31 December 2007

Homemade Diapers

I wanted to show off my pretty homemade diapers, I made the pattern and cut it out on 100% cotton fabric. I was going to sew them also but found out that my mother-in-laws sewing machine is so old that it only sews a straight stitch and this required a zigzag stitch, so we asked our neighbor and koobara (wedding witness) Nicki to sew them for us and she kindly did so.

29 December 2007

Leftover Turkey

I made some good use with our leftover Turkey.
1. Turkey and Stuffing Pizza
2. Turkey and Mushroom Cream Pasta
3. Turkey Dumpling Soup
4. Cranberry Milk Shake
All very good, Arthur says that I am the best cook.

23 December 2007

The History of the Galopollo

I was admiring the view of Meteora.
When a man started chasing me.
I got caught and he hung me upside down.
Then he slit my neck, someone else will have to take over the story.
Arthur and I watched as Kostas defeathered our feathery friend.
I cleaned the rest of him up and put him in a salt brine bath.
Then I cooked him, nice and tender
We put him on a plate with stuffing, potatoes and gravy.
Arthur had a plate full.
So did Nick, Mara and Katerina.
For my first time at cooking a Turkey all by myself, I must admit I did a pretty darn good job. He weighed 7 kilos, about 15 lbs., he didn't take as long as I thought he would to cook, perhaps being a very fresh bird they don't need as much time, it took me 2 1/2 hours.
Galopolla, means french bird, either the Greeks don't like French or they think the turkey sounds like a french person talking, you take you pick on what you think.
Merry Christmas too all !

22 December 2007


Say Hello to our Sunday Dinner!

18 December 2007

More Snow

So much great snow you need a big fire to stay warm.
Another day of snow, we are only 670 feet above sea level or 200 meters.

Who Needs a Fridge

Who Needs a Fridge,
When you Have Snow.
photo courtesy by Arthur Sakkas

17 December 2007

Baby Quilts

Both Arthurs mom and Arthurs auntie made beautiful knitted baby quilts. It's hard to get a good picture of them, they will probably look better wrapped around a baby so we will post some of those pictures when the time comes. SO these pictures don't do them justice of how wonderfully soft and comfy they are, take a look. Aunties on left, moms on right.

My First Snow Days

First Day of Snow

Second Day of Snow

Crazy Cats Fighting in Snow

The snow just keeps on falling, it's a beautiful snow with large flakes. It is also a dry snow the type that you can pick up with your hands and form snowballs without your hands getting wet, of course this does not mean that your hands won't be cold.
This is my first snow in my new home of Kalampaka, Greece.

11 December 2007

Appointment Today

Today we spent 5 and half hours waiting to see the doctor for our appointment. It was a long day, but the baby is fine and he is predicting that it will come on Jan. 31, I would also tell you how much I have gained but I don't want to take all of the fun of betting on my Web baby shower.
He also gave us a name for a women that does the breathing Lamaze (don't know if I am spelling this right) class, but I don't know how beneficial it will be to me if it is all in Greek. So as a question to my sister-in-laws, do you think I should go to a class if I don't understand? Did you guys go to classes, did they help or did everything just miraculously happen? Or should I just buy a book from Amazon.com? Would love anybodies feedback.

09 December 2007

Bowling and Pool

I can't bowl, the ball is too heavy and I can't play pool, too much bending over. So Arthur and I played a little table soccer and had a coffee, we really wanted a strawberry milkshake (they make really good ones) but they don't have ice cream in the winter months, what a bummer. This is a picture of our local bowling and pool alley, lots of screaming kids and smoking parents, I think it is the same no matter where in the world you are.

07 December 2007


I'm just venting, but we just had the most evilest man inside our shop. From France, of course. They seem to grow them ugly there, we even had a French women this summer that stole sheets from us and she said she had a bed and breakfast in France. You would think that she would now that the sheets don't come with the price of the room.
He said he is writing a book, well I hope it keeps future people like him away from here. EVIL, EVIL, EVIL.

