Nasu likes flowers

Mikko's cat Nasu is fond of flowers. As you might notice!


Between Hindsby and Landsbo

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Originally uploaded by Riikka's photos

Mushroom forest in Sipoo, Finland. We had a lovely afternoon.



Day in a forest

Picking some mushrooms in Sipoo.
Found some nice ones.
I especially like the chanterelles.
Porcini is great too.


I'm still here

Cordelia asked if I'm still here - I am, even though I have been working overtime lately.

It's already the end of August and we have that feeling of autumn in the air. I have always liked the autumn days.

And what I have been doing, here's my last week:

*Friday 17 working, my husband left for a trip, watching the Mulholland Drive by David Lynch. Walking a really long walk with the dog.

*Saturday 18 doing some work in the garden, shopping, reading, cleaning, talking in the phone with a friend for a long time.

*Sunday 19 preparing a speech, getting my husband from the train station but beeing late

*Monday 20 working and working

*Tuesday 21 working and being tired

*Wednesday 22 working, giving a speech to some researchers and attending a panel discussion, later meeting some friends in a pub.

*Thursday 23 working, cleaning, watching some episode of the Lost.

Sounds pretty boring, doesn't it?

I am waiting
- the swimming hall in Eastern Helsinki to open after the summer break
- women's choir weekly rehersals to start
- French for travellers course to start
- the concert of Bo Kasper's orchestra next Monday in Helsinki
- a nice weekend for a mushroom picking trip to a nearby forest


Cheese salad with some fruit

It's Sunday, and pretty soon it's going to rain.
I'm sad. It's the last day of my vacation. Do I really have to wait another year to have this feeling of freedom again?

Why I can't be a child again, without responsibilities? to wait and not to remeber. Not trying to stop the time, but encouraging it to fly.

I have been reading some Finnish food and recipe blogs. Nice idea. I began to think that I could share one of my recipies as well. Cheese salad with some fruit - I make it quite often.

Cheese salad with some fruit (for 4 people)

-some lettuce
-some lollo rosso
-6 fresh plums
- 1 apple,
- 2 kiwi fruit
- 200 g blue cheese
- 200 g Finnish cream cheese (or gouda)

sauce: 0,75 dl olive oil, 0,25 dl vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar, oregano

Slice everything and pour the sauce on top.

Hedelmäinen juustosalaatti (4 annosta)

1 ruukkusalaatti
1 ruukku lollo rosso -salaattia
6 tuoretta luumua
1 omena
2 kiiviä
200 g sinihomejuustoa
200 g kermajuustoa


· 0,75 dl ruokaöljyä
· 0,25 dl viinietikkaa
· suolaa, pippuria ja sokeria
· oreganoa


Jekku, will you shut up?

Sometimes it's quite annoying to have a Finnish Lapphund. This Finnish dog breed is in the top 10 list of the most favourite dogs in Finland. OK, it is CUTE, INTELLIGENT and FUNNY, but... it also has it's faults.

Like barking.

This reindeer herding dog surely knows how to bark and howl.



Cottage in an island

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In Lohisaari. Bertie is a bit nervous about Jekku. Waiting for the rain to stop.

Driving somewhere in Finland

We ar on our way to Ruovesi, where Ilona and Eero have their summer home. Jekku sits on the back seat.


Eating in Kuu

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Having fun in restaurant Kuu. This Helsinki restaurant is specialised in Finnish food.

So many concerts and I never go

It's sort of funny to live in Helsinki and never go to any concerts. A 15-year-old me would be seriously angry to a current 30+ me.

Last weekend we had Metallica, Rolling Stones (August) and Gwen Stefani (October) are yet to come.

It would have been wonderful to see Metallica, but I couldn't imagine myself waiting for tickets in line for hours and hours.

Gwen Stefani would be a lovely girl-thing to do. You know, just us girls. Also Suzanne Vega (favourite from ages ago) is coming to town.

Instead, I am going to a concert in Pori Jazz festival. I am going to see Elvis Costello and Steely Dan. What an adult thing to do.


Lönnrot's house

Today we were having a nice day in the western Uusimaa / Nyland. We always have this urge to go to see some museums.

And so we did.

This time we drove to Nummi-Pusula and visited the dairy museum there. I was amazed to see a picture of my grandfather. Made 1957. Brilliant! We also saw a lot of other things - including these cheese making equipments.
Making cheese
The Finnish dairy company Valio restaured this old Saukkola dairy to a museum. Quite interesting.

