Time to renew and review

Have you ever noticed how funny it is to be guided by calendar. I mean really! I love Xmas (I suppose that is a given by now) but here in North it is a part of the dark cold. It is the lovely light into the void and ushers us toward the New Year. And behold, as soon as the calendar turns and shouts out for the new year, all changes. The tiredness, feeling of coming to a close magically transforms to the total opposite. It is the time for everything to start again. Talk about a global mega mind churning and finding a new gear for the collective psyche.

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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!

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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.

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Will there be snow this Xmas?

Snowy woods in 2009This question is in the heart of my Xmas. It comes every year, even if I try to avoid it the best I can. I try to learn to be a positive, forward looking person but sometimes the doubts just get me. And so what, you might think. Many places in the world go through Xmas year after year and never see snow. But you see, this is at the heart of the dilemma. Those places generally get more sunny days per year than we do, and not only sunnier but warmer too. So what do we get? Even though I am a summer child (as you might have noticed on previous posts) I feel that if the Finns were planted at this northern reach of our globe then at least we should have snow at Xmas. Minimum requirement here.

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Hunting for crafts material from a Finntastic woods

My woods on HalloweenI love doing crafts. It is a good opposite to my work and gives me a possibility to relax. In the fall I do wreaths and all the year long, I love sowing. I started doing wreaths several years back by attending a class for one night in the local community center. That was the first year I found there is something to look forward to between the summer when the woods are lovely green and the spring when everything comes back up again.

Like most Finns I am fortunate to live very near woods. The city owns a lot of woods and has created recreational paths into them. In the summer time these offer a track for walking and running and in the winter time these form the basis for the cross country skiing tracks which the city keeps up. My woods start at just a 2 minute walk from our house.

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Sauna – for the body and the soul

sauna stoveIn my mind one of the most important places in a Finnish house hold is the sauna. This is a room for healing, relaxing and strengthening the body and the soul. For all the history this was the place where the Finns were born and died. In between, many an hour was spent in the warmth of the sauna, sweating and purifying again, both the body and soul. In these modern times, when birth and death are moved to be done inside the walls of hospitals in many cases, what remains are the hours spent in getting cleaner and more relaxed.

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The Boss meets the Golden Girls under the Twilight

Now, picture this: Sicily 1929… Sorry, kidding. I was going to say: to start with I have to confess that I have been warned against writing this post. According to Mr. Tee this just might scare off all the few readers I have been able to gather so far. I, on the other hand, believe that this is the perfect point to let you in on my taste in entertainment. Since this is the early days for my blog at least I am not destroying a huge reader base. So, on that introduction, here we go: basics of Mrs. Tee world of entertainment.

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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.

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Homing is trendy.. hey! that means I am trendy

Lately many magazines have been quoting as the latest trend homing. That just means that finally I am trendy! I love spending time at home, decorating and just plain relaxing. My favorite past time hobbies are also those easily done at home: reading, watching movies and doing crafts. Go figure :-) So to me this is not a trend, this is my life.

Finding a place to love and call home is magic. We bought the House back in the 90’s when Jr. was just a twinkle in the eye. Ms. Teen was not teen back then. This is our project which we took on with love and enthusiasm. Instead of building new, we are the proud caretakers of a 1960’s home. I always joke that this is our 30 year long project. Once we are done, someone else will come in and start over.

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