Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Sprinkle of This and That

Been sneezing and my nose is runny. Not fun!!! Good thing is that I only have two work days next week so I have plenty of time to rest.

Yesterday went to my in-laws and turned out they had a little accident during the night the day before. FIL woke up to pee, but he fell down in the living room when he tried to take off his pants). MIL woke up, tried to help him up, but for some reason his legs wouldn't move for a while and due to MIL's and FIL's weight difference (he's about 30 cm taller), MIL accidentally sprained her back while trying to help him up. After all, dead weight must weigh MUCH more than the actual weight. She was thinking of calling an ambulance 'coz it was already 1.30 am, but after some time, he managed to help her help himself up.

When we arrived yesterday, MIL had just taken some painkiller, so I asked her if she had some kind of balm/salve to use for back pain. She forgot that she had that kind of spray, so I helped her spray it twice yesterday. Hope it helps a little. Tomorrow I'm gonna visit my friend and drop by her house first to check if she needs more help with the spray. Poor MIL!!! Hope she gets better fully later on, though it's kinda hard to know 'coz FIL's body has been rather stiff (esp. when he wakes up from long sleep) so it's gonna strain her body too. May God give her strengthhhhh...

On a brighter note, though, when I had a short work shift the other day, the little girl who likes me (whom I adore) came with her parents and younger sibling. I said hi to her happily and the Dad told me that she was so happy to see my bike in front of my workplace (yeah, there's no other adult except me who uses a kiddy's bike that has red bags at the back side). After telling me that, the little girl said, "Amelia's bike!" HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...She's just SO CUTE!!!

Anyhow, another piece of good news came from Mom. She said that my bro had booked the tickets to Bali. Now Mom's trying to remind Dad to eat properly so that his health stays stable 'coz otherwise it's not going to be easy to go on the trip to Bali later on.

Anyway, here's an old pic of me. I must've been around 3 or 4 years old at that time and that's my cousin next to me (he said in Facebook that it looked like he was scared of being scolded 'coz either he had tasted the cake with his finger or he was about to do so) hi hi hi...

Friday, February 25, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Body lotion for dry skin. Very useful and essential for living in a cold place like Sodankylä.

2. Bought hubby and myself a pair of soft, cuddly heart-shaped pillows that change shape according to the pressure given to them (to hug on our separate reclining sofas) and when I asked him what that type of pillow was called (I wanted to know what they were called in Finnish), he immediately said "Amel" (meaning that was the name he'd given the pillow). My heart melted right away. :-D

3. Two days ago, hubby just booked a short trip to Budapest for us for our upcoming winter holiday. WHOOOPPPEEEE!!! Honeymoon (again)! :-D

4. Making hubby laugh by gazing at him tenderly while saying "I love you", then in a split second I push my face as fast as I can as close as I can to his face with my "scary" look (eyes wide open in a horror movie style). That really made him laugh so much last night that I had to keep doing it a few times - and still he kept on laughing so much every time I did it. *tee hee*

5. Hearing news that my parents are probably going to Bali together with my bro, his wife, and Ken (and maybe with my bro's wife's family too). Happy to hear that they can go on a holiday together!

6. Taking pictures of nature:

First pic: tracks on a frozen river.

Unheated buildings...

Look at the frozen windows!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In Between "Two Worlds"

When I was a child, I used to think of myself being in between two worlds: the real world and my imaginary world. I considered my imaginary world as a place where I could run away to whenever I needed to. I even imagined myself standing in the middle of two worlds where I had one foot on the real world and another foot on the imaginary world and I was happy to be able to stand like that between those two worlds. They helped me cope with life, so to speak.

Recently I read a blog post that reminds me of this. She moved to NY from the UK and she's now been living in NY for years. She stated that she would never become a true blue New Yorker, but she also felt that she didn't "belong" in the UK anymore. She said the feeling didn't make her feel troubled, but it just felt weird.

I can relate to that. After having lived in Finland for almost 4 years, what I consider "normal" has changed. When I first moved to Finland, my perspective and what I considered "normal" was still very Indonesian, but now I know more about "the norms" in this place and what people do and what people expect from the government, etc. I don't feel that I ever want to live in Indo again (though if I REALLY have to and there's no other choice, I know I can make it), but I'll never become a true blue Finnish person anyway even if I have a Finnish citizenship later on.

