Friday, September 27, 2013

Life Goes On...

I'm very happy to say that our kitchen, which used to look like this...

 now looks like this!

  I've been lining drawers and shelves 
and putting dishes, pots and pans into their new homes.
All that's left to do is to repaint the base of our pedestal table and buy new chairs.
I can't wait to sit here every morning, as I check emails and make lists, 
glad that all the noise and lack of privacy is over, and very happy with the results!

Meanwhile, outside in the yard,
 my usually prolific hydrangea bush produced no blossoms this summer,
that is, until a few weeks ago,

when a few beautiful blooms showed their pretty faces, an end-of-summer surprise.

I've had a bit of heartache lately, the deaths of two special people in my life,
 totally unrelated to each other, 
which have left me feeling sober and saddened.
There are some people in this world who make us better and enrich our lives,
 and each of these did that for me.
 I will miss their wisdom, guidance and kindness.
Wonderful people - Sheila and Joe.

"Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another."
                                                                                             George Eliot

I hope that everyone who reads this 
has had a good week, with moments of love and inspiration.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Greek Odyssey - Final Thoughts

While in Greece, we had many memorable eating experiences,
including sharing meals with our host Angelo's family.
With them, we shared lamb and lemon potatoes,
spinach pie, bread and garlic spiced yogurt dip,
and, at every meal, a very fresh Greek salad:
fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, oil and vinegar dressing,
black olives and a large slice of seasoned feta cheese!

We went to a restaurant one evening, right by the water,

where we ate freshly caught fish with lemon.

Another evening we traveled over twisty roads,
high up into the mountains,
to a restaurant with spectacular views,

and there we had a dinner of rooster and spaghetti!

One day on the beach, we were offered freshly caught 
sea urchin eggs called "uni".

On the last evening of our stay in Monemvasia,
we went to a festival in a neighboring village.
The village square was filled with family and friends
and the live band played continuous music, as one singer 
replaced the previous one with no interruption. 
The sounds of spoken Greek, laughter, and children's
exclamations provided a warm atmosphere.
When the dancing began, I felt mesmerized by the
sight of people of all ages dancing the centuries old dance, 
which I think is named Kalamatianos.
These are not great photos, but the dance is done in a circle, arms raised,
with a very distinctive pace. People would join the circle
or leave the circle without a hitch, and at times there would be
a circle within a circle- young, old, children, families -
and it went on and on for hours.
I felt privileged to be witnessing such a beautiful tradition.

On our way back to Athens, where we would leave for home,
we visited the site of the original Olympic Games.

The stadium was merely a dirt field, and the "bleachers" were sloping lawns.

Throughout the grounds there were ruins of ancient buildings and temples...

and the museum housed some beautiful statues and exhibits.

This trip was so much more than a vacation -
it was a very moving and memorable experience
which I'll never forget.

I bought a few.
But the most precious is a collection of found stones and shells,
collected on the shores of the Aegean Sea.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

Hope you're having a very good week!