You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2010.

So I’ve been undertaking a seriously long-term project for about the past 4 months to categorize and organize all of our digital pictures.  While bordering on tedium, it is actually amazing to look back through the 7 years of our lives together and see all the beautiful things, events and people we’ve been graced to experience.  And since this blog is all about sharing, I’ve decided to share random snippets (highlights, one might say) of our photography collection.  Nature is up first for your viewing pleasure.

We started a new tradition and broke bread with some expat Americans and Aussies for Thanksgiving this year.  Needless to say, the Aussies were impressed by our food-tastic holiday.  And we, on such a holiday, were thankful for such great company.

(and, my just-moved-to-a-new-place-so-make-friends-with-food strategy seems to have succeeded again!)

1) I just had one of the most interesting and enjoyable conversations in weeks with the cabbie on my 25 min ride to the airport, and realized I NEED FRIENDS! (besides talking to Steve of course)

2) Common language and heritage aside, this American girl sticks out like a sore thumb. I had three people today actually use the phrase “you’re a long way from home!” to me. I’m not exaggerating, 3 different people. The guy at the gate added for emphasis, “I mean a LONG way…” Of course, they’re a bit different in Western Australia, so I seem even more different.

3) This really is America (with different accents and sport predilections) in the 1950s. Have flown now from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in less than 1 weeks time, I’ve been asked for ID….. ZERO times. Seriously, not once. (though I was randomly screened for bomb residue twice).

4) I really am a long way from home. And I miss my family! It’s easy to talk yourself into rationalizations about phone and internet chats, it’s hard to miss Elenor being passed around the table with the turkey for the first time.

So were having Thanksgiving at our house this weekend (we sadly don’t get Thursday off) for some Americans and Aussies. It’s a bit potluck–there’s two other cooks for the main meal–and I’ve got the essential but boring tasks: turkey, mashed potatoes and salad.

So I’ve decided to make a few creative “classic American” dishes for starters. I’m definitely making deviled eggs, fried mac n cheese balls, fried pickles and a granny smith apple cocktail. But I’m in need of a meat to round it out. So tell me, what do you think is “classic American cuisine”? Help a cook out!

It’s harder than you’d think, especially without having the whole of it be southern food and giving everyone a heart attack before the main course…

For those of you that don’t wander off the home page, pictures from Sydney, Vancouver and Costa Rica are posted on the out and about page. Enjoy!

So I’ve taken to waking up at 7am lately. No, S&C Melbourne doesn’t operate in some strange alternate universe where corporate attorneys are required to be at the office before 10. But Steve’s new job has him up by 7am and in a suit and out the door by 7:45. That is an adjustment for him for sure!

Our new pad has the acoustics of an opera house. Great if you like being serenaded by your wife’s singing in the shower from the downstairs kitchen. Not so great when you’ve worked til 1am the night before and your husband’s light footfall downstairs to make coffee sounds like an elephant stampeding through the bedroom. Seriously, the acoustics are that great that I’ve definitely decided to get a keyboard (and figure out the whole U.S. / Australian power cord thing later) just to capitalize on the great sound quality

But, ever one to make lemonade, I’ve found that some extra time in the morning not spent in a coma can be enjoyable, and even productive. Last week, I did yoga for 30 mins and made myself a poached egg and roasted tomato breakfast, and was still in the office before 9:30 and the other associates. Tuesday I talked with mom on her day off for over an hour and threw together a pair of earrings to match my outfit for the day. And today, I caught the tram just a bit down Bridge Road (past the hustle and bustle) and got off at the Jolimont station and had a nice little peaceful walk through Fitzroy and Treasury Gardens.

I could (maybe) get used to this whole regime…

Bentley and Smokey have arrived safely in Oz! We went to visit them today at the Spotswood quarantine facility, their new home (pet import prison) for the next 30 days whilst the Australian government satisfies itself that they really, really don’t have rabies.

I knew full well it was likely to be a melancholy affair. What I didn’t expect was my cat to hiss at me. Seriously, open mouth elongated hiss. Then I tried to pet her, and she hissed again. With tears in eyes, I left her blanket I had brought her and went to meet Steve, who was already visiting with Bentley. Thankfully for my poor heart, Bentley was much more receptive and snuggled right up to momma. And, on second visit, Smokey smashed herself against my ankles (a true sign of cat affection) while still hissing and growling occasionally (which I convinced myself was more at the other cats in the room than me). Satisfied.

Visiting hours are over, and the 30 day count is on.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Well, actually not really. It’s sunny and warm – nearly 85 degrees today. But in Oz there’s no interim holiday (eg, Turkey Day) and the streets have been decked out with decorations and a large tree erected in Collins Place.

Note the yucca in the foreground, around which poinsettias have been placed.

We have visitors! Kristin has landed in the land of Oz, and we are headed up to Sydney in two weeks to meet up with her at the tail end of her business trip for a weekend R&R before she ships back stateside. Cannot wait!

And, we had two solidifications of future plans to visit this weekend. Wes is coming in the month of Feb with trips to the Gold Coast and Tazzie in the works, and Leah and Jordan are booked (well, secured and awaiting booking) in May!

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!

Oh and, we’ve recently decided to host a good ol turkey bake at our place for Thanksgiving with Americans and Aussies from the office. Now if I can just figure out how to cook a turkey in a Celsius convection oven.

So we’ve finally finished setting up house! After conquering a mountain of boxes and spending three weekends in a row doing not much more than unpacking, moving furniture around, buying things at IKEA and Bunnings* (the Home Depot of Australia), more unpacking of newly bought boxes, assembling, sorting, tidying and cleaning, we got our house all set up just the way we like it. So, long-promised pictures are now posted. 

For the family at least, these pictures are a bit of a “Where’s Waldo” exercise — see if you can find yourself in the house!  We have so many pictures, knick knacks and other reminders of our family in little nooks and corners of the house.  It’s a lovely reminder that even though we are far away, everyone is close in our hearts.   Check out the pictures

*Just as an aside… we did in fact have to rent a car to go to IKEA and Bunnings.  Steve drove, Claire road along being as helpful as one could possibly be (and yes, this is Steve writing this part:)… And just let me tell you, this may or may not have been one of the most dangerous things we have ever done.  I mean, we’ve driven in some crazy places (Rome, London, Costa Rica, Macedonia, etc…) but good LORD.  The cars were both manuals, which made matters harder.  Suffice it to say, it’s not for the faint of heart.