Our life filled garden – and 3 books I love

The bees are buzzing in our garden like never before!

And it might be just that I’m more attuned to it, but I’m imagining that we have more wild life in general in our garden – so many birds and insects and other animals visit us.

They buzz and whir around in the greenhouse, and we have a much larger crop than usual.

I’ve been listening to a few books that have really stuck with me lately.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

A really lovely take on Native American nature wisdom, especially about the Honorable Harvest, a great set of rules to live by.

The Hidden life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben

Meditative and lovely, gives me a whole new way of looking at trees.

Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkapurta

Written by an aboriginal author in the style of aboriginals, gave me a lot to think about and the way of approaching the subject was really, really interesting!

 

 

 

 

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Happy Midsummer!

Happy Midsummer, everyone! Today we’re celebrating the very old, probably ancient holiday which is still big here in Finland, and in Sweden (in Denmark they’ve forgotten their roots and are burning witches on Midsummer! That has nothing to do with our tradition – this is a celebration of fertility in its origin, and also somewhat how it’s still celebrated. It has nothing to do with witches, nothing.). There are really just two major holidays in our two countries – Christmas and Midsummer. And you used to do similar things on both holidays – dance ”ringdanser”, dancing in a huge ring around either a midsummer pole or the Christmas tree. Plus eating, lots of eating! (and boozing, but my family has sort of skipped that part)

It’s like nature knows there is something special with this holiday, because this is the time when our garden is at its most beautiful! So many flowers blooming, so many insects buzzing. And almost endless sun.

I hope you have a lovely Midsummer Eve, whether alone or in company – and that the warmth of the long tradition of greeting the sun and rejoicing in being alive and being part of nature can somehow seep into you too, wherever you are!

P.S. My DIY Midsummer pole in the first picture is a mix of Danish, Swedish and Finnish traditions! The pole itself and its shape is Swedish, the flags Danish and Finnish – it’s my own invention and not something you’d see IRL, but I love to mix all my ”heritages” in this way!

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Beautiful butts from Finland – släpp rumporna fria!

Look at all these beautiful female bodies just being themselves and enjoying nature and the environs here in Finland! I can’t tell you how much I love this concept and its execution – all the pictures in this post are taken by Daniela Franzell, and she has turned them into postcards that will surely bring joy and entertainment to all corners of the world.

 

There is something so freeing in the pictures. They tell a story of Finland that is not always seen in the media. They tell the story of real women.

Women in the woods, women bathing, women enjoying springtime. Women being women, clothing and make up stripped off.

Beautiful women, beautiful butts, Finland through Daniela’s eyes, pictures that go straight into my heart.

You can follow Daniela on Instagram. You can buy the postcards through her, or through Gullkrona Shop and in Gästhamnen in Pargas, our lovely small town.

Alltså jag älskar, älskar älskar Daniela Franzells vykort och bilder på vackra kvinnliga rumpor i alla möjliga situationer och miljöer i den härliga hålan Pargas som vi lever i!

Det finns nåt så glädejfyllt och äkta över bilderna. Som att stiga in i duschavdelningen på en simhall där man får vara sig själv med skavanker och allt, men ännu bättre för det här är ute i naturen.  Som att säga att här är vi och får ta plats precis som vi är, och det är bra!

Danielas Instagram hittar du här och hennes vykort säljs i bl a Gullkrona Shop och i Gästhamnen i Pargas, eller via direktkontakt via Instagram.

Jag längtar efter att få se vilka andra motiv hon tar fram, för en talang för att berätta en historia i en bild, det har hon minsann!

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Jag gör så att blommorna blommar, och bina och fåglar får mat

Idag är det internationella rädda bina dagen, och vilken bättre dag att tänka på alla de små pollinerare som är våra vänner!

Vi har hela tiden satsat på en hel del blommor och örter i vår trädgård, och det surrar och sumrar under varma sommardagar, men efter att ha sett dokumentärserien ”Giv os naturen tilbage” – ”Haluamme luonnon takaisin” (se den på Arenan! Eller på dr.dk – den går att ses utanför Danmarks gränser, så passa på och bli inspirerad du också!)

