Thursday, April 30, 2009

Finally Home

I am currently in the state I call home.

Over 10 years ago I left for a more metropolitan destination.

Within the Navy environment people will ask, "Where's home?" And the funny thing is.... you wonder if they are talking about where I physically have a home? Where my last place of residence was located? Where I recently PCSed from? Or where I was born and raised?

The answer can get quite lengthy from anyone with several years in the Navy.

I tried to find Webster's definition of home for a better clarification. The dictionary I found... well looked very old. When I tried flipping the pages, a whole chunk of pages just fell out from the binding. When I looked for the publishing date I found 1991, which in my book is not old, but I guess it has been used a lot.

Flipping through the pages trying to find H, then H O, then H O L. As I ran my fingers down the column of H O M, I came across...

holy... ok, I love to ran across spiritual terms when reading a non-Christian book

Holy Communion.... wow another spiritual reflection as I am trying to find home

Holy Spirit... maybe this has something to do with my search for home

homage.... meaning great respect or honor, which applies to the above 3

home... finally what I have been searching for. home- noun. the place where one resides; a place of origin

I continue down the list.... just curious whats on the rest of the page.....

homeostasis.... state of equilibrium, which is what I find when I come home... fitting

home-spun....something made or spun at home; anything simple and plain..... fitting again

homey.... suggesting the coziness, intimacy, and comforts of home... what I have been longing for these past few weeks in Souda.

homicide... which is what happens when you stay around family too long (just kidding)

homiletic... nature of sermon, which reminds of Harry and our home back in Souda

homily... a sermon, particularly one based on Biblical text, which is how I like to blog.

So for me.... I have a home in Atlanta, PSCed from nowhere... Harry was in the Reserves, but what I call HOME is actually my parents house.

I am home in Florida, where I was born and raised. Not where I currently reside, but my place or origin.

And to tie this random Blog with Biblical text... the Parable of the Lost Sheep comes to mind.

"Then Jesus told them this parable:

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'"

Luke 15: 3-6 (NIV)

Why this passage? Because a lot of the time.... when I lose that familiar feeling of home. When my refuge, my safe haven become too distance, I long for home.

When I feel my equilibrium is off, when things are no longer plain and simply home-spun.... I long for home.

When I need the comforts and coziness of family, when I crave the intimacy of those close to me.... I long for home.

When I fell my Spirit drained, when I want to fellowship and be in close communion with my family.... I long for home.

When I feel lost in the open country far from home... when I am tossed over His shoulder as He joyfully brings my home... when He rejoices because I am His... I long for home.

Because home is the closest place here on earth anyone can even remotely love me the way He does.

Blessings to those with a place to call home,


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Prices have gone up...

Greetings from a very broke student.....

Why did someone not tell me the going rates for Grad school these days. I guess I never saw the incoming bills for Harry.... just the final tally.

I finally registered for my classes.... followed by purchasing books. The last time I purchased books... they were running around $100. Maybe inflation has hit.... but $150 for a used book. That's a pair of shoes, or jeans. I am really thinking this over..... an on sale brand NEW pair of Taryn Rose flip flips or a USED Criminal Law text book?

Higher education? Or this seasons fashions?

But man.... there goes all my spending money for the States. I may only be able to go to Target / Wal-Mart every other day instead of every day!

Blessings to those with priorities,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coming or Going

Well my luck ran out after the jumpseat ride.

I am back on the island and awaiting a ride back to the States. Delta seems to have heavy bookings this week... something going on back home I don't know about?

So on to Plan B.... the military flight. This will be my first trip on a MAC flight (military airlift command).

We are leaving Souda to travel to Italy, then to the Azores, then finally stateside to Norfolk, VA. From there I will find my trusty Delta and head further south. To where this smiling little bugger will greet me....

See you soon Madie Mo!

We will see what my luck is like on the military flights.



Sunday, April 26, 2009

Seat request

Saturday morning I woke up early to set off towards Athens to meet Harry and The Barkers.

Me and flights here lately .... well have not been doing so well. Therefore, I know to adjust my attitude before I even pack my bags.

Was I upset when......