From Saukkola we drove to Elias Lönnrot's birth cottage (Paikkarin torppa), but we couldn't visit it because they were having a open air play there. So instead we drove to Lammi house, which was Elias Lönnrot's last home. Both the birth cottage and the Lammi house are situated in the countryside of Sammatti, Finland.

Elias Lönnrot's home - Lammi, Sammatti

The Lammi house was very isolated, because Elias wanted to do a lot of work like write a hymnbook and Swedish-Finnish dictionary. He didn't want to spend his time socializing with other people. Lammi window

And if somebody doesn't know, it was Lönnrot who made/collected our national epos Kalevala.

Elias Lönnrot in Wikipedia (English)
More about Lammi house (English)
Lammin talo, Elias Lönnrotin viimeinen asuinpaikka (Finnish)
Search Sammatti in Finnish maps, Map of Finland


Hillfort in Helme

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Originally uploaded by Riikka's photos

We are on our way from Setomaa to Halliste where our friend Andres lives. The photo is from Helme hillfort. After this it started to rain a lot.


Staying over in Setomaa

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Today we are in Setomaa, Estonia. We are staying the next 3 nights in this house. The weather has been sunny. We have been hiking.



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Originally uploaded by Riikka's photos

Sangaste castle in the Southern Estonia.

Pyhäjärvi spa

Today we are near Otepää in Pyhäjärvi spa. We have been enjoying ourselves. Yesterday we were in Tartu and visited the botanical garden (very nice!), the museum of art and the Jaani church.

In the afternoon we drove to Otepää and Pyhäjärvi spa by the Pyhäjärvi lake. We visited an ancient hillfort in Otepää, relaxed by the lake and had a nice walk. We also followed triathlon competition.

Today we are going to have a lava stone massage and later in the afternoon we are going to visit Sangaste manor house. Tomorrow we shall continue our journey to Võru.



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It's Sunday. We are in Tartu. Sun is shining and we are having some salad by the townhall.


Driving in Estonia

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First day of our trip to Estonia. We had lunch in Controvento in Tallinn. Now we are arriving to Põltsamaa.


Day for cleaning and gardening

I'm back home in Helsinki. What I ought to do is "juhannussiivot" (cleaning for the midsummer weekend). Well, I have been working in the garden. The day lilies are blooming, and so are the rose bushes.

My juhannussiivot is going to be something not so big, just normal weekly cleaning. But I quess many families in Finland clean really throughly for this holiday. It is the old tradition. Then after everything is very clean inside the house, you bring two young birches by your doorstep and put some summer flowers in a vase.

A link to a nice Midsummer in Finland page


Long time ago

Long time ago
Originally uploaded by Riikka's photos

Katja ja Riikka

This is an old photo of me and Katja. I took this with a mobile phone. I'm just testing how I can do mobloging (mobile blogging) using Flickr and Blogger together. Seems to work. Amazing.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.


Waiting for the summer vacation

Lake Tuusula in Finland My summer vacation starts tomorrow.

Six weeks of joy and relaxation. No wonder I have been waiting for that.


Finnish genealogy for Americans

As you might already know, one of my dearest hobbies is genealogy - tracing my ancestors.

One part of my family research has been trying to find out more about those relatives of mine who went to the USA or Canada at the end of the 19th century or at the beginning of the 20th century.

My family comes from the old province of Vaasa in Finland, we might also call it the region of South Ostrobothnia.

I have been very lucky during the past few years. Thanks to my own research in the National Archives and different parish offices in Finland, but also thanks to marvellous internet databases and very helpful people with their e-mails, I have been able to find what happened to my lost relatives.

Maybe it's time to give something back. Help the Finnish Americans to trace their roots in Finland.

So here's five good hints:
1. Do your research first in the USA, find out as much as you can by asking relatives, neighbours. Look the old family bible, there might be something written on it. Or find old photos, old letters.

2. Deepen your research, look for census records (online), draft records, marriage records, death records. Maybe www.ancestry.com databases and www.familysearch.org can help you.

3. Seek for travelling documents. After 1892 most people came through Ellis Island. In Finland, go to the web site of Finnish Institute of Migration ( Siirtolaisuusinstituutti). They have online database on passports and ship records.