Speaking of this topic, I've always been a "foreigner" whether I was in Indo or in Finland, so I'm used to that. I'm used to being the "minority" 'coz I'm a non-native person. Now I feel like I'm in between two worlds again in this real world: between Finland and Indo.

It doesn't matter, though, even though I'll never become a native my entire life (roughly speaking, even if I move to China 'coz my grandparents are Chinese, they won't consider me as a native 'coz I can't speak the language), I know where I belong. First and foremost, God accepts me the way I am and loves me. Secondly, I've got my family and plenty of friends who accept me the way I am. That's enough. Isn't that what we all need? To be accepted and loved just the way we are, whoever we are, wherever we are?

Anyhow, here are some more winter pictures I took yesterday...

First pic: "snowy flowers" he was around -17'C or -18'C yesterday.

I just LOVE LOVE LOVE the shadow/sunlight patches on the snow...don't you?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First Trip Abroad

When I was still studying at the uni, I had many emailpals 'coz I wanted to improve my English. One of them became rather close to me 'coz we shared some similarities (he's a year older than me). He then had an idea to go abroad together with me, but 'coz he knew I couldn't afford going somewhere too far, he suggested Singapore.

While studying at the uni, I had started earning money by becoming a private English tutor. Back then I only had classes from morning until around 2 pm at the latest and on some days I only had one class, so I had plenty of time to teach after 2 pm. Through word of mouth, I got more and more students as time went by, so once I graduated, I had accumulated some money for travel. It wasn't much, but enough for a 6-day trip to Singapore.

So this emailpal of mine first came to Bandung to visit me for the first time in 2000 and then we went to Singapore together. Prior to his coming to Indo, I naturally had told my parents about our wish to go to Singapore together. My Mom supported me fully, but my Dad was worried. Being a hard-headed person like me, I told my Mom that no matter what I was going to go with this emailpal of mine. So Mom (BLESS HER!!!) became the bridge between me and Dad. If I had to go talk to Dad on my own, we would have had a fight probably. Mom's the best bridge of all time between me and Dad.

For those of you westerners out there, you may wonder why it's this way, but I grew up in Asia where things are different. I lived with my parents until I moved to Finland at the age of 28 years old, so I knew my parents would also consider me as "green" when it came to my wish to go to Singapore at the age of 22 with an emailpal I had never met in real life. However, I was adamant 'coz I wanted to prove to them (and myself) that I could come back in one piece. Why? Because all my life I have been wanting to travel abroad when I have the money and opportunity and if my parents can't trust me enough to go abroad with a friend at that time, they would probably have a harder time letting me go somewhere farther on my own.

In order to appease Dad's worry at that time, I conveyed the problem to my emailpal and he understood it (he has plenty of Asian friends, so even though he's a foreigner, he understands the Asian world). He then had this idea on how he could help, so he wrote an email to my parents (in English) to introduce himself and explain why we wanted to go abroad together. He also stated that we would take good care of each other. After printing that letter out and giving it to Mom (who then gave it to Dad), we got Dad's full permission. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!! :-D I was SO thrilled!

And my closest friends also helped by telling Mom how nice my emailpal was after we spent time with him in Bandung before we went to Singapore together and of course he also dropped by our place a few times, so my Mom could meet him beforehand. I'm sorry to have to lie to my parents by telling them that we'd stay in different rooms, but I just couldn't afford staying in a different room, so we had to share a room to keep the cost low.

But anyway, nothing bad happened. We enjoyed the trip and it was really fun. We almost had a scare when going back to Indo 'coz at Singapore airport, they asked for my emailpal's return ticket from Jakarta to his home country (so the itinerary was he stayed in Indo for a week, then we went to Singapore for 6 days, then he stayed in Indo again for another week). He said he didn't bring it. Finally the Singapore official let him go back to Indo, though they warned him that he might get into trouble in Jakarta airport.

At that time we didn't understand anything about it, so we just disregarded it. Turned out that when we were going out of Jakarta airport, the official wouldn't let him go unless he either could show that he had sufficient funds in his bank account (or credit card) or show that he had the return ticket, he wouldn't let him go out of the airport.

