Halfway through August

So I’m back in the city and work too, it begun last Monday and I’ve been so busy with everything.  Youngest one’s school begun on Thursday too.

The cottage weeks went quickly and I enjoyed time with my eldest and youngest son and Sirius. Middlest son visited for overnight as eldest picked him from the city and then gave him a lift to the garrison which is an hours drive North from the cottage. I did some foraging in the forests and picked berries and mushrooms. We had some encounters with wildlife, i.e. bats, and one day we drove to Jyväskylä to meet my cousin and one of my local friends popped by for a coffee. Very relaxing and nice two weeks.

Here at home besides work I’ve been busy sewing masks for myself to use in public transport as it was finally recommended by the authorities. There’s still a lot of people not wearing masks.

I’ve also been washing laundry from the cottage and also from the clearing I did here at home. I’d still go through my clothes to see what to put forward and what to keep. I have less clothes to wash now as middlest son is in the army, he used to change his clothes so often that the basket was always full.

On Friday evening I had coffee date with my friend and we decided to visit two art museums in Helsinki which was nice. The other one has great cafeteria, so after the first museum we then decided to have dinner at this one and checked the exhibitions too and afterwards had coffee and cake. It was nice to catch up with her too.

On Saturday hubby went to buy us more firewood and it was a bit hot weather to put them into the shed later but I love doing outdoors things in good weather. Today we watched middlest son give his oath via live-stream so now he is finally a conscript and not a rookie. Usually they get a vacation after the oath but these days the vacation is postponed still two weeks. In his speech the general said they haven’t had any of the boys sick with Covid19 since spring which is really good.

I’ve finished knitting a scarf, I finally got more yarn on Tuesday. I visited my dentist and afterwards went to my hairdresser and as I had a spare moment I did a quick visit at the yarn shop near her place. Oh and my dentist suggested I’d get braces as now my back teeth are getting too much pressure so I’m going to have a consultation made in mid-September. There’s always some moneypit one can throw her earnings.

This is about all from me for now. Pics in instagram and read books in Goodreads on the right side sidebar.

This and that

It’s been kind of busy here since the last time I posted. Last Friday I had coffee with a friend of mine at the city centre. It was fun to chat for a while and have a nice cuppa in a coffee shop I had never visited before.

On Saturday we visited the Hämeen linna, a castle which dates back to 13th century. It’s been ages since I last visited it and it’s been much improved over the years. We also visited the Military museum right next to it and it was also quite interesting. There’s some pics also on my Instagram on the right side of this page.

On Monday I had my bloodworks check and then we went to Ikea to buy some clear plastic boxes I needed. Now the things are finally getting along as I managed to clear one place, i.e. a cupboard I’ve been using as the quick storage when we’ve had guests coming and needed to stuff things. It was so full of things I didn’t have anymore space for ’quick cleaning’. Finally it didn’t take than just about an hour to clean it and now I have more space there again.

Yesterday I visited my friend M’s parent’s house. They live in the neighbourhood I used to live during my school years. We’d have met earlier with M but she went to the Steiner school (=Waldorf education) and I to the public so we only met when she came to my earlier workplace as my maternity leave substitute. So M’s parents have a huge garden full of roses since they are rose collectors. They also have a grapevine which has been growing well despite it being outdoors. Their house has been featuring in a Finnish children’s movies called Heinähattu ja Vilttitossu (Hayflower and Quiltshoe) as the siblings home. (You can see it in this video at 0:24.)

We had coffee at the garden and then me and M went for a drive and found ourselves in the city of Tammisaari about an hour’s drive away. We had nice dinner and did a little walk around the old city which was closing up at that hour and then we had coffee and cake at the restaurant on the wharf. Pics on Instagram again ->

Today I visited my friend Heidi and then came home. We had some leftover candy and as I was eating it the last crown on my upper jaw broke.. Of course the time was just past 16pm as I tried to call my dentist. I have his private number too and as it’s the first number on my contact list I accidentally chose it but disconnected right away since I thought he had gone home already. After a while he called me and asked what happened and after I had explained he said that he’d have a small window of time between patients in half an hour if I could make it and I said yes (since we are going to the summer cottage I wanted to have the tooth fixed asap) so hubby drove me there and I waited a bit and then Kaj took a look at the tooth and said he’d just file it because it was a crown and it’d be fixed with better time. I got a date with him in August when I’m back at work but I’m so relieved now. (Have I mentioned I f*love my dentist?)

