Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Busybodies Much?

When my Mom went with a group of Indo tourists and tour guide to Taiwan, she had no idea if they would be her age or not. Turned out most of them were 50-70 years old, so around her age group. Among them, there was one woman in her mid thirties and a man in his early forties. The woman was accompanying her 70-year-old dad during the trip. She was single and she paid for her father's trip including hers. The man was a dentist who accompanied his mother and he was also single.

Knowing that, many of the older ladies in the group tried to set them up. And they were rather persistent!!! They kept telling her that she should spend more time with him, but she said that she didn't want to be the first one to make the move. Then one time they even tried to create a situation where he would be forced to sit next to her in the tour bus. I was shaking my head in disbelief when I heard the story. 

I remember an incident when one of my first friends got married earlier than the others (if I remember correctly it was in 2001 - I graduated from uni in 2000 at the age of 22 y.o.). We were invited to her house the day before the wedding to celebrate her "hen night". This kind of hen night isn't the same as in Hollywood movies. It's usually a party set up in the bride's parents' house where they invite the bride's friends and relatives to enjoy the last day of her being single. On that particular hen night, there was SO MUCH food 'coz apparently many of her relatives also cooked and brought different dishes (I seem to remember at least more than a dozen type of dishes). In some cases the bride and family may opt to just buy food from the restaurant.

Note: Mind you that in Indo the dishes are main food and side dishes, not hors d'oeuvres or snacks. So a combination of rice with pork dishes, chicken dishes, beef dishes, fish/seafood dishes, noodles, etc. (at the very least there are usually 3-6 dishes to accompany the rice) And no alcoholic drinks served. Just water, tea, and/or soft drinks.

Anyway, after taking the food, some female friends and I were sitting down on the sofa, talking to the bride and enjoying the food while one older relative of hers (an uncle or something) passed us by and said, "Oh, look at the row of ladies here! You! (pointing to a girl with dimples) You're really pretty! Are you single? What's your name? Can I have your phone number? I want to introduce you to someone."

The girl just giggled and said nothing, but that moment I felt like being in a shop display for a matchmaker. Goodness! It was really awkward and I just wished he'd go away pronto - which I think he did after the girl didn't say anything much. I don't remember too much of what happened next except that (I think) he was too eager to ask for that girl's name and phone number. But anyway, we were able to continue talking to the bride in peace again without being bothered. Mostly we asked her about the beauty salon that she chose and where she ordered the cake and stuff like that, because none of us had got married yet, so it was interesting to get to know her experience. But yeah, Indo people can be TOO involved in other people's affairs. That's for sure.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


This music composition makes me close my eyes and forget about everything. I think this song below is so epic. It sucks me into this amazing world of sounds and emotions. It is so powerful that I just can't focus on anything else while listening to it. I'll just let it drown me in its beauty...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Long Overdue Photos

I haven't been taking photos with my camera in a while and the battery was dead, so here are two pics from the end of August he he he...taken during our cabin trip at that time. 

And here are two pics taken this weekend. MIL bought some liquorice pipes and we had fun posing hi hi hi...

And some outdoor photos:

And here's a pic of our hands just for size comparison. :-D

Hope you've had a lovely weekend, people! :-D

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"I Am Worth Loving Too" Challenge

Was visiting Crow's Feet yesterday when I found this lovely challenge, so today I browsed through my long list of beautiful songs in youtube in order to find at least 10 songs he he he...Here's the aim of the meme from Infinite Sadness or Hope?:

“Get a pen and paper (or pull up a blank word file on your computer) and compile a lit of songs which remind you how loved you are and/or remind you that you are worth loving.


They should be songs that mean something to you and my advice is to aim for about 10-12 songs.


Once you have written your list or lists set about finding and obtaining those songs.


Once you have them all, burn yourself a CD or set up a playlist on your music player, that you can use any time you are feeling down or lacking in self-worth and need some encouragement.


And how about sharing the fact that you have taken up this challenge on your blog and sharing your list with others.  You can even share why certain songs mean so much to you.  Oh and feel free to link back here so that I can check out your songs too.”

