Springtime!

Springtime is finally here, with the days growing longer and longer and plants bursting out of the soil.

We’re preparing the garden, cleaning the greenhouses and do all sort of spring chores that need doing, and that feel so good to be doing.

I’ve still got eye problems, but my goal is to despite that to try and post at least once a month – I’ve been crafting for Easter just because my fingers were itching to do so, but I haven’t unfortunately got enough ”eye time” as I’m starting to call it (minutes of the day when I can look at the computer  screen without getting a massive headache) to edit them in time for Easter.

There’s a season for everything, and for me that season right now is to enjoy nature, enjoy silence, enjoy boredom (not so easy!), enjoy still having all my kids at home (the oldest will turn 18 this summer!). Enjoy going for walks and see the seasons shift in nature, and see what I can learn from that.

There is something so calming about going back to the same place year after year and witness the shifts that occur year round. It’s as if we, the trees and nature and I, all go through the same cycle then, as if we have a connection. And connection is so important to have in this disconnected time.

Here’s hoping everyone is enjoying whatever season you’re having right now! It’s not always so easy, but sometimes you can find a pinch of joy in the smallest of things. In my case, in the fact that I have hand that can create and a mind that can take me places in my imagination. Those are my greatest gifts, and what sustain me when I cannot leave the house, cannot go out into the forests, cannot meet with friends, cannot read and escape that way, cannot get my body to behave the way I’d like it to. I make a small thing, paint an Easter Egg or an abstract painting, and all of a sudden it is springtime in my mind as well as outside!

 

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3 of the best things of 2020

A year ago we had no idea how the world was going to change, so the first one is from the Before Time when we thought 2020 would be just any year.

One of the best memories from the whole year, is when my daughter and I got to go on the TV show Strömsö. We had such a fun time and it was so exciting n exciting to see how the TV show was filmed, but what stayed with me most is the people behind the show. The make up artist who was so helpful and nice, when I got a severe allergic reaction to something. The director (I think? Or producer – we met so many people, I forget who did what)  of the show who was so accommodating and found me some ginger and chocolate candies when I got a migraine, the people manning the cameras sitting there casually looking as if this was just another day of the job making me too relax, the woman who buys all the props and amazing little knick knacks for the show who amazed me with her creativity. The man making awesome rye bread to treat his fellow co workers. Everyone who worked there – it is no wonder the show looks so great on TV! The people behind it are great.

I felt so relaxed when we were there being surrounded by these amazing people, that I got aforementioned migraine and my period! And of course, Elin, the host who is every bit as nice and accommodating as you’d think when watching the show – we love you, Elin!

It was such a great day, and I came away from it thinking that perhaps I would sew some new jewelry and d perhaps even make an exhibit with them and my pictures or even sell some of my jewelry at some point, but that didn’t happen because of health issues, and a certain pandemic.

The next big great thing happened in May when awesome Amanda started doing her Insider’s Studio – a place where you can learn n abstract art, hang out and get inspired and encouraged by other eager enthusiasts ranging from complete amateurs to professionals. And all are made to feel welcome! Insider’s studio has been such a boon to my mental health this whole year. Whenever I

I do all the classes, and most of the time I post something about them in the Facebook group or on Instagram, and I can feel myself growing as a person through it. It is also something I can do despite having eye problems, because I don’t need to wear glasses in order to do abstract paintings.

And thirdly, the one big happy memory  I’ll take with me from 2020 is all the dips in the ocean I’ve taken! I haven’t swum this much since I was a little kid, and even then I would usually stop going for dips in the sea by September. Now we’re going into the ice cold water even though it is  the middle of the winter, and I can’t really explain in words what it feels like or how amazing it feels afterward. It is like experience It is like going on a roller coaster and getting really, really relaxed at the end of it. The fun part is also doing this together with Niklas, and recently, most of our kids. It feels as if we’re accomplishing something enormously personal every time we take a dip in that cold water, and I feel closer to nature as a result.

So there you have it. The three funnest memories from last year, sprinkle all treasures that I all when I contemplate each of these activities I get such a warm and fuzzy feeling

 

P.S. Because of my eye issues, I can’t blog as often as I’d like to – this blog post took me a week to write and to prepare the photos for. But hopefully I’ll get out one blog post a month! My phone has been a huge help lately, I can read a little bit on it and look through pictures, so I’m mostly on Instagram these days.

 

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Hello again!

That break I took this summer turned into a long blog break! And I’m unfortunately only popping by just to tell you all that I’m still here, I’m still crafting (a bit), photographing (very little), writing (also just the least amount I can), gardening (a lot!), out walking (too little for my taste), swimming (much more than usual!), and above all – being mindful and taking care of my health!

Because that’s the theme for my 2020 – getting healthy! The pandemic happened to coincide with my long time medication not being produced any longer, so I got to really search my soul and my mind and try to find strategies to cope despite having all sorts of health issue as a result.

