Hovering Above The Grid

A post that doesn't center around my back (or my ear, for pity's sake, not the ear)? That's tricky, when all conversations seem to lead to "because of my back/ear" or "until my back/ear" or "since my back/ear"...

(My back is better but not trustworthy in new and not interesting ways. My ear is better but taking the slow path, which of course I feel I deserve because I'm the child who can't get it together to keep objects out of her ear-hole.)

In lieu of words (or in lieu of words about how I know what "lieu" means in French because I'm level 15 on Duolingo now) - let's have some recent photos:

The Surprising Arrival of Beanbag the Elder

We have, unfortunately, discovered where Beanbag gets her distinctive "ghost tabby" looks.

Even more unfortunately:

The Heartbreak of Cultural Differences

No one has said anything about Boots and Beanbag for the past eight months (or their mother/siblings before they them), but now that the suitors have started arriving, I someone's radar or tolerance was tested.

Back in the States, I could take a stray in to a vet and get it fixed. Animal groups do it all the time. Alas, this is not an option here because all cats are required to be microchipped, and strays ('ferals") are destroyed. (Even the animal rescue groups here believe that an adult feral cat cannot be tamed. Argh! They need to meet my father! He not only tamed two street-tough muscular toms to the point of them climbing into bed for snuggles or into his lap to watch TV, but he got them to play nice with each other despite their mutual hatred at first sight.)

Our lease just came up for renewal, and we tried with increasing urgency to find a place that allowed pets and was in our price and hygiene range, even though the last thing we want to do is move. (My back, the cost of it when we're still paying off the overseas move, and the fact that it's pretty hard to beat our place, especially since it comes with fridge, dishwasher, and washer/dryer - usually renters provide these.) No luck.

I don't know what happens next. I don't disagree with the Cat Act at all - I want pets to be microchipped and sterilized. It's important legislation. I just wish I could keep Beanbag - who comes running at her name and knows no life other than what happens in our building's yard - from making more kittens without killing her.

And so, I leave nature to play it all out, and I guess hope for foxes to take all the new little ghost tabbies (and tuxedos, and sock-footed charcoals, and long-haired fancies, ad these are just the gentleman callers I know about) away.

Another Newcomer to the Garden...

Beanbag, Watched

Ship Leaving Bunbury: the Bantry

I want to become a half-assed ship spotter, clicking from the balcony as Yet Another Container Ship rolls into port, but all of the free marine traffic sites seem to be delayed or incomplete. It could just be said half-assery, though.

Bunbury Sunrise

I can't apologize for sunrises. I've missed too many good ones.

Before I came over, we were kind of sad that the bauxite (I think) plant was so visible, but I've come to actually enjoy its shape. Still, I reckon it's one of the top ten reasons why Busselton plays Shelbyville to our Springfield.

Eyeing Fancies at the Re Store

Did you know that chocolate bitters exist? At $25/bottle, I will probably never know what this tastes like. This company needs to make a teeny-tiny vial sampler.

(For pity's sake. The price is almost half that on Amazon. I wonder if they'll ship overseas. Aztec Chocolate!)

IKEA Moments

We only made one trip to Perth these past school holidays, and it was on the last weekday so we could put in my non-practising teacher registration application. (Unpretentious use of "s" in "practising" because I'm quoting what they call it.) Because I'm an American, I have to get the "non-practising" type license (licence), which gets switched to a regular license by... practising.

It's loopy. I should know in a couple of months whether all of my documentation is in order.

Does this mean I plan to return to teaching instead of trying on a new career?

It only means that I'd like to keep my options open so that I can buy more things at Ikea - although it will be hard to top the pig above. We call her "Pignorance."

(Not pictured: the soft rat toy that Mike named "Bliss.")

After Ikea it was Indian buffet (so good, so heavenly, even though I upended my rare LL&B treat all over my shirt and remaining paneer) then around and around the busy Friday night CBD until we hit a perfect parking spot. (Perfect = any.) Over to Saint Maison Honore for Coca-Cola macarons, then down into the basement of London Court for a drool over the stacked game shelves at Tactics, then home, with only $25 in Ikea damage in the trunk.

(Unless we count all of the groceries.)

Dinner with Nathan at VAT 2

The noms were in force over the holidays. (To the point where I'm considering making a raw food board on Pinterest. Balance - hurry - help.) Above is a salted caramel parfait/tart (parfart?) from dinner with Nathan (who had the same).

