Crazy busy!

I know, I know, I haven’t checked in for ages!

Finnish classes are starting to get really intense. I still feel like I don’t know any more than I did when I started, but every once in a while I realize that I’m recognizing words in conversations or can come up with the one that I need. I’m still struggling through all the darned endings and such, but hopefully, it will click soon. We have a mega-test on Tuesday (tiistai!), and I am simply not prepared. My recall is shyte.

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In the meantime, I have this thesis paper that I am proofing, and it is really taking up my time. I’ve agreed to do it, so I must, but I find myself starting to skim the words, and that’s when I have to take a break. Unfortunately, I don’t do anything productive when I do break from it. 300+ pages to proof. By the end of the month. Crunch time is coming soon!

But let us speak of more fabulous things! It has been a spectacular week for Helsinki, nature-wise! We’ve had spring temperatures (8°, 9°, even 10°!), with mostly clear skies. On Tuesday night, we had spectacular Northern Light displays, all the way here in the city! Nothing that I could take with my cell phone, but some folks got pictures of events just down the road from me. I was able to see them from my bedroom window, and they lasted for ages!

Photo Credit: Engelsman Finland

Photo Credit: Engelsman Finland

Then, on Friday, we got to experience an almost total solar eclipse. It was about 90% covered, and quite amazing. There was a bit of overcast, so I went and met Wellu at the university, where we looked through some special glasses to see the eclipse, plus “saw” it via a reflection from the telescope that was set up. I tried using the lens on the glasses to take a picture through, but it didn’t work.

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And then finally, Thursday night was a “super moon”. Nothing really amazing, just a point when the moon was at its closest to earth. Astronomer hubby sucks all the fun out of it, calling it “bollocks”, as the moon is only a few percentage points larger, hardly enough to notice, but hey, it was a cool event to have happen along with the other two. 🙂

Winter is supposed to return this next week, so time to bundle up again. Snow is predicted. But enjoying spring while it is giving us this sneak preview.

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Got Shiva her pet passport, except that they spelled my last name wrong and put in the wrong birth date for her. I don’t want to get stopped at some border because of technical issues, so we go back Monday to get it fixed. Sucker was expensive too…over 100€ for it! But, it means all her records are in one place and now she’s essentially Finnish, and she can travel around the EU without any problems. Just in case.

Heading to Budapest next weekend, then my mom comes to visit, then we head to Italy, THEN my youngest daughter and her friend come to visit…we’re going to do a ‘girl’s cruise’ to Tallinn, Stockholm, and St. Petersburg. After they leave, we are headed to France. Busy summer!

A visit to the doctor

As promised, here is my blog post on going to the doctor today. It was actually my first visit in an “emergency”. While my ankle twisting wasn’t technically an emergency, we did want it seen to make sure it wasn’t fractured or something.

So, first step…call and see if we can get an appointment. The recording actually came up in English (after the Finnish and the Swedish). Essentially, the recording was that all the nurses were busy, and if the number we were calling from was the one we wanted to be called back on, do nothing, just wait until we hear it’s been recorded, then we will get a call back. Which is what we did.

I got a call back within about 45 minutes. The nurse answered in Finnish first, but then responded in English when I explained that I didn’t speak Finnish. She asked me a few questions about what happened, and then said, “Do you live close? There is an appointment in 10 minutes.” Well, no, not that close. Couldn’t get out of bed, ready and hobble to the clinic in ten minutes. The next was at 9:45am, in about an hour. Great, I’ll take that one. She gave me a waiting room number, but I completely forget it by the time I got there.

Wellu walked me there, and it was painful, but I could actually feeling it get a bit better, which reinforced in my mind that it was a bad sprain and nothing more. I got to the clinic, and up to the second floor, where I looked left and right at the banks of waiting rooms and realized that I had no idea which one she had told me. I got a nurse’s attention, and explained my predicament. She was very nice, took me in to a room, looked up my appointment and directed me to waiting room 4.

