Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chrissy in Brissy!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Chrissy 2010

Though silence in the blogosphere (from our end) has had ominous indication this year at times, we're glad to report that our slack behaviour in not reporting on our everyday mundane activities lately is because we're enjoying a period of non-craziness. Touch wood, as our Aussie counterparts would say...Translation: let's not jinx ourselves by talking about how great things are. It also might be because we bought a second-hand leather lounge suite for our living room recently and now are making up for almost 3 years of not having a comfortable place to sit in our house by sitting and relaxing in good company. Not too much exciting has happened over the past month, which has been a nice break.

However, one bigger news item is that our car took it's last trip in its 20 year run right on to the back of a tow-truck bound for the junk-yard, and was replaced with a car that I'm happy to report I'm proud of driving. It's a 2002 Corolla wagon, a great little car in great shape. We actually now feel bad for those folks who had to suffer through trips in our former vehicle when visiting, although that car got us through quite reliably for the most part (with the exception of our trip to the airport with the Beaver Clan...Sorry guys!) It was the last servicing that put 'er under, with a repair quote of over $2000, and a direct quote from our mechanic saying "well, you can drive it home, but if you start to feel anything funny with the brakes, pull over as fast as you can"...

We've also been having a blast getting ready for Christmas this year. It's been a fun month, and what Christmas season in Oz is complete without our annual yuletide lesson? Last years lesson: don't use a potted plant as your Christmas tree if it must sit on your kitchen table and be watered for a month...Mould thrived beneath the pot and we only discovered it when we took the tree down. That table is still waiting to be put out to the curb with the next curb-side pick-up. This years lesson: Don't put food on your tree, or leave it out overnight uncovered at this time of year. As much as I loved having a string of popcorn on our tree and how homey it felt (and which consequently took almost a day to string together), I didn't love the bugs it attracted. The cockroaches won once again, and I took the popcorn down after one night. The plans for cookies on the tree were shelved after that episode as well. Someday I'll have this living in Australia thing figured out.

I did stretch my homemaker legs this season and sewed stockings for the family to put out on Christmas eve (tonight!). They're made from material that was given to us before we left Canada from Anne (Tim's co-worker) who bought it from our friend Owen who bought it when he was living in Malawi. So they're not your typical Christmas stockings, but it was a lot of fun to make them and we have good memories associated with where they come from. My friend Betty let me use her sewing machine and taught me a whole lot about how to make life easier when sewing. I had a few flashbacks to home-ec classes and the frustration I used to experience on a weekly basis there, but all in all, it was a fun Christmas thing to do.

We had our annual Orphan Christmas dinner last night in true Australian fashion- seafood! Or as you might better recognize it, shrimp on the barby! We made it a goal not to use our oven, as that just adds to the already too hot temperatures we experience in our household, and we opted for seafood dishes, contributed by everyone. We had some of our ex-pat friends over and we ate extremely delicious food, had lovely Christmas drinks and complained about the weather and Australian idiosyncrasies that we still can't get our heads around. All in all, a success! I hadn't explored much of Aussie seafood prior to last night other than farmed salmon and a few species of whitefish, but I think I can safely say that the shellfish held its own. Good on ya Australia, you continue to win me over.

Over the holidays We're entertaining our friends Chelsea and Brett (who E affectionately refers to as Burt), up from Sydney where they've just moved, but originally friends from back home in Fredericton. It's been a blast to have them here and we're looking forward to a few more days of enjoying their company. Edie's quite taken with them, which means that Tim and I are experiencing low rankings on the I-want-to-hang-around-you chart. Not bothered at all, and Chelsea will never want to do another puzzle again in her life.

It's been raining like mad here, breaking records left right and centre for rainfall and low temperatures for the month of December in Queensland and all along the east coast of Australia. Though it has been trouble for a lot of folk (i.e. flooding, crop failure, etc), I have been as happy as a clam to have only experienced two or three days of over-the-top humidity and heat this summer, indirectly I think Tim must be happy about this as well. Pregnant hot lady is no fun to be around. As a matter of fact, it's now Christmas eve and it's raining buckets, not something I'm completely unfamiliar with given that I grew up in Yarmouth, but it's a whole lot greener here, and we had Edie out for a swim outside this morning...Ya, just different enough.

To our friends and family back home, the Chrissy cards haven't made it out yet, but I'm working on it. And thanks to those who have been more on top of their game than we've been, it's awesome to get snail-mail and phone-calls from those we love and miss. Our camera has been sitting idle this month unfortunately so we'll post some Christmas pictures in the next few days.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Santa's on his way

Just a quick note to let you know that rainy Brisbane is treating us well these days. The wet weather has meant the usual scorching heat hasn't yet hit us, although summer only officially began today (Dec. 1st). We're getting ready for our first full Christmas here, after our trip home in '08 and a sojourn north to Maryborough last year. We'll be housesitting for our friends in a nearby suburb while they vacation in Europe, and their house has air conditioning and a pool, much to the delight of Laura and Edie. It'll be as though we took a vacation ourselves - all we have to do is feed the dog.

Edie's been enjoying baking and decorating with her mom, getting ready for the holidays. She has been calling her snowman Ho-Ho, so perhaps she hasn't quite figured out the details yet. Her next surgery isn't likely to happen until May or June, but her spirits are high so we're happy to manage things as they are for the moment.

Bub number two is also incubating nicely. I would share our ultrasound photo but our scanner is broken and let's face it, a blurry image of an unborn child really only means something to parents and perhaps grandparents, especially when it's the 2nd child and the novelty has worn off from the 1st. Someday he or she might read this post, further contributing to his/her 2nd child syndrome characterized by lack of attention and general neglect. But hey, I'm a 2nd child, I can say those things out loud right? After all, there's no way Edie will hog all the attention in our household, will she? Hmmm.

All for now. Enjoy the photos.

December 2010