4. Look for the Finnish church books online in the web site of Finnish Genealogical Society. The database is called HisKi. We also have a new database in Finland called Digiarkisto. They already have some communion books online. If online doesn't help, write an e-mail to the parish office - they will help you (it might be slow and they charge for their services - however, the price is usually reasonable).

5. ASK for help. For example the Finnish Genealogical Society has a good mailing list in English. It's called Finngen.

Last, but not least I made you a podcast in English about finding your ancestors in Finland.
You can open in here:
* Podcast about genealogy by Riikka


Short interview with Panu

Panu talkingWhat are you doing right now?

Panu: I'm emptying the washing maschine.

Are you going to do something nice this week?

- I'm travelling to Paris tomorrow.

What was the last book you have read?

- The Shadow of the Wind. It's written by a Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. It was a mystery novel. The plot was interesting and at times it was funny. The novel told about books and what they mean to different people.


Let's change Eurovision to Easteuropevision

I was just watching the Eurovision song contest, which this year was held here in Helsinki, Finland. (yes, we did won last year with Lordi...).

This year wasn't that great for us. Our Hanna was number 17. Which, I have to admit, wasn't a huge surprise...

Instead, Eurovision song contest this year reminded me of the Intervision song contest (former Eastern bloc answer to Eurovision). The winner was Serbia (1). Then Ukraine (2), Russia (3), Turkey (4) and Bulgaria (5).

Serbia's winner was Marija Šerifović with a song called Molitva.

East European countries voted for other East European countries or Russia. The former republics of Jugoslavia voted for the former republics of Jugoslavia.

Oh well, Scandinavia isn't that neutral to this phenomena (voting for you neighbor) either. Sweden and Iceland gave Finland 12 points (highest score).

Even though Finland didn't win this time (it sure is pretty amazing that we won last year), I think we still won something. We were able to show the rest of the Europe that we can make terrific tv shows with the best visual effects ever !!!!


Euroviisuvoittaja oli siis tänä vuonna Serbia. No, ei ainakaan voitettu vähäpukeisuudella näitä kisoja...

Eli miksi Viro antoi Venäjälle 12 pistettä?


Interviewing could be fun

I have an idea for this blog. I could do some interviews and publish them as posts. Nothing serious, rather something very casual. Friends and family.

I start with a test. So, basically I interview myself.

Interviewer (A): Why are you up so late? It's almost midnight?

Riikka: Well, I was working late and had things to do when I finally got home. I like to have some time to relax before I go to bed. So here I am, writing my blog and surfing virtually.

(A): So, what was the coolest thing you did earlier this week?

Riikka: I went to a wine tasting. Lovely Sauvignon Blancs! I have also eaten a lot of asparagus lately.

(A): What is on your mind?

I think about the seeds I planted and the mini greenhouse I bought. It is just amazing how the seeds have already turned into little plants. The wonders of the nature. This reminds me of getting my clematis back in for the night as it can be frosty. I also think about a stupid and tired joke I made today. They laughed, but I didn't.

(A): This week's tv hints in Finland?

Ooh, I quess it would be the Eurovision song contest held here in Finland next Saturday. We have our Hanna Pakarinen singing a not very special and a sort of melancholy type of song. Nothing like Lordi last year. ( You can download Hanna's song here)

Thursday (20.00 channel YLE1) you can see Antiikkia Antiikkia (Antique Antique) and Wenzel Hagelstam doing evaluations in Helsinki railway station.

Friday (16.30 channel YLE1) you might want to see the programme called Sukupuu (Family tree). This time it tells about the family of Ujainen. A Newspaper publisher family from Southern Ostrobothnia. They are descendants of Könni clock smiths and a Club war hero Jaakko Ilkka.

Sunday (21.00 channel 4) Movie night! There's Mel Gibson trying to find out "What women want". He plays with Helen Hunt.


May day

First of May ( May day) is always a big thing here in Finland. It's called Vappu "Valborg's day". It's a national holiday, nowadays less the workers day it used to be, more the day of picnicing and having fun, drinking champange or sparkling wine.

This year First of May was rather cold. We are having frost at night time. The flowers in my garden don't really enjoy it. Poor them.


They are talking about Estonia and Russia in the evening news. Russia is bullying around. No question against who we have our army.


