Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Greek Gods

Okay...technically yes...Theo does count...

But today we are referring to the Gods (and lesser gods) of Greek Mythology.

Where we headed to Mount Olympus after the battle and defeat of the Titans to meet ZEUS

King of the gods, ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky, weather, thunder, lightning, law, order, and justice. Rocks a toga.

And his wife- Hera

 Queen of the gods, and goddess of marriage, women, childbirth, heirs, kings, and empires. New outfit. Now we have to buy drapes. Again.

And is where the mythology gets a bit murky

Goddess of reason, wisdom, intelligence, skill, peace, warfare, battle strategy, and handicrafts. According to most traditions, she was born from Zeus's forehead, fully formed and armored. That had to hurt.


Son of Zeus and Hera

God of fire, metalworking, and crafts. No, you can't have my towel! Piss off.


 Goddess of beauty, love, desire, and pleasure. Wife of Hepheastus. Got around a bit. Okay. A lot.


God of war, bloodshed, and violence.   Also a son of Zeus and Hera. (Roman counterpart Mars) Lost his trousers in the last bloody battle. And his spear. Doesn't seem to mind.


 Son of Zeus and his affair with Leto. God of music, arts, knowledge, healing, plague, prophecy, poetry, manly beauty, and archery. Twin of Artemis. Not sure he ever had trousers to begin with...


Twin sister of Apollo...Daughter of Zeus and Leto's affair. Virgin goddess of the hunt, wilderness, animals, young girls, childbirth, and plague. In later times Artemis became associated with bows and arrows. Ah, there are Apollo's trousers, around her waist. Mystery solved.

(Roman counterpart: Diana the Huntress)

Dionysus (aka Bacchus)

God of wine, fruitfulness, parties, festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, vegetation, and ecstasy.  Basically the PARTY GOD. Well, someone had to be. Pretty sure he never had trousers...or a shirt. It's all good.


King of the underworld and the dead. Accompanied in the statue by his three headed dog Cerberus.  I don't know what happened to his arm here. Cerberus looks guilty.  Bad A three headed dog has to eat, too, you know.


God of boundaries, travel, communication, trade, language, and writing. The son of Zeus and Maia (yet another consort of Zeus), Hermes is the messenger of the gods, and who leads the souls of the dead into the afterlife. Apparently he can find the afterlife, but can't find his pants...


Virgin goddess of the hearth, home, and chastity.  Sister of Zeus. Thank the gods...someone representing the family with a few morals. Hand positioning indicates the loss of her ruler ( formerly used to crack you across the knuckles).

And Poseidon,

God of the sea, rivers, floods, droughts, and earthquakes. His trident appears to be missing!!! Along with his nose. Champion of towel-whip in gym.
Brother of Zeus. Pissed off a lot. 

(Mom always liked Zeus best...)

That is just the beginning. The Greeks had gods and goddesses for pretty much very well MAY be a parking god.

 I'm just sayin'

Check out the origin of the Greek Gods here

and to learn more about these or the numerous lesser gods...check this out:

More anon...
Soon the Island of Hydra

Family Reunion on Olympus

Monday, August 29, 2016

(Virtual) Cyprus

The third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.  For all its beauty and popularity with tourists, Cyprus has had a war torn past as recently as 1974. Its proximity to Europe, Turkey and Africa sets it in the crosshairs for skirmishes between the three.

Cyprus (Κύπρος)  has human activity documented since the year 10 BC. and has seen rulers throughout its span from nearly every nation. Sometimes multiple  rulers at the same time. 

Its beauty is exquisite.  The above shot a screen capture from a documentary, I have decided to work on this as my painting of the Mediterranean instead of the often depicted Blue Domed of Santorini (which have been done to death).  I am still in complete awe of the varying shades of blues found in the area.

I want to reproduce this in a painting as well.

Sans the tourists, of course.

 Love the bridges, caves and grottos.

And all that blue. Still awaiting my lapis lazuli and silver ring.

Another great exploring Cyprus video

The Island's name is contested as well. Some saying it is named after the Cypress Trees...some saying that it follows an old Pre-Grecian word for copper, which is also plentiful on the island.

