syros & lainee – lockdown 2 day 162

We’re back on Syros again. This time with Zefi for company and its Lainee who’s going to hospital.

Soon as we got to the hotel Lainee made herself comfortable on Zefi’s bed. So much for mom and all the love and care she gets!

Then again, maybe there’s method to her treacherous little ways… after all, its not me who has to sleep with my knees under my chin on half a bed…

If you think a small poodle doesn’t take up a lot of room, just ask Zefi!

First thing we did was walk around town. I love the quiet streets and the old mansions in this non-tourist season. It really is a beautiful town. I’d like to see it in summer, cafes and restaurants open, to see some of the small streets come alive, despite tourists.

Zefi in her usual theatrical pose outside city hall. No cafes to sit at so everyone buys take away coffee and food and sits outside.

No photo collection of mine would be complete without a photo of an old door…

Or an interestingly framed photo. I’m never all about happy snaps.

Then back to the room for a rest and dressing change for Lainee. I love this photo. It really is like changing a baby, pulling on her onesie… and so much less disgusting than changing pooey nappies.

Lainee is so good, I flip her onto her back and she just lays there quietly till I’m done. I’ve even walked off to get something and told her to stay and she remains where I left her. She’s an angel. I can’t resist giving her tons of kisses.

She made a few new friends and left lots of ‘in your face Syrian dogs’ pees around town. She was a hit with people too with her onesie and little bands.

Pizza for dinner then some more napping for Lainee – always on Zefi’s side of the bed! Good girl Lainee.

I’m going to call these my Exploring Syros Series, kind of part of the lockdown series but separate as well.


enjoying the weather – lockdown 2 day 159

We’ve had a couple of glorious days in a row after the rain and wind so we’ve been taking advantage of it with long walks around the bay in the late afternoon. That way at the end we get to enjoy the sunset.

Its been me, my cousin Zefi and her mom. We walk and chat and its a nice way to get exercise, fresh air and just enjoy the gorgeous days when the sea is flat and before sun gets too hot.

Panoramic pictures aren’t ideal when seen this small, but I still insist on taking them.

And sometimes I see a door, window or broken down wall I just have to photograph. Love this old door right on the beach.

One thing about masking up is that you can more or less go incognito as Zefi proves.

Meanwhile, here is Lainee in her onesie, the first one I bought. I’ve been back and bought a couple more cause I figure they’ll be handy later too, to keep the stitches safe. For now I’m keeping her ‘crater’ clean and changing dressing twice a day. At least it no longer stinks.

So its back to work now. I have to finish so many things I have on the go, photograph finished things and start a few commissions I have. One is due by Easter, so in 1.5 weeks. Time to get cracking on that one!


dalmatian – lockdown 2 day 157

Another day of sharing something I finished a couple of months ago. Maybe even three months now…

Anyway, meet my frisbee catching dalmatian!

Complete with a rolled leather collar. Mr Fancy Pants.

So, what’s been happening? Lainee managed to get at her growth again today and made it bleed so now she’s got a gauze bandage over it (hmph, nothing sticks to curly hair) and an ankle warmer* around her waist as a bandage. I hope it works. Its bigger than any bandage I’ve tried in the past but those didn’t work, so what the hey. And its firm… so HOPEFULLY she won’t be able to get past it to lick…

I hope.

Everything in the house is stained with pus and goop coming off that growth right now. Its awful and smells disgusting. But the worst of it is poor Lainee who seems miserable.

At least histology came back that its a benign mammary tumour, but they can turn cancerous and it has to be removed. Especially now given the state its in.

Meanwhile I found that the vet clinic on Syros has an ultrasound machine and can u/s her heart. Plus the vet that I used to take her to here now works there so she knows Lainee and her history. I’ve made an appointment for Monday morning.

I’ve mentioned before how stupid it is that Syros, the capital of this group of islands and only across from here – I see it from my window – an hour away by ferry, only has ferries going to it twice a week. What that means is that if you want to go to Syros for anything at all (court, hospital, any business requiring local government) you have to go to Syros for a couple of nights. In summer they have more ferries of course, but even then most of the time you need to stay over for one night.

