Tea for 2…

Not much happens in our life and I’m sure it gets a bit boring to read, but I’m continuing with my daily posts regardless.

It was hairdresser day for me today. Back to the hairdresser I thought I’d lost. He’s got a nice little setup now in his home. Still in the process of getting things completely set up, but it’s looking good. And I’m very happy to know I’m getting my hair cut in a way I like it.

It was another pretty warm day (with unpleasantly warmer to come) so Anzac got water in the pool again.  As usual, much splashing was conducted.

After lunch we headed out to do some shopping – some new shirts for Stephen to wear to work, amongst other things. We did have a look at coffee plungers as well. We have a couple of 1 cup plungers; I want a 1litre plunger. Just comparing prices at this stage. Then we called in to the Post Office to pick up a parcel that they had tried to deliver this morning, but that we missed.

I love receiving my orders from T2. They always wrap each item separately in gorgeous wrapping. Even their most simple wrapping is a delight for the senses. It’s always like unpacking presents. It makes it worth it to order online rather than go into a store to buy the tea. There are a couple of places around Perth where T2 Tea can be bought but they have had free shipping this month so that’s an even better reason to buy online. They really did surpass themselves with the packaging this month; for Christmas. Beautiful gold and purple wrapping paper, tied with purple velvet ribbon and gold tassels. And settled into a nest of purple tissue paper. Remember this isn’t a gift-wrapped order,it’s always beautifully wrapped. This is just what T2 do!

T2 Tea Order

T2 Tea Order

FYI: The order contained a 250g tin of English Breakfast, a 250g tin of Russian Caravan and a 250g foil pack of Irish Breakfast (I already have a tin for that).

Housekeeping…

I do like it when the house is nice and clean. I only wish it would stay that way for a while. With the weather here being so dry and windy and the whole area being so sandy the dust is a real nuisance. You wipe a shelf clean at lunch time and by tea time you can see your finger trail as you wipe it across that same shelf. And with our hairy dogs, when you vacuum and wash the floor it looks lovely. But by the time you’ve rinsed the bucket and put the mop away there are new tumbleweeds of hair rolling across the floor.

Today was a housekeeping day. I worked inside and Stephen worked outside in the garden. Then this afternoon a trip to Bunnings.

The security screen installer cam and fitted the new screen in the bathroom. All of our windows and doors finally have security screens. It’s only taken me 3 years to get around to getting this last screen.

Still no word from the fencer. I guess he’s taking this week off. No word from the neighbour’s insurance company yet, either. Hopefully they’ll approve payment of his half for the entire length. There are strong wind warnings out for tonight.

And to finish up, a couple of pictures…

The veggie garden today

The veggie garden today

A dog and his man

A dog and his man

A little bit of this and a little bit of that…

The temperature was much more pleasant today. Down around 30°C (86°F). You feel like getting things done. And I felt like getting a little bit of housework done (just a little bit, mind you). This involved packing the Christmas tree and decorations away. I discovered that the knitted Santa that made had made us several years ago had gone AWOL. Over the Christmas season he usually sits on the bookcase with Mrs. Claus. This morning he was missing, I soon found him, though. He’d gone outside to play in the sandpit with Anzac. It was into the washing machine for a good bath for Santa. He came out as good as new!

Santa, washed and clean and none the worse for wear

Santa, washed and clean and none the worse for wear

While I was packing everything away I decided to give the reindeer antlers one last try on the dogs. They were less than impressed but I did get a few photos.

Kaz Reindeer

Kaz Reindeer

Anzac Reindeer

Anzac Reindeer

Last week when Stephen went to buy his seafood he also came home with a kilo basket of Casa Ricotta. Very nice, but when and how were we going to eat that much ricotta? Well, today he decided to bake some. After a bit of recipe research he added fresh herbs and packed it into a ramekin and into the oven it went. Oh my…

Ricotta ready to bake

Ricotta ready to bake

Finished freshly baked ricotta

Finished baked ricotta

In the meantime we had given the dogs a half marrowbone each. Kaz always buries hers almost straight away so that it can ‘ripen’ a bit. Trouble is, she forgets where she’s buried it. Anzac is top dog when it comes to bones and he won’t let Kaz out of his sight when there are bones around – in case she ends up with one and he can’t find the other – or, heaven forbid, she ends up with his bone! He spent quite a bit of time in one of the nests they’ve dug under the wattle and grevilleas either working on or protecting his bone.

