Aug 21

Stuck at home

The episode with the broken smartphone, part deux…

Now, the two weeks of radio silence that followed by having a broken smart phone was not the worst part of it all. During this time, I actually managed to misplace the phone’s memory card! No memory card means no contacts, no music, no photos – no nothing. Argh!

So I spent another week of trying to locate this tiny whiny memory card, looking through all the possible hiding places at home, hand bags (yes, I belong to the female cast which owns a few of them…), fridge, trash cans – my dear hubbie even volunteered to check through the hoover’s bag. Yikes! Nothing! And then yesterday, before leaving for our annual holiday, we emptied our holiday piggy bank, as we usually do before going on holiday. And guess if not the memory card was in there! No idea how it ended up in there, of all places! Cannot even blame the kids this time, because the piggy is so high up on a shelf that they can’t reach it…

Anyway, one of the first things I did after this happy re-union, was to do a backup of all data, and to switch on again my old ringing tone: Stuck At Home by The Noise Grinders. So now you know was music will play when you call me next time. ;-)

Happy holidays!

Aug 19

Radio silence

My phone broke down a few weeks back. All of a sudden the touch screen didn’t react to anything any longer, which meant that I couldn’t even backup my data. Argh! But luckily I still had a few weeks left of the warranty, so I marched into a phone store the very next day to get it fixed & rebooted, even with the risk of losing all data. Little hope did I have that they would actually fix it within the warranty, but hey, it was worth a try.

So for the next two weeks I was enjoying radio-silence while having an old-fashioned mobile phone in use, without internet, games, apps etc. And it was actually very relaxing! And a very good exercise because I realized that suddenly I had time to do all sorts of things! Like window cleaning, sorting through the bookshelf or sorting away old junk mail which has been piling up on the office table. Or like making an evening walk, bike-tour or just sitting on the couch reading a good book. So it turned to be that it was my mobile phone which was robbing time from me!

A good reminder to perhaps every once in a while put the phone away, change it into silent mode, and just enjoy an evening without the phone.

Why not giving it a try? ;-)

And what happened to my smartphone? I got it back after two weeks, all fixed and shiny! And I have to admit, that after two weeks of radio silence, it felt nice to be online again… :-)

Aug 04

A blogging mom

My efforts of getting my blog up-and-running keeps hitting against reality. Today I had the brilliant idea of “just quickly” writing a new blog post in the day time. This is how it turned out:

  • 14:45 Create title and 1st sentence. Get interrupted from child no 1 about playing time. Play with child.
  • 16:25 Sit down by the laptop, collect your thoughts, get down a few sentences. Get interrupted by bathroom-visiting child no 2. Only mom’s help is accepted. Go to bathroom, after which playing time is demanded. Play with child no 2.
  • 16:50 Remember again that there was this thing with the blog. No time to start with it, though, as the children keep being on each others throats and your diplomatic skills are needed.
  • 17:10 Put child no 1 bathing. Juggle between laptop and the shouts which can be heard from the bathroom. After a while, give up on blogging and concentrate on washing the childs hair.
  • 17:35 Back to blogging. Realise that the favicon has dissappeared. Try to figure out what has happend. Get interrupted by child no 2 wanting to bath. Juggle between laptop and bathroom for another 20 min, get nowhere with the blog nor the favicon-problem. Wash child no 2’s hair. Clean up bathroom floor which has by now been overfloaded with water from the bathtub.
  • 17:55 Realise that it is dinner time and nothing has been prepared. Postpone any thoughts about blogging and start preparing dinner. Get the idea about this blog post while making dinner.
  • 18:20 Put on TV to get some peace & silence. Write a few lines. Give up trying to figure out what the problem with the favicon is and concentrate on the blog post.
  • 18:35 Cannot figure out why the posts are not published via Facebook. Trying to get it fixed.
  • 18:45  Get interrupted by the children’s bed time. Evening milk, teeth brushing, pyjamas, bed reading and snuggling. Now good night, you two, I’ve got some blogging to do.
  • 20:00 Children in bed. Continue with blog. Realise that two bills are overdue. Interrupt in order to pay bills.
  • 20:30 Realise that the garden needs watering and laundry needs to be hung up for drying. Water garden & hang up the clothes.
  • 21:30 Back to the laptop. Get lost in the world of facebooking, newspaper reading, email reading. In the mean time, my favicon has magically re-appeared.
  • 23:37 Bed time. Realising that the blog-window is still open when about to switch off the laptop. Finalise blog post
  • 23:45 Publish post. Go to bed.

