Sunday, March 19, 2017

Brown Paper Bag -vs- Scuba Gear

I’m sitting on the couch reading the paper, yes I still read the actual Sunday paper, and there’s a loud commotion outside.

I stand up and look out the window.  Two grown men are yelling at each other in the park across the street - one is dressed in full diving gear and the other is holding a bottle in the air wrapped in a brown paper bag.  Hmmmm.

Then I notice the brown paper bag guy is filming the exchange on his phone, whilst screaming at the scuba man.  The scuba mans English is not so good, but he is yelling back.

So I quickly kick into Detroit Auntie B mode and go outside - on the balcony (our living space is on the second floor here in Melbourne – better to see the world I guess).
“Hey – everything alright here??”  I yell down – they are now on my front lawn.

They both look up and tell me everything is “Fine”.  

Then scuba man says “Tell him to stop following me, he can’t follow me” and brown paper bag man says – “He’s got five clams, he’s only allowed two”.


Then the confessions continue -  

Scuba “He’s drinking, there’s no drinking allowed in the park”

Brown Paper “I’m not in the park anymore” (na na - na na na)

Scuba “And I am allowed five clams, (shows me the clams) they are for my personal use, I know the regulations”

They both suggest I call the cops.

Now as far as I’m concerned they are both in the wrong – there are signs that clearly state no alcohol AND no fishing for shellfish.  But what do I know? I’m not calling the cops on five clams and liter of beer.  

So I yell down, “I think it’s time you both separate, Y’all”  

Y’all???  Have I ever used this word in my life??  Y’all?  Suddenly I’m a southern girl, can I be any more American?  Does this stuff just come out of your recessive genes when you are in foreign lands?  

They walk a bit down the street then paper bag guy joins up with friends that obviously disowned him when he started yelling at scuba guy.  

I went in the house.  Then I laughed.  I really am full on Auntie B – even to strangers 10,000 miles from home, or else why would they be trying to explain to me why they are arguing, trying to prove one is more at fault than the other and showing me the evidence…. Maybe I can start feeling a little bit more at home here now?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Jif-fi-de-do da, Jiff-fe-de-day, My Oh My What A Frito-ful Day!!

You may ask - why are there ten jars of JIF peanut butter lined up on the table?

Well, it seems to be because I am loved.  Nice thing to be loved...

At Christmas I put out a plea in an email to all our friends, that if they ever came to visit - please, please bring me JIF peanut butter and Fritos.  Australia does not seem to carry either.

Funny thing when you move to another continent - suddenly when you crave something such as a Frito, and you can't find a Frito - life becomes all about the Frito.  Even though I probably only ate Frito's twice a year at home.  I could not get past the fact that there are no Frito's here - and a regular corn chip will just not suffice.

And well, many of my friends/family responded - hope they know I love them too!!  

(Some bags of Frito's may be missing from this picture - as they are already in my belly.  Salty deliciousness!!)

And JIF, well - I believe I am primarily at least 1/3 JIF.  I think if you tested me, I would be Dutch, Irish and JIF.  It is a staple of my diet and I would wither away without it.  I brought two jars with me in my check-in luggage, but they disappeared- rather quickly.  Comfort food, Lord know I needed comfort those first couple months.

Tried a different peanut butter from the shelves here - still in the cupboard if someone would like it.  It will never, ever be opened again - thanks to my new super, duper stash of proper peanut butter and one chocolate Hazelnut spread.  Do you see the size of the bugger in the front?  Holy cow - my friend must have went to an Army base or something for that one!!  It's like a BUCKET of JIF.  Then there are a few COSTCO jars and some regular yummy hand sized containers.  I think I'll make it through the next 2 1/2 years just fine, thank you.

So - if you do come to visit, do you mind carrying on some cinnamon rolls?  I know they will be at least two days old when they get here - that's ok, I'll steam them or eat them stale and crispy.  I think I'll be ok with that.  Really.  The East Detroit Bakery makes the best ones on the planet, but hey - Kroger does a fair job of it too.  There was also a fabulous place in Brugge, I could find the name if you need it, but I'm guessing no one is flying here from there.  Oh my goodness, how does a whole country not have a single, yeast risen, soft, white iced cinnamon roll??

