Ankle Update

Saw Dr. Grauke today. X-ray showed I have a sprain…no fracture. I get to wear a funny shoe for three weeks and then it’ll be all better.

I am a happy girl.

Home Sweet Home

Arrived in Seattle. Oh my goodness! What an adventure. If I never see another wheelchair I’ll be a happy girl. Mom and I are well…just VERY tired. One flight left to Spokane and we’ll be home in our beds. And THAT is a BEAUTIFUL thing.

My Big Fat Greek Adventure – Part III

Monday morning my Mom and I visited the outdoor market and bought a few gifts. We dropped of our goods and grabbed a bus to go shopping at Hondo Center. The day was beautiful and I couldn’t help but break out the capri’s and flip-flops. One block away from Honda Center I stepped on some uneven pavement and did serious damage to my ankle. Thus our shopping day was ended. We hopped in a taxi and went home. My ankle is swollen and hurts like the hot place. Mary, sweet Mary, went and bought me a pair of crutches so I’m able to move around. This is not my first ankle event. In fact, it is my fourth. Twice fractured. My Uncle Paul, a surgeon, had a look at it and told me to stay off of it and get an X-ray to check for a fracture.

Tuesday I had scheduled my final visit to Basilopoulos, a supermarket where I could buy Greek ingredients. My Mom tried to get me to give her a list, but I insisted on making the trip – only five or six blocks from our house. My Mom pulled the little shopping cart (I want one) and I schlumped along on my crutches. How many Happy Hippos fit in a suitcase?

Tuesday evening we went to dinner at my Uncle Costa’s home. His wife Lela made a lovely meal of Beef and potato Yiahnia (onions, cinnamon, and tomato sauce), Salad, Feta, and Spanakopita. The wine flowed. Dessert provided a plethora of options. In addition to the Saturday night crowd we were joined by my Uncle George Karrer – son of Pinio – and his wife Rena and son Titos, my cousin Leonidas Koussouri – son of Takis (Costa’s brother) son of Lionidas – and his wife Voula. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to spend time with my family. To laugh with them, discuss politics, and to learn about my family. I especially like the conversation about bloggers. I will miss them.

My Big Fat Greek Adventure – Part II

Saturday evening we went to dinner with my Yaya’s side of the family – the Capuanous – who are originally from Naples, Italy. Yaya was born in Aegan, and the family later moved to Patras. My great Grandmother married in to the Koussouri family. My Yaya, Zoe Koussouri, was one of eight siblings. I don’t know the exact order, and my spelling is most likely incorrect, but I intend to stay in touch with the Koussouri’s and fill in all the branches on the family tree. The siblings are: Maria, Aspasia, Nionia, Zoe, Pinio, Thanasis, Mitsos, and Leonidas.

Now here’s where it gets a little confusing. From everything I’ve learned, the siblings of your parents are your Aunts and Uncles. However, when you shake a Greek family tree the cousins of your parents become your Aunts and Uncles. Go figure. So when my Mom’s cousin Paul called the house, he said to me, “This is your Uncle Paul.” I thought he was confused, but later in the week the family reinforced his claims.

At dinner Saturday night were my Uncle Pablo (Paul) Koussouri – the son of Thanasis – and his wife Elenie, Uncle Costas Koussouri – the son of Lionidas, Elli Koussouri – the widow of Petros Koussoui (Paul’s brother), Aunt Ivy Gianoukou – the daughter of Nionia, and my Mom – the daughter of Zoe. We had a very nice meal at “ Paradiso” an Italian restaurant near my Uncle Costa’s home and right across the street from my Aunt Elli’s shop . I laughed and laughed and learned about the people I come from. The Capuanou’s are very intelligent, hard-working, humorous people. My thanks to Uncle Costa for buying dinner and to my Uncle Paul for bringing us all together.

After dinner we made a surprise visit to my Uncle Costa’s home. There we met his wife Lela, a sweet-spirited woman, and her helper Marika, a beautiful, cheerful young woman. My Uncle Costa has a unique hobby. He creates exact replicas of ships. His work is flawless and incredibly detailed. My Uncle Costa is retired from the Greek Navy.

My Big Fat Greek Adventure – Part I

We’re packing. Tomorrow, early in the morning, our plane leaves Athens, Greece. We’re each checking two bags, and I will be shocked if one doesn’t burst open at the seams. Not only did we buy gifts for friends and family, but friends and family gave us gifts to take home. Needless to say, our bags are *really* packed. Lord willing, our bags will arrive in Spokane tomorrow night and so will we.

I’ve mentioned Mary before. She is the wonderful woman who lives downstairs with her husband, Dimitri, and her two beautiful daughters Athena (called Nana) and Anastasia (called Natasia). I can’t leave out Hercules. He’s their little dog. Mary helped to care for my Auntie Berta. She did it for love and nothing else. For this act of kindness, my family will be forever grateful. We are also thankful for the kindness she continued to show my Mom and I while we were in Greece. Anyway, on Monday, Mary taught me how to make Kataifi. It’s like Baklava but you wrap all the nutty goodness up in shredded nests of phyllo. I’m bringing a couple of boxes home in my suitcase. It’ll be interesting to see how the journey effects the frozen shreds of phyllo. Our project yielded a pan of delicious sweets. I intend to make them for the Jones kids and my staff when I get home.

The other sweet woman who cared for my Auntie Berta is Filio. She lives downstairs with her husband George and her son George. Filio and Mary worked together to help my Aunt out with her everyday needs: Shopping, medical appointments, Medicine, and more. We are thankful to Filio for the care she gave to my Auntie Berta, who could be difficult at times. And thankful for the kindness she showed to my Mom and I while we were in Greece. On Tuesday, Filio went with my Mother and I to visit the cemetery where my four of my family members are buried. On the tomb are pictures of my Pappous (Henry Salvatore Cutayar), my Yaya (Zoe Cutayar), my Uncle Gabriel Cutayar, and my Aunt Berta Cutayar. My Auntie Berta was the “keeper” of the grave site and made sure that the family was represented well. Unfortunately, she didn’t leave enough room on the headstone to acknowledge her own resting place. A separate stone was added with her name and dates, but the main stone acknowledges father, mother, and brother. I took out a piece of paper and wrote “and sister” and tucked it in a space under the stone. I’ll admit, I was a little overwhelmed to see their pictures on a stone in the middle of a cold cemetary. Their lives were so vibrant and the reality of it all was a little difficult to swallow.

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