Archive for the ‘Finnish heritage’ category


December 10, 2018

Under the category of How Does This Even HAPPEN ???


Do you know what you’re looking at here?   —


It is a  “set”  of left-handed gloves.    Some are Hubbie’s;  some are mine.  All unable to become a pair.

I wanted to take a long walk tonight after suppertime, not too late,  but very, very dark here in the Far North,  so the stars were brilliant, the constellations were identifiable.

It was my intention to walk 2 or 3 miles in the crisp, cool air —   Well, crisp, very cold wintry air — walking, as I looked up into the sky trying to find that new comet Son told me about.

Comet Wirtanen!  A Finnish name if I ever heard one.  And we are all half Finnish here.


Comet Wirtanen

Photo is from Norway, I think,  not our Rocky Mountains.

After the first mile of walking,  I had to come in to get warmer gloves.    My fuzzy-lined knit gloves weren’t enough to keep the two fingers on my right hand from freezing into a block of ice, so to speak.    And I wanted to get back outside –  fast.

I looked into the small totes on the top shelf of my coat closet and impatiently grabbed a  leather glove.    Fine.    It seemed warm.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

Grabbed another  leather glove with a lining.  Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

And another.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

And another.   Left-hand glove,  no right-hand.

Yes, insanity:  you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

I got mad enough to put a left-hand glove on my left hand and one on my right hand.  After all, I just wanted two  fingers on my right hand to be warmer.     I’m not going to be doing any fine-tuning with gloved hands.

Meanwhile, outside again,  I was watching a “fuzzy”  slightly cone-shaped patch  in the sky.   Possibly the Pleiades.    Or maybe the new comet.     They say ancient peoples, even ancient “Native Americans”  could see all the stars of the Pleiades, the seven main ones and the little cloud of smaller ones.


We know this from their writings, drawings, and legends.    In general, ancient people  were stronger and clearer thinking than we are, and they had better  eyesight than we have,  and so they could see The Seven  Sisters.

It probably wasn’t the comet I was looking at.  But I still wasn’t sure.

I got in 2.8 miles of peripatetic-skywatching, and then came inside to check out where in the sky Comet Wirtanen could actually be seen.      Well, here:

where wirtanen

See Orion?   See Orion’s arrow, almost dead center of the sky map?   Wirtanen is straight across from the point of the arrow,  just across the middle. . .   A fuzzy gray, slightly cone-shaped formation.    And the Pleiades?   About 20 degrees above the comet,  just under the B of December.

Was I sometimes looking at the comet and sometimes looking at the Pleiades?

I’d like to go back outside to see.  But I think I’d better be back in my coat closet, looking for right-hand gloves.

And amending my disorganized, hoarding lifestyle.



May 14, 2017

Sorry I’ve been away for a while again.

House upo High

I’ve found a hideaway again,  or pretty close.   It’s been very silent and quiet around here for about a week.   No TV.  Not much radio.  Not much YouTube.    I’m not sure why —   I’ve just “retreated.”

I guess people do that once in a while.

Actually,  my back yard makes a perfect Retreat in the Spring.

BACK YARD I prefer

I just want to sit on my deck and gaze at this.     It makes it hard not to withdraw from the world when I want to even when maybe I shouldn’t,  not so much.

Tree in Bloom cr

It’s just so pretty out there.

I think I’ve been looking normal.    I’ve had two repairmen come to my house this week.   That’s normal.   Now I have TV,  if I want to.   And I have clean water again.    Things  . .  .  break down from time to time.   Normal.

I’ve had an epic Drapery-Fail.    Got free curtain material with a comforter I had bought awhile  ago.    Time for me to get those drapes put up . .  .

Sewing is nice silent work.   Normal,  but silent.


I hit snag after snag after snag  (no pun intended)  but it looked like I was solving the problems.  Son even moved the drapery hardware for me on the walls near the windows.    But then –  I had misgivings.

