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.

Wintery times

We’ve got more snow and now the weather getting colder again, next week temperatures should drop down to -12C degrees. I don’t mind, I’ll rather take the rain in snow than in water during winter time, and the cat goes out anyway whatever there rains. Actually she really loves the snow, she plays in it and hunts the snowflakes too.

I’ve been helping at the teleworking students lunchpack sharing on couple of Mondays now and it continues next months too. The students are both from college and vocational school and there’s four schools they can drop by and get their lunches for a week. I’ve had a lovely group of people to work with, two are from my own workplace and one is a former colleague from the City Library, we have great humor too so the days go by quickly even if there’s all kinds of mixups and mess to clear up. For example on the first Monday the students name lists were not in alphabetical order but on the order they had enrolled to the service. It cased some serious queueing which is not very nice atm.

At work we’ve been doing some serious digital jumps again with teaching our teachers how to use Google Meet an such. We’ve also digitized some materials for the teachers so they can keep their lessons from home more easier and then there’s all the online-meetings.. Some days my ears are sore of the earbuds and eyes from too much screen time.

On this week some of my friends had their birthdays. On Wednesday I had dinner my friend M with who we saw Uncle Vanya in London last year. Since we haven’t met since November I gave her now the lovely wooden Christmas decorations made by Rachel and her SO and bought from the RA-fandom Christmas auction. She loved them and was very happy to receive them.

Yesterday I met two of my friends in Ekberg’s, one the eldest cafes in Helsinki, which is very classy and has delicious cakes. I bought some cakes home too since Juhana, middlest son, came home from the AirForce for the week and youngest one, Jimi, Has his birthday on Feb 8th and today we had Jarno, eldest son, on dinner too so it was small birthday party for Jimi like this.

I’ve been watching McLeod’s Daughters and now I’m halfway through 3rd season. It’s nice to watch something easy while knitting and I’m eagerly waiting to get on 4th season so I’ll see Deano soon. I’m also watching WandaVision from Disney+, it’s very interesting. Earlier this month I watched Midnight Sky, the new film by George Clooney and wasted two hours of my life for such a crap. It was horrible. I also watched one Finnish Detective series called Ivalo (Arctic Circle) and almost strained my eye muscles while rolling them too hard, it had so many twists that it’d have easily filled three seasons.

Well, tomorrow I need to concentrate on my studies at the Open Uni, I’m now doing Organizational communications course and it includes video lessons, a homework and a book exam of one very thick book. Aargh. Not to mention I’m reading some very good detective stories which doesn’t make it easier to start reading for the exams.

Oh! I bought an activity bracelet just to keep an eye on my steps and so far it’s been nice. I have also lost some weight as a consequence. Not bad.

Saturday and a Schrödinger’s cat

This week we’ve finally got a proper winter here in Southern Finland. We got about 50 cm snow in two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) here in Helsinki met area and on Friday we got freezing temps as they dropped to -22C degrees. It’s been interesting to say the least. On Tuesday the traffic was jammed because of the snow, luckily a lot of people were teleworking but still.. I had to go to my dentist after work as the braces needed to be tightened and I walked the three kilometers because I couldn’t rely on trams working in schedule. It was good excercise I can tell you. When I got home finally hubby said he had cleared the yard of snow three times. In this article you can see some pics of the snow storm.

On Friday I was teleworking as it was such cold day and I had a meeting starting at 8.30 am so it was easier this way. Me and hubby had lunch at a Nepalese restaurant in a nearby shopping mall, it was very good. Youngest was supposed to have cross-country skiing at school but it was changed to walking which didn’t please him as he loves cross-country skiing. He would have had ice skating at school on Thursday but he dislikes it so much that he refused to take part on the class and I had to message with the teacher about it. I hope he’ll get to cross-country skiing some time this winter.

Youngest one had school doctor’s appointment on Monday so I’m now officially shortest person in our family as he passed me by two and a half centimetres.

We also have a Schrödinger’s cat living here. Sirius doesn’t know if she wants to go out or be indoors and so mostly we are not sure if she’s indoors or outdoors. Luckily she knows to drum on hubby’s window to get in.

The first three pics are a view from our library to one of the most important roads to the city centre. I couldn’t find a pic I saw in the newspaper on Tuesday where there was a traffic jam just outside as several trams couldn’t get through the intersection due to snow and the rails freezing. In the third pic you can see the beginnings of a two-year-long tram rail and pipe renovations, it’ll be awesome (not).

Rest of the pics are from yesterday and today, on the first pic with Sirius you can see how much we got snow.

I thought to share with you a picture thing which was going on in FB. It was for celebration of grannies so here you can see me with my grannies.

In the first one I’m with my maternal grandmother Eine, she has some pond-lilies on her hand and I guess we are coming home from a nearby farm where we used to buy milk at our old cottage. Usually Eine had a sock knitting on hand, she also taught me to play cards.

On the second pic I’m sitting with my paternal grandma Augusta, she was a seamstress and has made both of our outfits. This is from my confirmation day which was a big thing. She also made the best pancakes and meatballs.

On summer time I used to be at the cottage after school year ended first with Augusta in June and then when my parents had their summer holiday we took Augusta back to Iisalmi, her home, and then as my parents had to go back to work at the end of July Eine would come with me to the cottage. Eine was born on 1901 and Augusta on 1904, they had both lived through the civil war and it was never discussed in our household (which is kind of a loss imo), they both lived to 90.

