29 February 2012

a few good things






Päätin etten valita tunnin pätkissä nukutuista öistä ja siitä, että näemme upeat auringonnousut ja -laskut vain ikkunasta. Tuntuu, että koko talvi on ollut yhtä flunssaa, ja että ne iskevät pahiten meistä juuri minulle. Pitäisi varmaan kuntoilla enemmän, mutta missä välissä. On viime päiviin mahtunut hyviäkin:

* Sunnuntaina söin yllätyksekseni parhaimman Suomessa syömäni kasvisaterian paikassa, jossa sitä vähiten osasin odottaa. Käykää tekin joskus täällä yllättymässä; jos olette yhtä herkkiksiä kuin minä, sulkekaa silmänne interiööriltä.

* Mikä kamala epäsuomalainen sana, tuo interiööri. En oikein välitä suomennoksesta, mutta päiviä on ilahduttanut ja kaunistanut Atlanta Bartlettin ja Dave Cooten uusi kirja Hillittyä kauneutta, joka löytyi kirjastosta. Luulen, että joudun ostamaan sen itselle, olisin halunnut lukea sen hiirenkorville heti.

* Äidin maatessa lapsi on tuijottanut lasten elokuvia vähän enemmän kuin tarpeeksi. Hän rakastui Kaunottareen ja kulkuriin, ja tahtoo nyt olla koko ajan Kaunotar. Siinä on se hyvä puoli -- viikkokausia kestäneeseen pantterileikkiin verrattuna siis -- että mitä ilmeisemmin "kaikki koirat kakkaavat". Ja vielä potalle!

* Odottaminen on ihanaa, jos on jotain ihanaa odotettavaa. Tylsyyden ollessa huipussaan tilasin kasan lankoja täältä, ja sopivasti postiluukusta kolahti tämä lupaavan näköinen kirjakin. Puikot heilumaan -- heti kun kipeät niskalihakset sen kestävät!

Toivottavasti helmikuun viimeinen oli juuri sitä mitä toivoitkin!

***

I decided not to complain about these nights, slept at an hour's intervals, and the fact that we've only been enjoying the beautiful dawns and dusks of late looking out through our windows. It seems like this whole winter's been one non-stop flu, which I end up getting the worst of. Maybe I should exercise more, though I don't know when. But so many good things, too, in the past few days:

* I was taken by surprise when I had the best vegetarian meal I've ever had in Finland in this rather meaty looking place. If you ever come to this country, do go there and be pleasantly surprised!

* I've been browsing through Atlanta Bartlett's and Dave Coote's latest book, going ooh and aah. I absolutely love her style of interior decoration, and I think I just might have to buy this book, too.

* While I've been too knackered to do much of anything, she's been watching more children's movies than I think is healthy. She fell in love with The Lady and the Tramp, and wants to be Lady all the time now. It's such an improvement on the being-a-panther phase that's been going on for weeks now, as, apparently, "all dogs poop," and in the potty, too!

* Waiting for something lovely is so lovely. On a very bored moment I went ahead and bought some new yarn here. This book also came in the mail, and looks very promising. So it's casting-on time -- whenever the neck pains and the headaches get better!

Hope the last of February treated you good!

24 February 2012





Lapsi teki omenalumiukon. Vanhan peittoni alla piilossa hän huutelee: "Isi ei ikinä löydä minua!" Hän keitti meille tänään kahvit ja tarjosi ihanaa suklaapiirakkaa. Voi mitä enkeleitä, hän ja tyttärensä. Kiitos sinä! Ja kiitos teille kaikille ihanista kommenteistanne. Yritän vastata niin pian kuin vain voin, tänään menen kuitenkin kuuntelemaan taivaallista musiikkia.

Tunnen itseni niin kovin onnekkaaksi tästä kaikesta. Hyvää viikonloppua!

***

My daughter made an apple snowman. Hiding under my old quilt she happily shouts: "Daddy's never gonna find me!" Had a lovely afternoon, having coffee and some delicious chocolate cake, at her place. She and her beautiful daughters are absolute angels. Thank you (you!) from the bottom of my heart! And thank you all for your lovely comments lately. I'll try to reply each and every one of them when I have more time on my hands; but today -- today I'm going to town to listen to some heavenly music.