OK, here goes. To make it easier for you to listen to the songs, I'm linking each song title to its youtube video. :-D

These first two songs were my anchors that held me up while I was in my IF hell and I always cried like crazy when listening to these songs during those darkest infertility moments, but afterwards I always felt better. :-D

1. I Will Lift My Eyes - Bebo Norman

2. Bring The Rain - Mercy Me

3. Like a Satellite - Thunder

This third song is a special song for me, 'coz it was one of the songs that hubby sent me while we were on a long-distance relationship. The lyrics are really suitable with our situation at that time, so it sort of becomes our unofficial love song ha ha ha...

4. I Knew I Loved You - Savage Garden

When I first heard this fourth song, I also thought it was so suitable with my love story with hubby. I knew I loved him before I met him and vice versa. Here's a brief recap of our relationship for those who don't know: On Trust and Relationship.

"I knew I loved you before I met you
I think I dreamed you into life
I knew I loved you before I met you
I have been waiting all my life..."

5. Crash 'n Burn - Savage Garden

Another Savage Garden song ha ha...These lyrics really uplift me (and I REALLY love the sign language at the end of the video clip):

"When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone"

6. Just The Way You Are - Bruno Mars

No need for more words, eh? The title says it all ha ha...

7. Home - Michael Buble

This song was my comfort during the time when hubby and I separated for around 4 months after our wedding and honeymoon 'coz I had to deal with paperwork before I finally got my residence permit. It was HELLISH to be apart after such a lovely wedding and honeymoon and we cried a lot during the separation...

"May be surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home..."

I'd listen to the song and cry my heart out while singing along he he he...

8. Love in a Peaceful World - Level 42

I've always loved this song and again I think the title says it all, no?

"Ego and pride the great divide
I was but I'm not crazy now
don't multiply the tears we cry
I want love in a peaceful world"

9. You Were There - Southern Sons

This song always makes me feel mushy mushy inside.

"But you were there, and you were
everything I'd never seen.
You woke me up from this long and endless sleep.
And I was alone.
I opened my eyes and you were there."

10. Broken - Steven Curtis Chapman

When I feel world weary and jaded, I always listen to this song and I feel instantly better. :-D

11. Beautiful In My Eyes - Joshua Kadison

This one is an additional song I found while browsing through the songs from Infinite Sadness or Hope's list. I've always loved this song, but I forgot all about it. It's a lovely song about growing old together and true love (again ha ha ha...). So I just have to add this one 'coz I felt bliss while listening to it. :-D

Sunday, October 21, 2012


When I first started working in my current workplace, I was really unsure about my ability. The only thing that made me even think of sending an application there was the words someone said to me. She said she believed I was ready to work in a place like that. She was helping us at the Finnish course. She taught us how to send applications, how to make a CV in Finnish and how to find jobs online and things like that. Without her encouragement, I don't think I would have found the courage to send the application letter. :-D

Another thing I was unsure about was the fact that I wasn't a people person and I had zero experience in the field. Would I survive in that kind of environment? On the other hand, I wanted to be able to use my Finnish actively so that it wouldn't get rusty. The first few months in my current workplace were rough. I was really wondering whether or not I should continue. I wasn't even sure that they'd renew my contract (the first contract was only for 3 months). After getting the permanent job contract, I was thinking that I would only be able to continue working in this kind of place for 2 years max. Seriously.

Until I started getting to know the workplace, my workload, and the product range better. Until some customers started giving me feedback that made me believe that this was/is the right place for me (that's why I'm forever grateful to all those people who've given me verbal feedback and words of encouragement because they're God's angels on earth). 

I knew my limitations from the start. Other than the language, one other limit is my height (I'm only 145 cm). There are some things that my taller coworkers can do better and faster than me. And because they're native Finns, naturally they're able to explain things better pronto (compared to myself who needs more time to think of a way to explain things that I've never encountered before). And if a new problem occurs, they know better whom to call and what to do and how to explain it to the customers or the boss.

