Thursday, July 30, 2009

Midnight Snack

Greetings,


Tonight while watching television we enjoyed warm buttery garlic flavored popcorn sent from the States. There is nothing better than sharing midnight popcorn...







except maybe from the floor?....



or sharing it amongst friends?....



Misses P and Oliver were constant fixtures when Logan had food, which he loved to share with these two food mongers... any other time.... they ran for the hills.


Blessings to those who share with ease,

Kristie

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Market

THIS POST is NOT FOR the FAINT at HEART



or ONES with QUEEZY STOMACHES




Greetings,

Here's our indoor market. It's a tourist haven with their Greek trinkets, t-shirts, beach towels, Olive oil, olive soap, olive spread... everything a tourist might need to take back for those less fortunate who did not make it to Crete for vacation.

Up and down the center of the indoor market are shops filled with all kinds of Cretan delights.



But along the sides... well it's the local meat market.


Complete with lamb heads with the eyeballs still staring at you, pigs feet, tongue, trite, any and everything a meat lover could want.


After a few trips through the indoor market... I have seriously considered going Vegetarian... maybe even Vegan.


Blessings to those with still eat meat,

Kristie

Thirsty

Greetings,


With the heat over 100 degrees... hydration is key....












After Logan took a sip from my water bottle.... I decided to go ahead and give him the whole bottle. He was thirsty! And look how happy he is to hold the bottle all by himself.


I really should work on my sharing issues... I don't like to drink after Harry's backwash.


Blessings to those who share,

Kristie

Monday, July 27, 2009

An extension

Greetings from a stretched out kind of state,


We think we may be extended. Again, nothing in writing... but Harry's replacement Chaplain is not slotted to arrive here in Souda Bay until March 2010. We were out of here end of November 2009... thus way too much time to leave our people without their Spiritual Advisor.

So the Detailer is tossing around the idea of an extension for us.

And I am tossing around mixed emotions... ready to return to civilization (Target / Wal-Mart / Neiman Marcus) ...yet I really have trepidation about leaving all our friends behind. In my perfect world... Crete would just float over to the States and park itself beside Florida. Then I would have the best of both worlds.

How come life is never easy?


Blessings to those with friends and Target close by,

Kristie

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Hellenic Radio (ERA):

Greetings,


The following is a news announcement from the Hellenic (Greek) radio station:

Blistering Heat across Greece

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 July 2009

Blistering heat has settled over Greece, with mercury soaring to up to 45 degrees Celsius in certain regions. State authorities are on standby, with municipalities offering air-conditioned places and advising people to be extra cautious. Temperatures will start falling as of Sunday. In an attempt to find relief from the heat, the residents of urban centres are packing the nearby beaches, with the luckiest one embarking on their summer holidays.


In the meantime, the Fire Service is on alert, because the scorching hot temperatures have raised the fire alert.


The wildfire in Ierapetra, Crete, has been contained.







Blistering is the key word....

IT IS HOT!


For those of you who do not have the conversion charts memorized...

45 °C temperature in degrees Celsius is 113 °F

That is the temperature here on Crete. That is what registers... I have no clue what the heat idex is, but it feels even hotter.

To go outside is agony, but to stay insted is sometimes worse. Here in the Hansen houshold.... we are still going green and refraining from air-conditioner. Well, not really for green reason, but because it is expensive and our extremely small BTU unit would never in a million years cool off the common area. Turning the unit on is like holding out Euros in the wind.


So like most of Greece, we have tried to find a cooler stop to dwell. Beleive it or not... a nice lounge chair on the beach is cooler than our sofa in front of the television. (there really is not much t.v. on worth watching anyway)

So to all of you over in the States and escpecially in Florida.... please keep us in mind as you crank down the buttons of your central air-conditioning.


Blessings to those with enough BTU's,

Kristie

Saturday, July 25, 2009

F.I.N.A.L.S. WEEK

ARGHHHHH….

Finals week in our household has always been a very touchy situation. Midterms…not so bad but, finals a completely different story.

During Harry’s finals, I typically leave town. It is better for our marriage.

Marriage advice #1: Any time unfettered attention needs to be directed towards higher education…. Spouses should vacate premises immediately.

This week… I have hit the higher education finals lucky lottery. I have 2 classes with an enormous amount of unfinished homework coupled with term papers and finals. It’s my turn to take a spin on the wheel of fortune and see how it all turns out. Harry did not leave town…. and we have company… so I improvised and used these guys to my advantage.

