Friday, November 19, 2010

School's Out For Summer!

(Kitty) That old song is playing in my head - "School's out for summer!" Next year at this time I'll be able to sing the second part of the chorus - "School's out forever!"

Taking the weekend to relax and chill out, hopefully catch up on some sleep. Then Monday it's back to writing - finishing my superhero book - and starting a diet for a month. It's very weird that it's time to diet a little to look good in my swimsuit, and it's also time to start baking for Christmas! But hey, this is our life right now so I'm planning on enjoying it.  :)

This Christmas will be the first Christmas John and I spend alone together since 1993!! On the one hand, we have no idea what we're going to do. On the other hand, we can't wait to be free to do anything we want - including nothing! LOL! Well, we're signed up to read the Bible readings at church in the morning on Christmas Day, but then - who knows what we'll do?!

I'm also beginning to work on my Kitty-the-author web site so I'll let you know when it's up and ready to read.  :)  We'll try to write here more but if you're on Facebook and haven't friended us yet, that's where you'll find a lot more posts from us.

Talk to you more soon! And Happy Thanksgiving to you U.S. folks!

Monday, November 08, 2010


I have been absent on posting anything for a long time, but I will try to be better!
A lot has been happening so I'll just start by posting my latest cause: Movember!

Every November here in Sydney "Movember" is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world, with the sole aim of raising vital funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men. My department at job has almost all the men growing mustaches and raising money to help the fund raiser.

Here I am doing my "thinking" face.
Day 1

Day 8

I shall continue to post updates to my progress.
Here is my "MoSpace" page:

More coming soon!

Sunday, August 01, 2010


(Kitty) I know it's hard to believe, but we've been here in Sydney a YEAR already! Wow! As of July 31 at 7am. I remember because it was a really loooonng day. LOL! And I know for sure now that I was right last year when we got here - it seemed warmer than I thought it should have for winter. In comparison, it is much colder this year! But I love it! Warm blankets, cuddly sweaters and sweatshirts, hot chocolate. Mmmm!

More posts soon on the running and the City2Surf race and more cooking!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dougie Visits Us!

(Kitty) It's been over a month since he left, but here are a few photos of John and Doug and me having fun together. Doug, you may know, is one of our dearest friends. We've been calling him our adopted little brother for close to fifteen years now. It's his house we go to on all the holidays and his family is our adopted family.

Doug came to visit the week of my final classes, which ended up being not as stressful as I anticipated because he brought homework with him, too. A couple of afternoons we both just sat on the couch and did homework together.

But we all also did a lot of sight-seeing! One of the most fun parts was the first night when we went to the Rabbitohs rugby game. The Rabbitohs are owned by Russell Crowe, and he was there that night too. Made it even a little more fun - aside from the fact that our team won by a huge margin.

We went up to the Blue Mountains, spent a great couple nights taking pictures of a special photography event in the downtown area, and took Doug to a whole bunch of great restaurants.

We did a ton of stuff, but what I remember most is that the three of us spent a lot of great time together just as we did when we all lived in the same area. And every day was just as relaxed and fun as every other day we've had in the last fifteen years. So I think we all thought it was an awesome two weeks!

I have to admit, I like the way these two pictures look together - Doug and Greg laughing at the Rabbitoh's mascot, while John looks scared. LOL! Camera ham! (I love it!)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kitty is Learning to Cook!

(Kitty) It's true! I know you can't believe it if you've known me for a long time. I'm dedicated to pre-made frozen foods and the very few "cooked" meals I have mastered in the last few decades. But when Doug came to visit last month, he and I watched Master Chef Australia the whole time he was here. I got hooked! AND they actually "teach" you how to cook! In the Friday shows, the professional cooks give a "Master Class" to the contestants and tell you how much of what to use and what to do with it, so you can really just follow their steps and do it!

