Monday, November 30, 2009

Bejeweled Mania


This is how I have been spending my days...

On Facebook playing this 1 minute / totally addicting / sparkly gem game. 

Not doing my homework. 

Not catching up on late blogs.

Not even Internet house shopping anymore. 

Just simply playing a mind numbing completely unproductive game!


from one of the top scorer's!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Neighborhood mess


Remember the construction noise... I ranted about earlier this year titled Ttttt ttttt tttt?

Yeah, well the noise never ceased... as I think they are building an entire complex of houses!

The noise is unbearable at times.... but we have grown kindof accustomed to it.

My new problem....

what keeps me whirling over here next door...

The dust kicked up and into my house by this mess!

It's everywhere.  one would think only the top floor would take the brunt of the sandy intrusion, but oh no!  All three floors are covered in this fine mist.  Again... it's everywhere!

It's a "barely able to see" powder that seeps into every nook and cranny.  My dusty capabilities are not up to par... that is until now.

If we do not dust properly everyday... then we will have a really nasty mess.

The rain has started!  So if Harry or Miss Peabody (notice I am not blaming myself... I know how to wipe my shoes off before entering) come traipsing in with wet paws / shoes ... oh what a mess we have on our hands then!

A liquidy / the color of clay mess.  Urgh!

Is it me... or is everything bothering me and I am just ready to go home?



Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Souda Bay, Greece

Our Thanksgiving will be spent in the base galley this year. Harry likes to hang out with the sailors during the holidays.

Afterwards, we will spend a little time fellowshipping with our friends and family (well Kayne the only family here in Greece, but we consider our neighbors and Chapel members family now).

Blessings to you all,


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Change of Season


It's that time of year....

where you change out all your slinkier summer clothes for warmer winter ones. 

Our closet here.. which is actually an entire guest room with clothes shoved into every crevice... looks as if a textile manufacturing plant exploded.

Clothes are everywhere.  Under the bed.  On the bed. 

My job of changing our wardrobe is made extremely difficult by the scavenger hunt of trying to find where I have stashed all of last season attire. 

But luckily... after an entire day of searching, smelling, refolding... I have began to make progress.

I just wish I had a closet large enough to handle ALL our clothes. 

And shoes.



Monday, November 23, 2009

And the rains came down


It has started...

the rainy season.

It's amazing how one day can be perfectly beautiful weather and then... wham. It's pouring rain.

Some days... the weather consists of sunshine and warmth. An hour later... the sky unleashes loads of giant raindrops. It makes dressing for the day kindof hard. I start out in flip flops and by the time I return home.. my toes are water logged and wrinkly.

Prime example... please notice how the sunshine is still peaking though while it's raining cats and dogs!

Oh, and the other thing.... laundry and hanging the over the ledge to air out... definitely a bad idea on days like these..

Now the problem seems to be how to get these rugs dry before the next rains start?



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chapel Thanksgiving


Today, we had our traditional "Sunday before Thanksgiving" Chapel Thanksgiving meal. Complete with everything....

We had six tables of food, lining the walls...

We had tents and tables set up outside in the parking lot... there were so many people!

Harry and I are so very thankful to have such a wonderful group of people here in the Souda Bay Chapel. They have made our time here special. From the ministry to the friendships.... we have developed a family with these folks. Times like these... will make it extremely difficult to pack up and leave this coming February.

Thanksgiving the Sunday before blessings,


Friday, November 20, 2009

House Shopping


We officially have a realtor …

and are house shopping….

online? (as if we had a choice)

Harry and I have been to / through the Norfolk area, but are not familiar with where we would want to live for 2 years.

We will have 10 days house hunting leave in January, but for some reason, neither of us can stand the wait. We have spent hours looking online for the perfect house. If I like something, Harry typically does not like the price. When Harry likes the price, usually I do not like the house! Which is completely normal with the two of us!

More updates on the house hunting search to come…

I think it may be a long journey!



Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mixed feelings


It is a crazy feeling to be ready to leave one duty station and heading to another.

I am so ready for life off this island there are times I could scream! But the thoughts of leaving our friends and Chapel folks become depressing. And the single most terrifying aspect of leaving Greece….

Leaving Kayne (my brother) behind. He was never supposed to stop and grow roots here. He was just along for the ride… to depart with us 2 years later.

So as I house shop online and look around at my current residence and the mess packing will be .. I am not sure how to feel.





With orders in hand…. I thought life would get easier, not more difficult!



Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mega Place


Tonight is my first movie experience since we have been in Souda. By the time movies are out here ... I have already seen them some where else. And Greeks socialize at the movies. Their mobile phones ring during the movie. And they answer them. And they proceed to talk for 3-7 minutes loudly while the movie is still playing. And there is a 10 minute intermission smoke break.

So you can see why I have been hesitant to go. Recently, a new cinema was built... advertised as much like the US and we decided to go check it out. And see 2012.