My cousin Zefi will come with me for moral support and we’ll go on Sunday and return Tuesday night.

Fingers crossed for my girl.


*An ankle warmer is like a leg warmer, only smaller. I had a couple…

lainee update – lockdown 2 day 154

Lainee wearing her home made ‘don’t lick’ collar.

No surgery. Yet. The vet thinks its too risky to operate on Lainee until we at least do an ultrasound to see the state of her heart. She recommends I take Lainee to Athens to a vet hospital there and do that and possibly the surgery there too if I choose.

I figure the fact that the vet is so reluctant to operate means its too risky.

I’m not really sure what to do. She can’t live with a fat foam collar on her neck forever, and wrapping or bandaging a growth on her stomach is impossible. Yet I can’t let her lick at the growth constantly and make it bleed.

What we decided to do for now is to send samples for a biopsy and start her on homeopathic pills the vet made up. She says the pills will most likely help with the itchiness or whatever it is that makes Lainee want to lick at it all the time. I’m not sure, but its worth a try.

Meanwhile I’m still waiting to hear back from the doctor in Athens regarding my stent removal. I have to go to Athens for that anyway… If need be I can take Lainee with me when I go and get her looked at at the same time.

So, I wait.

It seems to be all I do lately.



food – lockdown 2 day 129

Gee time flies when you’re having fun. Its already day 129 of lockdown 2 and things aren’t looking any better despite all the great plans the government has for opening up the tourist season early. Record numbers of new cases almost every day…

Whatever. I’m spending my time doing as little as possible. Today I did some shopping, groomed a dog and cooked for the pups I’m looking after, and Lainee of course. I thought I’d share what I cook for Lainee. This was basically what I started making for her when she needed to lose some weight. The idea was loads of vegies and lean chicken.

Amy and Lily love their raw cabbage treats. They also love raw cauliflower and zucchini I learned today.

So… this is what I used today. Its basically the same each time but I tend to use what I have in the fridge as well. Frozen spinach, frozen mixed vegies, sweet potato, apple, red lentils, zucchini and about a kilo of chicken breast. I normally buy skin on and remove the skin myself cause its cheaper. Sometimes I’ll buy a whole chicken and keep the wings for Lainee (to eat raw) and the maryland (legs) for myself to bake, boil the entire rest of the chicken then pick the meat off and throw out the bones. I add pumpkin if I have it. And I add herbs: usually thyme, oregano, some garlic, pepper and turmeric. I mean, you want it to taste good!

I put the chicken and all vegies into a large pot with enough water to cover them and boil till its all cooked and the chicken is falling apart.

I remove the chicken to cool so I can pull it apart with my fingers. Then I mixed that back into the vegie mix.

The dogs LOVE it. Its healthy and non fattening. You could add a touch of olive oil for their coat when you’re serving it or any supplements like kelp or whatever, but I think its a pretty good meal.

Typical I spend more time cooking for the dogs than I ever do for myself (unless I’m cooking for company). My meal was much plainer but just as tasty. Bow pasta with broccoli and red pesto with a sprinkle of parmesan. Yum. I’m not complaining.


hot and i’m not talking about the weather

A wet Lainee as relief from the heat.

I really am about to explode. My patience has worn beyond thin and with this heat, I’m warning you, I take no responsibility for my actions.

The weekend at Artemis was ok, at least there were three of us there to share the care of Aunt 1, and it wasn’t quite so hot as Athens. Back here though… its back to the same old grind. I settle Aunt 1 in, take my stuff upstairs, take Lainee for a walk and come back to find she’s been out on the street calling that she’s been abandoned cause I didn’t answer the house phone.

I spent most of today on the phone. Mom and I agreed to put Aunt 1 in a nursing home not far out of Athens, at least till she is accepted into the nursing home on Paros. The two I singled out in the Athens area (from friend recommendations) said they would take her without having to provide everything from her birth certifcate, her tax returns, health reports and shoe size. The one we chose wants us to do a COVID19 test before they take her. Fair enough.

