Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Pained, Unexplained, and Reclaimed

A dainty, red anemone, surrounded by clumpy clusters of mullein.

Hello everyone, it's been a while, huh?
Thank you so much for your sweet emails;
they are cyber rays of sunshine in my inbox!


There are a few reasons for this uncharacteristic
 quietness. Aside from the melancholy of missing 
Liberty and family back home, and being plagued by
 what seems to be a now chronic, achy head and neck, 
on Saturday morning, I discovered, quite by accident,
 that one of my posts was missing! After being 
overcome with shock and nausea, I wondered, 
had my little blog been broken into?!


 I couldn't believe my eyes! Instantly, a trying
 triathlon of shaky reactions went off like a shotgun!
First, my heart started racing, then it passed the
 baton over to my blood pressure, which of course, 
tried to beat its own record, and in doing so, sent my
 entire nervous system way over its emotional finish line!

 

Let me backtrack, and retrace my footsteps, to fill you in:
I needed to pick a recording of mine for a project I am
 working on, (more on that later this month). Having featured a
 few songs on Poppy View, I remembered a valentine's 
day post I wrote last year called, 'The Nature of Love'
which starts with a poem and ends with a duet, written 
by the Barenaked Ladies called, 'Call and Answer'.
 Do you remember it? 

One of the images on the missing post, found on Google.

The poem is a mini memoir of the journey that my husband and I have been on so far, the birth of our daughter, and a few other details of our relationship. When I went to view the post, the contents of another post that I had published a week before, came up! In other words, 'The Nature of Love', had been deleted and replaced with 'Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love!', so that there were now doubles of the latter. Was this a glitch in the system, or had Poppy View been hacked?


I can't tell you how hurt, angry and frustrated I felt. Not
only was my poem missing, but also all the wonderful
accompanying images which I had searched hours for,
  as well. Of course, I immediately began to wonder how
 many other posts had been affected, but because I
 haven't had the time to check each one, I still don't know! 


The next day, when I related to Liberty what had happened,
she was appalled, and promised to track down the post,
 even though I told her it was useless; I had already tried
 and had given up. It had disappeared; vanished into thin 
cyberspace air, as if it had never existed at all.


After a night of tossing and turning, I woke up to an email from Liberty, whose subject line, alone, made me burst into tears; this time, happy ones. Once again, I couldn't believe my eyes:

 'I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!', it read. 
 
I just sat there, staring at the excitement of her exclamation marks, and pictured her typing them, knowing that her mother would be elated and relieved. And I was, but more importantly, I was grateful for my loving and caring daughter, who was on a mission to save her mama's other baby, namely, this little blog, and its offspring of posts, comprised of poems, pics, and ditties, one of which had gone missing, but in the end, was found, safe and sound, thanks to the expertise of its big 'sister'!
Heart image: Google

How, did she do it? Well, just as Libby, herself, was almost ready to throw in the towel, she remembered a website that she had learned about in an internet seminar she had attended in Athens, called 'Wayback Machine'. In her words,

''It takes snapshots of sites just the way they looked on that certain day.
 Your blog was one of the sites that it took shots of!!! It includes 455 billion sites!
 Isn't this amazing??? It's there, just like it was on the day you posted it!!!''

 WOW!!!
There it was, in its original state, complete with poem
 pics, and song; actually, an identical photograph of the entire page, that is, from the header I had up at that time, to the five posts I had programmed to appear on each page, and finally all the way down to the 'Powered by Blogger' footer, at the bottom!


Friends, I still can't explain what happened to the 'The Nature of Love', but I do know that love and dedication was what it took to bring my post back to where it belongs, thanks to my daughter. For those of you who have had the misfortune of losing a post, or even scarier, an entire blog, please check out this site. Who knows? You, too, may be blissfully surprised to find a snapshot of your own sweet 'baby', there!

Thanks for visiting!


Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Pastoral Prescription


 When life is hard,
harsh, or heavy,
  I walk to unlock
 the simplicity,
softness, and light,
that is blocked 
from my heart.


When my soul is bare,
my mind a flurry of worry,
I am moved by my body
towards the hills 
 that surround me,
to walk.


 The meadow is medicine,
and is taken visually,
to alleviate the pain
of an achy psyche. 


But the mountains 
seem bitter; still,
I stop for a dose
of their snowy splendour,
in which I'm engrossed.


No strange side effects found
 in this pastoral prescription,
apart from the fruit bearing trees,
whose beauty can lead to addiction.


Getting my fix
of floral and fauna,
 (a preventative measure
against emotional trauma),
I make my way back to
the place framed by boughs,
 as I move my body
 to the space
where it's housed.
And I walk...


 Thanks for visiting!
Happy weekend!


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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Comment Torment and Other Predicaments


Have you seen them??
They're 'faster than a speeding bullet'!
More powerful than a mere visit!
Able to leap from your dashboard
 to your blog without a single click!
 And if you've got copies in your inbox,
then consider yourself a lucky chick!
COMMENTS!
 They're everywhere, (supposedly),
so why haven't I seen them?


