Friday, October 28, 2016

What I've Been Doing Lately: In Pictures

More laundry than I ever knew was possible.

So many dishes.

Christmas card preparation. As you know, we take Christmas cards seriously around here.

Blending everything in sight in our new blender, a gift from Phil's mom. It works beautifully. Thank you so much.

Trying desperately to grasp Halloween through decorations and movies, even though I'm already working on Christmas cards, and failing miserably to complete all the Halloween crafts I had planned in my head. There's still time. 

Plus sleeping, but that's not pictured.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Apple Pie

We made an apple pie this week. Here's what the process looked like, step-by-step.

Shell and filling.

Shell filled.

Ready to be baked.

Baked.
Resting my hand in cold water because I burned my ****ing knuckle on the ****ing hot pan.


Bella looking at me like I'm an idiot for burning my ****ing knuckle on the ****ing hot pan.

Phil enjoying the apple pie that cost me my knuckle skin.

I'd like to thank my good friend, Betty, for the recipe. You can find instructions for the filling here: http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/fresh-apple-pie/880b6895-4081-4c52-bbc1-ab07f721785e
I make my own pie crust.

Betty Crocker's online "recipes" are hilarious because they usually involve a product endorsement. One time I looked up a Betty Crocker cookie recipe, and the recipe I found told me to buy a box of Betty Crocker cookie mix. Good one, Betty. 

The cookbook is great. Our copy was a gift from Phil's sister. I have a bunch of recipes tabbed for my "To Try Sometime" food list. I have a lot of work to do.

All right, you've convinced me. I'm going to go eat some leftover pie.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Life With The Kid

We've passed the 6 month mark with our child, and what more fitting way to celebrate than to allow him to write his own blog post.

He completed this before he retired to his chamber to indulge in some milk and Harry Potter (book 2), before falling into a deep (please), long (oh, please) slumber.

Here's what he had to say to you:


Dt5htbf c

fsg44sszzG$R#E-------------------------------0-,,j
1z.
ssx zxz
00 b                       xaz?_PPPPPPPP



Goodnight from Greece, beloveds.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Transformation Tuesday

I came home from crafting yesterday, and found this in the kitchen:



Today, I decided it was time to put away the laundry. I had to do a few other chores, too. I documented all of it, because I wanted to show myself how much I'd accomplished. Looking back, I don't care. I'm tired, and I'm hungry, and it wasn't worth it.

It was a little bit worth it.

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Business, as Usual

Our remaining visitors left us yesterday. It was great to have them all here. We had a lot of fun, some of which is pictured below. Today, we worked on getting back into a routine. The Kid led off by mercifully sleeping for 8 hours straight last night. Phil went back to work. I crafted with a friend, and finally baked a chocolate cake that I've been craving for a week. 

I'm taking breaks between each sentence to stuff mouthfuls of it into my face.

This week, I'm committed to completing my remaining Halloween decoration crafts. I'm stuck waiting for some plastic bats that haven't arrived yet. I think I might have to proceed without them. Darn. I'm also hoping to get back into the blogging routine, but sometimes it is really hard to drag myself to my computer, and not just read celebrity gossip all afternoon. I will try, for my sake and for yours.

The Acropolis Museum. More on this later, maybe.

Nafplio, again. They have really good gelato, okay?!

Here. This is the gelato place. See all that gelato in there?

This is the donut place next door.

These are the donuts. This is one order.

So, it turns out most of these photos are from Nafplio, which you've already seen on here a million times. But these were taken in different lighting than you've seen, so...
Here's Palamidi Fortress.

Here's that view I always capture.

Here's another view. It was a very scenic trip.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Visitor Central

We've got visitors out the wazoo right now. It's lovely, but busy. We've been visiting some of our favorite haunts. Here we are at Corinth. I should have worn my sunglasses. 


I've been Halloween crafting, and I want to share my triumphs. Hopefully this week, but we'll see how everything shakes out.

I love Halloween.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

3 Short Stories

1) On our walk today, Bella took off after a kitten and ran face-first into the stroller.

2) I was holding The Kid above my head, and noticed a huge thing of spit slowly stretching down from his mouth. I screamed and tried to move, but it still landed on my face.

3) The leaves are started to thin in Athens. I mark the changing of the seasons by the linden tree outside our window. When I have to start closing the bathroom door because the leaves don't block the view, I know we're getting closer to winter.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vingåker

Lest you thought that yesterday's post was just a one-off of our Swedish trip, behold; I have a second post.

