A Morning Farewell to October

Good morning my dearest friends and readers!

When I got up this morning I had no plans to write a post. My usual morning routine is to make sure Lilli gets to school, and after that I sit down with some coffee to do my daily Instagram post. Over the past few months I have found that it lets me stay in the routine of writing something every day, and to share my love of beauty all around me through photography in a way that doesn’t take me hours. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love blogging and sharing my day with you, but so often it turns into a process that can take up the entire day. During that time I leave my post to do other things and then come back as the day progresses. I know some of you have mentioned that you appreciate this very real way of blogging, and while I am so happy you do, I also want to give you my best, if you know what I mean? Of course, then I get stuck in-between, so maybe I should just let that go fully and do it like this. On the fly, whenever the urge to write hits me, and without any plan or thought whatsoever!

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I got this light garland many years ago, and every year I look forward to the darker months so I can enjoy these glowing roses.

The funny thing is that when I sat down to write now, I only wanted to wish you all a good morning, and to show you the photos I took spontaneously while keeping Lilli company during breakfast. But as soon as I had edited the photos and opened up the draft a flood of thoughts swept over me and I just went with it. It really is so amazing what support does to us, isn’t it? Your encouragement and words of assurance have given me so much strength and motivation. I am so very thankful for that.

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Haha, I didn’t even think to change. But I just love this night shirt. ❤

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I only intended to take some photos inside, but looking out the window and seeing the light frost on the ground, the blush of dawn on a deep blue sky — I reached for my coat and took Loke and the camera with me. Only for a few minutes, since Lilli was upstairs getting ready, and she has a tendency to get lost in her own world, so I have to make sure she comes back downstairs when it’s time to go to the taxi. And I relate so very much to that — losing track of time — so I started getting her up even earlier than before every morning to make it less stressful for her. To start the day with constantly having someone poking you to do this and do that (speaking from personal experience) can set you off-course for the entire day. If I can relieve her of that, I will try my best. Sometimes I fail and see how her shoulders slant under the pressure, and I end up feeling just awful.

But today was a good kick-off! She left with a spring in her step and I’m so very happy about that.

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Loke and I welcoming and saying farewell to the last dawn of October.

Oh, how I love these mornings when late autumn and early winter meet. These very first days of frost — before it has become a daily occurrence to wake up to a white shimmer flirting with dawn. I was so locked up in the prison of my own melancholy that I forgot what a very simple and easy privilege it is to put a coat on and step outside the door. And there it is: so much of what I love, so much of what I missed when I studied in Sweden and kept longing to get home for. But that is true happiness, isn’t it? To pause and take in what we have, what surrounds us every day. How incredibly easy it is to grow blind in the midst of a thousand blessings.

This, too, is changing. I am turning it around now. Just the fact that I slipped outside for a few minutes, that those stifling, restricting thoughts I have had lately not even entered my mind. All those excuses I make that steal away my awareness and thankfulness left me alone. I felt so free.

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So this is where I sit right now, writing you to wish you a wonderful day. ❤ I will take some time later today to reply to your comments. For now I am sending you my love and many hugs. Thank you so much for all that you give me.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Look how tidy it is! ❤

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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