Merry Christmas

joulukoristelua Ithacassa
... and very happy New Year 2007!

Here's still one photo from Ithaca, NY. My husband took it a little before he left the upstate in December.


Dog show

I went to dog show last weekend here in Helsinki. This video is from there. It was a nice show, I went to see the agility races. They are always much fun.

My husband got back from the USA today. Safe and sound.
The dog was very happy and so was I. There's a small Christmas tree in our living room. I thought it might be nice to have at least a small one. It brings you that Christmas feeling.


Finding some photos

I went through my book shelf and found some older photos. These were the ones I had taken in 2003. They brought back some memories of that summer.

Like this:

Here's my relative Kristine from USA in front of the so called "poor man". Wooden statue is in front of the church (this case Ilmajoki church) and in older times you were meant to put your coins inside for helping the poor.

Kristine and his father Waino were visiting us June 2003.

Panu's brother Mikko and Minttu got married in Hollola June 2003. Life really goes fast. It seems to me like yesterday.


Bread crumbs revenge

I went to have lunch with my brother and father today. My father was visiting Helsinki, he had a meeting here yesterday. I can recommend the Empire Plaza in Kamppi Shopping Mall. Nice food. Not as good as I ate in Chinatown, NYC, but OK for Helsinki.
I hadn't seen my father for three or four months so we had a lot of catching up to do. I told about my trip to the USA.
After the lunch my father left for train and my brother and I, we went to do some Christmas shopping. It's always so hard to decide what to buy. I'm not a much of a shopper. It always amazes me that somebody can consider it to be a nice relaxing hobby. For me it's just a lot of stress.
Later I visited a friend of mine who has a small baby. It was nice, baby was a cutie and her other child, who is now almost 2 years old, had grown a lot.

When I got home, dog was nowhere to be seen. This is not unusual, oftentimes he sleeps downstairs and is too lazy to get up. But what I did see, was some pieces of plastic and some bread crumbs on the kitchen floor. The naughty thing had somehow managed to drop my bread from the table. And of course, eaten it all.

"You surely have some stomach ache now", I said to him when he finally came to see me. I think this might have been a somekind of revenge for me not being around. You know, he sometimes does things just out of boredom or to annoy us. Usually he gets the trash bin from the toilet and spreads the papers and such around.


Back home in Helsinki

I must admit that this blog has been severely neglected during the past three months. But now I'm back home from my trip to the US.

The dog was happy to see me and I was happy to see him. Now he is watching what I'm doing here.

The evenings are boring because my husband is still in Ithaca. It will take about 2 weeks until he is home as well. We talk together with this Skype program. It's quite marvelous and let's us talk for free with our computers.

The work seems to be pretty much the same, I have some new things to learn, but that's it. I though it might be more different because there have been some major changes in the organisation.

And what I have been doing since I came back to Finland. Well, I have been working, taking the dog out for walks, swimming, cleaning, reading some books (Nick Hornby), watching some TV (news, The Lord of the Ring and some episodes of Lost) and shopping. I went for example to IKEA. It was crowded.

It's the Independence Day of Finland today. 6.12. We have been independent for 89 years now. This day is also a national holiday.

Later I'm going to watch TV. They will show, as always, the annual Gala Reception at the President's Palace in Helsinki, hosted by President of Finland.

If you want to peek what it looks like, see it as direct show (or later as videos) in YLE pages. Kuvagalleria = picture gallery, Videot = videos.



Visiting relatives in Utah, USA

The last week I have been visiting my relatives who live in Orem and Provo, Utah. I also visited a mining town called Scofield. During my visit we also went to see some of the beautiful canyons in Utah and northern Arizona.
Red CanyonThis is from Red Canyon, Utah.


In Ithaca, NY, USA

I have spent the last week in Ithaca, NY. My husband is a visiting scholar in Cornell University this fall semester. I have had a really nice time. Next weekend we are going to travel to New York city.


Holiday in Lithuania

We spent our summer holiday this year in Lithuania. The photo is from Nida beach in Curonian spit. Waves were nice and the weather just perfect.


... And the living is easy.

I have been working the whole summer - it's amazing how fast the time is rushing by.
Currently my husband is in Spain, he has a work trip and I'm alone with the dog. This weekend I'm going to do some gym and maybe go swimming on Sunday.

