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Welcome to My Blog Sandy-Toe

Welcome to my blog Sandy-Toe. My name is Peter and today is your lucky day….because I have decided to join the blogosphere. My blog is going to be so upbeat and full of so much wonderful information that you will be visiting it every day just to see what new and wonder thing I have discovered for you.

Welcome, Let me start by telling you a …

Let me start by telling you a little about myself. I was born in Montreal Canada, I was a little French/Greek-Canadian. I was cute…or so my mother tells me. Growing up in Canada was wonderful, I learned to play hockey, was a goalie no less, and at the age of six I started school, I then learned to speak English, kind of. I continued to play hockey, I don’t think I was pro quality, but I loved it. I eventually went to work for the McDonalds Corp in Canada, I was so good at my job that I was transferred to Brussels. Not to mention that is where I was to open the first McDonalds in that part of Europe. You could say I was responsible for introducing American fast food to Europe. I have been hiding from the Europeans in Florida ever since.

Which brings me to the point of my blog, I am going to tell you how beautiful living in Florida is, I will show you white sand beaches, beautiful homes, stunning sunsets, and world class restaurants, and some just plain old Florida good old boy places.

So welcome along for the ride, I hope you enjoy it. And also, don’t forget to go to my sidebar and click on my Follow Me button. That way you can be kept up to date with all my blog posts.

Peter Theophilopoulos

 

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Hurricane Irma, An Historic Storm

Hurricane Irma

A hurricane is coming named Irma. It is now a level 5 with winds up to 185 miles an hour and Florida is in its cone of possibilities. The only question is, will it hit the east coast or will Irma head towards the west coast and possibility go into the Gulf of Mexico. But one thing for sure is the Florida Keys is definitely in her sights.

That was a few days ago. The Florida Keys is a disaster. Naples and Fort Myer have been hit and Miami is Flooded. If Hurricane Irma continues on its path and goes into the Gulf of Mexico and huddles along the Florida coastline. Lakewood Ranch where I reside will become another disaster zone.

As the hurricane came closer fearing for my brother’s safety. I asked my brother and his girlfriend to come stay with us as the hurricane approaches quickly. Especially, since the girlfriends’ home was on a canal near the Manatee River.  I also contacted my friend Don and his wife to stay with us since his condo was also near the Manatee River. The possibility of strong surges places both homes in jeopardy

The storm hit us Sunday evening with powerful impact to the Lakewood Ranch area. The trees that surrounded the area were being forcefully bent over to the point of breaking. My beautiful wife and soul mate Susan stood beside me as we looked out our back window to our pool area and the pool cage that we had little doubt would survive. It was a hard night for everyone to rest with the wind howling and our home shaking from the vicious winds of Hurricane Irma. In the morning we were all still here. The home wasn’t damaged and our pool cage, surprised us to still be standing!

Hurricane Passed

We were very lucky this time. Hurricane Irma at the last moment landed near Naples and continued to stay on the land.  This caused the hurricane to fall to a level 3 hurricane instead of returning to a level 5 when it would enter the Gulf of Mexico.

That day we dodged the bullet. Now, the question is how long before our time comes!

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Greek Village Salad

Greek Salad
Salad

Greek Village Salad is the way to go on a hot day. With fresh vegetable, you can make this amazing salad. Following are the ingredients for this delicious dish.

1 clove garlic

½ head endive

1 head lettuce, preferably Romaine

3  tomatoes. Wedged

1 cucumber, sliced

6 green onions, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

6 radishes, sliced

1 carrot, shredded

2 T parsley, chopped

1 cooked beet, sliced

¼ lb. feta

8 to 12 Greek olives (Kalamata)

¼ cup can chick peas

Olive oil

Red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Anchovies (optional)

Combine The Greek Salad

Cut lettuce into small pieces. It is more authentic to cut, not tear, lettuce. Combine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, salt, pepper and wine vinegar. Toss. Add olives, beets, and cheese. Crumble feta over salad.

 

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Krishna, The Lovable Thief

Krishna

On Saturday evening I had the opportunity to attend a performance of traditional Indian dance presented by the SaiNrityalaya School for Dance. The performers used beautiful traditional dance to tell the story of the life of the Hindu god Krishna.

Now if you are like me this brings images of hippies dressed as monks passing out flowers and chanting Hara Krishna. The story was told through dance by the young girls and teenagers of our Indian community. And through their grace and beauty performing this ancient dance to tell the story “Tales of a Lovable Thief,” I came to know a little about the life of Krishna. I can’t share the performance with you but I will share the story of Krishna.

Krishna’s mother was Devaki, sister of the evil ruler King Kamsa, at Devaki’s wedding the fortune tellers told King Kamsa Devaki’s 8th child will be the kings undoing, so King Kamsa ordered Devaki and her husband to be imprisoned and he ordered all their children to be murdered. Devaki gave birth to her 8th child in prison on a stormy night, they knew the child was special, divine when the guards fell into a sleep so that Krishna’s father could carry him to safety across the Yamuna river. In the village of Gokul Krishna’s father exchanged children and left Krishna to be raised by Yeshoda.

Krishna was a beautiful child, he played and created joy and blissfulness in the village. He danced and played his flute. Krishna grew and was known for his pranks and he loved butter, which was a mainstay for the village, Krishna would eat all the butter his mother made and he was not above stealing the butter of his neighbors.  Krishna would play pranks on everyone; he would pull the girl’s long braids, throw mud on their clothes and offer them fruit only to grab it away from them. But all the girls in the village were drawn to him and his golden flute. The women would go to his mother and try to tell her about the trouble Krishna was causing, but they were not angry because Krishna was very loved by all.

Krishna performed many acts as a young man which established him as a natural leader in his community. He showed extraordinary prowess and wisdom in handling many situations.

In one incident a poisonous snake was living in the Yamuna River, the snake poisoned the water, and nothing could grow in or near the river. No one could go near the river; the people of the village Vrindavan were suffering. Krishna jumped into the river and wrestled with the snake and subdued it there by saving the people of Vrindavan.

Krishna is pictured as being loved by all, and he stole the hearts of the young girls, but it was not his physical beauty that made him so attractive but his aura, the electrifying energy that surrounded him. It is said that the outer most ring of Krishna’s aura is blue the color signifying all-inclusiveness. Anything that is vast and beyond your perception tends to be blue, like the sky or the ocean, this explains why Krishna is pictured as having blue skin. Krishna’s energy was too strong that it made him not only attractive to the women but also to his sworn enemies who  would give in to him,

Krishna loved life; he loved all around him, the people, the cows, the trees the river and the Mount Govardhan all which sustained the village and made life happen there. Krishna celebrated the ordinary, he lived his life as if it was a festival.

Understand Krishna

To understand and experience Krishna one needs to understand life as a celebration. To explore the path of Krishna you need to have a heart full of love, a joyful mind, and a vibrant body. You must be willing to dance with life, dance with your enemies and dance the dance of life with your loved ones.

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The Battle Of Dunkirk May 26-June 4, 1940

 

The Battle of Dunkirk lasting from May 26th to June 4th. It was almost a massive defeat of the allied forces against the superior forces of the Nazi War machine. As a matter of fact, The Battle of Dunkirk became the defense and evacuation of British and Allied forces in Europe. Keeping them from total annihilation.

Winston Churchill took control as Prime Minister of Great Britain on May 10, 1939. On the 26th of May 1940; two weeks later the BEF, who was in France to bolster support for the French force. They were in full retreat under the onslaught of the German Blitzkrieg.

Two massive German armies flanked them. General Fedor von Bock‘s Army Group B was to the east and General Gerd von Rundstedt‘s Army Group A to the west. They succeeded to push the BEF and the French army back towards the English Channel. Therefore, the Germans then formulated their next move to destroy or capture the allied forces.

In one of the most widely debated decisions of the war, the Germans halted their advance on Dunkirk. The “Halt Order” as it was called was not given by Adolf Hitler, but by Field Marshals Gerd von Rundstedt and Günther von Kluge. As a matter of fact, they suggested that the German forces around the Dunkirk pocket should stop their advance on the port. Then they could concentrate their forces. Then they could avoid an Allied breakout. Hitler sanctioned the order on 24 May with the support of the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW).

The army was to halt for three days, which gave the Allies sufficient time to organize the Dunkirk evacuation and build a defensive line. Even though the Allies’ estimate of the situation was not very bright. The British had no choice but to start contemplating a possible conditional surrender with Germany.

But it was not to be. The British press later exploited the successful evacuation of Dunkirk in 1940, and particularly the role of the “Dunkirk little ships”, very effectively. Many of these were private vessels such as fishing boats and pleasure cruisers. In addition, commercial vessels such as ferries also contributed to the force. To say nothing of some of these boats came as far away as the Isle of Man and Glasgow. The boats were guided by naval craft across the Channel from the Thames Estuary. In addition, the naval boats gave them protection from Dover to help assist in the official evacuation.

These smaller boats were able to move closer into the shallow waters near the beach much safer than the larger craft. These smaller ships were used as shuttles to and from the larger ships. There they lifted troops who were queuing in the water, many waiting shoulder-deep in water for hours. With the help and the resolve of the British people and the solidarity of the British people in times of adversity. They were able to rescue more than 330,000 Allied troops.

On June 4th the new Prime Minister of Britain Winston Churchill gave one of his Stoic speeches. Here is an insert of that speech in the House of Commons:

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

 

 

C N Trueman “Dunkirk.” 20 Apr 2015.- 25 Jul 2017 <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/world-war-two/world-war-two-in-western-europe/the-attack-on-western-europe/dunkirk/>

 Kennedy Hickman “World War II: Battle and Evacuation of Dunkirk.” June 06, 2017 <https://www.thoughtco.com/battle-and-evacuation-of-dunkirk-2361491>

EyeWitness to History “The Evacuation at Dunkirk, 1940.”  <https://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2008)>

The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica “Dunkirk evacuation WORLD WAR II.” <https://www.britannica.com/event/Dunkirk-evacuation>

The Churchill Society “We Shall Fight on the Beaches July 30, 2017
London”.<http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/Dunkirk.html>

 

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“It’s Cold As Ice” by Panayotis

Cold as Ice
Cold as Ice

It’s As Cold As Ice and I had just gotten home from work, after parking my car next to a snow pile, which seemed to be the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic. I entered my house and called out “hello, anybody home?”
“I’m in the kitchen dear,” said my wife. I hung my overcoat on the hook in the vestibule and slipped my rubbers off. I grabbed the mail that was lying on the floor as I walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table.

“How was your day at the office dear?”
“Alright I guess, Tom asked me if I wanted to go to the hockey game tomorrow night and I told him that I might, but I wasn’t sure. By the way, where is Peter?”
“What a coincidence that you say that, it reminds me that I need to talk to you about hockey.”
“Really!” My wife continued speaking, but I heard nothing. Some women would say it’s a man thing, I don’t know. All I know is that I always seem to lack the ability to pay attention to my wife. It’s funny because I love my wife. She’s the love of my life, but when she starts talking about all that woman-stuff, I seem to tune her out.

As I went through all the mail, I could hear her still rattling on, it seemed like she was speaking a million words a minute. “I’m sorry dear, did you say something?”
“Were you not paying attention to what I was saying?”
“I was, honestly and I was just wondering where Peter was.”

I glanced at my wife’s face as she gave me that stare. You know the kind of stare that a woman gives a man, that rattles the spirit of all men – big or small. “What dear, is something wrong?” I desperately attempted to divert a catastrophe, as I quickly changed the subject, hoping that the fire
shooting out my wife’s eyes would slowly extinguish itself. , leaving me with a chance for survival.

“When is supper going to be ready, I’m famished?” My wife started to set the table when my son Peter came in the room. “How was school today son?”
“Just find dad, I got one hundred percent on my math test today.”
“Great, I am so proud of you.”
“Hey dad, tomorrow night I’m having a hockey game, you promised me that you would come to my next game.”
“Oh wow son, that’s too bad, I’m going to the hockey game with your uncle Tom tomorrow night, maybe the next one, okay?”
“Yeah, sure dad, maybe the next game.”

I purposely didn’t look at my son; I didn’t want to see the disappointment on his face. My eyes moved to my wife, that was a mistake. I could see fire shooting out of her eyes again and this time I saw no hope of surviving. “What, what’s wrong?”

‘You are going to Peter’s hockey game to see your son play like you promised, because if you don’t….” I’ve heard that tone of voice and the threats from my darling wife before. Without total obedience on my part, the good life as it now exists for me would dissipate into thin air. Not to mention, that it would get very cold in here. I could already feel the shivers racing up my spine. Therefore, I cowered, as I spoke to my wife
and I told her that I changed my mind, I would love to go to Peter’s game — lies, all lies.

The next night I was standing beside my son’s coach, it was cold as hell waiting for the game to start. Man, it was cold! Why couldn’t the teams play in an inside arena, where it is warmer and where they had seats to sit on. I can’t wait for this game to finish.
“Hey coach, I’m Peter’s father, nice to meet you?”
“Pleased to meet you.”
“So, my son’s a good goaltender?”
“No.”
“I’m sorry!”
“I said no he’s not.”
“Let me get this straight. My son is not a good goaltender.”
“Exactly.”
“Then why is he …?”
“Because no one else wanted to be the goaltender.”

I stood there confused, trying to figure out the of the coach’s logic. It was too cold for me to think.  The hockey game started. I turned and looked at Peter, as he stood steadfast in front of the goal, giving the impression of being as solid as the rock of Gibraltar. As I looked at him, I noticed that his goaltender equipment seemed a little large for him. His shin pads were so big that they covered half of his chest pad. I asked the coach about the pads seeming too big for Peter.

“They’re the only ones the park has; they have to fit all the teams. From the Mosquito league up to the Juniors. Listen can you help me?”
“Yeah, I guess. What do you want me to do?’
“Well when your son falls down, can you go and pick him up.”
“Huh! What do you mean?”

Turning suddenly towards the play as I heard the crowd standing on the other side of the rink yelling loudly as their team headed towards my our goal. I wasn’t sure if they were really supportive or trying to keep alive from the cold? Without thinking twice about it I also started to yell encouragement to my son as the other team’s player reached the front of our net and shot the puck. It hit Peter squarely on his chest as he fell on top of it.

A huge ovation and applause came from the crowd on this side of the rink. As I screamed and cheered at my son’s great job of stopping the opposite team from scoring.
The whistle blew and the game stopped.
“Okay dad, go pick up your son.”
“What, what do you mean?”
“You need to go pick up your son off the ice.”

I quickly looked at my son. He was still lying on his back on the ice. “His he hurt?”

“No, he’s alright. He just can’t get up. You need to go help him get up.”
I stared at the Coach with a look of confusion. I looked back at my son and saw him still lying on the ice on his back with his legs and arms moving from side to side as he desperately tried to get back on his feet. He looked like a turtle that had the misfortune to find itself on its back, unable to right itself with its short legs It was tragic, but I couldn‘t help but laugh. I quickly jumped onto the ice and tried to run to his side without
falling down and making a fool of myself.

“You okay son?” My son nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.

“You okay son?” He nodded yes, I was looking at him through the grill of his goaltenders’ mask which was really a baseball catcher’s mask. My son smiled at me as he struggled to straighten himself with my help. He was unsteady on his skates. The only way he could keep himself from falling was to lean against and hold on tightly to the goal post.
“Thanks, dad, I’m okay now.”

I stood there and smiled and asked if he would be alright, he nodded yes. Then the referee blew his whistle and signaled me to get off the ice. I told Peter that he made a great save and ran back to my position beside the rink.

It seemed that both goalies had the same problem. Once they made the initial save they were down for the count, and unable to move, laying on their backs resembling an armadillo when they’ve become road kill. So if they hadn’t the luck to fall onto the puck, they were unable to stop the next shot.

As Cold As Ice, But Home At Last

It was a great game, My son’s team won, 15 to 14. Looking at the score, you would think that this was a football game, not a hockey game.
It was late when we finally got home. My wife was in the living room waiting patiently for us to return. My son ran to her.
“Mom, Mom we won, we won.”
‘That’s great, I’m so proud of you. But it‘s late, you have school tomorrow. So you need to get ready for bed, okay.” My son said okay as he gave her a big hug.

“Thanks dad for coming to my game, it was great.”
“Yes, son it was great, I’m very proud of you.” He came over and gave me a big hug, tighter than I could ever remember. For a fleeting moment, I looked at my son as he walked away to his room and then my stare moved to my wife’s face. It was absolutely beautiful as always, and this time it had a large smile on it.
“What do you say we go to bed?”
I nodded yes, as I followed her into the bedroom with a smile on my face.

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