I feel very lucky, very grateful. Have a happy weekend!

22 February 2012

seitsemän asiaa joista nautin tänään








Sain ihanan muistamisen Millalta, siitä tuli niin lämmin olo että halusin kertoa itsestäni vain seitsemän ihanaa asiaa, siksi siis lista seitsemästä nautinnosta tänään. Kiitos Milla sinulle, siitä että olet olemassa ja pidät suloisen rauhallista, todellista ja kaunista blogiasi, ja muistamisesta myös, et tiedä miten hyvä mieli tuli! Tänään nautin siis erityisesti:

1. Hitaasta aamusta. Lapsi laittoi itse oman aamupalansa, kokkaili tiskipöydän ääressä aineksista joita laitoin tarjolle, "puuroon" tuli täysjyvävehnä-suklaamuroja, kookoshiutaleita, mantelilastuja, mehua, maitoa, neljän viljan hiutaleita ja puolukkasurvosta. Minä luin lehtiä, naistenlehtiä, Aamulehden tilaus loppui viime viikolla ja päätimme olla jatkamatta sitä, mies valitti aina ettei kumminkaan ehdi sitä lukea ja minä tulin lehdestä aamuisin pahantuuliseksi (kun en ehtinyt lukea, kun jutut olivat syystä tai toisesta huonoja) ja surulliseksi (maailman vuoksi). On ollut ihanaa lukea vain kauniita kirjoja ja lehtiä aamuisin, on ollut paljon kiireettömämmän tuntuista ja hyvä mieli.

2. Vuorelle kiipeämisestä. Ja alas laskemisesta!

3. Auringosta. Ihanaa, kun on valoisaa, kevät tulee, on vähän lämpimämpääkin. Ei haittaa vaikka lunta tulee vielä vähän lisää, jos vain on näitä aurinkoisiakin päiviä joita tällä viikolla on ollut.

4. Puolukkapiirakan leipomisesta. Juhlistimme sitä, että lapsi sai tänään riisuttua aivan itse, alusta loppuun, ulkovaatteensa pois päältä, jokaikisen kerroksen! Ja ei, tämä kaunis ajatus siitä, että lapsen erityisiä (ja myös näitä ihan arkisia) virstanpylväitä voisi juhlistaa tekemällä jotain herkullista vain hänen kunniakseen, ei ole suinkaan minun, aivan niin ihana ja kekseliäs äiti en sentään ole. Ajatus on tietysti SouleMaman upeasta kirjasta The Creative Family ja olen varma että hän on oikeassa siinä, että lapsi tuntee itsensä todella rakastetuksi ja saavutuksensa todella erityiseksi kun näin tehdään.

5. ... ja vieraista joiden kanssa herkuteltiin. Tämän kaupungin turvaverkkoni valuu yhtäkkiä syksyyn saakka kauas, yksi Moskovaan, yksi Saksaan, yksi sentään edes Vaasaan, sinne pääsee mukavasti lomalle junalla, lempikaupunkiini. On vähän suru, kun kaikki ne ihanat lähtevät, mutta oli mahtavaa saada istua näin, herkutella, jutella, vielä ennen heidän lähtöään. Ja tietysti olen onnellinen heidän puolestaan heitä odottavista seikkailuista, vaikka odotankin jo syksyisiä jälleennäkemisiä. Teitä tulee ikävä, rakkaat ihmiset!

6. Kirjeen kirjoittamisesta. Lapsi halusi lähettää serkulleen lintuja, minä piirsin ne, hän maalasi. Kuivuneet linnut liimattiin kirjeeseen kirjoitettujen sanojen kaveriksi, kirjekuori askarreltiin, ja huomenna mennään postiin. Miten jännittävää!

7. Lakritsiteestä ja inkiväärihunajasta. Lakritsiteepussin paperihärpäkkeen päivän viisaus kuului: "Children are the sages of the nation." Olen vakuuttunut että tee ja hunaja auttavat tähän alkavan flunssan tuntuun, että ne pitävät sen poissa. Tai ainakin toivon niin, sillä loppuviikoksi on luvassa niin kivoja juttuja! 

