Friday, October 30, 2009

Journey to the End of the East Bay

So I made it. I'm here in San Francisco safe and sound. My flight was long and bumpy. Luckily, it wasn't too crowded and I got the bulk head seat in Economy Plus and an empty seat next to me. I took about 4 sleeping pills and even then just kindof drifted on the edge of sleep for most of the flight. Mom picked me up from the airport in Dad's new Audi TT; it's a sweet car! We struggled to get all my luggage in so it was good that Dad had stayed behind at the apartment. Their place here in the city is pretty fancy. There is a concierge for the building and everything. It has an outdoor heated pool, a jacuzzi, really sweet bbq area, and a gym nicer than the one I belonged to in Newcastle! Sitting in their living room you have a view out to the Bay Bridge and a little slice of the Bay.

After checking out the apartment, we went and walked along the Bay a little ways down to Giants' Stadium. After that I came back and passed out for a few hours and Nae's cat, Hobie, even slept with me for awhile. I then got up, chatted with Boyfriend on the webcam for a few, and watched a little bit of the World Series Game with my parents. After getting dressed we went to this restaurant nearby called Delancey Street Restaurant and the food was great and incredibly priced compared to what I am now used to in Australia (we're talking $6 for 6 potstickers and $5 for a huge sundae that the 3 of us struggled to finish together). The restaurant is also really cool in that they help people who are/were homeless or in prison or just down on their luck to learn new skills by working there. When we got back, it was Grey's time and then Hobie decided he didn't like me so much anymore and he attacked me and left two puncture marks in my arm. After that it was bedtime and I've just woken up to what looks like another beautiful, warm and sunny day. No idea what we're going to get up to today, but Mom said something about shopping!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

It's about 8:45 Thursday morning and I'm pretty much packed. I've got to eat some breakfast and take a shower and figure out how to get the last few articles of clothing I want to take with me dry (without a dryer), as they got rained on out on the clothes line last night. Boyfriend and I found out yesterday that we will be able to stay in our place for at least the next few months so when we leave here we will go to the property management place and have him signed on as an approved tenant. Then it is off to the shops quickly to find me a cheap book for the plane since my laptop is dying and only lasts for 45 minutes so I can't even listen to music or watch movies on it anymore, some kind of tablets from the healthfood store that are supposed to calm nerves, and a pack of peanut MnMs because my Dad says you should always have one with you when you travel in case you need a late night snack. After that we are driving down to the airport, which is a big deal because Boyfriend and his family always take the train down (his parents hate driving in Sydney, and don't really even want us driving there today, though Boyfriend is comfortable doing it), but I'm a princess and really don't want to be cramped in an uncomfortable seat for an additional two hours when I can be sitting in a comfy car for only a little over an hour so Boyfriend agreed that he'd rather not train it down either and is driving me.

Ugh, I've totally got the nervous tummy thing going on! I'd like to go back to sleep until noon and wake up magically in CA somehow.

If I die, which I'm really hoping I won't, thanks for reading my blog! I've had lots of fun writing it. I love you Boyfriend! I love you Mom, Dad, and Nae! I love you friends and family! (Haha, I told you I'm dramatic, but I'm sure you knew that already as you read my blog).

Hopefully the next time I post will be from my parents new apartment in San Francisco or from their kitchen table with a view of the Bay in Santa Cruz. Wish me a safe flight!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yesterday Stretched on For so Long, Tomorrow Feels Like Forever

Busy times around here.

Friday afternoon I got a call from our property management company that basically let me know that our status for staying in our house was back up in the air, which is not what I wanted to hear less than a week before I was leaving, and after being told earlier in the week that it was pretty much a done deal that we'd get to stay so not to worry about packing or cleaning up! Friday night we went down to see Turk and Stylez. I made fish tacos for them at their place and some really good peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I hoped they thought the fish tacos were ok, they had never tried them before and they had never had the soft corn tortillas before either. All night long their house kept filling up with pot smoke because their neighbors were burning it off by the kilo it seemed like for some reason. They had a fire going on in the backyard and smoke was billowing high up in to the sky and it was definitely pot that they were burning but I have no idea why they would be throwing it on the fire like that. Anyway, it was a fun and mellow night and I always have a really great time with T&S because they are great people. They are funny, have similar tastes to us, and are really genuine, warm and caring people. Stylez gave me a mission to bring her back the most chocolatey+peanut buttery thing I can find from the U.S. I already have at least one thing in mind for her.

