up. down. up. down. up.

Oy vey, what a day! Ever had one of those days where it starts out up here….flies pretty high…then comes crashing down…only to level out and then climb back to a reasonable height again? I hope so, coz I’d hate to think it was only me!

First off…we saw sunshine today!


This was around 11am, after the hunting/gathering was done and on my way back home to unload my kill. Came home to mail — Kela deposited my reimbursement for my meds into my bank account, so that was a good thing, and didn’t really take all that long, considering the red tape. Good stuff. Had a killer long walk with Tracie this morning, almost five miles and at a decent pace, too. Keep in mind that we’ve got Shiva with us, and this morning was two stops at dog parks, plus all the stop-n-sniffs, plus accounting for ice, and I don’t bother to pause the program. One day, we’ll do a walk without Shiva during a clear day, and we’ll see what our pace is really. 🙂



Got home, got the laundry put away, another load started, bed made, things cleaned up, progress made, and then Tracie came by to pick me up for a trip to Ikea. Day is definitely on the climb. Found the couch I want to buy, but since it’s not on sale, there’s no rush. I can wait for Uncle Sam to deposit my refund first. We come back by the apartment (shhh, we don’t talk about the reason is because that I forgot to snuff out a candle before I left), I drop off my stuff, and I head back out with Tracie to go to Kaari mall to do more shopping. Yes, this day is going really good.

Go to Musti ja Mirri to buy some dog food and treats, go up to the counter and I realize I don’t have my Musti ja Mirri customer discount card, but never fear, I have my number in my cell phone, in an email…wait, I know I had my cell phone. It has to be in my purse. My back pocket? My jacket? Shit….where did I leave my phone!? I look in Tracie’s car. No luck. Hmm, I must have laid it down at home out of habit. Sure, that’s where it is. Only it’s not.

Day is definitely plummeting with that realization.

In the meantime…I stub my toe on the riser between the kitchen and hallway. Ow.

I go to pick up my iced tea, which I drink out of a glass that has a screw-on top because I am a klutz…aaaaaand the top comes off and I spill iced tea all over my keyboard. I couldn’t take a picture because I DON’T HAVE MY PHONE…but here is a reenactment:


My day is sucking.

Let me take you on a little segue here. If you have an Android phone, make sure you have the Android Device Manager turned on and you’ve made your account.  It’s free and doesn’t cost anything in battery power, either. I finally remembered that I have done this (remember, I have CRS), got on my computer, signed in to the program, and voila, it located my phone. I locked the screen remotely, adding a message to the lock screen that said, “This is a lost phone. Please call.” and then entered my number. Haha, totally blond moment…I had to go back and change that to my HUSBAND’S phone number. Now, if some stranger had found my phone, they would see a screen with that message and a green “Call” button, which would have connected them to my husband’s cell phone. As it was, the phone showed it was at Tracie’s location, so I figured it was in her car and I had overlooked it in my desperate search. About the time I went to email her, she got to me first, saying she found my phone in her car. 🙂

All is well. Mr. Tracie dropped it off to me when he was heading out to go see a hockey game.


So, day is shaping back up again, although it is closer to evening at this point. At least I won’t have to go to bed not knowing where my phone is. And, with still one more walk-the-dog for tonight, here’s my step count for today (so far):


And then I’ll leave you lastly with a link to something light and fun to watch that my eldest daughter turned me on to:


Day 10 Challenge

This morning’s picture. This is 8:45am, folks.

December 10, 2014

Went to class, came home, walked Shiva, went to IKEA, spent 3 hours in there…came home, ate dinner, walked Shiva…oh, an exciting day! Class had an interesting moment: we were talking about stores (kaupa), and we were talking about small stores versus shopping malls (ostos keskus), and so I was going to say that “Ikea is a big store.”, only she couldn’t understand what the word “ikea” was…which baffled me, because doesn’t EVERYONE know about Ikea? Only I was pronouncing it EYE-kee-ah, and she knew it as “Ee-keh-ah”. Silly Finns. 🙂

The holiday season is upon us. I found lots of nifty little holiday things to spruce up the place with at Ikea, and will get the house ready tomorrow. Then we have the division Christmas party to attend tomorrow night. Oh, and Sunday, we are going to head out to Senate Square to go visit the holiday booths and get into the spirit of things. I’m looking forward to it.