Tässä siis seitsemän asiaa minusta. Haluaisin antaa tämän tunnustuksen eteenpäin niin monelle, ainakin heille: himalainen, Olina, Riikka, Merruli, Ilona, Niina ja Malla. En tiedä oletteko tällaisen jo saaneet ja miten niihin suhtaudutte, mutta haluan sanoa, että kiitos kun olette, kiitos kun kuvaatte ja kirjoitatte, olette niin kauniita ihmisiä.


PS. Seitsemän 25.1.2011 oppimaani asiaa täällä, ja seitsemän asiaa sitruunasta täällä. Ja sata paljastusta vuosien takaa löytyy täältä. Välillä hirvistyn, kun ajattelen mitä kaikkea tämä tila täällä kyberavaruudessa minusta kertookaan.

21 February 2012

to fix




So one evening we sat down and talked about our plans for the future, our dreams. A dream, I should say, in the singular, as we share one. Oh, it's so much fun planning, talking, doing a bit of surfing on the web to look things up. But this time the discussion made me realize that we're still so far away from it we'll have to wait for quite some time. Rather than being sad about that thought, though, I was able to convince myself, in fact both of us, that we'd better start concentrating on the nowness of our being, and to be present in the present.

The next morning I woke up to the the smell of coffee, which made me get up and look into the kitchen. It was only six am, he had already left for work, so I went back to bed. But I couldn't sleep, that delicious smell of coffee -- really the best of smells to wake up to -- got me thinking about the beauty of the everyday, and the importance of reflecting that beauty in your home every single day. I realized that, instead of thinking of this lovely place we live in as our 'new' home, a temporary abode not worth doing much about, I'd have to start treating it as our 'now' home, and make it the best I can because, as lovely as it is (and it was what really made us buy into this place), a lake view doesn't really begin to make a home a beautiful home.And, predictably, tiny little plans started to take their form in my head. Oh, to fix, to fix, to fix this place up would most certainly brighten us up, too.

Later that morning we began with a little den improvement. The den has quickly become a place that she absolutely loves, and I guess it's no wonder, given it's the only space that is entirely her own in this apartment. (The room we originally intended to be her room became his study instead, as I wasn't keen on having his piles of paper in our bedroom or the living room, and, as you'll discover a bit later, it was a good decision.) As the den should clearly stay in place for a while, I thought we'd better pretty it up a bit, and add things more suitable for the rest of our living room decor, so we exchanged the horrible, stripey, torn duvet cover for some lovely see-through curtains and also made it a bit cozier and softer by adding some more blankets in it. She wished to have a floral pillow in there instead of the Moomin one I'd picked, which really made a difference. Here's how the den turned out:




 Adding those curtains up there made me remember how much I love soft shades of blue, and, as it happens, we had one more of those stored away somewhere. The curtains in our bedroom were thick and a warm shade of beige, which is just fine for winter, but as you can tell from the sunshine and the dripping in the photos above, spring is coming. So I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have something that said spring in our bedroom, too?

As I was changing the curtains as well as our bed linen to reflect that spring mood, I kept thinking about the storage problem we have in our bedroom. No, I should say we had, because, having given it a little bit of thought, I recalled we had moved one of my favorite pieces of furniture to his study as we hadn't found any other suitable corner for it and he'd needed some storage space in there

The tiny chest of drawers was bought by my grandmother some time after the War, I guess in the 1940s or the 1950s, given an absolutely horrible coat of orange paint (yes, bright, but not pretty) by my mother sometime in (oh yes, you guessed it right) the 1970s, and fixed by me pretty much to its original state a few years before our baby was born. Now to store such a piece of history away in a messy study, where it was buried under a pile of boxes he never got around to unpacking is, to me, almost unforgivable. Even more so if, as I discovered, he really hadn't even used its storage abilities and it only contained things I'd put in there months ago. A bedroom storage problem solved! I finally have enough closet and drawer space to hide away our knits, mine and hers:



While she was napping, I started to prepare for our next crafting project, something she had requested. As I was going through our 'crafting cabinet' (really just a tiny square-shaped thing above our fridge) for some supplies, I also took down all of the artwork she's done since we moved here in August and sat at the kitchen table, sorting them out, filing those I wanted to keep.

