Saturday, June 29, 2013


I believe in the power of prayers. Even though we may not get the answer we want, prayers do have the power to change us. It's like the moment one's soul is connected to God, despite the storms around the physical self, suddenly the soul is surrounded by this supernatural halo that enables one to feel peace beyond understanding. Imagine the invisible protective shield covering a spaceship in sci-fi movies. Just like that. Except that the protective shield is an impenetrable one. Not even your worst enemy can break it down, because it's God's. Imagine the soul coming out of the body and then an angel comes out to embrace it, to protect you. Like feeling God's embrace and then hear Him say, "Trust me. I know what I'm doing. I understand your pain." 

And even though your physical self can still be battered and bruised from all the storms around you and even though the situation may not change just yet, when the soul comes back and rejoin the physical self, you begin to see things anew. It's like you're given a new set of lenses or glasses in which to see the world. And that's when the miracle begins.  

Not by your might, but by God's might. And all for His glory.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby managed to make me laugh again with his antics.

Me: "Have you always been this crazy?"
R2: "Nope. It started after we met."
Me: "Is that supposed to flatter me?"
R2: "Maybe." (grin) 

2. Spending Midsummer holiday in Kelujärvi, watching the leaves sway in the wind, sitting down on the front porch stairs with hubby and family. Hubby sat behind me, I leaned back and watched the clouds roll by above me. Such bliss! 

3. Inner peace

4. Watching this cute video clip

5. Watching these AMAZING pictures. (My fave is the fourth one, the grinning seal - it looks SO VERY HAPPY LOL!!!

6. Finding this old song by chance: 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Good Ol' Days: Movie Queuing

In the good ol' days of my youth, we went to watch the movies a lot - me and my friends. The movie theatres are usually located in the malls. Back then there was no internet yet and there was no ticket machine (only VHS movies where one can rent from VHS movie rentals), so the only possible way to buy movie tickets was to queue in front of the ticket booths. For some weird reason, though, the ticket booths would only start opening up about an hour prior to screening time (if I remember correctly) and if you want to buy a ticket for the later showtime, then you had to queue later (not possible to buy a ticket for a later showtime earlier). The problem was that for popular movies, people would start queuing at least two hours prior to screening time. For popular movies, usually there would be such a LOOOOONNNNGGGG line of people zig-zagging like a snake and because we couldn't possibly reserve any seats beforehand, that meant that if one wanted to get the best seats, one had to queue in the front.

I remember going to some popular movies with my friends and to make sure we got to choose any seats we wanted (usually the back middle seats), we had to be there already 3-4 hours prior to screening time. And to make sure we didn't get leg cramps, we'd just sit on the floor right in front of the ticket booth and usually once we sat there, other people would start doing the same thing behind us LOL LOL!!!

One possible way to "skip through" the line was to find someone you know who was queuing already and then pay him/her for your ticket(s), but after some time the officials found out about this practice and so they limited the amount of tickets that each person in the line could buy (for example max. 5 tickets/person). We never really did this a lot, though. I only remember one occasion when we had to do this 'coz my friends had some classes at that time that they couldn't really skip, so we were there rather late and the line was already WAY too long. Fortunately one friend's boyfriend found a friend in line and he could get us the tickets he he he he...But all in all it was actually a FUN thing to do because my friends and I could chit-chat to our heart's delight for hours. Yeah, I know, women!!! LOL LOL LOL!!! And I suppose we talked even more when we were teenagers 'coz there were less distractions (no kids, no spouses, no jobs, etc.).

Ahhhh...the good ol' days...I also remember one time I was there with two other friends and not long after the movie started, one of them kept on leaning to my side of the seat, whispering that the guy sitting next to her smelled so bad that she just had to try to get as far away from him as possible. Apparently it seemed as though the guy had stepped on cat's dung or something 'coz she claimed that it smelled just like that. Fortunately for me, I didn't even smell anything throughout the movie LOL!!! My nose is notorious for not being sensitive at all he he he he he...

