Sunday, November 26, 2006

our sweet dawgs!

We retrieved the dogs from "doggie camp" (please don't ever tell them that it's a boarding kennel!) on Friday. Actually, it is more like a camp, with all the love and attention they receive, than like any kennel I've ever seen! Today I received photo files of our little dears in their deer antlers holiday attire. Here is Tasha looking like a "deer in the headlights". She was probably loving every minute of the attention, even tho she doesn't really look like it...
and then there's Meika, who we are told was not very cooperative about sitting still while wearing the antlers. I'm quite sure she'd much rather be wearing the tiara she feels she is entitled to...

The doggie camp is actually the kennel at Project Pooch in Woodburn, OR I'm pretty certain that I've described this program earlier on this blog, but here's the description from their webpage:
"Project POOCH, Inc., is a non-profit, 501c(3) organization that has successfully paired youths incarcerated at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon, with homeless shelter dogs for over a decade.

Youths (guided by professionals) learn to train the dogs, groom them, and find them new adoptive “forever homes.” The dogs leave the program ready to be great pets, while their trainers re-enter the community with new job and personal skills and increased compassion and respect for all life."

As I understand it, there has been zero recidavism with the youth who have been involved with the program... which I think is remarkable!! We adopted Tasha from Project Pooch, and were delighted to find her and get a dog who needed a home and who we knew something about

Friday, November 24, 2006

home again

arrived at pdx a little after midnight, about 27 or 28 hours after crawling out of bed in Vamos, Crete. i'm feeling grateful to all deities that it was an uneventful trip .. tho with a lot of sitting around in airports waiting for connections...AND our luggage made it here at the same time we did, which is rather miraculous considering it had to be transferred 4 times!!

more later. feeling quite sleep deprived as i don't sleep on airplanes!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

and it's only 7p.m.

this has been an interesting and full day! we got up in time to say good bye to Pam and Larry as their taxi picked them up at 8am. And Pam is sick as a dawg with some godawful cold/flu thing.. and i don't envy her next day and 1/2 as she goes back to Thailand with a couple of layovers in various airports (some of which are as long as 7 hours!) So, since i'd not gotten a full night sleep, i came home and went back to bed for an hour or so. It was difficult to tell Pam good-bye as i don't know when we'll be together again. she and Larry will go to Malaysia in Jan. to stay for a few months and she doesn't really have any plans for going back to the US. we've been friends for about 25 years... and she's the person who taught me to spin way back then... and it's always hard to part with good friends when you don't know when you'll meet again. so, ok, after i got up again, i went back down to their house to see if they'd left anything and to enjoy the sun on their balcony for a few minutes. that is really a sweet balcony!! happy i am that Elena let me keep the key to that house so i can enjoy the balcony for the next few sunny days. So... we then decided to go see the art exhibit at Bloumosifi. One of the waiters, Nikos, has come up with a brilliant exhibit of photos he's taken of the grafiti of Athens. it really is a thought provoking and artful exhibit!! There are 2 or 3 of them that i'd love to purchase... but don't think it will happen. So... then we went to the office and talked to Elena and Toine and looked at the new brochure that they have put together for promotion of Vamos SA... it is really a classy publication. So.. then as we were walking home, i asked Jim if he'd like to go to Liakoto Cafe for an ouzo, and he of course said yes! so... after we'd admired the view from the balcony for awhile, we sat down for the ouzo, and Xanthippi came and sat with us. we started talking about Greek mythology and Cretan ancient history, and Artemi (her man and our "landlord") came in. after another hour of so, hunger set in and we all decided to go find something to eat... so we went to Armenoi to what is apparently a very popular restaurant... there were many families there ahead of us... so it was at least an hour before we ate. it was worth waiting for... delicious meal... first a huge salad of shredded cabbage, lettuce, sliced tomatoes, green peppers, carrots and with a sprinkling of chopped dill and fennel, with light olive oil and vinegar dressing. and there was... fried cheese balls, courgette balls (zucchini with cheese), tzitziki, chicken from the grill, schnitzel, lamp chops (lamb really) (it just comes out as "lamp" on Greek menus)... entirely too much to finish it all! So, here we are back home again. Jim just went out to get the rest of our days here lined up. Tomorrow we will go to Hania, Tuesday he will go to gather olives with Georgios and Tues. night we'll go to Elena and Toine's to cook a meal with them. Wed. a.m. we'll have coffee with Stella and prob. dinner with Alex and Marina. and then on thurs. a.m. Manolis the taxi man will take us to Hania and we'll start our way back home again!