Sitting there, it occurred to me it might be nice to have a table the size of an actual table, unlike the tiny one we bought in haste when we moved here as we'd discovered our old dining table, the beautiful old wooden table that his grandfather made in the 1950s, was way too large to fit our tiny little dining space here. Nevertheless, there was room for a table bigger than the one we had there.

So when he came back from work, I said: 'You know, I have an idea.' And he said: 'Oh, please not let it be something that requires physical effort.' And so I said: 'No honey, you don't have to do anything, I'll do it myself, but I was just wondering if you really need such a big table to work on in your study,' and so I launched into my plan. Having heard it all, he merely said 'yes, go ahead honey, I'll just take a nap then,' and gave a laugh that suggested he thought he'd have a lot of work to do when he woke up.

And yes, soon enough I was stuck in a door with a table much bigger than the door, cursing in my head. I almost left it there, but then I remembered his face, the way it looked when I was trying to convince him that I could do it myself, and I fetched a screwdriver, and took the legs off the table, one by one, each leg having been secured with six (six!) screws. Luckily, the table fit in its designated space perfectly...


... and the smaller table got through the office door with no trouble at all -- although, before I took it there, I really gave the room a good clean up. I don't know when was the last time he actually cleaned in there, or put things in the places they belong, but that room was a mess! I have never seen such an amount of dust anywhere! I organized his files, hid away the unpacked boxes, set up the computer again, and even added a framed picture of our daughter as well as a rack for hanging his bags to the decor -- all before he woke up. Boy was he stunned and pleased! (No photos of the study, there's no natural light in there and I know the photos would turn out even more horrible that the ones from our dining space.)

And after that, I sat down, feeling satisfied with myself and our home (it's so much better now! I feel so much better now!) and finished knitting the dolphin my daughter had been begging for for a couple of days already. She really wanted a piece of plastic from a shop, but I think it's fun to do things yourself, to see if you really can do them, so when the requests for a dolphin first began, I thought I'd see if I was able to knit one, and it turns out I was. Oh, and she loves it, she's been carrying it around ever since, and can't even sleep without it. Here's WikiWaka now:




Wishing you a lovely week full of DIY adventures!

PS. The photos were taken yesterday, when it was beautifully sunny, not on the day I actually set to fix everything up. So that's why you see WikiWaka in almost every picture if you look close enough!

PPS. I've really got to do something about our dining room chairs. Not the pretty, old ones his grandfather made (and I fixed up, having found them in a garage, being used as handy tables to put paint and oil cans on), but the ugly, brown, worn-down Ikea ones we exchanged for some coffee when we moved here. I'm thinking paint, and I'm thinking pink... What do you think?

17 February 2012

something fragile within me broke





(Jostain syystä tämä tuli nyt englanniksi, anteeksi, tällä kertaa näin. Lukekaa silti, jos jaksatte.)

***

Last year, around this time, no, maybe a month later, everything started to happen. It had been an economically challenging winter for us, with us both being students and having no extra income, but oh, we didn't mind that mostly, we were happy and grateful for what we had; the love, the warmth, being together, that was what kept us alive, kept us going.

Then one morning she -- our little girl, our loved one, less than two years old at the time -- had difficulty getting out of bed. A couple of mornings later she refused to walk at all. A few weeks afterwards it took her three hours in the morning to get going; three soppy, tearful hours of us wondering what was wrong and her being unable to explain her pain. Discovering she had juvenile arthritis was a shock. It was unbelievable that she, a girl who had started to walk as a ten-month-old, who had always been so lively, so full of motion, was ill with a disease you don't really associate with childhood at all. I couldn't believe it, I wouldn't accept it.

A little later, it was May I believe, we were already past the stage of shock and anger, were able to accept what was happening. I remember her first day of treatments in the hospital so clearly, him taking a day off from work, where he had only just started, us borrowing our neighbor's car to get to the hospital, spending the little money we had on hospital parking fees. Us waiting for her to wake up, sharing an orange for lunch because it really had been the only thing in our fridge you could easily grab and put in your handbag for later, and me eating the remaining bits of my daughter's lunch when the nurse wasn't looking, oh, I was so hungry. Right around that time we also discovered some water damage in our apartment, it was quickly fixed, so quickly in fact I didn't believe they got to the bottom of the problem, and so began our search for another place to live in.