Saturday morning we went out to this cool cafe for breakfast and then headed back to the Coast. We quickly ran in to look at storage units in case we need one later in the week and then I went in to see the Hairdresser and she made me look beautiful. I said to Boyfriend, "I feel so much prettier when I come back from the Hairdresser's" and he said, "Yeah, you do look prettier!" Haha, he really put his foot in his mouth on that one, though, I know what he was trying to say and it was sweet. Tinkerbell came in to get her hair did (yes did and not done) while I was there and I was glad to see her one last time before I went home. We were all going out to dinner later that night, but Tinkerbell, the Farmer, and Junior were going to have a night at home as they had had a big night before and Junior didn't let them get much sleep when they did get in. At about 6, we all (LC, Bob Marley, baby Lo, the Runner, the Smooth Talker, Croc, the Teacher, the Soccer Player, the Hairdresser, me and Boyfriend) met up for dinner at a local Chinese food place. LC and I have been wanting to try it for ages and though, the food was good, the service was pretty dismal so I don't think we'll be going back there anytime soon. I got a hug from all our friends, except for Bob Marley who forgot I was leaving this week, as we were going home and it hit me that I wouldn't see them again for four months. I got a bit teary eyed in the car because I knew I'd miss hanging out with all of them while I was away, plus I was bummed that I wouldn't be there to see the Soccer Player and the Hairdresser's baby just after he/she was born and to obviously see them in their role as brand new parents.

Yesterday, I spent the day packing my bags and then we drove up to Newcastle to see the Redhead and his girlfriend. You may remember me mentioning the Redhead ages ago on here and asking for any interested ladies to contact me. No one ever did, but in about May I think, he met someone and they are going great. They are even taking a trip to Fiji in February together...I wonder if it's an engagement trip already??

Today was spent frantically trying to clean the house a bit and tick off things on the move out list that the property management company had sent over. I got the windows done, blinds dusted (which was a huge job as they were caked in red dirt from the dust storms), and oven and stove top cleaned up. I also baked a pasta dish, made chicken stir fry, and two batches of "Nicole Richie Chicken" to put in the freezer for Boyfriend while I am away (he's spoiled and not much of a cook). Then tonight we headed over to Boyfriend's Pa's house to have dinner with him, as well as Boyfriend's parents and brother, Bob the Builder.

The past four days have been crazy busy, but I'm glad that I've squeezed in seeing everyone. As I leave each group of friends or family, I reflect on how lucky I am to have each person in my life and about how I'm going to miss them like crazy for awhile. It is so great to have a mix of Boyfriend's family and our friends to make up a feeling of family for me while I'm here.

And while I will miss everyone a whole lot, I am also super stoked to see my Mom and Dad, Nae, and any and all the friends who have promised to pay me a visit!

I'll try and post again on Thursday morning (Wednesday afternoon U.S. time) before I head off for the airport. It will probably be a dramatic post, telling everyone I love them and dividing up all my worldly possessions between Boyfriend and my family. I hate flying! In the meantime, I'm going to keep cleaning the house and hope that the real estate person calls back with news tomorrow that we can stay in our place and I'm going to try and find some kind of herbal (no, not the kind of herbal I mentioned earlier) remedy to help calm my nerves about flying.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Red, Red Wine

Am I really a grown up? Now Mom, Boyfriend, Nae, before you start in with the 100 other reasons I'm probably not really a grown up yet, here is the reason I'm asking this question today: because I can't get in to wine. Growing up, this was always what I saw adults drinking. Sure they might have a margarita or a GnT every now and again or Dad might have a beer if it better matched what we were having for dinner, but 9 times out of 10 at dinner or at parties, the grown ups were drinking a nice bottle of wine.