I sewed for many hours this week, but I will now have to  redesign the whole project.  And the hardware will have to be re-done.    —  Well, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.   Can Son refuse. . . ?

Had a normal scheduled recorder session this week.    I hope I was a “good conversationalist,”  though I was struggling with paying attention sometimes.

And I’ve been going to class off and on,  I mean whenever classes are scheduled.   Nobody would know that in between activities I retreat into deep solitude and don’t want to talk.      It’s like a Funk  without feeling anything.

But I think I’ve been normal.


Been studying.  As usual.   Normal for me.   Got another problem I’m working on:      How did the assumptions of  univocal metaphysics arise out of  equivocal  categories   . . . ?   It’s the old Aquinas vs. Scotus thing.   But it’s not made any easier with Avicenna’s use of the word “being”  which tripped everyone up.   You can’t make good Latin from Greek via Arabic!


But I’m working on it.    I don’t always agree with this author,  so maybe he’s the one with the problem.

(How could I have been so busy these last few days when all I wanted was Silence around me?)

Opened up   a new laptop and got it  going . . .   Easy.  No brainer.  No thinking.    Then  I really didn’t want to   go   anywhere on the Internet.

But I did go somewhere a couple days ago.  I went to a good site, and there was a review of a book that presents exactly what I’ve been doing this week –  and what we’re all going through,  and it’s consequences, perhaps a remedy or two.

It’s a new book written by Cardinal Sarah-   one of the Good Guys   – a minority in Catholic thinking today.   Here’s a bit from that review:

We are in an age of increasing social madness. Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his new book, The Power of Silence, reveals this to be symptomatic of a widespread spiritual illness in modern Western culture. This illness, according to him, is largely caused by an absence of crucially needed, God and truth-revealing periods of silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart in the life of modern men and women.

“Silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart.”   *

He also talks about the    “tyranny of destructive external and internal noise.”

All that noise,  All that information.   All those words demanding that you pay attention and make some sort of decision.     It becomes a tyranny.    That’s what I’ve been shutting out, I think.

Because of all the noise experienced by our eyes, ears and hearts, modern man no longer hears, experiences and knows God. He is unable to comprehend the purpose and even the value of his life and the lives of others . . . Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking, at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing. Modern civilization does not know how to be quiet.

Quiet.   Silence.

Everything that enters the mind and heart through the senses, emotions and memories can create howling internal “noise” and greatly disturb our internal equilibrium, sense of being and relationship to our Creator.

Howling.   No TV howling.  No radio howling.  No music howling.  No Internet howling . . . Not much talking in the Spruce Tunnel either.   And sorry about that,  because today was an important anniversary for the whole world.    I’ll get to that in the next post —

—   but meanwhile,  one more glance backwards here.  I wonder if my craving for silence is coming from the Blood of my Forefathers.

sami sign

I’ll go visit them there, in Samiland, ,  once again,  before I move out into the “howling”  world where there is that “tyranny of noise”  and everyone is expected to comment on everything.




sami mountains

Nature, being quiet.

sami reindeer

Oh.    I guess it’s usually winter there.

How about a quiet cabin,  all alone . . .

sami in snow


.*  If you want to read the article about Cardinal Sarah’s new book,  it can be found here by removing all the spaces when you use this URL:

http:// angelqueen .org/ 2017/05/13/cardinal-sarah-reveals-surprising-cause-and-remedy-for-the-fears-and-anxieties-of-our-time/


January 13, 2017

(Traveling  anywhere today?  Avoiding ladders and black cats? )

I wasn’t sure if this was Fake News or not.  You know,  “click bait.”     But I was finished with the news and thought I’d have a little fun.  At the Daily Mail!   –  always an entertaining, sometimes informative place to visit (as long as you don’t “look to the right”!)

So, here’s a screen shot from FlightAware of a passenger flight today —


Copenhagen to Helsinki, on Finnish Airways.   Flight # 666.   On Friday the Thirteenth.  Going to  HEL, according to the flight controllers.     (That would be: Helsinki.)     It took off at fifteen minutes past noon.  That would be the thirteenth hour of the day;  13:15

Oh,  and the airplane itself is 13 years old!

