn’t get many pics. Here the spring is not as far as last year but then we had much less snow, almost none at all.

Oh and the definition for Easter witch is here 🙂 It’s a common tradition here and very much enjoyed.