So now that I'm 25, I figure this wine drinking thing should've kicked in for me by now, but I really don't like it and I'm not sure that I ever will. That bums me out because I know Boyfriend would love to share a bottle with me at night during dinner or as we sit out around the fire, but he doesn't buy any because he knows he'll be the only one drinking it. It also bums me out because it's not a shared experience/love I have with my parents. It'd be nice to enjoy a bottle together when I'm home and be able to join in on their critiques of their wine choice each night.

The reasons I don't like wine are that a good drink to me is something that is either sweet (like tea, juice, diet soda, and even milk to some extent) or neutral (like water) and wine is either heavy, spicy or dry tasting. Also, I like my drinks super cold with like 5 ice cubes in my glass or hot and white wines never seem cold enough and the room temperature that red wine is served at makes me want to gag.

I know they say wine is an acquired taste but it's just so gross to acquire. Cigarettes are gross at first, too, but you acquire that taste...should I go out and start trying to make myself take up smoking, too? I'm sure if I chose to start eating deodorant I could acquire a taste for it, but who would want to? I just can't imagine people having their first glass of wine and being like "This stuff is awesome!" (at least about the taste and not about the buzz they are getting from it).
And can people really "detect a slight hint of honey" or "rose" or "chocolate" or "coffee" or "raspberry" or "etc, etc" in the wine or is that just b.s. and something people say when drinking wine to sound snobby and like they know what they are talking about?

I know it's not the end of the world that I don't like wine and I, obviously, have plenty of other shared experiences/things I enjoy doing with Boyfriend and my parents, but it would be nice to be let in on the secret about why everyone else seems to think wine is so awesome.

You're My, My Summertime

It's a zoo around here! I called my sister, Nae, this morning and she asked if I was in a bird atrium. I wasn't, but I had about 20 rainbow lorikeets in the trees around me calling up a storm as I sat on the back step talking to her. I went on a walk with LC, baby Lo, and their dog Bas (rhymes with Spazz) yesterday to the path down near the lake and we saw a bunch of fish, a blue tongue lizard, and on our walk back towards home LC started yelling at Bas to stop and come back to us and I looked up and there was a big red belly black snake that he was sniffing at and it was aiming to turn around and strike him! A snake like that could kill a little dog like Bas. Luckily, he's a good boy and came running back to her just in time and I carried him past where we had seen the snake slither off into the weeds. In still more animal news, as I was sitting around our fire on Monday night, Peter the Possum launched himself from a tree on one side of the yard into a tree on the other side, just like a flying squirrel! It was incredible and we just saw him do it again tonight as we were getting ready to come in from another fire. We also discovered last night that not only do we have Peter living in our yard, but we also have Peter's probable Baby Mama and at least one big baby living in the ceiling of our laundry room! I thought Peter had climbed up on to the laundry room roof so I threw some papaya up to him, but the little possum that peaked over the edge at me was much smaller than Peter and then I noticed a little baby playing possum on an outside rail on the roof of the laundry room hoping that I wouldn't see him. I got up under him and had a look as he tried to hide his sweet little face from me. He was too cute! It's neat having all these animals around, but I will have to start being more careful in the yard because the hot weather will bring out snakes. Bob Marley has already seen two snakes, and one was some kind of super poisonous brown snake, in the last few days. On a sidenote, the warm weather has been great over the last few days and I have gotten a bit of a tan to bring back home with me and our laundry has been drying on the line in like an hour! (This is me being old and boring but) It's so great to be able to get through multiple loads of laundry in a day and bring it in nice, warm, soft, and completely dry! Good thing I got through heaps of it today as I've heard we're in for cooler weather and rain starting tomorrow afternoon and lasting until I leave next week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Get the Party Started

