Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Little Friend

Wanted you guys to meet our new little friend here in Kirribilli.  We don't get to see her every day, but she was in rare form today:

Getting Through Customs

If you are an expat (or thinking of becoming an expat), I'm sure you are interested in this post.  Our household goods were packed up and shipped on February 15, 2012.  We've been in Sydney since February 25, 2012.  Our things (finally) arrived in Sydney on April 16, 2012.  We were informed that everything would have to go through customs, which we expected of course.  Before leaving, the moving company had given us a long list of items that were not allowed in the country.  I had to give away all my Cajun spices (the travesty!!!).  In fact, you are not allowed to bring in any type of food product.  Or animal product.  Or whatever.  There were a lot of things we could not bring.  We thought we had been very careful about packing.  We gave away/sold/threw away a lot of things.  So imagine our surprise when we get an email from the moving company telling us that an item in our inventory was being held in quarantine.

Apparently there was a Halloween decoration that Mr. Smith just couldn't do without.  :)

We have three options to deal with this Halloween decoration (we don't get to see or know exactly what it is).  We can either pay to have it gamma-ray'd to make sure there are no pests of any kind on said Halloween decoration so as not to damage the environment or harm anyone.  For this, we would have to pay AU$440.  We can opt to have it repatriated to the US.  We were not quoted a price on this, but I suppose it would depend on who we would gift our lovely Halloween decoration to.  Or we could let customs workers destroy it for AU$125.  I asked Mr. Smith if we could just bring them a bucket and a match, but we both figured they wouldn't find that humorous.

We decided to let them destroy it.  Yep.  For $125.

I know that there is a reason why Australia has all these import rules, but this seems extreme.  Oh, well.  You live and you learn.  So just take my advice.  Perhaps just sell everything and start over when you get here.  Especially when you think that we've been sleeping on the floor for a while now.  Think long and hard...

Australian Programming

I've been asked by several Sydneysiders what I think of Australian programming.  They all expect me to say that it sucks, I think.  Here are my comments, in no particular order:

1. What's up with the timing?  For instance, on one channel the programs will run from 7:37pm-8:07pm and so forth.  While on another channel, the programs run from 7:33pm - 8:03pm.  It makes it almost impossible to watch one show on one channel and then change to another channel to watch another program.  Depending on which channel you started with, you may miss the first 5 minutes of the next program, which everyone knows is usually the crucial part.  It's the part that sets you up for the whole show.

2. Watch your language!  Apparently there are no rules about what you can or cannot say in Australia.  They must think we are idiots in America because fines for saying the eff word on TV can reach the millions or billions of dollars.  And the fines and endless hullabaloo over Janet Jackson's boob during the Super Bowl must have had them guffawing in the streets here.  There is nothing I haven't seen or heard on TV here.  They've said the eff word, flipped the bird, women have walked around topless...  It would shock some of the Bible belt Americans I know.

3. The commercials are awful.  So awful that I'm close to having a love affair with them.  Picture this.  Husband walks into the kitchen and asks his wife, "What's for dinner?"  She tells him that she's leaving him because she needs some time for herself.  He asks how long she needs.  She tearfully cries out, "At least 2-3 minutes!"  And she runs out of the room.  Then we are given several shots of the husband woefully going around the house missing her - crying over her empty pillow, etc.  The last shot is the dishwasher closing, the husband kneeling on the floor, desperately clutching his wife's legs, so thankful that she's back.  It was a commercial for tea bags.  LOL!

And of course, the programming is all way behind.  I would guess that The Young and the Restless is at least 6 months behind America.  There are old episodes of ER, like from season 7 or 8?  CSI is way behind.  Pretty much everything is way behind except for Glee (only about two months behind) and American Idol (as far as I can tell, we are on schedule with the US).  I'm currently watching a show called Awake.  I really like it.  I just saw the third episode, but I think the whole first season has already aired in the US.

I'll stop now.  I'm sure you get the jist.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lovely Sunset in Sydney

So I'm sitting at work... working...  when I noticed that everyone was getting up and walking outside.  I looked up and couldn't help but notice that there was a lovely sunset.  I have no choice but to share it with you.  It wasn't to be missed.