A few minutes after 9:45am, a nurse came out of one of the rooms, called my name, and proceeded to ask me something in Finnish. Once again, I revealed that I didn’t speak Finnish (although ask me the days of the week and I’ve got that covered!), so she asked all the questions in very clear English. She had me take off my shoes and socks, and examined my foot, comparing it to the other one. (In the meantime, I realized how long it had been since I’d shaved my legs and had a pedicure, which seemed to make the pain she was causing from twisting my foot around pale in comparison).

She called in the doctor, they consulted in Finnish, then the doctor affirmed that it hurt to twist it this way, but not this way. Said it was a bad sprain. Rest today, keep it elevated and in the wrap I had, put some ice on it, and give it a couple of weeks to heal up. I can walk as necessary, but not to push it. Take ibuprofen if I need it. And that was it.

Fifteen minutes later, I am leaving. No co-pay, no fee, nothing but the note I needed for missing school today. By the time I got home, it was actually feeling better. Still stiff and sore if I turned it, but it supports my weight and so on, so I’m sure I’ll live. I even took Shiva out for a walk after I got back. Then I was lazy.

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Speaking of today…there were big, beautiful snowflakes falling as I walked Shiva, and even though I am tired of winter, it was a beautiful walk, with the trees and their bare branches, snow falling, a (mostly) white layer of snow everywhere. It didn’t really feel all that cold at all. One thing I love about here is that even in this weather, the kids are brought outside to play. There were about twenty of them at the playground, all wearing their reflective vests over their snowsuits, screaming and running around.

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In any case, that’s about it, since I spent most of the day napping with my foot elevated and wrapped. Just like the doctor said to. 🙂

February in Helsinki

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It’s all about the slosh. It snowed all freakin’ day…then began to drizzle. Walked Shiva earlier and it was like walking through a frozen drink. The walk tomorrow morning should be interesting, to say the least. It’s been above freezing, so the snow is melting, and there is water everywhere! I can only imagine what a deluge spring is going to be like!

Shiva did well on her overnight stay, so now we have a dogsitter for the trip. One less thing to worry about.

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Tracie is all about snowdicks. So I made a snowgina. She apparently left the phallus at the dog park for me. We should really grow up. But where’s the fun in that?

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I also made lasagna. My mom asked if the noodles were homemade. She’s such a comedian. (Yes, I know how to do it, I’m just too lazy)

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Shiva made dog angels on her walk.

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We are all sorts of creative today. I have class tomorrow. Not feeling the creativity any more.

I’ve really got nothing else. It was a decently lazy Sunday. I’ll try to come up with something more useful tomorrow.

Oh, Tracie…I remember you saying that LOVE Mason jar crafts. This is for you: https://www.yahoo.com/makers/25-amazing-mason-jar-gift-ideas-102975891880.html

 

 

Baby’s first night away.

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Today is/was Saturday, which is a pretty slow day for me. I don’t even get close to my 15,000 step goal; usually just about half that. I woke up late, nearly to 10am (!!!), and took Shiva out. The dog park was empty, per usual, and she kept going to the gate, I think to look for our walking companion. 🙂 So I decided to take her out and about for a bit of an explore. The landscape is really pretty in the winter, and I can just imagine how gorgeous it is going to be come springtime. I can’t say that I’m tired of winter…but I’m tired of winter.

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We were leaving the second stop at the dog park when we ran into a girl and her playful pup heading to the park, so we turned around and joined them. The dogs played for a while, and we chatted about how difficult it was to learn a new language, especially when everyone around you spoke a common one (in both cases, the common language is English, but she is Finn, trying to learn Dutch, when she was in Holland). After that, Shiva and I made our way back home.

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This evening, we went to some friends’ apartment and brought Shiva. They are going to watch her while we are out of town for the winter holiday, but we wanted to give it a test run since they have a four year old and two cats. This was a photo they sent me about 20 minutes after we left (and of course, I could hear her whining as we walked away. Apparently she stopped pretty quickly).

