Friday, January 28, 2011

Ramblings on a Friday Nite

Listening to fave old songs while singing along out loud is a very relaxing pastime for me. I don't do it often, but when I do it, I enjoy it fully. And while listening to old songs, I just want to ramble on in my blog as well he he...

I just had an interesting email convo with my closest friends regarding "being older" (particularly being in our 30's). A close friend says that being 30 is MUCH better than being a teenager, 'coz she questions herself less often and her "need to explain" is also less. Plus the confidence level is higher 'coz she cares less about what other people think compared to when she was a teenager.

I told her that my "need to explain" is still so big. I'm talking about "trying to make other people understand the details of my brain", the whys and wherefores. Nowadays I realize, though, that half of the reason why I'm still that way is more to understand myself than to make other people understand how my brain works. By "explaining" my train of thoughts to other people, it's easier to understand them - why I think/feel that way and what my exact feelings/thoughts are, what's causing me to feel/think that way, etc.

I thrive on understanding what my feelings are and why I feel this and that. I
thrive on knowing exactly what they are. Whenever I feel troubled and I understand why I feel that way after pondering about it, I want to shout "Eureka" at the top of my lungs and I always have a huge smile on my face. True, my troubles aren't vanished by the enlightenment I get, but at least it helps me understand myself better, so it's easier for me to understand why for example I'm have strong feelings about something/someone/an incident.

In order to dig deeply, normally when everything seems tumbling down and I feel too much, I try to "separate" myself as though I were a witness of myself and my troubles. That way I can stand a little bit apart of myself in order to view the surrounding area better. I don't know if this makes sense to you or not, but that's just how my brain operates.

Anyway, here's one of the loveliest classic songs that I've been listening to tonight. Enjoy it!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pastel-Coloured Sky

Been busy at work 'coz we haven't got new workers coming in after two of them had ended the contract (they had to continue their studies) and one of us has been sick. I DO hope that new workers will come to help us soon 'coz if not, we'll experience burn-out in no time. Anyhow, the other day I was lucky enough to be able to witness SUCH gorgeous pastel-coloured sky.

All these photos were taken on Tuesday, Jan 25th at around 3 pm with my mobile (so the quality isn't as good but you get the idea). The temperature was around -20'C at that time and the sun had been shining beautifully earlier --- the pics were taken just about the time when the sun was about to set.

Below ar the pics where you can see the gradation of the pastel-coloured sky: first baby blue, then pink, then light blue. For some reason the camera converted the light blue into light grey, but the actual colour is more similar to the light blue in the first pic.

I'll blog-hop later on when I have time, maybe next week when I have some days off. Until then, take care, people!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Flat landscape and less high-towered buildings around mean that I can enjoy a less obstructed view of nature even though I'm merely walking or standing or riding my bike.

2. Love, respect, and devotion that my MIL shows to FIL. She always asks him what he wants even though sometimes I'm not so sure anymore if his mind is capable of truly understanding what the questions are.

3. Making love gets better and better and even BEEEETTTTEEERRRR!!! *WIDE GRIN* (FYI, never in my wildest imagination would it even occur to me that making love would even improve like this as time went by).

4. Being the only Asian inhabitant in this village means that it's easy for people to remember my face. For example: after having my work shifts reduced as per my own request, some regular customers have asked me, "Where have you been? I haven't seen you in a long time." Bless them! :-D

5. A cute, little girl who's been pretty friendly with me came over the other day after we hadn't met in a while and when I said hi to her while waving at her, she said, "Amelia!" Yep, she knows my name! :-D Bless her too!

6. Winning a free scrapbook page in a fun contest. YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!!

7. Laughter from joking around with R2 and friends.

8. Teasing my friends in an email. :-D

9. Having a washing machine and a dishwasher. They truly help me out esp. when I've been busy.

10. SAUNA pillow! (a Christmas gift from R2) I can't tell you how relaxing it is to lie down in the sauna with a pillow and enjoying the heat when it's cold outside.

11. The ecstasy I get from tickling R2's face all over and then scratching the itchy parts and knowing how much he enjoys it. :-D

12. Chocolate biscuit and hot milk tea with honey.

13. WARM SOCKS and BLANKETS!!! I'm more in love with them after moving to Finland HA HA HA HA HA...

14. Being able to sleep and poo regularly without help.

Almost forgot:

15. I heard from one of my best friends what my Mom told her when she went for a visit to my parents' place. Mom said that she always supported my decisions 'coz she knew that I always thought everything out first well enough before making a decision, so she never had to worry about me. That's one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL things I've ever heard in my life. :-D

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Upside Down World

Weeks ago I felt so "soul weary" (a term I heard from Michelle Frost while we were discussing this topic in emails). She also said in one of the emails that 'coz these days we could get information at the click of a mouse that we became more burdened with the "weight of the world" (read: the world's troubles) on our backs. Back in the old days, we could only get the news from the radio or newspaper or TV. The amount of information we got was limited. Back in the more olden days, people could only get the news through messengers. Not many people knew the troubles suffered by the people living halfway across the world. Now I feel that it's the age of information overload.