 

In short: major stress, no efficiency. I think I will go back to blogging whenever the kids are not around…

 

 

Aug 03

Crocosmia Montbretie

Our garden is, what some people might call (including ourselves!), a never-ending project…

Regardless of the fact that we have now lived in this place for almost 5 years (or maybe because of it), we are still unhappy with how our garden looks like. Or at least parts of it. Especially one corner in the garden, or better said, one 4meter-long-wall causes me headache, because it still looks uncomplete and completely not taken care of. And it’s not even a hidden corner in the back on the garden, but no, it is the “prime” part of the garden, the part which you see when you look out from our living room!

But I have to admit: I am not one who loves to spend every free minute poking around in the garden. Don’t get me wrong now; I like being there, and I also like gardening! But with the limited hours of leisure time one has, gardening is not always my priority no. 1. I guess you get my point.

Today, as on every Saturday, my hubbie and I plunged through our weekend to-do’s. This varies from Saturday to Saturday, but always includes at least the mandatory pit-stop at the grocery store. Today, various things from the  hardware store was also on the list. And here in Germany those places almost always include also a gardening department… Dangerous! So anyway, here we were, just about to pay our purchases and leave, when I spotted a woman paying for a plant that she had chosen. OMG! I just had to get one of those plants too! So while my hubbie collected all our purchases and our kids, and started walking towards the parking lot, I dashed back into the store searching for THE plant. And hah, there they were! After a lenghty counselling with the store assistant (me: are they hardy? she: yes, they are. me: thank you!), I was back at the cashier in less than 5 minutes.

My son even insisted on carrying the plants into the car for me.

son with montbretie

And now, 12 hours later, the simple thought of these plants still makes me smile, and I cannot wait to get my hands dirty tomorrow when digging them into the soil. In our prime area!

Montbretia crocosmia

Sometimes a small thing is all that is needed, to make ones day.

Jul 31

New theme

…so I tried out a new theme today, Graphene. It seems really cool and it comes with a bunch of ready installed features which makes it easy to use and to play around with. What do you think so far?

Stay tuned for the following days when I try to customize it to look more like “me”. ;-)

Jul 26

Babysteps

I couldn’t be more proud of myself – I just managed to create a favicon for my blog! It’s one of those small cute little icons which shows next to your blog title in the browser window. Everyone else seems to have one, and so was I! And fully determined to get my blog finally up and running, that it what I set myself up to do.

I know this might seem silly for some, but I was really struggling to get it uploaded. To create the favicon was rather easy, as there are many favicon-generators out there. But the problems started, when I wanted to upload the favicon-file via FileZilla. Ok, I have to admit, I am just a rookie on these things, but from where I am standing, things would be a lot easier, if the “root directory” would actually be called “root folder”? Because that is what it really is; a folder, where all the wp-content is. So once I figured that out (thanks to WordPress’s support forum :)), then the rest was pretty easy. Drag-and-drop the file into the root directory; copy-paste the code into the header.php in the back-end; save and refresh… Et voila, my tiny cute favicon is there for all the world to see. ;-)

May 20

Alice in Wonderland

I thought that natural forests no longer exist in the rural Germany. But how wrong was I! Having stumbled upon one just recently, I felt like being Alice from Wonderland, who fell through the rabbit hole. One minute we are standing on the crowded parking lot of the Pähler Golf Club, and the next minute we find outselves deep in a mystified forest, full of fascinating stories and creatures beyond your imagination!

Pähler Schlucht

Pähler Schlucht2

Pähler Schlucht4

What a wonderful way to introduce our kids to the joy of hiking! Not once was it necessary to convince them to continue walking by offering the usual bribing suspects as cookies etc. Instead, we created a lot of fun stories about who might be living in what hole, and who might be lurking around what tree.

Pähler Schlucht3

Pähler Schlucht5

Pähler Schlucht6

That the hiking ended to a beautiful waterfall, was surprisingly not the highlight for the children. Actually, they would have preferred to continue exploring the forest right away, and were taken back by us “boring” adults, who wanted to make a break.

Pähler Schlucht8 Pähler Schlucht7

It once again proved the fact as it is so often with children is, that the joy is found in the small things – in those which are no longer visible for us adults.

 

May 18

Optimisation of parenthood?

