Monday, October 26, 2009

Colleen Westcott

 Picture of our friends Ray and Jessica Wescott's baby daughter.
She is a real heartbreaker :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Night Noodle Market

(John) Last Wednesday night a couple of people from work and our spouses went out to The Sydney Night Noodle Market down at Hyde Park. I was a chance for Sydney's asian  restaurants to show off all their food and give the city a chance to sample local fare (think Taste of Chicago.) Noodle, dumplings, buns, chinese rolls, and calamari rings were everywhere. There were entertainers and dancers sprinkled throughout the event and even had a large photo exhibit leading to the market hosted by a local art festival Art & About. We all had a great time and got to sample some great food. I'll include a couple of pictures here and the rest can be seen in the slideshow (click on any pictures if you want to see a bigger version.)


Friday, October 23, 2009

Running Again

(Kitty) Now that the dust storms, wind storms, and rain storms are over, John and I finally got back to running again on Monday. When we lived in Santa Monica, we ran to and then up and down the beach. Since we moved back to Sydney, John has preferred to run to and around Centennial Park. He's right - not worrying about cars and stoplights makes a difference in enjoying the run.

Of course, actually staying on our feet while running would be helpful in enjoying the runs! On Monday, I tripped over a curb and went splat onto the sidewalk. Thank goodness I landed with most of my weight on my water bottle! Brushed myself off, took a few testing steps, decided I was okay, and started running again.

Then Wednesday, we decided to try running the dirt trail because it's supposed to be better for your joints. You have to pay more attention because it's just uneven enough that you can lose your footing. Sure enough, John said he started looking around after a while, enjoying the scenery, and twisted his ankle. He walked for a few minutes and it started feeling better, so he ran a little more to the end of our lap. (We're running 3 miles a day, 3 days a week right now.)

Friday - and the third time is the charm! LOL! We decided to forget the dirt trail (and later learned the paved trial is made with materials that "give" for runners, far better than concrete, etc.). We did our usual lap and both of us got our best times since moving to Sydney! Yay!

In case you want to see where we run, I pulled some pictures off the Internet. I guess we should take some of our own sometime, but so far we really only go there to run, which makes picture taking inconvenient. LOL! Anyway, the first one is a picture of the interior of Centennial Park. The second is the trails and stuff - we run that outer circle, about 2.3 miles, and it's 0.7 miles to run there from our place. The third picture is the entrance from near Fox Studios, where John used to work. The trails are packed every day with runners, walkers and bikers. It's a gorgeous way to exercise - you can see why everyone goes there.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Almost Like Home

(Kitty) After two nights in our own bed, I've never felt so much at home in our apartment. It's wonderful! We've already emptied four large boxes, and cooked in our kitchen now that we have our pots and pans. (Dinner was delicious tonight!) I bought two little nightstands at K-Mart a couple days ago and just finished putting them together. We have John's drawing desk up, too. He's really happy about it now that he's been going to a drawing class every week.

My goal for tomorrow is to get our office desks up so that I can start working in the office on Monday. I can hardly wait! Of course, in order to get Internet access in there I have to get the wireless part set up for our modem. (Too busy to get around to it yet.) On the other hand, I may get more writing done if I don't have Internet access where I work! LOL!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Our shipment and capsicum spray

(John) We finally received our household items that we shipped from L.A. about three and a half months ago. As many of you might have heard, our items were held up in Australian Quarantine and Customs Department for about a month and a half. As the movers unloaded our items Kitty struck up a conversation with one of them about our shipment. He told her that the main reason our items were held in quarantine was that they were busy looking for "capsicum spray." Now in Australia, "capsicum" is another word for "pepper," so our items were being searched for a container of "pepper" spray. Kitty was bewildered and asked the mover why they were searching for this "pepper spray." He said that it was written on the shipping list as items that we had shipped. Kitty looked at him and said "I never wrote that down, we don't own pepper spray. On the list I wrote down a couple of knives that John owns (one which was confiscated,) and a replica of a medieval..." and then it dawned on her! She wrote down replica medieval MACE! They misunderstood what she had written and was looking for mace (pepper spray) and not mace (medieval weapon.)


So needless to say, several of our boxes were opened and our items siffted through due to the misinterpretation of one... little... word...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Great News!

(Kitty) I am soooo excited! The movers are delivering our stuff tomorrow!! At 8:30 Thursday morning they are going to be here and start unloading!! Our bed! Our desks and chairs! Our dishes! I am so, so, sooooo happy!!!

Meanwhile, we have been getting a few other items here and there. Yesterday I bought two little bedside stands (only $12 each! Yay!). Last Saturday Mel and Andrew sold us their gliding rocker. I love gliding rockers! We had one in Burbank that I sat in all the time and I was so sad to have to sell it when we came here the first time. (This one's even nicer, too!) And on Sunday, our friends Luke and Ruth met us at IKEA with their car and we shopped for a dining room set. (It's the biggest IKEA in the southern hemisphere and, while it was obscenely busy, we all enjoyed being there. LOL!) They drove us and our purchases to our place, then we put the table and chairs together and ate dinner together! I swear, the pizza tasted even better sitting at a real table. :)

I have been doing a load of laundry almost every single day since the new washer and dryer were delivered. I told you about them before, but now we have pictures, along with the new table. I am so happy with them! At $8 a load at the laundry mat, I did as little laundry as possible while we waited for them to arrive, so there was a massive pile in the bedroom! But not anymore - I'm on my last load! Whew! Just in time for our 162 pieces of household goods to be delivered. LOL! Oh, this place is going to look like it's been hit by a cardboard cyclone! LOL!