I took this photo of Zinnia (flower in my mother's garden) with my dad's camera - it's much better than mine. I'm seriously considering of buying a new digital camera. But what would be the best for me. Any suggestions?

Zinnia elegance - Tsinnia


Le weekend

I'm so glad I got the charger for my camera back. This means I can once again take some photos.
Rosa Pimpinella Plena - JuhannusruusuMidsummer rose

We went to Minttu's graduation. She is now a Master of Sciences in Geography.
Minttu, graduatedMinttu

Tomorrow we are going to barbeque, just me and Panu.


Lazy evening

It's one of those evenings - the air is filled with the birds singing. Somewhere an aeroplane going far. Still warm - it would be nice to drink something cool.

Went up to Vartiokylä fortress with the dog. The view is nice.



This week I travelled to Naantali, I was there in business - in a seminar. I stayed the night in Naantali spa hotel. It was wonderful - I sat in the whirlpool with 37 degrees celsius and did some swimming in that big swimming pool.

This weekend we met some friends and today I've been doing some work in the garden. It seems to be an endless task. I also went to gym and swimming with a friend of mine earlier today.

The weather has been nice, I hope it continues. It's really a shame that I have to work when the summer is finally here.


Trip to Loviisa and Ruotsinpyhtää

We travelled on Sunday to Pernaja, Loviisa and Ruotsinpyhtää. It was a nice weather, sunny and a bit warm. We ate lunch in Loviisa and later went to Ruotsinpyhtää. In Ruotsinpyhtää there are old iron works, part of which is nowadays a museum. Also some craft worker's shops. Some history of the Ruotsinpyhtää (in Swedish Strömfors) iron works here.

The most interesting thing I heard was that the iron works was run by a women Virginia af Forselles. She inherited the farm from her husband and ran it over 50 years.

In Pernaja graveyard I found a big family grave that belongs to family called "von Born". There was also a grave of the grandmother of former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme. She was Hanna Maria Palme, maiden name von Born (1861-1954).


Thursday - holiday

I have been in the garden today. I changed the places of some plants and planted the Dahlias my husband brought from Holland. It's a little bit late for the already, but on the other hand they don't tolerate frost very well. The little apple tree seems to have these little insects once again ...

And there are snails in the garden. I read somewhere that you should kill them in vinegar water and throw back to forest. Any other good methods for killing the snails?
Little hyacinths
Garden looks very spring-like. Tulips, hyacinths and such.

My husband went out with his friends, so I'm here alone with the dog. I suspect I'm going to watch some telly this evening. Maybe this tv serie called Lost. See what comes from Finnish television.


Always something new

Last weekend we were in the summer cottage in Hollola. We had a visitor from U.S., a professor who is a friend of my husband. The weather was nice, but not as warm as week before.

On Sunday we visited the Hollola church (built 1495—1510) and had a very good quide. I have visited this church several times, but you always get to hear something totally new about the history of the church or of its's statues. One is the Virgin Mary with the Child Jesus. It was perhaps carved in Stockholm at the end of the 15th century by a carpenter from Lübeck.

The ancestors of my husband have been the vergers of Hollola church between late 17th century until the beginning of the 20th century.



I suddenly have a big desire/urge to drink a cup of coffee- which is amazing because it's been over two years since I last drank coffee. I had to stop because my stomach didn't tolerate it anymore.

I can smell coffee, but perhaps it's still the smoky feeling in the air from yesterdays big fire in Helsinki city center. Makasiinit (the old railway storehouses) were on fire.

It's funny to think that about 5 pm I was sitting on the balcony of my working place which is pretty near Makasiinit and I was looking at people sitting on the grass in front of the empty buildings - just like any normal Friday afternoon with warm temperature. Everything seemed so peaceful. I didn't notice any smoke when I left from work (19.20).

I went to have dinner with my friends in a restaurant few kilometres away. A friend of mine, S, comes to the restaurant at 20.15 and tells that she saw a lot of black smoke coming from Makasiinit. It's obvious it's an arson. We are all mad - who are these idiots that are so stupid to make a big fire in the middle of Helsinki. I hope they will face the consequences of their deed in one way or another.

This has made me dislike the rioting activists even more. I have never understand people that destroy other people's or public property.

