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

Old fortresses

Yesterday I made another outing and decided to check on the old fortresses we have in the neighbourhood.

They are part of a string of defence fortresses cut into the rock in the 1914 when Finland was still part of the Russian empire. They were built just before the WWI as Germany declared war against Russia and never used. Now they are grown full of trees, there’s all kids of junk and kids (and teens) love to play in them. Hubby used to play in them as a child in the 1970’s and he says they were quite unsafe. Some that are located near residential areas are often used as compost for garden waste which is a disgrace.

The first one is actually pretty near to our house (around 500 metres) and on the way to kid’s school. The others are on the other side of the school, about a mile from my house and I just had to take a pic of the murals too.

I hope you enjoy the photo journey 🙂

My corona

I’ve had that song as an ear worm now for several days and it’s driving me crazy.

I’m still on sick leave all of this week. Next Monday I should go to work even as our whole house is closed and there’s no classes for adults except the Finnish courses for immigrants and their reading and writing lessons so we are quite alone there.

All the museums, theatres, schools and libraries are closed as of today until April 13th(?) but since I work for the city we’d find some substitute work if we can’t go to our workplaces. At my work we are planning to get ready for the summer as our library will be getting an interior make up with some refurnishing and there’s lots of things to get rid of or clear and the book depository in our cellar should be re-organized too. (I just can’t work there because of my work-related asthma and it’s a shame since it’s such a meditative place to be.)

Atm I’m not very keen on getting back to work especially since my boss sent a message yesterday about the three of us should work out how to do our jobs in our minuscule library and not be on the same space all of the eight hours. I wonder how that will work out.

Hubby is working from home and youngest one too.. except now he is chatting with his friends. Every hour or so there comes a message from their teachers about homeworks. Yesterday he crumbled about English teacher wanting to have an online-class next Tuesday at 9am. It’ll do him good.

They’ve also got home economics, art and PE teachers’ lessons and homeworks in the digital apps which I find interesting.

Well, I’m planning to do some sewing or something and not just sit here. In the Finnish message board I visit was panic still going strong and it gets tiring. I’m not very panicked since all of this will pass. One way or other.

 

Hello again

It’s been a while since I updated but something has happened.

Last Thursday I had an appointment to my work doctor since I had pain in my toes and feet joints and also because I had some blood tests taken. In my bloodworks the sugars were a bit high and also cholesterol was not so good and the doctor (a very nice lady) said that if I’d lose some weight they might drop and I said I’m planning to because of middlest son’s graduation and I must fit into my dress. So I’ll have new blood tests in the fall. About my joint pains she put me forward to see a physiotherapist which comes up in April and she tought I may have plantar fasciitis on top of the osteoarthritis which makes my toe joints painful.

Then I went to work and a bit after noon my phone rang and it was the nurse from the thryoid operation. She asked if I might be able to come on Monday since I had let them know I’d be available for cancelled times and I said Yes! even as my workmate was having lunch and I couldn’t ask her. So I got all the details, had to go to another blood tests on Friday and the operation would be on Monday afternoon.

When my colleague came back from lunch I was a bit worried but luckily we have a guy called Jyrki who does 20h/week for library and he had hours left from the winter holiday week when there is no classes and my colleague, Jyrki and my boss Sirkku all agreed that I’d go to the operation now. That sorted I was a bit relieved and much more worried, operations are always tricky imo.

On Monday afternoon hubby drove me to the other side of the Helsinki metropolitan area and I got in to the hospital and so on. The operation went nicely, everybody was very nice, the surgeon was skilled and I woke up without my thyroid glands. Later the nurse told me the surgeon had described them ’quite something’ so I guess I was right in getting them operated. I spent one night at the ward for monitoring and because I’m always quite sick after operations due to my feature of motion and travel sickness. On Tuesday when the lunch stayed inside I was given permit to leave and now I’m two weeks at home on sick leave.

When I left work a week ago Thursday I joked that I’m going on a two week corona isolation by my own choice. Yeah.. Hubby is staying home to work all of next week I think, he was just putting his works together for next week and getting a laptop to take with him.

Middlest son has his matriculation exams right now, still three exams next week to do. I hope they manage to do those without trouble. The good part is that they are seated separately and everyone has their own table so I hope we’ll stay safe. Youngest one has had sore throat all week and has been at home, I’m expecting more info from his school concerning the corona situation.

I’m going to watch tv, read, write and knit and slouch on the sofa with Sirius and family. Youngest one and me already finished 11th season of Doctor Who but I’ve got all Star Trek TOS and then there’s all of Richard’s, Jason’s and Karl’s works to go through. We are well prepared.