Once my papers were written… (I wrote 52 pages on multiple different subjects… from civil liberties, capitalism to socialism, and the self-incrimination clause) interesting stuff I know… but I had Danelle on one computer proofing a paper and Harry on the laptop reading the class discussion boards while I tried to cram 3 weeks worth of back log into my head. I was 8 chapters and 3 books behind.

I think this is going to be a long week. The only consolation is that the classes close Saturday midnight Eastern Time which is 7 a.m. Sunday morning here. So technically, I have until Sunday morning to finish my work.

Aren’t I the lucky one… don’t I have the edge over my classmates? I am an idiot sometimes.

Blessings to those who DO NOT procrastinate,
Kristie

Friday, July 24, 2009

Peaceful Slumber

Greetings,


Life here on Crete is so stressful.... check out Logan as he naps on the "blankie".





When he awoke from his slumber.... all dazed and looking around to see exactly where he was.... he pops a squat.... and pees. Soaking the already saturated swimmies, penetrating his swimming trunks, and leaking onto the "blankie".
Later that evening, when we returned home... we tossed the "blankie" over the outside wall intending to hose it down later that night.

Well.... we forgot.

The next day.... Harry takes Danelle and Logan to the beach. Danelle and Logan head out into the water. Harry stays back. Then Danelle notices Harry has not only brought the "blankie", but has set it out, found himself a comfortable spot, and proceeded to take a nap.

Danelle felt extremely bad but, could not bring herself to wake him up.... so Harry slept.



And slept in a much needed peaceful slumber for the next hour.


Blessings to those resting comfortably regardless of the "conditions",
Kristie


**she also felt really bad taking the picture and later giving it to me to post**

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Death trap

Greetings from a state of constant panic,



The panic subsides... only to return again when Logan approaches the stairway of death.



You see... our house here in Greece has beautiful marble and ceramic tile. Every where. There is not an inch of another textile anyway in our house. At first, I thought it was stunning... that's before I had to clean it... like everyday. And I changed my mind. Then I had a cleaning lady ... loved the tile again. Then she left... then I changed my mind again.







Now... I have a new affinity for the tile. And a loathing for the tile stairs. Each tile step is a deadly instrument for a toddler.







With each step there is a 5o / 50 chance he may slip and fall... causing bruises, bleeding, or in extreme cases... broken limbs.

And the worst.... he loves them. All he wants to do is CLIMB the stairs. And when he forgets how much fun it is .... he sees Oliver or Peabody climb the steps.... and away he goes after them.








Here's Logan on his way up... that is before momma scopes him up and brings him back down. Whew... another escape from the death trap.



Blessings to those on a safe landing,

Kristie

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Adventuresome or just plain Crazy

Greetings,



Meet Danelle and Logan... Danelle, as of today, 32 year-old (yesterday was her birthday) mother of Logan, 20 month old toddler and my family.



My family.







My family... who decided to make the hop across the pond.... a 27 hour jaunt from Charlotte, North Carolina to Chania, Greece all by themselves.

Adventuresome or just plain C R A Z Y ?


Was the marathon traveling worth the hassle?

To trade this...






and a seat on here...







For a seat here....




sunny Souda Bay's beaches and fun in the sun...





I hope so! We are looking forward to the 2 week stay. Anything less and the journey might not have been worth the effort. We may have to keep them longer... depends on how well they tan.




Blessings to those willing to make an effort,

Kristie

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In the heat

Greetings,

Here on Crete it feels like this....





and looks like this, but just add a little green vegetation...




But the above pictures are from Israel a few summers ago. As I was complaining about the "heat wave" here in Greece.... I made the comment, "It is so hot here.... probably the hottest I have ever been".

But upon further recollection... I need to clarify that statement. Israel, with their 120 degrees heat in the Judean dessert, Quran, and Mesada, is THE hottest place I have ever experienced.


Crete, Greece.... is a close second. It is tied with the few times in Florida when a hurricane or two have knocked out all the power for a few days.... NOW those are some pretty hot, muggy, humid, hot days.

Isn't funny.... how as time passes... we tend to forget. I guess time dulls are senses. Or is it our memories?

Not sure if I could ever forget our Israel trip with Jerry and Trish... they say when you have a life-threatening scare... your senses are heightened. I remember clearly how Harry had us in hot water (almost got us killed)... I just forgot how hot the rest of the trip was.


(Me, Harry, Jerry & Trish Israel 2007)



Blessings to those with functioning senses,

Kristie

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The vineyard

Greetings,



I thought I would share a few pictures of the vineyard. The grapes are progressing along... to bad they are used for wine and not regular consumption.