As a mom from two young, adorable children, I am experiencing almost daily situations when both children need my undivided attention. It can be that the children come into a quarrel or a fight about something, and there you are standing helpless, not knowing who started it, and who did what. Or it can be the smaller things, the ones which for us adults seem “peanut-like”, but which, for a 4-year-old, can mean the world. Should I make make a mess if he cries after the tea cup with the tigered cat instead of the tea cup with the red cat on? Or should I simply give it to him, knowing it’ll make him happy? And then comes the big question, which every working parent hates: how often does not your child ask you to play with him, and you are sending him away, thinking there are more important things to take care of? I know I have done it far too often, and alone the phrase “just give me 5 more minutes” has become almost a standard answer to many questions. I once read an article about the 10-golden rules for parenthood, and one rule in particular stayed in my mind: “don’t make my big things seem like small things, because for me and from where I am standing, they mean the world, and by diminishing them, you are diminishing me.”

So I think it’s a good thing to get shaken up every once in a while, and to ask yourself the question whether you could “optimise” your parenthood? Is that, what you wanted to do, really that burning, or important, or any of the other adjectives that we have all learned to live with? After all, it was you who decided your path long time ago by wanting to have children. That path, even though you could hardly imagine it back then how time- and energy consuming it would all become, is to be a parent. Full stop. And being a parent includes all of the above, plus so many, many more things. So many wonderful things. So many small things. And oh, so many shared joys!

I had a moment of awakening like this last Friday, when I went with my daugther to fetch us some flowers for the weekend.The weather was nice, but I was really tired from the week, so I was already trying to figure out excuses of not going. But looking into the pleading eyes of my darling 4-year, I instead shut my mouth, and we took off with our bikes. In total, our trip to the flower field (which is not even 500m away from our home), took us more than 1 hour. But that is not want counts. What counts is, the pure happiness I could see from my daugther, the joy of having her mom only for herself, and how important she felt of being “delegated” such an important task.

Fetching flowers

Daughter-mom-quality-time at it’s best!

While chosing our flowers (which were not so much chosen by the criteria of how well they fit colour-wise together, but rather by the fact how much they had already opened up…), we talked about silly things, unimportant things. Or then we said also nothing at all. This one hour seemed to be gone in a whizzle – but yet it gave me so much! And looking at the pride in my daughter’s eyes, I think it gave her, too, something.

Holding on to this feeling, I from now on happily “introduce” a new weekly programme for my daugther and myself; fetching fresh flowers for the weekend.

Next week, it’s my sons turn. I hope I can come up with a programm with him, too. Perhaps going to a muddle pot or so…? Regardless of what it is, it will be something for just my son and me, and I am sure the two of us will have an exellent time together!

May 05

My place on earth?

Every once in a while, I get overwhelmed with the question whether we all have a place of our own in this world, and what makes this place feel like home compared to any other?

Is it the culture, to which you feel connected to? Is is the city or village in which you live in? Is is the language? Is it the friends? Or work? The house, in which you live in?

I believe it is all of the above. And that there is not only one place where we can be happy and grow roots. Life takes us places when we keep an open mind, and looking back, you will all of a sudden discover that you have grown roots to a place without realising it. The place, where life by accident took you, has become your home.

Personally, life took me to south of Germany more than 10 years ago. As with many who have an equal faith, it was a sum of many factors that took me here. I happened to meet a guy, who happened to be german, and who happened to get joboffer in Germany, and it happened to be a in city, where I happened to have friends of my own. And all this happened, when I happened to be particularly open-minded towards living abroad.

Since then, I have gone through many phases of cultural adjustments, and taking many dives on the way, but I have also learned a lot and grown as a person. Now, looking back, I can no longer say in which country I feel more like home. Is it when I fly “home” to Finland, or rather when I fly back to Germany, to my current “home”? Will I always be torn between these two countries, never fully finding happiness or roots in neither one of the places?

And what happens in the after life? Which country will get my remains?

Where will I not be forgotten?

Apr 24

1/2123

In a country with a population of 5+ Million, it may come to many as a surprise that a few of these actually speak swedish as a mother tongue. Having roots in the history of the 16th century, when Finland was a part of the Swedish kingdom, a small minority still stubbornly sees the language of the king as the language of their heart.

Today, the swedish-speaking finns hold an official population of 275.000 out of 5 Million, trend declining, and are mostly situated on the south-west and west-coast of Finland. But the choice of language has a much deeper meaning that this, and thus this small population has in many ways developed into a sandwich culture between the finnish and the swedish one, trying hard but belonging to neither one of them.

Perhaps because to this cultural split, or because of the bi-lingual upcoming of having a swedish-speaking home but a finnish-speaking surrounding, many swedish-speaking finns have sought to go abroad to find their happiness.

Playing a bit further with statistics we know that 33% of the finnish population know German language (1.782.000), and 0,02% of the whole population lives as emmigrates abroad (12.650). Now, adopting these percentages to the swedish-speaking finns who speak german plus lives abroad, it leaves a total of 2.123.

Meet one of them: me.

Hello world!