The same friend was also once laughing too much during a movie (even after other people had stopped laughing) that somebody from the back threw some popcorn at her he he he he he...

Another time I managed to spill my Coke on the seat in the middle of the movie, so I had wet my jeans and I had to sit in the most unnatural way for the rest of the movie. Definitely not nice! I tried to dry up the wet part with some tissue, but it was too I just resorted to covering it up with the plastic bag that I had with me to make sure that the person who was coming after me wouldn't get his/her pants wet. I sure hope the person who came after me realized that it was wet, though!

Back then nobody had a mobile phone, so it was nice to watch movies without the distractions of having bright small screens in the middle of a dark theatre. However, I must admit that it's nicer to buy movie tickets these days 'coz one can do it online or through a ticket machine and the ticket booths are open non-stop, so one can buy the tickets for whichever showtime one wants. BUT there's another big issue I don't like about "modern" movie theatres. Back then we could bring any food we wanted (that we bought from a supermarket for example), but these days they wouldn't only let us bring the food and drinks sold inside the theatre complex. It wouldn't be such a big issue if it hadn't been for the outrageous price, you know? The prices for food and drinks sold inside the theatre complexes are just horrendous!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Midsummer Weekend

Spent Midsummer in Kelujärvi with the family. Amazed at the fast growth of the wild flowers in the field. I tried walking through the wild flower field to get closer to some birds, but found it tough to do. They reached up to my calf and some were even came higher than my knees. It was wonderful to see the different colours of flowers and different types of leaves and stalks and branches in a huge field. Have you ever tried touching the flowers and the stalks and leaves, tracing them with your fingertips in order to feel their textures? I've just recently tried doing so and I find it fascinating. It's a whole different thing compared to just admiring them by sight. The Lord is such a magnificent artist to be able to create all of them in their separate goodness what beauty!

It became even more beautiful with the lack of traffic sounds. The orchestra of the singing birds could be heard from far away without any distraction. It was such bliss to be able to sit down on the porch stairs and tilt my head backwards to watch the clouds rolling above in the sky. And when it got rainy outside, I could still enjoy watching the lovely butterflies in the field from the huge living room window. There were so many tiny fluttering wings out there that you could just not miss them! Amazing! 

It rained during the night last night and when I peeked outside before I went to bed, I was awestruck with the sight of those translucent natural pearls sitting on top of the leaves and flower petals. It made me want to sing this song. Praise the Lord for the wonders of His creation!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"Spoiled Brats"

In the beginning hubby was so independent...After all, he had lived on his own for over a decade prior to our living together in 2008. I still remember clearly the look on his face when I tried to serve him some food on the dinner table in the beginning of our life together*. It was the kind of look that said, "What are you doing? I can do it on my own. You don't have to do it for me."

* I had nothing much to do at that time, you know - no Finnish course yet nor anything much, so I got bored a lot and had plenty of time to cook and tried out new recipes and I couldn't wait for hubby to come back home every workday, so serving him food brought me pleasure 'coz it meant I had something to do - but I don't necessarily serve him food anymore these days, though sometimes I do fill up his mug with milk every now and then. :-D

Slowly but surely, though, he got used to being pampered. We both enjoy feeding each other food or snacks every now and then and after a while he doesn't hesitate to give me his best Puss-in-Boots look when he asks me to do something for him, for example sometimes he asks me to bring him some more drink while he's gaming online. :-D

When I confronted him about it one time (by reminding him how "independent" he was in the beginning of our life together), he said, "Well, you're the one who spoils me." LOL!!! 

