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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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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Another day at the paradise

Actually it’s been kind of long week at work even though it’s a public holiday tomorrow and I took Friday off. I’m just so tired, I get to bed too late and then I have to get up earlier so I’m in work at a reasonable hour even if hubby drives me there.

It’s been much too cold to start the bicycle season yet. Maybe next week. My osteoarthritis really doesn’t approve of the cold and when biking I’d need gloves and even then my knuckles would be freezing.

I’m planning a small gathering of relatives on June 13th to celebrate middlest son’s graduation. Before that we are celebrating Middlest son’s white cap and youngest one just between us.

The school’s are out on the May 30th and now the graduates will have an online-ceremony, i.e. the headmaster’s speech and they receive the papers in mail. Youngest son goes to school to get his grade paper but there’s no ceremony for the whole school. I miss it, maybe even more than the kids, so I decided that we celebrate it just between the family and am now googling suitable cake recipes. I need to call eldest son so he can come too.

At work our interior decoration is getting along nicely. Last Friday we ditched an old bookshelf out and I said I’m getting agoraphobia due to it. Next week are about to receive new desks so the old ones are leaving probably on Monday or Tuesday. Since we also lose our clothes cabinets I had to take RA’s The Crucible poster home. It and the cabinets will be replaced by an art work.

All the tall shelves will be replaced with lower ones too and our desks will be facing the entrance. We’ve been clearing ten year layers of things. Ten years ago we had a big renovation in the whole house and spent 18 months in a building next to ours and of course at the time we moved back there was a hurry and all kinds of s**t was just dumped back. Now we don’t have to deal with clients so it’s easier to go through old things.

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Coffee in a park

Today I met two of my closest friends first time since early March. We bought coffee and some cinnamon buns with us and went to a park to sit for a while. The wind was a bit chilly so after we chatted a while and drank our coffees we went to warm up to a bookshop but it was closing in ten minutes. We had still some time to browse books and stuff so it wasn’t all lost.

I’ve also bought summer flowers to plant in pots in out yard/garden and it’s nice. On Wednesday I did half of my day at the work place and the afternoon from home since I had a meeting to attend to via teams so hubby came to get me home and since I had lunch hour we drove via the City garden and bought pansies there. They have huge greenhouses because they grow all the flowers for the city’s summer flower beds in parks.

I haven’t been able to go for a walk in the evenings since I’ve been pretty tired and also my legs ache. I’ll need to go on weekend I think.

Youngest son is going back to school next Thursday and I think it’ll be okay. Middlest son’s graduation party is probably moved to the end of August but I’m thinking of having a small celebration for him in mid-June since I’m not sure the Army will let all of this spring’s graduates out on the same weekend.

I’ve been watching Young pope from Netflix and I find it quite funny. I’m not a great fan of Jude Law but Diane Keaton is very good. I’m about to finish the cardi soon.

ETA I almost forgot; I’ve been thinking about putting some of my fics out to the Archive but I’m still a bit hesitant. Two would be just one-shots and then a longer one about Avengers.. I’ll think about it again.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Winter break

I took this week off since the kids are having their winter break and I’m sick with flu, my throat feels like someone used a cheese grater on it and I have temperature rising. So I haven’t done anything I was going to do and instead I’ve been reading fanfics, doing art decos and watching tv and knitting.  (I’m knitting the cardi’s first sleeve third time since the pattern instruction was weird to say the least and I had to finally just do it after my own head.)

Last week middlest son had the traditional high school ending celebrations known as penkkarit (”benching”). The name comes from earlier days, my dad told us that when he had his penkkarit, the younger students carried them out from school on the study tables.  Nowadays the students have a carnival-type lorry ride in the city centre (it was awesome! One of the best school days ever!) and they throw candy to onlookers. It’s so much fun for everyone!

I and hubby took a few hours off from work, had a lunch together and then walked to the Old church park where it’s easy to see the lorries and kids. These days kids dress up as different characters, there was i.e. Money heist, Moomins and others. On my days we had just warm overalls meant for ice-fishing in the wintertime 😛 The lorries are also covered with sheets indicating which school it’s from, the students have done the artwork themselves.

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Middlest son is on the left side partly turned away, he has the pink Minecraft mask above his head. His best friend since kindergarten is taking pics and Julia was dressed as Little My with orange-red hair in the right side of the pic.

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Leftover candy, middlest son forgot half of his candy to school.. guess who’s been eating them.

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Birthday card for my friend Mareetta

 

On another thing, my two cents about The Stranger. I had some issues with it and I had to watch it twice to be sure they weren’t addressed. This is just my opinion; I really liked the actors but the plot was a bit meh. I must have read too many detective stories as it is.  A list of the things that really bothered me under the cut. Jatka lukemista ”Winter break”