Saturday morning I got up and got to work on the Oreo truffles (see the link in the earlier post for the recipe) and clean the house. Our friends started arriving at 6 and so did the rain showers! Not good when you're trying to have an outdoor party with a fire, but luckily it wasn't hard rain and it was off and on so we were still able to sit out for most of the night. Everyone brought something (starters, garlic bread, and salad) and that was a big help. I finally got dinner done at about 8 and noticed that Bob, Boyfriend's brother, and 5 of his cousins who had RSVP'd hadn't shown up yet. I got Boyfriend to message everyone and Bob said he had honestly forgotten and couldn't come over then because he was too drunk to drive after being at the races all day. We never heard back from the cousins and still haven't a few days later. My feelings are/were a bit hurt and I thought it was rude and lazy of them to not at least call or message with an excuse as to why they weren't coming. I wasn't making hot dogs or anything, either. I made three different types of pasta and made double what I would've made had only our friends RSVP'd, but the cousins said for sure they'd be there when we messaged on our way to buy food. I tried not to let the rudeness ruin my night and I sent all the leftover dinner and dessert home with our friends so it turned out ok in the end. It wasn't a rager of a party or anything, but just a nice night hanging with the friends one last time before I left. The Runner caught me plating things up and told me to sit down and relax and I wish I would've listened to her because later in the night I was cleaning up some more and doing dishes when I realized "Hey, I'm not going to see these guys for nearly 4 months, the dishes can wait, go out and hang out with them" so I did. Peter the Possum was super curious about the fire and party and kept sitting in the branches above our heads all night watching what was going on. When he would get tired of watching from one angle he would run across the yard and up in to another tree or in to the garage. Everyone said how big he was and how I must be making him obese by feeding him Pop Tarts. The night ended with the Soccer Player giving me a hard time for my post 5 months ago about our Sing Star Party night and how I had said we were both really bad singers and fairly evenly matched in badness so I got out the laptop and updated that post to say something like "The Soccer Player wanted me to say that he kicked my ass at Sing Star and is a way better singer than I am" and that seemed to satisfy him. He then proceeded to show us his new dance move called "The Leach". We got video of it so hopefully we can upload it to YouTube soon and post the video on here and make the Soccer Player an internet sensation.
I'm really going to miss hanging out with these guys while I'm away...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hold Me Close When Tradewinds Blow

Ugh, I'm really not feeling well. I don't know if it's the antibiotics or the infection or what, but I'm wiped out. The ice cream I chose for my ice cream sandwiches (for the party) also just melted in to puddles next to the cookies in the freezer instead of sitting nicely on top of them like its supposed to so I'm bummed that they haven't turned out like I wanted them to and I think I'll cheer myself up by looking through my beach walk pictures and posting some up here. Hope you guys have a great weekend. I need a good night's sleep and to wake up with the infection gone and to get ready for our party! (P.S. I took some pictures today of the bite and Boyfriend just cleaned it up and took more pictures of it and was feeling sick looking at it so I might post some pictures on here of it, but hide it under a cut or under something you have to click on so you don't have to see it if you don't want to.)

These shots were all taken 2 weeks ago at a local beach called Frazer Beach. It's part of a national or state park and is still really wild and untouched for miles. There is camping and picnic areas in the park and the few times we've been there has hardly been anyone else around.

This guy has found the perfect spot to lay out and watch the waves before and after a surf...brilliant!

This is Boyfriend's car. It's a 1967 HR Holden. It's the only car we have. We joke that we are living in the past because we have an old car, live in an old house, and live old peoples' lives sometimes by sitting out in the backyard and reading and by feeding our "pet" birds and possums (and yes, of course we, well actually I, have to talk to them like they are people, too)!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Along Came a Spider and Sat Down Beside Her

Looks like my spider bite might be a little more serious than I first anticipated. It's been 5 days since I first got bit and the arm is still swollen and warm and I'm not feeling so great. I want to the pharmacy to see if they could give me some over the counter stuff to treat it and the pharmacist said that since I didn't see what bit me there is the potential that it could've been a white spider that did it and if I let the infection go too long I could lose my arm. All of that is very unlikely but it is weird that it's not healing after this amount of time so I'm trying to get in to see a doctor about it tomorrow. Hopefully simple antibiotics are all I need to get it healed. If it gets any worse tonight my Mom said I should probably go down to the emergency room and get it looked at. It feels pretty dumb to have to go to the doctor's all over a stupid bug bite, but I guess I'd better be safe and not sorry on this one.