With the many petitions through emails and now FB, it's easy to feel guilty if we don't participate. Plus we get more overwhelmed with the bad news happening all around the world or when we come across so much internet junk lying around here and there that we accidentally find.

I've also been wondering with humans' needs these days. Back then we only needed food to eat, clothing to stay warm, a place to stay to shelter us. Now with all the modernity and technology that we enjoy, I feel that we're putting values in things that don't really matter much when you think about it in the long run - the things that don't matter at all when you're facing death (or when a loved one is facing death or even slow death like my FIL) or devastating natural disasters. Every time I meet FIL these days, I think of life and I'm reminded of all the trivial things on earth that don't really matter.

I DO understand why humans are the way they are, 'coz I'm also a mere human being with all my strengths and weaknesses, but I wonder whether or not we've let life just pass us by in a swift motion, dragging us with the world that focuses even more and more on those trivial things on earth...where does our need to improve end and contentment begins? Where is the limit? On the other hand, accepting the status quo and being content with what we have also feels "wrong" in many levels. When did I ever feel that it's wrong to be content with what we have? Why do I feel that it's wrong? Is it really wrong?

I remember when I was a child, TV programs started only at around 5 pm and ended at around midnight. Back then the only commercials were about immunization and stuff like that. Nowadays we're bombarded with so many commercials that tickle our "wants". I know that it's easy to become victim of those "wants" especially after I start earning money. I really need to STOP and THINK first whether I REALLY need them or not before I start buying stuff.

I also feel that the more developed technology is, the more ethical questions come up. Recently I read about
a doctor who found this kind of drug during his research, but then it was stolen and the drug was recreated by the thieves and sold on the streets like heroin or something like that. He was shocked beyond belief and he regretted having created it in the first place. For every good thing and purpose, humans find ways to either go to the extreme with it or misuse or abuse it. It's human nature. I get it. But I can't help myself feeling sad because of it.

Another thing that saddens me is also what I heard about a woman who fell into a hole in one country that I won't mention here. The law in the country stated that only the medics could help her out, so people who wanted to pull her out weren't allowed to do so. The result? The woman had died by the time the medics arrived. How sad is that?

I also feel that this is an era where tolerance is taken to the extreme. For example: if parents discipline their kids rather "sternly", they're called "child abusers". I'm NOT saying I condone people who are mean to other people or to kids. That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is should tolerance mean that we tolerate everything? EVERY SINGLE THING? Because it sure feels like we're going that way sometimes and it's driving me mad.

I don't know what I'm getting at by writing all these thoughts 'coz I haven't really found the conclusion. All I know that I have this strong desire to share these thoughts in my blog. Maybe some of you have some enlightenment to share with me that'd help me out of this vicious cycle of thoughts. Who knows? ;-D

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Weekend Fun

I've just started filling up the Finnish citizenship form. I'm not eligible yet to apply, but I will in March (by then I'll have lived here for 4 years) he he I just want to get prepared so that when the time comes I only need to print it out and bring all the copies of the documents I need and apply for it. The bad news is that starting from this month, the fee to apply citizenship has gone up. ARRRGGGHHHH!!! But that's OK, 'coz at least I have the money for it. :-D

P.S. It took me a while to find out our travel dates abroad 'coz I have to fill in all the trips we made abroad during the time I've lived here (including the trips to Indo).

I DO hope the process isn't too long (though it's said it may take up to 18 months or even longer) - at least I hope I'll be able to get some confirmation before my residence permit runs out (it expires in March 2012 and if I have to renew it to get a long-lasting one, I have to pay 120 Euros PLUS another 20 Euros for the photos). So I DO hope that I'll be able to get the citizenship before that time comes, but we'll see. We'll see...

Yesterday we went to the in-laws' place and we played cards with BIL and SIL until 1 am he he he he he...It was -27'C when I walked to work ('coz R2 picked me up from work to go to in-laws' place), but the sky was GORGEOUSLY pink when the sun started to rise and there was even half a moon shining brightly. And it was really pretty to see sunlight shining the tree tops laden with snow. Simply gorgeous!!! :-D

Nowadays my work schedule is less crazy 'coz I've asked them to reduce my hours, so I have more time doing other things at home. It's GREAT 'coz even though I earn less money, but my life feels more balanced that way. In order to save as much money as I want per month, I only need to budget my grocery shopping more tightly he he he...especially 'coz I want to go to Indo later on (and we're thinking of stopping by in Hong Kong for a few days on the way to Indo) - but we'll see about that 'coz we need to save A LOT of money first (considering the both of us are going there and the plane tickets aren't exactly cheap).

