May 20, 2007

Sunday Seven # 7 - Your Fears Erased Here


A weekly meme for giving thanks and/or for noting important events in our lives.

1. I am learning to trust myself (again) as a writer and that’s due to the wonderful online community of readers and writers that visit chicken-scratch regularly. The exchange of ideas is invigorating. In particular, I’d like to acknowledge: Red, Rhian and Thomma-Lyn.

2. Mama’s 6-month memorial service and our first attempt at Koliva were both well received at church this morning. The older women from the ladies auxiliary were impressed. We’ll do a larger mnemossino for her 1 year.

3. I love the Greek language and the interplay and interdependence among the Ancient, New Testament and Modern forms. Today was Mama’s mnemossino and that word hearkens back to Mnemosyne - the mother of the nine muses. She is the personification of memory. Memory and forgetting are common themes in my writing.

4. It’s a long weekend. I’ve been enjoying spending time with our chicken. As a working mom, the interaction with EM during the week is often very regimented: dinner time, bath time, reading and bed time. With the nanny away visiting her family, I am relishing our uninterrupted and unscheduled time together.

5. I absolutely adore a rainy Sunday afternoon. EM and I took an extended nap together. Is there anything more blissful than that?

6. Writing is all about paying attention to one’s surroundings. I am finally “waking up”: writing more, worrying less and having fun.

7. I’ve finally worked out the ending to “Saints and Cigarettes,” and there are other ideas for essays and stories that are now coming to the forefront.

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April 29, 2007

Sunday Seven # 6 - Snapshot of EM at 21 mos.


A weekly meme for giving thanks and/or for noting important events in our lives.

EM will be two years old soon. My miracle baby is turning into a miraculous, independent, adoring little girl. EM’s gift of love is my greatest blessing and treasure. Her laughter brightens my day and warms my heart. These photos were taken within the last two weeks.

1. EMcloseup.jpg

2. EMwithcat.jpg

3. EMCacheoutfit.jpg

4. EMGapOutfit.jpg

5. EMandFreezie.jpg

6. EMheadband.jpg

7. EMwithXine2.jpg

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April 14, 2007

Sunday Seven # 5 - Paying Attention


A weekly meme for giving thanks and/or for noting important events in our lives.

It’s often the simplest things that give us the most pleasure. This week’s Sunday Seven is about paying attention and acknowledging people and things that make a difference in my world.

  1. Each morning, my husband gets up, takes a shower first and then heads down to make coffee and prepare breakfast for our household. That means that I have 20 extra minutes all to myself in the morning to check my e-mail (both work and personal). The 20 minutes alone time allows me to gather my thoughts for the day.

  2. Our lovely live-in nanny takes such good care of our little chicken. She’s patient, funny and kind. In the 10 months she’s been living with us, she’s become a valued member of our family. University educated, with a strong Christian upbringing, she’s teaching EM how to read, count, sing and clean up around the house. While I struggle with being a working mom, I know we made the right choice with our nanny and EM is getting the best care available.

  3. My book-club has entered its fifth year. I am one of a group of 10 dynamic, charming, entertaining, smart women. Our monthly book club meetings have been a life-preserver for many of us. It’s a place we go to discuss good books - but also - life, God and the universe. 6 of the 10 women now have young families and we’ve collectively dealt with: births, deaths, illnesses, job losses, marriages, relationship issues, promotions, demotions, graduate classes and body issues (weight loss and gains).

  4. My job. I work in the public sector and get paid well to make a difference for the province. My co-workers are all extremely capable and talented and while there are some challenging days, overall I look forward to going to work.

  5. Our home. It’s comfortable, welcoming, warm with all modern conveniences. We were bathing EM last night and that’s when our nanny disclosed that the home she grew up in doesn’t have hot water or central heat.

  6. Our weekly Friday night dinners with friends. Our weekly dinners started when I was pregnant and on house arrest, due to my complicated pregnancy. Housebound meant no social life, so we started organizing Friday night dinners with our friends (potluck) so that I could have a bit of company. Well it’s now become a tradition. We never wonder what we’re going to do on a Friday evening as our home is always full of good food and great company. Last night was no exception, with 3 couples (2 babies and 1 toddler) and a gourmet meal (including a decadent desert.)

  7. My writing, writing blog and Little Chick Press. Enough said.

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April 1, 2007

Sunday Seven # 4 - Our Chicken at 19 mos


Sunday Seven is a thanks and gratitude meme designed for sharing the good things in our lives.

EM is our miracle child, our biggest blessing. Below are 7 of our most recent photos of our chicken in action.

