Monday, December 28, 2009

John Palmer Art's Favorite Tweeps...

Small wonders never cease to amaze me. In the middle of having a less than perfect day, I checked my Facebook homepage. Within seconds of my logging on I noticed that one of my favorite friends had a new post so naturally, I had to read it.  My friend, Ryan Lindsay decided highlight his and artist John Palmer's  personal and professional accomplishments over the past year as well as honor people that have had a positive impact on their lives. More specifically, Ryan compiled a list of their five favorite tweeps on Twitter. When I read the post and saw my name on the list I was pleasantly surprised and humbled. My mood instantly changed from glum to giddy.  I'm on someone's "Top 5"  list and more importanly,  contemporary/abstract artist John Palmer's "Top 5".

My connection with artist John Palmer and  his partner, Ryan Lindsay, is the wonderful result of my very first Twitter search. Yes guys, my first.  I don't usually search or pursue others on social networks, but one morning in September I decided to search using the tag word "Greece" and John Palmer came up, so I said "hello" and "good morning".  He was in Skopelos on his annual work abroad adventure so his tweets were in sync with my own.   That was the beginning of our friendship. Each morning that I would tweet I'd see John's morning message which always conjures up a smile in my heart. His first each day reads something like this: "It's Sunday. I love being an artist."  I can't help but think "Yes, it's Sunday and I love your awesome tweet!" What's more interesting is when I discovered  that Ryan did most of the tweeting and blogging so I was in contact with both of them on a regular basis. Fantastic! These are two amazing people to have as friends!

Ryan Lindsay and John Palmer in front of the Parthenon! on Twitpic

Ryan Lindsay & John Palmer in front of the Parthenon

Now,  I follow John's adventures on Twitter and his personal blog. Recently, I became of fan on his new page on Facebook as well as through Ryan's facebook page. What I love the most about John and Ryan is that although they're extremely busy painting, travelling, preparing for a new show or in the midst of personal events they're never too busy to say "hello" or "thank you" which is admirable.

So, now it's my turn to say "thank you". Thank you John and Ryan. You've really made my day and I'm grateful for your wonderful friendship,support, inspiration and smiles that warm my heart. What a fantastic way to end the year.

 Thank you.

Related Links:

John Palmer Art
John Palmers Blog--December 2009 - "5 Days Left"
John Palmer on Twitter
Happy Birthday Ryan!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Celebrating Christmas

Me in front of a giant the fog.

For the last two years  Christmas time has been either difficult or sad for us. In 2007, we were still settling in our new home and environment and it seems as if we were always sick. There were still boxes stacked around the house, in the hallways and bedrooms. It seemed as though every virus that existed that year found its way into our home and not for just a day or two, but for a week or more at a time.  We were sick for Christmas and the New Year.

Last year, we were shaken by the sudden death or our koumbaro and spent the month tending to our koumbara along with funeral/memorial services. The children were very sick and the kitchen flooded. It seemed like such an effort to feel good.  Our children were the reason that we celebrated, which is why I think children are so wonderful. They bring us joy when times are less than joyful.

So now, we're spending our third Christmas season in Greece and I have to admit, it's been great. Sure, we had a one year memorial for our koumbaro, but time heals and some of the sadness has lifted.
Our children are so excited and I'm trying to keep them that way because Christmas is magical and every child has the right to experience this magic. We've been watching Christmas movies, reading Christmas stories, listening to Christmas music and attending Christmas events when we have the chance. We're having fun and it feels great. There's nothing more rewarding than to watch the faces of my children light up with excitement , especially now.

Another reason  that I  feel great this year is because I'm surrounded by generous and caring people. On daily basis,  my friends & family give me plenty of reasons to be thankful for their company, support and smiles. Whether near or far each person is always in my heart and I try my best to make sure that they know how much I value their presence in my life because without each one of them I wouldn't be whole. Usually, I'm the person that runs to help others but there was a time this year in which I needed support and my friends and family wouldn't let me fall, I was held up when I felt I couldn't stand on my own. I feel that there are no words adequate enough to describe the extent of my gratitude but I hope by reading this that they know how thankful I am.

I appreciate everyone in my life and this includes my blog readers friends.Thank you for inspiring me to keep babbling on this blog, I always look forward to your comments and again, I appreciate your interest in my musings & photos.
 In the spirit of the holiday, I want to share a few more special moments we've enjoyed this season. We really have been enjoying ourselves!

Alexandra & I 
Izabella took this photo, she's getting really good with the camera!

