Friday, December 30, 2011

Nostalgic Feelings

The tender hold of his hand
Every time we watch something together
The loud noises his belly makes
When I press my ear right above it
The bliss I feel when we nap together

The warm comfort of his embrace
Telling me how safe I am
That I am home sweet home

The way he makes faces,
The crazy song lyrics he makes up,
The sound of his voice,
His laughter, his giggle, his snore...

The shape of his eyes, lips,
Face, eyebrows, legs, feet...
They make me smile
And make me long for more...

I thank God for another year together...
Wishing for many more to come
Because I can't imagine life without him.

And deep in our innermost chambers of wishes,
If we can have just one more wish:
That is at the end of our days
He'd take us both together

From here on to eternity...

Friday, December 23, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Tickling hubby's bald patch and then scratching it and hearing him sigh in relief HI HI...

2. A regular customer asked, "Why do you always look happy?" ---> GLAD to know he thinks that way, he notices it, and he mentioned it to me. :-D

3. I managed to control myself during a certain occasion after having been forced to do a drastic measure.

4. I was taking out three shopping carts out of the store when a customer who was about to come in offered me some help, though I didn't ask for any help. Thankful for this person's helpful spirit!

5. Having an opportunity to make a snowman and having fun making it.

6. Yesterday the thoughtful grandpa who had given me flowers a few times already in the past gave me a pot of pointsettia. BLESS HIM!!!

7. The store I'm working for has been getting more and more customers near Christmas (I think even more than last year's busy season), so I'm happy to know that business is going well.

8. This conversation with a coworker:

Cw: So, how are you going to spend your Christmas?
Me: Nothing much. Just spending time with my MIL.
Cw: (grimacing in sympathy) Oh...
Me: (quickly correcting her) NO NO NO NO's actually REALLY nice to spend time with her!
Cw: Oh, so you have a nice MIL.
Me: Not just nice, but she's like my own mother.
Cw: (relieved) Ahhhhh, I see...

The convo made me feel that she had heard too many bad stories about in-laws and thankful to have such a MIL.

9. Seeing reindeer tracks on the yard after it had snowed so much. I could just imagine it trailing across our yard at one point in time.

10. Accidentally opening up another Christmas gift for me which came through the mailbox (I thought it was hubby's order for himself) because it meant I still had time to find another gift for him, too (which came by mail yesterday!). Phew! That was close!

11. Trustworthy, reliable friends whom I can count on, including those I've never met in real life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Life's But A Fleeting Shadow

In shock here. Through Facebook I just found out that an ex High School friend passed away 2 days ago. I found out through another friend's wall post about this, so I went to the deceased's Facebook profile and read that 2 days ago the wife had put the notice on his wall. What really went through my heart was seeing a pic of his baby on the profile pic. That baby's picture was uploaded in October, so you can imagine that it's still such a small child.

This ex school friend of mine is 34 years old and until now I have no idea why he died. I was never close to him at school, but I remember him clearly. While I was browsing through his pics, I saw his prewedding photos and I couldn't help thinking, "You go through life not knowing what'll happen next. You find your spouse, get married, and plan for the future, though each day may be your last."

Many times over I get a reminder of how precious life is, how we should cherish each moment we have with our loved ones. I pray that God comforts all the bereaved in the world and I hope that the bereaved let themselves feel God's comfort and not close themselves up in their pain and grief.

On an altogether different note, I've been so busy at work 'coz two people quit this month and then another coworker got sick last week and another one got sick this week, so it's been kinda crazy. I hope nobody else gets sick. Today is also a busy day for me 'coz I have to do so many things. So far I've baked 2 cakes, cooked some food, clean up some snow from the yard (R2 did most yesterday but there's still some left), and now I need to clean up the house 'coz I won't have time anymore later on.