I pulled into the Chania parking lot and could not find a parking spot?

when I drug my bag way further than I wanted to?

when I realized I had an expired Pass rider ticket?

when I checked in and was told there were no seats available?

when I was told to check back in 10 minutes before departure?

when I go back I am told to go to the gate?

when I see about 100 people in front of me in the security line?

when I break in front of everyone and pretend not to pay attention to their mean stares?

when I check in at the gate and see the lady frown at m boarding pass?

when my boarding pass does not have a seat assignment located anywhere on it?

when the gate agent ushers me on the bus still without a seat?

when driving up to the airplane and see a small propeller aircraft?

when I know it does not hold more than 50 seat?

when the gate agent speaks to the flight attendant in Greek about me?

when the flight attendant sees my ticket and says, "Stay here"?

when I stay at the back of the aircraft and frantically search for an empty seat somewhere?

when I realize there are actually no seats?

when I think I am going back on the bus to sit for the next flight?

when the flight attendant tells me to wait a few more minutes?

when I realize that a few more minutes will not make one of these passengers evaporate into thin air leaving a seat for me?

when the flight attendant tells me to follow her to the front?

when she trys to tell me I am sitting in the jumpseat?

when I am searching for the flight attendant jumpseat and do not see one?

when she opens the cockpit door?









WHY you ask?

Because my seat is in the COCKPIT JUMPSEAT!!!!

That's right. My seat was in the cockpit. I was so taken back.... to the years in the airline industry.

I recognized the familiar sounds and smells. And it felt like old times. The familiar sound of the stick shaker as it vibrated. The bells and whistles as the chimed during their before start checklist. The familiar rhythm of the checklists. The click of the jumpseat with its 5-point harness.

The familiar sights of the guys flipping switches. The sight of David Clarks as the sat snuggly on the Captain's head.

Watching the guys during flight as the navigated the radio frequencies, set the altimeter as we climbed to 14,000 feet.

Oh and the view. How amazing to view the upcoming Athens from the cockpit windshield. The runway as it suddenly appeared from the clouds. The markers as we landed.

It was an amazing experience.

And Harry was so jealous! So much for bad luck on this flight.

Blessings to those with a good seat,


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Feeling Yuck

I have been under the weather so to speak.... and not because L.T. and Ty Murray were in the bottom two of Dancing with the Stars... although that did sadden me.

And I felt bad when L.T. was sent home.

Ty absolutely has trouble on the dance floor, but he is such a nice guy... I hate to think he is next on the list of those going home. And he is so cute and polite.

But this DWTS drama has not caused me to wretch me insides out for the past 2 days. That I think was caused by a bad hotdog.

I have always been able to make it to a suitable disposal when needing to purge. But not this time. I did not even make it out of bed. Thank goodness for Kayne... since Harry's in Italy... he changed my linens, found my medicine, and made sure I was still alive from time to time.

I was nauseas and dizzy. And anything that went in came back up. Quickly. I stayed in my bed. I atrophied unto the sofa.... I barely left the horizontal position. Only to run to the toilet and start the ritual all over again.

The animals stayed near me while I was warm and cozy under covers. But when the frantic race to the bathroom started... well I guess I startled them away. Except Peabody.

She had been out for a few hours, or come to think of it I am not really sure.... my concept of time was non-existent. While on the sofa, I heard the distinct scratching of Peabody "I want to come in" knock on the door. Once vertical, and upon reaching the door..... it was too much for me to digest. Literally. I opened the door only to upchuck all over the doorstep. Luckily, Peabody was quick on her feet.

Once I finished my business over the ledge, I looked back to make sure Peabody had not gotten covered in the mess.... only to find her eating it. And back over the ledge I went again. I mean gross Peabody.

Back inside I went... I needed more medicine. Not sure what this bug was.... but it was not leaving anytime soon.

But eventually, I did start to recuperate a little, but not enough to make my Friday morning flight to Athens. Harry and I are traveling with the Barker's for some sightseeing around the mainland. Well, mine had been cut a day short.... I really have zero energy right now, still a little dizzy and nauseas feeling, and scared to eat anything!

Sorry for the somewhat graphic details....if you think that was bad... you should have been here. Add the details to the actual sounds and smells... urgh bad times.

So off the mainland Greece for a few days, then US bound on MONDAY!!!!

Blessings to those able to hold it in,


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Peabody again

Maybe she is acting out since Harry is gone?

And a pair of my favorite flip flops....

Here she is as she slowly unravels my rug.

Silly dog. I wish Greece had one of those PetSmart doggie boot camps. I have been thinking about asking the drug dog handlers on base to work with her.



Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Construction team

Along our walk, Peabody and myself, pass by a little construction site. And our (since moved on ...PCS'ed to Washington state) friends old home. Stacey... thank goodness you have moved.... the construction noise is unbearable! But that's her old Periwinkle house in the background.

We have seen the guys with their tractors leveling as best they could. Then they bring what looks like a giant chisel and go to town on the rocks. Once the rocks are broken up they stack them in a pile.

Well for several weeks the piles have just sat there.... I was wondering what for?