Normal right? Reminds me of Parkway Point in Atlanta. Oh, how I miss Parkway Point!

Nice huh? So much for me preconceived notions of having a bad experience. Although we did have a talker near us... and the annoying cell phone scenario occurred but only briefly.

All in all it was a good night!



Sunday, November 15, 2009

Julie and Julia


On the flight from Dubai to Athens... I watched the movie Julie & Julia. It's about Julia Childs French cook book and Julie P decides to cook her way through the book in a year and blog about it.

Needless to say... it's quite a feat. But from this cutesy movie... I have decided I need to be a little more how do I say... attentive and regular with my blog posts. I made this commitment last year and it's time to get back in the swing of things. Being a month behind is just simply unacceptable.

So thanks for being patient as I "catch up" on our going ons. With Chapel, school, holidays, and a soon to come relocation... please bare with me.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Social networking v Schoolwork


We are home safe and sound.

The animals are happy we are home, except Oliver has his "I am still mad at you, but happy you are home face". Now time to and pack and begin laundry... argh!

I loathe unpacking.

And I am having a hard time making myself get started on my school work. For some strange reason I would rather be on Facebook, email, or catching up on the blogs. I sit down at the computer and feel guilty if I am not on my schools website. I feel guilty if I post a blog, but stray from posting on my classes discussion board.

FYI: I HATE posting on the discussion board. I am not a talker in a normal classroom setting... WHY should they make me speak to my classmates via the discussion board. If you do not post and comment on at least two of your fellow classmates... you get a zero. A zero! Argh!

Maybe I should just go back to bed today! There's a post... and here are 2 comments: Good. Bye!

Disgruntle Blessings,


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We HAVE Orders


We finally have orders.

We are to leave Souda Bay in February and report to ….

Little Creek Amphibious Base in Norfolk, Virginia

….no later than beginning of March.

Here we come (back) America!

I am feeling a little patriotic right now! Periodically, we have broken out in song. Song and the Pledge of allegiance. Sad to say, but I think we have forgotten some of the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. We must hurry back before we forgot anything else American!



Monday, November 9, 2009

Cheesey Pictures


Her are a few left over pictures from our little excursion...

They are the silly ones that just did not fit anywhere else... lame is this? As if we are relaxing on a gigantic structure in the middle of the desert...

Okay, not sure why we even posed for this one. PDA in front of the pyramids? I am sure my niece will get a nice laugh out of this one...

Okay, not sure Harry understood what the photographer was trying to show him. "Shoot the picture as if her hand is on the top of the pyramid" ... not to the side!

Okay, we are about pictured out at this point. That and the security guard keep snapping pictures... I guess the more he shot the more payment he would demand before he would give us back our camera.

Enjoy some of our silly moments... it's not all regimented touring for the Hansen Household!



Sunday, November 8, 2009

Emirates Airlines


As the vacation has come to a close... it is time to pack it all in and begin the journey home.

I am leaving one of my favorite places in the world. Dubai. It is simple wonderful! Shopping and extravagance every where. I do not want to leave.

But we find ourselves... back at another airport... heading home (or Greece at least)

even the airport is topnotch...

and here we go... 777 from Dubai to Athens

Emirates is known as one of the best rated airlines in the world... that and Singapore. I snagged a few pictures of the luxurious airliner... because it's not like we were going to afford to see it for real...

There are showers aboard this aircraft?!?

And comfy cabins. Are we on a train or airplane?

If you are not first class... then maybe try a little business class...

Where the service is still quite attentive...

But for Harry and I, theses are our seats....

Economy class.

Better known as the cattle call class.

Unbeleivably, the service was beyond what I expected. We received warm towels to wash our face and hands. Had access to individual t.v. screens in each chair.... with over 600 channels available.

That's right over 6 0 0.

Instead of my usual medicated sleep cocktail... I choose to stay away and watch as many movies as I could.

Man I love the Emirates.

Blessings to those in flight,


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ship Amenities


Not that we needed any, but the ship has some amazingly wonderful amenities. As if the food and service were not enough, check these out....

Indoor sauna and pool

Outdoor pool balcony area....

Upstairs jogging or walking track..

Rock climbing wall...

The outdoor lounge and pool area ... complete with many hot tubs...

Here's Harry shuffle boarding...

And a small put-put range...

This has been a wonderful vacation. What a place to relax and vacate our minds from the stresses of everyday life.

Blessings to those who take time to vacation,


Friday, November 6, 2009

The blue wall


Today we popped over to the mall next door to our hotel... Mall of the Emirates. A rather large mall with too many wonderful stores to name.

From the outside you have no clue what this sloping building is....

But this mall is different than any other I have ever been to in this world....

It has a ski resort inside the mall....

It is 100 degrees outside and freezing cold inside.

I have never been skiing before... so I am kind of excited to try to new adventure for the first time in the Middle East smack dab in the scorching hot desert.