On our last full day in Sweden, we rented a car and drove out of Stockholm to my actual ancestral home, Vingåker. This was probably the least exciting day for Phil because, although he got to drive, the countryside between Stockholm and Vingåker is practically unchanging for the two hour trip. It should be noted that my mom and I loved it. We, along with my grandma, have always had a penchant for artwork depicting little, red houses against green pastoral backdrops. I guess we were just channeling our homeland.

Vingåker is small, and farmy. There is a nice city center, with the train station where my great-grandmother left for America in the early 1900s. There isn't a lot of touristy stuff to see, but it is a beautiful area. We ate at Joan's Cafe and Bistro, and wandered up to an old, old Lutheran church before driving even further into the country to the area where my ancestors lived.

One thing that really stuck out about Vingåker, aside from the insanely picturesque scenery, is the amount of diversity we saw in its residents. We obviously weren't there for very long, but it seemed like Vingåker houses a lot of people who have immigrated to Sweden, or have been resettled in Sweden. I wonder if that's true. I'd like to talk to my grandma's Swedish cousin about it. We weren't able to meet up with her on this trip, and I'm still bummed about it. Hej, Kristina!

Here's what we saw:

I took this picture of Phil and The Kid at the train station, but then Phil was like, "This is stupid, I'm not even from here," so my mom took a picture of me, with Phil and The Kid.

Here's the picture my mom took. Phil didn't really say my picture was stupid. He did suggest a photo that included me.

Here's that old, old Lutheran church.

It was built in the Middle Ages, expanded it the 1700s, and updated a few years ago. It is beautiful inside. It's not very ornate, though there is some gold. They seem to do a lot of outreach to asylum seekers.

This is the area where my family lived. The house is representative.


My great-grandmother used to wash the family's laundry in the river, and this was the only river we saw in the immediate area. I don't know if this is my actual ancestral washing machine. We didn't have a reliable source with us, and Sweden is waterlogged. So, this is either the river, or it's also representative.

Vingåker was beautiful. I loved it. It was hard to leave. I had to force myself to think of winter, so that I could get back in the car, back on the airplane, and back to Athens.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Stockholm

Phil took me to my ancestral home last week. My mom came with us, as did The Kid. Speaking with absolutely no authority on the subject, having seen only a tiny portion of the country, Sweden is beautiful and I want to live there.

We were only there for three days, and stayed in Stockholm for the majority of the time. Stockholm is a very pretty, very clean city. It looks like how I imagined Europe in my head, before I got over here and realized that Europe is a big continent with countries stretching almost halfway down the globe, and hundreds of cultures, all with varying socioeconomic status and architectural taste. Who'd have thought, right?

Stockholm is a bit like D.C. It can be hideously expensive, but there are nice parks, a decent number of free museums, and fit people running around everywhere. Overall, Phil found the city to be boring. I can't remember his criteria for determining whether a city is interesting. I think Stockholm bored him because the city resembles a lot of other European cities that Phil's already seen, and you'd have to go quite far if you want to see something different.

Maybe it's my part-Swede blood, but I loved Stockholm. We rented an apartment in Östermalm, and were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go in the city. We did not take a boat tour, which is probably something you should do, but we did do a Phil-guided walking tour of old town (Gamla Stan), went to the Vasa Museum to see an old, salvaged ship, and spent the afternoon in Skansen, an open-air museum.

I took some pictures for you, all of which looked a lot better on my little phone screen. Maybe that's how these should be viewed. I don't know. It's your life. Do what you want. 

Pretty park in Stockholm.

Some old, Swedish building with the flag on top.

Swedish Parliament.

Pretty, circular square in the middle of old town.

This is a clubhouse for rich Swedes. Or, it's like a meeting space for the noble families. I don't know. Either way, it was gaudy.


Old drinking fountain in front of the Nobel museum.



A candid shot of the drinker.


Stockholm from Skansen

Old Swedish homes in Skansen.

Naked baby statue in Skansen. I took this picture because it reminded me of my Grandma's garden. Is it a Swedish thing to put naked baby statues in your garden? Hard to know. Greeks just have naked everyone statues. 

I'm sure it would be a lot harder for me to stay in Stockholm during winter darkness (and, if if I'm being honest, probably the summer brightness), but maybe I'll set up a nice, autumnal cabin in the country and make an annual pilgrimage to my homeland.