Wednesday, July 30, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Was at MIL's and it rained cats and dogs and I was so afraid it'd rain because I had hung my work shirt outside because I needed it dry quickly. Came home and found that it hadn't rained in our area despite the fact that our place was within a 3 km radius of her place. WOOOHOOOOO!!!!

2. Was sharing my thoughts on how a double standard on women was unfair and hubby was really thoughtful. :-D 

3. The heat wave has temporarily stopped and it's nice to have some cooler days in between. It's around 11'C at the moment.

4. Had a good time at a coworker's graduation party (my first invitation ever to a graduation party that doesn't involve my husband's family). This is what I wore for the party (notice the blown-up raindrop photo on the wall?)

5. Had a great time and lots of laugh at BIL's birthday party

6. The weather was great the day after the parties at 30'C and I took these photos:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Heat Wave

We've been having very hot weather during the day for at least a week. It reached 30'C under the sun and sometimes it felt even hotter when there was less wind, though some days thankfully the wind was rather cool. Plus it helps that the temperature goes down during the night/morning. So on a very hot day I went out biking the other time. I went to the river area and was amazed at how striking the difference was between summer and winter. The bushes were so lush and tall and I did take some photos. 

Here goes...Lappish summer at its best! The weather report site says that this has been the hottest period ever in 50 years all over Finland with the mean temperature of 20,7'C. Amazing! And many people thought it would be a crappy summer after last year's super glorious and long summer and the fact that the beginning of summer here was cold. I'm glad to report that today has been raining and it's been cool, though. It's nice for a change. Plus people here aren't really geared up for super hot weather non-stop because they're more prepared for cold winters ha ha...

Enjoy the photos! Oh, and the house in one of the pics isn't ours. It's just one of those that attracted my eyes. Have a blessed weekend, people!

P.S.: As contrast, here are other photos of the river area (taken from different sides) at different times of the year:


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Otter Juggling Rocks

One of the things I love about the internet is that every now and then I find something cute and interesting and then it makes me want to learn more about it. The other day I was browsing through youtube videos of cute animals and found a clip where an otter was juggling a rock and through that video I found other videos of otters juggling rocks. So I started searching for more information. But before I continue, check out this cute video of an otter juggling two small rocks.

Anyway, here are some of the things I found through this Wikipedia link:

1. Sea otters are one of the few mammals that use tools. They use rocks to break open preys that have hard shells. They eat while floating on their backs.

2. Otters are the only marine animals capable of lifting and turning over rocks.

3. In another link I also read that they juggle rocks because they have to handle slippery food, so they have to hone their skills. 

4. Sea otters eat approximately 25% of their weight in food each day to support their high metabolism. (Source: Sea Otter) ---> I'm ENVIOUS of their high metabolism! At this age it's getting harder and harder to lose weight compared to when I was still in my twenties.

In the Wikipedia page, I also found out that during mating, the male bites the nose of the female. Ewwwwww...that doesn't sound like a nice mating ritual at all, especially considering the fact that oftentimes the nose becomes bloody and scarred. Are they masochistic or something? LOL!!! Anyway, I won't share too many facts here because you can read them in the links that I've shared.

Last but not least, here's a video of an otter actually using a rock to break open some clams:


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Writing Challenge: When I Am An Old Woman

For this writing challenge, I decided to combine photo and text. Here is what I made:

Here's what my text says.

When I Am An Old Woman

When I'm an old woman...
I still want to believe in humanity,
Still want to have a zest for learning,
Still want to think that life is beautiful
And worth living no matter what.

When I'm an old woman, 
I want to wake up believing that
Today is a gift for me. 

P.S. Well, I know we're supposed to wake up and believe that today is a gift for us even when we're not old, but I was thinking that maybe that thought is even more profound in one's old age? We shall see...that's if I ever get to be that old he he...

Friday, July 11, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Enough me time (recharging time) at home where I get to do whatever I want, which includes kicking my ass to exercise more. Love the endorphin!

2. When the thermometer shows that indoor temperature is cooler than outside temperature. Summer is on, baby! :-D

3. Reading a magazine at MIL's place with the sun on my back and the wind blowing the leaves, creating beautiful shadows on the living room floor.

4. Being reminded again as to how precious my husband is. How patient he has been with me and how he's never made me feel like an idiot nor has he ever told me that I'm stupid or an idiot.

5. The things we take for granted: the ability to walk, to eat, to sing, to hear, to drink on our own without anybody's help.

6. Older blog posts that remind me of some details that I've either completely or half forgotten. 

7. Finding the old songs that have been playing in my head because someone have compiled the songs in a youtube video. I watched these wuxi series on VHS tapes when I was little (except the last one on the list). The women used to be my heroines: the kind that knew martial arts and could therefore protect themselves ha ha...And I used to try to imitate their hairdo. Ahem...:-D How nostalgic!

