Saturday, December 10, 2011

Getting into the Christmas spirit

Today, in spite of the rain, my friend Samantha and I went into town to see the shops and get into the sights and sounds of Christmas time in Corfu.  Monday is a Corfu public holiday (St Spiridion's Day) and sort of officially the start of Corfu's Christmas Holiday Season.

We decided to meet for a coffee and then do some serious window shopping, followed by a nice lunch.

For years Sammy's been telling me where the best places to shop are, with me finding my way mostly by accident.  Today, finally we decided to do a first hand run though of place and meeting people.  (in case you are reading this dear T, I didn't spend too much... honest!)  It was just a fun, silly day and we had a marvelous time.

Apropos to nothing at all, there was a lovely performance in the old  town in the square by St Spiridion's Church.  Here are some pictures...

Everyone seemed to be having a good time and there were lots of people in the square...

From what we gathered, it was a gathering of local folk dancers as well as dancers representing other parts of Greece.

Some of the costumed dancers were from Macedonia (GREEK Macedonia, not the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia...)

There was much laughter and fun by everyone in between dances and folk songs.  They were all accompanied by guitar and fiddles and tambourines, as well as triangles and handclapping. 

lovely voices and dancers of all ages.

The men were well represented as well, but they were so drab next to the ladies that I just cropped and put the photos up that pleased me most and best represented the whole surprise...

It was a lovely charming interlude and it totally made us forget we were going to the store on the other side of the square they were dancing on!!

Ah well...

We discovered a charming "new" second hand bookstore next to the Cavalieri Hotel, and had an excellent cappuccino (OK, Samantha had an excellent cup of hot chocolate!) with it we had - between the two of us-  one slice of apple tart, that was very very good.

Then we wandered the back streets, hither and yon, to seek out brilliant little shops that sold a bit of everything.  (I found a gorgeous fresh water pearl ring, that would suit me admirably... that I didn't buy- hint hint)  I bought a inexpensive belt (seriously needed one for dipping pants), a loaf of amazing bread, a small bottle of Grand Marinier (tis the season), a great present for my granddaughter, and two hand-blown colored glass bowels (in the Venetian style) for 7 euros each.  They'll look lovely with tea candles in them, during the next power failure.

On our way, we came across this window display

It wasn't so much the chicken, as the fact of the TOTAL chicken....

We kept thinking that we'd never see something like this in a shop window in say London or even Chicago!

Then Sammy and I wandered down to the new market (in the place of the old market but finally finished and re-inhabited at last after 4 years) where Sam bought two sea bass for her Sunday lunch.

From there we went to our respective vehicles and were off to lunch at the Navigators in Kontokoli, where we had a lovely restoring glass of wine, and a marvelous homemade hamburger;  for dessert we had a slice of warm  gooey chocolate cake and a small scoop of ice cream (- and two forks)!  A lovely end to a very very pleasant day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Everything re-attached. The patient survived.

Just a quick post to update that surgery went well and everyone seems pleased.

The detached retina is now attached and the surgery went well and very quickly.  I just got off the phone with both my son and my husband and they too seemed surprised, pleased, but surprised, that they were home a good two hours earlier than expected.

T is in excellent health- except for the eye thing- and takes no medications but over the counter stuff on occasion.  This seemed to take most of the health providers a bit aback, but his blood pressure and heart rate confirmed that he was in really good shape.

He said he started to come around about ten minutes before they were finished to mention to them that he was having a bit of trouble breathing as their set up for surgery was making it difficult for him to get enough air, there at the end.  They were kind enough to ratchet up the oxygen feed in his nose, so he felt much better.  Except for after it was done he was parched and drank about a liter of water and a big glass of apple juice.

Still he sounded pretty good and not too drugged up.

They go back to the doctor tomorrow morning, early, to make sure everything is still holding and in the right position.

As I thought I'd have a bit more time on my hands and sleep was pretty much out of the question til I knew everything was ok, I decided to make soup.

This actually goes back to the Pease Pudding recipe idea I had for tomorrow.

This idea is still out there but, just NOT until I find yellow split peas... and not ORANGE LENTILS.

Yes, I bought lentils instead of split peas.  Duh.  I'd like to blame it on worry over the eye surgery, but I think it's just me.

So in time honored tradition ... instead of making lemonade out of life's lemons- I made Orange Lentil Soup (Shorabat Adas).

Well, ok, I made it with only a very few variations.  The first one was I didn't measure, because, soup is soup.  Meaning I used about a pound of lentils, my own homemade chicken broth cut with water (it's all jellied, so you have to cut it), 2/3 of a huge onion I had in the fridge, and black pepper. (also haven't done the croutons yet either).