I remember it all so clearly, I can still remember how I felt when all this started to unfold, but today, as I looked at some photos (these, and these, and these, especially) back from the time when everything was still alright, I couldn't help it, tears came running from my eyes. It seems silly, really, because everything is so good now, so much better than on that beautiful May day which we spent at the hospital, hungry with no money, sad because we didn't really know what to expect. Silly, because everything turned out okay: I've graduated, he's got his work now, we have a wonderful apartment, much better in fact than the one we had before, and most importantly, our daughter is doing so well, having had no infected joints after August (coincidentally, that's when we moved out of our old apartment, I can't help wondering if there's a connection there, although, clearly, the meds must help too).

So why the tears? Why the hurt inside? I feel, I truly feel, that around that time something fragile, something soft and lovely, within me broke. What happened has made me more cynical, and harder, and I find it difficult to connect to that soft spot anymore, to enjoy life as it is. Oh, I wish to, I wish to find that little spot within me that I believe is the source of goodness, of happiness, but it's so damn difficult. The joy isn't there anymore, the joy that makes life the most wonderful adventure, because something blocks it, prevents it from coming out.

I go about our daily life, doing much the same things that we have done before, that I've always done with my little, precious family, but mostly I feel nothing. No, that's not true. I do feel, but not as strongly as before, I don't dare, I'm scared of the next uneasy phase that may be about to hit us, because with life, you never know. It makes me cry, thinking about this, and I can't remember if I've really cried since last spring, I don't think I have, I haven't had the time to give into the tears (of hurt, of tiredness, of the loss of innocence) waiting somewhere behind my eyes to pour out, because I've had to cope, I've had to keep everything running.

These are good tears, I think.
They're the tears of remembering,
the tears of feeling, feeling that love break through so strongly,
tears of letting it break through. Happiness.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend full of revelations, beautiful and good.

***

PS. It's Den Making Week (see Bristol Parenting Cafe & Emma Bradshaw for more). So here's the den what we built, using only materials we had readily available at home. I took an old idea a bit further here, and this one's a keeper.



16 February 2012

the warmth of the sun






Tänään oli se päivä, josta kevät minun kirjoissani alkaa: tunsin auringon lämmittävän, lämmittävän suloisesti aurinkopaikoissa, varjojen ulottumattomissa, jalkojani, kasvojani, mieltäni, sydäntä. Mutta vielä sen lämpö ei riittänyt, lapselle nousi taas kuume. Onneksi meillä on mukava, lämpöinen, suloisen pehmoinen lekottelupaikka ja monta sivua Peppiä luettavana.

Ja onneksi, onneksi on tämä maailma täällä, tämä meidän maailma, online-maailma, ja kaikki sen ihmiset. Ne, joiden luona piipahdan vain virtuaalisesti, ne joiden kanssa voi piipahdella elävänäkin. Kiitos, ihana Riikka, mukavasta illasta, se tuli juuri nyt niiiiiin tarpeeseen! (Ja kiitos teille kaikille, että olette siellä/täällä.)

***

The first day of spring, to me, is the day when you can feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, on your face, in your mind and your heart. And as that day was today, it must mean spring has arrived! Though it's not yet warm enough: she got a fever after we went out and came back in, I almost knew she would, but we really had to go somewhere. Lucky we have our own little den to snuggle in; warm, cozy, soft. And so many more adventures of Pippi Longstocking to find out about!

Lucky, too, that there's this world, this world here, our world on-line, and all you people here. People I see only virtually, but also people who have become such friends I can also see them in this 'real' world of ours. I want to thank you, lovely Riikka, for a wonderful evening that I really, really, really needed tonight of all nights. (And I also want to thank you all for being there/here.)

15 February 2012

one little, two little, three little...



Kopsis kapsis meillä nyt mennään, ratsastetaan vuorten taa. Kiitos, ihana Joola, aivan mahtavasta inkkaripäähineestä! Se tuli tarpeeseen, ollaan sisällä, koitetaan vältellä flunssaa. Aika kuluu nyt muutakin kuin värityshommia tehden: meillä on paitsi ratsastettu, myös mietitty pitkään ja hartaasti, mitä muuta intiaanit voisivat tehdä. Tiipii tulossa!