So, if I don't blog until after Christmas, I just wanna wish you all:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Online Social Media + Snowman

Yesterday I was reading posts about online social media, particularly F-b.ook. I must say that I have a love-and-hate relationship with it. There were times when I was thinking of quitting it completely, but it's hard nowadays 'coz I've got a mixture of people in my list already and now I've joined an online Finnish group where I can ask anything to the teacher and get to know other people who are learning Finnish from around the world.

Besides that, it's a really good place to get in touch with old school friends and nowadays my closest friends use it to put their travel pictures and other pictures as well - it's easier sharing pictures that way compared to sending them via emails 'coz some of us live in a place where the internet connection isn't so reliable and fast. It's also a good place to try and sell things to your friends and to ask for opinions on something (provided that your friends are active).

But other than the good sides, sometimes I feel that browsing through F-b.ook is like being a Peeping Tom. There are some people who share too much and sometimes when you least expect it, you get to read those things and it feels as if you were suddenly transported into the person's underwear closet and you're shown all the kinds of "dirty laundry" that you don't even wish to see.

Of course you can hide that person's newsfeed once you find out that the person loves sharing too much info, but then again there are still so many other complications that can occur by spending time in online social medias, such as being unfriended by someone or unfriending someone, the urge to ask the person what you did wrong after being unfriended, the lingering question whether you should explain to the person you're going to unfriend why you want to do that, the temptation to "peek into" other people's lives, the thin line between sharing and showing off, etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, enough about this...the other day I made another snowman 'coz the temperature was 0'C and the snow was wet enough to make one. The pictures were taken at around 3.30 pm.

First pic: taken with a flash.

2nd pic: Taken without flash.

3rd pic: Taken without flash from a different angle.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On Citizenship

The other day I got talking to some friends and it gave me an idea to write about this topic. One of them has also got a Finnish citizenship, but she said that it felt weird saying to people, "I'm a Finnish citizen" because she felt that her roots were in her home country. She said she had heard other expats saying those words without any emotional attachment whatsoever to her home country. Another friend told me that her mother would be so sad if she had opted to have a Finnish citizenship.

That made me think about me. Some people may think that it's so easy for me to let go of my Indonesian citizenship (Indonesian government won't accept dual citizenship, by the way - otherwise I'd have kept it, too). For me, a citizenship is just a citizenship. It doesn't mean I'm denying who I am.

Additional note: I don't want to give the wrong idea with this post, so just wanna add here that it WAS easy for me to let go of my Indonesian citizenship due to the reasons I've written in this post. Plus another practical reason is that having Finnish passport enables me to travel more easily compared to having an Indonesian passport.

Maybe one thing that is different from me and that friend whose roots were in her home country is that even though I was born and raised in Indonesia, but I know that some people there would still tell me that I'm a non-native Indonesian. I'm Chinese by heritage, but the Chinese government and people won't accept me as one of their own because I don't speak their language, I don't even know how life is over there, and I have NEVER been there, either.

That said, it's actually helped me a lot when I moved to Finland because I'm used to being a "non-native". I may never be a full-blown Finnish or Indonesian or Chinese woman, but that doesn't matter. I'm a citizen of the world and I love living here. Period. :-D

Anyhow, here are some pictures I've taken lately:

My first snow angel ever ha ha ha...The head looks weirdly small for the body and wings HA HA HA...

Doesn't the snow look so fluffy and soft? :-D

Not a really good pic, but I just wanna show the pink sky the other day:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dad's Past

Dad never finished education at the university. He's the second child out of six and he had to quit studying at the uni to help out feed the family. My grandpa's business collapsed and then he died and my grandma couldn't do anything much with the family's finance. Out of the six children, only the youngest one finished his education at the university.

For years Dad worked as a bookkeeper in a bread company and then he moved to a private-owned business. After years of earning his bread there, he quit (I don't remember anymore why, but I guess the situation got bad enough for him to want to quit) and the boss' wife told him, "You're not going to be a successful man. You're too honest."

Dad got so pumped up hearing that. From that day on, he worked as best as he could and still kept his honesty and integrity intact. What is success anyway? For me, my Dad IS a successful man because he's kept his honesty and integrity intact wherever he works. He's managed to send two children off to the university without tricking anybody out to get "rich". He's always so careful with money and budgeting, so he never got us in trouble with any of his decisions.