Well, that's true he he he...:-D I enjoy feeding him fruits while he's busy gaming, for example and sometimes I'd even try to fly the pieces of fruits around his face as if I were playing with a small child (to which he'd shake his head in disbelief) hi hi hi hi...but I'm glad that he doesn't mind being fed like that. :-D But then again I'm also sometimes spoiled by him, so it goes both ways (feels as good as what the kitty is feeling in the pic below). :-D All I know is that it feels good to be able to "spoil" someone and to be "spoiled" by someone. :-D We're not exactly brats, though. I promise! *wink*

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Fairy Tales

Lately I've been wondering about the so-called negative impact of fairy tales on children. I watched Disney movies and C.H. Andersen movies when I was young (also read lots of fairy tales), but I never really bought into "finding my own prince" or "living happily ever after". Maybe one reason is because they're all foreign stories, lived by foreign people with blonde hair or blue eyes etc., so I feel a "gap" between myself and the stories. For me, they were just stories, figment of imagination. They were just fun to watch/read, except for the original Little Mermaid which ended with her death - I cried buckets after watching the cartoon and I think that was the beginning of my dislike towards sad endings. I don't like all movies with sad endings, but I don't like sad endings which I think are rather "useless" - I mean, after all that she has sacrificed for the prince, in the end she can't win his love (and he doesn't know what she has sacrificed for her) he he he...I'm a romantic at heart, what else can I say? :-D

Besides, as I grew older, I heard plenty of stories about "troubles in paradise" (read: in marriage relationships), so I knew from a young age that relationships doesn't equal "living happily ever after". I know I'm not a parent so I can't really know what the impact these kinds of stories have on children, but I just wanna share my POV as a child at one point in time. 

How about you? Do you think fairy tales have impacted you in a negative way?  

P.S. The same thing goes for Santa stories. It's funny when some people here asked me if I believed in Santa when I was young, but I always feel a "gap" 'coz Santa is portrayed as a foreign guy with white, long beard, so for me Santa only exists in stories. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Blast from the Past: How My Parents Met

Back in my parents' generation, most Chinese parents would be agitated when their daughters became "of age" (18 years old). The parents then would start trying to find "best matches" for their daughters. That was what happened with my mom's elder sisters. It's not like they were married off to strangers, mind you. If the daughters weren't interested, then they wouldn't force the marriage, but anyway, many young girls back then were already married by the time they reached 20 years of age. 

My parents were the exception. I think for dad the problem was that he was shy and he didn't come from a well-off family. After all, in a developing country where there were almost no social benefits available, the man's ability to provide for the family became an important thing, especially because back then most women became stay-at-home moms. So having "rich" parents would help a man become "more interesting" for prospective women so to speak.

In my mom's case, she was just not interested in all the men that tried to pursue her (most of them were relatives or long-distant relatives) and back then my mom had an ambition. The ambition was to save enough money to buy grandma (her own mother) a house because at that time grandma was staying with my mom's elder sister and they kept on quarreling with each other. FYI, my mom's wish came true in the end. :-D

Anyway, my parents met through a mutual friend. This woman became their "matchmaker" so to speak. Mom was 31 at that time whereas dad was 35. They dated for 6 months and then decided to get married 6 months from then. So they got married about a year after they first met. And I was born exactly 10 months to the date of their wedding day. That's why it's easy for me to remember their wedding day ha ha...

Mom told me that when she started dating dad, she warned her mother and her elders NOT to try to do some "research" on my dad's background. You see, back then if there was a prospective husband-to-be, apparently my mom's elders loved to do some research to find out where the guy lived (in Indo even until now it's normal for kids to stay with their parents until they marry - so if they're not married, it's normal for them to stay home forever if they want to), who the parents were, what the financial condition of the parents and the guy was, etc. 

And I suspect that this kind of "habit" was not just limited to my mom's elders, because when we were younger, we always heard from our parents that back in their days there was this slogan "Bibit Bebet Bobot". This slogan was used in order to find the best prospective spouse-to-be. Bibit means genes, but it can also include the family background (social strata). Bebet means the spouse-to-be's circle of friends (are his friends gangsters or what?), though it also sometimes includes where he lives because sometimes where you live shows how well-off you are. Bobot means the spouse-to-be's personality and social status (job, rank, intelligence). 

