Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Rotary Club of Monbulk

I had a real treat tonight - I was invited to speak to The Rotary Club of Monbulk this evening.

What a lively group, and so very welcoming to me and Stephen! It was great fun spending the evening with them and sharing stories. They made us feel very much at home, very much part of the group. We had a ball and will make a point of supporting any Rotary Club sausage sizzles or other events we see in our area.

Thank you to The Rotary Club of Monbulk!

Dirty Cars Are Luckier

I washed my car on Saturday morning. It was going to be a fairly warm day, so I went out early, dragging the hose attached to our raintank around to the driveway. I wouldn't say I did a fabulous job, but at least I got the worst of the mud off of the sides, and now you can again see the blue paint without the usual decorative brown dirt. It'd been quite a long time since the last wash, and as I was rinsing the last of the "car shampoo" off the sides, I laughed to myself that poor old "Jelly Bean" (the name I call my car) might not run as well without the grime clinging to her.

Jelly Bean sat in the carport from then until Monday afternoon. I was heading out to meet some friends that day - hopped into the car and turned the key and.... ...nothing. Not even a "click". Dead battery.

I suppose sooner or later, we all experience this or something like it. What a PAIN!

Hubby Stephen kindly agreed to drive me to my meeting and I decided to leave the car alone until the next morning.

Fortunately, we have a membership in the RACV - Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. They are our insurance carrier and we also have the optional "roadside assistance" service. One simple phone call and thirty minutes later a friendly man in a small truck came down the drive to jump-start my car. He asked me how old the battery was, and on learning it was the original battery that came with the car - six years ago - advised me to consider replacing it. I assured him I planned to.

 "Would you like me to organize that for you?" he asked.

Sure!" I happily agreed. He made a quick phone call and in less than an hour another RACV man had come and installed a new battery (with a 3-year warranty). I was delighted! I knew the roadside service included getting a "jumpstart" but I never dreamed they'd send a mechanic to actually fix the car! How good is that?!?!

It rained that day, and as I had an errand to run, there was no choice but to drive out onto the muddy road and, yes, just as you are guessing, Jelly Bean has a fresh splash of mud on her sides as a direct result. I think I'll leave it there. Washing the car twice in one week is tempting fate.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oh... no.....

I was just shifting a few things around in my office (which is horribly cluttered at the moment) and came across one of my least-favorite Australian critters: A Whitetail spider.

It was sitting on the floor, just behind a painting I had leaning against the wall.


I have been wondering for some time why I hadn't seen any huntsmen in the house. Now into the latter part of November, I expect to see one or two, especially on rainy days. But "Wolfgang" has been missing in action. Now I think I know why. Whitetails, you see, eat other spiders.

They also have a reputation for giving a bad bite - so I don't tolerate them in the house.

I find them every so often - not terribly frequently, thank heavens. But when I do find them... hmmm... it tends to be in one of 3 places:
  1. on the first floor at the foot of the stairs
  2. in our bedroom (generally near the bathroom door)
  3. here in my office - and in the same spot where I found this one
What's up with THAT?!?!?!

I was on the phone with friend Dianne when I found this one. Her advice is to spray the room with insecticide. I'm not sure I want to do that - I don't like using chemicals like that. However... if I find any more, I may consider it.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Loves You


Warmer weather, flowers in bloom and love is in the air.

Stephen had George out for a little exercise flight around the house, and George made a bee-line for the big grass basket I have in the loungeroom. Stephen snapped this photo and asked me "What's up?"

I know "what's up". I know quite well. Can you guess?

That basket is, in George's mind, a nest cavity.

George turned 7 years old last Sunday. He's all grown up now (has been for a while, actually) and is in the prime of his life. He'd just love to start a family. Problem is, he's made a species-inappropriate decision regarding his mate. Who has he chosen? ME.

Yeah - I'm just too sexy for my own good.

So these days, when George is out and about, he's hunting for a good nest site. This basket, he's sure, will do. If not that, there's the space under the club chair in my office - or the area under my desk, or under the bed. Anything that has a "roof" and "sides" is worthy of his intense consideration.

How long will this go on, you ask?



With eclectus parrots, there's no real "down time". Breeding season pretty much happens 11 out of 12 months of the year. Lucky me, eh?

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Special Day

In early November 2006, I rang my mother-in-law (who was here in Australia) from Ohio and said this:

"Stephen and I are going to get lunch at The Troy next Sunday. Would you like us to pick anything up for you?"

There was a pause on the phone and then Judith burst into delighted laughter. The Troy, you see, is a kebab shop just around the corner from her house. I was having a little fun with Judith - and, in my way, letting her know we'd be seeing her very soon. And we did.

On November 12, 2006, I stepped off the plane at Tullamarine International Airport as an immigrant. So today is a special day for me. One I happily remember and celebrate quietly with Stephen.

May you also have a few "special days" of your own. Celebrate them with joy and gratitude for the good things in life, happy rites of passage, and moments when you felt the universe was pouring itself out for you.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Melbourne Cup - 2012

Last year we had a "photo finish", with horses Dunaden and Red Cadeaux so close the judges had a quite a job to figure out who won:

Dunaden was proclaimed the winner.

This year, both horses were favorites but instead... oh my... what a RACE! The winner was Green Moon - a horse that just came out of nowhere!   Here's the video:

Hubby Stephen prepared a "sweep" again this year, and everybody in the household (including the birds) had horses assigned. The winning horse was assigned to my good friend Ruth - who had not really paid much attention to the Melbourne Cup before this year. But now? Oh... I do think she's HOOKED!