At that time he was still working part-time and studying at the same time, so he didn't have that much money nor enough limit in the credit card. Meanwhile, I had just graduated from university, so I also didn't have any credit card nor too much money in my bank account (in fact, I used up almost all of my 4-year savings that I got from tutoring kids for the whole trip, so I was broke when we got back from Singapore).

We were confused and anxious and worried at that time, but my friend finally decided to ransack through his backpack and ta-daaaa...he FOUND the return ticket!!! He didn't even realize that he had brought it all along! If he hadn't found it, I would have probably have to go back to Bandung alone to retrieve the ticket and go back to Jakarta. Phew!!! What a mess!!!

But all's well that ends well. That trip opened up more opportunities for me to go abroad on my own - such as when I first went to Finland for the first time in 2004. :-)))) I didn't even have to convince my parents anymore 'coz they knew I could take good care of myself he he he...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Taking a walk in the forest on such a lovely sunny day and taking these photos:

2. Being told by hubby "You're SO cute" after we just woke up (before brushing my teeth or combing my hair). :-D

3. Being spoiled and spoiling hubby.

4. Having better work shifts these days due to the fact that two new workers have started working.

5. Sunshine. So much sunshine these days energizes me more!

6. Reading good stories that make me intrigued, enlightened, more informed, humored.

7. Clouds...beautiful clouds...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thought of the Day

*cross-posted with my other blog*

I ain't got no children of my own to tuck in, but I LOVE tucking in hubby on the sofa for his naps. And I know he ENJOYS it thoroughly, as well. I LOVE watching his face - whether he's asleep or awake. Such a lovely piece of God's artwork...

I agree with what "they" say - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I think I love him more and more after IF. We've grown closer and closer and we've depended on each other even more and more as time goes by - as well as having more fun together (we've even created many short "cartooney" stories together and laugh about them together - our secret, fun world). Together, just the two of us, stitching memories day by day into our quilt of life...

I'm SO blessed to have him as a hubby!

A few years' experience will convince us that those things which at the time they happened we regarded as our greatest misfortunes have proved our greatest blessings.
~ George Mason

A sense of blessedness comes from a change of heart, not from more blessings.
~ Mason Cooley

Quotes taken from:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Inventory Valentine

Yep, didn't do anything much on Valentine's Day 'coz we had inventory night yesterday. Had to do a morning shift and then go back home to take a nap before going back to work in the evening. Busy day indeed. THANK GOD I have two days off, so I can rest and blog and blog-hop he he...

Yesterday got a surprise from the same grandpa who had bought me flowers twice already on different occasions. He bought another pot for someone else, but he was so nice that he even asked me which one I wanted (of the two pots that he had brought to the cashier). Here's the pot that he gave me:


My coworker said, "He must have a crush on you." I just laughed it off, 'coz I know he's not like that. He has a wife and he cares about me like a grandpa cares about a grandchild, so I always accept the flowers happily (without any weird feelings). :-)))

Another funny thing that happened yesterday was that another grandpa came by and while paying for the things he bought, he said, "XXX (the little girl who kinda likes me) said hi."

I thanked him and he said, "I'm her grandpa. She keeps on saying your name."

I said, "She's such a sweet girl." The proud grandpa said, "Yes, she is, isn't she?" BLESS HER TOO!!! I did meet the little girl a few days before her grandpa came by and it was so nice to see her smile and hear her say my name hi hi...:-D

If you wonder what I get from R2...well, he's not that kind of romantic guy, but he did wait for me to come back home even though I hadn't asked nor expected him to do so. The other month on inventory night, I told him, "Don't wait up for me 'coz I don't know how long it'd take." But he said, "But what if I DO want to wait for you?" HE HE HE...He's that kind of "romantic" type of guy and that suits me just fine. :-D And we still hold hands every time we watch movies together, even though my palms get sweaty easily but it doesn't bother him. :-D

Okie dokie, time to blog-hop 'coz I have a lot to catch up on!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Romance In The Air

Before we went to sleep:

Me: (squeezing him SOOOO tightly) "I WANT YOUUUUUUUUUUU!!!"
R2: (with his usual calm way) "You do have me. "
Me: "Yeah, but I still DO want you. Isn't that good that I still want you even though I have you already? If I have you but I don't want you anymore, that's sad, isn't it?"
R2: "Yeah." (too sleepy to continue the conversation)

Yep, still want him SO badly even though I have him in my arms. Sometimes I just stare at him for a long time - partly to tease him. If I stare at him too long, he'll then do something to "get rid of me" (e.g. to stop me from staring at him) HA HA HA HA HA HA...