I added to the recipe, 2 carrots (chopped into small pieces), one stick of celery (again chopped), about a teaspoon of celery seed, and I didn't completely liquidize the soup, I left a few bits of carrots for color and texture.

I also will add a lot of finely chopped fresh flat leafed parsley tomorrow, but it's too dark outside so I can't go get it in the garden tonight.

So all is well for now and if you decide to make it, enjoy the soup!  It's really REALLY good.  I will go to sleep now with a warm glow from a cup of lentil soup, and the good news that T's on the mend.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The "eye's" have it...

So.  T's appointment was this morning (US time) in Michigan, and, sadly, after a thorough eye exam, the conclusion was: it was not a false alarm.  Indeed the symptoms told the story and it IS a detached retina.

I read somewhere, online, that strongly nearsighted people have weak retinas.  Who knew??  Supposedly it affects about 1 in 10,000 people.

Some lottery...

Surgery will go ahead tomorrow morning, and by tomorrow evening everything will be done.

For a detached retina, it was good news as it was still partially attached.  Still it's disconcerting, uncomfortable and serious.  Big deal to make sure you keep your sight!

And the recovery time will again be six weeks with no airplane travel due to the gas bubble placed in to reattach the retina.

As Pooh says, "Oh Bother."

The good news is that there are some medical aids available, that we didn't know about the last time, so hopefully, it will be less of an annoyance, (and strain on the neck!) and the recovery will pass a bit less slowly.

Meanwhile, the "girls" and I have been taking long walks in the rain.

It would seem that whenever I plan to go for a walk with the dogs, the sky opens up just when I'm at the furthest point from the house.  (ha-ha, the gods of weather apparently have a sense of humor.)   The dogs don't really mind getting wet. I, however, really mind going back into the house with a couple of wet smelly dogs!  (tomorrow is dog towel washing day.)

I made a quiche for lunch, today.  My best friend (and masseuse!) stopped by to give my frozen shoulder a work out.  ouch.  

But back to the quiche:  It was a pretty standard one, with bacon, onions and cheese, but I added mushrooms because T wasn't here.  I rarely add them to food, as he doesn't care for them.

I had the end cut crusts from a couple of pies I made last week and gathered them together to make a sort of franken-crust.  It turned out pretty good- still light and flaky if a tad misshapen.  (I gave my friend a "doggie bag" of half the quiche, so that she and her mother  could have it for dinner tonight.)

Tomorrow I'm thinking about making Pease Pudding after watching a program on how to make it last night.  Everyone was so enjoying it, I figured I'd give it a whirl.  I'll try and take some pics and do a post on how I made it.

Meanwhile, it's good evening from Corfu!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy December!

And how time flies away from me!

T is currently winging his way to Chicago to have his eye fixed in the US as opposed to here in Greece.

It seems he may have another detached retina.  (ah genetics)

He had one in 2005, and had it taken care of in New Mexico, where I was at the time staying with my mother.  T had his surgery the day before Christmas 2005.

It would seem he'll be having surgery again at the same time of year- just six years later- in his other eye.  This time it will be in Michigan, and he'll stay with Oldest son and oldest grandson, in "all guy" splendor.  It's hard that we'll be apart for this as most of all the big things that happen to us we somehow manage to share. Still I know he'll be in good hands, both with his doctors and with his sons to take care of him.

I'm staying back here, to hold down the fortress of solitude, better known as Villa Methavrio. The dogs, cats and I will be carousing and living a high life for the next several weeks, and as a bonus we'll be keeping better notes in the blog!


ON another note, I am really amazed at how easy and free Skype is.  It's a shame it took me so long.   With next to no effort, and no cost at all,  I've managed to have several conversations with the Belgian family, (keeping updated on my cousins wife's surgery that took place the day before yesterday) and I just finished catching a quick update with my best friend while I lived in Turkey many years ago.  She's a brilliant painter now, currently living in Florida, and it was delightful to chat for a few minutes, albeit just as I'm about to go to bed and she's all perky, awake and organizing a party for today...

The greatest drawback is that I'm all self conscious I feel I look horrible on the small screen, and I feel very awkward  at seeing what I look like when I'm talking to people.   You can see yourself in a small corner of the screen and note what you look like during the call, and if you have any spinach on your teeth... (note to self, give up spinach forever.)  I find myself sitting up straighter and trying to make my hair look better, a hopeless task.  Mostly it makes me wonder what I look like to other people, like when I go to the store or something.  (I also don't recognize my voice!) This whole process is a sort of good news/bad news thing.


So that's it for today.  The puppies are telling me it's time to turn off the computer.  (they're SO bossy.)

G'night all


Related Posts with Thumbnails