Sunday walk in Helsinki

I took this photo while walking last Sunday in the southern part of Vuosaari (called Uutela) in Helsinki. The sea is beautiful, isn't it?
Sea in Helsinki

The coast is rocky and there are some pines, spruces and birches. Also some junipers.
Sunny sea


Prefabricated houses in Finland

People in the US think that prefabricated houses are something for the poor people. Not in Finland. It has nothing to do with a mobile home. Of all the single family houses built in Finland last year 68 percent were wholly or partly pre fabricated.

See yourself.
Look the photos of the Finnish manufacturer Kannustalo.
Take a virtual tour in the house called "Aurora"


Wedding in Kärkölä

This weekend we attended a wedding party in Kärkölä. My husband's cousin got married. It was a cosy wedding with a lot of relatives. The ceremony was held in Kärkölä church. The bride and groom were lucky, weather was so sunny and rather warm.

Today we were first spending some time in Hollola summer house, later in the afternoon we arrived back to Helsinki and did some gardening work.


Easter wishes



First flowers in my garden

I want to share this with you. I took this photo yesterday in my garden in Helsinki, Finland.

It's a spring crocus. We are having a very warm early spring in Finland right now. They said on tv yesterday that here in southern Finland the spring is 3 weeks ahead of its normal time.

Eli kuvassa on krookus pihallamme Helsingissä, näitä aikaisin tulleen kevään merkkejä.


The blind masseuse and other stories

I went today to a masseuse who was blind. Very nice experience. It lasted for 45 minutes. I truly needed some massage for my strained muscles in my back.

I kept wondering if massage is easier to do when you are blind, if you can sense better with your hands. I didn't dare to ask, how would she know. We talked about that being a masseuse or masseur is a very traditional profession for a blind person, but nowadays things have changed a lot. With right kind of equipment a blind person can for example work with the computer for the IT-industry.
Temple of Hephaestus
Last week we were on holiday in Athens. The weather was lovely, very spring-like, there were already some flowers blooming and the sun was warming the air. We also visited the island of Egina (=Aegina) which is known for its pistachio nuts.

Athens had a lot of history and culture to offer. We visited for example the archeological museum, Acropolis, Agora and Kerameikos graveyard.
I liked strolling in the narrow roads of Plaka, which is a town part near Acropolis. In the evenings we often ate supper in the area of Psyrri (Psiri), which is known from its restaurants and bars.

Here are some hints for eating in the Athens:

Lunch: I would recommend a restaurant called Byzantino in Plaka. It is situated near the small park on Kydatheneon street. We ate dolmades and moussaka.

Dinner: Taverna Tou Psiri in Psiri (Psyrri). Decoration is nice and so is the price level. You can choose what you want to eat from the kitchen. Also it seems to be popular among the local people, which to me is always a good sign. Address: Eschilou 12.


Ten other Riikkas and their blogs

I went to see if I can find other Riikkas in the internet - and I did.
Here is a list containing 10 other Riikka blogs:

  1. Af-riikka
  2. Dream hunter
  3. Riikkasbags
  4. La la love you
  5. Project Hapsi
  6. Pyöräilyhitit
  7. Riikan neulesivut
  8. Minä suojelen sinua kaikelta
  9. Sometimes I miss you so much
  10. Riikan -

The blogs are in random order, so this is not a top list. I am just truly amazed how brilliant women the Riikkas of the world are. It must be the name :-)

I urge you to go to check them, all are different from each other and there's all kinds of things to be learned.

Going to Greece

I have a winter holiday right now. (yes, you can be envious if you want to!)

We are travelling to Athens on Monday. I have always wanted to see Acropolis. I am also looking forward to eat in some nice restaurants. I really love Greek food.

Here's a recipe:

Feta salad

Some green salad
4 tomatos
1 red onion
1/2 cucumber
some feta cheese
12 black olives

sauce: olive oil, vinegar, some salt and pepper

Last Thursday we went to see my brother singing in a choir. The concert of Akateeminen Laulu was with quite modern type of music. Also a lot of Kalevala, as it was Kalevala day (28th Feb) here in Finland. Kalevala is our national epos. My parents were also here, as my brother has his 30th birthday tomorrow. Happy Birthday to him!


