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Pieces of Time

New years come and new years go,
Pieces of time all in a row.
As we live our life, each second and minute,
We know we’re privileged to have you in it.
Our appreciation never ends
For our greatest blessings: our family and friends.

Happy New Year!

By Joanna Fuchs


After a Wonderful Christmas with our near and dear, we’re sitting pretty fat and happy on this Boxing Day at Vanha Talo Suomi.  ❤

Now, as the new year approaches and the final days of this year tick quickly off the calendar, we are reminded of the Wonderful Year it’s been.  Oh, what a wonderful year!

As the poem reminds us, we’ve been fortunate to have you with us.  Our home & garden journey is about to enter another year. During this time we’ve made many new friends. We never could have imagined the interest our remodeling project would garner among so many different people around the world. 🙂  Thank you all, 2,434 folks!- in  100+ countries who stopped by for a visit this year alone! We love it! Thank you!!  ❤

Sadly there have been losses and some are no longer with us. The cycle of life is a constant reminder to live life to the fullest, each second & minute.  We miss you and wish you could be with us now  ❤


From a rather scary frozen pipe situation to the idea of setting some seeds to germinate, January 2016  felt like a rather quick month. The freakish cold weather was note-worthy and memorable in a “not-so-good-way”! 😦  but we finally got some much-needed snow.

February and March we were busy trying to stay warm and I suffered with the winter blahs. It gets pretty dark and gloomy during the winter months in Finland – which can really drag you down. Thank goodness we had a big gardening project to plan which kept me fairly well distracted 😉  Of course, a few indoor projects were tackled and crossed of the list too. There isn’t too much ‘down-time’ here when you have so much to do! 🙂


Once April arrived and the snow was gone, we began to tackle outdoor projects on our project plan list.  If you’ve been following along, you know just how big this landscape project really was. 🙂 Getting the landscape plan from drawings into reality amounted to a really huge man-power effort! What an endeavor!  I couldn’t have done it on my own. Without Pekka the project never would have happened! ❤


Crazy Finnish Weather is a ‘thing’! And the weather was really nuts through most of May 2016. Temperatures were sweltering and ‘August-like’ which was wonderful if you love hot weather….but not a great thing if you’ve got thousands of dollars invested in newly planted nursery stock! Watering is crucial in helping new plants and trees to establish. the month of May was a real test of endurance to not lose any plants to drought and the withering conditions. Luckily, we seem to have prevailed. Our amped-up watering efforts paid off – we lost 1 hydrangea only. wow!

Also in May, we posted about what a Rintamamiestalo is, and what remodeling one means to us. We encourage you ro read up on this topic, you might be surprised, and you might learn something! 😉 Remodeling an older home can go so many different ways. But many times  the way projects ultimately go are due to expense and a limited budget.  Many times throughout our project, I was confronted by limited choice! There always seemed to be so many more options to choose from in the United States. That’s not to say there aren’t color and style options, it just means the choices are fewer here, in my opinion.

So while our project has been primarily influenced by expense, it has also been influenced by available products, style, and color choices. I do like the overall results we’ve put together, and marvel that we’ve gotten so much done – mostly all by ourselves! There have been many times when I wish the whole process could go a bit more speedily – but I think the end is now truly in sight.  Our construction timeline is reaching the building code deadline 🙂


Getting to the mid-way point in the year can put things into perspective! We hustled, we bustled and we worked ourselves hard on our landscaping & gardening projects.  June was a bit cold which kept many of the flower blooms intact for us to enjoy. Looking forward to Juhannus Day is a highlight of June and we celebrated just like all the other Finns in Finland!

As the summer months went by, we ticked more projects off the ‘to-do’ list!  I finally got Pekka to author a post about our garden!! Yeah!! He wrote a great post about the large trees on the property! check it out!  I hope he will continue to write more and especially in Finnish, as so many of our friends reading about our project are living here in Finland. 😉


The Crazy Finnish Weather was at its craziest in July. What a bummer month on the weather-front. BOO! In August our post brought everyone up to speed with various projects underway – namely that Pekka built extensive deck railings for all the decks/patio and landings for the house! He also put in the wooden walk-way linking the driveway to the house! That’s a really big deal! There was more landscaping going on and we were finally seeing some of the fruits of our earlier landscape plantings! Beautiful hydrangea in bloom! And my David Austin roses were just a never-ending hit with impressive blooms and much adored fragrance!


As Autumn rolled in we enjoyed the apples! Having apple and fruit trees is a real treat. If you don’t have a fruit tree, you owe it to yourself to plant one if you have the space and conditions are favorable. We are thankful to have several apple trees, berry bushes and other fruit trees on the property.  There was still plenty of time to tackle a few more landscape projects while the weather was cooperating. Renovating our woodland garden increased the ‘beauty-value’ of that whole area exponentially. What a dramatic improvement! Enjoying the last of the season’s color and bloom helps to cap off the end of the growing season.


And before we knew it, we were putting up a Christmas tree and improving our blog-site! Pekka and I have been busy refocusing our energies on our indoor remodeling ‘to-do’ list. Items are quickly being checked off and it seems like in no time *ahem* we might be nearing into the final stretch! December 2016 has been interesting weather-wise, although not in the snowy, winter-magic sort of way. Today for example it’s +6c. For you folks on the Fahrenheit scale, that’s nearly 43 degrees F. Pretty warm for a late December day. CRAZY!

We’re hoping for snow before freakishly cold weather arrives for the sake of keeping our new plants and trees from suffering under harsh conditions.  We wouldn’t mind taking some long, peaceful, walks under heavy snow-ladden branches either! 😉

Thank you for checking in on us this year – we’re glad you stopped by. If you have time to say hello – all the better!

It’s been a Wonderful year for us at Vanha Talo Suomi ❤

Our appreciation never ends
For our greatest blessings: our family and friends.

Happy New Year!