Back to my mom actually knew my dad's younger brother because they went to school together. One important aspect that mom said made her believe that my dad would be a suitable husband was that while they went on dates and they talked about stuff, she found out that they had similar principles, goals, and aspirations. She knew that dad would be someone who could walk together with her hand-in-hand through life's ups and downs. And those words have been etched in my mind ever since I was young. :-) Finding someone who can walk together hand-in-hand (not just literally but mentally) was also my goal in terms of finding a husband. :-)

I don't think that they started off with romance, though (not love at first sight or things like that). Considering their ages, it was more of a sensible option, I suppose, though I'm sure love and romance grew from there. One of my fave memories of them is hearing them laugh and giggle like crazy until it got hard to breathe and mom said that she was afraid of peeing in her pants - you know the kind of laughter that started and then subdued for a few seconds but then it started again and again and again (this happened a few times: sometimes behind closed door, sometimes while they were both watching TV). 

My parents had a double wedding parties in two different places. Back then the cost of a wedding isn't as crazy as these days, so my dad had a wedding party where he invited all his relatives and friends in one place and after that my mom had hers where he invited all her relatives and friends. That way each of them could have a wedding that they wanted in two different places and invited whomever they wanted to invite he he...Such a tiring day, wouldn't you say? I loved looking at their wedding albums, though. :-)

Back then (few hundred) guests brought gifts instead of money for the newlyweds, so you can imagine that on their wedding night, they spent the whole night opening all the gifts and reading all the cards ha ha ha ha ha...and because they received plenty of similar gifts (lots of clocks and kitchen sets), they saved some of them to give to other newlyweds later on so that they didn't have to buy anything else LOL!!! 

Oh, before I forgot...I think one other reason why they expedited their wedding was because my dad's brother had been in a relationship for a few years already by the time my parents met and he didn't want to get married before my dad got married. And due to the amount of guests invited per wedding, in Indo it's usually considered "bad" if two siblings get married the same year, because it means that the guests will have to shell out some money again to the same family the same year (it'll be sort of a burden for them 'coz after all, it's normal in Indo to get lots of wedding invitations every year, esp. if you know so many people and you have lots of relatives and friends). So my dad's younger bro got married a year after my parents got married. 

OK, I got carried away and told you about their wedding, even though this post was supposed to be only about how they met HA HA HA HA HA HA...never mind then! :-D

Friday, June 14, 2013

FIL's Funeral

Today was the day my FIL got buried. I was a bit confused on when I should start taking pictures, but anyway I just used my instinct, I suppose. There were six of us who carried the casket to church and then afterwards the same men lowered the casket to the ground.

When we arrived at church at around 10.45 am and we went inside to wait for the casket and the guests to come, MIL started sobbing when she saw the four flower wreaths that we had ordered. Here they are:

I think we started right on time (11 am). There were about 30 people present. The priest gave a lovely sermon and speech, we sang some songs that MIL had chosen - accompanied by the organ. Then the priest started saying "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust..." while making a symbol of a cross with dirt on top of the casket.

After that as per what MIL had requested, our family stood around the casket together: MIL, R2's brothers and wives, R2 and I, our two nephews and the elder nephew's fiancee. Then starting from the eldest (MIL), one by one each family's representative recited a text that we had chosen to say goodbye and then we laid down the flower wreaths that we had ordered. MIL actually wrote a special poem for FIL by herself, whereas the rest of us mostly just chose from one of the usual goodbye quotes available in the funeral homes.

After that the guests took turns to come forward to say a few words of goodbye and then lower their flower bouquets/wreaths around the casket. Then the six men carried the casket to the cemetery and we followed behind...It was around 15'C at that time and the sun was shining. It started raining at around 3 pm and the temperature dropped a few degrees.