Other blogs about the fire 5th May:
The voyerism of destruction(Eng)
Makasiinit ilmiliekeissä (Finn)
Makasiinit (Eng)

08.05.2006 : My husband is reading this and says I shouldn't jump into conclusions about the activists. Maybe I shouldn't, but I think there are other, far better ways to protest than throwing stones to windows or destroying property.


Joy of Vappu

First of May - Vappu in Kaivopuisto

The first of May, Vappu, went just fine. We had a marvellous weather here in Helsinki. We had some picnic in Kaivopuisto park with a lot of other people. I had made some pumpkin soup and sandwitches.
Vappu eve we had dinner with some friends in restaurant Elite.


Six questions - kuusi kysymystä

I got this meme or challenge from "Tositarinoita ja haavekuvia" blog. So you should ask me 6 questions. Not seven or five, but six. They can be any questions you like, no matter how weird - just ask them.

HAASTE: Kysy minulta kuusi kysymystä. Ei seitsemän tai viisi, vaan kuusi. Sillä ei ole väliä, kuinka turhia tai omituisia kysymykset ovat - kysy ne joka tapauksessa. Liitä tämä sen jälkeen omaan päiväkirjaasi ja katso, mitä sinulta kysytään.

Jään odottamaan - I shall be waiting....


Cycling season started

My husband and my brother went cycling Easter Sunday. As you can see, still some snow there on the background but most of the roads are already dry.


Thinking of birds

Spring is near and it's the time to think about the birds. I wonder whose nest this is?
Picture taken in Jurva, Finland, 15th April Easter Sunday.


Finding family in USA

I found some relatives in USA last week.

My great aunt asked me to check if I could find her second cousins from the Finnish church books. I did, but many of them had moved to USA in the beginning of last century. Thanks to Ellisisland.org and ancestry.com websites I was able to find some of them. They had moved from Jalasjärvi, Finland to Minnesota Iron Range area.

I found their descendant Rita, who is my father's third cousin. It was so intresting to read from her mails what things are special to our family, like the musical talent. She told me that her grandfather Axel (Akseli) had played the violin.


Mini green house


The spring isn't exactly here yet, but it sure is in my thoughts. The temperature is about minus ten Celsius, but I'm already dreaming of next summer.

I'm about to start the growing season in advance. I bought this mini green house that you can place on the window sill. And of course, the seeds!
I have for example Snapdragon (Leijonankita) and Carpathian Bellflower (Karpaattienkello).

Seeds online in Finland:
Isoäidin kasvit
Exotic Garden



I've been having a digital day.
We bought a MP3-player and I had to find the suitable program to convert cd-songs to mp3 files. My husband of course wanted to fill the mp3 player with all of his cd's. I added my Misia cd, he put his Van Morrisson and Bob Dylan.

I phoned to my uncle who's in the hospital. He seems to be a little better.


Dull or not dull?

Bus stop Helsinki Winter in Finland is long and dark. The hardest thing to do is to get up in the morning and head for the bus stop.
Here's my bus stop in Eastern Helsinki. Not a place of joy...

Today I'm going to meet "Mr Citron", the CEO of a Finnish company. You can imagine why I call him that.

This evening I'm going to my choir. I have a pillow with me, because I've been experiencing some back problems recently. The pillow helps to sit straight. I should find my deep abdominal muscles and exercise them, says my physiotherapist. But how? It's so hard.


Not a very surprising result

The results of the presidential elections are clear now. Not very surprising result, so I didn't watch the tv and the counting today so much.

My brother came by later in the evening and we discussed about choirs and singing. He told me that he has joined a new choir. The audition was on Thursday. Good for him, it's a big choir with 80 singers.

Fun with the dog

Jekku, the Finnish lapphund My husband was playing with our dog Jekku on Saturday afternoon. Jekku loves his soft toys. The one in the photo is the cat number 2.
Later in the evening we went with friends to eat in restaurant Wellamo in Helsinki. The food was very nice - it has been a long time since I have eaten Russian pelmens. We used to make them home when we were living in Tallinn between 98-99.
Tomorrow I'm going to vote in the presidential elections. The choice isn't hard to make.