Day 10 Challenge Question: When was the last time you cried, and why?

That’s an easy one. August 16th, when I left my girls behind in Louisiana to start the move out this way. I’m not a crier, but I did cry on the way to North Carolina. I knew I was going to miss them, and I do. 😦

One Month!

Today is the one month mark of my arrival here in Finland, land of a thousand lakes. In summary, I am really enjoying it so far, and feel like I am slowly starting to settle in. During the course of my day, I might puzzle or wonder at something or other, but overall, it doesn’t feel like a totally alien place, just a new place, with a few different routines that I need to get used to.

  • Mail delivery on Sundays. And every day by 10am
  • Automatic bottle recycling machines (and like ,40 per bottle, woot!)
  • Walking everywhere (and why, oh why did I forget my FitBit charger?!)
  • Uberfast internet
  • The friendliness of people
  • Hanging clothes up to dry
  • The washing machine in the bathroom

That’s just to name a few. It is by no means an exhaustive list.

To celebrate this one month anniversary, I went to IKEA. Where else? 🙂 I took the 550 bus from Viikin tiedepuisto (the ‘monkey’ bus stop), to the Itäkeskus shopping center. From there, I hit up the Otto (ATM) and got some cash, then walked over to where I thought the IKEA bus would come by. Turns out I was right (yay me!). When I got there, there might have been about five people waiting for the bus. By the time it actually arrived, there must have been forty! And while Finns tend to queue up calmly for just about everything else, they do NOT form an orderly line when it comes to IKEA! 🙂

I had brought my handy-dandy cart, and was ready for some serious shopping. I got some things I hadn’t planned on, and didn’t get other things that I had meant to (save those for another trip!), but all in all, a successful journey. Especially since I actually found measuring cups! Upon leaving, I figured to take the 74 bus all the way back to Meripihkatie since I had so much stuff. It usually runs on a :10 and :40 schedule, but for the last run of the two o’clock hour, it changes to 2:38…guess who watched it leave? The next bus came at 3:18pm, and I managed to get on without losing all the goods.

The IKEA haul!

The IKEA haul!

Managed to also disembark without issue, and strolled on home. I love my little IKEA cart (thanks, Mom!). It has come in handy so many times.

Got home, put most everything away, remade the bed, restuffed the duvets, and stood back to look at my handiwork. Pictures forthcoming at some point. The place is really starting to shape up.

Today’s weather was pretty chilly. I don’t think it got more than about 39°F, but with the layers, it wasn’t really all that bad. As a matter of fact, I felt overly warm once I was on the bus, but comfortable at the bus stop. It helped there was no breeze today, and it was slightly overcast.

I have a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the second week in November, which will be nice. Hopefully I can start my prescriptions so I don’t run out.

Wellu also emailed me with a surprise trip – we’re going to do a day trip to Tallinn, Estonia next week. I love Tallinn, so I am looking forward to it. The boat is serving wild boar roast on their buffet, so we’re definitely doing that. He said that as far as what we are going to do in Tallinn, he was going to leave that up to me. Such a sweetie…we’re going to go peek into all those little shops so I can look around.

A fruitless search.

Or should I say ‘cupless’?

The day dawned rather dreary and wet, but the temperature was a balmy 48°, so just a turtleneck and windbreaker would do. And I use the term ‘dawn’ rather loosely, as I didn’t actually get up until after 8:30am, and by the time breakfast was done and we’d piddled about the apartment some, it was nearly 11am. I am getting rather spoiled about my mornings!

In any case, I decided that today I would make the trek to Itäkeskus, catch the (free) IKEA bus to IKEA, and purchase a set of measuring cups, so that my new-found baking hobby wouldn’t have me running from computer to kitchen doing measurement conversions. Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. I decided to be efficient, and pack up all the garbage and recycling to take out with me, as well. So I get my backpack ready, get the bags and boxes all gathered at the front door, put on my windbreaker and shoes, and gather the IKEA cart, and head into the hallway, nudging the door shut with my hands full.

Remember in my earlier post, talking about how the outer doors are constructed without exterior door handles? Makes it hard to grab when you suddenly realize that you’ve not checked to make sure you have your key with you and the apartment locks when the door is shut. Yup. Locked myself out of the apartment. I verified this when I went ahead to go take out the garbage and realized that I needed that same key to get into the rubbish bins. Fortunately, a neighbor came by and opened that up for me, and I was able to at least dispense with those items.