The casket was then lowered to the ground like this...

Then again one by one we lowered the flower wreaths/bouquets around the casket and then we left to have the memorial service. The ground would be covered properly by hired workers and I found out that ordering the gravestone could take weeks.

We had set aside all the cards that MIL had received on one table along with a photo of FIL.

After lunch, one nephew started reading the cards along with the names of the senders. Then the priest called on anyone who wanted to say a few words about FIL and that was the most touching moments ever. I think everybody had wet eyes and I heard sniffles here and there and people blowing their noses. I was too touched to take any pics during those moments, but I suppose it wasn't really appropriate to be taking pics unless I had been an outsider. It was more respectful to just listen to what each person had to say.

After that we were served some cake and coffee and we stayed to chit-chat for a while. All in all it must've taken around 3 hours. All in all it was a memorable day for everybody.

Rest in peace,'ll stay in our memories...

P.S. There were lots of hugs offered, even among the men, though it seemed to depend on how close they felt with one another. :-)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Blast from the Past: Dad's History

Dad is the eldest son of six children, though he has an elder sister. I've never met my grandpa from dad's side 'coz he died when my dad was in his early twenties (not sure about the year, though). Grandpa came from Singapore (perhaps he was born there or his family may have moved there from mainland China - but I don't know the details), whereas grandma was born in Indo (so again like my mom's mother, she didn't speak Chinese). Grandma came from a family where the daughters were only taught how to sew and how to do house chores. Grandpa was a businessman (not sure what he did, though, but he was pretty successful I suppose 'coz grandma never had to work outside of home). 

Grandpa's business went bankrupt at one time so that my dad couldn't even pay for his tuition anymore. That was the reason why he quit going to the uni and I suppose not long after that grandpa died, leaving the older kids struggling to earn some income to support the family. Dad used to tell us how during those tough times, they would be lucky to get some leftover food from a restaurant or factory to eat. Dad told me that sometimes at school a friend of his would treat him stuff because my dad didn't have money to buy anything and I know that he cherished his friend's generosity (this friend sometimes came by our place as well).

My mom used to say that even though her own family wasn't rich, but she had never experienced any trouble with the basic necessities in life such as food. Being the eldest son in a patriarchal community pushed dad to find a steady job as soon as possible. Dad was meticulous and he loves planning and organizing and archiving stuff, so he became an accountant for a bakery. He worked there for a few years, then he became an accountant for a family business for many many years. That was when he met mom, but I'll write about it in another post. :-D

Dad loved soccer. He was proud of the fact that he was a pretty good soccer player (he'd proceed to tell us the tricks he did to confuse his opponents back in the days). I suppose he did play a lot of soccer with his friends or neighbours when he was younger. And yes, my own brother loves soccer, as well. :-D

Dad sometimes pulled some pranks on his sisters. One time his bespectacled younger sister put her glasses on the dining room table and she went to have a shower. Then dad switched the glasses with a pair of bras and he laughed so much when his sister came back and she was so surprised when she found out that her glasses had turned into a pair of bras LOL!!! :-D

Dad also told us many times that grandma kinda favored him for some reason. Back during the days, sometimes grandma would buy dad's favourite snack or food and hide it in the pantry and she'd only give it to him once he got back home - and of course the other siblings would protest! LOL!!!

Anyway, after quitting his job as an accountant in that family business, the lady boss told him that because he was so honest, he wouldn't be "successful" (as in dad's not cunning enough to be able to become a rich businessman). Those words were burnt at the back of his mind, propelling him to prove her wrong. I think after that my parents joined forces with my mom's elder brother to open a printing business. They printed lots of pharmacy labels for different pharmacies (the kind of ziplock little plastic bags to put pills into). I remember those rough days. My parents and my uncle hired two people to help out, but still each of them had to do tough work day in day out. The strong smell of the paint permeated the house so strongly that we got used to it after a while. They used the room in the attic to run the business. For a while it seemed to be doing fine, but afterwards it just didn't work as well, so they closed the business and sold the equipment.