Beautiful morning

Ilmajoki 22.1.2006This photo was taken 22nd January, between 9 and 10 o'clock in the morning.
The sky is always so beautiful in the countryside. This one is from Röyskölä village, Ilmajoki.

It was a nice day at work today. I even felt some sort of enthusiasm and the time just went so smoothly. We had some guests in the evening and later I took the dog for a walk.

Tomorrow I shall go swimming with a friend of mine. It will do good for my aching foot.


Managing the cold - Punatulkkuja talvipakkasessa

bullfinches I'm glad that the period of very cold weather seems to be over today - it's only -7 degrees Celsius (19.4 F) . It was quite cold yesterday -20 degrees C (-4 F). We gave sunflower seeds to bullfinches (punatulkut) - as you can see in the photo- I quess they are both female, because they are not so red. I was once again in Ilmajoki last weekend, I was attending a seminar "Women in History" in Isokyrö.

The last book I've read: Anna Gavalda: Kimpassa (Ensemble, c'est tout) French journalist and author has written a witty novel about 4 people who start live together and learning to care for each other - their life becomes so much better

The last cd I've heard: Mísia: Drama Box
Fado and other songs with heart and strong female voice.


Odd habits - omituiset tavat

I got a task from Veloena. I have to reveal my strange habits, 5 of them. And then I have to send this task to five other persons. I will link the persons to the end of this post and I will notify them with comments about this task. They have to do the same.

"Tehtävänanto: paljastan viisi omituista tapaani. Tämän jälkeen valitsen seuraavat viisi ihmistä, jotka haastan tekemään saman perästä. Heidän tulee myös kirjoittaa nämä säännöt merkintäänsä. Linkitän haastamani ihmiset tämän merkinnän loppuun ja käyn ilmoittamassa heidän kommenttilaatikkoihinsa haasteesta ja tästä merkinnästä."

My strange habits:

1) I store things in plastic bags, even if I don't mean to do this. I guess the problem is, that I don't empty my plastic bags and they begin to form a collection. Yes, secretly I'm Kassi-Alma.

2) I'm drawing fingers when I get bored (like in seminars). Some fingers have long nails and some have rings.

3) I like to sit in National Archive (some might consider it strage but I love it) and go through microfilms including law cases from 17th century Finland.

4) I sing a lot of South Ostrobothnian traditional folk songs when I get drunk.
"...Anssin Jukan puukkoon se painoo
puolitoista naulaa.Sillä se sitten kutkutteli
tuota Pikku-Lammin kaulaa..."

5) I make funny faces when I'm alone in the elevator

I will send this task to Metal Mama, Greygriffin, Narcissa, Hanna&Ida and Ellinoora. I hope they will reveal their own strange habits - because actually it's quite fun...


How many times I have moved?

The car is OK now. We got the battery changed - there was something wrong with the old one.
This week I'm going to start to be active again. Tomorrow I shall have the Swedish lesson with our teacher Carl and on Wednesday I will attend the choir rehearsals.
I wonder when I start the excercises in the Gym - next week perhaps? It's been quite dull to have a long flu. I don't know if I will be able to do anything anymore.

I discovered a new meme:
How many times have you moved homes in your life?

1990 From Southern Ostrobothnia to a student flat in Tapulikaupunki, Helsinki
1993 To another student flat in Vallila, Helsinki Tallinna
1995 To a university town in Southern Germany
1997 To a new flat in Helsinki
1998 To Copenhagen, Denmark

1998 To Tallinn, Estonia
1999 To Southern Ostrobothnia
2000 To Helsinki, a flat in Munkkivuori
2000 To a flat in Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki
2004 To a house in Eastern Helsinki

That makes 10 times.


Car trouble

Monday didn't begin very well. I was leaving for Helsinki. I tried to start the car in Ilmajoki but it didn't. Lights came but the engine was still. The battery was so dead.

Luckily I had the cables, so we jump started the engine with the help of my dad's car.

Now I'm a bit tired, 350 km of driving by myself all alone. Just the radio and the dog to keep me company.


Countryside visit

This weekend I've been visiting my parents. My husband was in business trip in USA, so I took the dog and we decided to have some quality timesuomenlapinkoira walking in the middle of the snowy fields.
The weather was nice and sunny. Winter at its best.

I'm sorry but the dog Jekku didn't want to pose for the camera.