Friday, November 30, 2007

It's been cold and wet for the last few days. Although it's been a little uncomfortable I love how the water droplets sit on the plants like crystals. I took these photos in the garden this afternoon.

These photos were taken from the balcony of my husband's childhood home in Kozani. Although the city herself is rich in culture and there's always plenty to do, we chose to live somewhere with a little room to breathe...and park.

My favorite thing to do in there is to walk through the open market and buy fresh fruits and veggies. Actually, I like to do in any city or town here but Kozani's market takes place on Saturdays so it's more convenient for me.

Last Saturday I visited the market and I just loved the color of the tangerines. I got a great deal...1 kilo for .50 euro. They were gone by Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Izabella's Dream Car

On our way to Kozani Saturday we passed this car on the road. Izabella LOVES ladybugs so you can imagine how excited she was to see it. She shouted, "Mom, you have your camera? You have to take a picture!" Of course I had my camera, I always do. Anyway, the woman that was driving seemed annoyed to have her photo taken. I'm sorry, if you want to be inconspicuous maybe you shouldn't drive a car that looks like a bug; complete with antennae!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


After I finished the last post I realized that I hadn't mentioned Thanksgiving. I really missed being home for the holiday and I hope that everyone that celebrates had a an enjoyable feast.

What did we do?

Well, first I want to let everyone know that I couldn't find a turkey. I didn't search high & low for one either as I haven't had any spare time. The kids were home sick from school as we've been battling horrible viruses once again. I honestly didn't think that finding a turkey would be so difficult because 12 years ago, when we lived in Drama, I did find a turkey. At that time we had a traditional Thanksgiving meal even if it was just another work day for us.
Since the kids were sick and I was exhausted I ended up making meatballs and rice for lunch. For dinner we had frozen pizza. Hey, I just wanted the kids to eat something and I knew that these foods would entice them. We did talk about the holiday and talked to several friends and family members back home. We talked about what we needed to be thankful for. I also had to explain to Iza over & over why we didn't have or couldn't find a turkey. She pointed out that our neighbor has several running around in his yard and said that maybe we could buy a turkey and put it in our yard so that we would have one next year. I didn't say anything, we just laughed. A friend of ours asked her what we were doing for Thanksgiving and she replied, " Well, um, my mom has a tablecloth with a turkey on it". That was it, the tablecloth really made the difference. So we didn't have the dinner, we had the tablecloth and all was fabulous. We enjoyed our day together even if we were all sick.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Off to the press

This week we finally had the olives picked so that we could have them pressed for oil. Originally, we were going to try to pick them ourselves with friends and family but that didn't happen as everyone in our family and extended family ended up sick. Out of our 130 trees only about 10 of them really produced this year. Legend has it that if one year the pick is light the next year the crop will be immense. I can't wait to see what we end up with next year!
I do want to mention that a few weeks ago we did hand pick the olives that we want to eat for the next year. I really enjoyed spending the time choosing the best olives that I wanted to cure. Those olives are almost ready to eat!

The stats

We ended up with 66 lbs.(30 kg )of oil from the nearly 500 lbs.(227 kg) of olives that were picked. I couldn't believe how heavy those sacks were! (yes, I helped K lift them into the trailer...) The oil was still warm from the press when Kosta came home and I just have to say that I've never tasted better olive oil in my life! It's really amazing!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I took these photos last week...much more spectacular than the previous 2.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Asphyxiation by fireplace

I'm not sure that I have ever thought about lighting a fire on a windy day. Today it was very windy. I have no means of properly measuring how strong the gusts were. I can imagine that throughout the day most of the gusts probably measured well above 40 mph. It was windy, cold and we weren't planning on going anywhere, the perfect ingredients for a nice fire; at least I thought. Well, it was so windy that the wind gusts were blowing the smoke right back down the chimney, into the living room and up the stairs. I opened a door for air and it just made things worse. The kids were whining about the smoke so I made them sit in a bedroom upstairs with Yia Yia (grandma) until we could clear the smoke. It was troublesome because I couldn't help but worry about the kids' safety. I also put Gigi in the bathroom.

