Wednesday, April 30, 2008


both of the following conversations took place this morning.

during group time the teacher was talking about one of the boys and how he injured his head at the swimming pool (i think he was running on the pool deck and slipped) and she said "i think there was a lot of blood wasn't there, bob*" a little girl then said "bob, how much blood was there?" i was impressed that she actually asked a question instead of going into a story about hurting herself at some time way back in the past like they all usually do after hearing something. i wasn't sure how bob would answer but he barely paused and stated "um, about 100 blood i think"

later a girl(and it happened to be the same little girl from the first conversation) turned to me during lunch and out of the blue stated "did you know my puppy sally shitted on my sibling's x-box (or something or other, i quit listening after shitted)."
i just said to her "we say 'pooped on'" she has been known to drop the s word occasionally (in context). its hard cuz she really has no idea its not a good word to use at 4 and i can completely picture her mum using it a lot (which is most likely where she got it) and none of the other kids around her even know the word so to try to tell her not to use it without having other kids realize the word and go home and use it in front of their parents (a lot of whom would be quite horrified if their child used it) is a bit of a challenge.

early winter

its been soooooo cold this week. i've been wearing 4-5 layers at work all day. and gloves outstide. i spent all of sunday nite huddled in a little ball shivering (even with sweat pants and a hoodie on). i was very happy for wombat to come on our bed early in the morning and help me warm up. i added the second half of our doona to the bed on monday(our doona is basically 2 doonas that can be used separately or attached together in winter for a big fluffy warm doona). i also put my thick mexican blanket over my half the bed (its not big enough for 2) to help keep me warm. we've had the central heating on before bed and zac turns it on half an hour before he gets up in the morning. today and tomorrow its supposed to get up to 18 or 19C. that's not exactly warm but its much more bareable than 14C with a windchill making it even colder.
for some reason the kids at work don't seem to feel the cold. all the staff are bundled up and we make them get at least a jumper on to go outside (some want to go out in tshirts). a couple of the girls have had bare feet in sandals!! i asked one if her feet were cold and her response was "my dad said it was gonna be warm today" (not sure where he got his weather info cuz the forecasted high was 15C and it must have been around 7 or 8 when she left home that morning-- not bare feet weather). so i asked her if her feet were cold right then and told her we had spare socks if she didn't have any in her locker. she quickly accepted the spare socks offer (and even took them after i told her we didn't have pink-- just navy blue, black, mustard yellow and a weird shade of red).
i guess the kids are running around a lot more than us but they'll actually put their hands into FREEZING cold water and play with that. how can that be fun?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

a good reason to go veg

i was just looking at the vancouver sun online (which i haven't done for months) and i came across this article on why people should cut down on red meat in their diets (just one of many good reasons).


i think wombat is finally getting over her fear of the camera noises somehow being the rat. i managed to get a whole series of photos of her playing with a piece of rope and she mostly ignored me (even though i had the flash on and the auto focus).

after i clicked the camera several dozen times she got worried that the rat was coming and came for me and the camera:
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Friday, April 25, 2008

food and drink

drink: i have a bit of a weird method of choosing wine. i go by the picture on the bottle: if its got an animal (especially a really cute or cartoon-y one) then the wine will be good. so far this method hasn't failed me. we went to the wine clearance center this afternoon to stock up again. we came home with 4 different billygoat wines and 2 wines with a lizard on the front. zac's not too impressed with the one we just opened but i think its pretty good (i've tried the billygoat chardonnay before and it was good so i told zac get some reds from that company too).
food: when i first moved to australia i was very sad about the lack of canned black beans in this country. they were a staple food for me back home and moving here i found none. i once tried to cook some dried ones but no matter how long i soaked and cooked them they still had a slight crunchiness too them. i gave up and tried to make kidney beans a replacement but it wasn't quite the same. in the last few months canned beans have been popping up lots of places (and not just u.s.a. foods). we found them at the organic shop near our house first and then in the organic section of one of the supermarkets near us (but i can't remember which one even though i bought them there twice-- it was either coles, safeway or pedemonte's iga). yesterday i found them at the green grocer right near pedemontes. sooooo excited to start adding black beans into my cooking again!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

