Finland’s national butterfly is the holly blue.


    The holly blue is Finland’s new national butterfly. Photo: Marianne Niemelä.

     To mark Finland’s centenary of independence, the holly blue was voted the national butterfly of Finland. The first runner-up was the European peacock, and the mourning cloak reached the third place. All in all, 36,500 votes were cast during the spring.

     The holly blue is one of the nine common blue butterflies in Finland. The species is widespread, but it’s difficult to spot them, since they tend to fly high. The holly blue is common in Southern and Central Finland, and during the 21st century it has also spread to Northern Finland.

     Finland already has a national bird, animal, flower, fish, and a tree.

     Several Finnish butterfly species have become rare due to changes in their environment. The aim of the national butterfly project was also to spread consciousness about Finland’s butterflies and their environment.

     The First Lady of Finland, Mrs. Jenni Haukio, is the patron of the project.

     The project was organised by The Vuokko Foundation for Nature Conservation, The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Suomen Luonto, Suomen Perhostutkijain Seura ry, and Etelä-Karjalan Allergia- ja Ympäristöinstituutti.



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    You Won't Believe Where This Ancient Ten Commandments Carving Was Found.


    A boulder inscribed with a Hebrew translation of the Ten Commandments was reportedly found in the last place people may expect: America.

    It is said to be the oldest known Ten Commandments written in Hebrew.

     The controversial carving is located west of Los Lunas, New Mexico, at the bottom of what is called the "Hidden Mountain."

     The 80-ton boulder, which is still being called a "mystery stone," a ""Phoenician Inscription Rock," or "Mystery Rock," contains the text of the Ten Commandments written in ancient Paleo-Hebrew.

     "This form of Hebrew writing was used for approximately one thousand years and fell into disuse around 500 B.C.," explained Roni Segal, an academic adviser with eTeacher, an online language academy.

     According to BreakingIsraelNews, the boulder is so large it may have been in its present-day location since the time of King Solomon.

     "The more square-like Hebrew script used today came into common use after King Solomon's reign," Segal continued. "Since the writing on this stone is in Paleo-Hebrew script, archaeologists surmise that this stone dates back to biblical times."

     Harvard scholar Robert Pfeiffer, an expert in Semitic languages, confirmed the Paleo-Hebrew script's authenticity and translated the writings as the Ten Commandments, which include, "I am the Lord, thy God, who brought you out of the land" and "Thou shalt have no other gods."

     Some, like Kenneth Feder, professor of archaeology at Central Connecticut State University, are saying that the stone is fake.

     "The stone is almost certainly a fake" because it makes use of some modern Hebrew punctuation and contains numerous stylistic and grammatical errors, he said.

     Late professor and archaeologist Frank Hibben, who had a reputation for fabricating archaeological data, was the first to bring up the stone in 1933. He said that he was first shown the Decalogue by a guide who claims to have found it in the 1880s.

     Due to the stone's enormous weight and years of not correctly deciphering the inscriptions, its authenticity has never been proved by a laboratory.



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    Do you feel like your house is always messy?


    What do these things have in common? Other than the fact that they contribute to a bit of a mess?

     Well, these are all jobs half done.

     Some of the dishes got washed; just not all. The backpacks were brought in the house; they just didn’t get hung up.

     But Sarah, you may say, I don’t want to spend my entire day picking things up! I don’t want to be the crazy mom who runs after her kids demanding they clean their rooms!

     I’m with you 100%. And I am that crazy mom too often. Full disclosure – I have this problem too! Please read on.

     Why were all these tasks left undone?

     Maybe something more interesting came along.
    Maybe someone needed help while you were in the middle of opening the mail.
    Maybe the phone rang.
    Maybe there isn’t a good place to put backpacks or the mail.

     Whatever the cause, these jobs were started and then not finished. (Affiliate links are present.)

     So what’s the big deal with half-done jobs? Is housework ever done?

     Actually when you leave a job half done, you are giving yourself twice the work. Washing dishes or opening the mail only takes a couple minutes, but if you stop it takes a bit of time to restart later.