In the beginning, whenever someone asked me a question that I couldn't answer, I always called my coworker to help out. Over the past 2 years and 4 months I've learnt to pick up words and phrases from my coworkers and customers and that's helped me respond more "automatically" in similar circumstances. As to my height, there's nothing I can do about it, but at least there's a stool at work that I can use whenever I need it. :-D 

Luckily the coworkers and bosses I've met and worked with have been nice and fair people. They've never treated me differently despite the fact that sometimes when they talk so fast, I still ask them to repeat the words to me. There are still some occasions when I also need my customers to explain what they need from me, especially if they use strange words that I'm not familiar with, but at least my face helps make them understand that I'm a foreigner and that they may need to use more "regular" words and even body language when they talk to me. 

Having worked in this kind of place for the first time in my life makes me realize even more that one cannot please everyone. I still make mistakes every now and then, though I try to minimize them. Some customers may feel more satisfied than others, some may be more willing to forgive than others, but it's a wonderful journey to learn to forgive myself, too. To let go of my mistakes instead of dragging them like balls of chain on my ankles. To focus more on what I can do and to try finding ways to work more efficiently and to be more sensitive towards my customers' needs as best as I can. 

After all, this is a gift/opportunity that God has entrusted to me in such a miraculous way. If He hadn't slammed other doors right in front of me back in 2010 (that had caused some depression for a while), I wouldn't have bothered to try looking for real jobs. Instead, I would have been "satisfied" being in my comfort zone where I wouldn't have learnt all these lessons. THANK YOU, Lord, for everything!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. I almost dropped a doughnut while taking it out of the bag. R2 and I were sitting in the kitchen at that time, about to drink coffee. I saw R2 smiling after I almost dropped the doughnut. 

Me: "Hey, don't smile 'coz I almost dropped the doughnut!"
R2: "I'm not smiling 'coz of that. I'm smiling 'coz I'm happy. After all, I have you!"
Me: (awwwwwwing inside) "Unfair! That's an unexpected response!" (smile)

2. Made some banana-chocolate pastries for my coworkers which became a hit (and I could share with them how easy to make it, too). Glad to know they liked 'em! :-D

Recipe: a box of frozen pastry (mine has 5 sheets of frozen pastries), some bananas, and some chocolate. Let the frozen pastry out in warm temperature until it's soft, then cut them into thin strips (around 2.5 cm wide) then cut a banana in half. Wrap the half banana with the pastry strip diagonally until it's all covered. Do it until you're out of pastry and bananas. Bake them in the oven until they're golden brown. Let them cool off for a while. Then melt some chocolate (I prefer dark chocolate around 200 grams) with a little butter and smear it on top of the pastries. All done! :-D Result: 10 banana-chocolate pastries.

3. A customer saying nice stuff to me that made my eyes wet. BLESS YOU, each and every single one of you! I'm REALLY blessed by your words!

4. Talking to Mom on Skype after she got back from Taiwan with her friend. Glad to know she had fun and that she only felt a little unwell once during a bus trip but after taking some anti motion sickness pill, she felt much better.

5. The very slow translating project I'm doing for a customer is nearing its end. Only about 20 pages left, though I still have the big task of editing my translation, but it's always nice to know that a project is almost ending. :-D It feels like almost completing a marathon (not that I've ever been in one, though).

6. Being able to enjoy Winter Wonderland scenery this month already. Even though the snow has mostly melted now, but it was such a treat!

7. Start listening to Christmas songs already....HO HO HO HO HOOOHHHH...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

First Vote, First Snow!

Last night it snowed for a few hours at least, so when we woke up today it was Winter Wonderland. However, the sun has been out today, so some of the snow has melted. Here are some pics I took with my camera's battery hasn't been recharged, so these will have to do for now ha ha ha...Temperature today: 0'C. Last night it was 1'C when it kept on snowing.

First pic: One of the churches here.

Second pic: I've ALWAYS loved these red berries when they're covered with snow. It makes an interesting contrast. :-D

Third pic: Along the bridge over Kitinen River. As you can see a few autumn trees still retain their leaves, though most of them have already been bald since weeks ago.

Fourth pic: The bridge over Kitinen River.

