Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alexandra's Birthday/Name day...

Our fairy princess...the princess of all things sweet and all things three years old today.
She was born on August 30th, which is also why we named her Alexandra, she was born on the day in which Greeks celebrate the name Alexander, Alexandra etc...which made choosing her name easy.

We threw her party yesterday, on the 29th, since it usually works out better for most guests to attend a party on a Saturday. She was thrilled. She's been excited for a while but she has been extremely anxious since last week, when I took her to the bakery to pick out her own cake. I sat her on the counter and we browsed through the pages of cakes available for order. She liked all of them that had princesses, but it didn't take her long to come to a final decision.
Here's a picture of her with her princess cake...

What else did we eat? Of course, I made arroz con's a staple at any of my family occasions. Yia Yia made cheese pies (τυρόπιτες) and coconut cookies. I made chocolate chip cookies for the kids and then we had chips and other munchies since we weren't having dinner, our guests were invited for cake & ice cream. The cake was out of this world! Alexandra chose the chocolate/creme (σοκολάτα με κρέμα) combination and it was incredibly fresh. There wasn't a piece left at the end of the night.

Consumed by the song & sparklers...

Making a wish...

Pleased that the princesses are now hers to play with...

Yes, we're very proud of our fairy princess!

Since we celebrated a day early, we spent a quiet Sunday at home. Our day was so quiet that we enjoyed a nap on our balcony during mesi meri. That doesn't happen very often, especially on name days. So, we thoroughly enjoyed Alexandra's birthday/name day. She had a blast too!

A few photos from the last three years...

Four months old...

About 2 weeks old...

Her first birthday shown above,
& her second birthday below...

Just a few weeks ago...we're so happy together.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Interestingly Serene...

As I approached the crumbling walls to take a photo I came across this scene. So quiet. So, interestingly serene.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekend forecast

We're heading into a holiday weekend and the forecast includes beach, BBQ and of course-frappe.
Enjoy your weekend...I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Owl in the bathroom!

Oh yes, we had an owl in the bathroom. This incident happened about three weeks ago. It began with about one week of squatting in the fireplace. The little owl would come down to have a look around and Gigi would bark so it would then scramble back up the chimney. This noisy and messy routine was constant. It was messy because each time that the owl would make its way down the chimney or flap its wings, soot would come down and get all over the floor. Messy.

I think that the owl's eyes compliment our 30 year old bathroom tile.

What happened?

This little owl finally decided to escape from the confines of the chimney very early one morning. I think it was around 6:00am.
Gigi had been acting strange. She would jump off of the bed, run down the hallway, bark and come back to bark at me some more. I was so incredibly tired that all I could do was roll over and cover my head with the pillow. She jumped on the bed, she jumped off of the bed. Any normal person that was coherent might have probably realized that Gigi was trying to tell me something, but not me. I was irritated. She's been known to bark at spiders so I assumed that's what was happening. I opened the door and put her on the balcony, hoping that she would stop the incessant barking.
She didn't stop.
I rolled over, looked up at the ceiling and then it hit me...Gigi was trying to tell me something. I got up and opened the balcony door so that she could come back inside. She ran down hall and stood at the threshold of the bathroom door, barking.
I heard something drop on the floor in the bathroom. Next, I heard the sound of wings fluttering. I knew it. I knew that the owl was in there. Great. How am I supposed to catch it and get it out of the house without waking everyone up?
I grabbed a broom. With confidence, I went into the bathroom with the broomstick aimed toward the owl. Well, it did perch on the broomstick right away but not for long. It flew from the broomstick to the dryer, to the top of a shelf and then into the bathtub. I started to freak out a little.

Izabella woke up because of all of the noise that Gigi and I were making. She added to the noise by screeching whenever the owl flew from one side of the bathroom to the other. Gigi was barking, I was trying to keep the situation under control.

When the owl decided to sit on the side of the bathtub again, I grabbed a towel and picked it up. I didn't want to squish it so I wasn't holding it too tightly and then it dropped out of the towel onto the floor.
Gigi caught it and ran away with it in her mouth. Feathers were flying everywhere.
I yelled, "Gigi...put that down!" (yeah, like she's going to listen when she's got a real live toy to play with) The owl squirmed from the grip of her little jaws and flew back on top of our dryer.
I was at a loss.

Throughout these chaotic moments my husband remained in a deep sleep. I don't know how, but he did. I decided to wake him up so that he could help out.

"Wake up," I said as I nudged his shoulder. "The owl is in the upstairs bathroom."

Husband, "What? It is?"

"Yes! You haven't heard Iza and I screaming, running...or Gigi barking?! Oh, never mind. I need help."

So, he went upstairs and looked in the bathroom. Within minutes he had the owl wrapped snugly in the towel. We had a good look at it. It had a good look at us. Next, he took it to the balcony and let it go. The little owl quickly flew out of our sight. I don't blame it really, with all of the noise and commotion that we made.

On top of the dryer...

Why do owls keep coming in our house?

We're not really sure, but there's definitely a pattern. We do know that they nest in our attic and that this only happens during the summer. The previous owner of our home claims that it the owls sit on the chimney, get dizzy and fall down. I've noticed that they come in whenever it's really hot outside. Whatever the reason, they are known to make their presence in late June through July. We do have plans of putting a metal screen around the top of the chimney and haven't done it yet because it's too high to reach. We'll have the house painted soon and when there's scaffolding available, we'll have the screens put on. Although it's always interesting to have an encounter with an owl, I'd prefer not to have catch it.

We need more than a ladder to get to the top of the chimney!

Photos from our first visits last summer...

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009


She's gone.

It's been a week since we've seen her.

Last Wednesday, as we were leaving, she ran out of the gate into the fields near our home. I called her, I tempted her with treats, I followed her. She kept running until I couldn't see her. I waited. I waited for about 20 minutes but I had to be somewhere. I left. I left hoping to find her at our gate when I returned, like many times before.
I returned.
She wasn't at the gate.
I called her name hoping that she was near and that she would come wiggling her little body, waiting for her to jump and twirl.
We searched...armed with treats.
We waited.
Days passed.
I checked the gate and was almost certain that I heard her bark, but again nothing.
We walked the area several times, asking strangers if they'd seen her. The answer was typically a nonverbal sneer.
I hope that she's ok.

I'm sure that someone probably took her...a complete package...sweet, clean and even wearing a brand new collar that I'd adorned her with just a day before.

The kids still look for her everyday. As we drive, we always look for her.
The girls have cried.
Izabella is worried that someone that finds her might feed her table food, raisins or chocolate.
Foti is worried that Tarzan will get sick from sadness since he's alone outside.
I stand on my balcony staring out at the fields hoping that I'll see her run back.
I stand on my balcony listening to dogs barking in the distance, hoping that I'll hear her.

I know that it's possible that she had a family before she found us, maybe she went back to that family.


Maybe the gypsies that camp at the beach nearby took her.
Maybe she'd had enough of Tarzan's rough puppy play.
Maybe she found another family and there are kids that love her just as much as ours do.
Maybe she got hurt.
Maybe she got lost.
Maybe if I had run faster I could have caught up to her and she would have flopped on her back so that I could rub her belly, pick her up and carry her home-like I've done before.
Maybe the dog lady snatched her up.
Maybe she'll come back in a week
or a month.

We miss her.

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