1. There are two things that EM must always have with her: her favourite stuffed animal, a monkey, and her books.

bunny my honey.jpg

2. EM has recently started weekly playgroups. She’s discovered the joys of being in the driver’s seat.

chicken in car .jpg

3. It’s hard for EM to sit still. Her toys have taken over the main floor of our home.

chicken on a mission.jpg

4. EM is a typical toddler. She’s normally very well behaved. We can still have dinner out at nicer restaurants …

chicken at dinner.jpg

5. We have to remain cognizant of her bed time, or else:

im tired.jpg

6. EM is very independent. She loves discovering new things on her own. Who knew a chalkboard at the church hall could be so engaging?

chicken at chalkboard.jpg

7. EM loves hanging out with her mommy and daddy. The following two pictures were taken this morning, after the Divine Liturgy for Palm Sunday, in our church hall.

xine and chicken.jpg

dev and chicken.jpg

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March 24, 2007

Sunday Seven # 3 - Small Wonders


Sunday Seven is a thanks and gratitude meme designed for sharing the good things in our lives.

1. My husband surprised me with a huge flower arrangement at work this past Wednesday, for no particular reason, other than to let me know how much he loves and appreciates me.

2. Our 19 mos old chicken is beginning to string two words into simple sentences: “Sit there,” “Mommy coming,” “Bye, Bye,” “Down, please,” and “Thank you.” To come home, after a long work day, and be greeted with a loud cheerful “Mommmeeee!” ~ makes everything that I do worthwhile.

3. Despite the non-stop rain, Spring has arrived - cherry blossoms, daffodils, crocuses - all harbingers that warmer weather is around the corner . Across the street, I notice that our neighbour’s majestic magnolia tree is about to bloom - another sure sign that the rain will abate soon enough.

4. I am back at weight-watchers (second time is a charm) and I’m slowly starting to see my body change - 5 pounds lighter and counting …

5. I’ve been asked to be one of the guest speakers for an upcoming literary night (May 5) for the Victoria School of Writing. My topic: writing and blogging. I was pleased to learn that my chicken-scratch readership is growing!

6. Our plans to celebrate Easter with a traditional Greek lamb roast are coming together nicely. The lamb’s been ordered and our guest list is being assembled … more details to follow in the coming weeks.

7. Tomorrow, March 25th, is a Greek National Holiday - Independence Day. It’s a day that brings up such wonderful memories for me, growing up in a Greek-Canadian household - parades, poems, family outings. It’s now my turn to pass along this tradition to our little chicken EM.

We’ll be going to the Greek church tomorrow where after the Divine Liturgy, the community will be hosting a luncheon to commemorate all those who fought for Greece’s independence in 1821 (against the Ottoman Empire), including philhellenes like Lord Byron.

It is also important to note that when the cry “Freedom or Death” resonated over the enslaved Greeks, a number of American philhellenes started a lobbying campaign in the United States for the support of the Greek War of Independence, a campaign that captured the imagination of many influential political and civil leaders in America.

The Greek Revolution also captured the imagination of many European leaders, artists and writers. Below is one of my favourite paintings from Eugene Delacroix:


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March 11, 2007

Sunday Seven # 2


What am I most thankful for?

1. Waking up to the sound of our little chicken laughing and babbling each morning.

2. Being greeted with “mommmeee” when I come in the door after a long day at work.

3. Finding our kind, patient, loving and extremely capable Nanny to take care of EM.

4. Having EM all to ourselves each weekend and spending quality family time.

5. Attending church as family each Sunday.

6. Eating dinner together as family each evening.

7. Having some “alone time” each week where I can spend time on my creative pursuits.

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March 3, 2007

Sunday Seven # 1


Taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures in my life …

1. I have much to be thankful for today: my handsome husband, our little chicken and I spent the entire day in our pajamas enjoying one another’s company. Our perfect day began with a pancake breakfast based on my beloved Mama’s recipe.

2. My favourite vignette from the day: sitting as a family on the couch, reading “Gossie” to EM.

“Gossie is a gosling, a small yellow gosling, who likes to wear bright red boots every day.”

EM has brown boots that she likes to wear almost every day. She also drags her little stuffed monkey along with her wherever she goes. So, it should come as no surprise that we had to make room for her monkey to sit with us while we were reading.

3. Spending time with my own daughter brings back such wonderful memories of my own childhood and the times spent with mama. Hearing EM’s laugh and calling for “mommmeee” makes my heart sing and eases the emptiness of my mom’s passing.

4. I am amazed at how quickly EM is changing. It’s hard to believe that she will be 19 mos old tomorrow. Part of her bed-time ritual is to say good-night to us and the handful of stuffed animals that share her bed. She’s recently begun saying good-night and thank you to God.

5. I am truly thankful that our miracle baby is happy, healthy and well-adjusted. For a person who was told that she’d never have a child, each moment spent with EM is a gift. I wake up in the middle of the night, go down to her room, and watch her sleep. EM snores! I am amazed that someone so small could make so much noise.

6. I am thankful that I don’t have to cook or shop for groceries - my husband takes care of those chores. I am more thankful that my husband understands my love for the written word and is equally amused when I find words like “omphaloskepsis” to post on my site. That he is also a tea-drinker and hard-core scrabble player also rocks my world.

7. I am thankful that I have such a challenging and satisfying job. I get paid to write and to use my brain. I sometimes get cranky at having to work long hours - who wouldn’t? - but I love working in communications.

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