Other interesting things - John found a great life drawing class every Monday night downtown at an artsy place, I forget the name. He's been enjoying it with one or two of his friends. I am going to a beginning drawing class for four weeks at church. One of the members is a cartoonist and he offered to teach drawing to anyone who was working with children's ministries, or who just wanted to learn to draw. It's really fun, and it helps me get re-involved in church here again. Also, different kinds of creative activity help your other creative arts to improve, so that's why I'm doing it. It's actually good for my writing. :)

Last night I went to my first official meeting of the Romance Writers of Australia. It was AWESOME!!! There were seven of us, and we met at one of the member's house. Tons of laughter and talking about writing and the industry, and each month one of the group gives a writing lesson. This is only the first or second time I've met them all (I met a few of them last month), but I already just love them! I'm also getting a lot of writing done, especially considering all the other things I have to do, and how long it takes to do things without a car. But I've written 16 pages in the last 9 days, about 12 more than I'd written in the many months before! LOL!

Speaking of things taking a while... I printed a bus schedule for the three buses that are close to us, so I can get to the bus on time, knowing when it will come and not standing around for half an hour. I was feeling bad that we haven't been running for a couple weeks because of the weather, so it was ironic that I missed THREE buses in the last 24 hours. Twice I walked or was running for the stop and watched the bus pull up and away - at least a minute or two early!

Once, I got to a bus stop and the schedule said a bus had come through 3 minutes ago and another one wasn't expected for 25 minutes. Well, I can walk home from where I was in less than 25 minutes, so I waited two more minutes in case it was just late, then started walking. I walked into a bottle shop nearby to get a bottle of wine for dinner with friends later, and as I was walking out - there goes the bus! It was almost 10 minutes late, but I missed it because I expected it to be on time! Can we get these drivers to synchronize their watches please?? LOL!! But I remembered I'd felt bad about not exercising and had to laugh. I was getting exercise now!

That's most everything interesting for now. Once all of our stuff gets here, we'll have to take pictures of the piles of boxes! LOL! Then eventually - Thanksgiving time? Christmas? - we'll be all settled in and we'll take pictures of our wonderful home to show you. Maybe even create a video and post it on YouTube. :)

Hope you guys are enjoying this. Let us know if you have any questions you want us to answer!

Our beautiful new wood dining room table with red cushions - in our red and wood dining room! It looks even better in person!

Our energy efficient front-loader washing machine. It takes forever, but our clothes are clean and unmangled. I can hardly believe I don't have to go to the laundry mat any more!

Our condenser dryer sits on top of the washer. It sucks the water out of the clothes into a bin in the bottom. Then I empty the water out every other load or so. We bought a condenser dryer because there is no vent to the outside, and no way am I leaving the window open to vent the dryer and let bugs in! LOL!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our First Guest

(Kitty) Hotel Bucholtz - Sydney had its first guest this week! Our friends Glenn and Linda added little baby Luke to their family (along with Kristy age 4) and Glenn's sister Belinda came to help out. So that Belinda could sleep the night through without the baby's crying, she stayed with us at night. We only live down the street, so it was pretty convenient for everyone.

We had fun, watched movies (including the new Stargate Universe and The Tale of Despereaux), and ate way too much chocolate and other snacks! Not only was Belinda a fun guest we'd be happy to have again, but we have an invitation to stay with her sometime and see Brisbane! Cool! We've never seen Brisbane.

One thing John and I did decide after Belinda left today, we're giving up chocolate for the next week! We ate more than enough already! LOL!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The First Time in YEARS!

(Kitty) Twice someone told me that Daylight Savings Time begins here in Australia next weekend. Wrong. It began today. So for the first time in so many years I can't even remember it, we missed church due to the time change! Just chalking it up to part of our adventure. LOL!

To make matters worse, the time change isn't until November 1 in the US, so I'm going to be far more confused about what time it is when calling the States this month! And of course, we moved forward and our friends and family in the US will be moving back, so I'm sure as soon as I have it figured out for October I'll be totally confused again for November! LOL!

On the other hand, another part of our adventure seems to be turning toward the good. On Friday, we heard that Customs is done with their inspection of our belongings, so it looks like we may be getting our stuff this upcoming week! (Maybe, no dates have been set yet.) I haven't slept on our bed since May 27, over four months ago. I cannot tell you how I am looking forward to it!

Friday, October 02, 2009

John's birthday was yesterday here in Australia, and today in the US. It's funny, that means John and David are celebrating their birthday a day apart even though they were born only four minutes apart. :)

We had a good time! Had a little birthday party dinner with Mel and Andrew and Sarah the night before, then John and I stayed at home all day on Friday (John got the day off work, and now we have an additional three-day weekend - yay!) and we watched TV and movies for the whole day. He got the first season of The Sopranos so he's introducing me to the show. It's... interesting. :)

Now we still have three more days to do whatever we want. But it's supposed to rain on and off all weekend (welcome to spring!), so I don't know if we'll go out much. John got plenty of TV and movies for his birthday to keep us entertained for most of the weekend though!

Hope you all are having a great weekend!!