Soundproofing Bathrooms

I'm just wondering if anyone ever considers soundproofing bathrooms when they are making plans for a commercial building.  I don't mean large buildings where there are large multi-stall bathrooms.  I mean what about those of us who work in a small office with a few small bathrooms right next to co-worker's desks?  It's really embarrassing to be a new employee and knowing that all your bathroom "noises" are filtering through the walls.  Just saying.  Someone should really think about sound-proofing the bathroom.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Today is Anzac Day in Australia.  Think Memorial Day in the US.  So we had the day off.  It's kind of nice having a day off in the middle of the week, although I'll take any day off.  Anyhoo, April 25th (or should I embrace my new home and say 25 April) is Anzac Day.  Basically, it stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.  If you are so inclined, you can read more about it here:

Anzac Day

I had the day off, but I'm sure you have already guessed that Mr. Smith went into work.  While he was there I slept in a little bit.  We were up late last night so I easily slept until 8am.  I would have liked to have slept longer, but once I wake up I usually don't go back to sleep.  As much as I like it, I don't want to sleep my life away.  I ate my raspberry yogurt with almonds and sat down to work in my cafe as I waited for the water in my kettle to boil.  I had some coffee and decided that I should work on some laundry.  For some reason, I thought that I had done the laundry while I showered before.  I must have been mistaken.  After about 3-4 minutes in the shower, the water went ice cold.  The warm water never came back.  I had to quickly try to rinse away soap and conditioner as quickly as I could as icicles literally pounded down my back.  It was excruciating.

After my refreshing shower, I thought I'd sweep the apartment.  That's when I saw the bookcases and saw horses we bought at Ikea.  I'd forgotten that Mr. Smith asked me to put them all together.  So I put them together.

Later, when Mr. Smith got home he told me a story about a game called Two-Up that people play in pubs in Australia on Anzac Day.  It's only legal on Anzac Day, except in Queensland.  Interesting.  The game sounds so simple.  Perhaps because everyone is playing in pubs so it has to be easy?  LOL  Here's some more info about Two-Up:


I still don't understand why this game is only allowed to be played on Anzac Day.  They make it sound like no one is allowed to gamble, but there is a lottery.  Isn't that gambling too?  More info about the law:

Legal Gambling?

So my lovely day off is drawing to a close, but I enjoyed my day.  How was your day?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our First Houseguests!

There we were...  just minding our own business...  when they just walked on in.

Yep.  We fed them.  I was told by a friend that you can encourage them to keep coming back by pouring honey on bread and feeding it to them.  Then one day we were in Milsons Point and someone in the area had posted a notice telling everyone that several lorikeets were found not breathing due to ingesting bread.  I guess it's not good for them.  Instead, it was suggested that you should give them watered down honey.  Thus, the honey in one of our only bowls.

If you care to learn more about lorikeets in Sydney, feel free to click on the link below.  I don't have any affiliation with the site, but I like the information they give about the birds.

Rainbow Lorikeets

It was nice to watch them eat the honey.  Their tongues move very quickly and they make these cute noises. They were trying to get some of their friends to come over, but we had to leave.  Too bad they didn't come sooner.

I can't wait for them to come back!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rainy Days and Rainy Nights

It's been raining in Sydney since Tuesday.

For the past 3-4 weeks, we've had gorgeous weather.  So when I woke up on Tuesday morning to the news that it was going to be raining endlessly for the next three days, I was definitely dismayed.  I like rain.  Just not constant rain.  The kind of rain we've had makes me want to curl up in bed and sleep.  The best sleep I ever have is always on rainy days.  I remember the sound of rain on the tin roof of our trailer growing up.  I loved it.

So anyhoo, just wanted to give everyone a little show of our rain.  I apologize for not thinking of pulling my camera out when the wind was blowing the rain around so hard that it was hitting all the windows sideways and the balcony doors were vibrating.  It was pretty scary!