Deathly accidents and icy roads

I was coming with my mother last Sunday (18th Feb) in Ilmajoki, Finland this road, which is called 67. We drove very carefully because we noticed that the road was extremely slippery and icy. It was clear that it was not salted at all.
Valtatie 67 - road 67

Monday we all in Finland heard sad news from this road. Two young women had been killed in car accident with a truck between Ilmajoki and Kurikka. The road was icy, as it was on Sunday.

So, be careful out there! The road might not be salted.


Genealogy in Seinäjoki

I am waiting the working day to end.
Then I'm heading for a train that will transfer me from
Helsinki to Seinäjoki.

Tomorrow I'm attending a family research or genealogy event in Seinäjoki.
This is my dearest hobby and I'm hoping to meet a lot of friends and strangers.
Relatives as well.... I'm also going to follow some interesting speeches about old maps
and farmers as court members in 18th century Finland.

I wonder if I'm going to catch the moment of blue in the train. It's so pretty, the Finnish countryside with the snow, when the twilight comes.


Fun in the dog park

We went with our dog Jekku ( Finnish Lapphund ) to a dog park here in Eastern Helsinki today. It was a pretty day, but a bit cold. A lot of people were cross country skiing around Vartiokylä bay.

I made a video of Jekku in the dog park. Just press play!

As you can see, our Jekku won his racism against mopsi type (=pug type) of dogs...

See a larger video in YouTube.

Olimme Jekku-koiran kanssa Puotilan koirapuistossa käymässä. Vaikka sää oli kirpeä, niin hiihtäjiä piisasi. Paljon ihmisiä perheineen oli myös Vartiokylänlahden jäällä. Mietimme, että kestääkö jää jo tarpeeksi hyvin. Valkamissa näytti hyvinkin ohuelta. Jekku tapasi koirapuistossa Sallin ja voitti rasisminsa lyttynaamaisia koiria kohtaan. Lisää voit katsoa videosta yllä. Paina vain play tai katso video isompana YouTubesta.

As you can see, I have added a text in Finnish to this post. I shall be doing that also in the future, because clearly at least some of the readers want me to write in Finnish as well. More discussion about this in my earlier post.

Kirjoitan nyt siis tässä blogissa aina muutaman rivin myös suomeksi, koska jotkut lukijat siihen houkuttelivat. Enemmän keskustelua asiasta aiemmassa postauksessani.



not my hairI went today to hairdresser. I felt so dark and gloomy and asked the hairdresser to bring some light at least to my hair. And she did. Soft light copper.

I have been waking up at 5.30 AM. It's the new shift I'm doing. You can quess if I like it or not...
I should be in bed by now - otherwise I won't get enough sleep.

It has been terribly cold in Helsinki today. Freezing. This is really the day you would need long woollen underpants if you happened to own a pair. I try to avoid going out.

See Helsingin Sanomat story about the weather in Finland

This is a test.


Sunday in Helsinki

I went today to Cafe Ekberg. A very traditional Helsinki Cafe situated in Bulevardi ("Boulevard"). Established 1852. (Pretty old, isn't it?).
Cafe Ekberg in Helsinki
I met two of my friends. Sari and Eve. Sari has her birthday today, so congratulations once again! We ate some Runebergin torttu - a small cake which got it's name after the famous Finnish poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg.

Runebergin tortut
Runeberg has his birthday 5th February and we celebrate it every year in Finland. (so as you can see we ate our cakes one day ahead...).

Read more about Runeberg in Wikipedia.
Later I made an abstract of an article in Estonian women's magazine called Anne for my language course tomorrow. We had a warm day again here in Helsinki, but we still have some snow. I have to wake up really early tomorrow. My working day starts next week at 7 and that's a killer.


Language problem

I have been wondering. This blog is in English, but should I write in Finnish as well?

(Haluaisitteko hyvät blogini lukijat, että kirjoittaisin tätä englannin lisäksi myös suomeksi? Jos niin, niin miten?)

If yes, then how should I do that?

Few lines in English and few in Finnish? Or every other post in Finnish and every other in English? Same text translated or different text?

Or not at all? Just in English. Or maybe something in German? Estonian? Swedish?
To be or not to be....

It's just that I have a Finnish blog called Sukututkimus www.sukututkimus.blogspot.com. But this blog is strictly about genealogy (searching your ancestors and that stuff).

This weekend we were visiting my parents-in-law at their vacation home in Hollola. The weather was bright and sunny. The dog enjoyed, except the moment when the cat (called Nasu) decided to hit him with his pawn.


Finally, winter.