I asked where I could call to get the test done, ‘look it up’… sure. Ok. I figured I’d ask her doctor when I speak to him.

I had an appointment for a call from her doctor this afternoon. I’d gotten all the tests done last week – after another phone appointment where I told him what the nursing home wanted and he said he’d call today. I figured he’d call to make another appointment to take her in or for me to take in the results. He did NOT say, bring the results in for me to see them prior to the call. I guess he thought that was understood. But I’m not greek enough to know that… so he called today and told me that I should have taken in the results and now we have another phone date on thursday morning. This is how it goes and I’ll still be stuck in this shit of a life for another 6 months at this rate!

When I asked him where would I get the COVID19 test done he said I’d need to call the government health line or whatever its called. Which I did. They don’t do tests on healthy people. They have teams that go out to places to do tests when people are sick or have been in contact with others who are sick. Great. Who can I call to get a test done privately? He didn’t know.

So I call the nursing home again. They only know one place I can call, its outside Athens of course. Near the nursing home. Wonderful.

So now I’m scouring the internet to find where I can do the test at great cost.

Meanwhile, I’m running around in the heat taking stuff upstairs, downstairs, doing laundry, getting meals and medication for Aunt 1 hanging out and bringing in washing, making calls that go in circles without achieving anything, and I get a call from Aunt 1 to go turn on her air conditioner. I tell her I’m getting the clothes off the line for mom and will be right down when I hear commotion downstairs. She’s outside calling some guys in off the steet to turn it on for her!

If you hear about some crazy woman in Greece who killed an elderly woman before driving her car through a building killing dozens of people it’ll be me.

For the predictable future I’ll be called downstairs every 5 minutes to adjust the air conditioner cause its too cold or too hot, turn it off, turn it back on.

I really don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m already taking pills in order to relax enough to sleep at night. I have people waiting for me to do their poor dogs on Paros as they’re suffering from the heat just like Lainee is here. I want my life back.

I know life will never be the same again. I will always be the one responsible for my aunt and my mother from now on, but I just can’t take this stress much longer. I love my mother, but when I’m running up and down stairs and she says ‘don’t take long cause I want us to eat together cause I’m tired and want to rest’ I just snap.. Eat! Don’t wait. I don’t need that pressure as well.

I am not a good person.

At least you got a cute pict


paros day 42: keeping busy

That’s Cinnamon. Cino to his friends. A lab x chow. The sweetest natured dog ever. Very lab looking once he’s clipped but he has a blue tongue. He and Lainee had a nice catch up. He’s so loving and sweet, didn’t want us to go so he came to the car to say one last goodbye. Lainee is a bit too much of a lady to make such brash exhibitions of emotion. She sat back and acknowledged his love and just accepted it gracefully.

Meanwhile I’m still watching Homeland. Halfway through Season 3 at the moment. It really is keeping me quite on the edge of the couch. I start watching in the evenings when I rest and eat dinner and end up watching way beyond what I would have planned as my bedtime. Then I get up a little later than planned the next morning. Great show. I recommend it.

So, what did I do on day 42? After messing about with my Dremel Moto-Saw (a Christmas present from Wayne a few years ago*) and not being able to find the clamps or blades I know I have, ordering new blades from a store in Athens and finally getting them, I took it to a friend’s workshop and used some of his scrap plywood to cut out shapes.

I cut out heaps of hearts, fish and starfish and began sanding them with different grit sandpaper to give them a nice finish. I did that for a few hours and got tired, my left hand was sore from clamping the bits to sand and my back was aching. I gave it up and came home to nap.

I love this greek habit of napping in the afternoon… I don’t always do it, most of the time I work straight through the day, but its nice to know that if I’m tired I can always lie down and nap and no one will think its strange!

These shapes are mainly being made to decorate the wreaths I’m making for my cousin’s rental units. She bought them and some ribbon before lockdown began, planning to open at Easter. I did finish two of the large wreaths for her for the units she had booked, but the rest are still sitting on my couch waiting to be worked on.