How fun!

I didn’t really really trust the Daily Mail article so I went to FlightAware and looked it up myself.  Here’s the info from that page,  just after it landed:

Finnair 666
FIN666 / AY666
Arrived 37 minutes ago
Terminal 2

We redesigned our Flight Page. Check out the updated features!
CPH Copenhagen, Denmark
HEL Vantaa, Finland
left Terminal 2 Copenhagen – CPH
arrived at  Terminal 2
Helsinki-Vantaa – HEL
Friday 13-Jan-2017 01:07PM CET
(8 minutes early)

Guess it made it —  and early too!

Those Finns!

Hubbie would be proud.




July 15, 2016

They say “getting there is half the fun.”    Remember that when you’re doing the tedious activity of actually “getting there.”

Still, there is the reward of stunning beauty along the way.

Lk MI Overlk island

It’s the deep blues that speak to me.

I counted six different and distinct blues in this view:  navy blue,  deep blue,  powder blue,  aquamarine, turquoise,   and blues I don’t even have a name for but my grandma, whose first language was Finnish,  says there are many, many names for blue. As a little girl she was surprised that we, in this country, didn’t know them all!

Hope my camera is up to the challenge.

Lk MI Overlook

At the top left of the picture is the tip of that island and a surf or shallow point that had stunning robin’s egg blue water.

I can “feel” why blue is one of the colors associated with Heaven.   Remember, classically,  our forefathers teach us that there are three heavens seen from Earth:

  1.   the heavens where the birds fly
  2.   the heavens where the stars (and galaxies and all the heavenly bodies)  exist
  3.  the Heaven where God is, as well as all those holy beings which are fit to be with Him

Poets, artists,  scientists,  parents, theologians, and revelations from Heavenly beings all speak of one or the other of these heavens.   It’s good to be smart enough to distinguish the various meaning of “heaven.”

It’s also good to enjoy all the Blues we are given – and to thank our Creator for the ability to see and enjoy Blue!

Here is a painting of “Hiawatha”:

Hiawatha in canoe

And here is a picture of his “creator,”  the poet,  Longfellow,  one of those Poets who wrote of the heavens.

HW Longfellow


I’m on their trail.


March 5, 2014


“Too late smart!!”   That was one of my Finnish grandma’s many pithy sayings that summarize life’s harsh truths.    She was neither harsh nor bitter – but she did have some hard-earned wisdom.

What do you call a practitioner of Lenten duties and devotions?   How about a Lentician?   (Lent’ician)     Good enough for me.

For much of my early years I had no idea the word Lent even existed.   Once I began a serious study of history, I could at least have given you a definition.   In my early married years it was scarcely a blip on my mental radar screen.   Something “superstitious” people were worried about.

Then one year, a couple days before Easter Sunday,  I was washing dishes at my kitchen sink, looking out the window.  It was a warm sunny spring day, and the kids would be coming home from school soon and would be playing outside….so then I could concentrate on getting dinner ready for Hubbie….

And while I was washing and thinking,  the light dimmed.  It seemed to dim all over, not just outside.   But of course a small cloud had to have passed over the sun, because I was not “superstitious” and even though the thought came to me that some people call this “Good Friday,”   and check the time and, yes,  it was 3:00 in the afternoon, and the remembrance of this Time, the personal re-entering of this Time is important to some people …  I wasn’t one of them, that year.

I’m glad for that little cloud, if that’s what caused the temporary dimming of light inside my kitchen.    I think it was one of those many tiny baby steps that brought me into the Church….such a lifetime of gentle leading!!!

I became more personally involved in Good Fridays after that,  and then I began to understand the importance of Lent, because you can’t go smack into Good Friday and Easter, just as you are.

I got a little smarter in my “later years”  as Grandma would have recognized.

