Happy New Year 2013!

After hibernating away from the blog sphere for some time: Happy New Year!

I have come to admit that I just might be one of those people who really need to remind themselves to notice all the good around us. That was of course the reason for starting this blog in the first place and after testing silence for half a year – that is not for me.

So, my first New Year´s resolution this year is to keep on blogging. And since I am trying to really stick with my resolutions I take advice from the Happiness Project and set myself a more solid goal: minimum 2 posts per month.

... Read more

Cottage life in Finland

Dear Reader.

It has been the hottest beginning of June since… well, forever I think. Finland is basking in the sun and the temperature in my hometown is a lofty 27 C today evening. And it is 7.30 pm. The sun is shining still into our garden and life is just about as jolly as it can get.

Ms. Teen left for cottage with grandma and grandpa this morning and I have to say a lakeside haven is just what the doctor ordered. But since it is still two weeks before my summer holiday starts no such luck for me.

... Read more

Happy Vappu!

Happy Vappu! Or in more common term world wide: Happy May 1st!

Vappu is an important Finnish tradition since it is one of the few festivities where the whole nation is participating in more or less carnival style. Well, at least we are all decorating with streamers and balloons, people are partying and life just seems good. The dancing cannot be compared to any carnival with formal parades but hey: at least we are moving. :-)

Vappu festivities start on April 30th and continue on May 1st. The spring is here and we can hang our hair down and just soak in the joyful moment. If you go into any of the major cities you can see the Finns letting the spring seep into their behavior, producing a relaxed, fun if somewhat loud party spirit in the city centers. Although I have to admit that for many the beverages pay a key role in the festivities..

... Read more

Palm Sunday

As is proper with a blog taking inspiration from Xmas inspired joyful feelings, I truly love traditions. In our household anything can become “we have always done this” after just one go. If not traditionalized by me then Jr. or Ms. Teen can always be counted on to remember even miniscule things as “always been, always will be”. To this effect I was so joyful this Palm Sunday when we had the biggest number of kids coming around to “virpomaan” in recent years. Last year we had so few come around I was worried this tradition is not going to last.

... Read more

Two candles on the window sill

On December 6th our nation holds the celebration for independence. We are a small nation in the past ruled by the Swedes and the Russians. As the world history entered the turbulence in the beginning of the 20th century, Finland was given the chance to claim independence. And here we are now, 93 years later:  the land of Nokia, Martti Ahtisaari and many more. It has not always been easy but our forefathers managed to secure this independent position.

And so tonight we celebrate as we usually do. Since the 1920’s the custom has been to light two candles to the window to celebrate. Many people eat a fine dinner with family or friends. Some cities have fireworks tonight. In Helsinki the president is hosting the annual Independence Ball. I will watch, as I have for years now, to see what kind of gowns the ladies are wearing this year. For a nation without Oscars etc. this is the culmination of the festivities in the North. And as always I will be amazed by the number of foreign dignitaries also attending. What a lovely way to celebrate and thanks to the modern technology we all can participate via Live TV-coverage. And most of all of course for the kids: this is a national holiday, so no school on December 6th!

... Read more

Xmas Calendar 2010

December 1st

Happy December! The mornings and evenings are dark in our part of the world but I love the way lights can bring a wonderful scene out of darkness. Our gazebo is dressed up in blue this year.

What do You wish for Xmas?

December 2nd

Let’s make this season about connecting. Lets call friends, loved ones. Lets visit people we see less often also. Lets send lots of Xmas cards to show we do remember. Each little act will bring us closer to each other and help spread happiness all around. I believe small things can change the world, if just enough people do them.

... Read more

What to collect for the baby?

When Ms. Teen was born, I wanted to start a collection of figurines for her. Now that I have been writing this blog I totally understand how that came about. As we have discovered, I am a collector at heart. Just never fully realized it before.

There are nowadays ample opportunity to start collecting all kinds of figurines via the internet. But back in the day that was not the case. So, I was looking at Finnish opportunities and found Aarikka. Aarikka is a Finnish company making all kinds of lovely things out of wood. Since Ms. Teen is born in the end of the year, angels very naturally became the theme for this collection. So, each year, in the weeks before Xmas Ms. Teen would receive her angel of the year. Again, now, this seems as an obvious choice. Of course, collecting and Xmas.

... Read more