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!

z

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.

z

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

decoupaged dachie – lockdown 2 day 156

Getting around to sharing a dog sculpture I made a few months ago. I have more to share, some from before I got sick and others I finished since I’ve been back home.

This is a little dachie I finished with paper given to me by a friend.

As usual, he was started with toilet paper rolls, cardboard, wire, alfoil and tons of masking tape.

I build on the frame using a paper mache pulp mix and air dry clay for the details like the face and feet.

Looking at him again I’m thinking I need to do more with paper. Its different to the fabric ones. Effective and fun.

So, other than sharing another dog sculpture, what’s been going on?

Well, I made a spinach pie today (spanakopita) and its already finished cause I shared it with mom and the rest of the family. Must make another. Yum.

I also tried making the semolina pudding I love with Stevia instead of sugar. Everyone always says its sweeter than sugar so I put in less and its basically totally unsweetened. I may as well include a recipe for anyone who wants to try it.

Semolina pudding

This is a basic 1-2-3-4 recipe. The full recipe will make a bunt cake shape so its too much for me so I make half the amount.

  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 2 cups semolina (coarse)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 4 cups water
  • Crushed almonds (optional but I love them)
  • Cinammon stick and cinammon powder for on top

Put the water, sugar and cinammon stick in a pot and bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the suger.

Brown the semolina in the oil. It will seem like it takes forever to begin to brown and then will look like its going to burn suddenly. Just use your judgement.

Remove pot from heat and add the water carefully. It will bubble and spit. You’ve been warned. Stir constantly. Once all the water is added, add the nuts and put back on the heat. Its ready when it begins to pull away from the sides and separates when you pull the wooden spoon through it.

At this stage you can put it in a mould and let it cool and set. Or just plop it in a bowl and dish it up by the spoonful like I do. Sprinkle cinammon on top when serving.

Notes:

I always use less sugar. If the recipe calls for 3 cups, I usually use 2. Making half the recipe I use 1 cup of sugar instead of 1.5. I’m trying to cut sugar out of my diet but I have a sweet tooth so I need SOME sugar.

If you’ re a visual person, you can find a recipe on Youtube to follow.

Enjoy.

z

how could i forget – lockdown 2 day 155

I was talking to a friend about favourite movies and TV series yesterday and realised I forgot a very important film in my post about my favourite movies!!!

I’m not sure how I could forget this one. Its a Japanese film that I loved so much when I saw it that I bought both the DVD and the soundtrack. I’ve updated my post now so its there now!!!

Trust me on this. Even if you don’t like reading subtitles, this is one film worth seeing. Its funny and human and emotional and just beautiful.

I toyed with the idea of doing a post on my favourite TV series, but that would be ridiculous. So many… or is it? hm… Maybe about the older ones… Nah. Too many both older and newer…

Time to start watching another TV series now. I just finished watching The Serpent and am now on the Handmaid’s Tale.

So much to watch, so little time!

z

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.

Wait.

z

sneak peek – lockdown 2 day 153

As you know, I’ve been finding it hard to get on with my art. I work on it in spits and spurts. Mostly I get inspired to do something when I can’t – like when I’m out or when I’m lying in bed in the middle of the night cursing the mosquito that keeps dive bombing me and won’t let me sleep.

But I started something new yesterday and thought I’d share a sneak peek. Its not a dog this time, its a donkey!

He’s a bit bigger than the dogs but not by a lot. And right now he still needs a lot of work. But at least I started!

Unlike so many other things I have sitting here waiting for me to work on them. They stare me in the face every day, but obviously can’t guilt me into working on them. Maybe one day. I really need to get my mojo back.

Meanwhile poor Lainee…

I made her a soft collar to stop her from licking. Its just a piece of foam I cut and wrapped some polar fleece around instead of getting her a cone of shame. Hate those things. She looks so sad and uncomfortable. She’s such a good little dog. She just accepts it, like she accepts everything.

But she can eat and drink and, most importantly, she can no longer reach to lick the growth on her stomach. She stinks though, from the licking and the weeping, so tonight she gets a bath before she heads in for surgery tomorrow morning. It will be a while before she can have a bath after that.