Until this past week....

The construction crew, men scattered throughout the front lawn had their own little stations set up. Each guy had his own little station. A guy on a small forklift thingy delivered the larger pieces to a few guys swinging heavy hammers. These guys were breaking the large pieces into smaller ones.... to be carried to some other workers.

Then these guys were intently carving out the blocks that were building the house.

Wow, I was impressed. I mean, my dad builds things all the time. But I have never seen him carve out his own building blocks. I never thought about where the blocks came from before Lowe's or Home Depot delivered them to our doorsteps.

I watched a while as these guys painstakingly chipped and shattered until the perfect block was formed. Then another guy would stack the blocks in a neat pile. With another guy came to retrieve the block, with mud on his shovel, intricately found the perfectly sized block to fit. It was like watching a giant puzzle.

Peabody wanted to explore more, but kept her back. I think I made the guys a little nervous by taking pictures of them. How do you explain to the Greek construction workers that do this sort of thing all the time.... that you find it fascinating. I mean come on.... they were creating their on blocks from a giant rock.

Blessings to those on firm ground,


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Peabodys treat

It's like Christmas when we receive a package from the States.

Not only for Harry, myself, and Kayne.... but the animals are thrilled as well.

I guess US bones are better than Greek ones? I will have to take Peabody's word on it. She worked like a surgeon for hours on that bone. When I handed it over.... she whimpered and whined. She stood at the door and cried to go out. Which would be fine if it were an everyday Greek bone.... however, this one was not going outside for her to bury and later dig it up once the bone has been sufficiently covered with mold.

So she settled for a spot on the rug and went to work. Oliver was busy with his own assortment of treats. He loves Greenies. But when the Greenies no longer captures his attention he strayed over to Peabody and her bone.... only to be met with a snarling growl.

Some things are sacred. Like Diet Mountain Dew.... I typically do not offer any Dew when company comes over.

Blessings to those who willing share,


Monday, April 20, 2009

Heart broken

I am absolutely heart broken.... and not for Harry (sorry hon... he is out of town. Gone to Italy for the week for work related training.) But for the other love in my life.


Living in Greece has had it's challenges... one of which is the lack of "good" television. We have Greek television. Um, but it is in Greek.

The second option is AFN, Armed Forces Network, which is military in nature. Duh! But the satellite coverage only covers about 10 channels. 1 sports channel, 1 kids channel, 1 news channel, 1 info channel, 1 movie channel (not new release movies), The Pentagon Station, and about 2 channels with somewhat current shows. Zero advertising commercials, well if you count the military ones.

Our recently found third option includes watching shows from the internet. Not sure about the legalities of it, but ignorance is bliss?

We / Kayne have become sophisticated with our system. He ha s an X-box which has a wireless thingy that reads the files from our computer. So we are able to watch t.v. as if the X -box were like our little Comcast converter thingy.
Here is what it usually looks like.

But due to a series of unfortunate events.... it died. Seriously, the always green light turned red. It was like a heart monitor in a hospital flashing and flashing and then... nothing. I had lost it. And I literally cried.

How could this be happening? Harry is out of town and all I wanted to do was sit comfortably on the sofa and watch my shows. Guiltless t.v. watching, uninhibited, undisturbed, all out chick flick time. Ad of all days.... just when my favorite reality shows were airing.

I could barely sleep last night knowing The Celebrity Apprentice might lose Joan Rivers or Annie the Poker lady. And what about Amazing Race? Who is going to make it to the mat first? Who is going to come and last and possibly get sent home?

And alas but above all most importantly.... Dancing with the Stars! How did my French man do? Will he be back on top again or will Lil' Kim keep the top slot? What about Ty the bull rider? He cannot dance, but I like him. And he was at the bottom last week.... how is he going to do after that Jive last week?

Oh, the uncertainty!

Once I caught my breath and think rationally... I called Kayne. He can fix anything! He worked til about midnight.... so I went to sleep with trepidation, but knowing Kayne was on the job... and my questions would have answers when I woke up!

Except, this is what I found....

And I cried again. This was too much for me to handle. I woke Kayne up to ask him W.H.A.T. was going on? He informed me he needed parts.... ordered them online.... and they should arrive in 2 weeks. With a heavy gait I went back to bed to mourn for my lost episodes.

Here is the empty spot where my former love stood. Just like the unconnected plug.... I too am waiting to get connected again.

I think it's time to go home. Where my parents have a dish and I love the sound of the Tivo blip in the morning.

Kadence.... I am on my way home!