single digits

lately the only time the temp hits single digits overnite is with the wind chill. last nite it did it without the help of the wind. and its still FREEZING cold (and really early-- so glad tomorrow is a public holiday). 6.3C!!!! that's cold. and its not just outside-- i think the house is that too (according to the thermostat its about 8 or 9C but that's not really warm either). i'm wrapped up with my hoodie over my head and my mexican blanket around me (with fingers poking out and freezing while i type). fortunately once the sun gets up higher its gonna get to about 23C. maybe i should go find my gloves so my fingers don't freeze off on my short ride to work...
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008


i've had a lot of issues with off-lead dogs lately. first, its against the law to have your dog off lead around our suburbs except in certain off-lead parks (and there's a couple great ones around us). second, its very dangerous for the dog because it is a busy inner suburb and even a well trained dog may react to something and be hit by a car.
last week i saw 2 small dogs (at separate times) very narrowly escape being hit by a car on our fairly quiet street after they ignored their people's calls and went out into the road (and one ran across the road to chase pigeons in the park while the owner continued to chase and call the dog for the next 30 seconds).
i saw another dog off lead herding its person who was on a bike. the dog was bouncing around the busy footpath barking back at its person to come quicker. a couple of pedestrians seemed a bit wary and weren't sure what to make of this dog that was bouncing around them and barking (the dogs person was still behind these people). i was worried the dog was gonna go out into the busy road at the intersection and be hit by a car.
yesterday i tried to take wombat to the park across the street. just as we got to the end of the driveway a labrador darted into the park from the flats next to the park. wombat went crazy shaking her head trying to get her halti and muzzle off and growling. i ended up just taking her back inside because she was so stressed (and i couldn't take her to the park if there was a dog running around there without people anyway). that same dog was in the park this morning when zac left for work. he caught the dog and called the number on the dog's tag(his people had no idea their dog had walked itself around the block). zac watched the guy try to walk his dog home (without a lead). the dog did ok until it spotted a cat, darted across the road and tried to play with it. probably good it didn't see wombat because it would probably want to come play with her.
we know our dog doesn't do well with other animals so we purposefully avoid certain parks and areas where we know dogs are. when we see other dogs on the street we cross over and try to get her to focus on us. as long as the other dog is under control and stays with its person on the other side of the road, wombat is manageable.
its soooooo important for the dog's safety and the comfort of people (and dogs) around that dogs ONLY be off-lead in designated parks (and our council provides a map of off-lead parks in the area when you register your dog).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


zac finally replaced my drowned camera a couple weeks ago. he ended up getting the canon 400D with a image stabilizing lens. unfortunately with wombat's rat obsession she can't handle the camera. i used just set the camera up on a tripod while she slept and experiment with different setting and angles but now as soon as the automatic focus makes a noise or the click of the shutter button or the pre-photo flashes (which the 400D seems to do a lot more in focusing in dark areas than the 350D did) she's off to the back door our outside if the door is open. i tried earlier this evening to get her to realize it wasn't the rat but she just went crazy and i think she just hates the camera in general now (note to self: keep camera out of dogs reach when i'm not around). i did get a few shots of her outside the other day though:

they look cute here but in the 8 photos before this one and the half dozen after it zac is being mauled by the dog (in a playful way):

a bee (hard at work collecting pollen from my basil that's gone to seed):
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Thursday, April 17, 2008


we woke up this morning to discover my bike was gone. i had locked it to zac's bike (which was locked to a pole of our carport roof) but the bike was gone and my lock (which was cut thru) was dangling from zac's bike frame.
we actually heard it being taken. we didn't realize that's what was happening though (the thought did go thru my head for a split second but i was more concerned that someone was trying to break into our house). i woke up to a noise about 12:30 or 1am. wombat heard it to and got up and barked and growled like she'd never done before (occasionally she'll hear a noise-- or nothing-- during the nite and get up and let out a couple howls and then just go back to bed). because she was being so vocal zac got up and flicked the outside lite on and off a few times to let anyone out there know there was someone home and awake. he praised wombat and sent her back to bed and we all went to sleep again.
i think my bike was probably gone before zac even got up though. i'm sure the noise that woke me and wombat up was the sound of my bike being pulled off zac's bike (and banging the pole) and the person was probably gone within a few seconds after wombat started barking. maybe she saved zac's bike though.
fortunately we insured our bikes almost 2 months ago after a couple friends had their bikes stolen but it's going to be a pain going around getting replacement quotes for the insurance company (especially with no bike to get me there) and i think with the accessories that were on my bike it'll probably be more to replace than the insurance covers (they only cover up to $500 for bikes in open air on your property).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