Here I am now, thinking that it's such a shame that in this world, there're people who think that being honest in one's dealings means that one will never be successful.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. An old woman looking so happily surprised to see me at work. She said, "Oh, I haven't seen you in a long time. I'm GLAD you're still working!" ---> Honestly I don't even remember her, but I'm HAPPY to hear that she's SO happy to know that I'm still working in the same place. :-D

2. Free youtube exercise video clips. They really help me in doing different types of exercises when I'm bored with the exercise routines I've been doing.

3. Fast and reliable internet access that enables me to watch those said youtube video clips.

4. Receiving this lovely homemade Christmas decoration present from a friend.

5. More snowwwww!!! And the weekly temperature forecast showing below 0'C even during the day! :-D

6. Watching two squirrels playing in and around the branches of a tree.

7. Cleaning up the snow from the yard. There's something so serene about doing that in the middle of Winter Wonderland.

8. Lovely lovemaking - plus the fact that hubby just knows what to do TENDERLY! :-D

9. Watching "While You Were Sleeping" again that made me feel mushy mushy inside. :-D

10. Hubby buying pizza so that I didn't have to cook he he he he...It's nice not having to cook sometimes. :-D

11. Putting up Christmas lights. (Yep, the picture below #7 is the close-up look of the Christmas lights below)

Monday, December 05, 2011

What A Luxury!

Spent the night at MIL's house 'coz R2 had to go to Rovaniemi for 2 days, so after work on Saturday I went straight there. We played cards, had sauna, and we had some serious talk as well about different topics.

All of a sudden she started talking about the past and FIL then started crying. And she made my eyes wet as well. After spending so much time taking care of the kids, farm, cows, her own mother and then her own in-laws, she had wanted to enjoy the rest of her life with her hubby.

Now that my FIL has been taken to an old people's house, she can't even enjoy that luxury anymore. Not that she doesn't want to. She said that she was still thinking if she could still take him back home, but she can't do it on her own and she can't afford having someone to live with them to help her take care of him.
You see, the other week she visited FIL and then FIL said that he felt like he was nothing, a nobody. I almost wished that he would lose more consciousness so that he wouldn't think about anything like this anymore, you know? But then I wonder if that's such a great wish...sigh...

Anyway, the other week MIL sprained her arm and then last week she sprained her leg and she realized that she had to accept reality. Due to the arm and leg sprains, she hadn't been out for a few days and when we visited FIL yesterday (together with R2), the nurse said that he had eaten very little that day. Both the nurse and MIL were wondering if he didn't want to eat properly 'coz of longing. MIL brought some bread and homemade salted salmon filet, bananas, and also yoghurt and so we waited for FIL to eat them all (he could still hold bread and bananas himself, but MIL fed him the yoghurt). And he did eat them all with gusto, I must say.

Then MIL told FIL that she had to go for almost a week to Rovaniemi 'coz they have this program for the elderly that offers exercise program and it's good for her to be able to join this kind of activity. And after FIL heard that, his eyes became wet and I almost wanted to cry...I left the room to give MIL and FIL some time for themselves and R2 also left the room, as well. It was just heartbreaking...
Wish I could do more for MIL and FIL, but there's only so much one person can do...

Sniff, sniff...anyway, last night when we went back home, it hit me with a different force than before how luxurious it is for me and R2 to be able to live together under the same roof, to be able to give and take, to be able to enjoy life together. How much we take for granted the life that we have together, every single day...each breath we take, each step we in, day precious those moments much more I should cherish these moments while they last...

This is the promise I hold dear...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Getting the best bday present ever from hubby: A LOVE LETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or to be exact a love email he he...which I printed and reread. It made me cry today when I woke up and checked my mailbox he he...It was everything I could have hoped for in a love letter - and more! Oh, and it's in Finnish! :-D

2. A friend dropped by and brought a doughnut and a small candle and we had a nice chat over coffee and doughnuts. And she brought me a homemade gift and card as well! BLESS HER!!! What a perfect day!