Fifth pic: The snow makes an interesting pattern, don't you think?

Sixth pic: Photo taken from the bridge. That's Kitinen River. Oftentimes the water has ripples or waves, so it's really nice to see its mirrory effect today. Looking at it makes me feel serene...*sigh*

After work, I went to vote for the local district election. This is the first time I've ever participated in something like this. I did this kind of thing once in Indonesia and there was a long line of people, but today there were only two people before me and one after me hi hi hi...It went so fast. :-D I feel more "useful" now as a citizen 'coz I'm giving my voice. It doesn't matter even if my candidate doesn't win he he he he...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Scale of the Universe + Intouchables

Yesterday R2 sent me a very cool link. I LOVE the fact that it doesn't only show the scale of the universe, but if you click on each object, you will be able to read some info on them, too. Plus the music is very soothing. :-D

Here goes:

I've also been meaning to give a movie recommendation, but I kept forgetting about it ha ha...It's a very touching story based on real life experience of two men (of course there are some changes to the original story, but it's still worth watching!). It's funny in places, it's heart-wrenching, it's poignant...The actors playing both men were REALLY convincing. I just loved it...It's called: Intouchables.

Here's the trailer:

I searched for some info on both men after I finished watching the movie and I just love what I found. :-D If you want to know more, click here to read about the original two men, but if you're considering watching the movie, you should only read the info after you've watched the movie. :-D

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Oh, The Little Joys of Life!

A few days ago I had an evening shift and I stayed up late. R2 had to go to sleep right away after I came home from work 'coz he had to go to Rovaniemi the next day. He had to be there already at 8 am (it takes about 1,5 hours to go there by car). I was having too much fun reading a manga series so I just didn't want to stop until the end. When I realized the time, I decided to sleep on the sofa instead 'coz I didn't want to wake R2 up.

However, this time I left him a post-it note, hoping that the journey would go fine and that I wanted him to hug and squeeze me before he left HE HE HE HE HE HE HE...Otherwise he wouldn't have done it 'coz he wouldn't have wanted to wake me up he he...

I woke up twice due to coughing (yeah, there's still some phlegm left, can you believe it?) but then I got right back to sleep. The second time I woke up was when R2 had woken up himself and not long after that he did come to where I was lying down and what delighted me so much was the way he squeezed me (not just once but a few times!). It was as though we hadn't done it in a VERY LONG TIME he he he he...As if he hadn't wanted to be apart from me he he...

Ahhhhhh...BLISS!!!!!!!!!! :-D

P.S. Our wedding anniversary is coming up and usually we spend it in the cabin (either the weekend before or after the date), so we'll see if we can do it or not. I have to make sure R2 isn't on call that weekend. :-D And then I have to make sure that I'll have the full weekend off. :-D But anyway, I can't believe it's going to be our 6th anniversary already!!!!!!!! I really want to keep growing and growing old with him he he he he...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Music + Memories: Salaisuuksia

This Finnish song was played on the radio a lot when I was doing my training at the library, so this song got stuck in my head and whenever I hear this song, I just close my eyes and am reminded of the days I spent there with the lovely library ladies. 

It was the first training place where I had to engage in active conversations with many people at one time (usually around the coffee table) and I still remember how overwhelming it felt at that time because when they talked to one another, they talked REALLY fast, but if one of them tried talking to me in particular, she always tried to speak more slowly. THANK GOD for thoughtful people! :-D 

I remember doing a presentation on blogging in front of them (of course R2 helped me prepare it at home and I had memorized what I was going to say anyway), but it wasn't that stressful because I had known the ladies for a while, but still I still remember the feeling of having achieved something different in my journey to learn Finnish. I wouldn't have been able to do it without them. It was actually the boss who had asked me to do the presentation because she was talking to me about blogging and she wanted to know more, so she challenged me to do the presentation. I'm REALLY thankful for her challenge! :-) Here's a post describing my last day at the library: A Sentimental Day.

OK, now let me just post the song and the lyrics in Finnish and English. If there are mistakes in the English version, pardon me or let me know what to fix. Here's "Salaisuuksia" by Johanna Kurkela.

