Those Little Things

Good afternoon my dear friends and readers!

I remember when I first arrived in Finland, to this farm and when Jay’s parents lived in this house. Some ten years ago now. One of those things that stood out mostly was how they received guests and the entire machinery around having people over for dinner or a special occasion. So very different from my own parents and how I grew up.

One room in this house was specifically designated to the purpose of guests, only, and on all other days the room stood untouched, unvisited. The furniture were from previous generations — either crafted by those who had lived here before, or bought to match that era. I think jugend would be the closest to accurate style of these tables, chairs and cabinets. Lamps and carpets.

setting-the-table
The table and chairs are new, but I have kept that cabinet because it’s just so beautiful. I would have kept the matching table and chairs if it had only had capacity for more than four people. Maybe one day I’ll figure out a way to rebuild or extend it, somehow. 🙂

That room I am talking about is through the doorway you can see to the left, and no longer in use. It has turned into an “anxiety object” — a corner of this house into which we over the past few years have shoved furniture, boxes and just stuff every time we have done renovations or cleaned. Panic cleaned, as I would like to call it. Jay nor I are the tidiest people, and so every single time we have guests over we run around like mad to get the house in order. I have tried to then keep it that way, but over time it slowly falls into oblivion, and then it’s always the same thing the next time we invite people.

lotta-wiping-countertops

Jay’s mother would get everything done beforehand. The food, the pies, cakes and pastries, and all the cleaning. On the day, she would heat up what was to be served warm, and all she had to do was get herself ready and set the table. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I remember the first time I wanted to host Christmas Eve here and I still had things left to cook when the guests arrived! Haha. I can laugh at it now, but back then I was a wreck and it didn’t help when Jay pointed out how his mother had always done it.

We have had some time to practice now, though, and last Thursday, when Lilli’s godparents and their son were to come over, all was ready twenty minutes before the set time of their arrival. I could sit peacefully on a stool and watch the oven. I said to Jay well, what do you know? We’re getting better at this! I did however go into town to buy the cake and buns to go with the coffee this time. I always bake and cook myself otherwise, but this time I decided not to — I simply felt I didn’t have the time.

waiting-for-guests

clean-living-room-window-views
Look how tidy it is! ❤

clean-living-room-entry-way-view

Even that anxiety, that painful knot in my stomach that usually appears when I feel those expectations of how to conduct myself, how to be social and a good hostess barely bothered me. Of course I know these people well, but that hasn’t made much of a difference in the past. Either way I am honestly so happy about this achievement, which I really feel it is, and in light of how down I have felt lately, I wanted to share some of this happiness and accomplishment with you. I am still so grateful and aware of the wonderful support you have given me, and even if I have had a couple of late nights since last I wrote, I am on track toward catching up on my rest.

snow-on-maple-leaf

Another thing I have wanted to do for a while now is to take the camera with me when I refill the wood chips that we use to heat up the house and water. The thing is, though, that for one, I am so scared of getting dust onto the camera sensor again, and a lot of it flies around up on the loft when I shovel all that wood around. Another is that my camera isn’t very good at handling higher ISO’s, which are needed due to the dim lighting. The photos turn out grainy, and my perfectionistic tendencies cringe and squirm when I look at the results. It’s actually the same when I take photos inside the house, but lately I have consciously made an effort to try to let it go. It’s so silly that I leave my camera sitting just because a little graininess scares me. And I can still practice so many other aspects of photography.

wood-chip-shaft-door
In the loft, the hatch to the shaft. At the bottom is a big screw that feeds the wood chips through an iron pipe and into the wood burner.

So the other day I took my camera with me but completely forgot to take my tripod, and lazy as I was, I just placed the camera on whatever surface I could find, resulting in a very, very dirty camera body and shoulder strap. I set the timer and let it snap multiple shots as I worked.