the good and the bad of facebook

a couple facebook related things have happened in the last couple days. first the bad. i received a horrible video on my funwall of a motorbike rider being killed as a lorry hit him. the friend who sent it accidentally sent it to everyone (actually her husband did). when i deleted the video somehow it ended up getting sent on to everyone in my friends list. i discovered this the next nite when zac asked why i sent him that video. i was able to delete the videos i sent but this was a day later and i'm sure a lot of my recipients had already seen it. i've now sent in 2 notices to youtube flagging the video as inappropriate (one last nite and one just now). its still on there. i can't believe people would actually post that. and watch it knowing what it is-- i didn't have the title on it when it was sent to my funwall. i think i'm going to delete my funwall application because that's not the only video i've had sent to me that i questioned why i was being sent it (it was just the most horrible one) so i'm wondering how many things are accidentally being sent around to funwalls on facebook.
now onto the good. thru facebook i've connected up with a lot of people from the past. most just to see what the other is up to now, some to talk about the old days and a few that i've met up with again in person. today was one of the meeting up days. a girl from my dorm in my second year of university (so 10 years ago--- wow!) moved to melbourne 3 weeks ago. we met up for lunch today and ended up spending a few hours wandering around parks chatting about people we knew, life in canada vs australia, immigration, jobs........ its always fun to catch up with other canadians and especially since she just moved here (her boyfriend is from here) it was nice to be able to assure her the initial shock of moving around the world does wear off and melbourne is a great city to live in.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

hard day

today wasn't so good (although the afternoon, after my squashed finger quit throbbing, was better).
we decided in our meeting yesterday (actually yesterday involved 2 meetings and a total of 3 hrs!!! so yesterday was VERY long) that we were gonna tag team a child in the group that just seems to lack any motivation to do ANYTHING. i got put on him shortly after i walked in this morning. my job was to sit him down with a puzzle, a hard one (which we know he is capable of doing). i spent the next 45 minutes (and then another staff spent several minutes with him) trying to get him to quit playing dumb and do the puzzle.
we have another child who is new to the group. she spent all of last week crying (until friday afternoon when another child befriended her and she was laughing and having a great time). she did pretty well this morning but i think she was really trying to hold back the tears and by lunch she just couldn't contain it anymore and WAILED through most of lunch. after lunch when rest time was starting the crying started again. i tried to comfort her while other children were trying to listen to songs. all the kids near her just stared and asked if i could make her stop. one girl asked if i could turn the music up (that wasn't going to happen-- we didn't need any more loud noises on top of the wailing and most of the children singing shouting the songs). fortunately one of my co-workers came over to relieve me so i could go home for lunch. all thru my lunch all i could hear in my head was that poor kids wailing.
after lunch i headed out the front door and managed to squash my finger in the door (the big heavy wooden door) as a closed it. i haven't done that sort of thing in ages. i forgot how much it hurts. i had to go back in and ice it for a few minutes before heading back to work (where i iced it some more).
at least the afternoon was a bit calmer after that (and when it did get bad, i just quietly went inside for a few minutes and reminded myself that i have an rdo--rostered day off--tomorrow)

Monday, April 14, 2008


the only time sydney road is this bare on a sunday afternoon is during cyclovia (a.k.a. tour de moreland). i think this was the second one they've done. its great being able to ride a few kms up sydney rd without fear of being doored, cut off or pedestrians stepping out infront of you. i know last time they were thinking that if cyclovia was successful it may happen more often. this one seemed pretty quiet (and we were there earlier this time then we were last time). it was still hard to find somewhere to get a coffee though cuz there were bikes piled up in front of every cafe (we did manage to find a quieter cafe 1/2 a block of sydney rd when we went to lock our bikes up there). i only took the one photo but a few other people have uploaded some good photos to flickr. i'd like to find the photo i saw several people taking of a guy sitting in a lounge chair in the middle of the street.
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Thursday, April 10, 2008


i finally got a full nite of uninterrupted sleep!!! the little beast didn't get up once during the nite. no scratching herself, liking, rolling around on the floor...... zac's alarm was what woke me up and wombi was still curled up in a ball on her bed (although as soon as zac got up to shut it off she jumped on the bed and dove under the doona but that's ok. she can have a morning cuddle). the nite before was almost perfect. she got up about 5:30, rolled on the floor a minute then came to the side of the bed. i just groaned "go to bed" and she went back to her bed and stayed there until zac's alarm went off an hour later. hopefully she'll continue the sleeping thru the nite trend. i like her more when i get a good sleep. 8)