Now I have more time to finish them but neither of us has money to spare for decorations so I have to make them myself. Not that its a problem. Its more hand made that way, not just a matter of assembling bought odds and ends. They’ll be way more unique.

More work for me of course. But hey, what else have I got to do?

Well… a commissioned portrait for one. Tomorrow is the day I start on that. I have to. I have a deadline on that one. Then in the afternoon I’ll sit outside in the gorgeous weather and sand some more. Probably.

No wonder I never have nice nails like all the greek women!


*Power tools. Tools in general. Best gifts ever. Hint hint.

paros day 38: dog portraits

I got a message from my friend in Athens this morning. Winston has arrived and is making himself comfortable in her home till he can take up his position as guard in her tattoo parlour.

Today I thought I’d share some dog portraits I just finished. These are an order from another friend. Her dogs. And so darn cute too!

This little teddy bear face is my favourite.

I worked from photos sent in Messenger but that’s fine for me (and cheaper than buying printer ink!). I just set the tablet up on my table and work direct from the image on that.

I’m very pleased with them. Hope she is too.

Meanwhile today has been a rather odd day. I watched some comedy on YouTube while I painted, did some washing, began working on another podcast and put some chicken in the oven to roast.

That last one is rather tricky as I’m not a roasting kind of gal… I’m not particularly good at it. I can cook, I can bake, but roasting seems to get the best of me most of the time. I guess I’ll see if it worked this time very soon. It smells pretty good. Though perhaps a bit heavy on the garlic… Eh. I’m not kissing anyone these days!

My Netflix viewing has now moved on to Money Heist Season 4. Love that show, its really gripping. And I love the code names. Of course I can’t watch it and work at the same time as I need to read subtitles (hence its music or comedy today), but I’m eager to get back to it tonight.

Meanwhile we haven’t taken any long walks today cause I’ve been working, but its windy again outside. We get a couple of good days and back to being blown about for a couple more at this time of year. The simple task of walking the rubbish down to the bins is an exercise in gravity vs wind resistance. Lainee doesn’t enjoy it that much. Especially when she was trying to poop…

I guess I better go check on the chicken… and work on the podcast some more.


paros day 6: time flies

Today was a great day. Lainee and I walked over to my uncle’s house to do some work, only to find I’d forgotten to take my adaptor so couldn’t do anything requiring electricity. Cause of course all my power tools still have Australian plugs on them! So no progress on the curtain rod today.

Still, I did some hand sanding and managed to get another coat on the things I started painting so I’ll have something to share soon.

Lainee and I took the scenic route there and back, along the beach and over the hill. On the way Lainee made a new friend. You can see part of golden retriever cross, Babi, as he digs his way to the other side of Paros. Lainee is too much of a lady to dig on the beach. (Though apparently not to much of a lady to roll in rotting meat…)

Today there seemed to be some lingering aroma around the couch so I’ve washed the throws. I think its fixed the problem.

Meanwhile I brought home the gap filler I couldn’t find yesterday and began working on the chewed up table legs. It’ll need at least one more go to fill in the chewed bits so the legs look normal again… We’ll see how that goes.

The weather was perfect this afternoon, no longer windy and it was beautiful out so Lainee and I went for another long walk. Its that time of year when I miss having a garden to watch come to life…

My potted plants are starting to get new shoots which pleases me. I’m getting photo updates of my seedlings and they seem to be doing well. Fingers crossed on those. Hopefully I’ll get them home soon and have flowers around me again.

Oh, and I didn’t burn the spanakopita last night! Did I mention I put in a ton of cheese (cottage cheese, feta, grated cheese) and thought it might be too cheesy. Turns out you can never have too much cheese. I could have put in more. I think it needed parmesan, something I always had in the fridge in Australia. (Put it on the shopping list.)

Other than that, not much to share… Its already 9.30pm. Time flies when you’re having fun apparently. Its too late to start anything new (project wise) so I’m watching Netflix. I’m on The Last Kingdom now. At least I’m catching up with my TV viewing…

How is your lockdown going?