I visited my parents last weekend.

Winter is finally here. We had -23 degrees Celsius on Monday, it's like -10 Fahrenheit. Everything was covered with snow and ice. Sun was shining.
Frost in Ilmajoki
It's amazing feeling, after all this darkeness -- and suddenly everything bathes in white.

More photos about Ilmajoki.


Photobook part 2 - Kuvakirja osa 2

Well, now I have my Ifi photobook. See my earlier post about this subject.

And I have to say I'm pleased. It's not de luxe model but works well with soft covers. Colours are all right and paper quality is good.
Here are some photos of the book:

Inside the book

And outside:


Sally Spectra

Finnish News Agency STT writes that Darlene Conley who acted Sally Spectra's role in the soap opera Bold and Beautiful died last Sunday. The cause of death was cancer. She was 72 years old. B&B is very popular in Finland as well and Sally was important part of the show. She played the part in tv since 1988, which makes it almost 20 years.

In Finland B&B is about one year behind the USA. So Sally will be in B&B here in Finland until next December.

(STT kirjoittaa, että Tv:n Kauniit ja rohkeat -sarjassa Sally Spectraa esittänyt Darlene Conley on kuollut. Conley, 72, menehtyi vatsasyöpään sunnuntaina Los Angelesissa.)

Sally has always been my favourite character in the B&B. She is a ruthless business woman, cunning and conniving owner of Spectra fashions. Often she was a little too much to handle.

This brings me a lot of memories. The B&B was the real soap opera in Finnish TV. As a real soap opera I mean a show that came from TV 5 days a week and not just once a week. When B&B first started I remember how quiet it was in the grocery store at 6 or half past 6. (I can't really remeber the time).

Nobody was there, every single female was at home watching the B&B. Including my mother, my grandmother and my grandmother's sister. Sometimes it united the three generations together in front of the TV set.

My grandmother really liked the show and so did her sister Armi. We often discussed about the plot or the characters with them. Like Sally, they secretly admired Eric Forrester.

It is so strange to think that they are all gone now, my grandmother, her sister and even Darlene, who played the much hated and loved Sally.

People write about Sally:
- Dana: We'll miss you Darlene
- Elisa: Farewell Sally!!!

In Finland:
- Medis: Sally Elää
-The Sleeper: Sally on kuollut
- Handis: "Sally Spectra" kuoli


Blogs in different countries

A blog should be interactive. That's my honest opinion. So I'm trying.
I'm going to list all the countries I have visited during 2005 and 2006. Then I will find a nice blog from each country and try to comment it.

How does that sound?
well, let's see.
2005: I went in springtime to Saarenmaa, Estonia. I spent my summer holiday in Provence and Languedoc, France and then in October I spent a week in Lisbon, Portugal.

2006: I went briefly in summer to Estonia (Tallinn, Viljadi), Latvia and Lithuania (Nida). Then I spent 3 months in Ithaca, NY,USA. In December I went to a business trip in Sweden.

So, here it goes! selected or random blogs from the countries I visited:

1. Estonia (Viro): Stseene magamistoast. She is quite funny and writes in Estonian:

"Ma pesin just nüüdsama hambaid - kolmveerand kolm öösel ja neli minutit. Braavo! Rekord. Küll mu hambaarst rõõmustaks (aga ma ei käi tal külas, nii et see saavutus jääb nimetamata)."

2. France (Ranska): Tribulations d'un entrepreneur Jean-Hubert writes about being an entrepreneur in Paris, France. His business is real estate. He usually keeps his posting rather short. No wonder, because being an entrepreneur doesn't leave you with much extra time. He writes in French:

"Suite à l’achat d’un appartement en 2002, j’ai commencé à m’intéresser au secteur de l’immobilier, tant dans ses tendances que dans ses métiers et activités connexes."

3. Portugal (Portugali): Phronesis Bev lives in Setubal, Portugal and writes in English about living with two languages.
Bev writes:

" I chose to live here - not because I'm retired, nor for the golf or the cheap beer (although I do appreciate the price of good wine). And it's not because I was looking for low-salaried work that no-one else wants to do. And no, I didn't come because I fell in love with a Portuguese guy."

4. Latvia: Juris writes about mobile phones and telecom industry in Latvia. Not so surprisingly, the blog is called Telecoms in Latvia. He seems to know the latest rumours.