Each passing Lent my mind grows more and more,  to apprehend even greater significance for this time of year.    I keep saying, I didn’t know!  I didn’t know that before!    Am I ready to “do” Lent right even now because there’s so much I don’t know yet?

I feel so “immature” about this.  Perhaps that’s a sign of maturing?

I feel so dumb about Lent.  Perhaps that’s a sign of getting smart?

Too late smart!!!    That’s oddly encouraging.

At least Grandma thinks it can happen!



January 26, 2014

horse up

Aaaaaargh!   I know it’s Sunday…a day of peace and rest and time spent with our Creator.   Then why am I so On Edge?

Sarek 70  I have my reasons.      And I’m sure the Ambassador would say again:  “The cause is sufficient.”


First,   Son is  M.I.A –  as in missing.    Again.      After spending several days across the country beyond the reach of  cell phones, he is now overdue….(by a Mom’s schedule.)

He does not do Return Homes  very well.

I checked his final Arriving airport –  all planes are “on time” except the ones from his Layover city.   Those four are canceled.   I go to the site of his Layover city.   There are only three flights canceled:   the three from his Departure city.   On two long lists,  only seven flights in this country are Canceled –  Son’s !!

I’m on edge.

Which reminds me of other things that put me On Edge:


It’s going to be all downhill for a while.   These are big things which I will experience,  but I can’t affect the course of the “experience.”

Here are a few:

World Finances:     The men who are managing Hubbie’s Trust tell me to expect a 5% “correction”  soon.  Other places tell me 5% – 20%.  That is a serious downturn for all of us to experience.

It just might expose for us the worldwide financial collapse that many see is already happening….  We are ill-prepared for shortages and rises in prices. . . .

Upcoming Media Events of Possible Unpleasant Outcome: 

1.  The Olympics at Sochi;

2.   The Superbowl in New Jersey;  and

3.   The State of the Union speech ordeal, outlining how great socialist principles would be for this country.   (Socialism 101:   The government has a plan for you.)

My ancestors from Finland passed down to us the realities of socialism.

The Overall World Dominance of Socialism  (known to some as The Errors of Russia)     Do you see the dominance?    There is a call for a socialist revolution – in America!     Here, at this link, for instance.

FLAG  AmerComm

The new socialist high school  “social studies”  textbook being used in several places now is getting quoted by people who ought to know better, and by young people who don’t.     See Howard  Zinn,  here, for instance.

There is a Marxist-trained person elected to sit in the “Chief-Seat” in the Vatican – and oft quoted.    (His order and their New Theology was once condemned by the very Vatican that he now heads.)   Enough said.

There is a Marxist-trained person placed in the “Chief-Seat”  in my country.    (The media proclaims he is not a Marxist, but then freely proclaims the Marxists who were his most crucial mentors,)   Enough said.

There are plagues and pestilences building up,  just waiting to go global,  just at a time when medical care in this country is being curtailed.

There are “earth worries” of increasing earthquakes, severe weather outbreaks,  newly discovered asteroid threats, food shortages, and the ongoing noticeable poisoning of the planet by the Fukushima accident.

I’ve sometimes read that when the End Times are upon us,   and when this world system is brought to an end, under judgment,  the circumstances will be very terrible.   And just at this time, when Good seems to be defeated, a special kind of saint will be created…that is,  men and women with special graces for the strength needed to give help and light to  as many as possible.    These will be saints stronger than have ever been needed before.   Saints able to stand up for the true Christ who saves.

The view from the edge:

So, since I can look over the Edge at all kinds of world events that seem to be reaching some disastrous climax, and after  becoming aware that I as an individual cannot affect the course of these events, nor their outcomes,  then I can at least hope for and work for and ask for the special graces that God is so willing to give – to those who ask.

(I still want Son here, to talk to him about this.)   Talking about these things freely and openly takes the “edge” off.


June 30, 2013


“I’m sorry, sir,  I don’t know who you are.”


