Friday, January 29, 2016

A day in the life of Lily

It's a hard life being a small dog.  Especially when Mummy won't take me out because it's been raining all weekend.

As my bed's now in the middle of the living room, I get to watch TV with the family, and can stretch out or be as cozy as I please.

Which is pretty cozy, I must say.  When Mummy gets down really close to take photos of me, I thump my tail on the floor and the rest of me stays very very still.  It would be way too much effort to move at all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

It's getting there!  On the way to an appointment yesterday I stopped by the estate and it was exciting to see that they had made real progress in the last week.  The sidewalk was boxed up ready to be filled and all of the piles of dirt on the block had been moved.  I spoke to a construction worker who said he was hoping they would be finished in the next week or two.  Exciting!

In other news, I spent an entire day in Rockhampton this week due to random rostering which had me on reserve up there.  I stayed with a friend and went horse-riding which was fun although I'm still a bit scared of horses.

It was an interesting experience being at my friend's house.  I had a really good time there but it wasn't all easy sailing for me.  The house was a little more animal-centric than I'm used to!  For instance, they have 2 chickens in the spare room, a pet rat in the living room, four cats who laze on the counter tops in the kitchen (and everywhere else), and two dogs.  Outside they have multiple horses and more chickens, which don't really count because they don't come inside the house, but I did struggle with the concept of not having any "human space".  I mean, we have a dog indoors, but she is very restricted in her movements!  Maybe it's different when it's your own animal?

Friday, January 22, 2016

House Complaints

It's so incredibly frustrating.  One month has passed now since we settled on our land.  We are now proud property owners of an almost-microscopic block about 25 minutes away... and yet we can't even stand on it.  Due to dodgy laws that allow the developers to simply pay a "bond" to the Council for registration, the infrastructure is not complete and the stage is still referred to as a "civil zone", whatever that means.  All that we know is that nobody is allowed access - and therefore the builders aren't allowed access for the soil tests - and therefore we can't keep moving ahead with our house plans - and therefore we can't start building our house.

Cue FRUSTRATION, and a million other strongly negative emotions to describe how we're feeling right now.  It is exciting that we have the land - we can stand at the end of the street by the construction and see our block, but that's as far as it goes.  They haven't even started laying the sidewalk yet.

We even got to the stage of second-guessing ourselves about the house we've chosen so much that we started going to look at display homes again - we have now gone back to our original plans, although almost every day we're considering yet more minor changes.  The "free tender" plans we have submitted will end up with multiple changes.  Of course, the sales rep says there's no point changing them now as it will put our plan at the back of the queue... and so, we wait.

...And wait.  Seemingly forever.

It was on my birthday, 18 September, that we first started looking at houses and only a couple of weeks after that that we chose the block, and we're still waiting.

We're even now considering putting in a pool - yes, that's awesome and expensive and how good would that be? 

Watch this space...

Of course, don't watch it too closely as the developer has just emailed and said that it will be "several weeks" before our stage is ready for access.


Friday, January 1, 2016

A Very Aussie Christmas

I've been very annoyed this last week.  All the blogs I follow haven't been updated regularly - and many not at all - and it's been bugging me.  I've been waiting to read people's Christmas posts, and nobody's posted.

And then I realised, nor have I.  So at the risk of a pot-kettle-black situation, I thought I'd recap Christmas for you guys.

One of the best moments was probably decorating the Melted Snowmen Cookies.  I got this idea about 3 months ago from an article on Facebook and immediately fell in love.  I made up a batch of sugar cookie dough and (with difficulty) rolled out a bunch of cookies.  The day that I made them was ridiculously hot, and I guess I didn't have the A/C on early enough.  Despite following the recipe's instruction to leave the dough in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling, every time I got dough out of the fridge to roll, it started melting within seconds.  So that was fun!

That evening, Kurt and I spent a couple of hours decorating them, and it was lots of fun.  It was really nice doing a project together, and although fiddly, it was definitely rewarding.  Here is the finished product:

The morning of the 24th, we went for breakfast with Kurt's Grandma.  Every year, in Kurt's family, they have breakfast on Christmas Eve at McDonalds (affectionately known as "Macca's" in Australia).  This year, Kurt's Grandma wasn't well enough to take a trip out of the home for breakfast, so we brought Macca's to her.  It was a really nice morning and don't they look cute together?

That night, I drove up to Bribie to stay at the in-laws, and Kurt stayed back to operate a night shift.  He arrived on Christmas morning at about 6, and we then opened presents.  Which of course, knowing how I feel about presents, was great :) 

One of the best:

Christmas lunch didn't take too much preparation as most of the meat had been cooked the day before, and we also cut up all of the vegetables etc. then too.  I think there were fourteen or fifteen of us in the end.  Lily and Kurt's parents' dogs, Odo and Dax, got their very own Christmas lunch of a big meaty bone each.  Lily's bone was almost as big as her...

And my Christmas pudding (my Grandma's recipe!) was a resounding success:

That evening, feeling like I hadn't stopped eating all day, I drove back home and Kurt stayed back at his parents', as I had an early shift on Boxing Day.  It was very strange coming home and sitting in the house alone (even Lily still being on Bribie)... I felt like Christmas had come and gone so very fast.

It's now 2 Jan, and we still have the tree up.  Kurt wants to take it down, but I don't.  We watched an episode of QI before Christmas where Stephen Fry said that the tree had to stay up until 6 Jan (or the night of the 5th, anyway) and I'm determined that it will stay until then!  And then... well I guess I'll have to wait another 11-ish months until I can put it back up again.