But today wasn't so bad.  It was still raining part of the day, but we actually got some sunshine!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Most Annoying Commercials EVER

These commercials for Jim Beam Cola are the most annoying I've ever seen.  I will post them both, but the second one is the most annoying as far as I'm concerned.  But I guess they've done their job because they have me talking/blogging about them.  LOL

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Waiting for my Ship to Come In

I was able to sleep in this morning because HWWNLBN went in to work this morning (yes, today is Sunday). I woke up at 8 something and had some yogurt, almonds and two cups of coffee.  I watched The Color Purple and a new television show here in Australia (is it American? who knows?) called Awake.  I liked it.  I think I will continue to watch it.  I called HWWNLBN and told him that I would shower and call him before meeting him at the office.  We decided that I would take the ferry into Circular Quay and get fish and chips for lunch.  So here I am...  waiting for my ship to come in.

I also planned to go to the Apple store and get my contacts moved over from my old phone.  I want an iPad.  I definitely don't need one.  I just want one for some reason.  I definitely don't want to shell out $500 (it's actually more in Australia), but I just think they are cool.  :)

Anyhoo, here's the ferry pulling away from the pier in Kirribilli:

And then I got fish and chips and walked over to meet HWWNLBN.  We spent pretty much the rest of the day at his office and then walked home.  Isn't my life grand?


Does anyone use this app? Can you explain to me why I should use it? I've always thought that Twitter is pretty useless, but obviously it caught on. I tried several times to get into it, but I just cannot.

So is Pinterest just like Twitter?

The Color Purple

I just finished watching The Color Purple for like the hundredth time.  Cried like a baby as if it were my first time.  It just got me thinking about all the hoopla about Titanic being released in theatres again in 3D.  I guess I can understand why some people think it's ridiculous.  Those people probably weren't especially touched by the film in the first place.  That's why they think it's ridiculous.

I remember when Gone With the Wind was re-released in theatres about 15 years ago.  I can't remember exactly when, but I know that I went to see it with CG from RPI.  I LOVE Gone With the Wind.  I would gladly pay to see it in theatres anytime it was playing now.  Over and over.  Without reservation.

I would love to see The Color Purple in a theatre.  These movies all touched me in some way.  I would like to see Titanic in 3D.  But perhaps they should have waited a few more years.  Maybe they thought that the 3D craze would die.  I'm not sure.  But the point is that when movies touch people, like Titanic has, they will pay to see the movie in theatres over and over.  Heck, I know people who saw Titanic in theatres when it was first released several times.

What are your fav movie(s)?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Interesting Stuff

First I want to apologize because I saw something called Sugar Soap and I couldn't get a photo without everyone knowing that I'm a crazy person.  And really... that's never stopped me before.  But I was with HWWNLBN and he embarrasses easily.  So I will resort to just attaching a link, if you're as intrigued as I am.

Sugar Soap

While in Bunnings Warehouse, I also saw some clothespins.  Only they're not called clothespins.  They call them clothes pegs.  And they're much prettier.  :)

Now for the moment everyone's been waiting for...


I know... I know...  You all thought we'd never pick one.  Well, we have.  It has 6 settings for toastiness.  The first time I used it, I decided to set it right in the middle at 3.5.  I ended up having to pop the toast myself and it was mostly char.  So now it's permanently set at about 1.5.  Here it is in all its glory:

And finally, I've been talking quite a bit about Cheezels.  Thought I'd at least show all of you what I'm talking about.  Here they are:

I broke down today and bought a small bag.  I am completely in love with Cheezels.  I like to pick them up with a pinkie or some other finger and pop it in my mouth!  The big cheezy goodness bursts upon my tongue with a sharp burn that can't be resisted.  Then suddenly the bag is empty and I'm left wondering who took all my Cheezels?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th

I'm not superstitious about Friday the 13th, so I set out this morning to prove how great this day could be.  I had a nice walk to work this morning.  I did end up a pretty sweaty mess by the time I arrived at work, but there was a glorious breeze that always helps.  The high was only expected to reach 22 Celsius today, so I brought my blue jean jacket for lunchtime.  I stopped at Starbucks for my daily Venti Skinny Mocha (no whip) and decided to also splurge on a chocolate croissant.  They warmed it up at my request and I was on my way.

I got to work early... about 8:45am.  After mopping my brow I got my computer booted up and started the day while munching contentedly on my croissant.  Here's the view from my spot in the room:

At about 1pm, I decided that it was time for lunch.  I had planned to go to a Japanese Noodle shop, but when HWWNLBN couldn't meet me I decided to just go to Westpac for my usual lunch.  I went to Denlens and got my usual rotisserie chicken on a small roll with sweet chilli and a small order of hot chips with salt and ketchup.  Does it look tasty?  Because it always is.

