Thursday, October 30, 2008

rest in peace, lonia efthyvoulou

i found out today that my uncle lonia has passed. he has been fighting lung cancer for about a year.

lonia was the oldest of my mother's brothers, one of three uncles that reside in cyprus.

he has been a hard worker all his life, one of his biggest passions being painting. he could really capture the magic of cypriot architecture, the warmth of its woodlands and the mystery of its coastlines.

i feel for his wife, hara, who cared for him selflessly to the end. thank you hara, for your commitment and kindness. lonia passed surrounded by true love.

lonia had strong opinions and a great sense of humor. he liked to converse with a stiff drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. he was generous with his artwork, passing on many pieces to family members. he will live on in these paintings. when i think of lonia i see him giving a knowing nod, his piercing eyes alight with life, a slow thoughtful smile creeping across his face.

yassou lonia, may you meet peace in the great beyond.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

moving chronicles: days 3 & 4

another quick moment online.

thanks to everyone for all the good wishes and positive moving vibes. all is well.

we have been dealing with hassles re: phone and dsl connectivity at our house. but supposedly by thursday all will be in working order.

i am slowly -- very slowly -- unpacking. the kitchen is pretty much set up.

there have been some annoying things. like a burglar alarm that goes off at random that we can't seem to turn off completely when we are home. a high pitched sound that comes through the heating system and makes me sit bolt upright in the middle of the night. and the smell of dead animal coming through one of the heating ducts. but hopefully, all these things will soon be resolved.

and the jacuzzi, it does not work. in fact, it looks like it has been disabled. such a disappointment!

but we are still totally thrilled with our new digs.

our first day luna the cat snuck into the crawl space next to tashi's bedroom and disappeared amongst the eaves. we were worried about her all day and well into the night. she finally came out late and curled up with tashi in bed. now we have to strictly guard that crawl space, a place where tashi was setting up a sort of "clubhouse".

we fired up the wood burning stove last night. ah bliss. we haven't had to turn on the heating system since then, though we sure are going to have to find ourselves loads of firewood if we plan to make this a main source of heat.

in the mean time, it is wonderful to gaze at while resting between boxes.

Monday, October 27, 2008

moving chronicles: on hold

we don't have internet access yet at our new place, and right now i'm in the whole foods parking lot picking up some wireless. i don't have much time though, so i will have to update you all on our new house adventures in another post. in the mean time, things are coming along, though i'm really tired and haven't lost the headache yet! here are a few photos from our new home as things and people and pets seek and sometimes find their places.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

moving chronicles: day 2

i have a small window of opportunity here to make a post.

it has been a tough day. and it is not yet over.

it has been pouring down rain all day. about 30 minutes ago, around 4:30, the sky cleared and the sun shone.

dan picked up the uhaul in the pouring rain and with some very kind help from friends, loaded the truck up in the pouring rain.

another friend came with her van and loaded that up with boxes in the pouring rain.

i in the mean time scrambled around the house stuffing boxes with everything that remained, and cleaning up the scary dust bunnies and bug carcasses that were found behind shelves that hadn't been moved for three years. the pouring rain came inside on everyone's shoes, along with lots of autumn leaves.

things still remain, and quite a few things at that. but really, we are probably 95% there. even though i wasn't doing any of the lifting, i hit a wall in the early afternoon and curled up on the lambswool and started to weep. i couldn't bring myself to fill another box, or sweep another corner of dust bunnies, or use my brain which was struggling to remain sane within my aching head.

dan and tashi (who was happily sitting in the front seat of the uhaul) drove off to the new house to unload, along with two friends in their respective packed vehicles. i stayed behind to chill on the only soft surface in the house, a thermarest. i dozed off for a small while. loki came out of hiding from the closet and curled up next to me. i'm glad i stayed behind so that he at least could have some reassurance that we were not abandoning him.

dan will return in a bit with the uhaul. we will return it to the uhaul farm. we will load up two cars with boxes and food and cats that remain and drive up to our new home to start living there. we will be back down to the blue house over the coarse of the week to pick up the last few lingering items, because we have a week overlap between the two places, both a luxury and curse.

we are almost there.

moving chronicles: day 1

yesterday was our first day of moving. dan and i made several journeys up to the new house in our respective cars, packed with boxes. we managed to put a good dent in the transfer of boxes. but today, as it pours down rain, we are renting the uhaul and taking the big stuff. don't worry, i haven't been lifting.

when we pulled into our new driveway, we were greeted by a camellia bush in full bloom. so pretty.

here is dan in the entry foyer. dig the chandelier. not really our style, but we'll take it!

here are a couple of features i like:

the little balcony off our bedroom. can't wait to sit out there reading a book while sipping my morning coffee. decaf that is.