Peabody enjoys the full leaves as a nice shady area to relax from the sweltering heat.






Shortly, these plump green fruits will turn a nice purple hue. Every now and then we will find a handful or so munched on by the front doorstep. Again, Peabody helps herself to just about anything.





Not sure how these fair so well during these hot dry days, but the grapes still look scrumptious.


Blessings,

Kristie

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mycenea

Greetings,

The ancient city of Mycenae was once thought to exist only in ancient Greek legend and the epic poetry of Homer. It wasn't until 1870 that an amateur archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann found the fabled city. Many people doubted that he would find such a city, but using only landmarks from the text of Homers Iliad, Schliemann uncovered the remains of a once thriving civilization.






The city of Mycenae was the center of a large and powerful Mycenaean Greek civilization, which existed from circa 1900 B.C.E. to circa 1125 B.C.E.



The Mycenaean people were known to be warriors who lived for heroic battles.


Mycenaean traders had an extensive trade network with neighboring civilizations.





Here's Harry under the Lion's Head Gate...


The "Lions" of Mycenae

The two felines are actually lionesses comprising the triangular lion gate, one of the most recognizable icons of world architecture, still seem to be roaring in unison, probably announcing the unexpected approach of so many ill-armed visitors.




There are many imported and domestic artifacts found in Mycenae. Most artifacts have been found in shaft graves, many of them excavated by Schliemann and his crew. One of the most famous and one of the first artifacts to be found is the so-called death mask of Agamemnon. It is a thin gold mask which was buried with the ancient king. Legend says that Agamemnon is the Mycenaean Greek king who led his troops into battle against Troy, which eventually was sacked.



When Schliemann found the mask, he wrote to the king of Greece, "Today I have looked on the face of Agamemnon."




Here's Gaven coming out of a dark damp cistern.





Another successful adventure with the Barker's... tomorrow we travel to Delphi.


Blessings to those finding a solid gold mask in their backyard,

Kristie

Friday, July 17, 2009

Without orders

Greetings,



It is now July, and we should have received "orders" (the Navy way of sending you a message) out of here and the destination of Harry's next job.



Typically, the process of receiving orders happens no later than 6 months before we need to PSC (move). Getting a little worried Harry decided to give the "detailer" (the guy who writes the orders) a call.



We have been informed, informally... that means not in writing




Answers:

the navy does not have money to write orders just yet....

no changes to your status...

and hopefully by October you will have orders




Problems:

When things are not in writing.... anything could happen

status could change

getting orders as late as October will lead to many problems

such as

my sanity

late date to ship out household goods.... it takes about 3 months.... so will be without furniture, linens, clothes, dishes, um.... just about EVERYTHING once we finally do arrive at the new location....


which... by the way .... is NOT IN WRITING YET!



ARGH!



Blessings to those waiting for marching orders,

Kristie

Midnight ride

Greetings,


The other night.... don't you love a story that starts like that...

but the night, around midnight, Harry and I head out to the base. You see I am in the long stretch with school... finals week just around the corner. While I am frantically trying to finish off my research papers, I notice the printer is completely out of ink. Normally, I have a few cartridges stashed away... but not today. Just my luck. And the current cartridge is no longer even printing grey... it's completely gone.



Harry, after a midnight phone call needs to run to the base to check on a sailor whose wife has just been sent to the hospital. So off we go to the base around midnight.


Along the way and about 5 minutes from our house.... remember it is totally dark... we live out in the sticks. No street lamps, no other cars in sight, not even a reflector on the road is present.


It is pitch dark.


So along the way and about 5 minutes from the house.... as I sit comfortably and peacefully in the front seat of the car... as Harry drives normally around this corner then the next...



then WAM... out of no where...



I grab the dash... scream at Harry... watch him slam on brakes.... as we almost T-BONE a horse.



Yes.... I said horse. I real life. Fully grown. Dark brown horse. Standing in the middle of the road cross ways in front of us.



As the car skids to a stop inches away from the horse.... he (or maybe a she... I did not have a chance to check) just turns and looks at us. Not spooked, not scared (if only he knew Harry's driving) not out of breath...



just a horse out on a midnight stroll. In the middle of the road.



I made Harry wait while I dug my camera out of my bag.... this was a story no one would believe unless I had a picture.





Here's the horse as Peabody.. oh yeah, Peabody was with us too. We almost lost her when Harry slammed on brakes and she went flying forward. (So much for having your kids safely in a seat belt) But even Peabody was fascinated. She did not even bark at the horse.... just starred in disbelief.









