Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all readers! πŸ˜€ It is now 2017!

I spent midnight knitting. πŸ™‚ I started knitting a pair of socks for my niece. I spend the evening at my sister’s house and we got home around 11.30. I immediately started knitting. She wants long socks. Usually I knit 15 cm before starting on the heel, but she wants 25 cm.

Here is a picture from a few days ago, when the cat was having fun at night. In the morning we saw this:img_1541

The hearts are rotating when you burn the candles below them. The cat sat on the kitchen table and knocked it down. πŸ™‚ It is now rebuilt and he hasn’t destroyed it anymore since then.

Here a few pictures of fireworks. I took a break from the knitting when the fireworks started and I tried to take pictures of it. But it wasn’t easy. I just kept clicking the camera. I deleted many of them, because they were blurry or just a few spots of green or red on a black background. But a few were decent, so I put them here.

The fireworks were fired from a pub/restaurant that is may be 400-600 meters from our house. But you could clearly see them from the kitchen window.

Well, I am going to knit a little more before going to bed.

Christmas cat

Here are a few pictures of the cat, taken yesterday. πŸ™‚ He was playing with a little soft Santa when mum tried to get it to pose with it… πŸ˜€ He didn’t want to do that.

Later he was sleeping on the couch, looking very comfortable.

I am not even going to bother him with the little Santa hat, because he refuse to wear it more than a few seconds. It’s difficult to get decent pictures of him in the Santa hat. So he doesn’t have to do that this year.

Very soon my sister will come and pick mum and me up, so I must get the herrings ready for the cat now.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all who reads this. πŸ™‚

The cat got his gifts early this morning!

Click on the images to enlarge them.

The cat thought it was fun to play with the new toy. He also liked to attack the pile of wrapping paper! πŸ˜‰

I think it is supposed to look like a crab or crayfish or something. Anyway, an animal living in the sea. I might have to remove the black parts of the eyes, because he might chew on Β them or something when is in a very playful mood.

We will go to my sister’s house in the afternoon, around 1.30 and I guess we will be there most of the day until the evening.

Before we go, we will take a little bag with two herrings out of the freezer, so the cat can eat them as his Christmas dinner when we are gone. I think he will like that. But first they need to get soft again.

Mum is making rice porridge to take to my sister’s house. They always want to eat that after the dinner. I might taste a little bit, but I don’t really want to eat porridge after I have eaten ham and potatoes…

I have made eiskonfekt that I will bring with me. But as usually I made my own version by adding peppermint oil and crushed peppermint candies. I have also baked mint chocolate muffins, so I will take those with me as well. We will drink coffee in the evening when my brother’s family comes too.

My nephew Alec who will be six years in the beginning of January has lost two teeth! πŸ™‚ So it will be fun to see how he looks with two teeth missing!

 

Decorated the tree :)

I went to the local market square today and bought a Christmas tree! Mum wants a plastic, but I am not willing to get a plastic tree.

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As usual we put it in front of the balcony door. So if we need to go out on the balcony, we can do it, but it’s a tight squeeze. So as long as the tree is there, it’s no unnecessary visits to the balcony. That might annoy the cat who likes to sit by the door and get some fresh air.

Here are some close ups of some of the decorations.

We have all sorts of different things in the tree. My favorites are the goat and the tiny Santa, which mum got many years ago. I also like the Santa bauble. We have some candy canes as well. We usually have small chocolates as well, but I haven’t seen any this year. I will have to look for those in the store tomorrow or later in the week and hang them up afterwards. The little yarn Santa was made by my grandmother, who passed away in 2000, so that’s really old. I recognized it as grandmother’s, because it has two dots as a nose, and that’s how grandma used to draw noses. The silver star over the yarn Santa is very glittery. I think we have a few silver and one or two red ones of the star. The last picture shows a very light bauble. I am not sure if it’s paper or papier mache or something like that, but it feels like paper. Definitely not plastic, glass or metal. I do like that bauble.

Before starting on the tree, we had to move a little table with a big plant. It’s now between the computer and the sofa, so there’s a big plant right next to me. We also had to move a few other things and store them elsewhere while the tree is there. The cat’s blanket we threw on the couch while decorating the tree, and it didn’t take long before the cat crawled under it!

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He had one or two paws stretched out at all time, but kept his head hidden under the blanket. He looked very comfortable. But when we were done decorating the tree he must have felt too warm, because he left the couch and went somewhere else. πŸ™‚

Gingerbreads

140 gingerbreads! πŸ˜€ Yummy!

And all the gifts are wrapped and ready. The only things missing is the tree and the decorations (snowmen and santas etc.) around the house. We’ll get the tree next week, decorate the house probably a few days before or one day before Christmas.

Pictures from market square celebration

So I decided to go to the market square (as I wrote in my previous post earlier today). Here are some random pictures from the ceremony that took 30 minutes. Click on the images to enlarge them.

I didn’t really get any good pictures of the goat. It was so dark. I might take new pictures another day, in broad daylight. As you can see in one of the pictures, the goat is behind the statue.

The students (with the white hats) walk from a little market square to this larger square and line up in front of the audience.

Here is a picture of this year’s candles that we now have in the kitchen window:

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Finland’s 99th birthday! :D

Yay! It’s Finland’s birthday! 99 years of independence! πŸ˜€

This is what it looked like last year:

No snow on the ground and the pond was flooded.Β You can see in the first picture (click on it to make it larger) how high up on the grass the water had been.

Today when I was outΒ I took pictures of the same pond:

There is a thin ice on most of the pond, but on each side of the little bridge there is water running. Quite a lot of birds swimming in the water.

In an hour the ceremony will begin on the market square. I am not sure if I am going this year. They have a few speeches and two male choirs will sing. I don’t go every year (it’s just 30 minutes, the ceremony). Last year I went, and took the third picture of the statue.

Between 6 and 7 pm you are supposed to have the two blue/white candles in the window. It’s a tradition that many people don’t do any more. It was much more common before. But we still have the candles in the kitchen window. I think it looks nice. After 7 pm they are moved to the living room where they burn until we go to bed or until they are burned all the way down.

They have the big goat (second picture) this year as well, but I have no picture of this year’s goat. It looks pretty much the same as the one last year.

At 7 pm the big party from the President’s palace will begin. They show live on TV. Over 1000 people are invited each year. In the beginning of the party, the president and his wife will stand in a room (later they move to another room for the more prominent guests) and shake hands with all the people that arrives on the red carpet. Afterwards they dance and eat from a buffet (small pieces of cakes, pastries and other small salty/sweet things) and there are bands that play and sing in the palace.

In one city there is always a military parade. Finnish independence day is much about remembering and honoring the war veterans (there are only around 3000 left, as most of them are over 90 years old!), singing patriotic songs etc. And the candles of course in the windows. The party at the palace is very formal. It’s considered a huge honor if you get invited to the President’s palace on independence day. Most Finns never get the invitation.

Well, I will soon decide if I am going to the market square or not. Either way, I will watch some of the party tonight on TV, but not all of it.