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Anna is like way pregnant, so I feel for her taking this on, but they both said they love dogs (hopefully they still do after tonight!), and Shiva pretty much ignores Werner and the cats. So hopefully all will be okay. This is my first time since we got here that I’ve left Shiva in anyone else’s care, so I’m just like a nervous mom. So far, the worst thing she’s done is left fly a few stink-bombs….those I don’t miss!

Something about being in Finland:

Tracie and I were talking the other day about the little things that make all the difference in life. Things that are different here versus the States. One is the little fabric loop on the towels to hang them up with. I know that’s not a huge thing, but it’s so smart and convenient, and I can’t understand why it’s not done more often.

The other thing is the over-the-sink drying rack. I love this! If I build a house (or anywhere I move), this is going to be one of those must-haves. Washing dishes has become rather zen for me, and having a rack like this to dry dishes on makes so much sense. You’d think this would ALSO be on the list of common things to have, especially in apartments or smaller places.

Genius!

Genius!

Genius, too!

Genius, too!

We are heading to sauna, and since I don’t have to be up early in the morning for the walk, I think I am going to head to bed, and sleep in late. Mmm…that might be a nice change of pace. 🙂

Moi moi!

 

P.S. Ran to (and back) sauna, wearing my robe and CudleDuds (only) while the snow was falling. This is what our windows looked like when we got back an hour later (brrrr!):

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What a day!

Where to start?

January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

Well, last night, I carefully printed out my bus route to get to class…

…and missed my stop (by a few), and got totally turned around. Couldn’t get the map to pull up or the bus schedule, so had to call the hubby to get directions. Was late to class, but was actually able to apologize for being late in Finnish. Win? And it seemed that this first class was pretty laid back, and I wasn’t the only late one, so there is that.

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Can’t express how happy I am that I took that short class earlier, or else I would have been even more lost than I was today. Hopefully, it will come over time, but we’ll see. And at least I’ll be getting paid for taking this class. That’s a bonus.

I have the second (third?) class starting tomorrow, so once more I have printed out my bus route, and this time I have notes as to the landmarks to look for. I have to go from my first class directly to the second one, so I can’t screw this up.

Nailed my 12,500 step goal today by going out in a freakin’ snowstorm to walk Shiva (“light snow”, my Aunt Fannie). That is love and dedication, of course.:)

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One neat thing is that going out at the dark of night (see there, 11:15pm), is that you can feel perfectly safe (other than the breaking of the neck on ice). I wouldn’t dream of going out at that hour back home. Mainly because it is pitch black, but here, as you can see, everything is well-lit, and crime is amazingly low. I just feel safe walking around at any hour, and that is a really nice feeling.

Twas the night before…

…we were to leave for Oulu. Hah! Bet you thought I was going to say something else. 🙂

This morning’s picture:

December 21, 2014 around 9:10am

December 21, 2014 around 9:10am

Today dawned rather nicely, with blue skies interspersed with grey. The weather was mild, so much so that I pretty much just wore my sweatshirt and lined windbreaker out to walk Shiva and was perfectly comfortable. I even forgot my scarf and gloves, and it wasn’t really a bother.

We did some major exploration this morning, walking up and down and all around, until we found the dog park that we had found a few days ago. There was a large German Shepherd already there, but he was friendly, and his owner spoke English, so we talked a bit. Apparently, this dog park is rather popular, and he told me that some evenings there can be upwards of twenty dogs and owners congregated there. By the time I left, we were joined by a young Doberman, a terrier mix, a large mix with a shaggy coat that was a guide dog for an older blind lady who came around (totally makes my excuses not to get out invalid!), and a sort of Akita mix. It was a lively bunch, and all the dogs seemed to have a good time.

Dogs in the park!

Dogs in the park!

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Here is my map for today. We walked over two miles today!

