Sunday, July 31, 2011

Picture Time!!!

Haven't been taking too many nature pics these days, but Friday night we went to Kelujärvi 'coz earlier that day MIL called and said that she was going to go and spend a night there, so she asked if we were going to visit her there on Saturday instead of her apartment. R2 came home a little earlier so I told him it'd be nicer if we could just go there that day instead of Saturday - it being such a nice, sunny day after all.

So we did. And we brought our little baby grill to grill some food outside. Then we played cards until late and we slept in the cabin whereas MIL slept in the house. The next day was really cloudy and rainy, so it was GREAT that we went there on Friday instead (Friday was 25'C and during the afternoon it was almost cloudless). OK OK, let me just share some pics now...

See how cloudless the sky was?

Yep, I was sunbathing on the bench ha ha...

And we ate berries with cream - bought the blueberries in the supermarket, whereas the strawberries and raspberries were from MIL's own garden. Yum yum...

Whose shadow was this? R2's and mine!!! I was sitting on the bench and he stood behind me HA HA HA HA HA...

Fake ripple effect of the lake in front of the cabin. Photo was taken at around 1.30 am he he...

Saturday afternoon we played cards again and went to sauna there, then I saw several curlews (kuovi is the Finnish term), so I ran and grabbed my camera and took many pics from inside the house. There were blurry pics 'coz they moved so fast ha ha ha ha...but these three turned out pretty good IMO.

This last pic is an experimental one. Guess what that object is? Anyone knows? HE HE...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Puzzle Oh Puzzle

When I bought the 1,000-piece puzzle, I didn't realize how hard it would be to find the cardboard to use as a canvas for it - that is, to find a perfectly flat cardboard size 70 x 50 cm. I don't want to use the TV cardboard just in case we need it later on, so I have to make do with a cardboard that isn't completely flat (you know, I have to use the little bit on top that has been folded?). I just hope it wouldn't disrupt the entire picture after I'm done with the puzzle.

But anyway, I just want to show you the progress I've made so far. I don't do it every day, but when the mood strikes, I can be at it for an hour or so at least at one go. Mind you that I'd never done any puzzle this big before in my entire life nor did I ever have any interest in doing it before ha ha ha ha ha...

I've actually bought another box of puzzle last year, but I never got around to doing it (it's a pic of dolphins). If and when I'm doing it later on after finishing this one, I'll let you know.

I must say that I was overwhelmed (read: panicked) when I first opened the package 'coz I didn't know where to start. So many small pieces ha ha ha ha ha...I felt out of my league, but I calmed myself down and told myself that I just had to start one piece at a time, so I tried colour-coding the pieces that look to be of the same group together. It was REALLY slow in the beginning and I was frustrated 'coz I didn't know where to start. I think I got stuck after putting 10 pieces together, but after I left them be for a few days, I got a fresh eye when I got back to doing it and now it's going slowly but surely ha ha ha...

OK OK let me just show you the picture then...I still have A LONG WAY to go. Why did I want to start doing puzzles, you wonder? Well, just wanna challenge my brain in different ways, I suppose. :-D

Thursday, July 28, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby said the other day with a winning smile on his face, "I got a jackpot when I married you." Awwwwwwwwww...I melted right away...;-D

2. Every time I think that my work shift is going to be hellish, I send a little prayer to God for help and He always makes things better for us all who are working that day.

3. Finally had a chance to meet my friend yesterday and we had a nice time chit-chatting about different topics for hours!!! :-D

4. Hot days in between cooler days with some rain in between, so it's not too hellish esp. to sleep at nights.

5. Making progress in doing a puzzle even though in the beginning I got stuck badly (the first big puzzle I've ever done on my own).

6. Finding very cheap summer sandals and also something else for Ken on a HUGE discount. :-D

7. R2 has a week off next week due to his accumulated overtime so we're going to the cabin sometime next week when I don't have any work shifts. YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!! Quality time, people! Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Brain Age Test + Ken

A friend of mine sent us a link to this fun Brain Age Test and ever since then I had been looking for brain games to play with 'coz I've been having free days from work he he he...

So if you have some free spare time, just click on the above link and game on!!! Wanna know my brain age? 43!!! HA HA HA HA...Yeah, I sucked in doing two of the tests, namely the word test and also "find the difference" test. But anyway, I had fun in doing the test and nobody else should know your result, so don't worry about that ha ha...

Today I picked up a package for Ken (my bro's son). SO EXCITED!!! I've been buying things for him ever since last year, so he'll be getting more gifts from me than the others he he...I bet the others won't be jealous, though, 'coz Ken needs as much stimulation as he can gets to improve his brain power.