I just blurted that out when the man who sold me this calendar gave me my change and asked me if I wanted him to write his name on the front of the calendar.    Huh?   An autograph from the cashier?


I had bought this beautiful calendar with original sketches of life in Saamiland because the pictures stirred something up in me.   Turns out the “cashier”  was the artist himself.

After he introduced himself and I got done blushing,  I handed him his calendar and graciously,  I hope,  asked for his autograph.    I should have known, there were signs all over his booth, at the FinnFest Tori Market  that I mentioned in the last posting.   Son and I  (and the little audience I had collected)  had a good laugh and we all moved on.

MAP  Saamiland

This is approximately the location of Saamiland, the purple.  I probably have Lapp  blood in me, and that’s right up there in that region.   My Grandma spoke a little about that region, but I was too young to really pay attention.


You’ve got to admit –  it’s pretty far away,  pretty remote,  and most people don’t even know it’s there.    My cousin had our DNA traced one time, and it went back to Stone Age people who lived on the coast of the Northern Baltic Sea 11,000 years ago.    I’m not sure how accurate that is,  but there are times when I can feel myself brooding by the cold dark sea, breathing in the beautiful scenery with the cold crisp air. . . .resting my mind.

Seems mighty nice sometimes.   Seems mighty nice right now, at times like these.

I’ve been home a few days, getting reacquainted with my home.  getting caught up with the news.    I can’t take it all in, all the changes.    I don’t want trouble, I don’t want strife,  I want to be quietly law-abiding. . . .

But I see our Rulers,  my Rulers,  not only think I’m one of those “clinging to their guns and their bibles,” in that infamous quotation,   but that I must belong to The Flat Earth Society,  and my Rulers “don’t have time for me.”    More ominous,  they think that I want to do harm to my fellow man, and that I’m likely an Enemy of Mankind. ( words reported in mainstream newspapers.)

Sheeesh!  Where is Daniel Boone when you need him?  “Them thar is fightin’ words.”

But I don’t want to fight.   I don’t want to be fought against.   I know an insult when I hear one — even when one comes out of my own mouth.  But mine was inadvertent.   These insults sound deliberate.   What are they leading up to?

It’s Sunday today.   The Church gives us these words to contemplate, in one of the many little prayers assigned for this day:  “….Grant that what we may ask in hope,  we may effectually obtain.”   Sounds a little funny in English, but it means that the Lord is compassionate and will hear us, and our prayers will be effective, God willing.       Just feels like it’s time for a lot more praying.

. . . looking out over the cold sea, alone and quiet, far away from impending troubles


June 29, 2013

Whoever you are,  you have an “ethnicity.”   That is,  you have an ethnic background – and one you should be proud of!   I have two,  Swedish and Finnish,  and this is an international celebration of the Finnish side –   the great and wonderfully fun FinnFest 2013!

Copper mines notwithstanding,  as in the last posting,  our main reason for going to the Far Far Far North was to attend this year’s FinnFest.


It’s not always held in this country,    so we decided we’d better take advantage of this year’s near-location.   That’s the Great Lakes in the photo, and that white star is where we had to go.


2  lovely town

Here is an aerial view from one of our brochures showing the beautiful (and very hilly! )  little cities of Houghton and Hancock, home of Michigan Tech University –  home to scholars and architects and engineers that do their work all over the world.     And home to many Finnish immigrants, who worked like second-class citizens in the mines and the forests,  saved their money to buy their own homes, and learning English so they could pass the citizenship test.   Their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren place a very high value on education.   In this generation,  many Finns are now professionals of all kinds.

Remember:  it was the Finns who gave us Nokia — and all that followed!

Down on ground level . . .

3   finn dress everywhere. . . traditional Finnish dress was everywhere.  These dancers were in red and yellow,  but there were many shades of blue and green as well –  and most weren’t dancing!