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After we got back, it was time to head to the City Center and get some shopping done that I probably should have done yesterday. As we were leaving, big snowflakes were coming down from the sky! It was quickly sticking to the ground and creating a white sheet over everything. While walking through the city, I got to thinking about just how happy all the snow made me, coupled with the twinkling lights, the music playing from the stores and the street musicians, and the general holiday spirit. The crowds didn’t bother me; I actually felt like they added to the excitement of it all. It made me realize that it’s important to hang on to the feelings of happiness, to hug them close, and to totally revel in them when we have them. I think too many times we tend to dismiss them, as if too scared to enjoy them for fear of them being whisked away by the next ‘bad’ thing we can think of. Sure, the vendor that I wanted to buy some Christmas bread wasn’t there, but there were others, so no harm. Still happy! I was with my husband and so still happy! Going to be visiting family and see my daughter in less than a week. Still reasons to be happy! Things will come along to get us down, but I think that if we learn to really love the moments when we are happy, and not feel like we don’t deserve them, or that they are too fleeting, then they will become part of our outlook and help lift us out of the doldrums that much quicker.

Downtown Helsinki looked quite festive, even though I couldn’t really capture it in pictures. But I did try:

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We took a ‘shortcut’ through the Kaisaniemi Metro station tunnel, which looks pretty cool. The walls are fashioned as if you are within a cave, with ‘cave paintings’ along the walls. When we entered, there was a fellow playing a violin, and the music echoed hauntingly off the walls, sounding so beautiful.

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While at Kampii to visit Musti ja Mirri to get Shiva some dog food for the trip, we went into the chapel of silence, Kampii Chapel, there in the square. It’s built completely out of wood, and was designed to be a place of silence in the center of the city. It was very quiet, and I could see going there to simply sit and unwind during a hectic day. Besides the pews, there were these great woolen ‘rock’ pillows all around that you could sit on or just hang on to. Very cool.

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And, of course, to finish up the night, after getting home, there was the taking of the Shiva out for her walk. This was a bit more snow than her first time, but it still didn’t phase her. If it wasn’t for her butt, though, might lose sight of her against the snow! I’m worried about seeing her in Lapland!

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Day 21 Challenge Question: What feelings does twilight arouse in you?

I am beginning to love twilight! It is the winding down of the day (even when it happens at 3pm!), and the beginning of wrapping it up, slowing down, and starting the ritual to get ready to rest and rejuvenate. It’s the time that I can cuddle with my hubby on the couch and watch our television shows, or cuddle with the Shiva-dog, or just slow down and let my mind wander. Of course, with twilight starting so early in the winter…well, I am getting more than enough rest and rejuvenation to last me!

And with this blogpost, I am probably incommunicado until the day after Christmas, maybe two days, when I return to Helsinki to get my daughter. And then from that point…probably out for another week. But, if I get internet access and or access to a computer, I might be able to update! And I might try out the mobile app…so be forgiving if you see some odd-looking posts here over the holidays.

Everyone have a wonderful holiday, and at the very latest, I will see you again in the new year! Remember, life is an adventure…live it! 🙂

#500words

Lazy, lazy Sunday

I love lazy Sundays. Except for when I feel the guilt of not getting much done. I’ve only recently reached that point in my life where I can roll out of bed at whatever hour I want, and be lazy. Well, I do need to walk Shiva, but that’s okay. Speaking of which…she had some kind of morning. First off, she hasn’t gone #2 for two days, which I figured was a bit too long (more on this in a bit), so I took her out for a loooooong walk, figuring that we were not going in until she did her business.  We walked over to the ostokeskus to mail a letter, then around towards the bus stops. Understand, the slush has frozen into a patchwork of ice, so I was having to walk like a penguin as to not fall, so the going was slow. And hilarious to onlookers, I’m sure.

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Anyway, she kept going between trees and under brush and up the side of a hill…thanks, Shiva. She flushed a rabbit, which had her going ape-shit for like fifteen minutes, trying to pull me down the side of the mountain on the ice to chase it, until something else bright and shiny caught her attention and she went on to investigate that. Those tracks are not rabbit tracks…I got totally lost trying to figure out where the damn thing came from and where it went (it was fast!), and I couldn’t find the tracks to photo them. So enjoy these bird-like tracks instead.