Then, I called Wellu, informed him of my rather bonehead move, and set out to go to the Kumpulan kampus stop to meet him to get the extra key. By then, we were nearing on 1pm, but he tells me I can take the bus to Sörneinen and then take the Metro to Itäakeskus, and catch the 2pm IKEA bus. I get to Sörneinen, then decide that surely the Lidl store would have measuring cups. Nope. I’d already checked the local S Market to no avail. I figure, aw screw it, I’ll go tomorrow, and head to the bus.

On the way back, I realize that I am coming to the Arabia Shopping Center, and surely the Tarjoustalo store (‘Bargain Store’) will have a cheap set of measuring cups. They are located on the upper floor, so as long as I am on the ground floor, I go ahead and check out the markets (S and K, respectively), but no luck. So up I go. I scour every inch of this bargain store, and while they certainly do have lots of stuff (candles, hockey sticks, clothing, candy, food, hygiene, cookware, linens, yarn, toys, sauna supplies, and more), they do not have any measuring cups.

What? Are measuring cups disallowed in this country? Heck, I think nearly every dollar store, gas station and grocery store back home carried at least one set to choose from. I can add these to index cards, on the ‘nearly impossible to find items that should be everywhere’ list.

To clarify, that’s not to say I could not find ANY measuring items. I could find plenty of the first item, but none of the second item pictured:

measuring bowl measuring cups

If I want to measure just a quarter cup (or the metric equivalent) of something, using a huge mixing bowl is rather…inaccurate, to say the least. And especially when I need the bowl to mix in, and then also need to measure wet and dry items for the same recipe. Not saying that it can’t be done, just that it’s a royal pain for someone who isn’t all that enamored of cooking in the first place!

But, I am returning to the States in November, and from there I will have a set of civilized measuring cups and spoons, with both metric and imperial measurements on them, waiting for me. So I’m not completely despondent over the issue. Just perplexed. 🙂

So, all in all, the day was mostly a bust, although I did get the laundry washed and hung up. Sheets are still drying out on the balcony, where they will likely stay until morning.

I did add another picture to the Changing Seasons page, which shows my main tree becoming more and more bare. It’s happening so fast, I’m glad I went to taking a picture at least every other day. I think it’s really going to look impressive by next spring!

It was a damp day

Today started off with a drizzle, had some actual rain in the middle of the day (ironically when I was going to lunch), and then let off towards the evening, although the rain is supposed to continue throughout the week. I’ve started taking pictures each day, as the leaves are changing ever faster.Although, this picture is just one of the sunrise. You get the full spread of pictures on Tuesday. 🙂


Last night, we went out to a very nice restaurant with some of Wellu’s collegues for a farewell dinner for the Hungarian researcher that had been visiting for the past few months. We had some fabulous food, and my dinner was especially good: I ordered the wild elk, with the garlic potatoes and creamed cep mushrooms. The meat was garnished with lingonberry sauce, and I devoured the whole thing!


Earlier in the day, I made my trek to IKEA, which I had not visited in some time (at least a week!). I managed to get in the ‘card only’ line, but didn’t realize it, but fortunately, I had my new debit card with me! It works like a dream!

Today was relatively quiet. I met Wellu and the rest of the astronomy department at the Chinese food restaurant at the Arabia mall, and listened to Petra spin tall tales about Finland to the Italian researcher across the table. Then amazingly enough, I heard an ‘unaccented’ voice at the end of the table. Apparently there is a visiting (?) researcher here from Minnesota. He said he’s been here six weeks and picked up none of the language. Join the club!

Afterwards, I hung out at the mall for a bit, then headed home to do some organizing and cooking. I was going to make some Mexican stew, but we ended up with steak and fries, instead. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

For record’s sake, I took the 73 to the Kumpulan Kampus stop, and then took the 70T back to the Meripikahtie stop. Tomorrow, I will take the 73 to the Sörnäinen stop, then get off and walk to Moniheli. Coming back, the walk is a bit more, as the return bus stop is not just right across the street, but a few blocks away, as well. But I’ll take the same bus (73) back home.