***

I know it's not politically correct to say Indian anymore, but if the fantastic piece of crafting sent to me by lovely Joola from the blog pieni pala tallessa (thank you ever so much!) isn't meant for an old-fashioned Indian riding out towards the sunset and the mountains, I don't what it is. And such fantastic timing, too, as we're spending our time indoors, trying to avoid catching a cold worse than the one we have right now; it's fun to have other things to do than coloring, I tell you, as much as we do love our arts & crafts projects. So when we return from our mountain camp: more camping things to come!

12 February 2012

weekend vibes


Mies sai yllättäen useamman vapaan putkeen, joten arvatkaapas mitä me tehtiin.
No ei yhtään mitään, ja se oli täydellistä!

***

A very busy weekend of doing absolutely nothing -- perfection!

7 February 2012

nurturing our creative spirits





Joinakin iltoina vannon, mielessäni vain, en ääneen, etten enää koskaan piirrä yhtäkään kettua tai koiraa, rakenna lego-kirahvia, muovaile pantteria tai suostu edes puhumaan kaloista. Mutta sitten, seuraavana aamuna, hän sanoo: äiti, askarrellaan! ja esittää pienen tanssinsa, ja sitten me askarrellaan ja se on oikeastaan aina ihan hauskaa. En muista terapeuttisempaa projektia kuin tuo Pikku kakkosesta bongattu akvaario-idea -- paitsi ehkä nuo jämälankapipot puikoilla, yksi itselle, yksi pienelle taiteilijalle.

***

Some evenings I swear, to myself only, not to her, that I will never ever draw another dog or a fox, build a duplo giraffe, make a panther out of play-doh, or even talk about fish. But come next morning and my sweet little girl saying Mommy, let's get crafting!, doing her cute little dance, and there we go again -- and it always turns out to be fun. I can't remember a project more soothing and therapeutic than our little aquarium, modelled on one she saw on tv -- well, except perhaps for the leftover knittings I've got going; a spring time hat for me and for her.

3 February 2012





Valoisaa, hyvää viikonloppua! Pysykää lämpiminä!

Have a happy weekend & stay warm!

2 February 2012

Come, it's February!





Tunnetko sen tuoksun? Tuoreen kahvin, kun tulet sisään lämpimään kotiisi käveltyäsi läpi helmikuun paukkupakkasten. Auringonkeltaisten appelsiinien mehukkuuden, kun ne odottavat imeskelijäänsä. Voi, se päivä jolloin ymmärsimme, että appelsiineja on tarkoitus imeskellä, oli yksi elämämme onnellisimmista. Helmikuu on täällä!

Eilen lapsen päiväuniaikaan tein mitä aina teen kuukauden ensimmäisenä päivänä: Otin esille erään erityisen kirjan, kaadoin itselleni vielä yhden kupillisen kahvia, ja luin helmikuun tarinan. Tässä kuussa se on erityisen hyvä, se on aina hyvä mutta juuri nyt se sattui olemaan tismalleen sitä mitä tarvitsin. Muistutus siitä, että pitää osata ottaa rennosti, ottaa aikaa, asettaa asiat tärkeysjärjestykseen. Kunpa voisinkin kertoa koko tarinan, mutta nyt joudutte tyytymään vain lyhyeen pätkään, siihen mikä minulle oli tarinassa tärkeintä:
Seuraan häntä ovelle ja mietin mistä aloittaa. Minkä taistelun valitsen? Minkä opetuksen tahdon hänelle antaa: vastuullisuudenko, vai siisteyden, vaiko kenties omista tavaroista huolehtimisen? --- Ja yhtäkkiä, tällä kertaa -- onneksi, tällä kertaa -- pysähdyn katsomaan hänen leikkiään ja tajuan. Tajuan sen, minkä melkein unohdin päivän puuhiin keskittyessäni; sen minkä muistaminen on kaikista tärkeintä meidän kiireisessä perhe-elämässämme: hänen työnsä on leikkiä. Se on kaikkein tärkein työ, jota pikkuiseni voivat tehdä. Leikkiä, olla vapaita, tutkia, rakentaa siltoja jotta muurahaiset pääsisivät valtavan vesilammikon ylitse.