In any case, Miss I-Dont-Wanna-Poop spent another half hour sniffing everything she could get to, until FINALLY, we had poop. Success! I’m thinking that since I am feeding her better dog food, along with some real meat treats (this stuff called B.A.R.F., which is amazing, at least to her), she might be processing it so efficiently that she’s only needing to go every other day or so. Any dog people who have knowledge in this area, let me know what you think.

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The rest of the day was spent just lazing around, chatting with the youngest on Skype. It was really nice seeing her, and her new glasses look amazing (didn’t get a screen grab, sorry. Just trust me!). Finally, around 5ish or so, we bothered ourselves to get up and head to the Senatatori to go see the carolers. We brought Shiva along for the experience, as we were under the impression that the singing would be outside. Must have misread something, because instead, the singers were inside the cathedral, and there were big speakers on the steps, which were broadcasting the music. The singing was pretty, but I had hoped to actually see the choir. Bummer.

The Christmas market in Senate Square as seen from the top of the Cathedral steps

The Christmas market in Senate Square as seen from the top of the Cathedral steps

Shiva checking out the door of the bus, waiting her turn

Shiva checking out the door of the bus, waiting her turn

We climbed the steps, looked around at the pretty city lights from that vantage point, then headed back home. We stopped by the ostokeskus to go atm some money, only it was out. First time I’ve ever encountered that, in the US or here. Wellu decided to pop into the SMarket since we were there, so I stayed outside with Shiva. While outside, we met a very beautiful husky/wolf hybrid named Sepe (and his human, Lea). Sepe and Shiva got along great, and Lea, an older Finnish lady, was petting Shiva and telling me that she was pretty. Of course she is. Then, she asked me about going to the dog park tomorrow so that Shiva and Sepe could play together. This was all in Finnish (as apparently she speaks no English), but I managed to work it out, and so we have a “playdate” for tomorrow at 2pm! I was so proud of myself! Just to be on the safe side, we confirmed it all when Wellu came out of the store, but I did get it mostly right. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture of Sepe, but I will for tomorrow. He’s a magnificent looking dog.

I have my TE integration interview tomorrow, so I am going to head to bed early, so that I can be fresh and alert for that.

Day 14 Challenge Question: Do you remember a time when you felt lonely? Can you describe it?

I had to sit here for a while and think about this. While I know that I have, my life has been so extraordinary these past few years, that I can’t remember any time in particular to recount. I’m going to take this as a good sign. Or a rather poor memory. Take your pick. 🙂

#500 words, yo.

Winter is here! Snow!

I woke up this morning, went to the window to go take my daily picture, and gasped! Snow! At that moment, it was just a light dusting, but it got better (worse?) as the day wore on.

We had an errand to run this morning; going to pick up my replacement suitcase because my old one couldn’t be fixed. The snow was coming down, sticking to the roads and everything! For a Southern gal, this is really exciting, and more than a little bit scary. I was bundled up like crazy, so that Astrid had to ask just what was I going to do for winter. I figure I’ll just double up on everything I wore today!

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High fashion!

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It’s like a Finnish burkha.

I have another errand to run this afternoon, and as I look outside the window, the sidewalks and streets are white, snow is accumulating on the roof tops and tree limbs. I’m just amazed at how different the landscape looks, so quickly. And I’m worried about my ability to adapt to this snowy wilderness! I want warmth back already!

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In spite of all my whining, the outdoors isn’t really all that uncomfortable. The air is dry and the wind isn’t blowing, so it’s not too terrible if you’re bundled up. I can imagine that with rain and wind, it would get pretty miserable. In any case, I guess winter is actually here, and this is the beginning. My child was telling me yesterday that it was a nice high 60’s back home, getting to the mid 80’s during the day, and then back down. Those are the good days. 🙂

Tallinn, Estonia…and snow!

OMG…it is really snowing here! I mean, I knew it would, but I am still just amazed at it. And a bit scared.

But first, about Tallinn.