After that my dad became unemployed for a while (mom went back to selling food at the local market) and then he started buying some fish for pleasure but then turned out that he managed to take care of one type of fish well enough that they started breeding. At that time it was quite a good business to sell fish, so with mom's help my dad went on to breed some fish for a while to help make some extra money. Once the "fish trend" died down, my dad couldn't make extra money from it anymore and as luck would have it, a relative introduced him to the world of insurance. Yep, he recruited dad to be an insurance agent.

When he started training, he was the oldest of the bunch and back then insurance was still considered something new in Indo. Being the oldest of the bunch who wore untrendy clothes meant that some people mocked him and undermined him. You see, in Indo even until today I still feel that "appearance" is more important than here in Sodankylä. After all, "status" is more important there 'coz of the social system and the huge gap between the rich and the poor. 

So anyway, those mockery propelled dad to prove them wrong. He worked hard despite his shyness and with mom's help and encouragement, he blossomed there. You see, mom used to tell me that in the beginning of their marriage, whenever a guest came over for a visit, dad would hide himself in the bedroom he he he he...He used to be so quiet, but after joining the insurance world, he gained more and more confidence to talk to strangers. In the beginning, though, my dad would always want to be accompanied by mom and he started to sell insurance policies to relatives and friends first and only after that he started widening his net and he grew bold enough to ask for references from his clients as to who else they could refer to him. That was dad's last job. He worked there until he retired. In between selling insurance policies he also tried different types of MLM (multi-level marketing) programs, but they never really worked too well for him. 

Rest in peace, my mind, you're a VERY successful person 'coz you were honest, you never cheated on people or your wife and you put your priorities straight and I never doubted that you loved us with everything you've got. :-)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Suspect: Pollen Problem

Before I continue writing about my parents, I just wanna share this revelation!!!!!! I've lived in Sodankylä for a little over 6 years, but only this year I've started developing ear problems (ear pressure). In the beginning I was worried that it could be caused by something serious after I had been browsing online (especially because it occurred after my BPPV symptoms), but nowadays I suspect that the cause is pollen problem

You see, the first time I felt that the ear pressure was related to sinusitis was because during my BPPV attack, I had trouble breathing (my nose felt blocked). I got back up, browsed online, felt that the area around my eyes were tender if I pressed them and found out that it could be sinusitis. Then I remembered that R2 had bought himself a nose spray to help him with his runny nose a few weeks before. So I used the nose spray and in an instant I felt relief! 

Afterwards I started feeling ear pressure for was torture! At some point my ears became so sensitive that they couldn't handle any loud noises and I even felt some distortion in my hearing ability (which was more pronounced when I was listening to songs in my youtube song list using a headset). During our holiday to Kuusamo, though, the ear pressure was gone right away, but when we got back home, it started again. On and off. Last week it happened again and it got bad enough that I decided to use R2's nose spray again to test it out. Within half an hour the ear pressure was gone!!! 

Then I started browsing online again for a more natural type of relief, because I don't want to keep putting chemicals into my body by using the nose spray (and lots of sites warn me that it can be addictive) and I found a saline nose spray and Neti pot. I went to the pharmacy and tried out the saline nose spray first, 'coz I wasn't sure about how effective it would be. 

Today I went to the supermarket to buy some grocery and then I went to clean our veranda which was COVERED by a thin layer of yellowish pollen. It was seriously like a blanket covering everything and right after that, my ear pressure started again. It was like someone was playing "drums" inside my ears and it wasn't the best kind of feeling EVER. I hurriedly used the saline nose spray three times within half an hour and voila! Now the ear pressure is 95% gone!!!!

I think I'm gonna go and get the Neti pot soon because in the long run it's cheaper to use than the saline nose spray. Phew!!! I'm sure glad that it isn't anything more serious, you know?  