So here is a better photo of our midnight trotter. What is crazy is I have lived here for..um 1 year seven months and 17 days and have NEVER seen this horse. Not sure where he came from ... or was going for that matter.



But he followed us down the street... the faster Harry went, the faster the horse trotted beside us. Then out of no where... he just turned and went back up another street. It was so surreal. As soon as he was out of sight... I looked at Harry and thought this is the weirdest thing I have seen to date here on Crete.



And we have seen some crazy things, but a horse appearing out of no where, then joins us for a little stroll, only to disappear as quickly as he arrived.... just is not something that happens everyday.



Blessings to those out for a stroll,

Kristie

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cretan Corner

Greetings,


With my parents in town, we joined the Barker's for a little traditional Greek food and dancing. Here are a few pictures and video from our meal at the Cretan Corner.



Not really sure what the boys were doing, but the "geep" held their attention most of the night.... that is until the dancing started.




I think Gavin is trying to milk a boy mountain goat? I think?



And here's a few pictures of the happy couples... enjoying the meal.



My mom and dad...


The Barker's, Matt and Ginger..... (Crete was so boring until these guys came around)



And then the dancing started....



and kept going and going...


video


....round and round tables, through the resturant, everywhere but through the streets.




video



We had an amazing time considering the meal began at 8 p.m. and when finally decided to call it a night around 11... even though the party was just getting started.


Blessings to those taking time to dance around,

Kristie


Karpoozi

Greetings,

Our Greek neighbors have planted watermelons in the field beside us... it's just on the other side of the vineyard. And last year, I was amazed at the amount of melons that came from this tiny field. It was like the melons kept multiplying on the truck.




The melons are so scrumptious. Sweet and juicy... yum! Last month when the mission team was here, someone commented on our great tasting melons. "Just wait till next month", I explained...."they get even better". And they are.... maybe it's a southern thing, but we here at the Hansen household love watermelons.







When we pay the rent our landlord gives us a watermelon. Many folks bring Harry watermelons at Chapel. When the garbage truck comes to collect our debris each worker helps himself to a watermelon or two, or three, or as many as his arms and back can carry.

I have been tempted to follow Peabody out to the field (she loves it out there.. running in and out of the vines) and gather one myself, but reminds me thieving is wrong. But everyone does it.... and our next door neighbor patch does not have any postings... I mean, how else would the garbage truck and every other company truck that passes by and helps themselves to our delicacies.


But now this patch.... just down the road a bit towards the base has a sign.

I have no clue what it says, but I think I get the drift of the message....

Some thing like:

Stay out of my melons.

or

Enter at your own risk.

or

Beware of ferrous dog.

or

Will shot at will any trespassers.






Will have to have one of my Greek friends translate for me and get back to you on this one.



Blessings to those willing to share,

Kristie


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hanging red lantern

Greetings,



I am introducing you to one of my favorite places here on Crete... the Chinese store. Not sure what its "real" name is, but the Chinese store works.



There are several places here in Greece, we American have renamed. For example, Onyinese restaurant, we call the Pork Chop Place, which serves the best pork chop around and for 6 Euros. And places with Greek names we can hardly pronounce and have renamed to suit our dialect are George's Place (the name of the owner of one of the best pita's here on the island..... 3 Pigs, which is actually four pigs on the sign out front.... Souda Fish House, which serves fish in Souda.



We have renamed just about everything Greek so that's why I call one of my favorite shopping grounds the Chinese store.



Here's a picture of The Chinese Store in Souda... you guessed it... it's in Souda.






Wall to wall cheap clothing, shoes, jewelry, bags, curtains, home decor... you name it and they have it. Women's and men's to boys and girls and everything in between.


I love it.


These stores are popping up everywhere around here. I saw my first one last Christmas. It was a small one, but at the time I had no clue.... I just loved the sight of cheap stuff. Its name was and still is the Chinese Store Before Jumbo.


Then slowly and randomly I began noticing red Chinese lanterns hanging in front of several stores in the area. Quickly and rather abrutly and to Harry's dismay I would stop at each one.

Here's the signature of every Chinese Store.... the hanging red lantern. The draw from this hanging illuminator is unstoppable.... like a sailor to a siren. A lighthouse's beam at night. A safe port from the storm. But a sight Harry tries to ignore as we drive past a new locale.



Quality may not be the best, but who cares when you only pay 5 euro for a sundress...




Blessings to those shone the way by the light,

Kristie
 

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