Wednesday, July 28, 2010


For some reason I think they're adorable. Really.

For some reason I have a strange paranoia that their little limbs would get caught in my hair and I'd break the tiny bones rendering them crippled. Really.

As a teen I once woke in my "attic" ceiling bedroom to see a small bat fluttering a foot over my head. Being the dead of night, I thought I was hallucinating until it squeaked. Surprisingly I didn't scream but woke my Mom. If I remember right, by the time we got upstairs it must have flown right back out the open window.

We've seen a few here in Crete. Napping from the ceilings of caves and tombs. There are a couple nesting in the clay tile roof above our patio. Our private mosquito patrol who like to dive bomb the pool on occasion. (Nothing like backfloating to watch the stars and see baby Dracula skitter over you within touching distance.)

Driving home at three in the morning last week, a bat flew in front of our car. It took a minute to register what we saw. The bats here are small, maybe the size of a hamster but what we saw was larger. Much. A gray furred loaf of bread with black leathery wings. Once the idea settled that I saw a cat sized bat a few feet from my windshield and only blocks from our house- I couldn't stop the heebie jeebies from shaking my spine. Big. Cat big. Creepy big. Bite me big. I love my little guys but this one, yikes. Here's hoping he's a vegan.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Holy Hill Hole

Small fishing village.
Small temple.
Big impression.

Stairs to where?

It appears it was renvovated in the last year. Fresh mortar and cement. Proper drainage added recently, chalky white water stain scars a foot from the ground are still visible. Rain must have been a nightmare before the well planned gutter was put in.

Musk oil, cloves, incense and old moisture were thick in the air of this small cave.
The icon portraits glimmered in the faint light. Pencil sized candles burned in a small pit of pebbles.
Quiet and solemn but not welcoming to me. Not when the sun was shining outside this tomblike room.

Four wheeled planks in all four corners

I was happy to find the owner a little while later.

He was adorable practicing his tricks. 
When working he pulled such a serious face but he'd smile all teeth when he looked up.

So damn cute.

Love the Converse too. Always love Converse.

Sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell. -Cake

What happens when goats and sheep mate? Geep. Ugly, ugly geep. Big humped noses and gangly limbs. But skinned and thrown on a Greek grill? No matter what beast it is it's delicious.
The Greek firemen put on a traditional Easter feast. It was delicious thanks to the grilling expertise of Pavlos.

 Tales of the Crypt meets scrumptious.

Host of our humble dining hall: Pavlos.

Gathered together. Greek and Americans, we all gotta eat.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rednecks of Crete

No. It's not a single wide trailer that someone spiffed up with a home made "vaulted" ceiling. It's the Crete version of hick living. This is a stucco version of reneckism. I was astonished that rednecks were universal.

On the eve before Easter, there were a dozen or so folks shooting off their guns from 10-midnight. Do people know that bullets that go up must come down? Guns. I love 'em myself and am still bummed I had to leave my behind in the States. But bullets on Easter? Thatsa whole new way to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Hopefully the only other need of resurrecting they'd need is themselves from their raki stupor.

I Love Black Market Stuff

Mommy?! Can you buy me Oppressed Barbie? Pleeease!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pagans, Christ and Lots of Chocolate

Happy Hopless Easter Bunny!

I've got nothing against eggs and bunnies. They are delicious. Especially in See's Candies form. I'd have a coop of chickens if they laid milk chocolates wrapped in pretty foil. That coop would be a shrine to the chocolate gods- See's, Godiva, Hershey, Seattle's Best...
Eggs. The Bennett clan has a brutal egg hunt every year. My Dad's eyes gleam while giddily dying a dozen eggs (of which only three dozen will reach the table in edible condition, the rest are mutiliated in the fight). The hunt is vicious- sprinting, slapping, shoving, screaming, stealing and lots of blatant greed. The little ones get a head start but are soon trampled by the adults as my folks stand on the porch and watch like Romans at a Gladiator show.

Year round, a large pink silk egg is kept in the kitchen hutch at eye level. It's from my Dad's family and contains the names of those whose basket held the most eggs that year. I'm proud to say this fat old lady has had her name in there a few times. Very proud to be there among names that have been recorded since the 50's. Very proud to have my name in there. Pride. Another sin. Dang.
Brian and I are bummed to miss that well adored tradition. Easter is always a blast at the Bennett's Greenbank abode.

But eggs and Rabbit are not Easter. They're blasphemy. Yep, I said it.

Blasphemy? What? Rabbits and eggs? Yep. Putting the symbols of laughable fertility gods alongside the greatest act of grace. Neon colored eggs, adorable fuzzy bunnies and glittering decor next to the Son of God who was battered to death and rose from the grave for us undeserving peons. Yep.

I know I'm a sinner. I'll even boldly say a professional. Despite my many, many, many, well-honed, hourly shortcomings, I am born again. Yeah, don't choke too hard laughing, I am what I am. I know what I know. Christianity is absolutely crazy. An insane fairy tale but it is true. 
One summer night, at the tender age of fifteen, that Truth became my reality. It is the only thing in my life that never wavers- that Truth. The rest ebbs and flows more like the tides but that Truth holds me steadfast.
I can't explain it so I won't try. I'd fumble more than preteen boy trying to undo a bra. See? Colossal sinner. sigh

Now (I say as I step off my humble soap box) here's something I cannot stop smiling over. Not one to handle blood and guts no matter how delicious the meat, I cannot help but like this butcher shop.

Those are rabbits hanging there. Evil zombie bunnies hopping through the haunted forest. Yum.

This is what I know about rabbit from personal experience:
1. They truly taste like chicken.
2. When cooked they look like chicken but have tiny drumsticks.
3. Their poop is perfect little balls of brown. They'd make great Christmas garland. Popcorn, cranberries and poop.
3. Mommy rabbits will eat their young if human hands touch them when they are very little. When I was a kid our adorable white furball destroyed all 8 babies in a day. One day they were there, the next day gone- just tufts of fluff and blood.
4. Rabbits scream like human babies when you butcher them. My Dad never touched rabbit again after that.

Living in Crete, I've added new knowledge:
5. See the picture above? See their feet? Yes. It is cold in the fridge but those bits of fur aren't to keep their feet warm. No. Now here's something to ponder: there are lots of cats in Greece. Oodles of them wandering aimlessly and fairly easy to catch. So much easier than rabbits. Yep. Butchers were selling cats. Once skinned they look identical. Except the feet, hence a law to leave them some toasty slippers.

I wonder if cat tastes like chicken. I'm not opposed to trying any animal flesh as long as it's not a gut, butt or nut. Here kitty, kitty.

Happy Easter. May you know the true meaning of Christianity despite my shining crappy example.
I've got to go crucify some chocolate bunny ears with my teeth.

Speaking of sins- Cindy, my sister, is a serial Peep killer. She loves to nuke them just to watch them swell. What a sinner.