the woodstove of course. i'm so relieved it has little windows, so you can actually see the flames within:

this cabinet is in the entry foyer. a great bonus is that the house has huge closets, crawl spaces, cabinets and shelves everywhere. storage space has been such an issue in the blue house. see dan in the kitchen setting stuff on the long counter? and by his legs, a long row of cabinets. bliss.

this is one part of the living room. i love the wood floors, the large windows, the built in bookshelves. looks like one needs to be adjusted, there on the right. . .

tashi really liked this little nook, between the living room and a strange room off of the garage. i guess it's a mud room, but i intend on turning it into our sewing/craft room.

tashi is thrilled with her bedroom. especially with the presence of snoopy in it:

the jacuzzi amuses me. i sure hope it works!

one of the reasons we wanted to move was because our rent in town was being raised, and we just didn't think the blue house was worth the amount, what with its shifting foundation, variety of electrical issues, broken sump pump and absentee landlord.

the house we are moving to is the same exact rent our landlord wanted to raise the blue house to. a spacious abode, on two and a half acres of trees and flowering shrubs. i think it's a pretty good score.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

snoozing & dreaming & craving

last night i had a most unusual dream. i was wandering around a huge hippie artisan festival, something like the oregon country fair. i came to a booth where pickles, olives and sliced beets were being sold, all marinated in thc rich hemp oil. i really wanted to buy some, but couldn't bring myself to spend $20 on a tiny container. the olives were selling at $3 each. i thought about buying one each for dan and i, but still couldn't bring myself to spend $6 on two olives. so i considered buying myself one, just to see what would happen when i ate a thc marinated olive.

i guess i was pregnant in the dream. maybe i thought it might help with morning sickness? i woke before i'd made a decision.

i have had more aversions than cravings with this pregnancy. unfortunately i've had some difficulty eating the really good stuff: leafy greens. if anything, i've craved comfort food. potatoes. avgolemono soup. toasty bagles. the only really weird * i must have this now * craving i've had was for apple turn overs. dan ran out at 11pm one night to buy pepperidge farm frozen apple turn overs, because i woke up from a nap and needed an apple turn over right away. in a pinch, the pepperidge farm variety satisfied. dan is my hero.

waking from a nap at 11pm, you ask? for a while a couldn't help myself but fall asleep by 8pm. this usually meant that i would wake up by 3 or 4 in the morning, which just isn't ok in my world. so i got into a pattern of sleeping from 8 to 11pm -- waking up to watch david letterman during the best of his mccain jokes -- and then going back to sleep until a more sane 6am.

i'm managing to stay up until about 10 now. sometimes even 10:30.

ok. back to packing. tomorrow the move begins!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

the beat goes on

this morning we heard baby's heartbeat for the first time through the doppler. the wonderful song of a train barreling along!

because i felt so fragile and nervous through the first trimester, i didn't exercise much. that has got to change. i've been taking some good walks recently. but i have to incorporate yoga and swimming. as soon as we get through the move! really!

tashi has been so wonderful about this pregnancy. she has wanted a sibling more than anything. and even though the age difference is huge, i think she is going to totally love being a big sister. she has been so patient with my nauseous nights and my in-bed-before-her exhaustion! and despite all the busyness of the move, she still finds moments to dream.

Monday, October 20, 2008

cat post

luna and loki might not be thrilled about the fact that we are moving, but they sure do like to perch on the boxes.

luna seems to be taking it all in stride, but loki has been a bit tweaked. he has given me some very dubious glances when i talk to him about the new home that he surely is going to love. never the less, don't you just want to nuzzle up to the wee beastie?

tashi sure does.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

twisted amusements

just taking a break from box-packing, received this link via email. click your way around the oval office and get a glimpse of sarah palin's world. it could be our world, but i'm trying to keep the faith that it won't be!

Friday, October 17, 2008

a new day

i am procrastinating on the packing that will be my day. my weekend.

packing is a time of reflection. it is meditative. you can incorporate yoga into packing. you can blast music, listen to radio talk shows or the low mumble of dumb tv. you can gaze out the windows at changing leaves, cardinals on branches, rainfall.

but still, i find it hard to look forward to packing.

our house seems to be saying goodbye to us. lights keep burning out. cobwebs and dust bunnies gather at an amazing clip. the tub drains more and more slowly with each day. cracks continue to form in walls and ceilings. leaves accumulate on the deck, the stoops.

perhaps we will take our last step out of this house, and it will split in half.

similar to my first pregnancy with tashi, i can feel the sudden transformation of the second trimester underway. suddenly i'm not passing out by 8pm. i feel uplifted. the gag reflex is still pretty high. but i will spare you that detail.

this is our very messy altar. it is not usually cluttered with quite so much, but with the packing, things shift from place to place. i have a small separate altar for baby, that all may continue to go well.

i've had my first dreams recently, featuring the new life. i had a few nightmares soon after i found out i was pregnant. so much fear about loss. but these recent dreams were so sunny and positive. in one i was holding my new baby in my arms in our new home. a girl! i was snuggling her close and treasuring each moment of new baby bliss. she had a sweet blond downy fuzz on her head. and she was huge, healthy, rosy. tashi was 9.5 pounds, after all. oh my!