Edited to Add: So I ended up going to the Doctor's office not long after I posted because I really just wasn't feeling well and was getting freaked out by people telling me I could lose my arm. The place we went to was super nice and squeezed me in within about 30 minutes of being there, even though they were jam packed with other patients (I wonder if I'd get that service, even with private healthcare, anywhere in the States- I bet I'd have been told to go to the emergency room and wait for hours. Another reason universal healthcare coverage is awesome!). The Doctor took one look and feel of it and said, "Yep, it's infected!". He then said that I probably wouldn't be running a temperature but that he needed to check it anyway and was surprised to see that I had one so I don't know if that means the infection is a little worse than he first thought or what. He gave me a prescription for some antibiotics and told me to get some Claratin to take to help my swelling go down. I went straight to the pharmacy and took my first dose last night. The arm already looks a bit better this morning but is still sore and hot to the touch. I might take a photo of it now to put up later to freak/gross you all out!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Shake Ya Tailfeather

Boyfriend just resized all our beach walk and backyard bird photos so here is the first set. The birds are kookaburras, rozellas, and lorikeets.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Get Busy

I feel like I'm neglecting the blog a little bit lately...I'm averaging a new post like once every 3-4 days and I don't like that. I'm waiting, as always, for Boyfriend to resize photos so I can put them up without waiting 20 minutes for each picture to load!Anyway, here's a rundown on what's been happening around here...On Tuesday, we picked up Boyfriends two young second cousins who were visiting from Queensland and took them for a walk at the beach. We explored the rock pools and found tons of starfish, jelly fish, bluebottles/portugese man-of wars, and a huge octopus! I nearly put my hand on top of the octopus until I saw its leg move and then I was freaking out thinking "What if I had very nearly just touched a blue ringed (aka super deadly) octopus?". Luckily it wasn't and I didn't!

On Saturday night I got bitten by some kind of spider while I was asleep and part of my arm turned a very angry red and was hot to the touch. I was kind of worried because both my head and body were achey. It's now not so red, except for a ring around it and it keeps blistering. Boyfriend's Mom is wondering if I should go to the doctor, but I'm going to wait and see. I'm just glad I didn't wake up to see what was on me and biting me or else I probably would've freaked out because most spiders here are pretty big and pretty ugly!

On Sunday, Boyfriend's Nan celebrated her 80th birthday so we went over for a big party at her place and hung out with a lot of Steve's cousins (10 of them plus their boyfriends, girlfriends, and kids). We hung out til about 12:30am and then decided to have a sleep over with the two little Queensland cousins so they packed a bag and came back to our place with us. They were so stoked at all the American sour candy Boyfriend had and let them take home. In the morning we harassed Peter the Possum and got him to come out of his home so the girls could see him and feed him some bread with jam on it and a bit of Pop Tart then we took the girls for a walk next to the lake before dropping them back off at Nan and Pop's. We were utterly exhausted after that and it definitely solidified in my mind how unready for kids I really am at this point!

Today I did my weekly weigh in and I'm down 5 pounds, which is a lot for a week so I'm hoping it's not all water weight and it's just my body getting used to all the exercise and healthy eating I've been doing. I've actually just come in from weed whacking the front and back lawns for an hour and tomorrow is a bootcamp morning for Boyfriend so I'll go walking while he does that, then Thursday I plan to mow the front and back lawns and those will be my workouts for the week-at least they aren't monotonous!

