The weekend before Australia Day

OiOiOiI’m not usually one to get super patriotic. I mean, I prefer the Canadian national anthem to the Star Spangled Banner, I would have never worn red, white, and blue for July 4th, nor would I have decorated my house for the holiday. But last weekend we hosted a going away party at the house for a church family who is moving back to the States; therefore, I decorated. I hung banners, provided paper plates for the party with the Australian anthem on it, used Australian flag cups and napkins, and even used two pairs of Australian themed thongs for the “thong throwing contest.” I got into it. It helped that this weekend was Australia Day and the shops had lots of Australia themed junk for me to use. We didn’t sing the Australian national anthem or sing along to, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!” but we did have a pavlova eating contest and spent the afternoon enjoying the lovely weather.

I continued the Australia Day theme the following weekend (actual Australia Day) by making some cupcakes.Straya Day Cupcake

I also did some research to find out more about Australia Day, and I discovered that Australia and the US have similar debates about the effect of colonisation and sovereignty. Please read more here: Australia Day or Invasion Day?



A House Tour – sort of

Whenever I FaceTime or Skype someone for the first time, they usually ask for a house tour (or perhaps I say, “Hey, want a tour of the house?” and they give in). So I take them from room to room narrating what each room is while they proceed to throw up a bit because of the motion on the screen. Really, I try to move slow, but I don’t always succeed.

We were hosting a going away party for a church family last weekend, so the house was ridiculously clean and I thought it might be a good idea to take some pictures for those who haven’t been subjected to a puke inducing FaceTime/Skype tour. There’s more to the house than this, but I figured you would be that interested in pictures of the toilet or a room full of boxes and spare furniture.


Sparkler Tuesday

Sparkler Tuesday

Sparkler Tuesday

Shortly after New Years, we stopped at Woolies (the grocery) and picked up a couple boxes of sparklers and some GIANT sparklers. There’s just something about twirling around with a sparkler to make your entire day better. We assumed that the GIANT sparklers would be even, well, sparklier, but no. They just last longer. Oh well.

Last Tuesday someone called here to talk to Dan and said, “I hope I’m not interrupting Sparkler Tuesday.” It’s officially a thing, people. I think you should all go out and find yourself some sparklers, which might be hard in the dead of winter in the US, and institute Sparker Tuesday. You could be getting in at the ground level of the revolution.


For my sister-in-law, who does not read this blog

that I know of.

Dan was at chess tonight, so I was home alone working watching bad television. I decided to go downstairs to look for some storage bins for my office. I found them and was going to head back upstairs to continue working watching bad television.

As I entered the laundry room, I caught something out of the corner of my eye.IMG_3559I stopped and looked closely.


 A Huntsman spider.

Pay special note to this line from the Wikipedia entry: They have been known to inflict defensive bites, but are not widely regarded as dangerous to healthy humans.

I knew this already, but it’s nice to hear it again.

I then proceeded up the stairs to put away my bins and wait for Dan. I decided to sit on the steps and watch the spider; I didn’t want it to move and hide before Dan got home.

I watched for 10 minutes (and texted my friend Kayla pictures while I waited).

When Dan came home, he took care of the spider.

IMG_3561I know. We should let the spider live. It does eat bugs, and anything that would eat a cockroach should be my friend, right? I just don’t think I’d be all that good at shooing a Huntsman out the door and into the yard.

I think it’s something I need to work on.


Catching Up

Obviously, I’ve been avoiding posting here for the past couple weeks, but not because I didn’t have anything to say. We’ve been busy with the holiday and a wedding.

Therefore: 4 photos to sum up the past two weeks.

  • I’ve spent the past couple weeks getting ready for the new semester – writing syllabi, completely revising my courses (as usual), creating a visual syllabus, planning the first week
  • On New Year’s Eve we went to a church member’s home for festivities. These festivities involved sparklers. Two days later, we bought a couple dozen sparklers because, seriously, sparklers are awesome. We’re instituting Sparkler Tuesday, which will involve me and Dan in the backyard with a box of sparklers. I plan to dance around while waving the sparklers in the air.
  • We still continue to visit the beach on Mondays. For the past couple Mondays we’ve been at Kawana because no one ever goes there. I don’t know why. It could be because there’s a sign that says, “Beware of Snakes.”
  • This Monday (yesterday), we went to Dicky Beach – the beach with the shipwreck on it – it was warm, there were lots of people there but not too many, and the waves were big. Dan loved it.
  • We’ve been barbecuing quite a bit lately. I doctor up some chicken with sweet chili sauce, Dan works the barbecue, and then we enjoy our dinner while watching old episodes of Star Trek: Next Generation. I feel a bit nerdy admitting to the whole STNG thing, but, hey, whatever.
  • Light boxes – every single signal box is painted in Brisbane and the suburbs. I need to take pictures of every one I see. You can read about the project here.


Weather on the 31st of December

I suppose I should feel somewhat bad about this.

Weather on the 31st

Weather on the 31st

Yes, I regularly consult the weather in Waterloo and Madison just to see how my friends and family are faring. I like to view it in both Celsius and Fahrenheit because when I tell someone here what the weather would be like it I was still in Iowa, they like to hear it in Celsius. So when I mentioned to someone that it was -27 in Waterloo, they were horrified. That number doesn’t make sense to people here. And, honestly, it probably didn’t make much sense to those of you experiencing the -17 and worse on those days.

I feel for you, really, I do. Especially since we were sweltering in 95+ degree heat later that week.

It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. It’s not the cold; it’s the windchill. Right?