Please keep her in your thoughts. She’s my best friend.

z

banana popsicles – lockdown 2 day 151

Ever wonder what you could use those little plastic sticks they give you when you buy a takeaway coffee? They only usually give these ones when the coffee is travelling in a car (as in delivery) to stop the coffee from spilling out the hole in the cap.

I got one of these a couple of times and thought surely there must be something I can re-use them for rather than just tossing them out.

Well, it came to me the other day. Banana popsicles.

Given I’m trying to live a healthier life and given up sweets I make these as treats. Its not the same, but at least it gives me something to dampen down the desperate voice of my sweet tooth when it screams “I need ice cream!”

And frozen banana is surprisingly good.

Its easy. This is all you need to do: get some (preferably) very ripe bananas you no longer want to eat as they are. Peel them, cut them in half if you want, and put them in a baggie in the freezer. Done.

I’m using the plastic sticks as holders cause its very hard to stick a fork into a frozen banana and its not so much fun holding the melting banana in your hand.

You know what they say: necessity is the mother of invention. And no one is as inventive as me when I need something sweet.

z

stir crazy – lockdown 2 day 150

You’d never guess it, but that’s my dining table behind me. Buried under all that STUFF.

Dining table, kitchen table, work table, studio table, very rarely eating table.

Here is a close up of the latest dog sculpture in progress.

For some reason I’m finding it really hard to concentrate and really work on my dogs lately. I can psyche myself up to work on them but I can only do it for a short time before I run out of steam. No idea why.

Maybe its time to move onto something else? Take a break from sculpture?

I mean the mending got me into a sewing mood. Maybe its time to tackle some items of clothing that just aren’t ‘right’…?

I don’t know.

Anyway, I’m not the only one going stir crazy. The entire greek population is. They’re going out in huge numbers and crowding beach-side walkways and parks on every sunny day. They’re going to parties and gathering in enclosed places despite the country being in lockdown with full restrictions and curfew in force. Why?

Cause it feels like the government is mocking us.

They restrict movement from one council or municipality to another, put a 2klm distance from home restriction on walks, exercise and shopping, yet they allow tourists into the country with no restrictions.

I mean, how is that fair?

Greeks have been paying the price of COVID19 safety most of a full year. Businesses are suffering, people have lost jobs… yet despite daily COVID19 cases being in the 3000 range, we are opening for the tourist season officially on May 15. Right after greek Easter, which greeks will not be allowed to celebrate with the usual church services, the Easter Friday procession of Christ or the Saturday night celebration of the ascension of Christ.

Not even with family Easter Sunday lunch where the entire family/neighbourhood gets together for the traditional lamb on a spit.

Do you see the hypocrisy in all this?

No wonder people protest and break the rules. They’re sick of being treated like idiots.

z

visible mending – lockdown 2 day 149

Yesterday when I put Lainee’s little blue jumper on I realised it had 3 holes in it. I have no idea where they came from but they were definitely there… And getting bigger. So something had to be done about it.

So this afternoon while watching Bold Type on Netflix (light hearted, fun, easy to watch while I work) I began mending with embroidery thread I had on hand. Lucky I had just enough in each colour to create a border around the holes to keep the jumper from totally unravelling.

Oh and for those who noticed, I did create 4 rings when I said there were 3 holes. That’s because I decided to make another hole so I can put Lainee’s harness on underneath the jacket and still clip on her lead through the hole.

Ok, so I’m not the neatest… I see mending by others on Pinterest and drool and want to emulate but mine always ends up looking like it was done by an sightless mole without opposing thumbs.

Still, Lainee isn’t complaining. She’s an easy girl to please.

Poor little darling is in the wars right now. You may remember she has a huge mammary tumour which I wanted removed a while ago but she’s got a heart murmur we’ve been treating meanwhile to make it safer to put her under… Well, she began licking the tumour while I was away in hospital and yesterday she made it bleed. Hence she’s swaddled in bandages and vet wrap around her middle now. I have her booked in for surgery to remove the tumour next Thursday… sigh.

At least she’s been a happy little girl, she loves the wind and goes bezerk when I take her out in it, and she’s playful every morning. So although its bothering her she’s been well in herself. That’s something.

z

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