8. The roses have finally started blooming. YEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!!

9. Clearing up my computer desk because husband had bought a new bookshelf, so I could move the piles of books to an empty shelf. Nice to have more space!

10. Printing some raindrop photos and putting them near my computer desk and one photo on the kitchen wall. Every time I look at them, I remember the feeling I had when I took the photos: I felt like a fairy in a fairy land, surrounded by thousands and thousands of beautiful raindrops.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Movie Recommendation: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Years ago I wrote about wanting to watch this movie. I bought the DVD months ago, but I only watched it the other day. I knew I had to prepare myself mentally to watch the movie because of the heavy subject, but it was worth watching. The visuals are stunning and cinematography was sublime! I was so amazed at how well it was made because they really made me feel I was him. 

Here's the imdb page: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly 

Synopsis: "The true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby who suffers a stroke and has to live with an almost totally paralyzed body; only his left eye isn't paralyzed." 

The beginning of the movie made me feel trapped. It was hard to breathe. I couldn't help thinking that if someone else were in that condition and he/she didn't have access to such a brilliant group of people to help out, then it would be devastating.

Still I admired his tenacity and the patience and brilliance of the people who helped him. I'm not going to say too much about the movie for fear of ruining it, but I have to warn you that if you're planning to watch it, better do it when you're in a good mood and you're prepared mentally to watch a heavy movie.

P.S. I was browsing through the images of the movie to put here, but found this article instead. Warning: read this only after you watch the movie: The Real Love Story Behind The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Raindrops #3

It's been raining again today, so of course I had to spend time having fun taking some pics. Today I decided to gear up even better than yesterday. I even put on my winter gloves so that the mozzies couldn't bite me through them. Here was what I was wearing:

However, I found some blurry photos, so I decided to wait up before going back outside. This time I decided not to wear the pair of jeans (only leggings) because I only wanted to take a few photos. Baaaddd decision! The back of my left leg is now covered with three hot spots, but I think it's worth it anyway he he he he he he...Managed to snap a few better photos. It was hard to hold steady without using a tripod (didn't want to bother even though we have one). 

Some of the photos may look similar, but they're taken from a slightly different angle, showing a slight difference of the raindrop patterns. 

Enjoy the photos! Time for my exercise now! :-D

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Raindrops #2

It's been raining again and I was looking forward to enough raindrops everywhere in order to take some photos he he...Unfortunately plenty of the flowers in our yard haven't bloomed yet (like the rose bushes and the tiger lilies) and I had to fight the mozzies to take the photos (got bitten a few times), but I've got some raindrop photos again. I would love to have taken many more, but the mozzies were killing me, even though I had put on some gloves and a hoodie and trousers in order to protect myself, but they bit me through my gloves, can you believe it? And they attacked my face relentlessly, so I couldn't stay still too long (had to keep waving them away).

Anyway, enjoy the photos...Click on each photo to view the bigger versions.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Life Goes On

An innocent question can lead to a dose of surprise. The other day I asked a regular customer where his wife was, because I hadn't seen her for months. 

His response was, "We're divorced now. Our divorce was final on the 23rd of this month. Her decision."

I was struck dumb. I managed to reply, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that."

He continued, "She lives in southern Finland now. She wanted me to move there, too, but I didn't want to. I have my place here and a small cabin, so she filed for a divorce. It's her decision."

I could only respond, "Oh must be hard. By the way, her daughter lives there, right?"

He replied, "Yes, her daughter has a son. So now she takes care of the grandson." He packed the few items he had bought and added, "I'm still grieving about it."

I said, "Of course you are, of course.......But life goes on..." 

He agreed, "Yes, life goes on."

I didn't have time to process the information. The next customer was already waiting, but I felt like his words were hanging there in the space between us. It's funny how news like this can stagger you, even though you don't really know them that well.

I first met her a few years ago. From the get go, she told me her abbreviated life story even without being asked. She had just retired at that time. If I could describe her with one word, I'd choose the word sunshine. She was always full of laughter and bear hugs. Seeing her face at work was always a pleasure.

Sometime last year she came by with a huge smile on her face. She said that her grandson was due soon and she would go there once the baby was born. A few months later, she showed me his photo on her mobile phone and told me her grandson's name. The phrase "her pride and joy" sprung to my mind. I have no doubt that she'll be a doting and fun grandmother.

Life goes on...people come and go, some are born, some pass away and sometimes you don't even have time to say goodbye...but life goes on for those left behind...