Yesterday (Wednesday), Wellu and I left for Tallinn aboard one of the Viking Line ships. Tallinn is an easy day trip from Helsinki, and a lot of Helsinki-ites (?) head there to buy alcohol. You’ll see them board with folding carts, empty suitcases and duffel bags, and return with cases of beer and cider, all loaded down (and many are simply loaded, too! 🙂 )

Tallinn is a very old city, and the place we were to visit is a walled older city within the city of Tallinn itself. The original Tallinn, if you will. The old town is actually listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was founded sometime in the 1200’s, so it’s pretty damn old.

You have to line up early in the terminal, because the seating is a bit limited on the ship, and you want to get a good seat for the approximately 2.5 hour ride there. We managed to snag a decent seat in the corner of the bar area, although the view out of the window wasn’t too great. And it was too cold to go outside and take pictures, so all you get to see is the interior!

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The ship had a trivia contest, although we didn’t enter (we should have!), but we played along and got most of the questions right. They post them up on some video monitors located around the bar area so you can see the questions. Which are all in Finnish and Swedish, of course.

I was feeling a bit nauseated when we got to the ship, so I went to the bar and ordered a Coke and some chips to settle my stomach. I tried to order my Coke (and glass of ice) in Finnish, but since she confirmed and spoke to me in English after that, I guess my Finnish was lacking. Darn it.

We just sat and read for bit, and then another couple came and sat with us. After a while, we struck up a conversation. She was Rose, from Beijing, China, who was visiting her friend, Harold, in Helsinki. It was her first time to Helsinki, and first time going to Tallinn. She plays keyboard and guitar in a band in China, and later, they are going to go visit their former keyboardist in Frankfurt.  We had a rather enjoyable conversation, and then split up to go stand in the herd to get off the ship.

Relaxing on the outward bound trip

Relaxing on the outward bound trip

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March of the Penguins

March of the Penguins

Once we got off the ship (and through the terminal), we walked the short distance to the entrance to the walled older city. We didn’t really have anything on our itinerary, just wanted to take a little day trip somewhere nice. I wanted to take the time to finally poke my head into all the little shops that I had to pass by before, and I wanted to go to the market, maybe find some Christmas gifts to take back.

Unfortunately, the market wasn’t going on, but I did get to do a lot of window shopping. Lots of linen, lace, wooden carvings, amber, and wool items. Go figure. 🙂 We popped in to a few of the more unusual shops, although I had to admit that some of their prices were very high. My personal quest was for a wooden butter knife and a bread basket. I have bought probably two dozen of the butter knives as souvenirs for friends, but I never kept one for myself! The bread basket is actually this thicker cloth that ties at the corners to lift the sides and keep the bread inside. I just like the look of them.

I have to pause here to say that I just went in the kitchen to refill my tea, and it is really snowing outside. Real snowflakes, coming down from the sky and sticking to the ground. It’s really winter! Okay, back to the blog…

In any case, found the butter knife (after several stops), a really nice birch and juniper utensil, that I am excited to have in the kitchen. Also, got Sam a dice bag handmade with an Estonian pattern. Not sure they mean it as a dice bag, but that’s what I´m calling it for Sam. Also bought these adorable wooden cat window hangers, that are decorated with amber pieces. All made in Estonia, by hand. Very cool looking!

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My favorite piece is probably what I got for Stasia, which is a hand-painted ceramic bowl with a cat in it. There is a series of these bowls, made by a local artist, Helina Tilk. I got Stasia the ‘Dandy Cat’ one, because I loved the look on this one’s face. I plan to get her the set, a few pieces at a time, if she likes this one. They are dishwasher and microwave safe, although hand washing is suggested, of course.

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We did a bit more wandering, mainly down side streets that we hadn’t traveled in our visits here before, admiring the architecture, and then stopping in at Drakon, for a ‘decent bowl of elk soup’ and some moose sausage to cut the chill. The soup was actually more than decent, and the sausage was VERY good. There are no utensils, we drank the soup out of the earthenware bowl, and ate the sausage with our fingers. The interior is low, dark, and with heavy wooden tables and stools. It is what I imagine a tavern would look like in the Middle Ages, and it was very much that feeling in there.