Anzac in his nest

Anzac in his nest under the grevillea and wattle

Anzac with bone

Anzac under the bushes with a bone - taken from a different angle

We are pretty slack when it comes to inviting people over for a meal. We have great intentions but time tends to get away from us. And we do worry about Anzac jumping on people. It’s something we’re trying to tech him not to do but we don’t have very many visitors and the dogs get very excited when anyone does visit. Anyway, back to us not getting round to setting a date to invite friends for meals. It works about better sometimes if people just drop in. That happened today. Isaac and Karen called to check that we were home and then dropped in for a coffee. And we shared the delicious baked ricotta on some crackers. It was lovely to see them and they got to meet the pups.

The moral of this story is: if we’ve been saying that we’ll have to have you over for a meal but haven’t got round to setting a date, then just call us up and say “I’m on my way over, I’ll be there in half an hour”. Just so long as you’re not going to be upset if there’s a bit of dust and dog hair around the place, we’ll all be happy!

We managed to grab a couple of ripe passionfruit for ourselves (before the dogs got to them) and had them on ice cream tonight. They were only small but chock-full of pulp. Yummm Yummm

Passionfruit

Passionfruit

The temperature’s rising…

At 7:30 this morning our outside thermometer was showing 32° C (that’s close to 83° F). Hot enough for us to put the air con on for most of the day. The first time this summer, except for a couple of test runs. We kept it on until about 4:3ish when a slightly cooler change came through. The temp got up to 40° C (104° F) again and now at 7:40pm it’s down to 27° C (81° F).

I do like the heat but when it’s this hot day after day it gets a bit tiring. There’s not much you can do in the extreme heat; not much you feel like doing. The dogs have been feeling it too. Even Anzac hasn’t been very active. Short bursts of activity, often involving splashing in water or running around the yard with his waterbowl, throwing it in the air or pushing it across the paving. We had to substitute the stainless steel bowl with a plastic one. The sound of a stainless steel bowl being pushed across brickwork is almost unbearable; a bit like the sound of fingernails on the blackboard! We did try using a bucket for a waterbowl be he finds it just as easy to tip over a 10 litre bucket and drag it around the yard. He loves to splash the water and then watch as it runs along the grooves between the pavers.

Anzac had his first ice cream today. I gave them both ice cream in cones. Kaz just gulps hers down as fast as she can. She loves it. Anzac was much slower; he took his time and loved every lick. He licked his ice cream until it was gone and then ate the cone.

Anzacs first ice cream

Anzacs first ice cream

And there’s video here.

After lunch I decided to tackle the IKEA cabinet. I quite enjoyed putting it together, and surprise, surprise there wasn’t an allen key in sight! Hanging it was much harder. Darn solid brick walls they like to build here in W.A. Got it done, though and I’m very happy with it. I doubt it will encourage me to go back to IKEA, though. Even if I do want some shelves to store my tea cannisters on in the kitchen.

Bathroom cabinet from IKEA

Bathroom cabinet from IKEA

The colour isn’t great in the photo – the cabinet is bright white and those are sprigs of white flowers on the glass.

We call it Boxing Day…

The day after Christmas, that is.

According to Wikipedia:

The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear and there are several competing theories, none definitive.

…but it seems to mainly be related to making up alms boxes for the poor which were given out on the day after Christmas.

Here it’s a public holiday, no matter what your charity frame of mind.

Another hot day today with temperatures up around 37°C ( 98.6°F) and the wind blowing a gale once again. I really don’t mind a breeze, ‘specially when the weather’s hot, but this wind we get here is ridiculous. And today’s has been an easterly as well, so apart from air movement it’s done nothing to make the day more pleasant. We were woken several times through the night by the sound of the wind and of the fence creaking alarmingly. Luckily fence is still there, and wind has now dropped off slightly.

After me talking to my mum about the computer and TV that Paul, my brother, bought her today, Stephen taking to his dad and skyping his mum (Christmas day in the States) we spent much of the day outside. Once again we filled the pool for Anzac. Kaz is welcome to use it too, but she won’t put more than her paws in – very gingerly.