Plus the local grocery store, Cole's, is a Master Chef sponsor so they have a rack of recipe cards with recipes the contestants have made. AND all the recipes are also on the web site (click here). This past weekend I decided to make John french style pancakes for breakfast (recipe here). I made them as thin as I could, then served them with a variety of ingredients to put on top, then roll up. I had one with lemon and sugar, rolled up, then with a dollop of double cream on the side. I had another with chocolate syrup, then rolled up. John had two with Nutella, one with maple syrup, oh, and I had one with apricot jam. (There were so many that we had them on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.) They were wonderful! My first success!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Updates on Life

(Kitty) I'm going to try to get more updates posted here on what we're up to, even if they are silly little updates like this one. I'm trying to take some pictures of every day things in case any of the every day things looks interesting to you. And I'm going to keep this up as often as possible. But let me warn you - school starts in 13 days! So I'm going to have to do this as short and sweet as possible. (That's one of the things I do like about Facebook - I can put a post up in less than a minute!)

So here is the first picture I took to show you something silly about our life here. You know we don't have a car, so everything we buy needs to be hand-carried to our home and up two flights of stairs - which, because of the way stairs work in buildings, really seems like four flights! That means I have to make decisions when grocery shopping based on weight - which do I need most this week, orange juice or laundry detergent? They're too heavy to carry both.
A few friends have suggested a cart/trolley - which I've always heard called a granny cart. I kept putting it off because of the stigma and because I thought it would make my arms stronger to carry the groceries a few blocks. Let me tell you - it may make my arms a tiny bit stronger, but it pulls the heck out of your shoulders! So last week John and I decided to just get one and be done with it.

Here it is, filled with three bags of groceries that I could never have carried home by myself. This week I went out again and bought four bags of groceries, but without choosing one heavy item over another. I simply bought everything on my shopping list. It was tough to get it up and down the bus stairs, and I had to unload it two bags at a time when I got home because I couldn't get it up the stairs BUT I was able to make ONE trip to the grocery store in a week instead of two. YAY!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Artistic Weekend!

(Kitty) My Romance Writers of Australia group is getting together this weekend for a writer's retreat! Yay! I'm so excited! I leave in about 45 minutes, hauling an overnight bag and a computer bag on the bus, through the grocery store, then onto a train and walking it down the two blocks to her house. Whew! One of the women is sending her husband and kids to the in-laws and then the rest of us are descending on her house. Of the eight of us, about half are sleeping over, so it's going to be a great time! LOTS of writing is going to get done! I can't wait!

Knowing I would be away, John planned a Photography Weekend with his friends. John wants to play with his new camera (his anniversary present from me - thanks Dwight and Bonnie for helping me pick it out!) so a whole bunch of people are meeting down near the Opera House with their cameras. Some even decided to plan a picnic on one of the days! So John gets to have a great weekend, too!

I wonder if that means we'll both be having so much fun that we won't miss each other...?


Monday, June 28, 2010

So Much Going On

(Kitty) Sorry it's been so long since we posted anything here. Life just seems to go faster and faster all the time! And sooo many people who read this are on Facebook so... Here's hoping someone wants to read this here.  {grin}

So, since last you heard from our far-away heroes, they went to Melbourne to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary. First, it was an awesome trip! Melbourne is totally different from Sydney - downtown has a different kind of architecture and vibe, a different kind of artsyness. It seemed a bit more relaxed and chill. The downtown area is near the river, which leads to the ocean, instead of Sydney's downtown on the harbour where you can practically see the ocean. I know it sounds weird, but John and I were happy to visit Costco there - ate Costco pizza for lunch twice in four days! Yum! LOL!

When we returned, Kitty went back to school (it had been the two-week mid-semester break at uni - what everyone calls university here, even though I still tend to just say "school") and John went back to work. I got a bad cold in Melbourne, so our running schedule got seriously messed up as I tried to get over that and as I prepared for the final papers in my three classes.  Things went well, though, and I finally finished my first semester on the 10th of June. It'll still be a a few weeks until I find out my grades.