I should be doing things to get ready for cottage life but since it’s been a chaos this week and middlest son is coming for his first free period off army I think we’re leaving to country side with youngest and eldest on Friday. I don’t yet know if we’ll have the car for the whole time there or what but we’ll see that too.

Now I’m going to watch some tv. Yesterday I watched the Old Guard from Netflix and it was all right. And a trick question; is that Karl or is that my dentist? 😉

KarlCl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning, books, baking and movie

I’ve been mostly offline, mainly because I begun to clean my bookshelves last Friday and it spread a bit. It took me three days to clear the books and organize the shelves and then I had to clear my writing desk and the chests underneath in order to get everything out and re-organized. It took two days..

Today I’ve been cleaning the ”boys room” which used to be first eldest and middlest son’s room and then middlest and youngest one’s room and now it just middlest’s. But since there were so many layers of history to go through it takes time to clean.

But now it’s all done! Now I only need to take the overflow books to the second hand center (for a big 2nd hand shop retailer) and get some clear plastic boxes for all the myriad of playing cards we have obtained from our travels… There’s some jigsaw puzzles too which some I’m keeping and some I’ll give to my cousin’s little boy. I used to do a lot of puzzles before we had kids but now the cat likes to sleep on them so it’s a bit of a hindrance.

I managed to listen to all of the Alexander Gregory stories by LJ Ross. The first two were read by Hugh Dancy and they were good but I must say that RA’s reading is on a different level all together. (Or maybe I’m just biased.) I also listened to a podcast about opera made by a Finnish actor Antti Holma. He is very funny and he lives now in NYC because his husband is one of the harpists in Met so he made a podcast of how to opera.

I also started the Sandman audioplay (that’s probably the best word for a comic turned into an audiobook) and it’s very good. I love Neil Gaiman’s voice as the narrator, he was so good in reading ’The Ocean at the end of the lane” too which is one of his best novels imo.

On Monday when it was a bit less windy and more sunny I managed to finish ”Milkman”, a novel by Anna Burns sitting outside. It was a hard read. Actually in the middle I just leafed it through so I know what happened. I seldom leave a book unfinished because I think you can always get something out of a novel but boy this one was hard.

As middlest son left to the army I inherited his root. First he said he’d dry it but I said I’d try to bake some bread with it and so I did. We went to movies on Friday to see ”Parasite” and I bought a book about how to bake with a root. On Sunday I took a bit of the root and on Monday evening I finally started the dough and yesterday baked a lovely sourdough bread. It’s so good I’d eat it all alone.

About ”Parasite”: I really liked it. It’s one of those that sink in later. A great movie, very Oscar-worthy and a globally touching story. In the movie theater we had our own row, there were some people on other rows but you’d only buy tickets for two people and then there’d be two empty chairs between other people but since we were just three and there were not many people we sat together. (Sorry for the confusing text.)

Now I’m going to watch some tv. I started to watch ”Stateless”, an Aussie serie in Netflix and it’s very good about paperless immigrants and a woman who’s escaping a cult ends up in the same detention centre. It’s very interesting and it’s also got Cate Blanchett in it who I think is the most beautiful woman on Earth and my fave actress. Some of the New Zealand-made Netflix series have also been very good, I especially liked ”Wanted” and not only because of Deano (*blushing*). He was also very good in ”The Bad seed” but I don’t know if that’s on Netflix since I watched it via our public broadcast company YLE.

But now Sirius needs some scratches and I need coffee and knitting and tv 🙂 CU.