Monday, June 10, 2013

Blast from the Past: Mom's History

My mom is the youngest of six children - actually seven if you counted one elder sister who died young due to some kind of disease. People kept saying that this sister was the most beautiful one of all. After my mom was born, grandma split up with grandpa. I don't think they had an official divorce, but they lived in different houses. Being a "dragon lady" (grandma had such a strong personality), grandma started selling food in the local market and due to this fact, she couldn't take care of the kids, so the kids were sent to relatives' places. My mom was taken by one relative whose daughter was almost the same age, so this cousin's mother breastfed my mom as well. They played together a lot* and only after my mom reached a certain age did she realize that she had blood siblings spread around in different places.

Grandma split up with grandpa because she couldn't handle his jealousy. Back then birth control had just started being promoted in Indo and because grandma was fed up of being pregnant and giving birth almost every year, she wanted to use some form of birth control, but grandpa wouldn't have it. He thought that it would give grandma "access" to "do it" with other men. He also got jealous at her whenever she dressed up and put on some makeup. 

Anyway, after some time the siblings decided to go back and live with my grandma. I don't know who made the decision, but finally the siblings lived in the same house with grandma. I'm pretty sure the siblings still kept in touch with grandpa as well, because when I was really young, I also went to visit grandpa, though I don't remember anything about it because grandpa died when I was still so small. All I remember of him came from a memory of his pic - he has white hair and a long white beard. Typical old Chinese man at that time he in a kungfu movie (like in the pic below, but white). :-D In fact, we always referred to him as Grandpa Beard or Engkong Jenggot in Indo (seriously! I'm not making it up!).

All I know about grandpa was that he came from mainland China and then met my grandma. Grandma was born in Indo already, so she didn't speak Chinese. And grandpa was some sort of medicine man. When his second son (my uncle) couldn't have kids for years, grandpa made him some Chinese concoction and I suppose it worked for them 'coz afterwards he and his wife did go on to have two children of their own. 

Back to my mom's story...after the siblings went to live together with grandma again, they started helping her out. My mom would tell me how she had to get up early before going to school so that she could help out prepare the food to sell at the local market. That's why all the siblings (including mom's brothers) are able to cook great food, because they were born in a family that made a living by selling food. Even until her old age, grandma kept on selling food in the local market. Only after her health declined did she finally stop doing so. 

I'm not sure my mom's other siblings got a chance to get a proper education other than elementary school, but my mom finished High School and she did go to a university, but she stopped halfway because back then there were some communist activities in Indo and so she started focusing on earning money by selling food since then. So my mom never worked in a company or any other place. She's always been her own boss. :-D She has retired when my brother's son was born 'coz she's been helping take care of him, but every now and then some people who miss her food would still call her up and order some of her specialties. :-D

Quite a childhood, no? But my mom grew up to be such an independent, mature, and stable woman, though she's not a feminist. Next time I'll talk a bit about my dad's childhood and how my parents met. :-D

* Even until now she's still close to that cousin of hers whose mother breastfed my mom, because they feel like sisters in a way, I suppose. :-D  

P.S. Grandma loved grandsons better than granddaughters (grandma lived with us for years until the day she died, so it was easy for me to observe her). I'm really glad that my parents aren't like that and that they treat me equally with my brother.

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Online Connection Priorities

When I first moved to Finland, my first choice for online connection was emailing. Back then I hadn't started blogging yet and there was no Facebook, so I had to rely mostly on emailing. My mother hadn't had any mobile phone yet, so I wrote long emails to tell them about my life in Finland and then my brother would have to print them out so that my parents could read it. 

These days my priorities have changed due to different circumstances. Now there's Facebook and blogging and many friends (including blogger friends) have turned to Facebook more as well. My close friends have turned to emailing less often than before, especially 'coz some of them use Blackberry and WhatsApp to chat with one another. My mother has her own mobile phone, so I can update important details with her through SMS. I have a Twitter account, but I never use it anymore these days. I never really learnt how to properly used it, either LOL!!!