He'll turn 3 years old next October and he know his alphabet already. He can count up to (at least) 20 in Indonesian and he can count up to 12 in English. He recognizes letters in words, though he can't spell words yet (but my Mom's slowly teaching him to spell).

The last time I met him, he couldn't talk yet (13 months old) and he was just starting to walk on his own. Now his vocabulary has grown A LOT. He can sing many songs from the beginning until the end without help.
Overall he's been a joy for my parents as well as his own parents (my bro and SIL). Can't wait to meet him again. WHOOOOPPPPEEEE!!! I LOVE counting down to going back to Indo he he he...

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Mother's Prayer

The other day I called my Mom through Skype and she told me one other prayer she had for us (her kids). She had told me one prayer she had for us when she was in labour room. She said that she prayed that God would help smoothen our paths each step of the way, but I never knew she had another prayer all these years he he he...

The second one is that she prayed for a "normal" life for us without any huge "gap" between us - for example she wouldn't wish that one of us would become so rich whereas the other one could be so poor. She just want us to have enough of everything. And I must say that so far her prayers have come true.

Most of all, I'm SO VERY thankful for having a praying mother who loves us equally, who listens to us, who understands us, who supports our decisions, who guides us without forcing her wishes upon us, who doesn't make us feel guilty about anything (including her sacrifices). And I can't wait to meet her and the rest of my family and friends again sometime soon in Indo!!!! Yep, counting down to our Indo trip he he he...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Learning Balance: Swaying From One Extreme to Another

I don't know about your lives, but I'm going to tell you how life's made me learn balance in some ways. It's by swaying from one extreme to another. Yep. I wanna know if anyone else has ever experienced something like this. Let me explain it more detailed manner then.

I was not only born a planner (temperamentally), but I also have parents who taught me how to plan things well, so planning has been deeply rooted in my blood. One close friend was once shocked at how my planner brain worked. She said it was scary that I could plan things that way (too many details, she said). So you can say that I was quite extreme regarding this matter.

However, once I moved to Finland, I was forced NOT to plan ANYTHING at all. When I moved to Finland, I was jobless and I didn't even know when a full-time Finnish course was going to happen. All I could do was enjoy the moment, make the best of my time, and hope for the best. Granted it was forced by life on me, but still I made quite a huge sway from the first extreme to another.

Now that I've been in both sides and now that life seems to be going back to its normal course (I can speak the language and I've got a part-time job), I get to make some short-term, general plans but I also don't want to lose the joy of the moment. In the past, I used to feel that I had one leg over my future realm so my focus on the present moment was half blurry. Now I don't want to lose the joys of the moments, so I think I'll try to keep steady in having the balance between the present and the future.

Another experience like this happens on being open to others. I used to be so introverted and I kept everything inside, even when it came to my closest friends. Then along the years someone taught me the joy of being open to others, but I took it to the extreme. I shared too many details with my closest friends, even though on hindsight some of them weren't ready to know that much. Not everybody is ready to hear the truth at its rawest level, so now before I become too open to people, I have to think of the listeners as well and the state of their readiness.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Arabic Belly Dance Videos

Just in case you wonder what kind of videos I found in youtube, let me share with you the first videos of the two series of videos I found (you can click on the links to find the other parts). Each series consists of 4 videos.

I found them accidentally when I was browsing for some dance aerobics exercises to help burn my calories. They're easy enough for me to follow (I'm not good at dancing), so I hope those of you who've never tried belly dancing before can also enjoy these videos he he...

The first series is called "Arabic Belly Dance Basic Moves". Here's the link to the first part of it:

Here's the clip:

The second series is called "Arabic Belly Dance Fat Burning". Here's the link to the first part of it:

Here's the video clip:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

3BT: Random Days

1. Taking a nap together with hubby or sleeping together with him is pure bliss.

2. Having met two close friends whom I hadn't met in real life in 5 years (one has been friends with me since we were 14, the other one has been friends with me since we were 16).

3. Having one of those two friends confirming what I had felt all along: that my MIL reminds me of my own mother.

4. Having a part-time job that allowed me to spend as much time as possible with my friends.

5. Not having to cook too much the week when my friends were here (I only cooked reindeer meat once) and being able to enjoy my friend's delicious dishes and cakes and biscuits. :-D

6. PERFECT weather during their stay. Couldn't have asked for more!

7. One of those two friends confirmed to me that I had grown into a much more relaxed person. It's nice to have confirmation about such a thing.

8. The roses in the garden bloomed and they smelled WONDERFUL.

9. Getting another's POV enables me to see things through their eyes and thus allowing me to appreciate more what I have.