The results are in

14 people voted that I have a bigger belly and 4 people voted Arthur had a bigger belly. One month ago I would have to say that Arthur was the one with the bigger belly, but after this recent photo I will have to say that I am the one with the bigger belly.
Thank you Mom for the pregnancy clothes, they are really coming in handy now. We have our doctors appointment this coming Tuesday, so I can't wait to see how much I have gained. Of course the baby is healthy and having a wonderful time kicking and punching around, perhaps a future swimmer or kickboxer. Sometimes he even has his kicking timed with my breathing - breath in = kick, breath out = kick and so on. If your a real betting person you can go to my web baby shower and enter in the contest of when you think the baby will be due.
Good Luck, P.S. as a hint the normal period of human gestation is 40 weeks, if we go by that the due date would be January 30, so please don't say that I will be 4 weeks late, I would hate for anyone to be that overdue, especially myself.

02 December 2007

Breastfeeding Video

I read Leslie's blog and was broken hearted by the article she has linked on her website and couldn't wait to see the video so I looked it up, the link is to the side. I think it is a great video and I really like the music, Arthur just thinks Americans are crazy for reacting sooo wierd to something that is sooo natural. Personally I can't wait to breastfeed, I'm hoping it will make my boobs smaller after all is said and done, plus it is the healthiest thing the kid can eat and it's free! http://leagueofmaternaljustice.com/pressrelease.html

Weekend Entertainment

The spectators watch as a driver speeds down the road to break suddenly to see how well the car and breaks respond.

27 November 2007


Some people have been asking if we are busy or not, well the answer varies. Some days we don't have anyone staying upstairs and only a couple of locals come to drink and eat downstairs. Or sometimes we have one or two rooms full upstairs. Then their are the nights were every room is occupied, sometimes with groups sometimes just multiple people coming on the same day. These days can be on the weekdays or on the weekends, their really is no rhythm or reason, it just happens. Here are a few pictures taken 2 weeks ago when we had 16 Spanish students staying upstairs. They had a very good time.

Getting Dirty

Arthur has been working hard at cleaning the heating system. He did our house last week and the vacuum cleaner exploded on him, so their was black soot everywhere. I didn't take pictures of this incident, but I was able to get a few pictures of him working on the one for KokaRoka. Imagine him 4 times as dirty, not a speck of clean skin showing and rings around his eyes, he looked like a Gypsy or one of those punk rock kids that puts black kohl around his eyes. Cleaning the heating system ourselves has saved us over 100euros, we can eat alot of gyros and pizza with the saved cash.

25 November 2007

Ekaterini Day

Today is Arthur's mom's name day, Ekaterini, Katerina (is what I call her) and the "in the future girl child" will be nicknamed Kat (just to let you know). Name days are more celebrated than birthdays, this is when family and friends call to wish you "many happy years". I think perhaps it is easier to remember a name day versus a birthday, I mean it would be like if you knew a whole bunch of Mike's ( I know at least 5 mikes) and I could call them all on the same day wouldn't that make things easy. Of course then if you have a name like mine "mara" it doesn't have it's own name day so I get stuck in with all of the "maria's" and trust me there are a lot of "maria's" in Greece. To celebrate name days you buy little cakes and hand them out to family and friends that stop by, and they bring you little cakes so then you end up with a whole bunch of little cakes to eat. Last year for Arthur's name day everyone brought us cakes, we had about 6 boxes in the fridge, it was just too much. I think if it was all Baklava I would be able to eat it, but normally it's some vegetable cream concoction that just taste really oily.
If you want to know when your name day is, just let me know and I will try to look it up. Then you can celebrate being you twice in one year.