John and I were WAAAY excited when our friend and adopted little brother Dougie came to visit us for two weeks on June 7. The first few days I raced to finish my last assignment - but Doug assured me I should relax because he brought homework, too! I showed him around Sydney some, he took pictures of the Opera House, John showed him around where he worked, then John had five days off in a row with a public holiday on a Monday. My friend Shannon took us around the South Coast area, which was awesome! Then we took a day to the Blue Mountains, went to the Taronga Zoo, wandered around The Rocks, walked the Bondi to Coogee Beach Walk, ate all kinds of yummy foods, and so much more!

Then for the rest of the second week, Doug and I watched a little of the FIFA World Cup, watched several episodes of Master Chef Australia (which I'm hooked on now and am watching while I type this!), did some reading and relaxing, met John for lunch or dinner several times, etc. It was very sad when Doug had to go home, but he promised to come back - and we're holding him to it! On the upside, the man has a super-heater inside him and was rarely cold even though it's winter here, so the first thing John and I did when we got home was turn on both the electric and gas heaters in the living room for the rest of the day! LOL!

Since then, John and I finally got back into a running schedule last week. Couldn't have happened at a colder time. At 6:00 this morning it was 5 degrees Celsius, 41 degrees Farhenheit with a 1C/34F degree wind chill factor! It was gorgeous to run by moonlight in the park until the sun rose, but this is the first time we turned down our street - where there is almost always a bit of an ocean breeze - and I ran the rest of the way home! LOL! The wind was too cold to walk!

That's everything I can think of. Those who know me and how I don't like to cook and therefore am not very good at it will be happy to know I'm actually learning some things by watching the Master Chef TV show! I made us a lamb chop meal a few nights ago that was fabulous. And the local grocery store chain, Coles, is the Master Chef sponsor so they have recipe cards in the store with some of the dishes the cooks are making. I picked up the beef stroganoff recipe to make soon! Woo-hoo!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Going to Melbourne!

(Kitty) Spending all day trying to catch up on everything that needs to be done in the next few days - because we won't be here! We'll be in Melbourne!! We're really excited because we've never been there and everyone says it's wonderful!

John will be able to use his anniversary present to record the fun times. I bought him a Canon SLR 550D digital camera. He was speechless! Yay! I surprised him! (That's very difficult to do!) I'll just walk around looking pretty. Why? John gave me "the key to his heart" - a little key in rose gold, heart-shaped at one end, from Tiffany's. He saw a picture of one a few weeks ago and decided that's what he wanted to give me for our 20th anniversary. Awwww!!! We went to the store and tried on a few different kinds, but that one looked the best on me. I love it!

Then we went to The Meat and Wine Co. and ate steaks the size of my head! LOL! They were huge! And delicious!! Again, John knows how much I love a great steak dinner, and how easily I can get tired of the huge variety of oriental restaurants that everyone but me loves, so he decided days ago that he would find a really nice non-pub steak place. And wow, did he make a great choice!

We finished off the evening with Tim Tam slams! LOL! (You bite the ends off a Tim Tam cookie and stick it in a mug of hot chocolate, slurp the hot chocolate through the cookie, then hurry and shove it in your mouth before the whole thing falls apart! LOL! It's awesome in the winter!)

Okay, no time for more! Gotta get packed! Tell you all about the trip next week!
Our love and hugs to everyone! :)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Our 20th Anniversary Party

(Kitty) We celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with friends on Sunday May 2 - which just happened to be 22 years to the day of John giving me my ring at our Spring Formal at Northwestern Michigan College. Yay!!

We brought food for morning tea after church Sunday morning - I made brownies and Russian Teacakes (little shortbread cookies) - and we bought some other favorite Aussie snacks. Then we hurried home to finish cleaning and preparing for our party. Everyone who made it just happen to be friends from church, so it was fun that everyone knew each other.

Linda and Glen brought us a Blackforest cake from The Cheesecake Shop - mmm! Neville brought his camera and took the group picture below. John grilled drumsticks on the BBQ on our balcony while I pumped everyone full of sweet and savory snacks. The adults talked - and I told a looooonnng story about how we met - LOL! - and the kids watched CARS on TV.