Since I was alone, I found a quiet spot (yeah, right) and continued reading the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy.  I would really like to see the movie.  Hopefully we'll make it to a theatre someday.  I picked up some tic tacs and some gum and went back to the office.  At about 3:30pm, Shiplu asked me if I wanted to go for coffee.  Of course I want to go for coffee.  LOL!

We had a pretty busy afternoon and I left for the day a little after 6pm.  I've been wanting to get myself some stuff for the office.  Perhaps I should just be satisfied with what's provided, but you guys know me.  I like special pens and pink stuff.  I got myself a pink calculator, some pens, a couple of small pen-cups in pink and blue, some highlighters, some liquid paper, a ruler and what else?  Maybe that's it.  So when I go to pay for everything, the cashier asks if I want to buy a bag.  Not everyone does this.  Thank goodness I usually have my own bag.  Not that they charge a ton of money for the bags.  It's just the principle of it.  Why should I have to pay for a bag when I'm shopping with you?  Anyhoo, whatever.

I also made a stop at Priceline (think makeup and toiletries type of stuff).  I saw these hanging in the back and had to buy a bag:

It wasn't until I got them home that I realized the bag says that it's sugarless chocolate.  I'm not worried about the taste.  It's just that if you've ever eaten sugarless chocolate, usually the stuff they make it with gives you the runs.  It even says it on the back of the bag, "EXCESS CONSUMPTION MAY HAVE A LAXATIVE EFFECT."  If you are ever constipated, just pick up a few packs of sugarless chocolate.

So to end this post, here's what I saw on my walk home:

As I look left past the Opera House, you'll see that there is a cruise ship leaving Sydney.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Frances' 29th Birthday

Frances is one of my new PostClick friends.  She turned 29 today and wanted to go back to The Sussex Hotel Pub for lunch.  So we went back today.  I took a video with my brand spankin' new iPhone so that you could try to hear everyone talk.  :)

I had the Chicken Schnitzel this time.  It was good.  Sorry I haven't been posting very much lately.  I've gotten some complaints.  I guess things are just starting to feel a bit routine to me and I'm sometimes pretty tired when I get home.  Tuesday night I went to Zumba before coming home.  I tried to come up with some excuse to skip, but thought better of it.  It's a slippery slope when you allow yourself to skip even once.  In fact, I was going to just buy 20 passes because I thought I would just go to Zumba once a week.  But I know that I keep complaining to myself that I need to lose the weight I've gained since stopping Zumba in CT over two months ago.  So I joined the gym.  Hopefully this will get me in the gym at least twice a week.

The past couple of nights I've convinced He Who Will No Longer Be Named (HWWNLBN) to leave work on time and we've walked home together.  Yesterday I bought some fruit on the way home.  I'm going to try to stop eating Cheezels (think Cheetos) and something sweet every night.  I've gotten myself into a real bad habit.  HWWNLBN has agreed that he doesn't really need the sweets every night either.  So that will help.

On our way home tonight we picked up a roasted stuffed chicken.  HWWNLBN loves stuffing, especially when it's been cooked in a bird.  It was good.

OH!  We finally got internet at the apartment.  Yippee!  Finally.

So here's my first video:

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter, Peeps!

Speaking of peeps, we haven't seen any.  J was just commenting on how chocolate-filled Easter is here.  They're really big on Cadbury, as in... from the UK.  We actually haven't had much Easter chocolate.  I got him a small bag of miniature Cadbury creme eggs because he likes them.  Me, not so much.  But other than that, we haven't had any Easter chocolate.  Oh, wait, hold up!  A girl in my office did hand out candy on Thursday.  So I've had 3 little chocolate eggs!

But today there was an arts and crafts fair in Kirribilli.  After Skyping with my mom and a phone call to J's parents, we headed out.  It turned out to be just like the markets... a variety of homemade items and flea markets.  Of course, I took some pictures for you guys:

This is a passageway from Kirribilli to Milsons Point.  There are four rows of vendors in here and they are always crowded, even more so when it starts to drizzle because it's the only area that's completely covered.