This Saturday we were planning to have all of our friends over and now we've invited the cousins over, too, so I've got to plan what I'm going to do that will be relatively cheap and easy to make for 25 people! I think I might do different types of pasta and then for dessert I'm making ice cream sandwiches and Oreo truffles that I first saw on Elsja's blog, except I'm going to dip them in milk chocolate instead of white. It will be nice to hang out with everyone one last time before I go away.

Other than that I'm just counting down the days until I fly home. Our house went on the market last week and has already had an offer on it so we are waiting to hear back about whether or not the deal has gone through and whether or not the new owners want tenants in the house or not and dependent on that, Boyfriend will either stay in the house while I'm away or we will have to move all of our stuff in to storage before I go and then he will stay with his parents until he joins me and the fam in California for two months, starting at the beginning of December. Couple that with my need to find a bunch of supporting documents (character references, invites with both of our names on it, pictures, flight ticket stubs, etc.) so that we can apply for a de facto spouse visa and I think I'm in for a very busy two weeks! (The deal is I will only be moving back to Australia if I am engaged, but an engagement visa is only good for 9 months and if we do get engaged it'll be like a 2 year long deal so the de facto visa is the one that makes the most sense, but does come with a steep processing fee-$1,700!)

I'll try and be more present here on the blog over the next two weeks because I'd like to get all the Aussie photos up before I head back to my other home, Santa Cruz, and get piled up with pictures from there and I'll let you know how the weight loss is going as well as whether or not my arm falls off from the bite.

Here are some Santa Cruz pictures that Boyfriend took on his first trip to the States to get you in the mood for our trip there soon!

I cannot wait until this pizza is in my belly. If you are ever in Santa Cruz you have to stop in at Pizza My Heart for the best slices, plus you can get the Slice deal which is one huge slice, plus a Pizza My Heart t-shirt for $5!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Are You Down with the Clown?

So I have this morbid fascination with followers of the band Insane Clown Posse (aka ICP) who call themselves Juggalos/Juggalettes. These people are, without fail, white trash and stupid, but they make for some very funny posts over at one of my favorite sites: ohnotheydidn't! Here are some pictures that will hopefully pique your interest enough that you head on over to this site to become as fascinated by these people as I am:
Images via TinyPic and Google

Here's a glimpse at what ICP fans (Juggalos and Juggalettes) look and sound like in action. These people are all talking about their love for each other at the "Gathering" they hold in the woods somewhere for a weekend each year...I especially like the part toward the end where someone in the crowd hands the guy a pipe and how the girl in the wrap totally has meth face and how clean the first chick in the purple pants looks!

And just to finish it all off, this guy in the YouTube video below makes me laugh and
he's gotten a bunch of responses from irate ICP fans.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eggs I Really Love You, Like the Sky Above

Hey Guys, I just got this email from Bun and it's about how IHOP doesn't use any cage free eggs at all at any of their locations. Denny's, Burger King, and Wendy's source at least some of their eggs from cage free animals now and it's about time that IHOP did, too. I'm really big on cage free eggs after seeing a Jamie Oliver special about how battery hens are kept and how sick they are and how they live their lives sitting in poop and unable to move (check out this video if you want to see how gross it all is). The Humane Society has asked that everyone who is concerned about this issue sign this petition and you can also call the owner of dozens of IHOP restaurants, David Paradise, who has the power to make the company start using cage free eggs, at 601-445-9710, ext. 230 . The Humane Society asks that you be polite and brief, but firm that this is the man you want to talk to/leave a message for, and this is the script they suggest you use:

"Hello, my name is [your name] and I am calling to ask IHOP to start using eggs that don't come from hens crammed into cages. I just watched the undercover video of your egg supplier, and the images of animal cruelty are appalling. Please start switching to cage-free eggs. Thank you."

I felt that this was important enough that I made the call from here in Australia and I'm just about to send off the email petition, too. Please join me in doing this. Chicken is one of the few meats I do eat, but I do think those birds deserve a good life for the time they are alive.