The lyrics in English:


Do you remember our childhood summer
When the mornings smelled like honey?
When our feet got wet in the grass
When nothing else seemed to be more important?
I also remember the rainbow
Arching over the field 
Near the standing stone
The rowboat embedded among the rushes
And the meadow covered with mist

Reff: You were the boy with sooty hands full of strawberries
I went with you to steal the apples
With a picnic basket full of kittens
I was the girl who had a flowery dress and a treasure map
With a hoody and a handful of seashells 
Covered from head to toes with secrets

Reff 2: Those memories remain
When everything has gone away
Those memories remain

Do you ever miss going back in time?
To our hiding place in the granary?
At midnight under the starry sky
We lay down on the meadow
There I'll look for you again
While I roam the realm of memories
Where time is precious like gold
There will I build a fortress

Reff 2

Where do the secrets belong now?
What kind of treasure have you found since then?
Are you still the one who can ignite the sparks
And burns like fire?

Reff 2

In Finnish: 

Muistatko sen lapsuuden kesän, 
kun aamut tuoksuivat hunajalle. 
Kun jalat kastuivat ruohikossa, 
eikä mikään ollut hetkeä tärkeämpää. 
Minä muistan myös sateenkaaren, 
pellon yllä luona kivipaaden, 
soutuveneen uponneena kaislikossa 
ja niityn joka usvaan häviää 

Sinä olit se poika jolla oli nokiset kädet täynnä mansikoita
eväskorissa kissanpentuja, matkalla kanssasi omenavarkaisiin
Minä olin se tyttö jolla oli kukkaleninki ja aarrekartta
huppari ja kourallinen simpukoita ja salaisuuksia päästä varpaisiin 

Ne jäljelle jää
kun kaikki häviää
ne jäljelle jää 

Kaipaatko koskaan takaisin
piilopaikkaan sinne vilja-aittaan
Sydänyönä alle tähtitaivaan
niittyvillalla sijattuun vuoteeseen
Sieltä etsin sua uudestaan
Matkalla muistojen valtakuntaan
Missä maailma on ajankultaa
sinne merenrantaan mä rakennan linnakkeen 

Mihin salaisuudet kuuluvat nyt
minkä aarteen olet sittemmin löytänyt
Vieläkö oot se, jos kipinä saa
sijan syttyä ja tulena palaa 

refrain (2x)

Monday, October 08, 2012

3BT: Random Days

1. Had a near accident at work. Fortunately my coworker was in the warehouse with me at the time, so she could help me out. Phew!!! THANK GOD I'm safe!

2. Hubby's finally recovered from cold sore blisters on the lip, so we can kiss to our delight again. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!!! :-D

3. A customer's appreciation of myself at work. THANK YOU, mummo (grandma)! It's nice to get verbal feedback every now and then, esp. positive ones LOL!!! :-D

Friday, October 05, 2012

Super Wet Autumn

Of the 5 autumns I've experienced here in Sodankylä, this one is the wettest of all. It rains daily (sometimes not during the day but during the night), but every time I look out it's almost always grey and wet. We haven't even had a chance to rake the dead leaves in our yard. There are so many of them covering each part of the grass. I guess we're going to have to wait till spring before we can clean them up. That's also one reason why I haven't been taking autumn photos.

Anyway, the other day I had a surprise guest. Someone rang the doorbell and she introduced herself as the neighbour. Actually she lives in Rovaniemi, but the house next door is her mother's house. Her mother passed away and the kids decided not to sell it yet, but because the old house had never been renovated, they decided to do some major renovations to it.

R2 hadn't come back home from work by then, so I invited her in and she explained everything to me. This is all new to me! She even brought the maps of the house and showed me everything that would be done to the house (adding a door here, adding a window there, creating another bedroom upstairs, etc.). Turns out that she has to tell all her closest neighbours about all this and each neighbour has to sign a piece of paper to show that we give her permission to do the renovation, which will start next spring and hopefully will end in autumn. Each neighbour is also allowed to write a note or comment or ask anything concerning the renovation.