He writes in English: "Anyway, according to news reports, the most desired Christmas present this year in Latvia was a mobile phone."

5. Lithuania (Liettua): Tomas has a lot of artwork in his blog called Captain's bridge. The blog is written in English.

He says: "The nature creates the metaphors that are incredible rich with insights into the mystery of our inner world that shapes everything we see or handle."

6. NY state, USA: I chose a blog from Ithaca, NY. Jenna, a sorority girl at Cornell writes about her life in the semi-official Cornell student blog. The blog is called "Oh no she didn't".

Jenna writes things like this:
"Oh, frat guy. Pretty sweet deal until you treat him badly and you are never allowed in the door of any of their parties again, and you can pretty much forget about his cute friend."

7. Sweden: Lycklig.org Pernilla writes about life and her son Theo and her dog called Biggles. She writes in Swedish:

"På förmiddagen promenerade vi i skogen med Biggles. Så långt bort från alla raketskjutare, som inte fattat att nyår är över, som möjligt. Biggles var ganska glad större delen av rundan, vilket kändes som en lättnad."

And where can you find blogs from different countries ( blogeja eri maista)? You could use Globe of Blogs or Blogflux.
What I found out was that it's pretty difficult to find blogs in English in countries like Latvia or Lithuania. They don't seem to list them. Also in Portugal blogs seems to be written mostly in Portuguese. It would be interesting to know more of these pages where blogs of different countries are listed.

In Sweden I found a website called "Var är du" that shows Swedish blogs on the map. That's nice! If you want to find blogs in Finnish or from Finland you should use www.blogilista.fi


Getting rid of Cingular

When I spent my three months in the USA last fall I had a Cingular connection in my mobile phone. Pay as you go - prepaid connection.

Which wasn't always that fun. It never worked inside big buildings in Ithaca. Neither did it work any where in the countryside near Ithaca. It did, however, work very well in New York City.

Well, now the AT&T has told that Cingular ceases to be.

Vanishes all together and is replaced by AT&T.

New York Times says following: " One of the biggest “de-brandings” in advertising history is to begin Monday when AT&T starts changing all Cingular marketing to adopt the AT&T name."

Goodbye Cingular.

Something about the subject in Finnish from Digitoday. I was a little bit ahead, I must say.


New Year's plans

Isn't it always fun to start something new? and the beginning of a new year is a good time for novelties.

I registred me and my husband for an Estonian language course. We both speak a little bit Estonian, thanks to our 10 month stay in Tallinn (1998-1999). I'm really looking forward to this. We have been a little bit worried - our Estonian language skills have been gradually deteriorating. For this reason it's good to continue learning the language.

Estonian and Finnish are quite close to each other. In this sense it's fairly easy to learn the language, but the language has nevertheless its own tricks. One feature is the problem words "pulmasõnad". It can be that there's a same word in both languages, but the meaning is very different. Like Estonian word "pulmad" (d's are pronounced as t's) and Finnish word "pulmat". In Estonian the word means "wedding" and in Finnish "problems".

Other interesting word is "hallitus" - in Estonian it means "mold" and in Finnish "government". In Estonian blue cheese is for example "sinihallitusjuust", in Finnish it would be "sinihomejuusto".

If we are going to make progress in this course, I would think that we could reward ourselves with a weekend trip to Tallinn.
Viru valge vodka



My husband is currently attending a conference held in Chicago. While he is there - and I'm here in my home Helsinki, Finland - I keep wondering, what the city is like and what it used to be in the 20's and 30's. The time of organized crime and Al Capone.
I had a relative who lived there since the beginning of the century until his death in 1950's. He was called Andrew Nelson (Antti Pitkämäki). He was my grandmom's uncle and he worked in the construction business. He had a wife Amanda and a son called Frank E. Nelson. Frank was an insurance guy. They were active members of Finnish congregation in Chicago. I checked from the Census records, that they had lived in 334 West 79th Street (1910) and Albany Avenue (1930) in Chicago. He never visited Finland again. My grandparents invited him to come to the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952, but he answered that he was too old. It would be fun to know more about him, but unfortunately his son is dead and didn't have any children. I found Andrew's obituary in Siirtokansan kalenteri.

I have actually been to Chicago myself as well. Or actually I have been in the airport. That's not really Chicago, isn't it? I quess the closest we get to Chicago here in Finland is by watching the ER.