                                        Cypress by Vincent Van Gogh

Both can be found in abundance.

Looming like a beautiful backdrop on the island, Mount Olympus.
Home of the Gods. 

Residence of Zeus.

Aphrodite was also said to rise from these waters on a clamshell. A large boulder remains in the sea.  Legend has that if a woman swims three laps around it she will remain beautiful all of her life.

Soon we will delve more closely into the Greek Gods.

More anon...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bouzuki...Greek Music and Dance

People erroneously think Greek Dance is synonymous with what we refer to as "belly dancing" (a name contrived by the Chicago World's Fair in the late 1800's for a form of dance from Asia known known as Chinese Dance)

Although the form spread throughout the Middle East its origins were in Egypt and "belly-dancing" is primarily found in Lebanon and Turkey.

The true Greek Dance is known as Sirtaki.

The music traditionally performed on a Bouzuki.

The Bouzuki is a bowl backed long necked instrument with 4 pairs of strings that are usually plucked. The bowl back adds the depth and resonance.

Several examples of traditional Greek Music can be found here.

Sirtaki (συρτάκι) a form of Greek folk dance was showcased in the 1964 film Zorba the Greek and is often, now, referred to as Zorba's Dance.

Its name means The Drag Dance...combining extremely slow movements with the pidichotos style (referred to as a hop dance)  It is traditionally done in a line or a circle with one dancer's arm across the top of the other's shoulder. 


Audience participation generally involves clapping or stamping one's feet. At first the dance starts very slowly...building faster and faster as it progresses.

Sirtaki originated in The Middle Ages from a form of dance known as hasapiko
or "The Butcher's Dance" and was performed with swords as a preparation before battle.

The Warrior's Song

And a happy coincidence,  for three days running Indianapolis is hosting its Annual Greek-Fest! 

Greek Food, Music and Dance and Culture.

Hope to glean some amazing recipes!

More anon!


Friday, August 26, 2016

Birthdays...Bike Wrecks...and Good Friends

The end of the week filled with cake, it seems!   Well, and Strawberry Pizza.

Sharon, Judy, and I, celebrating Loretta's 75th Birthday at Almost Home, yesterday!

Having used them last year to cater part of the DS Gathering and this year for Loretta's Birthday, I have to say; if you need an event catered in the Greencastle (or surrounding) Area they are the people to call. From a group of 40 to a personal luncheon for 4 they are elegant. The food and service is consistently good...and the pricing is reasonable.

An all around good experience.

The four of us planning our next Mall-Ratting Excursion soon at The Shoppes of Perry Crossing (formerly aka Metropolis) This makes our fifth year hanging out together as "The Granny Pack"
We have a lot of fun!

Although Emma's 10th Birthday is today, and all of the pieces are in place for her Mad Hatter Tea Party and won't take place this evening...because today she is off to cast her arm which she broke a couple of days back when she wrecked on her bike, and tried to catch herself from the fall with her right arm.

So we've moved the date up, and she has added signing and decorating the cast into her planned party!

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade.

And her favorite early birthday gifts from Mom and Dad.

That she promptly named Sweet Pea and Moon.

And since she is such a Tea Party Girl...just loves them...I found her this

A Single Serving tea set decorated with roses. When she grows up, and I'm gone, she can always have
                                 "...Tea with Grandma Rose..."

 Back to Virtual Greece Soon for Greek Music and Dance and a look at
The Bouzouki.

Also, mildly amused at the aftermath of Indiana's tornado in Kokomo that flattened, yet another, Starbucks.

The first being struck by a tornado in Lebanon in 2013

Now this one in Kokomo.

 Maybe the gods just don't like bitter, overpriced coffee, either.

Just sayin' 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Corfu: Writing (and Artist's) Retreat, Yoga and Spa

The Pink Pangea is a travelling Retreat that happens to be in Corfu at this time!

A Writer's Retreat with Gardening, Spa and Yoga (and I have took the liberty of adding a bit of Painting, as well). The retreat is Vegetarian...and they serve Breakfast and Dinner. Re-created here at home.

Started my day with Morning Meditation and this

Greek Yogurt, Honey and Walnuts...also a glass of Lemon water.

