Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Still here, Honest!

It does seem like an exceptionally long time since last I posted.

Update on T's eye- he's back and it's working- tho not without some healing still taking place. (Still has a little distortion and the pupil is STILL a wee bit dilated.)

Nevertheless, he's back in the safe haven of home.

Between my last post and his return, end of January, I discovered there was a new hoop to jump through regarding property ownership in Greece and had to frantically find an engineer to make new and accurate blueprints of our house.  It was also necessary to survey our property before the end of December (at the time) as there was a deadline and mega fines to face if it wasn't done properly.

And yes, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year etc.  The deadline originally was the 29th December!

The whole process was of course massively expensive and "financial son" in Chicago, had to transfer funds, the Tuesday after Christmas, so I could go on Wednesday to the bank (and stand there while they found the transaction and then go away for 1/2 hour while they made it all magically appear in our account!) then across the street, to engineer with wads of euros (who thankfully waited in line at government offices for proper stamps and payments, bless) to come in under the deadline wire.

Of course because so many people were caught out as it was the holidays, they extended the deadline til the end of February.

Then the television died, exactly 10 days before T came home.

According to the three television people I spoke with (all trying to sell me their choices of televisions) the power fluctuations on the island and many parts of Greece in general, make the average lifespan of a flat screen tv (no matter what size, and no matter how many UPS boxes and special shut off switches) to be no longer than 5 years.  For that reason I had to shop carefully to pay the least amount for the best product available.

I got a nice Korean one for a good price (the brand name is FU.  I'm not sure if I didn't favor it simply because in my mind those two letters summed up how I felt about having to buy another television 4 years after we bought the last one....)

It works well and it's way more intelligent than our last television as it discovered how to work the dvd player and the video recorder with almost no help from me!

I meanwhile have been going through photo albums and memories and scanning pictures into the void of my computer, hoping to get something together for my mother's memorial in April.  I'll be spending some time flying out west to Santa Fe for a special memorial with all her friends, then I'll be flying to South Carolina, to hug my university graduating granddaughter!!  (then I'll come back to Chicago and face the dentist before returning to Corfu.)


I've obviously come to terms with my mother's passing, but there are moments where the tide of grief is sometimes higher and sometimes lower. I am coping.  It's hard, but there are no other alternatives.

Sometimes, for me, going though these albums and photos going back to cover her life seem to make parts of my life, tho long past, SO vivid.

Maybe part of this is because things are so dire in the news and reality is filled with so many more unknowns.  At least the past is a known.  (well, tempered of course by memory which is subjective.)

Certainly, with all my mother's photo albums, MY past is a visible photographic timeline, as there are photographs not just of me growing up but pictures of my parents and grandparents, aunts, cousins, as children and then as adults.  There is such a great continuity with my present and the past.

My mother won a beauty pageant when she was two years old.

She was so cute.  (and according to my grandmother, she was so well behaved for the photographer, he wanted to make her his child model.  That didn't happen.)

This is also the only photo where in  my mother claimed to be a natural blonde.  We all spent a lot of time remarking that the photo was NOT in color...

She always used to talk about this picture and so did my grandmother.

My aunt used to just roll her eyes.

I found the certificate that gave her first prize.  She kept it in a box with her other little bits of special memories.

November 1927, and she was first prize - special mention!


So to all who slogged back to check out the blog, I welcome you to another erratic year...

Meanwhile, I will continue digging through the piles of albums and continue scanning scanning scanning...


  1. Lovely to see you again!
    You've had a pretty hectic and traumatic year...and last minute (expensive) bureaucracy doesn't help.
    I feel like buying an FU television too. When stressed I could just point to its name.

    1. thank you dear fly, I just recently noticed there are new reply buttons on the comments, so I thought I'd make sure you knew how much I appreciated your comment! (there's another one after this I know...)

  2. Dear Fly, So happy you haven't given me up, in spite of my erratic posts!

    Yes, this past year IS one year that'll go down in infamy, on so many levels.

    The huge last minute "tax" (because it WAS a tax) was also layered with a several other taxes that came disguised in our electricity bill (ie: don't pay the tax and you don't have electricity) There was also a one time "luxury" tax on the pool, and assorted extras tacked on to the car taxes and the car plates. All totaled, it sucked up a lot of our saved up "just in case" funds!

    I suppose it could have been worse. For sure I've had a couple of friends whose new extra taxes came in well over 15 thousand euros! (and they're working stiffs! not retired like us...)

    Anyway, I've found myself pointing at the TV many times lately to express my frustrations!

  3. Glad to see you're surviving, despite everything life has been throwing at you, both personally and because of living in Greece in the present economic situation. Good news about T's eye, if not about the TV. I'm with Fly in loving the idea of an FU appliance, in fact the more the merrier!

    1. Greetings to you dear Perpetua! Yes, still hanging on by the fingernails of stubbornness (or stupidity). In some ways I suppose the television manufacturer has unknowingly given us a perfect stress releasing gift! (I'm looking for other appliances by them for JUST that reason!)

  4. Welcome back again. Yes, we old faithfuls are still here.
    Let's hope this year proves to be a little less traumatic for you xx

    1. Hey ho!!

      Yes, I really hope you are right. It's tough to stay cheerful and funny when it seems your world is crashing down around your ears.

      Still, what can you do??? It's still one step in front of the other, right?

      hugs to you/j

  5. Oh no, I just faced the dentist after a very long hiatus. No cavities, but wow, the cleaning was very painful! FUTV, hehe.

    1. Greetings to you, dear Eric! I'm not too concerned about cavities- I saw this dentist last summer- BUT he did identify 3 or possibly 4 crowns that needed to be replaced! (I shudder at the thought of how much that's going to cost...)

      I'm pretty much convinced that most dentists probably source stuff made in Korea... so maybe it's all FU dental equiptment!

  6. You have had a stressful year so I hope there will be more sunshine and flowers in your life from now on :)

    1. Thank you dear Blogaire. Sometimes I feel that because I have so much - lovely home, in a beautiful location, wonderful spouse (of now 43 years- anniversary last Thursday!), and, of course, beautiful children and grandchildren, the list goes on and on - I must in the natural order of things, have to face some stress and sadness.

      Obviously life is not fair, particularly when you watch the news(!) but it's my life and so things that affect me hurt. And yes, sometimes it seems they hurt overwhelmingly.

      But, in the end, there is so much to be thankful for - so much to look at everyday with hope. That's a gift left to my by my mother, who was the most optimistic person in the world. When things were bad, she'd always say that it was most important to focus outside of yourself and your pain and look around you to find the best things.

      So I am. Sunshine and flowers are currently smiling at me outside my window!)



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