Nowadays blogging is my first priority. Emailing is the second one, whereas Facebook is the last one. I still would like to limit my time more in Facebook, but it's tough because some friends have relied on it more and more (it's really convenient to post pics there and write updates about our lives so that many people know about it) and I'd miss a great deal of their lives if I stop visiting Facebook completely. I don't know what happens in the future, though, but I still love blogging and blog-hopping more than the other types of online connection because it feels more personal and more in-depth. It's true that it takes a longer time and more energy to spend on blogging and blog-hopping than Facebooking for example, but I feel more "rewarded" this way

Actually, especially after infertility, I've relied more on that matter in my IF blog and I've found a great community of IFers there, so for infertility matters, I really do rely heavily on blogging - not just to find support from other IFers, but also to process my thoughts and feelings. I blog about infertility also to find out my "progress" or to track how much I've grown and learnt through the journey and I've found lovely people along the way that I wouldn't have known otherwise and for that I'm SO THANKFUL!!!!

I do chat with some people every now and then either through FB messaging or Yahoo Messenger, but that only happens occasionally. 

What about you? What's your online connection priorities?

Friday, June 07, 2013

Rome Video Clips

Last night I've finally finished compiling 4 short video clips of the Vatican City. I didn't have too much time to take the videos, so sorry if it's a bit "dizzying" in some parts ha ha...this is also the first time I've ever compiled videos using youtube editor, so it's kinda interesting to try that out. I didn't write down too many notes 'coz I just want to show you how it's like over there. For further info you can read about the Vatican City here.

This second video clip was taken from inside the Colosseum.  

The third one was taken from one of the corners of the Colosseum, where we could look outside of the Colosseum. The arch is called the Arch of Constantine and the hill is called Palatine Hill.

Monday, June 03, 2013

3BT: Random Days

1. Didn't need to worry about the funeral bouquet after all. Showed them to MIL including the note that we'd write down on the card and she approved them both. She even choked a little when reading the note, so today I ordered it and turned out I only had to pay after the funeral. Ha! 

2. Amazingly HOT HOT HOT days for the past week. It's unbelievable it can be this hot this long at the end of May already. I'm sure it's an exception and it won't happen often, but I'm enjoying it.

3. Riding my bike at full speed and sweating so much even though I only put on a tank top and shorts. YIIIHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

4. The portable air cooler that we bought last year proved to be even more useful this year for our upstairs bedroom. :-D

5. Rain!!!! After such hot days the rain comes down to quench the trees and grass in our yard - free water YEEEEEEEEEESSS!!!! :-D

6. Excited about going back to work tomorrow with a little hint of nervousness 'coz I hope I remember everything I need to remember hi hi...the brain always works a little more slowly at work when it's just got back from holiday LOL!!!

7. Found cheap black shoes for the funeral (all of my black shoes are winter boots and all of my summer shoes are sneakers!) as well as a cheap black bolero at to accompany my black dress. :-D Now I'm all ready for the funeral! 

8. Thankfully we brought R2's wedding outfit here along with the black shoes, so he doesn't have to buy anything for the funeral.

9. After talking to someone, I realize even more than before that I've met so many nice, supportive people here in Sodankylä and again I'm SO THANKFUL for them and their support.  

10. Skipping lunch and eating ice-cream instead he he he he he he he hehhh...

11. Making watermelon, banana, grape, and blueberry juice. Yummy! :-D

Sunday, June 02, 2013

The Bears in Kuusamo Predator Centre

OK, as promised, I'm gonna show you two video clips of some of the bears that we met in Kuusamo Predator Centre. Unfortunately in the first video clip the wind was blowing SO hard that I had a hard time remembering what she was saying. Oh can read more info and find more video clips in their website. 


Here is a short video clip where R2 got to feed Juuso a candy.