Here are the facts so far: a few weeks ago, I noticed a discrepancy between the comments in my inbox, (i.e., the ones that made it there safe and sound), and the ones on my dashboard, in 'Comments', under either 'Published', or 'Awaiting Moderation'.  Then, only last week, I discovered that some were appearing only on my blog! Chaos, I tell you! Pure madness! Many of you, I had read, were also frazzled, looking for those fickle and flighty words of others!
 

Of course, some comments also end up in Spam, which I check several times a day, both in Gmail, and Blogger. Amid all the confusion, I was suddenly struck by the scary realization that ever since I began blogging, almost three years this May, I most probably have failed to return visits, and thus, comments, to all of the considerate people whose lovely words I never saw because I was under the impression that they only showed up in Gmail! This really annoyed and upset me, since I make it a point to return every visit and comment that I receive; after all, it's only good manners. Of course, the reverse is also true; I may have left comments on your blogs that met the same awful fate, remaining invisible simply because you, too, did not know they were there, wherever 'there' happened to be at that time!


Another thing that likes to pop in and out of virtual reality is the Google Friend Connect gadget! Have you noticed? Keep a close eye on it, my friends; it's a feisty one! Case in point: yesterday, I received a very sweet email from a new reader telling me that she was looking forward to future visits, since she was now following me. When I went to the GFC gadget to click onto her ID snippet in order to follow her, too, it was nowhere in sight! It had disappeared into thin cyberspace air!


Clearly, 
it was time to put out an APB on GFC, which was MIA! And so, after a few expletives, not very ladylike phrases, I finally tracked down the culprit, which was incognito, taking cover under a new ad block programme I had recently installed, thus, I proceeded to disable its so-called protection for this page. Instantly, the gadget reappeared. I then made my way over to my new follower's blog, to carry out my mission, and guess what? Yup. Nada. Now, I know that some bloggers don't care for such a gadget, but I had a feeling that this person did, so I 'dittoed' the disabling for her blog, too, and sure enough, in the blink of an eye, 150 mini profile pics were peering out at me, until I joined them, to make a new, grand total of 151 in her GFC!

Above:
One comment that, surely,
 won't go unnoticed! 

So, my dear friends, if you have found that I have
not replied to your comments, or returned a visit
to your wonderful blogs, since I began this 
journal's journey, please accept my sincere
apology, for it was not intentional, but rather,
the handiwork of my publisher's technology!

Thanks for visiting!

All images: Google,
#1, #3, #5, from top,
composed by me 
in PicMonkey!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tiny, Sunny Superstars


My husband gathered these pretty anemones,
in the mountains of southern Crete, while
looking for wild greens a few days ago.
Look at that beautiful, (unedited!) colour.


I placed them on the counter in the upstairs
bathroom, to complement the collection of
pink and purple fragrances and bath salts.


 They are tiny, sunny superstars, aren't they?
The heady, slightly fruity scent of the white narcissus,
(Anemone narcissiflora), permeates the entire
 floor, making it a natural air freshener.


I made a pencil sketch of the bouquet in LunaPic, 
then added some cute, yellow hearts, and thought 
this playful portrait of pretties would make a 
charming and cheery greeting card for you,
my sweet friends!


Happy Valentine's Day!

  

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Saturday, February 7, 2015

Nostalgic, Romantic Me

 

Remember the century days when gazing into your
 sweetheart's eyes was so much more exciting than 
staring at your smartphone for the millionth time?


 Can you recall a time when chats took place in person, 
  when faces showed feelings and bodies talked,
before the smiley, emticon revolution?


Don't you miss the thrill of getting ready for that first real date,  
floating high in the sky, giddy with butterflies,
 in the arms of your true soul mate


 Mind you, meeting on Skype and FaceTime 
come pretty close, but real hugs in real-time,
 they have yet to host!
 
 

Unlike a star studded night, jasmine thick in the air,
 hands sweaty, head dizzy, knees weak - (who will dare 
to make that first move?) - and prove, with a kiss, 
that now, they've only got eyes for each other, and
  with hearts aflutter, all doubts they dismiss.


 And because I believe that music is the most 
expressive language of all, I hope you enjoy the fun
 and flirty duet below, and indulge my current mood
 for those sweet and innocent times long ago!

 'Small Talk'
music and lyrics by:
Richard Adler & Jerry Ross 
Performed by:
Nicholas Tsachakis & Poppy
Piano:
Anna Lisowski

                  
Click arrow to play

Thanks for visiting!
Happy weekend!


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 All images: Google

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wall to Wall Wisdom


Its doors were swung wide open, and firmly
 stuck in place, as if stoppers prevented them
 from closing - thus deliberately exposing - a stony,
  stuccoed presence, for ages, derelict and defaced.

But it didn't care. In fact, it stoically stood there,
impassive to the plethora of invading greenery; a
 snub to the supposed shambles of its neglected scenery.


 It had nothing to hide, 
unlike, its scarlet shuttered neighbour,
on the opposite side, of the cracking, cobbled road.
 Oh, the heavy load of secrets it must have hoarded,
 stored and boarded, inside its padlock protected door.