I'm not sure how John ended up with Baby Luke, but I couldn't resist taking a picture of them playing. Then Linda suggested the "Suprise! We have a baby! How'd that happen?" picture for fun. LOL! I hope you enjoy all the pictures! We had a great time!

Wednesday is our actual anniversary. John took the day off and my teacher encouraged me not to come to class that night, so we're going to spend a day of fun together. Then next weekend, we're going to Melbourne! We've never been there and have wanted to see it. Plus there was an airfare special that couldn't be beat, and we wanted to go somewhere anyway to celebrate. I'll post about that when we get back. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rainbows - What a Great Way to Start the Day!

(Kitty) We woke up to the brightest rainbow Friday morning! So beautiful! Then I noticed that there was a DOUBLE rainbow! By the time I took the pictures, the rainbows were already fading, but that's the great things about pictures. Thought I'd share them with you here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Back to School!

(Kitty) The very things that happen in life to give us something to tell you about are the very things keeping us from making frequent blog posts. But this one is just too good to miss telling you! As of today, I am officially a grad student at University of Technology, Sydney!!!

I am enrolled in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing program. School starts next week!! I'll probably have classes on Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6pm to 9pm. And I already own one of the required books!

Also, our friend Debbie and her friend Calista arrived on Monday to visit us for two weeks. They are seeing every possible interesting sight to see! It's only been three days and I'm already exhausted from trying to keep up with them! LOL! But then, I'm not on vacation and I'm also trying to get work done while trying to hang out with them as much as I can.

Last night we took them to a local pub, The Doncaster, for dinner and a celebratory drink. (I got the official school acceptance letter yesterday.) My friend Paula is taking us all (John got the day off) to the Blue Mountains Friday to show us the sights there. And my friend Shannon is taking us girls down the South Coast on Monday. Then Debbie and Calista are going to try to see the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical rainforest for a couple days, then back here to see more things with us.

It's going to be a GREAT but exhausting two weeks for me with friends and school all happening at the same time. But I am so excited about it all I can hardly stand it! LOL!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Kitty and the Prince

(Kitty)  Sorry we haven't been good about keeping up with the blog. A lot going on and it's so much easier to post a single sentence on Facebook. BUT - I'm going to try harder to get a post up at least once a week. Honest!  :)

So today's post is about my favorite day last month - Prince William came to town and I got to see him! He seemed so sweet and kind in all the places the news caught him. I know it probably seems silly, but he reminded me so much of his mom. So gracious and such a great smile.

Anyway, I walked forever to get to a place where I might be able to see him. And it was sooo hot! The first place I tried to see him was in a crowd so large I could barely see him once or twice as he shook heads with people. But everyone was so excited to see him!

Then almost everyone went home when he went to his picnic lunch in the Botanic Gardens - except those of us who wanted to see him again. When he drove through the second time, I was about ten feet away!! Here is the picture I was able to take:

Then as I walked the forever distance back to catch a bus, I was looking out on the harbour and saw a speed boat type taxi go by. I remember thinking, how weird, it's not even half full and everyone on it is wearing business clothes except for a woman in red. Then I saw it on the news - that was the Prince, too!

That's probably the closest I'll ever get to royalty. And I felt a little bad about how much of my day I spent out when I could have been working. But I stayed up till who knows when to see his parents get married - I had to see him, too!  :)

And from a romance writer's viewpoint, there's nothing more romantic than a handsome, charming Prince!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

2010 Golden Globes

AVATAR just won Best Picture award and James Cameron won Best Director. A friend of ours, Helen Padarin, was nice enough to find a You Tube recording of his acceptance speech in which he thanks the performance capture unit and the virtual lab for their hard work!

Thanks for the shout out Jim!

James Cameron's acceptance speech

Monday, January 11, 2010

Name in AVATAR

A former co-worker of mine at Lightstorm took a picture of the closing credits of AVATAR. This was a much easier way to find my name then scanning the screen as the credits flew by. This is the first set of names RIGHT after the list of actors.