Here's a video about eggs that is cute and will make you feel better after seeing that last video. My sister showed it to me years ago and it always makes me giggle and the kids in my 5th grade class loved when I played it for them as a treat!

All the Honeys Who Makin Money, Throw Your Hands Up At Me

Lots to bitch about around here today! (See, I told you diets do bad things to me!)
On the diet front, I've somehow gained a pound despite eating less calories than even my diet recommends and working out, so "Boo, to you" stupid diet, but I'm not letting it get me down. I'm still eating healthy and working out and know that change takes time. I have been tracking everything I eat, drink, and do for exercise here because that helped me lose weight last time. I even got Boyfriend started on it today and he is already all in to it and has the screen up at all times in the background on his computer as he works so he doesn't forget anything that goes in to his mouth either.
On the work front, my accountant had told me just to sign up for taxes as a resident so I wouldn't be heavily taxed at the non-resident rate so I did that on my tax form last week after working those two days, but still got taxed the non-resident rate and it ate up $112 of what I had made! Grrr! "Boo to you" Australian tax office, too! I had big plans for that money (i.e. helping Boyfriend with groceries and our other bills and saving some for Christmas. I'll still do both it'll just be a little less to each cause than I originally thought).
Oh well, on the plus side at least I'm only putting healthy things in to my body at the moment and I'm sure it appreciates the workouts I've been putting it through (like my long walk followed by trekking up the wrong dune first which led to me doing 2 big dunes at the end of the walk instead of 1 and nearly puking this morning) and I've made more money than I otherwise would've without those calls for substitute work.
Sorry for such a boring post; I'll try and get something up later in the week that is more exciting like more pictures from some of our beach walks or something. Oh, and Peter the Possum is still around every time we open the garage door now. I've been leaving him slices of raisin bread and he runs out of his hiding spot to grab it as soon as it is put up! Might have to get a few more pictures of him. I'm telling you, it won't be long until he is up on my shoulder hanging out.
I'm off to enter in the english muffin with peanut butter and jelly I'm about to eat for lunch.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What You Gon' Do With All That Junk? All That Junk Inside That Trunk?

So Boyfriend and I have been trying to eat healthier and be more active for the past couple of months, but while I am feeling a lot healthier and walks feel easier, I'm not losing any weight so from now until I get back home I'm going to be on a pretty strict diet with my only cheat days being the day we have everyone over here for a bbq and if Boyfriend decides to take me out to dinner before I leave. I'm hoping the extra exercise I will be doing, by for sure getting up and walking while Boyfriend is at bootcamp, and my diet of fish, fruits, veggies, and brown rice will have a noticeable change in the numbers on the scale and how I look over the next month. Wish me luck because it won't be fun! It'll totally be worth it though if it means my Mom isn't on my case about my weight as much when I get home (you know it's true Mom! and I know you only do it because you love me, but I still hate it anyway) and I've got plans to see various friends from high school when I'm home and some of them haven't seen me in 5 years so I don't want them to think I've turned in to some kind of beast when they see me now. So, in advance, sorry if my posts get a little bitchy over the next month or so, but remember I will be chocolate deprived and in my book, that's a good reason to be a bit bitchy and sorry because I probably won't have any fun, junky recipes to put up until I am back home and cooking with my sister. I will try and post some fish recipes, though, if that makes up for it any.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm Just Bluffin with my Muffin

We had a bunch of bananas going really brown on the counter last weekend so I was going to make a couple loaves of banana bread to pass out to Boyfriend's parents, uncle, and grandparents, but then Boyfriend's Mom let me read one of her magazines while we were over on Friday afternoon and I found a recipe for Banana Choc Muffins (I think they are cupcakes once they have frosting on them, though) so I made those instead. I know they don't look like much (sorry about the shitty camera phone quality, but it was kindof a last minute thing that I decided to even take pictures and put the recipe up, if you want pretty pictures of recipes go here or here or here) but they were a big hit and Boyfriend's cousins asked me if I could make muffins and cupcakes for them all the time.