Blessings to those with a connection,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Last Can Standing


This past week I popped the top of my favorite beverage. The soothing sounds of a carbonated Diet Mountain Dew can as the pressure is released at the touch of your finger tips. Followed by the refreshing surge of cool caffeine as it penetrates your nerve endings.

That is how I start each and every morning. Harry has his pot of coffee... I have my Diet Mountain Dew.

The photo was taken as I popped the top of the last can in my cabinets. The Last Can standing.

I scoured the pantry looking for hidden cases. I checked the car for forgotten purchases hopefully hiding in the dark back corners of the trunk. Nothing... that was it. The manager of the NEX told me a pallet was coming in next week, but in Greek time that could mean anywhere between 1 week to 8 weeks.

Before stepping foot on this island I partook of about 5-7 cans a day. Not sure if that constitutes an addict, but I believe I might have been well on my way.

I knew I had a problem when a certain event occurred several months before our departure across the Pond...

I was traveling between Florida and Atlanta several times a week.... with my Youth Group activities. While in Florida I would shop and stock up my eBay store. I would shop outlet malls for high-end products and sell them on eBay for a profit. I like to call it Handbag flipping!

I had a routine... when flying in I collected my rental car to head to the outlet malls for work related research. I was eBaying. Harry calls this shopping. I cal lit market research proceeded by a smart investment.

This trip I stopped by the base to grab a few things at the Commissary. . Upon entering I noticed a sale section... I love anything on sale, but this sale had particular interest for me.

Diet Mountain Dew 5 for $10.

I could not pass up such a huge savings…. that and I like to keep an end of the world / famine supply wherever I am currently located.

So I stock up and head to my parents. Youth group that night.... pack up to head back to Atlanta the next morning. I would pre-pack my bags so I fit everything in. All my eBaying purchases.

Wake-up... head back to Destin outlet malls, refuel rental, and head to the airport.

Wheeling in the parking lot at unlawful speed... I am always late.... I park and proceed with the airport ritual.

Spot check car.... check

Collect all belongs.... check

Log mileage for inside counter... check

Pop trunk and grab bags.... check

Double take the back seat.... oh no!

I had left a case of Diet Mountain Dew in the floor board. In my haste of dragging my luggage and newly purchased eBay junk inside my parents house.... I only grabbed 4 of the 5 cases of Diet Mountain Dew. One was still sitting staring back at me.

What was I to do? I could not just leave it there. I was returning the rental... if it had been my car I would have left it until I returned in 3 days, but this was a rental. It would be gone forever. Maybe a nice gift for the car company.

But no.... I just could not walk away. A dropped my bag, unzipped the sides, broke open the case, and began stuffing the cans one by one into the crevasses of my bag.

I have no clue what I was thinking. Or better yet... it was clear I was not thinking.
I ran inside as fast as my 3 inch stilettos would allow.... toss this increasingly heavy bag onto the conveyer.... and run for my flight.

I think it finally dawned on me midflight... I had stuffed $2 worth of Diet Mountain Dew into a bag containing $4000 worth of high-end handbags. I chewed my nails down to the nubs that flight. I paraded down the Atlanta airport in the walk to shame towards baggage claim.

How could I have been so crazy? As the carrousel went round and round... I waited for my bag to appear. The fate of my bag worried me as other bags went by. Finally, I recognized mine. From the distance I tried to spot any spots leaking from the exploding cans. As the bag neared I saw no spots.... I did not smell the familiar smell associated with my favorite beverage.

I was too ashamed to open my bag in public... so I began the walk of shame towards the train. Watching for a trail of liquid seeping from luggage.

Once out of eyes shot I carefully laid the bag on its side (as if that would injure the bag more?) unzipped it carefully and peeked inside. Luckily, not one single can had exploded. I delicately zipped the bag closed and realized.... I had a problem. Diet Mountain Dew was making me do crazy things.

After my fright... I decided to take it easy on the Dew. Then once we moved here to Crete... I really had to take it easy. The base rarely carries the Diet Dew. So when I find it I buy mass quantities, but only allow myself 1 a day, unless I am having an exceptionally stressful day.

Thankfully though.... within the week Diet Dew arrived on the island. And I bought every case on the shelf. Selfish maybe…. but that’s how we survive over here. You find something “New” on the shelf…. You better buy it then because you may never see it again!

Hopefully they will restock the shelves tomorrow and I can make my rounds again.

Blessings to those facing a Mountain,


Egg Hunt


Just wanted to share a few more pictures with you...

After the Easter Service.... we had an Eastern breakfast with casseroles as far as the eye could see.

After breakfast several kids participated in the egg hunt... I think the adults had as much fun as the kids.

