Friday, October 8, 2010

Ahhh beautiful October

G'day friends,

It's a rainy Friday night in Brissy, no better time to write a blog posting.

Speaking of rain, there's been a lot of it lately. Roughly the past 3 weeks have been more rainy than not, but we'll take it! Everything is becoming lush and green again, and the Jacaranda trees are back in bloom. Their flowering is a reminder of how long we've been here, this being our third season...Time is flying, hey? The rain of course brings out the mossies and sandflies, and the humidity that goes along with the rain also brings out the creepy crawlies...namely our friends the house ants. The first year that we were here I did all that I could to keep them out of the house (pre-Edie, of course, when I had time to worry about such things), last year they bothered me, but we became more tolerant of each other's presence...This year I'm pointing out where the crumbs on the floor are so I don't have to pick them up myself (Good work guys! You're doing a fabulous job!). So that's not really true, in great numbers the ants creep me out, but the scouts I don't mind so much anymore. All part of living here I gather, and it's not that rough a bargain. As with any hot and humid climate, cockroaches thrive here as well. These guys I have a harder time dealing with. I was pretty excited the other day when Tim got rid of one from the bathroom, the only one in our house for sure I thought, until a few days later when I turned on the light and opened the closet and saw/heard the telltale scuttling. I try to give the roaches fair warning so that they can at least hide while I'm around, and so far, it seems to be working (whatever 'working' means in this context...blissful ignorance?) Again, a bit more difficult to toleate, but doable, especially considering they're only around for part of the year.

Fall or Spring...Depends on who you talk to or how we're feeling

Enough of that talk. We're looking forward to a good Thanksgiving dinner here on Sunday night. Our friends Steph and Allison will be representing the Canadians, and we couldn't miss out on inviting our American friends the Davis clan (Tim, Lindsay and Baby Joel) and Edie's mexican uncle Domino from southern California...It's going to be fun. Tim and I both agree that Thanksgiving is the holiday that we miss the most in the Canadian calendar year, it's like Christmas minus the crazy. Family,food,cool nights,sunny days, what more could you ask for in a holiday? So this is our attempt to recreate the goodness. Much like using a yule log video to create a cozy Christmas atmosphere in our house last year, I'm sure this dinner will feel like a bit of a sham, but you know, we're getting used to the feeling. And our friends here become more like family to us the longer we're here, and we're thankful for this, so it's a good reason to celebrate. No?

Life it settling into a new kind of normal for us here with Edie on the mend. Seems to us that when we left the hospital, we were under the impression that things would be normal (as they were before) once Edie was on the rebound. It's not proving to be the case. As Tim mentioned in the last post, she's doing well. She is putting on weight and looking better and better, but we've realized that having part of her belly on the outside will be a bit of a hindrance to her until things are properly fixed, and because she'll be in surgery again in a few short months, our expectations in terms of recovery-timelines have had to change. She gets pretty uncomfortable by the end of the average day, and it's made much worse if she's had a big day or has missed sleep, etc. So our daily lives as they were, are proving to be too much for Miss E. So we've had to cut things back, and as a result Edie and I spend a lot more time together at home and both look very forward to our daily nap. Can't say that I mind this at all. We are trying/being forced to take things a day at a time, and re-evaluating along the way. This parenting thing...

And finally, speaking of parenting, it's almost time for 19 week ultrasound of bubby #2. How fast is this pregnancy going, hey? I've had some pretty positive midwife and obstetrician appointments where we've heard a heartbeat, which is always exciting. They're also watching me like a hawk and taking extra precautions heading into the second half of pregnancy given our exciting delivery of Miss Edie. Tim and I definitely appreciate the precautionary approach, even though it means a busy schedule. Whatever it takes to get the deed done, we're up for it.

And I'll leave you with that. It's past our usual bedtime of 8pm, and as a very wise grade 12 valedictorian once offered in his Tips from the Top, going to bed early will get you places.

Love to all,


Friday, October 1, 2010

Avian Aggro

Well it's that time of year again. Yep, nesting season for the various agressive birds here in Brisbane. And that means it's time to break out the cable ties and giant eye stickers for your bike helmet so you don't get muscled out of the territory of some testosterone-fueled male or overprotective female. Both Laura and I have learned this the hard way, as each of us has been swooped recently by a butcher bird up the street. This of course brings to four the total number of bird species that have gotten up close and personal with me since moving here, a list that includes butchers, noisy miners, a masked plover and that fiesty crow that Laura wrote about a while back that was terrorizing me every morning. And we haven't even dealt yet with the most notorious of all the swoopers - magpies - who are known to draw blood and blacken eyes when they make contact with intruders. It's only a matter of time. The only bird encounters I can remember from all my time in Canada was the occasional swoop by a swallow in our backyard, and of course my infamous encounter with a partridge in the backwoods of central New Brunswick back in '99.

All of these bird terrors here make for an interesting ride to work on my bike every day. The aforementioned butcher bird has set up a territory on our street at the top of the hill, so every day I have to come racing past to avoid getting chased. If he spots me he'll close in, only stopping when I'm looking directly at him. This means that I have to turn around and shake my fist or point at him while speeding down the hill to our house, not exactly stellar road safety. And the birds aren't my only concern, as I nearly got run over by a woman driving a big SUV on a rainy day last week. She entered a roundabout without seeing me and got right up on my back wheel, bending my kickstand in the process but fortunately not making actual contact with any vulnerabe body parts.

Despite all this, I must say that riding to work year round is one of the best things about living in Brisbane. It gets a little hot in the summer but it's definitely the most efficient way for me to get exercise. And I'm glad that my only animal encounters have happened in suburbia and not during my field work in North Queensland where the animals can do more than just give you a scare.

For those of you wondering how Edie is doing, well she's doing all right. She gets a little uncomfortable towards the end of each day but otherwise she's firing on all cylinders. She's been getting plenty of time with Baby Joel (aka Joel Davis, son of Tim and Lindsay) and hopefully getting used to having another bub to share the attention. As of March, she won't be the only game in town.