But I’m still here, and I’m happier than ever, even if a bit too ache:y from day to day, but the mood is great – I love being the mom of three teenagers, and I love my new hobby – painting abstract cows! (through Amanda Evanston – check out her website for the most awesome painting lessons!) The best thing? I can paint even though my eyes aren’t cooperating with me.

Because this is the main reason for my changing life: the medication stopping plus other factors have made changes to my eyesight. I can’t see properly up close and I have to limit how much I read and write every day. Scrolling is especially difficult, which might account for me being in such a good mood, now that I think about it! I can’t doomscroll like the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this also means I have to write most of this text without watching the screen, so it takes a little bit more effort nowadays to write just about anything (especially online messages – they’re the worst to write). So this will probably be the last post for a while until my eyes get used to my reading glasses.

Therefore I’m leaving you for a while – hopefully not too long! With a lot of pictures I already had edited and resized before my eyesight went haywire. It’s a mixed bunch, but it’s the best I can at the moment – I can press click on the camera, but I can’t see if the picture I’ve taken is good or edit it. But I’m in a good mood as I said, because I have my painting and audiobooks and my kids who help me so much! <3

P.S. Instagram is a bit easier for me to use at the moment, so I’m sometimes posting there!

Pre-haircut me – if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that I cut off all my hair!

 

 

 

 

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Our trip to Särkänniemi

🙂 This is a post I planned on posting last year! But first I had to get permission from all involved, and then I sort of forgot it. People have been posting things they did before everything changed, and this is definitely one of those things! I don’t think my family will visit any amusement parks this summer. But maybe the summer after that.

Last summer we had an amazing day at Särkänniemi, the amusement park in Tammerfors. We went with our BF-family, and we had so much fun!

First a lunch at a table previously occupied by seagulls. Niklas, our oldest son and I didn’t want to go for any rides, so we took our time eating pizza and walking around while the others had fun on the rides. 

We also visited the aquarium and admired all the fish.

I love being at aquariums! It’s so interesting to be able to see all the fish up close.

No idea what kind of fish! A google-eyed fish, for sure!

More fishes, and a lizard (below)

Staring contest! The lizard won!

We took a ride up the elevator to the top of Näsinneula, the huge tower with a view over all of Tammerfors.

We were so high up, I got a bit dizzy!

But it was really fun to stare at all the houses and cars below, looking like doll’s houses and miniature cars.

Somewhere down below the rest of our family stood in line and went for rides.

Look at the shadow of the tower!

Our friends were busy going for rides.

So many rides!

When they were finished we had a fancy dinner at the top of Näsinneula. Or us adults did – the kids got to go for more rides and cheaper food (that was included in their bracelets).

It was such a fun day! Särkänniemi is definitely worth a visit, and with older kids like ours we felt comfortable leaving them to their own devices while we ate at the a la carte-restaurant. A win-win for everyone involved!

 

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A very slow moving springtime

 

What a spring it’s been! Not only weird on this whole global level, but also on a local level and a very personal one.

We’ve had snow so many times already in May! And almost no snow this winter, so it feels very odd. But on the plus side – the spring flowers are still blooming!

The whole garden is lit up with all the yellow flowers everywhere, and they are getting accompanied by more and more green leaves.

I’m still recuperating after a chaotic blend of allergies, RS-virus (we think) and a bad reaction to a medicine. I went for my first walk in two months yesterday, so today I’m resting. My body craves rest at the moment, so it’s not a bad thing that we haven’t got anything in our calendars.

Instead we enjoy life in our backyard – not too shabby! just look at all that orange!

The pond is attracting wildlife. It teems with life when the frogs are mating, and at other times we have birds of all sorts coming to bathe or have a drink.

We’ve also welcomed a lot of pollinators! That’s it for a short status update from me. I’ve been cutting down on my ”shoulds”, since I really need to focus on healing. As a result I don’t photograph as much as I usually do, or write, but hopefully that will change soon. I’m already feeling more energized, and soon the kids summer holidays are starting – we are all looking forward to that!

 

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The garden in springtime

Everything in the garden is changing, and for the better!

It might not show like it at the moment – we’re rebuilding a lot of the garden, including the smaller greenhouse, and there’s so much debris everywhere!

But the end result will be amazing – just like the bulbs that look like nothing much when you put them in the ground in the autumn.

All of a sudden there there, and just demanding attention! Such beauties…!

 

All the brown and beige and plain turns into so much color. 

And I love it! 

The wildlife loves it too – we have visitors every day: toads, frogs, birds of all kinds. (they tend to hop away when I try to take pictures of them!) 

The evenings have been filled with this wonderful light, that really shows off the flowers. Like the botanical tulips above – botanical tulips are my favorite tulips. They propagate by themselves, and are usually quite hardy.