     It’s inertia – you need a little push to get started.

     If you stop a chore or a household task, you have to give yourself another push to start again. Or maybe you don’t come back and finish up and the tasks (and laundry) start to pile up.

     I only recently noticed this phenomenon while I was watching the Stress-free Homemaking course.

     Erin and Holly were talking about how doing laundry from beginning to end is a cycle. When you start a second load of laundry before you complete the first one, you’ve broken the laundry cycle. Then it gets harder to complete the cycle (i.e. put away the first load of laundry).

    This made a lot of sense for me.

     I had been thinking that I was being productive by running around and picking up something here, putting away something there. But the house never felt picked up, never actually tidy.

     So I’ve been paying attention and trying to finish what I start.

     Plus, as I’ve been telling my kids, it’s just as easy to drop a shirt into the laundry basket as it is to drop it on the floor.

     Really and truly – if you train yourself to finish what you started, you can have a tidier home with the same amount of work! Doesn’t that sound great?

     So how does this work?

     It’s 3 simple things:



      1. Train yourself (and your kids) to finish what you started.


      1. If you can’t finish, don’t start.


      1. If you must start and you get interrupted or you can’t finish a task, make sure you finish it when you can.


     Let’s break this down.

     1. Train yourself to finish what you started.

     This takes some work, but it’s not rocket science. Oh the bad habits I need to work on!

     The kitchen is the main trouble area in my house.

     So I’ve been working on doing one task completely before I start another one. Wash all the dishes and put them away. Then clear off the counter and table. Then tackle any school papers.

     Don’t flit around doing random things in the kitchen without completing anything.

     If you enlist your kids to help, they’ll be glad to “remind” you.

     “Mom, finish what you started!” Kids can be extra helpful like that (wink). But when they do, they’ll be reminding themselves of the lesson as well. And of course, make sure to praise themwhen you notice them finishing up their own tasks.

     2. If you can’t finish, don’t start.

     Yep – I’m telling you it’s better to leave the dishes in the sink (assuming you’ll get back to them later) rather than washing half of them. You might as well tackle them all at once.

     This principle is not always realistic. You may choose to do part of a job, but at least you’ll still be thinking about how you can finish up later.

     3. If you get interrupted or you can’t finish a task, make sure to finish it when you can.

     This might just be the hardest “rule” of all. If you’ve got small kids (or any kids or a dog…), interruptions are probably happening every 5 minutes.

    Help your kids learn to wait. “Yes, I can get you a drink after we put away this laundry.” “We’ll find your book as soon as I finish loading the dishwasher.” “I’ll go outside with you when I finish reading my book.”

     And when your interruption cannot wait (crying baby, toddler with Sharpie, the carpool is about to leave), just make a mental note to come back and finish up. We both know it’s going to happen, so don’t get frustrated.

     Instead, do your best to finish up when you can.

     To make all of your household tasks easier, make sure you have systems in place.

     Systems help you work faster and with less attention to detail. Systems let you work on autopilot. Autopilot is a  useful setting for a busy mom!

     Moms need systems like these:



      • Managing household paperwork.


      • Designated places for shoes, backpacks, coats, and other paraphernalia that comes into the house.


      • Chores for kids.


      • Tracking houselhold expenses.


      • Laundry.


      • Bill paying and credit card management. (Research low interest credit card offers)


     “Finish what you started” isn’t meant to give you a guilt trip or to create extra work for you.

     That is exactly the opposite of what I’m encouraging. I’m merely hoping to help you notice if you have this habit (like I do) of not finishing up. Once you notice the source of a problem, it’s easier to do something about it.

     Don’t hope for miracles!

     I’m not promising that your house will always be clean if you stick to this rule (although it will hopefully be neater!).

     Instead, what I’m saying is that you can have a cleaner house with less work if you start to pay attention to jobs left undone.

     And that’s a beautiful thing!

     In the coming weeks, I’m going to be talking about some more strategies to help you do more work in less time.



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