Dinner with Nathan at VAT 2

I couldn't talk Mike into the fried goat's cheese. Beautiful despite the icky soy-ish sauce. (I like soy sauce, but not with cheese.)

Margaret River Providore Gardens

Another entry for my Someday Garden.

Oh - gardens. One month into winter and I have a daffodil sprouting as of this afternoon. The hell. (And I still have 30 extra bulbs - don't ask why - that need planting in sneaky corners around town... a project that has so far failed to excite Mike, who does not want to be Mr. Daffodilbulb for southwestern Australia. But imagine the ballads!)

Our Car by the Estuary

We took the car to visit some of the hundreds of wild kangaroos by the estuary.

Lunchtime Walk: 15 July 2014

The more I think about it, the more I believe I need to try a Gingerella.

Lunchtime Walk: 15 July 2014

This window display at a nearby shopping centre is just mean. (Hint: no one is selling baked goods.)

My Winter Look

Not that I can be grumpy with such wonderful rain and wind about.

First Trip to Full of Beanz (Iced Choc Chai Frappé with Choc Chips!)

The whole of Australia (well, my end of it) is littered with cafes , and in every cafe there concoctions of dairy and sugar and chocolate, and yet no one has been able to deliver a true equivalent to the Starbucks double chocolate chip frap. Most cafes have only a slightly thick chocolate milk ("iced chocolate"), or a marginally thicker chocolate milk ("milkshake"), or a chocolate milkshake ("thickshake"), and many cafes have coffee-based frappes, but the closest I'd been able to come is the chalky "Espreski" from the Dome chain, which is not at all like a double choc-chip frap, but at least it also wasn't a chocolate milk/milkshake.

But then, in an idle moment over the holidays as we sat at our beachside restaurant and flicked through the tourist books (as you do, so la-de-dah), I happened to look up the menu for a drive-thru coffee place that advertised smoothies in the guide. Sure, they have smoothies, but they also icy chocolate frappes with the option of blended chocolate chips! (Texture, y'all!) We cut our dessert plans and headed straight over after lunch.

Oh my, oh my. And even better, I can get a chocolate CHAI icy frappe with chocolate chips! It's like Christmas in my mouth! Christmas 2008!

(I remain ashamed yet unapologetic that so much of my passion seems to play out through food and retail experiences.)

First Trip to Full of Beanz (Iced Choc Chai Frappé with Choc Chips!)

A Few Hours Past High Tide

(The light here could be a metaphor for hope and enlightenment via fussy $6 drive-thru beverages that must hereafter be saved for special occasions, but really I was just admiring the high tide and how the old seaside baths foundation was so visible on the beach this day.)

Afternoon Walk: Bastille Day 2014

Of all the fun things we did over the break, walking around town and taking photos of little this-and-thats was my favourite. The mural population seems to be steadily growing in town.

Tonight's Walk: 5 July 2014

Morning Walk, 7 July 2014: Another Mural That Is So Much Nicer Than The One at Prinsep and Victoria

One must dress for the weather, of course.

Morning Walk, 7 July 2014: Death and the Pinhead/p>

Morning Walk, 7 July 2014: Mike in front of sculpture (that I am behind)

Morning Walk, 7 July 2014: Mr Smiley

I continue to spend too much time worrying about whether people are paying serious money for certain decor/art concepts.

Tonight's Walk: 5 July 2014

Fast Elevator Selfie

Speaking of creative trends that are not universally appreciated, an elevator selfie! Note the shampoo-away dye hiding most of the grey, the camera positioned to hide most of the chin(s), and Mike's big brown sweatshirt that was hiding nothing but which I have to wear all the time because heating does not seem to work in Australia the way it does in the United (Everyone seems really content to wear warmer clothes indoors, whereas I'm used to full climate control that allows for short sleeves at any time. I think it's the same mindset that makes people hate machine dryers. Character building and eco-awareness and stuff. I have my frappes now, so I guess I can meet them halfway on some of these things.)

Plus, I'm still getting plenty of this:

Roo face

Since this post started, my back has recovered from most of its latest drama, my ear is nearly normal, I'm up to level 16 in Duolingo and just learned how to say "seeds," Mike ate some sheep cheese by mistake, Boots and Beanbag ran away from home (but Beanbag has come back), I made a lasagne, we planted half of the remaining daffodils somewhere, I found 28 stuffed animals in our home that I am not toooo emotionally attached to for a weird lesson plan for Mike (and I don't even think that number is high), and I took a few hundred more photos, some of which have made it to Flickr.

28 July 2014 |