In the beginning, we thought that the smoke was just the normal smoke that you get if you use a newspaper to light the fire like we did. After a few minutes we realised that we were wrong. Each time we thought that things were looking better, whoosh-another gust blew smoke down the chimney. Kosta finally decided to close the big metal doors in the fireplace and eventually the smoke cleared out. It took about an hour or so. So, we had our fire and it was warm but I'll think twice about lighting up on a windy day such as this one.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Some photos from around our property.

Our View

Night & Day

Here are some photos of our view. You're looking at Mt. Olympus .

It's breathtaking.
(I'll take a better pic of the sunset in the future...sorry it's blurry!)

Monday, November 5, 2007


Izabella finally has her puppy! (remember-we always promised that after our cat died we'd get her a puppy. We didn't think that it'd be so soon!)
So, here we are in Greece, with a new home, new school and a new puppy. Needless to say, I'm beat.
Where did we get the puppy? Well, one day when Kosta was running errands he ended up at a hardware store complete with a junk yard in the back. He noticed that there were puppies in the yard and asked the owner what breed they were and if they would be available anytime soon. The owner told Kosta that they were Kanis (greek for poodle) and that we could have one for 20.oo euro if we were interested. So, Kosta came home and told me that we could get a poodle for Iza if we wanted. Naturally, I said that I'd think about it given the timing. We talked about it for a few days and asked the kids if they wanted a puppy. Of course the answer was YES. After a few days passed Kosta was getting ready to go to the same hardware store and on his way out he asked if he should bring a puppy home or not, since the decision rested in my hands as I'd be the primary caregiver to this pup. I said, "why not?"(what was I thinking?)
Izabella & Gigi shortly after her arrival.
About an hour or so later Kosta came home and I asked if he really brought a puppy home-and he did. She was dirty and scared. He said that she was napping in a pipe with a black cat when he went to get her. Because of this, he told the owner that he didn't want to pay for the dog since she was so dirty an lived in a junk yard. The guy agreed and didn't care since Kosta had been spending a lot of money at his store anyway.
Izabella and Foti came home from school shortly after Gigi arrived and Iza was thrilled. Foti's reaction was hilarious. He saw the puppy and said, " I don't want that puppy, that's a small puppy! I want a big dog that will scare people, that puppy is not what I wanted!" Um, OK. I get it. Sorry Foti. We've had her for a few weeks now and whenever Gigi nips at his toes he screams at me and says, " I don't like this dog!" Poor Gigi- But he does play with her when no one is looking. Alexandra LOVES her. It took me a while to warm up to the whole dog thing since I've always been a cat person. I don't know dogs. She's a handful! But again, she's cute.

She's definitely not 100% poodle. I don't know much about dogs, but she doesn't look like the poodles I've met before. I've tried looking up hybrids and mutts online and can't quite figure out what she is. She's cute though. Kosta and I have sat on the couch just trying to figure her out as she wrestles the sock spider that we made her. He thinks that she might be part mouse.

I'm learning a lot about her and really trying hard to train her. I think that I've got her figured out. I just think that dogs are weird. And then she does this when I point the camera at her...

Tell me she's not weird! But we love her and she's a great addition to our family. Now Iza says that when she dies she wants another cat. Aye!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


I'm back! OK, so I'm a day late for the Halloween antics but I couldn't resist. It's been over a month since I've posted and I have A LOT to share, but not just yet. We've been so busy. No, I mean really busy.
I hope that all of my friends that celebrate Halloween had a spooky one. A lot of you have asked how we would celebrate here. Well, there was no chance of having the party that I had hoped for so we kept it short, sweet and at home. I hid candy throughout the yard and had the kids go for a Halloween candy hunt. Shortly after the hunt was over I had Kosta keep the kids entertained outside while I slipped into the Frankenstein mask. I asked him to bring the kids to the door for trick -or- treat and let's just say that the trick was pretty funny. When I opened the door Iza and Foti screamed with surprise. Poor little Alexandra was scared to death though. She screamed bloody murder and it took her almost 10 minutes to recover. I felt really bad but it was funny. The spirit of Halloween lives on for us here!
Kalo Mina! (Good Month!)