You know its finally summer in Oz when the flies descend. I don't know where they come from, but suddenly bam!! you can't sit outside without doing the Aussie salute the entire time you are in the house. On the subject of flies, I found two solutions for keeping flies at bay (chemical free) that I am going to try...I'll let you know if they work before I share them with you. Why can't you find string in the grocery stores any more? You used to be able to find plain old butchers twine - not any more. Now it involves a special trip to ANOTHER store. Only they won't have any either. Looking forward to having 3 weeks off over the Christmas holidays (provided my homemade fly repellant remedy works). With the holidays comes a renewed vow to do a bit of renovating and some photography work. We'll see how it pans out. Between having crippled myself last year (Morton's Neuroma) then, getting hit with a bad case of flu, then changing jobs (and then changing back again) plus having had 3 colds in the last two months hasn't helped renew the renovating/photography mojo. Showing a new co-worker my photos and blog has made me realize how much the Mr & I (mostly the Mr, I just provide cheap labor and nourishing cups of tea) have done in this place. The theme for 2011 - pace yourself An interesting question from the co-worker though, "do you have a lot of followers on your blog?" Well, I never look at my stats so I wouldn't know, but I am a bit specialized. How many american expats over the age of 50 live in Oz? I'm guessing not too many. I also read the other day where only 7% of bloggers are over 50.I don't know if it's true, but it seems feasible. Of course, I've been blogging since 2002 (2003 publicly) so I was ahead of the curve. I guess another of my new years non-resolutions is to think of ways to make this more interesting, which is a pretty big ask. Never being able to remember which is which, I have decided the old wives tale should be "feed a cold, feed a fever". Speaking of food - about to make a pasta salad with beans (kidney, white beans, and green) plus tuna for dinners next week. Will let you know how it turns out. http://sneezingcow.com/biography/ If you have not read any of Michael Perry's books, run to the nearest bookstore or to his web site (link above, am doing this on the ipad so I don't know how it will show up on the web). When I grow up, I want to write like him. Last week was Thanksgiving in the US - while I don't miss the "getting up at 5 am to start cooking" part of the holiday, I could certainly use a leftover turkey sandwich right about now. The missing of family and friends is a given. Jan 13 is the one year anniversary of Frankie's arrival at our front gate. While the checking account has been dimished by several hundreds of dollars due to his arrival, the joy he has brought us can't be measured. I don't know if Miss Scarlett is as pleased as we are to have Frankie in the family, but he is truly a great dog & has come along so well. The dog that used to cower in a corner (or run and hide under the house) when you brought out a leash now runs to the door to go on his walk,he has learned how to heel, stops and waits before crossing the street and has only tried to kill the small white doglet across the street twice. Pretty good progress, I'd say.