Izabella stuck in Santa's sack

This Christmas ship was beautiful but a lot of the lights weren't lit...

and Foti tried to figure out how he could fix it. 

Alexandra does a little dance while trying on all of the stockings & hats while Gigi strikes a pose for the photo. 

Our Christmas tree 

A train at Oneiropouli, Drama. 

We enjoyed a Karagiozi puppet show for the holidays. 

Foti is not only a star in my life but he was a star in his school Christmas program.

Little angels waiting to perform.

Foti's performance

Foti receives a gift from a noticeably "fake" Santa. He received a "girl" gift and was traumatized for the rest of the night. He proclaimed, "That's it! I'm sick of fake Santas...I want the real one!" I can't say I blame him for feeling shafted.

Izabella & Gigi

My little munchkins pose for yet another Christmas photo. They're great sports!

And finally, me...enjoying the holidays.

A few Christmas Quotes:

I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.  ~Charles Dickens

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself...

~Norman Wesley Brooks, "Let Every Day Be Christmas," 1976

Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. 

 ~Carol Nelson


Merry Christmas!

Feliz Navidad!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oneiropouli of Drama

Last Sunday,  we decided to take a short road trip to the city of Drama. It's an hour and a half away, so we made sure to pack a DVD for the kids to watch so that we could distract them and hopefully avoid the inevitable question, "are we there yet?"  Despite my efforts, Izabella didn't abstain from persistently and systematically asking, "how much longer ?" or  "How many more minutes do we have left?".  So, after our short drive to Drama, the children were more than pleased with my choice of a holiday destination.

As we drove to the center of the city the holiday lights became more abundant and then they saw the park that was converted into a Christmas wonderland or  "Oneiropouli" (Dream City).  

I discovered Oneiropouli last February when doing a search for information about the city of Drama. Kosta and I spent a year living in Drama 15 years ago and I absolutely loved the city. It's such a warm, beautiful city and I now I had another excellent reason to visit.

Here are some photos from our evening in Drama:

A view of Oneiropouli from a bridge.

The park was full on Sunday evening. Games, amusement rides for the children and  live performances. This photo provides an excellent representation of the festive atmosphere at Oneiropouli.

Candy for the kids.

Roasted chestnuts and corn.

A visit with Ebenezer Scrooge.

Inside the Scrooge's home.

Live music.

Traditional Dancers


A visit with Agios Vasilis aka Santa. Naturally, this was the highlight of our visit.

The home of Agios Vasilis was warmed by a fireplace comprised of stuffed animals. The kids thought it was really cool.

Since it's not cold enough to ice skate in Drama, you can roller blade instead.

The roller blade rink.

Alexandra loved the carousel.

Izabella found a stray to love for the time that we were at the park.

Agios Vasilis in the  middle of a pond.

Kosta and the kids.

Across from the platiya ( city center) the buildings are decorated for the holidays.
The message reads: "Happy Holidays & Many Years".

I have more photos to follow in another post. I hope that you enjoyed these!

Happy Holidays!


Related Links:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Church at Sunset

Taking a walk at sunset one evening I took a few photos of a church. This is one of my favorites.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sunday Walk in Kozani

Typically, I post pictures of the Greek countryside, seafront and other tranquil spaces that I enjoy. Last Sunday we spent the day in Kozani and I decided to take photos along my afternoon walk in order to share with you what one might see when visiting the city center.

Parking is always a challenge in the center.

This building looks appears to be uninhabited and the signs of closed businesses are still visible.

Abandoned store fronts become a great place to advertise, naturally.

Sidewalks can be very narrow in the city. Because of this,  people are often forced to walk in the street.

The front of a produce shop that was closed since it was Sunday.

In the platiya (πλατεία) or the city center, there was a very small yet peaceful demonstration marking the one year anniversary of the Greek riots. The riots were sparked when a fifteen year- old student, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, was fatally shot by a police officer. 

Although many streets in the center are reserved for pedestrians, it's typical for a delivery bike to pass by.

 A window on an old-boarded up home. What I find fascinating about some old homes is that they seem fairly compressed. I feel so tall standing next to them!

Kosta in  front of a traditional Greek home. You can see that it's actually adjoined to the apartment building next to it.

 This is the back of the home.

A nativity scene in the center.

During the summer months these pedestrian thoroughfares are filled with tables and bustling with action.

And finally, me in front of Kozani's clock tower. I have taken numerous photos of the clock tower over the span of 20 years but have very few, if any, informal ones. This tower also serves as a background for many of our wedding and baptism photos.