Signs were bilingual,  Finn and English, because there were many people from Finland.    Son and I got the local newspaper that first day from our hotel:

SAMSUNGMy Grandma taught me how to count in Finn, a few Finnish words, and some Finnish songs,  but I couldn’t make my way through the first page of that newspaper.   The Finnish language is almost one of a kind, difficult to learn and impossible (!)  to spell.   Its roots are Ugaritic, shared only by some Estonian and by ancient Hungarian.   That’s it.   You either know it or you don’t.    It’s quite musical.   One rule of pronunciation is that every word is accented on the first syllable, but the words are many syllables long.

We were given a lovely “Program.”   123 pages.

5   program cover

It looked familiar.   Both of my children looked like that:  white hair,   bright blue eyes, pink cheeks.   Me too.   Later we all darken a bit, but Finnish children are quite remarkable looking.

The Program gave us the schedules for each day.   We had arrived right in the middle of the lecture program.  For the price of the day’s admission we could attend any of the lectures we wanted to.

6  serious lecturesThe lectures were very good,  serious and informative matters in Finnish history, Finnish health issues,   Finnish literature,  all kinds of Finnish issues, including their newly developed methods of education which has placed them at the TOP of the world’s educational achievement.   (You could Google  “Finland’s educational system” to see how they did that.)     Son and I heard different lectures but we agreed that any one of them would be worth the price of the day’s admission!

The Finns have in  the past endured Viking rulers,  Swedish rulers,  Russian rulers,  Soviet rulers,  and only very, very recently did they become an independent country of their own.     They are socialist now, but I have a feeling they will overcome that too.

Ethnic identity.   Ethnic pride.   Ethnic strength.

There was a Tori,  a giant Finnish marketplace,  displaying and offering all this Finnish ethnicity.   We spent a lot of time there!   And not a little money.    Hundreds of vendors,  I think.

7  Tori

There  was a parade at the end of the day – a good old-fashioned local parade with a mixture of small city pride (fire engines and local politicians and school marching bands)  and Finnish pride (saunas,  folk dancing…and a Finnish “politician,”  their current Secretary of State!)

8   Parade start

It began at 7:00,  just when Son and I finally found a place to eat.   We had just sat down in the restaurant when the parade began to go by – so we took turns jumping up from our table and running outside to take pictures!    (Of course, we all thought we missed the best ones when it was our turn inside.)

I met a lovely lady from Finland at the restaurant.   She was about my age and looked…somewhat like me.   While we waited for our table we talked and talked and talked….we wished we could be seated at nearby tables so we could continue,  but it was not to be.   Just a good memory now.

9   bonfire

It was Midsummer that night,  so thousands of people went out to the shore of Lake Superior to light the bonfire and…do whatever people do to celebrate Midsummer.     Pagan holidays are with us still!

Son and I missed the bonfire because we had to head further north for the copper mines, the historic fort, a search for an old campsite….through dark and eerie isolated fog-filled roads…..deeper into the northern forest.


June 19, 2013

“Thithering.”   As in “hither, thither, and yon. ”   A handy phrase from the English dictionary.    I know I just got home from a long Western trip,  but I’m getting ready to go on another one tomorrow.    This time it’s family interests that compel me.

250px-KeweenawPeninsula_svg    Our destination in that white horn that juts out into Lake Superior.    It is the location of the international  FinnFest 2013 event.    A few years ago, this was a very important celebration for Hubbie who was 100% Finn,  and since I am one-half Finn, that means Son is three-fourths Finn;   and so we are going, Son and I,   to honor our Finnishness.

Lake Superior is the Far, Far North.  I’m packing jackets and sweaters — even in June.   I’ve been there before —  in June.

Let’s see…….am I forgetting anything for my suitcase?   Am I overlooking anything?     Like this man who intended to rob the convenience store he was seen walking into:

thiefThe video camera caught him entering the store.   He didn’t forget to put a bag over his head.    He just overlooked the fact that it was a transparent bag!

I have the usual pre-trip jitters.   What am I overlooking?