Here's the recipe, I think it's from Australian Women's Weekly and it says it makes about 6 jumbo muffins, I got 12 good sized muffins out of it. Sorry that you're dealing with grams and what not, but I'm lazy and don't feel like doing temperature conversions or measuring it!

90g of unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup of self-raising flour
1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (or if you've used salted butter I think you use baking powder instead, but don't quote me on that)
2/3 cup of mashed really ripe bananas (just put in as m
uch as you'd like depending on how much banana flavor you enjoy, I think I used a bit more and it still wasn't super banana-y for me)
1/2 cup of sour cream (I used lite sour cream and it didn't effect it)
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

(I ran out of sour cream as I was doing triple the recipe, but forgot that when shopping so I just used Betty Crocker in a can stuff and they were really good that way. They were also really tasty without any frosting at all on them)
100 g of cooking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup of icing sugar
1 tablespoon of baking cocoa
1/4 cup of sour cream

1. Preheat over to 180 C or 160 C if you're doing fan forced. Line cupcake tin with paper cupcake wrappers or use the more environmentally healthy silicone ones like I did for most of mine.
2. Beat softened butter, eggs, and sugar together in a small bowl with an electric mixer (I really need to get one, but for now I used my blender)
until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted dry ingredients, bananas, and sour cream, then add the chocolate chips.
3. Pour mixture into muffin tin and bake for about 25 minutes.
4. Allow muffins to cool while you make the frosting by mixing the melted chocolate, icing sugar, baking cocoa, and sour cream together.
5. Spread frosting on muffins when they are pretty much cool.
Does anyone have any recipes they want to share with me, either in the comments or on my email (littleddownunder at gmail dot com). I'm always looking for new things to try for dinner or dessert...I love chocolate and chicken and pasta if that helps, but I'm open to anything so please share!

Peter, Peter, Possum Eater

Listen, I know that's not exactly how the song/poem goes, but there aren't a lot of songs about possums out there and I try and name every post after a song...also this post is about a possum, he's a boy and I named him Peter, and I fed him good stuff to eat so it kinda makes sense to call it that.Every time we rolled our garage door up or down for the past few weeks we've been hearing lots of bumps and bangs inside of it. We had no clue what it was and were freaked out every time we walked in to the garage that a rat or snake or something was going to fall down on us.

Last night I went to sleep with the sound of the possums outside our window growling at each other and it was a scary noise, like someone coughing/a motorbike starting up, and this afternoon when Boyfriend got home from an overnight Sydney trip, this is what he came home to as he pulled the car in to the garage:

He ran inside to get me and all I could see when I came out was its long, hairy, black tail hanging out from under the garage door. I didn't know if there was a possum attached to the tail or if the possum was alive or dead. Luckily, he was alive (trust me, I got a glimpse, and it is a he) so I immediately wanted to make it my pet and decided to give it my leftover PopTart. Little guy went nuts for it!

I also put an orange up near him and I was nervous to be so close to him and while he gave the orange a good sniff and seemed interested in it, he still hasn't touched it. For some reason his nose and eyes and his sweet little face remind me of a pig...anyone else seeing that?

He really loved the banana I gave him after the orange and he tried to grab it with his gross claws, which freaked me out again. He ate nearly half of a huge banana that Boyfriend had just bought for my breakfast tomorrow. It was so neat to watch him up close and his nose kept running with excitement (/rabies?).

We just went out to see if we could put the roller door down (it's been about 2 hours since Boyfriend discovered him) and he was still sitting on top of it so we rolled it really slowly and you should've seen him go- it was like watching a lumberjack in a log-rolling competition, too cute!

Anyway, you guys just wait and see, four weeks from today is when I leave to go home to CA and I bet before then I'll have the little guy sitting on my shoulder like a parrot and eating out of my hand! (Ok, before my Mom or anyone else freaks out, I'm joking....well....mostly I'm joking)