Morning Yoga for Beginners

A Couple of Writing Seminars

A Morning Painting Session (al fresco). I used the time to finish my foundering ship on the stormy sea.

Not entirely satisfied with it yet...but you get the general idea. Having some difficulties with the waves that are breaking over the ship's bow. (...I do believe the ship is going to sink...) And maybe some work on the foresail.
 I'll get it.

Also a Tutorial on Skies that I found very helpful.

Spurring a quick trip to eBay because now I NEED a small natural sponge to try this technique for clouds.

A light lunch plate of Feta cheese, black olives and  Mini-Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and more water with slice lemon.

And out to tidy the flowers/gardens and soak up some end-of-summer sunshine.

And thinking how wonderful this would be, as the mid-afternoon of the actual retreat in Corfu includes a few hours just playing in the sea and relaxing on this private beach. I am pretty sure I would have NEVER came back home.


Back in for the Complete Spa Experience.  

Hair Deep Conditioning Pack

Aegean Mud Facial Masque

Loofa, And Lemon-Honey Sugar Scrub

Mineral Soak with Sliced Lemons

Pumice Stone for Heels.

Lemon Brightening for Nails (and a mani-pedi)

A Cup of Lemon and Honey Infused Hot Tea...and a short NAP. 

A couple of hours to actually write, while listening to my first taste of Greek Music.
Very relaxing and exotic.

A Vegetarian Dinner Plate (actually ovo-lacto and not Vegan) of a Greek Salad with Feta, Boiled Egg and Black Olives, another of the Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and a Warm (from the sun) Ripe Tomato.
Also the ever-present Lemon water.

If today were a painting it would be Mediterranean Blue with a Bright Yellow Lemon in the Center.
I finally GET the Belle Casa Ceramic Mugs and Plates, now.

I have always seen them as gaudy. Now I understand. You have to have a point of reference.

I may even buy a mug.

I will never look at a lemon the same again, and every shade of blue will now be judged by the Mediterranean Sea, and found sadly lacking.

After the Spa Bath I smell like fresh lemons, too!

Evening Yoga for Relaxation

Some light reading. Anita Hughes recently (and timely) released novel.

An evening glass of wine and chat with "Idgy" to catch up on the day and both of us marvelling that Che starts college in only 14 days!

Where have the years gone.

Evening Meditation, and I am pretty sure that babies don't sleep as soundly as I will tonight. 

Soon we will explore Greek Music and Dance! 

More anon...

Monday, August 22, 2016

(Virtual) Corfu and Lemon Shrimp Scampi

Γεια σας. 

Pronounced YAH sahss, it means literally "your health". 
A greeting for the day!

And Our Virtual Adventure through The Greek Isles begins!

Corfu.  Although Mayes Southern Professor always referred to it as "Corfee" is is pronounced Kor-Foo.

It is the second largest island in the Greek Islands.

 The Capital of Corfu is also called Corfu.

The Greek name is Korkyra and the island was named after the myth of Poseidon's (God of the Sea) marriage to Korkyra. After their marriage he was suppose to have brought her to this beautiful island. He then named the Island after his new bride.

                A Panorama of Corfu as seen from The Old Fortress on Corfu.

Which you can closer explore here.

Ideas for places to check out in Corfu while on holiday

One of the places I found interesting and plan to explore is
this place

A Writer's & Yoga Retreat!

I will be checking it out in depth tomorrow.

Settling in this evening and fixing

Lemon Shrimp Scampi on a Bed of Pasta with Flat Parsley

6 large peeled shrimp (boiled) per person

3 tablespoons butter (may also use olive oil)

2 cloves finely chopped garlic

Juice of 1 lemon. plus 2 slices to garnish plate

Melt butter in saucepan.Add chopped garlic and lemon juice and sauté until soft.

Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp are hot.

Boil a serving of pasta per person, rinse and drain. Place in pasta bowl. 

Add contents of saucepan with shrimp and garlic lemon butter and toss until pasta is well coated. Sprinkle with course cracked lemon pepper if desired.

Garnish with reserve lemon slices and flat parsley.


Never mind the ripe black olives. I'm in Greece. Even if it is virtual. I love them, and will probably be adding them to everything!

See you tomorrow!