Among them, these more sensitive beauties, that are a leftover from last years flower boxes.

And this years flower boxes! Yellow and happy and waiting to join their siblings in the garden.

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I’m not worth anything

Here’s a weird thought that sometimes strikes me – I’m not worth anything to society.

I’m worth quite a lot to my husband and my kids and my bunnies. But society? Doesn’t care if I live or die.

To society I’m just a bit of statistics. Someone who doesn’t qualify for work benefits, doesn’t qualify as a carer (or only does that after the need for care is over). Who uses up other people’s taxes (because I don’t seem to earn enough myself to pay them personally). Who is a burden to our health care system (as little as I possibly can! I prefer fixing broken toes at home than going to hospital).

In the large scheme of things, I’m one of those 0,9% that might potentially die in, say, a pandemic. I’m definitely one of those 1 in 5 who might end up in hospital taking up hospital beds if they’re not really careful and really lucky!

Which makes me feel really not taken care of at times. Like where is the empathy for the people who are above 70 years old (70?! It’s not old people! It’s just a number, a random number at that, that just happens to be a even number.)

Or the empathy for people nearing 70 for that matter, like someone we personally knew who recently died after spending 5 weeks on a respirator.

Most of us expect to live far beyond 80, but all of a sudden a bunch of people are willing to sacrifice everyone older than them just so they can go on pretending everything is normal, go on their cruises and whatnot.

Where is the empathy for all the children with debilitating diseases, who were even before this happened struggling with having a normal childhood.

Where is the empathy for all those anonymous numbers who are walking around, looking for all the world like their happy and healthy, but who might have underlying conditions that might make them susceptible to say, for example a new pandemic. Who knows – that person might even be you. I know it’s me. And I know I don’t want to risk dying before my time, if I can prevent that.

The problem is – I alone can’t prevent myself from getting sick. I need everyone. All of you. I need everyone to keep their distance, to think about their choices. To not go shopping with all their kids and all their family. To be extra careful about hygiene. To not let their children play with whomever they want unsupervised (because if you don’t know it – kids do transmit disease! No matter what headlines some newspaper choose to run with, children do transmit and do contract disease.). Also newsflash: your kids aren’t just sitting around with 2 m distance talking about schoolwork or ticktock or whatever – they’re actually running around in packs of 15 or more, making pranks and posting on my kids social media.

We can all see you! We know you’re not following the guidelines. And who knows? Maybe you or your friend might be the one who infected the people here in my hometown? Nobody knows, since not enough people are getting tested. And that is the whole point! We don’t know who is going around with a mild case of the disease, so we must all act as if we might be! Not to protect ourselves, if we’re confident enough we’re not in the risk group, but to protect everyone else.

The older people.

The people working in health care.

The kids with preexisting conditions (and there are much more of them than you’d think!)

The grownups with preexisting conditions.

That’s about a fifth of the population right there. A million people in Finland, who could potentially all become sick and end up in hospital, which nobody wants – not even those who are willing to sacrifice old people. A million people of which some are worth something (those who have an important work for example), enough so that society shuts down and thinks of alternate solutions. But when push comes to shove- there is only so much money society is prepared to spend on people.

That’s the hard truth.

Me – I’m practically worthless.

P.S. What I actually do in my everyday life is:

– take care of my whole family including kids with lots of diagnosis – I was being a full time caretaker for 12 years, without getting paid.

– take care of our house, including chopping wood, heating it, cleaning

– supervise our whole family, so that we’re all helping with the cleaning of the house, gardening etc

– recovering from a physical birth trauma and having stopped the meds for that cold turkey because the factory stopped producing it. Which means doing yoga and meditating twice, plus trying to lower my stress levels (*maniacal laughter* 🙂 ) plus doing lymph drainage manually, plus other things to try to become as well as I can

-recovering from lots of stress related issues, including a bout of shingles and shingles pain that doesn’t seem to want to go away

– and lots and lots of more things. I’m also trying to find time to do the things I enjoy most, which is write (at the moment, I’m writing 2 sentences a day!)

None of that of value to society. But it is of value to me and to my family. And I hope that other people would see it as valuable also.

 

 

 

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Glutenfree chocolate cake with organic orange peel

We’ve eaten such good food recently! With the kids home all the time, all of us have been taking turns cooking and baking. And we try to have at least one cake a week. 

This cake is a favorite – glutenfree chocolate cake with oranges. Mmmm, tastes so good!

It’s always nice to set the table and light a candle before you have your cake – everyone needs a little bit of a party also on school days!

I don’t recall the exact recipe we used for this cake (or rather, my daughter did, since it was she who baked the cake), but our collection of mostly paleo and vegan recipes can be found here on Pinterest.

Have a lovely weekend!

 

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