Just a quick one

Since Guylty asked to see more of my art (art and me being a bit too much said on same sentence) I’ve taken some quick pics of couple of things I’ve done.

I used to paint porcelaine. It was a dear hobby for about 15 years but then I changed workplace and couldn’t attend to the classes anymore so it was left behind. I still occasionally paint something by request, i.e. a plate for my godson but it’s very rare.

These cats are one of the last things I did on my classes. They are copies of a Finnish graphich artist Frans Toikkanen’s cats he made with mezzotint print. I was glad I managed to paint them on porcelain with their spirit intact.

This is just a quick drawing I made for my journal last year, on September pages. Actually it was the first draw for an Art Deco themed ’In the forest’ but I didn’t like how it turned out so I made another one for the deco and kept this myself. I like it more now.

Well. Another Christmas holiday over and tomorrow it’s back to work. Middlest son left back to his garrison already, their flying lessons will begin in few weeks (I’m a bit worried.. mothers you know) so I’m trying to concentrate on other things.

I received a wonderful gift on my birthday in September, my three best friends bought me a writer’s course. Of course it has writing assignments which was to be expected but I’m about to stress myself out with them too. I should write a short text every day and then there are other writing assignments too.. Well, it’s only ten lessons and then I’ve the lessons available next six months so I’m trying not to beat myself too much with that.

Oh well. Let’s enjoy a kitty in snow!

Happy Christmas

To all of you on the other side of the screen.

Today we here in Finland celebrate Christmas, my family and I have already had Christmas dinner (nobody wants to eat anything today.. except some chocolate..) and soon it’s time for us to exchange gifts Santa has left under the tree.

Middlest son comes home on Boxing day and has leave until Epiphany. I took some days off-pay leave and I’m also at home until Jan 7th. I feel I’ll really enjoy this short leave. I’m going to read and sew and start my new bujo. My goodreads says I’ve read 100 books but since it counts re-reads twice I have about three books missing from the count. Luckily I’ve got some books halfway through.

Here are some pics from our Christmas.

The flowers I received from my employer from the work I and other workplace stewards do. I think it was really nice of them.

Then there’s our Christmas tree and the gingerbread biscuit village I did and the last one is of the bujo covers I made last Sunday.

ETA I almost forgot! Today me and hubby celebrate our 28th Engagement Anniversary 💕

December halfway

Last entry I wrote was a week ago. Well, it sure feels like it was a decade ago.

On Sunday we had eldest son over for dinner. He invited himself to celebrate the Finland’s independence day with us and it was nice. It was quite like I’ve wanted them to do when they grow up and move out. So we had nice dinner, then I cut his hair and then he and hubby went to sauna. meanwhile I cut youngest one’s hair and the he went to sauna and hubby drove eldest home while I went to sauna. It was nice and quiet celebration as we like. By tradition we lit two candles on the windowsill at 6pm, that tradition dates back to the Finnish civil war; the candles indicated a safe house for the White side.

The beginning of this week has been a blur. I’ve been to work every day and yesterday evening I had my first Communication sciences exam in the Open Uni since 2016 when I left them since I had depression, I only managed to do two courses back then so I’m hoping to get the rest of the basic courses done now. I’m planning to continue studying the deepening courses next fall but we’ll see. This exam was a book-based thingy, I had four books to read about political communications and it was interesting and the exam wasn’t too bad. My goal is just to get through the exam so nothing major.

Tomorrow we have an five hour meeting and I’m doing it from home, I took both my work phone and laptop home. The first part is of the things concerning the organization and the rest of the time we have anti-racism lecture. I find it interesting. We already had discrimination lectures earlier this fall and they were good too, they make you think about hidden behavior and organizational discrimination. I’m planning to go out for a walk with the meeting in my phone since it’s on Teams app so I get to enjoy a bit of daylight outing at the same time too.

Just some update

Youngest son’s nose is fine and straight again and I truly hope we’re done with hospitals for this year *knocks on wood*.

At work we’re now closed again since the Covid19-situation got worse here in the Helsinki met-area. I also didn’t get to my last Pilates lesson this year as they were closed too.

We are still working in the library and there’s things going on so I’m not going to telework from home much. At the moment we’re going through the expired loans and client register which has been ignored a while. I also need to refresh my InDesign skills with our Spring happenings leaflet.

Next weekend I’d do some reading for my Communications studies and make Christmas cards and bake and so on.

This is my Spotify Christmas playlist if you’re interested in listening to Christmas songs. I genuinely dislike most Finnish Christmas songs since they are very dreary.

Nose stuff

Youngest son’s nose is fixed. In the morning we went to the hospital and after waiting in the kids room for two hours he got in and the deed was done in 45 minutes.

The cartilage next to the bone was a bit crushed by the blow and the surgeon lifted it. Now he has a tampon inside his nose and an outside support, hopefully it’ll be okay now.

Hubby came to pick us up and they drove via my workplace so I managed to do some hours.

On this morning our city mayor said in the Covid19 newsflash that all libraries, sports places, secondary schools and adult hobby places will close in near future which means my workplace will probably close too next week.

After I came home we watched Galaxy Quest with youngest one. I really love that movie.