Monday, April 30, 2012

random thoughts

first... i checked the weather report for home while on the interwebs last night, and it was SO not-springlike that i won't say anything more about spring here in Crete. i do wish for you all more sun and more spring! and hoping hard that it will be there when we return home in mid-may, ready to plant our garden!

and also, thoughts i've had while going about daily stuff here... i promise to give daily homage to my efficient and useful and much loved dishwasher! that thought came as i was clearing last nights hand washed dishes from what passes for a kitchen counter/dish drainer, so i'd have room to put the basin thing that's here for washing clothes. any bits of clothing which we want clean we wash by hand and hang to dry on the rack on the balcony. so, i've also promised elaborate praise for my all-powerful washer and dryer.. and while i'm at it, i will sing appreciation as i shower at home in a "real" shower with always available hot and cold running water. every few days, we turn on the tap and either get a pitiful drip of water, or none. that can go on for a few hours or all day. i've learned to filll up the coffee pot, the water pot and the pan while water is there so there will at least be some water for making coffee and washing face and teeth in the a.m. please don't think that this really detracts from life for us in Vamos. it's just kinda part of the territory. so ya just shrug and carry on, like the greeks! also, the houses we rent when we're here are not like the ones most people live in.

anyway, it's been a quiet day in lake wobegon as i've knitted and listened to Garrison Keillor read his book "Pontoon", a funny rambling tale of people in lake wobegon. tonight is gyros at a cafe in the plaka, then live Greek music at Liakoto.

and here is a photo of our shower and our balcony...

Friday, April 27, 2012

Almyrida - Aeraki taverna

taxi to Almyrida (and the price is up to 15 euro) for dinner at Yorgo's taverna. so great to see him again and Nikos. have known them both since our first years in Vamos. Yorgo was a waiter at Bloumosifi then took the plunge and opened his own place...and is doing well after some struggles... very good food, good service, enough different from the run of the mill that it's obvious. and draws locals as well as tourist trade. anyway... nice warm clear evening, delicious dinner and lovely to see old friends.

today we took the hike to the top of Vamos...a steep hike for otherwise tough old crone. i wanted to see the relocated flower shop/nursery and, yes ... bought a pot of flowers to supplement the rather tired looking geranium pn the balcony. the walk back home was all downhill and quote nice.

tonight live music at Bloumosifi and also tomorrow night at Liakoto. I think tonight's is traditional Greek, dont know about sat.nite.

damn i hate this tappy thing on ipad .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

flowers and friends

lazy day reading and knitting and enjoying the view, then a walk to Elena and Toine's for dinner. T's mother, Maria, is still here from Holland. Iris entertained and gave lots of photo ops. also the flowers and blooming trees are gorgeous... and prob. the reason for my itchy eyes. after dinner, Berand, Gina and Daphne came and the little girls played, chased and tried to take whatever toy the other had at the time.

Berand and Toine have just published their 3rd walking tour small book... this one covers the area of Kalives and includes history, places of interest and 11 walking treks. Berend does the research and plotting of the walks and the writing and Toine does the photos. they have really done a nice job... each book better than the one before!

tonight we'll take a taxi to Almyrida with Yanni for dinner at Aeraki and to see Gorgos and Nikos. maybe even a walk on the beach.....

Monday, April 23, 2012

bus to Kalives

finally, after waiting last week for the bus that never did come, we got one this afternoon to go shopping in Kalives and walk on the beach and have lunch at Christos' restaurant. i wish this "blogger for iPad" would let me post comments by photos. but the only option seems to be to have the words first and photos after!... so, there's a man on the beach (Jim), Souda Bay/the Cretan Sea, lunch... roasted potatoes, garlic dip, eggplants with cheese and Greek salad. and of course, my ouzo and Jim's red wine. i do love that ouzo!! wish it wasn't so damn expensive at home.... There was a broken large urn which had been put on a low wall with dried fronds coming out of it.. instant art. tho there seem to be fewer cats roaming the streets this year, there was a whole collection on them in an alley where someone must have thrown out some food for them.

also, there is my photo of a drawing that someone did of Bloumosifi. i really like it and just might get a print made of it to hang up at home.

so, dear diary, i guess that's it for today, except to say that fantasy island continues to be days filled with sun and friends and love and joy.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

more Vamos

some photos of our house, Lefka Ori (Whitemountains) from our balcony and a very very old grape plant growing beside a building on the main street. also an interesting door.

having ouzo. and mezze at Bloumosifi Taverna, then home for a nap and Greek music at Liakoto cafe later.

life is so good.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

fantasy island continued

we have had wonderful music nights ... monday was a concert at the "old school" (a one room school not used for many years). there was beautiful concert by an accapella choir from Norway and they even sang some very old American songs. all kinds of variety. last night was jazz at Liakota which is kind of a bar/lounge/hangout place. a trio called Gypsy Jazz, joined toward the end by hot jazz violin. and that was another fabulous evening.

other than that we have had unbelieveable ultra strong continous winds for the past few days. said to be caused by storms in egypt blown this way by winds from the south and includes some sand and dust. this is how ever still paradise on fantasy island.

and to add to the goodness, the tomatoes taste like REAL tomatoes and are especially good with mayo and seed bread ... for breakfast!