20 November 2007

Greek Thanksgiving

Arthur and I celebrated our Thanksgiving day today, I know it is two days early. This was the day he came to the States last year and I picked him up at the airport and we ate In-N-Out, since we don't have In-n-Out here I did the next best thing and made a Greek style Thanksgiving. The only time of year that they kill Turkeys is 10 days before Christmas, it is considered a Christmas meat along with little pigs and little lambs. So instead I roasted a chicken, this is a good size for 4 people anyway. I also made Au-gratin potatoes, very delicious, this was the only side I could think of, we don't have cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins or green beans (only in summer when fresh, no can products including mushroom soup). The potatoes and chicken was just enough, no Thanksgiving leftovers here.
I hope everyone else has an enjoyable Thanksgiving and enjoy the food for me ( I wish I could smell Maurine's rolls baking, yummy).

13 November 2007

Who has the Biggest Belly?

Voting time is here, who has the biggest belly? Now both of us are carrying "B" things, I have a 3 lb. Baby and Arthur has Beer and Bread in his belly. So what do you think?

09 November 2007

7th Month of Pregnancy

That's no pillow your looking at.

Olives and Market Day

Olives all types of olives, Dad do you recognize the strainer? You have one just like this at home, should I buy you a container of olives, or would you like to come over to sample all of the different types of olives.
I bought celery and broccoli today, I am getting ready for my doctor's appointment on Tuesday and don't want the nurse to yell at me for gaining to much weight. So Arthur and I are going on a diet this weekend, just kidding. I thought I would make frogs on a log (celery, peanut butter, and raisins) I liked eating those as a kid and Arthur has never had one.
See the Meteora rock behind me, we are in beautiful sunny Kalampaka.

04 November 2007

Sunday Drive

Arthur and I took a nice Sunday drive today to look at the neighborhood and check out the houses. I have seen cats on top of car hoods, but today we saw a dog on top of a car hood. It was the funniest thing, he was one of those hunting dogs, I hope he didn't put a dent in the hood.

29 October 2007

Ouzo Making

Our wine has finally finished fermenting and we bottled it all up, a grand total of 750 pounds (Whew we have a lot of drinking ahead of us). This wine is pure organic wine, no pesticides used during the production of the grapes and no preservatives or chemicals used to make it.
After making the wine we took the leftover grape skins to a distillery to make our homemade ouzo (tsipouro). First you place the grape skins in a copper kettle that has a gas heating element (kind of like a large gas stove) in the bottom, as the skins boil the steam is collected in another copper pipe with water on the outside to cool the steam down and make it into a liquid form. This first step creates Raki, what the Turks and Creteans drink, it has only been distilled once. In order to make ouzo you need to distill it twice, the second time you add anise seeds to give it that licorice taste. We cleaned out the copper kettle with fresh water to get rid of the grape skins and then we added back the liquid that was expelled the first time and added in the anise seeds. Once again we boiled this up and the steam collected was the final product going through the copper pipe is ouzo. We made 88 pounds of homemade ouzo, not much for this year, we still have some leftover from last year. If you would like to buy some the price is 6euros a pound, this is how much it cost to make it, this is why we really don't sell it in large quantity it is better to sell it by the glass at the shop.
Nick explains to me how things are done.
Two of the boiler kettles shown here (one was already used and being cleaned), and the three pipes used to cool down the steam and make it into liquid.
Raki coming out of the cooling pipe.
Looks like water, huh!
The anise to make the final product, Tsipouro (homemade ouzo), and we are all done. At least Arthur and I am, Nick stayed till to 2:30 in the morning to get the final product. It used to take a whole lot longer when the heating system was made with wood and they continually had to put wood chips under the kettles to keep them boiling.

22 October 2007

"When we met" Anniversary

Typical Stone House
Butcher Shop
Wood Shop

Looking down on Metsovo

Arthur and I celebrated our "we met one year ago" anniversary in the small mountainous town called Metsovo. They have some small hills nearby that they call ski centers, but right now we don't have any snow. So Arthur and I enjoyed a nice day walking around the village with their typical buildings made out of stone with slate stone roofs. We had some great Metsovian cheese that is pure sheep milk that has been smoked, very delicious ($9 a pound). They also have woodworking artisans in the village, they make the wood carved items out of olive wood.