Friday, January 30, 2009


Finally finally finally - we have internet at home, I may just cry with happiness:)
AND since they messed up our billing, and won't start billing us until tomorrow - I am going to blog today like CRAZY!

So, firstly - I would like to state that I HAVE finally been to the beach and I have braved the waves! Funnily enough first time we walked down to go swimming we heard an announcement from the lifeguards telling us that bluebottle jellyfish had been stinging people all day and that there was nothing that you could do about it other than just wait it out (around half an hour of excruciating pain - fun)! So, we walked down to Shelly Beach instead (which is sheltered & hopefully did not have the jelly fish - it is just past Manly beach) - also, because I wasn't ready to face the waves yet. But alas, I have been two more times now, and I admit - the waves were not as bad as I remembered them!

Anyhow, now that we have internet - time for some more pics. Now that I will be caught up I won't have to post SO many photos each day:)

Murray managed some great photos of the noisy but cute lorikeets that visit the tree just near our balcony daily

Gosh they are such a colorful rainbow bird!

One night this last week, after a lovely dinner at Helen's place, we came home and made ourselves this lovely newspaper dining table - to get an idea of the size of a table we saw in the store that day. It was perfect - but don't ya know - once we called back the next morning to say we wanted it, it was gone (it was a one off sales price) - bummer ! Ah well, guess it wasn't meant to be.

The night before Australia day I baked a pan of brownies, and Murray experimented with food dye

The goal was to make an Australian day flag/brownie

I put our little flag nearby for reference

I think it turned out pretty darn cute in the end! (a bit avant-garde perhaps, but we liked it)

Then it was time to celebrate Australia Day (January 26th) - we went to Steve & Selina's for a BBQ & Amelia was the official Aussie tattoo artist

Putting another tattoo on Murray's other arm

AND one on the jaw bone - of course!

She was very precise and did an Excellent job!

Steve's parents Jeff & Pam, me & Selina
Steve, also known as the BBQ king, at work

Amelia also tried on her brand new school uniform to show us - she had her first day of school this week - very exciting!!! (we got a phone call from her telling us about it - TOO cute!)

And the lovely aussie desserts - lamingtons, pavlova and of course - a brownie flag!

The pavlova Selina made was absolutely fantastic!!!!

Murray & Clara

The girls playing around with the flag flapping in the wind

Me & Amelia - showing off our cheek tattoos

All in all a great day - great fun with great friends:) (and my FIRST Australia day IN Australia - very fun!)

The week passed with job searching, swimming, and more job searching, then it was finally time for.......
all of our living room furniture to go out on the balcony so we could get NEW CARPET!

The dude showed up nice and early and got straight to it ripping up our gross old stuff

My living room on the balcony - not bad huh? I read an entire book while he carpeted (Winterdance by Gary Paulsen about racing dogs in the Iditarod - wow was it a great book!)

After the carpet & padding was pulled up we had to vacuum because there was dust/sand ALL over the concrete floor

Measuring out for the new stuff!

My view from my balcony living room

After the carpet was installed, Murray opened the vacuum filter to help me clear it out and we had a little bit of an accident - dirt pile - on the NEW carpet - EEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKK!

But finally, we got it all cleaned up and Murray & Thomas brought up our new bookshelf and tv stand (flatpacked in that box)!

They took a beach swim break while I finished up some stuff I had to do at the house (and I was getting over a cold so didn't want to go swimming) - when I looked outside I noticed THIS guy climbing on our chair!!

I also at one point looked out (I had moved in out of the sun by then) and saw 5 birds sitting on the top of our couch - eeek! I clapped loudly & they moved on, with no poo left in their wake thank goodness.
When the boys got back they got to work assembling our tv table!

Then it was time for the exciting part - bring out our big new........
Television - hooray!

Not bad, not bad at all. Gosh it's great to have a tv and a shelf to put stuff on - now it's really starting to feel like a real living room! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Like a hair dryer

Yesterday was SO hot - apparently it was the hottest day here in 3 years! (It was in the high 90's - 30's celcius - here by the beach - in land it was 110+ I guess - hot!)
When we walked outside it felt like walking into the path of a hair dryer turned on high.
Great day for the beach though.
For some reason the water was MUCH colder than when we took a dip the day before (currents I guess?) but gosh was it refreshing! Friday I went out into the waves for the first time since being here (they FREAK me out since I am used to nice calm flat water). And, they weren't as bad as I remembered!
But yesterday - scary. I stayed fairly shallow because the waves were massive and looking at me like 'yes, I am going to knock you down to the sand and give you sand burn on your face.'
So, some quick shallow dips into the water and relaxing to dry off in the sun was just just perfect!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Finally............... some pics!

Ok - I KNOW we have been in Sydney going on 3 weeks now, so it is TIME to finally take a break from setting up our flat and job searching to blog some photos already!

