Friday, October 31, 2008


this is a photo of the town square, where we had dinner last night.

life is sweet and it's kinda strange, too.  I'm sitting in the Bloumosifi taverna at 4pm local time, drinking ouzo, connected by some wireless magic to the internet, having enjoyed a sunny day in the low 80's (which is really unusual for end of Oct. even in the hills in NW Crete).  On my computer i'm tuned in to Rachel Maddow's interview (yesterday) with Barack Obama.  I'm happy here.... and i'm homesick for my nest (which is up for sale!) and my kids and grandkids and family and friends and sweet dogs.  hmmm... perhaps the ouzo has taken over some of my brain cells...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

local fruits

lemons from our tree and the pom-fruits from a neighbor.  and here are
lemons and pomagranet (wrong sp! oh well...) freshly harvested, followed by a photo op for the in-progress Audacity socks. 

oh, come on... wouldn't you drape your knitting across some fruit if you had the opportunity??? of course you would!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Greek cooking class

this class was really fun, inspiring and filling... from beginning to end.  Jim and I went shopping with Toine (Koula, the teacher's assistant) before the class then helped him get stuff set up.  Koula is a really good teacher!  She had us involved from the beginning, so we really learned how to do it.  i was even inspired to take home the left-over dough and make more Kalitsounia (little cheese pies) the next day.  Toine made sure everyone had some Raki to start out with, then brought out the wine... so we were well-lubricated early on!  We made rooster with noodles and that was one honkin' big rooster.  she says that rooster is much better eating than hens... more tender, meatier.  Also fixed courgette/zucchini fritters, Greek salad, the little cheese pies, tzitiski (sp?), had lots of fresh bread, olives, wine and raki... and Koula had fixed halvah for dessert.  All in all... a great experience!  Koula has published one cookbook which we bought last spring and use often... and she has another one in the works.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

yesterday Socrates, who is 6 years old, celebrated his "name day"... as big a celebration as the birthday in Greece.  The name day is the celebration of the saint for whom the person is named (I don't know about the Socrates thing and i'll look into that!)  Anyway, his mom, Stella, invited us to their home for cake.  then to make his day complete, Jim went outside and played football/soccer/whatever with him... til Jim's toes got ruined.  Then we went to Elena and Toine's home for a raki-tasting party.  This is the raki that was made last Saturday, made from the crushed grapes without making wine first.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

more photos from around the village.  there are many very old and deserted properties which have fallen into disrepair due to many reasons, including wars, economy... being a small village many of the young people have left seeking jobs in bigger cities.  There are a few people who have taken some of these old deserted places and renovated them, keeping the style and feeling of the past with the updates we're used to... like plumbing! etc.!  We went with a local friend to see a very large property which has been renovated to a beautiful place which is rented out to tourists (mostly Europeans) and has 8 houses that they rent.  it has many of those amenities which appeal to tourists... large swimming pool, a building with massage facilities and huge sauna room, bar, eating area... etc.  Looking at all the many deserted places makes me really wish we had the funds to buy one and renovate it!  sigh... ain't gonna happen!

Friday, October 17, 2008

while the raki is distilling, the party group dines on much delicious Greek dinner dishes!  and at the end, they bring plates of real Greek yoghurt with fruit preserves over it... yum!  

  at the end of the process of distilling, where the raki drips out thru a pipe, is filtered thru cotton cloth and collects in the bucket. (last photo)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

labor of love??

"crushing" the grapes which will then be put in that big barrel.  what's in there now comes up to about that first "ring thing" from the bottom.  the thinking now is to arrange to have it made into raki/tsikoudia.  We are going to a raki-making party tonight, so Jim will see what kind of arrangements he can make.  In Crete there are only a certain number of folks who are licensed to make raki (a distilling process), so anyone who wants raki from their grapes must arrange with those who have licenses.  if you don't know what raki is... my descriptive is "fire water".  it's like ouzo without the licorice.  (raki)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

in the neighborhood

some photos from around our neighborhood

from the garden

this and that

the spirogyra mitt posing with some not quite ripe lemons.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Angora, oh my!!

there is no way to do justice to this fiber with a photograph!!  it is pure angora lusciousness and was a gift from Susanne at the spinning/knitting night in Mjang, Denmark.  she raises angora bunnies, harvested and prepared this fiber and i was the very fortunate recipient of this lovely bundle.  I'll save it til i get home and spin it on my Journey wheel.... afraid i'll mess it up if i try spinning it with a hand spindle!!  many, many thanks to Susanne!!

fiber, yarn and projects

here is the first Audacity sock and the second one is begun.  Maybe i'll be diligent and have a pair of handknit socks to wear while i'm here!!

