Sunday, November 17, 2013

About Me

Here are twelve random facts about me, prompted by a Facebook challenge.  They rolled out of my head upon awaking from an afternoon nap, before I had a chance to put my filters on.  My friend Yael suggested I share them here...

1. I was born on an island (in Canada) and spent my first night at sea when I was a few days old. I moved to another island (in Alaska) when I was one year old, then went inland with my family when I was four. I moved to a third island (in Greece) in my forties and never want to live far from the sea again.

With my brothers and sisters in Prince Rupert Canada.  (The baby is me.)

2.  I am inspired by my Grandma Ruth who loved to beachcomb and agate-hunt, painted on r
ocks and drift, made seashell art, created jewelry from her own lapidary, had a candy shop, was an epic thrift shopper, and believed that her soul would live on in her descendents.

My grandmother Ruth Blomgren in the 1970s at Portage Glacier, Alaska

Painted by my grandmother on an old cedar fishing net
float that she found on the beach in Ketchikan Alaska

 3.  I am in awe of my kids and grandkids. I think they are the most brilliant creatures in the world and am thrilled that I had a part in creating them.
baby Em (Emily), my newest grandchild

4.  I met my husband and some of my best friends through online music sharing sites at the end of the 20th century. My husband and I didn't speak the same language when we first met. I learned his language in order to learn him.

My small slim Greek wedding

5.  I am enchanted by the Greek language and would love to translate modern Greek literature into English. I can translate Greek karaoke songs while singing them, given the right combination of substances.

Giannis and me karaoke DJing at a seaside cafe/bar

6.  I like to collect dirt, rocks, driftwood, moss, shells, bricks, lumber, seaweed, relics, and other inanimate objects. Set me loose on a mountainside and I can gather dinner in an hour, plus tea.

On a winter rock-hunting expedition

Fresh wild greens, foraged in our mountainside olive grove

7. I got my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, for my 8th birthday. My dad gave me an Olympus SLR for my highschool graduation but it was stolen during the Big Lake fire. (I recently found the first photo I ever took with that, a wild rose with nice bokeh.) I received a 16 megapixel Sony Cybershot for my 46th birthday from my son Nick. That's the one I use to take photographs, incessantly.

On my eighth birthday in Wasilla Alaska, circa 1974.  My loot included a a topsy turvy doll that my grandma Ruth made for me and a Kodak Instamatic X15 camera

8.  In the last six years I've eaten more fresh fruit and vegetables than the rest of my years combined. I've also supped on snails, goats, sheep, tentacles, brains, and faces. Most everything I eat is soaked in olive oil. I haven't been sick once in the six years that I've lived in Greece.
My husband Giannis cooking snails in our kitchen in Lesvos Greece. 

9.  I'm constantly trying to find a way to shorten the distance between Greece and Alaska.

I wish that I could find a wormhole...

10.  Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, and Seals and Crofts were my idols during my formative years. Some of my favorite lines from them, respectively, are "I've got a headful of ideas that are driving me insane," "I listen to the wind, to the wind of my soul, where I'll end up well I think only God really knows" and "Go east of your dream and farm, let peace and silence spin your yarn, with ease be off and wander in yon wilderness of cloves."

Me during my Dylan phase in the early 1980s, in front of our house on Wasilla Lake.
 11.  I believe in God, angels, daemons, nymphs, fairies, and sprites.
Someone is helping me find these things!

12.  The last thing I expected to see when I walked out of the bathroom this morning was a swarthy gypsy woman sitting cross-legged on my kitchen floor.

I was too shy to photograph the gypsy (Roma) woman, so here's me in our olive grove on Mount Strovolo.


  1. I am glad you did post this Sandy, it is all worth knowing about you. Thank you for sharing all this!
    Is there anything left to show created by your grandma Ruth?

    1. Thank you Yael for your encouragement! Yes, fortunately my family has lots of her creations, I just added one that I have here in Greece to the post.

  2. What a truly enchanting life you have. Nice to get to know you, Sandra.

    1. Enchanting and slightly surreal...I never know what surprises the day may bring! Thanks for coming to visit Dawn, it's so nice to be able to share with you.

  3. Thank you for showing this little wonderful painting of your grandma! She was very talented - you certainly have her genes! :-)

  4. I loved to learn more about you Sandra. This post and the lovely pictures reflect your joy of life and creativity- hope that you keep them both alive in the future and always feel Greece like your home. xo

    1. Thank you so much for reading my post Stephania. Your work is a constant influence and has inspired me to take leaps that I wouldn't have taken without you. I love the way you see your world and your country, full of delicacy and beauty and sometimes sadness. I am so honored to have Greece as my adopted home!

  5. it was so wonderful to read your list on fb earlier. but now, to see the wonderful photos along with your words is stupendous! it is so fun and special to know more about you, ANY time!

    1. Thank you so much Wanda Miller! It is awesome getting to know you, a kindred spirit for sure! I love living on a Greek island, though I have really missed having a group of artistic friends to hang out with, exchange thoughts, and to learn from. But it seems like one is blooming right now :)