On my kitchen counter is a stack of recipes - all for cinnamon rolls - the yeast is bought and the testing will begin shortly.  It's just so much easier though when a bakery does it all for you and you can just buy two at a time.  One to eat in the car on your way home from the bakery and then one you put on the counter for about an hour - before you eat it too, this time cut in half with butter.

Wish me luck - the ten thousand cinnamon roll baking trial is about to begin in a week.  Maybe you should come visit now, I'm gonna need help eating them all!  And thanks, but no - I think I'm good on the JIF - for now.  But ask me again in a few months...

(Happy dance when the first of the goodies arrived!)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tennis Anyone?

Last Monday the husband and I went to the Australian Open – this has now been our second visit.  Last week we went on a Tuesday evening, key word – evening.  We thought it was interesting, so we went again.

You know what Australia is in January at 11:00AM in the morning?  It is HOT.  

We start out by missing the train.  I hate it when we miss the train, you can hear it coming, you know it’s on it’s way – you have two minutes to make the platform, but the walkway is closed because well, there’s a train coming to the station.  So you can’t cross – bye bye train… See you in 20 minutes.  You know hubby, it’s hot out here – did we bring water? No – hmmm.

Arrive at designated station; grab what is supposed to be a Gatorade from the vending machine – out comes a Diet Coke. Bleh.  Open Diet Coke – Bleh - hop on tram.

Arrive at Stadium, Diet Coke gone – Bleh – keep bottle to fill with water.

You know hubby, it’s hot out here, there is nowhere to fill the water, head to a bathroom.  Water full, tepid, but full.   We don’t have major stadium seats this time, general admission only, sit outside and watch game from lawn on lawn chairs, eat.  Drink tepid water.

You know hubby, it’s really, really hot out here.  Can we go inside, they let you inside in the hallways – even if you don’t have a ticket, can we go inside? We go inside, hubby finds a map of venue and the days schedule. Refill bottle with tepid water.

We are now off again, watching doubles match of four guys I have no idea who they are. Hubby says isn’t this great?  Umm, not really.  I check my phone, it’s 40 degrees, that’s 104 for us U.S. folk.  Hubby, it’s 40 degrees – can we find some shade?  Yeah the seats are good, I know right in the middle, but it’s HOT! 

Yeah, the ball moves fast, can we find some shade, I think I’m melting – look at the puddle of sweat on my seat.  Hubby hands me two Kleenex to put under my legs.  Ahh, thanks – surely that will do it.

Husband, I think it might be a mortal sin to keep your wife in the heat, surely it was on one of Moses tablets or something, Thou shall not cause your wife to melt at the Australian Open. Isn’t that one of the commandments or something? And why aren’t you melting too? He hands me the tepid water.

We go for a walk, he finds a vinyl seat to sit on.  Great find yes, but it’s vinyl, my body is like a slip and slide, I’m just gonna lean on this cement pillar, it’s cement, should be coldish right?  Trash collector guy rolls up with his giant bin, stops right where we are, parks it there, thanks – the smell and the heat are fabulous together.  Can we go home?

Oh, yeah – ok, we have not seen all the courts yet, you are correct.  Right, what a nice day you took off and yes, I am glad we’re here.  Off to another court.  It’s an outdoor court. There are kids playing doubles.  I don’t know them either.  One girl makes a crazy noise when she hits the ball.  I can’t comment on it – surely only parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are in this stand out of love – and of course us.  

Drink a frozen Rose’, pretty sure I will live another five minutes now.

I look over.  Husband, why is everyone standing on the seats the wrong way facing that court taking pictures?  He doesn’t know, there’s nothing going on in that court according to his schedule.  But hubby, the crowd is huge around it.  He assures me it’s just the way in to the complex.  But hubby, EVERYONE is taking pictures, maybe it’s someone we’ve actually heard of? 