I can't wait for our winter holiday later on. We may not go anywhere far (probably just to Rovaniemi or the cabin), but it'll be nice to be able to do whatever we want for the whole week. I'm also planning to book a massage for us, but we'll see about that. Have to count the budget first and think before deciding he he...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

False Guilt

Lately I've been having wars with false guilt and while talking to some close friends, I know they've also experienced this kind of war. Feeling false guilt is tiring and frustrating. One type of the false guilt I've gotten over with is the "guilt" I felt for not being able to provide a grandchild to my parents and my in-laws. For some time the guilt stayed in my heart, but after a while I realized it wasn't "good guilt", so I threw it away. Every time it tried to appear, I threw it away again and again and now it's gone.

Another one that I'm trying to conquer now is the false guilt I have felt for saying "no", especially when I feel that I really don't want to take "more than I can handle", even if that means someone else has to do it. However, other people also have the power and right to say no, so it's not my fault if I set up my own limits of when I should say "yes" and when I should say "no".

I know one friend is experiencing false guilt now for not being able to take care of her father more often. I told her that it wasn't "healthy guilt" 'coz she has her own family and child to take care of and her Mom is the one who is more responsible to take care of her husband. I know it's hard to get rid of the guilt 'coz in the Asian world, normally the children feel more pressure to take care of their aging parents.

Another close friend has just told me that she used to feel guilty when she couldn't reply to our emails as often as she wanted to. However, due to her busy schedule, she knew she had to rearrange her own expectations so that she wouldn't be burdened with false guilt.

I come to think that it's true that in life we have to set up certain limits for ourselves, boundaries so that we don't get "carried away" with other people's pressures or expectations. Sometimes it's not so easy to figure out the boundaries settings, but if we don't do it ourselves, other people or life's circumstances will keep pushing the boundaries and in the end you'll feel invaded, frustrated, jaded, and even angry.

Anyway, I leave you now with these pics of a woodpecker that I was lucky enough to see the other day in front of my MIL's place. I wanted to take more pics, but it flew away already by then.

MIL said that just like a squirrel, woodpeckers love hiding its food somewhere. That was why it went up the tree, I suppose. :-D

OK, I'll blog hop later. Hope everybody's doing GREAT. ;-D I myself am a little bit under the weather (again), so I'm gonna take it easy and rest a lot during my days off.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. New workers are coming soon to help us at work. We've been understaffed for a while now, so it's about time that they come before everything becomes chaotic.

2. Fresh bed sheets and clean floor.

3. Patient customers who tell me not to hurry when I half-run to serve them. BLESS THEM!

4. BAPAO!!! (AKA sweet bread dumplings) I found frozen bapao in a supermarket here and I'm going to buy more to stock them in the freezer. YEEEAAAHHH!!! ;-D

5. Becoming hubby's shadow. I have this habit of holding him from the back and following him around every now and then (usually after he takes his nap), making it hard for him to move around freely when he tries to make himself some coffee HUE HE HE HE HE HE...

6. Reading these words in this beautiful post:

Laura Bush, in her recent book, writes:
The English language lacks the words to mourn an absence. For the loss of a parent, grandparent, spouse, child or friend, we have all manner of words and phrases, some helpful some not...

But for an absence, for someone who was never there at all, we are wordless to capture that particular emptiness. For those who deeply want children and are denied them, those missing babies hover like silent ephemeral shadows over their lives.

Who can describe the feel of a tiny hand that is never held?
7. Talking to my Mom on Skype and listening about Ken's antics.

8. Chit-chatting with a few customers - one of them made me laugh so much with his jokes. :-D

9. Having a hubby who is very gentle, soft spoken, patient, and he makes me laugh so much.

10. My friend invited me to join a Finnish learning group in FB so I can ask anything I want to a proper teacher for free and I just joined it. YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSS!!! ;-D

11. Having true friends that I can trust, that never betrayed me, that I can count on.