This is the other side of the Harbour Bridge.  You are allowed to walk on one side of the bridge and ride your bike on the other side.  So we're never on this side because we don't have bicycles.

This is one of the food vendors.  J ended up getting Pad Thai and I had a Russian roll up that was basically just minced beef wrapped up in something of a blintz.  In fact, I ended up having two because it was pretty good and they were small... AU$4.00 each!  LOL

I just thought these were cute as heck.  The blue kangaroo had a chocolate Easter egg in his pouch.

Really wanted a cuddle with this lil koala.

The monkey is complete with a banana in his left hand.

We bought two of these pillows for our sofa.

We bought this door stop in an effort to keep the door open.  We now have 4 door stops.  It still isn't enough.  We've got some strong wind bursts in Kirribilli.

Hopefully A isn't reading my blog.  LOL - I doubt it.  He's only two.  Anyhoo, A is the son of friends of ours here in Sydney and he just turned 2 yesterday so we decided to get him a little something for his special day.

I can't believe we still have another day off of work tomorrow.  We were going to go back to Chatswood, but J is saying that he would rather go to Bondi Junction.  I guess this means that I won't get to see my movie.  If there's one thing I know, it's that he doesn't usually keep his promises.  In fact, if he wants to get me to go somewhere with him (mainly because he doesn't like doing things alone), he tells me that he's going out for lunch.  Food will usually get me to go anywhere.  And then by the time we get wherever he wanted to go, he does everything he wanted to do and then he's ready to go home.  I'm just way too gullible.  I should know by now that it's just a trick.  I'm like Pavlov's dog.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day Before Easter

We went back to Chatswood Mall today.  Basically to look at more toasters and to get my new iPhone 4.  Couldn't happen soon enough.  I'll be able to make videos to post and I can Skype, too.  I also want to get an international plan added to our home phone.  I thought that the plan would only include calls to landlines in the States, but now I realize that it's two cents a minute to any phone in the US.  So, I'm excited that we'll be able to make reasonably priced calls.  First some pics:

This is the train station display that tells you when the next train is due to depart the station and also where the train is going, i.e. the stops that the train is making.  We were departing from Milsons Point and we were going to Chatswood.

We are standing at the train station and looking back toward the Harbor Bridge.

We had lunch at KFC because J kept seeing this commercial on TV for a wrap called a Kebob.  He enjoyed it. I got a 3 piece hot wing and something called a Nacho Cheese Roller. It was basically little chicken balls with cheese and sweet chilli sauce.  I really enjoyed my lunch, too.

I just had to share this toaster. Yep... it's AU$149.00. I don't know if you can read the top, but there are settings for "Toast/Cancel," "A Bit More," "Crumpet," "Defrost" and "Lift/Have a Look."  Pretty cute, but pretty expensive. We are having a hard time finding a toaster we want. I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up spending about AU$100 on a toaster. The one we both really like is about AU$125.  LOL!

So we came back home after NOT yet picking out a toaster.  We plan to go back to Chatswood on Monday because I have to pick up my new iPhone.  I couldn't get it today because I want to keep my same phone number and over here it takes them 24-48 hours to release a phone number and then pick it up on another phone.  Everything here moves sooooo slowly.  We still don't have internet at our apartment.  We had to get a mobile WiFi to be able to use the Internet.  And the problem with that is that only one of us can use it at a time.  Which means that I get internet and J has to wait until I'm done.  He has way more patience than I do.  Plus, I'm way more selfish.

Anyhoo, we are also planning to watch The Hunger Games when we go back to Chatswood on Monday.  I can't wait.  I've been reading the books.  I'm on the second one.  Anyone else reading them?

RIP Thomas Kinkade

I just read that Thomas Kinkade died of natural causes on Friday.  And he was only 54.  I'm really saddened by this.  I love his paintings... very talented.  We have a couple of prints.  Just stunned about all the people who have passed in the past few years.  I guess the older you get, the more this happens but I'm not ready.  What's going on lately???