Yarn stash purchased in Denmark!  on the left is natural grey Merino from locally owned sheep.  Then is mohair boucle, then merino/mohair, and then merino!  lucky me!!  stash enhancement is always a good thing... especially so this time!
this is my second pair of Spirogyra mitts from Lynne's pattern.  The first pair went to Pia in Denmark (Soren's wife)... and they fit her and she seemed to like them!!  bravo...

Jim and grapes

not one to let grapes just hang there on the vines, Jim scouted around and found a ladder and then found some crates in which to put his harvest... and look what he did in a few short minutes!!  Next mission is to find barrels/buckets/any container in which to crush and ferment his grapes... and then!  home made wine will be his.  Oh... wait... will we be here long enough for the fermentation to complete?   and what about the bottling of the wine?  well, stay tuned... 

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Danish spinners and knitters

One of the women I met at the spinning/knitting night in Mjang, Denmark, Kirsten Sorensen, has written about the evening on her blog.  Sadly, I can't read Danish, but she put photos up, too!  The lovely evening with that group makes me smile and reminds me what a small world it really is and how much alike we all are.

the grapes vines are twining through the lemon tree (some almost ripe lemons!!).  No surprise that Jim is trying to figure out how he can get the equipment he needs to make wine! (our own homemade wine even in Vamos, Crete.)

in our yard in Vamos

there are a few roses in bloom and some of the geraniums ... but the biggie is the grapes and the lemons!  The grape vines on the 2 arbors haven't been pruned in a LONG time, so they twine around in the trees and there's one hanging almost to the ground, heavy with luscious clusters of sweet grapes.  this is a view of them from the kitchen window.

Friday, October 10, 2008

some photos

here are some photos from Denmark.  I'm having trouble getting them labeled.  Maybe blogger doesn't like mac... but whatever is the problem with getting the correct label on each photo, i haven't the patience right now to solve it.  Some of you will know exactly what, where and who,
so enjoy!!

it's Friday... i do believe..

my sense of time hasn't caught up yet with where i am and when it is.  if that doesn't make any sense.... well, it's like that some days.

my big accomplishment for the day was getting my duffel unpacked and things put away (kind of). I piled all my yarn and projects and fiber and spindles in one place, making me think that i probably got a bit carried away with how much i thought i "needed" to bring.  plus i have the lovely 4 new skeins from Denmark... wheeee!  I do believe i have plenty to get me thru til November.

It is sweet to be home in Vamos.  We went up to the town square last night wanting gyros for supper.  We settled for substitutes when we couldn't find that.  Saw some friends there and ended up sitting with them til 11 drinking beer, talking, laughing, planning parties.  Elena and Toine are working on arrangements for a raki making party, using grapes from their yard... YAY!  that will be good fun.

gotta say, the political scene is much nicer to follow from a distance... like when we WANT to know what's going on, we can check it on the internet, at our discretion.  the sentiment in Europe seems solidly for Barack Obama as our next president.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

right time, right place!

Yes, I had the great fortune of meeting up with a group of spinners and knitters while visiting my semi-son Soren in Sonderborg, Denmark.  I had asked him to find a yarn store(s) for me to visit and he came up with a really good one, which we visited the first day we were here.... and i bought some wonderful Danish-made yarn!!  One of the yarns was made from the Merino wool of the sheep the shop owner used to own.  I'll get photos once we are in Crete and settled a bit.  Anyway.... we were told about a fiber conference to be held on Saturday, which we couldn't get to, and about the knitting/spinning meeting Monday night at the yarn shop.  Soren was determined that i should go to that get-together... and i was delighted that i did.  He took me and came in with me to be my interpreter (good job, Soren!!)

We are in Hamburg now for overnight and an early flight tomorrow to Crete.  I have lots to write about and will have more about the fiber night in Mjang, Denmark... but right now i'm too tired and scattered to write more.  Our time in Denmark has been so special and enjoyable and i feel like i've been wined and dined and just loved to bits!  bravo!  and what a treat it's been to be with Soren and Pia and their children!