After that, we did a bit more walking, then headed back to the ship. We weren’t in a huge hurry to get seats this time, as we had reserved seating for the 6pm buffet. We did meet a very nice lady where we did sit, and while she couldn’t speak English, apparently Wellu and her got along famously, chatting for about a half hour until we were ready to go eat.

And let me tell you…this was a feast! Apparently, it was ‘wild game week’ or something, because they had some fabulous foods to choose from. There was a huge selection of fish, which is not my thing, but there was herring, salmon, caviar, shrimp, and more, all fixed up multiple ways. The salad selection was also pretty extensive, but again, not my thing, with beans and mushrooms, and green stuff. 🙂 All of this was locally sourced and fresh, and you could really tell.

Main course selections is really where the action was. There was roast boar, boar sausage, reindeer steak, reindeer mousse on rye, reindeer sausage, creamed potatoes, roast beef, and more. It was a veritable carnivore’s dream! I had just a taste of everything, and it was all very good! The dessert selections were really good, as well, and I did well on that table, too.

Carnivore platter. Reindeer, boar, beef, chanterelles, potatoes, and more. Yum!

Carnivore platter. Reindeer, boar, beef, chanterelles, potatoes, and more. Yum!

Dessert plate: blueberry mousse, macaroon, chocolate ice cream, brownie, and some other sort of mousse.

Dessert plate: blueberry mousse, macaroon, chocolate ice cream, brownie, and some other sort of mousse.

I left the dining hall feeling like all I wanted to do was curl up and hibernate for a while, and let my food digest. Alas, we were still about a half hour from Helsinki, so we sat in the lounge and listened to the live band, who were actually quite good. When we got in, it was dark, of course, and getting colder. We got home, and I just about crashed into bed. I slept for a good, long while.

I’ll make a post about the snow, separately, since this one turned out so long.

Snow! (and television)

We had our first snow of the season! Well…to be honest, it was only a few flakes for a bit in the morning. Nothing sticking, of course, and it was pretty much a memory by lunchtime. But I saw it! Little flakes of ice water, drifting down to the ground (to melt away). It did break up the slow pace of the morning, though. But that means no pictures are available for viewing, since it doesn’t stick.

I totally forgot to make phone calls this morning, so I need to make lists that I actually look at. I had this long list, but I suppose I can do them tomorrow. At some point. Tomorrow will be pretty busy. We’re going to head to the doctor’s office with my paperwork, to go ahead and get things put in the system, so that it goes more smoothly when I show up in November. Then we are going to head to lunch for Chinese buffet. Then I had planned to do the grocery shopping (because never shop on an empty stomach!). Depending on when I get done with that, maybe THEN I can do the phone calls. Essentially, I am looking to take advantage of all the opportunities that the Family Club in Helsinki have to offer, but I have a few questions. Plus, I saw they were offering another language course that might be more at my level, and I wanted to see if I could switch to it.

I’m going to blame it on going to bed so late last night, and then waking up so late, as well. That’s my excuse story, and I’m sticking to it! Catching up on recorded shows is definitely taking its toll. We’re getting caught up on Big Bang Theory, Agents of SHIELD, The Blacklist, and Castle. I’m going to wait until we’ve recorded a few more episodes of Flash and Gotham before we start watching those. It’s not like we don’t already have enough to watch! I’m excited to hear that House of Cards will be starting back up in February!

I went on a cooking spree this afternoon. I decided to go ahead and cook for the weekend so I don’t have to deal with it. I made some meatloaf, which I will pair with some creamed potatoes later. For dinner, we had rotini and meat sauce. I am still trying to get used to making sauce with powder, water and milk. I’m used to popping open a jar of Ragu and pouring it out. 🙂 But I added some mascarpone cheese to the sauce, and it did add some very nice, rich flavor to it.

Tonight is the Pendragon game, so not going to get much else done for the rest of the evening.