Friday, April 6, 2012

First Day of Easter Holiday

We slept in a bit this morning.  Woke up a little before 8am to a very hot apartment.  After a bit, I began to wonder why we bought the air conditioner if we weren't going to use it when we need it.  So while I was in the shower, J turned it on for an hour or so.  It definitely helped.  For some reason, there was no great breeze outside this morning.  Right now, as I type this, there is a freezing cold (to me) breeze blowing through here with almost gale-force power.  I'm about to go put on my hoodie.  Or shut the door.

Anyhoo... I digress.  We did take a walk around the neighborhood to check stuff out.  We walked around to the other side of the bay we can see out of all our windows to North Sydney.  Here are some pics:

This a community garden in one of the parks by our apartment.  This one had mostly a mish-mash of different blooms.  There were also beds with roses and other flowers.  I don't know who keeps up the grounds, but it's beautiful.

Another picture of the community garden.

The palm trees reminded me of California.

This was a different park near the North Sydney ferry.  Had to get a picture of the tiki guys.  I don't know what's under that guys's rope and I couldn't check it out because there was a little girl playing nearby.  I'm sure her mother would wonder what I was doing.

Another view of the bay.

That's our apartment building in the middle of the picture.  The taller one.  It was cool to see it from the other side.

This was a warning near a water treatment area.  I only took this picture because it said to call 000 for emergencies.  Apparently it's a real problem to get that message out here in Australia.  Kids see/hear on American TV that they are supposed to call 911 in an emergency, but 911 doesn't work here.  You're supposed to call 000.

J was admiring this boat.  He says that the mast is carbon fiber.  Just looked black to me.   He loves carbon fiber.

This is the menu posted outside the Sydney Flying Squadron.

Thought some of you might be interested in seeing the menu.

The Ensemble Theatre down the street from our apartment.  You can get season tickets.  Just a little local theatre.

Someone left this flower in the elevator.  It made me smile.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

My New Work Family

Some people have been itching to "meet" my new work family, so I will introduce some of them in this post.  A couple of days ago, I walked to work in a fog.  Literally.

The Harbor Bridge

The Harbor Bridge on the way to work.

This is my view of Darling Harbour.  That's D.  You don't see him that well and when I took more pictures today, he was off work.  So I'll have to get a better picture of him later.  D is really sweet and welcoming.

This is F.  She sits to my right and is our Accounts Receivable.  F plays footie and, I've been told, will have lots of bruises all over by the time the season is over.

This is S.  He and I take care of Accounts Payable together.

B on the left; P on the right.  B helps me order lunch.  Thanks, B!

This is S, IT guy.  :)

D and F

O on the left; N on the right

This was my AU$19 lunch - rump steak with hot chips

This was S's lunch - Pork Belly on Potato Au Gratin bake in gravy and with string beans.

We Say, They Say

ANZ = A N Zed (Aussies never say Zee)

Drunk Driving = Drink Driving

Slaughter House = Abattoir

Flooded = Inundated

How's it going? = How you going?

Ketchup = Tomato sauce

Granny panties = Daggies

I'm sure there are more and I just can't think of them.  :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My New Zumba Experience

So I went to my first Zumba class last night at a gym that's on my way home from work.  They have class every Tuesday night at 7.15pm.  I think I might just buy some passes and go every Tuesday night.  So the class runs 45 minutes, instead of the hour that I'm used to.  The instructor is from Columbia so you know she can move.  I always thanked God for Maria because I could never move like Lauren.  Well, this woman is worse (in a good way, of course) than Lauren!!

There were 5 people (including me) in the class.  It's in the gym next to all the cardio and weight equipment, so everyone can do their workouts and watch us.  It started out with all of us right behind the instructor (in front of the mirror) and then ended up with me behind the instructor and everyone else way behind us.  I hope that I wasn't flinging too much sweat on them, but we all know that I sweat enough for at least 10 people!  I laugh, but it can be quite embarrassing.  Not much I can do about it, though.

So the moves were pretty much what I'm used to, but quicker.  Probably a good thing that it was only 45 minutes.  And then afterward I had to walk home, so I didn't get home until about 8.40pm.  I felt really good, though.  I love Zumba.  It felt good to get some good stretching in, too.  I should do that regularly, but I've gotten out of practice with all the changes in my life.  More later!

Things That Make Me Smile

I love when I'm walking to/from work and there is a breeze (BONUS if it's a cool breeze).