in another dream i had two girls, a big one and a little one. we were happily traveling somewhere. a team.

it's funny to be dreaming about about a girl, when my inclination has been that it's a boy. so much mystery!

i will miss this stairwell in a funny way. i fell down it once. i'm glad i will not have to traipse it when in my third trimester. it is narrow and difficult to navigate in the middle of the night. i'm glad we will have a bathroom right next to our bedroom.

and so i will move forth as i anticipate the positive changes that lie ahead. with each box, i will remember how full my world is right now. how it continues to open, unfold and flourish. how i am endowed with the gifts of life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

high five for top five

War Torn Landscape: The Green Line in Nicosia, Cyprus

i entered a photo contest that the local branch of peace frogs put on. contestants were allowed one photo for each of three categories: landscape, people and landmark. i'd never entered a photo contest before, but thought, why not? i didn't win or anything, but i did receive notice that my landscape photo (above) placed in the top five. isn't that kinda groovy? i've been told it will be displayed in the shop, and possibly in an upcoming newsletter. yay!

there is a blurb about the green line here. my photo was taken in an area that was once the most bustling of marketplaces. tashi was a little freaked out when i took the photo, as you are not supposed to bring out cameras along the green line. but my little tiny fuji was easy to stick between some sand bags for a quick shot.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

pssssst. . . guess what!

i read this morning that in just a few days the baby inside me will be the size of a lime!


as some of you are a aware, i've been trying to bring a baby #2 into this world for about six years now. having suffered several early miscarriages, the last couple months have been a mixture of fear, hope, nausea, exhaustion and mantra. as each week passed the optimism grew brighter and brighter that we've got a keeper. only now am i allowing the feelings of excitement to bubble up and carry me forward.

in just a few days i will be into my second trimester. i am fully aware that things could still go wrong, but no longer want to keep this journey to myself. please join me in anticipation and hope that we will meet this mysterious little being in the spring!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

lost & found

one of the many benefits of moving is finding things you thought forever lost. for instance, dan and i each have a cell phone and we each have a charger for our individual cell phones. after a visit to new york city a year and a half ago, we lost track of the second charger. we were certain we'd left it behind. today dan found the charger in his desk drawer. for a year and a half we've been sharing a single charger, which at times is rather inconvenient, like when your cell phones die at the same time or when one of you is going out of town. and all along it was in his desk drawer.

a couple of years ago some friends of our were considering taking a honeymoon in yelapa, mexico. dan and i spent a night of our honeymoon there, though, if we were to do it all over again, we would have spent the entire time there. so i could show my friends the beauty that is yelapa, i searched all over for our honeymoon photo album. i looked everywhere i thought i had stashed photos. i was pulling my hair out, convinced that somehow when we'd moved from michigan, i'd left the photo album behind. apparently i missed the bag of photos in my office closet, because there i found our honeymoon album today.

these small discoveries are the joy of my saturday, spent stuffing boxes with things hidden deep within closets and drawers.

telephoto fun

would you believe it's taken me more than a month to try out my telephoto lens for the first time? let's just say i've been a little slow lately. so yesterday i went out into my yard and snapped a few shots. these are my favorites.

more calendula!

signs of autumn

our days are numbered at the blue house

loki the super cat

Friday, October 10, 2008

friday is my day

that is not macaroni & cheese, it is farfalle and butternut squash. i learned about the recipe through tracey's lovely blog. it was tasty indeed! tashi and her pal rachel had several servings. like tracey, I added some sauted onion to the mix.

rachel spent the night last night (no school today for "fall break") and this morning when i peeked into the bedroom the two of them were quietly knitting and listening to irish music. so sweet.

this is what our life looks like right now. mostly books are being packed first, and goodness, we have a lot of books. knick knacks are beginning to be tucked away, as well as summer garments and linens. halloween is going to have to take to the back burner this year. tashi's costume will either be purchased or thrown together with the bare minimum effort. she hasn't made up her mind yet. first it was a robot. now it is a pirate. arrrrrrrr.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

testing 1. 2. 3.

i've felt like things have been a little off with my magnificent new sony camera. i haven't been sure if it's been me, or if perhaps the camera is defective. in many of the photos i've taken with it, details have been a bit washed out. but i've also played with the white balance a bit, really the only manual function i dare to sometimes tweak.

the other day i took the lens off and put it back on. and then i did a little photo shoot in my front yard. suddenly the photos seem crisp and clear. might i have installed the lens incorrectly at first? is that even possible?

i will carry on, and hopefully i will discover it was me all along, not the camera. i hope to take a class someday, so that i can learn how to use the camera with manual settings. but for now, automatic should work just like it did yesterday. don't you think?

and this, is a cat on the run!