Now that the temperatures are dropping we will need to go out there more often, and when it’s really cold — fifteen to twenty below zero or lower — we need to refill more than once a day. Luckily we aren’t there just yet, and once every other day or two days is enough.

wood-chips-refilled

wood-burner

The snow we had a few days ago is now completely gone, but that’s a good thing since I have some work in the forest. Some of you might remember I planted trees earlier this year, and since then a lot of grass and other vegetation has grown around and over them. So I need to go back to clear it away before the heavy snow arrives.

house-in-twilight

I hope you’ve all had a great weekend and I wish you a good start on next week. Much love. ❤

Posted by

I'm Lotta. I live on a farm in southwestern Finland among oats, wheat, and swaying pines. With photography and words I show the journey toward building my life-long dream of telling inspirational and unforgettable stories through images. I am so glad you are here to share this experience. <3

6 thoughts on “Those Little Things

  1. hello lotta, I fully join the comments of Ian and Pamela, and first of all tranquility, a greeting from a distance and have you and your family a good week together, fernando.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Lotta , what a beautiful house you have , although I think I would have to sit out in the loft beside the Furness 😉 , I agree with Pamela , your photos don’t look grainy at all to me on my computer and very nice and interesting to see a little of everyday life. Hope you and your family have a good week.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. (sorry for the super long post…but I haven’t written in a bit, so I guess I’m making up for it. 🙂 )

    I love your blue room, with the fantastic wallpaper, and Jonna’s pink painting. Seems like such a restful sanctuary. I have two rooms in my house that are a similar faded blue, with white wood trim. 🙂 I also love that you see green outside your windows. I would like to live in a place where green is all you see.

    And I totally understand about not being neat. I am not, at all. Although I would love to be. So I seriously appreciate your lovely rooms, especially knowing that it takes some effort to keep it that way. 🙂

    And congratulations on your ability to be calm and in the moment with your guests. I know it takes a force of will, and a constant mantra to keep the anxiety at bay. I was recently in a competition where I had to preform a solo, and I decided that the goal would be to just be calm…and enjoy it. It did not matter how I actually performed. If I could be calm, that would be the victory.
    I wouldn’t say I was 100% calm…but I was much closer than I ever have been. I’ll take it. Baby steps.

    Oh yes, and please keep posting pictures of your life, grainy and all. (And they did not seem grainy to me, just so you know). I think it was so interesting to see the images in the loft, and what your tasks are, and the feeling of the place. It creates a much more rounded, whole, vision of your life there. Which in turn makes you a more real person to your readers. We get to know you more. So THANK YOU for posting these, and for letting yourself go outside your comfort zone.

    Throw away perfection. It is not possible. It is not how nature works. It is not how humans work. And the only thing it really does is separate you from yourself. Truly, no one else cares about how perfect you are. Perfection is only you staring in an old distorted mirror at yourself. Break that mirror. And look for your reflection in the things you love. The lake, the windows of your house, the eyes of your child. The real, and only, measure of your life is there.

    I write you this, because I need to hear it myself.

    Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Pamela! I was so happy to see your name in the comment alert, and don’t worry about long comments. It is funny how I myself tend to lean toward long comments and then worry it gets too long when I myself LOVE to read them. And I understand these periods of not replying to blog posts — sometimes we just aren’t able, for various reasons, and that is totally all right. ❤️

      What you say about perfection is SO spot on. And thank you for reminding me, too. It really has no place in a world where the nature we are a part of seems to strive for chaos. I remember a teacher of mine once explaining his views on this and I really wish I had memorised what he said word for word because he said it so so well, and it made so much sense to me.

      I am also so happy you like these day-to-day glimpses! I will be posting more of this — I honestly found it to be very fun and relaxing to have my camera with me during our cleaning and preparations! 😊

      Congratulations to you, too! I know how very rewarding even baby steps can be. Just to actually have set a goal and carried out what we intended, no matter the outcome, is such a good feeling. So well done my dear!! ❤️🤗

      Oh and I really do wish everyone could have green outside their windows and be surrounded by nature’s beauty. I even try to bring it inside in whichever forms I can. And to have Jonna’s paintings in my favourite room of the house really is a blessing. I hope to get more one day.

      I’m in the car right now – we are going to a birthday party. I wish you a lovely Saturday and weekend. Many hugs to you. ❤️

      Like

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