Friday, November 30, 2007

Differences of the seasons

September 25 - Still hot, still green. This is outside our apartment.

November 22 - First day of snow, thanksgiving, freezing, virtually no leaves left on the trees. Again outside our apartment. Rather different.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Thanksgiving actually started on the weekend when Llew started cooking stuff. Thursday November 22 was the day.
It started at 8:15 am when we got up and started cooking (how unusual). Don't I look thrilled by the whole thing?

After making 4 things at home, we moved to Robin's with Alex there to help. First job was to get the turkey ready. Stuffed with lemons, oranges and garlic, it was tied up,

then rubbed down with oil. I think Llew is enjoying it too much.

Then Heidi and David turned up to help.

And the dog was kicked outside. :(

Alex worked on the carrots.

David worked on the stuffing with the smallest spoon (the only one not eaten by the dog).

Heidi made corn bread.

Meanwhile, Robin hung Christmas lights all over the porch and front tree (using tongs).

Everyone turned up and we started drinking. Everyone was having fun. Then it was time for the turkey to come out of the oven Yay!

It was carved by the master chef

until nothing was left

while everyone watched in awe.

Other food included the stuffing, sweet potatoes with marshmallows,

potato, spinach and gruyere cheese bakes,

green beans, and parsnips.

Dessert included this angel food cake with orange blossom water sauce, pumpkin custard profiteroles with caramel nut sauce, and a pineapple pudding.

After we were all stuffed, we sat and talked. After some people left, the rest of us played Fluxx and finished off the wine. Eventually it was time to clean up a bit and go home. I know I am very thankful that I could experience such a lovely day with close friends.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


It is definitely getting colder around here! It is not uncommon to get temperatures in the 20s when I am standing at the bus stop in the morning. You see, minimums seem to happen right around day break and just after day break is when the winds start. So with sun up at 7:30am, at 8 or 9 it is bad at the bus stop. Luckily we have all sorts of warm clothing now.

Almost all of the leaves are off the trees now. Didn't get much opportunity to take photos of the reds and yellows. It all kind of happened in about two weeks. Went yellow then red, then brown and dropped. The ones beside the carpark were a different shade every day. Now they are all falling off. That means that we get less protection on our apartment from the wind, but when there is sun, it can get through. We also have leaves six inches deep out the front.

That's the other thing that has been lacking - sun! It is cloudy most of the time. It rains on and off, but mostly it is cloudy and dry. Not too much to complain about, but dreary. The other thing that comes along with dry and windy, is STATIC! Llew just got the loudest shock on the coffee table that hurt right up his arm. Getting in and out of cars is hazardous. Don't even think about putting on or taking off jumpers without being constantly grounded. And hair, well, all over the place. Add the beanie to that and there isn't much point brushing it when you get out of bed (except with my stupid hair).

We still haven't had to have the heating on over night. Just an hour or two when we get home from work and a little in the morning if we are not going to work. We have a great doona and woollen blanket. We are hoping to keep the heating bills down a bit this winter. Of course the heating is on at work. Very on. About 76F on! So much so that I take off my jacket and jumper and only need a short sleeve shirt to work in my office. I tried turning it down a bit, but it won't actually get any lower.

It has actually been snowing in parts of Indiana, but there is masses of snow in Minnosota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. It just hasn't come this far south yet in anything significant, just bits here and there that don't even settle.

So we are battling cold, hot, dry, wet, windy, leafy, probably soon to be snowy conditions. Yay!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I've finally started my new food blog

Hi all, I started my own food blog today. It will have lots of stories, recipies and discussions of my own food philosophy.

Have a look at


Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Last week was Halloween and we had to indulge while we were here. Robin took us to get some pumpkins then home to carve them. Even though we had never done it before, Llew took to it like a pro. His pumpkins came out really neat and he seemed to know all the tricks.

Me on the other hand just kind of hacked away at it. It may have had something to do with hand strength.

The fun part of course was the three of us together eating pizza, drinking beer, watching the dog eat pumpkin and doing something creative.

We ended up with 2 big ones each and one small one that was really hard.

We took them out on Robin's porch and lit the candles inside. They looked awsome!
Llew's is in front and Robin's is behind.

This is Robin's really big, gnarly one.

This is my witch.

This is Llew's Halloween version of Haryy Potter with the scar.

This is my ghoul but according to some, looks more like a Barney burp!

This is Robin's with many eyes and huge mouth. Cool.

This is the little one that was just able to be cut in half and a few notches, so Llew stuck on eyes and it looked cool because it was so see through.

All lined up they were a fantastic sight.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Washington DC: Day 3 (the end!)

On the last day in Washington DC and of our trip, we awoke to a fire alarm at 6:15 in the morning, and though pitch black at that time, we soon went back to our rooms and back to sleep. When we awoke again, the sky was (relatively) clear. Gone were the rain clouds that hampered our last two days. With the second last breakfast buffet in our stomaches, we embarked on our last full day in DC.

Our first stop was the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It was in a word numbing. While no pictures were alowed in the museum, it is definately well worth the visit for anyone in the DC area.

The second stop was the mall, to finally get a good shot of the Capitol building.

We could also see the original Smithsonian building, known as the 'red castle'.

We headed off to the spy museum, of which we had heard rave reviews. On the way we went through a sculpture garden just off the mall.

A massive spider...

Something described as a bird fish...

Wheely big wheel...

We passed the national archives which houses the original signed copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

A view back down Pennsylvania Ave (note that the other way, at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue is the White house).

It's off in the distance, honest :)

However when we arived at the spy museum, the line was massive, so we went across the road to the national portrait gallery.

First up, suprisingly, was Joseph Smith, the founder of the Morman religion.

Edison's tin foil phonograph and...

The man himself.

Daniel Boone, an original American pioneer and adventurer who was known for founding/finding (depending on your point of view) the great state of Kentucky (there you go Shanna!).

Next, three of the most famous native americans, Black Hawk...

Sitting Bull, and...


Andrew Carnegie (founder of the Carnegie foundation).

John D. Rockefeller (apart from anything, there is a tall building in NYC named after him).

Alexander Graham Bell, do I need to say more.

Quoth the raven, never more (Edgar Allan Poe)

Henry Longfellow, who wrote 'Paul Revere's Ride', a popular poem that immortalised the ride of Paul Revere to warn that the British are coming.

The Marquis Lafayette, a Frenchman who helped the Americans in the War of Independence (and whom the city that we now reside in is named after).

The famous portrait of George Washington, the nation's first president (to understand why it's the famous one, look at the $1 note).

A larger picture of Washington.

Lincoln pondering...

and live masks taken of Lincoln.

The final thing that we saw in the gallery was this great piece of art. Look closely and try to work out what it is...

Once we left the gallery, and on the way to beers, we passed by the Ford theatre, the site where Lincoln was assassinated,

and the house across the street where he died.

We finished the day with some beers and food at a locak micro-brewery. We headed home the next day after a great trip on the East coast.