Luckily not long after that R2 came back from work, so he could also hear from her directly what would happen during the renovation. We're also thinking of changing our roof, though first we need to save lots and lots of money for it and then get a quote on how much it's going to cost. We shall see about that. We did actually ask a company already to check it out, but they called us when we were in Vienna and after that they hadn't called us back. Oh well...

My Mom is leaving to Taiwan soon with her friend. I'm VERY excited about it. I hope the weather's good (not too cold 'coz she can't handle too cold weather) and she can stay healthy throughout the trip. I'm sure it's gonna be SO MUCH FUN for the both of them! :-D

Anyway, life's been going back to normal pace. Several customers have asked me where I had been going 'coz they hadn't seen me in a long while. Told them how sick I was with flu he he he's nice that some people really notice my absence from work. THANK YOU, people!!! :-D

I've been using my light therapy lamp again every day to "recharge my brain". LOVE that lamp!!! :-D Can't wait for the first permanent snow. It's gonna make everything look brighter. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Music + Memories: (I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight

Some songs help me remember certain memories and this time I'm gonna talk about Peter Cetera's and Crystal Bernard's "(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight", which became a hit in Indo in 1995.

Here's the video clip:

This song took me straight back to my High School trip to Bali because they kept playing this song on the radio during our Bali trip. I was on my last year in High School and was in a different class than my closest friends. There were 6 classes altogether (about 40 students per class) and we went by buses.

I was in a bus with some of my closest friends. Luckily the teachers weren't very strict on things like this he he he he...However, I spent most of the bus trip resting 'coz I had such a bad case of motion sickness despite the fact that I took some medication already prior to the trip. If I remember correctly I threw up 6 times altogether during the bus trip and once on the ferry trip to Bali. Yeah, my sea sickness is even MUCH worse than my motion sickness. Mind you, the ferry trip only lasted for 30 minutes but my mistake was looking at the waves!!! On the way back by the ferry, though, I sat down and closed my eyes the whole time and it went fine! Phew!!!

Anyway, our bus stopped for a few hours during the night due to an accident. I was asleep at that time so I didn't know what was going on. It was dark outside and I woke up 'coz the students in the bus were getting hyped out about something. Turned out that the driver must've dozed off and then our bus accidentally hit a minibus. I don't remember anymore what happened to the minibus or how bad the damage was. :-( So we had to wait for the bus company to send us another driver while the police took the other driver. I certainly hope the driver and the people in the minibus were fine in the end. There was at least one teacher in each bus, though, so we didn't have to do anything much because the teacher dealt with it.

The delay meant that we were late when we arrived in Bali (it was probably around 2 or 3 am when we arrived at the hotel) and we went straight to our own rooms to sleep (again luckily I could be in the same room with some of my close friends - the main point was that each room was filled with 4 students). Back then there were no ATMs whatsoever (no debit cards, either), so everybody took cash for the trip. There were no mobile phones, so many of the students went to a phone rental place (there were several booths of phone that one could use to make long-distance phone calls) and I remembered having to queue for a while before I could contact my parents.

Every day there was special programs for us where we toured around the place together by buses except for one free day when we could do whatever we wanted. My close friends and I rented a car and we went around for a while, though it wasn't really effective because we got lost many times (no GPS at that time!). 

Here's a pic of me and two close friends at the beach. Yeah, I had that kind of face 'coz my naughty friend took off my hat!!!!!!!!!!! Pardon the quality of the pic 'coz the photo was taken with a regular camera ha ha ha ha ha...

And what did the teachers do while we were having fun at the beach? They had to watch our belongings he he he he he he he...

One last memory that I'd never forget. A bunch of us were already in a bus somewhere in Bali, waiting for the other students to come so that we could go somewhere else when all of a sudden this young blonde tourist just came inside the bus, smiled at us (with the tip of his nose covered in lots of sunscreen) and then went out from the back of the bus whereas some of the girls in the bus shrieked out and tried to snap a pic of the guy HA HA HA HA HA HA HA...oh dear goodness!!!! Memories!!! :-D