Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas

This year we are celebrating Christmas at home and I'm going to embrace the hot-weather Australian style. The tree is fake, there will be prawns, there will be pavlova, and there will be swimming in the pool. But I won't give up all my cold weather traditions, either...I'll still find time to listen to the Nutcracker and eat homemade cookies. The best of both worlds. I'm also very excited for my son, it's his second Christmas, but really the first one he'll be "aware" of. I can't wait to hear his excited noises upon seeing all the gifts appear under the tree!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Springtime garden

This blog title is a bit misleading, because I think we completely bypassed Spring here in Brisbane since we've had record heat waves and severe storms already! Still, when anything flowers in the garden, I'm happy to capture it and call it "Spring"!

This rose was already budding when I brought it home from the garden center, time will tell if I have any more luck, especially with the plant behind it...roses are notoriously hard to grow in this climate/continent!

frangipanis and yuccas in bloom

my little helper

Sunday, November 9, 2014

a real Halloween celebration

This October we had the privilege of visiting family back in Seattle over the Halloween holiday, and I had so much fun! I think my son did too, even if he wasn't sure what was going on. We pushed the stroller around the neighborhood in the rain and looked at all the other kid's costumes, but going up to doors was too much effort/too scary, so in the end I didn't have to pry much candy off him. A borrowed tiger costume from his cousin made the whole thing easy. Overall it was a really special way to share an American holiday, even if he might only remember the photos. Much more authentic than last year too.

watching the action in the street

pushing the stroller was more fun than collecting candy!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Inspired by another expat blog I was reading the other day, I decided to make a to-do list for myself in Australia. There are so many wonderful things to do and places to explore in this country, and around the Asia-Pacific region. Although circumstances conspire to make me a "permanent" resident here, there is no way to be certain how long we'll be living here, especially with family and other ties on opposite sides of the planet. Even if we end up staying in Australia forever, I'd hate to become complacent and I thought I'd make a list of things to do while I'm here...however long that is.
  • snorkle on the Great Barrier Reef
  • visit the most Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western points (did the Eastern one when in Byron Bay, now I just need to get the rest of the boxes ticked!)
  • visit Tasmania and sample all the culinary delights: oysters, temperate-climate fruits, cheeses, ciders...
  • have a long shopping weekend in Melbourne
  • visit Uluru
  • have a night of stargazing in the outback, preferably with a guide to explain the constellations
  • go to the Blue Mountains in NSW
  • travel to Hong Kong
  • visit Shanghai and perhaps more of China
  • explore in PNG (a little scary perhaps, but exciting)
  • wine tasting in one of the many wine regions here (Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley?)
  • visit a tea plantation in Taiwan
  • see both islands of New Zealand
  • take a trip to Japan
  • grow my own tropical fruit: mangoes, paw paw, passion fruit, bananas all supposedly do well in this climate
I'm sure I'll think of many more to add to this in time, but for now it should keep me busy!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The garden in October

A new fig tree

The very first fruit on our paw paw...nearly 5 years later!

The citrus trees looking healthy, and the bees were all over it.