New video of Anzac:

Cooling down

Cooling down

Eating treats

Eating treats

Dog Paddling

Dog Paddling

Kaz in the pool

Kaz in the pool

Ready for action - in ball-chasing position

Ready for action - in ball-chasing position

And we had a small veggie harvest today; a few tomatoes and a capsicum.

Today's veggie harvest

Today's veggie harvest

Stephen's Boxing day cray

Stephen's Boxing day cray

And to finish off a small video of yesterday’s blue-tongued lizard

and another small one of the dogs in the water:

And so this is Christmas…

40°C that’s about 104°F.
So this is Christmas…in our part of Australia.

It was a lovely day, if somewhat warm. Santa was generous. Amongst it all there was an iPad for Stephen and some fairies and Native Australians for me. New toys and christmas treats for the pups. My Native Australians are Bower Beads designed by the wonderful Tasmanian Jewellery Sculptor Ruth Waterhouse. My fairies are a Silverado bead and two Iron Fairies (terrible website!).

Christmas Joy

Christmas Joy

Anzac with all the good stuff

Anzac with all the good stuff

This one belongs to Kaz

This one belongs to Kaz

Christmas treat fun

Christmas treat fun

More Christmas treat fun

More Christmas treat fun

Stephen with his new iPad

Stephen with his new iPad

My new beads - Fairy, Little Penguins, Baby Tasmanian Devil and Turtles

My new beads - Fairy, Little Penguins, Baby Tasmanian Devil and Turtles

Bracelet with all the beads

Bracelet with all the beads

Chante and Jade

Chante, the Tree Fern fairy, and Jade, the Jacaranda fairy

My whole Iron Fairy family

My whole Iron Fairy family

It was hot ealy so we had breakfast outside. Put water in the pool for Anzac to play in and he went to work trying to dog a hole in the water – as he does!

Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

Is It Ball Time Yet?

Is It Ball Time Yet?

We took the dogs to the beach late in the morning. There were people everywhere, either getting in an early swim before they went home for the big Christmas feed, or setting up their Christmas picnic lunch at the beach. There were far too many white bodies on the beach that would be going home red! I got a little too pink myself from our walk along the beach.

Of course there were plenty of people and dogs on the dog beach as well. Anzac was very well-behaved – he still gets easily distracted and is very excitable in a crowd. He likes to swim but he prefers to be close to Kaz (unless there’s another dog running around who is happy for Zac to chase him) so Stephen took Kaz into the water, Anzac followed and they both swam out together.

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Christmas Beach Fun

Getting treats at the beach

Getting treats at the beach

Deb and Anzac

Deb and Anzac

Deb and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Deb and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Stephen and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Stephen and the pups - Christmas Day at the beach

Anzac catching a wave

Anzac catching a wave

Swimming with Anzac

Swimming with Anzac

Out of the waves

Out of the waves

Kaz is not so sure this is really necessary

Kaz is not so sure this is really necessary

Kaz and Anzac swimming side-by-side

Kaz and Anzac swimming side-by-side

Stephen polished off the remains of yesterday’s crayfish for breakfast and then had the last of his tiger prawns for lunch. We relaxed outside for the afternoon. I noticed Anzac just standing staring at something along the back of the house, then realised we had a very handsome Christmas Day visitor. A Stumpy-tailed (or shingleback) Blue-tongued lizard. His colouring was very pretty and he looked very healthy, shiny scales and a nice fat tail. Anazc was curious but didn’t harrass him as he wandered though into the garage and out into the front yard. What a wonderful visitor to the yard; I wish he had stayed a while.

Curious Anzac

Curious Anzac

Our Christmas Visitor - A Stumpy-tailed Blue-tongued Lizard

Our Christmas Visitor - A Stumpy-tailed Blue-tongued Lizard

We had a delicious risotto for tea. Not traditional Christmas fare, I know, but with it just being the two of us Stephen wanted to make something that he knows I really enjoy. We finished that off with Christmas pudding with brandy custard and Irish liqueur flavoured cream!

’twas the night before Christmas…

We headed out earlier than usual on a non-workday so we could get some last-minute shopping out of the way. It was already pretty busy out there, though. Our shopping was mainly food and doggie prezzies.