that's how many millilitres of blood i lost today. i donated blood today. it works out nicely now that the city blood donation centre is open until 6pm (it used to be 2:30 0r 3) and i get off work at 4 on thursdays and fridays now. it is a bit frustrating going in at the tail end of the day though cuz the snack bar isn't open (they just put out some crackers, cheese, candies and cookies on the counter) and they seem to be a bit short staffed (and staff seem frustrated at each other for not having enough people helping in their area). the interview woman recommended that i maybe wait 5 or 6 months between donations because my hemoglobin levels are always right on the border of being too low (it was i think almost 4 months this time and she had to do 2 tests to get a high enough reading). weird cuz i actually have been making a conscious effort to make sure i'm eating lots of iron rich foods the last few days.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the beast

i'm not that impressed with the dog lately. first it was a week of her waking up at 4am farting and needing to go outside with diarrhea. that passed and then she moved on to pooping on the carpet during the nite (thankfully not diarrhea and zac took care of it before i got up) and then projectile vomit (she was trotting behind me thru the house, i turned around, she stopped and then vomit shot out of her mouth), muddy footprints thru the house (multiple times), dirt in our bed, rat chasing obsessions and then today she went nuts trying to get the pigeons in the park but had picked up too much speed, pulled the lead from my hand damaging some random tendon or muscle in my arm. she's still cute though. and i don't mind a cuddle (or her thinking she's a small lap dog) when she's all placid and tired but i'd like to sleep thru the nite, not have to scrub or vacuum the carpet EVERY day and i like my right hand when it functions without pain (i've got a heat pack under it right now so its less painful to type).

einglish vs. australian

i was talking to a kid at work the other day about how i'm from canada. he asked me if we speak australian in canada. i tried to explain that we speak english in both australia and canada but some of the words are a bit different. i thought he was getting it but then he said "they speak australian in england too."
reminded me of the time when i worked in california and an 11 year old asked me "do you speak english or canadian in canada?" i wasn't sure how to answer that one.....

Thursday, April 03, 2008

wild weather

yesterday melbourne had crazy storms moving thru it with "once a year high winds". fortunately for the worst part of it wombat was safely curled up inside the house and i was inside at work. in the afternoon the skyturned orange (from all the dust being blown up around the state) and then it went VERY dark and started to pour (and one poor mum had just picked up her kid at that point and was walking off to get her second child before walking home up the creek-- i'm assuming she had at least a 20 min walk or more from the sounds of it). the age website has some great (kinda scary) photos and also some reader's photos. today it's blue sky and calm (but pretty cold-- at least it was warm for most of yesterday)

home repairs

i'm always the one that fixes stuff that breaks in our house (unless we get the landlord to come do it but he's definitely not a perfectionist and no matter how bad my job might be his will usually look worse). a while ago our smoke detector fell to its death after a few false alarms (we had a housemate that tended to fill the kitchen with smoke when he cooked and make the smoke detector would go off. we finally detached it from its wall clip and just stuck it over the door for easy removal when cooking. one day it dropped to its death on the tile floor after a door was shut too hard). i finally bought a new smoke detector but decided i've already hurt my back once this week trying to fix things (the bar in the wardrobe fell down for the gazillionth time and i decided to fix it a different/better way that involved twisting my body in the wardrobe and manually screwing in screws in over my head) so i told zac it was his job to install it. he did do it. it took him 20 min, a near accident standing on a swivel chair and about a million questions. he's not great a problem solving (he did do it though) so first he just stared at everything trying to understand what he was even supposed to be doing (i handed him a paper of installation instructions be he said it didn't have anything about installing it-- i think he meant it didn't have anything about installing it in the first sentence). eventually (after i gave him a few hints) he removed the old smoke detector back off the wall, figured out where he needed to put a new hole in the wall (after being confused that 2 different smoke detector backs didn't have holes in the same place for screws), changed the batteries in the cordless screwdriver (even that seemed to be a bit of an issue and until i confirmed it for him he was unsure whether the old batteries were disposable or some kind of rechargeable that doesn't state anywhere on the battery that it can be recharged),screwed the new backing on the wall and attached the smoke detector to the wall. he can do things!!! next piece of ikea furniture we get, he's going to assemble it 8)