Anticipation builds as we suit up...

My boots are way to big.... I have no idea what size I am in Dubai sizes?

Luckily, the temperature has already dropped inside the changing area... we were still wearing flip flops when we entered Ski Dubai. We wore pants and long sleeve shirts... but thankfully our hotel was next door so we did not travel far in the intense heat.

Almost ready.... it took a while to get suited up in all this garb. I wanted zero skin exposed for our little jaunt down the slopes.

Our last picture before we enter this magical winter wonderland....hopefully, we come out this happy with all our bones intact.

After sizing our skis and finding our poles.... I tried to rent a snowboard, but they said I would have to take a few hours worth of lessons... so I decided to stick with the skis.

At first sight... it was simple amazing! It was like a giant skating rink... covered in snow!

One side of the slopes are open front windows of the mall and various restaurants.

There is a lodge at the top....

but before we head up the slopes... I need to take a lesson or two. Remember I have never skied before.

But Harry convinces me that "HE" can teach me the basic I need to know. I insist on a ski instructor.... a professional one.... but Harry wants to o it.

Not because he is a good instructor... for those of you who know Harry... it's because he is cheap.

Our conversation went a little like this:

"Kristie, I can teach you."

"Are you sure Harry?" I ask demurely.

"Of course, you're naturally athletic and it's just like water skiing. It will be easy for you", Harry explains calmly with a smile.

"Okay, if you think you can teach me", I finally capitulate feeling confident that if I can water ski... then I can snow ski.

But as we mount the bunny slope to practice the one thing Harry taught me.... which was to bend my knees. I begin to feel inadequately trained.

So once at the top... I turn, wait for Harry, get into place with much difficulty I might add....then square up and off down the bunny slope I go.

I can hear Harry beside me...

"You got it, I told you you could do it. Nice work." This is what he is saying to me as I am building speed down this tiny little slope.

As I continue to glide down the hill.... I begin to gain a lot of speed. Feeling pretty proud of myself for remaining on my feet the entire time, I stand up a little taller in my skies.

A few more feet and I realize that I am nearing the bottom of the slope.

I turn to Harry with a terrified "deer in headlights" look to which he gives me the thumbs up and that goofy grin he has when he is not so sure of what else to do.

And in a split second... I have no idea what to do. I have no clue how to stop. I do not even know how to slow down. Before I can even figure out my options and decide my best choice....

I SLAM into the wall.


Face forward. Body blow. Full contact with the blue wall. The wall has a blue padding safety.

In a dazed state... I try to gracefully pull myself into the upright position.

That's when it I realize... stopping is not he only thing Instructor Harry has forgotten to teach me. He also forgot to teach me how to stand up once you fall down.

By the time Harry makes it down the hill... he has this terrified look on his face.

"Are you okay? I thought you had it! You looked good coming down the hill."

I had no words for him. I just gave him the meanest set of eyes I could muster.

So we started out lessons over... this time focusing on the basics. It was too late to sign up for an instructor... so I was stuck with Instructor Harry. After a while.... a long while I summoned up enough courage to jump on the lift and head up to the first slope.

So here is the view from the lowest slope. And you can barely see my "new" blue wall.... it's on the far left hand side of the picture. This is my new point of impact. I would start at the top of the slope.... and head down.

Gaining speed as I went.... I realized that my newest obstacle to slicing down the slopes .... I have a hard time. A really hard time turning right. So the blue wall you see.... is the place where I smacked into the wall again... as I had a hard time turning away from it.

WHAM.... again.

This time... at a much greater speed and with little resistance I knocked myself silly with the impact. My poor glasses were crocked and barely hanging on by the legs. I tried to straighten my specks and pull myself up so I could muster enough confidence to make it the rest of the way down the hill.

After repeated attempts to stand up... a little kid slices over sending snow flying all around and stops in front of this poor helpless old frail women and helps me up. I find Harry in my line of sight and his eyes are the size of saucers. Mouth wide open and a nervous hesitance he heads in my direction. Too late... I am no loner talking to Instructor Harry!

After multiple attempts, a damaged leg on my glasses, freezing cold bum and hands... I try the hill again.

Every time, I smacked into that blue wall. Every time!

I would start out great.... and then things would go south ... literally. I found myself coming face to face with the blue padded wall.

After a few hours and the last attempt.... which I threw my hands out to soften the impact... only to have my arm fold in behind me before I came face to face with my blue wall. My arm feels hot, heavy, and a little numb. Harry comes over... and I tell him I AM DONE! I do not think my body can take another run.

The blue wall... which I hated was really my best friend... well that and the net.

Thank the Lord for my blue wall and the red net. If it were not for these guys... there is no telling what would be left of me.

Please... take my advice. Beginners pay the extra money for a REAL instructor. That and pay for the water proof gloves.... Harry did not.



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