Wow, what a day!

Today was a whirlwind of activity, the day starting late, unfortunately. Woke up at around 9:30am, and took the Shiva-dog out for her walk. And here’s the picture of today’s view through the window. More light, since this picture was taken an hour later than I usually take them! Late, I’m late!

December 18, 2014

December 18, 2014

I had my life coaching meeting today at the Pasila library at 1:00pm. I hardly had time to get Shiva back from her walk, clean up and then head back out the door! I managed to catch the bus and the train with no problem (damn, I am getting good at this!), and headed up to the library. I had to admit that I haven’t opened up the page on my blog yet to detail this little project, plus I hadn’t journaled for two of the days. We did some exercises to help with the focus, narrowing it down. I gave them some feedback on the process, and we parted ways.

I checked out my very first books at the library!

barcode

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I haven’t checked out books at any library in ages, but it was really easy here. There’s a touch screen that allows you to read the images in English, then you insert your card in the reader. Each of the books has a barcode, and there is a tray that you slide the book into, and a scanner reads the bar code. I would have taken pictures, but there were people in line behind me. Just trust me when I say that it’s really easy! After you’re done, you can have it print a receipt, which will give you all the due dates for your books. Easy-peasy!

After this, I hopped back on the train and went to finally go visit a fellow American, Tracie, who writes the blog Beets + Birch (see link at the right). Wow! She is even more amazing in person than she is via her blog! Her apartment looks like something out of a magazine, but comfy and inviting. We spent about an hour chatting about this and that, and we will definitely get together again. I had to leave as I had yet another obligation to get to, but she sent me out with this lovely gift of cookies!

wrapped so pretty!

wrapped so pretty!

deliciousness inside!

deliciousness inside!

the red string now adorns my sad xmas tree

the red string now adorns my sad xmas tree

Upon leaving, I was digging in my purse for my bus pass, and found the chocolate bar that I had brought to give to her. So there in the parking lot, I unceremoniously thrust it in her hands. Sorry! But thank you so much for the cookies and hot chocolate, totally yum!!

I had to leave to get to the apoteekki before they closed, as I had ordered my meds and needed to pick them up. Because my ‘B’ certificate hasn’t been approved yet (the queue is loooooong, apparently), I had to go ahead and pay up front, with plans to get reimbursed…to the tune of over 1880€! Ouch. Tracie’s cookies made the sting a little less painful!

Day 18 Challenge Question: Have you ever experienced kindness from a stranger?

I have, many times. From the simplest acts of helping me pick up a spilled purse, to holding one screaming child while I dealt with another, to waving me ahead of the line when I only had one item…I’ve been fortunate to be on the receiving end of many kind acts. The one, however, that sticks out in my mind the most, happened nearly 19 years ago:

My youngest daughter has a congenital birth defect. When she was less than a year old, her dad and I were flying across the country, from California to New York, for her to have some reconstructive surgery. At the time, she had a colostomy bag. Not sure if you’re aware of what happens to a colostomy bag on a flight, but suffice it to say, we went through all the diapers we had at the time. And then the plane was diverted to another airport during a storm. This airport was deserted, but there was an older lady from Long Island with us, and in typical New Yorker fashion, she ordered some poor flight attendant to leave the airport and go find diapers, which she paid for, refusing repayment. Then she proceeded to hold the littlest one while we rested, and she became our fairy godmother for the rest of the trip. The next day, she appeared at the Ronald McDonald House where we were staying, and she stayed with us for the entire 12 hour surgery wait. She came back every day to check on Victoria’s progress, and celebrated her first birthday with her there in the hospital. This was before Facebook, and sadly, we lost touch, but I never forgot her, and still think about her sweetness to this day. Bless you, Ms. Jean.

ms. jean in the leopard print blouse on the left

ms. jean in the leopard print blouse on the left

Life Coaching

Today was a big achievement for me…I made the bus-to-train transfer solo today! I’ve done that with Wellu with me, but today I was totally on my own and I nailed it! For a country bumpkin like me, it was a big deal. All I could do not to fist-pump right there in the station. 🙂

Surveying her new home

Surveying her new home

This morning, I took Shiva out for a long walk, and we actually found the dog park near our apartment. I did go straight when I should have turned, so I took the ‘scenic route’, but eventually got there. It’s down a rather steep grade, so it’s probably not a place we’ll be visiting when there’s ice. The dog park itself (I think it is called Maasälvänpuiston koirapuisto) is rather nice, with lots of trees for her to sniff around. At 9:30am, there wasn’t another dog in the park, although we did pass several on the way there and on the way home.

While it was wet, it wasn’t muddy. The ground is some sort of gravel-type that isn’t dirt (yeah, I know, very precise of me), but the main thing is that it doesn’t turn muddy in the rain, which has been going on for some time.

My reason for the bus-to-train transfer today was that I had my first ‘life coaching’ meeting. A gal on Facebook is looking to get her certificate, and in order to do so, she has to get in so many hours of holding meetings, so she asked for volunteers. You know me by now, I look for reasons to get out and try new things, so of course, I volunteered. Amy and her companion Koag, were very nice, and we went over some questions and exercises to help me reach my goals.

One of my goals is to lose some of this weight that I’ve put on in the past year of being injured and not able to run. One of my exercises is to make this goal public. So, I am going to add a page for ‘Life Coaching’, and will be updating it with my progress. I know that I don’t know many of you, but please feel free to help keep me accountable. My big push will be after the first of the year (because it’s a great time to start, and it’s after the holidays, so no more excuses!), but I need to start getting my act together before then. So check out the page when I get it done in the next week, and help me out!

Pasila library

Pasila library

Oh, we met at the Pasila library, and while I was there, I got my library card! I feel so…together. I hear that the resources from the library are massive, so I can’t wait to take advantage of them. It was really easy to do — I just needed my Finnish ID card and I was in!

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Tonight we have the Astronomy Division Christmas gathering at Kuja Bar Bistro in Helsinki, so I need to go get ready. I’ll have pictures and an update on that tomorrow, of course.

Day 11 Challenge question: What do you look forward to the most on a Friday evening?

Wow, that’s a hard one. I don’t quite have a Friday night routine yet. My husband has an online game that he plays on Friday nights, so it’s a mostly quiet night for me. I tend to be busy during the day with the usual housekeeping stuff so I don’t have t worry about it on the weekend. I wish I could say it was a hot party night, or sauna, or that I wrap up in a blanket with hot chocolate, a book and my dog, all on the couch with candles around….hmmm, come to think of it, that does sound like a good tradition to start. I’ll let you know how it goes!