and a couple of days ago, we went to the old Karides Monastery and then to Kalives with Pam and Larry. In Kalives, there was a sign in a taverna that i could not resist taking a photo of:
kalives taverna sign
Jim and Larry had to wet their feet in the Aegean (Cretan Sea):
kalives beach3
and then the monastery at Kalives... that's a whole photo study unto itself, but here's Jim relaxing in the sun and enjoying the music (chanting) they were playing there:
karides jim
and just because the Karides monastery is such a magical mystical place...
some of the trees have lost their leaves, the hybiscus is blooming madly and the sky if bluer than you can imagine... totally unedited photo...
the 12 arches of the ancient olive oil factory at Karides
karides arches2
and the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) with just a skiff of snow

Saturday, November 18, 2006


with a few notable exceptions (thank you!!) we've heard so little from home and been able to get so little in the way of updates, that we thought for awhile that our neighborhood had been flooded out and all our family and friends had been flooded away, too. we finally made a couple of phone calls (at $1.49/minute) and feel better, except that the moon and planets must be in some nasty alignment because my inner hermit is wailin' like a banshee! and now that i've got my whining out of the way, i'll go out for dinner now with some people i really love, drink some of that strong cretan wine, some raki and eat hearty. after all, i'm trying to pack on even more fat to keep me warm this winter. maybe i'll hibernate!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Life in Vamos, Crete

We have had more warm and sunny days than not, and are of course grateful for that especially when we read about the torrential downpours and flooding in the northwest US. Pam and Larry are here visiting from Thailand and I think Pam has fallen in love with Crete all over again, and Larry loves it, too! The house they are renting is really sweet and bright and has a great balcony! There are photo ops around every corner... so i've been taking advantage of that!

here's Pam in her little house:fabrica3
fabrica1-Pam's house
the balcony is really nice, tho there is no privacy as the balconies from adjoining houses are right there connected.. this is a view from the Liakoto Cafe:
fabrica balcony from liakoto cafe
and this is the view as you sit on their balcony eating sweets from the pastry shop in the afternoon sun!
on balcony2

if you look closely, you can see sheep on this hillside. When seen up close, they look rather scruffy and the wool looks very coarse and straight. I haven't tried to get my hands on any. I'm more interested in getting another chunk of wood to have a drop spindle made. It will probably be eucalyptus this time (have brought home olive and cypress wood for spindles)
sheep (from liakoto)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

yarn acquisitions

In Florence I found a lovely yarn shop and bought some yarn for hats (or ?). Have already made one hat... which took one ball of yarn, plus some white w/flecks of color handspun and about a yard of a 2nd ball:
Florence yarn hat
the bottom 2 are the ones i bought in Venice and the plan is a scarf, using a pattern from It's a lace pattern and i can't remember the name of it.
italy yarn stash

and, unrelated to yarn... today we went to Gavalahori, a near by village, with Elena and Toine for drinks and meze (food... snacks)
Toine and Elena
and then a more serious photo of Elena and Toine
Toine and Elena serious

Saturday, November 04, 2006

more from Rome and Assisi

the crowds in Rome (well, everywhee we went in Italy!!) were huge. Almost everyone had a cell phone in hand and/or cigarette. This is a view of the crowd around Trevi Fountain, which doesn't even begin to tell the story:
crowds at trevi

we went to St. Peter's Square and planned to go into the Basilica... however, a billion other people in a line a mile long had the same plan. We decided not to wait. This is a view of the square (which actually looks round to me...)
St Peter's Square

2 monks were in the square engaged in very intense conversation with a couple:
monks at st. pete's

Friday, November 03, 2006

more Italy

this is another view of the magnificent San Francesco Cathedral at Assisi. There are 2 complete, ornate, decorated with frescos, paintings and statues, churches here, one on top of the other. And tho it was raining hard, the crowds of people going in and waiting to go in, were huge.

the street where our B and B (Palloma Hotel) was located

another street in Assisi

In Rome, at the Borghese Palace estate, where we walked for hours. The museum we wanted to see there had reservations through the next week and we were disappointed to not be able to go in there. Jim really wanted to see Bernini's "David"..

one of the many columns and "decorations" around the grounds of the Borghese Estate

this is the view from our room at the B&B in Rome... which is actually lots nicer looking than our room. The room did, however, have a private bath with nice shower. This B&B was actually 4 bedrooms in a large apartment building, the breakfast being a "pass" to breakfast at the corner cafe, which was a favorite spot of the locals.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Italy photos

We got lucky and have a wireless connection now at our house!! bravo... Don't know how much travel journal i'll do as i'm sharing a computer with Jim (his) and don't know how much time i'll get with it. but here's a few photos:
this is the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome

and a woman fishing coins out of the famous Trevi Fountain! just couldn't reist taking a photo of her!

pigeon perched in Trevi Fountain

From Rome we took a train to Assisi of Saint Francis fame. Stayed at a wonderful B&B there, which was the best one we stayed in in Italy. and the location was very picturesque... on a steep, narrow cobblestone street surrounded by other very old buildings:

a view of the huge cathedral in Assisi: