Monday, 22 January 2018

Monday, 10 August 2015

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Life is good!

"It never gets better....... YOU get better!"    

Joan Rivers 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

My Uncle George

I  recently went to visit my favorite Uncle George in 
Birmingham, Alabama and played my violin for him. 
Did I ever tell you  that he is 'my hero?'

Thursday, 1 August 2013

RGG's Byzantine heritage

My Byzantine heritage

The Byzantine Empire is also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, for it was in fact a continuation of the Roman Empire into its eastern part. At its greatest size, during the 500's AD, Byzantine included parts of southern and eastern Europe, the Middle East, and northern Africa. The Byzantine people called themselves Romans although they were actually descendants of various ancient peoples and they spoke Greek. The word Byzantine, in fact, comes from "Byzantium," which is the Greek name for a city on the Bosphorus. The Greeks colonized the area first, in the mid-600's BC, even before Alexander the Great brought his troops into Anatolia (334 BC). Greek culture continued its influence long after the region became part of the Roman Empire, in the 100's BC. But it was when Roman emperor Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Empire from Rome to Byzantium and renamed it Constantinople (Istanbul today), in 330 AD, that the Byzantine Empire really began. It lasted over 1000 years, ending finally in 1453, when the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul. Christianity had a strong influence on Byzantine art, music, and architecture. Since Constantinople was the political center of the Empire, it also was the educational center, where future government officials learned to read and write the language of ancient Greece. Thus this period produced remarkable works in history as well as fine poetry, and much religious prose. All the visual arts flourished, too. Most of the artists worked as servants of the court or belonged to religious orders, and they remained anonymous. Ivory carvings, Byzantine crosses, and "illuminations," or small manuscript paintings, attest to their skill. Almost all that survives of the Byzantine architecture are its churches, with their glorious frescoes and mosaics. With Hagia Sophia as an example, their architects and artisans reached heady heights of magnificence, indeed. For 1100 years, the Byzantine's were able to maintain control of their empire, although somewhat tenuously at times; the Empire's expansion and prosperity were balanced by internal religious schisms (such as Nika Riot) and recurring wars with enemies from the outside. Finally, weakened by recurring waves of attack, the Ottomans overcame the exhausted Byzantines and a new era of leadership began. The Byzantine Empire, however, had left its mark on the culture, never to be entirely erased even after the Conquest. Byzantine Emperors Year / Emperor 323–337 Constantine I (The Great) 337–361 Constantius 361–363 Julian (The Apostate) 363–364 Jovianos 364–378 Valens 379–395 Theodosius I (The Great) 395–408 Arcadius 408–450 Theodosius II 450–457 Marcianus 457–474 Leo I 474 Leo II 474–491 Zeno 491–518 Anastasius I 518–527 Justin I 527–565 Justinian I (The Great) 565–578 Justin II 578–582 Tiberius, Constantinus 582–602 Mauritius 602–610 Phocas I 610–641 Heraclius I 641 Constantine III 641 Heracleon 641–668 Constans II 668–685 Constantine IV 685–695 Justinian II 695–698 Leontius II 698–705 Tiberius III, Apsimar 705–711 Justinian II (restored) 711–713 Philippicus 713–715 Anastasius II 715–717 Theodosius III 717–741 Leo III, the Isaurian 741–775 Constantine V, Kopronymus 775–780 Leo IV 780–797 Constantine VI 797–802 Irene 802–811 Nicephorus I 811 Stauracius 811–813 Michael I, Rhangabé 813–820 Leo V, the Armenian 820–829 Michael II 829–842 Theophilus II 842–867 Michael III 842–866 Bardas 867 Theophilus II Macedonian Emperors 867–886 Basil I, the Macedonian 886–912 Leo VI, the Wise 912–913 Alexander III 913–959 Constantine VII, Porphyrogenitus 919–944 Romanus I, Lecapenus 959–963 Romanus II 963–969 Nicephorus II, Phocas 969–976 John I, Tzimisces 976–1025 Basil II, Bulgaroktonus 1025–28 Constantine VIII 1028–50 Zoë 1028–34 Romanus III, Argyrus 1034–41 Michael IV, the Paphlagonian 1041–42 Michael V, Calaphates 1042–54 Constantine IX, Monomachus 1054–56 Theodora 1056–57 Michael VI, Stratioticus 1057–59 Isaac I, Comnenus 1059–67 Constantine X, Dukas 1067 Andronicus 1067 Constantine XI 1067–71 Romanus IV, Diogenes 1071–78 Michael VII, Parapinakes 1078–81 Nicephorus III, Botaniates 1081–1118 Alexius I, Comnenus 1118–43 John IV, Calus 1143–80 Manuel I 1180–83 Alexius II 1182–85 Andronicus I 1185–95 Isaac II, Angelus-Comnenus 1195–1203 Alexius III, Angelus 1203–04 Alexius IV 1204 Alexius V, Dukas Latin Emperors (Crusaders) 1204–05 Baldwin I 1205–16 Henry VI 1216–17 Peter de Courtenay 1218–28 Robert de Courtenay 1228–61 Baldwin II Nicaean Emperors 1206–22 Theodore I, Lascaris 1222–54 John Dukas, Vatatzes 1254–59 Theodore II, Lascaris 1258–61, John IV, Lascaris, The Paleologi 1261–82, Michael VIII 1282–1328, Andronicus II 1295–1320, Michael IX 1328–41, Andronicus III 1341–47, John V 1347–54, John VI, Cantacuzene 1355–76, John V (restored) 1376–79, Andronicus IV 1379–91, John V (restored) 1390, John VII 1391–1425, Manuel II 1425–48, John VIII 1448–53, Constantine XI, Dragases until the conquest of Constantinopolis.

MY FAMILY is related to the last ELEVEN emperors who ruled in Constantinople. We are directly descended from 9, the penultimate, John VIII and his brother, the very last. Constantine XI had no children so we are descended from their father, Manuel II through his younger son Theodore, SO that means the last ELEVEN emperors are all directly from my grandmother's family... all ELEVEN.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Just ask me...

The Florida Orchestra presents a Flash Mob, "Surprise Performance'' in Tampa!

On February 23, 2013, The Florida Orchestra surprised unsuspecting shoppers at International Plaza in Tampa with performances of "Hoedown" from Copland's Rodeo, Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever and the finale from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Happy Father's Day 2013

I miss you and love you, memory eternal, Daddy

Friday, 14 June 2013

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Yiasou :)

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Summer 2009

Loving life, and finding love in joy in lots of places... things are calm and good on all fronts!
Having a wonderful summer....wishing you ALL, the best of all things!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Summer '08 was GREAT!

This is what summer is all about...
redirect thoughts
& actions...

Toula and Tula

Toula & Aunt Tula in California.
Aug 'o8

Simi Valley, CA

Background overlooking Simi Valley, CA.
Aug '08

Dancin' Gal

Taking a swing dance class in Newport,CA.
Aug 08

Shocking Make over ;0

A friend did a graphic make-over of me,
She had this VERY same hair do, most all her life!

Sunday, 13 July 2008


"Smiling, while playing the violin!


Thursday, 1 May 2008

Angel watching over you ....

on the angel that is showering angel dust upon you
making all your dreams come true!
Keep looking up!

Sunday, 9 March 2008



Saturday, 2 February 2008

Happy Valentine's Day to YOU!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

New Year 2008

Here's wishing you the best of all things possible in the NEW YEAR!
2008 is GONNA be GREAT!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Happy Holidays to all and a very exciting NEW YEAR 2008, soon on the horizon! Celebrate life and all the wonders, as each and every moment is precious beyond words. LOVE EVERY MINUTE, no mater WHAT... this is the 'secret' to inner happiness! ;)

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Giving THANKS :)

Many things to be thankful for... HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Be sure to CLICK on the picture! ;)

Friday, 5 October 2007

Performing with the symphony

I am back at work with the symphony, starting on Sept 26th, this marking my 30-31st season! :) I LOVE playing the violin, and have the best group of colleagues that makes one proud to work and play great music! Yes, we have the sound of a MAJOR orchestra, and I am honored to be in this wonderful group. Yes, we are ALL millionaires in spirit, but now more than ever, the organization would LOVE to increase our ENDOWMENT. If you are or anybody you know wants to support a major orchestra, feel free to contact someone and don't be too shy about holding on to your big bucks, as you can't take it with you, and all things that are really important, money CAN'T buy! However, 'money' can buy a symphony, and you can be a part of making it all happen . Please check out this link for the orchestra & go to where it says SUPPORT: . Your kids and grand kids are depending on a future with some class and culture, and only you and I can provide that bright future. I am doing 'my part' to make this a reality, and perhaps you or someone you know will also value the precious gem of Tampa Bay, The Florida Orchestra, now celebrating our 40th season! :)

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Around the corner ....

Fall is just around the corner, as September has finally arrived. A very peaceful and relaxing summer is almost over. I don't see the color of the leaves changing,but I do see changes on the horizon. In our life we the observe the change of the seasons, and the death and rebirth of all things. With every end there is a new beginning, with every door closed, another one opens,and what is up, will go down... and back up, again. :) ZOE, is what the GREEKS call it ... ina ZOE !!!!!

Monday, 20 August 2007

August 19, 2007

I had a wonderful birthday, today and am grateful for all the special love and caring from many of my wonderful friends, and family. I feel humbly blessed, especially when I was told as a teen, that I had 'two weeks to live', due to a rare blood disorder. But I showed them... I LIVED to talk about it! :) THANK YOU, GOD, for allowing me live and grow into the bright light that you put me on this earth to become, and to SHINE forth all to see. Each day, I am made into a better and stronger person. I am humbly grateful for all the lessons learned and experiences that have made me wiser and enlightened in all the ways that really matter in life. Most of all, I am grateful for the wonderful people, not masking themselves, but are the angels in my life... you KNOW who you are! I thank YOU for your love & support, for without my angel friends, I would not be much of a Royal Greek Gal...God Bless you ALL!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Cattitude :)

Good thing that "Cattitude is EVERYTHING"! It IS true what they say, "like a fine wine or old violin, good things do get better with age!" ;)

Friday, 6 July 2007

It's JULY... raining,hot & muggy!

Well, time sure is flying by, as I stay home with my collie, chocolate lab, tiger cat, and also a black cocker spaniel I am watching for a month. Everybody gets along, famously! :) I am over all the shopping as I already found some wonderful things last month. Yesterday was the 4th of July, and I hung my flag outside of my front door, along with my neighbors. Haven't seen flags on the street since years ago, when EVERYBODY had a flag outside, on their car, and there were no 'party' divisions, just all 'American's. I see that all the neighbors still have their flags hanging today, and I am so glad, as I am a very patriotic gal, and love my country, very much. While I am a millionaire in SPIRIT, that will not buy some of life's simple pleasures, but somehow, I pray that all things work for out goodness sake. I know that LIFE ALWAYS FINDS A WAY, somehow...

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Toula Sophia, your "Royal Greek Gal" is having a fun time with the summertime sales at my fav store's . :) 75% off selected items, plus I got a 20% discount coupon in the mail, on top of the 75%...they practically GAVE things away... ;0 Yep, this is what ROYALS do when leave the castle & go into the world... Stylin', uh huh, dat's 'moi... ;)*

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Royal Greek Gal in June 2007

...'TIS,'moi!!! I am doing great ! The symphony season is over until mid September 2007. Lots of rest is needed unitl then... who knows what a gal will do?!