3. A customer who had the initiative to take out somebody else's shopping cart that had been left inside the store to the place where it belonged.

4. Understanding and thoughtful parents and in-laws that don't ask or push us about giving them any grandkids once I explained to them our decision that two is a complete family and that we don't wish to try any treatment or anything else. They respect our decision fully.

5. Patient people that come along my way (including dear hubby).

6. People that don't take me to any unnecessary guilt trips about any topics at all (including parents, in-laws, and hubby).

7. My family have been enjoying their trip to Bali with SIL's family.

8. My Mom and Ken got sick "at the right time", so they were fine already before they were supposed to fly to Bali. That way they got to enjoy the trip fully.

9. Gorgeous pink sky.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Early Birthday Cabin Trip

Last Friday we went to the cabin again 'coz this weekend R2 has to go to the city to have pre-Christmas office party. What was great about last Friday was that in the morning it was really gloomy and SUPER dark 'coz almost all the snow had melted. However, starting at around 2 pm it started snowing hard and it was rather windy, as well. A bit like a small snowstorm. It was great, though!!! The temperature's still very mild compared to previous years...

By the time we arrived at the cabin at around 4 pm, it was already Winter Wonderland. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! It was too dark to take pics then, though, so I only took some pics on Saturday morning. Here goes...

Question: How many ladders would it take to go up on the roof of the sauna?
Answer: Apparently four!!! HA HA HA HA HA HA...

I decided to play with the pic below so that it looked like I was going to go to the Gate of Light ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Last pic: Baby's POV hi hi hi...

I took the pics of me using my beloved tripod:

It's very light and handy, so it's easy to bring anywhere. I mostly just bent and wrapped the legs around a tree bark or branch he he he...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Daydreams: A Blast from An Old Post

I was just browsing through some old posts and I found out that this time 4 years ago (before my Finnish was still pretty basic), I wrote some daydreams.

In the post, I wrote about 10 years from then (which would be 2017), but why not talk about some of it now already?

1. Ability to communicate pretty well with my in-laws? Check.

2. Kids? Nope. Scratch that. Doesn't matter anymore. Two is a complete family. ---> Daydream change.

3. Finnish citizenship? Check.

4. Living in a bigger apartment? We have our own house now (which is beyond belief 'coz I didn't even dare dream of having our own house). HALLELUJAH!!!

5. Steady income? THANK GOD for His amazing ways in closing the door towards doing any more training and opening this door for me to get a permanent job (any foreigner living here would attest to how difficult it is to get a permanent job in this village). His perfect timing is just simply unfathomable - life is to be understood backwards is an understatement!!! :-D

6. Visiting my parents at least once? Check. In fact, I've visited my parents THREE times since then (R2 has come with me twice to Indo).

7. Growing book collection? Check. (At that time I only brought 12 books with me from Indo from my own book collection and now I have dozens and dozens of 'em)

8. Wonderful relationship with hubby? Check - it's a lifetime process, so I can only try to do my best, though I have to say that infertility has brought us closer together instead of ripping us apart and I'm OH SO glad we're always on the same page concerning our infertility journey. :-D

9. Feeding my inner child, staying positive and enthusiastic, cherishing the good things in life, counting my blessings? Lifetime process, but I think I haven't fallen out of this course he he...

10. Still have blogging friends and still have time to blog? Check.

11. Spreading sunshine and laughter? Lifetime process again, but I also think I haven't fallen out of this course, either. :-D

Conclusion: You can't always get what you want in life, but sometimes in other aspects of life, you get even MORE than you "deserve" or dream of and there are times when you have to change your daydreams. Blessings have been pouring out to our lives in ways that we could never have imagined...and all praise belongs to God.


Monday, November 21, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby lighting up the porch light for me whenever I have an evening shift so that it's easy for me to see in the dark when I get back home ('coz we get less and less daylight here).

2. SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! It arrived very late this year, but I'm SO happy to see it anyhow.

3. Snowy trees looking so hush hush when the temperature gets colder than -10'C. They look so beautiful. :-D

4. Saying something to two ladies that made them laugh - and in turn their laughter made me laugh, too!

5. Watching a funny JibJab video clip and then creating a similar one with our photos in it and laughing so much 'coz of it.

6. Plenty of belly laughs for no really funny reasons - the kind of laugh that makes your belly muscles ache and your belly fat jiggles up and down ---> Note: Sometimes when I'm really tired, I don't get cranky - but any little thing can make me laugh hysterically like that. :-D

7. Riding my bike in Winter Wonderland is quite a feeling.

8. Getting a little exercise by shoveling the snow in the yard. There's not too much yet, but I just need to clear up some snow to make it safer for me to ride my bike home at nights.

9. Waving to a customer who was in his car when I went past him by bike and he waved back at me with such a huge smile on his face. It's kinda weirdly nice to be friendly to people whose names I don't even know!!! But it doesn't really matter 'coz what matters most is that they're smiling back at me! :-D

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Reinventing Myself

This post below was written as a draft ages ago, but for some reason I never got to complete it and I didn't publish it, either he he...Here goes, with some additional notes...

Moving to a village in Finland has enabled me to - in a way - reinvent myself. What I mean by reinventing myself is that nobody knows my background. Nobody knows anything much about Indonesia nor what it's like to live there. Nobody knows my family. Nobody knows my family's "social strata". Nobody knows what kind of job I had beforehand and nobody has expectations for me.

It's kinda liberating, you know? I feel like so much weight is off my back. :-D Back in Indo, other people have given me different labels, but when I moved to Finland, I started my life with a blank sheet of canvas again.

And because of the social system differences, I can be whatever I want to be without feeling that some jobs are "less than" others. Back in Indo, certain jobs are considered "less inviting" due to many different factors (mostly financial factor), whereas here in Finland no matter what kind of job you do, it doesn't matter 'coz the standard of income (among other things) is already set.

It's also liberating to know that even when you change a job here, you don't have to "suffer miserably financially" the way it'd happen in Indo. I mean, in Indo if you start all over again in a different field, you're bound to get "yucky income" and it's a no-no especially if you have kids. After all, in Indo good education that'd allow them to go to good universities that would enable them to get good jobs with good income levels is very pricy these days.

Another thing that makes me feel liberated by living here is the lack of many pressures that exist in Indo (click the link to read further info). Even though sometimes a few Finnish people (whom I don't know well) ask me whether I have kids or not, upon hearing the answer they won't continue probing about my menstrual period the way my Indo neighbour did nor ask any questions whether or not we intend to adopt nor would they give me advice about trying this and that or going to that and this gyno.

One particular "freedom" I've enjoyed thoroughly is the lack of expectation from other people from me. I can start my life from scratch and try out new jobs or training places with very little knowledge of those jobs and in doing so I've learnt so many new things.
Moving to Finland has been the greatest adventure I've ever done in my life, especially for someone who "always plays it safe" like me. :-D

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Longing for Heaven

I haven't been blogging not due to the lack of inspiration. In fact, I've had so many different thoughts rumbling in my brain for the past few weeks, but I haven't really got any "Eureka" moments yet, so if I write them down, they're gonna sound like a rambling babble...but anyhow, let me just share one part of them anyhow.

Last Sunday was Father's Day in Finland, so all the stores were closed here in this small village (in some big cities some stores were open). Hubby and I went to MIL's place and together we brought cake for FIL at the old people's house. Unfortunately they had recently moved FIL to a different location 'coz they are renovating the building where he lived before and the renovation will take 2 years to complete. I said "unfortunately" because this new place wasn't build to be an old people's house, so it's lacking many essential things.