Daydreaming, drooling, planning he he he he...I hope there's no trouble asking an extra week off from work later on (it's harder for me to ask about this kind of thing than R2 'coz the system at work is such that I have to ask directly from the headquarter), so keep your fingers crossed, people!!!

OK, now I'm going to relax for a while under the blanket hi hi hi...take GOOD care of yourselves, friends!

Friday, January 14, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Two of my closest friends are planning to visit us in Sodankylä this summer, so I hope it comes true and that I can take some days off from work to be able to be with them (I think I can 'coz I'm only a part-time worker - oh the joy!!!)

2. The hard working snow truck/snow blower workers who are always at work right after it's been snowing a lot, thus making life MUCH easier for us here.

3. Meeting a "mirror couple" - a couple who are similar with R2 and I (only the other way around: the hubby is more like me whereas the wife is more like R2). It's FUN to talk to someone who knows "us" and we're able to laugh about "us" he he...

4. Planning, budgeting, browsing - when it comes to our summer holiday to Indo.

5. Snowing on days when I didn't have my work shifts so I had plenty of time to clear up the snow on the yard. :-D

6. Meeting a retired Finnish lady (probably a former English teacher) who spoke to me in English and Finnish and chit-chatted with me for a while.

7. Hubby for making me laugh so much and making life with him feel so much FUN. :-D

8. Reading these words (taken from Max Lucado's book entitled "No Wonder They Call Him The Saviour" page 36, this chapter is called "The Tale of the Crucified Thief"):

Jesus’ love does not depend upon what we do for him. Not at all. In the eyes of the King, you have value simply because you are. You don’t have to look nice or perform well. Your value is inborn.


Think about that for just a minute. You are valuable just because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are. Remember that. Remember that the next time you are left bobbing in the wake of someone’s steamboat ambition.

Remember that the next time some trickster tries to hang a bargain basement price tag on your self-worth. The next time someone tries to pass you off as a cheap buy, just think about the way Jesus honors you...and smile.

I do. I smile because I know I don’t deserve love like that. None of us do. When you get right down to it, any contributions that any of us make is pretty puny. All of us—even the purest of us - deserve heaven about as much as that crook did. All of us are signing on Jesus’ credit card, not ours.

And it also makes me smile to think that there is a grinning ex-con walking the golden streets who knows more about grace than a thousand theologians. No one else would have given him a prayer. But in the end that is all that he had. And in the end, that is all it took.”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Northern Lights Clip

This one is a real-time Northern Lights video clip. Usually I only find those with pictures of Northern Lights so it's hard to imagine their movements, but this one is really special, so let me share it with you:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Love in a Peaceful World

One of the songs I love so much...oldie but goodie he he he..."Love in a Peaceful World" by Level 24. Boring clip, but just enjoy the song!!!

Some quotations to read while listening to the song:

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
~ Robert Louis Stevenson

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
~ Robert H. Schuller

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
~ Confucius

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
~ Mohandas K. Gandhi

I'm sure we've all read this poem before, but it's just so good that I have to share it again:

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be
shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may
be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have
and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway.

- Mother Teresa

Sunday, January 09, 2011

East Meets West

I remember someone telling me when I was still living in Indo that I wasn't too Eastern-minded and I think after having lived in Finland for a few years, I'm getting more Western-minded. Just a while ago I checked my FB account and found a friend who was frustrated with the "extreme hospitality of Indonesians" - meaning the people who keep on asking him when he's going to get married.

In his frustration, he wrote some answers that he might give and asked us to rate which one would be the best. I laughed when I read one of the answers he wrote, "And how about you yourself?
/ When are you going to get married? / When are you going to have kids? / When are you going to give your first child a sibling? / When are you going to die? / Why did you use drugs?". Another answer he gave was, "I'm too handsome, so there are too many candidates and it's just so hard to choose." It also made me laugh he he...

I know that when I go back to Indo again, they'll keep on asking me, "When are you going to have kids?"

And I'm either going to say, "Just pray for us" or "Go ask God when He's going to give us kids."

There's no escape these questions when you live in that type of society:

- When are you going to get married?
- When are you going to have kids?
- When are you going to have another kid? Your first child needs a little brother/sister?

