Monday, September 24, 2012

They Like Me! They Really Like Me!

Remember a couple of months ago I noticed the boys' chore charts included "feed the rabbit" and it confused me since we didn't have a rabbit?  Well, guess what we got at the State Fair?  The boys have named her Hera.

So in the past couple of months we've added a kitten and a bunny to our petting-zoo like household. Bringing the total number of non-human inhabitants at our place to 14: one dog, 2 cats, 3 fish, a snake, a guinea pig and 6 chickens!

What I don't understand is why these animals, which I wanted nothing to do with, seem to think I'm their best friend in the world? Apollo labors under the fantasy I want to be his personal sleeping couch, while Hera is convinced I'm going to protect her from the dangers that lurk in the house.
Ironically, I do like our cat, Athena, but she's not too fond of me - or anyone for that matter.

So I keep trying to tell that damn kitten and the new bunny that Gracie is the only one I like.
 They just don't listen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What Happens at Papou's....

Today Niko had a doctor's appointment to get a booster shot. An hour later the poor kid left with 4 shots and a flu vaccine up his nose!

Our pediatrician likes to ask his patients a lot of questions. Not only does it engage them during the exam, it helps him assess their development while getting an understanding of their confidence and happiness. Not surprisingly, Niko passed with flying colors. However, during his little chat with the doctor, he let slip an interesting bit of information that calls to mind the Las Vegas Visitors Bureau's tagline, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Doctor: "Do you eat healthy food, Niko?"

Niko: "Yes, but sometimes when Papa and Daddy aren't there, Papou gives me chicken. Oh and wine!"


Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Walk In The Park

One of the best parts of going back to school when I was a kid was the "mini vacation" my dad would take us on over Labor Day weekend. We wouldn't actually go anywhere, just spend the three days bumming around town - going to the planetarium, eating out at restaurants, doing touristy things. It was also the only time my dad would even entertain the idea of catching a movie!

With the boys starting school on the Tuesday after the long weekend, my sister and I decided to re-live our childhood and spent Sunday at Liberty Park with the boys - just like our dad had done with us.

Starting with a trip to Tracy Aviary, packing in a couple of rides on the ancient Ferris Wheel, and downing snow cones, we ended the day in the paddle boats on the pond. The boys had a great time, but I think Sandra and I enjoyed ourselves more!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


For Salt Lake's Greek community, the Festival is the most stressful, chaotic and time-consuming event of the year. The women (and an odd guy or two) start cooking 4 months before hand. The lines for food snake out along the streets. The dancers' feet ache for weeks afterward.

But the Greek Festival is also the most enjoyable event of the year. It gives our community a chance to let the rest of the city know what they're missing by not being one of us.  It's a testament of our strength as a community, and a very tangible reminder of the sense of belonging we have.

Since returning to Salt Lake, I've always worked the food line. Either as a runner - jetting off to fetch more of this or that for the servers - or serving the food. It's a lot of fun, actually. I especially enjoy serving since it gives me an opportunity to interact with people.

This year, the Greek Festival was all the more enjoyable for me because Gus got to volunteer with me. His two jobs were to keep the soda drinks filled, and the salads dressed. (Amusingly, my sister got a salad he'd missed!)  He had a ball. He never tired and after a 5-hour shift was ready to keep going.

I am so proud of the way he carried himself. And I am so touched how he has embraced this community - my community, our community - and proudly counts himself among its members.

 Taking a break for even more sugar - that box of three sweets cost me $9.75!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Renaissance Man

As long as I can remember, Maria - my sister's childhood best friend - always said she was going to be a doctor when she "grew up."  Well for the past 30 years, she's had "MD" after her name - she's the only person I've known who actually became what she said she wanted to be when she was a kid.

It's probably not surprising that so few kids grow up to reach those childhood career dreams. I mean if we did, the world would be filled with cowboys, princesses and astronauts!

At school this week, Gus wrote a short essay about what he hopes his future career will be. As in years past, he announced he wants to be an artist. Every time I hear that images of a La Boheme-lifestyle fill my head. Images of love and art and poverty and beauty and more poverty and creativity and still more poverty.

But this year he added a new career goal: professional hockey player.

I'm not sure how I feel about that.On the one hand, the very few truly gifted players, who make it into the pros have a short but usually quite lucrative career. On the other hand, for every million guys that put on skates maybe one makes it to the big leagues.

I guess with a professional hockey career there are upsides and downsides. The upside is that unlike the starving-artist Gus, the puck-slapping Gus would be sitting pretty in paycheck land. The downside is he'll need to pay someone to chew his food.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Happiest Day of the Year

If  you  stopped random people on the street and asked them, "What's the happiest day of the year?" You'd likely hear "Christmas," "My birthday," or "My wedding day." Well they'd all be wrong! The happiest day of the year is September 4th. Why? Because that's the day the kids went back to school!