The day they moved some of the patients there (yeah, not all the patients were moved there, just some), my MIL went to the new place and she was shocked to see that there weren't even beds yet, so the patients were strapped into their wheelchairs (they were wheelchair-bound patients) and they were just sitting there for a long time. I have no idea what happened, but MIL said that the move seemed to be done in such a hurry that they didn't have time to do anything else in terms of preparation in the new facilities.

This new facility is a 2-bedroom house filled with 4 patients with a small kitchen and a dining area. In the previous facility, FIL had his own room - now he shares a room with another patient (during this renovation, they've reduced the fee to 50% of the monthly fee). Two of the patients had brought their TV there, but they didn't work. This new area requires a different kind of TV, so MIL is thinking of buying one for FIL, 'coz otherwise it's going to be boring there. In the old facility, there was a big common room area where patients could sit and talk and watch TV together, but now at least for someone like FIL, he only has the nurses and 3 other patients to talk to.

Anyhow, when we arrived, FIL was still asleep after lunch (we went there when it was time for coffee break) and the other 3 patients were sitting in the dining area. Turned out that they served Father's Day cake there in the new facility, so we didn't even cut the cake that MIL had bought. It took a few minutes to wake FIL up because he was so tired - the nurse said he had been really active in the morning, so it may be the reason why he was sleeping so soundly.

MIL then adjusted the bed to sitting position and fed him cake, helped him drink coffee, and then gave him a banana to make sure he was full enough before dinner. Then MIL got to chat a little with the 3 other patients and asked if anybody had come to visit them (they were all male). One of them answered no. I felt sad. How tough it must've been to know that your fellow housemates got visitors on Father's Day, but nobody came to visit you?

FIL looked fine, by the way - as fine as you can be when your Alzheimer's has robbed you of a good part of your memory bank. Before we visited FIL, my BIL who lived down south called and asked how FIL was doing. MIL said that she felt that the new place wasn't good at all for the patients' well-being and that she wouldn't be surprised if someone died of a broken heart. And she was also wondering if FIL was crying inside...She'd love to have him back in the apartment if she could afford paying for a daily nurse to help her take care of him, but she can't afford it. And she can't possibly take care of him on her own anymore.

It made me think that it's harder on the patients who are still "on earth" so much than those who don't really remember or realize anything anymore. I mean, their brains are still working pretty well even though their bodies have failed them. If I am ever in that kind of position, I don't know if I will be able to surrender peacefully to what I can no longer do. Yesterday it just hit me when I saw FIL there...what should I pray for him about? The only thing I could think of was "May God's grace, mercy, and peace be with him always." On the other hand, seeing him and the other patients makes me think of how unimportant so many things on earth that we deem "important" are. How trivial they are in stark contrast to what the patients need.

And this makes me long for heaven...There are other things that's made me long for heaven these days, but that'll require another long, winding post. I long for a place where we're stripped bare of our possessions, titles, labels, achievements...I long for a place where we're no longer caught up with this thing called "life".

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Midnight Talk

Me: Did you ever feel like leaving me during our marriage?
R2: No, but I did feel like leaving the house sometimes.
Me: What do you mean?
R2: Sometimes when you get cranky I feel like I want to leave the house until you calm down.
Me: Then why didn't you ever leave the house when I got cranky?
R2: Because I'm gonna miss you.


Me: Did you ever get REALLY angry at me?
R2: Nope.
Me: Not even a little angry, ever?
R2: Nope.
Me: But I must've made you annoyed sometimes, right?
R2: Yeah, sometimes.
Me: HA HA HA HA HA...Okay, I can live with that. :-D

It's true that when I get cranky, I can get REALLY cranky, especially when I get too tired and I lack sleep and then PMS strikes and there are some things in life that go wrong for me he he he he...but because of his calm nature, because he never snaps at me when I get cranky, it's easier for me to want to control myself as best as I can when I do get cranky. And for that I'm SO THANKFUL.

Anyhow, yesterday just as the sun was about to set, I looked outside and saw a full moon and pinkish sky, so I quickly changed my clothes and rode my bike to the riverside to take some pics. Enjoy the pics!!! The temperature was about -1'C and yeah, there's no snow yet but there's some frost on the ground.