No, it definitely identified more
with the punctured structure 
perched proudly on a peak, nearby.
Weak, from wind blown wounds,
it stood windowless and roofless, yet,
was crowned the 'Most Hospitable Home' -
(the perfect, permanent address), 
by picky pigeons seeking nests.


In second place, 
for its geometric brilliance,
and traces of richly, brush stroked hues,
was the abode boasting views of the Aegean,
 whose signature sea blues, once cruised
the surface of its original facade - now an 
open-air exhibit, of peeling patches of patina,
a cryptic, colour flawed collage.


 And so, when passing by this beauty, on my daily 
morning walks, I can't help but to wonder, what it would
  say if it could talk. Are those who inhabit its interiors, 
well loved and cared for, like its outer girth, that is hugged 
by pretty blooms and rays of warmth and nourishing self-worth?


I often ponder such questions, of the deeply personal kind,  
 while wandering the pastures of the Cretan countryside. 


Once,
 while pausing to admire the stillness of the sea, I got
  wind of an answer, blowing in the breeze, when a sudden
gale snatched the gist of wisdom from the gusty vicinity, and
  it disappeared forever, zigzagging through the rows of olive trees. 

Oh, if only walls could talk.

 
Thanks for visiting!
Wishing you a warm 
and cozy weekend!



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 Saturday Sparks, Friendship Friday, Home Sweet Home,

Monday, January 26, 2015

Adorable Edibles, A Pearly Prize, and Poppy's I.D. in Disguise!


This, 
 is how I see the world sometimes: 
a charming, little village, that has slowly
  s                  p                  r                  e                 a                  d   
its way across this giant globe of ours, so that really, we are all neighbours, if you will, connected by one, long and winding road.  And, even though many of us  happen to live at opposite ends of that road, we feel that, if we did live next door to one another, we would surely be borrowing a cup of sugar at a moment's notice, (for that cake we're suddenly craving), picking up each other's kids from school, (when we're running late), going on power walks together, (huffing and puffing and finally stopping - at the nearest  donut shop), or promoting each other's junk at our annual garage sale, (then cry into our wine, panicked, that we just sold our treasures for a pittance!) - ah, yes, if we lived nearby.
 

So, surely, you can understand that, when a lovely parcel leaves a friend's home, and travels all the way across the planet, to finally arrive at my home, here, in the hilly, Cretan countryside, it is, at least for me, a most wonderful thing! 

 

Prince Richard, I take it, thinks otherwise.


It feels very special to know that, even though I have never actually met my friend in person, nor have I ever spoken to her, for that matter, the contents of that parcel, two of her very own culinary creations, came from her home, where they were so carefully wrapped, packed, and addressed, in preparation for their many airplane rides, to mine, in the faraway land, in the small world.  From her kitchen, to my table, that parcel of seasonal treats, represents a 'taste' of her presence, in my own residence, as if she brought them here, herself! 


This is my sweet and pretty friend, Doreen, hostess at House Honeys, with whom I was supposed to be exchanging Christmas cards. Little did I know, that she had contacted Kris, (as in 'Kringle'), and sweet talked him, (literally!), into the following scheme:


 


Yes, dear readers, Doreen got Santa to deliver her world renowned Chocolate Dipped Walnut Biscotti and gourmet worthy Jalapeño Pepper Jelly, a dynamic duo of delicious, sweet and savoury goodness, all the way to Greece! And that's where this story turns sour, before it once again, gets sweet. You see, the parcel took 12 days to reach our designated post office, located in the next village over, which is normal for Christmas correspondence. What isn't normal, but rather completely unacceptable, is that it sat there, for another 33 days due to a case of 'mistaken identity'!


According to them, they could not 'find' me, after 'searching' for weeks, because of a discrepancy regarding my last name. I use both my husband's last name, and my maiden name, since Greece allows the two, but because my Greek I.D. is in my maiden name, and I had given Doreen my husband's name, things didn't add up. I was told that they  were ready to throw out (!) the parcel, if it weren't for a fellow villager, who recognized my husband's name on it, while there one day. He contacted my husband immediately, who called me right away, and that's when I instantly knew it was Doreen's parcel, which was M.I.A.! The thing is, they didn't even bother to come to our village at all, and I can prove it, since, if they had, they would have left a notice in our mailbox, located in the square, (which, by the way, has both last names on it),  informing me to pick it up. In addition, it is customary for postmen to leave parcels at the main cafe, in which case, everyone would have confirmed my existence!!




This pretty, pearly necklace, a giveaway I won at Art Decoration and Crafting, authored by my talented Athenian friend, Christina Makri, had a similar fate. It was lingering in limbo land for exactly one week, when I went to pick up both parcels, a few days ago. I found them sitting together on an old chair, looking very lost, poor things. What an adventure they'd had on the island of labyrinths and lazy mailmen! 

What about you? Have any of your letters or parcels
left their departure point, only to disappear, then
reappear, before reaching their final destination?
Do tell!

Doreen's cute envelope

 Thank You,
Doreen and Christina!
I'm so sorry for all the drama,
but after all, this is Greece, 
the birthplace of the arts,
and the land of odysseys!

 Before I go,
A big welcome to
 my new followers!
Thank you all for visiting!
 Wishing you a happy week!

xo
Poppy