Immersed

I was spending about all of my waking hours in the Rain Wilds last week. I was rereading the Rain Wilds Chronicles by Robin Hobb and during the night I dreamed of them. I love Hobb’s novels and I’ve been slowly rereading all of them and it’s been a real pleasure. It’s always been like this for me when I read her books, I get so immersed it’s hard to do anything else. I don’t get just as deep with Tolkien or other fantasy realms but the Six Duchies touches my soul differently than others. Maybe it’s the dragons; I’ve always loved Hobb’s dragons, they are like cats, very independent and selfish but in need of servants.

We’ve had horrible weather ever since last Tuesday. The wind blows like it was Autumn and the rain sloshes down at every hour (except right now). In June I was worried the plants would die from drought and now I fear they’ll need a lifesaver so they don’t drown.  I can’t even go to the forest to walk because the ground is so wet and since it’s so blustery cycling is hard. On Thursday when it didn’t rain until evening I visited a friend by bike and my knees have been aching ever since.

I came home via the graveyard where my father’s grave was, we gave the lease up since none of us (me and my siblings) didn’t much care about the grave site. Me and my sister agreed that we can just as well light a candle for our father in the remembrance site in the graveyard. In Easter me and hubby visited the grave and then the stone was still there but now they had already taken it off.

Middlest son left early this morning to the Air Forces base in Central Finland. He’ll be there 11 months and due to the Covid19 we don’t yet know when he’ll going to come home. I guess we’ll hear about the off-weekends later this week. Yesterday we had eldest son for dinner and since tomorrow would be middlest son’s 19th birthday I baked a cake and it was all very good but now it’s very quiet here. Just me and hubby and youngest son. Luckily Sirius meows every now and then.

I started to knit a shawl but had to change the yarn. The first yarn was a very nice yarn and I loved the color but since it was handpainted it kind of lost the brilliance in lace knitting and vice versa.

 

 

Winter pelt

Here in Finland we call the first swim in nature waters after winter ’throwing one’s winter pelt’ and since it’s been quite warm weather these past days I got rid of mine. The sea was wonderfully warm, I was expecting the water to be colder and was surprised when it wasn’t. I could have stayed in the water for all afternoon yesterday but.. Hubby doesn’t like to swim in ’cold water’ as he says and youngest one wanted to skim the stones off the water surface.

We’ve celebrated the Midsummer just being at home and enjoying it, I’ve read outdoors and already have nice tan. Middlest son has been mostly with his friends since he is going to the army in the early June. His friends cut his hair, it was to his shoulders but now it’s shaven 1mm long. He looks so much older it makes me a bit weepy.

Tomorrow is my first official day of summer vacay but I took Thursday off already and it feels like I had already been several weeks away from the office. Our new work desks came but they can’t be put on place yet since the acoustic wall-to-wall rug must be washed during summer. Well, it’s nothing we can do so we’ll just have to wait and see.

Due to the Covid19-situation the public swimming halls have been closed among other things and I thought that since hubby is working on Tuesdays and Thursdays now I’d go for a swim in the mornings since we can’t do any short trips until he gets off. I missed swimming during the closing, it’s my fave sport (pilates is another of my faves).

Since we are not traveling outside Finland this summer I have time to go through the cupboards I’ve used to fill with things when we get guests. I should also go through my book shelves and re-arrange them. Whoo boy.

 

Normal people

I’m watching the tv-serie Normal people which is based on a novel by Sally Rooney. I haven’t read the book and I doubt I will even thou the tv-serie is good.

It tells about a young couple, Marianne and Connell, who start dating in the high school and then their on-off relationship through college years. It’s been a bit of a task to watch because

  • it’s kind of too artsy. I mean the high art when you try to pretend to understand all the nuances and it gets a bit boring to reflect everything through the Deep Meanings (you know what I mean here).
  • there is too many sex scenes. I don’t know why but we are back to the 80’s now with all the official sex scenes in movies and tv-series. Sometimes less is more you know, it gets boring pretty quickly.
  • it hits too close to the young girl I once was, just as unsure and doing what I was told by my boyfriend. And I don’t want to remember the time nor the boy nor the girl I was back then. Of course I’ve changed and people do, they grow up but it’s hard to watch. I guess we’ve all been there.

