Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Trip to Helsinki

Pine Mountain

Hello again from Pine Mountain. This week we had water pump problems. The ranch has 3 sources of water. First we have our storage pit called a cistern. It holds 20,000 gallons. It collects rain water from the house and barn roof. We use this water to water the front lawn and the plants in the greenhouse. Our second source of water is a large pond. The pump is actually in an old spring house at the source of the pond. This pump sends water to the house and barn. The first problem was the pipes to the house and the barn. They are old and developed leaks. This caused the pump to run constantly and eventually caused it to fail. Since the pump was in the spring house, no one heard the pump running constantly. The first we knew of it was when we ran out of water at the house. We switched to our third system which is a well at the house with another pump on it. We just had to switch some valves at the supply tank in the house. We spent the rest of the week digging up old lines from the house to the pond. This time we put each of the two plastic line water lines inside a 4 inch plastic line. This serves 2 purposes. First if we ever have to change the lines, we just pull the 2 inch line through the 4 inch without having to dig it up. Second if one of the lines develops a leak we will know it because it will run out the other end of the 4 inch line in the spring house instead of just leaking into the surrounding ground. We finished installing the lines and put in a new pump and now we have water from the springhouse again.

Those of you that have just joined us, here at the ranch power is supplied by 2 wind turbines and a water turbine. We also have a few solar panels that charge up a battery bank. Our horizontal turbine looks like a small wingless airplane on top of it’s 80 foot tower. We purchased that one from Our vertical turbine we purchased from, it spins away on a 30 foot or 10 meter pole out by the barn. Our water turbine in the dam of our pond came from an Alaskan alternative energy company There have been more windy days than calm days this week. Even on a calm day we have been able to produce more energy with our wind turbines than we use.

. Next we have our usual sections on Alternative Energy, Nutrition, Traveling and Adventure

Alternative Energy

Is your electric bill going through the roof? Are you paying $200 or even more per month for electricity? Do you want to cut costs or even learn how you can sell electricity back to the power company so they pay you instead of you paying them? Learn how you can supplement you electricity and reduce your electric bill for only a small investment of less than $200. Go to and learn easy ways you can cut your electric bill.

The price of fuel keeps going up in price. Gasoline is now over $4.73 a gallon. Everyone is looking for anything that will increase fuel economy even a little. There is a way to improve your mileage, increase your horsepower, and reduce your emissions all at the same time. You will be able to turn your vehicle into a fuel efficient one with only a few readily available items from your local hardware. The instructions are easy to follow and there are many diagrams so you can see how to do it too. It does not matter if you have a gasoline or diesel engine vehicle it will work with either one. Go to to learn more while supplies last.

Do you want to increase your fuel economy and create 30% less pollution? How about increase your gas mileage and increase your power too. An environmentally safe non toxic product called Ethos will do just that. It improves gas economy by reformulating your gasoline to allow more air to be mixed with the fuel vapor. This causes cleaner combustion and increases power. Your fuel burns more completely and thus produces less emissions. All you have to do is add a couple ounces per tank of gasoline or diesel. Go to and learn more.

Nutrition and Health

These days everyone is concerned about nutrition and health. Most of our food is over processed and has very little nutrient value. Our food looks great but not much more. If we want to stay healthy in today’s world we are forced to take supplements. The question is: What supplements will provide what you need for the least amount of time and money? I believe one of the best supplements out there is called acaiplus. It is a blend of vitamins and minerals plus acai to promote health and long life. They also have vitamins to help improve your long term and short term memory. They also have an energy drink that gives you steady long term energy. To learn more about these products go to Check out Acaiplus, Feed My Brain, and White Lightning.

Travel for Less

Are you tired of paying high airfares only to be crammed into a tight seat? Find out how you can save hundreds of dollars on your next flight. You may even be able to fly first class for the cost of coach if you know the secret. Learn how you can save enough money to take that once in a lifetime vacation. Go to and find out.

Discover how you can fly around the world on a shoestring budget. There are ways to travel for free. These ways are easy to learn if you know the secrets.. Go to to find out. You will be glad you did.

Have you ever wished that you could travel for a living. Does the call of far off places thrill you? Would you like to travel the world on your own schedule and see the places that you want to see? Would you like to enjoy your vacation and get paid for it too? Long to travel on your own schedule and enjoy your vacation? Would you like to travel for a living and see new and interesting places every day? Do you like to write letters to your relatives telling them about your recent vacation? You have what it takes to become a travel writer. All you need is a little instruction and you can have a dream job too. Go to and learn how you to can become a travel writer.

Adventure and Treasure Hunting

Do you watch movies like Indiana Jones and wish you could do that in real life? Do you like a good mystery? Would you like to use modern methods and tools to find long lost treasure?
All this is possible if you learn from the best. Stan Grist world renown adventurer and treasure hunter has written a course complete with step by step instruction on how to become successful. Go to
And check out his course “Creating Wealth Through Adventure”

And now our feature story. Roxana has been traveling again. This time she took a trip to Finland. Here is her story.

A Trip to Helsinki, Finland

It was early morning in Vyborg, Russia when we met our guide at the bus station. Our guide told us not only about the history and sights but also about modern Scandinavia. She told us about the way of life, the customs, the habits, the character, the national food, and also about Scandinavia's mythology. It was really interesting. Vyborg is close to the Russian border. We passed through the Border control quickly and without problems, and soon we were on our way to Helsinki, Finland. Our route took us along the most southern extremity of the country, along the sea coast.