I love when I'm listening to my iPod and an awesome song comes on and makes me quicken my stride!

I love to see people walking their dogs. (I saw a dog without a leash today and he was running happily next to his owner.)

I love getting mail/email.

I still can't help but smile when I see J walking toward me when we are meeting for lunch during the week.

I love feeling productive in any way.

I love those rotisserie chicken sandwiches at Westpac.

I love strawberry fields Tic Tacs.

I love Cheezels.

I love to sleep.

I love Starbucks.

I love all my family and friends.

I love life.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012


We think we hear fireworks somewhere near Kirribilli every night.  When I try to do a Google search about it, I find nothing.  Is anyone in North Sydney reading this?  What is the noise that sounds like fireworks going off every night?  Inquiring minds want to know...

We Needed More "Stuff"

Mr. Smith decided to reserve another car for today so that we could shop for more stuff that we can't take back home on the train.  We left at 10am again, but this time we took Betsy:

You always know a Go Get car by the orange mirror on the driver's side.

Hello, Betsy!  She's a Hyundai i30 Wagon with a child seat in the back.

On our way to pick up Betsy, we passed one of our favorite trees.  I made sure to take a picture this time so that I could share with you guys.  I have no idea what kind of tree this is, but I think that my mom will love it.  Let's see who can identify this tree first - PROJECT!  LOL

This is the tree from across the street.
It almost looks like extremely large honeysuckle flowers hanging upside down.

Close-up of the blooms.

So finally at 10am we were on the road again.  Driving in Sydney - there's nothing quite like it.  It's like you're the fill-in driver for an Indy 500 race car.  And not only are you just filling in, but they've stuck you on the wrong side of the car and the wrong side of the street.  Everyone is jockeying to get in front of you and you're driving around with the windshield wipers going on for no discernible reason.  I find that I want to burst out laughing every so often, but I try not to because I know that Mr. Smith is doing the best he can just to stay in his lane and pay attention to me telling him when he's supposed to turn.  I'll say turn left and he turns right.  I say, "Your other left!!!"  LOL - I'm amazed we are still alive.

Our first stop was at Factory 2nds Warehouse, where we planned to buy an electric grill for the balcony for $99.  I think we did pretty well.  It's a great place where you are buying new products but you get them at a discounted price because either that model has been discontinued or something like that.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with the product.  This transaction went well = quick.

Next we planned a trip to Bunnings Warehouse.  Think Home Depot.  We planned to pick up a trash can (if we liked the selection), an extension cord for the electric grill and a rug for the living room.  So we managed to park the car.  I'm telling you... our life could be a reality show these days.  You park underground and everyone is driving like they're late for something.  They just back out of spaces without looking.  Or maybe it just seems like they're not looking because the pedestrians are all dodging cars.  When we get inside I ask Mr. Smith what we are shopping for.  He mumbles something and I could have sworn that he said, "Rubber spoon."  I repeat, "Rubber spoon????"  He turns around and says, "RUBBISH BIN!"  I say, "Where are you from?  I'm from America and I'm looking for a trash can!"  I can hardly type remembering this exchange because the tears are streaming down my cheeks.  It was funny at the time, but reminiscing like this is good.  So we found what we needed (we actually bought a trash can - quite a feat for us), paid for it and went out to the parking lot to take our lives in our hands.

So we had over an hour and a half left.  We decided to go to the Chatswood Mall.  We were there yesterday and had done some shopping at Target.  While we were there, we found a combination aircon/heater at Bing Lee.  So we thought we could go back there with the car and pick up the air conditioner and not have to wait for a delivery.  This went pretty smoothly.  So we drove home, unloaded Betsy and then brought her back to her parking space with five minutes to spare.

We walked down to Fisherman's Cove for fish cocktails and chips (French fries).  They have very good fish and chips.  Then we walked to a convenience store for ice cream sandwiches (two ice cream sandwiches and a pack of gum for AU$10).  Then back home for a nap before opening up all our goodies.  So it's been a good day.  We are back to work tomorrow for a short work week.  In Australia, we get Good Friday and the Monday after Easter off.  So next weekend will be a really long weekend.

Hope you've enjoyed today's installment.  :)