10. Receiving so much foodstuff from my two friends. They have packed so much Indo food and goodies in their suitcases. Yum yum...

11. Having a private BBQ with hubby the other day and then during the afternoon I cooked delicious Indo food using the food stuff that my friends brought me.

12. Colder days after such hot days and the rain was such a bliss 'coz then it means my whole garden got free water (which is the best water for them anyway according to MIL).

13. Today is my last work day of the week, which means I'll have more time to blog and do other stuff from tomorrow. YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

14. Finding easy basic belly dancing exercises in youtube which I could follow pretty well. I'm gonna try them again tomorrow. :-D

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

General Observation: Holland versus Sodankylä

Let me share with you some general observation by my friend who's been living in Holland for 8 years. She's been traveling much around Europe and she's also been to the States a few times. Here are some notes that she told me when she compared Holland, Europe in general, and Sodankylä.

1. For such a small village, Sodankylä has a wide range of products at each supermarket and each supermarket offers many more imported products. The selection of veggies isn't that much compared to Holland, but we've got more fresh veggies compared to Holland. The difference is that in Holland they have many more specialty food stores such as Chinese food stores or Indian food stores.

2. The weather in Sodankylä is drier compared to Holland. My friend can only stand wearing hard lenses for a few hours at a time here in Sodankylä. I just found out that in Holland if she hangs her laundry inside the house, it takes days before they get dry. In Sodankylä, we never hang our laundry outside the house, but most of the time they get dry in 24 hours (except for the collars of some thick sweaters, then it takes longer to get completely dry).

3. Houses don't get dirty easily here in Sodankylä compared to Holland. In Holland it gets dusty more easily. I told my friend that in winter it's easier for houses to stay cleaner 'coz of the snow.

4. The average height for the people here is WAY shorter than that in Holland ha ha ha...

5. In Holland there aren't many buffet lunches being offered by restaurants, whereas in Finland there are plenty of restaurants offering rather cheap buffet lunches (all-you-can-eat buffet) at around €9/person. The prices of food (a la carte menu) and grocery are almost equal to those in Holland.

However, compared to USA (another friend has lived in USA for 10 plus years), Europe is still MUCH more expensive when it comes to food and the selection of food and the portion of food sold in restaurants.

6. The most expensive country she's been in Europe is Norway.

7. My two friends are confused why there are so many darker-skinned non-blonde Finnish people in Lapland compared to Southern Lapland where there are many fair-skinned blonde Finnish.

I've just googled a little to find out about this and let me just copy and paste the possible explanation taken from this site:

All the rest of the countries of Asia are inhabited by the Asiatic race. These people have dusky, yellowish skins, of the color of dried orange-peel, and sometimes of a tawny white. They have coarse, straight, black hair, and small, black eyes. The people in Lapland and Greenland also belong to this race.
Note: The two pics in this post were taken in Arktikum museum in Rovaniemi.

Monday, July 04, 2011

After The Fun

Yep, back to routine life again after a week of fun with my friends. The last time I met them was around 5 years ago (back in 2006). I must say that they came at the right time. A week before they came, the weather was horrible. It rained almost every day and the sun only came out on Thursday. Last week the sun was out EVERY DAY and it got even as hot as 30'C. Yep, they were laughing and saying that they could get some tan in Lapland, of all the places in the world! He he he he he he he...We went to the river bank and my two friends went for a dip in the river.

On Friday we had a BBQ party in my place and we had a blast. I invited my BIL, SIL, MIL, R2's cousin (close friend) and also two friends (but only one of them could come). We had too much food and drinks, but at least we had more than enough for everybody ha ha ha...

Here are some pics of the BBQ party...

We bought the wrong kind of BBQ grill 'coz it was so small, but then again we had prepared so much food that it was OK to wait for a long time to grill the satay and sausages HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...R2 was the grill master and I helped out in between chatting with the guests.

My friend made this delicious German cheesecake he he he...

The rest of the guests...

Yesterday we drove to Rovaniemi and stopped by at Santa Claus Village. We met Santa there and took a pic he he...It was free to come inside to meet him, but we couldn't take pictures inside, so we had to buy some ourselves.

Here's a pic of us in Santa Claus Village area. R2 wanted to be the female elf HA HA HA HA HA wasn't I who told him to do that! :-D

OK, now it's time for me to blog-hop a little. I feel that I'm starting to have a cold or something 'coz my throat feels a bit weird and I slept so long yet I still feel so tired. I've been coughing during my sleep, but I've taken some cough medicine now. I'm just going to take it easy before I have to go to work later on. Good thing I have some days off now to recuperate.