I must say that living in a Western society that isn't "too friendly" has its advantages, especially for an infertile like me. I'm free from all those bothersome questions and I don't have to keep repeating my answers like a broken record. In Indo, unless you get married early and have at least two kids early, you can't avoid those questions and the more friends and colleagues and relatives you have, the more wedding invitations you'll get and during those wedding parties, you're bound to get asked those questions.

Another eastern thought is that when you're a widow/widower and you're "so old" already, why bother get married? I know a relative who's a widow. She's over 60 years old and she's now being approached by a widower (both of them have grown-up kids and grandchildren already). Her closest relatives think it's all up to her, but that doesn't mean that society would think that way. It's a whole different case here in the west. Even if you're 70 years old, if you want to get married, so be it. It's your right and your life. Why bother think about what other people think? It only makes your life more complicated.

A friend of mine who worked in a European country for a few years just returned to Indonesia. She experienced culture shock when she came back home. Being single, she thought that what would bothered her the most was the fact that she was single. Turned out that the most bothersome part was the fact that Indo people thought she was stinking rich 'coz she had earned Euros when she worked in that European country.

It takes a long time before she can feel at home again in Indo and there are many things in Indo that bother her now (that didn't bother her before). I even think that it's a worse culture shock when she came back to Indo rather than when she first moved to that European country, 'coz now she's used to life and culture in that European country.

I must say that I still know what the Eastern people think about many things, but these days I've learned to care less and less about that - what matters most is that my family supports me and understands my decisions.

In every culture there are also positive and negative aspects, but I strongly dislike all those chit-chat questions that I've written above. Caring for other people is good, but "caring too much" (a term given by a priest in my brother's church) is not good.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. The other day an old woman came by my workplace and she said with glee, "Ah, there you are! I've been wondering where you've been 'coz I haven't seen you in a while. I've MISSED YOU!" She really made my day! :-D

2. Another customer complimented on my Finnish. I'm TRULY grateful for anyone who speaks out their minds to make other people's days brighter. Bless him!

3. Another customer said to me, "I know one Japanese word. Hajimemashite!" I felt sorry to tell him that I wasn't Japanese, but I was really touched at his effort to be friendly! Bless him too!

4. Daydreaming about going back to Indo and planning about it and talking about it with hubby 'coz later on they'll ask us when we want our summer holiday, so now we know when we want to take it: September!!! ;-D Let's just hope my workplace gives me the permission to take an additional week off in September.

5. Talking to Mum via Skype and listening to whatever stories she has for me. :-D

6. Understanding even more that God's timing is really perfect (hindsight view always helps me understand more things in life).

7. Not feeling too "soul-tired" anymore (a term that Michelle Frost told me) - thanks to her and all the wonderful customers I've met at work.

8. Having two days off (I was supposed to get only one day off, but a coworker swapped her work shift with mine).

9. Hubby, for being who he is, for never having raised his voice at me and for buying me pepper steak yesterday.

10. Mint ice-cream, hot chocolate, fresh smoothies, and hot milk tea with honey. ;-D What can I say? I'm a foodie! :-D

Monday, January 03, 2011

Go Away Bugs!

Dang, I feel like I'm going to have a cold or something. There've been some viruses going around here and my best friend in Sodankylä has been down with it. Yesterday when I went to work, my coworker started losing her voice and I felt a bit of a headache when it was near closing time. I let myself sleep so long (12 hours) - even though it felt as though it wasn't enough still and if I had let myself, I would have been sleeping still. I'm drinking some vitamin now and I hope I won't catch any viruses.

Our New Year's eve was spent at my in-laws' place again. R2, MIL, and I played cards until about 2 am. I did go outside a bit to see some fireworks at around midnight, but didn't manage to take any good pics of them. We went there cycling, so we went back home cycling again.

When it comes to FIL - I guess there are good days and bad days. Sometimes he remembers MIL, sometimes not. But these days he sometimes uses the kind of cup that babies use before they start learning to drink from a regular glass, so it breaks my heart to see him like that and I can see that it's getting harder and harder for him to move (the body gets so stiff nowadays). But I salute MIL for having taken care of him with such patience and love...that's really what you call "loving in good times and bad times, in sickness and in health". For those who are praying, keep on praying for MIL so that she gets all the strength, patience, love, and comfort that she needs.

Anyway, let me continue with the photo shoots in Rovaniemi...

1st pic: Taken at around 10 am before the sun showed up above the trees.

2nd pic: I posted this pic also in FB and someone said the tree looked like a monster hi hi hi hi hi...

All the pics below were taken at around midday. Any fave pic?

OK, now I'm going to browse around for a little bit before going to work. Good thing we have a national holiday on 6th. YAAAAAAAAAAAYYY!!!! Take care, people, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!