Tuesday, September 14, 2010

what's the deal?

This past week, I have started receiving a whack of spam comments.

Something new for me.

What's the deal? Is it spam through blogger or my email address that's attached to my account? Any chance I can stop it?

Stefan and I had a lovely weekend away. We spent one night in Luleå and one night in Haparanda. When we arrived home, the back of the van was full of shopping bags (and the 3rd row was folded down!). We got cheap stuff like shower gel, laundry detergent, bleach, etc. Things we can't get in Finland . . . like Reese's Peanut Butter cups, Root Beer, "pop tarts", "fruit loops", "cinnamon toast crunch", jell-o gelatin, Runts and weed and feed for the lawn (not allowed to use pesticides here). And some early Christmas shopping got done at lower prices. We also took a quick run through Ikea so I could get some recycling containers I have been coveting.

Yesterday was back to the grindstone . . and the workload has increased . . the schedule has turned insane . . . My adult English classes started last night ( and tonight) and Joel and Sofia both started FloorBall last night. This was how my day went yesterday:

6:20 - wake up and shower
7:00 - wake the kids
7:15 - write a list for Stefan about where he needs to be, what he needs to do, and when
7:30 - make sure everyone has eaten, brushed their teeth and looks presentable
7:40 - scoot them out the door for the bus and then finish getting self ready
7:55 - drive to work (the kids are already there by bus)
8:10 - 1:15 - work, during which I have 2 unpaid prep blocks on Mondays
1:30 - 3:55 - staff meeting (it was long because it was the annual year-plan meeting)
4:00 - meet hubby in Munsala where he has driven the kids to meet me
4:30 - 5:30 - watch 2 of my kids at their first Floor Ball practice in Nykarleby
5:35 - drive the kids home, brush teeth and freshen up a bit
6:05 - drive back to Nykarleby and prepare classroom
7:00 - 8:30 - English class
8:35 - drive to grocery store to get milk and snacks
9:05 - home for the night

No, it won't always be that bad.

But, but man, was I tired today.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

flowers, and things that go bump in the day

Since Sunday, we’ve had some beautiful autumn weather around here, and I took the opportunity to get out and do some much needed weeding on Sunday afternoon.
If you remember, last year we had to dig new drainage around our house, so we’ve been doing new “landscaping” around here (I use the term loosely because we don’t really know what we’re doing). We put in a new garden at the front of the house and re-did the one beside the driveway. During the summer, we have slowly acquired new plants. So far, they all seem to be doing well. And, despite the fact that autumn starts to make itself known around here in mid-August, some of my newly planted flora are blooming:
Aren’t azaleas supposed to bloom in the spring?
As for the “things that go bump” . . . you see those rocks in the background against the house? While I was gardening, I found a dead bird there. The kids and I heard it when it smashed into the window a few days prior, but didn’t know where it ended up . . . For some reasons, birds often fly into our windows (and it’s not because they’re clean!) . . . there are actually some little feathers on the window by the kitchen table right now from a different bird . . . A while back, Sofia wished a bird would fly into her window. One did, that very day . . . and others since . . . those ones end up on our pallet sidewalk outside the front door. Mattias wishes Sofia would take back her wish now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

my surprise

On Sunday, Stefan was gone all day, handing out food samples at a Food Expo.  He is on the board of the local fishermen’s association and a few years ago they devised a plan to do something with the tons of “junk” fish they had been catching – the fish no one really wants to eat. Anyways, they now have these fish cakes/patties that they’re marketing.
On his way home, he texted me that he had a surprise for me. I didn’t get excited until after I confirmed that it wasn’t fish-related.
This was what he brought me:
When we lived in Canada, I loved my crock-pot! But we had to sell it when we moved here – the whole different voltage, different contacts, thing, ya know? And then, I couldn’t buy a new one . . . because I’ve never seen one here before. This is something new (thus, the fella selling them at the food expo).
So, now I have a new crock pot to cook in. I’m really looking forward to it.

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.