Unfortunately the pic with the full moon and pink sky didn't come out too well and by the time I took more pics, it was already getting darker, but anyhow enjoy the good pics he he...You can click on each pic to see a bigger view.

1st pic: As you can see, in this pic the sky was still pinkish ha ha ha...More often than not, the river's water isn't that calm, so only on some occasion when it's very still then you can enjoy this mirror-like feature of the river. It definitely has a calming effect on me. :-D

2nd pic: The other side of the river...yep, getting darker already...

3rd pic: A shot of the full moon from a different angle.

Last pic: I cropped out the previous pic to show the moon more clearly.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Some Fave Videos Lately

I've been watching X-Factor USA and I have some fave singers...Josh Krajcik is one of them. I REALLY REALLY love his voice and his soul when he sings...enjoy these songs:

Saturday, November 05, 2011

5th Wedding Anniversary Cabin Trip

The cabin trip was done earlier than this weekend 'coz R2 could take some time off from work due to the accumulated overtime he'd done. So he picked me up after work on Thursday already and we left to the cabin. It was such a foggy day that day. I had hoped for snow, but there was none yet. It did snow very very lightly during the eve, but not enough to cover the ground near the cabin area.

Last year we had an early anniversary cabin trip on the last weekend in October and look at how much snow there was already at that time.

So this time due to the foggy cloudy weather, I didn't even take pictures of the surrounding cabin area except for two pics, which I'll show later.

Anyhow, it was still a very lovely cabin trip no matter what. We had sauna, we had great food, we enjoyed being together...and this time I took an accidental "ghost" photo of myself hi hi hi...take a look! I REALLY love this pic 'coz in my eye, it looks romantic, though some people have stated in FB that it looks scary HA HA HA HA HA HA...

I was playing with the aperture setting on my camera and accidentally "removed" myself too fast from that position, so I appeared that way hi hi...After that, we had fun trying to take other "ghost" pictures ha ha ha...for example, here's one where R2 became a ghost:

I also took one photo where it seemed I was going to strangle R2, but I dare not upload it here in case my blog readers get too shocked. Let it just rest as a fun experimental photo in my HD HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...

After that, the next morning I tried lighting up the fire in the fireplace on my own (R2 was still too sleepy to do so). Mind you that when we arrived at the cabin, the outside temperature was -1'C and the temperature inside the cabin was 3'C. We managed to get the temperature up to 20'C during the night, but after we got to bed the temperature went down, so in the morning I had to make fire again so that I could make coffee for us.

Here's a pic of the fireplace and I took a pic when R2 was preparing some burgers for us (while the fire is burning, we can put a kettle on top of the stove to boil some water to make instant coffee 'coz there's no electricity there so we can only make instant coffee):

Before leaving the cabin, I took these two pics below: the car windshield and a view of outside from inside the car (with the frosty windshield). Very bleak, eh? But my mood was at least so romantic and relaxed ha ha...

After the cabin trip, we bought a cake from a supermarket and visited my MIL. And now we're enjoying a LOOOONNNGGG weekend together. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Wish you all a blessed, fun-filled weekend as well! :-D

Friday, November 04, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem 2011

Last year I was skeptical with the whole idea of peace on earth. This year I'm not thinking about global peace, but more about inner peace and touching the lives of those near us. If I try to think of the possibility of global peace, I feel daunted and discouraged, but if I focus on inner peace and trying to uphold peace at work, in my household, in my daily life, I feel that it's something achievable.

