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.

Spring is just around the corner

At least I hope so. Today we are getting more snow but it should melt next week as the temperatures rise over 0 C degrees. On Wednesday it’d be as high as +5 C degrees already.

I’ve been working at my ’own’ job and continued at the packed lunch distribution. On top of that I’m now supervising matriculation exam students at my old high school. It’s been 32 years from my own exams and the school has undergone some serious renovations some years ago when it changed from middle grades and high school to just high school but the main part was familiar so I found places easily.

I was there last Tuesday and I’m going there again on next Tuesday and Thursday and then Monday. There were over hundred participants on the exams and we have to check their laptops and packed lunches for notes and then walk with them to the bathroom breaks and back to the exams room so they don’t get to sneak on their phones or something. The whole thing reminded me and my colleague of an airport; first the check out and security and then the lavatory queue, it was funny.

I still haven’t gotten my grade from the Organizational communications exam I took part last week. The book was quite a hard read and very USA centered which made it a bit difficult and tedious at some times. We had also a group paper to deliver and it took a bit of effort but we had a good group and it turned out good.

I’ve also knitted, I’m in the first sleeve of another Riddari sweater and from one other sweater I need to fix the collar. I also did some more masks to use with my woollen cap and some for hubby when he goes to the grocery shop.

Since I’ve mainly been a couch potato after work I’m adding the fandom fun Michele and Rachel already did.

1.Your favourite John and why:

Porter. Because he is loyal to the end (like me).

2. Your favorite Richard action movie and why:

Captain America. I may have a crush on Chris Evans too *blushes*

3.Your favourite pairing of Richard and ____

Oh dear, this a hard one.. but I’ll go for Martin Freeman and his perfect Bilbo. Their roles as Thorin and Bilbo complement each other and you get the feeling there’d be something more than friendship you know. And it makes me so sad in the Five armies when Thorin dies. It’s just heart breaking (which is why I didn’t put that on the pic).

4. Richards best trait is his ________

Well, I don’t know him but he seems to be kind and considerate and that’s always charming.

5. What one question would you ask Richard about his roles up to now?

I truly hope we don’t need to start a campaign for his roles to die always like the campaign Save Sean Bean had. Do we?

6. If Richard ask you to dinner and where to eat what type of restaurant would you take him to?

If he came here I’d probably take him to one of our Finnish cuisine restaurants. More likely I’d cook him some nice salmon for dinner and blueberry pie as dessert.

7. What song comes to mind to describe his acting career?

I think the lyrics match well 🙂

8. What board game would you play with Richard during another lockdown ?

I’m not so into board games so I think we’d play cards, a version of Rum or the Spanish Canasta.

9. What two fandom items would you give to Richard as tokens of appreciation?

Umm.. none? I don’t think he’d like them. For some reason I think he’d be embarrassed. Instead I’d knit him a pair of socks. Oh but I did that already, do they count? 😀

10. Complete this sentence: “Richard you are the ________ to my __________.

Chocolate to my ice cream. Is that too racy?

Congrats! You made it to the end! Have a piece of cake 😀

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.

It’s 2021

Yes, finally. let’s hope it’ll better one than 2020.

I’m not going to dwell on last year except to say that I’m glad it brought me back the joy of walking in the forest or more like the joy of walking and moving my body. As I was teleworking last Spring I realized that I needed to get out of my head after working day and got into walking for relaxation again and luckily I’ve managed to continue walking after the situation got better and I went back to my work at the actual place. This has gotten so far that last Tuesday I walked 12km home from my friends place, the first part we walked together to the Malmi cemetery.

I also started my Communication science studies again in November just to get the final three courses of the basic studies done and the first exam went through which made me very happy. Now I can continue onwards!

I’ve finally got all my read books in order in Goodreads and you can find them here. For some reason Goodreads counts some re-read books twice but not all which makes it interesting. My total count is 102, not 105 as they say.

Live music

Hi there! I’ve been mostly off line or done some small surfing on my phone during my free time since I get enough screen time at work and I’ve noticed my eyes grow tired after 8 hours of computering.

Yesterday evening my friend Mareetta took me to dinner to Tammisaari where we did a little summer evening dinner already on July. This time she wanted to see a Finnish-Swedish musician Fredrik Furu to perform. It was a free concert on a restaurant garden and since I had a work day we had some issues with the timing and rush hour but luckily managed to get there in time.

The weather was rainy and cold but the food and music were good so it was actually pretty good Friday evening. Some pics included.

In other news middlest son has been at home this week and last Saturday we did some wholesale grocery shopping which was good. They’ve been eating camp-ratios in the garrison due to the C-situation but it’s going to change soon, he ate like a growing young man. My aunt used to say young men have hollow legs and she knew since she had four.

I’ve been reading, knitting and crafting. I’m finally getting all of the old swaps I had forward, soem of them have been sitting on my desk far too long so I’m relieved. And a bit shamed but sometimes Life happens to the best of us. I wonder if there’s anyone swapping art decos on my readers?

Here is a pic of Sirius sleeping on my knee. I was trying to get to bed but you really can’t go when one is such s dear kitty, can you? On the other pic you can see our desk. We got some nice paintings from the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) to the House and there’s still some sculptures showing up next week. This painting is called ”Exhaust” by Petri Rummukainen and everybody says the bunnies are us, so you can guess who is the one with the handbag? Yeah 😀

I finally finished Lucifer Season 5. I tried to watch it just one ep per evening but it’s so good and then it was also very short season. Now I’m on Umbrella Academy S2 which doesn’t seem quite as good as S1.

A song by Fredrik Furu for you, he sings in Swedish but I think you’ll survive. I did.

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.

 

 

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 🙂

 

Long time no see

I can’t even remember when I last wrote here. I’ve been quite exhausted after the working-at-home during days and then in the evenings I’ve mostly tried to do something else than sit in front of the ’puter.

I’m going back to work (literally) tomorrow. I may have told you that there’s a refurnishing coming to the library and there needs to be some kind of clearing done. Our desks are getting removed and we’re getting new ones done and so on and before that can happen it needs to be cleared.

Hubby’s been on part-time layoff since Easter and he’s sent some applications to some companies and has now two interviews coming up next week. It’s pretty good and I hope he’ll succeed. He’s been complaining of his current job about all the time he’s been there.

I’ve almost finished the cardi I’ve been knitting, I’m on the second sleeve and then there’s the button strip left. The pattern was one of Drops Design and I’m lucky I’m not a beginner in knitting since it’s been weird, i.e. the sleeves should have been decreased from top to bottom which would have left the sleeve so narrow it’d not fit.

I’ve also been watching tv a lot and helped youngest son in his HE homeworks. Yesterday I uploaded ’Walk to Mordor’-apps into my phone in order to get my walks and upcoming biking km’s into it.

For piccies just go to my Instagram (on the left sidebar). There’s now also a video I took in the forest yesterday, I wanted to share the birds singing. Hope you like it 🙂