The rest of our day was quiet. A day of sitting, relaxing, reading and playing with the dogs. Oh, and wrapping their presents, of course!

And of course Stephen had some of his Tiger Prawns for lunch.

Tiger prawns on the barby

Tiger prawns on the barby

Tiger prawns ready to eat

Tiger prawns ready to eat

Have a Merry Merry Christmas everyone. Whether you celebrate for religious reasons or just because joy is in the air; whether you celebrate Christmas or something else; celebrate the season and have a fun time.

I’m off to see where Santa is:
Track Santa on Google Earth

It’s seafood for Christmas in Australia…

Not much to add today.

Today was Stephen’s last day with Newcrest. He went in to the office for a handover of his laptop, phone, etc., and a final farewell I guess. He’s now unemployed until 4th Jan when he starts the new job. On his way home he called in to Kailis Bros. in Leederville for his Christmas seafood: 2 crayfish and a kilo and a half of kilos of banana prawns. By calling in today he avoided the crowds they’ll have there tomorrow. A couple of years ago we called in on Christmas Eve and had to queue halfway down the street.

Kailis Bros Leederville. Open for 36 hours straight on Christmas Eve

Kailis Bros Leederville. Open for 36 hours straight on Christmas Eve

I tidied the spare room, finally put the suitcases away and filed some long-overdue-for-filing paperwork.

It’s quite hot and humid here today. The heat (35C) isn’t unusual but the humidity is. Ha! 58% humidity and we think it’s unpleasant. And we used to live in the top end where we would expect the humidity at this time of year to be in the 80’s (when it wasn’t raining). It’s amazing how quickly you adapt to the climate you live in.

Friends and dragons…

A lovely day again today.

I started with a pedicure and manicure by Kim at Beauty @ Home. Always a good way to start the day and my hands and feet feel lovely.

Then into town to have lunch with another friend made at RMS. The positive about working there was the friendship group that resulted. Ally is a lovely lady and it looks like she’s landed a very good and well deserved job. It was great to catch up with her for lunch. We’re going to make it a regular date.

After lunch I called into Fantastic Planet bookshop and ordered Dave Freer’s Dragon’s Ring. I had meant to put in a much earlier pre-order but didn’t make it to Fantastic Planet to do so last week when I was in Perth. If I had I might even have the book now. The paperback version of Dragon’s Ring comes out on December 28th, but if your bookshop has it you can probably buy it now (something to do with overseas publishers sending the books out early so the bookshops will have them in stock to sell on release day).

You can buy it online from Fishpond, The Book Depository, Amazon or your favourite bookshop. You probably should have a Dave Freer book on your bookshelf so I’ve made it easy for you to buy one. 😉

I also called into the Oxfam Australia shop to buy some last minute gifts for friends. A worthwhile place to spend some money.

And to finish up today here’s a photo of the little lord of the manor.

Anzac getting comfortable

Anzac getting comfortable

Oh Christmas tree…

Lunch with Zoe today was, as usual, very tasty. And as usual, the company was great. We went to Macchiato again. Unfortunately, Kimberley couldn’t make it.

After lunch I met with the self-paced learning coordinator about my Cert IV TAA upgrade. It looks like it’s all going to be much easier than I thought. Not too much to get done at all. If I’m able to take part in the volunteer training that I’m interested in, that will make things even easier.

I caught up with a few friends at my old workplace while I was there, it was good to see them, but didn’t make me wish to be back there at all. Things haven’t changed at all.

This afternoon we decorated the Christmas tree, put out a few Christmas ornaments and hung a few lights. A bit late I know, but we were a bit hesitant because of Anzac. We didn’t put too many decorations on the tree, we don’t want to push our luck with the pup. We’ve had the wreath on the front door for a week or so. Anzac did take an interest in the balls on the tree (ball-crazy dog that he is) but he was soon distracted by his favourite rubber ball. He was more alarmed by the small pair of antlers that I hung on the corner of the telly.


I forgot to mention that last week, on the Monday, I called up to renew my subscription to Organic Gardening magazine. As a gift for resubscribing they sent me a nice monthly planting guide calendar. It arrived on the Wednesday! Two days! I have no idea how they did that. And at Christmas time! If only the mail was always so efficient. I guess it must have been delivered by courier, not Australia Post. It was left on the doormat while I was out.