Mutta sitten... Sitten vein ajatuksen vielä vähän pidemmälle. Sen lisäksi, ettei tämä ole oikea hetki komentaa häntä siivoamaan lattioita, tämä ei todellakaan ole oikea hetki lattioiden siivoamiselle. Minulla on puoli tuntia, tai kenties vain viisi minuuttia, aikaa ennen kuin vauva herää ja kiireisen päivämme seuraava vaihe alkaa. En todellakaan vietä sitä lattioita kuuraten. Kävelen kuraisten lattioiden ohitse (ne eivät kyllä katoa siitä minnekään, muistutan itseäni), otan kudinkorini ja menen takaisin ulos.

- Amanda Blake Soule: The Rhythm of Family. Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons (kökkö, pikainen suomennos minun, anteeksi...)
Niin, tämä tarina, ja kenties myös helmikuu, se yhtäkkinen energia jonka se mukanaan toi, helmikuun lupaus keväästä, saivat aikaan sen, että minulla on nyt jo monta tarinaa kerrottavanani tästä ihanasta kuukaudesta. En voi olla ajattelematta, että tästä tulee niin hyvä. Mutta tarinat jääkööt seuraaviin kertoihin, nyt kerron lopuksi vain yhden, lyhyen, joka lyhyydestään huolimatta on sekä iloinen että surullinen:

Saatuaan tietää, että hänen työkaverinsa on eroamassa, mies toi minulle helmikuun alkajaisiksi kotimatkaltaan kukkakimpun. Keväisiä tulppaaneja ei voi olla rakastamatta, eikä myöskään niitä tuonutta miestä, oli inspiraatio sitten lähtöisin mistä hyvänsä.

Mahtavaa helmikuuta kaikille!

***

Can you smell it in the air? The rich, warm smell of coffee that fills the house when you step in through the door, coming in from the February world of freezing cold outside. The juicy scent of the apples sitting in a bowl, competing in colour with the Sun shining from a clear blue sky, the orange juiciness just waiting to be sucked. Oh, it was one of the happiest days of our lives when we realized that apples are supposed to be sucked! Come, it's February!

Yesterday during my daughter's nap-time I did what I always do on the first of month: I took out a special book, poured myself another cuppa and read the story for February. It's good this month, it's always good but this time it's exactly what I need right now, a reminder that I'm not the only one struggling with these thoughts, and also that I need to loosen up again. I wish I could tell you the whole story, but it's way too long; so I'll just quote the bit that was most important for me, right now, and I'll let you read the rest of it yourselves if you can get hold of the book.
... As I follow her to the door, I'm thinking about all of these things and wondering where to start. What battle do I choose from? What lesson do I want her to learn -- is it one about responsibility, or cleanliness, or taking care of her things? [...] And suddenly this time -- thankfully, this time -- I look back to her playing and it becomes clear. I see the fact that I nearly forgot in the details of my day, perhaps the most important thing to remember of all on these busy days of family life: Her work is to play. It is the most important work my little ones can be doing. Time to play, time to be free, time to explore, and time to build bridges for ants crossing the mighty puddle.

But then... Oh, then I took it a step further. Not only is this not the time to be having her clean up her muddy shoe prints, but it really isn't the time for me to be doing it either. I have a half an hour -- maybe just five minutes, who knows -- before the baby wakes up and the next phase of our busy day begins. I will not spend it cleaing my floors. Grabbing a basket of knitting, walking past the mud on the floor (it will be there later, I remind myself), I head back outside again.

- Amanda Blake Soule: The Rhythm of Family. Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons

And it was this, together with a sudden rush of energy, that got February truly going. I feel it's going to be such a marvellous month, with it's promise of spring, and despite the cold, cold weather we're having right now. I already have so many stories to share, February stories, but most of them you'll hear later on. Let me just end with a short one, one that despite its shortness is both happy and sad:

Upon discovering his workmate is in the process of getting divorce, he brought me a bunch of flowers. I can't help loving him and my beautiful tulips, wherever the inspiration came from.