And my favorite.....the cupcakes.

I ate mine almost in the same manner as the little tike! Remember it was my first day off Lent and could enjoy a mouthwatering 550 calories!

(Again thanks to Matt.. you guys see a glimpse into our world.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sunrise Service

Pictures of this Easter's Sunrise Service....

Followed by the baptism of a young sailor.

Early and rough to woke up and begin functioning, but the view once the sun rose was spectacular.


(Thanks Matt for your photographic skills!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cat nap

Holy Week has been an extremely busy week for the Chapel. In addition to our normally busy schedule of Chapel, Sunday school, Men's Bible study, Women's Bible study, and Midweek Service... Harry added a Maundy Thursday Seder/ Passover Meal, Good Friday Prayer breakfast, Good Friday noontime Service, a movie night for watching The Passion of The Christ and on Eater....Sunrise Service at a local beach followed by a baptism, Breakfast brunch back at the Chapel followed by an Easter Egg Hunt for the kids.

Like I said a jam packed week. Not to mention.... I caught the flu bug. I wanted to ride it out on the sofa, but Harry decided to make me an appointment with the Doc. He said he needed me on my A game, which translates to: "I need to you cook, cook, cook some more, clean, help organize, and then clean up some more."

So I have cooked and cooked until just about every dish in the kitchen has been dirtied and I can actually see the back of my refrigerator. We have a rule here in the Hansen household: Whoever cooks then the other has to do the dishes. So my goal was to dirty as many dished as possible. I know that's mean. But so is volunteering your spouse for outlandish task while infected with the flu bug!

Now that the "Super Bowl" week of Christianity is over..... it's just me and the animals relaxing in our pajamas on the sofa in front of the television. We only move to eat, bathe, and soak in the sun from the balcony.

Oliver was knocked out. And so was I.

I have resigned myself to the sofa with either a book or remote in hand. I have fallen behind on my t.v. shows. I have no clue who has been kicked off Dancing with the Stars, The Biggest Loser, or the Apprentice.... and I am beginning to have withdrawls. There is nothing better than sitting on the sofa eating cupcakes (Lent is O.V.E.R. and I am back to eating sweets) while watching the Biggest Loser. Makes me feel like a real winner!

Blessings to those curled up nice and cozy,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter of 79

1979 ... I think? My mom will only know for sure.

Today we woke up at the crack of dawn.... for Sunrise Service. With the hustle and bustle of our day I took time to remember what it was like so many years ago on Easter morning.

Once we woke from our slumber we ran for the kitchen table.... that's where the Easter Bunny left us our surprises.

Yes we participated in the now viewed upon as Pagan tradition of the Easter Bunny and of course my all time favorite Easter Egg Hunt. I was good at it. I was small, quick, and extremely good at treasure hunts in general.... so I loved trying to find the most eggs and the GOLDEN Egg.... which contained money.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist home going to a Southern Baptist Church.... so for all you folks out there scared for their kids..... I turned out just fine! Well that may be subjective, but egg hunting and Christmas present opening have NOT scarred me in the least.

Okay... off my soap box and back to the nostalgia...

My mom / Easter Bunny would fill our baskets with jelly beans, Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and each year something different like a new outfit, or shoes, or hair bows... whatever she decided that year.

After we feasted on our high fructose delights, church preparations began.

Each year we decked out in our Easter garments. Each year we wore a new Easter dress. An Easter bonnet, a new pair of stockings, our first of the Spring season white shoes..... we are from the South and some things are just not allowed... like white shoes before Easter. And if momma felt the dress required them... she added little gloves.

Yes... we were dressed to the nines for Easter. I will have to see if she has any other pictures to share with you guys... we looked stunning.

All cute as a button , grabbing our half eaten Easter baskets... we headed out the door to church. We had Sunrise Service then... but only the "old" people went. I guess I have turned into one of those now!

Seeings how Harry and I only have Oliver and Peabody... no human kids to add to the fray... I decided to keep with tradition....

And dress up the only willing participate I could...

Miss Peabody.

Peabody went to the beachside Sunrise Service with the Chapel.

She wore her best coat. A grey herringbone with pink wool buttons and a fur collar. She was even allowed to wear her special occasions Coach collar. She had a patent leather pink leash, but she broke it before we even

And most importantly... and least I forget....

She wore her pearls.

Yes, Peabody has a set of pearls. Don't worry.... they are not real. I bought them this past Christmas from Pier One Imports... I have no clue why they had them, but I bought her a pair. And a pair for her BFF canine friend Annie, who sported her pink princess hoody. We really should find something better to do with our time!

Easter Blessings,



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