Frank Erichsen, han där bonderöven ni vet :), har varit med och dragit igång ett pilotprojekt i Hjørring, en liten kommun i Danmark. På bara ett år lyckades frivilliga och anställda vid kommunen öka mångfalded av insekter och fjärilar på ett rekordeligt sätt.

Det känns för sorgligt att inse att det inte längre finns samma mängd insekter som när jag var liten. Att det inte fastnar klibbiga kryp på vindrutan av bilen i såna mängder att man måste stanna och rensa vindrutan för att kunna åka vidare. Att det kommer att bli brist på fågelarter och andra arter och en fattigare värld för människor på grund av att vi inte har tagit hand om våra minsta vänner.

Men det kan vi göra! Vi alltså. Villaägare, balkongägare, folk som bor i radhus, bönder, storstadsbor – vi kan allesammans vara med och bestämma oss för att ge plats för naturen att vara natur, att göra det den är bäst för – att öka på mångfaldet. Vi kan göra det genom att tänka på vad vi odlar, genom att ändra på vårt sätt att se på gräsmattor och ogräs, och genom att påverka politikerna som är med och bestämmer hur pengarna i samhället fördelas.

Vi här i familjen Bahne vill göra vårt, så vi har röjt mer plats för ängsblommor och kommer att satsa mer än nånsin förr på örter, nävor, tistlar och ringblommor och andra blomstrande växter som våra inhemska insekter behöver.

Jag har också skrivit till olika politiker och tipsat om det här. Det är inte alla som känner till att man med så enkla medel kan göra nåt som känns så bra för själen!

Kom med i projektet du också! Välansade gräsmattor i all ära – det kan också vara minst lika fint att se på böljande rabatter som surrar av liv, och som föder och när vår natur, och vår folksjäl.

Den bästa gåvan vi kan ge våra barn är en bättre framtid. Och det kan vi göra på det här sättet!

Dokumentären som var vår inspiration kan du se här på Arenan, eller här på DR:s hemsida.

P.S. Ogräs är bara plantor som växer där man inte vill att dom ska växa! Vill man ha plantorna, ja då är dom inte längre ogräs!

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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Caribbean Kokomo-party

One day I woke up with the song ”Kokomo” in my head, so I thought – let’s do a Caribbean cruise themed party!

We quarantined for the appropriate amount of time, and then we invited my parents for lunch. I had planned on making them cruise tickets, but my craft assistant went and did something else rather than hang with their mother! 🙂 (I still haven’t gotten used to not being able to use my eyes as much as I want to, but I’m getting there with the help of my kids most of the time!)

I made a long wreath out of leftover fake flowers and wreaths, and decorated the dining room with colorful fabrics.

The kids made a presentation about the Caribbean islands and the food there. My daughter made a most excellent meal –One Pan Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Pineapple-Coconut Rice – I cannot recommend this recipe enough, it was divine!

We also served gorgeous mocktails – Fruit Loops – a must have if you’re to pretend you’re on a cruise! These mocktails were so good, not too sugary.

It was lovely going to the Caribbean for a short while. We did this last spring too, as the pandemic got going – had themed dinners with the kids having a presentation of a particular country or region and then eating food from that region. It’s such a lovely experience, and I hope my kids will think back fondly on these dinners!

P.S. The bunnies got to have a party too!

 

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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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DIY Reusable Gift Bags

This year we’re ditching all the Christmas wrapping papers and are ”wrapping” our gifts in these – our new mini-Santa’s bags!

I bought some cheap red cloth, and old table cloths and runners and sewed them into bags. It was a real fun project, easy to sew and so satisfying to use up all the lovely red ribbons I’ve collected through the years! Some of the ribbons, or strings, are from ”condolence cards” (I don’t know the translation, when someone dies, you buy a large card and the proceedings go to a charity). A very nice way to make something new and meaningful out of something pretty and already meaningful.

Most of the gifts are already waiting beneath the tree. And it looks so pretty with all those red parcels underneath!

Next year I’m going to make reusable tags too. (But first I’ll have to get my eye sight back on par – I made these bags in early 2020 fortunately! )

 

 

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