Grudgingly we leave the kids court.  Walk to where there is ‘nothing’ going on, can’t see anything – too many people around the court.  Look hubby, there’s a ramp with tons of people on it taking pictures, let’s go up there.  He says it’s just the entrance.  Big sign on ramp “Not a throughway”.  He consents to my persistence, Roger Federer.  It’s Roger Federer – just on the court volleying with another fella to make the people happy or something, his match is tomorrow.  It’s 40 degrees…why isn’t he melting?

Tell hubby I’m seriously dying here, must go inside. He finds ice cream, I will now live an additional 15 minutes.

We wander around the other courts, they are blessedly all empty, it’s almost changeover time for the evening games.  Can we go home now? I swear to you, I’m melting.  He hands me the tepid water.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Creepy Crawlies

Just a continuation on my arachnid thoughts the other day...

I 'killed' a spider that was in my bra on Christmas day (before I put it on thank goodness)- the body broke in two and one half ran one way and the other half ran the other way... persistent little shits.

It's a white tailed spider, apparently they're one of the bad spiders.  I had been letting most of them live because well, they look cool and they are the MOST prevalent spiders in the house, clearly with so many around they can't be harmful...Guh.

Shall I show you the other common fella?  This one (below) we don't let live or kindly transport outside when we find. It's either a funnel web or a mouse spider - the webs are certainly funnel-ly and they are a kind of blue tone in their blackness.  My husband calls them the big ants - ants they are not.  I read they can bite through shoes and they are extremely poisonous (or maybe people are just trying to scare the outsiders with their writings). Luckily - these seem to like VERY high spaces.

We have one living in the skylight in our bathroom and another in an air conditioning vent in the living room right now (dropping their kill to the floor nightly).  The first time I saw the guy in the bathroom, I couldn't sleep the rest of the night.  We did not bring a ladder with us.  I am told they always have a partner nearby.  So I guess there are at least four in the house right now- yikes!  They also live in the outdoor shades - fascinating to watch - with a pane of glass between you.
Want to see the last guy?  This is an actual in the house photo.  I should have held a ruler up to her so you could really see the size, but I was squealing like a little girl and just in a hurry to get her to the garden and out of the house. I am told if they are HUGE they are not poisonous.  So, if they are big enough to take up the entire space of a dustpan, consider them your scary hairy friend. Blech.

Ok, I've completely creeped myself out now - time to ditch the spider stories and head to the next topic.  And to think, spiders fascinated me in Michigan....Of course you could probably say they still do?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What Do You Baste Your Turkey With?

We are watching TV, it’s the holiday time and a commercial comes on.  Not your normal holiday commercial peddling toys or electronics, this was something entirely different.

Everyone is at the dinner table having Christmas dinner and Aunt Edna pulls out a can of bug spray and starts spraying – at the table!  Which take this little Midwestern girl a back.  
They then say – don’t continue to fight flying bugs at the dinner table the old fashion way, use this – as advertised -  handy dandy wall mounted bug sprayer.

What the hell????

Then they show in a glimmer of light surrounding this wall mounted plastic thing – that looks like an air freshener – but is not an air freshener – randomly spraying bug spray elegantly into the air with accompanying music  – ABOVE THE DINNER TABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

You can buy, and install, a bug sprayer that will shoot poison into the air of your home and on your food at timed intervals, to keep the flies off your turkey dinner.  YUM!!!

Shall I buy one for all of you back home???

Again, I am so sick of the bugs here that I can see why something like this was invented – in 1970 perhaps.  When the DDT trucks sprayed toxic mists into the streets to kill the mosquitoes every spring and we all trailed along like it was the pied piper of the land, except that it was not playing a flute, it was emitting poison into the atmosphere and ridding the country of the dreaded children and aimed for mosquitoes – but that was another time – before people knew better.
So here’s an ad in the paper – one’s on sale – it work indoors AND outdoors.   Um…

I also looked online – seems there are at least three manufactures of the sprayer – pick your poison – hahaha.  Oh wait, not funny.