Oh and, just FYI - the 'Grand Circle' photos from our road trip are ready to blog, so hopefully we'll have that up on our travel blog in a week or so. Eventually we will finish that blog off right up to when I left Minnesota just after Christmas:) I will let you know on here when that blog has been updated! (i.e. when we get internet at home - which should be by the end of next week - fingers crossed)

Oh and by the way - this is officially the random photo blog - they are in order, but photos of this and that over the past weeks since we have been in Sydney!

Our first Aussie vehicle - meet - Bruce

Close up of the yummy Christmas cake

my father-in-law Peter, sister-in-law Helen, me & Murray playing our National Parks Monopoly game (thanks Joni!!! it is SO fabulous)!

It was really fun - we got to decide which National Park would be which property on the board!

Peter, Lyn Me & Helen out to lunch in Mogo (such a cute little town with lots of great places to eat & lovely shops)

My yummy popadum sandwhich (Peter had one too) - interesting & yummy (but really, more like a crumbly sandwich)

Helen & I opening and looking at all the fantastic kitchen stuff

The pavlova.............. YUMMMMMM!

Bruce - packed to the roof for our drive back to Sydney

and yes - those are toilet paper rolls on the back right corner - as we were moving into a flat with NOTHING - not because we were expecting an accident on the drive

The gorgeous happy new flat flowers from Helen - I love the bright pink!

One of our resident kookaburras - sitting RIGHT on our balcony!

After much unpacking, and folding, and folding - I am officially reporting Murray as having a t-shirt addiction

Our little tv of the moment that Steve & Selina lent us (we are SO grateful!!!) with our little friend Koala, Kangaroo and our Peruvian carved gourd on top - not sure why - cause we have nowhere else to put stuff up yet I guess

On the way to see Steve & Selina we stopped to buy some beer - the bottom left one made us think of Heather & Jason:) Lots of great worldwide selection!

Then we had a lovely afternoon at Steve & Selina's to catch up
Murray & Clara (she has the cutest cheeks ever - they jiggle when she runs - just adorable!)

Amelia showing off her lovely fairy dress, she is such a sweetie

The second hand couches & chairs (just so we have something to sit on til we get jobs & can buy some furniture we actually like!) and the chair - like a fun little puzzle for Murray to put together

Also, I studied my driving book a bit - this sign is really the only thing other than roundabouts that I needed to take note of

One day I was down on the Corso (the main shopping/eating/tourist strip in Manly) so I stopped and took a photo looking back for the blog (the ocean beach is right behind me while taking this)

And - the beach. If you click on the photo to make it larger you can see I have put a little white arrow pointing to the surf club down the beach (North Steyne Surf Life Saving Club) - we live 3 blocks inland from there! (by the way - this is a weekend shot so that is why there is SO many people!)

I took this photos cause I was thought - oh look - a surf lesson - people dragging their boards down the beach (I did this once, years ago). When I got home Murray exclaimed 'why did you take a photo of topless girls on the beach?' ummmm hmmmm I didn't even notice that actually

Me - by our super large TV box - to give it some scale - it's freakin HUGE! Can't wait to get it outta the box (we are waiting until painting & new carpet is installed)
AND SO - it is 90 degrees out and so of course we decide - to paint. Our flat needed it BAD - the renters really beat it up and it just needed a nice bright coat of paint
Me painting in the kitchen - so tedious!

Scraping - lots & lots of scraping - yuck

Our two skylights were the worst - hard to scrape, and difficult to paint - it's like a sauna up there when it's 90+ outside!!!

But WOW does our ceiling look better now - it's actually WHITE!

Most unflattering photos of me ever - but oh well - I am wearing Murray's old t-shirt and shorts - working on the edges in the laundry room
Looking better with the ceiling painted! Just a shame that we had everything SO neat a few days ago, and now all the furniture is pushed into the middle of the room - what a mess!!

The kitchen and part of the dining room - with many a drop sheet covering bits up
Murray was surprised by how great the white on the door looked with a bit of light cream paint

After a VERY long day of painting with the help of Helen we decided to go out to dinner at Dee Why beach - this was our view from the restaurant - lovely

Helen & I enjoying the view

Our lovely laksa dinner - noodley and spicy and yummy!!

Last weekend we went down to catch up with some friends on their boat - the view on the drive down was AMAZING!

Murray swimming with his sandwich and beer - talented, isn't he?

Murray's friend from University Aidan & his two beagles
We had a really good time catching up with Aidan & his wife Megan & we loved their dogs:)

And finally, me, relaxing on our balcony finishing off the book 'The Time Traveller's Wife' - wow that was a fantastic book! Nice to have a bit of sun on my feet as well:)

SO, other new things - we booked in the layer to come and put in our new carpet next week - hooray (we figured now is the time to replace it - before we have much furniture) and today we bought a TV table at IKEA - so we're set. Now, we just need internet at home!!!! Hopefully that will be done soon - we are spending a fortune on internet cafe's at the moment!