Monday, April 16, 2012

easter dinner - Crete

in Meladoni at home of Tatiana and Stavros. a gorgeous sunny day, two lambs roasting on spit, many friends from years past and new too, lots of adorable very active kids, excellent food!!,much wine, raki and ouzo. it was a most wonderful day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

tomorrow i'm outta here

but first... one more thing....

and now, finish packing and sleep!!

garden art

 saw this somewhere out there on the interwebs and can't remember where, or i'd give attribution.  anyway, it looks like such a fun thing to  do!  and i want to try it.  i wonder if the moss on the trees around here would work, or maybe i could find some at  a garden nursery.  so now that i've put it here, i might be able to find it when i'm ready to try this!  if anyone tries this, i'd love to hear about it and see photos... ok??

and i'm not advocating anarchy, so don't get your knickers in a knot.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Mad Greek Tavern Deli

at the Mad Greek again on Sat. night with Pam and Larry.  one of the best funky places around here!!

a typical pictorial of the Greek islands... pretty enough, but the real life is far better!  will post photos beginning soon... maybe next friday, if i've recovered from the 24+ hour trip by then.  the getting-ready-to-go list is still too scary long.  but i'm sure what's really necessary will get done...

Saturday, April 07, 2012

crochet cast-off

from The Yarn Harlot - this is a really great idea for casting off your knitting, especially when you're almost out of yarn!!

check it out, dear knitting friends!!

Friday, April 06, 2012

spring in Crete!!

seems spring isn't making its warm appearance here in the pacific northwest any time soon.  i have reports that the sun and flowers are abundant in Crete and that's where i'm going!!  count down is under way and i think i've finished all those errands, after a lovely lunch today with Linda at the Mad Greek Tavern where of course we had gyros (almost as authentic and good as what we get in Greece), but no retsina or ouzo.  i just can't drink that good stuff early in the day because it is so nap-inducing for me.  too much to do before nap time!
~(this was thursday)~
the roof outside my window

and then today (it's actually friday now) there was hail... a lot of it and it went on for 1/2 hour or so, with bright sunshine interspersed.  and it was really cold this morning... 36F when i left home at (believe it or not) 7 freaking a.m. and i got up at 6a.m. and it was DARK, baby, DARK.  so i guess i haven't been missing anything by sleeping til 9a.m. most days.  yes, retirement is marvelous!  the only reason i was out of bed at this horrific hour was an 8a.m. appointment in north portland with my pulmonologist, routine visit and the only time he had available before we leave.   i most likely would not have gone in if his office hadn't called me 3 times in the last 2 months to tell me it was time for a 6 month follow-up visit.  his office really stays on top of things... and this is Kaiser.  and i don't care what people say about HMOs and Kaiser, i think it's damn good medical care!

close-up of the hail
i'm definitely not looking forward to our flight on Wed.... according to our flight schedule, it will be 24 hours from when we leave portland til when we land in Hania, Crete... a long 24 hours spent on planes and in airports.  but so worth it when we get there!  i was really worried that all that time spent sitting on planes would really aggravate the sciatica, but that may not be a problem, as i ordered a TENS unit from a medical supply place and it came today.  it's the same kind of electrical impulse muscle stimulator that the chiropractor used on my back, which helped a lot.  i tried it out tonight and it helped!!!  i think it's a winner.  now if TSA doesn't over-react and want to confiscate it, i'll be fine.  i'll take all the paper work that came with it, plus the letter i got from my doc today which says that it's a medically necessary treatment that i should use in flight!  so, stay tuned... and if you have any comment or advice on this, please let me know.

here's Bloumosifi taverna where we'll be eating dinner a week from tonight!

and this is Yanni, our favorite waiter at the taverna.  we met him about 3 years ago when he had just come to Vamos from Syria.  my heart goes out to him for what's going on in his country, where his family is.  i'm really looking forward to seeing him.

Monday, April 02, 2012

chocolate! again.....

hmmm... have been eating a small amount of chocolate every day (define "small") and so far see no evidence of less waist and midriff fat.  i am determined, and will continue to eat my small amount of chocolate every single day!!  ~(see March 28 for details)~