It was a landscape of hilly plains where rocky outcrops prevailed. There was forest all around , 61% of the country is forest. In Finland to protect their forests they prefer to buy wood in Russia. We continually overtook huge timber carrying trucks. Finns name the country Suomi- which means the country of bogs. We pass Khamen, it is a large port inhabited by Swedes ("khamen " - in translation means the port). The gulf of Finland is visible. The countryside is a collection of farms with a sprinkling of summer residences of the people that live in the cities.Farmer’s houses have a laconic design, without any architectural extravagances. They do not have fenced yards and their backyard gardens blend into the landscape. Everything is as much natural as possible. Finland is a unique country and has a woman for president. Helsinki was founded in 1550 by Swedes. The city is on small granite peninsula.

Little islands and skerries separate the bay from the high sea. In winter for several months the bay freezes, land locking the 550 thousand inhabitants of Helsinki. Helsinki became the capital in 1812 when Sweden was forced to concede Finland to Russia. Alexander I decided to transfer the capital from Turku to Helsinki to make the distance to Saint Petersburg closer. The weather favors us this time of year being warm and sunny. We walked on the Esplanade, this plaza with platforms, cafes, street actors and musicians - a favorite place for the inhabitants of the city to gather. Many spectators gathered by the woman with the trained cats. but when she passed around a hat for donations, the crowd thinned rapidly. Between the Esplanade and the Trading area is the small fountain "Havis Amanda" (that means the maiden of the sea). The fountain is granite with the bronze statue of a mermaid sitting in seaweed. Four fish spout water at her feet and 4 sea lions surround her. The fountain is one of the symbols of Helsinki. The trading area is small, but there are trading carts with trays of souvenirs and summer cafes. It is almost noon and the morning crowds have settled down. It is possible to order a meal. You can have grilled fish, shrimp or squid, potatoes or rice and a salad (from 6 euros). The trading carts have a lot of souvenirs that are hand-made articles from trees (from 10 euros)). They also have costume jewelry, silver with semiprecious stones, amber, etc. We went to the docks. There were several sightseeing ships that go to the different islands. When you are on these ships, you can see Helsinki from the sea. The ships go to the island Korkeasaari which is the zoo. Another ship goes to Suomenlinna which was a Swedish fortress Sveaborg. This fortress was constructed in the late 1700’s. In 1809 the Russian army defeated the Swedes and took over the fortress. Now the fortress is a museum. It has restaurants, cafes, and parks. We go on a sightseeing tour of Helsinki.

The first stop - the Senatorial area. In the center of the area is a monument to emperor Alexander. He was a favorite of the Finns. Next we came to a majestic Cathedral. In order to glance inside, it is necessary to climb a set of granite steps. The cathedral was Lutheran with modest internal furniture. Next we went to the low part of the city. This area was built in the18 century. The houses of dealers-burghers from that era are located here. The second stop is at a monument to the known Finnish composer Y.Sibeliusu , the surrounding park is also named for him.The steel monument is made in the form of pipe organ pipes. In Scandinavia there are many stylized, symbolical monuments. In the same area known as Teele we visited a church in a rock, constructed in 1969. The internal volume of the temple is cut out of a rock. The dome is made of glass and copper plates laid on a spiral that creates the illusion of a high arch. Near the church two souvenir shops had Christmas souvenirs on sale all year long.

We went back to the center of town to visit Uspenskii orthodox cathedral built in 1868. The orthodox religion is the second state religion of Finland. The cathedral had a rich interior, 4 granite columns, the big iconostasis were the work of Russian artists. The church rests on a hill with a beautiful view of the center of Helsinki. I liked the color scale of city, the houses were of pastel shades, there were a lot of greens, all very compact and cosy. After the devastating fire of 1809 the city was rebuilt. Most of the houses were of that era. The old part of city looks very harmonious. The houses were built in uniform architectural style.

Next we went to the ex -capital city Turku. The weather turned wet and windy. The rain blew in our tour bus windows so we had to close the windows.Turku – is the oldest city of Finland, the first mention of it is dated 1229. Because of the rain and the gathering twilight our impression of Turku have remained indistinct. The grandiose cathedral was the only thing remembered.

Finally we left for the ferry terminal. The ferry "óÉÌØÑ ìÁÊÎ"( the way of the seal ) plies between Turku and Stockholm continuously, at night there, in the morning Back. Currency on ferries is exchanged much more favorably, than in the country itself. But here in the shops on the ferry there is almost nothing to buy to eat.

A little about the Finnish kitchen. The basis of the Finnish national kitchen is made by a fish prepared in the most different ways. For example, kalekuccÏ (the fish rooster)is a pie made from rye flour with a small fish inside with a slice of bacon added. It is baked for 6 hours. Frequent dishes are baked puddings. Caviar is usually mixed with onions, sour cream and smeared on bread. The usual meal also is pea soup. The soup usually has a piece of bacon in it. It is possible to try venison in Finland. The cloudberries are popular-in this country of bogs. The Finns consume a lot of coffee (11 kg per person in a year, or 5 cups in a day per person), The coffee is served with fancy bread. It is considered bad manners if less than 7 kinds of fancy bread are served with coffee. The sweeter the bread the more well off was your host because in olden times salt and sugar were very dear in price. Now it is a tradition. The herring even in mustard sauce has a sweet taste. I tried fine-grained caviar mixed with the sour cream, it is interesting taste. To soon our journey to Finland ended and we returned home.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening again on Pine Mountain. I am sitting by my fireplace drinking this weeks coffee of the week from the coffee fool. This weeks coffee is Organic Peruvian. If you are looking for a coffee to scale the heights and give you a vision, this is it. The rich high elevation coffee is just the ticket if you are looking for an interesting taste. Squeekers my African grey parrot is sitting on his perch eating peanuts. I finish my coffee and put Squeekers in his cage for the night. I turn off the fireplace and head for bed. Good night all. See you next week.