Lately I've been reading Jean Vanier's books and they've struck many chords within me. Thus it's no surprise that my peace globe is inspired by one of his quotes. :-D

Vanier talked and wrote a lot about pain, brokenness, suffering and recognizing them within ourselves. Here let me quote something else that he wrote:

As we approach people in pain, they reveal to us our pain and brokenness. We are not an elite. We need help. We need the help of Jesus and of sister and brothers in community; we need to talk to wise, listening, and compassionate hearts who can help us to assume all that is broken within us and to find wholeness. We become free when we accept ourselves as we are, cry out for help, and use wisely all that we are to build peace. (A Rebel for Peace, page 134-5)

So let's join hands together for ripple at a step at a this vast ocean of life...:-D

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Cutting nails right after shower, when the nails are still moist and soft. :-D

2. Good nail cutters.

3. A customer says she misses me whenever I'm not around. That's SO sweet of her to say that! :-D

4. Hubby gave me an early wedding anniversary gift: Wii Zumba complete with the belt. I tried it twice already hi hi hi...FUN! :-D

5. Bought these cheap, warm boots (15 Euros) for myself ---> self-pampering very early birthday gift (if I had waited until my bday, they'd have all been gone) ha ha ha ha ha...

6. This Thursday we'll be having our 5th wedding anniversary. Can't believe it's been 5 years already since we said our vows!!! THANKFUL for all the years we've been together and hoping for many more years to come he he...

7. This weekend we'll celebrate our wedding anniversary by going to the cabin again. WOOOHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! :-D Can't wait!!!

8. Mimicking hubby's silly expressions and words and poses and making him laugh. :-D

9. A friend asked for my opinion and I feel happy that she trusted me enough to ask for my opinion.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dry Weather, Dry Scalp

I've had majorrrrrr problem with my dry scalp for the past few years. In Indo, I had to use anti-dandruff shampoo after I started my teenage years, but the shampoo worked well (the only thing I needed to do was just switch the brand of anti-dandruff shampoo). The first year of living in Finland, I don't recall any dry scalp problem, but the second year it started bothering me and the past two years it's really bugging me so much. I guess the more I age, the drier my body is, including my scalp.

I've tried different kinds of shampoo (we have maybe 10 different bottles of shampoo in the bathroom), different kinds of conditioner. I've tried combining different kind of conditioner with different kinds of shampoo in different order. I've even tried olive oil on my scalp. It did work, but it was so hard to get all the oil out of the hair, so it's not practical at all. I've even bought a special kind of oil from the supermarket, but it didn't work too well.

I hate the fact that my scalp is flaky and 'coz my hair is black, you can easily see the white flakes on my head and that's just a HUGE no-no 'coz I work in a place where I meet lots of customers. Plus it gets SO itchy every now and then and I don't want to look like someone who has lice problems.

I've browsed online to find homemade recipes to battle dry scalp and the other week I tried "white vinegar + water" combination. Well, the online page told me to shampoo the hair and use conditioner first, then pour out the vinegar + water combo, leave it for 5 minutes, and then rinse well with water.

OK, so I tried that and it did work well to get rid of the itch and the white flakes, but it made my hair so oily (the bottom of the roots especially) and it made my hair look so flat, so the next time I decided to reduce the amount of vinegar...but still it looked so oily and it made my hair lose volume (even though I was using Pantene volume conditioner).

So the next time I tried the other way around. I poured out the vinegar + water combo, leave it for 1-2 minutes only, and then use a little shampoo and conditioner. And it worked!!! :-D I know I've only been trying this tactic three times, but so far it's given me the result that I've wanted.

Note: The first time I tried this liquid combo, I think it was 1:6 (vinegar:water), but I've reduced it to 1:12 (vinegar: water).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Frost Pics Again

The other day I was so happy to find that there was frost outside, so I went out to take some more experimental pics. Here they are...hope you enjoy God's lovely works of art...

First pic: It's not too clear on the green leaves, eh? I personally think the frost looks lovelier on the red leaves.

4th pic: The zoomed-in version of the previous one. LOVE those huge ice crystals! :-D

Last but not least...this frog has been in our yard for weeks. At first I thought R2 had found it in the shed and put it there and he thought I was the one who bought it, but yesterday I finally asked him and he said he had no idea where it came from. So we're feeling confused here. Where does the frog come from?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! It is cute, though, don't you think?