So yeah.. just two eps to go. And a button strip to knit.

On to other things. We’re having middlest son’s graduation party next Saturday and I’ve counted that all together we’ll make about 30 adults including us.I’ve been cleaning the house and baking all weekend. I washed the kitchen windows today and I don’t think I’ll wash any others during this week. I still need to wash the floors before Saturday.

Yesterday I baked a bundt cake which my sister loves, it’s called Sandcake since it’s very dry and today I did some ’gentry cookies’, they are a traditional small cookie in weddings and other kin parties. Here you can see a pic of them, I cut them heart-shaped because I like it more.

Hubby has been cleaning our garden furniture and finished painting them today. One of our neighbours came to inquire where we bought them 🙂

At my work we’re waiting for our work desks to arrive. If we’re lucky we’ll get them this week which would be great since we’re off to our summer holidays on June 18th and come back on early August just as the clients arrive too. On Friday I got rid of all the music class books the teachers had decided they didn’t need anymore and it took me all day to shred the books off the covers. I was quite done afterwards.

Here are some pics. The music class pics show the state of Friday morning before and after lunch. Then there’s some Rhododendrons from my yard and the last pic is of a Finnish actor Jasper Pääkkönen, whom you might know from the Vikings and the BlacKkKlansMan. This pic was in an article and I was just thinking how here in Helsinki our (famous) actors can just casually bike around the city, nobody bothers you (much).

Now I need to get my beauty sleep 🙂

 

School’s out

Yesterday was quite different than I expected in January. We were supposed to have a big graduation party for middlest son but now we only had nice dinner with all of us here and it was okay too. Some of our relatives and friends are coming here on June 13th to celebrate him so it’s all right.

I did a test-cake of rhubarb and strawberry filled cake with meringue-cream icing and it turned out pretty good. I’ve never made meringue icing so it was interesting to learn that too.

Youngest son begun his summer holiday yesterday and he got good grades too. Both of them went to school to get the paper and later in the evening middlest son went to his friends house and came home in the afternoon.

As I said to Rachel we have my MIL’s old recipe booklet for pizza from the early 80’s. It’s got recipes for all kinds of pizza’s, i.e. one with liver and another with kidneys or anchovies and European cisco (fish). Eww. Here is a pic of Pizza with Sardines, the lack of other pics is due the fact the booklets didn’t have nice pics. They looked more just mushy and were not clear enough for photographing.

There’s a bonus pic of Sirius. I was reading on our balcony and she came to sleep on me. I love when she does that because our old kitty Sysi was much more reserved after being in a shelter as a small kitten and hardly ever slept on or with anyone. Sirius was born on an pony farm which had puppies born at the same time and she is a bit like a dog, i.e. she comes when you pat your knee and some other small things too.  I really loved Sysi too, don’t get me wrong, she was an awesome kitty and was very protective of our boys when they were babies but she was shy. Only when she was old (18-y-o and forward) she slept on my lap in the evenings. But as a cat-person I love being a cat-mattress.

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In-between

I feel like I’m in-between everything nowadays. I guess it’s normal at this time.

Last time I told you about the blog I was putting up. Just as I got it ready to be published my boss said we need to do it in Google Sites because the City organization we are included uses it… so yeah. Been wringing it there about since and finally got it ready yesterday and I must say I just effing hate Google Sites. Have you actually ever tried doing things with their stuff? It sucks. It looks pretty nice but the usability of the thing is nowhere near even blogspot. (And it sucks too.)

Hubby’s company has put everyone on part-time layoff and they are not sure if the company’ll pull through. The managers of course have got huge financial benefits.

I went to hairdresser today and it was awesome to see someone live who isn’t part of my family. We had a nice chat and recommended tv-series to each other since we like the same kind of things.

When this is over I’ll probably not fit into my old clothes anymore. Youngest one has had to all kinds of baking as his HE homeworks and middlest son does dinner and baking.

I’m knitting yet another cardi and planning to buy more yarn for mext one.

Well.. see you next time. Piccies on the right side menu in my insta.

These times

On Friday I cooked some sort of tian, a Provencal veggie dish I found by accident when googling something else. I used eggplant and zucchini and it was so good! I also read ”Everything I never told you” by Celeste Ng on Friday and it was really great. I loved her novel ”Little fires everywhere” but for some reason this was better imo. I also finished listening to ”Patient man” by Joy Ellis, read by Richard, today and it too was very good.

Yesterday I was a bit down. One of my best childhood friends had her 50th birthday and we couldn’t celebrate them. We’ve known each other since we were 9-y-o and their school’s all pupils came to our school for the school year as their new school was getting built and on one of the first gym classes she asked to be my pair and now she’s eldest son’s godmother.

Since there’s no celebrations during this time me and some of our mutual friends gave her together a gift card for a pedicure and a bunch of flowers delivered to their house and it was nice to surprise her. I also sent a greeting card from our family.

My friend is  working as an X-ray nurse in the pandemic hospital which I must confess makes me a bit worried. I’ve also been a bit blue since on March 27th it was the 5th anniversary of my mom’s passing and this is always sad time for me.

Luckily we had good weather during the weekend and yesterday I made a 90-minute walk in the woods (and my legs ached all night), heard finches sing  and later helped youngest son to cook us dinner and dessert since it was his HE homeworks.

Today I sorted the old cook books and recipes in kitchen self, it’s been on my to-do-list for ages. Did you know that in the 70’s it was recommended to cook pizza with liver or European cisco (fish)? I didn’t throw those recipe books to the bin yet, I’ll keep them as a curiosity.  Later me and hubby changed the cactus’ dirt and pots which has also been on the list quite some time.

There was an article about Finland’s stockpile of supplies in NYT if you want to read. There’s an old joke which goes: ”What does Sweden have Norway and Finland don’t? -Good neighbours” (neither Finland nor Norway appreciate Sweden as high as they could, sort of sibling rivalry).

Tomorrow I’m going to work for a few hours since my workplace health care is in the neighbouring house and I need to go there for some bloodworks (thyroid). Hubby will drive me there and also collect which is nice.

 

 

Working from home

I’ve been working from home this week. I thought I couldn’t because I’m an assistant librarian and there’s not so much for me to do from home but my boss had thought about it and suggested I’d begin to put up our library’s blog which has been a long-discussed project and so hubby drove me to my work last Monday and I picked up a laptop to go and then he came and drove me back home. We had a short briefing with my colleague (she lives quite literally next door) and I also had a chat with Tuija in the office, she was  the only one there. There was also four of our doormen since their boss is a d**khead and doesn’t let them do other jobs the city could use them for, so they sit in the empty house without anything purposeful to do.

I finally managed to get the blog together yesterday but I’m not happy about the look and I think I need to tweak it still. I think mostly my unhappiness with it comes from the point that I haven’t been able to show it to anyone and have been alone on it. It’s a collective thing and I feel awkward doing the basic outlook by myself, I need mirroring and brainstorming. On Thursday I was so frustrated with the whole thing that I did a longish walk to the grocery store, it took me over an hour all together but afterwards I was in a much happier place.

On the other hand there’s been lots of good things too since I’ve been learning something new every day. I couldn’t get the laptop into my workplace VPN from home but with a little help from one of my colleagues I managed to get get over it and do something else instead so now I can do most things like I was in the library on my own workplace.

I like to be at home but I miss my daily walk to the metro train station and it’s too easy to let the working hours spread into the evening by ”I’ll just do this quickly” you know. I have never been great on working from home and I still prefer going to the actual work place and after working hours to close the PC and door and get home. also I get less reading done since I don’t have to commute. It’s not easy to pick a book for lunch because I could more easily just work through the lunch time and eat a sandwich or something by the laptop.

Now the government has closed the most southern part of Finland off of the rest of the country because people were swarming to Lapland and summer cottages to smaller districts which have less capacity if people fall ill and need ICU. How idiotic can people be? Einstein said it right:

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Well anyways. This too shall pass. Meanwhile enjoy Richard in a nice jumper.

RA Daniel